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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 21, 2009

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Following the 50th anniversary bonfire held downtown Saturday behind the SE Discovery Center, fireworks were displayed from the top of Deer Mountain in what is becoming an annual event. For more information about Ketchikan's 50 Years, 50 Events celebrating 50 years of statehood, contact the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau or the Arts Council.
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS


Alaska: Energy guide identifies energy options for communities across the state - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Friday praised energy coordinator Steve Haagenson and the Alaska Energy Authority for the release of their comprehensive guide to energy in Alaska. The guide, Alaska Energy - - A First Step Toward Energy Independence, identifies energy options for communities across the state.

Energy guide identifies energy options for communities across the state

(from left) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin addressed a filled room flanked by Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin, Governor's Press Secretary Bill McAllister, Alaska Energy Coordinator Steve Haagenson and Special Assistant to the Governor Joe Balash as they present the new Statewide Energy Plan in a press conference at the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) building in downtown Anchorage on January 16, 2009.

"While lower crude oil prices are reducing the costs of energy today, we must remain committed to achieving energy security for our future economic well-being," Governor Palin said.

The guide identifies and prioritizes energy projects; puts into place legal and government structures needed to allow them to go forward; and identifies potential funding sources.

"This tool will focus each community on their relative options for generating electricity and heat through the use of locally available resources," said Haagenson. - More...
Wednesday - January 21, 2009

Alaska: DOT&PF announces 2010-2013 STIP process commencement - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is asking communities for nominations for their various transportation needs.

Communities with transportation needs are asked to complete the nomination form available at the department's web site. The nomination period closes Feb. 20.

The "needs list" is a part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) process. Federal regulations require a new STIP for federal fiscal years 2010 through 2013 be established by Oct. 1, 2009.

The STIP is the federally required spending plan and is limited to surface transportation including highways, ferries, transit and trails.

Projects on the needs list are ranked to determine the order in which they should receive federal funds. The criterion DOT&PF uses to rank projects has been updated and the public is encouraged to comment on the revised criteria as well. - More...
Wednesday - January 21, 2009

Fish Factor: Labor data project; Less halibut, later start; & Oil spill commemorative By LAINE WELCH - A project aimed at compiling labor data on Alaska's fishing crews is gaining traction as a mix of state and federal agencies get down to business this week.

It's estimated that about 20,000 crew members work out on Alaska's fishing grounds throughout each year, but as self-employed workers, no wage reports are collected by the state. The lack of job data means deckhands have fallen through the cracks in terms of recognizing their economic importance to the fishing industry.

"All we know is that someone buys a crew license. We don't know if they fish, what they fish for, how many fisheries they participate in, for how long - any of that kind of stuff," said Geron Bruce, deputy director of the state commercial fisheries division.

"You can't really estimate the total economic impact of commercial fishing unless you know something about the earnings and employment patterns for the crew members, who are such an important part of the work force," he added.

"It makes it difficult for both harvesters and communities to apply for economic assistance or benefit from other state and federal programs," echoed Mike Catsi, director of the Southwest Alaska Municipal League. SWAMC has championed the crew counting effort and helped get a $150,000 appropriation from the legislature last year to jump start the project. The federal government, which co-manages several of Alaska's largest fisheries, is also providing funding. - More...
Wednesday 21, 2009

Alaska: TWO JUNEAU GUIDES SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT FOR WILDLIFE CRIMES - United States Attorney Nelson P. Cohen announced that on January 14, 2009, Juneau residents Shawn Hooton and Shane Hooton were sentenced in federal court in Anchorage on one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. The sentencing was the result of the Hootons' earlier pleas of guilty to the charge.

Shawn Hooton was sentenced to two years probation, three months home confinement and a $30,000 fine. He was also ordered to forfeit equipment used in the offense, including a custom .460 Weatherby and scope. During his two-year probation, he is prohibited from commercial guiding and hunting. Shane Hooton was sentenced to a term of one year probation, a fine of $20,000, and ordered to forfeit a custom .460 Weatherby and scope. He is also prohibited from commercial guiding and hunting during the term of his probation.

Shawn Hooton, age 42, and Shane Hooton, age 41, were sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge John W. Sedwick.

Assistant United States Attorney Steven E. Skrocki advised the court that the Hootons, who were registered guides, conspired with their father, Larry Hooton, age 70, also a registered guide, to illegally guide out-of-state hunters for brown bears on Admiralty Island National Monument in excess of their one hunt permit issued by the National Forest Service. The plea agreements detailed that the Hootons exceeded their one permitted brown bear hunt limit by guiding three more hunters than the permit allowed and by taking four brown bears when only a single brown bear was allocated by their Forest Service permit. Charging documents and the plea agreements detailed the actions by Larry Hooton, who, as justification for the excess kills, claimed that the additional bears were killed below mean high tide, when, in fact, the client hunters all utilized Admiralty Island lands to stalk and illegally kill the brown bears. - More...
Wednesday - January 21, 2009



Ketchikan: BBBS Match of the Month, Karen and Terri Jean By NANCY COGGINS - The match of "Little Sister" Terri Jean with "Big Sister" Karen within Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a relatively new match. As their story unfolds, you'll notice a child whose trust in her adult mentor increases with each successive shared activity.

BBBS Match of the Month, Karen and Terri Jean

"Big Sister" Karen (Left) and "Little Sister" Terri Jean thoroughly enjoy BBBS Annual Picnic at Ward Lake, a BBBS monthly activity.
Photograph courtesy BBBS

Picnicking at Ward Lake with other "Bigs" and "Littles" becomes an adventure for Karen and Terri Jean -- they had the opportunity to play with the BBBS Program Coordinator's dog. To Terri Jean's delight, with her constant tossing of the ball for the dog, the dog retrieved it every time. Karen says Terri Jean had "such an amazing time with me and the dog as we shared watching the dog having adventure also!"

Terri Jean's Auntie's comments about the BBBS program: "We all are so thrilled and blessed that Terri Jean could have a companion as a Big Sister. Since the Big Sister has come into her life, she has changed. Terri Jean smiles more and is more pleasant. She has improved in her school work. Having a Big Sister for Terri Jean is the best thing that has happened to her." - More...
Wednesday - January 21, 2009

 Abigail Ahyong Wins Scholarship Essay ContestKetchikan: Abigail Ahyong Wins Scholarship Essay Contest - Holy Name Catholic Church announced the winner of the 2008/2009 Knights' of Columbus scholarship essay contest. Abigail Ahyong won the college scholarship for her essay on "What it means to be a Catholic Christian". Holy Name Catholic School recognized Abigail, an alumnus of Holy Name Catholic School, during Catholic Schools' Week, January 25 - 31, 2009.

Following is Ahyong's winning essay:

From the time we are little children to when we are adults each individual has a faith journey to tell. We all experience the beginning trust and comfort in our religion over the basic tenants that God lives in heaven, the devil lives in hell, and that his son died to save us from sin. But as we lose the precious gift of innocence, so too does our faith begin to be challenged. This is true about my personal faith journey, thus far. - More...
Wednesday - January 21, 2009


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Basic Rules

letterLocation of Library By Liz Lybrand - After many years of trying to fit the new library into what used to be the "downtown" area, it is time to rethink the location.  It is no longer "downtown".  That is the tourist area.  The library does not belong there.  It is not a tourist destination. It is our public library and should be located where we can use it. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letterHerring and Fish Issues By Carol Christoffel - I am writing in support of the other good people who are concerned over the failing herring runs. I do not know the "politics" involved but note the board to regulate this largely consists of commericial fishermen, whose livelyhood depends upon consistant runs of fish. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letterHerring group, who are they? By Kevin Kristovich - After reading the last viewpoint on the issue of herring and digging further into the Sitnews' archives finding past letters in regards to herring, I have always wondered who is the Ketchikan herring action group comprised of? - More...
Wednesdau AM - January 21, 2009

letter Herring By Larry Demmert - Again this is a sad rant and misinformation attempt by the sports/charter industry (which by the way is a COMMERCIAL FISHERY, you get paid it's commercial!!) - More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letter Sales Tax By Trygve Westergard - Mr Ellis, I like the idea. What are the pros/cons? - More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letter Sales Tax By Dustin Hofeling - This is in response to Pete Ellis' suggestion about a seasonal decrease in sales tax. I don't think this is possible considering many tax exempt people won't want to give up their status; and I don't want to pay an 8% tax during the winter. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letter Tax folly By Al Johnson - Regarding the Pete Ellis sales tax , "None here, Pete".
- More...
Wednesday AM - January 21, 2009

letterSALES TAX SEASONAL ADJUSTMENTS By Pete Ellis - So neither the City nor the Borough seem to be interested in providing winter sales tax levy relief to local residents. So is there any interest in assisting with an initiative effort designed to provide a borough wide levy for a winter sales tax of 2% from November through March and a summer sales tax of 8% from April through October with neither tax subject to any exemptions? - More...
Thursday - January 15, 2009

letterTake the politics out of fisheries decision making By Louise Clark - I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Rauwolf. I was born here nearly 70 years ago and have lived here most of my life and remember very well the unbelieveable masses of herring that once came through this area. - More...
Thursday - January 15, 2009

letter KPD's Drug Awareness at Kayhi By Joey Tillson - My family and I attended KPD's Drug Awareness Seminar this evening, January 13 at Kayhi. I would like to commend the Ketchikan Police Department, their guest speaker and other organizations that have put forth information regarding drug awareness for our community. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letter WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN FISH AND GAME BE THINKING?? By Andy Rauwolf - On November 6th, the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a request for public comments in the Federal Registry regarding listing Southeast Alaska Pacific Herring Stocks as "Threatened or Endangered." Shortly thereafter, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced plans for yet another record herring harvest in Sitka Sound. Out of the seven largest stocks, this herring biomass just happens to be the LAST REMAINING MAJOR HERRING STOCK left in Southeast Alaska. At least five were over exploited under ADF&G management. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterFish Traps ill suited for commercial fisheries By Bob Thorstenson - As much as old timers like to romanticize about fish traps, they were a bad idea and will remain a bad idea no matter what the fuel costs are. With the logic shown by Mr. McGilvray and revealed by his idea that the "replaced" gillnetters and seiners would indeed have jobs (pitching fish out of the traps), like some of the "new-age green" logic out there, you'd have to follow that analysis up with a 3rd level, replace drift gillnetting by just doing more purse seining. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterFish Traps By Steve Smeltzer - You make an excellent point Rudy. As one who grew up in the era of fish traps, they were efficient, cheap to run, and you only needed two men to watch it. Called trap watchman. There were some interesting times during that era, which have been covered somewhat by Mr. Keiffer. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterPerforming Arts Center By Lallette Kistler - Music and dancing! I remember those happy days (nights) at the Fireside. Wouldn't you like to have them again? We can. Help bring song and dance back to the Fireside in a way that the entire family can enjoy, by supporting the Performing Arts Center project. Downtown is the perfect place for a performing arts center. Most performance events take place during the evening hours when parking is not an issue, and during summer days, cruise ship visitors can use the space for meeting and performance space. More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterLIBRARY LOCATION TO THE WEST END By Pete Ellis - So why not review and reflect upon the best location for a new public library as being in the West End and located somewhere in the area between the Plaza and the high school. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterEnough is Enough at the Ketchikan Public Library By Robert D. Warner - Here we go again! For the second time, the Ketchikan City administration is being told that the Old Main School location will likely not work as a site for a new library. Now there is a parking issue. To date, how much public money has been wasted on this scheme? Tax payers have the right to know this information as they always end up paying the bills. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterHerring, Hoff, and Ooligan By John Harrington - Don Hoff's letter almost begs for a response. So much of his letter is counterproductive to solving the real problems facing southeast Alaska. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterSnow Removal By Judith Green - I would like to add my THANK YOU to Chief Edward Talik. Day by day I have realized the huge responsibility and task that faces our road crew and have been grateful for the constancy of the crew and for the well defined plan of operation. - More...
Wedneseday - January 14, 2009

letterPraise to the plowers By David Hull - I would like to echo Chief Talik's praise to the people who spent most of the holidays sitting behind a steering wheel. While the airport guys got well deserved praise for their efforts and the City Public Works guys absolutely kept things going in town, the DOT guy s efforts were equally challenging and important. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterCoverage By Al Johnson - In reviewing the "Trooper Report" of 1-11-09 it is noticed that there was a break-in and theft at the Webb residence on Pond Reef Road during the past couple of days. I know our troopers will do their best to solve this break-in. I thank them for their efforts. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterGas Prices By Jerilyn Lester - My question to all that live and do business with the two stations on Tongass Avenue is: If the price of $2.49.9 is as low as they can go, how can Tatusada's sell their gas for $1.99 a gallon? The answer is that both Chevron and Safeway are charging you $.50 a gallon to be on that corner and for you to see their signs. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letter Road Crews By Cindi Davis - Hats off to the road crews! You have done Ketchikan proud and kept a smile on your face while doing it. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterSnow removal By Joe Jacobs - I think the state, borough, and city could have planned and executed snow removal in a safer and more cost efficent manner. As a second year resident I was just dumbfounded seeing the lack of coordination playing out. I think snow removal training and better equipment need to be thought about no matter how much snow we get. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

letterHorrible roads.... By Jennie Lawrence - The snow we've received recently has been ridiculous. Of the few times I ventured out and tried to run errands I couldn't help but notice the horrible road conditions. I know, because of the amount of the snow the roads couldn't be in the best condition, however I feel the city could be doing a better job at trying to clear the roads. - More...
Wednesday - January 14, 2009

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