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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 22, 2009

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

50 Years / 50 Events
A bonfire was held downtown last Saturday behind the SE Discovery Center as part of 50 Years/ 50 Events in Ketchikan. 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 CARL THOMPSON


Alaska: Alaska's Seafood Industry: Global Stature, Local Impact Commercial Fishing Nets Statewide Economy $5.8 billion - Alaska's seafood industry is global in stature and has a $5.8-billion economic impact on the state and local economies. That's the conclusion of the report The Seafood Industry in Alaska's Economy, prepared by Northern Economics of Anchorage and commissioned by the Marine Conservation Alliance, At-sea Processors Association and the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.

"Alaska's seafood industry has played a major role in the state's history and remains a major part of Alaska's economy today, with more jobs than any other private sector spread from the biggest cities to the smallest villages," said David Benton, executive director of MCA. "With key issues affecting fisheries and fishing communities facing the Legislature and Congress, this report is a vivid reminder of the importance of fisheries throughout the entire Alaska economy."

Among the findings of the report:


  • If Alaska were a nation, it would place 9th among seafood producing countries.
  • The harvest of Bering Sea pollock, cod and other groundfish (2 million metric tons annually) ranks among the largest fisheries in the world.
  • Alaska produces 42 percent of the world's harvest of wild salmon and 80 percent of the production of high value species such as sockeye, king and coho salmon.


  • Alaska accounted for 62 percent of all seafood landings in the United States in 2007.
  • Unalaska/Dutch Harbor has reigned as the national top fishing port in terms of volume for decades and is the nation's number 2 port in terms of ex vessel value.
  • Kodiak is number 3 on the top 20 port list in terms of value of fish caught, along with Naknek-King Salmon (7), Seward (9), Sitka (10), Cordova (11), Homer (13) and Petersburg (16).
  • Akutan, King Cove and Sand Point would also make the top-20 were it not for confidentiality requirements.


  • The overall value of the Alaska seafood industry is over $1.5 billion paid to fishermen in 2007 and $3.6 billion at the wholesale level.
  • Direct and induced economic output boosts the total to $5.8 billion, more than that of mining or tourism sectors and second only to oil and gas
  • Alaska's seafood industry generates $71 million in state taxes and fees annually in addition to local fish taxes.


  • The seafood industry is the largest private sector employer creating 56,600 direct and 22,000 indirect jobs annually, more jobs than oil and gas and mining combined.
  • Jobs are spread widely across the state, with more than 10,000 jobs each in Southeast, South Central, the Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay; 5,000 jobs in Kodiak and 2,500 jobs in the Northwest, Arctic, Yukon, and Kuskokwim region.
  • The Community Development Quota program, an allocation of the Bering Sea catch given to coastal communities generates more than $100 million in revenue annually, employs 2,000 workers, pays $15 million in wages and invests millions more in training. - More...
    Thursday - January 22, 2009

Prince Rupert, BC: 2008 Cargo Traffic Steady at the Port of Prince Rupert, Despite Global Economic Decline - Led by a surge in container traffic through the Fairview Terminal, the Port of Prince Rupert on the north coast of British Columbia, handled 10,596,863 tonnes in 2008, a moderate increase over 2007, despite a global economic downturn that has resulted in declining traffic through most other North American West Coast ports. Prince Rupert is located about 90 miles southeast of Ketchikan, Alaska.
According to information provided by the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Fairview Terminal handled 181,890 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) from 78 vessels in its first full year of operations, following the facility's opening in late October, 2007. The terminal's throughput for the first six months was 42,555 TEUs, before jumping more than 300 per cent in the second half of 2008 with 139,335 TEUs as a result of the addition of the second COSCO/CKYH Alliance service in July. In the fourth quarter, the terminal operated at greater than 60 per cent of its 500,000 TEU capacity with a throughput of 79,106 TEUs.
"The opening of the Fairview Container Terminal in 2007 was an important step toward connecting the Canadian economy to the developing economies of Asia and solidifying Canada's position as a leader in international trade in the Asia Pacific Region," says PRPA Board of Directors Chair Dale MacLean. "The new express gateway is providing shippers with unparalleled speed and reliability, a competitive advantage in their supply chain management, while the Fairview Terminal has created a solid foundation for economic activity in Western Canada and a stimulus for new investment across the region."
Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) President & CEO Don Krusel says the second half surge in traffic reflects the growing confidence of shippers in the competitive advantages of moving their cargo through the new Asia-North America  express gateway corridor anchored by the Prince Rupert container terminal.

"The PRPA, in conjunction with our CN, Maher Terminals and the COSCO-CKYH Alliance partners, are delivering on our commitment to providing our shipping customers with unparalleled reliability, speed and cost effectiveness," notes Mr. Krusel. "This is more crucial now than ever before because the global economic turmoil is drastically affecting their businesses. The competitive advantages of shipping through Prince Rupert are delivering value to their bottom lines." - More...
Thursday - January 22, 2009

Alaska: NET METERING BILL INTRODUCED - Five members of the Alaska State House Majority have introduced legislation to promote renewable energy generation in Alaska. House Bill (HB) 66 introduced by Representatives Paul Seaton (R-Homer), Alan Austerman (R-Kodiak), Carl Gatto (R-Palmer), Jay Ramras (R-Fairbanks) and Cathy Munoz (R-Juneau) would provide an incentive for home and business owners to install renewable energy generation equipment to offset their monthly electric bills.

"Support has been building over the past year for a statewide net metering policy that will encourage Alaskan homeowners to generate energy from renewable sources," Seaton said. "When the issue was before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska this summer, it generated the most public comment on one issue in the history of the agency." - More...
Thursday - January 22, 2009


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Farewell To Some Old Friends - It's one of those truisms in the journalism biz that obituaries spike right after the holidays.

It just seems that a lot of people who are not doing so well manage to hang on through the holidays to celebrate one last go round with their families and that's probably just how it should be.

So I was taken aback abit when several folks that I knew passed on in the weeks right before Christmas this past year.

Four were the parents of kids who I went to school with many, many moons ago.

That in itself is one of those reminders that we of the late Baby Boomer generation in Ketchikan are not babies anymore. At least not chronologically, but I digress.

I can't say that I knew Ruby Johnson or Celia Bolling all that well, but they were always around during their kids activities growing up and they always seemed to have a "hand in things."

I do know for a fact that the kids they raised turned out pretty darned good and - frankly - it just doesn't get much better than that. I can only hope that I will do as well with Liam as they did with their kids

I did know Barbara Darnell pretty well. She was the mother of the girl who I dated on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off all through high school.

When you are a young man they say that you should always look at your girlfriend's mother to see how your "beloved" will turn out. Mrs. Darnell had a deep Lauren Bacall-ish voice and a pretty devilish - dare I say it - "sexy" laughr. She was a tough, but fair parent with a really good "twinkle."

It was clear that her daughter was going to turn out like her and that's probably one reason why I kept yo-yoing back and forth through all that adolescent "sturm und drang."

Another parent of a classmate, The Rev.. Don Bullock also died in December.

But I really knew Father Don outside of the context of "someone else's parent."

Father Don was about as close to being the physical embodiment of Santa Claus that I have ever known. A big, burley - and in later years - white bearded - man, he never failed to bring the gift of "joy" to me every time we met.

Whether it was at St. John's Church or in his later incarnation with the Alaska branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, he was a gentle spiritual leader in Ketchikan. And - of course - a bit of a prankster. - More...
Thursday - January 22, 2009


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Basic Rules

letterSales Tax By Chris Barry - I agree with Mr. Hofeling. The City and Borough can find other ways to fund their projects without leaning on the people. It's bad enough we have to pay an unconstitutional federal income tax on our hard earned money, but we also pay taxes on everything we purchase as well as any surplus in the bank. - More...
Friday - January 23, 2009

letter Taxes By Ken Leland - I think the idea of another tinkering with the tax code is a horrible idea! I still remember the "temporary Tax increase" of several years ago that became permanent the following year! The money will just end up supporting more "goodies" for our bloated bureaucracy instead of doing any real good for the community. - More...
Friday - January 23, 2009

letterAlaska History By Cecelia Johnson - As I read about Alaska history regarding Territorial days and Statehood I appreciate the individuals before us who worked tirelessly on "equality" for all. Just as we work today for "justice and equality." Some names in history: Frank Peratrovich, Frank Johnson, Fred Grant, Bob Bartlett, Felix Cohen, "William Paul", James Curry, to name a few. - More...
Friday - January 23, 2009

letterRE: Horrible Roads By Zac Young - You should be ashamed of your selfish nature, Ms Lawrence. What did the City of Ketchikan do to deserve such bashing from you? Do you not remember waking up 3 days in a row with massive amounts of snow on your car, in your yard, and on the roads? Do you not remember EVERYONE in town saying (something to the effect of) "WOW!! I can't remember ever getting this much snow in such a short amount of time!" ??? Do you remember just the previous week seeing how a city the size of Seattle WA was handling the massive amount of snow, no doubt from the same storm that brought us our "Winter Wonderland?" The whole of Southern Southeast Alaska was in the same boat that you and I were in. A WHOLE DAMN LOT OF SNOW!! - More...
Friday - January 23, 2009

letter Location 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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