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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

January 09, 2006

Front Page Photo Round Island Walrus Sanctuary

Round Island: A Wilderness Adventure
Pictured: Karen Brand, a Staff Officer with the US Forest Service, Ketchikan-Misty Fjords Ranger District, at the Walrus Island State Game Sanctuary.

Ketchikan: Round Island: A Wilderness Adventure By MARIE L. MONYAK - Is the plural of walrus, walrii?  What do walrus use their tusks for?  How fast can a walrus swim? What state can lay claim to the largest state park in the nation?
Karen Brand, a Staff Officer with the US Forest Service, Ketchikan-Misty Fjords Ranger District answered those questions and more, at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center this past Friday evening.

Brand's passion about wilderness and wildlife led her to visit the Walrus Island State Game Sanctuary, located southwest of Dillingham, Alaska. And as part of the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center's Fridy Night Insight program, she presented many pictures from her trip this past summer along with facts about the walrus and other animals found in the area. Brand also provided information on how one would plan a trip of this magnitude. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Emerald Bay Area....

Emerald Bay Area
Photograph courtesy Sitka Conservation Society

Meyers Chuck - Meyers Chuck Residents and Others Challenge Emerald Bay Timber Sale Again - Residents of Meyers Chuck, users of the Cleveland Peninsula, and regional and national conservation groups filed an appeal against what they say is a money-losing timber sale that would damage stunning Emerald Bay on the western shore of the Cleveland Peninsula.

Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole recently signed the Emerald Bay Record of Decision in November, approving the harvest of approximately 16 million board feet of timber from 600 acres on the Cleveland Peninsula. According to the Forest Service, the proposed project which is located approximately 40 air miles north of Ketchikan within the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District would provide nearly 90 jobs in Southeast Alaska.

Evening Star Grutter who grew up in Meyers Chuck said, "As an individual who was born and raised in rural Southeast Alaska, I have significant concerns about the Forest Service's plan to log Emerald Bay and any other area on Cleveland Peninsula. The Forest Service is wasting taxpayer dollars and disregarding multiple user groups by consistently satisfying only one user group the timber industry." - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006


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Alaska: Alaskans Mourned In Aftermath of Helicopter Crash ; Four Alaska National Guard members among 12 killed in Iraq Incident - The U.S. Department of Defense has announced today that all 12 people aboard an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter were killed when it went down near the Iraqi town of Tal Afar.

The fallen aircraft was part of a two-helicopter flight moving between bases in northern Iraq when communications were lost shortly before midnight on January 07, according to Multinational Force Iraq sources. The crashed helicopter was located around noon on Jan. 8. Flight records indicated that eight passengers and four crewmembers were aboard.

According to information provided by Governor Murkowski's office, four crewmembers of 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, Alaska Army National Guard, are among the dead. Their names have not been released pending next-of-kin notification. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Alaska: Alaskans warned of Scam Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage sales - Alaska Division of Insurance Director Linda Hall today issued a warning to consumers to beware of scam artists selling Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs). "While there are many legitimate companies marketing this important insurance product, there are a few unscrupulous people marketing scam products," said Hall. "Alaskans purchasing these plans should check with the Division of Insurance to make sure they are dealing with a licensed agent."

Examples of unscrupulous practices include using high-pressure tactics to persuade consumers to purchase a plan they do not need or cannot afford and mixing products other than Medicare prescription drug plans in the insurance package. There are also criminals who sell "plans" that do not exist, taking consumers money and leaving them uninsured or under insured with plans that do not meet federal and state requirements.

Under the federal government's new Medicare Prescription Drug coverage benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, private insurance companies are selling these new Medicare PDPs. Medicare must approve the plans before they can be marketed legally.

Enrollment for the program, which began on January 1, is underway. Insurance agents are selling this product to Medicare beneficiaries. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Ketchikan: Forest Service Announces Recreation Facility Plan; Public meeting planned for Ketchikan - For many people, cherished memories are the most important things the Tongass National Forest produces and recreation sites, such as Forest Service cabins, help create those memories.

That's why the Forest Service is crafting a "Recreation Site - Facility Master Plan" for the nation's largest national forest. The new plan will reduce backlogged maintenance items by 25 percent over the next five years and will result in improved recreation sites.

"In the long run, this will enhance recreational experiences for forest users because facilities, such as cabins, will be better maintained," said Tongass National Forest Recreation, Lands and Minerals Staff Officer Scott Fitzwilliams. "In order to accomplish that goal, we need to develop more efficient ways to manage the sites, look at alternative funding, and close a few sites that get very little or no use."

This is why public participation is going to be so vital, said Fitzwilliams.- More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006



letter Where Do You Live? By Jerry Cegelske - Monday
letter Response To "World Government" By Bob Caldwell - Monday
letter More Email, Less Postage By Marie Monyak - Monday
letter RE: Wiretapping Controversy By Robert Freedland - Monday
letter A letter to My Daughter's Birthmother By John Wall - Monday
letter Why children from our country aren't being adopted... By Ellen Rardin - Monday
letter In the dark of the night! By Al Johnson - Sunday
letter Owl Photo By Dave Person - Sunday
letter RE: Write-in Sally Chapin By Samuel Bergeron - Sunday
letter Please write-in Bill Thomas Sr. for KIC President By Bill Thomas Sr. - Sunday
letter Harriet Hunt Lake Trash -- Pick It Up By Doug Barry - Sunday
letter Response to "Wiretapping Controversy" By Mark Neckameyer - Sunday
letter Reponse to Notification of Subsistence Survey By Dave Person - Sunday
letter Subsistence Usage Study By Cheryl Haven - Saturday PM
letter Wiretapping controversy By Robert Freedland - Saturday PM
letter Violating what privacy? By Virginia E. Atkinson - Saturday PM
letter Happy New Year By Robert McRoberts - Saturday PM
letter Pick it up By Nick Tucker - Saturday PM
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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Monday, January 09, 2006, 5:50 pm - The Ketchikan Borough Assembly will hold a special meeting in the City Council Chambers.
Agenda & Information Packets

January 19, 2005 - 7:00 pm - Recreation Plan Public Meeting at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, 50 Main Street. The meeting will be held in the Learning Center and people should go around to the back of the building to enter. The contact person for the Ketchikan meeting is Karen Brand at 228-4108.

Saturday, January 21, 2006, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Public Hearing - Petition by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for Legislative Review - annexation of approximately 4,701 square miles to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. City Council Chambers, 334 Front Street, Ketchikan, AK
Summary & Annexation Petition & Exhibits

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Dec. - Jan. 2006
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Fish Factor: Major Fisheries Changes Can Affect Whole Communities By LAINE WELCH - The Bering Sea crab fishery, now newly operating under a quota share plan, has been in place for just a few months, starting in August with golden king crab along the Aleutian chain, followed in mid- October by the red king crab fishery at Bristol Bay. As intended, the "rationalization" program (referred to as crab ratz) has ended the race for fish. At the same time, it has changed the traditional pace, pricing and patterns of the crab fisheries, and drastically reduced the number of players.

Kodiak, King Cove and Sand Point have partnered to provide an early glimpse at how crab ratz is trickling down into their towns. They've hired a fisheries economist to track three key things: how many people are working in the crab fisheries, how the compensation of crews and skippers has changed under the new system, and how spending by the fishing fleet may have changed.

"It takes decades to really understand the effects of a major fisheries change, but it does have a profound effect on just about everyone involved or associated with that fishery. It affects whole communities," said Gunnar Knapp, an economist at the University of Alaska/Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research, who will lead the study.

Knapp said he believes there is general agreement that we "have gone into a lot of changes in the past without a whole lot of thinking in advance about what the implications might be, and without necessarily studying what the effects have been." - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Sitka: Four Wilderness Medicine Classes To Be Offered - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Emergency Medical Services department will be offering four wilderness medicine classes in Sitka over the next few months. The SEARHC EMS classes offer a national certification through Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) that is good for three years. The courses are useful for anybody who spends a great deal of time in the Alaska outdoors. Some emergency medical services units, guide services and search and rescue squads require these courses, and a few groups will pick up all or part of the tuition for their students.

The first class is a Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) course that takes place on Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 18-19 (four days, 32 total hours). There is no prerequisite for this class. The cost is $250. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Southeast Alaska: Forest Service Proposes Minor Amendment to 2005 Planning Rule - The USDA Forest Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to allow the Tongass National Forest to use either the 1982 planning rule or the 2005 planning rule for adjustments to its Forest Plan that are required by a recent ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On August 5, 2005, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. Forest Service, 421 F.3d 797, that requires changes and adjustments in the 1997 Final EIS and Record of Decision for the Tongass Land Management Plan.

The proposed rule would amend the transition language contained in the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule adopted January 5, 2005. The transition language requires plan revisions initiated after January 5, 2005, to conform to the requirements of the January 5, 2005 planning rule. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Southeast Alaska: Senator Stedman Hires 2006 Session Staff - Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) announced today his staff for the 2006 legislative session. On January 5th, new hires Kim Carnot and Jane Kasberg joined existing Stedman aide Miles Baker in Juneau.
Kim Carnot earned a law degree and a Masters of Environmental Law at Vermont Law School and is an experienced attorney in Alaska.  She has spent the last two years working for Senator Lyda Green (R-Wasilla).  Ms. Carnot will be continuing a career in public service spent working as a Judicial Law Clerk, an Assistant District Attorney, and a Victims' Rights Advocate.  - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

Alaska: ESA Foundation offers scholarships to Alaska residents - The ESA Foundation, a non-profit tax exempt, philanthropic and educational organization has scholarships available for the 2006-2007 school year. Any Alaska resident attending any college, university or vocational school can apply.

The ESA Foundation celebrated its 35th anniversay last year. The Foundation offers Scholarships, Grants, Awards and leadership programs in many areas. In 2005, 143 scholarships were awarded for a total of $115,000. - More...
Monday PM - January 09, 2006

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