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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 31, 2011

Front Page Photo by BILL MECK

Tongass Narrow's Sunrise
Photo taken Sunday
Front Page Photo by BILL MECK

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January 2011
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Ketchikan: KETCHIKAN MAN SENTENCED FOR FALSIFYING MILITARY RECORDS - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Thursday that a Ketchikan man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for his conviction for possessing and using a falsified military discharge record, for misusing a false federal certificate or license, for making false statements in an application for a passport, for using the wires to defraud the Veteran’s Administration, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On January 27, 2011, Thomas Alan Dye, 55, a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, was sentenced by United States District Judge John W. Sedwick. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $257,000 to the Veteran’s Administration, to serve three years of supervised release, and to write letters of apology to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post in Ketchikan, to the Order of the Purple Heart, and to the Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Dye also abandoned his interest in the two firearms he possessed at the time of his arrest.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Cooper, Jr., Dye, who previously served for seven years with the United States Coast Guard from which he received an honorable discharge, falsified his military discharge record (Form DD-214) to include medals, licenses and certificates which he had never earned or been awarded. The false medals included the Bronze Star with the “V” device for valor, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct medal, and various medals and devices for service in Viet Nam. The false DD-214 also claimed that he had attended and received certificates of completion from the Basic Underwater Diving/Underwater Demolition School, the U.S. Coast Guard Motor Life Boat School, and the U.S. Air Force Survival School. Dye also falsely claimed designation as a Sea Air Land (SEAL) Special Operator, and as a U.S. Coast Guard Motor Surf Coxswain.

Using the false DD-214 and other documents as a basis, Dye claimed that he suffered post traumatic stress disorder by reason of combat service as a SEAL operator in Viet Nam at the Parrot’s Beak on November 22, 1972. Dye falsely claimed a service-connected disability for this non-existent combat service, and the Veteran’s Administration paid Dye $257,000 on the false claim from May, 1992 to November, 2008. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

Alaska: Governor Denounces Decision on Alaska ‘Wild Lands’ - Alaska Governor Sean Parnell expressed grave concerns Thursday about a recent decision in December by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to evaluate 87 million acres of federal land in Alaska as potential “wild lands.” That designation would effectively allow the federal government to create more wilderness in Alaska without congressional oversight.


Secretarial Order 3310 issued December 23, 2010 by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), based on the input of the public and local communities through its existing land management planning process, to designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as "Wild Lands" and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.

"Americans love the wild places where they hunt, fish, hike, and get away from it all, and they expect these lands to be protected wisely on their behalf," said Salazar. "This policy ensures that the lands of the American public are protected for current and future generations to come."

In comments submitted recently to the Department of the Interior, Governor Parnell said Interior’s wild lands designation will diminish access to federal lands and cost jobs.

“Putting such a sweeping initiative in place overnight, with no congressional direction and no advance consultation with affected states or the public, is unfathomable,” Governor Parnell said. He noted that Alaska lands have been repeatedly studied, with large areas placed off-limits to resource development.

“Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980, which studied public lands in Alaska and set aside 57 million acres as wilderness. Nearly every Interior secretary since ANILCA was passed has chosen not to conduct further discretionary wilderness inventories in Alaska, and has recognized the importance of a public process and discussion with state leaders. I will not allow such disregard for Alaska and its citizens to stand unchallenged.”

In addition to the flawed process, the governor noted specific concerns: - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011



Northwest: Obama's speech rankles northwest salmon supporters By CRAIG WELCH - - He may not know his kings from his silvers or a humpy from a chum, but President Barack Obama's mention this week of the Northwest's signature fish seems to have resonated with the public -- though probably not as he'd hoped.

While many laughed at the president's comic reference to salmon in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, many of those familiar with the troubled seagoing species applauded, and then groaned.

During a portion of the speech dedicated to reorganizing government, Obama highlighted what sounded like government redundancies. He mentioned that 12 federal agencies deal with exports and five "entities" deal with housing.

And he followed those statements with this: "Then there's my favorite example: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in freshwater, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked." - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

National: America’s Native Peoples Urged to Fight for Share of Federal Dollars - In the face of fresh efforts to reduce federal spending, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Thursday that America’s Native peoples must be prepared to fight hard for federal dollars that go towards the Indian Health Service and other federal Indian programs which have suffered from chronic underfunding.

“In an era in which the federal spending pie is shrinking, competition for a slice of the pie will be fierce,” Murkowski said. “But our resolve to fight for the funding levels must remain high. We cannot be deterred in our fight to achieve the funding levels our Native people deserve.”

Murkowski made her remarks to a gathering of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Alaska’s senior senator delivered the congressional response to the annual ‘State of Indian Nations Address’ delivered by the Honorable Jefferson Keel, President of NCAI. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011



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letterTHE PLIGHT OF WEST BEHM CANAL By Andy Rauwolf, Snapper Carson & Mike Fleenor - In late March or early April, West Behm Canal is slated for a commercial herring sac roe fishery.  Conducting this fishery in these waters is a travesty and here’s why:  Throughout history the herring in West Behm Canal have provided essential nutrition for halibut, rockfish, marine mammals, a host of sea birds, and especially for the hoards of salmon that spawn in several wild river systems that drain into West Behm Canal.  In the mid 20th century, fishing lodges began springing up and the area became known as “the premier salmon fishing destination” in the world.  To enhance the fishing, a hatchery was added in Neets Bay.  Today it is estimated that between $18 million and $22 million dollars in revenue is generated from sport and commercial fishing from West Behm Canal. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Before we sign Johansen recall petition... By Mike Cruise - Let it be understood that I am no fan of Rep. Johansen. When Kyle chose to run for the Alaska State House I felt that he was too inexperienced for the job. My apprehensions were reinforced by the fact that Kyle had signed on to run against Jim Elkins. Nobody that I am aware of disagreed with Jim Elkins more than I did, but he had earned his House Seat, cared deeply about Ketchikan and had done an honorable job and was respected in Juneau and through out the State. In my mind there was no good reason for Jim to have to fight for the nomination of his own party as he also battled for his life. I questioned the integrity of anyone who would take advantage of an individual in that cruel situation. I still do. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Re: Mike Smithers Pool By Alethea Johnson - How can we form a good opinion without all of the facts? I think it would be helpful for the members of Borough staff who are knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of the Mike Smithers Pool building to meet with interested citizens and brainstorm ideas for its restoration and use as a recreational facility. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Smithers pool By Ed Fry - What to do with the Smithers pool?  Let’s look at what we are spending so far.  The current aquatic project is contracted at $23.5 Million Dollars.  It would be nice if that number was concrete!  With cost over runs, I would bet that we will be more in the upward neighborhood of $27 Million if not higher after the keys are handed over. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Recycling The Pool Building By Makenzie Demmert - There is a great solution to how we should recycle the pool building, that wouldn't be hard at all to remodel. I ve heard it a lot around town and completely agree that Ketchikan should have an indoor skate park. The old pool building would be PERFECT for this! It's in a great location, right next to the school and I know that a TON of kids would get use out of it! Fill up the pools and build some ramps. Then where the weight lifting area is, we could put arcade games (and maybe a snack bar) to generate more income. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter No guts to cut! By A. M. Johnson - Following is an example of what is wrong with Congress and the President. Nobody has the courage to do any actual cutting. They all -- Republicans, Democrats, Lisa, Begich, Young -- talk a good story on the campaign trail and then Bull S- - - the rest of the way. Tea Party elected are included. Nobody wants their ox gored. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Upcoming Community Forum By Karen Eakes - Ketchikan cares about its young people. We want them to be healthy, safe and educated for a productive future. Those that choose to drop out of high school are often making a short-term decision that has long-term consequences for the individuals involved and for their communities. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Annette Island & Ketchikan By Herman Kremkau - I remember my time on Annette Island and how pretty the country was. My work week and my weekends in Ketchikan and how friendly the locals were. Someday I hope to return and show my wife where I lived and worked. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Problems with crab!! By Don Merriman - I have relatives who intend to visit Alaska this summer, while doing search for a friend who has lived in Alaska for many years I found an article he had written about the waste involved with Crab fisheries. Looks like you have a problem that Sara Palin should have taken care of while she was governor of Alaska. - More... 
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

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