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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 01, 2006

Front Page Photo by Michael W. Ball

November Sunset
Front Page Photo by Michael W. Ball

Ketchikan: Lunch Creek Property Acquisition Ribbon Cutting & Settlers Cove Work Day By BILL HUPE - Saturday, October 14th, was a dark, wet, rainy day, but that didn't stop a handful of Ketchikan residents joining the SAGA (Southeast Alaska Guidance Association) crew at Settlers Cove. SAGA has been on Revillagigedo Island for the past two months, working on various projects on public lands in the Ketchikan area.

Lunch Creek Property...

Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein and Rep. Jim Elkins cut the ribbon opening up 207 acres added to Settlers Cove.
Front Page Photo by Susan Batho and Bill Hupe

The five area volunteers joined the crew at 10.30 am at the SAGA tent base at Settlers Cove, and after filling out the required waivers, volunteers were each given a rake or a wheelbarrow, and joined the rest of the crew to help spread gravel over all the trails connecting the campsites at Settlers Cove. With Ryan Sotomayor from SAGA coordinating the raking crew, and five others manning the wheelbarrows, it required only a little over an hour to have all the holes filled and leveled and having the trails look like new once more.

Pleased with the results, the work group gratefully headed for the base tent to get out of the rain and warm up for a bit with a lunch of chili, crackers, chips, and "goobers" The latter was a delicious combination of granola and chocolate. Stories were shared about home areas, as well as other places that the SAGA crew had worked on this summer - Skagway, Girdwood, and Juneau among others - working up new trails, and upgrading older ones, as well as other needed improvements on public lands in southeast Alaska. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 01, 2006

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Alaska: Corrosion infested Prudhoe pipeline By WESLEY LOY - The leaky pipeline that led to this summer's market-rattling Prudhoe Bay oil field shutdown was far more severely corroded than initially reported.

BP, the company that runs Prudhoe, originally disclosed 16 "anomalies" along the pipe - places where corrosion had chewed either partly or fully through the steel pipeline wall.

But according to a test report obtained by the Daily News, the three-mile pipeline was infested with 5,476 potential bad spots, including 176 places where corrosion might have chewed through 50 percent or more of the pipe wall.

BP's Alaska spokesman and its corrosion manager say the company was surprised by the test results, which were generated by a bullet-shaped electronic device called a smart pig that slides through a pipe looking for bad spots. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 01, 2006

National: Elections Could Result in Divided U.S. Government, Experts Say By MICHELLE AUSTEIN - The outcome of the November 7 midterm elections in the United States likely will affect the way domestic and foreign policy legislation is developed and approved by Congress, experts say.

The Democrats must pick up 15 more seats than they currently hold in the U.S. House of Representatives to become the majority party. In the Senate, the Democrats need six more seats to gain control.

If the Democrats became the majority party in either chamber, there would be a divided government. A divided government is a situation in which one party controls at least one chamber of Congress, while the president is a representative of the other party. This situation happens frequently in U.S. politics, most recently during the final six years of President Clinton's presidency and again during part of President Bush's first term.

A divided government could have serious implications for Bush's agenda, said James Thurber, professor of government and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington.

In an interview, Thurber said foreign policy and Iraq are major issues in the minds of voters. If the Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, they likely would "try to change the president's policy on Iraq through the power of the purse and oversight," Thurber said. According to the U.S. Constitution, bills appropriating federal funds (the power of the purse) must originate in the House of Representatives.

In a November 1 Webchat, Thomas Mann, a scholar with the Brookings Institution in Washington, said Iraq will be a central concern of the new Congress. "I expect highly publicized hearings on the best way forward there," he said.

Mann said he expects Congress to put pressure on the Bush administration to take a more active role in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 01, 2006


Alaska:  When the aurora clashes with cabs By NED ROZELL - As one of the aurora forecasters at the Geophysical Institute located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, Charles Deehr has emailed people around the world who want to know when the northern lights will appear above their heads. Some requests catch him by surprise, such as this springtime note from a supervisor for an Anchorage taxicab company who said the aurora was affecting his ability to communicate with cabbies:


Photo by Jan Curtis

"I don't expect your website to continue to post the 'Auroral Forecast' (during the summer) just for Alaska Cab, but you may not be aware that some companies access this information for business purposes. For us, I monitor your website and a NOAA space weather site so that I will know if such things will be affecting our computer system communication between our office and the cabs in the city. "

Sometimes the aurora messes with the radio waves used in communications systems. My employer, the Geophysical Institute, exists in a large part because of this. The institute is a place of more than 300 faculty, staff and students that the U.S. Congress established here in Fairbanks in 1946. Part of the reason for satisfying "the need for a geophysical station" at this high latitude was to understand more about the aurora, which sometimes disables high-frequency radios people use to communicate over long distances.

How does the aurora disable radios? High-frequency radios can transmit signals thousands of miles by skipping them off the bottom of the ionosphere (part of Earth's atmosphere starting at about 50 miles over our heads, where the air is so thin it's electrically charged). The ionosphere, extending about 600 miles into space, is the home of the aurora. Active auroras disturb the ionosphere at the height of about 55 miles, causing it to absorb some radio waves rather than reflect them. Some auroras also act as a reflector, so radio signals can travel much farther than normal. A Fairbanks cab driver once received instructions from a dispatcher in New Jersey because of this phenomenon, researcher Bob Hunsucker wrote in this column in 1976. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 01, 2006


Basic Rules

letter Knowles on November 7th By Dan Ortiz - Wednesday PM
letter Alaska needs a new generation of leadership By Walter J. Hickel - Wednesday PM
letter Consolidation ballots have started arriving By Rodney Dial - Wednesday PM
letterThe Consolidation Vote By Rodney Dial - Wednesday PM
letter The real problem with families By Anita Hales - Wednesday PM
letter History of Ketchikan By Patrick E Johnston - Wednesday PM
letter No Really My Last on HATE, GREED, and FEAR By Steven McLaren - Wednesday PM
letter FINAL: Hate, Greed, and Fear By Steven McLaren
letterRE: Hate, Greed, and Fear By Steven McLaren - Monday
letter Ketchikan's Bridge By Gov. Frank H. Murkowski - Monday
letter Consolidation - The Wrong Choice by Eric Muench - Monday
letter Missing lumber By John Stewart - Monday
letter RE: "Hate, Greed, and Fear" By Robert Freedland - Monday
letter RE: Hate, Greed, and Fear By Steven McLaren - Saturday PM
letterBridge By Robert Glenn - Saturday PM
letter Hate, Greed, and Fear By Robert Freedland - Thursday PM
letter Free Money is a distraction for local governement By Michael Spence - Wednesday PM
letter Bridge By Jerilyn Lester - Wednesday PM
letter KGB School Lock-Down By Anne Lucas - Tuesday
letter TIME FOR CHANGE By James C. Eakes - Tuesday
letter RE: Tongass Construction By Cathy Geer - Tuesday
letter Promises, Promises: What Do They Mean at UAS? By Robert D. Warner - Tuesday
letter Getting hosed at the pump? By Wayne Kinunen - Tuesday
letter Metlakatla's Choice: A simple Yes or No By Virginia E. Atkinson - Tuesday
letter Martin and John Bugge By Pam Grender - Tuesday
letter RE: Adults think they know all the answers etc. By Frances C. Natkong - Tuesday
letter Gas Prices By Janelle Hamilton - Tuesday
letter SQUEAKY By BJ Orand - Tuesday
letter Hooray!!! for recovey By Patti Fay Hickox - Tuesday
letter Killer of a Whale By Greg Harris - Tuesday
letter Law enforcement in Ketchikan By Colleen James - Tuesday
letter Lots of Failing Parents By Rob Glenn - Tuesday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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11/02/06 - Thursday - 7:00 pm - Ketchikan City Council Meeting - City Council Chambers
Download Agenda pdf (Click on each item on the agenda to download its information packet)

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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
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 01      

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Columns - Commentary

Michael Reagan: John Kerry: The Kamikaze Kid - If the American people need a single reason why they desperately need to vote to keep the Congress in Republican hands next Tuesday they need only look at Massachusetts Democrat Senator John Kerry and recoil from what they behold, the way a vampire recoils when confronted by a cross.

It's not that the defeated 2004 Democrat candidate for PRESIDENT is by himself a major threat to the safety and welfare of the United States. We narrowly escaped that dreaded fate two years ago, and by now it should be obvious that politically he's going nowhere. That became clear when Sen. Kerry gassed up his plane, took off and crashed Kamikaze-like onto the deck of his party's ship, sinking it just days before it was to come into port and thenceforth rule the electoral waves.

With the crew jumping overboard in a frantic effort to avoid being anywhere near John Kerry, it's obvious his hopes for a future in presidential politics were burned to a crisp in the wake of his suicide mission. - More...
Thursday AM - November 02, 2006

Dick Morris: It's Up To The GOP Base - Can the Republicans win control of Congress? They can if they want to. It is up to the vaunted GOP base.

According to the Zogby poll, Republican fortunes, while improving in early October, have fallen since. On Sept. 22, Democrats led in the generic vote poll (Do you plan to vote for the Democratic or the Republican candidate in your district?) by nine points, 42-33. But by Oct. 11, their margin was only three - 37-34. But by Oct. 24 it was back up to 11 points - 44-33 - enough for the Democrats to take control of the House and probably the Senate.

But if you dig deep into the Zogby poll, you find an astonishing fact - independents are turning to the Republican Party while Republican base voters are leaving it!

Among independents, the percent that plan to vote Republican has risen from 15 percent on Sept. 22 to 23 percent on Oct. 11 to 26 percent on Oct. 24. While independents are still voting for more Democrats, it's only by 38-26 compared with 38-15 last month. - More...
Thursday AM - November 02, 2006

Bonnie Erbe: Time to say: Enough is enough - In 1985 when Al Gore was still in Congress, his wife, Tipper, started a campaign against salacious rock music. For her effort she was raked over by liberals, who accused her of trying to censor rock music lyrics sub rosa and, worse, of aligning herself with the evangelical right.

My reaction at the time was, "How parochial. " In retrospect, I was wrong.

Tipper Gore co-founded with three other Washington wives the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) because she heard her then-12-year-old daughter playing "Darling Nikki " by the artist formerly (or presently) known as Prince. The song's gritty, guitar-driven lyrics tell the story of a "sex-fiend " named Nikki who seduces Prince.

But Prince's 1984 lyrics are downright tame compared with what American kids now consume all day every day, not only in the form of rap, rock and pop lyrics, but from sex videos on YouTube, to Internet-distributed come-ons for all manner of consumer goods, and the omnipresent, in-your-face images of naked or near-naked bodies engaged in subtle or not-so-subtle sex. - More...
Thursday AM - November 02, 2006

Clifford D. May: Scenarios, good and bad, if Democrats control Congress - According to polls and pundits, voters will soon turn the keys to the House and possibly the Senate over to the Democrats. Less easy to forecast: what that would mean for foreign policy in general and the war in Iraq in particular.

My optimistic scenario is that Democrats, given power, also will assume responsibility - and that the White House will open its doors to those willing to work on a bipartisan basis to solve the historic challenges America faces.

A key player could be Sen. Joseph Lieberman. His convictions on Iraq cost him the Democratic primary in Connecticut. But Lieberman now appears poised to win the general election running as an independent against a left-wing, "insurgent" Democrat and a lackluster Republican. Lieberman has proposed forming a "bipartisan Iraq working group" in Congress early next year. - More...
Thursday AM - November 02, 2006

Dale McFeatters: People just aren't feeling the good numbers - President Bush and his political aides are puzzled by how little credit the White House is getting for the economy. The frustration is especially acute as next week's election nears. The president has devoted campaign appearances to boasting about the performance of the economy.

By all the traditional measures, the economy is good and Bush should be reaping the customary political rewards. Growth is steady. Inflation and unemployment have stayed low. The stock market is setting records. The gasoline price crisis has blown over.

But Americans don't feel the economy is good. Over 55 percent in a recent CBS poll said it was bad and a similar percentage said it was getting worse. Only 32 percent approved his handling of the economy. Other polls show similar dismal ratings.

One factor may be that, although the situation has improved slightly in the last month or so, real hourly wages have been stagnant since 2001 even though worker productivity has improved 14 percent in that time.

If Americans feel insecure about their financial future, maybe that's because it really is insecure. - More...
Thursday AM - November 02, 2006

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