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Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet.

Listen to audio replays of public meetings any time, any where.

Borough Assembly

02/19/08 - Assembly Meeting

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01/25/08 -Ketchikan Transportation Projects Update

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01/16/08 - Ketchikan City Council Special Meeting - Brokerage Services Proposals for the Sale of the Telecommunications Division

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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 17, 2008

Front Page Photo By Jacob West

Deer Mountain Outlook
Parts of Ketchikan are visible along the Tongass Narrows' shoreline.
Revilla, Pennock and Gravina Islands are all visable.
Front Page Photo By Jacob West

Gravina Island Access Survey Final Report -- Prepared for: ADOT&PF by the McDowell Group. Document provided to SitNews by Malcolm A. Menzies, Southeast Regional Director DOT/PF
arrowDownload the Gravina Island Access Survey Final Report- 27 pages pdf

Alaska: ACIAC Submits Final Climate Change Report to the Legislature - The legislatively appointed Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission released its final report to the Legislature and Governor Palin's administration today. Representative Ralph Samuels, R-Anchorage, the Commission Chairman, said the report encompasses nearly two years of activity to assess potential impacts on the state's citizens, communities, natural resources, state assets, and its economy.

"We are pleased with the outpouring of community involvement in the process of preparing this report," said Rep. Samuels. "Hundreds of Alaskans testified about conditions in their communities regarding impacts they perceive or are experiencing. The findings of this report will hopefully go towards effecting policy decisions in all levels of state government; from the local and municipal level all the way to the governor's office."

The Commission heard from public officials, tribal leaders and the mayors of eight communities, among others, over the course of six public hearings held across the state. In addition to the public hearings, members performed a site inspection of Kivalina, a Northwestern Alaska community under threat of coastal erosion at the edge of the Bering Sea.

"The mission laid out in the charter passed in 2006 was clear: help move the debate forward and focus on what the state can do, within it's means, to help mitigate damages and start shaping policy to put Alaska on track to face the coming changes," said Representative Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue, the Commission's Vice-Chairman. "We narrowed our scope early in the process to prioritize our assessments in response to greater and more immediate impacts like threatened villages such as Kivalina." - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008

National: Poll: A candidate's position on open government is key By THOMAS HARGROVE - Americans overwhelmingly say a political candidate's position on open government is important in an era of widespread cynicism over the amount of secrecy in the federal government.

The public also overwhelmingly wants access to information like police reports of crimes committed in their neighborhoods and the lists of people who are licensed in their state to carry concealed weapons, according to a survey of 1,012 adults commissioned by the American Society of Newspaper Editors for National Sunshine Week.

The poll, conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University, found that only 20 percent believe the federal government is very or somewhat "open and transparent" in its actions, down from 25 percent in a similar survey last year and 33 percent in 2006.

Most people in the poll said they believe the federal government operates in secrecy. There was much less concern about openness in state and local governments.

"In a democracy whose survival depends on openness, it's sobering to see that three-fourths of Americans now view their national government as somewhat or very secretive," said David Westphal, Washington editor for McClatchy Newspapers and co-chairman of ASNE's Freedom of Information Committee. "On the other hand, it's gratifying to see that almost 90 percent believe a candidate's position on open government is an important issue when they make their Election Day choices."

The survey found that 60 percent said congressional and presidential candidates' positions on open government are "very important" to them, while just more than one-fourth said the issue is "somewhat important." Only about 6 percent said openness in unimportant to them and a similar number were undecided. - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008

Northwest: Salmon fishing closure appears likely By MATT WEISER - A complete closure of salmon fishing in California and Oregon this year appears more likely, as federal managers grapple with the hard facts.

The drastic proposal -- which would mean fresh local salmon would not be available in stores, restaurants or farmer's markets -- is driven by a dramatic decline in California's Central Valley fall-run Chinook populations. The total has dropped by more than 90 percent since 2002.

Meeting in Sacramento, the Pacific Fishery Management Council was told by its expert staff that even with such a drastic closure, only an estimated 59,100 Chinook salmon will spawn this fall in California's Central Valley rivers, including the Sacramento, American and Feather.

That low number is well below the minimum conservation goal of 122,000 fish, leaving officials with few options.

All fishing south of Point Falcon in Oregon could be affected -- including commercial and recreational, in the ocean and rivers -- which has never happened.

"There's no way you can divide up the fish available and end up with any kind of fishery," said Duncan MacLean, a commercial fisherman from Half Moon Bay. "This whole thing sucks." - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008

National: High court's ruling could change rules on gun ownership By CHRIS CASTEEL - For more than 30 years, handguns have been banned in the nation's capital. Residents here can own shotguns and rifles, but they have to be unloaded and either disassembled or fixed with a trigger lock.

On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments about whether the District of Columbia's gun laws violate the Second Amendment.

The awkward construction of the amendment -- linking "a well regulated Militia" to "the right ... to keep and bear Arms" -- has spawned decades of debate about whether the framers of the Constitution meant to grant an individual right to own guns.

The last time the U.S. Supreme Court took up a case that addressed the meaning of the Second Amendment was in 1939, but that decision has been used by both sides in the gun-control debate in recent years to support their positions.

Last year, the federal appeals court here struck down the District's ban on handguns and other gun-related ordinances, stating unequivocally that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.

"When we look at the Bill of Rights as a whole, the setting of the Second Amendment reinforces its individual nature," the appeals court said. "The Bill of Rights was almost entirely a declaration of individual rights, and the Second Amendment's inclusion therein strongly indicates that it, too, was intended to protect personal liberty." - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008


Fish Factor: Possible closure of West Coast fisheries could boost Alaska salmon By LAINE WELCH - Alaska salmon could get a boost if West Coast fisheries are called off this summer. Federal managers will decide next month if salmon fisheries in Oregon and California should be shut down completely. Washington might dodge the bullet, but that remains to be seen. It would mark the first time ever that the traditional salmon season - which runs from April through mid-November - was canceled.

The crisis stems from major declines in salmon returning to the Pacific coast to spawn in their home waters. Most scientists point to 'broad scale ocean survival problems' as the primary cause for the coast wide salmon collapse. Others blame faulty fresh water management and pollution.

According to the news site, the shut down will jeopardize the livelihoods of nearly 1,000 commercial fishermen. The closures also will kill recreational salmon fishing for millions of anglers.

While the West Coast pain is likely to prompt a gain in interest and prices for Alaska king salmon, and to a lesser degree, coho, it does raise a few red flags. Planet conscious buyers believe they are doing the right thing by not purchasing Pacific salmon because it is endangered ­ and to them, that includes Alaska.

"It's amazing how many times we get asked - 'aren't your fish endangered?' There's a lot of confusion out there in the market place, particularly when they hear reports about all the fish in the oceans will be gone in a few years. We have a real challenge explaining to people that there is no shortage of fish in Alaska," said Ray Riutta, executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008

Ketchikan: The Kayhi Alumni Scholarship Fund seeks to increase scholarships - In 1997 members of the Ketchikan High School class of 1953 began raising money to establish a scholarship for a deserving Ketchikan High School graduating senior. The first year 11 members of the class of '53 gave $1,800.00 and a single scholarship was awarded.

In 1998 other classes of the 1950's were invited to participate. That year thirty-five people, representing all of the classes of the '50's gave $5,700.00 and three students were awarded scholarships for a total of $4,000.00. At this time, said member Merle Graham, it was decided to adopt the name "The Kayhi Alumni Scholarship Fund". A board of directors was organized and the decision was made to reserve a portion of the donations as an endowment for a basis on which to grow the fund. Over the years the scholarship fund has grown and awards are made depending on yearly donations and earnings from the endowment fund.

Graham said soon after the organization of the KASF many graduates from other classes other than the '50's began donating to the fund, also many former Kayhi teachers have made donations. Several of the donations have also been made in memory of friends and loved ones. This has allowed the KASF board to award 32 scholarships totaling over $61,000.00 in the past 10 years said Graham. - More...
Monday - March 17, 2008



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Basic Rules

letter Gateway Human Services' Revolving Door By Beth Antonsen - There has been a huge turnover in directors at Ketchikan Gateway Human Services and the services there are very important. There are several unsung heroes at Gateway and for the most part it is a tough job working there. Dealing with people and their plethora of problems can be very draining. I am speaking as an 8 year employee at Gateway. My job was phased out 6 years ago. The rewards where getting to help people and see them achieve positive goals in their lives. - More...
Monday PM - March 17, 2008

letter STIMULUS LOAN By R.K. Rice - Our household has received our first application for our "stimulus payment" from the IRS. This year the federal deficit is projected to be only $163 billion. So far this decade the total deficit is over 1 trillion dollars. That is money that we borrow from various lenders around the world and largely the Chinese. The taxpayers pay the interest on these loans. As we are currently in a deficit spending year, this means we must borrow the $180 billion or so that the federal government is sending out to placate the US taxpayers. - More...
Monday PM - March 17, 2008

letter Kink Arm Bridge By Jerilyn Lester - Your loyalty is admirable for someone here for such a short time. What do you think a bridge to and across the two islands next to Ketchikan would do? It would allow us to get to and from our airport without having to wait for the ferry; it would allow us to access land and development on Gravina Island and Pennock Island as well. I do know that some think we don't need to develop that land and some think the only reason for this bridge is to make sure that the former Governor can get to his land, but 30 years ago we were promised the bridge to allow us to get to our airport, Ketchikan International Airport, to be more precise. - More...
Monday PM - March 17, 2007

letter Ketchikan Mental Health Services By Carol Alley - Our silence as a community regarding the lack of adequate mental health and substance abuse services is deafening. Those most in need likely lack the ability to voice this concern for themselves. Those providing services in our community, and the ancillary staff working with them, find themselves overworked and under-appreciated. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Why is there high a turnover for Director at Gateway Human Services? By Jay Jones - Hey "Fourth Estate", why is there such a high turnover for Director at Gateway Human Services. As taxpayers, we are the bosses, we ought to know the facts. And what has been the average weekly client count at the city-run treatment center since the first of the year? And what do they pay a counselor with a bachelor's degree? I guess if I want questions asked or answered I'll have to ask the City Manager or City Council myself. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad & HB 320 By Jerry L. Kiffer - The search and rescue community received some good news this week with the passage of HB 320 through the State House the bill has been sent on to the Senate for their approval.. For those who may be unfamiliar with this legislation HB 320 will fill a dire need to support our search and rescue volunteers if they are injured during the training missions necessary to participate in search and rescue activity. As with much of the State the volunteer professionals working for the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad are not paid for their service, nor are they compensated for their participation in training missions to keep their skills honed. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Thank You Tom Fisher By Shaun Haseltine - Thank you to Mr. Fisher, I was glad and surprised to see a Ketchikan resident say publicly that the commercial fishing industry is alive and very much healthy. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Kink Arm Bridge By Ken Hudson - I don't know about Ketchikan but I do know about Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough. Both of these areas are still growing even in a slowing economy, few areas still are. A bridge across the Knik Arm would open up new land to relieve Anchorages land shortage, stimulate the economy in the area and provide an alternate route to the Mat-Su. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Medical delivery systems By Mark Neckameyer - I respect Joel Galli's intelligent comparison of Medical systems in the USA and in Germany but Joe, have you been in or done business in Germany lately? Until very recently I was there every three months. Their tax rate is HUGE. The sales tax (VAT) is 19%. The price of gasoline is double our high price and most of that is tax. Income taxes are much higher and are more pervasive. I believe you pay a tax on each and every TV you have in your home for instance. The cost of manufacturing anything in Germany is so much higher than about anywhere else that even the highly intelligent and educated people of that much smaller nation, are suffering economically and their factory jobs are leaving for China and points east even faster than ours. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter In Praise of Nazi Medical Economics? By Bob Harmon - I can't believe I just read Mr. Galli's story praising the way Germans save money to provide for better citizen medical care. Mr. Galli even mentions the 1930s in his letter. I am just a retired High School teacher but the way I remember it is the Germans gassed and cooked all or most of their disabled, retarded and even Gay citizens along with millions of Jews and Gypsies and Slavs and others. Maybe they have racially purified their genetics now so they can spend less on medicine? Sitnews is to be applauded for putting something like this out so we can all see how some people feel about sensitive issues. - More...
Saturday PM - March 15, 2008

letter Veneer Mill Shut Down By Mary Lynn Dahl - The veneer mill operated by Renaissance Ketchikan Group, LLC, a corporation owned by Jerry Jenkins, is now delinquent on more than $100,000 in property taxes. Tax delinquency normally results in foreclosure, unless all back taxes and penalties are paid. That seems unlikely, since the mill has shut down several times and is currently shut down yet again. Most of the mill employees have been laid off, unfortunately. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 12, 2008

letter Community's Youth By Judith Green - In response to these notes about Our Community's Youth, let us not forget that there are other activities besides sports that attract our youth, from preschool through high school years; and even continue on through adult years. That would be the Arts; my specialty being M U S I C. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 12, 2008

letter Clean Elections Works By Eric Ehst - The letter published Thursday attacking the working of the Clean Elections system of public campaign financing in Arizona does not present a true picture of the results. The referenced report from which the examples are taken uses cherry picked and distorted data to support a preordained and biased conclusion. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 12, 2008

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