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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 15, 2008

Front Page  Photo by Laurie Northrup

Ketchikan Snow Dog & Pals
Ciara Northrup, age 7 and her nephew Kegan Moore, age 2, standing with their snow dog and igloo. Ciara is the daughter of the photographer and Kegan is the photographer's grandson. The last big snowfall in December allowed an opportunity to build an igloo in the Northrup's yard which would fit three inside. Outside of the igloo a "snow dog" was created. Photographer Laurie Northrup said the snow dog was fun to make and a nice change from the traditional snowman.
Front Page Photo by Laurie Northrup


Alaska: Greenhouse ocean may downsize fish - The last fish you ate probably came from the Bering Sea.

But during this century, the sea's rich food web - stretching from Alaska to Russia - could fray as algae adapt to greenhouse conditions.

"All the fish that ends up in McDonald's, fish sandwiches-that's all Bering Sea fish," said USC marine ecologist Dave Hutchins, whose former student at the University of Delaware, Clinton Hare, led research published Dec. 20 in Marine Ecology Progress Series, a leading journal in the field.

At present, the Bering Sea provides roughly half the fish caught in U.S. waters each year and nearly a third caught worldwide.

"The experiments we did up there definitely suggest that the changing ecosystem may support less of what we're harvesting-things like pollock and hake," Hutchins said.

While the study must be interpreted cautiously, its implications are harrowing, Hutchins said, especially since the Bering Sea is already warming.

"It's kind of a canary in a coal mine because it appears to be showing climate change effects before the rest of the ocean," he noted.

"It's warmer, marine mammals and birds are having massive die-offs, there are invasive species-in general, it's changing to a more temperate ecosystem that's not going to be as productive."

Carbon dioxide's direct effects on the ocean are often overlooked by the public.

"It's all a good start that people get worried about melting ice and rising sea levels," he said. "But we're now driving a comprehensive change in the way Earth's ecosystem works-and some of these changes don't bode well for its future."

The study examined how climate change affects algal communities of phytoplankton, the heart of marine food webs.

Phytoplankton use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into carbon-based food. As small fish eat the plankton and bigger fish eat the smaller fish, an entire ecosystem develops.

The Bering Sea is highly productive thanks mainly to diatoms, a large type of phytoplankton.

"Because they're large, diatoms are eaten by large zooplankton, which are then eaten by large fish," Hutchins explained. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 15, 2008

Southeast Alaska: HISTORICAL PHOTO COLLECTION DONATED; Images document work on Chief Shakes Tribal House, totem restoration - A Juneau corporation has donated a large collection of old photographs documenting work on a tribal house and totem poles in Southeast Alaska.


Linn A. Forrest, Sr., Collection
Photograph courtesy Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI)

The collection donated by MRV Architects includes approximately 150 black-and-white photographs documenting reconstruction of the Chief Shakes Tribal House in Wrangell and restoration of totem poles in Sitka in the late 1930s. The donation was mae to to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI).

"That collection is really important because it documents an important historical period in Southeast Alaska Native life. We're really fortunate in getting this collection," said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting it reflects the growing recognition that SHI has the professional capabilities to care for these types of collections.

The photos were compiled by the late Linn A. Forrest, Sr., an architect who oversaw work on the projects. Forrest later founded MRV Architects, and the collection eventually was passed to the current owners of the corporation, said architect Paul Voelckers, a partner at the company. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 15, 2008

National: Massive Winter Bird Count Just Weeks Away - Bird watchers across North America are poised to take a real-time snapshot of where the birds are during the 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15­18. This year's event calls on birders to "Count for Fun, Count for the Future." Anyone can count birds wherever they are and enter their tallies online at . These reports contribute valuable information for science and conservation, spotlighting changes in bird population and distribution from year to year. The count is led by Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participation is free and no registration is required.

Overall, bird watchers submitted a record-breaking 80,000 checklists during the four-day event in 2007--reporting 11 million birds and 613 species. Count results over the years show how species such as Eurasian Collared-Dove and Red-bellied Woodpecker are spreading into new areas. They also show declines in some species, such as the American Crow and Northern Pintails. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 15, 2008


Basic Rules

letter KETCHIKAN: OUR TOWN HAS A FUTURE AS OUR BRAND by Ken Bylund - The Ketchikan Daily News [KDN] January 12-13 2008 weekend edition had a great editorial 'TOWARD GROWTH'; it starts and ends with the warning that we as a town are experiencing a steady decline but centers on hopes that we as a community need to come up with new industries and new ways of creating jobs in old ones. I love this editorial; it is smack on target... and then back to reading 'THE UPSIDE' by Adrian J. Slywotzky who spent his life researching business success stories and failings. Here's the deal; we learn and think in analogies [Jeff Hawkins - On Intelligence], by comparing this with that, and if our town can be compared to a business, well... we are the Kodak Brownies and Polaroid Film industry in a world of Canon Digital and SanDisk. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letter Alaska Marine Highway By Paula Peterson - I was born and raised in S.E. Alaska. I am 51 years old, so I've seen a few things during my life. One of the things that I have seen is how important the Alaska State Ferry System is to S.E. Alaska. Alaska is vast and complex when it comes to public transportation and so the Alaska State Ferry System was formed to address the complexity of public transportation in S.E. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterLibrary By Robert McRoberts - In a recent conversation the other day about the library, beside the facts of road grade, parking, access to bussing and walking. what I would like to know is who is using the library? With the internet, is the usage less than ever before? Is the fact that we are losing people in our community not making an impact on usage? - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterAmerican Injustice for Marion Jones By Mike Sawyer - I continue to be amazed at how our country differentiates between steroids and tobacco. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterRoad Rage/ Intimidation/ Women By Carol Christoffel - I have read Mr. Hansen's concerns and I am quite sure that he is not among the macho drivers that I referred to. However, may I remind Mr. Hansen that the original Lady described having a hard time in a very difficult snow storm managing her car while being tailgated by a truck, who then gave her a vulgar gesture after forcing her to the side of the road. - More...
Monday - January 14, 2008

letterA New Public Library or Castle on the Hill? By Robert D. Warner - There have been several excellent SitNews letters recently critizing the decision to build a new public library at Ketchikan's old Main School site. Who made this decision to move the library rather than the museum? The public needs clear and professional economic analysis of possible locations for the library and for the museum. Why haven't citizens been given such basic essential information to consider? They are entitled to full information to verify whether it is the museum or the library that should move from the Centennial Building. Have we actually reached the time when a move is necessary? - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008


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arrowKetchikan City Council - Special Meeting - January 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers.
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Front Page Archives
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letterMain School Library Site Selection By Linda Koons Auger - To Charlotte L. Glover: Thank you for setting the record straight on the facts regarding the public vote for funding of a new library building. I should have done my research. I stand corrected. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterHistory lesson... By Charles Edwardson - I would like to thank the unofficial historian on the background of the library location issue. It took all of those people, all of those meetings, and all of that public information and apparently half the town's participation, to pick possibly one of the least convenient locations in downtown Ketchikan for a library (Public library??) If it was not voted down it should have been or should be given the opportunity to be voted up or down by the public. And if all that public participation did not come to this conclusion than maybe it was not as public a process as some remember. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterThe "New Library" Location By Robert D. Warner - I join many other citizens of Ketchikan in protesting the proposed new location for the public library. How could anyone with library experience support such a difficult to access and isolated location for a public library? - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letter Thank You For the History By Signe Markuson - I would like to say 'Thank You' to Charlotte Glover for her letters to Sitnews. I appreciate your gently and precisely informing us about what is going on. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterUnsung Heroes By David Hull - With all the tragedy that has befallen Ketchikan recently, I think a small group of people is consistently overlooked when it comes to "back patting" or "thank you's". This group consists for those civilian individuals who choose to get involved by calling 911 and assisting the victims in the earliest moments of an emergency. These individuals include family members, passerbys, or complete strangers just wanting to help. They are often victims of the collateral damage that the incident produced and left out when it comes to information sharing. It is time to at least acknowledge their contributions. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterThe erosion of state jobs in Juneau By Sen. Kim Elton - I've asked the governor's chief of staff to freeze any proposed transfer of state jobs from Juneau to points north unless the governor has given her approval. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterSaga of the Missing Bus Benches By Carol Baines - I don't mean to belabor this topic, but I feel it's important to address this: I think it's unnecessary to go through the expense of re-installing special benches that prohibit someone sleeping there at night. The previous benches seemed to be appropriate and functional. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterRoad rage, intimidation By Cody Hansen - I recently read a letter on Sitnews about road rage and intimidation. A former Ketchikan resident stated in this letter that males feel "comfortable" shouting at young women and older women alone. I think that statement is absolutely false. She also stated that the "mad macho drivers" pick on the women because they know if they did that to a male driver they might be looking at a fist down their throat. Another false statement in my opinion. - More...
Saturday AM - January 2008

letter Water front views By Judith Green - Isn't it lovely when driving through town these days, we see sitting at the new city dock a blue and white ship with a smoke stack showing "8 stars of gold on a field of blue". Just to see the beauty of this ship and know of its size and comfort in accomodating the citizens of this great state sitting in full view, brings to mind the phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" (in the book "Molly Bawn" of the late 1800's). - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2008

letterLibrary Building Project By Charlotte L. Glover - As the unofficial library historian (I would be happy to share my binders full of newspaper clippings, documents, and scrapbooks going back decades with anyone who asks), I wanted to address Linda Auger's concerns as we have been getting a lot of questions about the library building project. - More...
Thursday - January 10, 2008

letterTLMP By Jim Colier - I see where the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) cost the tax payers $23 million, then it had to be redone again at the tax payers' expense. I see this as mismanagement and someone or ones should be held accountable. - More...
Thursday - January 10, 2008

letter Marty West's Response To Library Issue By Linda Koons Auger - I believe that the City of Ketchikan owns property off of Forest Avenue (new extension to the north of the Third Avenue Bypass), adjacent to the property of George Lybrand. Why isn't this property being considered for the new location of the Library? - More...
Tuesday PM - January 08, 2008

letter As firefighters and EMTs... By Jim Hill - December 15th has always been an important date in my life. On December 15, 1980 the West Valley City Fire Department began providing services to a newly formed community in Utah. A few months later I became a member of that department and after a few thousand emergency calls and 21 or so years later, I retired. I left West Valley to accept a position with the Ketchikan Fire Department in Ketchikan, Alaska. Little did I know that the December 15th anniversary date would one day be associated with the needless death of children. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Library Location By Marty West - The city owns the land where the new library is set to be built. The present library space will be used to expand the museum. Plans include elevator access from the parking lot below. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Sprinklers in the home once more... By David Hull - There has been a bit of misinformation put out there on residential sprinkler systems. First, the sprinkler requirement is not for all new homes, only those where the department cannot get an engine closer than 150 feet. Don't want a sprinkler system in your new home? Build your driveway so the fire department can get an engine within 150 of your door. Done Deal! - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Her Light Was So Bright By Lois Munch - Bright, bubbly, beautiful...and kind. Beautiful inside and out, and genuinely compassionate of humans and critters alike, Kelly Nausid touched many during her short life. Her ever present smile was infectious, and she was just plain fun to be around. Her zest for life was equally obvious when she waited tables at Salmon Falls during college summers or when encountered on the street. Even the briefest conversation was delightful. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letterLibrary Area Bus Stop Seating By Charlotte L. Glover - I can certainly understand how people would want a dry area with seating to wait for the bus in front of the library. The city is looking for new seating that would allow a person to wait comfortably for a bus without being so spacious as to provide sleeping space. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Replace Library Bus Stop Benches (Please?) By Carol Baines - Someone mentioned the word "bullies" in regard to people complaining that the bus stop benches at the library were removed. I think the bullies are the ones who decided to take harsh action -- without fair warning -- by removing the benches and thereby punishing everyone. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Snow driving By Patrick Branco - I wanted to responded to the story by Jessica Peavey called "A Little Snowy Advice for Drivers". Her story reminded me of something my father always used to say "There are only two kinds of drivers, the ones who drive too slow when you are behind them and the idiots who drive too fast". Sadly, few of us are perfect drivers. Dangerous conditions require prudence. Is it prudent to go out on the road, in the dark, in a vehicle poorly suited to the conditions? We each should decide whether a trip to Walmart is worth it. Does the driver of a big SUV with studded tires and 4 wheel drive have the right to pressure less capable vehicles to go behind their safety parameters and driving ability? Clearly not. The law requires that if you have a line of 5 or more vehicles behind you and you are driving under the posted limit, you should safely pull over and allow them to pass. This does not mean that you should bury yourself in a snow bank or inch over onto what barely passes for a shoulder on most of our roads. It means safely. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Snow Advice By Kimberly Morton - I would like to say sorry to Jessica and the other drivers out there that have real concerns about the snow and the bad behavior that some drivers have towards them. Though it needs to be known that if you are driving a vehicle with children in it that can't pull out from the side of the road, then it is unsafe for you to be on the road. It amazes me that we live in such a small town and that some people without snow tires or four wheel drive decide to drive anyway. They end up getting stuck and causing many more traffic problems than the drivers that are using their "middle finger". With all the accidents that can happen if your car is not able to get around in the snow, then call a friend and let those that are ready and prepared for the snow do the driving. I have ridden with many people that get scared or nervous during snowy conditions and they are usually the ones that are not prepared. This can lead to serious accidents and even death. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

letter Road Rage, Intimidation, Women By Carol Christoffel - Ladies, I am sorry to learn of someone attempting to harass you while driving. I believe that this happens more to females than to males, as a male feels "comfortable" shouting at a young woman, or older woman alone. Often the "mad macho" drivers pick on women because they know that if they did it to another guy they might just be looking at a fist down their throat! "This ties in to the idea of the male superiority vs a respectful treatment of women. Unfortunately there are too many macho drivers out there these days. - More...
Monday AM - January 07, 2008

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