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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 05, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Western Meadowlark
This Western Meadowlark was photographed on Dec. 29th. This is the 9th recorded sighting of this bird for the Ketchikan area. It was sighted under the covered walkway behind the post office.
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

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Ketchikan: Susitna one of the ten most significant boats produced in 2010 - The Ketchikan based Alaska Ship  Drydock, Inc. is recipient of WorkBoat Magazine's Builders Award for one of the ten most significant boats produced in 2010 by the US Shipbuilding Industry.

Susitna one of the ten most significant boats produced in 2010

Staff of the Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship & Drydock pose with the recently completed M/V Susitna
Photo courtesy Alaska Ship & Drydock

On the first day of the International WorkBoat Show held in New Orleans in December, LA WorkBoat Magazine named the M/V Susitna one of the ten most significant vessels constructed by the US shipbuilding industry in 2010.  

M/V Susitna award recipients present at the WorkBoat Show included Randy Johnson, President, Alaska Ship  Drydock Inc. (ASD) for builder, Guido Perla of Guido Perla  Associates and Chip Graber of Lockheed Martin as designers, Elizabeth Gray, Matanuska Susitna Borough Manager and Tammy Clayton, Finance Director for Matanuska Susitna (Mat/Su) Borough as owner's representatives.  

Other notable contributors to the project include Lew Madden who developed the vessel concept while working for Lockheed Martin and who now represents Mat/Su Borough for ship operations; Dr. Paul Rispin, Susitna Program Manager for Office of Naval Research (ONR); and Steven Loui of Navatek providing technical design assistance.  Rear Admiral Nevin P. Carr, Jr. is the Chief of Naval Research for ONR.  In 2005, when ASD was awarded the contract by ONR to construct the M/V Susitna, Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen was Chief of Naval Research of ONR and was on hand at the WorkBoat award ceremony.

Randy Johnson President of the Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship Drydock stated "I am extremely proud of our entire team of engineers, vendors and most importantly the dedicated men and women of Alaska Ship and Drydock for their contributions to another successful ASD project.  This monumental achievement has further established ASD as a premier shipbuilder for management of design and construction of challenging, complex vessels and advanced marine technology."

The M/V Susitna was constructed as a first of its kind demonstrator vessel funded under the direction of Office of Navel Research (ONR) to prove the concept of a variable draft, beachable, landing craft vessel capable of transiting open seas at high speeds, with large payloads in variable sea states while providing a stable ride.  Susitna is also the world's first ice cutting, twin hulled vessel enhancing its suitability for missions in the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans (see attached WorkBoat magazine article by Mr. Bruce Buls).  Mat/Su Borough will operate M/V Susitna as a ferry on the challenging passage across Knick Arm between the Mat/Su Borough and Anchorage, Alaska. - More..
Wednesday - January 05, 2011

Alaska: Ordinance Allowing Destruction of Homeless Property Unconstitutional - The Superior Court granted Summary Judgment late Tuesday in favor of Plaintiffs Dale Engle and homeless persons, finding that the Anchorage Municipality’s Ordinance allowing for destruction of the homeless persons' personal property is facially unconstitutional. The Anchorage Municipality passed an amended ordinance last June giving the homeless five days' notice to leave their camps. After five days, the property in the homeless camps was to be seized and destroyed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska argued in this class action lawsuit that homeless people have the same rights as everyone else and the raids violated their property rights. Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner issued his ruling late Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska.

The Associate Press reported that Engle, 53, said he has had his tent and sleeping bag confiscated in raids, as well as a dozen Army medals and ribbons that he kept in a suitcase. He got back six medals, but a purple heart and two silver clusters were incinerated, he said.

The plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit disputed the constitutionality of an Anchorage ordinance governing the abatement of illegal homeless camps (Anchorage Municipal Code 15.20.020). The Plaintiffs Dale Engle and homeless persons asserted violations of due process and equal protection and also raised the issue of unreasonable search and seizure. Their central contention in this class action lawsuit was that the Anchorage ordinance's notice period and the time it provided for appeal were insufficient, especially given the ordinance's failure to provide for the storage and recovery of property after it was seized.



Tom Stenson, attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska (ACLU), stated:  “We are extremely pleased that the Court found that the initial 5-day notice period is inadequate and violates due process.  The Court also held that the provision allowing for destruction of property 2-days after a decision by a municipal hearing officer - which effectively denies homeless persons access to the courts – is unconstitutional.  This opinion recognizes the principal that all persons – even the homeless – have important and fundamental property rights under the US and Alaska Constitutions.”

“We hope the Municipality [of Anchorage] will now accept our continuing offer to work jointly on an ordinance that meets the needs of Anchorage residents and also protects all our constitutional rights,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU.  “We believe this litigation could have been avoided. Since July 2009 we have advised the Municipality of the legal inadequacies with the various ordinances introduced.”  Mittman added, “We also want to recognize Mr. Dale Engle for stepping forward to protect the rights of all homeless persons, which – in the end – ensures the civil liberties of all persons.” - More...
Wednesday - January 05, 2011

Alaska: SHI ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR COLLEGE, VOC-TECH SCHOLARSHIPS - Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is accepting applications for the 2011-2012 school year and for the first time, students will be able to complete and submit applications and required documents entirely online. A new system founded by the institute eliminates the burden of paperwork for students and staff, said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting the new system is a lot more convenient.

“It takes less than 30 minutes to fill out and submit. Plus, students can track their funds, maintain contact information and get instant verification when their application is received,” Worl said.

Scholarship awards will be made to Sealaska shareholders and descendants enrolled in accredited colleges, universities and voc-tech schools. The scholarships are awarded to roughly 400 students per year. - More...
Wednesday - January 05, 2011



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

letter Ferry ski-high rates By Jay L Baldwin - Two thirds of the Alaskan voters or more live in the Northlands. -- Southeast Alaska was supposed to get a marine highway system to serve the needs of the Alaskan people. Wrong. We have a marine highway system that Alaskans cannot afford. Someone, at some point back in time lost sight of the objective. A highway is supposed to be free. At first fees were very low. But not now. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 05, 2011

letter Lack of enthusiasm? By Kim Hendricks Just a thought, if we continue to keep our eyes closed to what is happening in this community, shame on us. I do not wish to re-live the day that my young one and his friend and even younger sister were outside playing when a car almost ran them over on a dead end street. The driver was in a hurry so that they could take care of someone in another house in their own brutal way. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 05, 2011

letterThank You By Kathie Johnson - I just would like to thank Mrs. Chaudhary's daughters for their care for others. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 05, 2011

letter You too are on your own By Katherine Alguire - I have to agree with the public on this one. If you are in distress and TRYING to flag down the law, they should stop and offer some assistance. The trooper should have asked himself, "why are they trying to get my attention" and offered some assistance, whether it be a radio call or some one blocking off the road. Did the Trooper know that no-one was hurt? Did the Trooper by some chance know all who were down that road were all okay? He never investigated. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 05, 2011

letter RE: Alaska State Trooper Bashing By Art Bailly - Wow Mr. Willis, it sounds like you're one of those troopers. 1. What does this have to do with a vehicle accident (Vehicle in the ditch and icy road conditions)? Don’t try to change the subject. One has nothing to do with the other. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 05, 2011

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

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