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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 04, 2011

Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

An Early Robin
The early bird gets the worm... or in this case the berry! 
Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

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Alaska: 2011 PFD Application Period Opens – The 2011 PFD application period opened January 1, 2011, at 12:00 a.m. To file for your 2011 Permanent Fund Dividend, applicants can either go online or obtain paper application forms in their community.  A list of distribution sites is available by using the search tool on the PFD website, or by calling and talking to division staff.

The PFD Operations Divison says the online application has been upgraded so that it’s easier than ever to submit an application, whether you sign electronically or by pen.  Every Alaskan, including first time filers, can apply for their PFD online.  

When you go online to apply for your dividend, you will also see the Pick.Click.Give option. Here you will have the opportunity if you choose to give to your favorite Alaska nonprofit organizations.

You may also choose to sign up for the University of Alaska College Savings Plan while applying for your PFD online. Just check "yes" in the UA College Savings Plan box on the online PFD application if you would like to contribute half of your PFD automatically to a Plan Account.

According to PFD Operations Manager Dan DeBartolo, in 2010 the division received 541,078 online applications, just over 80% of total applications received for the 2010 PFD.  DeBartolo encourages all Alaskans to discover for themselves the convenience of applying for a PFD electronically. - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011

Alaska: Health survey seeks opinions on child vaccination; Officials looking for causes of relatively low immunization rates for children - According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Survey, one-third of Alaska children have not received all the recommended vaccines to fully protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The question is: Why not?

That’s what Alaska’s public health nurses and members of a workgroup trying to increase immunization rates are hoping to answer through the Alaska SHOTS survey. SHOTS stands for Searching for Hardships and Obstacles to Shots.

“The survey asks questions of parents in order to determine why their children haven’t been completely immunized,” said Marcy Custer, Maternal Child Health Consultant. “Are there problems getting to a clinic? What do parents believe about how important vaccines are? Are they worried about vaccine safety? Knowing the problems parents encounter will help us remove roadblocks, address their concerns, and hopefully increase childhood immunization rates.” - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011


Alaska: PROTECT DEBIT CARD NUMBERS FROM ATM SKIMMING – The Alaska Better Business Bureau warns that ATM skimming is a growing problem. Identity thieves tamper with ATMs to steal debit card numbers and PINs. It only takes a few seconds to install cameras over the keypad and a device over the card reader. ATMs aren’t the only hot spots, credit card readers at gas pumps and retailers can be tampered with as well.

According to, ATM skimmers are close to reaping $1 billion annually from unsuspecting consumers. Javelin Strategy & Research estimates that one in five people have become victims.

“Skimming devices are becoming increasingly harder to detect and often blend in seamlessly with the ATM,” said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “If you’re going to use an ATM, it’s important to monitor accounts closely, so you can quickly detect fraudulent activity and minimize your losses.” - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011

Alaska: Alexander Creek Pike Removal Project Funded – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game was recently awarded $635,000 from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund for a four-year program to accelerate efforts to remove northern pike from the Alexander Creek drainage in Northern Cook Inlet. Coupled with funds appropriated by the legislature last session, this award will allow the department to further the objectives of removing spawning northern pike through intensive gillnetting. A program for enumerating king salmon smolt in the area will also be initiated to help monitor the effectiveness of pike removal.

Northern pike, which are not native to areas south and east of the Alaska Range, have been illegally introduced into a number of river basins where they have had very detrimental impacts on other fisheries resources. Alexander Creek in the Susitna River basin is one of the most heavily impacted systems. - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011



Alaska: Alaska Guardsmen Recognize Veterans with Final Honor - The Alaska National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team conducted 290 funerals in 2010, 109 more than 2009, and is projected to support 400 in 2011.

Alaska Guardsmen Recognize Veterans with Final Hono

Spc. Spencer Sheals, of the Alaska National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team, presents the American flag to a family member during a ceremony honoring Alaska Territorial Guard members who never received military funeral honors. Sheals travelled to Napakiak on snowmachine to present the flag to family members and honor those who’ve served their state and country. Photo: Courtesy of the Alaska National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team.

The program, which began in 2007, is supported by Alaska National Guardsmen and conducts funeral honors for all branches of service, but focus mainly on Army, Army National Guard and Alaska Territorial Guard members.

“We provide military funeral honors to all veterans across the state of Alaska,” said Norman Hood, Alaska National Guard honor guard state coordinator. “We are doing the right thing, for the right reason, for the right people.”

In 2010, the Alaska National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team conducted 99 Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) funeral honors, supporting Alaska veterans who were organized in 1942 by Alaska Territorial Gov. Ernest Gruening in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Alaska State Trooper Bashing By Scott Willis - How is it the fault of the Alaska State Troopers for a 16 year old delinquent girl that has no self discipline or personal morals and requires RYC custody for behavior training? - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011

letter Aircraft Carriers Unavailable By Donald A. Moskowitz - This letter references numerous points in Steve Cohen’s article in Forbes of October 25, 2010 entitled “Where Are The Carriers?”, which concerns the availability, value, and number of U.S. aircraft carriers. - More...
Tuesday - January 04, 2011

letter Open Letter: Economic Development By Kurtis R. Morin - I understand that certain members of the Ketchikan Assembly have expressed a preference for confining the borough's economic development program solely to infrastructure projects.

I am writing this letter to tell you that other economic development activities such as industry support and assistance are absolutely essential to the growth of Ketchikan. We have seen great success from current efforts of the Economic Development Manager, Deborah Hayden, who has worked tirelessly with the shellfish industry to help us to be a big part of South East Alaska and Ketchikan's economy. We spent many years trying to bring our ideas forward mostly running into innumerable dead ends, road blocks and diversions. - More...
Monday - January 03, 2011

letter RE: State troopers not wanting to get involved By Gary Keele - As a parent here in Ketchikan I can understand the absolute concern about the Troopers Not wanting to get involved and being rude. I have a 16 year old daughter that is in RYC Again ( Thank You Jack for all you have done for us). - More...
Monday - January 03, 2011

letter America is being held hostage By Martha Leftwich - American voters were angry when they went to the polls November 2, 2010, many didn't bother to even cast their vote at all. - More...
Monday - January 03, 2011

letter Confused By Laura Plenert - Regarding David Hanger's harangue, bless you Lesley for being able to understand what David Hanger is spouting about. It is difficult to wade through his diatribe and get the point. - Page...
Monday - January 03, 2011

letter DITO TO TROOPERS FOR NOT HELPING By Diane Szurleys - On Sunday, Dec. 26th my daughter and her son took the dog to Ward Lake for some exercise. 30 min. after they left, she called me to say they went off the road and were in a ditch. She told me not to come down the Ward Lake road, just wait for them at the top. I drove to the top and saw the three girls flagging people and telling them not to go down the road. I explained that I was waiting for my daughter and sat in my car watching the girls do their job. I parked across the street and saw the trooper car coming, I got out and tried to flag him down. He drove right past me and the girls, then turned around and talked to the girls. He never came to see me. I kept thinking 'what if I was hurt he didn't even ask me if I was OK.' After he left I talked to the girls and they were very upset, as I was because he showed no concern. My daughter came up the road and we went home to try to get a tow. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter Ward Lake Road By Cara Nygard - It would be advantageous to us all if the State would take back the upkeep and plowing of the Ward Lake Road. It is a great place to enjoy nature, walk around the lake and even have a mid-winter picnic. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter The winner of the Nice and Naughty title is... By Robert Thompson - I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. But now back to the political shenanigans of our elected representative Kyle Johansen. Were you all watching the last few Borough Assembly meetings? (It is not the most exciting of night time soaps but well worth an occasional surfing stop.) - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter Say it ain't so Joe By Charles Edwardson - I was at first interested in what this guy Joe said, even considered voting for this very articulate new guy, then I went to several town hall type meetings, and was not convinced enough to make a decision to change my vote from MERKUSKI, MURKOWSKI, MURCOWSKI, MIRKOWESKI, LISA. I bet yall figured out who I meant. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29,2010

letter RE: The -isms By Lesley Kempsell - Thank you for posting David Hanger's message about 'isms.  He did a wonderful job of summarizing government genesis. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010 

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