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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 11, 2012

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Heading Home
Miss Dee Dee heading towards home while taking some waves over the bow. This photo was taken in the Mountain Point area.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS


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Ketchikan: Creekside Family Health Clinic Expands Hours - Creekside Family Health Clinic has announced that it will expand weekday and weekend hours beginning Saturday, January 14th. In an effort to provide needed services at more convenient times, the clinic will now stay open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturdays. In addition, clinic staff will maintain an on-call line Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm allowing patients to speak with a medical professional and make Sunday appointments if necessary.

The change in hours is being offered to meet the needs of patients for appropriately scaled services outside of regularly work hours. "We often hear from patients that it can be difficult to leave work or school for health appointments," said clinic owner and Nurse Practitioner, Lani Hill, FNP-BC. "Hopefully this change will make it easier for people to schedule medical appointments at times that work better for them."

Creekside Family Health Clinic underwent a major expansion in May 2011. It added two new exam rooms and four additional Nurse Practitioners to the medical staff allowing the clinic to accommodate same day appointments and walk-in care. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 12, 2011

Alaska: Senators Introduce Bill To Protect Alaskans From Unethical Billing Practices; Legislation would outlaw the practice of outside companies billing consumers on telephone bills - Senators Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), Bettye Davis (D-Anchorage), Dennis Egan (D-Juneau) and Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) have prefiled legislation to ban third party telephone bill cramming. Cramming is when third-party businesses add charges to a customer’s telephone bill for services they did not order or authorize.

"Phone bill cramming is a scheme to use a consumer's phone number like a credit card," Senator Wielechowski said. "Whether over the phone or on the Internet, consumers are solicited for free trials, coupons or prizes, and they're never clearly told they're purchasing a service and that they'll be charged on their phone bill.”

The FCC estimates that 15 million to 20 million households may have unauthorized charges on their landline bills each year, with charges ranging from $1.99 to as much as $19.99 a month.  The agency says most people have no clue the charges are there because they appear with vague wording such as "voicemail,” "service charge" or "other fees."  On mobile phone bills, the charges may appear as downloads for services that were never actually downloaded, or as subscription charges for what users thought was a single purchase, perhaps for a weather alert or ringtone.

“Consumers often don't spot the small monthly fees, but even when they do getting refunds can be a nightmare,” Senator Wielechowski added.  “The telephone provider that sends the bills often refuses to issue refunds, instead referring consumers to the third-party firms, which are often unresponsive. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Board of Fisheries to Meet in Petersburg, January 15-21, 2012 - The Alaska Board of Fisheries (Board) will meet January 15-21, 2012, at the Sons of Norway, 23 Sing Lee Alley, Petersburg, Alaska. The Board will consider regulatory proposals for King and Tanner crab, Dungeness crab, shrimp, and miscellaneous shellfish in Southeastern Alaska and Yakutat management areas that have been submitted by the general public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The Board received 60 proposals for consideration during this seven-day public meeting.

The Board also invites oral public testimony during the meeting beginning January 15. Anyone intending to testify must sign up at the meeting site in Petersburg by 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 15. Public testimony will continue until everyone present who has signed up by the deadline has been given the opportunity to be heard. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012

Alaska: Calling all Artists: Rasmuson Foundation now accepting applications for Individual Artist Awards - The Rasmuson Foundation just opened the application period for its annual Individual Artist Awards grant program, and it’s more inclusive than ever.

The awards are designed to support Alaskan artists at various stages in their career and creative development working in many artistic disciplines. New this year, the field of presentation and interpretation was added to the fellowship category, opening the award to actors, dancers, musicians, vocalists and other performance artists. The Foundation awarded more than $230,000 in last year’s Individual Artist Awards program, and expects to make a similar number of awards in 2012.

“What makes these awards special is that the money is for the individual artist to pursue their own work,” said Jayson Smart, program officer for Rasmuson Foundation. “It’s not a commissioned award, it’s for the artist to use to advance themselves in their own artistic practice.” - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012

Alaska: Study: Falls hospitalize nearly 9,000 Alaskans since 2005; Those over 65 have the highest rate - Two studies published last week by the state Section of Epidemiology show fall-related injuries as a frequent reason Alaskans are hospitalized. Close to 9,000 Alaskans were hospitalized with fall-related injuries between 2005 and 2009.

Highest rates were recorded for people over the age of 65, Alaska Native people, and those living in the Northern region of the state. Falls occurred most commonly in the home, and were most frequently due to a slip, trip or stumble. Among seniors, more than half of the hospitalizations were classified as serious or severe, and 5 percent of those hospitalized died during their hospital stay.

“This study gives us an increased understanding of how falls occur in order to help prevent them,” said Deborah Hull-Jilly, the study’s lead author and manager of the section’s Injury Surveillance Program. “Costs for treatment over the five years studied totaled more than $193 million, so obviously preventing fall-related injury is an important mission for public health.” - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012

Southeast Alaska: S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital welcomes 2012’s first baby - Madelyn Mae Dunn was the first baby of 2012 born at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital welcomes 2012’s first baby

Jessica and Jason Dunn show off their daughter, Madelyn Mae Dunn, who was the first baby of 2012 born at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S'áxt' Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. Madelyn was born at 5:50 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. She weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21.5 inches long.
Photo courtesy SEARCH

Madelyn was born at 5:50 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. Her parents are Jason and Jessica Dunn of Sitka. Madelyn weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and she was 21.5 inches long at birth. Dr. Grace Hwang delivered Madelyn, with the assistance Rose Gutierrez, RN, and Kathy Carlton, RN.

Madelyn has one older sister, Meredith Marie Dunn, age 15 months. Her paternal grandparents are Randy and Christine Dunn of Beaver Falls, Pa., and her maternal grandparents are Shawn and Shelly Gillaspey of Sitka and Renée Eckley of Fergus Falls, Minn. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012

Alaska: NOAA’s annual survey of Cook Inlet belugas finds population at second-lowest level - Scientists from NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center announced this week the 2011 abundance estimate for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population is 284 animals, almost 20 percent lower than last year’s estimate of 340. This year’s estimate is the second-lowest since NOAA’s surveys began in 1993; the lowest was in 2005, when the estimate was 278.   

Estimates can vary from year to year based on more than simply the beluga population itself. Different sighting or survey conditions, weather, or changes in beluga behavior or distribution from year to year can affect the survey results. 

“The real value of this survey is the long-term nature, which helps to determine trends that are valuable for monitoring this population,” added survey lead scientist Rod Hobbs. “Year-to-year changes in the population estimates are less important than this long-term trend.”

This year’s estimate stays within the range of the ten-year population trend for Cook Inlet belugas, which shows an average annual decline of the population of 1.1 percent. Scientists know that beluga populations are not capable of increasing more than 20 percent in a year, and believe an actual decline of 20 percent in a year would likely be reflected in a large number of reported mortalities, which NOAA has not seen. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 11, 2012


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letter Alaska Marine Highway System By Capt. Art Johnson - I'm writing this, because of my concern for the direction that the Alaska Marine Highway System is taking. I'm a resident of Ketchikan and strongly support the idea of building any new ferries in the Ketchikan Shipyard. However, I think it is a mistake to build the 350 foot Alaska Class Ferries (TAKU size) without staterooms. Apparently, the no stateroom idea is being driven by the day boat concept and zone system of operation. This would probably provide for a vessel running between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan, another between Ketchikan and Petersburg and then from Petersburg to Juneau and finally from Juneau to Skagway. - More...
Wednesday - January 11, 2012

letter If you are sick of Washington politics... By Irving B. Welchons III - We have a do nothing congress because we have a do nothing citizenry. In 2010 less than 38 percent of eligible voters voted.  In that election 88 percent of incumbents were reelected. Most American voters don’t vote and those that do keep electing the same people.  Perhaps the reason people don’t vote is that they feel they must pick the lesser of two evils.  You could give voters a better choice. - More...
Wednesday - January 11, 2012

letter Free Cab Rides By Mellanie Isner - I just read that state wide there were 70 arrests for DUI uring the holiday season. Ketchikanites were able to enjoy festivities on New Year's eve knowing there were free cab rides and bus service available to get home safely. - More...
Monday AM - January 09, 2012

letter A Response Regarding Ron Paul By Donald A. Moskowitz - A recent letter by Christopher Schelb in SitNews Viewpoints dated January 2, 2012  takes issue with my letter of December 28, 2011 concerning the contents of Ron Paul's newsletters of the 1980s and 1990s. I stand by the quotes contained in my letter. - More...
Monday AM - January 09, 2012

letter VON RYAN’S EXPRESS By David G. Hanger - I am curious, Congressman Ryan, are your Congressional office walls adorned with glossy photographs of serial killers; Dahmer, Gacy, Bundy, and others? A far more reasonable question than I know you are prepared to admit, but as an obsessed follower of Ayn Rand, surely you must be cognitive of the fact that serial killers were among those super humans of the ego and the id that she totemically admired so consistently. You require all members of your staff to be fully indoctrinated in the rather bizarre and insipid writings of Ayn Rand, thus one must assume you expect them to conduct themselves like true acolytes of this cult, and each has one lit cigarette in the mouth, one in each hand, and two still burning in the ash tray. - More...
Monday AM - January 09, 2012

letter Reckless Drivers By J. Gardner - I really would like to ask the drivers of Ketchikan to watch their speed. There are signs that tell you when you're driving in a school zone to reduce your speed. There are children in the area, I'm very concerned. - More...
Monday AM - January 09, 2012

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

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