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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 30, 2006

Front Page Photo by Paul Perry

Ward Cove Ice Ripples
Front Page Photo by Paul Perry

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: Governor Murkowski Comments on TLMP Forest Plan; Bostwick Timber Sale; Sealaska Land Trade - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski on Thursday submitted the State of Alaska's position on the US Forest Service's draft environmental impact statement and forest plan for the Tongass National Forest, with strong support for a timber volume sufficient to maintain an integrated timber industry in Southeast Alaska and to protect timber-dependent communities.

Of the alternatives discussed in the draft forest plan, Murkowski endorsed a combination of two that would provide an economic volume of timber for an integrated industry over the life of the forest plan.

"In working with the Forest Service to get to a final EIS and forest plan, we have kept four objectives in mind," Murkowski said. "They are to provide an economic timber supply sufficient to attain and maintain an integrated timber industry capable of harvesting, processing and marketing all species of timber from Southeast Alaska. Our second objective is to establish a level of timber sales that will attract new wood processing facilities to Southeast. Third, we want to provide other resources in quantities so that a multiple use balance can be achieved. And, finally, we want to bring an end to the management of the Tongass National Forest by the courts."

The draft EIS and forest plan is scheduled for public release in January 2007. A final EIS and final forest plan is scheduled to be completed in August 2007.

In his ongoing effort to attain and maintain a viable timber industry, Murkowski said the latest milestone is finalization of the state's Bostwick timber sale on Gravina Island near Ketchikan. There, Pacific Log and Lumber mill owner Steve Seley has recently finalized a contract with the Division of Forestry for a 12 million board foot timber sale in the Bostwick Bowl. The sale was made possible by construction of a 7.2 mile road through the governor's "Roads to Resources" program. The Bostwick Bowl timber sale is located adjacent to a Tongass Forest timber sale that will be made available at a later date. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

National: Dispute over a report on federal land development By ROBERT GEHRKE - About 3 percent of oil deposits and 13 percent of natural gas pockets on 99 million acres of federal land can be developed without restrictions, according to a new federal inventory.

The oil and gas industry, which is seeking more access to public lands, embraced the assessment released Tuesday, while environmental groups accused the Bureau of Land Management of disregarding science and economics in favor of politics.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke defended the inventory.

"We're not attempting to color this data. It is a study that is scientific. It is unbiased," said Clarke. "It gives us a complete and accurate picture of what the realities are there for development." - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

An Evening of Jazz and Blues

"An Evening of Jazz and Blues" Concert
Features Young Musicians

Roy McPherson conducts the Windjammers as they rehearse at McPherson Music for the upcoming concert.
Photograph by Karen Pitcher

Ketchikan: "An Evening of Jazz and Blues" Concert Features Young Musicians - Young musicians are busy rehearsing for the fourth annual Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert which will take place on Thursday, December 7 at 7 pm in the Kayhi auditorium. "An Evening of Jazz and Blues" will feature the Soundwaves Jazz Club, the Windjammers Jazz Club and the Kayhi Jazz Ensemble. Donations for the scholarship fund will be accepted at the door.

Dale Curtis will conduct the Kayhi Jazz ensemble which will feature vocalist Tara Olmstead on two songs. Other featured soloists include saxophonists Courtney Kiffer, Pat Doherty, and Jamie Karlson, trombonist Matthew Perry, and Kim Stone and Mitch Puera on trumpet. Roy McPherson will conduct the Windjammers and the Soundwaves. The Windjammers will include a Celtic jazz piece entitled "Sword" and will also feature Matt Englebrecht playing flugelhorn on "Oblivion." The Soundwaves will feature Niles Corporon paying alto sax on "My One True Friend." Niles will also be featured along with Courtney Kiffer on alto sax and Kim Stone on Trumpet on "Rundown." Jolene Pflaum will be featured playing bass trombone on "Never My Love." All of the groups feature many talented young musicians in grades 7 - 12


The concert and scholarship fund was set up to honor the memory of Sam Pitcher, a Kayhi student who died from an inflammation of his heart in April 2003. Sam played trumpet, flugelhorn and electric guitar in all the bands that will be performing in this concert. Sam was also able to benefit from participation in the Sitka Fine Arts Camp and Interlochen Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. The scholarship fund is intended to help other young musicians in grades 7-12 attend similar summer music programs. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

National: A push to get most Americans tested for AIDS By LEE BOWMAN - As AIDS experts press for most teen and adult Americans to be tested for HIV, they also worry about where the money and talent will come from to treat potentially hundreds of thousands of new patients.

During a two-day summit, 300 of the nation's leading medical, government and community experts on HIV/AIDS were here this week in advance of World AIDS Day. There was much discussion about a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that screening for HIV become a routine part of medical care for all Americans aged 13 to 64. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

National: Frist abandons presidential bid for '08 By BARTHOLOMEW SULLIVAN - enate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart transplant surgeon and Tennessee senator, will not seek the presidency in 2008, he announced Wednesday.

"In the Bible, God tells us for everything there is a season, and for me, for now, this season of being an elected official has come to a close," he said in a statement released Wednesday. "I do not intend to run for president in 2008."

Frist was a popular figure when he came to Washington after 20 years as a transplant surgeon. Stories of how he rushed to treat a gunman who shot two Capitol police officers in 1998, later tended to victims in a South Florida car accident and regularly treated heart patients in the Sudan, raised his stature. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Alaska: Mother says she had reason to put son in box By ANDREW WELLNER - A woman who put her adopted son in a box has told an Alaska court there were rational explanations for the treatment visited upon the boy.

Confronted by an assistant district attorney this week, Sherry Kelley testified the boy was uncontrollable and potentially a threat to her other four children. So chaining the boy to a tree or confining him in an 8-foot-by-1-foot wooden box for three days was not discipline, Kelley said in court.

She took offense when assistant district attorney Rachel Gernat described the confinement as punishment.

"That was not punishment. I did that to protect myself, the other kids," Kelley testified. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Burned Alaska...

A fire scar in the making near Venetie, Alaska on June 24, 2004. Image courtesy U.S. Geological Survey and Geographic Information Network of

Alaska: Burned Alaska may cause more burned Alaska By NED ROZELL = The blackened scars that Alaska fires leave on the landscape may result in more lightning, more rain in some areas just downwind of the scars, and less rain farther away, according to two scientists.

Nicole Mölders and Gerhard Kramm, both of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, study how changes in landscapes affect the weather. After Alaska's fire season in 2004, when smoke befouled much of the air Alaskans breathed and a collective area the size of Vermont burned, the scientists wondered how all that charred country would affect local weather patterns.

The researchers used MM5, a computer model based at Penn State University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, to simulate conditions on the ground and in the air above it. They compared the surface of Alaska before and after Alaska's record fire season, in which 6.72 million acres burned. The model told them that fire scars larger than 250,000 acres-about the space taken up by the five boroughs of New York City-have an impact on weather close to the fire scar.

"There's more rain locally, in the lee side of the scar and then less precipitation farther out," Mölders said. "It's a far-reaching impact." She and Kramm also said fire scars might be responsible for flash floods in areas close to them, and fire scars might also help generate lighting strikes. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006


Political Cartoonists

click here

Mission complete
By: Larry Wright, The Detroit News
Read Today's Political
Cartoons, Click Here

Basic Rules

letter New city sales tax By Renee Schofield - Wednesday AM
letter Re: Cabals By Jim Dornblaser - Wednesday AM
letter RE: Bridges in Alaska are just as important By Rob Glenn - Wednesday AM
letterLetting down the children... By Frances C. Natkong - Wednesday AM
letter Thanks to all By Joan "Trixie" Hurliman - Tuesday AM
letter Rural Residents Soaked Again By James Anderson - Tuesday AM
letter Bridges in Alaska are just as important as elsewhere By Ed Brown - Tuesday AM
letter Bridge!! By Forrest Mackie - Tuesday AM
letterFederal Budget and Pay for Performance By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday AM
letter RE: It may not be to 'nowhere'... By Karen Pitcher - Monday PM
letter Giving During the Season of Hope. By Richard Zellmer - Monday PM
letter Re: President Bush Fails to Learn the Lessons of Vietnam By Ken Bylund - Monday PM
letter Build a cheaper bridge, roads By Robert McRoberts - Monday PM
letter "Cabals" By Al Johnson - Friday PM
letter KHRA Toy Run Dance By Dan Hart - Thursday PM
letter Thanksgiving Thanks By Valerie Cooper - Thursday PM
letter Middle of Winter - Newtown Parking still an issue! By Bobbie McCreary - Thursday PM
letter It may not be to 'nowhere', but it's still an outrageous waste. By Peter Stanton - Thursday PM
letterElections: Consolidation and Otherwise By Dave Kiffer - Thursday PM
letter Who pays for your bridge? By Rob Glenn- Thursday PM
letter No Bridge in Ketchikan By Don Hoff Jr. - Thursday PM
letter President Bush Fails to Learn the Lessons of Vietnam! By Robert Freedland - Thursday PM
letter Open Sign Policy By Dave Price, Rick Ruaro & Dennis Pope - Wednesday AM
letter Same sex Schoenbar By Anita Hales - Wednesday AM
letter Ketchikan's Bridge Needed By Forrest Mackie - Wednesday AM
letter Consolidation Ballot By Dayle Amundson - Wednesday AM
letter Consolidation By Glen Thompson - Sunday PM
letter Consolidation By Al Johnson - Sunday PM
letter Clear the Air, then Solve Pension Crisis By Sen. Bert Stedman & Sen. Lyda Green - Sunday PM
letter Sharing the land By Craig Moen - Sunday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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SitNews Archives
November 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Ann McFeatters: Has McCain lost some of his luster? - Is John McCain shopworn?

The iconoclastic Arizona senator and former Vietnam prisoner of war, who has been Conventional Wisdom's choice to snag the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, is losing clout in some national polls.

After his dynamic run for president in 2000, when he won the hearts of journalists for his sense of humor and tendency to say whatever came into his head on his freewheeling campaign bus tours, McCain seemingly has lost some of his luster.

The respected Quinnipiac University's so-called "thermometer reading" taken after the November elections found that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is ahead of McCain in the polling. Asked to say how they "feel" about 20 national leaders, 1,623 registered voters nationwide said they rated Giuliani, a Republican, at 64.2 percent on a scale of 10 to 100. McCain was third at 57.7, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat, was second at 58.8. Democratic New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came in at 49, ninth on the list, while Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat, came in dead last at 39.6.

Clearly, such early polls are just about meaningless, except as chewing gum for the brain. But this indicates that McCain has a lot of work to do. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Michael Reagan: Democrat Iraq Weakness is Bush's Strength - While the media dither over whether the sectarian violence in Iraq is a civil war or just a question of religious fanatics slaughtering each other, President Bush faces dealing with a reluctant Iraqi prime minister who seems utterly incapable of doing his job in the midst of the chaos that surrounds him.

While many in the defeatist media seem to be enjoying what they see as the president's dilemma in deciding how to force Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to quash the violence in Baghdad and surrounding areas, they seem unaware that the president can deal with Maliki from a position of real strength, thanks to the Democrats.

Instead of playing the hard-nosed U.S. commander-in-chief and publicly humiliating the chief of state of a sovereign nation by ordering him to do what he must do to end the violence -- or else -- the president needs only to point out the inevitable consequences if he doesn't act decisively. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Civil war or not, it's still war - Is the conflict in Iraq a civil war? And: Does it matter?

The answers: Yes and no. And: Yes and no.

The Los Angeles Times began calling it that last month. The New York Times says it will do so "sparingly." The Washington Post is agnostic. Other news organizations use the term as they see fit, although not, as a matter of policy, consistently.

NBC announced with some fanfare this week that it would use "civil war" consistently. The decision looked to most old enough to remember that the network was bucking for a "Cronkite moment," as when broadcaster Walter Cronkite broke with President Lyndon Johnson on the Vietnam War. However, "Today" hardly has the gravitas and influence of the venerated anchor and the old CBS News. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Dick Morris: The Giant, Helpless, Pitiful Democrats - For all of the dire warnings and pre-election commotion about the impact of a Democratic majority in Congress, the fact is that - now that it is upon us - it can do little or nothing but harass the administration.

There is no real danger of any legislative action emerging from this Congress. Yes, the president has a veto the Democrats cannot override, but nothing will ever make it as far as the desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are just spinning their wheels.

In the Senate, there is no such thing as a majority. Ever since the elder Bush's administration, the filibuster has become routine. No longer reserved for civil-rights issues or for egregious legislation, it now is used to counter even motions for recess and adjournment. Members of the Senate are no longer subjected to the indignity of standing on their feet and reading a telephone book. Rather, the gentlemen's filibuster applies. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

Dan K. Thomasson: Era of civility off to rude start - In the spirit of cooperation pledged by both sides to tackle Iraq and other major problems, the newly elected senator from Virginia already has "dissed" the president of the United States in the White House and made it clear he will be his own man no matter what his Democratic colleagues want.

That's about the only way to interpret James Webb's reported disrespectful remarks to President Bush at a White House reception and his boorish behavior leading up to their brief encounter. The former Marine and Navy secretary made it abundantly clear that he wanted no part of having his picture taken with the president although that is the protocol at these affairs and he punctuated that by avoiding the chief executive until Bush caught up with him and asked about his son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

According to press reports, Webb answered the president's polite inquiry by stating that the U.S. has to get out of Iraq. Bush then said that he wasn't asking about that but about the welfare of his son. It was then he was told "that's between me and my boy." Talk about no class. Even cowboy George Allen had more couth than that. Well, so much for the spirit of civility subscribed to by Webb's new colleagues. - More...
Thursday PM - November 30, 2006

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