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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 05, 2012

Front Page Photo By JOHN BOWEN

Sunset Over Settler's Cove
This photograph was taken on Christmas Eve.
Front Page Photo By JOHN BOWEN

Ketchikan: Winds cause widespread KPU power outage by DEANNA GARRISON, KRBD - High winds knocked out power throughout much of Ketchikan Wednesday. As Deanna Garrison reports, Ketchikan Public Utilities says downed power poles and trees left to about two-thirds of Ketchikan’s electrical customers without power. Listen to this KRBD story...


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Ketchikan: Effort to Revive Alaska’s Coastal Management Program Reaches Alaska’s First City - The citizen’s ballot initiative to restore Alaska’s coastal management program has launched a concerted effort to gather signatures in the Ketchikan-Saxman area.  Petition booklets will be available this Friday and Saturday, January 6 and 7, 2012 at the Plaza Mall in Ketchikan from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.   

The initiative is sponsored by the Alaska Sea Party, a group of municipal officials, local leaders, and interested voters committed to Alaska involvement in coastal development decisions.  It is endorsed by the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Community Development Association, the Alaska Conference of Mayors, the North Slope Borough, United Fishermen of Alaska, the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, and many other individuals and organizations.

City and Borough of Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho chairs the Alaska Sea Party’s steering committee.  He filed the initiative along with Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Mako Haggerty.  Mayor Botelho will be in Ketchikan Friday and Saturday to help collect signatures.

“When the Alaska Coastal Management Program was eliminated, Alaska became the only state to weaken its oil spill prevention and response requirements,” Botelho said.  “Alaskans don’t want another Exxon Valdez disaster, and they’re tired of the political bickering that killed the very program that could prevent a similar tragedy.”

Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council Subsistence Committee Chairperson, Rob Sanderson, is supportive of the initiative.  “The Alaska Coastal Management Program gave local people a powerful role in decisions affecting important resource development projects,” Sanderson said.    “We lost that role last year and we want it back.” - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Ketchikan: PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Top 1% - PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center is in the top 1% of all Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. The 2011-2012 Hospital Strength Index™ ranks PeaceHealth Ketchikan sixth out of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals. When you compare all 4,500 acute care hospitals, PeaceHealth Ketchikan places in the top 25% nationwide.

When asked about the rankings CEO Patrick Branco said, "We’re proud of the care we provide here. To be placed so favorably in this independent, comprehensive analysis is rewarding. It inspires our dedicated team of caregivers to carry on in the spirit of healing. It is through their strong commitment to our mission that PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center will continue to be HealthStrong both now and in the future."

As healthcare reform sweeps the country it is more important than ever for hospitals to consistently provide high quality care at a reasonable price. The Hospital Strength Index™ was developed by iVantage Health Analytics as a strategic planning tool to provide hospitals a balanced scorecard and comparable rating of their performance as they begin implementing mandates of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. This Index is the most comprehensive performance evaluation tool on the market and offers hospital executives, trustees and boards of directors an objective way to measure their relative performance across 56 different performance criteria. - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Ketchikan: TWO CANDIDATES SUBMIT APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL BOARD BY DEADLINE - Two individuals have filed applications with the Ketchikan School District for the open seat on the Board of Education. The deadline for applications was Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

The two individuals are Stephen Bradford and James Shoemaker. Bradford previously served on the Ketchikan School Board last year from February to October.    Shoemaker has served on the Ketchikan Assembly.

The School Board members will interview Bradford and Shoemaker on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Borough Assembly Chambers. The interview isscheduled just prior to the regular Board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Alaska: EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO RE-INSTATE TEXTING WHILE DRIVING BAN - Reps. Les Gara (D-Anch.) and Bill Thomas (R-Haines) announced Wednesday they are filing bi-partisan legislation to put Alaska’s strong anti-texting law back on the books. Recently a number of judges have questioned whether the existing law covers texting while driving, and have called for the law not to be enforced.

“While we think the better interpretation of the law, and our intention, was to ban dangerous conduct like texting while driving. Rather than wait for appeals, we want to send a clear message to the public, now, that texting, and typing on personal and computer devices can cause death and serious injury. The current uncertainty in the law sends a weak safety message to the public,” said Rep. Gara.

“This is a public safety issue. When people type or text while they’re driving, they are endangering people’s lives. That’s not acceptable,” said the bills other Prime Sponsor, Rep. Bill Thomas. - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Alaska: Governor Announces New Board Appointments - Governor Sean Parnell on Wednesday announced appointments to the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services, State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee, State Historical Records Advisory Board, Alaska Veterans Advisory Council, Denali Access System Advisory Committee, and the Alaska Mental Health Board.

Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services:

Governor Parnell appointed Marvin “Dean” Cox and reappointed David Hull and John Dickens to the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services. The council advises the commissioner of Health and Social Services and the governor on planning and implementation of the emergency medical services system.

Hull, of Ketchikan, serves as the fire chief of the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, where he has worked for more than 9 years, and served in a variety of roles with the City of Ketchikan Fire Department for more than 30 years. Active in community efforts to ensure emergency services are provided, Hull has been the chair of the Ketchikan Local Emergency Planning Committee and a member of the board of directors for the region emergency medical services council. He holds an associate’s degree in business management from the University of Alaska Southeast. Hull is reappointed to a seat reserved for a pre-hospital emergency care provider. - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Alaska: 70 DUI Arrests Over Holidays Statewide - The December holiday DUI focused patrol effort concluded January 2, 2012. Alaska State Troopers conducted enhanced patrols surrounding the Christmas and New Year festivities from December 16th through January 2nd, to dissuade motorists from driving impaired. Troopers and local law enforcement agencies encourage motorists to continue making smart choices when getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

During the overall enforcement effort, the Alaska State Troopers issued the following citations and charges: - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tina DupuyTINA DUPUY: Despise Congress? We Are The 95%! - Feign shock while you read this: the latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds just 5 percent of likely voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent.

Yes, 5 percent of Americans think Congress is doing a good job. Which means 5 percent of those polled didn’t understand the question.

Right after taking his comically oversized gavel, Speaker of the House John Boehner stated, "Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions."

Translation: All the other Congresses have fallen short. We are going to be better than all of them. Hilarious foreshadowing ensues.

Boehner’s first act was to have (parts of) the U.S. Constitution read out loud on the floor and the entire (non-amended parts) of the document put into the public record for the first time. Why hasn’t it been done before? Maybe because it took 90 minutes of precious session time to not accomplish anything. Sense a theme?

On that same day incumbent Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and freshman Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) took their oaths while watching C-SPAN at a fundraiser. They had to be sworn in later since it violated the Constitution to just raise your hand at the TV. - More...
Thursday AM - January 05, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Hundred Million Dollar Penny: Shine the light By A. M. Johnson - Hummm, several favorable comments regarding my post to "Lisa,Mark,Don" post regarding the out of control budget issue.

In response I then offer these responders the following video regarding what 100 Million Dollars represents to our National Debt. So enjoy what has and continues to happen as the blundering continues and our Country spirals towards the European Model. O! The President is on the verge of asking for another 1.5 Trillion dollars. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2012

letterRE: Ron Paul By Chris Schelb - This letter is in rebuttal to comments made by Donald Moskowitz that were published by SitNews on 12-28-11 regarding Ron Paul.  

Thank you not again for being the mouthpiece of AIPAC and Israel.  Normally I ignore your propaganda.  Your most recent letter goes to the extreme and reveals your true devotion and patriotism to Israel.  Many of your comments are slanted and appear to be the words of a true neo-con and promoter of war and not in the best interest of the US. - More...
Monday AM - January 02, 2012

letterRon Paul:  Unfit To Be President By Donald A. Moskowitz - Ron Paul disavowed knowledge of anti-Israel, possibly anti-Jewish, anti-black and anti-gay views expressed in his newsletters in the 1980s and1990s, but I assume he knew the contents of his newsletters.  He was the editor. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 28, 2011

letterWreck of the Ancon By John McDermott - In the summer of 1995 I was living in Ketchikan (I was born and raised in Alaska, and lived most of my life in Ketchikan). For no particular reason, I went to the local library. While there, I happened upon a few 'art' books that caught my eye, and so I took a couple of them home. In one of them I spotted a small image of a painting entitled 'Wreck of the Ancon,' which really got my attention when I realized that it was painted by Albert Bierstadt (one of the most talented and legendary painters of the late 19th century), and that it was also a 'local' scene (Loring Bay, near Ketchikan). Somehow, I got the urge to obtain a copy of that painting. But since I couldn't easily find a way to obtain a copy (no internet access in those days), I decided to paint a copy of it myself, in oil paint (I'd been an artist for many years, and had won the 'First Place' blue ribbon in the Professional Painting division at the then-famous annual Ketchikan Arts & Crafts Guild Art Show). - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letterTwo lessons for Lisa, Mark and Don By A. M. Johnson - In the interest of sharing how the National debt sizes up with our personal house hold budget, the following is submitted for public consumption. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letterHelp Us Fire Congress By Roy T Newsom - The US Congress has continued to bargain away our future with the constant error of logic that compromise is necessary to get along with their political adversaries.  Ninety percent of the incumbents are re-elected every two years.  The same politicians that have caused all our problems are put back in office to continue the same mistakes over and over. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter"Over the Top Route Minimizes Natural Gas Benefits to Alaskans" By Bill Walker - Article VIII, Sections 1 and 2 of Alaska's Constitution mandate that "Alaska's resources are to be developed to the maximum use and benefit of its people." - More...
Tuesday - December 20, 2011

letterRe: Tonka timber sale By Alan R. McGillvray - Well folks the eco-communists are at it again, doing every thing they are able to keep people from gainful employment. To make us import our building supplies at greater expense than otherwise needed. Thereby increasing our "carbon footprint" on the planet, but that's probably OK with them, they drive around in their fancy cars, write big checks from money that doesn't come from local sources, just so they can have a pristine playground. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letterRE: Biometric Scanning By Ken Leland - Why does this not surprise me? We already have "Big Brother" looking over our shoulder and examining our private lives. George Orwell was a true visionary, way ahead of his time.I have always said that 1984 authored by him should be mandatory reading for our students at least by middle school. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letterRE: Biometric scanning By April Harper - I totally agree with Charlanne Thomas. I was also appalled when I received a letter from my child's school stating that they had their fingers scanned!! What makes them think they have the right to do something of that nature and level of privacy of a minor without the consent of their parents? - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letterThe Gravina Island Cleanup By Jerry Cegelske - The Gravina Island Cleanup began on July 1, 2006 after the Borough was notified that the grant request for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grant for Coastal Marine Habitat Restoration had been approved.  The cleanup activities ended on October 31, of this year with a last load of marine debris placed in the dumpster near the Harbormaster’s office. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letterBiometric Scanning By Charlanne Thomas - First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I am in no way criticizing the staff of Point Higgins School. I realize they have a difficult job and I appreciate their dedication to our children. My complaint is with technology that is implemented without my consent. Biometric scanning has been implemented at Point Higgins school in an attempt to alleviate manual input of student lunch records and supposedly the library. While I understand that we live in an age where technology is expected, this process was completed on my child without my approval. When I discovered that his finger had been scanned and stored as a "10-digit binary code", it was too late. His unique code has been stored and is available, whether it is deleted or not. I'm sure the School District backs up their systems on a nightly basis, and once something is in a system, it's there for years. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letterRESPONSIBLITY By Pamela Graff - Just before noon today [Thursday] I received a phone call from Houghtaling the school my daughter attends 2nd grade, stated that while waiting for the bus at Ketchikan Lakes Road and Deer Mount around 8am a dog had jumped up on her and broken her front tooth. She was in pain after eating lunch when the food hit her nerve. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

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