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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 17, 2006

Front Page Photo by Peaches Wallin

Thomas Basin Fog

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International: Critics say 600,000 Iraqi dead doesn't tally By ANNA BADKHEN - President Bush dismissed it as "not credible," and others are questioning the validity of its findings. But a controversial new survey suggesting that more than 600,000 Iraqis may have died since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, is seen by some polling experts and Iraq analysts as the most comprehensive study to date of the cost in Iraqi lives of the U.S. war there.

The estimated number of deaths in the study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University and published today in the British medical journal Lancet is at least 10 times higher than any previous estimate and suggests that nearly 1 in 40 Iraqis has died over the last 3 1/2 years as a result of the war.

The implications for U.S. policy in Iraq are profound in the view of some analysts.

"If the number of civilian casualties cited in the report is anywhere near the true number, it calls into question the legitimacy of the whole campaign," said Loren Thompson, a defense expert at the Lexington Institute, a national security think tank in Arlington, Va.

The survey, which researchers emphasize is an estimate and not a precise count, gave a wide range of the possible number of Iraqi fatalities, from 426,369 to 793,663. Statistically, the survey concluded, 601,027 is the most probable death toll. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

National: Time to reconsider your Medicare drug plan By LEE BOWMAN - Beginning a month from now, seniors will have a chance through the end of the year to change their Medicare drug coverage, or start it if they didn't sign up the first time around.

Although the marketing has been under way for weeks, most of the roughly 30 million beneficiaries who are already enrolled in Medicare Part D plans and are content with their coverage, don't have to worry about changing.

"If you are satisfied with your plan and want to stay with it, you don't need to take any further action,"' said Dr. Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The government estimates that 83 percent of beneficiaries around the country have access to drug plans with lower premiums in 2007.

After getting a few months experience in providing the coverage this year, many plans are improving their coverage. The average number of drugs covered is expected to rise by about 13 percent, McClellan said in interviews with health reporters Friday. And people in most states will have 50 to 60 plans to choose from, including 17 plans being sold in all 50 states, up from nine this year. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006


Alaska: Cook Inlet's white whales still declining By DON HUNTER - Seven years after a virtual halt to Native subsistence hunts was thought to have put a depleted stock of Cook Inlet beluga whales on a path to recovery, marine mammal scientists counting the bright white whales from the air last summer spotted fewer than ever.

Scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service say the aerial surveys in June and August are not always the best evidence of how many belugas are there. A harder "abundance estimate" that takes into account whales observers didn't see because they were below the surface, or juveniles with gray hides that are difficult to spot in the silty Inlet, is still under development.

But the roughly 150 belugas counted this year are not reassuring, particularly coming after 2005, when the agency's abundance estimate for the number remaining in Cook Inlet was set at 278, the lowest figure since NMFS began the annual beluga surveys in 1993. The number could range from as many as 398 to as few as 194. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Lions Club Strives to Make a Difference - The Ketchikan Lions Club was established in 1949 as the first service club in Ketchikan and has served the community for over 57 years.

Lions Club member Cher'e Klein said, "Ketchikan Lions Club service projects include building and maintaining bus shelters for school aged children, eye screenings for preschool children, recycling eye glasses, road cleanup and by far, our biggest event, the annual Fourth of July Fireworks, Queen Contest, Kiddy Parade and booth coordination." Klein said, "The fireworks are the biggest event that we raise funds for as a good 30 minute show can cost up to $15,000.00!" The Ketchikan Lions Club is in the process of looking for corporate sponsors to help pay this ever increasing annual bill said Klein.

Klein said, "It is also a part of our yearly goal to present two scholarships to graduating high school seniors, provide grants for eye exams and eyeglasses for people with limited resources, support the local Halloween event at the Plaza Mall and help the local Team Diabetes efforts."

"Like many service organizations, the Ketchikan Lions had seen its membership numbers decline over the past decade but a recent resurgence has seen the club almost double in size over the past two years," said Klein. There are now over 15 active members dedicated to serving their fellow Ketchikanites. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Ketchikan: KGH Child Care Center participates in food program - Ketchikan General Hospital Childcare Center announces its participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Meals will be made available to enrolled children at no separate charge without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Parent's income determines the amount of money USDA will reimburse to us to provide meals to enrolled children. The income eligibility guidelines listed below are used to determine our reimbursement from the USDA. Children from households whose monthly income is at or below these levels are eligible to be counted for free or reduced-price meal reimbursement. More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Kootéeyaa Project...

Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole raised
Tlingit elders Herman Kitka and Herman Davis give the Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole the Tlingit name Yei éek kwa néix before the pole was raised on Saturday.
Photograph Courtesy SEARHC

Southeast Alaska: Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole raised - Hundreds of community members helped the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) raise the Kootéeyaa Project Wellbriety totem pole during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 14, in front of the SEARHC Community Health Services building in Sitka. The totem pole has the Tlingit name Yei éek kwa néix (which means, "you are going to get well").

The all-day ceremony required community participation. First, a group of about 140 people used 4x4s to carry the 4,000-pound pole from the carving shelter where Tlingit master carver Wayne Price had been working on the pole since April. Once the pole reached its place of honor on the lawn in front of the SEARHC Community Health Services building, about 400 community members pulled six ropes to lift the pole into place. The ceremony concluded at the Hames Physical Education Center at Sheldon Jackson College with speeches, Native dancing and a dinner featuring traditional foods. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Pioneers of SE AK: James Bawden

Pioneers of Southeast Alaska: James Bawden
Mike Martin and company 1891.
James Bawden is pictured on the far right.
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Ketchikan: Pioneers of Southeast Alaska: James Bawden Feature Story By LOUISE BRINCK HARRINGTON - James Bawden chose to make a living the hard way.

He came to Southeast Alaska in 1882 to work as a cooper in a salmon saltery-a safe, steady, barrel-making job. But he gave it up to become a prospector and dig for gold, a dangerous, dirty and usually unprofitable undertaking.

During the late 1880s he explored the territory from the tiny settlement of Ketchikan as far south as Cape Fox and the Canadian border, covering a lot of ground with a miner's pick and shovel.

In the fall of 1889 he discovered gold on the east side of Annette Island. He staked several claims, returned to Ketchikan for supplies and capital and in 1892 went back to work the claims, which turned out to contain not just gold, but also silver and copper. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006


Basic Rules

letter Now a Zero Tolerance Policy By Vicki Harsha - Tuesday AM
letter Do what's right for people! By Mary Fay Hemli - Tuesday AM
letter Zero Tolerance in Ketchikan By Vicki Harsha - Monday AM
letter Long Island Herbicide spraying By Paula Peterson - Monday AM
letter Open Letter to DOT: Make Safety a Priority By Kay Sims and Terry Wanzer - Monday AM
letter And More... About White Cliff By Jackie Williams - Monday AM
letter Ketchikan Detention Home By Aan Kadax Tseen - Monday AM
letter So you want to use drugs? By Catlin Rettke - Monday AM
letterPolice, kids, underage drinking By Karen Hollywood - Thursday PM
letter RE: Police and Law Enforcement in Ketchikan By Stacey Stone
letter Where's Tony ... part two? By Jeff Kemp - Thursday PM
letter That time of Year. . . By Virginia E. Atkinson
letter WARS and CONFLICTS - A Republican Legacy? By James Hanson - Thursday PM
letter Taxed Out By Robert McRoberts - Thursday PM
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: Harbor Bonds By Dave Kiffer - Wednesday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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SitNews Archives
October 2006
Click on the date to read the stories published on that day.
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
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Columns - Commentary

Star Parker: Must things get worse in order to get better? - A survey just released by the Pew Center shows that 51 percent of Democrats are enthusiastic about voting in 2006 as opposed to 33 percent of Republicans. This is almost a mirror image of what the picture looked like in 1994.

A Pew Center poll also shows a precipitous drop in support for Republicans and the Bush Administration among white evangelicals. It's now a little over 50 percent, whereas in 2004 it was closer seventy-five a percent.

Given the realities staring us in the face, none of this is a surprise. I know that these polls reflect the facts accurately just from reading my mail.

Republicans and conservatives are fed up with their party and their representatives. But can it be that anything is better than what we now have? - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

John Crisp: Bad fences make bad neighbors - Something there is that doesn't love a wall ... -Robert Frost

Frost wasn't enthusiastic about walls, and neither are many of the columnists who have written about the 700-mile wall approved by Congress and the president to stand between Mexico and the United States. I like the take of Dale McFeatters, a Scripps Howard News Service colleague, who recalls famous walls of the past: the Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall, the Maginot Line, the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. All of these monumental works had at least one thing in common: they failed miserably to accomplish what their visionary builders had in mind.

Environmentalists aren't crazy about this proposed wall along the Mexican border, either. A recent Associated Press story by Alicia Caldwell reports the concerns of Mary Lou Campbell, the chair of the Sierra Club's Lower Rio Grande Valley Group. Campbell says that the wall could destroy or disturb the habitats of numerous animals, like the already endangered ocelot and jaguarundi, which are accustomed to moving back and forth freely across the river. And Sue Sill, who directs the International Butterfly Park in Mission, Texas, says that construction of the wall will have a huge negative impact. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Steve Brewer: Trying to find a proper place for irritating cell phones - So I'm in an airport men's room, relieved at being back on the ground where the restroom is larger than a coffin, when a guy steps up and starts talking.

Now, I enjoy a chat as much as the next person, but there were several things wrong with this scenario:

I didn't know this guy.

I didn't know what the heck he was talking about.

And we're in the men's room, where I prefer to keep to myself, thank you very much.

Just as I was about to answer - something along the lines of "Hey, buddy, I'm a little busy here" - I realize he's not talking to me. On the far side of his head, he's got one of those little "Star Trek" headsets attached to his ear. He's on the phone. Conducting business. In the men's room. Which brings a whole new meaning to the term hands-free calling. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

Dale McFeatters: 300 million but who's counting? - If you are really at loose ends this week, you might want to put down 7:46 a.m. EDT Tuesday on your calendar as an occasion for observance.

That's when, according to Census Bureau data, the U.S. population will pass the 300 million mark.

The Census professes to be tracking this precisely with a clock at and offers, should you want to do your own calculations, such helpful facts as: the United States has a birth every 7 seconds, a death every 13 seconds and the arrival of a new immigrant every 31 seconds, for a net gain of one new person every 11 seconds.

However, the exact moment we reach 300 million is more a matter of art and science and because of such other factors as the difficulty of accounting for illegal immigrations, many demographers believe we actually reached that point a year or more ago. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 17, 2006

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