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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 23, 2005

Front Page Photo by Dave Lieben

"Key" To Fawn Mountain Elementary Presented
Pictured: Principal Barbara Roberts, Superintendent Harry Martin, School Board President Russell Thomas and KGB Manager Roy Eckert.
Front Page Photo by Dave Lieben

Alaska: Budget calls for railroad link analysis By SEAN COCKERHAM Anchorage Daily News - The governor wants to spend tens of millions of dollars in seed money for jumbo transportation projects -- including a railroad to Canada -- that have been Alaska dreams for decades. - Read this ADN Story...
Anchorage Daily News

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


Alaska: For Stevens, ANWR fight is far from over By LIZ RUSKIN AND ROB HOTAKAINEN - Wearing his signature "Incredible Hulk" tie, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska trudged through the hallways of the U.S. Capitol earlier this week, surrounded by a media swarm and at one point yelling at the horde behind him to quit shoving.

"Between the extreme environmentalists and the press, I've become the demagogue of America, so you can't hurt my feelings anymore," he told reporters. "I don't have any feelings anymore."

Turns out he does.

When the Senate on Wednesday rejected his plan to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, the 82-year-old senator, undoubtedly one of the nation's most powerful, called it "the saddest day of my life." But he fumed at those who had voted against him: "I'm going to go to every one of your states, and I'm going to tell them what you've done!" - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

photoNational: Rumsfeld Announces Reduction in Iraq Troop Level By JIM GARAMONE - The United States will have two fewer brigades in Iraq in 2006, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today.

Rumsfeld announced before a cheering group of Marines that the United States will drop from 17 to 15 brigades in the coming year. The change will drop the number of Americans in the country under the 138,000-level baseline, officials said.

The decision reflects the proper balance between coalition and Iraqi forces, the secretary said. The coalition footprint must be large enough to help maintain security and allow the Iraq forces to train up, Rumsfeld explained, yet not so large as to be intrusive or to antagonize the Iraqi people. The force also must not be so large as to take initiative from the Iraqi security forces, he said. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

International: Top 10 international stories of 2005 By LISA HOFFMAN - 2005 started in the aftermath of the killer tsunami that devastated wide swaths of Indonesia and South Asia.

In the 12 months that followed, terror attacks, historic elections and global health threats made headlines, as did moves toward peace and war in a world made weary by catastrophe and conflict.

Here is a look at the top 10 international stories of 2005: - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

National: 2005 Top Ten Stories: The year of the storm By LANCE GAY - Hurricanes displaced political storms as the stories that dominated the nation's agenda in 2005. The year went into the record books as the stormiest since the government began collecting data in the 19th century and established a new record for hurricanes.

But while Katrina wrought the greatest destruction, other storm clouds darkened the American landscape: Two Supreme Court vacancies whipped up a storm of hot air and controversy on Capitol Hill and beyond, the Bush administration was lashed by plummeting public confidence and - perhaps the darkest cloud of all - the American death toll in Iraq reached 2,000. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

International: Politics, Iraqi-style, faces a grim test in the coming months By MATTHEW B. STANNARD - Furious charges that Iraq's parliamentary elections were marred by fraud are just the opening statements in the battered nation's next political debate, which not only will intensify over the coming weeks but also will require careful handling by a U.S. administration eager to hand over control to Iraqis as soon as possible, regional experts say.

"If ever there was a time for patient effort to allow the embassy team, the U.S. military ... and the U.S. NGOs that are working in the country to try and help the Iraqis reach an inclusive solution, this is it," said Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Christmas Nights...

Christmas Nights & Elves
Spread Christmas Joy

Elves: Madlyn Jensen, Ria Balltista, J.C. Seludo,
Rose Rodriquez and Allison Kelly
(Member of the Ketchikan HiLites Dance Team)
Front Page Photo by Melva Olson

photoKetchikan: Christmas Nights & Elves Spread Christmas Joy By M.C. KAUFFMAN - Elves were spotted recently in Ketchikan cheerfully serving hot cocoa and Christmas cookies at the Clover Pass Resort to the guests attending the Christmas Nights' exhibits of the Indoor Nativity Walk and the Outdoor Lighted Christmas Display.

The Indoor Nativity Walk, held December 16th-18th, was an exhibit of Nativity scenes on loan to Clover Pass Resort from various residents of Ketchikan.  The nativity displays ranged from fine china to Tlingit Indian, Italian, olive wood from Israel to children's sets.  The Thomas family who owns Clover Pass Resort put this beautiful display together.  This is the first year the nativity display has been on exhibit at the resort. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Science: Study finds how Christmas trees stay green so long By LEE BOWMAN - Every December, some millions of pine trees and other evergreens are plopped into stands full of water in hopes that the needles stay on until St. Nick has come and gone.

Usually, a fresh-cut or even not-so-fresh-cut tree gulps up the water at a remarkable pace - a feat even more impressive to botanists and biologists, who know about the plumbing structure of conifers compared to the trunks of flowering trees such as oaks or maples. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Alaska: Grant available to improve Alaska's salmon quality - Alaska's salmon vessel owners are now offered grants to help improve the quality of their catch. This $1 million matching grant program is a continuation of Governor Frank Murkowski's successful Fisheries Revitalization Strategy.

The Department of Commerce announced the new grant program for capital investment that improves salmon quality aboard Alaska's salmon fishing and tendering vessels. The Alaska Salmon Vessel Quality Upgrade Program is dedicating $1 million in salmon revitalization funds to assist salmon harvesters and tenders across the state to make improvements to their vessels. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005



letter Letter To Santa By Jerry Cegelske - Friday PM
letter Holiday Blues & Networking By George Miller - Friday PM
letter Town Tree is Beautiful By Al Johnson - Friday PM
letter Holiday Wishes By Karen & Charlie Jones - Friday PM
letter Heartfelt Thanks for Those who Supported the Toy Drive! By Tyla Williams - Friday PM
letter Thanks to KTGW/KTKN - Gateway 106.7 By Samantha Kuzakin - Friday PM
letter 2005 By Joseph Branco - Friday PM
letter Ketchikan Youth Court By Karen Lybrand
letter Guard Rails & Free Speech By Penny Eubanks - Friday PM
letter Toy Ride By Jennifer Brewer - Wednesday PM
letter Saddam Hussein and Tookie Williams By Mark Neckameyer - Wednesday PM
letter Appreciate efforts of DOT guys By Suzan Thompson - Wednesday PM
letter Holiday is much more... By Floyd Crocker - Wednesday PM
letter High cancer rate? By Carol Christoffel - Wednesday PM
letter Passport Information By Jackie Williams - Wednesday PM
letter What MY Elders Taught Me By Kevin Mackey - Wednesday PM
letterPlease Support the Homeless Shelter By Gary Boatwright - Tuesday PM
letter Governor's Support For Knik and Gravina Bridges By Gregory Vickrey - Tuesday PM
letter Slow Down By Chief David Hull - Tuesday PM
letter Accidents By Aleisha Filyaw - Tuesday PM
letter The Christmas Boat Parade By Ann Hupe - Tuesday PM
letter Open Letter to Ketchikan Indian Community By Rob Sanderson Jr. - Tuesday PM
letter RE: Town Tree By Dave Kiffer - Tuesday PM
letter The Lazy People Continue To Dump Trash By Jerry Cegelske - Tuesday PM
letter Patriot Act and Privacy By Virginia E. Atkinson - Tuesday PM
letter Passports? By Neil Gray - Tuesday PM
letter Answers, Part Two By Robert D. Warner - Tuesday PM
letter "Happy Holidays" By Susan Bachant - Tuesday PM
letter Alaskan bridge falling down By Virginia E. Atkinson - Tuesday PM
letter Alaska Revenues By Glenn Bell - Tuesday PM
letter Respect For Elders By Andrew Hamilton - Tuesday PM
letter2005 Ketchikan Boat Parade By Pat Long - Sunday PM
letter Answers By Rick Grams - Sunday PM
letter No lack of room for expansion in Ketchikan By Charlotte Tanner - Sunday PM
letter Town Tree By Jacquie Meck - Sunday PM
letter Bridges Supported by Whom? By Don Hoff Jr. - Sunday PM
letter SitNews By Bobbie McCreary - Sunday PM
letter How can a shrinking city expand? By Robert McRoberts - Sunday PM
letter Indigenous By Kevin Mackey - Sunday PM
letter Sneak Attacks By Sheridan "Pete" Peterson - Sunday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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December 2005
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Ketchikan Columnists

Dave Kiffer: Faux Tanenbaum, Part Two - Those of you playing along at home no doubt remember that the Glover-Kiffer family chose to go non-natural for our holiday tree last year.

It was a hard decision because I knew I would miss the smell of the dried out sap and the feel of pine needles still underfoot in June.

On the other hand, tree-in-a-box would not involve either sneaking a bull pine from someone else's muskeg or paying a Snow King's ransom at the local tree lots.

And, in general, it was as advertised. I avoided the muskeg trek and it was cheaper (we didn't buy one of the $100 pre-lit, pre-decorated models). - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Marie L. Monyak: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS - All I want for Christmas is a new toilet, and I don't mean just any toilet but the grandpappy of all toilets. Ok, laugh if you will, then allow me to explain. I hate my bathroom, it's small, basic and unimaginative.

This is 2005 and we still have far too many men designing homes and apartments. Call me sexist if you wish, I make no apologies, but a man's area of expertise is the garage and yard. The home is a woman's domain and we know what we want... a huge, comfortable bathroom that would rival any spa.

Come on ladies, my generation burned our bras and became the first truck drivers, advertising executives, construction workers and movie producers. We paved the way for equality and opened career fields that were previously male dominated; now get out there in the world of design and architecture. Build us the bathroom of our dreams. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Columns - Commentary

Betsy Hart: Don't agonize about the largesse under the tree - One Christmas, when I was about five or so, my Grandmother Victoria came as usual on Christmas Eve. The imperial matriarch of our family, she traveled from her home in Ohio to ours in Chicago.

As I found out much later, dear Grandmother Victoria had something of a disagreement that night with my mother and father. She was so completely appalled at the largesse that my parents (and, um, Santa) had laid out under that Christmas tree for the five of us children - the packages, boxes, presents and gifts spilling far out into the living room floor - that she put her foot down. She let my parents know that she thought we children were being far too indulged. So Grandmother Victoria packed up every Christmas gift she had brought for us kids - those presents never even saw the underside of that tree - and she put them right back into her car then and there, and took them back to Ohio with her a few days later! - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Frankincense and Myrrh - Imagine that you are at a baby shower, and three Persian priests, or Magi, mysteriously appear, each offering a gift for the newborn child. (Hey, it could happen, I've heard of flash mobs doing stranger things. And I seem to recall a similar story being told around this time last year.)

When the first gift was opened, the aura of the reflected light was unmistakable, and there were plenty of ooh's and aah's over the hefty gift of many gold coins. When the second and third gifts were opened, it wasn't the sense of sight that gave hints to the guests. Rather, their sense of smell told them that the gifts were either some exotic perfume, or a potpourri of some kind.

After audible, and deep, inhalations, the ooh's and aah's came again, but this time they were followed by many questions. The Magi explained that the gifts were frankincense and myrrh. A lot of heads were nodding, but one inquisitive little boy piped up "What are frankincense and myrrh?" - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

Dale McFeatters: Bethlehem waits - and waits - "O little town of Bethlehem," the familiar carol goes, "how still we see thee lie!"

Too still for the people who live there. There are plenty of rooms at the inn and plenty of unsold souvenirs, especially the town's signature olive-wood creche sets.

As the Millennium approached, peace and independence seemed to be in sight, and the birthplace of Christ happily prepared for years of joyous and prosperous Christmases.

Christmas trees - scrawny cedars to be sure, but the spirit was there - were erected in Manger Square; a Palestinian drum and bagpipe band thundered out "Gloria in Excelsis Deo"; runners for restaurants and shops dressed in Santa Claus costumes and cheerfully accosted tourists' cars; and Yasser Arafat showed up to sing carols in the Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve. - More...
Friday PM - December 23, 2005

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