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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Wednesday - Thursday
February 29, 2012 - March 02, 2012

Front Page Photo By ROB HOLSTON

Babies On Track
Pictured are some of Ketchikan's youngest ones who attended, along with their parents, the premier showing of Best Beginnings' "Babies On Track"
Front Page Photo By ROB HOLSTON


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Ketchikan: Alaska Approves Vigor Industrial Purchase of Alaska Ship & Drydock; Vigor, ASD Tell State of Plan to Maintain & Build Jobs - The new and expanded future for shipbuilding, ship repair and maritime jobs in Alaska started Wednesday, following state approval for Vigor Industrial to assume Alaska Ship & Drydock (ASD) private/public partnership leases to operate the Ketchikan Shipyard

Alaska Approves Vigor Industrial Purchase of Alaska Ship & Drydock; Vigor, ASD Tell State of Plan to Maintain & Build Jobs

Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship & Drydock
Photo courtesy Vigor Industrial

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) unanimously voted Wednesday in Anchorage to transfer leases to the new Vigor Alaska Ship & Drydock subsidiary, clearing the way for Vigor’s acquisition of the operating company. The purchase was first announced Feb. 7 pending AIDEA approval.

As AIDEA executive director Ted Leonard noted in his report to the Authority board of directors, “The transfer of ownership [of the shipyard operating company] will enhance the opportunities at Ketchikan Shipyard to bid on and win Alaskan-based business given the experience, supporting facilities and greater financial capacity of a larger company.” - More...
Thursday AM - March 01, 2012

Alaska: Tlingit and Haida Tribe and Alaska Child Support Services Division Agree to Release Garnished PFD Funds - Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) and the State of Alaska have entered into an agreement to release $50,444.81 from the Juneau Superior Court Registry pending outcome of the final court order in Central Council v. State of Alaska, 1JU-10-376 CI, which has yet to be entered. These funds will be distributed to custodial parents of tribal member children who obtained child support orders from the Tribal Court, and to Central Council for recoupment of child support owed to the Tribe for providing families with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) services. These funds are composed of Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends garnished by the Alaska Child Support Services Division (CSSD) at the request of the Tribe to satisfy child support debts.

“These funds will help ensure that tribal children receive the financial support they deserve from both parents,” said Eddie Brakes, Tribal Child Support Unit (TCSU) Manager. 

The Tribe filed a lawsuit in January 2010 in Juneau Superior Court against the State of Alaska CSSD because the State was not recognizing and enforcing orders from the Tribal Court. While the case has been pending, the Tribe has submitted two years worth of Permanent Fund Dividend garnishment requests to CSSD. These garnished funds have been held in the Juneau court registry. - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Greens Creek Exploratory Drilling to go Forward in Roadless - In a statement issued Tuesday, U.S. Forest Service Alaska Regional Forester Beth Pendleton said an exploratory drilling project in an inventoried roadless area on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska has been approved to go forward.

The Greens Creek exploratory drilling will be conducted approximately 20 miles southwest of Juneau within the Admiralty Island National Monument and the Greens Creek Inventoried Roadless Area. The drilling will take place on 11 drill platform sites and the total area affected by the drill pads is 1.25 acres.

“The Forest Service has approved exploratory drilling in an inventoried roadless area for the Greens Creek Mine,” said Pendleton. “This approval will allow Greens Creek to continue drilling to locate additional resources that could extend the life of the mine.” - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Ketchikan: Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Outfitter/Guide Management Plan Record of Decision, Final Environmental Impact Statement released - Tongass National Forest Ketchikan District Ranger Jeffrey DeFreest announced today that he selected an alternative to implement from the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Outfitter and Guide Management Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on January 26, 2012.

The Record of Decision (ROD) documents his decision to implement Alternative B with modifications as the Selected Alternative. The Selected Alternative allocates 50,671 service days annually for outfitter and guide use on the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District (KMRD) and includes adaptive management. Adaptive management could raise, reduce, or adjust the allocation dependent on resource conditions. The Selected Alternative does not limit unguided visitors. Unguided visitors can continue to enjoy the district in the same way they do now.

The EIS analyzed the effects of four alternatives for allocating days to outfitters and guides on the National Forest System lands within the KMRD, based on visitor capacity. Visitor capacity is the estimated number of users, both guided and unguided, who can be in an area without a loss in the quality of the recreation experience. - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man Sentenced For Illegal Trafficking Of Seal Skin - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced last week that a Ketchikan man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 5 years probation and a $1,000 fine on his conviction of illegally selling a seal skin.

On February 22, 2012, Lawrence Willard, 51, of Ketchikan, Alaska was sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Aunnie Steward who prosecuted the case, the following information is the basis for the plea and sentencing:

In September of 2008, the defendant, Lawrence Willard, who is an Alaska native, sold a seal skin that was not significantly altered to an individual who was not an Alaska native for approximately $500. The defendant did so knowing that his actions violated the law. - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Alaska - Nationwide: New Report Likely to Fuel Debate Over TSA Scanners by Michael Grabell, ProPublica - A new report from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security is likely to fan rather than extinguish the debate over the safety of X-ray body scanners deployed at airports across the country.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and other lawmakers have called on the Transportation Security Administration to conduct a new, independent health study. No such tests were carried out for the report, which instead relied on previous radiation tests, most of which have been available on TSA's website.

"This report is not the report I requested," Collins said in a statement to ProPublica. "An independent study is needed to protect the public and to determine what technology is worthy of taxpayer dollars."

The amount of radiation emitted by the body scanners, known as backscatters, is "negligible" and "below acceptable limits," according to the report obtained by ProPublica and scheduled for public release on Tuesday.

But the 28-page report also notes that not all TSA screeners have completed required radiation safety training. Inspectors found inconsistencies in how the machines are calibrated to ensure radiation safety and image quality. And the TSA made more than 3,500 maintenance calls in the first year the scanners were deployed, meaning that, on average, each machine needed service more than once a month. - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Attorney General’s Office Warns of a “Grandparent Scam” Targeting Alaska Seniors - The Consumer Protection Unit of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office has recently received increased reports from victims of a “grandparent” scam targeting elderly Alaskans. Scammers have been calling grandparents in Alaska posing as grandchildren injured in car accidents in different countries. The callers, who often claim they sound different due to broken noses or other injuries, say they are in the hospital or jail and pressure grandparents to wire thousands of dollars through Western Union to pay medical bills or damages so they can return home. They often persuade grandparents not to talk to other family members about the “grandchild’s” need for help. Unfortunately, by the time the victims realize they were contacted as part of a scam the money is long gone.

There are other variations of this imposter scam, including instances where the caller knows detailed information about the person’s family. The scam is not limited to grandparents; callers may claim to be friends, nieces, nephews or other family members. The callers are usually overseas, using untraceable cell phones and fake identification. Scammers often request payment through wire transfer because once the money is sent it cannot be recovered. - More...
Wednesday - February 29, 2012


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letter ACES Needs to Be Fixed, but HB 110 Is Not the Solution By Senator Bert Stedman - Alaska’s current petroleum tax system, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (or ACES, for short), was an ill-conceived policy pushed through by then Governor Sarah Palin in 2007.  When ACES was voted on in the Senate, I was one of only five Senators who voted against it.  My reason was simple: I felt then and I still feel that ACES is anything but “equitable” and that under ACES the government take at high oil prices is excessive.  - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Ketchikan's Energy Strategy. By Ken Bylund - Who is John Galt? The Ketchikan City Council is considering the problem of dwindling electrical hydro-electric capacity? Good. The Mahoney Lake issue then... still not being considered? We still face the + $50 million pool & library bonds... now citizens are being told they might need to go back to wood burning stoves so SEAPA can heat the new pool/spa and new library? And SEAPA, do they have a gun to our head? It appears we have met their criteria; can we now buy power from Cape Fox as discussed in Mr. Bergeron's Opinion page of 9/19/2011? - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Open Letter: Is there some place we can relocate? By A. M. Johnson - The following has been sent to our local Assembly members: I want to plant a economic seed with you. One never knows when a seed will take root, one can only plant and wait. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter An Open Letter to Governor Parnell By Towns of Thorne Bay, Kupreanof, Edna Bay, Port Protection, Pt. Baker, Hollis, Whale Pass, Naukati, and Cape Pole - We are extremely disappointed that after eight months your office was unable to respond to the July 18th, 2011 letter from our Nine Alaska Towns, but hope you will respond to this letter. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter RE: Conservation Is The Answer... By Pete Ellis = The opinion by Sam on electrical resources is excellent as to background and current status. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Ketchikan Fireworks By Pete Ellis - The efforts of Arriola and his crew produced a super display and a need for contributions for deposit at Tongass Federal. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012  

letter Conservation Is the Answer to Our Short Term Hydro Energy Needs By Samuel Bergeron - The Ketchikan City Council is considering the problem of dwindling electric hydro-electric capacity; a problem largely driven by the use of electric heat. Some of their proposed solutions are troubling to me as it will penalize residents who rely in part or in whole for electricity for their heating needs. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter Postal budget fix By A. M. Johnson - Reading news articles relating to the pending increase in first class postage to $.50 per stamp. This news along with awareness of the huge budget deficit, billions of dollars, the Post Office is experiencing year after year, some outside of the box thinking is in order. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter FIREWORKS: THANKS KEN ARRIOLLA AND CREW By Katy Taylor - The light show at 6:00pm Saturday night was outstanding. The effort Ken Arriolla and his crew gave to get up to the tops of two mountains for the dramatic display for all of Ketchikan to enjoy was amazing. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter Fireworks By Judith Green - Thank you to Ken and crew for climbing to the tippee top in the cold and through the snow to give Ketchikan the wonderful show of fireworks - giving us the thrill of just watching in awe on a cold and wintry night! - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter RE" A future disappointment By Scott Cragun - I have personally stopped twice in the last two years at the Mountain Point Boat launch when I noticed 2 different individuals towing derelict boats with the intention of parking them at the far end of the parking lot and leaving them. Both times I informed them that if the boat was left there I would pass along their license plate numbers to the troopers, neither vessel was there later in the day. - More...
Friday PM - February 24, 2012

letter Defense Cuts Endanger Our National Security By Donald A. Moskowitz - The 2013 Defense Department budget cuts military spending by $487 billion over 10 years, which translates into eliminating six Air Force fighter squadrons, cutting 16 ships from the Navy, and reducing the Army and Marine Corps by 80,000 to 100,000 troops over five years.  Our thinking is that future wars will be fought with more high technology weapons and fewer troops.  The problem is we could lose highly qualified military personnel because of the cutbacks.  The end result could mean we will have a plethora of high technology weapon systems available, but lack the quantity and quality of non-commissioned and commissioned military leaders to employ the equipment. - More...
Friday PM - February 24, 2012

letter Freedom By Linda Bell - There is a former Sheriff... Sheriff Richard Mack who has been traveling all over America for several years giving talks on the importance of law enforcement to understand and obey the oath they took to protect individual Rights. (He throws in corruption from D.C. that has been going on for decades also.) - More...
Friday PM - February 24, 2012

letter A FUTURE DISAPPOINTMENT AVERTED By Jerry Cegelske - A woman who just recently moved to Ketchikan stopped by the office and asked about volunteering to help clean up trash in our community.  I told her about some of the past projects that have been done on Revilla road, North and South Tongass, and within the City with the High School.  After talking for awhile, she left her name and a phone number after I explained that much of the work would start in April before the leaves were on the trees and brush. - More...
Monday PM - February 20, 2012

letter 'Just Another Routine Fright North' By Marshall H. Massengale - Although I'm a lower 48er, I always enjoy reading Dave Kiffer's columns his frequent digressions and occasional misspellings and other grammatical faux pas notwithstanding.  But it seems every so often, hizzoner the author takes a cut or two at the "hometown airline." - More...
Monday PM - February 20, 2012 

letter Old grunt squashing By David G. Hanger - In general terms, Mr. Bylund, you are correct.  It is considered bad form to compare anybody to Hitler.  But if someone is acting like a damned Hitlerian, I am not going to hesitate to point that out very succinctly.  About monsters I do not think one should be polite for even a nanosecond.  Depriving U.S. citizens of 1.5 billion man years of life I consider absolutely monstrous and insane.  Doing that by manipulating governmental policy is evil.  Congressman Paul Ryan wants to destroy the safety net completely, on the essential premise of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that those in need should perish out of hand as an inconvenience to the rest of us.  “Let parasites perish as they should.” - More...
Monday PM - February 20, 2012

letter The End of Liberty Is Here By Katheryn Burson - The NDAA passed without hearings, thereby cementing the U.S. as a police state giving law enforcement the right to detain and imprison us WITHOUT charges or due process.  Police brutality is being covered up by grabbing of citizen’s cell phones & cameras to prevent filming. - More.....
Monday PM - February 20, 2012

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