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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Feature Photo By JEFFIFER COLE

Golden Lights of Dusk
The darker shade of twilight is dusk. Dusk occurs at the darkest stage of twilight, or at the very end of astronomical twilight after sunset and just before night. The end of twilight at 9:56 PM as viewed Wednesday from the Ketchikan Airport.
Front Page Feature Photo By JEFFIFER COLE ©2018



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Fish Factor: Nice pay day possible for Alaska's salmon fishermen By LAINE WELCH - Forces are aligned for a nice pay day for Alaska’s salmon fishermen. 

There is no backlog from last season in cold storages, a lower harvest forecast is boosting demand, prices for competing farmed salmon have remained high all year, and a devalued U.S. dollar makes Alaska salmon more appealing to foreign customers.   

“Over the past year the dollar has weakened 11 percent against the euro, 9 percent against the British pound, 5 percent against the Japanese yen, and 7 percent against the Chinese yuan. That makes Alaska salmon and other seafood more affordable to those top overseas customers,” said Garrett Evridge, a fisheries analyst at the McDowell Group. 

Last year Alaska seafood exports set records in terms of volume and value – 1.1 billion metric tons valued at $3.45 billion. Alaska salmon accounted for 22 percent of the volume and 36 percent of the value. 

On the home front, the weaker dollar will make imports from Chile, the largest farmed salmon importer to the U.S. followed by Norway, more expensive. That also will apply to imports of competing wild salmon from Canada where - if it materializes - a big sockeye run is predicted at nearby British Columbia.

“About every four years we expect a relatively large harvest from the Fraser River run in B.C. In 2014 they produced about 83 million pounds of salmon and sockeye was the largest component,” Evridge said. “Likewise, a weaker dollar will make wild salmon imports from Russia and Japan more expensive for U.S. buyers.”

Russia, which had grown from a $10 million customer of primarily pink salmon roe to $60 million in 2013, has banned all imports of U.S. seafood since 2014. Meanwhile, that country continues to send millions of tons of salmon and other seafood into the U.S. 

For example, 2017 trade data from the National Marine Fisheries Service show that Russia sent nearly four million pounds of frozen sockeye salmon to the U.S. valued at just over $13 million, a $2 million increase over the previous year.

Alaska’s salmon forecast for 2018 calls for a harvest of 149 million fish, down 34 percent from last year. - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

Alaska: Candidate Filing Deadline Approaching - The Alaska Division of Elections (DOE) reminds all Alaskans that the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 Primary and General Elections is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018.

Election offices in Juneau, Anchorage, Mat-Su, Fairbanks and Nome will be open on June 1 to receive completed applications. Applications will not be accepted after the June 1, 2018, 5 p.m. deadline.

Anyone interested in running for office must submit a completed, signed and notarized declaration of candidacy along with their financial disclosure statement and designated filing fee on or before the deadline. The Division of Elections urges potential candidates to file their paperwork to ensure they meet qualifications. 

“We want to make sure Alaskans who want to run for offices are able to exercise their right to do so,” said State Elections Director Josie Bahnke. “We look forward to working with each of the potential candidates to ensure their paperwork is properly filed so that we can certify their candidacy.”

Candidates with incomplete paperwork run a risk of not being certified if there are any problems with their declaration. - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

 


Southeast Alaska:
Marine Advisory Agent Teaches ROV Skills By PAULA DOBBYN - There’s no typical day in the life of an Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent. Sometimes the work might involve disentangling a humpback whale caught in commercial fishing gear. Another day it could be performing a necropsy, rescuing a stranded baby walrus or helping someone figure out how to test the clams they recreationally harvested on the beach for paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Alaska Sea Grant’s 12 Marine Advisory agents have done all of these things and more over the past year or so. For agent Gary Freitag, who lives in Ketchikan, a recent day found him on a floatplane ride to Neets Bay where he helped a young scientist learn how to use an ROV - a remotely operated vehicle - to examine the ocean floor at a salmon hatchery.

“I can’t imagine doing it without Gary. He was an essential part of us not getting that thing lost,” said Whitney Crittenden, lead research technician with the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

Crittenden is studying for a professional science master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife administration through Oregon State University and Freitag is mentoring her for her capstone project.

As far as learning to operate an ROV, Crittenden said, “There’s a definite art to it.” - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

Southeast Alaska: Kake resident Louise Kadake awarded $12,000 Teach for Alaska Scholarship - The University of Alaska announced Thursday that Louise Kadake is the recipient of its 2018 Teach for Alaska Scholarship award for aspiring Alaska teachers. Kadake, a lifelong resident of Kake, will receive a $12,000 scholarship to study teacher education at the University of Alaska Southeast. She was informed of her award by a Friday phone call from UA President Jim Johnsen.

Kadake was a student leader and athlete throughout high school and valedictorian of her high school class. She is proud of her Tlingit, Tsimshian and Yupik heritage and studies Alaska Native culture, food, dance and language. A young single mother, she postponed her college education after having her now two-year-old son Braxton. Kadake plans to return to Kake to teach after completing her degree.

“I want to pursue a degree in education because it gives me the ability to share my passion, help shape the lives of our youth, and to give back to my community,” wrote Kadake in her scholarship application. “I want to make it known that education is important and that so are our youth; they are the future leaders.”

Kadake currently works as a special education aide in the Kake City School District. She earned a certificate in child development and will begin her teacher education studies in the Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast this fall.

In awarding Kadake with the scholarship, Johnsen noted her standout application and inspiring personal goals. - More....
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

 


Southeast Alaska:
Sitka Man Makes June 6th Televised Appearance on Season 10 of American Ninja Warrior - Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Nurse Anesthetist, Cody Johnston, CRNA was recently selected to compete in Season 10 of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. It will be his third time to compete on the show, but the first time his run on the course, which took place in Los Angeles in March, will be aired nationally. A production crew traveled all the way to Sitka to film an onsite background piece on Cody to air along with his ‘run.’  

Each season, the television show receives an enormous number of submissions from hopeful competitors, so there is no doubt becoming a contestant on American Ninja Warrior requires an extraordinary physical performance. Having the show find you, your job and the place you live interesting enough to send a crew to your hometown and film your personal story is icing on the cake.  

When asked how he feels about being on the show, Cody said, “Just like my previous two times, I am extremely honored because not everyone that applies gets "the call" and to get "the call" for a third time just blows my mind! I must be doing things the right way. I try to live a positive, fit lifestyle and provide a positive influence on my family and community.  I am truly blessed and humbled by all that has happened to my family and me. My personalmessage to anyone who has a dream of bettering their lives is to go for it!! Turn your dream into A GOAL!!”

On paper, Mr. Johnston may seem like an unlikely American Ninja Warrior contestant as he appears to be a bit of a bookworm. He earned a Master’s of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Arkansas State University and spent much of his career at a critical access hospital in Warrensburg, Missouri. He also had career stops in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Little Rock, Arkansas. A specialty rotation in rural southeast Arkansas peaked his interest in small, community-driven hospitals where care can be challenging. Upon his arrival in Sitka and at SEARHC’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, he said, “I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, and from day one I knew this was the place I needed to be.”

Cody Johnston was Enlisted US Navy from 1998-2003 and deployed to Iraq in ‘03 with the 1st Marine Division. He was a Hospital Corpsman (medic) and also a certified surgical technician. He said, “The Navy is what gave me a goal to shoot for academically, which led me to the career path I chose.” After leaving the Navy and finishing his undergraduate degree, Cody joined the US Air Force Reserves and was commissioned as an officer. He served fouryears active reserve time and while currently “Inactive,” he still holds his commission. Johnston adds, “I have had many experiences in my career, and it all began when I joined the Navy. I can say that short of being a surgeon; I have held EVERY position in the operating room including scrub tech, circulator, first assist, charge nurse, pre and post op, and even sterile processing.”  - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018


 

COLUMNS - COMMENTARY

TOM PURCELL: For Memorial Day - Serving Those Who Serve Us - Every Memorial Day, we remember those who died during active military service. But the day gives us a special opportunity to serve those who serve us.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 42 million American men and women have served during wartime. Nearly 1.2 million died while serving. Nearly 1.5 million were wounded.

Since 9/11, nearly 7,000 U.S. service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 50,000 have been wounded - many have debilitating injuries and mental challenges that have changed their lives forever.

We may debate the rightness or wrongness of various engagements, but we know that freedom comes at a steep price - and we honor those who have secured it for us.

But we can do more. We can serve them back.

"There are many small things people can do that can make a world of difference," said Jerry Newberry, assistant adjutant general at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Such as assisting the family of a service member who has been deployed.

"Family members go through a long period of wondering, worrying and waiting," said Newberry. "But they still need to deal with the car breaking down, a child getting sick, a death in the family. If you know of such families, reach out to them."

Or write an e-mail or letter. The troops - particularly those recuperating in military hospitals - love receiving e-mails, letters and care packages. You can do so at amillionthanks.org.

Donate time. Your local Veterans Affairs office, VFW and other legitimate organizations are in desperate need of volunteers.

Organize a toy drive for children of deployed soldiers. Support the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Provide gift cards to troops through aafes.com.

Donate money. You can give to a variety of needed services for military members - or support the Red Cross to provide basic necessities to service members in military hospitals. Go to vfw.org and click on "Donate" or "Troop Support." - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018


jpg Political Cartoon: Memorial Day

Political Cartoon: Memorial Day
By Bruce Plante ©2018, Tulsa World
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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Ketchikan Taxpayers & Assembly/School Board – or – The Ant and Grasshopper By Dan Bockhorst - In Delphi, Greece around 582 BC, Aesop narrated a fable of a grasshopper that spent the summer frolicking while an ant gathered food for the coming winter. When winter arrived, the grasshopper didn’t have enough to eat and begged the ant for food. The ant reminded the grasshopper of its failure to prepare for lean times and told it to frolic elsewhere.

2,600 years later and 5,775 miles away, the ant and grasshopper fable is playing out here in Ketchikan. The School Board asked the Borough Assembly to provide 12% more local discretionary funding for schools next year compared to this year. Unsatisfied with the requested 12% increase, four members of the Borough Assembly gave the School Board a 22% increase for next year, nearly double the Board’s request.

Assembly members Bradford and McQueery spun the tale that the Borough’s Local Education Fund (“Fund”) was created to provide the School Board with every dollar of Fund income for that year. Together with Assembly members Wong and Pierce, the four Assembly members pushed through the 22% increase. The action was capricious, inconsistent with the Assembly’s fiduciary obligations, and an abrogation of its duties.

Not accepting the tale, Assembly members Pickrell, Bailey, and Dial voted against funding beyond the School Board’s request. - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

More for less. By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the recent action of the Ketchikan assembly in funding actions, with the bent of the community fastly approaching the social levels of San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, it is not surprising that fiscal responsibility has arrived at the point common sense has left the circus and the clowns now run the show. - More...
Friday PM - May 25, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Open Letter RE Community Grants: KGB Mayor Landis By Glen Thompson - Dear Mayor Landis, At the Regular Assembly Meeting of May 7, 2018, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly (“Assembly”) introduced Ordinance 1859, adopting the FY2019 Borough Budget, and set that ordinance for public hearing at the Regular Assembly Meeting of May 21, 2018.

Draft Ordinance 1859, as presented to the Assembly for introduction, included $139,740 in community grant appropriations out of the General Fund to eleven non-profit entities that can be classified as Social Service agencies. Merriam-Webster defines Social Service as: - More...
Friday PM - May 18, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

2020 GO TO HELL, DOT By David G Hanger - While Juneau gets pristine roads without a pothole anywhere, Ketchikan gets a damned dog and pony show put on by DOT that includes toy trucks and hard hats for the kids. Plus the announcement that no improvements will be made to that hole in the road between the Coast Guard base and Saxman for at least three years. How much of this is racist????!!! Saxman is, of course, an Indian community.

In the meantime there are two sets of memorial wreaths, etc. set out to honor those who have been killed on that stretch of road in the past two or three years, which definitely makes this the most dangerous stretch of road on this rock. - More...
Friday AM - May 18, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

The Mysterious Jim Duncan By Tom Crosier - I worked with Jim Duncan's son, Rick on the F/V Margaret Ann, catching Dungeness crab in the areas around Bell Island. We sent 1500 pounds of live crab a week to Seattle by Alaska Airline. - More...
Friday AM - May 18, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

HB 312 strips away your rights By Andree McLeod - Lawmakers have again willfully and intentionally stripped away constitutionally protected rights of due process. House Bill 312 is, in part, an Act relating to arrest without a warrant for assault in the fourth degree at a health care facility. It impacts everyone, especially people who live with brain illness and cognitive impairments, such as autism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and mental illness, among other brain illness.

In their attempt to deal with an increased crime rate, lawmakers found the courage to strip away the rights of individuals who are at their most vulnerable, when they're brought to medical facilities experiencing confusion and severe bouts of psychosis, mania, disorientation, and other symptoms of brain and cognitive impairments unrelated to substance abuse. - More...
Friday PM - May 11, 2018

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