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September 15, 2006

Stedman Barbershop to join roster of memories...

The Stedman Barbershop to join roster of memories
Feature Story By JUNE ALLEN
Front Street looking east, circa 1955: Photographer: Paulu T. Saari
The Stedman Barbershop is in the lower left corner...

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Ketchikan: The Stedman Barbershop to join roster of memories By JUNE ALLEN - One of the last of Ketchikan's notable old downtown businesses will soon become another nostalgic memory. The words painted in gold leaf on the Front Street window of the Stedman Barber Shop have long and proudly proclaimed "Since 1910." That's almost a hundred years! But, before the end of 2006, the Stedman's venerable old barber chairs will be moved out and replaced by jewelry display cases in anticipation of next year's visitor season.

While the many recent changes downtown are bittersweet to most and probably just plain bitter to some of the town's oldtimers, in reality there is the indisputable fact that there have been major shifts in the region's economy over the past century. The days of the fish canneries, the logging and the pulp mill, those sturdy industries that kept the town ticking in the past, are now largely fond memories. Tourism is lively today, and it is lucrative. It helps pay the community's bills.

Ketchikan's slice of the Alaska tourism pie began to grow back in the late '70s and early '80s with the appearance each summer season of the giant cruise ships and their hordes of delighted "shopaholic" passengers. At first it was heady and exciting. Now, at the start of each season, locals loiter on the dock and watch the activity. By season's end, they ignore it. By then they're looking forward to the winter quiet when their streets are no longer clogged with big busses and their sidewalks are all their own again. 

On the downtown docks during the busy visitor season, local stevedores skillfully sling lines up to the vessel's crews and the ships are tied up snugly. Lined up stern to bow alongside the wharves, at high tide the vessels' hulks loom like 10-story structures over the comparatively tiny wooden buildings clustered along  Ketchikan's waterfront. The rails of the ships are lined with passengers staring at the scene below and the locals ashore gawking at the visitors. Ketchikan homefolk realize it's time to temporarily drive around and not through the clogged downtown district!

Gangplanks are dropped into place against the rough and usually wet dock planking and the rubbernecks ashore crane their necks to stare at the passengers as they disembark. Gripping handrails and watching their feet, visitors soon clamber down the springy and sometimes slightly swinging gangplanks and, testing their rubbery sea-legs, step onto the dock. Then they fan out, hesitantly at first, and once they get their bearings and test their balance, they head for the concrete sidewalks and the many shops waiting for them.

The proliferation of the city's jewelry shops attest to Alaska travelers' proven taste in souvenirs and reminders of visits to the exotic north. Visitors shop not only for trinkets  for acquaintances back home but for more costly stones and gold ornaments for themselves and loved ones.  They buy lots of them!

With these huge modern ships dominating the picture, it's easy to forget that  tourism is not new to Ketchikan! It has been a dependable mainstay of the economy as far back as the early 20th century years when the popular items for sale were gold nuggets and jewelry, Native moccasins, authentically carved miniature totem poles and local art.
- More...
Friday - September 15, 2006


Alaska: Citizen oversight of North Slope pushed By WESLEY LOY - Creation of a citizens council to act as a watchdog over North Slope oil fields is an idea that seems to be gaining momentum in Alaska and in Washington, D.C.

Congress has been holding hearings on pipeline leaks and the partial shutdown of Prudhoe Bay, the nation's largest oil field.

Critics have flayed Prudhoe's operator, London oil giant BP, for lax pipeline maintenance practices that allowed corrosion to chew holes through key pipelines, releasing crude oil onto the tundra. BP and federal regulators have promised better operations and stricter rules, and federal criminal investigators are probing an estimated 201,000-gallon crude spill in March.

Now industry critics are calling for something longer term to try to prevent future spills.

A citizens council could keep an eye on not only the oil companies operating fields on the Slope but also government agencies that are supposed to vigorously regulate the industry, council advocates say. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

Fish Factor: Steller Sea Lions: How much would you be willing to pay? By LAINE WELCH - How much do Americans living in say, Iowa, care about endangered populations of Steller sea lions in Alaska - and how much would they be willing to pay, perhaps in higher taxes, to protect them? A survey by federal fisheries economists aims to find out, and it could be used to help shape future protective measures for the marine mammals.

A notice last month in the Federal Register advised that a random survey of 2,400 Americans would be used to measure preferences towards protecting sea lions in Alaska. It read: "Since different options are available, it is important to understand the public's attitudes about possible impacts on the sea lions, Alaska's fisheries, communities and the nation.This information is not currently available, yet it is crucial to ensure the efficient management of sea lions and Alaskan fisheries."

Say what?! The thought that opinions by far away folks might drive fishery management policies had Alaska's industry quaking in its Xtra-Tuffs. A patchwork of sea lion protective measures imposed several years ago has shuffled fishing grounds and seasons, and continues to cause economic hardship on fishermen and communities.

Not to worry, said economists at the Seattle-based Alaska Fisheries Science Center, who hastened to add that a clarification will be made to the Federal Register notice due to "confusion of the purpose and scope of the project."

"We are not trying to evaluate how the public feels about particular management options and protection scenarios. The project is focused on different rebuilding and recovery outcomes for Steller sea lions and how they would feel about those outcomes how they value those outcomes," explained economist Rob Felthoven. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

Clinton Francis Lough

Our Troops
Specialist Clinton Francis Lough

Our Troops: Specialist Clinton Francis Lough, is serving in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne the 1st of the 506, "Band of Brothers".

Lough is the son of Jack and NancyDee Lough of Ketchikan.

Specialist Lough has been serving in Iraq since November 2005 and recently came home for a two-week leave.

During his two week leave, Jack and NancyDee Lough and their daughter visited with Lough in Nashville.

Specialist Lough returned to Iraq on September 11, 2006 to continue his tour of duty.
Our Troops
Friday - September 15, 2006

Alaska: Researcher finds new species of daddy longlegs By BRANDON LOOMIS - Don't let the short legs fool you: Alaska's newest eight-legged discovery is a daddy longlegs.

The state now has a 13th species of daddy longlegs, including one that is entirely new to science and has legs about half the length of a common household daddy longlegs.

There are several thousand species of the crab-like, fat-bottomed arachnids worldwide but few in Alaska. This one lives in alpine rock crevices.

Graduate biology student Matt Bowser was out collecting bugs 13 months ago when he found a thumbtack-sized daddy longlegs, or harvestman, in the Kenai Peninsula's Mystery Hills, north of the Sterling Highway and west of Cooper Landing.

Bowser, a University of Alaska Fairbanks student, brought samples back to his lab at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where he is helping federal managers conduct a comprehensive study of refuge creatures. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

Science: Polar bears tread lightly on ever-thinning Arctic ice By LEE BOWMAN - The year-round ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has declined by nearly one-third during the summer months over the past 30 years, and a new study shows that even the maximum cover of winter ice has shrunk an area larger than Texas in just the past two years.

A second study, also using satellite data from NASA, shows that since the 1970s, ice cover in prime hunting areas for some Canadian polar bears has been breaking up earlier and earlier each summer, forcing the animals onto land and closer to native villages an average of three weeks sooner.

NASA scientists discussed both studies in a press briefing Wednesday.

"While a cold snap in August seems to have kept us from seeing quite the record level of melting we did last year, the amount of ice cover we're seeing in the Arctic just before the onset of winter is well below normal," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006



letter Yes to White Cliff By Elizabeth Nelson - Saturday
letterWhite Cliff Sales Tax By Jon Hurley- Saturday
letter White Cliff: Join Me In Voting Yes By Charlotte L.Glover- Saturday
letter Whitecliff, old or new By Laura Lowell - Saturday
letter $50.00 Cruise Tax By Wayne H. Farnum - Saturday
letter Let's Be Careful Out There By Dave Kiffer - Friday
letter White Cliff Center Clarification and Why I Support the Project By Kim Judge - Friday
letter White Cliff Center Project -- Why White Cliff? By James A. Van Altvorst - Friday
letter Pipeline Unity Essential By Gov. Frank H. Murkowski - Friday
letter Voting YES on White Cliff By Penny Pedersen - Friday
letter White Cliff Project By Diana Chaudhary - Friday
letterSenior Center Serves Many By Mike Branco - Friday
letter Cruisers tax out By Gabreal A. Easterly - Friday
letter White Cliff: A Community Project By Sara Lawson - Wednesday
letter $50 Cruise Ship Tax By Joe Johnson - Wednesday
letter Cruise Tax By Chris Elliott - Wednesday
letter Voting NO on Whitecliff! By Robert D. Warner - Wednesday
letter Candidate for City Council By Samuel Bergeron - Wednesday
letterWhite Cliff / Baseball By Scott Klein - Wednesday
letter Not A Critique & Primary Ballots By Charlotte Tanner - Wednesday
letter Cruise Ship Tax By Vic and Judi Vreeland - Wednesday
letter Not a critique By Craig Moen - Sunday
letter No to White Cliff Project By G. J. Williams - Saturday
letter Pride & Prejudice By Jennifer Brewer - Saturday
letter Stop Schoencliff By John Beck - Saturday
letter Admission to Alaska Tax By Doug Irish - Saturday
letter Retort: Divisions By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Columns - Commentary

Michael Reagan: Iraq: It's Kill or be Killed - One of my dad's more memorable lines was his response to the question about what his strategy was for fighting the Cold War. Simple, he said, "We win, they lose."

That's the way it worked out; we won, they lost.

We won because the Reagan strategy was to apply relentless pressure on the Soviets with unflinching resolve, to never let up, and to grind the Communists' faces in the mud at every opportunity while the world looked on, no matter how much it shocked the media and the go-easy-on-the-Kremlin liberals who feared giving offense to our sworn enemies by treating them unkindly and incurring the condemnation of the world's wimps.

We are now fighting a war that demands similar resolve and a rigid determination to defeat the enemy, whatever it takes, without regard to how it will shock the media and the anti-war left.

We are not meeting those demands and as a result the mightiest nation on the face of the earth - with the finest military force ever assembled in all the world's history ­ is losing the war, not by being defeated in combat, but by default. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

Dick Morris & Eileen McGann: Dems Head Toward Clinton v. Gore - In the past six months, much has happened in the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, but its central dynamic has gone largely unnoticed: Hillary has been dropping and Gore has been moving up. According to the latest Fox News poll, Hillary lost almost half of her lead over Gore between March and August.

In March, Hillary was getting 42 percent of the Democratic Primary field but by Fox's August 30th survey, she had fallen to only 33 percent of the vote. Gore weighed in at 12 percent in March and rose to 15 percent by the end of last month. Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) each rose by two points, to 13 and 11 percent, respectively.

Most ominously for Hillary, the undecided percentage rose from 10 percent to 18 percent. Even those who had nobody else to vote for had accumulated such doubts about the New York senator that they described themselves as undecided. In this period well before active campaigning, it is unusual for a frontrunner to drop so precipitously without a major scandal or the entry of a new candidate. So why has Hillary dropped? - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

Bill Steigerwald: In Praise of Jon Stewart's Cynicism - Does "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" make its audience of mostly young college kids cynical about politics?

Does Comedy Central's popular fake newscast, as Washington Post columnist Richard Morin recently fretted, really "develop cynical views about politics and politicians" that could lead his faithful viewers "to just say no to voting"?

Let's hope so.

For the record, "The Daily Show Effect" -- the East Carolina University study that Morin spun his column from -- is inconclusive. It also says the show's 1.5 million nightly viewers actually may react to heavy doses of negativity by getting mad and becoming more politically involved and therefore more likely to vote.

Unfortunately for Republicans, conservatives and the Bush administration, "The Daily Show" -- whose Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. mockery is often genuinely funny no matter what your politics -- is where most Americans between 18 and 24 get much of their TV "news" and commentary.

"The Daily Show's" liberal tilt is obvious. President Bush is the nightly Target-in-Chief, and last Tuesday "The Daily Show" spent at least half of its 22 minutes firing away at him.

Stewart mercilessly critiqued/ridiculed President Bush's 9/11 speech, using the president's statements as straight lines. Next the president was technologically inserted into that GEICO commercial that features Little Richard doing the celebrity translating. For the finishing skit, Stewart pulled out a straw hat and a desktop-size bale of hay to make fun of President Bush's cowboy-country persona. - More...
Friday - September 15, 2006

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