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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 21, 2011

Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

Deer Mountain
Near the second lookout 2000 foot level
Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

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Ketchikan: 2010 Year in Review - Elections Get Locals Up On Step By DAVE KIFFER - The year 2010 was a year in which elections, local and statewide, caught the interest of the Ketchikan populace.

2010 Year in Review - Elections Get Locals Up On Step

Proposed Ketchikan Library
Graphic courtesy Friends of the Library

Locally, the long running saga of a new Ketchikan Public Library created both a special election to determine a site as a well as a regular election to approve bonds for the library.

The Friends of the Library and City staff had been working for several months to determine a site for the new library, but when a site in Bear Valley was chosen, a group of Downtown residents and business owners formed ABC (A Better Choice) to push for the city to keep the library in the Downtown core.

A special election was held on Aug. 24 and city voters turned down the proposal to keep the library in the Downtown by an 873 to 596 margin. Another proposal to allow the library to be anywhere in the city limits passed 906-562.

On the October municipal election, city voters approved $5.2 million in bonds of the $12 million new library, of which $6 million is expected to be provided by the State of Alaska.

The statewide US Senate race also created controversy locally as District One Republicans were split over whom to support, with some choosing primary winner Joe Miller and others choosing incumbent Lisa Murkowski who chose to run a write-in campaign. Murkowski won in the general election over Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams.

The aftermath of the November state general election created local electoral controversy.

State Representative Kyle Johansen was easily elected to his third term in Juneau from District One, but then immediately shocked locals by walking out of the Majority Coalition and giving up his seat as House Majority leader. The walkout occurred during the leadership organizational meeting in mid November.  

Johansen contended that he did so for political reasons because he didn’t like the “anti-development” direction that the caucus was taking. Caucus members replied that Johansen and Rep. Charisse Millett of Anchorage left the caucus because Millet was not given a committee chairmanship that she sought. Millett and Johansen are close friends, but Johansen denied at a public meeting in Ketchikan in December that they are a couple. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011


Ketchikan: Projects in Alaska Roadless Area Approved - The United States Department of Agriculture’s recently approved two new development projects that will improve access, safety and recreational opportunities in the Tongass National Forest

The first project approved by the secretary provides a special-use permit that will allow a tourist-based company to operate a zip-line ride for cruise-ship passengers visiting the Tongass National Forest this summer. The project will increase recreational options for tourists visiting Ketchikan.

The second project, the Cascade Point Access Road Reconstruction project in the Tongass will improve and widen three miles of existing road near the Ward Cove ferry terminal, enhancing safety for local workers and recreational users. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011

Alaska: Governor Parnell Offers Amendments to Oil and Gas Production Tax Lowering Marginal Tax Rate Aimed at Job Creation – In a move to increase Alaska’s competitiveness as a petroleum province, thereby adding jobs and stemming recent production declines, Governor Sean Parnell has introduced a bill for new tax incentives and credits for oil and gas exploration and development.

“We remain committed to getting more oil into the pipeline and increasing job opportunities for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “As oil production declines and as the federal government moves on several fronts to block responsible projects, we must offer more incentives for development of state lands.” - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011

Ketchikan: Johansen announces committee assignments - In a prepared statement released this afternoon, Representative Kyle Johansen (R-Ketchikan) announced that he has been assigned to the House State Affairs Committee.  According to the press release, this committee deals with programs and activities of the Office of the Governor and the Department of Administration, Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Corrections and Public Safety, and programs and activities of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities relating to public facilities.  The State Affairs Committee sees more legislation than any other committee except for Finance said Johansen.

Today's statement was void of any comment by Johansen regarding the Alaska State House Majority Caucus members' decision Sunday tonight not to re-admit him back into the caucus. Johansen, who had been the majority leader before his walkout in mid-November, was assigned the seat on the state affairs committee by the Alaska State House Majority leadership Tuesday. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011



POW: Health care on Prince of Wales Island has grown - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) said it is proud of its 35-year relationship with the people of Prince of Wales Island, and SEARHC continues to build partnerships in order to provide additional quality health care services on the island.

Health care on Prince of Wales Island has grown

Alicia Roberts Medical Center Clinic Administrator Donna Miller, left, and SEARHC Community Health Care Services Medical Director Dr. David Vastola show off the Outstanding Rural Health Organization Award won by the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock
Photo courtesy SEARHC

SEARHC began providing health care services to tribal citizens on the island in 1975 when it assumed management of the region’s Community Health Aide program from the Indian Health Service (IHS). At that time, SEARHC had no midlevel practitioners or family physicians on the island. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011

POW - SEARHC hires patient advocate for Prince of Wales Island - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) hired Cynthia “Cyndi” Reeves to serve as the consortium’s new patient advocate for its clinics and programs on Prince of Wales Island.

Reeves will work as a customer service liaison for patients receiving care from the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock, the Hydaburg Health Center, the Kasaan Health Center and the Thorne Bay Health Center, helping them navigate their way through the health system at SEARHC. She also will work with patients receiving behavioral health services from SEARHC’s Community Family Services program office in Craig. Her office will be at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011

Alaska: ‘Expedited partner therapy’ a new tool to reduce STDs in Alaska;
Health care providers are encouraged to take up the practice
- Alaska continues to have some of the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the country. The Alaska Division of Public Health is working with health care providers and other partners statewide to control these epidemics. One new approach to STD control that the division is promoting is a treatment method recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called expedited partner therapy.

Expedited partner therapy involves treating the sex partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea infection by providing prescriptions or medications for the patient’s partner(s) without the health care provider first examining the partner. The department released a detailed report today on an extensive evaluation of the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding expedited partner therapy among Alaska health care providers and patients. The state is encouraging all health care providers to consider adopting this practice, when appropriate. - More...
Friday PM - January 21, 2011



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

Update in Progress

letter Mike Smithers Pool By Marty West - I'm glad Morgan Barry brought up the question of what to do with the old pool. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 19, 2011

letterMike 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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