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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 04, 2015

Front Page Photograph by SUSAN HOYT

South Tongass Sunset
Front Page Photograph by SUSAN HOYT ©2015
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Nurses ratify agreement with PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - The Alaska Nurses Association’s Ketchikan Registered Nurses bargaining unit unanimously voted to ratify a labor contract agreement reached with PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center yesterday, following several rounds of negotiations that ended with two days of bargaining overseen by a mediator.

The contract negotiations, which lasted over four months, were accompanied by informational picketing as the Ketchikan nurses rallied for the community’s support of their needs for increased clinical support and higher wages to help train and retain new nurses hired at the hospital.

The new three-year contract aims to improve nurse retention, decreases the need for nurse recruitment and promotes nurse and patient safety, thanks to several major issues agreed upon by the bargaining unit negotiating team and the medical center. Major milestones include higher wages for nurses, comparable to wages paid to nurses in PeaceHealth’s facilities in the Lower 48. Currently, the nurses receive lower salaries despite the higher cost of living in the small Southeast Alaska community. The contract also provides for improved orientation and training as well as the development of a new mentorship program and additional hours of clinical support during the night shift. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

Alaska: NOAA SHIES AWAY FROM ALEUTIANS MARINE SANCTUARY - A proposal to name the Aleutian Islands marine ecosystem as Alaska’s first National Marine Sanctuary has run aground on local political opposition, according to a letter from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, PEER says the only path to obtain permanent federal protection for Alaska waters may be designation as a national monument by President Obama using his powers under the Antiquities Act.

In 2014, the Obama administration reopened a long-closed public nomination process for new marine sanctuaries. In December, PEER proposed sanctuary status for federal waters along the Aleutian Islands archipelago, Pribilof Islands and Bristol Bay. The sanctuary would cover 554,000 square nautical miles, even larger than the Pacific Remote Islands monument expanded this past September by President Obama. It would create the largest marine protected area in U.S. waters and one of the largest in the world. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

Alaska: Melting Glaciers Increase the Flow of Carbon to Downstream Ecosystems - Melting glaciers are not just impacting sea level, they are also affecting the flow of organic carbon to the world’s oceans, according to new research that provides the first ever global-scale estimates for the storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers.

The research, published in the Jan. 2015 issue of Nature Geoscience, is crucial to better understand the role glaciers play in the global carbon cycle, especially as climate warming continues to reduce glacier ice stores and release ice-locked organic carbon into downstream freshwater and marine ecosystems.

“This research makes it clear that glaciers represent a substantial reservoir of organic carbon,” said Eran Hood, the lead author on the paper and a scientist with the University of Alaska Southeast (Juneau). “As a result, the loss of glacier mass worldwide, along with the corresponding release of carbon, will affect high-latitude marine ecosystems, particularly those surrounding the major ice sheets that now receive fairly limited land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon.” - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015


Alaska: Southwestern Alaska Glaciers Rapidly Disappearing; Over a 50-year period, 50 percent of their area lost - Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Northern Arizona University recently reported in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management that 10 of 109 glaciers of the Ahklun Mountains that were originally mapped by the U.S Geological Survey in the 1970s had completely disappeared.

Southwestern Alaska Glaciers Rapidly Disappearing; Over a 50-year period, 50 percent of their area lost

Ahklun Mountain glaciers on the Mt. Waskey massif, late summer 2006.
Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The research team had conducted an aerial survey of the glaciers to verify their presence or absence. They also compared the size of the glaciers using aerial photographs and satellite images from 1957, 1984, and 2009 and found that the glaciers had lost about 50 percent of their area. At this rate of melting, all of the glaciers in the Ahklun Mountains will be gone by the end of this century.

“The expression, ‘at a glacial pace’ may need to be updated,” said Patrick Walsh, fish and wildlife biologist with the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and co-author of the paper. “These glaciers are disappearing before our eyes.”

Located in the northeast corner of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, the glaciers of the Ahklun Mountains are the only glaciers in southwestern Alaska, north of the Alaska Peninsula. These glaciers feed meltwater in the summertime to four major salmon watersheds and a wide array of pristine lakes. Though some research on these glaciers had been done previously, they had not been studied comprehensively to determine the rate they are receding. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

Ketchikan: Ketchikan UAS Students Make Fall 2014 Honors List - University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan has announced the names of the students who have made the UAS Chancellor’s and Dean’s lists for the Fall 2014 Semester.

Starla Agoney, Stephanie Alley, Ian Johnson-Beitman and Ronald Mello made the Fall 2014 semester Chancellor’s List. A student must be admitted to a program, earn a 4.00 grade point average, and complete at least 12 credit hours during the semester to make the Chancellor’s Honor List. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015


Southeast Alaska:
Tribe Announces New Management Team Members - Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced two new members joining their team. Elizabeth Moore joins the team as the new Employment & Training Manager and Grace Singh joins as Special Assistant to the President.

Tribe Announces New Management Team Members

Left to Right: Grace Singh & Elizabeth Moore
Photos courtesy Central Council

As Employment & Training Manager, Moore will provide oversight of the following programs: Employment Services, General Assistance, Job Placement, Training Services, and Youth Employment Services. Elizabeth brings four years of workforce development program management and five years of tribal management experience, including grants and accounting services with Alaska tribes and community development projects. She returned to Alaska after spending the past two years managing the funds for a non-profit charter school in Caldwell, Idaho.

Moore is Yupik and was born in Dillingham, Alaska and raised in the Bering Sea village of Quinhagak. She has two daughters Alexis and Taren and one son Stephan. Elizabeth is also the proud grandparent of five precious grandchildren. Her family continues to reside in her home village of Quinhagak and her birthplace Dillingham.

Singh’s new position as Special Assistant to the President combines two former positions: Governmental Affairs Liaison and Assistant to the President. This position coordinates intergovernmental activities through effective management and coordination of federal, state, municipal, and intertribal relations to promote the Tribe’s interests and achieve its goals and objectives. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015


Ketchikan: Local Investment Professional Graduates As Certified Financial Planner™ - Christine Dahl, CFP®, Partner at Otter Creek Partners, a Registered Investment Advisor located in Ketchikan has been authorized as of December 31, 2014 by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® designation marks. Dahl is responsible for working as a financial planner with clients of the firm, specializing in personal financial planning, retirement planning and investment planning.

Local Investment Professional Graduates As Certified Financial Planner™

Christine Dahl

Dahl is one of only seventy (70) Certified Financial Planners™ who have been awarded this prestigious designation in Alaska and one of only two (2) located in Ketchikan, both at Otter Creek Partners. The latest estimates are that there are approximately 70,000 Certified Financial Planners™ currently licensed to practice in the United States. Although anyone can refer to themselves as “financial planners” or “financial advisors”, only those who have met the rigorous experience, ethical requirements and educational coursework, including graduation and successful completion of the examinations can call themselves Certified Financial Planners™.

The CFP® Certification Examinations test proficiencies in the following areas: the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning, retirement, employee benefits, and estate planning. CFP® professionals also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Vaccines

Political Cartoon: Vaccines
By Milt Priggee ©,
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Let’s win assault on Alaska together By U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan - Most of us remember where we were when we first learned of some momentous event that seemed briefly to freeze history in time. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

letter Break the Chain By Diane Gubatayao - What do one billion and 50% have in common? They both represent statistics about violence against women and girls. According to the World Health Organization, one third or one billion women and girls around the world experience either domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime. Here in Ketchikan, according to a survey conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 1 out of 2 women over 18 years of age in Ketchikan have been victims of DV or SA in their lifetime. These are staggering numbers and very real. - More..
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

letter Inflated Gas Prices By Bobbie McCreary - Filled up last night in Lincoln, CA for $2.09. Since January 25th as I traveled through Nebraska and Minnesota and California, I have not seen a price higher than $2.49 anywhere, regardless of city or rural area. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

letter IRS debacle By Joe O'Hara - It just isn't fair! We work hard for our money. But the government takes a portion and allocates it to programs we could never justify. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

letter "Snake Oil” By Tom Dowdy - The National Association for Gun Rights has recently undertaken a campaign to smear hundreds of thousands of great patriots around the nation that are responding to the call of the founders to use the single most powerful tool given to us to save our nation. This group contemptibly refers to the lawful, orderly, and Constitutional process in Article V as “snake oil”. They invoke the names of men like James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, and refer to the date of the Philadelphia Convention as being 1789 (What ?). - More...
Wednesday AM - February 04, 2015

letter THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC), FACT, FAD, OR FANTASY? By David G Hanger, EA, MBA - While the extra fees from the formation of all these limited liability companies definitely adds considerably to my bankroll, the older ethics of my profession, to which I still adhere, specifies that I, as a licensed practitioner, must do no harm to my client’s financial position; thus professional responsibility alone warrants the caution that the LLC in most instances, by which I mean in excess of 98% of them, will not limit at all personal liability if something bad happens in a business operation. In other words for most of you it is just a waste of money and time, and that money could be better directed to one of the two things that actually can limit your personal liability: Insurance. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter Ketchikan gas prices By Bill Christensen - Wow, the beginning of this week gas in town was showing $3.43 per gallon at Safeway. Also there was an article in the news stating the reason for the gas prices dropping so slowly here is because of bulk storage. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter Keeping Ferry Bars Open By Michael Moyer - Who gave the State Ferry system the right to close the lounges on the ferries? The Alaska Marine Highway ferries are the property of the people of the State of Alaska. The people of the State of Alaska should be asked if THEY want the lounges closed. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter ANWR: Why not lock it up? By John Suter - The reason President Obama is locking up ANWR from oil development is because the state wouldn’t get anything from this development. The state is giving all of the money it would make from oil going through the pipeline this year and next year to the oil companies plus an additional 500 million dollars of cash from the state's savings account. The states motto is “Ask not what the oil companies can do for you, but what you can do for the oil companies”. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter Too many childish mistakes to be real. By Richard Davis - While the series is interesting, the Discovery Channel probably shouldn't try to pass the Browns off as anything other than what they really are. Greenhorns that have decided to try to make it in the wild. They make far far too many mistakes that could be fatal to have the experience they profess to have. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter RE: Off Leash is lethal By Marlene Steiner - I had accidentally hit a dog one time when I was out North of town. The dog was lucky because I had to stop for a school bus and when I started driving a dog darted right out in front me. I hit it on the back upper leg. I did stop and tried to find it to see if was ok but could not find it. I contacted the State Troopers about Leash Laws for North end and I was told there is a Leash Law for all of the Ketchikan area. I explained what had happened and was told the owner of the dog that was hit is in the wrong for letting it run lose. - More...
Monday AM - February 02, 2015

letter Questions for PeaceHealth Ketchikan By Ralph and Lauren Mirsky - Nurse’s, Nurse Practitioners; family, friends, women and men that are Living and working in our community; these highly Educated, Dedicated Professionals work towards the well being of all of us that live here in Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday AM - January 29, 2015

letter Alaska Needs A Voice in Washington By Mike Wenstrup - Alaska has always needed a voice in Washington. From the Trans Alaska Pipeline to the Native Claims Settlement Act to present day debates about oil exploration, our economic opportunities are closely linked to federal policy. That means our federal representatives must be effective, not just loud. - More...
Thursday AM - January 29, 2015

letter Poor Cleanup By Don Petrey - I am writing this letter to bring to light the recent accident. I drove by right after it happened and then about 2 hours later. And the one thing that really concerned me was all the antifreeze coolant and oil that was left on the road. All that material got washed into the storm drains as we got some rain. - More...
Thursday AM - January 29, 2015

letter RE: Discovery's Alaska Bush People is unreal By Janice Paschke - You are so right. This family is a joke! They all have new boots, new tents, new guns, tacky cheap jewelry - I could go on forever. You can tell by the way they act that the show is scripted and everyone wants their close ups. - More...
Thursday AM - January 29, 2015

letter Starting Fresh By Jerry Cegelske - The New Year offers everyone an opportunity to start fresh. Starting fresh can be something personal like improving your diet or health, but it can also be something community oriented, like doing a better job of doing your part for the community. For some businesses, one way to be better at doing your part as a better member of the business community is by keeping on top of your obligations to collect and remit sales taxes. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Off-leash is lethal By Gretchen Moore - Have you ever heard the sound it makes when a vehicle traveling at 55mph hits a dog standing in the road? As the owner of Groomingdales located at 12 miles N. Tongass, I've heard the sound more times than I can count on all of my fingers and toes and it never gets easier as it echoes in your head, over and over. I never can seem to run fast enough to the road to get to the pet in need. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Discovery's Alaska Bush People is unreal By Clay Slanaker - I am very disappointed in the portrayal of Ketchikan and the rest of Southeast Alaska by the Discovery channel. The reality of the show is left far behind the scenes. No one shoots at a Sitka blacktail deer with their scope covers closed, nobody leaves town with dental issues that could cause death, and nobody that leaves town with dental issues buys two boats with the possibility of dying in the bush just to impress the masses! - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Open Letter: Public funds for Governor's ball By A. M. Johnson - Following is the content of a personal email to Ketchikan Assembly persons requesting that public funding not be utilized in the cost of the upcoming governor's ball in Ketchikan. The intent is not to be taken as a slap at the governor or the tradition. It is the objection of using this symbol of celebration with public funding in trying times the current and years out reflect. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Go Gridlock By David Levine - Now that the State of the Union has been delivered, it’s time for all the usual suspects to start chiming in with all their predictable comments. The Republicans undoubtedly will call the President obtuse for refusing to heed the recent election as a call to rethink his policies, and his Democratic Party allies will line up behind him, cheering his tenacity in the face of an increasingly unforgiving opposition. But because that opposition now has a majority in Congress, virtually nothing that the President has proposed will ever see the light of day. So the State of the Union ends up being nothing but bluster and theater, containing vague, flowery ideas never having any chance of coming to fruition. Politics as usual as they say. Cynics might get angry at this exercise in futility, deeming it a colossal waste of time that serves to do nothing more than poignantly illustrate a broken political system in Washington. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Time for Real Fix for Healthy Forest Management By Dan Shoun - I think it’s time for Senator Murkowski and her colleagues to quit bashing the Forest Service and take a good look in the mirror to see where part of the problem resides! We stand ready, in many Western States to work with Congress on the real fix for Healthy Forest Management and how Counties and Schools are compensated for these otherwise untaxable lands! - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Out of control government By Tom Dowdy - An Article V Amending Convention of States is on the move. Now no one can deny the Article V movement has truly swept the nation. The desire to curb the federal government's abuses is not limited to northern states or southern states, red states or blue states. Americans from all stripes realize something must be done, and they understand a Convention of States is the best way to do it. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

letter Time for an Article V Amending Convention of States By Jeff Kroyer - America is currently under attack. This time it is from within our borders and from many of our fellow citizens. Our constitution is being trampled upon by many people, from the President, Congressional Leaders and Supreme Court Justices. The abuse of Executive Decrees by the president, as well as the irresponsible and reckless spending by the federal government, has us on the road to perdition as a nation. - More...
Monday PM - January 26, 2015

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