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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 26, 2012

Front Page Photo courtesy KIC©

KIC Tribal Council Swears In New Members & Elects Executives
Swearing in of KIC Council Members - Left to Right:  Rob Sanderson, Jr., Delores Churchill, Normal Arriola (Tribal Council President), Andre LeCornu, Donna Frank
Front Page Photo courtesy KIC©.


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Ketchikan: KIC Tribal Council Swears In New Members & Elects Executives - Ketchikan Indian Community performed their post-election swearing in ceremony Monday night in the Tribal Council Chambers.  The first order of business was to certify the election results which were passed by unanimous consent.

Taking the oath of office were newly elected Council members Andre LeCornu and Delores Churchill along with incumbents Rob Sanderson and Donna Frank.  The newly elected Advisory Health Board members were then sworn in.  In the past Health Board members were appointed by the Tribal Council but membership requested a return to selecting them by popular vote.  Taking their seat on the Advisory Health Board were Martha Johnson, Cecelia Johnson and Delma Inman.  The fourth vacant seat will be filled at a later time. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012

Ketchikan: KPU Telecommunications Outage - Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications experienced a telephone service outage Wednesday morning, affecting approximately 50% of the customers in Ketchikan.

At approximately 8:45 AM, some KPU residential and business customers  experienced ‘fast busy’ signals and/or encountered “call cannot be completed” recordings when attempting to place telephone calls. Although the source of the outage was located in KPU’s central computerized switching network, the outage potentially affected cellular customers and other non-KPU customers if they attempted to call a KPU customer. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012

Alaska: State Settles Moore v. State - Governor Sean Parnell, Education and Early Development Commissioner Mike Hanley, and Charles Wohlforth, Executive Director of Citizens for the Educational Advancement of Alaska’s Children (CEAAC), announced the settlement of a significant constitutional case: Moore v. State of Alaska.  

The agreement brings an end to an 8-year-old case concerning the state’s education system with the state providing $18 million for the lowest performing schools, pending the Legislature’s approval. In turn, CEAAC will agree to drop the lawsuit.

This development marks the second significant court settlement to resolve concerns among Alaska’s rural school districts by the Parnell administration within the last five months.

“This settlement is another step forward in our effort to improve educational achievement,” Governor Parnell said. “Our children are our future. My administration is committed to the goal of having an outstanding education system.”

The Moore case, filed in 2004, challenged whether Alaska’s public education system was adequate under the Alaska Constitution. The court found that the state’s public education had adequate funding, standards, and assessments. It also found, however, the state was not meeting its constitutional obligations in the lowest-achieving schools. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012

Alaska: Alyeska donation demonstrates pipeline innovations - The University of Alaska Museum of the North has installed a new pipeline super pig on its grounds.

Alyeska donation demonstrates pipeline innovations

The pipeline pig will be exhibited on the grounds of the UA Museum of the North. It is a permanent part of the ethnology & history collection. Photo courtesy of UA Museum of the North

The pig, donated to the museum’s ethnology and history collection by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, replaces a pig given to the museum in 1984.

“That older, mostly steel and rubber pig has been on exhibit in the museum’s yard since it came to us. It sits in a vertical position in full sunlight,” said collection manager Angela Linn. “The rubber components have severely degraded over the past few years and the bumper pieces have been falling apart, so we approached Alyeska to see if they had a spare pig ready to be decommissioned.”

A pig is a device inserted into a pipeline to clean it, separate products or dewater the line; to inspect the pipeline; and to perform other special duties, such as plugging isolated pipelines. The trans-Alaska pipeline system is “pigged” every eight days. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Supreme Court Finds Area Land Use Plans Are Not Regulations –The Alaska Supreme Court upheld the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s current process for adopting area land use plans. The January 20, 2012, ruling was a significant win for DNR and impacts the management of state lands.

Area land use plans guide management of state-owned lands. The plaintiffs, including six tribal councils, sued the state over the area plan for Bristol Bay. Among other assertions, the plaintiffs argued that the term “regulation” included the Bristol Bay Area Plan (and by extension all other area plans). DNR has adopted the numerous area plans in Alaska through a process that differs from the process required to adopt regulations. Had the Alaska Supreme Court held that area plans are regulations, the Department of Natural Resources would have had to readopt all area plans. Instead, the Alaska Supreme Court agreed with DNR that area plans are not regulations. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012

National: New Forest Planning Rule seeks to restore the nation’s forests through science and collaboration – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack  today signaled the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s intent to issue a new planning rule for America’s 193-million acre National Forest System that seeks to deliver stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of our rural communities, by releasing online a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule. Today’s action honors the commitment made by Secretary Vilsack in his 2009 speech on forest management, and by the President in the America’s Great Outdoors Report.

Quoting a press release, the USDA and the Forest Service carefully considered nearly 300,000 comments received on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement issued last February, to develop the agency’s preferred course of action for finalizing the planning rule. This is included in the PEIS released today as USDA’s preferred alternative. A notice of availability for the PEIS will be published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2012, and the Secretary will issue a record of decision selecting a final planning rule no less than 30 days afterwards.

“The most collaborative rulemaking effort in agency history has resulted in a strong framework to restore and manage our forests and watersheds and help deliver countless benefits to the American people,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Our preferred alternative will safeguard our natural resources and provide a roadmap for getting work done on the ground that will restore our forests while providing job opportunities for local communities.”

According to the Forest Service, the preferred alternative emphasizes collaboration and strengthens the role of public involvement and dialogue throughout the planning process. It also would require the use of the best available scientific information to inform decisions. - More...
Thursday - January 26, 2012


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letter Let’s Work Together to Bend the Corrections Cost Curve; Substance Abuse Fuels Re-Incarceration and Drives Costs By Sen. Johnny Ellis - You may have seen a lot of news lately about the rising cost of Alaska’s corrections system.  We have to face the facts: Prisons are incredibly expensive - regardless of where or how they are built.  It’s time for us to start focusing on why we have had to build a new prison in the first place. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012 

letter Cold spell affects Ketchikan more than one-way By Don Borders - I recently traveled to one of the building supply stores, found others making the same trip, and gathered standing in front of the same isle containing the items I traveled to obtain. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

letter RE: Boat Tax By Kim Peters - We also just recieved a tax bill from the Ketchikan borough on a boat that we just bought. It was a boat tax for $90.00. Most all of it was interest, but when we asked what this was for and why we had never recieved anything like this before for any other boats we have owned they replied that not everyone was being charged yet. Well, you can send me a bill when everyone gets a bill, why would you not charge everyone? This is ridiculous! I guess it's time to register your boats somewhere else. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

letter Tongass Highway By Kay Taylor - In regards to the servicing of Ketchikan's Tongass highway..... the road crews do a very good job considering what they have to work with. If you don't have studded tires on your vehicle then you don't belong on an icy road. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

letter Icy Roads By Ken Arriola - In defense of the AKDOT/PF highway crew, we recently witnessed the anomaly of a 5-6 inches snowfall from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, which in my opinion would have required a crew and equipment several times ours to meet the demand. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

letter Ketchikan gas prices still high By Karen Ramsey - When are gas prices in Ketchikan going to fall in line with the drop everywhere else? Here we are still paying over $4.00 for a gallon of unleaded. Prices in Hawai have fallen under $4.00. Why does it seem as though every time the price of gas goes up, the prices here stay artificially high? Captive market that doesn't complain, that's why. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

letter Shades of Robbie Whitton! By Mimi Eddy - To the KPU "grater man" on Baranof this morning around 8, thank you, thank you!  I haven't had service like that since Robbie was driving the grater! - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012 

letter State owns Columbia not Borough By Maureen Crosby - In reference to Joey Garcia's referencing the Columbia being tied up downtown and his comment: "Is the Borough de-commissioning this ferry just because it cannot make money when the safety of the AMHS passengers is the utmost care and concern for the City of Ketchikan's residents?" I believe the Columbia is owned by the State of Alaska - and not the Ketchikan Borough. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 24, 2012

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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