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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 08, 2005

Front Page Photo by Jason

Over $20,000 raised for the Sara Schroeder Fund
From left to right: Michele Faust, Kim Kirby, Cathryn Schroeder, Jason Harris. 
Guardian Flight presented the membership certificate for Critical Care, Inc to Kim Kirby  and Sara Schroeder.  (Faust and Harris are staff of Guardian Flight.)  
Front Page Photo by Jason Cerovac

Ketchikan: Over $20,000 raised for the Sara Schroeder Fund by MARIE L. MONYAK - If there are eight million stories in the naked city, then surely there were eight stories in Ketchikan on Tuesday night, December 6th, the night of the Sara Schroeder Fund Raiser at the Moose Lodge. There was standing room only at the Moose Lodge the night of the fundraiser as people showed up to show their support for Schroeder, the young 19 year old woman who has touched so many lives in Ketchikan.

The fundraiser organized and coordinated by Wendy Walden and Angela Salazar, to benefit Schroeder, was an outstanding success.  Friends of Schroeder, and many of her coworkers from Taquan Air, volunteered their time and effort to ensure a lucrative event.  There were many volunteers that refused to give their names, preferring to remain anonymous, determined to keep the focus on Schroeder. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005
Susan Butcher Undergoes Treatment....

Alaska: Musher Susan Butcher Undergoes Treatment For Leukemia; Bone Marrow Donor Being Sought - Susan Butcher, four-time champion of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and once the most dominant athlete in her sport, has been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a malignant disease of the blood and bone marrow, and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Butcher's husband, David Monson, said she was diagnosed late last week and began treatment December 6. Butcher's protocol calls for several months chemotherapy. Then once the leukemia is in remission, she probably will undergo a bone marrow transplant if a suitable donor can be found.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the National Cancer Institute report that about 12,000 people are diagnosed with AML every year. About 50 cases have been reported in Alaska.

 "We'll be in Seattle for at least six months," he said, "and my job is to take care of Susan. Susan's job is to not worry and focus on her healing. But we've been overwhelmed that people want to help any way they can."

The biggest need right now, he said, is to find a donor whose bone marrow is compatible with Butcher's. The hospital is recruiting donors from her immediate family including Monson and the couple's two daughters, but statistically it's unlikely any of them will provide a match, he said. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

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National: Not paying phone tax becomes war protest By DAVID LAZARUS - Thousands of people are protesting the war in Iraq by refusing to pay federal phone taxes - and in many cases, phone companies are helping them do it.

So-called tax resisters risk the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service. Yet that hasn't stopped them from withholding payment of the monthly federal excise tax on their phone bills, proceeds from which are used in part to fund U.S. military adventures abroad.

Ruth Benn, who runs the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee in New York, said it's impossible to know for sure how many people are participating in the grass-roots movement.

But she said communications received by her organization and discussions with other protest coordinators suggest that at least 10,000 people nationwide are withholding federal excise tax payments because of the war.

"This is civil disobedience, and you can be at risk," the 53-year-old Benn said. "But the government listens when it involves money. This is a good way to get their attention."

As it turns out, most phone companies aren't shedding any tears over missed federal excise tax payments. It's not that they sympathize with protesters' feelings about the war. They just don't like the tax.

"We think it's antiquated and has no place in a modern economy," said Joe Farren, a spokesman for telecom industry group CTIA (formerly the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, but now just an acronym).

"We think this tax is outrageous and shouldn't be assessed," he said.

The federal excise tax on phone usage dates back to 1898. It was adopted under the War Revenue Act as a temporary levy to help fund the Spanish-American War. The war ended in October of that year. The tax was repealed in 1902 but didn't stay gone for long.

It was reintroduced during World War I and was subsequently used to fund the nation's military activities during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The tax was given permanent status in 1990 and now stands at 3 percent of a consumer's monthly phone bill. It raises about $6 billion a year for general federal expenditures, including military spending. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

National: Yes, we have no banana? Maybe, if killer fungus spreads By MARK ROTH - Is the banana about to go the way of the dodo?

Hardly. After all, more than 1,000 varieties of bananas grow around the world. But is the banana that we know and love, the one we eat almost exclusively in America, destined to disappear from grocery stores?

Possibly, say the experts, maybe within the next 10 to 20 years.

The protagonists in this drama are the Cavendish banana, the main variety eaten in the United States for the past 45 years, and Tropical Panama Disease Race 4, a virulent fungus that has wiped out the Cavendish in several Southeast Asian nations. The fungus, once it arrives, is likely to wreak havoc on Latin American plantations, where our bananas come from. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

People of Ketchikan
Boys and Girls Club member working on an art project with Mrs. Zastrow at the Pioneers' Home.
Photo courtesy Boys & Girls Club

Ketchikan: Project Promotes Elder-Youth Matches - Bingo was just the beginning of another day for friends to gather for fun at the Great Hall of the Pioneers' Home. Amy LaSage of Boys and Girls Club reported that Boys and Girls Club member Jared read the bingo call numbers as every eye was focused intently on the cards. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

Ketchikan: LeConte Goes to Seattle For Shaft Work ; Taku Schedule Modified to Cover Part of LeConte Route - The Alaska Marine Highway System announced today that the M/V LeConte sailed from Ketchikan Wednesday evening en route to Seattle, where work will be done on its propulsion shafts at Todd Shipyard. It will likely be out of service through the end of the month. In its absence, the M/V Taku will adjust its schedule to call on Kake and Hoonah.

"It appears that both shafts will need to be removed, along with the couplings," said Jim Beedle, operations manager for AMHS. "Unfortunately, the Ketchikan shipyard was unable to accommodate this emergency repair, due to previously scheduled work on other vessels in its drydock. This is the first time since 1997 that emergency repairs have been sent south, which underscores the need for the second drydock at Ketchikan." - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

Ketchikan: Marine Highway to Fly State Flags at Half-Mast in Honor of Captain Tom Reed - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski has authorized the Alaska Marine Highway System to fly the state flag at half-mast on all ferries, at the AMHS headquarters building in Ketchikan, and at DOT&PF headquarters in Juneau on Sunday, December 11th in memory of Capt. Tom Reed. Flags should be lowered on Sunday morning, and returned to full staff by Monday morning. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005



letter Attitude of bridge or nothing is dangerously arrogant By John Stewart - Thursday
letter Plea to Governor is on behalf of middle school students By Jackie Williams - Thursday
letter If We Were To Build A Bridge... By Lawrence "Snapper" Carson
letter 64th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor By Jake Metcalfe - Wednesday
letter Victory? By Phil Stark - Wednesday
letter Ketchikan and Small Town America By Robert D. Warner - Tuesday
letter Find a better argument.... By Marcia Hilley - Monday
letter A Third Proposal By Patrick Jirschele - Monday
letter ANWR or Bust? By Virginia E, Atkinson - Monday
letter How will a bridge benefit our lives and assist our travel? By Peg Travis - Monday
letter A Proposal By Patrick Jirschele - Sunday
letter A Second Proposal By Patrick Jirschele - Sunday
letter RE: A Gift of Life (SitNews 12/2/2005) By David J. Undis - Sunday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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December 2005
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PhotoKetchikan: First City Republican Women Hold 4th Annual Meeting - The First City Republican Women celebrated their 4th annual meeting on Monday, December 5th.. President Laura Antosen hosted Lt. Governor Loren Leman and his wife, Carolyn. Mrs.Leman was the guest speaker for the dinner meeting held at the Cape Fox Lodge.

The Lt. Governor is a lifelong Alaskan, who grew up in Ninilchik.  His wife, Carolyn has lived in Alaska for 32 years. They have three children: Nicole in the 9th grade, Rachel in her junior year of Nursing School at the University of Alaska, in Anchorage and Joseph who is a recent graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Joseph Leman is currently participating in Pilot Training in Texas. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

Alaska: Alaska Boat Lift Heads South to Help Gulf Fishermen - The Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission (AFIRM) announced Tuesday that it will coordinate the donation of a 60-ton Marine Travel Lift from the City of Valdez, Alaska, to the Parish Government of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, where it will help get fishing vessels stranded by hurricanes back into the water.

AFIRM Board of Directors Chairman Mark Vinsel said the group has been encouraging the donation for several weeks, and is prepared to help get the machinery dismantled, shipped and reassembled in its new home. Vinsel commented, "There are thousands of fishing boats stranded ashore in the hurricane affected areas. The City of Valdez has stepped up to the plate in offering this essential equipment to help get boats back in the water. AFIRM is committed to ensuring this donation helps fishermen get back to fishing, and we want to thank the city assembly and the citizens of Valdez and reassure them that their city will not incur any costs in getting this essential equipment down to Louisiana,"

AFIRM credits Valdez Port Director Alan Sorum and Albert "Rusty" Gaude of Louisiana Sea Grant with the initial idea of the travel lift donation. The Alaska industry organization has raised funds through a Fish Aid benefit held earlier this fall in Juneau, a newly launched website, and other ongoing efforts. - More..
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

National: Heart-attack survivors failing to prevent another one By LEE BOWMAN - A new online survey of heart-attack survivors finds that, despite their "wake-up call," nearly half admit they are not doing everything they can to avoid a second attack.

Each year in the United States, nearly 1 million people suffer from heart attacks, which occur when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or blocked. Within six years of a heart attack, nearly 20 percent of men and 35 percent of women will have another heart attack, and within the first year of a heart attack, 25 percent of men and 38 percent of women will die from another one.

Heart-attack risk rises during the fall and winter, with December being the peak month for new diagnosis. - More...
Thursday PM - December 08, 2005

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