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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
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FISH FACTOR:
Budget Impasse Could Shutdown Salmon Fisheries in Some Regions By LAINE WELCH - The budget impasse with Alaska legislators is wreaking havoc on salmon fisheries across the state, and the industry is bracing for the possibility of a complete shutdown in some regions.

If lawmakers can’t agree on a budget by June 1, all state workers will be on notice for layoffs starting July 1. That includes 750 full-time and seasonal workers in the commercial fisheries division, many of whom are the boots on the ground for salmon management.

“The word that comes to my mind is catastrophic,” said Scott Kelley, director of the state commercial fisheries division.

It is budget delay déjà vu for state workers and the salmon industry, but unlike last year, no remaining dollars are in the fishing till.

“Last year we had some partial funding remaining. This year there is no funding at all. We have to think about a hard shutdown on July 1,” said Kevin Brooks, deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Right now, instead of managing and planning for fisheries, Brooks said staff is preparing to pull salmon counting weirs, towers, sonars and other assets.

“Where Fish and Game differs from most departments is we have staff in remote locations around the state not connected by road, and we get them out there by boat or airplane. For us to have an orderly shutdown on June 30, we’ll have to start a couple weeks prior pulling weirs out of the water and closing cabins and field camps where we have our staff stationed for three to four months every summer. We’ll have to get those things buttoned up and pulling them back to a duty station so we can give them a lay off and close the doors on the first of July. Likewise, getting our five research vessels back to port for tie up,” he explained.

Brooks said it will be “business as usual while they can,” but as salmon fisheries get underway across the state, managers are closely watching the calendar

“There’s going to be point of no return for us as far as getting things pulled out of the water. And in many cases they will have just been put in a few weeks prior. It’s kind of mind boggling,” he added.

Brooks agreed that if Alaska lawmakers can’t resolve the state budget in time, it could cancel salmon season.

“Where you’re actively managing in-season and looking at daily catch statistics and things like that,” he said, “I think there’d be foregone harvest for sure.”

Of course, other state managed fisheries besides salmon will be affected, including summer crab fisheries from Southeast to Norton Sound, cod, pollock and other groundfish.

Are Alaska lawmakers aware of the havoc their budget deadlock is having on the state’s seafood industry?

“Fisheries are so complicated it’s not apparent to all of them. Some are more aware than others, such as Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), Paul Seaton (R-Homer) and Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak), but I think generally they know the disruption is not good,” Brooks responded.

“We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” Brooks and Kelley said.
The total commercial fisheries budget for FY 2017 from all state and federal funding sources is about $64 million, a drop of $10 million over two years. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016


Alaska:
P/V Woldstad Decommissioning - After 34 years of patrolling Alaska fisheries as one of the largest vessels in the Alaska Wildlife Trooper Fleet, the Patrol Vessel Woldstad is being decommissioned.

P/V Woldstad Decommissioning

P/V WOLDSTAD
Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Safety

The P/V Woldstad is a 121-foot, 300 ton vessel. With its home Port in Kodiak, it patrolled from Kodiak Island to the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay with a four man civilian crew. The vessel was typically staffed by one or two Alaska Wildlife Troopers on each trip.

At the time it was acquired, the P/V Woldstad was the largest vessel assigned to the Marine Enforcement Section for many years until the 156-foot P/V Stimson was commissioned in 1998 to work alongside the P/V Woldstad patrolling the vast Alaskan Waters while enforcing some of the largest commercial fisheries in the world. The Woldstad typically spent about 130 days at sea throughout the year. In addition to commercial fisheries enforcement, the P/V Woldstad was utilized for vessel based firefighting, remote village access, search and rescue and an emergency base of operations for law enforcement in case of natural disasters.

The vessel was named in honor of Colonel Fred W. Woldstad who retired in 1980 as the director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, which today is known as the Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016

Alaska: Troopers Conducting Memorial Day Weekend Enforcement – The Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers are halfway through the Annual Memorial Day Weekend Click It or Ticket High Visibility Enforcement Effort which started May 23 and ends June 5.

The main focus of the National Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign is to save lives. AST hopes motorists drive safely throughout the High Visibility Enforcement campaign and the rest of the summer. Wearing seatbelts saves lives and goes a long way to protect all vehicle occupants from being seriously injured or killed. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016

 



Ketchikan:
McIntyre Joins Creekside Family Health Clinic - Creekside Family Health Clinic announced the recruitment of Marina McIntyre, FNP-C to the practice as a partner and family nurse practitioner (FNP). As a board-certified FNP, she will provide acute and primary health and medical care to children, adolescents, and adults.

jpg McIntyre Joins Creekside Family Health Clinic

Marina McIntyre, FNP-C
Photo courtesy Creekside Family Health Clinic

Ms. McIntyre has a long health care career in Ketchikan and is likely a familiar personality to residents. She worked at Peace Health Ketchikan Medical Center from 1999 - 2013 starting as a CNA and completing her tenure as a registered nurse in the emergency room. She returned to school in 2009 and completed her master of nursing degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2013 from the Frontier School of Nursing and Midwifery located in Hyden, KY. For the past two years, she has worked as an FNP at the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Health Clinic.

"My practice philosophy", says McIntyre "is based on treating each person with dignity and respect. I believe in listening attentively to my patients and individualizing their care." This means taking into account the medical, social, economic and cultural dimensions of patients and empowering them with appropriate information to make informed decisions regarding their care", according to McIntyre. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016


 

Columns - Commentary

SUSAN STAMPER BROWN:Memorial Day 2016: Remembering Afghanistan - I had to shut down my computer the other day after reading about all the brave soldiers who've joined the ranks of the "forever young" in Afghanistan. It's been a long 15 years.War is not for the fainthearted, or the impatient. I am guilty on both counts, but I am not alone in my feelings as I come to understand the cost of war extends far beyond America's diminishing treasure.With scant media reports about the positive impacts of our presence in Afghanistan and a Commander-in-Chief who checked out before he took office, it's easy to mistake Afghanistan as a total loss. A cursory glance projects a dysfunctional nation infested with godless, faceless, soulless lunatics who will stop at nothing to "kill all infidels."

And it is also easy to politicize a war. Those who encouraged us to "cut and run" revealed their own cowardice and will forever bear the guilt associated with the loss of untold innocent lives. But those who invested their blood and treasure can take credit for the good. You gave Afghanis hope, before Democrats took it away.

As reported in The American Interest, "the Democratic Party solidly opposed the surge and supported the deadline. In September 2009, 62 percent of Democrats opposed Obama's impending surge decision, and 63 percent of Republicans supported it...The war in Afghanistan was never as politically unpopular as the war in Iraq...until the President started to telegraph his disbelief in the mission."

In February 2009, 70 percent believed Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban if the U.S. military withdrew. The public was right, Democrats were wrong and Afghanis will pay the price. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016

jpg Joe Guzzardi

JOE GUZZARDI: On Memorial Day, a Spotlight on Illegal Immigrants in the Military - Since 1775, nearly 2 million Americans have sacrificed their lives in the military to defend America and to protect her citizens. Whenever a young American signs a contract to serve in the armed forces, he puts his life on the line. As United States Marine Corps. General Jim Mattis, addressing Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans explained: "You signed blank checks payable with your lives to the American people," a reference to the day corpsmen sign their contracts obligating them to serve.

Originally called Decoration Day (President Lyndon Johnson renamed it Memorial Day in 1966), the national holiday has its roots in the Civil War and the nation's collective desire to honor the more than 600,000 soldiers who died during the bloody four-year conflict.

Since 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that created three-day weekends for Veterans, Columbus, George Washington and Memorial Day, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other organizations that work on behalf of needy or disabled vets feel that the day of remembrance has been diminished. They worry that more Americans associate Memorial Day with summer's unofficial beginning.

As the VFW explained in its 2002 statement, "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day." In 1987 Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional May 30 date, and continued albeit unsuccessfully to introduce his resolution until his 2002 death. - More...
Sunday PM - May 29, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Memorial Day 2016

Editorial Cartoon: Memorial Day 2016
By Rick McKee ©2016, The Augusta Chronicle
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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letter Part 10: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - Before we go into detail about the northland rapture known as “the Beginning,” let’s take a moment to study the near-term financial consequences for folks living in the Ketchikan area. Duly note that much of the damage intended to be done has already been done, and it is impossible to reverse what has already transpired. The financial duress thereby created at the state level has already led the intransigent group sponsoring the “Coghill Abomination,” the true rulers (gangsters) of the State of Alaska, to avoid any debate or compromise on the subject by financing the state budget using $5.5 billion from the earnings reserve account of the Permanent Fund. That is most of the cash in the earnings reserve fund, and that leaves the Permanent Fund in aggregate with an estimated value of $46 billion. - More...
Monday PM - May 23, 2016

letter The Harbor Poo-patrol By Nancy Elizabeth York - It's only human nature to resort to nasty name calling of our politically appointed city officials when our personal lives are encroached on by those enforcing more rules and regulations on us. That said, I shall refrain from engaging in or joining in on the frey. However, I will donate my two cents worth regarding the proposed Poo-patrol. - More...
Monday PM - May 23, 2016

letter Why I Voted Against SB91 By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Wouldn’t Alaskans experience violence if a gunman shot into their home? SB 91, a crime reform bill that ignores victims’ rights, says shooting into a home is ‘non-violent.’ - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Alaskans have no meaningful oil & gas rights By Daniel Donkel - I wish all Alaskans better understood the oil business, but it is clear Alaskans do not have any meaningful oil and gas rights like other oil and gas states in the nation do. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Part 9: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - HB247, the much-heralded clawback of these insane oil tax credits, was passed out of the State House and referred to the State Senate where its fate is dubious at best. Hailed by our elected officials as the means by which a billion dollars will be saved between now and 2020, if passed it will save at best around $200 million, and is otherwise a gutted piece of junk. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Political legacy By A. M. Johnson - A bit of political Presidential history reflected as the current President establishes his legacy. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Addendum RE: Poo Journal Wanted! By Douglas J. Thompson - It was so obvious that in my addressing Marie Zellerman's letter I skipped it but in retrospect I think the issue should be highlighted. That is the "charge" by the harbormaster that her boat didn't qualify because it "did not have the original helm station as designed by the original architect" or words to that effect. I was told almost the same thing in that my engine had to be the original engine as designed by the original architect. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter RE: Poo Journal Wanted! By Douglas J. Thompson - In regard to Marie Zellmer's letter in Tuesday's Sitnews: Sad to say but it is very predictable what will happen on Thursday at the Council Meeting. No matter if she has nine or nine hundred people there. She will be given her sixty seconds to voice her concern and then be gavelled down. While she is speaking the Ayatollah Amylon (sitting on the elected dais although he is an employee and not elected) will be shuffling papers and whispering back and forth with his acolytes in total disrespect. Then the useless harbormaster (inflated to Port Directer) will stand up and mumble something about it is needed and necessary without any rational justification. The sycophantic seven agree and nothing is changed. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Part 8: OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ,
AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM
By David G Hanger - For the first quarter of 2016 ConocoPhillips recently announced a loss of $1.5 billion on its worldwide operations. While it is somewhat reasonable to assume the remaining three quarters of 2016 will be better, estimates about oil prices throughout the remainder of this year still run from a low of $20 to a high of about $80. So it remains possible that overall ConocoPhillips will lose even more on its worldwide operations by the end of this year. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Poo Journal Wanted! By Marie Zellmer - Things have gone too far down at the docks. New Ketchikan City ordinances are about to be enacted and enforced, and no one knows about them or what they really mean to people who have chosen to live on the water. Don't get me wrong, many of the harbormasters I have worked next to, gone to school with, and built sets for plays with, and I have considered them friends, but when they go to work my home is there. The harbormasters have convinced the council to enact rules such as... anyone who stays on their vessel for 15 days is a live-aboard and must have a coast guard approves toilet installed with a storage tank, and keep daily logs as to how much it is being used and how often it is being pumped out at one of the only three pump stations on the island. This will also affect the fishing industry if the wording is followed. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Our taxes for Health and Fitness By Joe Ashcraft - After a really arduous work day, my daughter convinced me to take her to the Fawn Mountain track for a few laps. This has been an almost nightly affair over the past few summers. And as I travel Southeast and the rest of Alaska on business, when asked about Ketchikan my response has included the track, the pool and the rec center as additions that make Ketchikan a really livable town. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Drive Careful By Robert Jahnke - In the Ketchikan and outlaying areas we have now entered the green up phase of the year when the road side ditches and open areas are greening up drawing deer into areas dangerous to them and drivers alike. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter RE: Incarceration Conditions By Bonnie J Abbott - You are absolutely, one hundred percent CORRECT! Thank You for caring and speaking out on this horrible disease. Maybe more citizens will step up and voice their opinion on every last word in your awesome letter!!!! - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

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