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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 11, 2012

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Ketchikan: FEDERAL SUBSISTENCE FISHERY FOR EULACHON CLOSED IN FEDERAL WATERS WITHIN DISTRICT 1 - Ketchikan-Misty Fiords District Ranger Jeff DeFreest is acting immediately to protect eulachon stocks in waters that flow into District 1 due to anticipated low eulachon returns in 2012. The District Ranger, as in-season manager, is closing the Federal Public waters draining into District 1 to the taking of eulachon by all users from 11:59 P.M., Sunday, February 26, 2012 until 11:59 P.M., April 25, 2012. This action has been coordinated with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), who will simultaneously close subsistence and personal use eulachon fishing in District 1. Any eulachon caught in this area must be immediately returned into the water unharmed.

Quoting the news release, few eulachon have returned to the Burroughs Bay area since 2003. Similar closures have been issued by the USDA Forest Service for eulachon within the Burroughs Bay area in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. DeFreest stated, “Eulachon are an important subsistence fish for many residents of Southeast Alaska, so I’m acting to protect these stocks to rebuild fish populations for the future”.

The strength of eulachon returns is determined by monitoring the amount of harvest by fishermen and through observations made by Forest Service and ADF&G personnel. In 2004, only 1,500 pounds of eulachon were harvested and very low numbers of returning eulachon were observed. In 2005 through 2010, no fish were harvested and only a few eulachon (42) were seen in the area. In 2011 a return of unknown size occurred in Burroughs Bay and Carroll Inlet. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Joins $25 Billion Settlement on Mortgage Servicing and Foreclosure Abuses - Alaska Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty and Commissioner Susan K. Bell of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development have joined a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over abuses in their mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. The servicers participating in the settlement are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial.

The settlement will provide as much as $25 billion in relief to distressed borrowers and direct payments to states and the federal government. It’s the largest multistate settlement since the Tobacco Settlement in 1998.

The agreement settles state and federal investigations finding that the country’s five largest loan servicers routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct. Both of these practices violate the law. The settlement provides benefits to borrowers whose loans are owned by the settling banks as well as to many of the borrowers whose loans they service.

The agreement provides direct relief for Alaskan homeowners and brings reforms to loan servicing practices. “Alaska is fortunate to have missed the real estate crash affecting many states in the Lower 48,” said Geraghty. “At the same time, some Alaskan families, through no fault of their own, are struggling to stay in their homes. This agreement not only provides financial relief to Alaskan borrowers, but puts in place important new protections for homeowners in the form of mortgage servicing standards.”

With the backing of a federal court order and the oversight of an independent monitor, the settlement stops future servicing and foreclosure misconduct. The five servicers will be required to consider homeowners for loan modification programs before foreclosing. Borrowers will have a single point of contact for questions about their loans, and servicers will be required to have adequate staff to handle calls. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

Alaska: Senate Passes Critical Funding Increase for Alaska’s Schools; Senate Bill 171 establishes three-year plan of modest increases to help schools with future planning - Friday morning, the Alaska State Senate passed Senate Bill 171, which was sponsored by the Senate Education Committee. The bill establishes three years of modest increases in the Base Student Allocation (BSA) so that school districts know what kind of budget they have to work with.   The Senate Education Committee, under the leadership of Senators Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) and Joe Thomas (D-Fairbanks), introduced SB171 to give districts the ability to craft responsible and conservative budgets.

“Every year, school districts try to piece together their budgets while the legislature is still deciding how much they will get,” said Senator Thomas. “While our proposal is not everything school districts are asking for, this three-year increase will give them some predictability and stability, so they can produce more fiscally responsible budgets.”

The Base Student Allocation (BSA) increased by a rate of less than 2% per year from FY09-FY11. Last year, the Senate passed a bill that provided for an increase in the BSA as well as a new funding stream to strengthen vocational education programs around the state, but the BSA funding was removed by the House Finance Committee. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012 

Ketchikan: National Children’s Dental Health Month: “Rock Your Smile” - Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month, Ketchikan Indian Community staff are visiting various Headstart and Pre-school locations around Ketchikan and Saxman.  This event has been sponsored by the American Dental Association since 1949. The theme for this year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month is “Rock Your Smile”. 

National Children’s Dental Health Month: “Rock Your Smile”

Dr. McKinsee Weyher DDS accepts the Children's Dental Health Month proclamation from City of Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams.
Photograph by Steve Rhyner© 

Both the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and the Ketchikan City Council have proclaimed February as Children's Dental Health Month.

Each year during February KIC Dental Clinic staff perform educational outreach in an effort to promote good oral hygiene. At each location visited, KIC staff read a story, play games, and demonstrate the proper way to brush and floss and provide instruction on healthy foods. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

Ketchikan: Three Arrested for Methamphetamine - The Ketchikan Police Department was informed last Sunday by the California Highway Patrol that they were in contact with Francisco A. Seludo, 41 years of age of Ketchikan Alaska, on a traffic stop near Chico, California.  A records check showed Seludo had current conditions of release on file for Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (Methamphetamine).  One of Seludo's conditions stated he was not to depart Ketchikan for any reason without written court permission.  California Highway Patrol further informed Ketchikan police officers that Seludo was traveling with two females and several children.  He was found to have a large amount of cash with him and they all had tickets to fly to the Philippines.    According to the California Highway Patrol one of the females with Seludo was in possession of Methamphetamine and was taken into custody. Francisco A. Seludo was taken into custody for Violation of Conditions of Release and arraignments were made to have him brought back to Ketchikan.

Francisco A. Seludo was in the news in November of 2011, after an investigation by the Southeast Alaska Cities against Drugs task force (SEACAD), and the Ketchikan Police Department, in cooperation with the United States Postal Inspector's Office (USPI). The investigation revealed Seludo took possession of a parcell from the post office on Tongass Highway. which was sent to him from Las Vegas, Nevada. SEACAD obtained a search warrant for the parcell with assistance from the USPI. After contacting Seludo, the parcell was opened and approximately two ounces of methamphetamine were located inside. Seludo was arrested for Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance III and remanded to the Ketchikan Correctional Center at that time.

On Tuesday, Ketchikan police officers conducted a traffic stop and contacted Jeremiah Perez, 34 years of age of Ketchikan Alaska.  Officers obtained and executed a search warrant. Perez was found to be in possession of approximately 3 grams of Methamphetamine.  He was arrested for Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance Third Degree and transported to the Ketchikan Correctional Center where he was held without bail. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012


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letter RE: Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career. By Tyrell Rettke - Those are some decent ideas, but your contention that the current congress won't initiate them is correct as well. It will take the citizens stop voting in the same status qua to replace congress. Getting people to run is a hard thing. Having run for local office I can tell you that it can feel like getting beat up at times, and we play pretty nice here in Ketchikan most of the time. On a state level (To get into the US Congress), its a whole new level, and the money required is exponentially greater. Here in alaska with Less than a million voters, its not so bad, but still requires getting around the state a lot, and being able to campaign while not working (so having your living expenses covered.) This is part of the reason why we end up with the same type of people in office, wealthy people who have made something of themselves in business or otherwise (For better or worse). - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

letter Prince George By Tom Meikle - I recall clearly seeing the hulk of the poor Prince George under tow as the Adelaide made her way up to Prince Rupert; we were likely in narrow Grenville Channel, since we passed fairly close. One of my shipmates (name long gone) had been on the George during the burning, and was horrified to see his old ship in such horrible shape. He was badly upset, to say the least. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

letter Support Our Teachers! By Cherry Rice - Our Ketchikan teachers need a fair contract. I am very concerned about the lack of support for our teachers in this community. The teachers are the ones who are educating the future for our country, state, and our town. Public education is essential and we need to support it. These people give tirelessly to our kids , even after their scheduled work day is long over. It is not unusual to go by any public school on weekends and see several cars in the lot. These are YOUR teachers at work for YOUR students. There is no harder job than a public school teacher’s. I am very proud of what they do. They never give up on a difficult student who may have given up on his or herself. The teachers are doing their best to turn all students into successful learners. - More...
Saturday AM - February 11, 2012

letter Boat Tax By Glen Thompson - The boat tax (like sales and real property taxes) is levied by both the City of Ketchikan and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.  The two bodies agreed several years ago to try to have coordination between the taxes levied so that the administration would be consistent on an area-wide basis. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Thank you Ketchikan By Travis Taylor - My family moved up here to Alaska nearly 5 years ago. Since then I have been involved in many things such as basketball, football, baseball, and wrestling. At first I was very new to the idea of having to raise large amounts of money just to go play sports, but quickly realized how expensive it is to travel. I have had a great experience up here with sports and this town. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Giving Grind for Peratovich Family was a great success!!! Thank you! By Sally & John Burch - Saturday's Mardi Gras Giving Grind was awesome! - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Ketchikan School Board Budget Cuts By Emilee Johnson - I am writing to you today to address my concern about the decision to cut AP classes as well as the band, art and culinary programs to account for the possible budget cuts. I am currently a college student and can speak from a personal level on how important these components are to students futures as well as the academic standing of the school. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Open Letter: SB 121 By Cherry Rice - Governor Parnell, I hope you will reconsider your position on Senate Bill 121. SB 121 is not a going back to the old defined benefit system. Instead, SB 121 is a compromise that provides retirement security. Retirement security is extremely important to bring the best and brightest people to the state.This will be at no additional cost to the state or other employers. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career By Billy D. Clifford - Many of us have received email and comments from our friends about excellent ideas to repair our broken Congress. For example: - More..
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Newt's Court Proposals Dangerous By George Kiser - Newt Gingrich apparently thinks the Founding Fathers made a terrible mistake when they established an independent court system.  Under his proposals, judges would please the President, Congress, and the public -- or suffer the consequences.  Presidents could ignore court decisions they dislike. Congress could haul judges before it to explain their decisions and jail non-compliant judges, and unpopular judges could be fired and their courts abolished. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 08, 2012

letter Governor Parnell Urged to Reconsider his Position on Pension By Barb Angaiak - I am very disappointed in Governor Parnell’s refusal to consider returning to a defined benefit pension plan for state employees. I strongly urge Governor Parnell to reconsider. The legislation SB 121 is not a return to the old defined benefit system. SB 121 is a compromise that creates less of a benefit but provides retirement security at no additional cost to the state or other employers. - More...
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

letter Ketchikan School Board Cuts By Frances Gierard - I am an alumnus of Ketchikan High School and am now attending college in Seattle. I have heard that you are considering cutting some elective courses at Kayhi. I am hoping to change your mind otherwise. - More...
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

letter Talk about cold! By Jeff Orr - I am not very happy with the State of Alaska Court system, nor the current Guardian for my adult brother who has down's syndrome. The AK court system sent a Court Visitor to do a report on his living conditions while he was living with my Mother, who adopted him over 42 years ago. In this report the Court Visitor bashed my two brothers who live in Ketchikan and excluded them from being able to apply for guardianship for our brother. What is worse is the Guardian decided to take our brother while my Mother is in the hospital! Talk about cold! - More...
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

letter The Capuchin monkeys' Scam By Margaret Cloud - Someone has recently listed some capuchin monkeys. This ad is a scam. I responded to the ad to see what I would receive. Here is the reply: - More...
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

letter Compact fluorescents (CFLs), LEDs, and halogens By Shelley Stallings - From wikipedia: In December 2007 (during the Bush Administration) , the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which contains maximum wattage requirements for all general service incandescent lamps producing from 310 2600 lumens of light.[38] However, these regulations never became law, as another section of the 2007 EISA bill overwrites them, and thus, current law, as specified in the U.S. Code, "does not relate to maximum wattage requirements."[39] - More...
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

letter RE: In the Dark By Scott Cragun - Regarding A.M. Johnsons reply to my letter regarding incandescent light bulbs, I would like to point out that the production of the incandescent bulbs may have ceased in the USA but they continue to be produced in Japan and in Europe in wattages less than 100 and will/could be until 2014. These bulbs are also imported into the USA where it is legal to sell them until 2014. - More..
Saturday AM - February 04, 2012

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