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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Monday PM
September 25, 2006

Front Page Photo by Elizabeth E. Harrison

Vallenar View Sunset
Front Page Photo by Elizabeth E. Harrison

Ketchikan: Six Candidates Face-off for Two Ketchikan Assembly Seats By M. C. KAUFFMAN - Next Tuesday, voters will elect two individuals to three-year term seats on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly. Six candidates have filed to fill the two seats - one which is currently held by Dave Kiffer. The local election is October 3rd.

jpg Dick Coose

Richard "Dick" Coose
Photo courtesy Dick Coose

jpg Mike Salazar

Mike Salazar
Photo by Dick Kauffman

jpg Gregory Vickrey

Gregory Vickrey
Photo courtesy Gregory Vickrey

jpg Dave Kiffer

Dave Kiffer
Photo by Dick Kauffman

jpg George Tipton

George Tipton
Photo by Dick Kauffman

jpg Gus Gustafson

Robert "Gus" Gustafson
Photo courtesy Gus Gustafson

The six candidates, who each would like to be officially seated on the assembly by the voters, had an opportunity on Wednesday, September 13th, to state their positions on local issues by responding to questions during an assembly luncheon forum held by the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce.

The six borough assembly candidates are George Tipton, Richard "Dick" Coose, Robert "Gus" Gustafson, Gregory Vickrey, Mike Salazar and Dave Kiffer.

There were no time limits enforced on the candidates' opening statements or their responses to the five questions. The questions were generated by audience members and presented to the candidates by Blaine Ashcraft, Chamber of Commerce Manager. The almost hour-long forum began with opening statements in which candidates spoke about their backgrounds and political positions.

Candidates were then given the opportunity to respond to five questions that addressed issues such as consolidation, timber harvesting, roads, economic development, electrical power needs, as well as airport ferry costs. One candidate, Robert "Gus" Gustafson, arrived approximately thirty minutes into the forum and missed his round to respond on several questions.

Opening Statements

Richard "Dick" Coose has lived in Ketchikan for approximately twenty-six years and has previously served as an Assembly member. His position for running for Borough Assembly is four-fold: accountability, economic development, infrastructure and civic participation.

About accountability Coose said, "The Borough Assembly has to establish goals and objectives and they have to be accountable for them and follow up on performance standards and so forth."

On economic development, Coose said, "We need a business friendly borough." He explained, "That means taxes and borough planning and zoning requirements and doing it the right way so we can get businesses in here that come up with year-round jobs."

The bridge to Gravina will boost economic development leading to the development of Gravina said Coose. "We just have to keep moving forward with that vision and never give up no matter who's jabbing us because we're the bridge to nowhere."

In his opening statement, Coose also said the borough needs to work with the city and state to provide infrastructure and to work to keep the Marine Highway headquarters in Ketchikan.

Addressing civic participation, Coose said, "We've got to get more people to the podium to talk to us [assembly members] about what's going on in the community and we've got to keep them [citizens] informed." Currently one can watch television or get a little bit out of the newspapers but there's a better way to keep people informed and it needs to be done said Coose.

Mike Salazar who has lived in Ketchikan nearly sixty years, made a short statement mentioning that he previously served on the assembly and the city council and the city council and borough assembly when it was one unit. He provided his background on paper to the audience. According to Salazar's background, he is a Vietnam veteran and earned an honorable discharge as Captain in 1969. He earned many decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Gregory Vickrey began his opening statement saying, "I'm running primarily because I believe we need a pro-active borough and a pro-active assembly and in order to get that we need to follow through with several steps when it comes to economic development, when it comes to education and other priorities that this community sets."

Vickrey said, "First and foremost, we need to be willing to listen to all members of this community." He said being pro-active listeners as assembly persons would be a huge step towards approaching economic development and towards approaching educational advancement for this community in a timely fashion. Vickrey said, "It takes a unified effort to do that, and it takes civic participation as Mr. Coose was saying."

Dave Kiffer who is currently serving on the Borough Assembly spoke next. Kiffer who was born and raised in Ketchikan has served on the assembly for three years.

Kiffer began by asking what can we do to make things better, what can we do to actually improve the community and leave a better community?" Movement in a community can't be blocked Kiffer said.

Kiffer said, "The borough has a great many issues facing it." He said probably the biggest issue facing the borough when he first got on the assembly was that the borough's financial house was not in order. Kiffer said most folks probably remember the worst budget year when the assembly raised sale taxes, raised property taxes and cut the budget.

Kiffer said things are now better in the borough and "I'd like to continue to be part of the solution."

George Tipton, who's lived in Ketchikan for many years, grew up in Juneau and graduated from high school in Juneau. Tipton said his father was the head of Federal Highway Administration and that he goes back with transportation projects since childhood and had the opportunity to follow the Marine Highway Systems' formation and other projects.

The last three projects Tipton's father worked on were the Juneau four-lane, the Sitka bridge and the Ketchikan airport - one of the reasons for building the Ketchikan bridge said Tipton. He said he knows a little history because his father actually had designed a bridge to go with the Ketchikan airport that never came to fruition. "It [the bridge] was suppose to happen five years after the airport was built," said Tipton. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

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National: Specter skeptical Congress will finish work By BARBARA BARRETT - With less than a week before Congress begins its fall recess, Sen. Arlen Specter said he doesn't expect much action on the terrorism interrogation bill that's attracted so much attention.

Or on the bill regarding President Bush's secret surveillance program.

Or on comprehensive immigration reform.

Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sees a heavy congressional agenda but little hope for completing it this week as Republicans head home to concentrate on retaining control of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the November 7 elections. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

National - Making vrrroom for cleaner-burning cars By BRIAN DUGGAN - Speed and looks may have less to do with what Americans drive in the future than the fuel those vehicles use, top government and auto-industry officials say.

U.S. auto manufacturers plan to make vehicles that will use renewable, cleaner-burning fuels such as ethanol and hydrogen, possibly replacing gasoline altogether.

But it's not going to be easy, auto-industry experts say. Other experts say ethanol and hydrogen aren't good enough.

Dave Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, said that no one really knows what technology is going to catch on - not even car manufacturers.

"There's a lot of fantasy that sort of abound in this world right now," he said.

He said technologies might look promising, but "billions upon billions of dollars" will be needed to make them realities. For example, shifting to a new fuel will require new refineries to process the fuel and get it to fueling stations.

Cole said companies are helping each other because of the high costs of producing technology such as fuel cells. Cole said he calls it "coopetition" - automakers working together in markets in which they will later compete.

General Motors has invested more than $1 billion in its fuel-cell program and expects to spend another $1 billion by 2010, a spokesman said. A fuel-cell vehicle can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Fuel-cell cars run on hydrogen and have virtually no polluting emissions, but the engines last only about 50,000 miles. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006


Alaska: Wood burners unlock energy with a match By NED ROZELL - As our breath hangs in the frosty autumn air, thoughts turn to protecting our fragile selves from the inevitable deep freeze. Many Alaskans choose wood heat to make the winter more bearable.

Burning firewood provides warmth by releasing stored energy from the sun that trees have converted to mass we can use. British thermal units, or Btu, define the energy provided by a certain species of wood. A Btu is the amount of energy it takes to increase the temperature of one pound (one pint) of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Firewood energy is measured in Btu per cord. A cord is 128 cubic feet, which is a four-foot by four-foot by eight-foot pile of wood. If a cord is cut in one-foot lengths to fit in the stove, the resulting woodpile will be 32 feet long and four feet high.

New Englanders might laugh at the fact that Alaskans burn birch and spruce, but hickories and oaks aren't hardy enough to survive our winters. Hickory provides about 30 million Btu per cord. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

Fish Factor: Crab brokers, Busting belly fat with brown seaweed & more... By LAINE WELCH - Rob George has had a long love affair with king crab and he is sharing it in an unconventional way. George is co-owner of the Anchorage-based Crab Broker, Inc. which sells all kinds of crab from around the world. But his specialty is fresh cooked Alaska king crab.

"It's my baby," he said, adding that he was the first to begin brokering fresh cooked king crab clusters out of Dutch Harbor 14 years ago.

George wanted to create a closer working relationship with his customers, and to help them understand the complexities of getting Alaskan king crab to their restaurants or retail counters. "I wanted to take them from boat to box - to show them all the different hoops we have to jump through to get the crab from the source to them in a timely manner," he explained.

What better way than to take them to the source? In July, George and his partner Eric Donaldson brought 42 buyers and chefs to Nome to participate in the Norton Sound king crab fishery.

"I was blown away by the ability to get seafood from that remote of a location. We get crab from all over the world, but the quality that comes out of Norton Sound is awesome. To take the crab from a small boat, into the cooking pot and to our restaurant the next day is amazing," said Dwight Colton, vice president of the upscale Fish Market Restaurants, an upscale chain of nine outlets in California and Arizona. The company also owns its own wholesale seafood supply company, Farallon Fisheries. "We think of ourselves as seafood people in the restaurant business versus restaurant people that sell seafood," Colton added. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006



letter Superintendent's Contract By Russell Thomas - Tuesday
letterNO ON WHITE CLIFF AND THEN YES By Pete Ellis - Tuesday
letter Yes on Ballot Proposition 1 and 2 By Susan Doherty - Tuesday
letterDangers of Investing Permanent Fund in Hedge Funds By Jim & Mary Lynne Dahl - Tuesday
letter White Cliff By Ken Lewis - Tuesday
letterGet ready to vote. By Robert Mcroberts
letter Yes on White Cliff By Thomas Ferry - Tuesday
letterConsolidation: The Case Against By Rodney Dial - Tuesday
letter Yes to White Cliff Center By Jessica Clark - Tuesday
letter White Cliff: Are you kidding? By Charles Edwardson - Tuesday
letter Support White Cliff By Shirley McDonald- Tuesday
letter White Cliff-Just Say No! By Dan McQueen- Tuesday
letter Landless By Randy Williams - Monday
letter Represent who? By Janelle Hamilton - Monday
letter School Board & Contract Item By Terri Robbins - Monday
letterSuperintendent contract motion By Bill Thomas Sr.- Monday
letter Correction: 2008 By Karen Hanson Pitcher - Monday
letterKetchikan School Board's Motion To Extend Superintendent's Contract By Karen Hanson Pitcher - Sunday
letter Never been a Democrat... By Rick Krueger - Sunday
letter Spraying on Long Island and the Haloacidic acid drinking water problem in Ketchikan By Ralph Mirsky - Saturday
letterWhite Cliff YES! We all need a place to play! By Tom LeCompte - Saturday
letter Republican Primary By Rick Krueger - Saturday
letter Pesticide Spraying By Frances C. Natkong - Saturday
letter 3,000 miles from Ketchikan By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter White Cliff By Frank H. Seludo - Friday
letter Permanent Fund Celebrates 30 Years By Gov. Frank H. Murkowski - Friday
letter More White Cliff Confusion and Reasons to Vote NO By Robert D. Warner - Friday
letter White Cliff is good for seniors and our community By Ed Zastrow - Thursday
letter White Cliff -Why a Partnership of Senior and Arts Groups? By James A. Van Altvorst - Thursday
letterRe: Open letter to all candidates By Gregory Vickrey - Thursday
letterWhite Cliff a multi-usage facility By Gretchen Klein - Thursday
letter No aerial spraying of pesticides on Long Island By Frances C. Natkong - Wednesday
letter White Cliff--Tear it down By Pete Lapinski - Wednesday
letter White Cliff By Scott Kline - Wednesday
letter WARS and CONFLICTS - A Republican Legacy? By Johnnie Bustamante - Wednesday
letter Visitors to Alaska By Jenna Phillips-Buster - Wednesday
letter Open letter to all candidates local, regional, and statewide By Carrie L. James - Tuesday
letter Yes To White Cliff Ballot Initiatives By Laurie Booyse - Tuesday
letter Thank you USPS By Paul Perry - Tuesday
letter Stop Schoencliff 2 By John Beck - Tuesday
letter"Thousands" By Elizabeth Nelson - Tuesday
letter Reply to "Start from Scratch" By Alan Miller - Tuesday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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09/27/06 - Wednesday - 6:00 pm: Ketchikan School Board meeting - City Council Chambers - Agenda (PDF)

09/28/06 - Thursday - 8:30am - The State Board of Education will hold a teleconference meeting at the Legislative Information Office, 50 Front Str. Suite 203. Public testimony will be from 8:30-9:00am.

09/29/06 - Friday - 5-7:30 pm - White Cliff Project Information Session - Ted Ferry Civic Center.

SitNews Archives
September 2006
Click on the date to read the stories published on that day.
27 28 29 30 31 01 02
03 04 05 06 07 08 09
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24 25 26 27 28 29 30

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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: "Men In Trees" - Ketchikan's own A.J. Slagle got a "shout out" last week on national television.

Slagle was mentioned in an episode of a new television series that is "set" in Alaska called "Men in Trees." The premise of the show is that a "relationship" expert sees her relationship implode and she ends up in Alaska, where the sexual ratio is so out of whack that there are "men in trees."

During the early part of the episode, Anne Heche - the New York expert - is talking on a radio call in show and she thanks the last caller "A.J. from Ketchikan."

It seems that last year a writer for the show was in Ketchikan doing some research and met with some local families - including the Slagles - for local "color."

She also met with Elmo Guerrero's family and the show is set in the fictional town of "Elmo, Alaska." That may be just a coincidence, but I think not.

"Men in Trees" or at least the first episode was mildly diverting, but already it is coming up short when compared the rest of the world's last attempt to "televise" Alaska, "Northern Exposure." - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

Dan K. Thomasson: The best security money can buy - An incident occurred here the other day that reveals just how illusory true security can be even in an age of paranoia where every precaution, no matter how expensive, is taken to ward off the terrorist who lurks around every corner.

A wild eyed, drug impaired man in an SUV crashed through a police barricade, dashed up the East Front steps of the U.S. Capitol and led police on a three-story chase that ended when a civilian employee corralled him and handed him over to a small army of Capitol policemen. It turned out the man had a loaded handgun stuck in the waist of his trousers, but thankfully had made no effort to use it.

Now anyone outside the Beltway might consider this a minor affair that ended without injury or loss of life, a result that seems increasingly rare at a time when firearms are nearly as common as pocketknives used to be and even the tiniest fracas can end in death. The system worked here. Right? Wrong. That opinion fails to take into account the fact that just since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America, U.S. taxpayers have been billed a cool $2 billion to secure the well being of those who represent them in Congress. - More...
Monday PM - - September 25, 2006

Dick Morris: Wake Up Call For GOP Or Snooze Alarm For Dems - With the Gallup Poll showing a spike in Bush's approval ratings and a narrowing of the gap between Democrats and Republicans in party congressional preferences, a looming question is how enduring the change is. Will it last until November?

Presidential-support scores and party ballot preferences are notoriously fickle, often swinging one way or another in a matter of weeks. I recall vividly how Clinton felt that his ratings had improved after his orchestration of a Mideast peace accord between Jordan and Israel one week before the 1994 elections. He returned home buoyed by the uptick and determined to campaign for deserving Democrats. But his campaigning backfired and made the newly minted statesman seem like a party politician and his ratings dropped again, paving the way for the '94 debacle for the Democrats. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

Tom Purcell: Conspiracy Theory - "I think Howard Dean did it."

"Pardon me?"

"Howard Dean was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks ­ he and Teddy Kennedy."

"Have you lost your mind? Nineteen religious fanatics attacked us on 9/11. They did so under the direction of Osama Bin Laden, who hopes a Taliban-style government will rule the world. That's all there is to it."

"Then why, according to a Scripps-Howard poll, do 36 percent of Americans think our government either allowed 9/11 to happen or did it themselves?"

"Do you really believe our government would massacre more than 3,000 innocent people ­ AND be able to conceal it from the world?"

"Absolutely! Time magazine outlines some common conspiracy scenarios. The first is that the World Trade Center towers weren't brought down by a couple of planes, but by strategically placed bombs." - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

Steve Brewer: Back to school and back in debt - Back-to-school shopping always seems like a summertime taste of Christmas.

Such a haul: new clothes, new sneakers, new backpack, new lunchbox. Bright yellow pencils and crisp white paper.

For the kids, it's as if Santa came to visit in his vacation clothes. For the parents, though, it can be a nail-biting, heartburn-inducing exercise in breaking the bank.

Small kids demand that all clothes and school supplies come decorated with trademarked characters from Marvel or Mattel or Disney or Nintendo. No matter which character your child loves best, all the goods bearing that likeness sold out last February.

If parents try to inflict anything else - plain T-shirts, for example, or a notebook decorated with Barney instead of Pikachu - the children will roll on the floor, howl and kick their little feet.

It's easy to spot those kids' parents. They're the nomads wandering from store to store, weeping and clutching handfuls of their own hair.

If you're lucky enough to stumble upon a hoard of the correct goods, the sticker shock will make your eyes jump out of your head and roll around the floor. Ten bucks for a binder? Thirty bucks for little bitty jeans? Sixty dollars for sneakers?

Before you know it, you've racked up a credit card debt that won't be paid off until the little beggars are off to college. - More...
Monday PM - September 25, 2006

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Election 2006
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School Board

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