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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Sitka Black-tailed Deer
This buck was resting peacfully Sunday up by Cape Fox.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS ©2014
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Ketchikan: Woman Arrested in possession of heroin and meth - Sunday morning, Brittany Diaz (age 23 of Washington) was contacted at the Ketchikan terminal of the Alaska Marine Highway System after her arrival on a ferry from Bellingham. An investigation revealed that Diaz was illegally in possession of heroin and methamphetamine. - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014

Ketchikan: Fugitive from justice arrested in Ketchikan - Sunday morning, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation's Southeast Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) task force, with the assistance of the Alaska State Troopers from the Ketchikan Post, arrested Jay Campbell (age 39 of Kentucky) at a residence in Ketchikan after learning that he was a fugitive from justice out of Boone County, Kentucky. - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014

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Southeast Alaska: Rabies Detected in POW Bat By MARY KAUFFMAN - Biologists working on Prince of Wales Island found one of three Keen’s myotis bats trapped on July 13th near Harris River to have rabies.

The biologists' concerns was raised when one of the trapped bats appeared to be potentially ill and was acting more aggressively than the other two. This bat was later euthanized and submitted to the Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL) for rabies testing. This bat tested positive for rabies on Thursday, July 17, and an alert was issued Friday. This is only the third bat ever found o have rabies in Alaska.

The Alaska Public Healh Advisory issued Friday was to alert people bitten by or
exposed to bats to be evaluated promptly for possible rabies post-exposure prophylaxis; and to encourage people finding sick or dead bats to contact wildlife and/or health authorities.

There are six species of bats living in Alaska. Prior to July 2014, only two bats had been confirmed with rabies in Alaska. In 1993, a little brown bat was found crawling and squeaking on the ground near Ketchikan in the Tongass Forest. Further testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rabies Laboratory in Atlanta confirmed this brown bat was infected with the silver-haired bat rabies virus variant.

In early July 2006, a graduate student studying bats in the northeastern part of Prince of Wales Island found a Keen’s long-eared bat that was unable to fly. The bat was euthanized and submitted to the Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL) by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) on August 30, 2006. On August 31, ASVL reported that the bat had tested positive for rabies - that strain was characterized as a red bat rabies virus variant.

According to an Alaska State Virology Laboratory Bulletin, there have been no cases of bat variant rabies among non-bats in Alaska. Additionally, bats from other regions in Alaska, including the Kenai Peninsula and the Anchorage- Mat-Su Valley area, have all tested negative for rabies. However, any bat, regardless of location of origin, that is acting abnormally should be tested for rabies. Similarly, any animal that has bitten a human and is acting abnormally should be submitted for rabies testing.

The majority of human cases of rabies in the United States in the past 15 years have been caused by bat variants of the rabies virus. Anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by a bat should contact a health care provider immediately to be evaluated for postexposure rabies prophylaxis. If the bat is still available, it should be submitted to Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL) for rabies evaluation.

According to an Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL) Bulletin, in general, migratory patterns of bats in Alaska are not well-documented. It is reasonable to assume that rabies circulates among bat populations in southeastern Alaska, although the possibility that any of the rabies-infected bats originated from outside Alaska can not be excluded. Bats from other regions in Alaska, including the Kenai Peninsula and the Anchorage-Mat-Su Valley area, have all tested negative for rabies.

Samples from this third rabid bat found last week on Prince of Wales Island will be sent to the Center for Disease Control in Alanta for rabies virus variant characterization.

Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island-based Island to Island Veterinary Clinic also listed a few things be aware of concerning pets regarding this alert that rabies was found in a dead bat on Prince of Wales Island: - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014


Southeast Alaska: USCG Assists Fishing Vessel Taking on Water & Conducts 2 Medevacs in Southeast Alaska - Coast Guard crewmembers assisted the six-person crew of a fishing vessel taking on water near Ketchikan Friday morning and conducted two medevacs in Southeast Alaska Sunday.

SCG Assists Fishing Vessel Taking on Water & Conducts 2 Medevacs in Southeast Alaska

Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boarding team members assist the crew of Fishing Vessel Vernon after their boat began taking on water near Ketchikan, Alaska, July 18, 2014. Coast Guard station crews are multi-mission capable, with personnel trained in assisting mariners during a variety of emergency situations.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Ketchikan

A Station Ketchikan 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew and 25-foot Response Boat – Small crew rendezvoused with the vessel taking on water, deployed a team with dewatering pumps and escorted the 65-foot purse seiner back into port.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a request for assistance from the fishing vessel Vernon’s crew, with a report that one foot of water was in the engine room. The watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the two boat crews.

Once on-scene, a Station Ketchikan boarding team began operating four dewatering pumps to control the flooding on the fishing vessel. The dewatering team stayed aboard the vessel as the Motor Life Boat crew escorted them back into Ketchikan.

“Our boat crews train on a variety of equipment so they are ready to assist and rescue mariners during emergency situations,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Kevinn Smith, officer-in-charge, Station Ketchikan. “Ensuring that mariners in our area of responsibility are safe is the number one priority for our station.”

The cause of the flooding of the Fishing Vessel Vernon Friday morning is under investigation. Weather on scene Friday morning was reported as 10 mph winds and 2-foot seas. No injuries were reported.


In addition to assisting the Fishing Vessel Vernon Friday morning, Coast Guard crews in Sitka and Ketchikan performed two medevacs from two separate vessels in Southeast Alaska Sunday.

Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 47-foot Motor Life Boat crewmembers medevaced an injured mariner from a fishing vessel near Kendrick Bay and an Air Station Sitka Mh-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced an ailing passenger from a cruise ship near Zarembo Island.

The first assist Sunday began when Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a report that a 21-year-old female aboard the fishing vessel Haida Chief suffered a head injury when a line parted. The crew administered first aid and requested medical assistance. - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014

Fish Factor: Demand for sockeye strong, but downward press on prices By LAINE WELCH - It came as no surprise when the first price postings last week tanked for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon to $1.20/lb, with an extra 15 cents for chilled fish. That compares to a base price of $1.50 a pound last year.

The Bristol Bay catch topped 28 million reds by Friday, 11 million more than projected, and the fish were still coming. (Alaska’s total sockeye salmon catch as of July 18 was over 37 million and counting.)

Demand for the fish is strong by both foreign and US buyers, but the downward press on prices stems from lots of competing red salmon rivals in the works this year.

The sockeye run at the lower Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam set a record last week topping half a million fish, the most since the dam was completed in 1938. Russia’s sockeye salmon catches topped 31 million early in July, and that number will go higher. And all eyes will be on British Columbia’s Fraser River where sockeyes are just beginning to show. The largest sockeye return in 100 years is expected at the Fraser this summer of up to 75 million fish.

It’s a matter of wait and see if the Fraser run materializes over the next month. If it fizzles, it could mean some nice retro payments for Alaska salmon fishermen months from now after most of the sales are made. But it remains to be seen how all the sockeye dynamics play out in global markets, both this year and next.

“If we get more Russian sockeye coming into our more premium markets, if we get a large Fraser River harvest, and if processors aren’t able to move a lot of the product before that happens, then we could see wholesale values take quite a tumble.” said Andy Wink, lead fisheries economist with the McDowell Group in Juneau. “We will have to see how things shake out, because a lot will happen after our season is done. But processors are going to have to pay a certain amount to assure themselves of supply in the Bay this year. Where that comes in next year will depend on what happens this fall at Fraser River.” - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014


Columns - Commentary

jpg Ron PaulRON PAUL: What the Media Won't Report About Flight MH17 - Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim — even before an investigation — that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council — just one day after the crash!

While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.

They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored "regime change," it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.

The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.

They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.

They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called "measured and moderate."

They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians. - More...
Monday - July 21, 2014


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letter Collateral for City Loans By Ralph Marcello - There is one major error in the letter concerning the City's collateral for their loans. The collateral IS NOT the private real estate and personal property of the citizens of Ketchikan. The collateral is the TAXES collected, both current and future, from real estate and personal property assessments. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter Wolf mother deaths threaten pack survival but not population By Richard Steiner - The research on Denali wolves confirms what we have said all along, that the killing of breeding females can result in catastrophic consequences. Indeed, it is absurdly obvious. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter Final is Final By A.M. Johnson - History is established to leave a course for the present to learn from the past not change the past. A case in point is a quote from President Calvin Coolidge. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter Sealaska Shareholders Meeting 2014 By Dominic Salvato - Participating online was a frustrating experience. The screen was blank at one time for almost an hour and still the meeting went on. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter FairTax eliminates need for IRS By David Boone - According to a recent Fox News poll, an overwhelming majority (76 percent ) of Americans believe the Internal Revenue Service intentionally destroyed two years-worth of emails. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter RE: Un-necessary consequences for Marijuana By Casey O'Brien - I'm writing this letter in response to Marvin Seibert's letter regarding marijuana legalization. - More...
Wednesday AM - July 09, 2014

letter RE: Behind the scenes of City Government By Douglas J. Thompson - Thanks again for another on the mark letter Mr. Dial. I just wonder how many residents know that their property or business within the Ketchikan borough & city boundaries are the collateral used to secure municipal (and all governmental bonds for that matter)? In the event of local bankruptcy your personal property can go to the highest bidder to repay that defaulted bond. Whether fully paid for or not. - More...
Sunday AM - July 06, 2014

letter This is the rest of "the story" my dearest Paul Harvey. By Heather Herndon - The State of Alaska wants to gamble with your money to support a mining company that has never successfully produced anything. Worse, the company in question, UCore, has failed on its last two mining claims, Lost Pond in Newfoundland and another in Canada. Its sole remaining asset is the Bokan-Dotson Mountain project. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter Move To End Federal Funding Of Alaska Predator Control By Richard Steiner - I realize that public interest in Alaska's predator control issue waxes and wanes, but the issue we disclose here is a new, significant finding, which should be of interest to the Alaska public. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter THE 1967 FAIRBANKS FLOOD By James M. Eagan - Just finished reading The 1967 Fairbanks Flood by June Allen which tells about how the people of Fairbanks managed so well during the flood of 1967. That is not exactly the way I remember it and I was there. The mention of one critical aspect of the story is conspicuous only by its absence. Were it not for the heavy equipment and volunteer efforts of personnel from both Fort Wainwright and Eielson AFB, the city of Fairbanks and nearby communities such as North Pole would have been disaster areas until at least the next spring. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter Don Young By R.K. Rice - So, the penalty for illegal use of campaign funds, and accepting illegal “gifts”, (bribes) is the unbelievably harsh penalty, of having to pay back the amount that was received. Apparently the fox is guarding the henhouse. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter Grant Street Garbage By Vanessa Bruns - As residents of Grant Street we all know that there are bears that love to wander through our neighborhood and they are attracted to our garbage cans. The past two weeks I have gone into the woods and picked up MULTIPLE garbage items that have been ripped out of garbage bags (which are from our garbage cans) by these bears. The bears are not the point of my issue, my issue is with the residents of Grant Street that are not securing their garbage cans appropriately. When confronted about the issue everyone has the "it's not mine attitude" When in fact in some cases, the garbage that I have picked up has mail that has the person's name on it. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter Checking ID, Assumed Guilt and a Lack of Common Sense By Amanda Mitchell - I wanted to bring to light a recent local experience in our town of Ketchikan. My husband and I went into Safeway. After picking up a few items, we walked together into the liquor store where my husband purchased beer. My husband was carded, but he was almost refused beer because I didn’t have my identification on myself. I have been into the same liquor store with my kids to pick up beer and my kids were never carded. As much as I would like to say it, I do not look like I am in my 20's. It was automatically assumed if we are with another adult we are guilty of buying alcohol for minor. However, I literally can have a minor with me, who is not carded, and be sold alcohol. To the cashier's credit, who else gets to decide whether or not the person who is purchasing the alcohol is going to commit a future crime and has the intent of purchasing to/for a minor? The cashier position has just gotten really cool as now the job duties includes being a detective, judge, jury and psychic. Move over, Miss Cleo! - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter RE: Un-necessary consequences for Marijuana By Marvin Seibert - First I need to clarify Mr Johnson's comments, I do not work in a state funded halfway house or in the substance testing industry. I have not lost my job due to Pot legalization in Colorado. I have moved to Ketchikan and still employed in the same industry and company for the past 14 years and it is 0% drug related. I am still trying to figure out how long you need to live here before you should be able to comment on important issues as this. I am a registered voter in Ketchikan.
You suggest that we should not leave our children's future to a judge. That is emotion talking and not reason. What decisions do you want to take away from the legal system. Who will pick and choose what judges are allow to handle. Do we go the way of the anarchist and just let judges rule when we know and like what the outcome going to be. We are a nation of laws ( except in the Whitehouse unfortunately ) not mob rule. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter My idea of tax reform. By Wiley Brooks - Reform serves the purpose getting rid of that which is bad and replace it with something better. That is why I call for tax reform --- real and true tax reform. The present income tax code punishes good behavior, taxes production and jobs, drives jobs, companies and capital out of our economy into off-shore tax avoidance havens, and; it hides taxes embedded in the price paid by the consumer. Without production there is nothing to buy, no improvement in standard of living, no tax base to support government. The cost to all of us who pay taxes to comply with the 75,000 pages of codes is over $440 billion per year. It gives imported goods a price advantage while it rewards domestic special interest by embedding favors in the codes. The system which includes the Internal Revenue Service is corrupt. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

letter RE: Behind the scenes of City Government By Laura Plenert - Rodney Dial, as ALWAYS is correct. This is a man who has studied and reviewed what is going on in Ketchikan. He is not just shooting from the hip. He digs and knows his stuff. - More...
Saturday PM - July 05, 2014

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