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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 07, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Swamp Sparrow
The Swamp Sparrow is a rare bird for this area, Ketchikan might get 0-2 sightings yearly. This Swamp Sparrow was seen in the Herring Cove area.
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

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Southeast Alaska: - Injured hiker rescued off mountainside - Keith Hutchins was safely rescued by an MH-60 Jayhawk and transfered to emergency medical service personnel in Juneau after he was hoisted off Ripinski Mountain near Haines Thursday.

Injured hiker rescued off mountainside

Coast Guardsmen present a safety brief to personnel from Juneau Mountain Rescue prior to departing the Army National Guard Hangar to help rescue Keith Hutchins who contacted Alaska State Troopers after he was injured while hiking above 1,600 feet on Ripinski Mountain near Haines Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Shinn

Forty year old Hutchins reported by cell phone on Wednesday around 2 pm that he had been solo hiking on Mt. Ripinsky when he got disoriented on his descent and fell off a cliff into a steep ravine. He said the fall caused him to suffer severe pain, a back injury, and he could not move his legs. Hutchins was laying in snow beneath a tree and not visible from above. Hutchins was hiking above 1,600 feet on the mountain.

The Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, United States Coast Guard, Alaska Mountain Guides, Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures, Haines SAR Team, Skagway SAR Team, and Juneau Mountain Rescue responded to assist in the search.

Hutchins' cellular phone allowed searchers to obtain his exact location on the face of a cliff which would require technical equipment and training to access. However, a weak phone battery complicated the communication with Hutchins.

A 4-member team responded to the base of the cliff on Mt. Ripinsky Wednesday afternoon where they established voice contact with Hutchins who was a few hundred feet away. The rescue team remained on the mountain overnight Wednesday maintaining contact with Hutchins but could not close the distance to him due to hazardous terrain. - More...
Friday PM - January 07, 2011


Southeast Alaska: SEARHC hosts Gene Tagaban ‘Art of Storytelling’ workshops - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will host noted Tlingít performer and artist, Gene Tagaban, for workshops and performances in the “Art of Storytelling” in late-January in Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock.

SEARHC hosts Gene Tagaban ‘Art of Storytelling’ workshops

Tlingít performer and artist, Gene Tagaban
Photo courtesy SEARHC

While on Prince of Wales Island, Tagaban will provide two free community performances - at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Hydaburg School gym (before that night’s Yakutat at Hydaburg basketball games) and at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, at the Klawock School gym. Tagaban also will visit schools in Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock to provide a series of workshops for local students about how to use stories to prevent suicide, prevent drug/alcohol abuse, add healthy foods to your diet, reduce screen time (TV, computer, video games, etc.), promote physical activity, prevent bullying and other topics.

Tagaban, who owns RavenDreaming Productions, shares his wisdom and talent through dance, Native flute and storytelling. He is of combined Tlingít, Cherokee and Filipino heritage. Tagaban, whose Tlingít name is Gaay Yaaw, is of the Tak’deintaan Raven Freshwater Sockeye clan of Hoonah and a child of the Wooshkeetaan Eagle Shark clan of Juneau. Tagaban started dancing when he was 5 years old, and he grew up listening to and learning the songs, dances and stories of Alaska’s Tlingít people. - More...
Friday PM - January 07, 2011



jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Bringing The World To Ketchikan - The holidays always afford me that rare pleasure, ten or fifteen minutes to read something slightly longer than a text message. Well, recently National Geographic posited that the world population will top 7 billion later this year (2011). Beyond the fact that the population has more than doubled since I was born (a mere 3 billion folks were around to celebrate my birth in 1959), I was also struck by another factoid in the magazine.

Someone at the magazine went to the trouble of “guestimating” how much space it would take to hold the entire earth’s population in one place if we were all standing together, elevator style (Otis Knows we would more than meet the maximium 2,500 pounds per car!).

Turns out that for everyone to get that 3 square feet of space, it would take something like 750 square miles to hold all 7 billion people (including you and me and George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden).

Kinda surprising how little space is actually required for all those people. I’m gonna have to up my guestimates on the number of folks I’ve been crammed into subway cars with before.

But to bring into a context we all can understand, there would be ten times as many people as could fit – comfortably or not – on Gravina Island. Or even five times as many people that could fit on Annette Island.

But – and you knew where this was going – they would all fit (relatively) comfortably on Revillagigedo, and there would be another 300 miles to stretch their arms out a bit. Heck, if you decided to use all of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough (at 4,700 square miles, give or take). Everyone would have nearly enough space to lie down in (although not to roll over!).

Of course, that got me pondering – natch – what life would be like in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough would be like if we had 7 billion residents. - More...
Friday PM- January 07, 2011



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

letter Federal Overreaching By Tyler Mecham - I'm writing in response to the article posted Thursday January 6, 2011 concerning Governor Parnell's speech to the Fairbank's Rotary Club. In my opinion he is correct. We as Alaskans cannot just sit around while rights get stepped on. To do so would be foolish and irresponsible. - More...
Friday PM - January 07, 2011

letterRevilla Road Problems By Ken Arriola - A couple of things; the front page photos submitted by locals are incredible, simply the best, one of the reasons I look forward to logging-on daily to Sitnews, much more interesting than that other publication, keep those photos coming.

Personally, and without knowing the exact details, I'm willing to cut the State Troopers some slack on this Ward Lake/Revilla road issue, since jurisdiction on that road has been an ongoing bone of contention. And, as a result, it doesn't surprise me that a level of frustration may exist on the State Troopers' part. - More...
Friday AM - January 07, 2011

letter AMERICA DEFEATED By David G. Hanger - So easy is xenophobia, so easy self-justification, so easily the dead treadmill to those about to die, each corpse robed as hero sublime, beckoning, ever beckoning, for more and more to follow his lead. How long this time this column of lemmings? - More...
Friday AM - January 07, 2010

letter TO “CONFUSED” By David G. Hanger - The type of confusion you are experiencing is a self-limiting, and pathetic, condition that has no known cure. I certainly make no claim to having discovered one. - More...
Friday AM - January 07, 2010

letterFerry 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. - 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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