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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 10, 2013

jpg Tongass Historical Museum

Tongass Historical Museum
Architect's concept for an expanded Tongass Historical Museum in the Centennial Building. A special meeting of Ketchikan City Council focusing on the Centennial Building and the Tongass Historical Museum will be held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center Jan. 10th at 7:00 pm.  Project architects will report on their assessment of the condition of the building and what repairs and changes are required to bring it up to code and a state of efficient operation.   In addition, representatives from the Foraker Group and Bettisworth North Architects and Planners will present a concept plan for expansion of the Museum in the Centennial Building.
(Related News: Special City Council Meeting to Consider Centennial Building Assessment & Tongass Historical Museum Expansion Project By MARY KAUFFMAN)
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)


Ketchikan: 144 Inches of Rain in 2012 By MARY KAUFFMAN - Ketchikan received a whopping 144 inches of rain in 2012 with a few new records set during the year. According to National Weather Service data, believe it or not, Ketchikan recorded 27.3 inches less annual rainfall in 2012 than in 2011. The previous year, 171.3 inches were recorded. However, Ketchikan recorded 4.56 inches more rainfall in 2012 than in 2010.

January was the top month for recorded precipitation in 2012, with 22.26 inches of rain, which was 45% above the expected amount of 15.40 inches. In 2011, Ketchikan recorded 14.89 inches for the month of January. In January 2010, Ketchikan recorded 22.11 inches.

Since 1992, historical weather summaries have been provided by the Alaska Climate Research Center. Ketchikan's historical weather summary for 2012 is as follows: - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013


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GAO Requested To Review 12 Alaska Native Regional Corporations By MARY KAUFFMAN - The Native American Contractors Association, whose members include many of the twelve Alaska Native Regional Corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act ("ANCSA"), responded to the Government Accountability Office's recent report and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) for his proposal to "fix" a problem that does not exist.

The report, "Regional Alaska Native Corporations, Status 40 Years After Establishment and Future Considerations", requested by Rep. Markey, examines the structure, history, and finances of the regional Alaska Native Corporations ("ANCs"). The Native American Contractors Association said for the most part, the report does an excellent job of outlining the history and structure of ANCs, while discussing the myriad of ways the corporations provide for Alaska Natives - their shareholders - which are unique to ANCs.

According to the Native American Contractors Association, while the Government Accountability Office's report highlights much of the good that Alaska Native Regional Corporations perform for shareholders and employees, its focus on financial reporting requirements that do not apply to non-publicly traded companies unfortunately has created an effort to single out these closely held corporations. The Native American Contractors Association said the Alaska Native Regional Corporations have served their shareholders well, and operate in the commitment of self-determination. Congress should allow these companies to perform as Congress intended them to operate, rather than pursue legislation that does not benefit Alaska Native shareholders.

The Government Accountability Office was asked to review these corporations. The GAO report examines (1) governance practices of the regional Alaska Native corporations, (2) requirements for and oversight of the corporations' financial reporting practices, (3) benefits provided by the corporations to their shareholders and other Alaska Natives, and (4) questions to consider for the future. GAO reviewed relevant federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the corporations' annual reports, proxy materials, and other documents. GAO interviewed representatives from each of the 13 regional corporations and visited seven of the Alaskan regions.

GAO is making no recommendations in the report.

In a letter to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and to the ranking member of the Committee on Natural Resources Rep. Edward J. Markey, the GAO stated "To inform your understanding of the financial information being reported by the regional Alaska Native corporations and how these corporations are addressing the needs of Alaska Natives, you asked us to describe various corporate practices. This report examines (1) governance practices of the regional Alaska Native corporations, (2) requirements for and oversight of the corporations’ financial reporting practices, (3) benefits provided by the corporations to their shareholders and other Alaska Natives, and (4) questions to consider for the future."

The Government Accountability Office examined the corporations’ annual shareholder reports from 2010 and proxy materials from 2011(the most recent years for which consistent information was available across the corporations). The Government Accountability Office also asked SEC staff to provide observations on the corporations’ 2010 annual shareholder reports. The Government Accountability Office conducted aperformance audit from October 2011 to December 2012 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Responses provided on behalf of the corporations made several points about their financial reporting and operations that are more fully discussed in the report.

However, the Native American Contractors Association (NACA) is disappointed with the focus the Report places on financial reporting, which they say is misguided. They say there are two ways the Report is flawed.

First, the Report fails to realize and recognize the mandate of self-determination that Congress built into the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. NACA's Executive Director, Kevin Allis stated, "It's this important policy of 'self-determination' that shapes the structure of the Regional Corporations, whereby shareholders that are all Alaska Natives vote to elect boards of directors to govern the ANCs." He continued, "Second, with respect to financial reports, the Report does not properly recognize the fact that the Regional Corporations all follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), have annual audits conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), and are not entities whose shares are publicly traded." The tenor of the Report could cause a reader to surmise that something is amiss, based solely upon the flawed notion that the Regional Corporations are not filing reports under securities laws that were designed for publicly-traded entities. - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013

Alaska: Status of Iliamna, Little Sitkin Volcanoes Updated - The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Wednesday issued a Volcanic Activity Notice for Iliamna and Little Sitkin. Volcano Alert Levels were updated to Normal and their Aviation Color Codes were updated to Green at both volcanoes. The code Green means no eruption is anticipated. Volcano is in quiet, "dormant" state.

Iliamna Volcano, located in Alaska's Cook Inlet, is experiencing occasional small earthquakes, but at a greatly reduced rate and at a magnitude relative to the peak of unrest in March 2012. Steam and sulfur gas emissions continue to be observed from sites near the summit, but this is not unusual for the volcano.

Volcanic unrest at Little Sitkin Volcano, located in the Aleutians, has decreased over the last few months. Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory believe the volcano has reached typical background levels, which prompted the update.

Both volcanoes will continue to be monitored by the Alaska Volcano Observatory. If any changes occur at the sites that appear out-of-the-ordinary, a new Volcanic Activity Notice will be released.

Currently, Cleveland Volcano is the only volcano in state with an Alert Level at Advisory. The current aviation code is Yellow meaning an eruption is possible in the next few weeks and may occur with little or no additional warning. - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013

Alaska Science: Rocket parts picked up in northern Alaska By NED ROZELL - Following up on a NASA promise to recover spent rocket parts scattered for decades across northern Alaska, workers for Poker Flat Research Range recovered more than 7,000 pounds of debris from 17 different sites in 2012.

Peter Elstner, who also works for the University of Alaska unmanned aircraft team, led a team that picked up rocket parts from the White Mountains National Recreation Area north of Fairbanks to the Marsh Fork of the Canning River last summer. The pieces ranged from aluminum payload containers as heavy as a National Football League lineman to tiny flecks of rockets that exploded on impact.

“In some places, I was picking up stuff the size of my thumbnail out of the ground,” Elstner said.

The pieces were from sounding rockets launched mostly on winter nights since 1968 at Poker Flat Research Range, a university-owned complex in Chatanika, about 30 miles north of Fairbanks. Scientists arc rockets through the zone from about 50 to 800 miles elevation to gather information on the aurora and other aspects of space weather. NASA launches about four rockets each winter from Poker Flat. Some stages fly hundreds of miles northward before returning to the ground. - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013


Ketchikan: James Christopher Ellis: Celebration of Life Jan. 13th - James Christopher Ellis, "Chris", 39, died January 4, 2013, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, after complications associated from an asthma attack that occurred on December 15, 2012.

James Christopher Ellis: Celebration of Life Jan. 13th

James Christopher Ellis
Celebration of Life, January 13, 2013

He was born October 20, 1973 in Ketchikan, Alaska, where he has resided, attended school, and has worked as a Jeweler. 

Mr. Ellis is preceded in death by his nephew Jay Wayne Ellis III and his father Jay Wayne Ellis |. He is survived, by his wife Kelly Ellis, son James Ellis Jr., daughter Lilyan Ellis, mother Julie Jarvi, stepfather Paul Jarvi, brother Jay Wayne Ellis Jr, sister Mila Greisen, and Grandfather Dr. James Mortensen.

James, or Chris as many close to him called him, had a feisty, vibrant and magnetic personality that drew many friends to him through the years. James will be sorely missed! - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013

Public Records

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Police Report - Any charges reported in these public records are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

On 1/4/13 at about 2:18 AM officers conducted a traffic stop on a blue Dodge van for a traffic violation.  Upon investigation officers issued JENNIFER TREAT, 28 years of age of Ketchikan AK, a misdemeanor citation for Driving While License Suspended.

On 1/4/13 at about 10:00 AM officers arrested CARL SOPER, 23 years of age of Ketchikan AK, on an outstanding warrant.  He was transported to the Ketchikan Correctional Center where he was held on $250.00 bail.

On 1/4/13 at about 11:38 AM officers were dispatched to Main Street on a report of an intoxicated male inside a bank.  Officers contacted GARY HAMILTON, 66 years of age of Ketchikan AK, who was asked to leave the premises.  After refusing to leave after several requests Mr. Hamilton was arrested for Criminal Trespass.  He was transported to the Ketchikan Correctional Center where he was set to be released on his own recognizance. - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013


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letter Gas Prices By Carl Thompson - I think Peter Ellis has a great idea. A co-op might be just the thing to bring back competition to the gas market here in Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday AM - January 10, 2013

Planning Comm. Meeting Tues 1/8 6PM By Robert K. Rice - This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Ketchikan Borough Planning Commission. I am encouraging everyone with concerns regarding this use of the land near our library, radio station, recreation center, swimming pool, ball fields, fish hatchery, and many homes and apartments, to attend the planning commission meeting to voice your concerns.There are much less disruptive places to site this facility. Thanks to Amanda Mitchell and Duke Swink for bringing this to our attention. - More...
Sunday AM - January 06, 2013

letter Alaska is headed for an ice age By Marvin Seibert - I know climate change facts just stand in the way of the people who consider Al Gore a Messiah in this area but I feel the truth can always be best shown in the light of day, not a DVD of made up half-truths. - More...
Sunday AM - January 06, 2013

letter RE: RIPOFF By Pete Ellis - The following quote from a Hanger commentary certainly deals with the problem but fails to suggest a solution: - More...
Sunday AM - January 06, 2013

letter KPU advisory board appointments By A.M. Johnson- It is noted that the Ketchikan Public Utilities is advertising for public citizens to apply for appointment to the Ketchikan Public Utilities advisory board. Good news! It was thought this board had been dissolved for lack of activity or interest. Now is a timely moment to resurrect the board or reinforce it with new blood. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 02, 2013

letter RIPOFF By David G. Hanger - The price for gasoline in Ketchikan is more than $1 per gallon over the national average and 80 cents per gallon over the state average; in Metlakatla those same numbers are more than $1.50 per gallon and at the state level $1.30 per gallon.  Either the wholesale distributors of gasoline in Ketchikan think they have an unlimited license to steal, or they are the most incompetent business managers in the state and in the nation.  This problem is chronic and persistent, and there are no excuses.  It is time to fire these people. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 02, 2013

letter Idle No More By Jennifer Boyd - I am very proud to say Metlakatla held a march today to stand with the First Nations of Canada. As all rallies and marches it was peaceful with our children and grandchildren marching with us. Chief Teresa has called for peaceful rallies. And I would like to add, no police were called out, no pictures were taken by the police. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 02, 2013

letter Jim Pinkerton & the Fireside Lounge By Betty Lee Lien Marl - Jim Pinkerton was an odd fellow and for sure no one knew of his childhood or his hardships. He was a very hard worker and smart as a whip. In 1962 my husband, Stan Marl, was killed in a hunting accident leaving me with 4 very young children. The town rallyed around me and my family. My mother, Anne Evensen, was a waitress at the Blue Fox Cafe. Jim always ate lunch there. One day he asked my mother what he could do for me. She didn't know what to tell him. A few hours later one of the employees from the cold storage wheeled in a hand truck with this enormous plastic bag, easily 25 pounds or more, of frozen halibut cheeks. He knew that I loved halibut cheeks and this was his way of helping me out. He was a very private person and when my mother called me and told me to come and get this huge bag of halibut cheeks I was dumb founded. Luckily I had just bought a freezer! It was a very compasionate thing for him to do. - More...
Wednesday - January 02, 2013

letter Gas Prices By Norma Lankerd - Again, FYI (Metlakatla's) gas prices were at $4.71 per gallon after the prices kept going down (So) I wouldn't complain and YAY we are finally down to $4.51 a gallon (SURE) would like to swap gas (fuel) prices with anyone. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 02, 2013

letter Concerning Rezoning Case 12-106 By Duke Swink - What kind of treatment plant will be in operation to treat the water used in this industry? Will the run off end up in Ketchikan Creek where there are salmon? Has anyone thought about this? ALL industrial sites have large amounts of waste water, and it is usually VERY polluted, and must be treated before it can be released into the surrounding areas. I didn't see a provision for a treatment plant. This could open you up to major lawsuits. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 02, 2013

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