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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 04, 2016

jpg Ketchikan's First Baby of 2016

Ketchikan's First Baby of 2016
Leeanna Booth and baby Tobias Elijah Burnette
Front Page Photo Courtesy PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center ©2015

Ketchikan: Ketchikan's First Baby of 2016 - The first baby born in Ketchikan in 2016 was in a hurry. Leeanna Booth was in labor less than two hours when she gave birth at home before the ambulance could arrive to take her to Ketchikan Medical Center.

Tobias Elijah Burnette arrive in the late afternoon of January 1, 2016 with the assistance of Leeanna’s aunt Gail Dundas, a former Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) at Ketchikan Medical Center.

Leeanna said she and Tobias’ father, Jack Burnette, met in middle school and were Schoenbar sweethearts before Jack moved away. He came back to Ketchikan 15 years later. Smiling at the memory Leeanna said, “I saw him walking down the street and we started talking…” - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

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Ketchikan: Plane Crash, Gravina Bridge Top local stories in 2015 By DAVE KIFFER - A deadly plane crash and another chapter in “The Bridge to Nowhere” saga were the major stories in Southern Southeast in 2015.

Plane Crash, Gravina Bridge Top local stories in 2015

DeHavilland DHC-3T (Turbine Otter) crashed on June 25, 2015 near Ketchikan, Alaska while on a sightseeing tour. Date of Photo June 27, 2015
Courtesy NTSB

A Promech turbine otter floatplane crashed above Ella Lake in Misty Fjords on June 25. The pilot and eight passengers – all passengers on the Holland America ship Westerdam - were killed. Officials are continuing to investigate, but no cause had been announced by years end.

In October, the state of Alaska Department of Transportation FINALLY announced its new preferred alternative for Gravina Access. In 2006, the state approved two bridges to connect Gravina and Pennock Islands to Revillagigedo. But that plan was cancelled by Governor Sarah Palin in 2008. After seven years, the state has now decided to improve the ferry terminal and make other minor changes for a total of $23 million. Most of the rest of the more than $250 million the state received from the Federal Government for the access project went to other projects in the state. Local officials expressed concern that the new “preferred alternative” does not improve access.

Jaxson Brown was the first baby of the 2015 in Ketchikan, he was born on Jan. 2, 2015.

Phyllis Sinclair, long time local float camp resident, quietly celebrated her 100th birthday in January.

There was about 2 inches of snowfall on Jan. 4-5. It was the only significant snowfall of the winter. There was another snowfall in late December, dumping up to 10 inches of snow in Clover Pass and Herring Cove, but the snowfall in most parts of the city of Ketchikan were negligible.

Klawock City Council member Sabrina Demmert, 35 , was charged with drug possession Jan. 2.

The Forest Service announced that long time Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole would retire in April. Cole has been with the Forest Service in Southeast since 1979 and has been Supervisor since 2003. He was replaced by Earl Stewart.

After being engaged for 13 years, Jared Barlow and Lisa George wanted a different kind of wedding. So, the Klawock couple chose to get married during the halftime of a Klawock/Kake basketball game in January. George is a former Klawock basketball player and her son is on the current team.

Longtime Ketchikan business, Murray Pacific got a new name in January. Longtime employee Dan Voelz purchased the outdoor and fishing supply store and renamed it Pacific Pride of Alaska.

Metlakatla hosted is first ever Academic Decathalon meet in January. Teams from Metlakatla, Ketchikan, Craig and Juneau took part.

Newly elected Governor Bill Walker held one of his inaugural balls in Ketchikan. The last governor to have an inaugural ball in Ketchikan was Frank Murkowski in 2002.

The proposed midnight to eight am closing of the Hyder border crossing made international news. Eventually negotiations between the United States and Canada led to the border crossing remaining open 24 hours a day for the time being.

Willie Smith, an employee at the Discovery Center, was named the winner of the meritorious service award for the Tongass National Forest.

Dive boat owner Joshua Wodyga was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide by a local jury. Wodyga’s crewmember, Levi Adams, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while diving for sea cucumbers in October of 2013. Officials contended that Wodyga did not propely maintain the air compressor that was being used when Adams died. Wodyga was sentenced to three years in prison.

Brandon Sample, 20, an inmate at the Ketchikan Correctional Center, committed suicide after being arrested on sexual abuse of a minor charges.

Rich and Kay Andrews, owners of Annabelle’s, were named Citizens of the Year by the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. Last yeat, Annabelle’s hosted six fundraisers that raised more than $125,000 for individuals facing medical emergencies.

Other chamber winners were Pool Engineering (Business of the Year), Island to Island Veterinary Clinic (Entrepreneur of the Year), Ketchikan’s two Rotary Clubs (Community Service), The Monthly Grind (Event of the Year), Carol Shafer (Youth Leader of the Year), and Rachel Guyselman (Presidents Award).

The Eichner Family donated more than $350,000 to the Peace Health Ketchikan Medical Center for the creation of the Ken Eichner Healing Garden. Work began on the garden in April.

A Ketchikan man died of an accidental shooting in a gravel pit off Brown Mountain Road in early June, Samuel Mullenax, 22, was target shooting with friends.

Youth was served in fishing this summer. A 10 year old girl from Idaho, Lily Hornish, made the catch of the summer of with a 333 pound halibut in mid June. And Middle schooler Duseigneur Paolo, 14, won the Chamber of Commerce King Salmon Derby with a 40.3 pounder.

The Elsie Piddock won the first annual Race to Alaska in five days, 55 minutes on June 12. The entrants in the Victoria to Alaska race had to be motorless.. The winning team won $10,000.

Angela Morin finished second in two categories at the Pizza Man 2015 National Physique state championship. Morin was in the Masters Figure and the Open Figure B categories.

A student was expelled from Leask Middle School in Metlakatla in April after bringing a handgun to school.

For the third straight year, the Ketchikan High School girls softball team finished second in the state. Kayhi has now finished second four of the past six years. The Ketchikan boys baseball team finished 4th in the state. Three Ketchikan athletes made the all tournament teams, Leesa Murphy and Felicia Ruaro were selected for softball and Nathan Bonck was tabbed for baseball. Bonck was named the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year.

Ketchikan High School men’s basketball coach Eric Stockhausen was named the state Coach of the Year.

For the first time in more than 30 years, both the boys and girls basketball teams won the Southeast Region and went to the state tournament.

Alex Pihl of the boys team and Eliah Anderson and Alexis Buggerstaff of the girls team were named to the all state team.

The Metlakatla Misschiefs finished second in the state 2A division. Craig High school finished 5th.

The usually nice weather from May through early July caused an algae bloom in Ketchikan waters that turned Tongass Narrows a shade of green that it usually only seen when there is glacial runoff near rivers like the Stikine and the Unuk. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016


Alaska: State Launches Contest to Name New Ferry Boats - Governor Bill Walker called on Alaska students today to help name two state ferry vessels, which are currently being built in Ketchikan after the Alaska Legislature appropriated funding for the projects in the fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2012 budgets. From now until March 15, students between 6th and 12th grade are invited to name the two new Alaska Class ferries, and submit an essay explaining the choice. According to statute, each ferry must be christened after one of Alaska’s 745 named glaciers.

State Launches Contest to Name New Ferry Boats
Alaska Class Ferry
Graphic courtesy ADOT

The two ferries are currently being built at the Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan, and will serve the ports of Haines, Juneau and Skagway – also known as the North Lynn Canal region. Crews began construction on the ferries in the fall of 2014 and are scheduled to be complete their work in 2018.

In the fall of 2014, the Governor’s office announced that Alaska DOT & PF had reached a final agreement to construct two Day Boat Alaska Class Ferries (ACFs) at Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan.

The two Alaska Class Ferries are designed to be 280 feet long, seat up to 300 passengers and have 1060 feet of usable car deck space. Each ferry will feature fully enclosed car decks as well as bow and stern doors for quicker loading and unloading. The modified hull design will greatly improve traveler comfort during rough weather and controllable pitch propellers will allow the operator to maximize maneuverability and efficiency.

The Alaska Class Ferries are being constructed in modules that will be fit together from the hull upward, moving from bow to stern. Progress to date is looking good and can be reviewed at on the 'Our Fleet' page. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2018. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

Ketchikan: Ketchikan man charged with animal cruelty and trespassing - A Ketchikan man faces animal cruelty and criminal trespass charges after allegedly entering a Pond Reef home and beating a dog.

The investigation of the trespasser at a residence on Pond Reef Road by the Alaska State Troopers early Sunday afternoon revealed 43 year old Michael D. Kacenas of Ketchikan had entered a family member’s residence while the homeowner was out of town after being told not to be at the house by that family member.

Troopers received further reports that Kacenas had allegedly injured the homeowner's dog during the incident. According to Alaska Dispatch News, Kacenas repeatedly hit the dog with a baseball bat. The dog was transported to a local veterinary clinic where it was treated and was monitored for 24 hours. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016


jpg Tom Purcell

TOM PURCELL: Modern Men Need to Embrace Their Dads and Granddads - The state of the American male is in shambles, and I cite three pieces of evidence as proof:

Exhibit A: Purses. The modern male eschews a wallet in favor of a high-style satchel — purse — to hold his body spray, hair goop, diary and whatever other junk he thinks he needs to tote around.

Exhibit B: Makeup. Eyeliner for men — "guyliner" — is a growing male trend, as reported in The Washington Post.

Exhibit C: Clothing. As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, "The fashion industry is blurring the line between masculine and feminine ... as men's fashions stretch to include bold floral prints, piping accents and skirts ... ."

Skirts? Hey, men, a little advice: If you ever get caught wearing a skirt, you better be carrying bagpipes.

I'm not certain how the American male has evolved to such a sissified state, but I have a hunch. It dates back 40 years or more, when the feminist movement kicked into high gear.

Yes, feminism brought us many good things. Women deserved equal opportunity and they're doing better than ever these days. But some weren't content with just that. Some wanted to transform the masculine American male.

He is considered closed-minded, archaic, misogynistic and sexist, after all. He has been pressured to get in touch with his feminine side and his feelings.

And, boy, has he responded.

Today, the landscape is polluted with sensitive new-age guys. Touchy-feely guys with soft voices and caring eyes — fellows who get misty at baby showers and clap heartily the first time junior uses the john to go number two.

Well, nuts to that.

Look, men, we need to get hold of ourselves. Women are different from us. It's best that way. It's best that we distinguish ourselves from them in our actions, manner and dress. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Obama Shoots

Editorial Cartoon: Obama Shoots
By Nate Beeler ©2016, The Columbus Dispatch
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Alaska Marine Toll Ferry By Patrick Jirschele - We have to pay to take the Alaska Marine Highway. We pay a toll. The toll for two people and a nineteen foot car from Bellingham to Ketchikan is $1204 or about $1.80 a mile. Ketchikan to Wrangell is $101 or a toll of $2.06 a mile. Wrangell to Petersburg, $3.40 a mile. Petersburg to Juneau about $3.00 per mile. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

letter Supreme Court Reinforces Science-based Salmon Management, Value of Setnet Fishery By Andy Hall - The Alaskan families who comprise Cook Inlet’s century-old East Side Setnet fishery are both elated and relieved that Alaska’s Supreme Court has ruled the anti-setnet initiative unconstitutional. As a result of this decision, hundreds of Alaskan families will go into the new year without the threat of losing our businesses, our incomes, our investments and our way of life hanging over our heads. More important Cook Inlet’s salmon runs will continue to be managed by the principles of conservation and science rather than politics and misinformation. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

letter Four Oblivious Apocalyptic Horsemen By Donald Moskowitz - President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, former Secretary of State Clinton, and Senator Bernie sanders are oblivious to the danger posed by ISIS. - More...
Monday PM - January 04, 2016

letter Ketchikan Board of Education By A. M. Johnson - School Board President Ms. Michele O Brien's letter in retort to Ms. Moran makes one's eyes cross. This writer read Ms. Moran's offerings complete with backup documentation, in addressing Ms. Moran's view of the current school board's activities. Is there some item or part addressed that is incorrect or false? I find in reading the newspaper articles following school board meetings the meeting's news reporting content is woefully lacking in academic content. - More...
Tuesday PM - December 29, 2015

letter U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - Alaskans came together in a year-long effort to provide the first tree from Alaska to stand tall as the “People’s Tree”. The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree currently gracing the West Lawn of our nation’s Capitol traveled over 4,400 miles from the Chugach National Forest by land and sea by the generosity of Alaskans who provided everything from ornaments to cranes to trucks, and many months of their time and care. You can see the labor of love Alaskans shared in the thousands of ornaments on the tree that were made out of recyclable materials and creative flair from people across the state. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

letter RE: Smoke and Mirrors By Michelle O'Brien - In response to the recent letter by Agnes Moran, my question would be: If you are so keenly interested in education, as you seem to have been in the last five years, why have you not run for the Board of Education? - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

letter Fear and loathing in the USA By Norbert Chaudhary - When I last dared to turn on my TV, talking heads were shouting in apocalyptic language that our leaders were destroying our country by wasting time and money on climate change rather than doing everything possible to make us "safe from the terrorists." - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

letter Scorched earth logging By Joseph Sebastian - Last November in Petersburg, Alaska's newest environmental group, "The Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community " [] gave a slide show on the latest industrial clearcut logging now taking place on Sealaska land, state forest land and other land grant interests. The show consisted of images from a recent overflight and Google-Earth satellite overviews of Sealaska lands on the Cleveland Peninsula and P.O.W.'s Election Creek, and other examples .Needless to say, the push by Senator Lisa Murkowski to privatize land from the Tongass National Forest in order to rapidly clearcut and export round logs as fast as possible, was shocking, upsetting and holds dire consequences into the future. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

letter DOI IG to audit possible use of federal funds by State for predator control By Rick Steiner = The U.S, Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Inspector General (IG) announced Monday (attached) that in its upcoming 5-year audit of annual funding provided by DOI to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG), it will address issues raised in a complaint filed last year that Alaska is using federal funds to support its controversial predator control program, in direct violation of federal policy. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

letter Get a Healthy Start to the New Year By Susan Johnson - Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Do a Google search, and you’ll find health related resolutions are among the most common: lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, stop smoking, drink less, watch less TV, reduce stress. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 22, 2015

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