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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 03, 2010

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

Bar Harbor
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON


Alaska: Write-ins lead Alaska Senate race; Alaska write-in count starts Nov. 10 By BECKY BOHRER (AP) - Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski began a drawn-out battle Wednesday for every ballot with her handwritten name on it in her bid to come back from a primary defeat that forced Alaskans to choose between Sarah Palin's tea party and the state's GOP establishment.

Write-ins lead Alaska Senate race...

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska celebrates early election returns in Anchorage, Alaska, Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010. With Murkowski are from left, sons Matt and Nick Murkowski and longtime friend Hope Neslon.
(AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

Meanwhile, the overseer of Alaska's elections told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the counting of write-in ballots will begin Nov. 10, with the hope of having a clear winner by late next week.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, write-in votes represented 41 percent of the vote. GOP nominee Joe Miller had 34 percent; Democrat Scott McAdams, who all but conceded Tuesday night, had 24 percent.

While Murkowski celebrated the fact she was still in the race, it remained to be seen whether the write-in votes would keep her in office.

She was one of 160 candidates following conservative calls urging Alaskans to sign up to disrupt her campaign. Though she focused heavily on educating voters on how to cast a vote for her properly, it's not clear how many did so, filling in the ballot oval and writing "Murkowski" or "Lisa Murkowski." And while election officials plan to be lenient in deciphering voter intent in determining whether a ballot for Murkowski counts, they've provided no set standard for what would be allowable.

"At this point, without a single write-in ballot counted, Lisa Murkowski has no claim on a victory," Miller said in a statement on his website Wednesday. Expressing confidence he'd win, he added: "this campaign is not over!" - More...
Wednesday - November 03, 2010

Alaska Science: Archaeologist creates a field guide to coffee cans By NED ROZELL - The year is 1905. You are a prospector in Alaska relaxing in your cabin after a chilly day of working the tailings pile. Craving a cup of joe, you pull a tin of coffee off the shelf. Though you can’t imagine it, that distinctive red can, the one you will later use for your precious supply of nails, will long outlive you. And it will give an archaeologist a good idea of when you made your Alaska home.

Archaeologist creates a field guide to coffee cans

Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Steve Lanford with a Hills Bros. coffee can.
BLM photo by Craig McCaa

The coffee was Hills Bros. The can was vacuum-sealed. For more than a decade, no other coffee company mastered this technique that was first used with butter. This made Hills Bros. of San Francisco the primary choice of early Gold Rush cabin dwellers. The pungent beverage was so popular in Alaska it inspired a local archaeologist to produce a field guide, the “Hills Bros. Coffee Can Chronology.”

Steve Lanford of the Bureau of Land Management in Fairbanks finds Hills Bros. cans valuable because he finds the sturdy cans at old cabin sites all over interior Alaska. Lanford knows that designers at the company changed the label often enough that the cans are a diagnostic tool helpful when estimating when someone lived at a site.

“They didn’t leave their diary on the table,” Lanford said of the gold and adventure seekers who built cabins all over Alaska. “But these coffee cans show up often enough in their dumps to give us good information.”

Lanford has rooted through the trash heaps of old cabin sites and older prehistoric sites throughout the Interior for the past dozen years. He teamed with BLM’s Robin Mills to produce the field guide to Hills Bros. cans. His goal was to create a tool for archaeologists.

“This lets us walk away from the site and not disturb it, and it allows us not to take up space in a museum with cans,” Lanford said.

Old trash is sometimes of great value to archaeologists, Lanford said. - More...
Wednesday - November 03, 2010


Alaska: Federal Experts to Help with Anchorage Homelessness - With more than 20 deaths on the streets of Anchorage in or around the homeless community over the past several months, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) has secured the assistance of the federal agency which deals with homelessness. At the senator’s request, two of the agency’s top officials plan to travel to Anchorage next month to help local leaders address the tragic problem.

“I am pleased to learn some of the country’s leading experts on homelessness are coming to Anchorage to try to help with the growing crisis around homelessness and death in public places,” Begich said. “Perhaps with local, state and federal officials working together, a clear plan of action can move forward to safeguard this population.”

Concerned by the extraordinary number of Alaskans dying on the streets, Begich in September wrote a letter to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) seeking assistance. In a response earlier this month, the agency called Anchorage’s homeless situation “alarming” and said USICH Deputy Director Jennifer Ho and Regional Homelessness Coordinator for Region 10, Paul Carlson, will travel to Anchorage Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 to meet with local officials. - More...
Monday - November 01, 2010

National: Worries arise about possible government monitoring of social media By CED KURTZ - Under new legislation being devised by the Obama administration, the government would be able to listen in on all your Internet communications -- Twitter, Facebook, Skype and others.

The administration plans to propose to Congress legislation that would require all companies with products allowing Internet communication to build in a back door to their encryption. That way the government could quickly monitor conversations.

This would, for the first time, bring peer-to-peer communications services such as Facebook and Skype under the same government surveillance requirements imposed on telecoms by the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act.

Court authorization would still be required.

All of this is, of course, in the name of fighting crime and preventing terrorism, in a time when technology is advancing so quickly that the government is falling behind in its ability to crack communications of terrorists and criminals. - More...
Monday - November 01, 2010




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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letter Halloween Events By Rhonda Ball - I just wanted to take the time to write a letter to thank everyone involved in any or all of the fun events that I attended this past weekend with my family.  - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letter Pro OTTAR MOBLEY By Gerry Knasiak - I am delighted about his ability to articulate his views and ideas so clearly. Who, you might ask? I’m writing about and voting for Ottar Mobley because although his campaign has been focused on energy, economics and education his interests and certainly his knowledge go well beyond them. All this became apparent when I had the good fortune meeting him on his first visit to Ketchikan after declaring himself a candidate for the seat now occupied by Kyle Johansen who had run unopposed in ‘06 and ‘08. - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letterA liberal for Murkowski By Ani Drozdowska - Five reasons why I, a bleeding heart liberal, will vote for a Lisa Murkowski, a Republican. - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letter Pro Joe Miller By Merrill Stulken - The Alaskan voters had made a clear decision during the primary race who they wanted to represent them in DC. I voted for Joe Miller this time because of Lisa's voting record which consistantly opposed what I felt was the right choices for Alaska. (I don't agree with an entitlement society mentality just look at Europe and you see where that will lead us). - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letter Uncivilized Behavior By Rob Glenn - Regarding Robert Rice's letter, seriously, are there any politicians who "can hold up as an example to our children; a good, moral, human being?" - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letter Uncivilized behavior By Robert K Rice - Joe Miller “I Lied", his thugs handcuffing and detaining private citizens on public property. Rand Paul’s thugs manhandling and then stomping on a young woman’s head because her sign is offensive. Despite this uncivilized behavior, these whacko’s are ahead in the polls. To me it is frightening that so many Americans will accept this kind of behavior from people who are to represent them in the US Senate. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letterPro McAdams By Dave Lieben - This year's Senate race is certainly an interesting one. Recent polls show the three candidates about even, with the number of undecided voters increasing instead of decreasing. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Redistribute the wealth By Patti Fay Hickox - I'm Irish, it's cultural. I agree with Bob McLaughin II. The changes that (THE PEOPLE) made in the presidential election 2 years ago are the first changes to help the poor and middle class in many years. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Cutting Public Safety By Darlene Guzman - Every year Public Safety is on the chopping block for positions. I understand the hard times this community is going through but without police officers and firefighters it could be harder times for the citizens who need them. Public Safety is partially funded by sales tax in the amount of $3 million dollars a year split between police and fire. Excluding the proposed fire station, that is nearly half of the fire department's budget. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Write-In Candidates By Shannon Nelson - America is a wonderful place to live. We have the privilage and right to vote and we have the privilage and right to run as an elected runner or as a 'write in'. That is the American way. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letterBallot Measure 1: Increase Number of Legislators and Districts; Senate Joint Resolution 21 By Carolyn V Brown - The League of Women Voters of Alaska encourages voters to weigh the facts of Ballot Measure 1. At statehood, 1959, the Alaska Constitution mandated 20 Senators and 40 Representatives to serve in the Alaska Legislature to serve a population at that time of 225,000. The current population of Alaska is 691,000 (in 2008 - 2009) and the number of members in the Alaska Legislature has remained the same, as the population tripled.  In 1959, each Representative served 5625 Alaskans; however, in 2010, each Representative is asked to represent 17,275 Alaskans. If Ballot Measure 1 is not approved by the voters, the number of voters in each legislative district could increase to approximately 18,000. - More...
Thursday AM - October 28, 2010

letterPro Joe Miller By Glen Thompson - In this year’s US Senate race, Alaska is fortunate to have three fine citizens to choose from.  They each bring experience, skill, and aptitude to the table.  They are also our friends and neighbors.  We should bear this in mind when our political discourse tends to devolve into personal attacks.  During my recent six years in elected office, it was rare to find an elected official who put themselves ahead of their constituents.  We generally agreed on our desire for success, we just disagreed on how to go about it.  Personal attacks merely serve to deflect from the issues and there are not many saints walking amongst us. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010 

letter Lisa Murkowski By Ken Arriola - I truly find it hard to believe that Lisa Murkowski's two term tenure in the Senate has earned her the misfortune of being ousted for an all but unknown candidate. - More...
Wednesday - October 27, 2010

letter MAN UP By David G. Hanger - By concise do you ( Laura Plenert) mean a sound byte that is not visible? Or are you concerned with something that is not quite precise enough for your taste? The devil is in the details, so I am told. It is simple fact, for example, that the leader of a goon squad is also a goon. That is an unfortunate fact in this instance, to be sure, because the man is running for U.S. Senator, but the leader of a goon squad is also a goon. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letter What Will Alaskans Remember about November 2nd, 2010? by Ken Bylund - Too many of today's Politicians run for office to initiate a career with the primary objective of keeping that coveted position for life... their product is generally legalized bribery and generating a confused issuance of useless drama. Question - do they represent the people? Have our veterans, past and present, risked their lives and died for this travesty? Did we the people ask for this welfare state, or was it just a scheme to insert a Burmese Monkey Trap into our culture? If we don't learn to let go of the bribe... we will be sharing that cook-pot with the frog. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterRE: Great Job, Seniors By Judith Green - WOW how nice - life in Ketchikan needs to be at the top of the list of positives for us all. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterKetchikan Packing Company By Bruce Anderson - Would anyone have any info on the Ketchikan Packing Company. My grandfather ran it and had an old codfishing schooner- the Fanny Dutard, that he towed behind the Narada between Seattle and Ketchikan with empty cans for the cannery. He also built and had floating salmon traps. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterJoe Miller, the RIGHT Choice By Sandy Powers - Sometimes I almost wish I were a Democrat. It would be easier to stomach the political articles appearing right and left - but mostly left - in Alaska's media. Newspapers wield an undue amount of influence on political outcomes. And so, misleading headlines such as AP Becky Bohrer's recent "Missteps Cost Miller" are disturbing in their bias. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letter Great job, seniors! By Michael Cron - I would like to take a moment to commend the senior class at Ketchikan High School. This last Thursday, the high school held a pep assembly that included the traditional "senior walk-in," where the seniors enter the gym to cheers and walk around the basketball court a few times. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letter Privacy outweighed by public's significant interest By A. M. Johnson - The "Retired" judge, appointed by Frank Murkowski, rules on a weekend that: "I hold that although Mr. Miller has a legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents, Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate," the judge said. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterPro Joe Miller By Richard Easbey - Amen, Debbie Nance. It's hard to say who should be more ashamed of themselves: Lisa Murkowski for her sleazy attempt to hijack the election, which she lost to Joe Miller fair and square ... or Alaskans who apparently prefer to be welfare queens and stay on the government teat rather than to make Alaska self-sustaining and prosperous. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterRE: The News Media and Transparency By Tom Barrett - Regarding Ken Bylund's letter: well put, and in very few words. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterPro Scott McAdams By Bob  McLaughlin,II - If you were one of the voters who turned out in large numbers on Stedman Street for the caucus (2008), to put an end to the Bush/Cheany administration, and turned out to vote in November 08 for President Obama, then you should know what your vote did and how it affects you every day.- More...
Saturday AM - October 23, 2010

letter"Old school" tax and spend By Doug Gosnell - So, Lisa wants to "make history" as a write-in candidate? Of all the republicans now sitting in congress, Lisa has one of the worst conservative voting records. Of 319 house and senate republicans in congress, only 11 had a worse conservative voting record than Lisa. - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

letterRE: Miller Time By Laura Plenert - Mr. Hanger, why can you never be concise in your comments?? And why are you always calling names and blaming others for everything?? Your points might be taken seriously if you weren't always accusing and could keep it to a couple of paragraphs. - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

letter Pro Joe Miller By Debbie Nance - Lisa Murkowski, I have a question. The voters made their choice known and Joe Miller won, yet here you are insisting that you know better. How many other times have you decided you knew better than those you represent??? - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

letter Write-in Lisa Murkowski By Lyle Simpson - I am a lifetime Alaskan (over 70 years) and I have never seen a campaign as dishonest as the one launched by Joe Miller. His attacks on Lisa Murkowski misrepresented her stand on issues and then he had the audacity to lie about her financial disclosure claiming that she has investments that actually do not exist. Yet, he has not bothered to file his own disclosure statement which was due 6 months ago. what is Joe hiding? He presents himself as a fiscal conservative yet he used the very system that he rails against when he collected farm subsidies for several years. Joe denied taking subsidies but was forced to admit to them when the facts became known. Where is the transparency he promises? How can Alaskans trust Joe when he has lied so much throughout his campaign. - More...
Thursday AM - October 21, 2010

letterWrite-in Lisa Murkowski By Olga Simpson - Alaskans need to be united against outside interest groups who are trying to buy our U.S. Senate seat. Thousands of dollars from Californians, Nevadans, Pennsylvanians and many other outsiders are being poured into Joe Miller's campaign for Alaska's Senate seat. Previous involvement from outside groups have prevented us from utilizing our State's natural resources. Once again these OUTSIDERS want to involve themselves in Alaska's business by removing our influential Senator Lisa Murkowski. As a native born Alaskan, she knows ALL of Alaska well. Every vote she has cast during her tenure has been in Alaska's best interest. - More...
Thursday AM - October 21, 2010

letterKGBSD vs local nonprofits By Agnes Moran The Ketchikan Gateway School District (KGBSD) has secure sources of funding from the local, state and federal governments. The KGBSD needs to rein in their spending. They need to put off implementing expensive programs such as providing Apple laptops to every high school student until the local economy improves. KGBSD should not be competing with local nonprofits for local charitable resources. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterThe Challenge of Fixing Our Economy By Mary Lynne Dahl - As I think about my vote in the upcoming election, I cannot help but make a few comments. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am not impressed with or interested in blasting any candidate. I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, for what it's worth. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterWrite-in LISA MURKOWSKI By Vicki Harsha - It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote my first letter to Sit News asking for answers from either Joe Miller or his supporters. I am still unable to get a response to my questions from his campaign. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter What’s Right For Alaska? By Connie Emmert - Remember how “Hope and Change”  turned out to be something other than what Obama’s voters bargained for?  I think about that every time I hear Lisa say she’s going to do “what’s right for Alaska”.  What does that mean?  It’s an ambiguous phrase. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter Write-in LISA MURKOWSKI By Jonna Cragun - This is my choice. because it's best for Alaska.. and I'm a democrat. The other candidates are too green to get what Alaska needs at the DC level. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterWHO’S REALLY LYING? By Andy Rauwolf - Lisa Murkowski has accused Joe Miller of lying about her record and her vote on health care, repeatedly stating that Joe said she voted for the bill.   I have searched the Web, including Senator Murkowski’s website, and nowhere can I find a video clip or recording of Joe Miller stating she voted for Obamacare.  What Joe has said is taken directly from Lisa’s statements from videos, namely:  “It’s not so much that the government run plan is in and of itself a bad thing … what we have to have is a government run plan that actually works.” This and other recorded statements she has made leave little doubt that Lisa Murkowski is supportive of some form of government run health care which will ultimately lead to the end of private sector health insurance. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter MILLER TIME By David G. Hanger - That short step to jackboots, brownshirts, and storm troopers has now been taken by this nut job, Joe Miller. I think now you can clearly see that what I said then is not in any sense an exaggeration of current circumstance. He has his own hired goons and thugs who now handcuff and kidnap anyone who asks questions of this man who wants to be our Senator, but refuses to answer any questions whatsoever about his past. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter Standing water on the roadway By Laurie Price - With monsoon rains of late I have notice more standing water on the highway. It could be an easy fix if the state would muck out the grass and dirt build up from under the guard rails allowing for proper drainage. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter 'Personal Responsibility' By Virginia E. Atkinson - Bullying in this country is so out of control thanks to too much negative news coverage and all the copy-cats coming out of the woodworks 'cause they have that strong desire for a few minutes of fame and shame. Bullies ought to be treated like any other criminals 'cause it involves individuals harming others around them. - More...
Wednesday PM- October 20, 2010

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