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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
January 20, 2020

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Alaska: Alaska Legislature Not To Blame for Alaska Marine Highway Woes - Senator Bert Stedman, (R-Southeast Islands), expressed disappointment last week with comments made by Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) officials casting blame on the Legislature for the Alaska Marine Highway System’s (AMHS) current fiscal challenges during last Wednesday’s Marine Transportation Advisory Board (MTAB) meeting. 

“It was disappointing to hear Department of Transportation officials try to pass the blame for the Alaska Marine Highway System’s current woes onto the Legislature,” said Sen. Stedman. “The administration’s proposed budget for the current fiscal year would have stopped all service on September 30, 2019. This was an elimination budget that would have led to the system’s demise.” 

Sen. Stedman asked DOT to provide scenarios to keep the marine highway in operation. Those scenarios varied on the amount of state funding and provided different levels of service. As the legislative session progressed, those scenarios were refined.

Stedman's office held many meetings with Alaska Department of Transportation leadership and Alaska Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials, in addition to several public hearings held at the subcommittee level and in the full finance committee. Sen. Stedman also met with fellow legislators, marine highway employees, and concerned Alaskans.

Sen. Stedman negotiated directly with administration officials with three things in mind:

  • The importance of the AMHS to Coastal Alaskans – their livelihoods, their businesses, their economies, their way-of-life;
  • The administration’s proposed budget and the veto power; and that
  • Some service is better than no service – that is, keep the system operating at some level for the full fiscal year.

Sen. Stedman said he was told on-the-record that the additional $45 million in unrestricted general funds he negotiated would provide 289 weeks of service compared to the 85 weeks of service in the administration’s proposal. - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

Alaska: Gov. Dunleavy Establishes Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group -  Friday, through Admin Order 313, Governor Mike Dunleavy established the Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group. The purpose of this group is to make recommendations regarding future finance and service levels for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) with the goal to reduce the state’s financial obligations to a sustainable level.

“Using the resources of the Reshaping Study, the public, the three Advisory Boards, and their own personal knowledge and experience, I believe the recommendations of this Work Group will produce a balanced perspective for the future of the AMHS,” said John MacKinnon, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities.

The Work Group will consist of eight members and a chair, appointed by the governor, who will serve without compensation but will be reimbursed for travel and meeting expenses. Recommendations from the Work Group will be completed by Sept. 30, 2020, with the goal to begin implementation in FY 2023.

The Work Group members will be: - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

Alaska: Alaska Firefighter Line of Duty Death; A Willow Fire Department Firefighter Died En Route to Incident -  Early Sunday morning, the Willow Fire Department reported a firefighter fell unconscious at mile 70 of the Parks Highway during a response to an incident. Numerous first responders assisted at the scene while life saving measures were attempted. Unfortunately, Firefighter Roger Delongchamp, age 66 of Willow, succumbed at approximately 0310 hours.  

“Rose and I were saddened to hear of the loss of Roger this morning and we hope all Alaskans will join us in praying for his family, friends, and fellow first responders during this difficult time,” said Governor Michael Dunleavy. “It’s the brave work of firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement like Roger Delongchamp that keep our state safe. On behalf of all Alaskans I want to thank Roger for his service to our great state.”

In honor of Firefighter Delongchamp, Governor Dunleavy has ordered state flags to fly at half-staff on the day of his memorial service, which has yet to be announced by his family.

“It is with a very heavy hearts that we received the news of Roger’s death. We will keep his family, friends and colleagues in our prayers as we all grieve this tremendous loss,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “It takes someone special to spend their life serving their country and then to continue service after that by becoming a firefighter in their community.” - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020


Alaska: Governor To Participate in Roundup Mining Conference in B.C. - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and members of his Cabinet will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia this week to participate in the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) British Columbia’s Roundup Conference. AME’s annual Roundup Conference brings together more than 6,500 people and is a driving force for mineral exploration in the Pacific Northwest regions of Canada and the United States.

“I am looking forward to meeting with investors at next week’s mining conference in Vancouver and highlighting the benefits of investing in Alaska,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Alaska has impressive geology and indeed some of the best mineral deposits in the world. I want to assure companies that we are open for business and that under my leadership, we are working to foster attractive policies that encourage mineral development, while at the same time protecting the environment with some of the world’s most robust environmental protections. We take pride in that.”

Governor Dunleavy plans to meet with mining companies and investors exploring and operating worldwide, sharing his vision of growth for the future of Alaska’s mining industry. In addition, he will explore the exhibit hall and attend the Alaska Night event on Wednesday evening, where he will deliver remarks to the industry.  - More....
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

Alaska: New wage disclosure legislation introduced to strengthen Alaska’s hiring process – Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) has pre-filed the “Wage Disclosure Act” for consideration by the Alaska Legislature. 

House Bill 200 would require employers to include wage or salary ranges when advertising jobs, explicitly allowing all employees to disclose and discuss their wages. The bill would also prohibit employers from asking for an applicant’s wage history or using it as a basis for future wages or benefits without an applicant’s voluntary consent.

“This bill is good for employers because the information will help limit applicants to only those truly interested in a position, and it’s good for employees because it establishes expectations for the new position, without any reference to a previous job,” Representative Tarr said.

Tarr said, “When employers only list phrases such as ‘depending on experience,’ all applicants are at a disadvantage as they won’t know if it is worth investing time and effort to apply for a job. This especially harms women and minorities who have historically been underpaid.”

The Alaska Department of Labor reports that women in Alaska earn an average of 72 cents for every dollar that men earn, less than the national average of 80 cents. National data shows the disparity is greater with black women, who earn 64 cents for every dollar a man earns, and Hispanic women who earn 56 cents for every dollar. Women in Alaska make up a larger percentage of workers in occupations requiring postsecondary education, but men earn more at every level. A system that bases future wages on past wages perpetuates this pay gap. - More...
Monday PM - January 20, 2020  


Alaska: University of AK Board of Regents approves tuition increase, sets aside $1.5 million for student financial aid - The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted to increase the amount undergraduate students pay for college tuition by 5 percent beginning in fall semester 2020, but directed the administration to invest $1.5 million of tuition revenue to financial aid for students at each university. The UA tuition rate remains well below the tuition rates at most universities in the west.

Graduate student and non-resident tuition was not increased. 

“Our goal is to ensure that we have a sound university and have considered how the tuition increase will affect our students and that goal,” said Chair Sheri Buretta. “We care deeply about our students and want to make sure those in need have access to adequate financial aid.”

UA President Jim Johnsen told regents that a 5 percent increase in tuition could generate as much as $7 million in additional revenue but noted that the amount is not guaranteed because it assumes current enrollment holds next year. 

The board was scheduled to vote on the tuition increase at its November 2019 meeting, but delayed the decision so that each university leadership team could talk with and collect input from students. 

In other business, regents heard from the university chancellors on their progress to meet current fiscal year 2020 reductions and plans for additional budget reductions in fiscal year 2021. They also heard from each university on strategies and initiatives to increase enrollment and contribute to increased student success at Alaska’s universities. 

The board unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the late Dr. Alan Boraas, longest serving professor at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) and renowned anthropologist, for his accomplishments and service to the university. Dr. Boraas passed away Nov. 4. Regents discussed his many contributions to Alaska, to KPC and to the people of the Kenai Peninsula. - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

Front Page Feature Photo By BLANDINE JIRSCHELE

Rock Pinnacle Blasting Barge
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Fish Factor: Payments Soon To Be In Hand for Alaska Fisherment Hurt by 2016 Pink Salmon Run Failure By LAINE WELCH - It’s been a long time coming but payments should soon be in hand for Alaska fishermen, processors and coastal communities hurt by the 2016 pink salmon run failure, the worst in 40 years. The funds are earmarked for Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik, Lower Cook Inlet, South Alaska Peninsula, Southeast Alaska and Yakutat.  

Congress ok’d over $56 million in federal relief in 2017, but the authorization to cut the money loose languished on NOAA desks in DC for over two years. 

The payouts got delayed again last October when salmon permit holders, who share the biggest chunk at nearly $32 million, were finally able to apply to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for their checks.  

But when it was discovered that the way in which the payouts were calculated was badly flawed, the PSMFC put on the brakes.  

“There was a big snafu because a lot of the crew was under reported by the skippers. So Pacific States said that until everything gets squared away, no one is going to get any checks,” said Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) who has been watchdogging the payouts since the ink fishery was declared a disaster. 

“That was just not acceptable,” Stutes said, quickly crediting leadership at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game for coming up with a better solution.  

 “With the help of Commissioner Vincent-Lang and Deputy Commissioner Rachel Baker we worked with the Commission and they agreed to send out checks to those individuals who they had no questions about,” Stutes explained, adding that checks should be in the mail by mid-February. “And they are going to send out letters to individuals they do have questions about to give them an opportunity to immediately reply rather than wait till the appeal period.”

 About 1,300 salmon permit holders are eligible for payments, according to the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.  “In terms of eligible crew, we can only report the number of crew names submitted on CFEC permit holder applications because no data are available on crew fishery participation. Pacific States received applications from about 850 CFEC permit holders that listed about 2,000 crew names,” said ADF&G in a statement to Stutes’ office, adding:  “We are working to try and follow up with CFEC permit holders that did not submit applications to try and maximize the distribution of payments.”

Alaska pink salmon processors will split nearly $18 million in disaster relief funds. 

“They are trying to figure out how to pay their employees and what employees qualify,” she said. “So, it’s finally moving after three and a half years.”

$2.4 million in disaster funds is set aside for municipalities and nearly $4 million will go to pink salmon research - $450,000 to Kodiak’s Kitoi Bay Hatchery for its Saltwater Marking Sampling project; $680,000 to the Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring Survey to help with pink salmon forecasting; and $2.5 million to the Alaska Hatchery Research Project that since 2010 has studied interactions of hatchery and wild salmon in Prince William Sound and Southeast. 

Fishery disasters also were declared for the 2018 cod collapse in the Gulf of Alaska and the sockeye salmon failure at Chignik. Recipients should fare better if Congress approves a bill introduced last week by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). The bipartisan bill, called Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act (Fishery FUNDD Act), would improve the federal fishery disaster process and set a strict timeline for payout of funds.

As Rep. Stutes readied for Juneau for the January 20 start of the legislative session, she said she was “optimistic.” 

“I feel like the people of Alaska have sent a message to the administration and I’m hoping the administration will be a little more willing to interact with the legislature,” she said. “That was a big stumbling block last year. We did not have much communication between the administration and the legislature. And you just don’t get anything done when you have such a divided body. I’m optimistic that we can come together as a unit and protect Alaskans.” 

As chair of the fisheries committee Stutes said a top priority will be ensuring a robust ADF&G budget.

“When you cut the Fish and Game budget, you’re cutting revenue to the state,” she said.

In terms of fishery measures left over from last session, Stutes said a goal is to pass a bill (HB 35) that resolves conflict of interest protocols for the state Board of Fisheries.  

“When you have a board member who has expertise in a certain area and is conflicted out and can’t even express his knowledge to other board members, what’s the point of having him on the board?” she explained. “This bill will allow them to participate in the conversation but will not allow them to vote on the issue. We’ve been trying to change this for 14 years and this is the closest we’ve come.” 

Another Stutes bill (HB 185) aims to rewrite the 2018 Derelict Vessel Act to exempt boats already licensed with the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. The new law requires that owners of all boats over 24 feet register in person at a DMV, including those already documented by the US Coast Guard. 

“That’s kind of a double whammy for individuals who already have registered through the CFEC. It’s a duplication of information,” Stutes explained.  “The idea is not to create additional revenue for the state, but to create a data base so they have access to ownership to vessels that are in Alaska waters.” - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020



Alaska - National: USMCA Passes Senate; Heads to President's Desk for Signing Into Law; Includes Significant Benefits for Alaskans Says Sullivan By MARY KAUFFMAN - In 2016, candidate Donald J. Trump made a promise that was familiar to voters across America: He would do away with the job-killing NAFTA if elected President and replace it with a better deal for American workers, businesses, and customers.

The trade agreement, which has now been approved by both chambers of Congress with unprecedented bipartisan support, 89-10 in the Senate and 385-41 in the House, will replace the job-killing, huge failure NAFTA – fulfilling a core promise the President made to the American people. USMCA, which the President successfully negotiated over a year ago, rebalances trade between the three countries and will lead to significant economic and job growth in the United States.

Republicans and Democrats alike had long criticized NAFTA for its weak labor and environmental provisions, among other flaws. Many promised to scrap it and push for new negotiations with Canada and Mexico. “NAFTA’s shortcomings were evident when signed and we must now amend the agreement to fix them,” then-candidate Barack Obama pledged in 2008, the year he was elected President.

This new agreement is a landmark victory for American working- and middle-class families. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that within 5 years, USMCA could add up to $235 billion in new economic growth - and 589,000 jobs - to the U.S. economy. Just as important, the deal will put in place the strongest and most comprehensive labor protections of any trade agreement in American history.

The President keeps delivering on his signature campaign promises. Just last week, he joined the Vice Premier of China to sign a historic Phase 1 deal that addresses Beijing’s unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft.

Last week, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted in support of USMCA, a trade pact which modernizes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“As an economy that depends on exporting our rich natural resources to global markets and leveraging our geostrategic location as a significant hub for the global air cargo industry, Alaska relies on strong international frameworks for free trade,” said Senator Murkowski.

 “Fair trade with Mexico and Canada supports millions of American jobs. The USMCA is a pro-growth trade pact that will deliver trade certainty, create new jobs, and increase economic development here in the U.S. It has the potential to benefit all of America, including Alaska, and to enable our nation to provide needed goods and services competitively for our largest trade partners. I was happy to support the President’s USMCA and look forward to more agreements that strengthen international trade and boost our economy,” said Murkowski.

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) released a prepared statement last Thursday after voting in support of the USMCA trade deal, which he says has significant benefits for Alaska.

“On the heels of the signing of the first phase of the U.S.-China trade agreement - which contained positive news for Alaska fishermen - the Senate [Thursday] passed yet another critical trade agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, with even more positive news for Alaska."

Sullivan said, "The USMCA, which constitutes an updated NAFTA, is the most significant change to North American trade policy in nearly 30 years. It will strengthen our country’s farmers, manufacturers, small businesses and, importantly, Alaska fishermen. Because of a provision I was able to get signed into law in 2016 mandating that fisheries be a principal negotiating objective in all future trade agreements, the USMCA features an entire chapter on fisheries, including phasing out subsidies, combatting illegal fishing, prohibitions on certain vessels and operations, and reducing and removing tariffs.” - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 20202



MICHAEL REAGAN: Another Democrat 'Bombshell' Bombs - You’re excused if you didn’t hear about the latest impeachment “bombshell” that exploded in the media last Wednesday.

Last Wednesday, after all, was a really crowded big-news day.

It was the super-duper historic day when Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats finally got their act together and solemnly paraded over to the Senate to present their articles of impeachment against the president.

It was also the day President Trump signed Phase 1 of the long-awaited and hard-fought U.S.-China trade deal – a historical event the fair-and-balanced reporters at CNN and MSNBC apparently didn’t notice.

And wasn’t it last Wednesday night when the Democrats held their last debate on CNN before the Iowa caucuses?

Really? It was Tuesday night? You could have fooled me. I only watched for a few minutes. It was all I could stand.

I remember hearing something the next day about Bernie and Liz caught on an open mic accusing each other of having called each other a liar. - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020


TOM PURCELL: George Washington's Ignored Example - Have I benefited from nepotism and cronyism? Sure. But at least I feel guilty about it.

Nepotism, says Dictionary.com, is “patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics.”

The concept is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

The Hill reports Chelsea Clinton reaped a $9 million stock gain since 2011 by sitting on a corporate board controlled by her mother’s rich friend, Barry Diller.

Corporate board members are supposed to be chosen for experience and skills. Since the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law, they must meet stringent requirements.

Perhaps Chelsea’s academic achievement and Wall Street work experience meet those requirements. But it’s also true that her mother, who was secretary of State when Chelsea was appointed, is good friends with the media mogul who runs the company that made Chelsea rich.

That’s how things work in Washington, where children of the rich and powerful become rich and powerful because their parents have influence – and it has nothing to do with political party.

The Trump White House is full of family members holding positions of power.

No small number of children of Trump friends and supporters, reports The Daily Beast, have found their way into cushy government jobs and appointments.

If only President Trump and other political leaders followed the example set by our first president. - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

jpg Political Cartoon: The Senate Oath

Political Cartoon: The Senate Oath
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jpg Opinion

AMHS Reshaping Draft Report By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the long awaited for report on the future status of the Alaska Marine Highway System, I first was furious at the content as I thought of the thousands of dollars spent on this result.

Early, I mentioned to a local retired ferry system Master that a few of the retired and active Captains of the system sitting down at the Pioneer Café over coffee and home baked goodies from hostest "Libby", would have produced on the back of a napkin, a better outcome. - More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

jpg Opinion

A Partisan Impeachment, a Profile in Courage By Vice President Michael R. Pence - The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is accepting nominations for its annual “Profile in Courage” award. The award recognizes “a public official . . . at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit” of President Kennedy’s 1956 book by the same name. It tells the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking unpopular stands for the good of the country.

As the U.S. Senate takes up a purely partisan impeachment, and the mainstream media focuses on what Republican senators may do, it may be timely to consult Kennedy’s definition of political courage and why he considered one statesman in particular worthy of admiration.

The sixth chapter of JFK’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book tells the story of Sen. Edmund G. Ross of Kansas, who, in the view of one historian Kennedy cites, performed “the most heroic act in American history.” That deed holds important lessons for our own time. Ross won Kennedy’s esteem by defying his own party’s effort to oust a sitting president.- More...
Monday AM - January 20, 2020

jpg Opinion

Think for yourself By Mike Holman - "No man ever steps in the same river twice." Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 500 BC) Heraclitus was known for using riddles to provoke his listeners into thinking for themselves. Plato later explained " you cannot step twice into the same stream . . . everything changes and nothing remains still ..."

Ketchikan is changing. When was it not? Fishing, ever important, has had its ups and downs. Timber, the pulp mill, oil, the shipyard, the ferry system . . .

The cruise ships started out small in small numbers. Now they are big, getting bigger and coming in greater numbers. At first the ships were greeted. Now, not so much.

Through it all Ketchikan has prospered. It enjoys services and amenities far beyond other towns our size. For a time oil paid the bill. Now what? We did not pay for all these things in cash. There is a mortgage with payments due for years to come.

Fishermen cannot bear this burden alone. It is a debt which must be borne by those who are still working. Who will employ them? Where will the money come from?
Ketchikan is now more dependent on the ships than it wants or should be. Bemoan and deny it at your peril. The ships did not create all this debt but some demand they must pay for it nonetheless. Must they? It’s not their house. They live in a motor home and find work traveling from place to place. As long as the pay is good they will stay. When it’s not they will move on and maybe build a home or two of their own somewhere else. Then what? Back to timber, oil, or maybe a big mine at Quartz Hill or Bokan Mountain? Will it be enough? - More...
Thursday AM - January 16, 2020

jpg Opinion

Let’s Restore Alaska’s Tradition of Open Primary Elections By Sen. Lesil McGuire & Jeremy Gruber - In 1947, with Alaska well on the road to statehood, voters overwhelmingly adopted a blanket open primary by referendum. They confirmed the beliefs that every Alaskan deserves the right to vote and choose among every candidate, and that politicians are accountable directly to the people, not the parties.

When partisans pushed to enact closed primaries in the early nineties, the Alaska State Legislature responded with a bipartisan resolution in support of open primaries, stating:

WHEREAS Alaskans have a proud tradition of freedom and independence and reflect that tradition in the manner in which they exercise their franchise; and whereas in excess of 55 percent of all registered voters in Alaska have chosen not to affiliate with an organized political party; and whereas this tradition is reflected in the open primary system; and whereas among the stated goals of closing primaries are strengthening parties and providing greater party discipline, both of which run counter to Alaska voting traditions.

The blanket open primary system worked. It was popular. Every Alaskan had equal voting rights and could vote for the candidates of their choice, regardless of party. It was a central feature of Alaskan politics for over 50 years and when partisans attempted to invalidate it in the courts, the system was affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court in O'Callaghan v. Alaska, aptly stating that:

In Alaska, where a majority of voters are not affiliated with any party, a closed or partially-closed primary system can plausibly be viewed as bestowing on a minority of the electorate a disproportionately powerful role in the selection of public
officeholders. If political parties and politically affiliated voters are to have more power in the election process that is power taken from unaffiliated voters. - More...
Thursday AM - January 16, 2020

jpg Opinion

Recall 2020: Alaskans scale up to make history By Joe Usibelli Sr., Vic Fischer, Arliss Sturgulewski - Alongside more than 49,000 Alaskans who signed the recall application, we’re celebrating a major development in our historic, bipartisan movement to remove Governor Dunleavy from office. As we expected, the Superior Court has approved our grounds to recall the Governor. This means we now advance to the Petition Phase, or second signature gathering phase, that will allow Alaskans to head to the ballot box and answer one simple question: should Governor Michael J. Dunleavy be recalled?

When we agreed to co-chair Recall Dunleavy, we knew it would be no easy feat. Only two governors have ever been successfully recalled in the history of our country. Fortunately, Alaskans are not deterred by hard work, and our legal grounds have been strong from the start. Deeply committed volunteers across the state will soon have official booklets in hand to start collecting petition signatures from a minimum of 71,252 qualified, registered voters.

Governor Dunleavy’s broken promises, violations of the Constitution and laws, and broadly dangerous policy decisions have shattered Alaskans’ trust. Dunleavy’s severe and irresponsible approach to governing caused tremendous harm to Alaska in 2019 and he would’ve caused much greater harm but for the intervention of the Legislature, which undid many of his most harmful actions. Many Alaskans are only now beginning to suffer the consequences of avoidable yet widespread economic uncertainty and the impacts of proposed policies from a chaotic, troubling first year in office.

As leaders who have dedicated our lives and careers to building Alaska’s economic and legal institutions, we take seriously our commitment to protecting the communities of Alaskans who live here today, along with their children and future generations. - More...
Thursday AM - January 16, 2020

jpg Opinion

Working both sides By Charlie Freeman - There was a Ketchikan Daily News story recently that reports one council member as saying that, concerning the RFP on the Ports, "what’s wrong with getting more information”, and that led me to wonder just how many Council Members believe that is really all their looking for. 

In my experience, information is why you hire a consultant, and that consultant should be acting for you, and you alone.   Turns out that neither the information statement, nor the consultant conception are true. 

What is true is that the RFP is a flat out business  proposal and that our so-called, consultant, by his own public  disclosure, is working both sides of the street.  - More...
Saturday PM - January 11, 2020

jpg Opinion

Oversite and management of our docks By Ken Duckett - As a growing number of folks in the greater Ketchikan area are aware, the Ketchikan City Council is considering contracting out the oversite and management of our docks, berths 1 thru 4, to a private company for up to 30 years. I believe the main reason they are considering this is that they see the need to increase the capacity of the individual berths in order to accommodate the new larger cruise ships and to improve some downtown areas to better handle the additional passengers they would bring. These improvements would have a significant cost and the Council doesn’t believe the citizens of Ketchikan would support another bond issue. Frankly, I think they are correct. The visitor industry is a very important part of our economic fabric, but the ever increasing numbers of tourists is threating to, or already has begun to change the quality of life that year-round residents enjoy and value. I oppose the city implementing any such management contract for our port facilities for the following reasons: - More...
Sunday PM - January 05, 2020

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