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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 22, 2007

Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

On watch... for spring!
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Top Stories
U.S. News
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Alaska: Alaska Suicide Study Released; Understanding risk factors is key to effective suicide intervention - In an effort to decrease suicide in Alaska the Division of Behavioral Health, the Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority on Wednesday released the Alaska Suicide Follow-Back Study. The three-year study, completed by the Alaska Injury Prevention Center, documents the circumstances surrounding the 426 suicides that occurred in Alaska from 2003 to 2006.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services believes that by researching the underlying behavioral risk factors leading to suicide, more effective suicide reduction strategies can be implemented.

"The report dramatically strengthens our knowledge base of suicide in Alaska," said Acting Behavioral Health Director Stacy Toner. "This study and continued analysis will give us information for designing better methods of prevention and treatment."

In Alaska, the 20-29 age group has the highest rates for suicide. This varies from national statistics that suggest seniors over 80 are most likely to end their lives. Understanding the reasons, mental state and methods used by target populations to choose suicide is imperative in developing appropriate programs that reach out to those groups. - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007

Alaska: MAN INDICTED BY FEDERAL GRAND JURY FOR UNLAWFULLY CATCHING 17,000 POUNDS OF FISH - Acting United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Wednesday, March 21, 2007, that Robert Becker of Juneau, Alaska, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage on charges of violating federal fisheries protection laws.

The three-count indictment named Becker, 35, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment presented to the court, between November, 2004, and January, 2005, Becker allegedly made three unlawful fishing trips to the Fairweather Grounds in the Gulf of Alaska and caught a total of approximately 17,000 pounds of fish. During these three fishing trips, the Fairweather Grounds and all of the East Yakutat Section were closed to directed fishing for Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR). However, Becker is alleged to have falsified his fish landing tickets and his DSR logbook to reflect that the fishing took place in other areas that were open to directed fishing for DSR. The total wholesale value of Becker's unlawfully caught fish was nearly $25,000.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Todd Mikolop, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum sentence per count of five years in prison and a fine of $20,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses, the retail value of the fish and the prior criminal history, if any, of the
defendant. - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007


Southeast Alaska: Fishermen catching thousands of Little Port Walter Chinook salmon - Fisheries scientists at Little Port Walter Marine Station in Southeast Alaska are discovering ways to enhance salmon populations without harming wild stocks and--at the same time--adding salmon to local catches.

Commercial and sport fishery catches in 2006 in Southeast Alaska included 3,600 Chinook salmon that originated from NOAA Fisheries research at Little Port Walter, according to tags returned to scientists by both sport and commercial fishermen.

"Research projects at Little Port Walter are having significant positive impacts on Chinook salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska," said Bill Heard, who leads the Marine Salmon Interactions studies at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau. "While the main purpose of various projects is to improve scientific understanding of how best to use stocking techniques in hatchery programs that minimize adverse impacts on wild stocks, an added bonus of this research is the contributions made to local fisheries."

Each year tagged juvenile Chinook salmon from various studies are released at Little Port Walter. They spend from two to five years in the ocean before maturing and returning to the station.

"While some of these fish are caught in fisheries every year, 2006 was an exceptional year with much larger than normal contributions to regional fisheries," said Heard. "Noteworthy was the large number of Little Port Walter Chinook salmon caught in the Juneau sport fishery during the Golden North Salmon Derby last August. Of the 514 Chinook salmon landed in the derby, 63--or 12 percent--were from Little Port Walter. This likely was the highest single source contribution of Chinook salmon to the [Juneau] derby." - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007

Alaska: ALASKA MINERAL INDUSTRY VALUE REACHES $3.26 BILLION IN 2006 ON HIGH METALS PRICE - Alaska's minerals industry produced a record-high $3.26 billion worth of mineral products, and investment in exploration and development, thanks in large part to high prices for zinc, according to a state report released Wednesday.

Details on the mining industry's record-breaking year are contained in Information Circular 54, "Alaska's Mineral Industry 2006: A Summary." The summary report shows that the industry produced minerals worth $2.75 billion in 2006, more than $1.4 billion higher than 2005. Mineral exploration expenditures in Alaska were $176 million in 2006, a significant jump over the $103.9 million spent in 2005. Development expenditures totaled $331 million, a $17 million drop from the previous year. Mining generated about 3,014 jobs in the state, about 193 more than in 2005.

Continuing high zinc prices played a key role in the record-breaking tally for the industry, the report said. The Red Dog Mine north of Kotzebue is the world's largest zinc mine, producing 614,538 tons of concentrate in 2006. With prices that once dipped as low as 35 cents a pound in 2003 rising to nearly $2 per pound in 2006, Red Dog's 2006 production was worth $1.54 billion, representing 47 percent of the value of Alaska's mining industry. - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007

Marine Refrigeration Workshop Offered in April
Marine refrigeration workshop enables fishermen to handle refrigeration situations that they previously felt were beyond their control.

Northwest: Marine Refrigeration Workshop Offered in April - Integrated Marine Systems, a recognized leader in the manufacture of innovative refrigeration products for the fishing and seafood processing industry, announced a marine refrigeration workshop for April 2007. IMS has been offering these types of workshops since 2003 and is presenting the workshops in conjunction with the Jefferson Educational Center, WSU Jefferson County Extension and Washington Sea Grant. The 2006 workshops each had over 25 participants in attendance.

The workshops teach commercial fishing vessel owners how to perform basic maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs on their onboard refrigeration equipment. This type of training empowers vessel owners with the knowledge needed for emergency repair situations at sea and prevents the loss of valuable fishing time sitting at the dock waiting for onshore repair help to arrive. According to Doug Short, Sales Engineer and a workshop instructor for IMS, "The workshop is a great help to fisherman, it enables them to handle refrigeration situations that they previously felt were beyond their control." - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007


Basic Rules

letterAn accurate, technical explanation of the PFD data loss By Norm Snyder - Thursday AM
letter Finding Peace... By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday AM
letter GLOBAL WARMING AS AN INDICATOR By Ken Bylund - Thursday AM
letterGang Type Activity in Ketchikan By Laura M. Warren - Wednesday AM
letter Never buy a dog from any breeder By Margaret Cloud - Wednesday AM
letter Just heard... By Rick Krueger - Wednesday AM
letter Daylight savings time & government health care... By Ken Lewis - Wednesday AM
letter Taxes and Bus Service By Rodney Dial - Tuesday AM
letter KANAYAMA BEGINNINGS By Bill Tatsuda - Monday AM
letterDowntown Sitka By Sarah Corporon - Monday AM
letter Looking for photo of an old boat (the "Famous") By Heidi Ekstrand - Monday AM
letter Gun Safety By Kerry Watson- Monday AM
letterGravina By Eric Tyson - Monday AM
letter EIS hearings in Saxman By Anita Hales - Monday AM
letter Defensive Driving in the Snow By Chris Elliott - Monday AM
letter Too many pit mixes in town By Tammy Sivertsen - Monday AM
letter Daylight Savings Time
By Ken Levy - Monday AM
letter Gravina Views By Robert McRoberts - Monday AM
letter AIRPORT SHUTTLE By Ken Levy - Monday AM
letter LIFE LESSONS By Jeff Wahl - Monday AM
letter Israel-Finding Peace with its Arab Neighbors By Tom Proebsting- Monday AM
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Columns - Commentary

Steve Brewer: Best advice? Keep a wrap on your yap - We all love to dole out advice. We feel we've learned a lot during our lifetimes, and others should benefit from our accumulated knowledge. Clearly, our friends and relatives need the help. Just look at the way they're messing up their lives. If they'd only listen to us, things would be better.

We tell ourselves we have only the best of intentions, but darker motives sometimes are at work. By offering advice, we can be saying: "I'm smarter than you. I've got better taste. Only I can tell you how to fix your many, many problems, you schlub."

Not surprisingly, this primal urge to instruct often is not met with enthusiasm by people on the receiving end. Some simply ignore advice. Some resent the very implication that they need advice, which is why, all across this great country of ours, in-laws aren't speaking to one another. Others feel compelled to do the exact opposite of whatever was recommended, which is how women end up marrying members of motorcycle gangs.

Yes, giving advice is fraught with danger. Perhaps the quickest way to lose a friend or alienate a relative is to say, "You know what your problem is?"

Some topics are particularly perilous:


No woman wants to hear that her new love is, in reality, a felonious scoundrel. You might think you're saving her from herself by mentioning it, but it works just the opposite. She will run as fast as she can, right into his hairy, tattooed arms. If it doesn't work out, anything you say will seem like, "I told you so." And if it does last, she and her new husband will hate you... Forever.


It's safe to give others career advice because you're not the one who'll get fired if it goes kerflooey. It's easy to say, "Tell your boss to take this job and shove it." But there should be a rule: If you advise someone to quit a job, you must let that person move in with you and live off your income for a minimum of six months. - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007

Dale McFeatters: Bush and Congress square off - President Bush undoubtedly felt he had no choice but to dig in and fight a gathering move in the House and Senate to subpoena several of his top White House aides in connection with the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

But Democrats and some Republicans also likely feel that they have no choice to reject the very limited compromise the president has offered: The aides would address only certain questions in private with no oaths being administered and no transcripts kept. These precautions suggest the White House fears there could be some legal fallout.

Both sides cite institutional reasons for their stands: The White House its right to protect privileged communications and confidentiality, and Congress its right to exercise oversight over the executive branch.

In a brief appearance before reporters, Bush argued that he has the right to fire federal prosecutors, who serve at the pleasure of the president, for any reason or no reason at all. He noted that all eight had served full four-year terms and that the start of his second term was a natural time to shuffle personnel.

All this is true, but the White House is only now making the arguments it should have made at the time. Instead, as the president admitted, the explanations for the changes were confusing, incomplete and badly handled. - More...
Thursday AM - March 22, 2007

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