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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 08, 2015

Front Page Photograph By STEVEN SPEIGHTS

Ward Lake Reflections
Front Page Photograph By STEVEN SPEIGHTS ©2015
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

Ketchikan: The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 8th in the City Council Chambers. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. To download the agenda and information packets click here...

Ketchikan: The Ketchikan Assembly will hold Assembly Policy Sessions on Jan. 9th & 10th at 9:00 am in the Assembly Chambers. To download the agenda and information packets click here...

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Ketchikan nurses vote to join local bargaining unit - Nurse anesthetists at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center have voted to join the Alaska Nurses Association’s Ketchikan Registered Nurses Bargaining Unit. The new representation is said will afford the group professional advocacy for fair compensation and workplace conditions.

A group of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center elected to join the Alaska Nurses Association’s (AaNA) Ketchikan Registered Nurses Bargaining Unit in a vote that passed Dec. 16, 2014.

The certified registered nurse anesthetists met with unit leaders from the Ketchikan-based bargaining unit earlier in the year and proceeded to file a petition for special election with the National Labor Relations Board in October 2014.

“As part of the Alaska Nurses Association’s Ketchikan Registered Nurses Bargaining Unit, PeaceHealth’s CRNAs will receive professional advocacy that will help to ensure the best possible workplace conditions as well as protection of benefits and pay,” said Donna Phillips, Alaska Nurses Association’s Labor Council chair. “Nurse anesthetists have an extremely important and demanding job to perform and it is crucial they are allowed to focus on their work and the safety of their patients. We are thrilled to welcome them to the union and look forward to advocating on their behalf.” - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

Alaska: HOUSE LAWMAKERS SEEK TO ESTABLISH STATEWIDE PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM - Representative’s Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks), Les Gara (D-Anchorage), Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage), and Sam Kito III (D-Juneau) have pre-filed legislation in advance of the start of the 29th Alaska Legislature on January 20th to create a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program to prepare Alaska’s children for entry into the education system.

"Early education has been shown to increase educational achievement across demographic lines and will reduce education and social costs in the long run," said Rep. Ortiz, who’s a longtime high-school teacher.

“Pre-kindergarten programs are a win-win solution for Alaska,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “They increase student performance while also saving the state money in the long-term by producing self-reliant, successful adults.”

Alaska remains one of the only states that doesn’t provide pre-kindergarten programs on a statewide basis. Children who participate in these early learning programs have been shown to have higher academic proficiency scores throughout their primary and secondary education. Additionally, they are more likely to remain off public assistance, obtain a college education, earn more money as adults, enter the job market in larger numbers and stay out of jail. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

Alaska: Governor Will Not Allow Cabinet Members to Sign Confidentiality Agreements; Removes 3 AGDC Board Members - Governor Bill Walker (I-AK) announced Tuesday a paradigm shift in the way the state will conduct business with Alaska’s gas, emphasizing that there will be transparency in the process.

This announcement came two days before a scheduled Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) Board of Directors meeting Thursday in Anchorage. At today's meeting, members will be expected to sign confidentiality agreements prior to an executive session that is closed to the public.

“I am committed to a transparent government in which Alaskans are part of the conversation about our resources,” Governor Walker said. “I cannot allow my Cabinet members to sign confidentiality agreements meant to keep information away from the public.”



“My goal is to accelerate our efforts to bring Alaska’s gas to market, and to do so in a way that ensures Alaskans are involved and informed of the process,” Governor Walker said.

Governor Walker has instructed Department of Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas and Department of Commerce Acting Commissioner Fred Parady, who are currently on the board, to not sign the agreement.

Tuesday, Governor Walker also removed three board members from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation's Board - Drue Pearce, Richard Rabinow, and Al Bolea.

“I would like to thank each of these individuals for their service to the State of Alaska, and wish them well in their future endeavors,” Governor Walker said.

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) Board of Directors is made up of seven members who serve at the pleasure of the governor. Those who will continue serving on the AGDC Board of Directors include Chairman John Burns and Dave Cruz.

Governor Walker has already initiated the process to interview and appoint three qualified Alaskans to the AGDC’s Board. Walker intends to fill those vacant seats within 30 days.

Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage), the continuing Chair of the Senate Resources Committee, issued a prepared statement Wednesday in response to to Gov. Walker's announcement.

Giessel said, "It is within the Governor's purview to act as he has done, but for an administration that has vowed to get Alaska's natural gas to market, this deprives the state of necessary tools for success in a global scale LNG project. The AGDC Board was crafted to bring the very best expertise the state can muster to commercialize our North Slope gas. Removing these individuals under the pretense of transparency gives the effect of implying a defect in these exemplary members, and gives the impression that this Governor is crafting complex policy decisions through press releases.” - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015


A fresh start in 2015 for USCG Cutter Chandeleur - Anyone who has sailed Alaskan waters can attest that the Last Frontier is not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong crew and a sturdy ship to brave the wind and waves of the 49th state, and the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur is eager for the challenge.

A fresh start in 2015 for USCG Cutter Chandeleur

The Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur is slowly released back into the water after five months in dry dock at Base Ketchikan
USCG Photo

The Island-class patrol boat, homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, just completed a major 171-day drydock at local Coast Guard facilities. On July 21, the Chandeleur was pulled out of the water for maintenance and repairs, including replacement of hull plating, renewal and overhaul of various ship systems, and cleaning and inspection of tanks.

Through the summer, fall, and into the new year, Base Ketchikan’s industrial team of specialists worked tirelessly to complete the extensive repairs, bringing an extraordinary level of technical competence, expertise, and craftsmanship to bear on the 26 year old cutter. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015


Columns - Commentary

jpg Daryl Cagle

DARYL CAGLE: France Cartoonists and Murder- I woke up Wednesday morning to the news of the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo Magazine office in Paris. Twelve people were killed and eleven wounded, including two of my French cartoonist friends, Tignous and Wolinski. Cartoonists around the world are grieving.

Americans treat editorial cartoons as a trivial daily joke in the newspaper - in France, editorial cartoons and loved and respected. The Louvre has a branch museum devoted to cartoons; imagine if the Smithsonian had a cartoon museum, that's the way cartoons are revered in France. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

jpg Jeff Lund

JEFF LUND: Enthusiastic resolve “...the public has been hoodwinked into believing that being good at what you like to do is of great consequence. It’s not. Enthusiasm is a lot more important than skill.” - Bill Heavey

Bill Heavey writes the back page column for Field and Stream Magazine and is a true wordsmith. It took me all of a page and a half to find a column-worthy quote in his newest book, “You’re not lost if you can still see the Truck.”

It isn’t just a good quote, it’s an integral quote — a necessary collection of words which properly articulates one of the most important aspects of life. A life void of some sort of enthusiasm discourages growth and can lead to stagnancy. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

jpg Ron Paul

RON PAUL: Ten New Year's Resolutions for Congress - Since New Year's is traditionally a time for resolutions, and since the new Congress convened this week, I thought I would suggest some New Year's resolutions for Congress:

1) Bring the troops home — Congress should take the first, and most important, step toward ending our hyper-interventionist foreign policy by bringing our troops home and closing all overseas military facilities. The American people can no longer afford to bear the cost of empire.

2) Pass the Audit the Fed bill — The American people deserve to know the entire truth about how the Federal Reserve's monetary policy benefits big-spending politicians and financial elites while harming average Americans.

3) Repeal the PATRIOT Act and rein in the National Security Agency — It is approaching two years since Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA's unconstitutional spying. Yet Congress still refuses to put a leash on the surveillance state. Congress should take the first step toward restoring respect for the Fourth Amendment by allowing Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to expire. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015


A New Weapon in the War on Terror
BY RJ Matson, Cagle Cartoons
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Terriorist killings By A. M. Johnson - With the latest terrorist activity killing of 12 French news people speaking from the freedom of the Western world this day (January 7,2015) and the meek mouthed response from supportable world leaders, a couple of quotes of recognized persons come to mind that seem appropriate to share with those who have Freedom, respect, and good hearts need to hear. Thank you for the forum to express these quotes. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

letter China Buying U.S. Companies By Donald A. Moskowitz - According to Forbes Magazine November 24, 2014 issue, which I paraphrase below, since the year 2000 Chinese companies have made almost 900 purchases of U.S. assets worth $43 billion. China’s billionaires are gobbling up U.S. companies at a record pace. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

letter Gas prices By Don Petrey - Currently down in the greater metro Seattle area gas prices are $2.45 on the high end. Everybody in Ketchikan should be upset that we are paying close to a dollar more for no good reason. - More...
Thursday AM - January 08, 2015

letter A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY By David G Hanger - Our fuel wholesaler for Southeast Alaska has now gone from outright crook to criminal. Visiting with friends from Haines over the New Year’s holiday I was greeted with the information that when Shannon asked her local retailer in Haines why the price of a gallon of gas was so obscenely high, she was told by the retailer that he had been advised that any effort on his part to reduce prices would result in his being cut off from all future gas deliveries. In other words one greedy pig has rigged fuel prices in SE Alaska for his sole personal benefit. This is a criminal conspiracy, and it is time to seriously consider putting this slimy one behind bars. - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter Open Letter to City Council: Ketchikan Water By Kent Miller - In the late 1970s I worked with Retherford Associates, Consulting Engineers, of Anchorage, on a comprehensive study of Ketchikan Public Utilities’ (KPU) Electric, Water, and Telephone departments. In the course of that study it was noted that although much of KPU’s water supply originated in Ketchikan Lakes, a pristine original source, the water was ponded in a forebay, sometimes called “Fawn Lake,” prior to its intake into the water system. It was evident because of its low volume, relatively high surface area, mud bottom, heavily vegetated shoreline, and exposure to wildlife and seabirds, the Fawn Lake forebay was highly subject to contamination. - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter Beaver Laws By Nicole Perry - I stumbled on Dave Kiffer's column about strange laws particularly the one in Michigan that fined beavers for building dams without a permit. - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter Open Letter: Congressional House leader election By A. M. Johnson - The following letter sent to our Alaska Congressional Representative Don Young. Knowing that you are a firm member of the "Establishment Republicans" this request I fear will go un-heeded. Still I must be on record in requesting your consideration and action to vote against Representative Boehner and for the reasons given by Representative Gohmert so eloquently stated. - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter It's Time for a Change - of Speakers By Jim Bennett - There are two challengers to John Boehner, OH-08, to become the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives: Louis Gohmert TX-01 and Ted S. Yoho FL-03. Between the two challengers, Yoho was a co-sponsor of the FairTax(R), HR25, in the last Congress. You should urge your Congress Member to cast his or her vote for Congressman Ted S. Yoho, Fl-03. - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter Book Signing at the Mall By LeAnn Edmondson - I am a born and raised Ketchikanite, who has recently published a 278 page fiction novel called “Aftermath, A Story of Survival.” - More...
Monday PM - January 05, 2015

letter Local food systems needed By Garrett Collins - If we are going to spend billions every year on health care and food assistance programs, then we need to start investing more of that money into sustainable projects that are nearly free or can pay for themselves over time. Community farms on every block would boost every local economy in this country. - More...
Saturday PM - January 03, 2015

letter Support for Local Nurses By Susan E. Walsh - The nurses at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center have reached the end of our agreement and are attempting to bargain a new contract with the hospital. We are asking for the support of our community as we attempt to ensure excellent patient care in a positive work environment by improving nurse retention & recruitment. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2015

letter An Open Letter to the Ketchikan City Council By Teri J. Wilson - I am sick to death of Ketchikan trying to get rid of smokers? We are not the problem here, and I resent any more taxes on cigarettes. - More...
Thrusday PM - January 01, 2015

letter RAMP at Bugge Beach By Janalee Minnich Gage - A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery store last July. I of course found a few individuals who tirelessly spend half their June sitting at Safeway selling Duck Race tickets for the big 4th of July Race, and of course I buy one or two tickets. I have a drawer full of raffle tickets, my Vegas in Ketchikan, good thing we don't have quarter machines in Ketchikan. I have to say it was marvelous feeling when they asked about my thoughts on the new stairs that access Bugge Beach, AKA Rotary Beach. Sorry maybe this is politically incorrect but this beach will forever be Bugge Beach to me, I can never bring myself to call it anything else. I mean no disrespect, and this letter is in appreciation for what the Rotary club has done, both noticed and gone unnoticed by the public, including keeping and improving the beach year after year. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2015

letter Ketchiikan gasoline prices By David Rosendin - My recollection is that the last time gasoline prices radically dropped that never happened in Ketchikan until a couple of dozen folks decided to protest and went to the intersection of Tongass Avenue and Jefferson Streets and started singing songs and carrying signs. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2014

letter A taking of exception By Alan R. (Rudy) McGillvray - Yes folks, I take exception to the cartoon published on SitNews today the 17th of December depicting a Bull sitting on the Capitol Dome of the USA. Now that we have Republicans in charge of the Congress, perhaps we can get some business done, but Wall street is no friend to Republicans. They have always (at least in recent memory) always donated more money to the Dem/Liberal wing of the Congress. (If you don't believe me, look it up.) - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2014

letter Thank you to the Christmas Carolers By Susan Cody - It was awesome to hear Christmas carolers on Christmas Eve night. Thank you for spreading your holiday cheer in the Millar Street neighborhood. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2014

letter VA Abuse By Tamela Cegelske - The VA investigation turned out to be systematic abuse with at least one higer level eschelon executive taking a six month paid leave. What do people think about our lawmakers writing laws to protect the tax payer from waste so that people who take advantage of the system get charged minimally with theft, or misappropriation, if not treason in the VA case? It seems like there are a lot of laws written for the average citizen but these people in higher government jobs that take advantage of the taxpayer never get prosecuted. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2014

letter Share the road By Lisa Krieger - I have to agree with Michael McColley. For such a small community, I do not see many courteous drivers. To each their own is what I get. Driving through McDonald's to get my morning coffee, even in line a person is right on my bumper and would not give me space. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2014

letter Retired? Congress Just Allowed CUTS In Your Pensions By Wiley Brooks - If you are retired and a recipient of a pension plan or have love ones who are, you may want to watch this video. THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW LOBBYIST INSERT PROVISIONS INTO TAX LEGISLATION TO BENEFIT SPECIAL INTEREST. Many we elect to the Congress do not understand the tax legislation they vote for. But you can bet that many within the 20,000 lobbyist army who prey on Washington do. Let’s scrap the income tax system and the 75,000 pages of regulations rife with special interest. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2015

letter Drugs and Unemployment By Justin Capps - I kinda agree with a lot of people in this town about stopping the drug dealers. Also, there are other problems like people who are abusing food stamps, etc. I'm not going to mention people in this town, but I see a lot of people in Ketchikan abusing food stamps and social security money when they don’t care about looking for jobs and are being lazy paying bills. - More...
Thursday PM - January 01, 2015

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