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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 25, 2008

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Fog Blankets Tongass Narrows
Fog is a cloud in contact with the ground, or in this case water. The body of water is the Tongass Narrows and in the background is Pennock Island
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson


Ketchikan: KEA & School District Reach Tentative Agreement - After two-and-a-half days of bargaining, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District and the Ketchikan Education Association Teacher's Union agreed Wednesday night to a tentative three-year deal.

The agreement, which includes a 4% salary increase in each year of the contract, must still be ratified by the Association and approved by the School Board. Other major provisions of the proposed contract include: - More...
Monday PM - February 25, 2008

Ketchikan: COAST GUARD CONTINUES SEARCH FOR OVERDUE MARINERS - The Coast Guard is continuing its search today for two overdue mariners transiting from Juneau to Ketchikan.

The Coast Guard has been searching for the two men since receiving a call from a concerned spouse Friday night. Mike Dunn and Vern McGee left Juneau in the pleasure craft Transition Wednesday, Feb. 20th and were scheduled to arrive in Ketchikan Saturday, Feb. 23rd. The men were scheduled to make contact with Mrs. Dunn daily. She has not heard from the mariners since Wednesday morning.

Rescue helicopters from Air Station Sitka searched the area all day Saturday and Sunday and continue this morning. Staging areas have been set up in Juneau and Ketchikan for the air crews participating in the search. - More...
Monday - February 25, 2008

Ketchikan/POW: 1,725 Required Deer Harvests For 2007 Not Yet Reported - Southeast Alaska hunters who hunted deer in Game Management Units 1 - 5 are being reminded by Wildlife Biologist Larry Dickerson or the Craig Ranger Station that they are required to report their deer hunting harvest. This includes all federally qualified and non-federally qualified hunters who hunted in 2006. Hunters should report their harvests on the Deer Hunting Report Harvest Form which was provided when their Deer Harvest Tickets were received said Dickerson.

Dickerson said, "This week, hunters who have not reported their 2007 deer hunting information should receive another Deer Harvest Report form in the mail." 1,725 deer harvest report forms are being mailed to deer hunters that have not yet reported their 2007 deer hunting harvest.

"Deer harvest information is critical and provides a barometer to develop reliable deer population trends in SE Alaska," said Dickerson. He said as conditions for deer and deer hunters continue to change on Prince of Wales Island and in other areas of SE Alaska, it is essential to have accurate information about the deer harvest, the deer population, conservation concerns, and the level of subsistence use of and need for deer. "Reporting your harvest helps to promote objectives toward managing a healthy and productive deer herd that will continue to provide subsistence and recreational opportunities today and in the future," said Dickerson. - More...
Monday - February 25, 2008

National: Meat plant drew scrutiny years before video - California animal-welfare officers alerted government officials to the inhumane treatment of cows at Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino more than a decade before a recent undercover investigation led to the plant's closure and the largest beef recall in U.S. history, records show.

The Inland Valley Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Pomona investigated 13 cases between 1996 and 2004 -- 11 of them substantiated -- involving Hallmark's treatment of "downer" cows, which are those too sick or injured to stand up or walk on their own.

"It tells you they have a long, ongoing history of not tending to downer animals in a prompt and humane manner," said Brian Sampson, the society's supervisor of animal services. The Inland Valley group provides animal-control services for the city of Chino. - More...
Monday - February 25, 2008

National: McCain dodges bullet, faces fiscal bombshell By ZACHARY COILE - For Arizona Sen. John McCain, it was a week he won't soon forget.

He spent much of it defending himself against charges that he did special favors for a female telecommunications lobbyist, whom his top aide had urged to stay away from the senator.

Then came a warning from the Republican chairman of the Federal Elections Commission that he may not be able to drop out of the presidential public financing system. If he can't, he could be outspent by the Democratic nominee by 10-to-1 -- or more -- before the GOP convention in September. Because of a dispute in the Senate over one of President Bush's nominees to the agency, the FEC lacks a quorum to hear McCain's case.

"It just puts McCain in a pickle," said Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

In the short term, McCain has turned the controversy over a story published in The New York Times to his advantage. But reverberations from the lobbyist story may dog him through the November election. - More..
Monday - February 25, 2008

National: A huge tailwind for Obama as he heads into Ohio, Texas contests By CAROLYN LOCHHEAD - No matter what Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton throws at Sen. Barack Obama, and no matter where she throws it, she has not found a way to stop his relentless accumulation of victories and delegates to secure the Democratic nomination for president.

His wins in Wisconsin and Hawaii hand the Illinois newcomer an unbroken string of 10 victories and a huge tailwind heading into what could be decisive contests in Ohio and Texas on March 4.

With 334 delegates at stake, both are must-wins for the former first lady, even by her own campaign's calculations. "A defeat would be decisive in those states," said Tad Devine, who ran the campaigns of previous Democratic nominees Al Gore and John Kerry. "I think if he wins either one, she has a really hard time explaining why she should be the nominee." - More...
Monday - February 25, 2008


Ketchikan: KYI Holds First Annual Youth Activity EXPO and Potluck - "There's Nothing to Do in Ketchikan, NOT!" was the theme of Ketchikan Youth Initiatives' first annual youth activity EXPO and potluck held on December 13th. Over 100 youth and adults attended to enjoy a potluck, browse the display tables at the Ted Ferry Center, and talk with representatives from the various activities.

Front Page Photo by Kelly Johnson

According to information provided by KYI Youth Advocate Bobbie McCreary, among the local progarams present for the event were the Hot Shots Paintball League; T.A.G. (Teen Advisory Group - Library); Skateboarding; Boys and Girls Club; Tae Kwon Do; Youth Amateur Boxing; Caving; and Youth to Work program. McCreary said presentations were made by each program about the local activities in which youth can join and participate. A skill demonstration was also presented by the Ketchikan-based Tae Kwon Do Club.

Rob Skinner, owner of Skinner Sales & Service and President of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, addressed the audience about how youth can approach local businesses for support for their activities.

Ketchikan Youth Initiatives was formed in 2005 to "empower Ketchikan by empowering our youth". After a year's work a paintball park was opened in May, 2006 with support from the Revilla Island Prevention Coalition, Cellular One, Cape Fox Corporation and untold numbers of community members who donated time, equipment and services to develop the site.

Last year, with the support of AmeriCorps' VISTA, a Youth to Work Job Readiness Program was launched in partnership with the Job Center and the Chamber of Commerce. The Youth to Work Job Readiness Program offers classes for youth between 14 and 24 years of age an opportunity to "bulk up their resume", take a 12 hour soft skills training course and complete a 4 to 6 week work experience program. According to information provided, there are two more Youth to Work Job Readiness classes scheduled this Spring. For more information call 228-3236. - More...
Monday - February 25, 2008



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Basic Rules

letterSmoke detectors save lives By Scott R. Davis - Thank you to Carol Baines for bringing up this very important subject! Smoke detectors are required by law in Alaska as well as Carbon Monoxide alarms under AS 18.70.095. - More...
Monday PM - February 25, 2008

letterMaking Silk Out of Sow's Ears By Jay Jones - The article in Sitnews on Feb.23rd concerning the conviction of James C. Hayes for Theft, Money Laundering, etc, etc, fails to mention that the "grants" in question were actually earmarks. Maybe the lawmaker who submitted the earmarks should have checked on the character of the recipient more thoroughly, even if he was the ex-mayor of Fairbanks. But wait! The lawmaker was The Hon. Ted Stevens! And The ex-Hon James C. Hayes used to work for (and live with) The Hon. (as for now) Ted Stevens. For all we know The ex-Hon James C. Hayes wrote his own earmarks. - More...
Monday PM - February 25, 2008

letter Billary Clobama By Amos Hopkins - Here here to what this last writer just said. And I would like to add that Hillary Clinton has had the same effect on young people as well. - More...
Monday PM - February 25, 2008

letter Perfect Democrat VP Candidate Available! By Mark Neckameyer - There is one man (person?) in the world who would be the ideal Vice President candidate able to run with either Hillary or Obama as he perfectly shares their political philosophies right down the (left) line. Want to guess who? He is a little old but balances the ticket on the age and experience issues, has a long attractive beard and just resigned his old position. Give up? It is Fidel Castro! - More..
Monday PM - February 25, 2008

letter Against Ketchikan Borough Land Grab: Proposed Annexation By Don Hoff Jr. - I am in total support of Sen. Albert Kookesh concerns about Ketchikan Gateway Borough attempts for annexation of 4,000 square miles of uninhabited lands. I am very concerned that annexation will cause further exploitation of all our natural resources that still belong to the Taan ta Kwaan (Sealion People) and the Saan ya Kwaan (Cape Fox People). I will not speak for the Saan ya Kwaan because it is not my place but I will speak for the Gaanax adi Clan of the Taan ta Kwaan. We object to any annexation proposals that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Government is proposing. Annexation of these lands will have major effects on subsistence rights of our people and future land claims that are on-going and owed to us by the Federal Government for future land selections of our people. - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letterAlternative fuel methods By Christopher Lemerond - I agree with Mr.Moon that we we need alternative methods for energy production. Biodiesel, Hydroelectric, and biomass are all good alternatives. These and other methods are the only hope for our future as humanity. The automobile companies buy off and eliminate any threat to their great empire. How long will their influence last? Will there be a day when the people stand together against pollution, rising cost of fuel, and the crippling effect they have on our wallets, and way of life? Many people struggle and worry about how they are going to pay their bills, heat their homes, and get to work this week -- just to turn around and give their hard earned dollars right back. - More....
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Legislative Audit of Gravina Bridge Project By Don Hoff Jr. - This audit is just more wasted taxpayer dollars and time for the dead proposed Gravina Island bridge project in Ketchikan. This audit will only show the citizens how much taxpayer money that has been wasted to the "bridge to no-where". Congress has put a stop to earmarked projects. What is going on now is the road to no-where, a $30 million taxpayer dollars for a road and for what? The environmental impacts on sensitive muskegs, stream crossings, wetlands, fish and wildlife should be a major concern by everybody. I would challenge anybody that these environmental concerns are being violated while being constructed. - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Bridge to Nowhere By Peg Travis - Responding to Senator Stedman's letter requesting an audit of the project, I don't agree the bridge is a top state priority - or if it is - it shouldn't be. There are many higher priority issues. i.e. education, health care, senior's concerns, veteran's care and maintaining roads and existing bridges. - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Barack Obama By Sam Osborne - The candidacy of Barack Obama has excited a whole new generation of previously disinterested young Americans. And though this large and swelling involvement of youth should set Democratic Party members singing Happy Days Are Here Again, a few in the ranks of the regular and older members seem averse to joining the movement and instead expect these young people to temper their idealism and switch allegiance to a candidate of their elders' choosing. - More..
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Don Young's comments By Karen Ramsey - I'm a registered Democrat who's voted for Don Young a couple of times now since residing in Alaska. A couple of comments he made while in Ketchikan recently now have me scratching my head and asking myself why on earth I would have voted for him in the past. These same comments have helped me decide to vote against him in the next election. - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter OF TINHORN DESPOTS AND SIMPLE THINGS By David G. Hanger - This is my last contribution to Sitnews.  I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to present to you several of the interesting cases on which I have worked and my occasional opinions on other subjects, but there has come a calling, and besides the day job that calling will require all my time and energy henceforth.  Grant that one old man cannot begin to clean up the mess that is Alaska politics at all levels, and accept that this old man has sense enough to know that, may it be that others restore checks and balances, integrity, and a functioning two-party (or more) system to this great state.  The tinhorn despots running rampant at all levels of government in this state are becoming both inconveniently expensive and absolutely embarrassing.  Good luck. - More..
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Electricity from trees By Joseph Rene DuPont - Once again I found your article on electricity from trees very interesting. - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Complaints about City Workers By Linda Lingenfelter - In response to Ms. Richardson's 'bashing' City employees during the recent snowfall, the person you are pointing a finger at was one of two persons working on snow-removal that particular Sunday; - More...
Saturday - February 23, 2008

letter Property Tax By Beth Antonsen - According to the article in the Ketchikan Daily News the KGB assessment department was raising property tax at the most 15%. Not so. My mother's assessment went up 30%. At this rate I will have to put the fireplace back in her condo and chop some firewood, build her some window boxes so she can grow her own food and move in with her to help her with expenses. I am afraid to finish fixing my house because I won't be able to live there and afford it once the borough re-assesses that. - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letterBorough assembly decisions By Charles Edwardson - Bronze statues, bowl factories, defunct veneer mills, defunct economic development advisory boards due to no money to run it, higher properties taxes just for the heck of it, oh! And never mind - increased funding for school activities to try to reinforce our kids' connections to this community so they may think twice about leaving this area. - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letter Smoke Alarms By Carol Baines - Regarding smoke detectors: I think that if there are children in the dwelling, it should be against the law to remove the battery from a smoke detector, and the law should be strictly enforced. What's the point of having a smoke detector if it's going to be disabled? - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letterCity taxes and sorry service By Eileen Small - To add to the voice: I have TWO properties in K-kan and get taxed out the you-know-what on both. I have paid all my taxes on both. It wouldn't irk me so much if I saw that I got something for my money. As it stands, the city hasn't picked up my home trash in over a month because the trash truck won't come down my hill and won't sand the hill on which I live so they CAN come down it!! DUHHHHH!!!!! And just generally does less than anywhere I have ever lived for the taxes they charge!!! I know a woman whose Dad retired from the city and she tells me that 10 years ago, the streets were taken much better care of than now. Surprise, surprise! - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letter A job VERY WELL done! Keeping up with the snow. By Bobbie McCreary - I was very impressed with the dedication shown by our governments to work on keeping our roads cleared and our paths safe to travel (as safe as they could given the conditions.) Early in our long stretch of snow and ice I saw City workers clearing sidewalks that did not pass by residences or particular the block of Grant going uphill from the Police Station. - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letterAll neighborhoods don't receive equal services By Lou Ann Richardson - Must be nice to live on Jackson Street during heavy snow fall and have city crews come through hauling out massive amounts of snow and clearing out driveways. I've heard there's at least one city employee who lives on Jackson St., is that what it takes to get the extra effort? - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letterFerry system failures By Ronald Currit - This is a letter I sent to Governor Palin adding my voice to the dissension about the Ferry system.

I would like to take this opportunity to add my voice to the long list of people complaining about the ferry system. - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

letterAlaska Marine Highway By Michael Nelson - I was seriously considering taking my 6 year old daughter to Ketchikan and then out to Craig this coming summer so that she could meet friends and family. Having grown up in Ketchikan, I have been riding on the blue canoes since the days of the Wickersham, so nostalgia was driving my decision to take my daughter to Southeast on the AMHS. Yet, even before I started reading all of the letters regarding the AMHS, I did some date crunching and pricing and frankly realized that the AMHS was narrowing my window of opportunity and also pricing me right out of the trip. - More...
Thursday - February 21, 2008

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