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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 18, 2006

Photograph Courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Ketchikan's First State Election Was All Tied Up
Feature Story By DAVE KIFFER
Waving a farewell from the staircase is W.K. Boardman, secretary of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, during the boarding of the inaugural Flight of Pan Am DC-6 Clipper service to Annette Island Airport, January 1954.
Photographer: Paulu T. Saari; Donor: Paulu T. Saari
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Museums

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Ketchikan: Ketchikan's First State Election Was All Tied Up By DAVE KIFFER - Once upon a time, Alaska was a very Democratic state, politically speaking.

In fact, when Alaska statehood was being debated in the mid 1950s, one of the strongest arguments against granting statehood was from the national GOP. Most of Alaska's political leaders were Democrats and the Republicans were not interested in creating two new US Senate seats that would probably automatically go to their political opponents.

The situation was solved when it was decided to allow Hawaii into the union at the same time. In those days, Hawaii was considered a "Republican" state. Today, those roles are completely reversed.

When the US Congress approved Alaska Statehood in the summer of 1958, it set the stage for a statewide election that did indeed put mostly Democrats in office. The first state Governor Bill Egan was a Democrat. So where the first two US Senators, Bob Bartlett and Ernest Gruening. The first US Representative Ralph Rivers was, you guessed it, a Democrat.

In the new State House, 34 of the 40 members were Democrats. In the new State Senate, 18 of the 20 seats were held by Democrats.. Not surprisingly, the first state representatives from Ketchikan, Ray Roady and Oral Freeman, were Democrats.

So was the first Ketchikan area State Senator, W.O. "Bo" Smith. But not without a little help from the other Democrats in the State Senate.

The election for the first state Senator from Ketchikan and Prince of Wales ended in a tie. That's when the fun started.

The campaign for Senate between W.O. "Bo" Smith and William K. "Bill" Boardman was a very contentious one.

Smith had been born in New Mexico in 1907, Boardman was born in Iowa in 1915, but both had lived in Alaska for many, many years by 1958.

Both men were well known in the community. Smith was a fisherman who also had strong family ties on Prince of Wales Island. Boardman was an insurance salesman who was also prominent in the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce.

Boardman had served in the 1953 Territorial Legislature. Smith had been a delegate to the 1956 State Constitutional Convention. Both men were very active in local party politics as well.

Judging from the large newspaper advertisements that ran in the Ketchikan Daily News prior to the Nov. 25, 1958 election, the election was hard fought.

Supporters of both men accused each other of significant "mudslinging" and forcefully attacked each other's records. There were also quite a few ads attacking previous attack ads and bemoaning the generally "negative" nature of the campaign. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006


National: Center warns against disenfranchising voters By JAMES ROSEN Leaders of a voting-rights center that successfully sued Florida, Washington, Ohio and other states over their election laws said Wednesday tens of thousands of eligible voters will be prevented from casting ballots in November.

Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, said federal and state voting changes since the disputed 2000 presidential election have produced new threats to eligible voters.

Several states have overreacted to the 2002 Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress to prevent a repeat of the 2000 stalemate, by passing draconian laws and imposing rigid regulations on voter registration, Waldman said.

"Most of the significant voter suppression in this country happens not on Election Day, but before Election Day," he said. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Fish Factor: No reliable word yet on value of Alaska's 2006 salmon harvest By LAINE WELCH - There are still a few stragglers out on the grounds, but by now most salmon fishermen have stowed their gear until next season. While catch numbers are still being calculated, it's clear that Alaska's 2006 salmon harvest will fall short of expectations. Managers predicted that the 2006 harvest for all species would be 160 million fish (well below last year's record catch of 221 million salmon), but the reality will add up to far less.

Total salmon catches through September 15 were approaching 136 million fish, down 19 percent from the preseason forecast. At best, the season will likely wind up at around 140 million salmon down a whopping 37 percent from last year's catch. The big dip stemmed from a surprising shortfall in those tough to predict pink salmon returns in several regions of the state. Managers projected a catch of 108 million, but the total will be about 70 million pinks this season.

The total humpy harvest in Southeast Alaska, for example, was pegged at more than 50 million but came in at closer to 10 million, the region's lowest catch since 1988. Conversely, Kodiak experienced a surprisingly strong pink salmon return ­ the fishery was expecting a pink harvest of 18 million but it topped 31 million, one of the best pink harvests ever. Kodiak usually provides about 20 percent of the state's pink pack, but this year it will be closer to 40 percent. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Science: Archaeologists: Previously unknown writing system found in Mexico By LEE BOWMAN - Carvings on a stone block plucked from a Mexican rubble pile by road builders represent a previously unknown writing system dating back nearly 3,000 years, and possibly the earliest written language in the Western Hemisphere, according to researchers.

Based on other artifacts found with the inscribed block, Mexican and American archaeologists date it to around 900 B.C., about 400 years earlier than any example of writing from the Olmec culture seen before.

The Olmec civilization, which flourished along the Gulf of Mexico coast northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula from about 1200 B.C. until 400 B.C., is considered by many scholars to have been the first great culture of Central America. But others consider it to be just one of several advanced societies in the region around the same time. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Christina Lukenbach KGH Employee of the Month

Lukenbach KGH
Employee of the Month

Photo courtesy KGH

Ketchikan: Lukenbach KGH Employee of the Month - Christina Lukenbach, Lead Customer Service Representative and Regional Analyst in Home Health Services, was named Employee of the Month by a committee of her peers.

Lukenbach has been a member of the Home Health team since 2004. Her training as a Medical Assistant prepared her to take on her role in the busy hub of the hospital's Home Health and Wellness Department. Since then, she has added the additional role of Regional Analyst, in which she led and trained her team in the implementation of Home Health's online medical record. This fall she will travel to Eugene to assist that region with the go-live of their electronic system. She continues to collaborate with other PeaceHealth regional analysts as they work to perfect the new system. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Ketchikan Arts & Entertainment: Enthusiastic Crowd Welcomes Monthly Grind Back By SUSAN BATHO & BILL HUPE - The Beaver Clan House at Saxman was packed with an enthusiastic audience Saturday night, and they were rewarded with great music and entertainment as the Monthly Grind started up again after its summer hiatus.

Olivia Round hosted the evenings entertainment, acting as straight man against some of the more interesting characters 'round town --- Matthew "Scraggly Beard" Harry encouraged those gathered to use some of the words he taught us (suitably cleaned up for under 15 audience members) on International Talk Like A Pirate Day on Tuesday although we are at a loss how to work in "cacklefruit"(eggs) and "nipperjuice" (milk) into the conversation, but am happy to greet fellow pirates around town with the international greeting "iarg" (International Association of Raiding Gentlemen).

Maggie McDougall, ex-cafeteria lady from Schoenbar Middle School, assisted with the awards for the wonderful desserts provided for supper by audience members. The tables were literally bowing with the delicious treats provided and the queues were long, and laughing, where neighbours and friends met and chatted. The prizes were provided by Linda at Chinook & Co and were won by the Piezels, Katy with her peanut butter pie, and first prize to Melva Olsen for her fresh peach pie. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006



letter Yes to White Cliff By Mary Ellen Haseltine- Monday
letter Vote YES on ballot 1 and 2 By Kerri Roepke Willoughby- Monday
letter White Cliff By Al Johnson- Monday
letter Yes to White Cliff Project By Juanita Diamond - Monday
letterStart from scratch By Don Hoff Jr. - Monday
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

Jason Love: Words - For most of us English is a sentence (buh dum bum). In school we learned the basics followed by their 6,534 exceptions. We discovered, for instance, that "i" goes before "e" except after "c," then immediately took off to SCIENCE.

In sixth grade I entered the Wildwood Elementary Spelling Bee and in the final round misspelled "lenient," which does not, for the record, end in "-ant."

I cried myself raw on the merry-go-round, shouting at the heavens: L-e-n-i-E-n-t, l-e-n-i-E-n-t... My shrink still enjoys the irony.

In the wake of that sinister day, I pledged to memorize every word in the dictionary, beginning with the a's.

"Audacity, noun. Unreserved impudence."

Flip flip flip flip. "Impudent, adjective. Impertinent disrespect." - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Dave Kiffer: We're No. 26!!! - It's fall and that means that the sap gets cut off from the branches and more surveys and studies drop down to clog up my driveway.

The latest is a survey of death and dying in America. Apparently Alaska is right smack in the middle (26th of 51 - 50 states plus the District of Chlamydia, oops that's a different survey!) in terms of lifespan in these United States.

That means, of course, that you could live longer if you moved to 25 other states. Or you could die sooner if you lived in 24 others states plus DC. The choice is yours.

Naturally, there are complex factors in these rankings. They deal with health care, ethnic mix, poverty and the number of guns per toddler. But, as usual, I think there are reasons the surveyors probably missed. Like the obvious ones.

Once again, all it takes is a little common sense to figure out why certain states outranked Alaska in terms of longevity. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Ann McFeatters: Ready or not, we're in home stretch of fall campaign - To walk the halls of Congress these days is to feel the tension. Republicans attack Democrats as unpatriotic for not being on board with President Bush's demand for more authority. Democrats accuse Republicans of being power-mad.

Sigh. Another month and a half or so until the Nov. 7 elections.

Throwing down the trump card that worked in 2004, Republicans desperate to keep the House and Senate insist that November is all about national security. Democrats argue that November's voting is about the economy, the disappearing middle class, affordable health care, the war in Iraq and GOP incompetence.

To judge from the public's apparent mood after the recent primaries, voters are unhappy about the war but uneasy about turning their backs on Bush or his demand for new authority to deal with suspected terrorists, even if that means legalizing domestic eavesdropping. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on a Music Box - Whether you're in the lab or at the dinner table, the sense of hearing is probably the least important when making observations of a chemical nature. Unless you count hearing someone yell "Hey! Don't mix those!"

That's not to say that sound waves are not important in chemistry - they are. Sonochemistry is growing in importance in many areas of basic and applied research at the molecular level, such as rapid processing of polymer materials, including nylon. Most of these applications use ultrasound, which has frequencies far above our audible range.

In one particularly complicated experiment that I did as an undergraduate, my lab partner and I measured the speed of sound in long tubes filled with different gases. The idea was to explore the interactions of energy and matter in the context of the thermodynamic theories we were learning in class. What I remember most is the beautiful sounds that we could get by fiddling with the knobs. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

Editorial: Congress fails to act on a form of corruption - "Earmarks" sound like harmless little changes to congressional legislation added by Senate or House members to reflect particular circumstances in local districts that need to be taken into account.

In fact, they are the means by which members of Congress pay back financial contributions to their campaigns or favors to them by companies or individuals. In return for these contributions, members change legislation to favor the interests of those companies or individuals. The cost to the taxpayer - as in, us - of these changes is in the millions of dollars, adding up to billions of dollars when the earmarks of legislation by up to 535 members of Congress are added on to various bills. - More...
Monday - September 18, 2006

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