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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 07, 2018

Front Page Feature Photo By JUDITH ROSE TACKER

Refuge Cove Marina, Ketchikan
Front Page Feature Photo By JUDITH ROSE TACKER ©2018

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Fish Factor: Identifying Alaska seafood trends in a changing marketplace By LAINE WELCH - Millennials are now the nation’s “peak spenders” and they are gravitating towards healthier eating which favors more seafood.

“We see year over year that there is this cohort aged 35 to 54 that is going to be spending far more across categories, including food expenditures, than any others,” said Will Notini, consumer insights manager at Chicago-based Technomic, a leading market tracker for over 50 years.” 

The company has contracted with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to identify trends in seafood consumption and how best to position Alaska seafood in a changing marketplace. The bottom line is that America’s households are becoming much more diverse and changes in taste and technology will shape the future of seafood eaters.  

A presentation called the Seafood Consumer of the Future showed that there has been a 30 percent increase in seafood consumption by millennials in the past year, and 70 percent have changed their diets to eat healthier foods. The trend is especially noticeable with millennial preferences for proteins.

Nearly 60 percent of those consumers said that seafood is healthier than beef or pork; 43 percent said the same for chicken or turkey.

“We’re seeing that people are moving towards seafood and plant based proteins. There are significant increases among those particular categories, so seafood should expect to see large growth,” Notini said. 

Technomic surveys also showed that 71 percent of millennials said they are more interested in where their foods come from and how they are grown or produced. 

“That’s why they buy things labeled as organic or specific sourcing,” he explained. “People are looking for those origins that are known to have high quality products, whether that’s California wine or Georgia peaches, and Alaska is strongly associated with seafood. There is an expectation that those sources will be displayed, whether it’s on line, at grocery stores or at restaurants.” 

Another trend gaining traction among millennials is knowing what’s in their foods.

 “They are looking at labels and ingredient lists, can they pronounce it, have they seen it before – these are tools that consumers are using to identify what in their mind is healthy, familiar and not processed,” Notini said. 

Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed preferred wild seafood over farmed, and said it is important that their choices “don’t hurt the environment.” 

 “In general, wild is the greater draw for consumers,” Notini said. “And I think that Alaska seafood is one of the labels that really speaks to that premium. But there is more education that needs to happen in order to access the true value in wild caught versus farm raised.” 

Alaska seafood is very ‘on trend’ in hitting the points consumers are tuned into, Notini added. A second phase of the ASMI study is digging further into the existing trends, he said, and asking consumers specifically about Alaska seafood and “how it fits into this landscape.” 

There may be some challenges with the growth of e-commerce shopping, but he believes Alaska seafood is better positioned than most others.  

Digital grocery usage last year increased to 23 percent, according to Technomic, and 43 percent of Americans said they do their online shopping in bed. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018

Alaska: State urges U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Ninth Circuit's recent decision in waterways sovereignty case - The State of Alaska in an amicus brief filed Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hear John Sturgeon’s waterways sovereignty case and to ultimately overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision of October 2017.

Sturgeon filed his petition for certiorari on January 5, 2018 and the State is says it is hopeful that the Supreme Court will once again review these important issues related to the State’s right to manage its own submerged lands and navigable waters flowing over the top of those lands.

“Last time Mr. Sturgeon went before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court sent a very clear message to the Ninth Circuit – you must take Alaska's unique statutes and history into account,” Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said. “Instead, the Ninth Circuit completely ignored the Supreme Court’s guidance and expanded a federal doctrine on reserved water rights far beyond its ordinary and reasonable meaning.”

This case arises out of Sturgeon’s operation of his private hovercraft on Nation River, a state navigable water running through a federal national park area known as a Conservation System Unit. Sturgeon was using a hovercraft on his annual moose-hunting trip - an activity permitted under state law - when the National Park Service threatened him with a citation for violating a federal ban on hovercraft use in park units. Sturgeon sued, challenging the federal government’s assertion of broad regulatory authority. The State filed its own suit as well but was dismissed for lack of standing. Since that time, the State has supported Sturgeon’s legal efforts by filing amicus briefs, also known as “friend of the court” briefs. 

This case already made its way to the Supreme Court previously after the Ninth Circuit held in favor of the National Park Service, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit in March 2016 with specific guidance on Alaska's unique history and federal statutes that apply and asked the Ninth Circuit to review the case again. 

The U.S. Supreme Court in March 2016, in an unanimous decision (0-8) written by Chief Justice John Roberts, handed a narrow victory to John Sturgeon in his legal challenge to the U.S. government’s power to prevent him from riding his hovercraft on a river through a federal preserve to reach remote moose-hunting grounds.

The Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling in 2016 favoring government, but did not decide the bigger question of whether the government can regulate hovercraft use on a waterway within park service property in Alaska.

Rather than using the Supreme Court’s emphasis on State sovereignty as a guide, the Ninth Circuit held that the federal government has broad authority, stemming from the federal government’s reserved water rights, to regulate navigable waters in federal national park areas in Alaska - despite the State’s ownership of submerged lands. Sturgeon and the State both believe the Ninth Circuit is again wrong, and Sturgeon has requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review the issue for a second time due to the Ninth Circuit’s failure to properly apply the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and recognize state management authority over navigable waters in the State. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018


Network will assist safe shellfish harvest in Alaska By PAULA DOBBYN - A new network of experts from across the state will work to help Alaska communities better understand and mitigate the effects of harmful blooms of algae, including the toxins they produce and the potential health risks to humans and animals.

Network will assist safe shellfish harvest in Alaska

Clams are gathered for testing in Southeast Alaska. When exposed to harmful algal blooms, clams can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. So the Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network will monitor shellfish with the ultimate goal of warning people about such events.
Photo by Bethany Goodrich, Southeast Sustainable Partnership

Partners in the Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network aim to improve public awareness, research, monitoring and responses statewide.

Harmful algal blooms are caused by certain phytoplankton that produce toxins. The blooms can poison humans, fish, seabirds and wildlife that consume toxic shellfish. Alaska has had four human fatalities and 123 reported cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning since 1993, all linked to wild shellfish. Recent die-offs of marine mammals also may be linked to harmful algal blooms.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health recently said climate change is likely to increase the threat of harmful algal blooms. Warmer waters extend the phytoplankton growing season, increasing the likelihood of toxic blooms, and may allow new potentially harmful phytoplankton species to expand their ranges to Alaska.

Commercially harvested shellfish available in stores and restaurants have passed federal Food and Drug Administration-approved and state-run toxin testing and are safe. However, there is no routine testing of shellfish for personal and subsistence shellfish harvest. While there is no way to guarantee safety of personal and subsistence harvested shellfish, the AHAB Network strives to share monitoring and research efforts to provide information to coastal Alaskans on harmful blooms. Eventually, the network hopes to develop the ability to forecast such blooms. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018



jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: Thank God it's Monday - I have decided that "words" are a problem.

Yeah, yeah, sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you. 

I'm pretty sure that my mother taught me that little ditty. Probably when I was in Kindergarten and I came home with a bloody nose because a girl a couple of years older than me pushed me off the sidewalk and I fell headfirst into a yard on Austin Street. I can't remember exactly what was involved there, but I'm pretty sure that some "words" took place before I got clocked.

Speaking of Kindergarten, how many people can say they attended school in a building that was then turned into a bar?  By several ex teachers?

On the other hand,  my father once went to school in a building that used to be a bar (Charcoal Point). Maybe I am seeing a Ketchikan trend here? - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018


JOE GUZZARDI: Trump, Congress Ignore Unsustainable Population Growth - In his State of the Union address, President Trump proposed a four-pillar immigration plan that would include ending chain migration. Unfortunately, he didn't specify when his plan would end the chain, an understandable evasion since it would continue under the deal he's pursuing for 15 to 20 years.

During those years, the four million prospective immigrants on the backlogged waiting list would eventually enter, and as lawful permanent residents would be able to compete with American citizens in the labor market.

Ironically, later in his address, President Trump pledged that his administration would develop job training programs for America's vulnerable: "Let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential." 

Adding legally authorized workers to the economy, as the president is content doing, and continuing to import foreign-born workers on employment-based visas while offering a fig leaf of job training programs is indefensible. In his administration's first year, President Trump has made little mention of reducing employment-based visas. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018

jpg Tom Purcell

TOM PURCELL: Actually, Things Are Pretty Good and Getting Better - "The country is divided. The political rhetoric is getting worse. The world seems to be in a mess."

"Relax, my friend. If you step back from the noise and emotion, you'll realize things are pretty good."

"Pretty good? Democrats and Republicans are fighting like cats and dogs. Half the country sides with one party as it demonizes the other. President Trump calls Democrats in Congress nasty names as Democrats call him even nastier names."

"That is regrettably true. The political hyperbole is awfully intense. But, believe it or not, it has been worse. Google the name-calling Thomas Jefferson and John Adams used against each other during the presidential campaign of 1800!"

"But the rich are getting richer, thanks to Trump's tax plan!"

"Ah, more hyperbole from politicians. Look, thanks to the recent tax-system overhaul, corporate taxes have been reduced and U.S.-based companies doing business overseas are bringing billions in overseas profits back to America. Combined with Trump's undoing of hundreds of overzealous regulations that have been inhibiting investment and growth, the economy is booming." - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018

jpg Political Cartoon: Bear Hysteria

Political Cartoon: Bear Hysteria
By Adam Zyglis ©2018, The Buffalo News
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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The Alaska Military Youth Academy: Celebrating 25 years of changed lives By Maj. Gen. Laurie Hummel - The high school counselor lowered his head, peered over his reading glasses, and looked straight into the eyes of the young man before him.  “You’re not going to graduate this year.” 

Justin (not his real name) was stunned. He was always the cocky smart-aleck, holding school – and most everything else – in disdain.  Truancy?  Of course.  Drugs?  Sure.  He was smart, he was cool, and now he was worried. 

“You don’t have enough credits to graduate on schedule,” the counselor continued, “and unless you’re a Super Student – and you’re not – you’re not going to finish.” - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Rebuild Our Depleted Military By Donald Moskowitz - The Budget Control Act of 2011 necessitated budget cuts for the Defense Department which had a huge negative effect on the readiness of our military.

I quote from Alan Dowd's article in the February 2018 issue of The American Legion Magazine. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 07, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Governor Walker’s Budget Proposal By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Governor Walker submitted a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed budget includes a direct increase of $34 million in Public Safety Investments, funding for Medicaid, health care reform strategies, and deferred maintenance projects within the state. - More...
Thursday PM - February 01, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Murkowski's abortion vote By A.M. Johnson - Knowing the loving parents of Senator Murkowski, a couple who demonstrate the highest of high bringing their children into life, abortion would never be a consideration. Each of the Murkowski children was a welcome event looked forward to with love and excitement. The children had a wonderful upbringing, efficient on outdoor activities, awareness of the world around them. - More...
Thursday PM - February 01, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Why Not Come to Ketchikan By A.M. Johnson - A bit of follow up to the recent submission regarding Gravina Island land use for attracting a technology profession to settle in Why Not Ketchikan. _ More...
Thursday PM - February 01, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Airport Ferry Service By Ken Leland - Several years ago, I posted a link to the real story on "The Bridge To Nowhere". It showed that it was tied to the environmental lobby and their plans for the Tongass.

I had to deal with the ferry several times a day. You know about the aggravation of having to watch the ferry leave without you, knowing that it would be another half-hour until you could finally complete your journey. Imagine having to deal with a van full of passengers and their frustration. - More...
Saturday PM - January 27, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Sealaska: Four Decades of a False Promise! By Dominic Salvato - Over a decade ago the rules of elections governing Sealaska's election were suspended in order to pass the new shareholder resolution.

The resolution was modified to allow 50% plus 1 of VOTING shareholders to approve the resolution. Sealaska's management budgeted 1.5 million dollars on the campaign to assure the passing of the resolution. It passed guaranteeing the need for management into the future. - More...
Saturday PM - January 27, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Dear Somebody: Why Not Us? By A. M. Johnson - Out of the gate I allow as I am not close to the literary level Dave Kiffer proffers in his humorous article titled Dear Amazon: Why Not Us? published in your fine publication.

The intent is not to rebut Dave, rather be supportive of the local Very Strong Proponent of Ketchikan through Dave's humorous article. - More...
Saturday PM - January 27, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Inconsiderate and irresponsible dumping By Jerry Cegelske - I recently went to the dog park area off of Revilla Road to see what additional trash and solid waste had been dumped there.  This has been a dumping area for many years despite the fact that homeowners in the Borough has already paid a monthly landfill fee so there is no charge for residential trash. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 24, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Gravina Access By Dave Kiffer - Chris Herby's recent letter about Gravina Access touches on some very important points. Most notably that, after all the years and all the millions of dollars of federal money that was appropriated and spent, access to the airport, on the most basic level, will not appreciably improve. - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Airport Access By Vera Plumb - Just a comment regarding Chris Herby's letter about airport access: It was Governor Sarah Pallin who coined the phrase "bridge to nowhere." Governor Pallin was responsible for killing the bridge. - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Exploitation of ancient tradition By Rosita Worl - It has come to our attention that the group, Dance of the Deer Foundation, is planning a shamanism retreat in Juneau, the ancient homeland of the Auk people of Aak’w K?wáan, and that you are charging a substantial fee for this experience. - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Women's March By A. M. Johnson - Observing the 2nd annual women's march across the nation, one has to have a quandary of thoughts. One that seems to provide conflict. - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Tax Supported Racism By Robert B. Holston, Jr. - Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, believed in eugenics and promoted "good" breeding and aimed to prevent "poor" breeding. The idea was that the human race could be improved through encouraging people with traits like intelligence, hard work, cleanliness (thought to be genetic) to reproduce and those populations lacking such traits should have reproduction controlled.  Eugenics was taken to its horrifying extreme during the Holocaust, through forced sterilizations and breeding experiments.  - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

The hypocrisy of political correctness By John Grimaldi - A professor at NYU was shunned by his colleagues because of "the content and structure of his thinking."   That's right, the "thought police" were after him.  They didn't like the fact that he was using social media to expose the hypocrisy of political correctness on campus. - More...
Monday PM - January 22, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Ketchikan Airport & Access By Chris J. Herby - As a community we all had no choice but to watch our long anticipated bridge to Gravina Island die a slow and miserable death. After our congressional delegation worked hard to get funding for our bridge, it was taken away from us due to negative coverage in the national fake news media. However, we were still left with roughly 90 million dollars to improve access to Gravina. Of course that isn’t enough to build a bridge but nevertheless it’s a large amount of money that should surly be able to improve access to our airport. Or maybe not. From what I have read, it appears that we are going to burn through that money and actually not improve our airport access at all. It is my understanding that after we spend all of that money, we are still only going to have access by a ferry every 30 minutes. - More...
Wednesday PM - January 17, 2018

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