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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Feature Photo By DEWIE HAMILTON

A Grand View
A glimpse of a few of the many scenic mountains of Southeast Alaska. Photographed from Dude Mountain on 09/15/18.
Front Page Feature Photo By DEWIE HAMILTON ©2018



Regular Election
October 02, 2018

Absentee in-person voting began on Sept. 17, 2018.

Forum

SitNews Online 2018 Forum
Instantly publish your comments, questions, join discussions...

Ketchikan City Council Candidates
3-Year Term,
2 Seats to Fill

jpg Janalee L. Gage

Janalee L. Gage
Filed 08/01/18
Candidate's Statement
09/03/18

jpg Sam Bergeron Sam Bergeron
Filed 08/23/18
Candidate's Statement
09/13/18
jpg Dragon London Dragon London
Filed 08/24/18
Candidate's Statement
  Spencer Strassburg
Filed 08/27/18

Ketchikan City Mayor
3-Year Term, 1 Seat to Fill
Unchallenged
jpg Robert (Bob) Sivertsen Robert (Bob) Sivertsen
Filed 08/01/18

Ketchikan Assembly Candidates
3-Year Term,
2 Seats to Fill
Watch the Chamber's Borough Assembly Forum 09/05/18
YouTube Courtesy KPU TV

jpg Dan Bockhorst Dan Bockhorst
Filed 08/01/18
Candidate's Statement
09/11/18
jpg Austin Otos Austin Otos
Filed 08/02/18
Candidate's Statement
09/09/18
jpg Danielle "Dani" Pratt Danielle "Dani" Pratt
Filed 08/22/18
Candidate's Statement
09/19/18
  Sven Westergard
Filed 08/24/18
  James Montgomery
Filed 08/24/18
jpg Felix Wong Felix Wong
Filed 08/27/18
Candidate's Statement
09/17/18

Ketchikan School Board
3-Year Term,
3 Seats to Fill
jpg Matt Eisenhower Matt Eisenhower
Filed 08/10/18
Candidate's Statement
09/13/18
jpg Sonya Skan Sonya Skan
Filed 08/13/18
Candidate's Statement
09/11/18
jpg Rachel Breithaupt

Rachel Breithaupt
Filed 08/17/18
Candidate's Statement
09/07/18

jpg Bridget Mattson Bridget Mattson
Filed 08/20/18
Candidate's Statement
09/20/18
jpg Lana Boler Lana Boler
Filed 08/21/18
Candidate's Statement
09/21/18

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Borough Addresses Vigor Shipyard Layoffs - Today, Ketchikan Borough Manager Ruben Duran announced that on September 13th, 2018, Ketchikan Gateway Borough representatives met with officials from Vigor Alaska, the City of Ketchikan, and the Alaska Industrial Export Authority (AIDEA) to discuss the projected layoffs recently announced by Vigor and efforts to mitigate job losses at the Ketchikan Shipyard.

Ketchikan Borough Addresses Vigor Shipyard Layoffs

Vigor Alaska,
Ketchikan Shipyard
Photo courtesy Vigor.net

During the September 13th meeting, Vigor Executive Vice President Adam Beck reaffirmed Vigor’s commitment to remaining in Ketchikan. The company is wrapping up work on the second Alaska Class Ferry construction project and does not have enough work to maintain the current workforce. Vigor estimates it will lay off up to 80 workers. AIDEA stated that it has and will continue to work with Vigor to ensure the health of the Ketchikan Shipyard, which is owned by AIDEA.

Vigor Alaska officials informed Ketchikan shipyard workers at a meeting in August they were expecting to lay off 50-80 workers between October and the end of the year. The reason cited by Vigor was the lack of new construction projects. Vigor employees at the Ketchikan shipyard are wrapping up construction of Alaska Marine Highway System’s two newest day ferries. The two ferries will serve travelers along the Lynn Canal route between Juneau, Haines and Skagway.

In response to the Vigor's layoff announcement, the Ketchikan Borough has developed a plan to address these concerns. Borough officials were recently invited to attend a meeting with members of the White House administration on October 23rd, 2018 to discuss Alaska issues. On September 19th, the Ketchikan Gateway Assembly authorized Assembly Member Rodney Dial to use this opportunity to attend the meeting and serve as the official Borough spokesperson regarding Federal policy issues, including those in support of the shipyard.

The Ketchikan Borough is seeking an emergency exemption to the small business set aside regulations, which prevent Vigor from pursuing maintenance and repair work on Federal naval vessels, including U.S. Coast Guard vessels. Current regulations require USCG vessels homeported in Ketchikan to travel hundreds of miles to access alternate shipyard facilities that qualify for the small business set aside. An exemption to the small business set aside regulation would support jobs in Ketchikan, improve operational readiness of the U.S. Coast Guard and could potentially save the Federal government funds by eliminating travel expenses.

According to today's news release, the Ketchikan Borough has long advocated for the continued build out of the Ketchikan Shipyard and the completion of the Ship Conversion Hall as well as the homeporting of the NOAA Vessel Fairweather in Ketchikan. Both could greatly improve the financial outlook and competitive advantage of the Ketchikan Shipyard. - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018

Ketchikan: 2018 Recreational Season Monitoring Complete for Ketchikan Beaches - The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has completed the 2018 Ketchikan BEACH Monitoring Program for coastal areas in Ketchikan, Alaska.

A full report on 2018 monitoring will be available by the end of the year. Bacteria monitoring is planned for 2019 to help further determine bacteria sources, and to support the development of solutions and implementation of bacteria source reduction measures within Ketchikan.

Enterococci levels continue to exceed the recreational standards at several beaches:

  • South Point Higgins 
  • Thomas Basin
  • Rotary pool, 
  • Mountain Point (cultural foods location)
  • Herring Cove. 

The Department of Environmental Conservation recommends that when swimming in these areas, people should shower after contact with the water.

Fecal coliform bacteria levels were above state limits protecting consumption of raw fish and shellfish at five beaches (Shull, Sunset, Seaport, Mountain Point cultural foods, and Herring Cove). When fishing in these areas people should rinse fish/marine foods with clean water and cook seafood to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy pathogens.

Enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria can come from any warm blooded animal, including birds, seals, and dogs, as well as humans. Potential sources of these bacteria in Ketchikan may include wildlife and pet feces, human waste from private and municipal treatment systems, sewer line leakage, and/or boats in harbor areas. Contact with water impacted by enterococci or fecal coliform bacteria may cause stomach aches, diarrhea, or ear, eye, and skin infections. 

As part of a statewide recreational beach monitoring program, marine water samples have been collected weekly from May 17 to September 12 at the 11 beaches listed below. - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018



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Ketchikan: Cruise Ship Schedule 2018(pdf)
Courtesy Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska - claalaska.com

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Alaska

 

Alaska: Proposed Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement Announced; Includes Improvements in Modeling, Mitigation, Stock Assessments, and Implementation Funding By MARY KAUFFMAN - The Pacific Salmon Commission has recommended to the governments of Canada and the United States a new 10-year conservation and harvest sharing agreement under the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

With the current harvest sharing agreement set to expire on December 31, 2018, Canadian and U.S. representatives on the Commission met regularly over the course of two years for extensive negotiations leading to the new 10-year proposal.

The bilateral Pacific Salmon Treaty governs the shared harvest and conservation of Pacific salmon species along the Pacific Northwest coast. Treaty-based agreements for harvest sharing and fishery management between the United States and Canada are renegotiated every ten years, with the last renegotiated annex signed in 2009.

The 2018 recommended agreement, announced on Monday, September 17, 2018 includes additional funding for Treaty implementation, accountability provisions to ensure management is based on standardized and unbiased science, and renewed commitments from both the United States and Canada to apply appropriate management measures to transboundary and coast-wide salmon stocks.

“It was gratifying to know throughout the negotiations that conservation of coastwide salmon stocks was the highest priority of every commissioner,” said NOAA Fisheries’ Bob Turner, U.S. Commissioner and current Chair of the Commission.

“I’m pleased the Commission was able to bring forward this recommendation, and that the Parties were able to reach an agreement that we feel will support the conservation and long-term sustainability of this important resource” said Rebecca Reid, Canadian Vice-Chair of the Commission and Regional Director General, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region.

The proposed agreement covers highly-migratory salmon stocks from Cape Falcon, Oregon in the south to Southeast Alaska in the north, including Pink, Coho, Sockeye, Chum and Chinook salmon.

Among the changes recommended by the Commission are new conservation objectives for several salmon populations, as well as a renewed commitment to science and stock assessment to inform decision-makers in both countries. The proposed agreement also includes harvest reductions for Chinook fisheries in both countries that will help protect stocks while providing sustainable harvest opportunities for First Nations, Indian Tribes, and commercial and recreational fishers in both countries.

The Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement between the U.S. and Canada determines shared harvest levels for British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and for the first time since the creation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty in 1985, the 59-member Alaska Treaty Team unanimously supported the Alaska position contained within the ten-year conservation and harvest recommendations.

In the new 10-year recommended agreement, Chinook harvest share reductions are as follows:Alaska will take a 7.5% reduction; Washington and Oregon will take a variable 5-15% reduction depending on the stock; and Canada will take a 12.5% reduction.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed the announcement this week of the Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

Murkowski said, “Coming to an agreement like this no easy task, so to know that the renegotiated Pacific Salmon Treaty agreement received unanimous support from the Alaska Treaty Team, for the first time in history, is extremely telling. While this agreement is not perfect, I know our Alaskan negotiators worked very hard over these past few years to represent Alaskan’s interests. I expect that all parties will continue the cooperative efforts to maintain a conservation-based salmon management system." - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018


 

Southeast Alaska: Southeast Conferences Announces Southeast Alaska Community and Business of the Year Awards - Ketchikan laid out the red carpet for over 300 members of Southeast Conference participating in the organization’s 60th Annual Meeting, held last week. During the event Southeast Conference announced the 2018 winners for the Southeast Alaska community and business of the year. These awards celebrate outstanding achievements by companies and municipalities making positive economic impacts in the region.

The Southeast Alaska Community of the Year for 2018 is Kake. Robert Venables, Executive Direct of Southeast Conference explained why Kake received the award. “Kake is one of those communities that does so much with what they have. It takes all elements of a community working together to make things happen. Plaques were given to both the Organized Village of Kake (OVK) and the City of Kake to recognize the accomplishments of both local governments in Kake. Many years of hard work paid off in the last year or so with so many incredible things coming together making Kake our 2018 Southeast Alaska Community of the year.” Multiple significant community efforts culminated in the last year, including the following:

  • Cannery: The Organized Village of Kake is working to turn its historic cannery into a tourist destination. The tribal government has already worked to save the buildings in the complex. Now, the community is adding plumbing, electricity, public bathrooms, and a commercial kitchen. It will have performances and vendor space, enabling Kake to earn income from tourism and raise the community’s profile among tour groups.

  • Gunnuk Creek: Energy costs are high in Kake. Gunnuk Creek is a hydroelectric plant for Kake that is ready to be built and has been included in the governors capital budget. Gunnuk Creek will convert a dam built last decade to provide water to Kake into a hydroelectric provider. It will provide more than half of Kake’s electricity once completed.

  • Hatchery: The penstock from Gunnuk Creek will also provide water for the local hatchery. A regional aquaculture association bought Kake’s fish hatchery last year and is planning to have salmon in the building this fall. The new program will supply chum and king salmon to two different areas near the town.

  • New Diesel Power Plant and Tank Farm: The rest of Kake’s electricity will come from its new diesel power plant, which was recently upgraded to be more efficient and completed in October 2017. Next to it stand a new fuel tank farm that was completed in October 2017. The new structure replaces a tank farm that was there for over 100 years. These projects could not have been completed without the great work of IPEC.

  • Ferry Terminal: Kake received new ferry terminal building finished in Spring 2017, including a new ramp. Prior to this there was no terminal building in the community.

  • Boat Harbor and Launch: Kake’s new Boat harbor was also completed in 2018. The original harbor was built more than 40 years ago, but it fell into a state of immediate disrepair, as there was not a breakwater. While Kake eventually received funding for a breakwater, the original damaged floats had never been replaced. The project provided brand new floats and a new boat launch for the community.

  • Additional Projects: Also in the past year or so, Kake received $4 million in funding for sewer and water to replace old infrastructure; roads were completed with blacktop; OVK is in design for a biomass district heating that will use locally sourced biomass that will create jobs and displace imported diesel; Kake received $1,00,000 for picnic area at Seal Point; Kake received state and federal to funds to widen a road; they completed a remodel on their community hall; and in 2019, the community will receive funds to repair the airport.

City of Kake Vice Mayor, Paulette Jackson was on-hand to receive the award. “This was an amazing accomplishment for the City of Kake, the Organized Village of Kake, and Kake Tribal Corporation. Together we have accomplished amazing things. On behalf of our community I accept this award.” - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018


 

Southeast Alaska: Coast Guard suspends search for a missing man in Kake - The Coast Guard has suspended the search this evening for a missing 55-year-old male who reportedly fell from a pier in Kake, Alaska.

"Suspending a search is one of the hardest decisions we make in the Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. "The decision is made with great care and deliberation, and with heavy hearts for the family and friends of the missing man.”

Wednesday, 9/19/18, at about 8:51 PM, Ketchikan State Trooper dispatch personnel received a report that Reginald Skeek Jr, 55 of Kake, had not been seen since approximately 3:30 PM Wednesday. 

According to the Trooper Dispatch, Skeek was reportedly seen at the liquor store prior to his disappearance.  It was reported that community members were already out searching. Two Village Public Safety officers were advised and joined the search efforts but were unable to locate Skeek. 

On Thursday, a review of surveillance footage from the Kake Liquor Store showed an unidentified individual falling off the dock into the water behind the liquor store around 1:00 PM on Wednesday.  The VPSOs and two AWT troopers continued search efforts as additional troopers and the Coast Guard assisted in the search.  An ROV was used in the search. - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018

jpg updated

Alaska: Stand for Alaska APOC Complaint Alleges Violations by Opposition - The Stand for Alaska-Vote No on 1 campaign said today it has filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) alleging that several groups campaigning in support of Ballot Measure 1 have violated Alaska campaign finance laws and regulations.

The complaint, filed this afternoon, asks APOC to hold an emergency hearing within 48-hours to consider expediting consideration of the formal complaint alleging violations of Alaska campaign laws. In its filing, the group says quick action on the complaint is warranted because the groups supporting Ballot Measure 1 are acting “to withhold from Alaska voters the source of their funding which they have used to advocate in support of Ballot Measure 1.” The No campaign says the proponent’s failure to disclose campaign donors could cause “irreparable harm” by denying voters vital information they need to know before they vote November 6.

Much of the formal complaint targets an Alaska environmental advocacy and lobbying organization called The Alaska Center. The complaint asserts that The Alaska Center has failed to report both the full amount and the true source of the campaign contributions it has received to fund its campaign activities and that, based on its campaign activities, it has violated state campaign law by failing to file as a “group,” which requires additional disclosures under state law.  The filing also says that The Alaska Center and two other entities engaged in supporting Ballot Measure 1 - Stand for Salmon and Yes for Salmon - have actively coordinated in their campaigns and should be registered collectively as one group.  The complaint also alleges that the Stand for Salmon organization has failed to use the required “paid for by” disclosure statements in its paid advertising. 

Ryan Schryver, Director of Stand for Salmon responded to a request by SitNews to comment on the APOC compliant filed by Stand for Salmon on Thursday. This story was updated Friday, 09/21/18 to include his comments.

Schryver said, "These are baseless allegations from a struggling campaign. They’ve spent millions of dollars on commercials trying convince Alaskans to vote against our own economic best interests but Alaskans aren’t buying what they’re selling, so now they’re trying to change the subject."  - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018


 
COLUMNS/COMMENTARY

jpg RICH MANIERI

RICH MANIERI: Of Course Democrats Are Playing Politics on Kavanaugh Nomination - It would nice if once, just once, our Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress could take a break from giving each other noogies and spend their energy trying to find the truth. 

You remember the truth. At the moment it's gasping for air beneath a heap of political agendas.

Unfortunately for the American people, the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco only highlights the inability of our elected representatives to agree on much of anything, up to and including ordering lunch.

At issue is what to do about the accusations that Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's most recent Supreme Court nominee, sexually assaulted a woman when he was in high school. Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her swimming suit and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Kavanaugh says it never happened.

Republicans are accusing Democrats of "playing politics" with the accusations partly because the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sat on the information for two months until an opportune time for its release, which turned to be near the end of Kavanaugh's confirmation process. 

Well played, senator, as if the information wasn't important when Feinstein received it. And now, at least to Democrats, it's the most important piece of information in the world.

Of course, the Democrats are playing politics. And if you're a Republican and you don't believe your party leaders would do the same thing if the situation were reversed, you'd better sit this one out.

I don't know what Kavanaugh did or was capable of doing 35 years ago when he was 17. I do know this sort of alleged, abhorrent behavior seems to be inconsistent with what we've learned about his history and character.

I also know that his accuser should be taken seriously and not condemned for coming forward. And now Republicans, including the president, want Ford to testify before the Senate committee to gauge whether the allegations against Kavanaugh are credible. But it's still unclear if Ford will take Republicans up on their offer to tell her story. - More...
Thursday PM - September 20, 2018


jpg Political Cartoon: He Said, She Said

Political Cartoon: He Said, She Said
By Nate Beeler ©2018, The Columbus Dispatch, OH
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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July - Sept. 2018
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jpg Letter / Opinion

Roadless Rule: Phony Forest Service Process By Norbert Chaudhary - The decision was already made before the “Roadless Rule Process” even started.

The onslaught against our nations public lands and the environment had reached my town and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. The Forest Service presentation and “process” in Ketchikan did not give citizens a choice or a voice on whether or not to uphold existing law. No comments made during this public hearing would be considered and the “citizens advisory group” had already been picked by the very people who initiated this latest attack on our public lands.

And besides, the Trump appointed Secretary of Agriculture, Mr Sonny Perdue would make the final decision regardless of what The People said or wrote in the very short comment period allowed for this “process”. - More...
Friday AM - September 21, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Political Challenge By Mike Painter - Now that I’ve dusted off my pencil & paper, I have an issue that I’ve long wanted to bring up for discussion.

Several years ago when the owner of the “Lynden group” wanted to purchase Northland Barge Lines, that sale had to be approved by the State of Alaska Attorney General in order to prevent a monopoly on shipping services in Southeast Alaska. Part of that agreement was that another entity had to come to the party and remain viable to prevent said monopoly, ie. Samson Tug & Barge. I’m told that this agreement had a sunset after 5 years.

Well folks that Attorney General no longer holds that position and the 5 year agreement has expired. So what has happened to freight costs? I don’t know about your’s but mine has grown over 300% in the last few years, not to mention the “fuel surcharge”. - More...
Friday AM - September 21, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Austin Otos for Ketchikan Borough Assembly By Matt Eisenhower -Austin Otos is exactly the kind of person our community needs today for our Borough Assembly. He is thoughtful, careful, hardworking, and cares deeply for this community. Most importantly, Austin will represent young voices in our community.

When I first met Austin, questions in my mind about age and experience initially led me to believe he was too young to serve. Our paths first crossed when I realized Austin was a contemporary and friend of my oldest son. This forced me to realize that my children’s contemporaries were now beginning to enter the political process. Since we have spent time together, I am excited to support Austin and his initiatives. - More...
Friday AM - September 21, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

A vote for Austin Otos By Dan Ortiz - There are at least five quality candidates running for two Borough Assembly seats in the upcoming municipal elections. We owe each candidate a debt of gratitude for “putting themselves out there”. The lone incumbent, Felix Wong, has served the public well and done a great job in the role and deserves each voters careful consideration.

Another person whom I believe would serve the public well is Mr. Austin Otos. I have known Austin for at least 9 years, though he has been a member of the Ketchikan community for most of his life. Austin is a well-educated, logical, and thoughtful young man. He will listen to all sides on every issue before making a decision. - More...
Friday AM - September 21, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote for Dan Bockhorst By Mike Painter - I served 4 terms (12 years) on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and I was one of the Assembly Members that hired Dan Bockhorst as Borough Manager. I was on the Assembly the entire time that Bockhorst was Borough Manager. - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Dan Bockhorst protects your family checkbook By Gary Wilken - I served in the Alaska Senate for twelve years (1997-2008). Whenever I needed help on a legislative matter involving local government, I turned to Dan Bockhorst. Dan played a pivotal role in my successful effort to reduce the State education tax on borough governments by one-third (Chapter 95, SLA 2001). To date, this tax reduction has saved Ketchikan Borough taxpayers $19.5 million without reducing vital funding to your Ketchikan schools. If the law remains in place, these savings will continue to grow. - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Younger Representation in Government By Austin Otos - As our political class ages, I have seen government slowly start to move away from representing younger demographics. The majority of young people, like myself, are interested in politics and want to be part of the political conversation. Even though we may seem disconnected through our usage of technology, we nonetheless share a common concern with older generations when it comes to long-term employment, access to housing, and affordable healthcare services - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Open Letter: Sen. Murkowski By Laura Plenert - Please remember Senator Murkowski that you are the Senator for ALL Alaskans, NOT JUST the Alaska Federation of Natives. - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

No to Kavanaugh By Hallie Engel - I want to ask your readers to call their senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and ask them to vote against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Navy In Dire Straits By Donald Moskowitz - As a former Navy enlisted and Naval officer who served on 13 ships, including destroyers, radar pickets, aircraft carriers and auxiliary ships, I am concerned with the lack of readiness of the Fleet. - More...
Monday PM - September 17, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote Dunleavy for Governor; Shaw for House;
Bockhorst for Borough Assembly
By Rodney Dial - Friends, I have been on the Borough Assembly for a few years now. I was convinced to run by citizens who believe our community is becoming too expensive, especially for our elderly and our young. I told you that if you elected me I would not vote to raise your property or sales taxes and would work to make government more efficient. I have kept my word. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 12, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

LiSA’S CHOICE By David G Hanger - Only two things of real consequence have emerged from the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: 1) First is the fact that Kavanaugh repeatedly lied to Congress about his criminal involvement in and use of stolen government documents during the Bush Jr. administration. These repeated lies to Congress are sufficient in and of themselves to impeach this extremist ideological cretin from his current judgeship, and definitely disqualifies him for consideration as a legitimate Supreme Court Justice; 2) There are no laws telling a man what he can do with his body, a simple fundamental fact. Yet Kavanaugh, despite his denials to the contrary (all lies) does not believe that Roe v Wade is the law of the land, and is in fact looking forward to the opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade at the earliest moment possible. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 12, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

RE: The Crisis at Waterfall By Dan Bockhorst - Regarding Austin Otos’ September 3 letter to the Editor, it’s best not to create false expectations. Mr. Otos indicates that the “Ketchikan Gateway Borough could allocate money from PILT (payment in lieu of taxes)” to construct a $1 million water tank to enable the North Tongass Fire Service Area to provide better fire protection past the Waterfall bridges. - More...
Friday PM - September 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Salmon Hatcheries Support Alaskans, and Feed the World By Casey Campbell & Mike Wells - When the Good Friday earthquake shook Alaska in 1964, the damage wasn’t confined to buildings and homes. In some coastal areas, the land and ocean floor were uplifted dramatically impacting the productivity of aquatic habitat for decades. - More...
Friday PM - September 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

RE: Establishing Basic Protections for Salmon By Owen Graham - Earlier this week I read an Opinion piece in Sitnews about the need to increase habitat protections for Alaska’s salmon. The article alleged that cumulative impacts on salmon can be seen in the watersheds around Southeast and in the salmon returns and harvests. That is incorrect; although salmon populations fluctuate from year to year, both the salmon escapements and salmon harvests in Southeast are much higher now than in the 1950s when most logging and other development commenced in Southeast Alaska. - More...
Friday PM - September 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Kavanaugh Bad for Alaska’s Tribes By Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson - On Tuesday, September 4th, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court. His confirmation is being painted as inevitable, and it will be unless our Alaska Senators take action to stop it. - More...
Friday PM - September 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Dumping AT&T cell phone service - going with Consumer Cellular. By Rob Holston - For many years, as business owners, my wife and I used AT&T cell phone service for ourselves and a few key employees.  We were very pleased until several months ago when I suddenly suspected that my iPhone had developed some sort of internal short!  I was suffering from one dropped call after another....... come to find out my wife’s phone had the same problem and ANYONE I’ve talked to re AT&T cell service seems to have the same problem.  “You can hear them and they can’t hear you” is the common theme. - More...
Friday PM - September 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Establishing Basic Protections for Salmon By Joe Mehrkens - Wild salmon stocks are under attack from all sides: ocean warming, habitat loss, over exploitation and pollution. While Alaska has enjoyed the benefit of good fisheries management, the cumulative impacts are taking its toll. Both professionals and non-professionals can see it in the watersheds around Southeast and in the salmon returns and harvests. One gillnetter moored across from me said he had only netted 7 Taku sockeyes this season. Simply stated, the risks of kicking the salmon can down the road makes a Yes on Ballot Measure 1 both critical and timely. - More...
Monday PM - September 03, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

The Crisis at Waterfall By Austin Otos - The two waterfall bridges located on North Tongass Highway are a prime example of neglected local infrastructure that needs to be completely rebuilt in order to allow for basic access to the property owners that live beyond them. - More...
Monday PM - September 03, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Statement of Withdrawal By Ghert Abbott - I decided to run on March 25th as a result of Representative Ortiz’s then failure to put forth a clear, comprehensive plan for both the protection and increase of the permanent fund dividend. On August 23rd, Representative Ortiz published a plan calling for a lower draw on the Earnings Reserve, a lower state share of said draw, a greater system of non-regressive revenue in order to support essential pubic services and a larger PFD, and a commitment to make increasing the PFD a top priority as the state’s fiscal situation improves. These proposals, if fully enacted, would mean a moving away from the horrifically unfair PFD tax imposed on us by Senate Bill 26. - More...
Monday PM - September 03, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Tribute To CAPT John McCain, USN By Donald Moskowitz - John McCain was shot down over Vietnam in October 1967 after completing over 20 missions. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. While McCain fought in Vietnam our fearless President got four college draft deferments. After graduating in 1968 Trump visited a doctor who provided him with a letter stating he had bone spurs in a heel and this enabled him to get a medical deferment from the draft. He later said the bone spurs were "minor". - More...
Monday PM - September 03, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Some things to think about By A. M. Johnson - Political activity of recent months surely has raised questions, caused consternations, given rise to conspiracy theory among other categories of politics mechanics. - More...
Monday PM - September 03, 2018

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