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December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma

Capsized Hull of USS Oklahoma
Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
U.S. Navy Photograph

REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR: Dec. 7, 1941 A Feature Story By JUNE ALLEN - It was Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, Japanese Imperial forces launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Navy's fleet moored at Pearl Harbor and the nearby Army installation. Nineteen ships were sunk or damaged, crippling the U.S. fleet. And in a period of only a few hours, 2,300 Americans were left dead.

One of those was Navy Ensign Irvin Thompson, 24, of Ketchikan. He was lost in the sinking of the battleship Oklahoma, Alaska's first serviceman casualty of World War II. In his honor, flags would fly at half-mast throughout Alaska Dec. 21, by proclamation of Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening.

In spite of the fact that the United States had declared neutrality in Hitler's "European war" on Sept. 5, 1939, most citizens expected that eventually the country would be drawn into the conflict. What few expected was that any nation would dare to attack the United States! The attack on Pearl Harbor came as an outrage and war was immediately declared. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Pipeline Meetings

Governor Palin and Lt. Governor Parnell meet with Kern River Gas Transmission Co.(MidAmerica).
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Alaska: Governor Palin Wraps Up Initial Gas Pipeline Meetings - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wrapped up two days of meetings with potential Alaska gas pipeline project sponsors on Wednesday - meetings she described as positive and productive.

"Sitting down one-on-one with potential project sponsors proved an excellent opportunity to not only gauge the number of parties interested in getting our natural gas to market, but also how they propose to do it," said Governor Palin.

Governor Palin, along with her gas team made up of Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, Department of Natural Resources Acting Commissioner Marty Rutherford, Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin and Kurt Gibson of the Division of Oil and Gas started meeting with potential gas pipeline project sponsors in Anchorage on Tuesday morning. By Wednesday afternoon, Governor Palin and her gas team had met with twelve different entities, all with ideas on how to move forward on getting Alaska's gas to market.

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"The scenarios are endless," said Palin. "That's why these meetings are so important. One of the themes that surfaced several times over the last two days was the appreciation from potential project sponsors that their views on a gas pipeline project were actually being considered."

Over the next few weeks Governor Palin and her gas team will go over, in detail, the information put forward by potential project sponsors. The governor will then introduce a bill seeking a law of general application on the first day of the 2007 legislative session. In it, Governor Palin will outline several key requirements for a natural gas pipeline project. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Alaska: Palin Reverses Murkowski Appointments - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today removed Jim Clark and Richard Schok from the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority Board and replaced them with her own appointments. Clark and Schok were appointed to the ANGDA board in the waning hours before Governor Frank Murkowski left office. Opting for Alaskans who will provide objectivity and new energy to the ANGDA board, Palin reappointed Fairbanks resident Andy Warwick to fill Clark's seat. Lorrie Hovanec of Anchorage will fill Schok's seat.

"Alaskans voted for change," said Palin. "Not just at the top level, but throughout government. Mr. Clark is on record opposing any pipeline proposals outside of the one he helped craft. That's a bias the ANGDA board doesn't need." - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Ketchikan: Consolidation Election & General Election Certified Today; Vote to Consolidate Ketchikan Fails With 65% Voting NO - The Ketchikan Consolidation Election failed by a vote of 2131 no votes to 1170 yes votes. Director of the Division of Elections, Whitney Brewster certified the election today.

AS 29.06.140 instructs the Division of Elections to conduct the election when two incorporated areas are seeking consolidation. Voters voted on the question: Shall the City of Ketchikan and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough be consolidated as one government, the home- rule Municipality of Ketchikan?

Voter turnout in this by-mail election was 32.5 percent. There are 10,162 registered voters in the Ketchikan Borough. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Ketchikan: Agreement assures added financial protection - Two Ketchikan-based financial institutions formally have agreed to back each other up in the event either one is prevented from getting normal electronic data necessary for basic financial services.

First Bank and Tongass Federal Credit Union signed authorizations with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to be authorized alternate access points for each other if one of them should lose connection to the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve through its 12 banks across the nation moves funds among financial institutions through data transmission and check processing.

This agreement assures local residents in southern Southeast Alaska added protection in getting direct deposits, government payments, and electronic debits handled timely in the event of a disaster, disruption, or equipment failure. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006


jpg Iraq Study GroupNational: Iraq Study Group submits its recommendations By MARA LEE - The Iraq Study Group is holding onto a shred of optimism about the war in Iraq.

"We do not know if it can be turned around," said co-chairman Lee Hamilton, who was vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "But we think we have an obligation to try. And if the recommendations that we have made are effectively implemented, there is at least a chance that you can see established a stable government in Iraq and stability in the region."

The group of five Democrats and five Republicans released 79 recommendations Wednesday. The report's highlights:

- Shift the military mission from fighting to training. Quadruple the number of trainers to about 15,000 to 20,000, and start sending most other soldiers home. By March 2008, there should be only trainers and logistical, intelligence, special forces and rapid-response teams left. Move some of the money and soldiers from Iraq to Afghanistan.

- Concentrate on regional diplomacy. Ask Iran and Syria to stop sending money and weapons to fighters in Iraq. Ask all the Middle Eastern countries to encourage compromise among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in Iraq. Push again for Arab-Israeli peace, with the return of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria, and the creation of an independent Palestine.

- Tell Iraq the United States is pulling out, even if its army and police are still inadequate a year from now. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

National: Stranded father's heroic last hours By PETER FIMRITE - James Kim put himself through a desperate ordeal, climbing down a ravine over boulders and logs, through nearly impenetrable brush, and in and out of an icy creek, in what one rescue leader called a "superhuman" effort to save his family.

In the end, his exhausting trek took him in a big, oval-shaped loop to within half a mile of where Big Windy Creek empties out into the Rogue River in the southern Oregon mountains.

It was there, surrounded by towering cliffs, that the body of the missing San Francisco man was spotted Wednesday. He was found floating in the middle of Big Windy Creek, 11 days after his family's car became stuck in the snow on a side road and four days after he ventured off to look for help.

The death of Kim, 35, came as a blow to rescue workers, two of whom broke down in tears while talking about his heroics.

In the end, Kim's circuitous hike took him to within a mile as the crow flies from the spot where he had left his stranded family in their car. Rescuers said that if he had continued down the road in the direction he was driving when the car became stuck on Nov. 25, he would have reached a lodge and almost certain safety. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

The upper Chena River, where American dippers swim despite air temperatures of 20-below-zero and colder.
Photo by Ned Rozell

Alaska: American dipper swims throughout Alaska winters By NED ROZELL - On the upper Chena River in the heart of a cold winter, a songbird appeared on a gravel bar next to gurgling water that somehow remained unfrozen in 20-below-zero air. Then the bird jumped in, disappeared underwater, and popped up a few feet upstream.

The bird continued snorkeling and diving against the current of the stream, which is so far north that in December direct sunlight never touches it. Instead, the sun bathes only the tops of spruce trees with a ruby light.

Soon, two other dark birds with bodies the size of tennis balls landed near the first. Bending from their knees, they bobbed up and down, and then all three jumped into the stream. It seemed crazy behavior for a cold winter day, but swimming is how American dippers make their living, even here in Alaska, where they range as far north as the Brooks Range. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006


Political Cartoonists

Iraq War Study Group
Artist Bob Englehart,
The Hartford Courant
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Basic Rules

letter The Sam Pitcher Memorial Scholarship Concert By Judith Green - Thursday
letter Senior center By Gretchen Klein - Thursday
letter RE: Gas Prices By Jerilyn Lester - Thursday
letter Thank you to those who serve By Anita Hales - Thursday
letter About KPU giving Bad Service By Scott Willis - Thursday
letter When do we get help!! By Laurie Price - Wednesday
letter Gas prices By Chuck Moon - Wednesday
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

Michael Reagan: Feeding the Alligator - Does everybody on the planet spend time kicking the president of the United States? I ask this because it seems that we are in the midst of an open season on George W. Bush.

I've never seen a presidency where everybody shoots at the president and nobody defends him, except his wife and Tony Snow. People who oppose "waterboarding" the enemy would be happy to see George Bush undergo the ordeal.

He's not even immune from attacks from people he picks to fill the highest offices in his administration. He's forced to sit in the Oval Office and watch the man he chose to be secretary of defense publicly disagree with him on nationwide TV by telling Sen. Carl Levin we are losing the war in Iraq, an argument the president rejects out of hand. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006  

Ann McFeatters: The middle course in Iraq - Sandra Day O'Connor is no hothead. The former Supreme Court justice is dispassionate, thoughtful and cautious.

As one of the five Republicans on the 10-member, bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which has issued what may be the most important report in America this year, O'Connor's words should be heard.

After interviews with 200 people, she said she was stunned to find the situation in Iraq far more dire than she had thought.

President Bush is wrong. America is not winning the war in Iraq, she and her co-panelists decided. And it already may be too late to avoid total chaos in Iraq and the Middle East. But she also argues that there is a last chance - to try new diplomatic avenues, especially with Iran and Syria and more broadly throughout the Middle East, and to set a goal for extricating most of the U.S. combat brigades by the end of 2008. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Dale McFeatters: Iraq: Bad and getting worse - Although the White House said President Bush's reception of the Iraq Study Group and its recommendations was one of "good will and civility" and "entirely constructive," the president had to be privately steaming at the panel's harsh and implicit indictment of his mishandling and misjudgment of that war.

The report began with the obvious - "current policy is not working" - and then made 79 recommendations that may or may not result in a better policy. At the least, however, they are worth a try, either in whole or in part, because whatever it is we're doing now is clearly "not working."

The recommendations range from commonsensical and even obvious - better intelligence and more Arab speakers - to the 'nice work if you can get it,' like encouraging international investment in Iraq's oil fields and their security. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Betsy Hart: The Christmas season - When I was little, my mother used to say that she wished Christmas would come only every other year. I remember in tears telling her "mom, don't ever say that!" as if the mere words could make her wish come true.

Now as a mom myself, of course, the every-other-year deal sounds like a great plan to me.

I'm not objecting to the commercialism of Christmas, mind you. It's really a sort of made-up, secular holiday anyway - I mean, what in the world does a blow-up Santa in the front yard have to do with Jesus? The commercialism is a sort of celebration, albeit on steroids, of the general prosperity we enjoy in this country so in and of itself it doesn't bother me.

What does bother me is all the work that Christmas has become. I mean, it's just not fun sometimes. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

Tom Purcell: Good Grief: It's Christmas - Good grief.

It has been 41 years since the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" special first aired. It was broadcast again the last Tuesday in November, and the show holds more power over me now than it did when I was a kid.

I think I know why.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Americans, bolstered by stability and prosperity, married young and had large families. In my neighborhood, we had six kids, the Kreigers five, the Gillens four, the Greenaways four and so on.

The design was simple then for many folks: Many men and women believed that when they married, they became one under God. They believed their role was to sacrifice for their children, so their children could have better lives than they.

Their mission was to teach their kids good values and to provide them with an excellent education. That's why so many moved into our neighborhood. It was located a few blocks from St. Germaine's Catholic Church and School.

It was a traditional time, to be sure. Most of the dads went off to work while most of the moms kept an eye on both kids and neighborhood.

And although life for adults certainly had its limitations and challenges, there was no better time to be a kid. Especially during Christmas. - More...
Thursday PM - December 07, 2006

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