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Daily Sitka Sentinel Newspaper Archives Jul 27 2015, Page 1

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Daily Sitka Sentinel (Newspaper) - July 27, 2015, Sitka, Alaska 75 Cents Volume 76 No. 142 Sitka, Alaska Monday, July 27, 2015 6 Pages 7 Daily A h om S e - own e d i n ews t p a p e r s e k r v i n g S i t a k a s i n c e 1 9 4 S 0 • ww e w. s i t k a s n e n t i n e l . c om t / sitk i asenti n nel el 5 Years RAIN 59 º / 52 º Winds: SE 10- 15 MPH Sentinel Special Sitka Forecast for: July 28 Sitka Majors into finals - Wednesday, July 25- Westerdam 7 a. m.- 3 p. m. O’Connell Bridge Total Passengers: 1,848 Declan Washko, 2, aims a firehose at a plywood house target during the Super Saturday event at the Sitka Fire Hall Saturday. The fundraiser, in its 15th year, is a way for the public to meet firefighters, EMS personnel, the dive team and the search and rescue team. Hundreds attended the event, which besides the new firehose game, also included a rummage sale, food and bouncy castle. Money raised at the event goes to a fund for volunteers and their families to cover cost of such expenses as health care and emergency travel. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) Super Serious Obama Leads Push For S. Sudan Peace VALIANT EFFORT – Cade McAllister holds it together as he’s consoled by his coach after striking out in the last at bat for Ketchikan in a game against Sitka Thursday at the District 2 Little League Majors tournament at Moller Park. Ketchikan, Prince of Wales and Petersburg were eliminated from the tournament over the weekend. Sitka plays Juneau 6 p. m. tonight in the championship tournament at Moller Park. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson) By JULIE PACE and DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia ( AP) — President Barack Obama launched a personal push for peace in South Sudan on Monday, convening African leaders for urgent talks in neighboring Ethiopia aimed at keeping the world’s newest nation from collapsing amid civil war. “ The possibilities of renewed con flict in a region that has been torn by conflict for so long, and has resulted in so many deaths, is something that requires urgent attention from all of us,” Obama said. “ We don’t have a lot of time to wait.” The talks on South Sudan came on the sidelines of Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, his second stop on a trip to East Africa. He urged Ethiopia’s leaders to curb crackdowns on press freedoms and political opposition, warning that failure to do so could upend economic progress in a country seeking to move past years of poverty and famine. “ When all voices are being heard, when people know they are being included in the political process, that makes a country more successful,” Obama said during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Ethiopia has been among the most active countries in East Africa seeking to end the crisis in South Sudan, a young nation birthed with backing from the U. S. and other nations. South Sudan’s warring factions face an Aug. 17 deadline to accept a regional peace and power- sharing deal. South Sudan was thrown into con flict in December 2013 by a clash between forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and President Salva Kiir, a Dinka. The fighting has spurred a humanitarian crisis that threatens the country’s survival just four years after its inception. U. S. officials have expressed pes simism about the prospects for a deal, saying the two sides are indifferent to the plight of the South Sudanese people. Even as they await the outcome of the peace process, officials say the U. S. is eying additional economic sanctions and perhaps an arms embargo to ramp up pressure on the warring factions. Obama and Hailemariam were joined in the talks on South Sudan by the presidents of Kenya and Uganda, the chair of the African Union and Sudan’s foreign minister. There were no plans for Obama or other U. S. officials to meet with representatives of South Sudan. Monday’s meeting focused on what must happen between now and Aug. 17 in the absence of an agreement. In addition to possible sanctions, one participant at the meeting raised the possibility of deploying regional forces to restore peace, administration officials said after the meeting. Such a force also could be used to help enforce an agreement should one be reached in time. The officials declined to say which participant proposed the idea, only that it was not the U. S. Obama arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday following a visit to Kenya, his father’s homeland. The president is seen in Kenya as a local son and his first visit as president was treated as a homecoming. In Ethiopia, too, Obama’s visit has PORTLAND, Ore. ( AP) — Environmental activists in Portland are protesting the arrival of the Fennica, a vessel that Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to use in its Arctic offshore drilling project after it’s repaired. The damaged ship, a 380- foot icebreaker, arrived at a Swan Island dry dock about 3 a. m. Saturday. The ice breaker is a key part of Shell’s explora tion and spill- response plan off Alaska’s northwest coast. It protects Shell’s fleet from ice and carries equipment that can stop gushing oil. The Fennica was damaged earlier this month in the Aleutian Islands Shell’s Ship Arrives In Oregon For Repairs when it struck an underwater obstruction, tearing a gash in its hull. About 75 “ kayaktivists” and other protesters in boats were on the water Saturday afternoon, near where the Fennica is docked, holding a peaceful on- the- water rally against arctic offshore drilling, activist Mia Reback said. No arrests have been made. Environmental groups had wanted the Obama administration to reject permits sought by Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea because of the absence of the icebreaker. But earlier this week, the federal government gave Shell approval to begin limited exploratory oil drilling in Chukchi Sea, with conditions. Shell can only drill the top sections of wells because the company doesn’t have critical emergency response equipment on site to cap a well in case of a leak. That equipment is aboard the Fennica. The missing safety equipment is called a capping stack, a roughly 30- foot- tall device that can be lowered onto a wellhead to stop gushing oil after a blowout or connect to hoses to direct oil to vessels on the surface. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement that Shell could submit an amended application for deeper drilling when the capping stack can be deployed within 24 hours. “ President Obama ignored the will of the people earlier this week when he undercut his climate legacy and gave conditional approval to Shell to drill in the Arctic,” Dan Ritzman, director of Sierra Club’s Arctic campaign, said in a statement. Environmentalists worry the Arctic’s remoteness and rugged conditions will hamper cleanup efforts in the event of a spill, risking devastation of a fragile marine ecosystem. But proponents of arctic drilling say it can be conducted safely with existing technologies and that future production will help sustain the country’s energy needs and limit reliance on imports. Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said by email earlier this week that receipt of the drilling permits signals the end of the permitting process, and drilling will begin when the area is clear of sea ice. Both of Shell’s drill rigs are on their way to the Chukchi sea. The U. S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic offshore reserves in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas at 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil. By ERICA WERNER and JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON ( AP) — House Republicans rebuffed their Senate counterparts Monday over must- pass highway legislation, setting the two chambers on a collision course days ahead of a crucial deadline in the midst of the summer driving season. As House members convened for their final days of work before an an nual August recess, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy ruled out taking up the Senate’s highway bill, which is headed for completion in the next sev eral days. “ We’re not taking up the Senate bill,” the California Republican told reporters at the Capitol, adding that the Senate should instead take up the bill already passed by the House. “ My best advice to the Senate is to get our highway bill moved forward,” he said. The House bill is a five- month ex tension of current programs while the Senate’s version authorizes $ 350 bil lion in transportation programs for six years, though only three of those are paid for. House, Senate Fight Over Highways Bill Authority for federal highway aid payments to states will expire Friday at midnight without action. At the same time, if Congress doesn’t act before then the balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund is forecast to drop below a minimum cushion of $ 4 billion that’s necessary to keep aid flowing smoothly to states. House Republican leaders say their approach would buy them time to try to come up with a tax reform deal coveted by the White House and some leaders in both parties, and use that to pay for an even longer- term highway bill. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said publicly and privately that such a deal will be all but impossible to achieve. He wants to move legislation now to dispense with the highway issue at least through next year’s elec tions, give certainty to states and avoid repeated fights over the issue. “ Time is running out to get this bill through Congress. We’re up against a deadline at the end of week,” McCo nnell, R- Ky., said on the Senate floor. “ Jobs are on the line. Important infrastructure projects are too. So we have to get the job done.” Despite the dispute between the two chambers there’s little expectation Congress would let the Friday deadline come and go without action, given from state and local transportation agencies, the construction industry and others. But how the issue will get resolved before then is unclear. One possibility is an even shorter- term extension of two months or so, which McCarthy was careful not to rule out. Already the highway bill has become the vehicle for troublesome po litical fights over other issues, includ ing the federal Export- Import Bank, a little- known lending agency that’s hotly opposed by conservatives and was allowed to expire June 30. The By CLAUDIA TORRENS Associated Press NEW YORK ( AP) — Vianel Garcia told family members they could sleep on the floor of her East Harlem hair sa lon when Pope Francis visits the city in September so they can try to catch a glimpse of him when he makes a stop at a school across from her business. “ My clients also want to come, but we don’t have enough space,” said the 35- year- old Dominican stylist who said she will hang a big sign on the front door welcoming the pope on Sept. 25. Enthusiasm is growing among Hispanic Catholics in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. over Argentine- born Pope Francis first U. S. visit. Many are inquiring about tickets to see him during his stops in the three cities, with many planning to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, where the pope with speak. Some are organizing workshops at their churches about the pope’s teachings and how they apply to immi- U. S. Hispanics Plan for Pope’s Visit In this Friday, July 24, photo, Maria Rodriguez, left, and Alma Reyes pose with a photo of Pope Francis at Queen’s Saint Leo’s church, in New York. The two are part of a team organizing a workshop at the church to talk about the pope’s teachings in advance of his trip to the United States in September. ( AP Photo/ Bebeto Matthews) grants. “ There is this simplicity he has to tell people things like they really are,” said Alma Reyes, a 53- year- old Mexi can immigrant who cleans homes and is planning to travel from New York to Philadelphia to hear the pope speak. “ He speaks from the heart. He is spontaneous.” In her Queens church, Saint Leo, Reyes is helping organize a workshop to talk about the pope’s teachings. The talks will be based on Pope Francis’ exhortation: “ The Joy of the Gospel.” “ Many here are undocumented, and this encyclical letter talks about all that. The racism, the difficulties ... these are issues that affect the Hispanic community,” Reyes said. Pope Francis’ charisma and messages resonate among Latin American immigrants. The Pope has often condemned the indifference over illegal immigration and has asked governments to be more involved in helping immigrants. According to census data, 55 million Hispanics live in the U. S., making it the nation’s largest minority group. The number of immigrants living illegally in the country is about 11 million people, about 78 percent of them Hispanic, according to the Pew Research Institute. Pope Francis is due to arrive in Washington on Sept. 22 and then travel to New York on Sept. 24 and Philadelphia on Sept. 26. He will visit children at Our Lady Queen of Angels, a Catholic school in the Latino neighborhood of East Harlem. Later, he will meet in the school’s gymnasium with immigrants and refugees who have been assisted by Catholics Charities, said the Archdiocese of New York. “( The Pope) is the son of an immigrant. He understands the problems of immigrants, and knowing that they are waiting now for immigration reform,” said Argentinian priest Carlos Mullins, who has lived in New York for about 40 years. “ For sure he will talk about that,” Mullins said. Latinos from across the country are expected to travel to see the pope at one of his stops. “ Many in the community feel admiration, not only because he is from Latin America, but because of his focus on poverty, on the least fortunate,” said Abel Nunez, executive director of the Central American Resource Center in Washington. “ The community is proud of him.” In New York, it is up to parishes to decide how to distribute tickets to see the Pope. In Philadelphia and Washington, ticket distribution to some events is still being discussed. In the Latino neighborhood of Corona in Queens, Father Raymond Roden, from Our Lady of Sorrows Church, said the parish will hold monthly talks about the pope’s teachings. “ I see respectful enthusiasm,” Roden said of his Hispanic parishioners. “ It’s not like a movie star is coming. They feel like a loving grandfather is coming.” Sentinel Sports Continued On Back Page Continued On Back Page

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