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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 13, 2008

Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON

Nation's largest icebreaker makes port call in Ketchikan
Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON



Ketchikan: Nation's largest icebreaker makes port call in Ketchikan - The nation's largest icebreaker, the 420-foot Coast Guard cutter Healy, arrived in Ketchikan, Saturday for a brief port call before continuing on to her homeport of Seattle. The Healy's arrival in Ketchikan comes at the conclusion of the cutter's Arctic West Summer 2008 mission.

The Healy crew spent the past four months in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean studying the ecosystem and the Extended Continental Shelf. The Healy crew departed Ketchikan Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Seattle, Wednesday. The Healy was not available for public tours while in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

Alaska: During WW II, stealth fighters guarded Alaska By JAMES HALPIN - In the early days of World War II, while most of the world's attention was focused on Europe and the South Pacific, a small band of scouts began patrolling the reaches of the far-flung Aleutian Islands to spy on invading Japanese forces.

Hard men, many of them Alaska Natives and rugged outdoorsmen, formed the base of the unit that would later be known as "Castner's Cutthroats" -- a tribute to their rough existence and appearances. Once, there were 66 of them. Only three are still alive.

Those three met at the Anchorage Museum late last month to tell their tales at the unveiling of a yearlong display, in collaboration with the Alaska Veterans Memorial Museum, to honor the unit and Aleutian campaign. Earl Acuff, William "Billy" Buck and Ed Walker talked about their service in the 1st Combat Intelligence Platoon, which was created by Col. Lawrence Castner, an officer who saw the need for a sly reconnaissance unit in the state's far reaches. At the gathering, the men -- along with Buck Delkette, who recently died -- were awarded the Alaska Veterans Honorable Service Medal. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

Alaska: Simultaneous Alaska volcano eruptions puzzle researchers By GEORGE BRYSON - How likely is it that three neighboring volcanoes would all erupt at the same time -- as the Kasatochi, Okmok and Cleveland volcanoes in the Aleutians did this summer?

About as likely as a storm that only appears once in a thousand years, says Anchorage volcanologist Peter Cervelli, who'll deliver a paper on the subject this winter to the American Geophysical Union.

In other words, seldom enough that Cervelli is now exploring the question of whether Alaska's triple eruption was only a coincidence involving three independent volcanoes or whether it was triggered by some common mechanism.

There's no question that the volcanoes are related in a broad geological sense, says Comelli, a numerical modeler at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. That's because all 40 active volcanoes in the Aleutian Arc -- a 1,500-mile-long necklace of volcanic peaks that stretch from Kiska Island in the west to Mount Spurr near Anchorage in the east -- owe their existence to the deep, subterranean collision of two tectonic plates. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: A More 'Civil' Society - I recently had the pleasure of spending several days with our Canadian Cousins in Prince Rupert.

It's always good to go "south of the border" for a while and be reminded that although their money does look a little silly and they have this odd habit of superfluously adding the letter to "u" to a lot of words, we really have much more in common with our Canadian brethren and sisteren than we do with most of the rest of the folks in Alaska, eh?

In fact, one of the most common cocktail refrains at the recent soiree in Prince Rupert was the need for coastal communities in both countries to secede and create some new sort of country. Cascadia? Timberville? Wetlandia?

The second most common topic of "tea time" was how come Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond hadn't run off to seek much, much, much higher office like former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin was doing? In Alaska, they only call small town mayors "Your Honor." In Canada, they call them "Your Worship." Now, that really sounds like someone should be "only a heartbeat away" from the atomic code book. But as usual, I digress.

Anyway, it was fun to see that the issues remain the same up and down the coast. How do you keep towns from shrinking as the resource industries such as timber and fishing ebb? How do we find a way to lower energy costs when transmission lines have to cover such varied terrain? Will it ever stop raining in our lifetime? - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

ANN McFEATTERS: How about solutions to real problems - Bathed in the hot air over Sarah Palin's pores, Barack Obama's neighbor, 1960s radical William Ayers, and John McCain's ties to disgraced financier Charles Keating, we seem to be in danger of forgetting what is at stake Nov. 4.

Yes, yes, I know that in the last days of a hotly contested election, the campaigns typically get even nastier.

But because we have lost trillions of dollars from our savings and retirement accounts, because one of every six mortgages is higher than the value of the house, because of the steep plunge of the stock market, because jobs are disappearing and because we haven't a clue as to what shoe will drop next, I'd humbly suggest we have bigger things to worry about than overpaid consultants scare tactics.

I'm upset that the candidates want me to get upset about Newsweek's non-airbrushed close-up of Palin on its cover, the 40-year-old crimes against society of Ayers, a nutty radical turned university professor, Obama's middle name and votes by both Obama and McCain against funding the troops because various bills did or did not have a timeline to end the war in Iraq. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008


PRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on the Fellowship of the Ring - If the Large Hadron Collider could take us back to the moment when President Bush decided to invade Iraq, then it might be able to prevent heartache for tens of thousands of American and Iraqi families. Unfortunately for them, and for our exploding federal debt, the international fellowship of physicists and engineers called CERN has designed this circular particle accelerator to recreate the conditions at the beginning of the universe instead.

At a cost of $8 billion, the 14-year construction phase of the LHC has just been completed, and the first particles have successfully navigated, at nearly the speed of light, the 17-mile circular tunnel located near Geneva. It has been dubbed a "discovery machine" and physicists around the world are giddy with anticipation. Not just about how many discoveries are sure to be made, but by the very real possibility that some may radically change our understanding of the world. Highest on the wish list of many is finding subatomic shrapnel that has already been christened the Higgs boson. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

DAN K. THOMASSON - Reassurance counts for more than experience - The fact is, folks, that neither of the two contenders for the presidency of the United States has any experience in dealing with the worsening financial crisis. Actually John McCain has considerably more than Barack Obama but that isn't saying much.

If there isn't a miraculous economic rebound in the next four weeks, it looks as though any effort by McCain to solve the dilemma will have to take place in the Senate. Obama will win the thankless job of trying to dig the nation out of its woes. At least that's the impression left by record numbers of Democratic registrants and polls that reveal a growing margin of support for the Illinois senator who unsurprisingly is given a better chance of dealing with Wall Street problems than his more experienced opponent. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008


GEORGE MILLER: The Local Prayer Army - For several years a group of dedicated prayer warriors from various Churches have met each month to pray for Ketchikan and this area. We are moving on orders from heaven to invite the God of the Universe to come and change this place. He has started by working change in those who trust Him as Savior. He has been breaking barriers in the whole Church and stirring us together into a well oiled, Jesus filled, Holy Spirit directed army.

This army will not use guns or other mere natural weaponry. No, we use spiritual weapons strong enough to throw down darkness and allow liberation to come to those blinded by sins of pride, self-will, and spiritual deception. The local prayer army is growing in powerful unity enabled by faith in Christ. We are setting aside some minor differences in favor of obeying Jesus as Head of His Church. We are inviting Him to Ketchikan to cleanse, and purge all which harms, and darkens our City. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008


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Basic Rules

letter City taxes and you By Rodney Dial - Have you ever wondered how much City tax you pay on a gallon of heating fuel? As of today (10/13) a local fuel vendor is selling #2 heating oil for $3.79 per gallon. With City tax included, the cost you pay is $4.02 per gallon (23 cents tax). As the cost per gallon increases, so does the tax. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter WIDER SIDEWALKS! By Dave Kiffer - Michael Spence raised a very interesting point on the SITNEWS candidates forum right before the election and I didn't have a chance to answer it, but I would like to do so now. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter Part of the problem By Daphne Schnur - A few years back I called Animal Control about dogs tearing up my yard. I was told if I caught the dogs and secured them that someone from animal control would pick them up during normal business hours. I assured the person on the phone that if they just drove by my house at any given time they could fill up their vehicle all day long with unlicensed dogs at the very least. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter Gas and Diesel Gouging By Jeff Hendrickson - I, too, have been wondering why our fuel prices are not dropping as the rest of the country has been? I was talking with my mom and dad a couple days ago and they said the price of unleaded gas is now under $ 3.30 per gallon and the price of diesel is under $3.50 per gallon in Hoodsport, Wa. and both are dropping steadily. Why is it that ours isn't dropping? - More...
Monday - October 13, 2008

letter Price of fuel in Nowhere AK By Jon Van Essen - Well I guess the fuel distributors here in town need to make up for their losses in the stock market the past few weeks, I see the price is on the rise today (1 penny) while our fellow citizens in the lower 48 are enjoying the large drop in the price for a barrel of oil. If you go to you will see what I'm talking about. Here are a few examples of how we compare around the nation when it comes to the price for a gallon of gas. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter Price gouging?? By Larry Kwasney - Help! Help! Help! Please report this to the state troopers. I went to the gas station to fill up my truck and I was raped at the gas pump. I know there are laws against price gouging, but why aren't they in effect here in Ketchikan? - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter AG's 'spinning' is just embarrassing By Sen. Kim Elton - Sometimes the practice of law must be like wearing a hospital gown--pirouettes can expose your bum. - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letterRE: Teenage Drivers By Sarah Corporon - While it may be true that SOME teen aged drivers are irresponsible, I find it unfair to lump ALL teen aged drivers into the "irresponsible category". - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter Gas Prices By Vanessa Nowland - I heard on the radio that fuel at a 7/11 in Oklahoma City is $2.57 per gallon - almost $2.00 less per gallon than in Ketchikan! - More...
Monday PM - October 13, 2008

letter Gouged in Alaska By Karen Ramsey - I've been thinking that if I owned a gas station in Ketchikan I would break free from the pack of price-fixers in our town (and no one can convince me that there isn't price-fixing going on, however illegal it may be) and drop my prices by oh, maybe 25 cents a gallon just to start. If we had one brave gasoline dealer charging us $4.10 for a gallon of unleaded instead of the $4.34 - $4.37 still being charged by the seven or so stations we have in our little captive island market, what do you think the result would be? Drivers would flock to the station charging the least. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Oil Prices: Gouging at Alaska Pumps By Lisa Hydock - I would like to know what is being done about the price gouging at the gas pumps in Alaska. The price of oil per barrel on the market closed at about $88 in the last few days. The all-time high was $147 per barrel earlier this year, when our price per gallon went up to $4.65. The price has come down to $4.35 per gallon, very slowly, and over a couple of months time.(8cents thanks to Gov. Palin) Friends and relatives in the lower 48 are reporting prices as low as $3.05 per gallon. My question is WHY is Alaska so much higher? Before the severe spike in cost, we were paying around $3 per gallon. So, across the nation, gas at the pump is significantly less than Alaska prices. I've lived in Alaska for more than twenty years and have never experienced this much greed. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Vote Begich for U.S. Senate By Charlotte L. Glover - Some years ago I was privileged to hear Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich speak to the Alaska Library Association. At the time, I was struck by his easy manner, his thoughtful comments on the political issues of the time and his sincere interest in educational issues that matter most to me. I've followed his career in the years since, and met him recently in Ketchikan, and am pleased to give him my vote for U.S. Senate. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Kudos to Parrot By Jack Slaght - I whole heartedly agree with Katie Parrot's assessment of where we currently stand with respect to our region's economic, political, environmental, and individual state of affairs. She correctly identifies our collective reality as being one where we live in wooden houses, burn fossil fuels, we can look around us and see plenty of healthy forest (including younger stands of timber). I would add that in spite of all the radical environmentalist doom & gloom that has been thrown out for the "public" to digest for a couple of decades, we still retain good fish & wildlife habitat throughout Southeast Alaska. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Pets, Children, Speeders on NPH By Suzan Thompson - The writers of recent letters addressing the pet, child, traffic problems on North Point Higgins all make excellent points. Ms. Bailey and Ms. O'Bryan are absolutely correct that there are far too many dogs allowed to run at large on this busy road. Ms. Shull is also correct when she says that speeding drivers are a big problem and I agree with her suggestion that if residents consistently call to report speeders when they see them, there may be some stepped-up enforcement. The State Troopers have always been willing to respond quickly to reports of reckless driving whenever I have had to call them. As far as I'm concerned, they can park in my driveway all day long and write tickets until they run out of ink. If it checks the tendency of drivers to drive 42 in a 25 mph zone because they're never sure if there's a Trooper up ahead, that's great. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Speeding Drivers By Jonna Cragun - While we are on the subject of speeding drivers I would like to mention what I observed this morning. I live on Roosevelt, south of town and this morning I was disgusted to observe a newer model, tan/champagne, Chevy SUV (Tahoe?) driving in front of my house at what must have been at least 40 miles per hour. This is a rough patch of road and obviously he was late for work or some other gambit of life that was important enough to risk the life of our local children. I don't care what his problem was I do however have a serious distaste for his arrogance. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Nowheresville By Virginia E. Atkinson - The past few years Alaska has been famous for "The Bridge to Nowhere or A road to Nowhere". Can tell it's almost election when certain topics resurface. Why is it that paople make noise about the same issues before election? Like it's going to do any good. So the bridge didn't go through, big deal, not everyone wants "change" but will only talk about it for a few more decades. Maybe the next generation will actually do something about it. Sometimes next year the Waldon Point Road will start its final phase and be paved, to nowhere. The Waldon Point Road project is funded by the military. While on the subject of nowhere how about a faster ferry boat to "nowhere" Uncle Sam or Aunty Sarah? Can you spare a few million dollars for it? - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Boarded Windows- What's up Downtown Steering Committee??? By Bobbie McCreary - As most of you are aware, for the past 5 years Ketchikan Youth Intitiatives has coordinated an effort to develop a themed approach to painting the boarded windows of Diamonds International, usually in collaboration with students from Revilla High School and then completed with a community wide event to complete the art project to brighten up our downtown in the Winter. We have received many compliments on this effort (some years more artistic than others!) Three years ago this project expanded to a series of murals installed on the boarded windows of the Bernard Passman building, created by Revilla students under the direction of local artist and muralist, Mary Henrikson. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Thank you By Charles Edwardson - First I would like to thank everyone who voted either for me or the candidate of your choice, I lost by eight votes, that is what I was told when I contacted the city clerk. I had to inquire about the procedure and was given a brief overview of the process after specific inquiries, my specific questions were addressed. Nothing was volunteered so for those of you who wish to run in the future you have to look for information yourselves. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Higgins Beach Purchase By Chris Barry - So all you silly people voted yes to buy a beach. Why? It can't be because we have no other beaches. I mean, c'mon, we only live on an island. How many beaches do we need? - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter RE: Obama/Biden By Kris Hansen - I admire Katie Parrott's opinion, the democrats are behind many of the blunders that have happened upon Alaska. Ketchikan had a Pulp Mill somewhere around mile 4 of North Tongass. Roy Nathan may not remember that. Nathan, it is the ghost town of derelict buildings at Wards Cove. It it is where Ketchikan, post canneries, developed a year round economy (the tourist and fisheries only sustain k-town and Sitka for about 5 months of the year the mill was 12 months). It is humbling to reflect on the thousands effaced by the sustainability act (basically no logging act) that a Democrat decided upon many years ago. I know that my brother in law and many others had to go back and spend federal dollars to attend college to earn a living again (another portion of the huge deficit we have because of the political armies we have put into D.C.). - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Property Taxes By Laurie Price - Oh what a wonderful borough we live in! A place where your house can burn to the ground and you can loose everything and still get the joy of paying taxes on a home that is no longer standing or unable to be inhabited. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Dog problem ciy wide By Stacey Hallmark-Morales - I agree with the other letter writers about the dog problem at South Point Higgins. I do not want to run over someone's dog if they are running loose and have encountered problems in the past over this. The thing is - I believe this is a city wide problem that is just that - a problem. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

letter Investigative reporting? By Thomas Thrush - What exactly does looking good and helping neighbors have to do with investigative reporting Mr. Bolling? If the politicians and the media (investigative reporters)would spend more time asking about policies and what's good for the country instead of manufacturing and dragging someone name through mud, we might be better informed to vote. - More...
Thursday PM - October 09, 2008

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