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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 21, 2012

Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

Cold & Clear
Tuesday's record cold temperature affords speed skater Michael
Schuler training time at Ward Lake.
Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA


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Fish Factor: Fishing boat first in Alaska By LAINE WELCH - Alaska Ship and Dry Dock (ASD) in Ketchikan is set to build its first big fishing boat – a 136 foot, all steel catcher processor for Alaska Longline Company of Petersburg.  The company operates three vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska targeting sablefish, cod and turbot. 

ASD began building ships 12 years ago and has constructed several ferries and an Exxon fuel barge.   Now, the ship yard is courting the commercial fishing fleets in the Bering Sea.

“We’ve really never had the capacity to build modern steel vessels in the state of Alaska, so those fleets have always turned to yards in the Pacific Northwest, said Doug Ward, ASD Director of Development       

“They are good yards and very competitive, and to be able to compete in that market and actually land one of the projects early in this fleet rebuild program is a great opportunity for our company and for Ketchikan,” he told KRBD.

Ward credits changes to federal laws in 2010 that now allow American vessel owners to upgrade and modernize their fleets.   - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012

Ketchikan: STIKINE PROVIDING ALTERNATE SERVICE TO METLAKATLA - The Inter-Island Ferry Authority ferry STIKINE is currently providing alternate service between Ketchikan and Metlakatla while the M/V LITUYA undergoes annual maintenance at Alaska Ship & Drydock.

This is scheduled during the STIKINE's layover on its daily roundtrip run between Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan. On Thursday and Friday service to Annette Island was cancelled because of sea ice up to 8 inches thick in the Metlakatla ferry slip. Ice conditions were reported by the Metlakatla police department. - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Supreme Court Reduces Judgment by $50 Million - A unanimous Alaska Supreme Court decided Friday in the State v. Carlson case to cut approximately $50 million from a judgment awarded to nonresident commercial fishermen who had filed a class action lawsuit against the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.

In so doing, the court overturned one of its own earlier decisions in the case, which had ordered the state to pay the interest rate that applies to delinquent taxes - 11 percent compounded quarterly. In Friday’s decision, the court substituted the standard prejudgment interest rate for court judgments.  

The case was filed in 1984 by non-Alaskan commercial fishermen who disputed the higher commercial fishing fees that Alaska charged to nonresidents.

The state was ordered to refund some of the fees after the court found that while the state can charge higher fees to nonresidents, the additional payment must be related to the nonresidents’ share of the state’s cost of managing Alaska’s commercial fisheries.

The amount of overpaid fees that the state was ordered to refund was approximately $12.5 million and the interest initially awarded for this judgment was about $62 million. Under yesterday’s decision, the interest will be reduced to about $12 million. - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012

Ketchikan: KETCHIKAN STATE PARKS CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARD RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS - Applications are being accepted for volunteer positions on the Ketchikan State Parks Citizen Advisory Board. The board advises state park staff on a variety of issues effecting the management of state parks in the Ketchikan area. The board promotes the protection of the resources in the park areas and sites; including scenery, vegetation, wildlife, waters, historic & cultural features, wilderness character and outdoor recreational opportunities in Totem Bight State Historical Park, Settler's Cove State Recreation Site, Refuge Cove State Recreation Site, Grindall Island Public Use Cabin-State Marine Park, Black Sands Beach & Blank Islands State Marine Park and other state marine parks in the Ketchikan Area.

The board is comprised of nine members selected to represent the broad spectrum of public interests involved with or affected by the area parks. The nomination process is designed to ensure that no single viewpoint dominates the board. In addition, the bylaws call upon each board member to represent the broad public interest rather than advocate on behalf of one specific group. - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Northern Waters Task Force Submits Recommendations; Task Force proposes key changes to Arctic policy, infrastructure, and resource development - The Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (ANWTF) released its preliminary report recommending improvements to state and federal Arctic policy yesterday. The Legislature established the task force in 2010 to address increased interest in the Arctic and elevate government and stakeholder participation in Arctic issues.

“The task force worked hard to identify what Alaska needs to meet the opportunities and challenges in the rapidly changing Arctic,” said Representative Reggie Joule (R-Kotzebue), the task force’s chairman. “As worldwide demand for natural resources brings increased attention to the Arctic, Alaska needs to capitalize on the potential economic benefits while providing for sustainable communities and the environment.”

The task force held 10 hearings throughout the state, including visits to Barrow, Nome, Bethel, Wales, Unalaska, Kotzebue, Wainwright, and Anchorage. Their work includes 21 recommendations to advance state leadership in Arctic policies related to marine transportation, national security, and resource development.

“It’s crucial for Alaska to recognize the strategic importance of its northern waters,” said Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), who served as vice chairman of the task force. “Changes in the Arctic will provide for new shipping routes and access to some of the richest oil and gas deposits in the Arctic. Alaska needs a better roadmap to achieve success in the Arctic and the task force’s work is a good step forward.” - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012

Columns - Commentary

Preston MacDougallPRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on a Theoretical Truck - What’s bred in the bone of a great scientist?  Insight into this question can be gained by an examination of the life of Richard F. W. Bader, who died in Burlington, Ontario, on January 15 at age 80.

After obtaining his Ph.D. at M.I.T., and holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, Richard eventually returned to McMaster, his alma mater, to profess chemistry for 30 years until 1996, when he officially retired. 

But a great scientist doesn’t just stop doing science.  As an Emeritus Professor, he published 60 (out of 223 in total) refereed articles and book chapters on theoretical chemistry and physics, all of them characteristically creative – often boldly challenging conventional wisdom.  His last article, published after his 80th birthday, was as inimitable as any.

Of his two books, his magnum opus was “Atoms in Molecules: A Quantum Theory”, published by Oxford University Press in 1990.  It is essential reading for anyone who hopes to rigorously interpret the properties of matter – whether they are measured experimentally or predicted computationally - in terms of the constituent atoms that are prescribed by the extension of quantum theory to parts of a whole.

Until the pioneering work of Bader and co-workers, two generations of quantum theorists had successfully predicted the properties of individual atoms and polyatomic molecules using essentially the same mathematical machinery.  Chemists assemble molecules from atoms in the lab, so it is natural for them to want to disassemble molecular properties into atomic contributions on their computer.  - More...
Saturday - January 21, 2012


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

Thank you readers for your letters and for your patience as I work to update the letter section. With the added jobs of digging out and the off-on visional challenges experienced with my recent bout of facial palsy, the update has been slow this week. I greatly appreciate your patience & your readership. I hope to finish the letter updates Monday evening.
Thank you Mr. Carl Thompson for your generous help with the sancturay animals today.
My regards,
Mary Kauffman, Editor

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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