Alaska Car Rental - Ketchikan, Alaska

First Bank - Ketchikan, Alaska

Groomingdales Pet Resort - BARK, a no-kill animal shelter - Ketchikan, Alaska

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tatsuda's IGA - Ketchikan, Alaska
Weekly Specials

Remax of Ketchikan - Ketchikan, Alaska

Coastal Real Estate Group - Ketchikan, Alaska

Gateway City Realty, Inc - Ketchikan, Alaska

Schmolck Mechanical Contractors - Ketchiikan, Alaska

Madison Lumber & Hardware - True Value - Ketchikan, Alaska

Davies-Barry Insurance - Ketchikan, Alaska

Woodside Village Apartments - Ketchikan, Alaska

Southeast Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Southeast Services - Water Filtration Systems - Ketchikan, Alaska

Otter Creek Partners, Registered Investment Advisor - Ketchikan, Alaska

KRBD - Ketchikan Community Radio - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Humane Society

arrow Call 617-9696
arrowWebmail Lettersletter
arrowNews Tips
arrowCopyright Info

Quick News Search
arrowSE Alaska
arrowAlaska News Links

Columns - Articles
arrow Dave Kiffer
arrow Fish Factor
arrow Money Matters

Historical Ketchikan
arrowJune Allen
arrowDave Kiffer
arrowLouise B. Harrington

Ketchikan Arts & Events
arrowKetchikan Arts
arrowKetchikan Museums
arrowKTN Public Library

arrowKetchikan Links

Public Records
arrowFAA Accident Reports
arrowNTSB Accident Reports
arrowCourt Calendar
arrow Recent Filings & Case Dispositions
arrowCourt Records Search
arrowWanted: Absconders
arrowSex Offender Reg.
arrowPublic Notices

Weather, Webcams
arrowToday's Forecast
arrowKTN Weather Data
arrowAK Weather Map
arrowAK Weathercams
arrowAK Earthquakes

TV Guide

Ketchikan Phone Book
arrowYellow Pages
arrowWhite Pages

Government Links
arrowLocal Government
arrowState & National


SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 17, 2015

Front Page Photograph by CINDY BALZER

Fierce Eagles Sign Love?
The space between these two eagles is heart shaped. The sign of love.
Front Page Photograph by CINDY BALZER ©2015
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

Historical Ketchikan

arrowJune Allen
arrowDave Kiffer
arrowLouise B. Harrington


arrow Today's Forecast
arrow Weather Extremes
arrow Ketchikan Weather Data
arrow Current Weather Alaska

Search the News

arrow Ketchikan
arrow Alaska
arrow Sitnews

Southeast Alaska:
German POWs helped dismantle SE Alaska’s ‘White Elephant’ By DAVE KIFFER - Most of the stories about Alaska’s involvement in World War II deal with the Japanese attack on the Aleutians and the tragic relocation of hundreds of Aleuts from their homeland to camps in Southeast Alaska.

German POWs helped dismantle SE Alaska’s ‘White Elephant’

Prisoners of War Camp (German prisoners) Excursion Inlet, Southeast Alaska. August-November, 1945. The POW's return to the stockade at noon, 11-7-45.
U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph Collection, 1945
Courtesy Alaska State Library - Historical Collections

There are also plenty of stories about heroic Alaskans who fought in the war, like Ketchikan’s own Irvin Thompson, who died on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.

But relatively few Alaskans are aware that a large group of German prisoners of war were held in Southeast Alaska for several months towards the end of the war. They were tasked with taking apart a secret military installation that should probably never have been built it the first place.

The Alaska Barge Terminal was intended to help speed supplies to the Aleutians. Unfortunately, it was so large that by the time it was completed, the war in the Aleutians was over.

The site for the terminal was Excursion Inlet 25 miles west of Juneau, on the west side of the Chilkat Mountains near Gustavus in what is now Glacier Bay National Park.

Natives had used Excursion Inlet for camps generations prior to 1900, according to Southeast historian Pat Roppel. Roppel wrote in the Capital City Weekly in 2010, that two salmon canneries were established about three miles apart in the inlet in 1908. In 1935, Pacific American Fisheries (PAF) closed its cannery and purchased the slightly larger one owned by Astoria and Puget Sound Canning Company.

Then in early 1942, representatives of the United States government arrived in the inlet and began poking around, examining the terrain and measuring the water depth at various locations. Roppel notes that most of the documents regarding the “project” in state and federal files were marked “secret” and were classified for many years after the war.

Yet, the cannery continued to operate and local residents were allowed to continue to use the inlet, meaning that most people knew the location of the "secret" facility. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015


Alaska: ANWR Bill Would Give Alaska a 90-10 Royalty Split With Feds - U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), last week co-sponsored with U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) S. 494, the Authorizing Alaska Production Act, which would allow for oil and gas development on the non-wilderness coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). S. 494 would allow for development of the 1.5 million acres of the Arctic coastal plain, part of the non-wilderness portion of ANWR’s 19 million acres. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

Southeast Alaska: Federal subsistence hunting and trapping seasons for wolf
closed on Federal lands within Unit 2
- The Thorne Bay District Ranger, Rachelle Huddleston-Lorton and the Craig District Ranger, Matt Anderson, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, are closing the Federal public lands of Unit 2 to the harvest of wolf from 11:59 p.m., Sunday, February 22, 2015 until 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2015. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is also closing the State hunting and trapping seasons in Unit 2 on the same date. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

Alaka: Murkowski Backs Bill to “Shut the Door” on New Internet Taxes - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced Friday she is co-sponsoring the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, a bill to ban taxes on Internet access and other forms of unnecessary e-commerce taxation that could cause pricey tax hikes on Alaskans who already pay the highest Internet access rates in the nation. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

Alaska: State, Federal And Alaska Native Dignitaries Welcomed To Northwest Alaska - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel; U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan; Congressman Don Young; Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallot; and members of the Alaska Legislature met Monday in Kotzebue with the Northwest Arctic Leadership Team (NWALT) to discuss Arctic policy issues and tour sections of the Northwest Arctic Borough (NAB). - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

Alaska: LEGISLATURE DELIVERS STRONG MESSAGE TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - Monday, a nine-member delegation delivered a very strong message to the Federal Government: “Alaskans are fed up with federal intrusion and we want to restore balance between State and Federal powers, especially when it comes to resource development and creating strong schools, jobs and infrastructure for the people of Alaska.” The meeting preceded the Winter Leadership Retreat of the Alaska Federation of Natives which is set to take place Tuesday. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015



Alaska Science: Rafts of birds overwintering in the Bering Sea By NED ROZELL - Like flecks of pepper on chowder, all of the spectacled eiders on the planet are now gathered amid sea ice and steaming open leads in the Bering Sea.

Rafts of birds overwintering in the Bering Sea

The winter gathering spot of spectacled eiders in the sea ice south of St. Lawrence Island.
Photo by Matt Sexson, USGS Alaska Science Center

"It's a mass of life in this desolate area," said Matt Sexson, who once rode an icebreaker to see the winter gathering south of St. Lawrence Island.

Sexson, a biologist with the USGS Science Center in Anchorage, just handed in a draft of his Ph.D. chapter on the creatures whose wintering place was a mystery for more than a century. He has some ideas about why these "footballs with feathers" are now crowded into cracks in pack ice when other migrants are picking insects off palm trees.

About one year ago, a seismic station in Denali National Park between the Toklat River and the Eielson Visitor Center recorded an earthquake about 20 miles deep. It wasn’t big, a magnitude 1.7, but it shook longer than most earthquakes.

“These are volcanic-like earthquakes,” the type that happen when molten rock oozes beneath the surface, said Stephen Holtkamp, a researcher with the Alaska Earthquake Center. “They are right where volcanoes should be, right above the subducting slab at 100 kilometers depth.”

Mount Spurr, a volcano across Cook Inlet from Anchorage, erupted explosively in 1992. It hums all the time with earthquakes like the ones Holtkamp studied beneath Denali. Mount Spurr is on the southern end of what scientists call the Denali Gap, a 270-mile silent swath of the Alaska Range that could be pimpled with volcanoes but does not seem to be. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015


Columns - Commentary

jpg Dan Ortiz
A View From The House: Challenges Yes, But Also Opportunity By DAN ORTIZ - It is no secret that the State of Alaska is facing some very tough fiscal challenges. With the price of oil dropping to approximately $50 a barrel, down from around $110 dollars a barrel in September of 2013, state revenue has significantly declined. When the Alaska Legislature adjourned in the spring of 2014, they had approved 13.75 billion dollars in combined operating and capital budget expenditures that requires a drain on the 1.3 billion dollars our state has in savings. With the recent drop in oil prices, the state is now projected to draw on savings in the amount of 3.5 billion. At that rate, it would certainly take no more than 3-5 years for our savings reserves to disappear.

This is a time for unity. Every Alaskan, and every member of the legislature, is in this tough time together. We all have to address this 3.5 billion dollar shortfall with the necessary bipartisan approach that will help us arrive at a workable solution and develop a comprehensive fiscal policy with input from every region. It’s more than past time for the State of Alaska to get its fiscal house in order. The Alaska State Legislature’s number one priority should be establishing a sustainable budget. It’s in the best long term interests of all Alaskans that we do so. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

jpg Jeff Lund

JEFF LUND: Picture this - A picture is worth a thousand words. So is the steelhead photo in which the exposure is so off it looks like an ugly, unintentional silhouette - the thousand words are just different.

A trip is not just about the pictures, but a memory isn’t really complete without them.

Left without a frame of reference or guide, the brain can do all sorts of things. (This is why the one you lost is always the biggest). But a picture, even if it’s one of those locked-elbowed, shove-it-at-the-camera types that would make the fish look Biblical if your fingers didn’t wrap around it, takes the guesswork out. It was an exact, accurate moment, leaving just the events leading up to and after, prone to embellishment. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

jpg Phil Kerpen
PHIL KERPEN: Obama's Plan to Regulate the Internet Risks Content Control - Proponents of President Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the Internet insist they oppose content control. They even style themselves defenders of free speech. But there is a very serious risk that changing the Internet from an unregulated free enterprise into a heavily-regulated public utility will lead over time to content control.

This risk is dismissed as a myth or even a "lie" by proponents of the president's plan. A few years ago an employee of Free Press -- a group founded by a Marxist college professor who famously said "the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control" -- accused me of "a crackpot conspiracy" because I was concerned that economic regulation could lead to content control. - More...
Tuesday PM - February 17, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Plastic in Oceans

Political Cartoon: Plastic in Oceans
By Pat Bagley ©2015, Salt Lake Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


Real Time U.S. Debt Clock

U.S. Inflation Calculator
Easily calculate the buying power of the US dollar & inflation rate from 1913-2014

U.S. Energy Info. Admin.
Heating Oil & Propane Update

Public Service Announcements
Public Meetings & Info

KGB Animal Protection

arrow Adopt A Cat
arrow Adopt A Dog

Ketchikan Borough Assembly

Live Video streamarrow Live video stream of current meeting
arrowArchived videos
arrow Agenda and Information Packets
arrow Assembly Meeting Minutes

arrow Borough Records
arrow Calendar

Ketchikan Planning Commission

Live Video streamarrowLive video stream of current meeting
arrowAgenda, Information Packets & Minutes

Ketchikan City Council

Live Video stream

arrowView a Video of Meeting
arrowAgenda & Information Packets

Ketchikan School Board

Live Video streamarrowLive video stream of current meeting
arrowAgenda & Information Packets

Gravina Access Project SEIS Alternatives Development

arrow Gravina Access Website

Police Blotters

arrow AK Troopers Daily Dispatch
arrow Ketchikan Police Reports
arrow Juneau Police Reports


arrowToday's Forecast
arrowToday's Weather Images
arrowMarine Forecasts
arrowAK Weathercams
arrowKetchikan Weather Data
arrowCurrent AK Weather Map




Publish Your Ad
Click Here


arrowHelp Wanted
arrowJob Wanted
arrowFor Sale / Free Stuff
arrowGarage Sales
arrowHomes / Apts/ Property
arrowLost & Found
arrowPublish Your Ad

Front Page Archives
Letter Archives
Jan.- Feb.2015
28 29 30 31 01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14

arrowMore Front Page Archives & Letters

Basic Rules &
Freedom of Speech

Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Feral cats, Tamed but outdoors By Jim Lewis - Should cats be treated any differently than dogs?? I don't think so at all. It is a problem around Ketchikan that should be dealt with instead of letting cats run free without a license. If my dog were running loose there would be a fine. If it were to bite somebody it would be impounded and a fee would be imposed. - More...
Thursday AM - February 12, 2015

letter State of Alaska, Got Gas? By Tara Jollie - Sure do, in abundance. Oil too for that matter. It is a long and winding path that has led to the current state dilemma of (1) providing public services in the face of a crippling fiscal deficit, (2) reducing a bloated government, and (3) striking a balance in a state deeply divided on the political front. - More...
Thursday AM - February 12, 2015

letter Ketchikan gas prices By Eric Weaver - I have lived in many parts of the state. Some of these place, have massive storage for fuel. ALL of them have cheaper fuel prices than Ketchikan! Here are a few very remote locations and their prices. - More...
Thursday AM - February 12, 2015

Naha Devastation By Mike Youngblood - July 1978 – that’s the first time I went to the Naha. Since that time I’ve gone there dozens of times, at all times of the year. I’ve been there on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and everything in between. But never, until last weekend, had I seen it like this. - More...
Tuesday AM - February 10, 2015

letter A Threat To Ward Creek Trail By Eric Muench - Over the years extensive trail systems have been built in the Ward, Connell and Perseverance Lakes and Ward Creek and Salvage Road areas. Ward Creek Trail, in the heart of these, is now at risk. - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter What should Ketchikan do about ‘feral’ cats? By Kim Whalen - This has been written in response to recent Borough Assembly and Animal Control discussions regarding solutions for ‘feral’ cats in our community. - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter Astounding State of Alaska Pay Scale By A.M. Johnson - Interesting article in the Alaska Dispatch News this date (2-6-15) regarding pay schedule for deputy commissioners and other high level personnel. Would the common man ever be made aware of these astronomical pay scales in several categories had not this publication had the fortitude to bring them to light? - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter REMEMBERING PATCHWorks By Diane Gubatayao - Over fifteen years ago a great many citizens of Ketchikan participated in a planning process led by Ketchikan Public Health. The key question was what builds a healthy community? Their response was not the customary prevent heart disease or prevent cancer. Their response was truly visionary: if we want to build a healthy community, we need to invest in healthy youth. But how? - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter ONE BILLION RISING 2/14/15 By Janalee Minnich Gage - Ketchikan is an amazing community where amazing people come together regardless of how busy their daily lives are. The first time I heard of one billion rising, was last year. I went online and listened first to the song, and then I watched several videos from around the world where communities from the Philippines to Africa joined together for this 5-6 minute flash mob dance. I was drawn in simply because I was a student of dance throughout grade school and middle school and always felt this great freedom of expression, and happiness from it. I am older and slower today, and yet I am still drawn as I believe so many of us are to dance. - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter GAS PRICE: THE EXTENT OF THE RIP-OFF THIS WEEK By David G Hanger  - Talked to the ex- on the phone a few days ago. The price of gasoline in San Antonio is now $1.60 a gallon and still falling. What that means is the price of gasoline dropped 40 cents a gallon in the first three weeks of January. In Arkansas the price is down to $1.56. - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

letter RE: IRS Debacle By Stephen C, Eldridge - This letter is just one more example of FairTax® deception. The FairTax® does not cure excessive, foolish, un-Constitutional federal spending - that is a distinctly different problem from the tax system. - More...
Saturday AM - February 07, 2015

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 Webmail your letter or
letterEmail Your Letter To:

E-mail your news tips, news
releases & photos to:

Stories in the News
©1997 - 2012
Ketchikan, Alaska

In Memory of SitNews' editor
Richard (Dick) Kauffman


Mary Kauffman, Webmaster/Editor,
907 617 9696


Locally owned & operated.

Est. 1997
Est. Commercial 2005-2015
©1997 - 2015

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted or redistributed without written permission from and payment of required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so, granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.


Sourdough Tactical - Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Creekside Family Health Clinic - Ketchikan, Alaska

First City Homeless Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan H2O - Bulk Water Hauling

Ketchikan H20 Bottled Water Service - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaskan & Proud

Lighthouse Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Rendezvous Senior Day Services, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

C&D Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Steelhead Electerical LLC - Ketchikan, Alaska

AAA Moving & Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Great Western Service - Bear Valley Apartments - Ketchikan, Alaska

Kay's Gift Shop - Unique Gifts - Ketchikan, Alaksa

The Home Office - The Local Paper; Ketchikan, Alaska

The Local Paper is now available online.
Click here for this week's printed edition

Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce - Ketchikan, Alaska


KPU - Salmon Landing webcam - Ketchikan, Alaska KPU Webcams - Ketchikan, Alaska Sample Ballots Official Election Pamphlet