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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
jpg Front Page Feature Photo By FARREL LEWIS

Red Admiral Butterfly
This Red Admiral butterfly was feasting on a Butterfly bush which the photographer has in his yard. Moist woods, yards, parks, marshes, seeps, moist fields are their habitat. During migrations, the Red Admiral is found in almost any habitat from the tundra to subtropics.
Front Page Feature Photo By FARREL LEWIS
©2016

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Southeast Alaska:
USCG Busy In Southeast Alaska - The United States Coast Guard was busy this week in Southeast Alaska from responding to a fishing vessel that was taking on water near Ketchikan to saving a man suffering from heart problems near Sitka.

Sunday, the Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boatcrew assisted the 38-foot fishing vessel Serenity after it began taking on water near the ferry terminal in Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan boatcrew dewatered the Serenity until the vessel was safely moored and a temporary patch was outfitted at the breach in it's hull. The Serenity was scheduled to be towed Monday by a salvage company.

Sector Juneau watchstanders received a request for assistance from the Serenity’s captain stating that the vessel was taking on water at approximately 50 gallons every 10 minutes. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the boatcrew.

The Ketchikan boatcrew arrived on scene Sunday and reported the vessel spaces were flooded with several hundred gallons of water. The crew began dewatering operations and pumps managed to keep the vessel afloat.

“Our boatcrews train on a variety of equipment so they are ready to assist mariners during emergency situations,” said Lt. Joseph Reitmeyer, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We’re glad we were able to promptly assist these mariners before the situation became any worse.”

And on Tuesday, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew medevaced a man from a charter vessel in Snipe Bay south of Sitka.

"During the summer months there is increased activity on the water, and our crews stand watch around the clock," said Petty Officer 1st Class Geno Kludt, Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstander. "Our crews train year round for moments like these, in the hopes of giving those in need a second opportunity to rejoin their families." - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Hydaburg City School District Opens Statewide Correspondence High School - The Hydaburg City School District has opened their own statewide correspondence high school named TOTEM Correspondence enrolling high school students in grades 9 and up living anywhere in Alaska. Students must be 19 years or younger on October 1st each year to enroll.

TOTEM Correspondence School is a personalized education model where students can work at their own pace with project based thematic curriculum, receive individualized instruction, participate in college classes, and have the opportunity to graduate successfully with a high school diploma.

As a statewide correspondence school, continued communication between students and teachers is essential which is why the school plans to provide each student with their own laptop computer, in addition to a $2500 allocation for curriculum and services, along with a Personalized Learning Plan.

In addition to project based thematic courses that will meet standards in multiple subject areas, students may also participate in college courses receiving dual college and high school credit, choose single courses for individual subject areas as well as choose credit recovery options for incomplete and failed courses.

Students will have a Teacher/Advisor that will work with them to develop and implement their Personalized Learning Plan. In addition, other tutors and instructors will be available to work one-on-one with students as needed. - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016


Southeast Alaska:
NOAA team mounts response in effort to disentangle Juneau-area humpback calf - NOAA whale experts are hoping a Juneau-area humpback calf nicknamed "Lincoln" can free itself from an entanglement after a team of five was able to make a strategic cut to the line Wednesday.

NOAA Fisheries whale experts made a strategic cut to line entangling a humpback whale calf near Juneau Wednesday
Photo Credit: Heidi Pearson, University of Alaska Southeast, Permit #14122, 7/20/2016

"The entangled animal is this year's calf of a commonly-seen humpback whale in the Juneau area," said Suzie Teerlink, marine mammal specialist for NOAA Fisheries in Alaska. "In fact, the mother is so regularly spotted here she has been nicknamed 'Juneauite'."

The mother-calf pair has frequently been seen this season in North Pass adjacent to Lincoln Island-hence the calf's nickname. It was first reported entangled over a week ago, and the marine mammal team has been waiting for the best opportunity to mount a response. That opportunity came Wednesday, when the whale was spotted near Favorite Reef, west of Auke Bay.

The team included John Moran and JJ Vollenweider from NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Sean Egan and Teerlink from the agency's Alaska Regional Office, and marine mammal expert Kate Wynn.

The whale was entangled with a combination of a blue/green line and a yellow poly line, possibly from a mooring system. The gear is difficult to see because there was no attached flotation.. The line was lodged in the mouth of the calf, coming out of both sides of the mouth and trailing behind the animal as it swam.

The trailing lines were initially knotted together, but the response team was able to make a cut to the gear on one side that may make it possible for the gear to slip through the mouth and for the animal to self-release from the entanglement. - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016

 


Alaska:
Fish Waste Composting Offers Alternative to Landfill Disposal - In summer 2015 Gabe Dunham, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Bristol Bay, established a site at the Dillingham landfill to compost fish waste generated by local subsistence harvesters. The 2,000 pounds of waste he collected last summer, mixed with soil, wood chips, and paper, has produced about 4,000 pounds of finished compost that will be distributed to gardeners in a few months.

Gabe Dunham, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Bristol Bay
Photo courtesy Alaska Sea Grant Fisheries

The subsistence harvest of salmon is an intense occupation in Bristol Bay during the fishing season. Harvesters take fish heads, bones, and guts to the Dillingham landfill collection bin, where it attracts bears due to the strong odor. The waste currently is buried at the landfill. The compost project is a “proof of concept” which illustrates that fish waste can produce a usable soil amendment for local gardeners.

Dunham’s first step was to work with the City of Dillingham and state waste officials for approval of layout and use of a donated compost site in the landfill. He constructed compost piles using wood chips and topsoil along with fish waste, then covered the piles with a fleece material to regulate moisture and reduce odor. And he set up a temperature monitoring system at the site. The finished compost site includes a waste collection receptacle, a shelter for equipment, and a tractor for material handling. - More...
Thursday PM - jUly 21, 2016

Alaska: Illegally Dumped Fish Waste Invites Bears, Fines - As salmon surge into Alaska, anglers and dipnetters are reminded to properly dispose of fish waste. Discarding fish waste on public or private property or along roads, pull-offs and trails can attract bears into areas frequented by the public and result in fines ranging from $300 to $1,000.

In Anchorage, where nearly 300,000 people live in close proximity to bears, fish waste is discarded each summer in vacant lots, greenbelts, and along local streams and lakeshores. Anchorage area wildlife biologist Dave Battle believes many people who dump fish waste don’t realize the danger they create for others.

“Fish attract bears,” said Battle, “and bears are likely to defend those food sources.” - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016


A ghost town on the Tanana River

A building at the site of Cos Jacket, a former village on the Tanana River.
Photo by Ned Rozell

Alaska: A ghost town on the Tanana River - On a canoe trip down the lower Tanana River, we've scrambled up a sandy bank to explore a place that is less populated now than it was a century ago.

No one, in fact, lives at Cos Jacket anymore. There is a cabin-size cache with a tin roof. A few sagging log structures sit on a ledge overhanging the Tanana. One of the cabins has lost its door and front wall to the river. Its fallen ridgepole points like a finger over the Tanana.

With no noise except the whisper of breeze through poplar leaves, Cos Jacket has the Alaska ghost town feel. Across the state, there are dozens of similar places. Some, like Kokrines, Birches, Kallands and Grant Creek, are not far from Cos Jacket, which is about a half mile downstream from where the Cosna River dumps iced-tea water into the Tanana.

In a brief tour of Cos Jacket hastened by terrific mosquito density, Alison Beamer, Jason Clark and I notice the following: treeless areas that may have been gardens, a wooden barrel sealed with tar that probably arrived by steam ship and a nice iron cookstove under a collapsed roof. Jason points out a sign for a survey point on a tree, probably placed by an archeologist who mapped Cos Jacket. - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016

 

Columns - Commentary

jpg Michael Reagan

MICHAEL REAGAN: We Can't Elect a Liar in Chief - The stunt Ted Cruz pulled at the GOP convention in Cleveland Wednesday night may someday become known as his "Mistake on the Lake."

By making a point to not endorse Donald Trump in his speech and telling people to vote their "conscience" in the fall Cruz did his own political future and his conservative principles no favors.

He merely made himself look like a political brat and made a few million new enemies in the Republican Party who are unlikely to forgive him when 2020 comes around.

Cruz also broke one of my father's most important rules ---- always support the party's nominee.

My father did that at the bitterly fought Republican convention in 1976 after he narrowly failed to take the nomination away from President Ford.

In his speech before the convention my father didn't come right out and say "I endorse Gerald Ford" but he made it clear that he wanted Republicans to unite behind Ford and win the election, not vote their "conscience."

Cruz, for all his brains and Constitutional principles, didn't do the right thing for himself, his party or the country. - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016

jpg John Micek

JOHN MICEK: The Reluctant Embrace of Trump - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) wanted to talk about a bunch of stuff during his primetime address at the Republican National Convention.

But Donald Trump wasn't high on that list. He barely mentioned him at all.

Instead, the ever-wonkish Ryan focused on the House GOP's legislative agenda.

He hammered home how important "a conservative governing majority" was to its chances and how Republicans needed the win the White House to ensure its success.

"There is a reason people in our country are disappointed and restless," he said. "If opportunity seems like it's been slipping away, that's because it has. And liberal progressive ideas have done exactly nothing to help. It's the latest chapter of an old story: "Progressives deliver everything except progress."

Ryan's embrace of Trump, with whom he has publicly differed even as he supports him, was reluctant at best.

"We Republicans have made a choice," Ryan said, seemingly trying to convince himself that it was a good idea - as much as he was the thousands of delegates crammed onto the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena here.

Ryan, at least, was animated. - More...
Thursday PM - July 21, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: GOP UNITY

Editorial Cartoon: GOP UNITY
By Bill Day ©2016, Cagle Cartoons
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

      

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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

letter An Open Letter to Our Community By Ken Tonjes - We all know that living in a small town is wonderful, but it comes with its own set of perils. Sometimes it is nice that news travels fast, but on the flip side, so does misinformation. Just a few well-meant but not entirely accurate conversations around the campfire and before we know it, misinformation is being spread around town. Most recently, the grapevine is saying that Ketchikan Medical Center is no longer performing elective surgeries because we don’t have anesthesiologists. - More...
Thursday PM - July 07, 2016

letter Part 13: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - On the editorial page of the June 25 weekend edition of the KETCHIKAN DAILY NEWS in an unattributed editorial blurb the DAILY NEWS harshly criticized numerous members of the state house of representatives for resisting “Oil Company” Walker’s effort to take Alaskans’ Permanent Fund Dividend. This cavalier willingness to deprive so many others of so much displays fundamentally the willful ignorance the DAILY NEWS and its staff has about the financial crisis, i.e. the “Coghill Abomination,” that faces this state today; and it also gives us a very clear idea of the type of decisions Bob Sivertsen would make, i.e. to sell us all down the river at the earliest possible opportunity. - More...
Thursday PM - July 07, 2016

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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