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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
February 25, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By MARVIN DAVIS

A marker built for 2
Eagles at Mountain Point harbor.
Front Page Feature Photo By MARVIN DAVIS ©2019

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Historical Feature: Famous steamer captain remembered in local landmark; Carroll Inlet named after early ship captain By DAVE KIFFER - When you live in an area for any length of time, you usually begin to ignore the place names. If the names have a particular significance, their meaning may linger awhile in the consciousness, but usually they become just part of the generally forgotten background to the community.

Famous steamer captain remembered in local landmark; Carroll Inlet named after early ship captain

Captain James Carroll
From page 150 of Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, edited by E. W. Wright. Published in 1895.
This image is in the public domain in the United States.

A perfect example is Carroll Inlet. The 29-mile long fjord starts just south of Ketchikan and meanders well  into the center of Revillagigedo Island. Locals use it to access prime hunting and fishing areas during certain seasons, but who was this major feature of Ketchikan's island even named after?

Many of the local and regional landmarks were named by the English and Spanish explorers who mapped this area in the late 1700s. But not so Carroll Inlet.

It was named  by the US Coast Survey in 1903 after a man more interested in trade than in finding the fabled Northwest Passage. It was named after Capt. James Carroll, one of the first ship captains to roam this area after Alaska was purchased from Russia.

James Carroll was born in Ireland in 1840 and came to America with his parents when he was one year old. The family settled in Kendall County, Illinois and Carroll moved to Chicago when he was 16 and became a sailor.

He sailed on the Great Lakes for two years and then went to New York where he joined the United State Merchant Marine, eventually sailing as far as China and Japan. He also made trips to California, Europe, the South Sea and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).

He continued to sail with the Merchant Marine during the Civil War and was eventually promoted to second officer on the brig, Swallow in 1866. By then he was primarily sailing in the Pacific, for the National Steamship Company. In 1870, he commanded his first ship. He was later to command the Colorado, Pelican, Great Republic, California (later called the Eureka), Idaho, Queen and the Ancon.

In 1878, he began sailing to Alaska from Seattle and Portland with the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. He initially piloted the Harris and the Juneau into Southeast Alaska. When gold was discovered in Juneau he was one of the early investors in the rapidly growing community, establishing the first wharf in Juneau and financially supporting mining interests in the area. In 1883, he took the Idaho into Glacier Bay, the first steamer to enter the bay when the glaciers began to recede late in the 19th Century. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

Ketchikan: Second Good Neighbor Authority timber sale finalized in Southeast - The Alaska Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to award a second timber sale in Southeast Alaska under a Good Neighbor Authority agreement.

The $2.1 million Vallenar Bay Timber Sale contract with ALCAN Timber Incorporated of Ketchikan was signed by Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri A. Feige on February 13.

The sale covers approximately 481 acres on State and Federal land on the north end of Gravina Island, approximately five miles west of Ketchikan. The sale includes a mix of old- and young-growth Sitka spruce, western hemlock, red alder, western red cedar and Alaska yellow cedar. The total volume of the sale is approximately 16 million board feet. Customers are in the West Coast, Asia, Canada and Southeast Alaska, depending on market conditions.

Good Neighbor Authority empowers the Forest Service to contract with states and work across land ownership boundaries to restore watersheds and manage forests on National Forest System lands.

The Vallenar Bay sale is the second Good Neighbor Authority timber sale in Alaska. The first occurred in September 2017 on Kosciusko Island near Edna Bay, also in Southeast Alaska. ALCAN Timber Incorporated purchased that sale for $2.6 million. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019


Fish Factor:
Proposed budget details are sketchy for fisheries By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s new slogan is “open for business” but good luck trying to find out any budget details when it comes to the business of fishing.

The Dunleavy administration has a full gag order in place at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and all budget questions, no matter how basic, are referred to press secretary Matt Shuckerow. Likewise, queries to the many deputies and assistants at the ADF&G commissioner’s office are deferred to Shuckerow who did not acknowledge messages for information.

“It isn’t just the media or Alaskans. Legislators are faced with that same gag order,” said Representative Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak).

“I don’t know if the administration is just trying to settle in and thinks that the legislature is their worst enemy and they want to keep people at bay or what,” she added. “Hopefully, they will realize that we have to work together and the sooner we do it, the better relationship we’re going to have.”

Stutes, who is the majority whip in the Alaska legislature and also chairs both the House Fisheries and Transportation Committees, said that “the governor has made very few appearances and nobody can get an appointment with him.” 

She confirmed that anyone who meets with Gov. Dunleavy must relinquish cell phones, Apple watches and any recording devices. 

The executive committee of the Alaska Municipal League was able to meet briefly with the governor during its annual meeting last week in Juneau, said Pat Branson, a committee member and mayor of the City of Kodiak. The AML includes 165 cities, boroughs and municipalities that represent over 97 percent of Alaska’s residents. 

“We were grateful to meet with the governor because he did not come to any of the AML meetings,” Branson said.

“All we heard was that he’s all ears,” she added. “I told him that we are problem solvers and it is something we do every day. We’re all aware that the state’s fiscal plan has not been in order for many years. How can we maintain our services and work through a plan that meets our community needs?” 

Branson said the AML is “shocked and upset” at the drastic cuts in the governor’s proposed budget and the way it came about.

“It was done without any communication with municipalities, school boards, or boroughs and, I believe, without any care or understanding of how things work in Alaska, or the importance of the marine highway system or fisheries to local communities or how it will affect Alaska’s overall economy,” Branson said. “Why would people want to come or stay here? We’ve never seen a budget come forth from an administration like this. It’s just not acceptable.”  

AML members plan to hold town hall meetings, Branson said, and return to Juneau with ideas to present to the legislature and the governor. 

“We, as elected officials, are just getting a grasp on this budget. I don’t know if Alaskans understand the degree that these cuts affect them individually” Branson said. “We want to bring in a neutral party to explain the cuts and how it affects our communities. We’re hopeful the governor will listen to some alternative solutions from Alaskans.” - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019


: Ideal Option brings new addiction treatment resources to Ketchikan - Ideal Option, the largest provider of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders in the Pacific Northwest, announced the opening of a new clinic in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The newly opened Ketchikan location marks Ideal Option’s 6th clinic in the state of Alaska, with other locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, and Wasilla. It will provide increased access to a proven addiction treatment service for those struggling with opioid use disorders as well as addictions to alcohol and other drugs. This includes comprehensive physical and mental examinations, the prescription of Suboxone, Buprenorphine and other addiction medicines and specialized behavioral health counseling and case work.

“We’ve made strides here in Ketchikan to overcome the sickness and stigma of addiction and welcome additional resources that will further that progress,” said Ketchikan Mayor Robert Sivertsen. “We look forward to continuing our work to bring medical providers and community stakeholders together with state, tribal, and local agencies to address opioid abuse and addiction.”

According to data published by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, overdose deaths increased in Alaska at a rate of 77% from 2010-2017. Preliminary numbers from the Department of Health and Social Services showed a decrease in that number between 2017 – 2018, and Ideal Option is hoping to help Ketchikan continue the downward trend.

“Our goal at Ideal Option is to provide the resources people need to overcome addiction and find lasting stability,” said Jeff Allgaier, President and Founder of Ideal Option. “We are thrilled to be here in Ketchikan and look forward to working closely with the community to deliver more help to those who need it most.” - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

Ketchikan: Federal subsistence fishery for Eulachon closed in Federal waters within District 1 - Ketchikan Misty Fjords District Ranger Susan A. Howle, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, is closing the Federal public waters that flow into District 1 to the taking of Eulachon from 12:01 a.m. on February 25, 2019, until 11:59 p.m. on April 25, 2019, due to anticipated low eulachon returns. Any Eulachon caught in this area must be immediately returned into the water unharmed. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) will also be closing State managed subsistence and personal use fisheries for Eulachon in District 1. 

Portions of District 1 have been closed since 2005 due to low Eulachon returns. Based on returns observed in recent years, a harvestable surplus is unlikely in 2019. It is anticipated that all Eulachon returning to District 1 in 2019 will be needed for spawning to rebuild area populations. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019



DANNY TYREE: Are You Dying to Know Tomorrow's Mood Today? - According to NBC News, we are in the early stages of mood forecasting technology that could help stop bad moods even before they strike.

(No, this is a different story than the one about using surplus North Korean missiles to take out your lowlife cousin's Winnebago before he can embark on a month-long visit, although that too could stop bad moods before they strike.)

NBC says wearable devices with special apps could track our psychological health by recording our heart rate, perspiration, sleep patterns, skin temperature, propensity for shouting back at the &^%$# NBC reporters and other factors.

Mental health professionals loathe to think about it that way, but, yes, essentially, we are talking about a souped -up version of that 1970s fad the Mood Ring. No telling what other long-ago fads we can put to work predicting various activities and conditions. Maybe a solar-powered Hula Hoop to indicate ovulation is in your future.Or a Cabbage Patch Doll that develops diaper rash six hours before you misuse the word "literally."

If the technology can prevent suicidal or homicidal episodes, I am all for it. I just hope it doesn't get trivialized predicting less urgent situations. ("At 12:15 p.m. tomorrow, you'll probably feel a mite peckish. At 3:07 you could get too big for your britches. At 7:03 there is a distinct possibility of getting a case of the heebie jeebies.") - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019


PETER FUNT: Politicians Are Running for TV Jobs - The snide old saw in college used to be: If you can't make it in business, teach it. In media today, it's become: If you can't make it in politics, preach it. 

Republican Jeff Flake, who declined to seek reelection as a senator from Arizona and recently abandoned the notion of challenging Donald Trump for the presidency, turned up recently in his new post as contributor at CBS News. Meanwhile, Democrat Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor who narrowly lost his bid to become Florida's governor, took a seat as a commentator at CNN. 

Back in the day vanquished politicians retired to a cabin by the lake to think deep thoughts and write a memoir. But for the new crop of articulate, photogenic and somewhat younger also-rans, the path of least resistance - and a guaranteed paycheck - often leads to the TV studio. 

Utah's renegade Republican Mia Love, who lost her House seat, ran over to CNN last month, tweeting that she will offer an "unleashed perspective." Another Utah Republican, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, took a gig at Fox News. He was joined at Fox last month by retired South Carolina congressman Trey Gowdy.   - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Mueller Watch Party

Political Cartoon: Mueller Watch Party
By Steve Sack ©2019, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

The hard truth about Medicaid expansion By Bethany Marcum - It’s time for a reality check. Since Alaska expanded Medicaid to able-bodied adults in 2015, our state has experienced cost overruns, unexpected—but predictable—over-enrollment, and is facing a dependency crisis. Some—local lawmakers and local lobbyists included—would have you believe that Medicaid expansion has benefitted ouf state. But it’s time to face the facts: Medicaid expansion is failing Alaskans.

In 2017, the Walker administration projected that 23,273 able-bodied adults would enroll in Medicaid expansion at a cost of $7,500 per person. Actual enrollment in 2017 reached over 35,000 adults, and the cost per person was nearly $10,500—nearly a $200 million cost overrun. While it’s true that the federal government is responsible for a portion of Medicaid expansion costs, Alaska lawmakers would be foolish to think our federal government will subsidize the program indefinitely. Medicaid costs are growing across the nation, not just here, and the federal debt already stands at more than $21 trillion. Pair that with the federal government’s poor record of keeping its funding promises and passing on more Medicaid costs to the states doesn’t seem so farfetched. In the meantime, Alaska is diverting more and more of our own sparse funds to prop up Medicaid expansion, using public dollars that would otherwise go to education, public safety, infrastructure, and the truly needy. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

jpg Opinion

Food for Thought By Austin Otis - The City of Ketchikan should rework its laws around operating local food trucks. The local government has placed strict regulations that food trucks are not permitted on public property and must be confined to private property (municipal codes: 9.56.040 and 9.56.055). This ordinance has not only stifled growth in entrepreneurship but has confined locals to limited restaurant options. The demand for food choices has exploded under the ever increasing tourist populations and the large influx of seasonal workers. To tame their appetites, an expansion in the local food truck industry could be a solution to a culinary dilemma. Food trucks often reflect a community’s commitment in providing good grub to its inhabitants. We don’t have to look far to find food trucks operating in other Alaskan cities such as Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. If they can have reasonable sanitation regulations and operating guidelines on food trucks, why can't Ketchikan, with a rising visitor industry of 1.2 million as of 2019?

It’s worth mentioning; that there will most likely be local businesses strongly opposed to food truck expansion due to competition amongst locally established restaurants. We saw this issue come to fruition in the case of Uber trying to operate within the community, then seeing pushback from local taxi companies. Thankfully, voters eventually approved its operations, which helped expand transportation options. We shouldn’t disregard local’s concerns about food trucks such as reduced parking spaces during the summer months, or businesses focusing too much on tourism while side stepping locals. These are legitimate arguments, which could be easily addressed in a new city ordinance that bounds food trucks within specific operating hours and areas. It should be noted that current local restaurants already make the majority of their revenue off tourism, overwhelmingly cater to tourists during the seasonal months, and would be significantly hindered if tourist customers were limited. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

jpg Opinion

Shareholders' revolt By Dominic Salvato - The Sealaska Corporation sees the shareholders' revolt as "ungrateful" for the dividends received over the past 47 years. This isn't the case at all. 

In my opinion management has had my chips to play the game, mine and thousands of others for decades. Shareholders have seen tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in those chips lost. 

If not for the other corporations and an emergency bill granting more clearcutting, Sealaska would have folded long ago. 

Some shareholders understand the truth of being by-law'd out of ever possessing our own chips to play the game. What we resent is the way we haven't been allowed to change the players at the table. Discretionary voting has glued the same losing players to those seats at the table in spite of one misjudgement after another. - More...
Monday AM - February 25, 2019

jpg Opinion

Dunleavy's cuts By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Last week, Governor Dunleavy unveiled his amended budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020. As expected, there were substantial cuts to government agencies, all of which will affect Southern Southeast. Some of the cuts that will be most noticeable here in District 36 are the Marine Highway, services to our seniors, education, Fish & Game, public safety, and access to information. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

Proposed budget cuts to education By Bob Claus - As a long term resident of Prince of Wales island and a former school board member in Craig, I was dismayed and disappointed by the Governor’s proposed budget, especially the proposed cuts to education funding. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

THE GREAT ALASKA DEPRESSION COMETH, YOU VOTED FOR IT By David G Hanger - The main problem with a parrot is it does not understand that it is repeating words, let alone comprehending what they might mean. So whether you are a liar, a crook, or a murderer does not really matter, the parrot prattles your drivel not realizing even that it is a parrot. There is considerable parallel with the human parrot who prattles his or her drivel with the intent in mind of deceiving you. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

State Budget By Chris J. Herby - I, just like everyone else in our area, was quite set back and rather mad when I read the details of our new governor's proposed budget. Then I realized that this can't really be a serious budget proposal and instead is merely his way of getting our attention and telling us that we do in fact have a serious financial problem facing our state. I think most of us have been aware of that for quite some time now. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

Gov. Dunleavy's proposed budget, a picture of doom & gloom. By Carol Dooley - Gov. Dunleavy's proposed budget is a picture of doom & gloom. His proposed budget outlines the demise of the Alaska Marine Highway system, which would be followed by the demise of the Ketchikan shipyard. He proposes to rob our senior citizens of services, to rob the poor of medical coverage, to rob our children of a decent education and ruin our State University, and to add insult to injury he proposes to take all of the commercial fish tax money and slash the Department of Fish & Game budget. All for the sake of a full payout of the permanent fund dividend. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

Dunleavy, You Need To Try Harder By Charles Edwardson - Cutting education in any way shape or form in my opinion should be a last resort not your first option as a governor! I see one term wonder as the first sentence on your next resume. - More...
Wednesday AM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

Gabrielle LeDoux: The untold story By John Nelson - Gabrielle LeDoux: The untold story and how Governor Dunleavy can defeat this impasse while also obtaining a majority in the House at the same time... - More...
Wednesday AM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Anti-vaxxers are a threat to all of us By Amanda Mitchell - If you are up-to-date on your immunizations, what ‘vaccine-preventable’ disease would you need to fear acquiring from an ‘anti-vaxxer?’ Rich Manieri says that if you don’t vaccinate you risk infecting other people and if you vaccinate you won’t contract the disease vaccinated for. (Manieri 2019) So the very reason Rich Manieri suggests that all vaccine exemptions should be removed is the exact same reason no one should feel threatened by the unvaccinated. Most importantly, you have to have the disease to spread it in the first place and to assume all unvaccinated people carry a disease is highly discriminatory and dangerous.   - More...
Wednesday AM - February 20, 2019

jpg Opinion

Israel: A Strategic Ally By Donald Moskowitz - People who claim to be anti-Israel and who support boycotting Israeli products, divestments from Israeli companies, and sanctions are actually Jew Haters who cloak their true hatred in anti-Israel rhetoric.  - More...
Wednesday AM - February 20, 2019

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