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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 17, 2012

Front Page Photo By JOHN LLOYD

Feathers and Ice
Ward Cove: Trumpeter Swan -- The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus Buccinator) is one of the most beautiful of water birds. Their thick layers of down make it possible for them to tolerate harsh winter days making it possible for them to tolerate harsh winter temperatures as low as -22 F.
Front Page Photo By JOHN LLOYD


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Ketchikan: Ketchikan Indian Community Election Results - Ketchikan Indian Community members concluded their 2012 Tribal Council and Advisory Health Board election Monday January 16th at 8:00 pm.  Ballots were counted until 1:00am.  Canvassing and certification took place Tuesday morning and finished shortly before 2:00 pm.

Re-elected to the Tribal Council for another two year term were Donna Frank and Rob Sanderson.  New members to the council are Delores Churchill and write-in candidate Andre Lecornu.  Lecornu, as a write-in candidate, receivef the most votes with 184 followed by Donna Frank at 172 votes and Rob Sanderson came in with 162 votes.  Delores Churchill rounded out the vote totals with 125.  All of the candidates elected last night will serve two-year terms.

All three Advisory Health Board candidates on the ballot were elected.  They are Martha Johnson, Cecelia Johnson and Delma Inman.  Martha Johnson and Cecelia Johnson will serve two-year terms and Inman will serve a one-year term. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2011

Southeast Alaska: SEA PARTY DELIVERS 33,500 SIGNATURES; Grassroots Group Exceeds Goal In Effort To Restore Coastal Management - The Alaska Sea Party today delivered to the Alaska Division of Elections more than 33,500 signatures endorsing a statewide ballot initiative to restore Alaska’s coastal management program.  Last month, the grassroots group set out to gather 26,000 signatures by the start of the legislative session in order to place the initiative on the 2012 election ballot – an unprecedented effort in the history of citizen activism in Alaska.

“Alaskans have told us in overwhelming terms they want their voices heard,” Bruce Botelho, a lead sponsor of the initiative, said.  “It is deeply heartening to see such strong, widespread support for bringing back an important program that gives the state and local communities a meaningful say in decisions that affect coastal development and resources.”

Sea Party officials will now watch to see if the Alaska State Legislaturepasses a substantially similar law.  If that happens, the initiative will prove unnecessary.  But if the signatures are verified and the legislature fails to act, the initiative will appear on the August primary election ballot.

“We lost an important tool with the sunset of the program,” Representative Beth Kerttula, a long-time program supporter, said.  “If the question goes to the voters, Alaskans will be able to reclaim their voices, regain their seats at the table, and restore coastal management.  We’ll get that tool back.” - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Airlines Cancels 38 Flights - In response to heavy snow forecasted in Seattle and Portland, Ore., on Wednesday, Jan. 18, Alaska Airlines is proactively canceling 38 flights scheduled to depart beginning at 6 a.m. PST.

Customers traveling on flights into and out of Seattle and Portland tomorrow are urged to check before leaving for the airport.

The airline is waiving change fees for customers traveling Tuesday through Thursday and has posted the following travel advisory on - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012

Alaska: Begich Asks NOAA for Update on Marine Debris Plans - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today sent a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator (NOAA) Dr. Jane Lubchenco asking for some answers regarding plans to deal with the debris that is expected to hit the shores of western states, including Alaska, from the devastating tsunami which hit northern Japan last year.

“Residents of Alaska and other western coastal states are understandably concerned by the estimated 25 million tons of debris swept into the North Pacific during last year’s devastating tsunami which hit northern Japan,” Begich writes. “Some wind-driven fishing floats are reported to have reached shore in Washington and Alaska.”

In the letter, Begich writes about the Senate Commerce Committee’s recent actions in response to the issue. Begich co-sponsored Sen. Daniel Inouye’s Trash Free Seas Act, which reauthorizes NOAA’s Marine Debris program. The bill includes $1 million for tsunami debris monitoring and cleanup, which Begich requests an outline for how it will be spent. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Exports Top $5 Billion for First Time - Governor Sean Parnell announced today that Alaska has topped the $5 billion mark in exports for the first time. The news reflects goods exported from January through November 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Alaska’s total exports were $4.2 billion for all of 2010.

“Alaskans are working daily to bring ever-growing value to our exports,” said Governor Parnell. “I salute the hard work and also the knowledge that makes Alaska products attractive and desirable worldwide. Alaska’s constitutional commitment to sustainability and being prudent land and water stewards make exports like seafood and forest products even more attractive.”

Alaska’s seafood exports posted the largest year-to-year increase for this period: nearly 34 percent to $2.4 billion. Mineral ore exports rose 31.4 percent to $1.7 billion. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012

Alaska: Chimney Fires Increase During Cold Weather - The recent bitter cold has sparked an increase in chimney fires in several Alaskan communities.  If not detected early these chimney fires can expand into a devastating structure fire.  As temperatures drop, many Alaskans rely on their fireplace and woodstoves to keep them warm.  Special care and maintenance is required to protect your home when heating with woodstoves and fireplaces.

Moisture and creosote travel up the chimney as the heat and smoke rise.  In extremely cold weather these by- products will cool and build up on the inside of the chimney decreasing its efficiency.  When these by-products are ignited they can cause the chimney to overheat and fail. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012

Southeast Alaska: EPIC SOUTHEAST ALASKA SHOREZONE COASTAL MAPPING PROJECT COMPLETED - People around the world can now get an eagle's-eye view of all of Southeast Alaska's shoreline without leaving home, now that the award-winning ShoreZone project has been completed for the entire coastline from Dixon Entrance to Yakutat.


Salt marshes in Southeast Alaska.
Photo: Alaska ShoreZone Program

NOAA and other members of the ShoreZone Partnership will make a presentation on the recently completed seven-year project January 19 at the 2012 Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage.

About 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) of coastal habitat was mapped during the project—a milestone equivalent to surveying the entire Pacific coastline of Washington, Oregon, and California, twice. The habitat mapping effort followed ShoreZone protocols that have been applied throughout British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and the remainder of the Gulf of Alaska. The 30,000 km of Southeast Alaska data has been added to the larger statewide ShoreZone dataset.

The project also marks the first time Southeast Alaska's entire coast has been mapped at the lowest tides of each year.

"One of the amazing aspects of this project is that the entire shoreline is imaged at low tide, which took a lot of planning," said Dr. John Harper, project manager for Coastal & Ocean Resources, a partner and the primary contractor for the project. "Only some of the images on Google Earth have been collected at low tide. So this is the first time we are able to see the entire intertidal zone."

The Alexander Archipelago or Alaska's panhandle is known for its myriad of well over 1,000 islands and represents almost 40 percent of Alaska's coastline. Imagery was collected during 20 separate summer surveys since 2004. The Alaska data and imagery - including over one million video captures and 178,000 high-resolution photographs - are all available online at NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Regional Office website. - More...
Tuesday PM - January 17, 2012


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letter Ice on North Tongass Higway By Deborah Hayden - AK DOT deserves much praise for plowing North Tongass Highway during and after the recent 16 inch snowfall. Now it would be great if the Department of Transportation would sand and de-ice the highway. It is a sheet ice on much of its surface. Many people have not put studded snow tires on their cars and trucks. It is very dangerous with these vehicles on the highway and no sand. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 18, 2012

letter Who Dropped The Ball? (Poor Road Conditions) By Lee Caskey - Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the general lack of maintenance in regards to snow/ice removal this year on the Tongass Highway? (North & South) It seems like every time the snow falls or the temperature drops, it's become common for the roads to become very difficult, if not dangerous for commuters. From ice control products not being laid out to waiting until the snow stops to run plows there doesn't seem to be enough being done lately. Personally I don't mind a little challenge while driving, but when we're talking about the safety of families, law-enforcement officers, emergency responders or utility crews there's no excuse for recent conditions. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 18, 2012

letter MSC 2nd Recertification of Alaska Salmon fishery By James Browning - AFDF has received letters from eight major primary salmon processors advising AFDF they are phasing out their financial support for the Marine Stewardship Council salmon certification program. Collectively these processors account for approximately 72% of the Alaska salmon harvest. They have given us notice they will support the MSC program for Alaska salmon only through October of 2012, when the current certificate expires. The eight processors include Trident Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Alaska General Seafoods, E & E Foods, Kwikpak Fisheries and North Pacific Seafoods. - More...
Wednesday AM - January 18, 2012

letter RE: AMHS By Joey Garcia - In the Jan 16th caption of Charlotte Tanner's re AHMS, I am intrigued having to consider that the cost of swinging out of Ketchikan to Seattle via Bellingham has been way too high and exorbitant. This includes the Alaska Airlines sort of monopoly without any choices whatsover. The only way out of Ketchikan, is to "sit down and shut up". - More...
Wednesday AM - January 18, 2012

letter Boat Tax By Scott Cragun - Why is it that after 5 years I am being billed for a tax on a skiff that I sold 4 weeks after I bought it? It seems amazing to me that the "KGB" would send this invoice calling for 5 years of past due interest on a bill that I have never received previously and demand interest on a billing that seems to be illegal. - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter Now it is Left to Us to Complete His Mission By Sen. Lisa Murkowski - I would like to take a moment with you to salute the life and teachings of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. on what would be his 83rd birthday. - More...
MOnday - January 16, 2012

letter RE: AMHS By Charlotte Tanner - I agree completely with Captain Art Johnson. I used to ride the ferries down to Seattle (at that time) frequently. I rarely do so anymore due to the cost. I would rather go to Prince Rupert and drive as it is cheaper and takes the same amount of time. - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter RE: AMHS FERRY By Don Husler - I also think the Alaska Ferry System is making a huge mistake. If we are going to build day boat then we should be building day boats. Similar to the Aurora, Keep it under 1600 tons. We are never going to get rid of a mainline ferry. But a 350' ferry is not our answer. - More..
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter Re: Von Ryan's Express by Ken Bylund - "But you are what you hate?" Poor man, so much hate. Your ideas would sound so much more reasonable if you left out words like; serial killer, piss-ant, terrorist, dumber than a rock, greased down pipsqueak, crap, self-deceiving fool, cheap bastard, wienermobile driver, dufus, cretin, contemporary monster, and then inserting an affinity to Adolf Hitler... does this really work for you? - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter Raven’s Way program thanks Sitka for its support By Rebecca Howe - Over the course of a year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Yéil Jeeyáx Raven's Way adolescent residential substance abuse treatment center receives support from several organizations and individuals in Sitka. Raven's Way thanks those who have provided this support and helped our students be successful. - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter Cruise Ship Safety By Donald A. Moskowitz - As a former naval officer; officer-of-the deck underway, independent and formation steaming; and qualified marine navigator and instructor, I have questions concerning the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

letter What Happened to the American Dream? By Cecilia Rice - 2012 will be one of the most important election years in the history of our country.  We have accepted the pitiful performance of our political representatives far too long.  Congress’ approval rate is now 10%.  It is the most dysfunctional Congress since the civil war. - More...
Monday - January 16, 2012

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

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