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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

February 09, 2011

Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Saxman Sunrise
Tuesday's sunrise as viewed from Saxman beach looking towards Ketchikan.
Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Ketchikan: Tropical Turtle Strays North to Alaska By Riley Woodford - Dennis Diamond did a double take when he saw the big green sea turtle on the beach near Ketchikan. - Read this ADFG article...

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Alaska: EPA plans scientific assessment of Bristol Bay watershed; Assessment responds to concerns of tribes, businesses, and others about development proposals - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday it will conduct a scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed to better understand how future large-scale development projects may affect water quality and Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery, an extraordinary salmon resource for the United States. EPA initiated this assessment in response to concerns from federally-recognized tribes and others who petitioned the agency in 2010 to assess any potential risks to the watershed. “The Bristol Bay watershed is essential to the health, environment and economy of Alaska,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran. “Gathering data and getting public input now, before development occurs, just makes sense. Doing this we can be assured that our future decisions are grounded in the best science and information and in touch with the needs of these communities. We look forward to working with Alaskans to protect and preserve this valuable resource.”

Opponents of the Pebble Mine last year petitioned the EPA to preemptively block the development. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called Murkowski Monday to tell her the agency was instead commissioning further study of the region.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, commended Environmental Protection Agency officials on their decision to assess the potential impacts of mining and other development projects on the Bristol Bay watershed.  

“The EPA’s decision to withhold judgment on the potential environmental impact of projects, like the Pebble Mine, until all the scientific information has been collected and analyzed is a prudent decision,” Murkowski said. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

Alaska: Pacific Walrus to be Designated a Candidate for Endangered Species Protection - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced yesterday that it has determined that the Pacific walrus warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but an official rulemaking to propose that protection is currently precluded by the need to address other higher priority species. As a result, the walrus will be added to the agency’s list of candidates for ESA protection and its future status will be reviewed annually.

The Service’s determination – also known as a 12-month finding – that sufficient scientific and commercial data exist to warrant protecting the Pacific walrus under the ESA was made after a comprehensive review of the best available scientific information concerning the walrus and the threats it faces. This review found that the walrus is primarily threatened by the loss of sea ice in its arctic habitat due to climate change.

“The threats to the walrus are very real, as evidenced by this ‘warranted’ finding,” said Geoff Haskett, the Service’s Director of the Alaska Region. “But its greater population numbers and ability to adapt to land-based haulouts make its immediate situation less dire than those facing other species such as the polar bear. If we work with Alaska Native groups, the State of Alaska and other partners to help the walrus now, we may be able to lessen the long-term impacts of climate change on these animals and keep them from becoming endangered.” - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011


Fish Factor: New dietary guidelines: Eat seafood at least twice weekly By LAINE WELCH - Fish – It’s what’s for dinner!  For the first time ever, the U.S. government is advising all Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week for heart and brain benefits. The advisory includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services on Jan. 1 released new dietary guidelines as required by Congress every five years. The guidelines serve as the basis for federal nutrition policy, and come at a time when one-third of all U.S. children and over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. 

The new guidelines call for eating at least two servings (8 ounces) of seafood every week, which provide an average of 250 milligrams per day of marine-source omega 3’s that are packed with EPA and DHA.  Health experts say omega-3 deficiency is a leading dietary contributor to preventable deaths, mostly from heart disease.  The average

American now eats about one serving of seafood a week or less. 

What it will mean is new rules for meals served in U.S. prisons, military mess halls and school lunch rooms.  Alaska pollock and canned salmon are included on the USDA food commodities list, which will give them a foothold in all federal feeding programs.

Global fish gobble

Global fish consumption is on the rise, topping 37 pounds per person in 2009.  The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization said it will continue to increase as more people recognize the health benefits of eating seafood.  According to the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report, seafood provides over 1.5 billion people with almost 20 percent of their average intake of animal protein. China is the world’s biggest fish producer, mainly from aquaculture. 

Crab loans comin’

 It has taken six years, but NOAA Fisheries/ Financial Services Branch is finally accepting loan  applications for new entrants in the Bering Sea crab fisheries.

“When I hear six years it makes me cringe,” said Arne Fuglvog, fisheries aide to Senator Lisa Murkowski.

The fisheries agency has authority to lend up to $8 million to eligible  skippers and crew who want to buy into the Bering Sea crab fisheries. The program can finance up to 80% of the cost of purchasing crab quota shares. - More..
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011



Ketchikan: THOMAS BASIN PHASE II FINGER FLOAT REPLACEMENT CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN - The City of Ketchikan Port & Harbors Department has announced that construction on Phase II of the Thomas Basin finger float replacement project will begin on February 21.

Phase II includes replacement of all 18 of the 50-foot finger floats on Float 5, replacement of 36 deteriorated creosote piles with steel piles and replacement of 13 skiff finger floats on Float 1.

Contractor Western Dock and Bridge of Ketchikan plans to remove the old floats the week of February 21, install the new hinge assemblies the week of February 28 and install the new piling and floats during the month of March.

The approximately $876,000 project is being funded by a grant from the Denali Commission. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

Ketchikan: 110 year anniversary of the formation of the Ketchikan Police Department - This Sunday, the Ketchikan Police Department will celebrate 110 years of serving and protecting the citizens of Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Police Department was formed with the adoption of Ordinance #4 on February 13, 1901. The ordinance directed that the Deputy United States Marshal assigned to Ketchikan at that time should be appointed as a local police officer. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011 

Ketchikan: ACS Partners With Volunteer Rescue Squad - The Alaska Communications Systems (ACS) has recently partnered with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) to provide MiFi Mobile Hotspot Technology for their mobile communication vehicle.

Early this year KVRS launched their SPOT emergency beckon loan program and according to Jerry Kiffer of KVRS this technology provided by ACS will allow rescue teams to monitor the location of the rescue beacons directly from the field. Kiffer reports this technology coupled with the SPOT beacons will literally take the search out of search and rescue. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

Ketchikan: Berths I & II Winter Parking Rules - The City of Ketchikan Port & Harbors Department announced that the winter parking rules went into effect Tuesday, February 8.

Parking will be allowed for up to 2 hours or all day with a City of Ketchikan parking permit. Spaces are not marked but users are asked to be courteous and not park in the middle of the dock and block the normal travel lane. A fire safety lane is also marked adjacent to the entrance to Berth II along the east side of Tongass Trading to allow access to Berth III. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

Ketchikan: K-9 Dog will be visiting Ketchikan High School - The Ketchikan Police Department’s K-9 officer will soon be making regular appearances at Ketchikan High School. K-9 officer Booker, accompanied by his handler Officer Devin Miller, will first be at Ketchikan High School on February 14.

This scheduled visit will occur at 3:15 p.m. and will involve Officer Miller and Booker visiting various high school locations for the purposes of training and acclimation. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011



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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696

letter Dungeness Crab By Max Worhatch IV - While I do appreciate Lloyd Gossman's concern about the Dungeness stocks in southeast Alaska, I am appalled by his lack of knowledge on the subject. The commercial Dungeness crab fishery in southeast is the most conservatively managed Dungeness fishery in the world. The coastal dungeness crab fishery in California, Oregon, and Washington starts every year on December first and runs through the thiry first of August. This nine month season is managed by size,sex and season. This means that fishermen only take male crab at the minimum size of 6.25 inches carapace width, during the months that are open. In southeast, we take crab with a minimum carapace width of 6.5 inches, for 60 days in the summer and 60 days in the fall, except for district two, which has a season from October first until Febuary twenty eighth. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letterHalibut, Herring, Ooligan and Salmon By Don Hoff, Jr. - I have been reading the opinions in Sitnews with great interest. The day is going to come when there won't be any kind of fisheries in Southeast Alaska because of greed. I have to agree that the State of Alaska and Federal Government can't manage all Alaska's Nature Resources. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letter RE: Herring in West Behm By Keith Stump - Well said, gentlemen. Once again, Federal (and international) mis-management of Alaska's resources threatens our economy and way of life. Unfortunately, the numbers are not in our favor. Just like herring are at the mercy of whales and international sea lions, Alaskans are at the mercy of Federal and international politics. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letter Re: New Halibut Rules and Regs By Allan R. (Rudy) McGillvray - To Whom it may Concern, (which is all Americans)... these new rules being promulgated by NOAA, and their soupy brothers, strike me as being a "restraint of trade" in addition to being a restraint of friendship. That would fall under "Pursuit of Happiness" which is a God-given right -- not, given by the govt. The govt. who believes that its population needs governing and that its power to do so, rests with said govt. Not as our Constitution says, "The power of the govt. rests with the people, and is given by the people to the govt. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letter Event a poor choice for a poliitcal statement By A.M. Johnson - There are moments in community entrainment that are or should be political free. Being blindsided, even forewarned if that were the case, is not a welcoming aspect when one anticipates joining with other community members which one may not be politically aligned, yet the thread of a community being is when all join for the common purpose of sharing joy. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letter Cell Phone Scam By Susan Hoyt - I am writing this to inform local residents and the elderly who have cell phones that you may find charges on your statement for something you didn't knowingly purchase. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 09, 2011

letterLead by Example By Agnes Moran - Governor Parnell has been emphasizing three recurring themes in his recent speeches; pushing back on unfunded federal mandates, broken promises made at statehood and keeping taxes low to encourage economic growth. I agree with the governor that broken promises and unfunded mandates lead to higher taxes and have a dampening effect on the economy. I have seen first hand the damaging effect these have had on our local economy. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letterFeds Target Resident Sportfishermen By Clayton Moore - The alphabet soup is at it again.  NOAA, NMFS, IPHC, NPFMC, and the BOF through the new Charter Halibut Permit plan have made a direct challenge to our ability to fish for Halibut.  Under new rules, Alaska residents cannot legally share the costs to go halibut fishing without a CHP.  By the NOAA definition: - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter CHP's to hinder unguided sportfishing By Ryan McRobert - Charter Halibut Permits... Not just for charter operators. No matter who you side with, charter or commercial, or you simply like to get out and fish with friends, the new laws will affect you.  As of Feb. 1, 2011 charter operators must have onboard a CHP (charter halibut permit) now required by NOAA.  With much controversy about the permits being forced on the fleet, few saw what the wording would lead to. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Herring in West Behm Canal By Scott Kemp - Thank you Andy Rauwolf, Snapper Carson & Mike Fleenor for your continuing information on the herring issues facing us in Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Enough is enough!! By Jodi Marrow - This is a first for me, and long time over due. I am Kyle Palmers Mother. I am trying to understand why my son is drowning in a political loop hole. Kyle did absolutely nothing wrong, my child was asleep when another young man walked into his apartment while he was sleeping on his couch and was shot in the face with a .280 caliber rifle. His situation is not something that you see everyday or something that anybody should ever see. I was a witness of this unimaginable scene. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter KIC Leadership By Kevin Kristovich - Good job to the KIC membership on changing the election process. Now, we need to get busy and make sure that politics does not play a game in the selection of officers for the Council. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Support Green Bay!! By A.M. Johnson - With the upcoming Super Bowl this weekend the following observation that came to my attention seems timely and worthy of passing on to the general sports minded audience. Sometime the cheese can be binding! - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Owned By Foreign Countries By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Obama Administration is spending our money at unprecedented levels and it is projected to continue for years into the future.  Our annual federal deficit is approaching $1.5 trillion and will probably hit $2 trillion before long. Our national debt is projected to go from $14 trillion now to $25 trillion in five to eight years. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Mark Wheeler By Dave Kiffer - I'm working on a story about Ketchikan artist Mark Wheeler who died in December, but I didn't know him all that well, so I would love to hear any stories you care to share. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Thank You By Traci Davis - We are very fortunate to have a wonderful bike/walk path out here at Mt. Point.... and I just wanted to thank the person(s) that during our snow and ice weather, has kept the path clear. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letter Mike Smithers Pool By James Kase - I use the pool almost every day. I use the weight room and the sauna after doing laps. I'd like to see this facility retained for use as a sports center. - More...
Thursday PM - February 03, 2011

letterRE: Kyle Johansen: Recalling the risks of abdication By Andrew Halcro - Like a modern day scene played out of the current Hollywood blockbuster “The Kings Speech,” Ketchikan Alaska has come face to face with their own royal dilemma. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 01, 2011

letterTHE PLIGHT OF WEST BEHM CANAL By Andy Rauwolf, Snapper Carson & Mike Fleenor - In late March or early April, West Behm Canal is slated for a commercial herring sac roe fishery.  Conducting this fishery in these waters is a travesty and here’s why:  Throughout history the herring in West Behm Canal have provided essential nutrition for halibut, rockfish, marine mammals, a host of sea birds, and especially for the hoards of salmon that spawn in several wild river systems that drain into West Behm Canal.  In the mid 20th century, fishing lodges began springing up and the area became known as “the premier salmon fishing destination” in the world.  To enhance the fishing, a hatchery was added in Neets Bay.  Today it is estimated that between $18 million and $22 million dollars in revenue is generated from sport and commercial fishing from West Behm Canal. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Before we sign Johansen recall petition... By Mike Cruise - Let it be understood that I am no fan of Rep. Johansen. When Kyle chose to run for the Alaska State House I felt that he was too inexperienced for the job. My apprehensions were reinforced by the fact that Kyle had signed on to run against Jim Elkins. Nobody that I am aware of disagreed with Jim Elkins more than I did, but he had earned his House Seat, cared deeply about Ketchikan and had done an honorable job and was respected in Juneau and through out the State. In my mind there was no good reason for Jim to have to fight for the nomination of his own party as he also battled for his life. I questioned the integrity of anyone who would take advantage of an individual in that cruel situation. I still do. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Re: Mike Smithers Pool By Alethea Johnson - How can we form a good opinion without all of the facts? I think it would be helpful for the members of Borough staff who are knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of the Mike Smithers Pool building to meet with interested citizens and brainstorm ideas for its restoration and use as a recreational facility. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Smithers pool By Ed Fry - What to do with the Smithers pool?  Let’s look at what we are spending so far.  The current aquatic project is contracted at $23.5 Million Dollars.  It would be nice if that number was concrete!  With cost over runs, I would bet that we will be more in the upward neighborhood of $27 Million if not higher after the keys are handed over. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Recycling The Pool Building By Makenzie Demmert - There is a great solution to how we should recycle the pool building, that wouldn't be hard at all to remodel. I ve heard it a lot around town and completely agree that Ketchikan should have an indoor skate park. The old pool building would be PERFECT for this! It's in a great location, right next to the school and I know that a TON of kids would get use out of it! Fill up the pools and build some ramps. Then where the weight lifting area is, we could put arcade games (and maybe a snack bar) to generate more income. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter No guts to cut! By A. M. Johnson - Following is an example of what is wrong with Congress and the President. Nobody has the courage to do any actual cutting. They all -- Republicans, Democrats, Lisa, Begich, Young -- talk a good story on the campaign trail and then Bull S- - - the rest of the way. Tea Party elected are included. Nobody wants their ox gored. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Upcoming Community Forum By Karen Eakes - Ketchikan cares about its young people. We want them to be healthy, safe and educated for a productive future. Those that choose to drop out of high school are often making a short-term decision that has long-term consequences for the individuals involved and for their communities. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Annette Island & Ketchikan By Herman Kremkau - I remember my time on Annette Island and how pretty the country was. My work week and my weekends in Ketchikan and how friendly the locals were. Someday I hope to return and show my wife where I lived and worked. - More...
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

letter Problems with crab!! By Don Merriman - I have relatives who intend to visit Alaska this summer, while doing search for a friend who has lived in Alaska for many years I found an article he had written about the waste involved with Crab fisheries. Looks like you have a problem that Sara Palin should have taken care of while she was governor of Alaska. - More... 
Monday PM - January 31, 2011

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