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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 02, 2006

Governor Will Include $195 Million Budget Request for Gravina Access Project in FY 2008 Capital Budget
Rendering of F1 Preferred Alternative Bridge As Viewed From Salmon Landing
F1 rendering courtesy AK DOT

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Ketchikan: Governor Will Include $195 Million Budget Request for Gravina Access Project in FY 2008 Capital Budget -By M.C. KAUFFMAN - Governor Frank H. Murkowski met in Ketchikan with over two dozen Ketchikan elected and community leaders Friday in an effort to reach a consensus on how to proceed with the Gravina Access project.

"We had two questions we needed answered, and we got those answers," Murkowski said. "We wanted to know if Ketchikan wanted to move forward with the F-1 preferred alternative and would they be willing to fight for the additional state funds it's going to take to get it done."

Mike Chambers of the Alaska Department of Transportation provided SitNews the names of the twenty-seven invited to the meeting in Ketchikan. Those invited were: KGB Vice Mayor David Landis; Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein; Joe Johnston - (Chamber President); Blaine Ashcraft - (Chamber Director); Renee Schofield - (Past Chamber President); J. C. Conley; Sherrie Slick; Sen. Bert Stedman; Rep. Peggy Wilson; Rep. Jim Elkins; Rep. Elect Kyle Johansen; Doug Ward; Jim Taro; Bob Berto; Paul Axelson; Bill Williams; Pete Ecklund; Lew Williams III; Linda Adams; Ray Matiashowski (Lobbyist); Dick Coose; Mike Salazar; Roy Eckert (Borough Manager); Jim Voltberg (City Public Works Director); Mike Carney (Airport Manager); Capt. Karl Calvo (USCG); and Lew Williams Sr.

According to a news release, Murkowski told the group that he is prepared to include a budget recommendation for next year's capital budget to fund the difference between the $133 million of mostly federal money now in hand for the project and the $328 million the preferred alternative is estimated to cost. The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is ready to begin committing funds to the project.

"Gravina access has been a priority for Ketchikan since at least 1972, when the Ketchikan airport was constructed directly across Tongass Narrows from the city," Murkowski said. "The late Mayor Ralph Bartholomew, for whom the bridge will be named, was a dedicated advocate for its construction. Murkowski said when the bridge is built, it will not just connect the city to its airport, but will allow Ketchikan to expand and grow in an area where it logically should. In Juneau, the residents of Douglas Island and in Sitka, the entire community access their airports by bridge; Ketchikan should also have such access said Murkowski.

"We have a substantial portion of the funding, but the preferred alternative will reqire another $195 million. We wanted to make sure Ketchikan is still behind this alternative and that the community will engage in a strategy needed to get the funding through the Legislature." - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Home Fire

No one injured in home fire
Fire on Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 212 Tatsuda,
the 500 block of Stedman Street.
Front Page Photo By Carl Thompson
Ketchikan: No one injured in home fire - According to information released by Jim Hill, Assistant Fire Chief of the Ketchikan Fire Department, just after 8:00 PM on Saturday , KFD received a 911 call reporting a fire at 212 Tatsuda. At that time, the caller(s) reported a woman and baby were still inside the residence.

Within three minutes of the notification Hill said the first KFD unit arrived on scene and reported that the house was "fully involved" in fire. Hill said initial arriving units and Ketchikan Police Department officers on scene reported the entire family was out and safe.

Additional units arrived and a second alarm was sounded and mutual aid assistance was requested from the South Tongass and North Tongass Volunteer Fire Departments. Nineteen Ketchikan Fire Department personnel responded and approximately as many personnel fromt he South and North Tongass Volunteer Fire Departments assisted. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006


Fish Factor: American consumers are eating more fish By Maggie Wall - October is a great month for seafood lovers. It's National Seafood Month so expect your favorite consumer magazines to be running lots of snippets on the glories of seafood along with tempting recipes to help celebrate the month.

This is good for Alaska's commercial fishers. The more aware consumers are of the value of fish to a healthy diet the more they'll eat and the better the demand for Alaska's number two industry. While it falls behind the oil industry in dollars generated, the fishing industry is the state's number one employer.

Dutch Harbor has ranked at the top of U.S. fishing ports for more than 15 years. Kodiak routinely falls somewhere around third place behind Dutch and New Bedford, MA.

Alaska produces more than half of all U.S. seafood-more than all other states combined. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Alaska: Current physician shortage affects access to care throughout Alaska - Alaska needs nearly twice as many physicians in the next 20 years as it currently has if the state is to meet expected demands, a new report shows. The Alaska Physician Supply Task Force said the increase, about 1,100 more than the state's current 1,350 physicians providing patient care, is needed as the state's elderly population triples and as medical practice patterns change.

UA President Mark Hamilton and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Karleen Jackson commissioned the task force in January to help chart a future course for increasing the number of doctors in the state. The report includes recommendations and strategies the state and UA should take. More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Alaska: Attorney General asks court to deny teachers union temporary restraining order preventing ARM Board appointment - Alaska Attorney General David Marquez filed a memorandum in Superior Court on Friday opposing a temporary restraining order demanded by a teachers union to prevent Governor Frank H. Murkowski from appointing a retired University of Alaska Fairbanks professor to the Alaska Retirement Management Board, or ARM Board. The opposition memorandum, signed by Marquez and filed by Assistant Attorney General Michael A. Barnhill, asserts that the governor "invoked his constitutional power of appointment" in naming Dr. Richard J. Solie, Jr., of Fairbanks to the ARM Board. The opposition memorandum pointed out that the legislation creating the ARM Board had unconstitutionally delegated to a private union the governor's power of appointment. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Alaska: State Board of Education Adopts Regulations for Performance Incentives for Teachers and Staff - The Alaska Board of Education today adopted regulations implementing a new law passed by the Legislature last spring to provide monetary incentives to teachers, principals and other staff in schools that achieve high levels of student improvement in academic performance. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006



letter Yes on Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 By Dawn Rauwolf - Monday
letter White Cliff -- well-researched, broadly-supported, and timely By Sara Lawson - Monday
letter Yes for White Cliff Center By Rebecca A. Bowlen - Monday
letter White Cliff YES! By Forrest Gibson - Monday
letter White Cliff Worth Saving By Penny Pedersen - Monday
letter White Cliff Center is a great idea! By Margaret Antonsen - Monday
letter Return of the Grand Lady By Judith Green - Monday
letter Vote Ed Plute for Mayor By Don Hoff Jr. - Monday
letter Tribe By Harris Skillie Jr. - Monday
letter Borough Assembly Elections By Brian Stewart - Monday
letter White Cliff Yes By Vernon Keller - Saturday
letter White Cliff By Walt Bolling - Saturday
letter REAL ESTATE -101 By Terry Wanzer - Saturday
letter No to Sales Tax Increase to Fund the White Cliff Renovation By Samuel Bergeron - Saturday
letter Yes for White Cliff Center By Anna Annicelli- Saturday
letterSchool board candidate "funding" By Penny Marksheffel - Saturday
letter White Cliff Remodel - A poor choice! By Rick Watson - Saturday
letter Elections By Douglas Thompson- Saturday
letter Options By Penny Eubanks- Saturday
letter Is it Still America? By Paul Hovik- Saturday
letter Where is Sarah Today? By Meagan Foster- Saturday
letter Fog on Ward Lake By Karen Hanson Pitcher- Saturday
letter Where is Phase I White Cliff Report? By John Beck- Saturday
letter Vote NO White Cliff By Jackie Williams- Saturday
letter Consolidation & White Cliff: Both are bad for the Ketchikan Taxpayers! By Dan McQueen- Saturday
letter Lost Souls By Don Hoff Jr.- Saturday
letter Own Opinion? By Harris F. Skillie. Jr. - Saturday
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
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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SitNews Archives
September 2006
Click on the date to read the stories published on that day.
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National: Supreme Court to revisit some old and incendiary issues By BOB EGELKO - The U.S. Supreme Court will delve into some old and incendiary issues in its term that started Monday - abortion and the role of race in public school enrollment - and a relatively new one, whether the government must regulate pollutants that cause global warming.

In the process, the justices are likely to provide answers to questions that were largely left unanswered in the debut term of President Bush's two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

One question is just how far the court's center of gravity has shifted rightward because of Alito's replacement of retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Another is how Roberts' embrace of judicial modesty and humility at his confirmation hearings will affect his approach to cases in which the Bush administration seeks to overturn court precedents. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Science: NASA aims to find out what's pushing planets farther apart By SUE VORENBERG - "Stuff" isn't a very scientific word, but its use grows common when scientists try to describe dark energy - an unseen force pushing all the bodies in the universe apart at ever-faster speeds.

Considering that dark energy could one day tear the entire universe apart, the scientific community would like to understand that "stuff" better, said Tom Vestrand, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. - More...
Monday - October 02, 2006

Columns - Commentary

Dan K. Thomasson: It's the gas prices, stupid - Amidst all the election season Sturm und Drang about who is responsible for the failure to eliminate Osama bin Laden and the continuing sectarian violence in Iraq, one salient fact is emerging: Americans are more likely to consider gas prices when they enter the polling booth this November.

And the fact those prices have been falling from record highs seems to have produced a ray of sunshine in the rather dismal Republican outlook for retaining control of Congress.

A sage observer of national political trends once explained that when all is said and done, U.S. elections always turn on the economy. Whatever else may seem important beforehand, he said, Americans vote their pocketbooks. If that climate is good, the candidate in office always has a leg up unless he is incredibly inept. Two examples of that exception: Al Gore in 2000 and the current campaign of Republican Sen. George Allen in Virginia, who has gone from a sure bet to even odds because of a major public faux pas or two. - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

Bonnie Erbe: America's quiet acceptance - To date, 65 women soldiers have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan - a small percentage of the U.S. total of almost 3,000 war dead as of this writing, but a significant number nonetheless.

Why aren't Americans upset about this? Or should they be?

A New York Times article commemorating these women's contributions to the war effort posited that there once was a time when Americans would have found it morally unacceptable to witness women soldiers coming home in body bags.

Has that time come and gone? Or has something else changed? - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Match Play in the Course of Science - Sending a son or daughter off to college is never easy. You are hopeful for their success, but at the same time you expect the intellectual challenges to be daunting - just like the cost. Sending a son or daughter off to college is also never cheap.

My recent trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, had just such a purpose, and no shortage of daunting. I've been through this before, but at another prestigious university. Still, during the university principal's welcoming address for parents, I was ready for a feeling of déjà vu. I was expecting to be told of its envied reputation and storied history, and was. Rather than news, these were the reasons I was there.

One thing did surprise me though. After suggesting that parents look carefully around the room, Principal Lang, who is a social anthropologist by training, cited a recent poll showing that, among all British universities, St. Andrews' alumni were the most likely to have met their future spouse during their course of study. - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

Clifford D. May: With fear and favor - An essential American institution is in crisis, but the mainstream media is not covering the story. That's because the institution in crisis is the mainstream media, which appears incapable of self-examination, much less self-criticism.

When I trained as a journalist some 30 years ago, there were high walls separating news (what happened), analysis (how experts interpret what happened) and opinion (what someone thinks should be done in response to what happened). Those walls no longer stand.

Today, major media outlets routinely use news and analysis to score ideological and partisan points. The most recent example is the front page New York Times story on a National Intelligence Estimate that no one at the Times had read. The reporters and editors were satisfied they knew what was in it based on what they were told by "several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document." - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

Dick Morris: The Real Clinton Emerges - From behind the benign façade and the tranquilizing smile, the real Bill Clinton emerged Sunday during Chris Wallace's interview on Fox News Channel. There he was on live television, the man those who have worked for him have come to know ­ the angry, sarcastic, snarling, self-righteous, bombastic bully, roused to a fever pitch. The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation. Clinton jabbed his finger in Wallace's face, poking his knee, and invading the commentator's space.

But beyond noting the ex-president's non-presidential style, it is important to answer his distortions and misrepresentations. His self-justifications constitute a mangling of the truth which only someone who once quibbled about what the "definition of 'is' is" could perform.

Clinton told Wallace, "There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk Down." Nobody said there was. The point of citing Somalia in the run up to 9-11 is that bin Laden told Fortune Magazine in a 1999 interview that the precipitous American pullout after Black Hawk Down convinced him that Americans would not stand up to armed resistance. - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

Jay Ambrose: The Clinton example - Bill Clinton was far guiltier as president of a lax, timid response to the al Qaeda threat than he let on in his interview on Fox TV, but his fiery, wipe-that-smirk-off-your-face answer to a question from the show's surprised host provides a lesson the Bush administration should heed.

Clinton hit back with everything he had, misstating the truth some, as usual, while also conveying that here was an honest man who had been done a major wrong and wasn't going to take it anymore. Contrast that with the way the Bush administration so often hides out from direct confrontation, defending itself more with a little mumbling here and there than slam-bam rebuttal of the kind it ought now to be making to the critics saying an official report proves once and for all that the war in Iraq was a huge mistake. - More...
Friday - September 29, 2006

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