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Alaska: Governor Signs FY23 State Budget Investments in public safety, education, rural Alaska and infrastructure while saving $1.6 billion - Today, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed the FY23 state operating and capital budgets into law. The spending plan moves Alaska into a new direction with prudent and fiscally responsible investments in public safety, public education, the University of Alaska, and infrastructure projects that create jobs and economic development. It accomplishes all that while saving $1.6 billion dollars of the budget surplus to shield the economy when oil prices eventually decline. In addition, the budget includes a historical 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend for every eligible Alaskan.

“This budget is more than a spending plan; it’s a blueprint for Alaska’s future,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Budgets should reflect the values and ambitions of the people they are designed for, and I believe this legislation accomplishes that. It strikes the right balance by continuing my administration’s commitment to rebuilding state services like public safety while holding spending in check, adding to our savings, and pointing the economy in the right direction.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy announced his Fiscal Year 2023 budget vetoes on Tuesday. Major accepted budget items include full funding of public education, one-time $57 million Base Student Allocation increase, $2.5 million in additional pre-Kindergarten grants for a total of $5.7 million, and full funding of School Bond Debt Reimbursement and the REAA fund back to 2017.

The governor held a press conference Tuessday joined by members of his cabinet, and public policy leaders from across Alaska to discuss the FY23 state operating and capital budgets. (Click here to watch Tuesday's press conference.) Today the governor signed the budget.

Vetoed projects and services that were priorities of the Alaska Senate Democrats include portions of the Alaska Long Trail, public broadcasting, $27 million in deferred maintenance for the University of Alaska, and Sealaska Heritage Institute’s workforce development program. Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) issued a statement in response to the Governor's announcement.

Begich said, “Working with 61 other lawmakers to craft a reasonable budget for the state is no easy task. The process the legislature took at the beginning of the year was one of inclusion with robust discussions. In the end, this budget included a significant number of the priorities of the Senate Democrats and Alaskans."

“After Governor Dunleavy’s vetoes today [Tuesday], I am happy about the retention of forward-funding for public education, full funding of school bond debt reimbursement and the REAA fund, $3,200 Permanent Fund Dividend to help Alaskans with high energy costs, expansion of food bank infrastructure, and long-needed teacher public health and public safety housing in rural Alaska. These were critical components of the budget," said Begich in his statement.

Begich said, “It is unfortunate that not all priorities were funded. Projects like fully funding the Alaska Long Trail and services like public broadcasting did not survive the Governor’s red pen. These are widely popular projects and services that Alaskans have come to rely on."

“No one gets everything they want in a budgeting process, but the negotiation process was fair. I want to thank the Governor, legislative leadership, and the co-chairs of the Finance committees for including me and the caucus in this process. Alaska can move forward with this budget," said Begich.

“As Alaskans, we all know the surge in oil revenue is temporary. What it buys us is time to continue working together on a fiscal plan that smooths out the inherent volatility in oil revenue. The result will be that Alaskan families will not experience diminished services when revenues are down, and the business community is assured that Alaska’s fiscal house is in order. The first step in that legislative and public policy process is to end the arbitrary political process for funding the PFD that was used starting in 2016 to this year when lawmakers turned to the 50/50 formula. However, a permanent, sustainable solution requires giving the people of Alaska a chance to vote on any change in the formula to be protected in the Constitution. I look forward to working with lawmakers and Alaskans on a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan,” added Governor Dunleavy. 

The Dunleavy Administration’s fourth state budget invests in the following:

Protecting all Alaskans – Public Safety, People First Initiative, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons

Protecting Alaskans has been Governor Dunleavy’s number one public policy priority since taking office in December 2018. His public safety budget reflects his unwavering commitment to keeping all Alaskans safe from crime.

  • The budget authorizes 10 new Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers and 10 Village Public Safety Officer positions
  • Higher salaries for VPSOs and Troopers to attract the most qualified and motivated candidates to a career in law enforcement
  • New housing for public safety officers in rural communities
  • Additional funding to hire more criminal prosecutors and support staff
  • Creates an innovative Crisis Stabilization Center test program to treat Alaskans experiencing a mental health crisis

Public Education – Accountability

The FY23 budget not only increases funding for Alaska’s public school and university systems; it also brings long-overdue accountability for students’ and parents’ sake. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022


Ketchikan couple created Disney wilderness films; Al and Elma Milotte won six Academy Awards

Ketchikan couple created Disney wilderness films; Al and Elma Milotte won six Academy Awards
By DAVE KIFFER
Milottes on Safari
Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska


Ketchikan Historical: Ketchikan couple created Disney wilderness films; Al and Elma Milotte won six Academy Awards By DAVE KIFFER - It may seem a long way from a small photography studio on Ketchikan's Dock Street to Hollywood and the Academy Awards. But that was exactly the path taken by Alfred and Elma Milotte.

The two-person filmmaking and photography team travelled the world for four decades, winning six Academy Awards for the Walt Disney Company and writing several bestselling nature books. But they got their start in Ketchikan.  

Alfred Milotte was born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1904. Elma Jolley was born in Seattle in 1907. Al Milotte attended Franklin High in Seattle and later studied at the University of Washington. He would also study at Cornish College of the Arts, the Chicago Art Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

When Al was five years old, his family moved to Minot, North Dakota and went into the restaurant business, according to Winona Jackson who wrote a length family history story for the Bonney Lake Historical Society in 2012 as part of the publicity for a film festival featuring several of the Milotte films.  

Young Al Milotte was also interested in a photo studio that one of his uncles owned and operated. He was particularly taken by the techniques that allowed his uncle to make beautiful, artistic works out of ordinary people, according to Jackson.

One day, Al saw an ad in the local paper for a movie projector and film. He persuaded his mother to order it and then went door to raise the money to pay for it. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022


SitNews Front Page Photo By TERRI JIRSCHELE ©2022

Barge Shipment for NOAA's port revitalization project
Upon completion of this $18,771,041 project, NOAA will have a fully functioning homeport in Alaska capable of supporting Ketchikan-based NOAA Ship Fairweather and other visiting NOAA and government vessels. NOAA expects the project to be completed by December 2022. 
SitNews Front Page Photo By TERRI JIRSCHELE ©2022
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Alaska: AEA Seeks Public Comment on Alaska’s EV Infrastructure Implementation Plan - The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) is working with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and diverse stakeholders across the state to develop an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Implementation Plan as required by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. Through the NEVI program, Alaska will receive more than $50 million over five years.

These formula funds will be used to build a statewide EV fast-charging network and community- based charging sites in rural and urban areas across Alaska. This funding will be administered by AEA to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV supply equipment.

To receive the allocated funds, AEA must submit an EV infrastructure implementation plan by Monday, August 1, 2022, to the Federal Highway Administration describing AEA’s goals and how it intends to use NEVI funds. The plan will cover areas such as charging infrastructure deployment, existing and future conditions, and public engagement. The Alaska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Implementation Plan is available online. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

Alaska: Alaska State Troopers Increase Patrols for July Fourth Holiday Weekend; This High Visibility Enforcement campaign will focus on Impaired Driving - Alaska State Troopers will have increased high-visibility patrols on Alaska’s highways this Fourth of July holiday weekend to prevent fatal and serious-injury crashes through robust DUI enforcement. While Troopers will focus on DUI enforcement for both alcohol and drugs, they will also watch for aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding and people not wearing their seatbelts. The increased patrols will run July 1stthrough July 5th.

“As we approach Independence Day and many Alaskans take to the highways, please stay out from behind the wheel if you have had intoxicating substances,” said Captain Tony April, Commander of Alaska State Troopers “B” Detachment. “Call a cab, call a friend, call a family member or responsible adult, there is no excuse for putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk by driving under the influence. Your safety and the safety of others are paramount, you have options.”

The theme for this year’s holiday enforcement effort is “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving; Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over; Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over; If You Feel Different, You Drive Different”. Alaskans can help keep our roadways safe by not driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any other substance that can cause impairment or drowsiness. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

Travel: Crossing the border this summer: The CBSA gives tips this Canada Day and Independence Day long weekend for a smoother trip for travellers - The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds all travellers crossing the border this upcoming Canada Day and Independence Day long weekend of what to expect at the border during the busy summer months, whether returning home to Canada or visiting.

This summer, travellers are returning to a border that is managed differently, with evolving COVID-19 requirements, which can mean delays during peak periods. The CBSA is working with government and industry partners to mitigate long border wait times, but there are also things that travellers can do to make the process easier for themselves and other travellers.

Travellers can help reduce wait times at the border by coming prepared and by completing their mandatory ArriveCAN submission within 72 hours before arriving at the border.

The CBSA invests significant effort annually to plan and prepare for peak periods, such as the summer months. The Agency works with bridge and tunnel operators, airport authorities and travel industry groups to plan and review service requirements, enhancement opportunities, and required resources, so that we can deliver together the best service to all travellers. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

Alaska: Alaska jobs website unavailable due to external, vendor outage - The Alaska jobs website, jobs.alaska.gov, is currently not operational due to outages experienced by the external vendor, and is expected to be out of service for the next several days.

The employment registration process for new Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants, and the ability to utilize the system for job search and matching of Alaska job seekers to employers, will resume once the system is back in service. Claims filing and processing is a separate system and is not impacted.

UI claimants needing to register and create a resume should continue to check the availability of AlaskaJobs to complete these requirements.

"Our system vendor is working diligently to fix the issue impacting multiple states, and we hope to have AlaskaJobs back up and running very soon to serve Alaska’s jobseekers and employers,” stated Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Dr. Tamika L. Ledbetter. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

Alaska: Alaska Senate Democrats Request the Dunleavy Administration Disperse Permanent Fund Dividends Early - The Alaska Senate Democrats wrote to Governor Mike Dunleavy this week requesting this year's $3,200 Permanent Fund Dividend and energy relief check be issued immediately to help Alaskans with high energy costs. Traditionally, the Permanent Fund Dividend is paid in October. In 2020, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor issued that year's Dividend on July 1.

"Alaskans are preparing for the hunting and fishing seasons now. With gas prices at nearly $6 per gallon in urban areas, Alaskans need relief now to help access these vital resources – whether for sport fishing or subsistence," said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). "The precedent is there to issue the dividend early, and we should provide Alaskans with the means sooner so they can take advantage of Alaska's resources."

During the 2022 legislative session, the legislature approved approximately a $2,550 Dividend with an additional $650 for every eligible Alaskan to mitigate high energy costs. The legislature found it wise to issue energy relief due to Russia’s ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine, which has caused energy prices to rise globally.

“We see inflation skyrocketing and energy costs rising faster than we've seen in a long time. Every aspect of our lives is becoming increasingly expensive, much of which is due to global events. These factors outside of Alaskan's daily lives are impacting them where it hurts the most – their wallets," said Senator Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks). "We have the ability to provide needed relief now, and Alaskans deserve it." - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022


Ice Age wolf DNA reveals dogs trace ancestry to two separate wolf populations

Ice Age wolf DNA reveals dogs trace ancestry to two separate wolf populations
Grey wolf (stock image).
Credit: © Piotr Krzeslak / stock.adobe.com


 
Science News: Ice Age wolf DNA reveals dogs trace ancestry to two separate wolf populations - An international group of geneticists and archaeologists, led by the Francis Crick Institute, have found that the ancestry of dogs can be traced to at least two populations of ancient wolves. The work moves us a step closer to uncovering the mystery of where dogs underwent domestication, one of the biggest unanswered questions about human prehistory.

Dogs are known to have originated from the gray wolf, with this domestication occurring during the Ice Age, at least 15,000 years ago. But where this happened, and if it occurred in one single location or in multiple places, is still unknown.

Previous studies using the archaeological record and comparing the DNA of dogs and modern wolves have not found the answer.

In their study, published in Nature yesterday (June 29th), the researchers turned to ancient wolf genomes to further understanding of where the first dogs evolved from wolves. They analysed 72 ancient wolf genomes, spanning the last 100,000 years, from Europe, Siberia and North America.

The remains came from previously excavated ancient wolves, with archaeologists from 38 institutions in 16 different countries contributing to the study. The remains included a full, perfectly preserved head from a Siberian wolf that lived 32,000 years ago. Nine different ancient DNA labs then collaborated on generating DNA sequence data from the wolves.

By analysing the genomes, the researchers found that both early and modern dogs are more genetically similar to ancient wolves in Asia than those in Europe, suggesting a domestication somewhere in the east. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

Health News: Government Watchdogs Attack Medicare Advantage for Denying Care and Overcharging By FRED SHULTE - Congress should crack down on Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors that sometimes deny patients vital medical care while overcharging the government billions of dollars every year, government watchdogs told a House panel Tuesday.

Witnesses sharply criticized the fast-growing health plans at a hearing held by the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations. They cited a slew of critical audits and other reports that described plans denying access to health care, particularly those with high rates of patients who were disenrolled in their last year of life while likely in poor health and in need of more services.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), chair of the subcommittee, said seniors should not be “required to jump through numerous hoops” to gain access to health care.

The watchdogs also recommended imposing limits on home-based “health assessments,” arguing these visits can artificially inflate payments to plans without offering patients appropriate care. They also called for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, to revive a foundering audit program that is more than a decade behind in recouping billions in suspected overpayments to the health plans, which are run mostly by private insurance companies.

Related to denying treatment, Erin Bliss, a Department of Health and Human Services assistant inspector general, said one Medicare Advantage plan had refused a request for a computed tomography, or CT, scan that “was medically necessary to exclude a life-threatening diagnosis (aneurysm).”

The health plan required patients to have an X-ray first to prove a CT scan was needed.

Bliss said seniors “may not be aware that they may face greater barriers to accessing certain types of health care services in Medicare Advantage than in original Medicare.”

Leslie Gordon, of the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, said seniors in their last year of life had dropped out of Medicare Advantage plans at twice the rate of other patients leaving the plans. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

National: The Supreme Court has curtailed EPA’s power to regulate carbon pollution – and sent a warning to other regulators By PATRICK PARENTEAU - In a highly anticipated but not unexpected 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on June 30, 2022, that the Obama adminstration’s Clean Power Plan exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.

The ruling doesn’t take away the EPA’s power to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, but it makes federal action harder by requiring the agency to show that Congress has charged it to act – in an area where Congress has consistently failed to act.

The Clean Power Plan, the policy at the heart of the ruling, never took effect because the court blocked it in 2016, and the EPA now plans to develop a new policy instead. Nonetheless, the court went out of its way to strike it down in this case and reject the agency’s interpretation of what the Clean Air Act permitted.

Having said what the EPA cannot do, the court gave no guidance on what the agency can do about this urgent problem. Beyond climate policy, the ruling poses serious questions about how the court will view other regulatory programs. - More....
Thursday - June 30, 2022

National: Supreme Court’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ ruling puts immigration policy in the hands of voters – as long as elected presidents follow the rules By KEVIN JOHNSON - In the very last decision of its latest term, the Supreme Court released a major ruling that not only clears a barrier to ending a signature policy of the Trump administration but also signals that the future of immigration policy is in the hands of the electorate.

In Biden v. Texas, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to prevent the current president’s rollback of a Trump-era policy that requires asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. southern land border to be returned to Mexico while their claims were being processed.

The 5-4 decision means that the case will be returned to the lower courts. But it also makes clear that whoever is control of the White House has the power to change directions in immigration policy – even drastic reversals of policy. It follows that presidents can do the same in other substantive legal areas as well, such as civil rights and environmental protection. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022


Salmon nose deep into Alaska ecosystems

Salmon nose deep into Alaska ecosystems
By NED ROZELL
A dead chum salmon in the Delta River after it had returned more than 1,000 miles from the ocean to spawn.
Photo By NED ROZELL


 

Alaska: Salmon nose deep into Alaska ecosystems By NED ROZELL - During a good year in Bristol Bay, a surge of more than 100 million pounds of sockeye salmon fights its way upstream, spawns, and dies. In Bristol Bay and elsewhere in Alaska, this incredible pulse of salmon carcasses enriches streams and rivers and makes young salmon hardier.

That’s the finding of scientists who study Alaska streams and rivers that are teeming with salmon. Aquatic ecologist Mark Wipfli of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Institute of Arctic Biology is one of those scientists who pull on rubber boots to find the ways that salmon enhance the waters of their birth and the surrounding forests.

The process starts with the return of millions of salmon to Alaska rivers and streams. Nosing their way upstream, salmon are a swimming package of protein, fats, and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.

Bears are among the first to intercept them, carrying salmon away from the water and sometimes eating only part of the fish, like the brains of male salmon and the eggs of the females. Once munched by a bear, a carcass on land is fair game for flies and other insects, which lay eggs that soon grow into larvae. Heavy rains can wash larvae back into streams, where young salmon and other fish snap them up. Carcasses on land also provide food for other animals and fertilize streamside plants as they decompose.

Salmon that escape bears and other hazards go on to lay eggs — rich in protein, fat and nutrients — that are perhaps the best food in any stream. After salmon die and begin to disintegrate, algae and bacteria take up salmon nutrients, and aquatic insects in turn eat the thriving algae and bacteria.

Aquatic insects also feed on specks of decaying salmon, and fish and birds reap the benefits of more insects. Nitrogen and phosphorus from the “salmon tea” that rivers become can penetrate the soil to about 200 feet from a stream, and scientists have found traces of ocean-derived nitrogen in shrubs and trees more than 1,500 feet from Southeast Alaska streams.

“These salmon literally bring back tons of fertilizer to these systems,” Wipfli said.

Curious about how salmon carcasses help young salmon, Wipfli and his colleagues set up “artificial streams” in Southeast Alaska by diverting small portions of existing streams through manmade channels in the forest. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022



Columns - Commentary

 

 
jpg DAVE KIFFER

DAVE KIFFER: Too big, too small, clearly not 'just right'  By DAVE KIFFER - As I am getting older, I am learning that "Goldilocks" applies to cars as well. 

 When I was younger, I had a hankering for low to the ground sports cars. Not that there were many of those in Ketchikan when I was growing up. There were a few speedy models, but it was always hard to drive them into and out of the pothole farms that pass as roadway here. 

 I also liked Big A-- trucks and jeeps too. Back in the day, there were fewer of those around. Now it seems like 4 out of every 3 infernal combustion vehicles in Ketchikan is a Big A—truck. Making every parking lot an exercise in taking your life into your hands. And not successfully. 

 These days, neither big truck nor small car is a good fit for me. 

 Neither is "just right" anymore. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

jpg TOM PURCELL

TOM PURCELL: WHY WE OOOH AND AAAH ON THE FOURTH OF JULY - It’s been way too long since I lit a sparkler as the sun goes down on the Fourth of July.

I’ve enjoyed many day-long celebrations with friends and family on the Fourth in many different ways, but they usually end with a gathering on a hill or a parking lot where we have an excellent view of the fireworks staged by one of several local communities.

When I was a kid, we usually went to the parking lot at South Hills Village mall in Bethel Park.

We’d unload the car and set up our makeshift picnic area with beverages, snacks and lawn chairs.

As we eagerly waited for the sky to fall dark so the fireworks could start, the adults would help us kids light our sparklers.

We’d marvel at their blinding beauty — until we heard the first “woof!” of fireworks being launched. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

jpg TAYLOR KOVAR

TAYLOR KOVAR: Ask Taylor: Couples' savings goals  - Hey Taylor: My husband and I are trying to figure out some savings goals for the future and don’t really know where to start. House, retirement, new car, rainy day fund, etc. Any guidance? - Marie

Hey Marie: Love this question! As one half of The Money Couple, helping married people figure out how to live their best financial lives is a big part of the work I do with my wife. While everyone has a different situation and different needs, there are some universal steps we can all take. 

Emergency fund. If you don’t have a cushion of some sort, you have to start there. Save up enough to cover a few months of living expenses so you don’t take on a bunch of debt when something unexpected happens. People skip this step all the time and it almost always comes back to bite them. If you have a safety net in place, something like a layoff or a rough economic patch won’t blow up all your long-term goals. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

jpg BEN EDWARDS

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should you make extra mortgage payments? Provided By BEN EDWARDS, AAMS® - You might enjoy owning your home – but the mortgage? Not so much. In fact, you might want to do everything you can to pay it off as quickly as possible. But is that always the best strategy?

In one sense, your mortgage can be considered a “good” debt because it’s backed by a tangible asset – your home – that has real value and may even gain further value. Furthermore, by historical standards, you’re probably paying a pretty low interest rate on your mortgage, so you’re getting a lot of benefit – a place to live and a potentially appreciating asset. And if you itemize on your taxes, you can possibly deduct some, or maybe all, of your mortgage interest.

Nonetheless, despite these benefits, a mortgage is still something you have to pay, month after month and year after year. And for some people, it may feel good to pay it off. After all, there may well be a psychological benefit to being free this long-term debt. But is it really in your best financial interest to make extra payments? - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022


POLITICAL CARTOONS

jpg Political Cartoon: July 4th Dynamite

Political Cartoon: July 4th Dynamite
by Rick McKee©2022, CagleCartoons.com
Distributed to subscribers for publication by CagleCartoons.com

jpg Political Cartoon: Hot Political Climate

Political Cartoon: Hot Political Climate
by Rick McKee, CagleCartoons.com©2022
Distributed to subscribers for publication by CagleCartoons.com


      

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jpg Opinion

A letter to the Ketchikan community By Rodney Dial - Friends, it’s been a while since I wrote a letter to the community. In light of recent events now seems like the right time. As many of you are aware, two issues, one involving the Borough and the other the City have preoccupied public discourse over the last two months. Specifically for the Borough, grant funding for the Ketchikan Pride Alliance (KPA) and for the City, the Drag Queen event at the Library.

Generally at this point in a discussion regarding a topic like this most feel compelled to add the standard disclaimer “I have nothing against _X_ group ”. However, as I have never written or said anything in my life against the group I am about to discuss, I see no reason to disprove a negative, or justify my right of free speech.

The Borough issue was/is as simple as this… should the Borough fund the Ketchikan Pride Alliance. That was all this issue was about. It had nothing to do with:

• Should KPA exist
• Does KPA contribute to the community

KPA has existed for years and no one (including me) has suggested that KPA and its members do not have the Constitutional right to exist and engage in lawful activities in Ketchikan. KPA has existed for years without governmental support and would have continued to exist without Borough support. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

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Return of Prince Rupert Ferry Run By Prince Rupert Mayor Mayor Lee Brain and Rep. Dan Ortiz - This past month, the Alaska Department of Transportation reinstated the Prince Rupert Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) route. Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan and Mayor Lee Brain of Prince Rupert are jointly writing this letter to illustrate our supportive working relationship on the issue of reinstating this route for over the past two years. Rep. Dan Ortiz had the opportunity to ride “inaugural return voyage” of the AMHS to Prince Rupert to meet with officials there, including Mayor Brain.

The relationship between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan is an important one as they are sister cities. Officials from Prince Rupert come to Southeast Alaska roughly 3 times per year to discuss transboundary, transportation, and economic issues.

The ferry route connecting Prince Rupert and Ketchikan brings strong economic benefits to both Prince Rupert and the communities of Southern Southeast Alaska. It is the fastest way to connect Southern Southeast with the road system, and therefore is helpful in shipping goods. According to the McKinley Research Group (formerly known as the McDowell Group), seafood companies rely on this port connection to ship fresh seafood. During a time when freight costs have increased substantially, it is wonderful to have this route option available again.

The Prince Rupert run is ideal for longer-term visitors to Alaska. Economic data indicates that folks who visit Alaska via the AMHS spend significantly more money in our communities than the average cruise ship passenger, bringing economic benefits to both Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. This route also helps new-to-town movers, particularly members of the Coast Guard, as they navigate transporting their belongings in and out of Southeast Alaska. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

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"What is a woman?" By Steven Booth - The unspoken rule for attempting to answer The Daily Wire's, Matt Walsh question, in his new controversial film, "what is a woman?” is that you must give the answer that Matt Walsh wants to hear, because that is all that will fit in his myopic view. For him it appears there is only one answer, his. If you stray from those rules, he will attempt to correct you by stating that you must make the answer simple. Matt wants to say it is about "simple biology", yet, when the complications of biology is used, he will dismiss those facts because differences of opinion discussions morph into arguments where we have different facts. In my opinion, the question more difficult to answer is, "explain what is God, give 3 examples, and keep under one paragraph". It is my belief that Matt Walsh never intended to ask the question to understand why people believe that there is a spectrum of gender differences or why some men believe, that on a spectrum, they are more woman than a man.  

The questions is to create controversial content through controversial issues in order to get views, because views makes him and the daily wire more money. Daily wire is taking a play right out of Facebook’s algorithm tactics to increase engagement and then keep people engaged. It is a model that prioritizes profit. In order to maximize engagement from both sides of the issue, they stoke controversy, misinformation, and extremism (conveniently, for the daily wire, in their opinion, that extremism is only coming from other groups): "put simply, people just like outrageous stuff." 

 "What is a woman?" A person born female, whose sex development did not differ in any way, or form any variation form the "Eve" originally created and developed by God. Good enough one line answer for Matt Walsh? Probably not, because it still suggests that there is a spectrum between a man and a woman. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022  

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Let's let the children of our community remain innocent and enjoy their childhood By Ann Graham Radford - I spoke to the Ketchikan City Council on June 16th and urged them to cancel the upcoming Drag Queen Story time at Ketchikan Public Library.  Some of my reasons are that children across the nation are already being confused about their bodies through all they see and hear in today’s culture.  We know there is a widespread phenomenon occurring today, particularly among young girls who are suddenly deciding they are transgender.  Why has this become a current trend among teenagers and young adults?  In previous eras, young women had “the vapors” and fainting back in the 1800’s; more recently there have been widespread eating disorders.  Now the rising trend is to be transgender.  Why?  Some studies have shown it is because of the influence of culture, particularly through the internet, and peer pressure. - More...
Tuesday - June 21, 2022

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Ketchikan Public Library's Story Time By Kathy Flora - I’ve been a tax paying resident of the Ketchikan for 50 years, with the help of the Ketchikan Public Library I’ve raised 3 beautiful children. We went to a wide variety of guest readers at Story Time. - More...
Tuesday - June 21, 2022

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Drag Queen Story Hour By Robert Holston - What our children need more than ever in these times is STABILITY. Stable homes, stable families, stable communities, stable education. The opposite of stability is CONFUSION. Knowing that up is up and down is down is a good thing. Wondering about these FACTS is a BAD THING. - More...
Sunday - June 12, 2022

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TIME TO FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR KETCHIKAN'S BOROUGH MAYOR By David G Hanger - The KGB Mayor of course, is Rodney Dial, our not so erstwhile Mayor who earned that handle by seeking to claim in order to get elected college credibility and experience on the basis of a few courses at the community college. “College Boy” is a grade schooler, and while that is not disqualifying respective the position he currently holds (Most of our city and borough mayors have been grade schoolers, and none were in any sense exceptional.), it was an intentional attempt to elevate himself by disparaging advanced education and those who have attained it. This is a popular point of view in this country these days; the simple fact that one does not have a college education, is not capable of attaining such, is sufficient in itself to degrade those who are educated.

There is nothing more disgusting, not even the soldier bit, than an individual who claims educational experience and qualification he or she does not have. Sometimes you go to prison for it. Mayor Rodney Dial in fact is very one-dimensional, and he will never be a college man. He does not have the guts or the capacity to be a college man. - More...
Sunday - June 12, 2022

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Open Letter: KETCHIKAN GATEWAY BOROUGH MAYOR & ASSEMBLY RE: The Ketchikan Pride Alliance funding  By Rob Holston - I agree with Mayor Rodney Dial’s VETO rationale. Advocacy groups may exist without being divisive but the LGBTQ+ agenda is not among such causes.  - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Why would I talk to them? Research shows we can talk across our political divides By Melinda Burrell - As we look at the pictures from Uvalde, Buffalo, and other mass shootings, we’re having agonized conversation. It seems inconceivable that “the other side” could look at those same photos yet reach utterly different conclusions about their meanings. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Pelosi & Roe VS Wade By Rob Holston - Nancy Pelosi just emailed me stating she’s never been so angry in her life! And that she refuses to let Republican MEN shame, attack and imprison women for fighting for the right to kill their pre born innocent children?(paraphrased) What about the 10’s of 1,000’s of Republican WOMEN who don’t agree with Nancy and choose to protect the innocent life of the pre-born children. A vast majority of Republican MEN & WOMEN favor reproductive rights for women. No Republican that I know of would mean to prevent any woman from having a baby, i.e. “reproductive rights”. Nancy and her followers adhere to the ROE decision but perhaps fail to read the Supreme Court majority opinion. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Sealaska Shareholders vote "NO" on The Blood Quantum Resolution By Dominic Salvato - The blood quantum resolution removes the last obstacle standing in the way of total domination by Sealaska's management over shareholders. By allowing more shareholders Sealaska moves original shareholders and their votes out of management's way. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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