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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 12, 21005

Front Page Photo by Dave Monrean

NTVFD Firefighter of the Year,
Lieutenant Paul Hook

Front Page Photo By by Dave Monrean

PhotoKetchikan: North Tongass Volunteers Celebrate the Holidays & Present Annual Awards - The North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department celebrated Christmas with a casual holiday potluck dinner at Clover Pass Resort Saturday, December 10th. Yearly awards were presented at the dinner including the first ever EMS Person and Support Person of the Year Awards. This year's recipients are Firefighter of the Year, Lieutenant Paul Hook; Support Person of the Year, Jill Giles, A-Team Member; and EMS Person of the Year, Jack Rodger, EMT II. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

Alaska: Natural gas line could bite into oil profits By WESLEY LOY - Selling the North Slope's massive natural gas reserves isn't as simple as hooking a pipeline to the Prudhoe Bay field and turning on the tap.

That's because siphoning off large volumes of gas could result in millions of barrels of oil being stranded in the ground forever - oil selling this week for nearly $60 a barrel. Oil companies rely on Prudhoe's gas as a vital tool to maintain pressure in the field and force out oil trapped in porous rocks.

As momentum builds toward possible construction of a $20 billion pipeline to deliver North Slope gas to Lower 48 consumers, oil field regulators are studying the question of how much gas can be removed without leaving too much oil behind. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

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National: Congress races to solve nagging issues By MAEVE RESTON - As Congress races to finish its work before Christmas, members this week will focus on resolving their differences on some of the most controversial issues debated this year - from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the $50 billion budget-cutting package to a measure intended to create uniform standards for questioning suspected terrorists.

As senators join House members back in Washington Monday, among the top items on their agenda are the military budget and spending bills. The difficulty in negotiations in recent weeks has centered not on the more than $400 billion for military operations in 2006 but on the amendment attached to both bills sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., barring the "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment of terrorism detainees. The White House fought the measure because officials say they do not condone torture and the law is unnecessary. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

International: Sunnis won't boycott election again By ANNA BADKHEN - A wounded child with a bandaged head stares from the campaign poster with horror-filled eyes, superimposed on silhouettes of soldiers walking through the rubble of blown-up buildings.

"We will kick the foreigners out of our country," assures the poster plastered on a stucco wall. "We will restore fairness in Iraq," promises another, which shows terrified men in traditional dishdasha robes running away from an exploded, burning car.

Before the vote for Iraq's first four-year government, dozens of politicians are competing for the ballots of more than 500,000 voters in the Sunni Arab province of Salahuddin, and slogans like these strike home here. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

National: Remembering how McCarthy shook the world in '68 By STEVE BERG - Eugene McCarthy was a poet and politician whose resolute stand against the Vietnam War toppled a president and inspired a generation of liberal idealists.

McCarthy, 89, who died Saturday in Washington, had been in declining health for about three years from Parkinson's disease. His son, Michael, was by his side.

McCarthy will be remembered along with Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale as one of Minnesota's three most prominent political figures in the last half of the 20th century.

An early architect of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, McCarthy was elected to Congress in 1948 and served 22 years in the House and Senate. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

National: More troops voted than ever before, but were all ballots counted? By LISA HOFFMAN - More U.S. troops voted in the 2004 election than ever before, according to a new Pentagon study. But critics say that the report by the Federal Voting Assistance Program sheds little light on the most important question: How many of their votes were actually counted?

The study, based on questionnaires sent to those in uniform overseas and on the home front, found that nearly 8 out of 10 service members said they voted in the election, which included the closely contested presidential race. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

International: Terror group implicated in series of 'ridiculous' kidnapping demands By LIZ RUSKIN - The Islamic Army in Iraq, the terror group claiming responsibility for kidnapping American contractor Ronald Schulz, is new, small and brutal.

Since its first known attack in July of last year, it has been implicated in a violent campaign against Westerners that includes beheadings as well as the downing of a commercial helicopter that killed 11 people. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005



National: How poinsettias got a bad rap By LEE BOWMAN - Joel Roberts Poinsett - congressman, planter, diplomat and botanist that he was - certainly never intended to poison anyone.

After bringing several specimens back from Mexico, where he had served as the first U.S. ambassador to the newly independent country, he shared distinctive plants with red flowers among his friends and neighbors in Greenville, S.C.

Later, as the festive plant became more popular, horticulturalist William Prescott gave Euphorbia pulcherrima a new name, poinsettia. Back a few years ago, Congress designated the anniversary of Poinsett's death on Dec. 12, 1851, conveniently falling so near Christmas, as National Poinsettia Day.

By the end of the 19th century, greenhouses all around the United States were growing the plants, both as a holiday decoration and as a landscaping plant in warmer places like Florida and California. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005



letter All or nothing? By Jos "GUS" Govaars VI - Monday PM
letter "Bridge or nothing!" attitude ludicrous By Don Hoff, Jr. - Monday PM
letter Winter Concert By Tom LeCompte - Monday PM
letter Budget hypocrisy By Nancy Duff Campbell - Monday PM
letter How about a vote? By Virginia Atkinson - Monday PM
letterFisherman looking for tips By Lawren Keeler - Saturday
letter Ketchikan's Bridge? By Robert McRoberts - Saturday
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 - Wednesday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

Political Cartoonists

Democratic war strategy
Larry Wright, The Detroit News
Distributed by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:00 pm - KGB Planning Commission meeting in the City Council Chambers.
Agenda & Information Packets (Zip File)

Thursday, December 15, 2005
7:00 pm
- The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers.
pdfAgenda & Information Packets

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December 2005
Click on the date for stories and photos published on that day...
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Columns - Commentary

Jason Love: Jury Duty - Like most half-wits, I thought jury duty was something you could politely decline. Like fruitcake.

But recently, after being summoned, I found out from county clerk Thelma Claremont that "jury service is not voluntary but a civic duty imposed upon all citizens pursuant to civil code section 204."

Desperate, I called my shrink for a note. The old fuddy-duddy wouldn't budge. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on a Glass Menagerie - Things are not always as they seem to be. While on stage, magicians rely on their skills in the art of illusion. And you don't have to be jaded to cast many politicians in the same role.

Instead of hiding the truth, illusions can also be artfully employed to reveal it. Or at least one's take on it, as Tennessee Williams did in "The Glass Menagerie." Educators very often employ the same trick - such as when I project a computationally rendered image of a molecule during a chemistry class. In reality, molecules are much too small to see, and even the things that we can measure only seem "molecular" through the filter of our theoretical models. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

Michael Reagan: Another Sneak Attack - Sixty-four years ago on, December 7, the United States was stabbed in the back and 2,338 Americans were killed in a sneak attack at Pearl Harbor.

Recently, American servicemen and women serving in Iraq, and those here at home recovering from terrible wounds were also stabbed in the back. In 1941 it was the Japanese wielding the knife; now it was Howard Dean and John Kerry and fellow members of the dominant left wing of the Democrat Party who plunged the dagger in America's back. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

Dale McFeatters: Iraq's make-or-break vote - Iraq's parliamentary elections may well be a make-or-break point for President Bush's troubled postwar rebuilding policy, about which he has finally conceded there were errors and miscalculations.

Thursday's vote is the last step in the political process that the U.S.-led coalition laid down in the summer of 2003 - an interim government under an interim constitution leading up to three votes this year: the January election of a parliament to draft a constitution; the ratification of that constitution in October; and, on Dec. 15, the election of a 275-member parliament to govern the country for the next four years. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

Jay Ambrose: The war on Christmas - Bill O'Reilly and John Gibson of Fox News say there's a war on Christmas, and they're right. Despite protests that it is just mean-spirited, commercial-minded, ahistorical, mono-cultural gibberish to suppose anyone is trying to squash the essential spirit of the season, the attacks continue. Evidence? The tree at Honors College at Florida Atlantic University.

Each year for many years, according to, faculty at the college have put up a pine tree during finals week and have placed candy and cookies under it for the students. This year, a political-science teacher decided it was a religious symbol violating the principle of church-state separation. While the tree was still there after a meeting and official worrying about disrespect for diversity, its survival was apparently a close call.

This poor, abused tree hardly stands alone among anti-Christmas assaults in which the phrase "Merry Christmas" is now treated as a near obscenity and in which - just one more example - the Christmas vacation at schools is now called "winter break" under threat of lawsuit. - More...
Monday PM - December 12, 2005

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