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December 05, 2006

Alaska's New First Family

 Alaska's new first family
Alaska's new first family stood together at the inaugural in Fairbanks on December 4th, 2006. (Governor Sarah Palin and husband Todd; children Piper, Bristol and Willow). Their son Track was at a hockey tournament in Texas and unable to attend.
Front Page Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Ketchikan: Navy Conducts First Escape Exercise From Nuclear Sub By CYNTHIA CLARK - Seven personnel practiced locking out from the attack submarine USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) and ascending to the surface wearing special suits that are designed to enable a free ascent from a stricken submarine Dec. 2 during ESCAPEX at the Navy's Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Ocean Escape

Fire Control Technician 2nd Class Gary Halsey emerges from the Northern Pacific as the first Navy Sailor to execute a tandem open ocean escape from a nuclear-powered submarine at the Navy's Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility in Ketchikan.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Clark

While several foreign navies practice the maneuver routinely, the U.S. Navy had not conducted it in more than three decades, and never from a nuclear-powered submarine.

The Navy's renewed interest in submarine escape comes as U.S. submarines operate more frequently now in shallow coastal waters, said Submarine Development Squadron (CSDS) 5 Commander Capt. Butch Howard, who oversaw the exercise.

"Today, submarines spend a greater amount of time in the littorals or shallow water, which supports the overall concept of escaping from a possible distressed submarine," said Howard. "It's imperative that our sub crews be familiar and comfortable with this operating procedure no matter how remote the potential for its use." - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

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


National: House Democrats may attach conditions to Iraq funding By MARGARET TALEV - n the eve of the Iraq Study Group's long-awaited recommendations for how to exit Iraq, congressional Democrats were eyeing a different document as leverage for change: President Bush's anticipated request for more money to keep fighting.

House Democratic leaders, who will take control in January, said Tuesday they are considering attaching a series of conditions to the estimated $160 billion supplemental war funding request for Iraq and Afghanistan that President Bush is expected to send them early next year.

They wouldn't specify what their conditions would be, including whether they might attach a troop-withdrawal timeline, as many Democratic lawmakers want to do. - More...
Tuesday PM - Decembre 05, 2006

International: Iraq war too complex for easy solutions, experts say By MATTHEW B. STANNARD - Over eight months, the Iraq Study Group consulted with some four-dozen experts on security, economics, diplomacy and politics. But in the end, experts inside and outside that group say the committee's recommendations - to be released on Wednesday - may have been shaped less by the wide-ranging opinions of those professors, politicians and pundits than by the narrow scope of options available.

"I don't think there are any good options," said Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "There are no bonbons on the menu for Iraq. It's just which brand of castor oil you want to take."

It's not yet clear what options the commission, led by Republican former Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic former Rep. Lee Hamilton, will recommend, despite the leak of some purported elements.

The reality of Iraq is far too complex to lend itself to easy solutions, the experts said. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

National: House approves measure to preserve WWII internment camps By DAVID WHITNEY - Congress completed action Tuesday on legislation to preserve and protect the remnants of one of the darkest chapters in American history: the internment camps and gathering centers that were used in the roundup and forced detention of Japanese American citizens during World War II.

The voice vote in the House of Representatives came two days short of the 65th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. That tragedy stirred such fear and anger in the United States that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 three months later, ordering the roundup. The Supreme Court later upheld the directive on the grounds of "pressing public necessity."

Congress issued a formal apology in 1988 and offered $20,000 apiece in compensation to the survivors of the camps, who lost their freedom and property without any formal legal proceedings. Lesser numbers of Alaska Natives, Germans and Italians also were ordered detained. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006


National: Pearl Harbor memorial on its last legs By LISA HOFFMAN - At Pearl Harbor, one of America's most sacred spots, the complex standing vigil over the site of the history-changing Japanese attack is on its very last legs.

When the 65th anniversary of the surprise 1941 siege arrives Thursday, it will find the USS Arizona Memorial Museum and visitors' center in Hawaii deteriorating so fast that it could have as few as two years of life left.

Built on landfill near the final underwater resting place of the battleship Arizona and the 1,177 souls who went down with it, the center has itself sunk as much as 30 inches into the soil.

Engineers have jacked up the facility four times to no lasting success. As a result, water seeping in from the harbor is threatening the concrete underpinnings of the buildings.

"It's a real problem," said George Sullivan, board chairman of the Arizona Memorial Museum Association. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

International: New study: the rich own most of the world By ESTANISLAO OZIEWICZ - For those who aren't wealthy, it seems blindingly obvious that the rich own the world. Now, in a first-ever exhaustive study of global wealth, it's clear just how inequitably the riches are spread around.

The richest 2 percent of adults own more than half of global household wealth, and almost all of the well heeled live in North America, Europe and richest Asia-Pacific countries.

While previous global surveys have studied income, this is the first wide-ranging analysis of the international distribution of wealth, defined as the value of physical and financial assets minus liabilities. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

National: Enhanced Product Helps Guide Aircraft Away from Hazardous Icing Conditions - Beginning December 6, aviation weather users will receive detailed updates on in-flight icing, which can endanger commuter planes and larger commercial aircraft.

Graphical displays, developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), will for the first time rate areas by icing severity and the probability of encountering icing conditions. The enhanced in-flight icing product is intended to increase safety and reduce flight delays by guiding aircraft away from potentially hazardous icing conditions, thus saving the aviation industry more than $20 million per year in injuries, aircraft damage, and fuel. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

Alaska: Bank-robbery suspect 'seemed happy as a lark' By MEGAN HOLLAND - The botched bank robbery wasn't like the movies: A man at an Alaska USA branch waited his turn in line, chatting up an elderly lady. When it was time, he handed a piece of paper to the teller, got a wad of cash and left the lobby - as if he were simply making a withdrawal.

"He seemed happy as a lark," said witness Jeff Burnette, who knew something was amiss and followed the robber out of the building. As the man got into a minivan, Burnette said he looked him in the eye, pointed his finger and said, "You're busted."

He was. Authorities caught up with wanted fugitive Gilbert Eugene Dugaqua moments later, just blocks away. The FBI said they believe he's been robbing banks as often as some use ATMs and is the primary suspect in five such robberies in the past two weeks. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006


Political Cartoonists

Al-Maliki and Bush
Artist Daryl Cagle,
Read Today's Political
Cartoons, Click Here

Basic Rules

letter EUPHEMISMS By David G. Hanger - Saturday
letter Consult With Seniors... We Still Have A Brain By Joan Hurliman - Saturday
letter "Era of civility off to rude start" By Jim Terp - Saturday
letter Boorish behavior? By Teddy Goodson - Saturday
letter Seahawkers Tailgate Party By Marcia Collins - Saturday
letter New city sales tax By Renee Schofield - Wednesday AM
letter Re: Cabals By Jim Dornblaser - Wednesday AM
letter RE: Bridges in Alaska are just as important By Rob Glenn - Wednesday AM
letterLetting down the children... By Frances C. Natkong - Wednesday AM
letter Thanks to all By Joan "Trixie" Hurliman - Tuesday AM
letter Rural Residents Soaked Again By James Anderson - Tuesday AM
letter Bridges in Alaska are just as important as elsewhere By Ed Brown - Tuesday AM
letter Bridge!! By Forrest Mackie - Tuesday AM
letterFederal Budget and Pay for Performance By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday AM
letter RE: It may not be to 'nowhere'... By Karen Pitcher - Monday PM
letter Giving During the Season of Hope. By Richard Zellmer - Monday PM
letter Re: President Bush Fails to Learn the Lessons of Vietnam By Ken Bylund - Monday PM
letter Build a cheaper bridge, roads By Robert McRoberts - Monday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Cage Compounds - Habeas corpus is Latin for "You should have the body". As an avid NPR listener, I recall hearing Nina Totenburg use this phrase umpteen times - even before September 11, 2001. To be perfectly honest, I had no clue what it meant. The laws of chemistry were much more important to me - that is until October 17 of this year.

If you're curious about what happened on October 17, or still in the dark (ages) about this "body business", or both, I highly recommend Jeffrey Toobin's commentary in the December 4th issue of The New Yorker. Reformatting "Killing Habeas Corpus" as a game of Clue, one possible murder scenario would be "Arlen Specter did it in the Senate Chamber with a squash racket."

That would not be the winning answer however, because C-SPAN showed President Bush doing it in the East Room with a pen. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

Jay Ambrose: A lesson from Pfizer - Pfizer is rich, rich, rich. Its prescription drug prices are high, high, high. And so it is that Washington politicians - chiefly liberal Democrats - want to encircle it and other rich pharmaceutical companies with one form or another of price controls. It might not hurt if these would-be killers would read the news occasionally.

There, they would find that although Pfizer made $8 billion in profits last year, it is in very deep, job-cutting, stock-plummeting, future-threatening trouble, the consequence mostly of a drug that is not going to succeed despite a promised investment in it of something on the order of $800 million, according to The Economist.

The hope was that this drug, torcetrapib, would be a godsend to the 50 million Americans whose cardiovascular health could have been vastly improved by its ability to form so-called good cholesterol. In clinical trials, however, a high percentage of users died. The risks outweighed the benefits. The bet was called off. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

Bob Ciminel: The Best Defense . . . . Following the Atlanta Falcons' 31 to 13 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, quarterback Michael Vick was fined $10,000 by the Nation Football League for making an obscene gesture (one half of a peace sign, both hands) to the home team crowd. Michael was given the option of donating half of the fine to the charity of his choice.

As with the recent spat of famous-named personalities self-destructing on national media, Michael immediately offered a public apology to the fans and the public. Unlike, Mel Gibson and Danny DeVito, Michael did not blame it on alcohol, fatigue, or a bad childhood. If anyone had an excuse for losing control, it was Michael Vick. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

Dale McFeatters: On the moon for good - The space shuttles, the United States' only manned spacecraft, are to be retired in 2010 and the work of caring for the International Space Station largely turned over to others.

So what, then, for this nation's grand plans of astronauts returning to the moon and then going on to Mars?

NASA has unveiled an ambitious and workable - assuming we're willing to pay for it - plan to put a permanent base on the moon. For those who believe in the potential and opportunity of space exploration, both manned and robotic, let us hope this plan passes quickly beyond the stage of big talk, handsome mockups and artists' renderings. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: The Arts This Week - This week in Ketchikan auditions for Terra Nova will be held on December 5 and 6 at 6pm in the First Lutheran Church Annex. Performances will be the first two weekends in March. Roles for 6 men and one woman, perusal scripts are available at the First City Players office, 225-4792. This show will be directed by Elizabeth Nelson.

The 2006 Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert "An Evening of Jazz and Blues" will be held on Thursday, December 7 at 7pm in the Kayhi Auditorium. This concert will feature the youth jazz ensembles from Ketchikan and will serve as a fundraiser for the Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship. For more information call McPherson Music at 225-3650.

Friday Night Insights at the Discovery Center Friday nights from 7-8pm:
December 8: "The Gold Miner's Widow: Travel to Treasure". Come met Maggie Cantonwire, widow of the Klondike, created and portrayed by Kosia Oshiro. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 05, 2006

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