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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

October 01, 2005

Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

'Quiet Waters'
Front Page Photo by Lisa Thompson

Alaska: A century of agriculture in Alaska by NED ROZELL - More than one hundred years ago, a man traveled north on a mission most people thought was ridiculous-to see if crops would grow in the frozen wasteland known as the Territory of Alaska.

A century of agriculture in Alaska
Government experimental farm
Fairbanks, Alaska - August 1916
Forms part of: Frank and Frances Carpenter collection.
Gift; Mrs. W. Chapin Huntington; 1951.
Photograph courtesty Library of Congress Prints and
Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

That man, Charles C. Georgeson, was a special agent in charge of the United States Agricultural Experiment Stations. The secretary of agriculture charged Georgeson with the task of finding if crops and farm animals could survive in the mysterious land acquired just 21 years earlier from the Russians. When he landed at Sitka a century ago, Georgeson set in motion agricultural studies that are still carried on today at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Georgeson was not a man easily discouraged. The experimental station site at which he landed in 1898 was in the middle of a swamp. Until he could clear and drain the land, he borrowed patches of land from Sitka settlers, as he explained in an interview in Sunset magazine in 1928:

"My plots were scattered all over the village and having insecure fences, or no fences at all, the local boys, cows, pigs and tame rabbits rollicked joyously though them," he said. "The seeds came up to become the playthings of diabolical ravens, who, with almost human malice, pulled up the little plants merely to inspect their other ends." - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

Alaska: Alaskans join cry: Bridges can wait By LIZ RUSKIN - The call for Alaska to give back its federal bridge money - shouted on blustery TV talk shows and inscribed on the editorial pages of America's most august newspapers - is ringing in Alaska, too.

This week, the state's Green Party asked Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to relinquish the $454 million he obtained for the Knik and Ketchikan bridges and redirect the money to Louisiana and other hurricane-damaged states. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

National: A guide to the Medicare drug benefit By LEE BOWMAN - Starting Saturday, the phone lines, inboxes and mailboxes of the nation's 43 million Medicare beneficiaries will be burdened by an unprecedented marketing campaign including dozens of firms seeking to enroll them for new prescription drug coverage starting next year.

Between 11 and 20 organizations are offering prescription drug plans in each region - a state or part of a state - and in many areas, drug coverage is also offered as part of membership in Medicare-approved HMOs. That can mean 40 or more plans to consider for people who live in some urban areas. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

National: Senators grill military officials about Iraq progress By JAMES ROSEN - Under tough questioning by senators from both parties Thursday, top military generals gave a sobering portrait of the Iraq war, their testimony punctuated by a new eruption of violence that killed 40 people in a city near Baghdad.

In a series of testy exchanges, the senators and the generals sparred over the competence of Iraqi soldiers, the timing of a possible U.S. troop withdrawal, potential outcomes of next month's constitutional referendum and faltering control of towns in the Sunni triangle of insurgent activity. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

National: House votes to revamp Endangered Species Act By JAMES W. BROSNAN - Property owners would gain the upper hand over the Silvery Minnow, the Mexican Spotted Owl and other rare wildlife under a major revision of the 32-year-old Endangered Species Act that cleared the House Thursday.

The House voted 222-193 to weaken the government's power to force landowners to protect endangered species. Under the bill the government could no longer order property owners and local governments to protect critical habitat for the plants and wildlife. But the government could develop recovery plans for species and would have to pay landowners who participate. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005



letter Election Day is upon us Ketchikan By Patrick Jirschele - Saturday PM
letter RE: Upland Development By Marty West - Saturday PM
letter Consolidation By Debby Otte - Saturday PM
letter Vote Smith & Walsh for School Board By Penny Pedersen - Saturday PM
letter SitNews By Jennifer Herrick - Saturday PM
letter Fix the problem By Ralph Mirsky - Saturday PM
letter Could Ketchikan attract Google? By Rick Grams - Saturday PM
letter Well said Hanger, Except the Axe By Rick Watson - Saturday PM
letter Good old boys club By Rob Holston - Saturday PM
letter Time to Rethink the Gravina Bridge Issue By Robert D. Warner - Saturday PM
letter Will Diabetes Bring Papa Pilgrim Justice? By Julie Smithson - Saturday PM
letter Constitution makes no mention of God By Dana Sohr - Saturday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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©Tab, The Calgary Sun
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Sept. - Oct. 2005
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National: Will scandals damage GOP election prospects? By BILL STRAUB - Republicans have maintained control of both Congress and the White House for five years, but the party has been put on edge by a run of adversity - from ethical questions dogging its leaders to an apparent public disaffection with the country's overall direction.

Over the past week, House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas was indicted for violating his state's campaign finance laws, and Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee learned that he is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible insider trading violations.

Meanwhile, President Bush is reeling from negative public reaction to the economy, the war in Iraq and the federal government's reaction to the hell wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Democrats hope the GOP tribulations will damage Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. Republicans lost big in 1976 after the political avalanche that was Watergate, and Democrats lost control of the House in 1994 when back-bench Republicans, led by soon-to-be Speaker Newt Gingrich, made stick charges that Democrats were maintaining a "corrupt institution." - More..
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

National: Frist stock sales overlap company's 'blackout' period By RICHARD POWELSON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's HCA stock was sold almost entirely during a blackout period when the hospital company barred its executives from buying or selling because they were hearing about quarterly earnings.

HCA's second-quarter blackout for insider stock trading was June 15 to July 27, HCA spokesman Jeff Prescott said in an interview. Frist's blind trust sold his stock from June 13 to July 1, Senate records show. But he has said he did not fix a sales date in his June 13 letter to the trustee of the trust ordering the sale. The letter has not been made public. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

National: Advocates lobby Congress for immigration reform this session By ALEX MENESES MIYASHITA - Congressional members and pro-immigrant groups are stepping up their efforts to pass legislation that could legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, at least temporarily, before the end of the first session of the 109th Congress this fall.

National advocacy groups and members of immigrant, labor and religious groups from 29 states joined elected officials Sept. 20 in Washington to kick off a series of rallies to press Congress on the issue. The groups followed with a day of lobbying Sept. 21.

"It's one of thousands of rallies and demonstrations we have to have all over America if we're going to win," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

Alaska: BP launches shutdown to improve Alaska oil-field safety By WESLEY LOY - Oil giant BP, rattled by a string of industrial accidents, said Wednesday it will shut down and refurbish dozens of oil wells on Alaska's North Slope as part of a multimillion-dollar campaign to improve safety.

The shutdown will knock out a big chunk of North Slope production - about 20,000 barrels a day - at a time when oil prices are running at historic highs in excess of $60 a barrel. Slope production has averaged 811,000 barrels per day so far this month.

But oil field safety trumps high oil prices, and a review of some 2,000 wells in the huge Prudhoe Bay field, as well as the neighboring Endicott field, found that about 70 oil wells need improvements, BP Alaska spokesman Andrew Van Chau said.

The review involved experts not only from London-based BP but from other major Prudhoe owners including Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil. BP runs Prudhoe, the continent's largest oil field, on behalf of the partners. - More...
Saturday PM - October 01, 2005

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