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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 28, 2005

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

'City Float Rainbow'
Front Page Photo By Chris Wilhelm

Alaska: Villager's remains lead to 1918 flu breakthrough By NED ROZELL - The recent revival of the virus responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu, the killer of millions of people, was the end of a long journey for retired Pathologist Johan Hultin. Hultin, 81, twice retrieved samples of the virus from the lungs of flu victims preserved by permafrost in an Alaska village. Molecular pathologists used the latter of those samples to reconstruct the virus and discover that it jumped from birds to humans, which led to concerns about the current bird flu in Asia.

The site of a mass grave in Brevig Mission, Alaska, where 72 people were buried following their deaths during the Spanish flu breakout of 1918.
Photograph by Ned Rozell

Hultin visited the village of Brevig Mission, on Alaska's Seward Peninsula, on two separate missions nearly half a century apart. He wanted to find what he describes as "the most lethal organism in the history of man."

Hultin was studying microbiology at the University of Iowa in 1949 when a virologist there mentioned that the key to understanding the long-gone Spanish flu of 1918 may be frozen in the bodies of flu victims buried in permafrost. Those victims could possibly be found in Alaska, where "Spanish influenza did to Nome and the Seward Peninsula what the Black Death did to fourteenth-century Europe," wrote Alfred Crosby in The Forgotten Pandemic. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

National: Bush faces dilemma in choosing next nominee By MARY DEIBEL - Faced with a chorus of social conservative opposition and Republican Senate doubts, Harriet Miers ended her Supreme Court candidacy and handed President Bush a dilemma in making a new choice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Political Analysis:: Miers' debacle shows power of social conservatives By BILL STRAUB - Harriet Miers' withdrawal of her nomination to the Supreme Court is only the most recent embarrassment in a growing line of setbacks for a president who at one time seemed to have the magic touch. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

International: Saddam Netted $1.8 Billion from Illicit Oil-for-Food Payments By JUDY AITA - The regime of Saddam Hussein diverted $1.8 billion in illicit surcharges and kickbacks from the sale of oil and purchase of humanitarian goods and netted another $11 billion through smuggling while under U.N. sanctions. - More..
Friday - October 28, 2005

National: General fears collisions in air over Iraq By TARA COPP - The air over Iraq is becoming so cluttered with unmanned vehicles that the top Air Force commander in Iraq said Thursday he's worried that a cargo plane or helicopter may collide with one of them. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

National: Wal-Mart says it's ready to tackle hot-button issues By PIA SARKAR - Still basking in the praise it received for its relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart now wants to polish its image on issues it has long been criticized for, including health care, wages and the environment. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

News In Photos
Saxman Head Start Students Treated To Halloween Stories

Flight Nurse Rachel Welk
Photograph by Jason Cerovac

Alaska: Construction of a natural gas pipeline in Alaska a priority says Murkowski - Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said Thursday that oil and gas companies must be reminded that the construction of a natural gas pipeline in Alaska is a priority for the nation's economic, energy and national security.

Murkowski made the comments to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman Thursday during an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

"There is a great deal of frustration that we haven't been able to get at least two of the three major producers to come online with a project," Murkowski said. "We in this country have said that we want Alaska's natural gas. We in the Congress have said that we want it and we are willing to put tax payer dollars toward helping with incentives. And so, we're at this situation where because we can't establish that the gas is going to be available in the short term, we look off-shore. We look to Qatar, to Indonesia, we look overseas and sign 25 year contracts and set up LNG siting facilities to receive the imports." - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Ketchikan: Saxman Head Start Students Treated To Halloween Stories - Guardian Flight staff members spent time with the Saxman Head Start preschool students at the Ketchikan Public Library on Wednesday. The theme was Red Ribbon Week, though Flight Nurse Rachel Welk and Flight Paramedic Jason Cerovac read Halloween selections provided by the library staff. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Bingo Ladies: Jeanne Vike and Ashley

Ketchikan: BINGO WITH A BEAT By AMY LASAGE - On the 15th of October, the Great Room at the Pioneer Home buzzed with bingo fever as seniors and youth crossed the generational divide teaming up to play Bingo.

As each call number rang, players had a cooperative eye on their neighbor's card with friendships budding as they shared the common goal of deciphering the last call number.

The fun didn't end with Bingo! The youth topped off the afternoon on a high beat with Karaoke songs. Many seniors sang along with the young performers. As a special performance, the youth sang "Happy Birthday" to Thelma "Friday" Lind who was enjoying her 89th birthday. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005



letter Opposed to Issuance of Permit to Klukwan By Steve Sumida - Friday PM
letter Aerial application of pesticides By Dianne O'Connell - Friday PM
letter Dock Expansion Vote! By Rick Watson - Friday PM
letter Fix the water problem By Ralph Mirsky - Friday PM
letter Ketchikan HotShots & Enforcement Officer By Sharon Fraley - Friday PM
letter Dock debate By Jay Jones - Friday PM
letter Garbage disposal? By Mike Studley - Friday PM
letterDock expansion By Patti Mackey - Thursday
letter Avian influenza: A bit of perspective needed By Richard Mandsager, M.D. - Thursday
letter Mistakes Made & Constructive Advice By Chris J. Herby - Thursday
letter Marine passenger fees aka head tax By Marty West - Thursday
letter Whining and Complaining By Jerry Cegelske - Wednesday AM
letter Re: Mission Possible
By Joseph Prows - Wednesday AM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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October 2005
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Columns - Commentary

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on the para-Scopes Trial - Eighty years ago, Tennessee science teacher and football coach (surprise, surprise), John T. Scopes, was found guilty of teaching evolution in a high school biology class. At the time, this was illegal under state law. His conviction was overturned, however, because his $100 fine was double the limit on fines that Tennessee judges could impose.

What many have dubbed "the Scopes Trial in reverse," is currently being argued in Pennsylvania. Eleven parents of high school students in Dover are suing the School Board in their district over its mandatory teaching of "Intelligent Design" alongside Darwin's theory of the evolution of species, which is covered in all modern biology textbooks. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Dale McFeatters: Miers bows out - The withdrawal of Harriet Miers' nomination was as stealthy as the process that led President Bush to propose her for the Supreme Court in the first place: A terse unannounced letter saying that she had asked to withdraw and the president had reluctantly agreed.

Basically, the White House bowed to the inevitable and made the best of a bad job. She was not a good appointment, and the White House's fumbling attempts to sell it to the Senate and social conservatives only made it worse. This past week it became clear that she was not going to be confirmed, following a series of disastrous one-on-one meetings with individual senators. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Ann McFeatters: A weakened president does no one any good - My job, watching the White House, has been exceedingly painful this past week.

This country belongs to us all. A weakened presidency does us no good abroad and no good at home. George W. Bush will be the president for three more years. He needs to get his act together. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Rick Larsen: Try the facts for a change - Shame on you, Mr. Matzzie, for maligning the media, your supporters and the 2,000 men and women who have died in Iraq.

The media did not miss this tragic milestone, as you stated in the subject line and body of an e-mail alert sent Tuesday to drum up support for Wednesday's vigils on the death toll and to solicit donations for a new television ad. - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Betsy Hart: Miers did the right thing - Wow, do I respect Harriet Miers for withdrawing her nomination to the Supreme Court. I respect her because she did the right thing and put the interests of others, and the interests of America, ahead of herself and a coveted position with the Big Nine.

(I don't think we should assume for a minute that she wouldn't have been confirmed and that's why she backed out. Nor do I think her withdrawal really has anything to do with the issue recently raised about executive privilege.) - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

Michael Fumento: Fill 'er up with oil sands - It was a tenet of the late great economist Julian Simon that we'll never run out of any commodity. That's because before we do the increasing scarcity of that resource will drive up the price and force us to adopt alternatives. For example, as firewood grew scarce people turned to coal, and as the whale oil supply dwindled 'twas petroleum that saved the whales.

Now we're told we're running out of petroleum. The "proof" is the high prices at the pump. In fact, oil cost about 50 percent more per barrel in 1979-80 than now when adjusted for inflation. Yet it's also true that industrializing nations like China and India are making serious demands on the world's ability to provide oil and are driving prices up. So is this the beginning of the end? - More...
Friday - October 28, 2005

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