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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 05, 2008

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

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Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS



Alaska: Palin faces questions, different landscape back home in Alaska By TOM KIZZIA - Can Sarah Palin go home again?

In the 68 days since Alaska's governor began her run for vice president, things have changed on the home front. Some of her former allies are fuming, and former enemies are lying in wait. Public perceptions of the governor have also changed. Has the governor changed as well?

Questions about Palin's future began to circulate at Alaska's Election Central on Tuesday night almost as soon as the national election results came in.

Will she be the old Palin, a populist who worked with Democrats to achieve victories in the state legislature, or the sharp partisan from the national campaign?

At an Alaska Obama gathering Tuesday night, some celebrants said they were disappointed by the new Palin they saw in the campaign.

"All the alliances she used to get things done have been shattered," said Kate Troll, executive director of the Alaska Conservation Alliance. "She comes back to unknown territory." - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

National: Change, shmange: Face of new Congress much like the old one By LEE BOWMAN - For all the change supposedly blowing into Washington in this election, the face of the new Congress, aside from having around two-dozen more Democrats, won't change all that much.

To be sure, there will be new people around the U.S. Capitol -- about 60, in the House and at least nine in the Senate.

And based on victories declared for all but a dozen or so contests around the nation, Democrats will outnumber Republicans by 80-some votes in the House, the biggest majority since 1992, while holding a solid majority of at least 56 in the Senate.

But beyond the partisan breakdown, come January the demographics of the 111th Congress won't be all that much different than those of the 110th. After all, 90 percent of lawmakers who ran for another term won.

At this point, it does not appear that any of a handful of black challengers was elected to Congress on Tuesday even as the nation was electing the first black president. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

Alaska Science: See you in Saskatchewan, said the swan By NED ROZELL - A couple of weeks ago, at a time I assumed most migrating birds were long gone, a flock of swans flew overhead in a formation that resembled a check-mark headed out of Alaska. As the birds silently wafted out of sight, I wondered where they might be headed.

See you in Saskatchewan, said the swan

Cygnets, the chicks of a tundra swan, born in western Alaska in summer 2008.
Photo by Craig Ely.

Not long after that, a biologist emailed me to show the results of his summer work-the migration paths of about 50 tundra swans he and his coworkers had fitted with satellite transmitters. Looking at their progress now on Google Earth, I can see that a swan took off from the pothole lake country southeast of Selawik in early October, flew over my vantage point in Fairbanks on October 6th, took a hard right through North Pole and continued down a path roughly above the Alaska Highway. Around Calgary, the bird made a run east to a huge reservoir in Saskatchewan farm country. From there, the bird turned around and made its way to where it now stands, or maybe floats, in early November: a circle-pivot irrigated field near Dairy, Oregon.

Though the bird with the transmitter flew over one day before I noticed the group of swans, it's a good bet it was coming from the same place. Craig Ely, a waterfowl biologist with the U.S.G.S. Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, said that tundra swans are gregarious enough that birds spending summer in the same place often follow similar flight paths when they migrate in and out. This fall and perhaps into fall 2009, Ely and his colleagues are following 48 tundra swans with precision he never dreamed of when he started studying swans 20 years ago.- More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

Alaska: UA Regents endorse budget investing in K-12, energy & workforce programs - The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a budget when it met last week that places K-12 partnerships and outreach, engineering, energy, health, climate change and workforce programs as top priorities.

The $345 million request for state investment in the university's 16-campus system now goes to the governor for consideration. The governor crafts the state budget in December and presents it to the Legislature in January.

The university generates its own money from tuition, research grants and other income for a total FY10 budget of $849.6 million. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008


Basic Rules

letter GOD IS NOT A REPUBLICAN By David G. Hanger - I realize it probably disturbs quite a number of folks out there, but God is not a Republican. In point of fact if God is the wrathful, fear-mongering, obstinate old gruel some of you think He is, you Republicans in many instances have some serious trouble on your hands. So I've been working on this awhile, you see, and I have discovered a salient reality, to wit, God does not care one iota about any of this political nonsense; He simply does not have time, I assure you; except in this one particular sense: If in a political contest you assert that God is on your side, not the other guy's side, you are definitely going straight to hell. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

letter Ketchikan used as a stepping stone By Ron Redman Sr. - With our governor's view of our town and the needs of our area, as well as the truthfulness of her implied actions after she said "thanks, but no thanks on the bridge to nowhere"; was the money returned to the federal government, or was it used for other avenues of access from the airport to our city of Nowhere, or was the money taken to Somewhere North for projects closer to her home? - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

letterStevens set up By Forrest Mackie - The obvious is that Stevens was set up by the wolves who want his job, and why can't some folks see it!! He can walk away and be proud of what he has done but what is sad is how the media is running around like a bunch of nuts allowing the news media to influence their opinion. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

letterSen. Stevens By Jeanne Sande - I agree with Dan Ortiz's letter about Senator Stevens. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

letter The Stevens Vote By Kris Hansen - Did Mr. Ortiz ever receive special favors while a teacher at Kayhi??? Don't think that free Kayhi pool time or free weight room time exempts you from the same statutes that your fearless senator has been receiving. A take is a take. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008

letter Electoral count must go By Mike Isaac - Back in 1988 the Western US only had 3 so called BLUE STATES, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. The West was so called Reagan country or RED STATES for the most part. The 2008 map on real clear politics shows a west that is starting to look like the Northeast with only Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming still solid red states that total only 15 electoral votes. States like Florida, Georgia, N Carolina and Missori are also turning blue and if this trend continues and we keep the electoral count system of "winner take all" we will no longer need the general election. As it is now they only have to try to win a few swing states and not all 50. - More...
Wednesday - November 05, 2008



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letter The Stevens Vote By Dan Ortiz - No one doubts the years of service Senator Stevens has given to Alaska. He has played a significant role in accomplishing many good things for the people of Alaska and the country as a whole. - More...
Friday AM - October 31, 2008

letter Gas prices & school lunches By Rebecca Clark - Cathy Geer, you are absolutely right in my opinion; send a letter to the Governor over our blatant over priced gas in this town! My daughter was in Anchorage last week and saw the price of gas at $3.43 a gallon in many places; this before the "big" drop we saw the other day (here, it was $4.17 still). This mixing the gas for an average is a bunch of hokie! Mr. Wingrin asked the question we ALL our thinking (and some are asking): When the price of oil increases (elsewhere or by the barrel) we see an immediate increase in Ketchikan. Shouldn't it take that MONTH to see an increase??!!! - More...
Friday AM - October 31, 2008

letter Tongass School By Marina Hinkle - While I appreciate the concerns expressed by Agnes Moran about the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences, perhaps a different approach to the problem should be considered. I am a parent of two wonderful young boys who attend this school. I am witness to the tireless efforts of the teachers, support staff and the principle. They are a dedicated group of professionals who strive to give our children an integrated set of life skills and academic knowledge. - More...
Friday AM - October 31, 2008

letter Tongass School of Arts and Science By Aleisha Greenfield - I have a child who atteneds the Tongass Preschool that is located in the Tongass School of Arts and Science. This is his second year there, and I fully intend on keeping him at TSAS for all years to come. As I have walked through TSAS over that past two years, I have seen several things that have helped me to make my decision to keep him there. - More...
Friday AM - October 31, 2008

letterFixing 8(a) Abuses By Albert K. White - There was an editorial in the Opinion section of the Ketchikan Daily News recently on Fixing 8(a) Abuses. This article was republished from the Anchorage Daily News on 0ctober 7, 2008. The republished article frustrated me because it goes back to spreading only one side of the information building up opinions that are biased to the issues reported. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letterHarley Riders By Brian Stewart - Like Wow! The Ketchikan Harley Riders Association brought Christmas to over 700 children last year and has been doing it for over 19 years. And now, to the best of my knowledge, our first congrats from the Mayor! - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letterNon Partisan Crack Pipes By Ken Lewis - Liar, Liar Fiber Optics on Fire... If anything is abundantly clear to me about this 2008 Presidential Campaign, it is this; all journalist and talking heads should have to live up to the same standards of the Major League Baseball Players they love to burn at the stake! Yes that is right, Drug Test Them All. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letter Why Gas is Costing Alaskans By Jeff Whitesides - I have heard complaints several times lately about the expensive gas prices here in K-town. Well this is my theory on the matter; they are stealing our dividends. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letterGas prices By Todd Phillips - Sorry about the confusion. It takes 4 weeks for the gas to get here by barge, of course more than one barge comes, maybe a week later or so. My point was that it is mixed also with preexisting gas and the price is adjusted. You may have noticed that the prices have come down 3 times in the past week. It was the same going up as well, at one point we had cheaper gas than Seattle. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letter Gas Prices By David Korkowski - I read with interest all the controversy on the cost of gas in Ketchikan. I am currently visiting in Colorado. When I arrived gasoline was $3.42 a gallon, as I looked today the price had dropped to $2.69 a gallon, a $0.73 decrease. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letter It's time for everyone to speak up By Frances C. Natkong - I would like parents, relatives and friends of the 2/3rd grade class in Hydaburg City School District to know what has been going on at the school in Hydaburg. The 2/3 class has been without a teacher since school started in September, their teacher is on maternity leave until the end of November. I went to the school board meeting when they discussed whether or not to hire a substitute teacher, they voted not to on the CEO's recommendation. I don't think they have the children of Hydaburg's best interests in mind when they choose to make decisions like this. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letter TSAS-Still too high a price By Agnes Moran - I still have two major issues with Tongass School that have not been addressed by any of the responses to my original posting (What Price Mediocrity?). My first is that Tongass School does not educate all of its students equally and the second is that it has never lived up to the commitments it made to this community in the charter that it used to justify its existence. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letterTongass School of Arts and Sciences By Bethany Phippen - My family and I moved to Ketchikan in February from Oregon. My son who was in kindergarten at the time absolutely hated school and would do nothing to learn. We of course moved up here for my husband's job, and they got in contact with the Chamber for us who sent us everything we needed to know about Ketchikan. Tongass School of Arts and Sciences was the first school that I called in trying to make sure my son had a school to go to as soon as we arrived. They were very helpful in our decision making and just so happened to have an opening in the kindergarten. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 29, 2008

letter Tongass School of Arts & Sciences - A Good Choice By Wendy Gierard - With two students now graduated from the Tongass School, I can say that the educational proof is in the pudding. I have a child who just started middle school and is excelling this year, and I have a high school student who continues to excel in school, even given that she spent 3/4 of her middle school years bounced around the district. My children are critical thinkers. They are problem solvers. They learned these skills through the efforts of the teachers and staff at the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterOpen Letter: Public Library Issues By Robert Warner - Recently I learned that the Assembly is planning a work session to discuss issues related to building a new public library. There has been much public criticism about the selection of the old Main School site for this library. The site is isolated and difficult to reach, especially during long winter months with rain, ice and snow. Perhaps you would consider discussing some of the following questions at your meeting? - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterSpending Head Tax Money By Jim Shoemaker - Many of us are on the same page as Ms. Price. The Ketchikan State Parks Advisory Board is in the process of submitting an application for a bus shelter at Totem Bight. Currently this is the terminus point of the north end bus run. Current rider ship figures support participation in the request for this funding. Our hope as this goes through the funding process you and and the many like you weight in with support. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letter Harley Riders By Dave Kiffer - Hmmm! First Judge Miller wins a brand new Harley-Davidson. Now, Captain Ludwig of the Troopers wins one. If I was suspicious, I'd think that the Harley Riders are trying to curry favor with local law enforcement. I guess I better become the District Attorney if I ever want to win that "Harley of my dreams!" - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterThe View From 'Nowhere' By Janet Cadero - My sister, who lives in Ketchikan, just emailed me a link to David Kiffer's opinion piece in Newsweek. You go, David. Great piece. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterThe View From 'Nowhere' By Rita Conley - Thank you Dave Kiffer for your Newsweek online opinion about "The Bridge to Nowhere." - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letter Good Neighbors By Char White - On my way to the Monthly Grind on 18 October, I found out first hand another reason why I love this town, we have good neighbors here. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterGas Prices By Jim Wingren - Mr. Phillips, this is the same excuse that the Oil Supply Companies in Ketchikan use every time this happens. My point of contention in this excuse is that they didn't use the same process when gas prices were rising earlier this year. We saw the retail prices change anywhere from every three days to every 5 days during the rise of gas prices. Now if you use their same reasoning for pricing we should have seen prices rise only every six weeks, not every three to five days as was the case. The Oil companies at that time used the reasoning that they had to raise prices as it was going to cost them that much more to replace the fuel sold. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterGas Prices By Melissa Kwasney - First of all I would like to thank Mr. Phillips for responding to all the price gouging letters to the editor. It takes a lot of courage to respond to 90% of the population. However I find flaws in his response, I have noted the gas pricing goes up 2-3 times a week, are these jet shuttled barges coming up from the south? I have also noted that in the 4 months since the prices started to come down, the prices finally came down .15 last week, that is not a 4-5 week window frame. In a town not far from us in Montana, they are now at 2.39, that is almost $2.00 cheaper than here. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letter RE: Gas Prices By Cathy Geer - Give me a break! There is not a "price gouging" law in Alaska. But there should be. Only our Governor can demand the gas prices go down and stop this gouging. - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letter Gas Prices By Bonnie Sullivan - Okay Mr. Phillips, then why do the prices hike immediately following a barrel price increase, rather than waiting for the "4 to 5 weeks" after purchasing it at a higher price? - More...
Saturday PM - October 25, 2008

letterGas Prices By Jerilyn Lester - Hey everyone, did you all notice that the price actually went down? Well it was better. I looked the day after I filled up at 4.33 and the Chevron station had 4.17 and Carrs had 4.37. I was hoping that the Carrs price was a mistake and it was, because later in the day it went to 4.17. Still it has to feel really good to be paying 1.50 more than our neighbors in Seattle and I won't accept that it is the shipping. - More...
Saturday - October 25, 2008

letter Problem with way money spent By Robert McRoberts - I really have a problem with the way you have decided to spend money that was meant to make life better for the people who put up with the boat loads of tourist. For one, when you guys give money to the church it kind of goes against the laws of separation of church and state. - More...
Saturday - October 25, 2008

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