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The GCI Store - Ketchikan, Alaska

Re/Max - Ketchikan, Alaska

Water Tap - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan General Hospital

Christmas House - Ketchikan, Alaska

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Carl Thompson's Photographs - Ketchikan, Alaska


SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 21, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

 On A Winter's Day...
The USCGC Acushnet and Anthony Petit
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Ten Graduate From UAA Ketchikan Nursing Program
Emily Avila, Leanne Blanks, Thomas Grass, Mary Hasibar, Brett Hinkle, Sherity Kelly, Christine Lyshol, Vanessa McGhee, Rosa Mergenthal, and Sandra Singer

Ketchikan: Ten Graduate From UAA Ketchikan Nursing Program - A formal pinning ceremony for University of Alaska Anchorage Associate Degree Nursing Program Ketchikan graduates was held on Friday, December, 7, at 700pm at the US Coast Guard Station Crow's Nest. Ten registered nursing students received their pins. The pinning is a long held traditional nursing ceremony. Speakers included UAS Campus Director Cathy LeCompte, UAA School of Nursing Director Jean Ballantyne, UAA Nursing faculty Maureen Northway, and Student Speaker Brett Hinkle.

Emily Avila, Leanne Blanks, Thomas Grass, Mary Hasibar, Brett Hinkle, Sherity Kelly, Christine Lyshol, Vanessa McGhee, Rosa Mergenthal, and Sandra Singer spent two years training in clinical settings in Ketchikan and Anchorage. They also completed college course work which qualifies them to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science, Nursing degree. Graduates are now able to sit for the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN), and practice as registered nurses. - More....
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

Top Stories
U.S. News
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Alaska: Buzzed driving is drunk driving - The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in drunk driving.

The Alaska Highway Safety Office is supporting our state troopers and local law enforcement agencies to remind everyone who will be celebrating during the holidays that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and to never forget to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

As of today, Alaska has had 81 traffic-related deaths, compared to 74 in 2006 and 73 in 2005. Motorists are not the only ones at risk. This year 13 pedestrians have been killed - more than any other recorded year.

"Saving lives on our roads is a top priority and we need everyone's help to do it," said Leo von Scheben, Commissioner of Transportation and Public Facilities. "This holiday season, don't let your year end in an arrest-or even worse, death. Make smart decisions. Plan ahead, so you can assure a safe way home." - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

National: Voters, Candidates Shifting Their Attention to Economic Issues; As situation in Iraq improves, Americans more concerned about economy By MICHELLE AUSTEIN - "It's the economy, stupid."

President Bill Clinton's staffers used this popular slogan in his 1992 campaign against George H. W. Bush to indicate that, with the country deep in a recession, the economy was at the top of voters' minds.

Today, there is growing indication that when Americans are asked about their top concern, again it's the economy, stupid.

Judging by opinions of the war in Iraq and the outcome of the 2006 midterm elections, many political experts expected foreign policy to be the dominant issue of the 2008 campaign. But this may not be the case.

"Foreign policy is not dominating the elections as much as some might have expected," said Peter Beinart, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Beinart briefed journalists at the Foreign Press Center in Washington December 4.

"I think the reason is pretty simple," Beinart said. "Iraq is not as big an issue in American politics as it was a few months ago."

As the number of deaths in Iraq declines and the coverage of the issue in the news media decreases, polls indicate that Americans are as concerned or more concerned about economic issues. While polls show Americans still favor troop withdrawal from Iraq, more people now believe the situation in that country is improving. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

Alaska: Earth's climate has and will continue to change By NED ROZELL - My memories of growing up in New York include a blanket of snow on the ground from about Thanksgiving until March. After I moved to Alaska a few decades ago, the snow Back East seemed less dependable on each winter visit, with rain often wiping it out. I thought maybe I had noticed a change, but memories are the most unreliable of data sets.

Earth's climate has and will continue to change

Alaska has warmed 3.4 degrees F on average during the last 50 years.
Photo by Ned Rozell.

Last week, at a poster session at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, which attracted about 15,000 scientists to San Francisco, a scientist chatted about "a region-wide winter warming trend" for New England. She had checked out regional weather records from 1965 to 2005 (which also happens to be the middle 40 years of my life).

"People who have lived in New England a long time always seem to tell you that it used to snow more and that it's warmer now," said Liz Burakowski of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New Hampshire at Durham. "Maybe this study shows that anecdotal evidence can sometimes be right."- More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

Science - Technology: Soldiering on in the fight against killer bugs By JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY - In the war between killer bugs and humanity, Pat Schlievert is one of the generals.

As slender and energized as a live wire, the University of Minnesota microbiologist knows more about staph than just about anyone. That's why each day he fields phone calls and e-mails from doctors around the country seeking his help in figuring out if and how staph is making their patients sick.

Last month Schlievert's 30-year war on staph hit the headlines. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study put the public on notice that a staph variety known as methicillin-resistant saphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, belongs in the realm of superbugs to be feared.

The CDC study showed the increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria were running rampant in hospitals and nursing homes, and are increasing among otherwise healthy people. Researchers estimated that nationwide it contributed to the deaths of 19,000 people in 2005. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007


Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: An Unexpected Holiday 'Card' - I was minding my own business in the checkout line at Wingrens- SeaMart- Carrs- Safeway the other day, when the clerk threw me for a loop.

"Date of Birth?" he asked.

"Huh," I replied.

I haven't been "carded" in something like three decades.

Furthermore, I wasn't buying cigarettes.

"Huh?" I said again.

He just stared.

"Uh, two," I stammered some more.

He stared some more.

"Uh two-five-fifty nine," I finally spat out.

He returned to grunting as he ran my items over the scanner.

The moment passed and my attention shifted to the remarkable fact that every time I step into a grocery store I spend at least $40. Even when I only buy a candy bar.

No, actually my attention held fast for a change.

"Carded," I thought. "For what?!?!"

Then it hit me. The cough syrup. It had "alcohol" in it!

I remembered those halcyon days when some "dry" logging camps actually banned cough syrups (along with vanilla extract!) because some of then actually had the equivalent of 25 proof firewater in them. The better to put you to sleep so that you would forget you had a cold, of course!

But that still didn't account for the fact that - despite remarkably young looking skin for my advanced age - I am, and have been for some time, well over the age of consent, legal or otherwise.

And even though my memory is no longer sharp as a tack (it's actually as sharp as a tack that has been run over by a asphalt roller), I could never remember getting "carded" for Nyquil.

The thought stayed with me on the long - five minute - drive home.

So the first thing I did was consult the label on the cough medicine. Natch, I was curious to see just how much alcohol I was imbibing for the pleasure of getting "carded." - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007



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Basic Rules

letter Soccer's Misconceptions By Connor Pihl - As a college student away nine months out of the year, I am continually thankful for a resource such as Sitnews that enables me to stay current in all things Ketchikan. When I first saw the topic of a new turf athletic field in the list of viewpoints I was ecstatic that the community was possibly closing ground on such a promising development; reading further my excitement quickly turned to disappointment. As an idea for a community recreation project turned into emotional argument against the soccer community, my ability to refrain from this discussion was dissolved. I would like to first commend Kay Jones and Bill Harney for providing extensive factual information on KYSL's and the rest of the soccer community's involvement in efforts to secure a new multi-purpose turf athletic field. As a past-participant of youth baseball, basketball, soccer, the Kayhi Soccer, Basketball, and Swimming programs I hope that my insight as a promoter of all athletics may clear up any misconceptions left of the Ketchikan soccer community's FACILITIES, INVOLVEMENT, SUCCESS, and CONTRIBUTION. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letter It's not built.. AND THEY'RE ALREADY HERE! By Beau Poppen-Abajian - I've never before written on SitNews and have to be honest and say I rarely keep up with Ketchikan happenings or discussions. Back from college I thought it was appropriate to check on what was being talked about and where better to go than here. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letter Alaska Clean Water Initiative? By Dan Kelly - As I was heading in the post office today, I was stopped by a nice young lady that asked me if I wanted to sign her petition to "protect our waters" and "save our salmon". My initial response was that of course I did but I would sign on the way out. - More...
Friday Am - December 21, 2007

letter Removal of bus stop benches By George Miller - I agree with Riley Gass about the removal of benches at the library bus stop. I have sat there a few times myself and had pleasant conversations with various citizens, some possibly homeless. What separates the average local from homelessness? Would three months without work, or one unexpected downturn, or whims of local rental owner? People sitting there waiting are possibly less dangerous than those swinging fish lures around on the bridge. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letter Ketchikan is a town that pulls together By Joan Hurliman - In response to Mr. Borilli's letter on prices in Ketchikan, consider yourself fortunate, that you don't live in Sitka, or the Aleutian Chain, where prices are 2 to 4 times higher than Ketchikan.(This is common in the smaller community, especially the bush) When you came to Alaska weren't you aware the "cost of living", was higher? Possibly you just saw a significantly higher salary, and a permanent fund, as so many people do. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letterSprinklers By Robert McRoberts - It's so close to Christmas we should all be saying Merry Christmas.

Months ago I was invited by the City to put my input in on this subject of sprinklers. There were only 4 or 5 contractors that made this meeting and one architect co. At this meeting I could see they were already convinced they were going to put this into effect no mater what we said. I suggested it would be easier for all if they just spec out their fire trucks for our conditions. But oh no. Just how the city works, let the public pay the cost. - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letter SIDEWALKS!!!!! By Shannon Guthrie - Okay, tell me if I am crazy, but when there is no snow on the ground and there is someone walking in the street, you get upset right? Then why is it that when there is snow on the ground, finally giving people a reason to be doing this insane behavior, does the city not do anything about it? - More...
Friday AM - December 21, 2007

letter Residentual Sprinkler Systems By David Hull - Homeowners, prospective or otherwise, and home builders of Ketchikan, object if you want, complain about the cost or debate the effectiveness of residential sprinkler systems until you are comfortable with your stance, but do not mistake the motives or knowledge of the Ketchikan Fire Department's Chief officers or Fire Marshall staff. The department is not "Empire Building" or attempting to put up a road block to development in Ketchikan. KFD is trying to prevent, to the very best of their abilities, tragedies such as the one that has driven an emotional stake in the very heart of the spirit of Ketchikan. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Funding Turf Soccer Fields for the record By Kay Jones - For the record and in response to Mr. Johnson, KYSL has tried for years to obtain the funding for a turf field. Because KYSL does not own the fields they are not eligible to apply for several grants that United States Soccer Federation (USSF) offers. They have tried several corporate sponsors and once again the roadblock has been that they do not own the fields, nor do they have a long-term user right lease in place with the borough. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Opinions and freedom of choice By Charles Edwardson - I would like to open by saying I have always respected and admired Kevin Murphy I know part of his history through commercial fishing and by just living here from day one 44 years ago. I simply have a different opinion. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letterBus stop benches By Riley Gass - I find it ludicrous that benches were removed from the bus stop at the library. Apparently someone thought it was so horrible that a couple of homeless men were staying out of the rain and sleeping there, that they thought it was appropriate to not only take their shelter away, but take away the benches from absolutely everyone who might want to sit down and rest from walking or before taking the bus. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Needed: street lamps By Judith Green - Has anyone else noticed, when traveling North Tongass into town, just past the Ward Creek bridge, at the bend in the road ... there is a very dark ominous spot? Lots of street lamps just before the bend, and then quite a ways past the bend there are more lamps. These overhead lamps really do help us to be safe and cautious when driving our highway. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Sports By Loren Stanton - Wow I am so happy that everyone is on board with supporting sports in our community! I especially enjoyed Karl Richey's commentary because I have seen him so many times. This fall my daughter broke her arm and my son broke his leg. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Kindness By Eileen Small - I had a wonderful opportunity to witness human kindness recently. As often as we see "the other side" of individuals, I thought this was worth a short letter to share it. This past weekend, my 94 year old mother flew from Ketchikan back home to Houston, Texas to visit with my sister and the rest of our family for a month. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Expensive running a local business By Susan Bachant - In response to the letter signed Vincent Borelli, I would like to suggest to him that it would be helpful to both himself and the community if he would start a local business. Then he would have the opportunity of seeing first hand how expensive it is to do business and that the local business owners are not running around ripping off our friends and neighbors. And I don't mean work for a local business as a manager. I mean be the one who's actually responsible for how the money is spent and be the one who has to sign the checks that go out to pay for the business' expenses. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Dynamite Joe By Chris Elliott - Darn! I was so disappointed to read Chaz Edwardson's letter railing against the theme park concept for Newtown. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Clean elections By Carol Cairnes - Right now, I'm listening to a Talk of Alaska on KRBD do a program about the clean elections petition drive. As it happens, last Sunday I was given this petition to circulate here in Ketchikan. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Residential sprinklers systems By Mike Isaac - Residential sprinklers systems are a good idea but an expensive one. However with a trip to the hardware store you can make one for well under $100. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Sports fields By Rebecca Clark - I would like to say that I am not opposed to having new fields in our town, Ms. Olmstead! I enjoy watching my children play sports very much! No, I don't enjoy watching them get "hurt". However, if a field of grass is necessary, maybe a professional can "git 'r done" this time (eg. Weiss field)! - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Harriet Hunt - Ward Lake Road By Tom Carlin - I've been going to school down in California for the past 3 months and am returning to Ketchikan later this week. I just heard from a buddy of mine that they will not let anyone up to Harriet Hunt What is with that? I have lived in Ketchikan for 19 years and have never heard of anything like this. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Help is needed By Carol Baines - Words can't express how sorry I am to hear that children died in a fire last weekend. As a mother and grandmother, I can't imagine the grief the family must be going through. I hope that the people of Ketchikan will step forward to help the family in their time of great sorrow. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 19, 2007

letter Form your own opinion of residential sprinklers By Kevin Murphy - Isn't America great? Everyone can freely voice their opinion on any subject they choose. By having the freedom of choice we can either agree or disagree with those opinions. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Buy Local and Road Maintenance By Vincent Borelli - I moved to Ketchikan about a year ago and want to say that the people are warm and friendly. It is a pleasure to chat with most anyone in the commmunity and feel that Ketchikan has a unique beauty. The community is refreshing compared to many other places in the US. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Bus Stop Benches Removed In Front of Library By Carol Baines - I've been told that the benches that were removed at the bus stop in front of the public library because of partying going on there, i.e. people smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, sleeping on the benches overnight, etc. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Coffman Cove Ball Field By Jennifer Bunch - I lived on the Prince of Wales Island for many years. I can say that Coffman Cove has had a grass field for many, many years. I believe it was originally completed when Howard Valentine Logging Camp was still in operation. To the best of my knowledge the field was built by locals and volunteers from the community helped maintain it for years. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Playing on gravel By Cyd Olmsted - I would like to clarify Ms. Clark's comment about people being "very hurt from falling on slick grass." By 'very hurt' does she mean femur fractures, neck injuries and potentially serious MRSA infected wounds? Because as a cheechakoo who grew up playing on grass fields watching people get 'very hurt,' I was APPALLED by the severity of injuries our youth suffer due to playing on gravel....and I'm not talking a sore derriere from landing hard or an occassional fractured ankle. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Indoor sports facility By Thom A. Fischer - This letter is for encouragement to parents who want more sports opportunities for their children. Building an indoor sports field would be one of the finest investments Ketchikan could make in its youth. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter If you build it . . . . they won't come! By Billy Johnson - In regards to the recently letter about building a new soccer field:

1. Instead of begging for money from the city or state, how about fund the upgrades yourself? You've been provided with a playing field. Instead of living on handouts, go out and fund raise. Take pride in ownership. Get some corporate sponsors, round up parents/coaches/kids for volunteer work and fund raising duties. Taking ownership will give the players, fans, coaches and parents pride and respect for what they achieved working together as a team! - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter Fire -- City Council By George Mather - Mr. Edwardson is right we do not live in a perfect world, fires happen. The Ketchikan Fire Department is very good at what they do. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

letter History, Reason & Representation By Derek Flom - I first want to give a big hand to Mr. Edwardson, keep the voice of common sense loud and in the forefront.

Why do some of our elected officials seem to go with the group instead of speaking up and standing up for what's best for the people that elected them?. Is common sense leaving Alaska too? Or do they give you a set of chicken feathers and a secret rule book when you take the oath? This seems to be a statewide issue, it's time that the people of Alaska and their representation speak loudly that we are a State and we are due our share, we all pay taxes. We have not had 150 years to build our towns, bridges and roads. We matter just as much as any other state, our federal tax dollars are no different than everyone else's. So why is Alaska still treated like a territory? Like some Eco-park to make liberals and tree huggers feel good about saving the Earth, while they live in their polluting cities. - More...
Monday AM - December 17, 2007

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