SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Caught Red (Facebook) Handed?



May 11, 2015
Monday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
I am always amused by people who are worried about the “guvrrrment” spying on them.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

You know the type.

They are concerned about the “black helicopters.”

They are paranoid enough to shred everything in their houses, including their used toilet paper.

They are absolutely convinced that “spies” are keeping track of their every movement.

Well, I think they are barking up the wrong cell phone tower.

They really ought to be concerned about Facebook.

Yes, Facebook that seemingly harmless little web diversion that reports on what we eat, where we have been and every little thought that we have ever had.

Sure, you say, it’s not actually Facebook that is the problem, it’s our obsession with “oversharing” all those details of our lives.

Facebook is only the platform.

Geeze, that’s like blaming your smart phone for the fact that you spend all day staring at it. I mean, really.

Anywhoo, Facebook is truly keeping track of all these little life details, for better or worse. It is much more serious a threat than the NSA, people.

If you are out and about, guess what? It notes your location on your “status update.”

If you visit a website, it checks in with you later and asks you if are still “interested” in the item you previously looked at.

Which, of course, really messes up your Christmas gift surprise if your significant other looks at your Facebook page and sees that you have been visiting

But even more importantly, and of course you were wondering if I would ever get to the point, Facebook also keeps tabs on the political events that effect your life!


Seriously, Facebook truly does know more about you than you do!

For example, did you denizens of Our Fair Salmon City know that you are no longer residents of the great state of Alaska???

Facebook does!

I’ll explain that in a minute.

But first back to the “buried lede.”

Yes indeedy, Ketchikan, and most of the rest Southeast Alaska, is no longer part of the Last Frontier. It seems as though we have been “sold” to the Evergreen State.

Now, I have been on the trail of this rumor for the past several days. It came out of the end of the Legislative Session.

All session long the Legislators from our end of the state were getting the cold shoulder from their northern bretheren and sisteren.

That in itself was not unusual. As the population in Skankchorage and the Mad Zoo has increased the rest of the state has become increasingly marginalized.

So our Reps have found themselves increasing on the outs. Most recently they discovered that their legislative offices had been moved to Elfin Cove. Just one more indignity.

But toward the end of the session, they also experienced an unusually perplexing situation.

Their fellow elected officials started completely ignoring them.

Walked past them in the hallway.

Ignored their efforts to speak during sessions.

Didn’t even bother to kill their bills by referring to the most obscure committees.

Like they weren’t even there.

Which they weren’t.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Soon rumors started to get around that most of Southeast Alaska wasn’t part of Alaska anymore. Only Juneau was still considered part of Alaska and that was just a temporary situation because the Legislature didn’t want word to get out that it was meeting in a warmer locale that wasn’t even a part of the state.

Well, I immediately called all the state officials I could think of and, of course, they denied that any such thing had happened. Southeast was still an important part of Alaska, they said, just like any part of the “Bush” was.

I ignored the Bush “slight” in the same way that I ignored it when former Governor Palin said she had never had airport access “relations” with “that city.” Sometimes it’s better to just take the high road and not worry about who is getting to Snotland before ye.

Of course I kept digging and that is where Facebook suddenly became crucial to finding out the truth.

All of a sudden last weekend, status updates o FB started to have a slight change.

Where it used to say “Ketchikan, AK” it was now saying “Ketchikan, WA.”

Bolstered by this new information, I went back to my very low level state contacts. Faced with this irrefutable evidence, they fessed up.

“Yes, we sold a large portion of Southeast Alaska to Washington.”

“Por Que?”

(I had to ask the question in Spanish in honor of a tourist who once asked why more Ketchikan residents didn’t speak Spanish since we are in the Southern part of the state)

“Because we needed the money and they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Besides we were tired of having to deal with your stupid marine highway system. If you really want access you should live somewhere you can build roads. And didn’t you just say you all wanted to be back on Seattle time?

Hard to argue with that.

Of course, the terms of the deal were not released publically. This is the Alaska Legislature after all and what “happens in caucus, stays in caucus.”

So I contacted officials in Washington state.

They happily told me that the transaction involved $7.2 billion dollars, the transfer of 113,246 homeless people from Seattle to Anchorage and a minor league archipelago to be named later (likely the Gossip Islands via a three-way trade with British Columbia).

“When were you going to tell us,” I asked several very highly placed Alaskan officials.

“Tell you what?” they replied.

“That we had been sold to Washington.”

Long pause.

“I don’t know where you would have heard that.”

(Non-denial denial alert)

“The Washingtonians confirmed it.”

“That statement is misleading.”

(another non-denial denial)

“Okay I read about it on Facebook.”

Another long pause, followed by muffled phone sounds and whispering.

“We’ll have to get back to you on that. “

Another pause.

“You guys are on Seattle time, right?”

On the Web:

Columns by Dave Kiffer

Historical Feature Stories by Dave Kiffer


Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at

Dave Kiffer ©2015

Publish A Letter

Letter to the Editor

SitNews ©2015
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska


SitNews ©2014
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Contact the Editor