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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 07, 2013

Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA

Bam, Bam, Bam...
Equipment operator Dan Hoyt dismantled & used the demolished material as a platform to reach the upper floors of the old hospital structure -- most currently known as the Bawden Street Apartments. The debris will be loaded into trucks from Bawden Street and hauled to the landfill. BAM Construction started the demolition of the old hospital on January 28th.  
Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA ©2013
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)



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Southeast Alaska: 13-Year-Old Girl Identified As Victim In Kake Death Investigation By Mary Kauffman - The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of a 13 year old girl in Kake. The young girl's body was discovered just before midnight on Tuesday inside the arctic entry of the Memorial Presbyterian Church by a community member.

Alaska State Troopers were notified at approximately 11:34 pm Tuesday. The local EMS responded and confirmed that the young girl was deceased. Alaska State Troopers from Juneau and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation from Anchorage, along with a crime scene response team from the State Crime Detection Laboratory, are responded to Kake to investigate.

Family identified the deceased as 13 year old Mackenzie H. Howard of Kake. Howard's body will be sent to Anchorage for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of her death. Troopers remained in Kake through the evening Wednesday and into Thursday as the crime scene is being processed and interviews are being conducted. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

Alaska: Federal Decision Against Road Threatens King Cove Residents By Mary Kauffman - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Tuesday evaluating a proposed land exchange that would establish a road corridor through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say after their careful evaluation of the impact of the construction and operation of the proposed road on the refuge and its wildlife resources, the agency has identified its preferred alternative as one that does not support allowing the land exchange to go forward.

This “no build alternative ”decision specifically will prohibit a strategic three-way land exchange between the State of Alaska, village corporations, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The exchange would allow for construction of the road through Izemak National Wildlife Refuge on the Alaska Peninsula and provide King Cove residents with access to the airport runway in Cold Bay.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s preferred alternative would protect the heart of a pristine landscape that congress designated as wilderness and that serves as vital habitat for grizzly bear, caribou and salmon, shorebirds and waterfowl – including 98 percent of the world’s population of Pacific black brant,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “After extensive dialogue and exhaustive scientific evaluation, the agency has identified a preferred path forward that will ensure this extraordinary refuge and its wilderness are conserved and protected for future generations.”

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell expressed his deep frustration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) announced selection of a “no action” alternative saying, “I cannot fathom why the Fish and Wildlife Service prioritized a perceived risk to birds over an existing threat to human life. Parnell said, “After years of good faith efforts by the State of Alaska, the Alaska Legislature, the Aleutians East Borough, the City of King Cove, the King Cove Corporation, the Agdaagux Tribe, the Belkofski Tribe, and local residents to work with the federal government, the USFWS chose to deny King Cove residents access to basic services, like all-weather medical evacuation.”

The Governor said the road alternatives in the EIS require roughly 200 acres of federal land for a nine-mile road corridor to complete a 25-mile link between King Cove and Cold Bay. In a land exchange that depends on a road being built, the state and King Cove Corporation offered approximately 56,000 acres to be added to the Izembek and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge.

Quoting the Governor's news release, the road alternatives would complete a 25-mile link between King Cove and Cold Bay’s all-weather airport. The community of King Cove and the Aleutians East Borough have sought the road for many years as an alternative to a weather-dependent hovercraft. Operation of the hovercraft has proven very expensive and unreliable in bad weather. A road link is particularly important when residents of King Cove have medical emergencies and need to be evacuated by air ambulance.

“The weather in that region is some of the most dangerous in the world,” Governor Parnell added. “The residents need and deserve a safe, reliable transportation option. A road will save lives, and is the only workable long-term solution.”

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) condemned the Department of the Interior for ignoring the safety of the residents of King Cove in opposing emergency road access through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula.

Public Law 111-11, sponsored by Murkowski, orders a land exchange and construction of a road to allow the residents of King Cove access to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay for emergency evacuation purposes.

According to Murkowski, as required by law, Secretary Salazar still must make a public interest determination on the transfer and the road.

“This decision is unacceptable and reflects a wanton disregard for the lives of the Aleut people who have called the Aleutians home for thousands of years. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a matter of life and death to the people of King Cove,” Murkowski said. “Too many people have died already for there to be any legitimate excuse for further delay.” - More...
thursday AM - February 07, 2013

Alaska: Lava Dome Discovered; Cleveland Volcano Listed as "Watch" - The Alaska Volcano Observatory changed the Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation Color Code for Cleveland Volcano after evidence of a lava dome was discovered. Wednesday, AVO issued a Volcanic Activity Notice that states "development of a lava dome in the summit crater indicates that sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning. Ash clouds, if produced, could exceed 20,000 feet above sea level."

Cleveland Volcano, residing in Alaska's Aleutian Chain, is listed as "Watch" under the current Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation Color Code was updated to "Orange." Satellite data from the end of January indicates a lava dome has grown in the summit crater and it is about 100 meters in diameter. The lava dome may have begun forming as early as Jan. 24, 2013 when elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images. The size and shape of the dome appears to be unchanged through February 2, according to the most recently available satellite data. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

Alaska: One Arrest Made In Explosion Investigation - A Fairbanks man was arrested Wednesday for the February 2nd explosion that occurred on a makeshift shooting range in a residential area in Fairbanks. The makeshift range is on the property of a local resident in the area of Heath Way and Gateway.

The explosion was of such magnitude that at least 12 Fairbanks residences were affected. All had multiple items fall off walls and shelves some of which resulted in property damage. At least six of the residences received actual damage to the structures themselves. The blast blew out windows, soffits, vents, and other parts of the homes.

Guy Christopher Mannino, 54 years-of-age of Fairbanks, was arrested Wednesday at the Fairbanks International Airport by Alaska State Troopers and Fairbanks International Airport Police. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

Southeast Alaska: Sex Offender Sentenced To 150 Years - In what is likely one of the longest sentences handed down for sexual abuse in the history of the State of Alaska, Superior Court Judge Eric Smith sentenced former Valdez resident Derek Werder on February 4, 2013 to serve 150 years in prison.

A Valdez jury convicted Werder last June of 16 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, nine counts of sexual assault in the first degree, three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, four counts of assault in the third degree, and one count of assault in the fourth degree. For more than a decade, Werder sexually and physically abused his young stepdaughter, videotaped some of his crimes, and forced others to participate in some of the sexual assaults. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

Southeast Alaska: New extension agent to serve Southeast - Sarah Lewis is the new health, home and family development agent for the UAF Cooperative Extension Service in Southeast Alaska.

Lewis is a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in Juneau and moved back to the community in 2003. An architect, she has worked for architecture firms in Anchorage and, most recently, as a project manager for the City and Borough of Juneau architecture division.

Her longtime interests, however, have included food security and emergency planning, preparation and preservation of local foods, family economics, and home energy and resource conservation. Lewis is excited about offering programs on those topics in Southeast communities. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013


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letter RE: Who's Left With The Bill By Amanda Mitchell - I would recommend all of our town's people to look into the history of our bus barn and into who was making a huge profit and holding all the cards. We, our city, owned the property, but the building was owned by another. It was such a loose contract and, if we decided that we no longer liked the terms, we were stuck with it or we would have had to forfeit the property over to the company. This situation sounds similar. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter Underfunding has crippled state’s education system By Joan Pardes - Like everything else in Alaska, the state’s education problem is big. Despite being one of the richest states in America (CNN News), Alaska has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country (U.S. Department of Education).  But more distressing than lagging behind the poorest states is the undisputable fact that education is not a priority for Alaska’s lawmakers. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter RE: Drug Testing By Michael Mateer - First I would like to say in defense of myself & my fellow drivers and equipment operators, we are paid well for what we do and we are hard working men and woman building a community. I find it rude and disrespectful that anyone would suggest that based on our rate of pay that we are are a bunch of drug users. I have lived in this town proudly for 12 years and have been involved in every Davis Bacon job since March 02. I HAVE HELD A CLASS A CDL FOR 30 YEARS accident free. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter Repeal of citizens initiative on fast track By Norm Noggle - On the one hand we have a Congress and Governor who approve of $30 million to study the reasons for decline of the King Salmon, which I don't object.  If it takes $30 million to get some "proof" to understand the variety of ways humans have hurt the salmons life process, it's ok with me.  Who knows, it might even result in some positive changes, especially if it doesn't rub up against opposition from some big money interests.  And just maybe our local fisherman can increase their catch and provide more for their families. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter Dumping in Southeast waters By Bruce Dixon - The recent legislation passed by the House allowing cruise liners to dump waste in Southeast waters is another example of poor stewardship to our beautiful State. How can we promote our pristine seafood and allow such devastation of natural resources in the same breath? Having worked as a deckhand and learned the value of the salmon species as well as the other sea creatures, it is a crime to dump raw sewage into the areas that we are eating from and swimming in on a frequent basis. Other industries are expected to and required by law to clean up after themselves and be good stewards to the environment and yet our lawmakers are allowing this travesty to occur. With the expulsion of these toxins we are inviting a slew of new health problems and bad press regarding the seafood industry. I cannot understand how one can bargain for the polluting and stripping of our resources in a way that could be avoided. Jobs are necessary but so is responsible stewardship of the ecosystem. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter Hypocrite Thy Name is Democrat By Gene Peterson - Dear Mary Kauffman, I love Sitnews. It is always the first thing I read in the morning. But I have to take issue with one of your news stories: GOP bill would discharge cruiseship sewage in Alaska waters. When you use the Democrat's propaganda as news, there will be problems. It is like using PETA as a source of information on lamb chops, or the Ku Klux Klan on race. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter HB 80 By Robert Rice - Our representatives are supposedly in office to represent the will of the people who elected them. The voters of Alaska passed an initiative in 2006 to protect our pristine waters from the pollution from the cruise ships. The arrogance of Governor Parnell and the legislature to blatantly overturn the initiative that was voted in by the people is unbelievable. I would be very curious to see how much this self-serving, parasite's 'personal wealth increases from when he inherited the governorship of Alaska. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter CBS/KPU Solution and Thoughts By Jason Mitchell - Regarding CBS Southeast: All of this has been going back and forth, back and forth, with both sides blaming the other I recently took the time, to call both parties, and have close to an hour long phone conversation with both Ed Cushing, and some random guy who called me back when the local CBS lady couldn't help me, and said he was the owner. - More...
Thursday AM - February 07, 2013

letter Commercial Drug Testing By Geord Kleinschmidt - It was interesting to read about the City's decision to enforce the testing of contractors and their crews who work on City of Ketchikan jobs. The City might want to consider the unintended consequences of such action because I believe the problem is more widespread than one might imagine. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Lack of Funding for the School District By Dave Timmerman - OK everyone, this is a plea for the community of Ketchikan. Many of you know I am on Ketchikan School Board. Well as a concerned citizen and parent I felt the need to push some of my feelings out there in the form of a letter to the community. This letter is not intended as the position of the School Board and I am not representing them in any way. This is from Citizen Dave. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter The decline of our fish By Arthur Kennedy - Wow! 30 million dollars to study our king salmon? There's nothing to study. It might take years to study when only common sense is needed to apply. King salmon need food, they need the herring. Stop harvesting the herring for commercial use. At least rotate the fishing of herring yearly. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter RE: Assault on Democracy? By A.M. Johnson - Outstanding!! Well stated Gene Peterson. Please know that I will join with you and encourage others bcc'd including our elected officials to pursue tort law legislation that will require "Looser Pays" in legal challenge to legislation that affects the public affairs. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Sherman Roger Alexander vs United States: From our point of view By Nahaan (Son of Sherman Roger Alexander) - This writing is to provide the court room and judge a chance to reconsider finding Sherman Roger Alexander guilty of anything but being Haida. This writing is to tell of the native individuals experience against a US government. This letter is to initiate a shift in the power structure of Alaska and surrounding landmasses from an unjust way of life, to return instead, to a life in harmony and balance with the land and its original inhabitants. This letter is to provide the native corporations with an opportunity to show support for its shareholders who have had to stand in court rooms, shareholders who went without letters of support from the very organizations said to represent the tribes and native individuals. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Who's left with the bill? By Ed Plute - $20 million for a hospital Ketchikan does not own? Wake up. A 10 x15 break room, $300,000? - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Life campaign By Rob Holston - "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of those who are doomed." - Proverbs 31:8.  Our local 40 Days For Life campaign begins Feb. 13.  It is a peaceful prayer vigil that is part of a national movement that has seen tremendous results.   - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Fair Tax Act By Patrick R. Burkett - The Fair Tax Act proposes a tax on all new merchandise and services in place of all income taxes, payroll taxes, corporation taxes, and taxes on dividends, interest, and capital gains. Critics of the Act, which proposes a 23% inclusive tax, have confused the issue by saying that this law is in reality a 30% tax. To clear up this misinformation, consider the following explanation. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter Re: What's the problem? By Paul Jarvi - Mr. Hanger's response was predictable and the name calling on your part was anticipated. I disagree with your opinions in some but not all of your letters to Sitnews. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 05, 2013

letter The Loud Whistle By Donald Petrey - Has anyone heard the loud far off whistle when you drive past the Bailey power house? That is the sound of all OUR hard earned money literally going up in smoke, smoke stack that is. I am in the process of going before the Ketchikan city council and asking them to make some policy changes and allow ALL private citizens and businesses if we choose to, to generate part of our own power and supply it back into the KPU power grid. - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter Assault on Democracy? By Gene Peterson - Thank you Sitnews for giving me the biggest laugh on the month. - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter New Credit Card Surcharges by Retailers By Marvin Seibert - Recently In July 2012, a federal court in New York ruled that merchants can impose credit card surcharges unless states pass laws to prevent it. - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter Degradation of Alaska’s clean water By Daven Hafey & James Sullivan - The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council does not support the governor’s proposal to allow the degradation of Alaska’s clean water. The Cruise Ship Wastewater Discharge Permits bill (SB 29 &HB 80) is a flawed piece of legislation that does not adequately address the issues of large passenger ship effluent discharge. Alaskans understand that the average cruise ship can discharge 800 cubic meters of partially treated effluent per day. That means potentially 634 million gallons per season. That is the equivalent of over 19,000,000 bathtubs worth of water with contaminants such as fecal coliform, ammonia, and dissolved metals like copper, zinc, and nickel dropped in the Inside Passage waters. There are numerous issues within this legislation that we find especially troubling. Here are some of the major ones: - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter 100 Years of 16th Amendment By Wiley Brooks - February 3, 2013, another day of life in America! Many are excited about the Super Bowl.   Ironically, it's also a day to celebrate “The Super Tax!” Yes, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment! - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter An American Idea By Glen E. Terrell - The FairTax is an idea whose time has come.  The congress, both House and Senate, republicans and democrats, has demonstrated time after time, the inability to restrain itself with the public purse.  The congress simply can’t govern effectively as long as the income tax is in place.  Even the “fiscal crises” legislation passed by the current congress added $74 billion MORE to the deficit; all to favor special interest groups.  In order to save America, congress must be denied the instrument of its folly; the income tax.  A solution has been filed away in a drawer somewhere by the congress for over 10 years.  It’s called The FairTax. It’s neither a republican nor democrat idea but truly an American idea! - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter RE: What's the Problem? By David G. Hanger - At no time have I ever initiated any kind of dispute with Paul Jarvi whatsoever. Paul Jarvi likes to insert himself into various subjects I present with personal insults to me, a “slay the messenger” tactic rather than dealing with the issues at hand. On Paul Jarvi’s part this is a persistent and chronic problem. What does anything the man put in his memo have to do with the issue of gasoline prices? Not a damned thing. Three sentences, three insults. - More...
Saturday AM - February 02, 2013

letter Heros of the Day By Dave Hull - Early Monday evening there was a car wreck near the north end of D-1 loop road. The roads were treacherous and someone ended up over an embankment and was trapped in their car. While emergency crews were attempting to get the driver out, two more accidents occurred in the same general area including a large truck that managed to take the bank on the opposite side of the road and stayed away from the crews working on the wrecked car. - More...
Thursday AM - January 31, 2013

letter Disregard for the Public Process By Daven Hafey - Public participation is the cornerstone of democracy.  We see it clearly expressed by our forefathers in their description of the ideal government: one that is ruled by the people, for the people.   Unfortunately, the democratic process is under direct threat in Alaska.  There has been a pattern of behavior in the Capitol Building recently, both by the Governor’s office and the Legislature, to whittle away at our revered democratic process. - More...
Thursday AM - January 31, 2013

letter What's the problem? By Paul Jarvi - Everytime I suggest Mr. Hanger may be wrong in his opinion he confronts me with unkind terms. What is your problem Mr. Hanger? - More...
Thursday AM - January 31, 2013

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