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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Front Page Feature Photo By TERRI BERMUDEZ

Black Bear
This Herring Cove Black Bear was caught on camera chewing with its mouth open while apparently enjoying a very tasty snack. Using a zoom lens, a photographer can capture a great closeup of a bear.
(How to be Safe and Get a Good Picture, ADF&G and
Safety in Bear Country, ADF&G)
Front Page Feature Photo By TERRI BERMUDEZ
©2016

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Alaska: Alaska Supreme Court strikes down parental notice on abortions - The Alaska Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved state law Friday that required at least one parent to be notified before a minor child can obtain an abortion.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed suit against the law, which voters approved through Ballot Measure 2 in 2010. The law provided an option for a judge to bypass the notification requirement in special circumstances, but the high court invalidated the law nonetheless.

“Parents are the individuals who care most for the physical and emotional well-being of their children. The primary vested interest that an abortion clinic has is its bottom line. We had hoped the Alaska Supreme Court would keep its promise to the people of Alaska to permit a parental notice law designed to protect parental rights and the safety of children,” said Kevin Clarkson, who argued before the court in defense of the law last year. Clarkson is lead counsel for the group that sponsored the ballot initiative for the law and is one of more than 3,000 private attorneys allied with ADF.

The Alaska Supreme Court had ruled in a previous case that “the Alaska Constitution permits a statutory scheme which ensures that parents are notified so that they can be engaged in their daughters’ important decisions in these matters.”

The court Friday nonetheless accepted the erroneous argument Planned Parenthood attorneys made in Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest v. State of Alaska that the notification law was unreasonable under the state constitution.

In October 2012, a trial court upheld most of the law and concluded that it is reasonable because “minors may be pleasantly surprised when underestimated parents support, comfort and affirm them. Or a teen might overlook available resources. Her parents might help raise the child, and so make college or military service feasible. Parental notification undoubtedly can open doors to unconsidered options for an otherwise isolated young woman… The court concludes that the PNL [parental notification law] sufficiently fosters a potential for worthwhile family involvement that it passes constitutional muster….” - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

Ketchikan: Information sought on body found floating in Tongass Narrows - The Alaska State Troopers have reported that an adult male's body was found body floating in the Tongass Narrows on Saturday, July 23rd. The AST responded to the report at approximately 6:43 PM at the 4700 block of North Tongass Highway and brought the body to shore. The adult male's body has not yet been positively identified.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office was been notified and the body was being flown to Anchorage for an autopsy. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Corps Hosts Regulatory Open House in Craig, Klawock - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites the public to attend an information session about its regulatory program on July 27, 2016 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Council Room at Craig City Hall.

During the open house, representatives will be available to answer questions about the permit process for proposed projects that involve the placement of fill material or structures in waters of the United States. A presentation about the Corps’ regulatory responsibilities and services is scheduled from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The Corps’ regulatory program evaluates permit applications for most construction activities occurring in wetlands, streams and related waters of the United States. It is committed to maintaining and restoring the nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016


Southeast Alaska:
Zika patient treated and released from Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital - The Alaska Division of Public Health detected a case of Zika virus infection in an adult man who contracted the illness while visiting Central America. The man is not an Alaska resident, but was visiting Alaska for work when he was evaluated for the illness at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

“This case is not a concern in terms of the virus spreading through Alaska mosquitoes, but it does reinforce the importance of knowing preventative measures,” said Dr. Jay Butler, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health. “The two-fold foundation for preventing Zika infection is avoiding mosquitoes and using repellants when traveling to areas where Zika is transmitted, and protecting yourself during sex by either abstaining when a partner is possibly infected with Zika, or by consistently and correctly using condoms.”

The man recently visited SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital experiencing symptoms associated with the Zika virus. His symptoms included a full-body rash, fever, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The Alaska State Public Health Laboratory detected Zika virus RNA in a blood specimen collected on July 18 while the patient was ill. The patient was not hospitalized and is now back home in the Midwest. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

Alaska: BP Exploration Alaska and Hilcorp Alaska settle with EPA and State of Alaska for North Slope oil spills - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled with petroleum exploration and development companies, BP Exploration Alaska and Hilcorp Alaska, for Clean Water Act violations following oil spills on Alaska’s North Slope. BP Exploration Alaska agreed to settle related violations with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in a parallel agreement.

Under the settlement framework announced recently, Hilcorp Alaska will pay $100,000 in federal penalties to resolve their alleged violations, while BP will pay $100,000 in state penalties and $30,000 in federal penalties to the Oil Spill Prevention Liability Trust Fund.

According to Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA’s office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, petroleum developers, producers and transporters have a special responsibility to protect Alaska’s North Slope tundra.

“Alaska’s North Slope tundra is one of the earth’s harshest, yet most delicate ecosystems,” said EPA’s Kowalski. “So petroleum developers must do everything in their power - year round - to prevent spills and avoid releasing toxic chemicals to fragile wetlands or other important wildlife habitat. Our enforcement efforts are aimed squarely at protecting Alaska and Alaskans from the effects of spills and accidental releases.” - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

 


Alaska - B.C.:
'Perfect storm' brought sea louse epidemic to BC salmon - High ocean temperatures and poor timing of parasite management likely led to an epidemic of sea lice in 2015 throughout salmon farms in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Strait, a University of Toronto-led study has found.

Perfect storm' brought sea louse epidemic to BC salmon

The sea lice spread to migrating juvenile wild salmon, resulting in the highest numbers of sea lice observed on wild salmon in a decade.

In spring of 2015, a team of U of T ecologists led by postdoctoral researchers Andrew Bateman and Stephanie Peacock found that more than 70 per cent of fish the team sampled in the Strait's Broughton Archipelago had at least one sea louse: the highest prevalence of such parasites since 2005.

"It was sort of a perfect storm of environmental conditions and mismanagement of treatment," says Peacock, a postdoctoral fellow in the U of T's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology when the research was conducted. "A lot of people talk about how sea lice are natural, but in farms, you have these parasites in larger numbers. Juvenile wild salmon are then exposed as they migrate past these areas."

Because farmed salmon are in open net pens and share water with nearby wild salmon, the parasites can transmit to young wild salmon who wouldn't normally encounter sea lice until later in life. These young fish are sometimes as small as three centimetres in length, while sea lice themselves can be close to one centimetre in diameter.

"Getting sea lice at such an early age affects young salmons' health and their ability to fend off predators," says Peacock.

Based on the numbers of lice on juvenile salmon in 2015, researchers predicted an additional 9 - 39 per cent decline in returning pink salmon due to the outbreak. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016


 

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom Purcell

TOM PURCELL: How the Trivial & Entertaining Mask Real Issues - "Can you believe Melania Trump used some of the same words in her Republican convention speech that First Lady Michelle Obama used in one of hers!"

"Ah, yes, you speak of the propensity of too many people in our country ---- and too many alleged journalists in our media ---- who make trivial matters into great affairs as they completely overlook the many serious challenges our country faces."

"Such as the nasty speech Chris Christie gave at the Republican convention? He said Hillary should be locked up! That is inflammatory!"

"No, I'm talking about real problems, such as America's federal debt. It shot up to $19,400,000,000,000 a week ago, the highest it has ever been. It will soar as baby boomers keep retiring and entitlement costs explode. It will soar when interest rates eventually readjust to higher rates."

"Who cares about that? I hear Donald Trump's son may have borrowed sections of his convention speech from other speeches, too. Thank goodness the media are all over that one!"

"The media should be focusing on our tepid economic growth. Do you know that President Obama is the first president in our history to never experience a single year with 3 percent GDP growth? The economy grew only 1.1 percent last year. If we don't start growing at 4 percent, we will never generate enough tax revenue to meet our future obligations." - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

jpg John L. Micek

JOHN L. MICEK: Can Hillary Convince Voters She's the Optimistic Candidate? - After four days of doom and gloom in Donald Trump's America, Democrats have a deceptively simple task to accomplish with their convention this week:

Namely, convincing broad swaths of voters that Hillary Clinton and her new running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, possess the right mix of optimism and practicality to lead the nation for the next four years.

They begin that effort, if not on first base, then halfway down the path at least.

In Cleveland last week, Trump promised an unconventional Republican National Convention. And he delivered ---- if not always in the way that he expected.

From the "Did She Plagiarize or Not?" flap over Melania Trump's opening night speech and a short-lived floor rebellion to an apoplectic Rudy Giuliani raging that no Democrat could string together the words "Radical Islamic Terrorism" and Ted Cruz's grand act of political seppuku, if Republicans located an opportunity to spectacularly flame out, they grabbed it.

More than once last week, Trump's partisans compared him to the mythical, happy warrior version of Ronald Reagan. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Clinton & Kaine

Editorial Cartoon: Clinton & Kaine
By Steve Sack 2016, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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letter Support Our Police By Donald Moskowitz - Police actions in Ferguson, MO; New York City, Baltimore, Baton Rouge and Minnesota have been in the news, and a few police officers have been seen using excessive force and shooting people. I believe a small number of police officers use excessive force, and these officers should be held accountable for their actions. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

letter RE: Oil Cans... By Angelo Martin - I first met David Hanger about 1980 when I first got to Ketchikan. His Mom and Dad were wonderful people. I was hired by their cruse ship fishing charters service in 1982. I consider David a very intelligent person, but his talents are wasted, he should write novels, run for local office. - More...
Tuesday AM - July 26, 2016

letter Thank you to Ketchikan Solid Waste facility By Victoria McDonald - As one of many Ketchikan citizens concerned about tansy ragwort, orange hawkweed, Japanese knotweed,and Scotch broom, we deeply appreciate the Solid Waste facility acceptance of hundreds of pounds of tansy ragwort. Dorica Jackson and I have taken close to 600 pounds from the Fawn Mountain area with another 300 pounds needing to be pulled. One local man has taken hundreds of pounds pulled from the Carlanna area. Wolfe Point is infested where 125 pounds have been removed. - More...
Saturday PM - July 16, 2016

letter Part 14: OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM
Summation and Conclusion
By David G Hanger - When Sam Rayburn died he had $26,000 in the bank. He was the longest-serving Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, second in line of succession to the Presidency of the United States, an attorney who never took a fee or gift from anyone who might have any interest whatsoever before the government; and the standard, the very benchmark, for personal integrity and honor, both in and out of political office. When “Little Ben” Stevens, the unindicted co-conspirator in the VECO case that put Kott in prison, was President of the Alaska State Senate, he used his elected position to pocket more than a million in graft and payola. For this he should have gone to prison for at least 10 years, but an attorney general of the same political party let the case lapse. Since then the corruption of graft, payola, and special interest has been codified into law by the majorities in both the state senate and the house, so that they can continue their campaigns of personal graft and payola while concomitantly serving the needs of their corporate masters. - More...
Saturday PM - July 16, 2016

letter Loss of hundreds of lives, sparing a dog By Nancy Crawford - Thank you for your writing on the loss of hundreds of lives on Princess Sophia. Their lives were not lost in vain as I am sure that this disaster gave many ideas to make ship travel safer. - More...
Saturday PM - JUly 16, 2016

letter Muslim camps By A. M. Johnson - As often the case, each weekend edition of the Ketchikan Daily News' religious news carries some level of contentious religious news or article, picked off snide religious slanted AP provided articles. This week end it was the article on Muslim summer camps. In this apocryphal reading one would take away a vision of a Peaceful Religion promoted by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (A terror listed group) and other Muslim based anti Western political groups would and do use to undermine and hide the true record of the dark side of this political/religious diatribe by fooling the'folks'(infidels) not up on any religion (i.e. 'Low information voter/citizen). - More...
Saturday PM - July 16, 2016

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Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council - Gigglefeet Dance Festival

Ketchikan Title Agency - Ketchikan, Alaska

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Smoking Cessation Classes - Ketchikan, Alaska

Blueberry Arts Festival - Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Travelers Accommodations, LLC - Ketchikan, Alaska

Schmolck Mechanical Contractors - Ketchiikan, Alaska

Creekside Family Health Clinic - Ketchikan, Alaska

AAA Moving & Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Sourdough Tactical - Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Great Western Service - Bear Valley Apartments - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Airlines - Travel Now Discount

Rendezvous Senior Day Services, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

C&D Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan H2O - Bulk Water Hauling

Ketchikan H20 Bottled Water Service - Ketchikan, Alaska

Otter Creek Partners, Registered Investment Advisor - Ketchikan, Alaska

Lighthouse Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

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Groomingdales Pet Resort - BARK, a no-kill animal shelter - Ketchikan, Alaska

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for