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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 28, 2011

Front Page Photo by DOUG BURKMAN

Scenic Wintery Ketchikan
Front Page Photo by DOUG BURKMAN

Ketchikan: Ketchikan readies for battle to recall state representative By LISA DEMER, Anchorage Daily News- The political troubles facing this community's lone state representative seem as deep and messy as the slushy snow that blanketed the community one recent weekend. - Read this Anchorage Daily News story...

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Fish Factor:
New safety regulations; Fishermen choose respect; Still tops for jobs By LAINE WELCH - New safety regulations for fishing vessels are on the horizon and fishermen need to 1) pay attention; and 2) participate in developing the new rules.

Congress decreed the new measures as part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2010, which was signed into law last October. Most of the regulations are still being drafted and it could be several years before they are on the books.  However, one already caught Alaska cod fishermen and the State by surprise this month – a shift of the traditional three mile boundary line in some areas that separates state and federal waters.     

 “It changed the standard from the present boundary line to three nautical miles of the baseline from where the territorial sea is measured, which is that new gray line on the charts. That is spelled out very specifically in the Act,” said Ken Lawrenson, Fishing Vessel Safety Coordinator with the USCG 17th District in Juneau.

Within the sections that relate to fishing vessel safety, Lawrenson said some items are more discretionary, where wording and intent is general and non-specific to allow the industry and USCG to develop the regulations.   At the other end of the spectrum, some regulations are very “black and white ” and happening fast.

One is the every-other-year requirements for mandatory dockside exams and certificates of compliance for every vessel operating beyond three nautical miles.   

“We’ve been given a target date of October 2012,” Lawrenson said, adding that fishermen should  “get a jump on it” and get exams done as soon as they can.”  

Another “hard and fast” date written into the law is 2015, when the USCG will eliminate approval for any survival craft that does not remove every portion of a survivor’s body from the water.

 “That means life floats and buoyant apparatus are no longer going to be acceptable as a survival craft. For smaller vessels, that has been the requirement since the early 1990s,” Lawrenson said.  “It’s something you’ll need to think about and start budgeting for – replacing an older device with an inflatable.”

 Here is a new rule that the industry has been dreading: Any new fishing vessel built after July 1, 2012 that is over 50 feet and fishes beyond three nautical miles will have to be built to strict new structural and stability standards, and classed by a shipping bureau.

Classed means a rigorous review of a vessel’s building materials, power, propulsion, dewatering systems, navigation equipment, arrangement of deck machinery, as examples.  

Previously, the only vessels in the fishing industry required to be classed were at-sea processors. Congress removed that distinction, Lawrenson said,  and made it apply to all commercial fishing vessels.  

If a new vessel is greater than 79 feet, it also will have to maintain a load line from a class society as well,  Lawrenson said. He added that naval architects estimate building to class will add 20- 25% more to the purchase price of a new vessel.  

 How do the new safety rules apply to older boats?  

The Act requires that by 2020, if a vessel is greater than 50 feet, was built before July 1, 2012, and is 25 years of age or older, the USCG will have to develop an “alternate safety compliance program”  for those vessels.  It will be developed in cooperation with the industry and for specific regions and fisheries, Lawrenson said. - More...
Monday - February 28, 2011


Alaska: Chickaloon Village presents its case against Coal Mining to United Nations Expert on the Human Right to Water - Chickaloon Native Village, a federally-recognized Athabascan Indian Tribal government in Alaska, filed a communication to the United Nations Independent Expert on the human right to water and sanitation in conjunction with her first official visit to the United States, which began today.

Chickaloon Village’s submission asserts that the new open-pit coal strip mine in its traditional territory proposed by the Usibelli Corporation would contaminate local drinking water sources as well as rivers, streams and groundwater that support salmon, moose and other animals and plants vital for subsistence, religious and cultural practices. The US Federal Government and the State of Alaska have, to date, not responded to Chickaloon’s firmly-stated opposition to the mine.

The visit to the United States by the Independent Expert, Mrs. Catarina de Albuquerque, a Portuguese human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, includes stops in Washington DC, Boston Massachusetts and Northern California, where she will meet with the Winnemem Wintu and other Indigenous representatives. Her US visit will end on March 2, 2011.

During her visit she will meet with the US State Department and relevant Federal agencies as well organizations, communities and experts to receive information regarding the human right to water and sanitation and the federal and state policies and practices that affect this right. She is expected to make recommendations to the US government at the conclusion of her visit. - More...
Monday - February 28, 2011

Alaska: Alaska Gas Prices Increasing - Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have risen 7.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.69 per gallon yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 17.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.34 per gallon. according to gasoline price website AlaskaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 38.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 25.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 64.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago. - More...
Monday - February 28, 2011



Alaska: Moose Die from Chokecherry Poisoning - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff received confirmation in February of a third moose calf this year that died in Anchorage of cyanide poisoning after eating European bird cherry, also known as “chokecherry.” The department urges property owners to cover or dispose of their chokecherry and Japanese Yew clippings in moose habitat areas to keep them away from browsing moose.

“Cyanide poisoning can occur from any shrub in the Prunus family, more commonly called ‘chokecherry,’ but usually just after the first frost. It may be that recent warm spells in Anchorage followed by freezing temperatures led to several cases during mid winter,” stated Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen.

Lab results have confirmed that two calves died in January and a third in February after they ate recently frozen chokecherry buds, branches and berries. The third moose also ingested toxic amounts of Japanese Yew which likely contributed to its sudden death.

Eating chokecherry buds, leaves or fruit is not typically dangerous for people or pets, but animals with segmented stomachs (rumens) including moose, cattle, goats and deer can be at risk, particularly soon after the plants freeze. When the buds are chewed and swallowed, they react with chemicals in the rumen to release cyanide gas which can kill a moose as quickly as 20 minutes. Japanese Yew is toxic at all times and is more poisonous to people and pets as well.

“When we see skinny moose that have died in towns and yards, typically we assumed they died from starvation, but these recent cases highlight the fact that is not necessarily the case,” Beckmen said. - More..
Monday - February 28, 2011

Ketchikan: City and KPU Emergency Notifications Now Available Via FlashAlert; City Activates 225-INFO(4636) Line; Sign up for Emergency/Crisis Response notification through FlashAlert - The City of Ketchikan and Ketchikan Public Utilities will use FlashAlert.net to post emergency messages, news releases and information relative to power outages and other emergency information.

Community members signed up for FlashAlert will receive up to date emergency information, and news releases through e-mail and/or cell phone text messages.  Persons may add several  e-mail or cell phone numbers to their account.  Signing up is simple, free and takes just moments.  - More...
Monday - February 28, 2011



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letter OLD POOL?: New Skatepark Started! By Bobbie McCreary - Thank you, Krista Allen(and to many who have spoken before) for voicing what many parents believe, that our youth need more healthy activities to keep them busy. The good news is, earlier this month, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough voted to begin the process of building a skatepark at the corner of Park Avenue and Schoenbar, next to the creek and across from Walker Field. This is an ideal location as it is centrally located and highly visible. - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

letter Cruise Ship power opportunity By Thom Fischer - This is in response to the question by Pete Ellis regarding revenue opportunity to sell energy to the cruise ship industry in Ketchikan. I have reviewed the existing cruise ship schedules, and energy these ships use when at dock in Ketchikan. The collective cruise ship summer energy use in Ketchikan is approximately 35,000,000 kWh of energy each year. At a sales price of 10 cents/kWh, this would be $3.5 million per year in gross revenue. - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

letter Homeless in Ketchikan By Jennifer Gardner - What I would like to know is what agency can help those who've been homeless and living from couch to couch with their children? There are people like me who have gone through the agencies here in town for help in getting an overpriced apartment only to get kicked out a couple months later. What can Ketchikan do to help all the families that need the help now in getting an apartment or housing? - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

letter A local hero By Rachel Ross - Sunday, a week ago, Ketchikan residents woke up to a winter wonderland.  The snow was over eight inches deep at the higher elevations on Carlanna Lake Road.  Brian Calvin, a local Correctional Officer, saw an opportunity to help others and sprang into action. - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

letter Snow Removal By Jill Dobrydnia - I would like to thank the person who is responsible for clearing snow from the sidewalk along N. Pt. Higgins Road this winter. - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

letter Feeling violated By Reynelda McDonald - I have lived in Ketchikan most my life and have had the luck of never having anything stolen from me. That luck ended this past weekend on 2/26/11. My daughter and I stopped at McDonald's to get something to eat. While we were there I mistakenly left my purse in the restroom and left McDonalds. 5 minutes passed between the time I left and the time I returned to find my purse gone. - More...
Monday PM - February 28, 2011

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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