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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 01, 2012

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Ketchikan: Water Damage Closes ANB/ANS Hall for Next Six Months - Ketchikan Indian Community and ANB/ANS Camp 14 jointly announced the temporary closure of the facility at 429 Deermount.  The reason for the closure is water damage to nearly the entire building the result of a fuel line freezing on January 17th. 

Water Damage Closes ANB/ANS Hall for Next Six Months

Main meeting area of ANB Hall showing water soaked ceiling tile falling to the floor
Photo courtesy KIC

After crews identified the frozen fuel line and repaired it, the ccrews left for that evening.  Then sometime between the evening of January 17th and the morning of January 18th a water pipe which had frozen when the building lost heat became thawed after heat was restored dumping a massive amount of water into the building from the upper floor.  This caused extensive damage to walls, ceilings and mechanical facilities in the building. - More...
Wednesday - February 01, 2012

Ketchikan Business: FDIC AWARDS “OUTSTANDING” CRA RATING TO FIRST BANK - First Bank received the highest possible rating from the FDIC for its most recent performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires federally insured deposit-taking institutions to support the borrowing needs of all the communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income areas. Less than 5% of banks nationwide earned that distinction in 2011. This is the sixth “Outstanding” rating awarded to First Bank.

First Bank is a regional full service bank serving businesses, consumers and governments in Southeast Alaska since 1924. First Bank has eight branch locations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell and Craig, Alaska.

The "Outstanding" rating is based on First Bank’s performance under the lending, investment and service tests. These tests examine mortgage, small business and community development lending, community development investments and community development services in the communities the bank serves. First Bank’s area encompasses Southeast Alaska.

“First Bank is committed to the vitality and success of the customers and communities we serve throughout Southeast Alaska.” commented Michael Medford, Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer for First Bank. He also added “We are honored to receive this rating which represents that commitment and reflects the successful community partnerships that we have formed over the years which allow the bank to serve a vital role in the community and economic development of our markets.” - More...
Wednesday - February 01, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Yellow-cedar are dying in Alaska: Scientists now know why - Yellow-cedar, a culturally and economically valuable tree in southeastern Alaska and adjacent parts of British Columbia, has been dying off across large expanses of these areas for the past 100 years. But no one could say why - until now.

Yellow-cedar are dying in Alaska: Scientists now know why

“The cause of tree death, called yellow-cedar decline, is now known to be a form of root freezing that occurs during cold weather in late winter and early spring, but only when snow is not present on the ground,” explains Pacific Northwest Research Station scientist Paul Hennon, co-lead of a synthesis paper recently published in the February issue of the journal BioScience. “When present, snow protects the fine, shallow roots from extreme soil temperatures. The shallow rooting of yellow-cedar, early spring growth, and its unique vulnerability to freezing injury also contribute to this problem.”

Yellow-cedar decline affects about 60 to 70 percent of trees in forests covering 600,000 acres in Alaska and British Columbia. The paper, “Shifting Climate, Altered Niche, and a Dynamic Conservation Strategy for Yellow-Cedar in the North Pacific Coastal Rainforest,” summarizes 30 years of research and offers a framework for a conservation strategy for yellow-cedar in Alaska.

Some key findings include: - More...
Wednesday - February 01, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Among First Selected to Implement New FS Planning Rule - The U.S. Forest Service today announced eight national forests that will be the first to revise their land management plans using a new National Forest System Planning Rule, after it is finalized in the months ahead. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico, El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico and California’s Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests will begin revising their plans shortly after a final rule is selected.

This announcement follows Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s news last week of the agency’s intended course of action for finalizing a planning rule, included as the “preferred alternative” in the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule.

“These forests will demonstrate straight out of the gate what we’ve been talking about in terms of collaboration,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “People will see that under a new rule, public engagement increases and process decreases, all while provide stronger protections for our lands and water.

The new rule is designed to reduce time, costs and litigation by incorporating more collaboration, region-wide science and other lessons learned over the decades since the current rule was put in place in 1982.  Of the 120 plans in the national forest and grassland system, 65 are currently out of date and many are over 20 years old.

U. S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) commented on today's announcement noting that Alaska’s Chugach National Forest is included,  Begich said in a prepared statement, “It’s been a long time in the making, but if we can reduce litigation and put more money into managing resources rather than fighting in court over plans, we’ll all be better off. I support cutting costs and reducing the extraordinary length of time these plans take to produce." 

Alaska: Yukon Premier, Governor Meet in Juneau - Governor Sean Parnell and newly-elected Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski met yesterday to continue a long-standing working relationship between Alaska and Yukon. The governor and premier discussed renewal of the Alaska–Yukon Intergovernmental Relations Accord established more than a decade ago.

Quoting a news release, the accord is a broad ranging agreement that provides for regular exchange of information and cooperation between Alaska and Yukon in tourism, transportation, trade and commerce, resource development, climate change, wildlife management, economic development and infrastructure. - More...
Wednesday - February 01, 2012


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letter RE: Option for Public Employees By Chris Elliott - I know in my heart I'll regret commenting, but I just can't resist. Ms. Machado's two basic assumptions are questionable. One, that government recruits and retains the "best and brightest" by offering outstanding benefits & retirement plans and, two, that public employees deserve the best, most secure retirement because they give their best. - More...
Thursday AM - February 02, 2012

letter State of the Mess By A. M. Johnson - With all the nasty political advertisements and such, a lighter level of political satire is offered. In the Spirit of joining with Senator Murkowski in her recent effort to encourage by-partisanship during the "State of the Mess" campaign speech, I too will offer my suggestion we all can rally behind. As there is less than a year until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States. The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans. - More...
Thursday AM - February 02, 2012

letter City or Borough Tax By Scott Cragun - Mr. Thompson, is this a City of Ketchikan tax or a Ketchikan Borough tax? - More...
Thursday - February 02, 2012

letter In the Dark By A. M. Johnson - Regarding Scott Cragan's understanding of the status of the Incandescent bulbs. Message to Scott: All production of incandescent bulbs have ceased. The industry advised Congress following the extension date, that it made no difference as the production of incandescent light bulbs has ceased. - More...
Thursday AM - February 02, 2012

letter Re: Boat Tax By Glen Thompson - The Ketchikan Borough has repeatedly attempted to repeal this excise tax but the City has refused. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter Option for Public Employees By Allegra Machado - I urge all Alaskan Constituents and State Employees to write your Senator and Representative today and encourage them to stand up and actively support Senate Bill 121 and House Bill 236. This is the legislation that creates an option for TRS and PERS employees hired after 2006 to choose either a defined benefit or defined contributions retirement plan. - More..
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter IS THE TEA PARTY DEAD? By Ken Bylund - 193 AD: The Praetorians ran out upon the ramparts and in a loud voice proclaimed that the Roman world was to be disposed of to the best bidder by auction... It reached the ears of Didius Julianus who began to bid for "the purple" at the foot of the rampart. Edward Gibbon, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire... now Romney is buying the purple. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter CFL Platform? By Scott Cragun - Mr. Borders, if it is true that the only light bulbs you can find at your "local" hardware store are the more energy efficient CFL (compact flourecent) type, this is a choice made by the store and/or its purchasing department. Incandescent light bulbs are not scheduled to be COMPLETELY phased out in the USA until January 2014, this process has started this year (2012) with the higher wattage bulbs then works it's way down to the lower wattage bulbs by 2014. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter Ketchikan Roads By April Whitton - Thank you Mark Hoyt for grating the roads and trying to keep up with the snow dumped on us. Robbie would have been proud. I to thank you. And kudos to the rest of the crew that are out there on the streets at all hours trying to make our roads safe for us to drive on. A big thank you also goes out to Curtis, Danny K, Dan M, Matt, Tad (That's what Robbie always called him), Bruce, Dana, Karl and all the guys in the back ground that keep the trucks and other equipment in running order. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter Deep Six Somali Pirates By Donald A. Moskowitz - The recent rescue of hostages in Somalia by a Navy Seal Team brings into focus the ongoing problem we have with the Somali pirates.  These pirates continue to wreak havoc on commercial shipping off the coast of Africa, and there are numerous ships and hostages currently being held by the pirates for ransom. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

letter PFD By Joey Garcia - Does the Alaska yearly PFD need an online-oversight commitee? Some Alaska residents comes in flock, mostly to a department store using their PFD checks or the purchase of things they have dreamt for years. I am not surprised that the present PFD online application contains additional questions in support to the query of having been absent from the State on a specified date that can be judged as fraud. - More...
Tuesday AM - January 31, 2012

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