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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 28, 2011

 Front Page Photo By HEIDI EKSTRAND

"Christmas Eve Light"
 The winds calmed, rain quit and afternoon light faded to an evening of great beauty.
 Front Page Photo By HEIDI EKSTRAND

Ketchikan: ALCU sues state of Alaska, seeks the return of medical records seized from Ketchikan clinic - How private are your medical records, and does the state have a right to access them and keep them in pursuit of charges against a medical practitioner? - More...


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Ketchikan: KIC Annual Elections In January; Voter Registration Deadline Dec. 30th - Ketchikan Indian Community’s annual Tribal Elections are scheduled for Monday January 16th.  This election cycle KIC members will elect four Tribal Council members to two-year positions and four Advisory Health Board members.  Two Advisory Health Board members will serve a one-year term and two will serve a two-year term.  In recent years, the Advisory Health Board members were appointed by the Tribal Council.  KIC members requested a return to voting for the advisory board via the ballot box.

Of particular interest to KIC members is voter registration.  KIC General Manager, Debbie Patton, encourages members to register to vote before the deadline Friday December 30th at Noon.  She also suggests that KIC members check their registration status.  New voter registration cards were produced earlier this year.  Many members have not picked up their new voter I.D. cards which are available on the 5th floor of KIC's headquarters. Members are asked to do so and at the same time double check their registration status. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Wrangell Cooperative Association Announces $450,000 Award from Rasmuson Foundation; Funds to be used for Chief Shakes Tribal House renovation - The Wrangell Cooperative Association (WCA) announced that the association has received a recent award of $450,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation. This makes the Rasmuson Foundation, along with the State of Alaska, one of the largest supporters of the Shakes Island Renovation Project. According to a Rasmuson Foundation press release, the grant award was made from their Tier 2 program, which supports “large capital (building) projects, projects of demonstrable strategic importance or innovative nature, or the expansion or start-up of innovative programs that address issues of broad community or statewide significance.”

"We are thrilled with this announcement," said Dawn Hutchinson, president of the WCA Tribal Council. "It's taken years, but through persistence and the help of our grant writer, Tis Peterman, we’ve been able to secure funding for over half of the estimated cost of the renovation of the Chief Shakes tribal house.”

Work began in earnest on the tribal house renovation in August with the hiring of master carver, Wayne Price and a team of adzers. Although Wayne Price left in November to pursue other projects, the adzers continued to work until recently due to a winter break.

WCA continues to pursue funding for repair or replacement of the totem poles on the island and for construction of a carving facility in which to work on the totem poles and other carving projects.

Shakes Island is located in the harbor at Wrangell, Alaska and contains the Chief Shakes Historic Site, a National Register site that receives over 10,000+ visitors a year. The island stands as one of the few lasting reminders of Southeast Alaska Natives and their unique totemic art. The site’s main feature is a replica of a 19th century Tlingit tribal house which is set on the authentic location historically occupied by Chief Shake’s lineage. Not only is the site important to the national chronology of Native-white contact, it is still used today for Tlingit ceremonies and contains the prized clan artwork - at.óow - of the Stikine Tlingits.  Shakes Island is owned and operated by the Wrangell Cooperative Association (WCA) which is the federally recognized tribe of the Stikine River region. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011

Fire hazard fears over compact fluorescent lamps at end of life - Compact fluorescent lamps, which have been pushed to gradually replace traditional incandescent bulbs, are a potential fire hazard that could burn down your home, warn experts reports

Fire hazard fears over compact fluorescent lamps at end of life

The lamps (CFLs) use electricity to heat an element in the lamp’s base that leads the mercury vapor gas in the coils to emit light. The bulb ends its life when the wire filament, which produces light when electricity passes through it, burns out and breaks. When a CFL can no longer produce light, the electronics in its base will still try to function, reportedly sometimes leading to overheating, smoke and fire.

CFLs have been touted as the bulb of the future because it uses about a fifth of the power than a regular bulb and is reported to have a life six to 10 times as great. However, there are other alternatives, such as the new, & very expensive LED lights.

The Energy Independence and Security Act will gradually phase out traditional bulbs starting in 2012. The incandescent bulb hasn’t changed much since Thomas Edison patented it in 1879. Very few people may even be aware of the fact that the federal government passed a bill in 2007 that will eventually make the sale of incandescent light bulbs illegal. Fires from the old incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, are virtually nonexistent.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission started an online complaints database in March. So far there have been 34 complaints about CFLs emitting smoke or a burning odor and four reports of the lights actually catching fire. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Nuns Best Examples for Teaching - Boy, did New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg get himself into a heap of trouble with educators.

While speaking to students at MIT, he said that "in his ideal world he would fire half the city's teachers and pay those remaining twice as much to teach classes double the current size," reports The New York Times.

He also said that when he was a kid, classrooms were packed and he and others in his generation did just fine -- the idea being that good, committed teachers can handle larger class sizes.

He's older than I am, but I had the same experience. I was taught by nuns.

Unlike so many schools today, where some teachers fear their students, we feared the sisters.

My second-grade teacher, Sister Mary Brass Knuckles, ran her classroom in a structured, orderly manner. She took guff from no kid.

The floors were so clean, you could eat off them. The blackboards had a brighter sheen than a Mercedes fender. And our desks, subject to frequent and unannounced inspections, were clean and organized -- or else.

As for our attire, we weren't permitted to wear the loose, sloppy clothing kids wear today. We wore trousers, blazers, white shirts and clip-on ties.

There was a clear sense of right and wrong and a total lack of chaos -- no daydreaming, no talking, no joking, and no doodling.

It was expected that each student would put forth his best effort. Anything short of trying your hardest was grounds for punishment, which included anything from a call home to a pinched earlobe or a whack on the knuckles with a wooden ruler. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011


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letter Ron Paul:  Unfit To Be President By Donald A. Moskowitz - Ron Paul disavowed knowledge of anti-Israel, possibly anti-Jewish, anti-black and anti-gay views expressed in his newsletters in the 1980s and1990s, but I assume he knew the contents of his newsletters.  He was the editor. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011

letter Wreck of the Ancon By John McDermott - In the summer of 1995 I was living in Ketchikan (I was born and raised in Alaska, and lived most of my life in Ketchikan). For no particular reason, I went to the local library. While there, I happened upon a few 'art' books that caught my eye, and so I took a couple of them home. In one of them I spotted a small image of a painting entitled 'Wreck of the Ancon,' which really got my attention when I realized that it was painted by Albert Bierstadt (one of the most talented and legendary painters of the late 19th century), and that it was also a 'local' scene (Loring Bay, near Ketchikan). Somehow, I got the urge to obtain a copy of that painting. But since I couldn't easily find a way to obtain a copy (no internet access in those days), I decided to paint a copy of it myself, in oil paint (I'd been an artist for many years, and had won the 'First Place' blue ribbon in the Professional Painting division at the then-famous annual Ketchikan Arts & Crafts Guild Art Show). - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter Two lessons for Lisa, Mark and Don By A. M. Johnson - In the interest of sharing how the National debt sizes up with our personal house hold budget, the following is submitted for public consumption. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter Help Us Fire Congress By Roy T Newsom - The US Congress has continued to bargain away our future with the constant error of logic that compromise is necessary to get along with their political adversaries.  Ninety percent of the incumbents are re-elected every two years.  The same politicians that have caused all our problems are put back in office to continue the same mistakes over and over. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter "Over the Top Route Minimizes Natural Gas Benefits to Alaskans" By Bill Walker - Article VIII, Sections 1 and 2 of Alaska's Constitution mandate that "Alaska's resources are to be developed to the maximum use and benefit of its people." - More...
Tuesday - December 20, 2011

letter Re: Tonka timber sale By Alan R. McGillvray - Well folks the eco-communists are at it again, doing every thing they are able to keep people from gainful employment. To make us import our building supplies at greater expense than otherwise needed. Thereby increasing our "carbon footprint" on the planet, but that's probably OK with them, they drive around in their fancy cars, write big checks from money that doesn't come from local sources, just so they can have a pristine playground. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letter RE: Biometric Scanning By Ken Leland - Why does this not surprise me? We already have "Big Brother" looking over our shoulder and examining our private lives. George Orwell was a true visionary, way ahead of his time.I have always said that 1984 authored by him should be mandatory reading for our students at least by middle school. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letter RE: Biometric scanning By April Harper - I totally agree with Charlanne Thomas. I was also appalled when I received a letter from my child's school stating that they had their fingers scanned!! What makes them think they have the right to do something of that nature and level of privacy of a minor without the consent of their parents? - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letter The Gravina Island Cleanup By Jerry Cegelske - The Gravina Island Cleanup began on July 1, 2006 after the Borough was notified that the grant request for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grant for Coastal Marine Habitat Restoration had been approved.  The cleanup activities ended on October 31, of this year with a last load of marine debris placed in the dumpster near the Harbormaster’s office. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letter Biometric Scanning By Charlanne Thomas - First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I am in no way criticizing the staff of Point Higgins School. I realize they have a difficult job and I appreciate their dedication to our children. My complaint is with technology that is implemented without my consent. Biometric scanning has been implemented at Point Higgins school in an attempt to alleviate manual input of student lunch records and supposedly the library. While I understand that we live in an age where technology is expected, this process was completed on my child without my approval. When I discovered that his finger had been scanned and stored as a "10-digit binary code", it was too late. His unique code has been stored and is available, whether it is deleted or not. I'm sure the School District backs up their systems on a nightly basis, and once something is in a system, it's there for years. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letter RESPONSIBLITY By Pamela Graff - Just before noon today [Thursday] I received a phone call from Houghtaling the school my daughter attends 2nd grade, stated that while waiting for the bus at Ketchikan Lakes Road and Deer Mount around 8am a dog had jumped up on her and broken her front tooth. She was in pain after eating lunch when the food hit her nerve. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

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