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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 12, 2013

Front Page Photograph By KEN ARRIOLA

The Hills Are Napping
A self portrait by the photographer on Twin Peaks, above Upper Silvis Lake, during
the clear weather late December. Twin Peaks, in the Herring Cove area, climbs to 2,881 feet (878.13 meters) above sea level.
Front Page Photograph By KEN ARRIOLA
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)



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New Director of Ketchikan Animal Protection Hired By MARY KAUFFMAN - A new Director of Animal Protection for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has been hired and he will be starting his new position in early February.

Edward (Eddie) L. Blackwood, originally from Newfoundland, studied Animal Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He has twenty years experience focused in the area of animal science; animal care and control; exotic species; wildlife rehabilitation; humane education; and agriculture and veterinary care. In a letter to the Borough, Blackwood stated that his broad based experience and his commitment to the profession qualifies him to take on the challenges presented in overseeing the animal protection program in the Ketchikan Borough.

Blackwood, currently from Nashville, Tennessee, is a Nationally Certified Animal Control Officer and stated he understands the overall disciplines that are required to merge and blend in order to produce an effective animal protection program. "I am comfortable drawing on the varied resources available and building strong cooperative networks with other professionals and maintaining these relationships so the program functions at a high level on a daily basis," he wrote.

Prior to his hire by the Ketchikan Borough, Blackwood was most recently the Director of the Mt. Juliet Police Department's Animal Control Division for two years. He was also the Executive Director of the Cheathan County Animal Control in Pegram, Tennessee from 2005-2010. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

Southeast Alaska: Southeast Conference Celebrates its 55th Birthday - On January 17th, Southeast Conference will celebrate its 55th birthday.  According to Shelly Wright, executive director of Southeast Conference, Southeast Conference began with a group of leaders from across the region that wished to see a regional transportation system developed in Southeast Alaska.  The organization’s first meeting took place in Petersburg 55 years ago. The end result of the group’s initial efforts was the creation of the Alaska Marine Highway. After that success Southeast Conference board and membership stayed together through more than a half-century to promote other projects that were key to the economic development of the region. 

Today Southeast Conference is the Alaska Regional Economic Development Organization, as well as the federal Economic Development District for the region.  As Wright explains, “we operate regionally, forging strategies, solutions, and partnerships that achieve results that can only be obtained by working together to promote Southeast Alaska.” - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

Southeast Alaska: IDLE NO MORE MOVEMENT TRANSCENDS CANADA-ALASKA BORDER - The Idle No More grassroots protest movement that started in the province of Saskatchewan has stretched across Canada and is now being joined by Alaskans who are concerned about the threats to Alaskan waters and salmon from British Columbia’s (BC) aggressive industrial development plans.  Indigenous Peoples and supporters hosted an Idle No More rally in downtown Anchorage on Friday.

“We would like to show solidarity with our indigenous brothers and sisters in Canada that are facing the same issues our tribal peoples are faced with here in Alaska,” said Delice Calcote of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council.  “Our mission is to protect customary and traditional use of our subsistence resources.  Protect our subsistence or expect resistance.”

Friday's demonstration in Anchorage was more than just a show of solidarity with Indigenous activists in Canada. Participants were also hoping to raise awareness about the fact that British Columbia’s major industrial development plans and drastic changes to Canadian environmental laws also pose serious risks to salmon, water quality and traditional uses in the Southeast Alaska and Northwest British Columbia’s transboundary region.  

Carl Wassilie of Alaska's Big Village Network said that “Native and non-native Alaskans need to stand up and be counted when it comes to protecting our water, salmon, and indigenous people’s rights. Our representatives are shirking their responsibilities and largely ignoring the threats to our resources from Canada’s massive rush to industrial development in the headwaters of major salmon rivers like the Taku, Stikine and Unuk and weakening of important environmental protection laws. History tells us ignoring this is a bad idea.”

The Idle No More movement was sparked by changes to laws that protected all of Canada’s “navigable” waterways and that govern Indigenous land tenure. Recent changes to the Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act mean there will be substantially less federal oversight over decisions about major industrial developments, such as the many mines, roads and hydro-electric  projects that are proposed on the BC side of the border. Many of these projects would have direct impacts on rivers that provide drinking water and salmon to Alaskans.  The most recent changes are but part of a larger pro-industrial development agenda that is being implemented without meaningful consultation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

jpg 7.5 Quake Damages Fiber Optic Connections To Wrangell

Wave Venture
141 m X 19 m cable laying vessel,
photographed in Ketchikan Wednesday.
Front Page Photograph by KAREN HORN ©2013

Wrangell: 7.5 Quake Damages Fiber Optic Connections To Wrangell By MARY KAUFFMAN - As a result of Friday's 7.5 earthquake, GCI lost both fiber optic connections to Wrangell. The damage affected most of GCI’s services to Wrangell including internet, cell phones and cable television.

GCI technicians had restored channels 1 through 8 and had restored cellular service by the following day; however, full video services have not yet been restored.

The Wave Venture, a cable layer ship, passed through Ketchikan on Wednesday heading to Wrangell waters to repair the damaged undersea fiber optic lines that are said to be causing Wrangell's video outage.

Friday, GCI reported the Wave Venture had located and retrieved half of the first cable, and work is underway to retrieve the other half. - More...
Saturday - January 12, 2013

Ketchikan: Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary Ownership Change - It was announced this week that Brien Salazar has purchased the interest of Kris Singstad in the Herring Cove-based Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary LLC.(ARS), which includes Alaska Canopy Adventures (ACA). Brien Salazar is now the sole owner of Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary and Alaska Canopy Adventures and retains full authority to act on behalf of the company.

Singstad was a co-founder of the business, and a major contributor to the success of the enterprise, stated Salazar. He supervised the environmental clean-up of the former Herring Bay Lumber Company sawmill site that was purchased by Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary and undertook construction of a general store/administration building, landscaping, trail systems, zipline courses and support facilities at Herring Cove and Juneau, guide housing structures, raptor center and reindeer corral and barn.

Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary commenced operations in 2004. The sanctuary is located 8 miles south of Ketchikan on 40 acres of rich rainforest in Herring Cove, an area famous for its wildlife and natural beauty. A stream flows through the property into a tidal estuary, where thousands of spawning salmon can be viewed in season. Also found here are bears, porpoise, eagles and a wide variety of other wildlife. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

Ketchikan: Changes Coming Soon to GED Test - The current version of the GED test, known as the “2002 Series GED,” will be replaced with the new “2014 GED” in January of 2014. If you have started, but not completed, the GED testing process by December 22, 2013 at University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan, your scores will become null and void and you will be required to start all testing over again in 2014. Difficulty levels will increase substantially, as will the cost of testing.

The new assessment will continue to provide adults the opportunity to earn a high school credential, but it goes further by measuring career- and college-readiness skills that are the focus of today’s curriculum and tomorrow’s success. According to the GED Testing Service®, the test is being updated because GED test graduates must remain competitive with students who complete their high school credentials in a traditional manner. Evidence suggests that test-takers who demonstrate fluency with the skills measured in the new assessment will be better prepared for what they plan to do with their lives. A graduate will no longer hold just a high school equivalency credential, but a roadmap for life’s success. It’s a stepping-stone toward a college classroom or a better career and a family-sustaining wage. - More...
Saturday - January 12, 2013


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letter Museum By Rodney Dial - Those of you who follow my letters know that I mentioned YEARS AGO that approval of the new Library would lead to tax increases and an immediate, subsequent request by local government to expand the Museum. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

letter IT IS NOT INEPTNESS OR INCOMPETENCE, THE IRS IS STEALING FROM YOU By David G. Hanger, EA, MBA - By 1989 the Internal Revenue Service had closed virtually all of its field offices in Alaska, concentrating everything in Anchorage with an adjunct in Fairbanks. Travel budgets for IRS employees were virtually eliminated, too, so by the early 1990s almost all audits in the state of Alaska were done by telephone and fax machine. It was a system that worked because there was some IRS employee in Anchorage available via phone to us folks in the bush who would deal with our problem. Then in 2007 we got a new IRS commissioner and considerable transition in the Anchorage office, more or less simultaneously. One Sue Matters took over in Anchorage what used to be called “Problems Resolution,” put up a sign saying “Walk-ins welcome,” and turned off the telephone. So Anchorage is serviced, and the rest of us have been dumped into a large black hole. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

letter God Given 2nd Amendment By A. M. Johnson - The following has been sent to both Senator Stedman and Representative Wilson: Fellow Alaskans, I have been advised that our representatives are very very very busy. It may not be important to address the threat of having our personal firearms affected by Federal legislation. To the best of my knowledge, the U.S Constitution afforded the States the supreme amount of control. Alaska should enforce its sovereignty here and NOW. - More...
Saturday AM - January 12, 2013

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

letter 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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