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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Northern Flicker
This Norther Flicker was photographed in the Park Avenue area. They are common visitors to suet feeders and will also eat birdseed. Northern Flickers can be seen yar-round in Ketchikan.
Front Page Photos by JIM LEWIS

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Alaska: Alaska Native Firms Shift Stimulus Work to Outsiders by Michael Grabell and Jennifer LaFleur, ProPublica - When Alutiiq Manufacturing Contractors won a $28 million stimulus contract to replace windows at a federal building in Boston, it wasn't just a win for Alutiiq natives on Alaska's Kodiak Island.

The company, which can obtain large government contracts without competition under a program meant to help Alaska natives, took what's become a common step. It subcontracted out $23 million, or about 80 percent of the project, to a more experienced firm - in Alabama.

Critics of Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) say such pass-throughs increase costs for taxpayers and undermine the intent of the contracting privileges by diverting benefits to non-native firms. ANCs respond that they are simply trying to build the most-qualified team to do the government's work.

ANCs have been under fire by some members of Congress who want to strip them of the special advantages they have over other minority firms. But some key questions have been unanswered in the debate: How often do ANCs use subcontractors? And who is getting a share of their business?

An analysis by ProPublica, drawing on detailed reports of federal stimulus projects, shows for the first time that ANCs turned to subcontractors at twice the rate of all other federal contractors and significantly more often than other small, minority-owned firms.

And at least some of this work has gone to large firms - General Electric, Kiewit and Lockheed Martin - the stimulus reports show, echoing government audits that have fueled the criticism of ANCs.

Through September, ANCs had won stimulus contracts worth $823 million for 742 projects, according to the most recent government data. More than 350 projects, or nearly half, rely on subcontractors to do at least some of the work.

By comparison, all other stimulus contractors subcontracted more than 5,600 of nearly 26,000 stimulus projects, or 22 percent. Other minority-owned firms hired subcontractors on 33 percent of their projects.

ProPublica's analysis is based on government data compiled for our Recovery Tracker, an ongoing project to follow stimulus spending. The data offer a previously unavailable window into ANC activity because Congress specifically required stimulus recipients to report subcontractors to the public, unlike the rules governing other federal contracts.

ANCs receive more than $5 billion in federal contracts each year, so the stimulus projects account for a significant share of their revenue. Because subcontracting data isn't available for other contracts, it's possible that the overall subcontracting ratio for ANC projects could be different.

After reviewing ProPublica's findings, Scott Amey, a contracting expert at the Project on Government Oversight, said the lack of complete subcontracting data is a barrier. At a minimum, Amey said, the analysis "raises a red flag with ANC contracts." - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011


Ketchikan - Craig: Upcoming Town Hall Meetings on Sealaska Land Exchange Legislation Announced - The latest round of informational meetings to gather public comment on the Sealaska lands bill was announced today by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

The meetings are set during the President’s Day congressional recess for Feb. 21-22 in Ketchikan and Craig on Prince of Wales Island. McKie Campbell, staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Republican staff, will be on hand to discuss the latest draft of the proposed land exchange.

• Ketchikan – Monday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ketchikan Borough Assembly Chambers on Whitecliff Drive.

• Craig – Tuesday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Craig High School Auditorium.

Murkowski pointed out that the bill language being released for comment is still in the drafting stage and may undergo further changes before being introduced in the 112th Congress.

“Given the comments on the Sealaska bill last fall, it’s clear that some additional changes in the bill are needed,” Murkowski said. “Releasing this draft now, before introduction, is designed to renew discussion about a bill that I still firmly believe deserves to be adopted by Congress before the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.” - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

Ketchikan: UAS Ketchikan Campus Director Candidates Community Presentations - UAS Ketchikan Campus Director Search Committee invited three candidates to Ketchikan the week of February 21, 2011. Of those three, Dr. John Garmon withdrew his application for Campus Director due to personal reasons.

The public is invited to meet the final two candidates and offer their written opinions and recommendations to the Search Committee following each of the two Community Presentations by the candidates.

The presentations will be held in the UASK Campus Library, located at 2600 Seventh Avenue on the following days and times:

Monday, February 21, 4:00 PM – Dr. Fredrick W. Smith
Friday, February 25, 4:00 PM – Dr. Anthony Mansueto

Each of the two candidates will offer a brief introduction and answer questions from the participants. These presentations will be an informal setting and will give the community the opportunity to meet and interact with each candidate. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011



Columns - Commentary

Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Why We Need Romance - We sure could use some more romance right about now -- particularly among our younger people.

I speak of the debate surrounding "Skins," the latest provocative MTV show. It portrays teens indulging in illegal drugs, booze and "hooking up."

Many argue that the show elevates deviant behavior -- that it will encourage highly impressionable teens to mimic what they see.

Others argue that today's teens are grappling with a lot of these issues in real life -- that the show helps showcase the dangers of such behaviors.

Such programming is bound to occur in a free, open society with a massive mass culture and several hundred cable-TV channels in competition with each other.

Freedom opens the floodgates for everything that is not so good in the human heart -- greed, dishonesty, salaciousness -- but it also opens the floodgates for everything that is good in the human heart, such as generosity and selflessness and integrity.

And romance.

In our loud, over-sexualized culture, I feel that young people are being cheated. They're being taught everything about biological functions, but know so little about our higher functions -- so little about romance.

We humans have two natures, in a manner of speaking.

We're part animal, to be sure. We're a few links away from monkeys -- at least most of us are! But don't we also have hearts, souls, minds and spirits?

Our lower nature is biological and clinical. It is the one so often celebrated in the popular culture.

Our popular culture does its best to keep our lower nature, our animal part, in a constant state of agitation and overdrive.

When our biological side is inflamed, all we think about are animal things, such as booze and sex and indulging our physical needs.

MTV might call this "realistic" and kids might think such a show is "hip," but what it is mostly about, in my opinion, is provocative programming designed to exploit young, impressionable kids. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011



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

letter Herring along the West Coast By Ernie Koepf - I am writing to echo the sentiments expressed by Jennifer Castle regarding mangement of herring stocks. Her depiction of a 12% harvest of herring reflect management policies along the entire West Coast. Here in California we harvest between five and ten percent of the estimated biomass. The Pacific Herring Model drafed by the PFMC states that 'overfishing ' does not occur unless the harvest ratio exceeds 25%. All herring fisheries along the West Coast are well under that mark, by far. There are documents from studies done in the Canadian fisheries from DFO that suggest that clupea harengus (pacific herring) are part of a larger 'megapopulation' that will oportunisticly choose the spawning habitat of that years returning brood stock. This is significant; DFO tagging studies have seen tagged herring stray up to 800 kilometers, essentially switching spawn site selection by a wide margin! - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

letter Native fisheries By Randy Williams - Alaska Fisheries, Why, Why, Why, I have written several letters over the years bemoaning the fact that we the Alaska Natives have let the non-Indian run State governing agencies destroy our food source. I have often said our culture is based on our ability to preserve our food and prepare it like our grandparents and their parents have since we were of the people. Oh, how much we have lost. I have often said the Tribes in the lower forty eight do not face this same dilemma because they control and preserve their hunting and fishing rights. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

letter RE: Our Healthy Fisheries By Jim Bacon - I am writing to express my appreciation to Jennifer Castle for the excellent job she did outlining the issues concerning the West Behm Canal herring fishery.  I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't try. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

letterRE: Dungeness Crab By Andy Guiliano - As a longtime California dungy fisherman, I couldn't agree more with Mr. Worhatch's commentary. West Coast Dungeness management has undergone very little change, and yet remains one of the few productive/profitable fisheries without severe regulatory issues. Inspite the absense of a "Commission", "Czar" or "Commitee", SSS (sex, size and season) has proved to be a remarkably effective way to manage dungeness. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 20

letter Underage Smoking/ Adults who purchase them cigarettes By Vanessa Ohlson - To those adults (19 years and older- you know who you are!), please do not buy cigarettes for our youth. I have recently become aware that some of our youth are asking "adults" to purchase them cigarettes as they walk into a convenience store or supermarket. "Hey man will you buy me a pack of cigarettes? Here is $10.00 you can keep the change." Please don't do this? Please refuse to purchase cigarettes for our youth. Tell them NO! - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

letter Our Gratitude By Norman and Charlotte Poirier - Thank You is not enough. Our gratitude to the Ketchikan Police Department Officers, the Firefighters and Building Inspector Thomas Joseph. You saved our home. You showed professionalism and care. God bless you all in what ever job you need to do. - More...
Monday PM - February 14, 2011

letter Our Healthy Fisheries By Jennifer Castle - I am concerned about the ominous language and false claims in the recent viewpoints that call to close West Behm Canal to herring fishing forever. - More...
Friday PM - February 11, 2011

letter West Behm Canal Herring: The Rest of the Story By Ron Porter - I am writing in response to Andy Rauwolf, Snapper Carson & Mike Fleenor's misguided, ill-informed opinions with no scientific data to support them concerning the West Behm Canal herring fishery. - More...
Friday - February 11, 2011

letter BUSH LITE: An Open Letter to the President of the United States By David G. Hanger - You give a good speech, Mr. President, sound on occasion like Martin Luther King morphing into JFK, on other occasions like Moses on the mount, but as President of the United States, at least to date, you suck. I say this to you not as one of your historical detractors, but rather as one of your avid supporters, and I admit I wonder at what I have been supporting. - More...
Friday - February 11, 2011

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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