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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 15, 2008

Front Page Photo By AIMEE SHULL

A 'Banner' Sunset
Front Page Photo By AIMEE SHULL



Ketchikan: GCI boosts Ketchikan Internet speeds - General Communication, Inc. (GCI) announced today it has significantly increased Internet speeds in Ketchikan.

The increased speeds are available through a service called Xtreme, and will be available following the recent $33 million fiber optic cable investment that connected Ketchikan to the United West cable line stretching from Seattle to Southcentral Alaska.

According to Miguel Torres, Ketchikan System Manager, the improvements will double the online speed former users of Hypernet Silver will experience when they upgrade to Xtreme. Ultimate Package subscribers who choose to upgrade to GCI's new-to-Ketchikan, Ultimate Xtreme packages, can see speeds up to 20 times faster and get unlimited downloads. An Internet file that took three minutes to download on Hypernet Silver will take a little more than nine seconds with Ultimate Xtreme Power. - More..
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

Alaska: Alaska investigation of Palin broadens By TOM KIZZIA - The Alaska state Personnel Board investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of Walt Monegan has broadened to include other ethics complaints against the governor and examination of actions by other state employees, according to the independent counsel handling the case.

The investigator, Tim Petumenos, did not say who else is under scrutiny. But in two recent letters describing his inquiry, he cited the consolidation of complaints and the involvement of other officials as a reason for not going along with Palin's request to make the examination of her activities more public.

Two other ethics complaints involving Palin are known. One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

John Cyr, the PSEA executive director, said Monday the union plans to amend its complaint to be sure the board investigates "harassment" of Wooten as well.

Petumenos has not spoken to the press, in keeping with the secrecy of the state process. But he gave a rough description of the investigation's course in two letters to an Anchorage attorney threatening a lawsuit over Palin's effort to waive confidentiality. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

Alaska Science: Free fish become data for college degree By NED ROZELL - A steady flow of twenty-somethings wearing jeans and backpacks entered a room that smelled slightly of fish. They sat down in front of paper plates holding three helpings of pink salmon. The crowd-mostly college students-had responded to a sign outside: "Do you like to eat fish?"

Free fish become data for college degree

UAF student Trina Lapis holds three samples of pink salmon enhanced with different amounts of fish oil.
Photo by Ned Rozell

About 120 people sat down that day at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to rate Alaska pink salmon on such features as saltiness, texture, fattiness, and fish flavor. Perhaps lured by the reward of a few cookies, those fish tasters were helping Trina Lapis earn her degree.

Lapis is a master's student in seafood science and nutrition at UAF who wanted to answer a question-can fish processors make pink salmon more attractive to consumers by boosting its oil level?

"Of the five species of salmon in Alaska, pink salmon are the highest volume caught but have the lowest value," Lapis said as she portioned salmon into cups for tasters. Pink salmon brought Alaska fishermen about 19 cents per pound in 2007, according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (compared to 80 cents for red salmon). Pinks are also relatively low in Omega 3 fatty acids compared with other Alaska species. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

Health - Fitness: Keeping buff between the ears By LEE BOWMAN - The brain shrinks with age like most everything else in the body. And increasingly, brain researchers are considering the role of brain volume, from childhood to very old age, in keeping the mind sharp.

There's not much we can do to make our brains bigger. Genes, nutrition, nurturing, and teen and adult lifestyles pretty much determine what size and shape the grey and white matter is in by the time we're in our early 20s. The key may be how we handle upkeep throughout life, and whether certain behaviors, vitamins or drugs might aid in preserving brain cells.

Several recent studies seem to support the "cognitive reserve" theory: having a bigger brain to start with provides a cushion against dementia from aging or neurological diseases like Alzheimer's.

In particular, brain imaging studies as well as autopsies show scientists that people with larger brains may be better able to forge new connections to regions of the brain that have not been affected by the plaques and tangles of nerve cells that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's. - More...
Wednesday - October


Basic Rules

letter "Unofficial" actions do NOT represent Ketchikan By Andy Rauwolf - I am writing you in regard to recent "unofficial" actions of a political nature taken by Mayor Weinstein and my concern for the potential consequences that our community may be faced with. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

letterWhat price mediocrity? By Agnes Moran - In the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District the price is $1,229,476.00. That is the amount the district has appropriated for the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences for this school year. $1.2 million buys a school that is failing our students so badly that it is in danger of Federal Intervention because of failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress in some areas. The costs don't end with the annual appropriation because once the students escape Tongass School; additional funds have to be spent to bring a significant percentage of the Tongass students up to the level of their peers. Tongass School is the only failing elementary school in the school district. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

letter Eyes and Ears on the Executive and Legislative Branch, but what about the Judicial Branch? By Courtney Larsen - Much attention has been given regarding several positions within our U.S. executive branch, and our U.S. and Alaska State legislative branch; but little if any has addressed our Alaska State judicial branch, despite that many of judges-both at the Alaska Supreme, Superior, and District Court levels-are up for possible reinstatement (or possible retention) this November. Much has been highlighted about possible corruption and deception in these other two former branches, but the possibility of the equivalent has not been readily highlighted in the latter. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

letter Gas Prices, Gouging? By John Flood - In response to the price gouging comments, there is a simple complaint form specifically for the price gouging of gasoline on the Department of Energy's website, it only takes a minute to fill out. - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

letter RE: Meandering By Jose Garcia - This is in response to SitNews Viewpoints "Meandering..." by Donita O'Dell and "What is Crab Mentality?" by Heizelle Jones, respectively: - More...
Wednesday - October 15, 2008

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


Nation's Finances
National Debt Clock

National Election
November 4, 2008

arrowVoter's Survival Kit - The Smart Citizen's Guide to What the Politicians Won't Tell You
Public Agenda for Citizens -

Public Meetings

arrowThe Special Ketchikan City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, 2008 was postponed until Wednesday, October 15, 2008 due to lack of a quorum. The Council will meet at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 334 Front Street, Ketchikan, Alaska. The public is invited to attend.
Agenda - Information packets

arrowKetchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting Thursday, October 16, 2008 in the City Council Chambers. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 pm.
Agenda - Information packets


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Sept. - Oct. 2008
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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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