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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 18, 2011

Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

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Front Page Photo by Susan Hoyt

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January 2011
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Ketchikan: Conditions on Deer Mountain Considered Extreme - Sunday morning members of the KVRS Mountain Rescue team hiked the Deer Mountain Trail. The team conducted winter rope rescue training and dug avalanche pits to assess the avalanche danger.

According to information provided by Jerry Kiffer, a layer at 3 feet was discovered that showed some danger of avalanche and a layer at 1 foot was discovered that is considered at extreme danger of avalanche.

Over-all conditions on Deer Mountain are considered extreme, with the weather report calling for higher temperatures and the possibility of accumulations of snow at higher altitudes, Kiffer said the Ketchikan Volunteer Mountain Rescue team is urging  extreme caution when traveling on the mountain, travel in a group, and make sure you have your avalanche beacon set to transmit. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 18, 2011

Ketchikan: Ketchikan's Johansen Not Re-admitted to Majority Caucus; However, assigned one Committee Seat - Alaska State House Majority Caucus members decided Sunday tonight not to re-admit Ketchikan Representatives Kyle Johansen (R) and Anchorage Representative Charisse Millett back into the caucus at this time.

Johansen and Millett, who voluntarily walked out of caucus in a huff last fall, did not garner enough support from members to gain re-admission for the upcoming legislative session. Leadership said in a prepared statement that there will be not further comments on this issue.

The Alaska State House Majority Caucus leadership today announced committee assignments for the first session of the 27th Alaska Legislature. Assignments were accepted and passed by the Committee on Committees, which met following Swearing-in ceremonies this afternoon at the Capitol.

Although Representatives Johansen and Millett remain out in the cold, the caucus apparently decided not to completely relegate the pair to an unimportant or a powerless position. House Speaker Mike Chenault, who had earlier said he didn’t expect to allow them seats on any committees, today gave them one seat each.

Ketchikan Representative Kyle Johansen, who had been the majority leader before his blowup and walkout, today was assigned a seat on the state affairs committee according to the Committee Assignments made by the Alaska State House Majority Caucus leadership. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 18, 2011


Fish Factor: Casting call for "Alaska Fishermen’s Wives” By LAINE WELCH - A casting call is out for Alaska women to star in an Animal Planet reality show.

 “The name of the show we are casting is Alaska Fishermen’s Wives,” said Annette Ivy, casting producer with Shed Media US in Los Angeles. “We are looking for a kind of flip side of Deadliest Catch, and that would be the fishermen’s wives and their lifestyle. We’re interested in the stresses and challenges they go through when their husbands are out at sea and they’re left holding down the fort.”

“People are interested in seeing other lifestyles,” Ivy added.  “Do these women fish and hunt? What do they do for fun?  We want to peek into their lifestyles because it really is very unique. We are very excited.”

Ivy said producers are seeking a “community” of 5 – 6 women who live near each other and are friends. Coast Guard wives whose husbands are on fisheries patrols for long periods also fit the casting profile.

“We want a lively bunch, big personalities, very talkative and outgoing and outspoken,” she said.

Ivy said the casting call is “now” and they hope to cast the program “in a few weeks.”

Good grades in the Bay

Bristol Bay salmon fishermen got good report cards for boosting the quality of their fish.

 For the past two summers, a group of 15 driftnet fishermen at Egegik participated in a project that graded portions of the salmon catch they delivered to processors. The fish was headed and gutted and graded by plant standards to see how much, or if, their quality scores improved.

The results?  

 “The percentage of #1 quality fish went from 43% in 2009 to 69% in 2010. That’s a huge jump,” said project director Mark Buckley, a 23 year Bay fisherman and owner/operator Digital Observer, Inc. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 18, 2011



Obituary: Beulah Elaine Roppel, a “Pioneer of Alaska” passes at 93 - Beulah Elaine Roppel, a “Pioneer of Alaska” and  long-time Ketchikan resident and business woman, passed away in Ketchikan Long Term Care  on January 9, 2011. She was 93, born April 13, 1917, in Bear Lodge, Wyoming.  She was the only daughter of nine children of Charles and Gertrude Truax.

Beulah Elaine Roppel, a “Pioneer of Alaska” passes at 93

Beulah Elaine Roppel, a “Pioneer of Alaska” passes at 93

The family moved to western Oregon where she graduated from high school in Oregon City then married Robert Roppel in Astoria in 1936. They resided in Oregon City until 1945, when they moved to Astoria with their young sons Frank and Don where Rosie and Otto were born.

In 1952, Bob Roppel moved to Alaska as part of the construction crew for Ketchikan Pulp Company, and Beulah and the children joined him in 1954.  They moved into a house on Tongass Avenue that was built over the water. She lived there for over sixty years and saw many changes in what was then known as New Town. 

Beulah worked at the Stedman Hotel, Race Avenue Drug’s Fountain, the Blue Fox Café on Front Street, and the Ketchikan Pulp Company’s cafeteria.  She and her brother Don Truax owned the Peter Pan Café on Mission Street for a time.  Then Beulah worked with her son Otto Roppel at B&R Construction for many years.  People may remember her driving the flag car for many oversized loads.

Beulah was active in the Astoria Community Choir, the Pioneers of Alaska, the Women of Moose, the Gray Ladies at the hospital, Ketchikan Bowling League, and First Lutheran Church. Because she loved to drive, she often gave tourists free tours of Ketchikan and many times to the dump to see the bears. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 18, 2011



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

letter Mike Smithers Pool By Morgan Barry - The Ketchikan Borough is currently in the pre-construction process for a new swimming pool that will adjoin the Gateway Borough Recreation Facility. I'll proudly admit that I voted for the Bonds, so I'm glad to see it moving forward. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 19, 2011

letter Free travel for teams and coaches of southeast? By Zig Ziegler - I am fortunate to have been raised in Southeast Alaska.  During my school days I participated in sports and was able to travel to many of the communities of Southeast as a result.  I know that those travels benefitted me tremendously. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 19, 2010

letter Well Charted Path to Alaska’s Future Remains Open By Bill Walker - Since the election I have been asked repeatedly about my intentions for the future.  My answer is that the outcome of a single election does not alter my passion to advocate for the best interests of Alaskans. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 19, 2011

letter Tribal Council Elections By Cheryl Dodson - I don't know yet what the results are of the elections last night, but I read with interest the letters from Chas, CC and John. You are all correct in your opinions. Being a leader is a thankless job; Tribal Council does the best they can for the community; and we need new leadership. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 19, 2011

letter Bugge's Beach By Bill Rentz - I enjoyed the story about Bugge Beach. I recall playing in the water on those blistering hot (72?) summer days, eating fried chicken and potato salad with my mom and dad and lots of relatives on the shore. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 19, 2011

letterKETCHIKAN INDIAN COMMUNITY ELECTION By Charles Edwardson - I served four years on the tribal council, including two years as treasurer, and have worked with training our members in the construction field for about a decade. My biggest concern then, as it is now, is that our tribal members only get involved about election time. I KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE, I MISSED ONE MEETING IN FOUR YEARS. THERE WAS RARELY IF EVER MORE THAN A COUPLE PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE UNLESS WE WERE FIRING SOMEONE. And the information they are voting on is based only on sound bites they hear from random run-ins with candidates seeking election. - More...
Friday PM - January 14, 2011

letter2011 Tribal Council Elections By Cecelia A. Johnson - It is Election time.  Our tribal members have a vote on individuals they feel will do a fair and exemplary job while seeking resources to benefit our people.  While tribal council works to find resources and travels to make sure our voice is heard, please remember this work benefits our tribe, and it equally benefits our community. Ketchikan Indian Community plays a viable role in improving our fair city. - More...
Thursday PM - January 13, 2011

letter KIC Tribal Elections By John Morris - Regarding the 2011 Tribal Elections for KIC, I would sure hope that KIC Tribal Members will get out and vote in this election. If there could be a substantial amount of voters who turn out and vote then hopefully Tribal members could finally get the change that would be much needed for the betterment for all of KIC and its Tribal Members. - More...
Thursday PM - January 13, 2011

letter Ward Lake access By Susan Hoyt - I would like to add one more letter in the hopes that whoever is responsible for the Ward Lake road understands the winter access need. Maybe we can find a solution to the problem rather than point fingers. What will it take to get access year-round? - More...
Thursday PM - January 13, 2011

letter The Future of Coast Guard Beach By Eric Muench - It is now time to begin consideration of the future for Coast Guard Beach property. Last August the Alaska Mental Health Trust owner requested a rezone of the 70 acre parcel from Public Lands and Institutions to Low density Residential and in subsequent public meetings the Trust Land Office director acknowledged that the decision is whether residential or PLI is most suitable zoning. Our local public spoke loud and clear; the Planning Commission agreed, and rezone was denied. AMHT has withdrawn the request. Now for the first time since discussions with the Trust began many years ago, the path is clear to work for a locally preferred future for the parcel. Having denied AMHT the opportunity to create profit by way of subdivision, we must provide their needed revenue by way of acquisition. - More...
Thursday PM - January 13, 2011

letterRevilla Road By Wade Purdy - I just wanted to say that the truck driver that assisted those drivers did an awsome job. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 11, 2011

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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