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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 03, 2006

Front Page Photo by Ivy J. Robichaud

LeConte and Matanuska
Looking over Alaska Ship and Drydock Thursday, the Alaska Marine Highway Vessels LeConte, and Matanuska were photographed from the bridge wing of the Columbia.
Front Page Photo by Ivy J. Robichaud

Ketchikan: Local Project Advances to National Level of Forest Legacy Program - Leask Lakes, located between Lake Harriet Hunt and the Naha River National Recreation trail, have been a long-standing conservation target for some Ketchikan community members. And now the project to protect Leask Lakes for future public use and a wildlife habitat corridor has advanced to the national ranking level of the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) according to Carrie Dolwick, the new Ketchikan Lands Coordinator.

Leask Lakes
Front Page Photo by Mike Sallee

Dolwick explained that the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a nation-wide, cooperative program between the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the National Forest Service. The program emphasizes protecting and enhancing traditional forest uses, such as fishing, hunting, logging, hiking and wildlife viewing.

A group of Ketchikan area residents created the Leask Users Coalition and partnered with Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Cape Fox Corporation, and the Southeast Alaska Land Trust, to develop and submit the project to the FLP. The Leask Lakes project strives to increase pubic access and protection of wildlife around Leask Lakes and river with the purchase of a conservation easement said Dolwick.

The lands are currently owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust, and under contract for timber harvest. Alaska Mental Health Trust lands are not accessible for public use. The proposed easement will provide permanent public access to the lakes and river and protect 22% of the tract. This leaves 78% for timber harvest. There is also 400 acres within the proposed easement designated for restricted timber harvest. The easement protections will not interfere with any future expansion of the Ketchikan area public road system. - More...
Friday PM - November 03, 2006

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Alaska: Lawsuit Seeks to Prevent Governor from Signing Gasline Contract - A bipartisan group of Alaska lawmakers have banded together in a legal effort to stop Governor Frank Murkowski from signing the proposed natural gas pipeline contract.

Several members of the Legislative Council agreed to sue the governor based on Sen. Ralph Seekins (R - Fairbanks) conversations with Gov. Murkowski. Legislative Council is the committee tasked with running the legislature during the interim.

Sen. Seekins chaired the Senate Special Committee on Natural Gas Development during this year's two special sessions and joined the lawsuit. He asked Gov. Murkowski twice if he planned on signing the contract without legislative approval.

"The governor said both times he was strongly considering it and that he may sign it in the near future. I urged him to leave it for the next governor because the draft contract has serious flaws and both the public and the legislature want significant changes made. The entire process for getting a gas pipeline is threatened by his potential unilateral action. We didn't want to take this step but we felt we had to because he's still threatening to sign it and we have to take that threat seriously," said Sen. Seekins. - More...
Friday PM - November 03, 2006

Alaska: ADF&G Releases Summary of the 2006 Salmon Season - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released its preliminary estimates for the 2006 commercial salmon harvest and for the value of that harvest to commercial fishermen. These estimates are preliminary and revised estimates will be produced in 2007, after all fish ticket data has been finalized, and processors have submitted their annual reports, which include the final prices paid for salmon in 2006.

Commercial fishermen harvested 141.5 million salmon in 2006. This is the 15th largest harvest since Alaska became a state 47 years ago, but represents the smallest number of salmon harvested since 2002. The 2006 harvest was 80 million fish less than the 2005 harvest, 24 million fish below the preseason forecast, and 26.5 million fish below the most recent 10 year average (2005-1996) commercial harvest of 168 million salmon.

The value, $308.8 million, of the 2006 catch is higher than the most recent 10 year average (2005-1996) of $279 million, but $25 million less than fishermen earned in 2005, a record harvest in numbers of fish. Preliminary 2006 prices are showing increases for Chinook, coho, pink, and chum salmon compared to the final 2005 prices. Only the preliminary sockeye salmon price in 2006 is below that for 2005. - More...
Friday PM - November 03, 2006


Alaska: Lower Prescription Drug Costs Can Help PERS/TRS - Two-term Alaska State Rep. David Guttenberg (D - Fairbanks) said Friday he intends to again address a major factor adding to Alaska's state employee retirement system's financial woes. "PERS/TRS is like the weather. Everyone complains about it, but no one does anything," Guttenberg said. "Well, here's something. Alaska can act to reduce the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs."

Guttenberg plans to reintroduce a package of bills to address the rising costs of prescription drugs. When he offered a similar seven-piece package of legislation in the 24th Alaska Legislature, Consumers Union, publishers of the highly-respected "Consumer Reports" magazine, dubbed it a legislative "truth package."

"A major component of the nearly $8 billion unfunded PERS/TRS liability is health care costs, and pharmaceuticals are the fastest growing segment of those costs," Guttenberg said. "My bills can begin a critical statewide discussion of how we can reduce the PERS/TRS unfunded liability. No, they aren't a cure-all, but they could directly benefit every Alaskan." - More...
Friday PM - November 03, 2006

Alaska: Hibernation of Arctic squirrels could aid humans By HANNAH GUILLAUME - Hibernating Arctic ground squirrels may guide scientists to new treatments for battlefield injuries, strokes and cancer.

Tests show that during hibernation ground squirrels are able to resist brain damage and injuries related to loss of blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Scientists said they think this is partly because squirrels' body temperatures can go below freezing without causing damage - a rare feat for a mammal.

"The Arctic ground squirrel is famous for being super cool," said Kelly Drew, a scientist and professor of the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "The more I play with these animals the more I find they are remarkable. They just don't display trauma to the brain."

Drew said it's possible that a pill or an injection could allow the human body to mimic what ground squirrels do during hibernation.

Induced hibernation might mean injured soldiers or people without access to medical treatment could survive with fewer long-term injuries, Drew said.

Doctors sometimes use drug-induced comas in patients with brain injuries. Hibernation differs from coma because it is not caused by brain malfunction or disease.

Drew's research has won $2.4 million in funding, some of it from the Defense Department.

"One of the challenges with this work is that it is very new. We're still on the exploratory side of it," Drew said. She hopes to focus on therapeutic targets next year and eventually begin clinical trials. - More...
Friday PM - November 03, 2006


Basic Rules

letter Gas Pipeline - Priority for all Alaskans By Bill Sheffield - Saturday AM
letterKnow Knowles = NO Knowles By Ed Brown - Saturday AM
letter Knowles is the Governor needed By Terry Gardiner - Saturday AM
letter John Kerry By Elizabeth Whittington - Saturday AM
letterKetchikan's Bridge By Michael Spence - Saturday AM
letter The Bridge by Greg Harris - Saturday AM
letter Let's not vote for gridlock! By Mark Neckameyer - Saturday AM
letter Fanatics By Janelle Hamilton - Saturday AM
letter Hate, Greed, and Fear: In style this year? By Hallie Engel - Saturday AM
letter Redefined marriage By Kelly Needham - Saturday AM
letter Hate, Greed & Fear By Greg Harris - Saturday AM
letter Consolidation Voter Fraud? By Ken and Emo Bylund - Friday PM
letter Revilla Road Trashed... Again! By Jerry Cegelske - Friday PM
letter Why We Can't Afford A Delay on the Gas Pipeline By Gov. Frank H. Murkowski - Friday PM
letter Encourage production of gasline and discourage delay By Eric Croft - Friday PM
letter Same sex marriage By Tony Pollock - Friday PM
letter RE: Hate, Greed, and Fear By Alex McDonald - Friday PM
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 - Wednesday PM
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 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
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 01 02 03  

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Asset Builder of the Month: KIC's Culture Camp - For the month of October, PATCHWorks recognizes Ketchikan Indian Community's Culture Camp as the "Asset Builder" of the month. Over the years Culture Camp has become an important means for young people to experience the outdoors and build the assets of positive identity, constructive use of time, commitment to learning and important social and cultural competencies.

KIC's Culture Camp
Photo courtesy PATCHWorks

Culture Camp originated 17 years ago as an effort to provide career exploration and teach a small group of adolescents about their cultural heritage. Over the years it has grown to accommodate as many as 60 young people. This past summer they had 49 participants ranging in age from 10 - 17 with a staff of 22, including youth and adult counselors, cooks, and instructors. Native preference was given to participants, although non-Native youth had the opportunity to join based on available space. This year's camp was held for one week at Orton Ranch with the theme "Honoring our Youth: Our Leaders of Today."

This year Native Elders were asked to become involved in camp planning. Although unable to actively participate in the actual camping experience, the Elders were asked to select and help to plan the three most valuable and important cultural learning experiences they felt the camp participants should receive. They selected the making of regalia with a focus on tunics, learning survival skills, and Native food preparation which included picking, collecting and preparing berries, Hudson Bay Tea leaves and wild asparagus. - More...
Friday - November 03, 2006

Match of the Month: October 2006 - "Big" Howard and "Little" Kody were matched within the Community Program of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of SEAK - Ketchikan for four years, and their friendship is still going strong. Kody's mother says, "He's ecstatic that Howard is continuing the friendship even though Kody has turned 18."

Match of the Month

Match of the Month
Howard and Kody
Photo by Nancy Coggins

It's hard to believe that every meeting is an adventure for Howard and Kody, but that's how it is! Howard says, "Kody is great at hiking, boating, and even kayaking."

You might guess the next subject of their interest would be anything that has to do with big trucks and racecars, but you might not have guessed, chainsaws. Then again, thinking like Alaskans, you might have thought of chainsaws first!

While he was in high school, Kody looked forward to their meetings each week as seen in his excitement when Howard would go to pick him up after school. And his teachers said he always had a lot to say about each of their meetings.

Their planning meeting about clearing a trail led to an extended project that lasted several months -- weather permitting! Safety was the number one priority in their work -- as is the case in every BBBS of SEAK - KTN activity. With the use of rakes, hand snips, and axes, these two "outdoor guys" were able to create a successful trail, complete with steps, from Howard's backyard into the mountains.

They spend other fun times hanging out, watching old TV shows, like "Dukes of Hazard." Another favorite activity is playing video games. - More...
Friday - November 03, 2006

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