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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 18, 2006

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

George Inlet Ice
Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Ketchikan: 600 Children Will Be Touched This Christmas By Toy Run Gifts - "Occasionally, I am asked by someone from outside of our group what the Ketchikan Harley Riders Association Toy Run is, or what it is about," said KHRA Vice President Dan Hart. "Well, in short, it is our effort to give something back to our community, by providing gifts at Christmas time to some of the less fortunate young people living here."

Toy Run...

600 Children Will Be Touched This
Christmas By Toy Run Gifts
Just one of the loads of Ketchikan Harley Riders Association
Toy Run toys headed for the "Toy House."
Front Page Photo Courtesy KHRA

Hart said, "The members of the Ketchikan Harley Riders Association have had a productive and successful year in 2006. We had several events during the year, some to raise money for our charitable drive, the Toy Run, and some to just have a little fun."

"The raffle of the Street Bob, consumed a lot of time and some effort on the part of the group in 2006, but it turned out to be well worth it! We paid for the bike, and had money to pay the expenses that we incur during the year, and we made the winner of the 2006 Harley quite happy. Most importantly, we put some money away to support our Toy Run charitable donations!," said Hart.

Hart said all year long, the Ketchikan Harley Riders Association have various activities to raise money. "The Ketchikan Harley Riders Association ask for and receive donations from generous individuals and businesses and our members volunteer their time and skills to gather the hundreds of gifts together," said Hart. The gifts are gathered at what came to be known this year as the Toy House which is located at what used by the Dockside Diner. Hart said KHRA elves will gather the bags of goodies from the Toy House and make their appointed rounds delivering the gifts. - More...
Monday - December 18, 2006

Senior Volunteers...

Senior Volunteers Participate Throughout Ketchikan
ACS Volunteer Juanita Diamond and
Walt create a bird feeder...
Photograph courtesy ACS

Ketchikan: Senior Volunteers Participate Throughout Ketchikan - Alaska Community Service (ACS) recognized their 15 volunteers at SeaView Terrace activity room on Friday at a casual party with approximately forty people in attendance. Gretchen Klein, ACS Coordinator, said," The SeaView Terrace Resident Council made it a splendid event for us."

Klein said, "What was most striking was the number of people who attended who were retired ACS volunteers and people looking at getting involved in ACS one way or the other." She said, "Our average age of our volunteers has been 78 which just goes so show how active people are staying, and it is just amazing how much they are still giving to others."

Long-time and now retired ACS volunteers Marie Smith and Mary Fitizigbbon attended the event. Klein said, "They had been members for ten plus years. It is always fun to hear about their experiences as volunteers, and it was a nice opportunity to let them know they are missed at their volunteer sites."

Several of the ACS volunteers also took part in the monthly Intergenerational Party held on Saturday at the Pioneers Home. Klein said, "It was a fun filled afternoon with Boys and Girls Club members playing bingo with residents, and helping make bird feeders out of pine cones and bird seed mix. This consists of peanut butter, meal, birdseeds, and lard." - More...
Monday - December 18, 2006

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Fish Factor: 2007 crab fishery will be in full swing by mid-January By LAINE WELCH - With almost no snow crab carry-overs in the nation's freezers and crimped catch quotas in competing countries, Bering Sea crabbers are hoping for a bigger paycheck for Alaska's largest crab fishery. The 2007 season will be in full swing by mid-January, and while most crab markets are feeling the pinch of over supply, that's not the case for snow crab.

"We would like to see an advance price of $1.60," said Greg White, a negotiator for the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, crab harvesters who hold about 70 percent of the Bering Sea king and snow crab quota shares. "We think that's supportable in the current market environment."

The average price for Alaska snow crab last season was just 84 cents a pound, settling out at $1.15 to $1.19 after post season adjustments.

Urner Barry, which since 1858 has tracked U.S. food products, reported in late Nov. that inventories are "close to being sold out and demand is extremely active" for Canadian product. Canada is the world's largest snow crab producer, delivering close to 195 million pounds this year into mostly U.S. markets. Canada's crab quotas are on a downward spiral, as are Russia's, where catches have dropped to a still hefty 110 million pounds. Alaska is a bit player in comparison, producing about 37 million pounds of snow crab in the coming year, just 10 percent of world supply.

But Bering Sea crabbers can get the jump on their competition, said Ken Talley, editor of Seafood Trends newsletter.

"One of the keys of success for Alaskan snow crab, for processors and fishermen, will be getting the crab harvested and into the market as quickly as possible. That's the only way for Alaskan production to take advantage of the vacuum in supply. When Canadian snow crab hits the market in late April, it will set the pace and Alaska will only follow along," Talley said.

"We feel like we are at the 50 yard line and the nearest defensive player is about 30 yards behind us, and all we've got to do is run to the end zone. "Last year the processors didn't make money and neither did the harvesters. It's time to turn that around for both," said Greg White.

The 2006 Bering Sea snow crab catch of 40 million pounds was valued at $31 million at the docks.

Surimi by any other name.

The Alaska pollock industry is celebrating a name change for surimi ­the popular crab, lobster or shrimp flavored seafood made from whitefish that is served in seafood salads and at sushi bars. The FDA is now allowing the word "imitation" to be dropped from surimi product labels, a requirement since the product was introduced to the U.S. in the 1970s.

The imitation term creates a negative perception with consumers, said Rick Muir of the group Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, or GAPP.

"Imitation is not something that people get all warm and fuzzy about. So we were really looking forward to getting out a name that wouldn't deceive the public but would be more appealing and appetizing," Muir said. The Alaska pollock industry and the National Fisheries Institute have been lobbying Congress for a decade to allow the new description.- More...
Monday - December 18, 2006


Basic Rules

letter Fuel Prices By Ken Lewis - Saturday PM
letter Christmas lights and displays By Cindy Inouye - Saturday PM
letter RE:The State Jet By Charlie Johnson - Saturday PM
letter Plane wreckage? By Josh Stamm - Saturday PM
letter Jet By Frances C. Natkong - Saturday PM
letterGood Deeds By Mark Neckameyer - Saturday PM
letterSallie Mae should change its name to Bullie Mae By C. Victoria Patrick - Saturday PM
letter As long as we are holding auctions... By Hunter Davis - Thursday
letter The State Jet By June Allen - Thursday
letter Army Recruitment ad By John Harrington - Wednesday
letter High Fuel Cost By Joseph J Chadwell - Tuesday AM
letter The price of gas and public officials By Craig Moen- Tuesday AM
letter Ketchikan Community Concert Band concert By Judith Green- Tuesday AM
letter Army Recruitment Ad on Top of Alaska News Page? By Dan Mortenson- Tuesday AM
letter Stopping abuse of any form. By Janelle Hamilton- Tuesday AM
letter High Cost of Oil and Gas - Give us a break! By Janelle Hamilton - Saturday
letter Outrageous Salaries! By Robert D. Warner - Saturday
letter High cost of fuel By R.K. Rice - Saturday
letter Christmas Lights Around Town By Diana Chaudhary - Saturday
letter Ketchikan Lions Club By Jim Sundahl - Saturday
letter Apology owed to NTVFD By Liz Hook - Saturday
letter Will Ketchikan's gas prices ever go down? By Richard John Jr. - Saturday
letter Ketchikan's high gas prices By Jon Van Essen - Saturday
letter RE: House Approves Measure to Preserve WWII Internment Camps By Shirley A. Weiss - Saturday
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 More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Statistically Speaking - I love statistics.

When I was a little kid, I memorized reams and reams and reams of sports "stats".

And even though I sometimes have trouble remembering my current telephone number (225- uhh, 08, uhh 70) and my various passwords and pin numbers, I can still spout Ty Cobb's lifetime batting average (.367), Wilt Chamberlain's 1961-62 scoring average (50.4) and the fact that Sandy Koufax struck out 382 batters in 1965.

Now that I am older, natch, I have reached the point where weather stats are of great interest.

No, I do not watch the Weather Channel 24-7 (although "Storm of the Century" is very compelling TV!). But I do like to keep track of our local weather info (Highest ever Ketchikan temp: 96 degrees in 1913; lowest ever temp: minus 8 in 1916!). - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

Steve Brewer: Reassigning assembly duty - Grumpy dads everywhere dread the approach of the holidays. To us, the gift-giving season means one thing: "ready-to-assemble."

We'll spend the waning days of the year hunched over a random collection of parts that don't fit together so well, trying to assemble them into something useful. We'll try to decipher instructions written in a secret code by someone with only a rudimentary grasp of English, while we simultaneously keep one eye on televised bowl games. - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

Ann McFeatters: Judge's patience with FEMA at end - The judge's outrage comes hurtling through his words, demanding the government respond to his order that cutting off rental aid for thousands of Katrina victims just weeks after the deadly storm struck was unconstitutional, premature, incredible and "Kafkaesque."

But his fury is not new. It's been building for months. And all that seems to happen is that government lawyers file appeals. - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

Clifford May: President Bush can still avoid defeat in Iraq - I was privileged to serve as one of the "expert" advisors to the Iraq Study Group (ISG), along with former ambassadors and CIA operatives, retired military officers and distinguished academics. It was a stimulating, edifying and - ultimately - disappointing experience.

We were divided from the start: A minority thought the mission was to find a way forward in Iraq; a majority thought the mission was to find a way out of Iraq, a way to manage what they view as America's inevitable defeat. - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

Deroy Murdock: Look for ISG report in fantasy section of bookstores - Among the many shortcomings in the widely panned Iraq Study Group (ISG) report is its blame-Israel-first mentality. If only the Jewish state would surrender more land to the Palestinians and hand Syria the now-occupied Golan Heights, grateful Iraqis would burst into song, defuse their Improvised Explosive Devices, and build a safe, free, and prosperous republic. The fact that so many of them are doing the opposite is - what else? - Israel's fault.

"Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts," the ISG report declares. America cannot "achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict." - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

Dale McFeatters: More than you want to know - The best book ever written about the United States came out Friday. It comes out every year - this is the 126th - and goes by the deceptively bland title "Statistical Abstract of the United States."

The prose is lean and spare - in fact, there is almost no prose - but the 1,400 tables and charts compiled by the Census Bureau is jammed with information about who we are, what we do, where we live, what languages we speak and whether we eat our broccoli. (We do: 5.7 pounds per person per year.)

Like the blurbs on a book jacket, the Census teases us with a few facts.

We watch too much television (our judgment, not the government's) - 65 days' worth a year.

In 2005, Internet users made 92 million purchases online and created 13 million blogs.

Yes, there is grade inflation. Almost half of incoming college freshmen had an A average in high school compared to 20 percent in 1970. In 1970, an overwhelming percentage of kids went to college to develop a "philosophy of life." Now, the same percentage wants to be "very well off financially." - More...
Friday AM - December 15, 2006

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