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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 11, 2006

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

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Ketchikan: The 'Wickersham' sailed on after leaving Alaska By DAVE KIFFER - Although the MV Wickersham was only part of the Alaska Marine Highway System for five years, many locals still fondly recall its stately figure cruising the Inside Passage.

Wickersham sailed on...

Alaska State Ferry Wickersham in Tongass Narrows
Photographer: Morgan's Photos
Photo Courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Unlike the original three mainline state ferries that were specifically built for the inside waters between Prince Rupert and Skagway, the Wickersham was originally built to ply the open ocean and the rugged waters of the European North Sea. It was also designed with stylish passenger amenities that wouldn't be seen in this area until the larger cruise ships started arriving the 1980s.

With its prominent narrow bow, large space age solarium and dramatically swept back smoke stack, the Wickersham always looked like it was charging ahead at full speed. Even when it was tied to the dock.

Basically, the Wickersham was a stop-gap measure as the Marine Highway evolved from a Panhandle run to a Seattle to Alaska run.

"Up until the late summer of 1967, the British Columbia ferry system had operated ferries from Seattle to Prince Rupert, feeding traffic for the Alaska ferries up the inside passage," Stan Cohen wrote in his 1994 book 'Highway on the Sea.' "But in August, the MV Queen of Prince Rupert ran aground, leaving only one active ferry between the two ports. Shortly afterwards, a rock slide blocked the Alaska Highway, stranding passengers along the route."

State officials looked for ways to immediately alleviate the problem, but were stymied because federal law certified the partially exposed waters between Prince Rupert and Seattle as oceangoing and none of the existing state ferries could legally transit "oceangoing" waters.

Gov. Walter Hickel took a risk and sent a ferry to Seattle, while at the same time asking the federal government to reclassify the route as inland waters. The government agreed but that still left the state without ships that could transit the exposed waters comfortably. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006


Ketchikan: Airlift Northwest Initiates Scholarship Program for Emergency Responders - Airlift Northwest announced today that it will offer a new scholarship and grant program to honor six staff members who lost their lives in the line of duty with the organization.

On September 29, 2005, an Airlift Northwest helicopter was lost in Puget Sound off Edmonds, Washington taking the lives of the pilot, Steve Smith and two flight nurses, Erin Reed and Lois Suzuki. No patients were on board at the time. Ten years earlier, on September 11, 1995, an Airlift Northwest helicopter went down off Bainbridge Island, Washington. Pilot Lee Bothwell and flight nurses Marna Fleetwood and Amy Riebe were lost in that accident. Again, no patients were on board.

"These accidents were extremely tragic, both for the families of those who were lost and for our family at Airlift Northwest," said Stephen Lewis, CEO. "We've been considering for some time the best way to honor these six brave people who gave their lives in service to others. A program that provides assistance with training and education to others who are committed to emergency medical services seems the perfect solution." - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Seafood Processor Agrees to Pay $25,000 EPA Settlement to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today that E.C. Phillips and Son, Inc., a seafood processing facility located in Ketchikan, has agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty to settle alleged water discharge permit violations with the EPA.

EPA initiated its enforcement action following the discovery that the company had violated their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at its Ketchikan facility. E.C. Phillips and EPA signed a Consent Agreement and Final Order which settles all the violations and sets the monetary penalty. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

National: Fallout from N. Korea's nuke announcement could help Dems By MARC SANDALOW - North Korea's explosive declaration that it has joined the ranks of nuclear-armed nations is the sort of shock wave that at first glance would seem to provide a boost to Republican candidates.

One month before Election Day, with the GOP mired in a congressional sex scandal, the emergence of a new global threat and a renewed focus on national security seems to play right into a Republican strength with an issue that has secured their national majority the past two elections.

"Let me put it this way," White House press secretary Tony Snow said Tuesday from the briefing-room podium. "We're perfectly happy to have national security be front and center in this election, period."

But in a sign of the difficult political terrain that threatens the GOP majority in the House and Senate, Democrats are raising the issue on the campaign trail at least as vocally as their Republican counterparts, declaring the news from North Korea another failure of President Bush's foreign policy.

Democrats, playing off public disapproval of the war in Iraq and of the president, are seizing the opportunity to argue that North Korea, Iran and Iraq pose a greater threat today than they did when Bush identified them as an "axis of evil" in his 2003 State of the Union address. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006


Basic Rules

letter Cruise Ship Taxes and Consolidation By Eric Muench - Wednesday
letter Minors Drinking By Sunny Jim Sundahl - Wednesday
letter Sarah Palin on Native people By Karen Rhoades - Wednesday
letter Trust and Honesty By Ken Levy - Wednesday
letter Response to "Police and law enforcement in Ketchikan" By Kristin Fahey - Wednesday
letter Thanks to the Community By Karen Eakes - Wednesday
letter RE: Police and law enforcement in Ketchikan By Kathy Fox - Wednesday
letter Police in Ketchikan By Rob Glenn - Wednesday
letter Mark Folley - a premeditated deliberate PREDATOR. By Lynne Miller - Wednesday
letter RE: Law enforcement in Ketchikan By Jessica Mathews - Wednesday
letter RE: NEVER okay By Frances C. Natkong
letter Just the Facts & Questions By Dan McQueen - Wednesday
letter Correction: Harbon Bonds By Dave Kiffer - Wednesday
letterWhat will our leaders do? By Viola Burgess - Monday
letterBike Show By Dan Hart - Monday
letterPolice and law enforcement in Ketchikan By Vicky Newlun - Monday
letter Gravina Island Clean-up By Jerry Cegelske - Monday
letterJust the Facts By Dave Kiffer - Monday
letter NEVER okay! By Diana Chaudhary - Monday
letter Aan Kadax Tseen is my Name By Aan Kadax Tseen - Monday
letter Time to pay attention to November elections By Janelle Hamilton - Monday
letter BoonDoggle Bridge By Lonnie Guthrie - Monday
letter Hypocrisy? By Mark Neckameyer - Monday
letterElection 2006 Stars aligned? By Alan Bailey - Sunday
letter Go East For Development By Walt Bolling - Sunday
letterKlukwan your Cultural Identity is at Stake By Albert K. White - Sunday
letter Excellence in Teaching By Aaron Burns - Sunday
letter Boondoggle Bridge By Don Hoff Jr. - Sunday
letterSeniors are Elders. By Ken Lewis - Sunday
letter Open letter to Congressman Don Young By Mike Jones - Sunday
letter The Hypocrisy By Robert D. Warner - Sunday
letterWhy tax increases failed - Global Warming By Marvin Seibert - Sunday
letterFolley flap?? By Mark Neckameyer - Sunday
letter Much Ado About Nothing By Alan Lidstone - Sunday
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SitNews Archives
October 2006
Click on the date to read the stories published on that day.
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National: North Korea's detonation gives missile defense a boost By LISA HOFFMAN - Forget the misses and missteps that have plagued America's $95 billion national missile-defense program over the past decade.

North Korea's test of a suspected nuclear device is certain to provide an enormous boost for the often-maligned, enormously complex system the United States is developing to protect its territory from enemy missiles.

That's the conclusion of proponents of the program, who say that no better example exists of why such a system is needed than North Korea's detonation of what is believed to have been a small, possible precursor to a bomb.

Even if the detonation was a dud, it still served to illustrate the pressing need to erect a missile-defense system against a threat that is at least looming on the horizon, they said.

"Our world has significantly changed from this reality," said Riki Ellison, president of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, an Alexandria, Va., group that believes the United States should arm itself with the defensive system posthaste. "The United States must engage and deploy its current missile-defense assets and those in other theaters against North Korea."

No definitive U.S. assessment of what it was that the cloistered country set off has yet been publicly released.

North Korea's reputed test comes about a month after another significant event in the long, often-troubled history of efforts to design and build a workable way to protect the United States from long-range ballistic missiles. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

National: New federal law requires helping evacuate pets in a disaster By KIMBERLY GEIGER - States will be required to help evacuate pets during a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake or risk losing federal money under a bill signed by President Bush.

The bill was prompted by reports that as many as 50,000 pets were stranded during Hurricane Katrina. Rescue agencies have been criticized for the "no pets" policy that required pet owners to abandon their animals or defy evacuation orders and stay in the disaster area. Nearly half of those who refused to evacuate said they didn't want to leave their pets behind, according to an April poll by the Fritz Institute, a nonprofit agency involved with providing humanitarian relief work.

"Katrina gave us insight into the lack of preparedness for people and their pets," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, an animal-advocacy group that rescued thousands of abandoned pets during and after the hurricane. Markarian said that even disabled people with guide dogs were being forced to choose between their pets and their safety. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

National: Sheriff's pink duds make inmates vow to reform By MATT PHINNEY - Three county inmates in the jail here lay on their bunks, not saying much.

They wore pink jumpsuits and pink slippers, and one was wrapped in pink sheets. They were surrounded by pink bars and pink walls.

They were not comfortable.

Despite the cramped condition of the tiny jail, the inmates said sitting there was better than working outside, where they might be seen by people they know. Using pink uniforms in a pink jail is a small step to deter inmates from ever wanting to spend more time in the Mason County Jail, which might be getting too old to operate, said Sheriff Clint Low.

"The county would have more inmate labor without them," said one inmate, who did not want to be identified.

"I'm not going outside in these things. It's a good deterrent because I don't want to wear them anymore." - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

Health - Fitness: Exercise improves quality of life By EUGENIE JONES - Do you buy into the, "We're all going to die anyway, so why bother exercising," mentality? It's a familiar viewpoint, ranking right up there with, "I don't have time to exercise," "the dog ate my workout shoes" and "sweating makes me wet."

The problem with the fatalistic outlook of "why bother" is that it focuses on the wrong issue. The issue is not whether or not you're going to die, but rather how you're going to live.

If you choose to live a sedentary lifestyle, you are choosing to increase your risk of obesity, adult on-set diabetes, premature aging, bone mass loss and susceptibility to, heart disease and the gradual, continual loss of physical ability and vitality.

And while choosing to exercise and lead an active lifestyle is not a promise of immortality, it is a self-empowering choice that enriches the quality and dimension of your life.

Without movement you hasten the deterioration of your physical and mental wellbeing, but when you exercise you increase your energy, vitality and ability to live life to its fullest. - More...
Wednesday - October 11, 2006

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