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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 24, 2011

Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

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Jan. - Feb. 2011
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Alaska: Oldest Subarctic North American Human Remains Found By MARMIAN GRIMES - A newly excavated archaeological site in Alaska contained the cremated remains of one of the earliest inhabitants of North America. The site may provide rare insights into the burial practices of Ice Age people and shed new light on their daily lives.

Oldest Subarctic North American Human Remains Found

Skylar Chase stands with her grandmother, Healy Lake Traditional Council First Chief Joann Polston, as she looks at remains and artifacts from the Upward Sun River site during a private meeting between UAF archaeologists Ben Potter and Joel Irish and residents of Healy Lake, a nearby Native community. UAF researchers and tribal groups, including the Healy Lake Traditional Council, have collaborated on work at the site.
Photo by Maureen McCombs, University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks archaeologist Ben Potter and four colleagues published their discovery in the Feb. 25 edition of the journal Science.

The skeletal remains appear to be that of an approximately three-year-old child, found in an ancient fire pit within an equally ancient dwelling at the Upward Sun River site, near the Tanana River in central Alaska. Radiocarbon dating of wood at the site indicates the cremation took place roughly 11,500 years ago, when the Bering Land Bridge may still have connected Alaska and Asia. Initial observations of the teeth by UAF bioarchaeologist Joel Irish provide confirmation that the child is biologically affiliated with Native Americans and Northeast Asians.

The apparent age of the remains from the site, researchers said, would certainly make them the oldest human remains found in northern North America as well as the second-youngest Ice Age child on the continent.

The find is also notable because archaeologists and Alaska Natives are working hand-in-hand to ensure the excavation and subsequent examination of the remains will benefit science and heritage studies in a way that is respectful of traditional Athabascan culture.

“This site reflects many different behaviors never before seen in this part of the world during the last Ice Age, and the preservation and lack of disturbance allows us to explore the lifeways of these ancient peoples in new ways,” said Potter.

Both the burial and the house itself are the earliest of their kind known in subarctic North America, according to the researchers. Discovery of burial sites of this age in North America is very rare; the buried remains of children are even more so. - More...
Thursday - February 24, 2011


Alaska: We cannot take Alaska’s future for granted Murkowski tells Legislature; Time to take control and ensure that our full potential is realized - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) delivered her annual address to the Alaska State Legislature today in Juneau. In her speech, Murkowski highlighted the urgent need to increase production from the state’s northern oil fields to keep declining oil throughput from forcing a permanent shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

In her address, Murkowski said, "We cannot take Alaska's future for granted. It’s time for us Alaska’s people and their elected representatives -- to take control and ensure that our full potential is realized," she said. The full remarks of Sen. Murkowski as prepared for delivery for the joint session of the Alaska Legislature is as follows: - More...
Thursday - February 22, 2011

Alaska: No One Should Have to Sacrifice Dignity to Travel - Yesterday, the House of Representatives in the Alaska State Legislature overwhelmingly passed a Sense of the House stating that “no one should have to sacrifice their dignity in order to travel.” The motion, offered by Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), came just days after a member of the Alaska House, Representative Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage) refused to submit to a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) patdown at the Seattle-Tacoma airport.

Rep. Chris Tuck said last weekend, the senior member of this body from District 22 chose respect. She stood up for her rights, her sense of decency, and her prior commitments to herself at the Seattle airport by not submitting to an intrusive search of her body.

“The stand Sharon took highlights the choice too many Americans have to face when traveling—maintaining their dignity or getting on the plane,” said Rep. Tuck. “I am proud of Sharon for taking her stand and of my colleagues in the House for emphasizing the fact that no one should have to sacrifice their dignity to travel.” - More...
Thursday - February 24, 2011

Alaska: Alaska’s childhood immunization rates decline; State falls to 49th in the nation - The recently released National Immunization Survey has placed Alaska near the bottom of all states in childhood immunization rates. The survey, which has been conducted annually by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1994, examines the rate of immunization for children between the ages of 19 months and 35 months.

For 2009, the national average for completion of the recommended childhood immunizations was 70.5 percent, while Alaska’s coverage rate was 56.6 percent. With this coverage rate, Alaska ranked 49th among all states. - More...
Thursday - February 24, 2011



Alaska Science: Rediscovering the “tastefully rotten” By NED ROZELL - While processing backyard chickens last summer, Sveta Yamin-Pasternak thought how nice it would be to bury those fresh carcasses in the ground and let microorganisms preserve her food the easy way. When the time was right, she could dig up the fermented fowl and enjoy them.

Rediscovering the “tastefully rotten”

A Chukotkan family sitting down to enjoy a meat sampler (aged walrus, aged seal, whale skin fat) with fermented seal oil (in a cup to the left of the tray) being used as dipping sauce.
Photo by Sveta Yamin-Pasternak

Though she instead decided to use a freezer for her chickens, Yamin-Pasternak is a student of the “tastefully rotten” foods of people who live in far-east Russia. She admires the simpler, if smellier, way of doing things.

Originally from Belarus, Yamin-Pasternak now lives in Alaska, but has traveled for the last decade to villages in Chukotka, the part of Russia that rubs noses with Alaska’s Seward Peninsula. There, the anthropologist studied a return to fermented food preparation. She recently gave a talk at the University of Alaska Fairbanks detailing her “marvelous stinky path.”

Native peoples of northern Russian and throughout the Arctic have for ages included some partially decomposed foods in their diet. One example from the west coast of Alaska is “stink flipper,” the paw of a bearded seal buried in the tundra and later retrieved and eaten when it has attained the proper level of rottenness, a measurement learned from experience. - More...
Thursday - February 24, 2011

Alaska: Alaska Small Business Development Center Celebrates 25 Years! –  The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011.  Since 1986, the Alaska SBDC has provided in-depth information and technical assistance to pre-venture, startup, and existing businesses to promote growth, expansion, job creation, innovation, and increased productivity.  The Alaska SBDC is a cooperative venture of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). 

The Alaska SBDC offers free, one-to-one business counseling to address a variety of small business needs: business plan development to include market research, feasibility studies and use of a national clearinghouse that offers comprehensive research to aid in greater decision making; identification of financing and preparation of financial packages; basic tax information; bookkeeping and accounting training; marketing and advertising; management; and personnel assistance.  To help us meet our objectives we collaborate throughout the state with other federal, state, and local governments, as well as private organizations. - More...
Thursday - February 24, 2011



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

letter HERRING ABUNDANCE IN SOUTHEAST ALASKA (A response to Jennifer Castle, Ron Porter, and Ernie Koepf) By Andy Rauwolf - I take exception to the accusations by the above mentioned herring permit holders that the letter regarding “The Plight of West Behm Canal” by myself, Snapper Carson, and Mike Fleenor are “false claims”, “ill informed opinions with no scientific data to support them” and “baseless environmental cautions”.  To begin with, the letter listed the chronological order of events that have occurred in West Behm Canal since commercial herring fisheries began in the area and are a matter of public record that are hardly false claims. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letterHalibut Be Gone By Clay Slanaker - People, did you realize that the Atlantic coast had more and bigger halibut than the Pacific coast many years ago.  They were severely depleted by 1850 because they were killed as BYCATCH! Yes bycatch, the European cod fishermen crossed the Atlantic looking for richer cod fishing grounds and found them, they also found an abundance of halibut.  With no market for them early on they were killed and thrown back to the sea.  Google Atlantic halibut.- More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letterDeer Mountain Winter Fireworks 2011 By Ken Arriola - To the wonderful citizens of Ketchikan, Saxman, and Metlakatla. As I'm certain that many are wondering what's going on with the 2011 Deer Mountain Winter Fireworks, here's an update. No, it has not already happened, and no, it hasn't been cancelled indefinitely. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letter Open Letter to Ketchikan City Manager: Ketchikan Cruise Ship Power Opportunities By Pete Ellis - The World Cruise Center [in Los Angeles] is also the only port where two cruise ships can be connected simultaneously. Cruise ships utilize either 6.6 kilovolts (kV) or 11 kV electrical power distribution systems to plug into shore side power; the Port of Los Angeles can now accommodate either.  Currently the power demand of the cruise ships calling the Port of Los Angeles is anywhere between 8 to 13 megawatts of power.   A seven megawatt load is equivalent to producing enough electricity for approximately 1,000 homes.  The Port’s AMP system installed at the World Cruise Center is capable of delivering up to 40 megawatts of power, with 20 megawatts of power delivery capacity to each of the two different ships. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letter Care Abounds in Communities in Ketchikan for Dennis Weis By Pam Christianson - I wanted to thank you for your caring contribution towards the Care Abounds in Communities grant for Dennis Weis.  At the spaghetti dinner on Tuesday, there were wonderful performances by the bell choir, children’s choir and jump ropers. A total of $3400 was made in contributions.  Spaghetti sauces w/ and w/out meat, salad, beverage and a dessert – all donated by area restaurants (sauces - Oceanview & Cape Fox), Alaskan & Proud, Tatsudas IGA, & supply warehouses.  Tickets were $10.00 per person and $35 for a family. Thank you again to all who were able to attend and/or volunteer and to those who contributed. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letter South trail snow removal By Terri Jirschele - Of course frozen snow on sidewalks, crosswalks, paths is a problem! But I don't believe we should ask the City to help with this. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letter Reading Skills By Alan R. McGillvray- I will respond to this letter by stating, a reading course that starts with the alphabet, and the sounds the letters make. A method that went out of style back in the 1930s. - More...
Thursday PM - February 24, 2011

letter Invitation to the Community By Karen Eakes - The Strengthening Cultural Unity task force of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition is sponsoring a Challenge Day breakfast on Saturday, February 26th from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the Ketchikan High School Commons. This event is to honor and thank the many community volunteers who helped to make our Challenge Day events back in December possible. We are encouraging volunteers and other community members who may want to learn more about Challenge Day to attend. We have also invited the many individuals and organizations that generously funded these events. - More...
Tuesday - February 22, 2011

letter Too late by high school By A. M. Johnson - Exiting the second grade without reading at grade level will find a student struggling and falling behind. Entering the fourth grade all the picture books disappear and text books are in full print. A struggling or failing reading student becomes bored, and begins the journey to dropping out. He/She will fail as a student. By the time a student reaches the 8th grade without proficiency in reading (basic math as well) they are on the way to dropping out of school. Children brains operate at a higher absorption rate in the early primary grades. Concentrated pre/post testing in Kindergarten, first and second grades will identify children who are struggling or failing.Reading strategies MUST BE instituted then not later. Waiting till middle or high school to address student drop out is far far too late to be effective. - More...
Tuesday - February 22, 2011

letter South trail snow removal By Dale Curtis - I am concerned about people walking on the road between Ketchikan and points south, especially Saxman after a snowfall. As this is a state road why can't the state road crew send a snow blower to keep the walking trail clear? Many people use this trail, some because they like to walk and some because it is the only way they can get to town. - More...
Tuesday - February 22, 2011

letter Re: Responding to complaints By Charlie Reynolds - Thank you Jerry Cegelske and others for your persistency in bringing this eyesore property into compliance. - More...
Tuesday - February 22, 2011

letter OLD POOL By Trista Allen - As a mother of a teenager, I think a skatepark would be a great addition to the area. I see a lot of teenagers walking arround town and in the mall having nothing to do but cause mischief. - More...
Tuesday - February 22, 2011

letterThe rest of the story By Zig Ziegler - The weekend edition of the Ketchikan Daily News printed an article regarding Alliance Realty and Alliance Realty Property Management. I approached Tom Miller, author, after I read the article to offer some clarification and explanation to the information he had gathered for the article. There were some glaring errors, specifically the amount of money and including personal business with company business. He did not appear to be interested in any kind of immediate follow up so I am choosing this forum to do so. - More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

letter Re: Dungeness Crab By Lloyd Gossman - In short response to Max Worhatch, nobody cares that you're appalled by my lack of knowledge on Dungeness Crab. However, you  can look at the internet as well as anybody else and find out the Southeast Alaska Dungeness Crab fishery is not the most conservatively managed Dungeness fishery in the world. You're wrong on that account. - More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

letter Responding to Complaints By Jerry Cegelske - Sometimes the process of bringing properties into compliance takes time, but through persistence even the most difficult cases can be addressed.  Difficult cases develop over time and can take time to get fully resolved.  As an example, for several years the Borough had received complaints about a residential property along North Tongass.  In response to their complaints, I would tell them of the latest attempts to contact the owner to get the property cleaned up, and then I would check to see what else I could do about it. - More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

letter Sea Alaska Land Bill By Mark & Miriam Edwards - In response to Letter Dated 14th February / Notification of Town Hall Meetings / Sealaska Land Swop Bill, Ketchikan - Monday, Feb 21, 4pm to 6pm at Borough Assembly Offices, please note that the bill includes giving Sealaska the following: 30 acres in Naha Bay and 40 acres Bailey Bay/Lake Shelokum Hot Springs. These two areas are some of the most prized and cherished areas for Ketchikan residents and visitors alike. They are currently controlled and protected by the Forest Service for everyone's benefit. - More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

letter RE: International Year of the Forest By A. M. Johnson - Mr. Tom Tidwell, as a spokesperson for the U.S.Forest Service publicly advocates for the surrender of American independence to the "One World Order".aka -"International Community".aka "United Nations". - More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

letter International Year of the Forest is a time for reflection, action By Tom Tidwell - The International Year of the Forest, a United Nations-sponsored celebration to focus the world's attention on the need to sustainably manage the world's trees, is not merely an event but a reminder that we are at the precipice of change. We are guardians who have an obligation to protect and restore our world's forests, grasslands and wetlands, all of which are the source of clean air and water, the protectors of fish and wildlife habitats and the greatest assets to mitigate the effects of global climate change.- More...
Thursday - February 17, 2011

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