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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 16, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Red Breasted Sapsucker
Photographed in the Ketchikan Creek area.
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

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New sales tax ordinance imposes new fines - This week businesses making retail sales, rendering any services, and making rentals in the Ketchikan area are receiving letters notifying them of a new ordinance which becomes effective on March 22, 2011. Adopted by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on March 7, 2011, Ordinance 1585 is making a number of changes to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Code regarding sales tax filings.

Changes include the following:

  • The prior provisions allowed the Borough to publish information on delinquent accounts, including the names, business, amounts due, etc. The changes require publication on the Borough's web site of accounts which are 45 days or more delinquent, and allows publication by other means as well.
  • The current code requires a final return on the sale of a business. The changes clarify that a business which is closing without definite plans to resume business must file a final return and statement of business closure, and the business must re-register if they are to start up again in the future.
  • The changes clarify that businesses which have seasonal closures or otherwise have certain periods of no reportable sales still must file returns even if there are not sales.
  • The changes also add additional penalties for failure to file returns, including specific fine amounts.

The Finance Department announced in the letter, that the Borough will begin issuing citations for any violations listed in KGB Code 5.120.050 on March 22, 2011.

Didn't receive a letter? You may not be alone. According to one source, of the approximately 200 Bed and Breakfast Services conducting business locally, approximately 70 have completed the required sales tax registration form in order to conduct business in Ketchikan.

Who must complete a sales tax registration application? Any person, corporation or other association that is about to make sales, perform services or make rentals must first register with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Finance Department. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 16, 2011

Alaska: Alaskans Concern About Japan Radiation Understandable - Regarding the risk of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan reaching Alaska, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said, “It’s understandable that Alaskans would be concerned about the threat of radiation from Japan drifting across the Pacific Ocean. The National Nuclear Security Administration has assured me, however, that there’s no risk of radioactive material reaching Alaska, Hawaii, the territories, or the Lower 48."

“Government scientists have said that even under the worst-case scenario any radiation drifting toward Alaska would be so dispersed by the time it reached our coastline that the exposure risk would be less than what you would experience on a flight to Seattle,” Murkowski said. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 16, 2011

Alaska: Visitor numbers raise industry optimism – Visitor volume trends in Alaska are poised to reverse recent downturns in Alaska’s tourism industry according to the Alaska Department of Commerce.

Although the number of visitors decreased in 2010 for the third consecutive year, many indicators showed signs of recovery. The Alaska Marine Highway reported that non-resident passenger volume increased by 8 percent between summer 2009 and summer 2010, and visitors exiting the state via the road system are estimated to have increased by 8 percent, as well.

Additionally, the Municipality of Anchorage reported an increase of 11 percent in both vehicle and RV rental taxes during the 2010 summer tourist season, and several communities reported increases in summer bed tax revenues. Among these, the Denali Borough was up 12 percent in bed tax collections, the City and Borough of Sitka was up 10 percent, and the Municipality of Anchorage and City of Fairbanks were up 9 and 8 percent, respectively. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 16, 2011

Alaska: Sens. Murkowski and Begich Opposed to ‘Use it or Lose it; Unwarranted Fees on Energy Companies Will Result in Less Production, More Imports, and Higher Prices – U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Begich(D-Alaska) today blasted proposed legislation – the so-called “Use It or Lose It” bill offered by Democratic Senators Bill Nelson, Bob Menendez and Chuck Schumer – that would penalize companies for leasing federal lands and waters for energy production.

While calling the bill a blatant attempt to shift blame for rising gasoline prices to energy producers, Murkowski, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at least the bill’s authors appear to grasp the connection between increased domestic production and energy prices.

“While I don’t accept my colleagues’ analysis, I am glad to see them acknowledge that increasing domestic oil production will help address rising energy prices,” Murkowski said. “Unfortunately, their bill is misguided. Our laws already reflect a use-it-or-lose-it policy; that’s why we have lease terms and a range of lease fees.  It is the current administration’s intentional slowdown of the permitting process that is stopping millions of acres onshore and offshore from producing the energy we need. In Alaska, ConocoPhillips and Shell have both seen work on promising oil projects blocked by government obstruction. To hold them responsible – and force them to pay for delays that are not their fault – is simply absurd.” - More...
Wednesday PM - March 16, 2011



Alaska Science: Women in science on being women in science By NED ROZELL - One woman listened as a male professor told her she should not go to graduate school because she would be depriving a man of an opportunity to support his family. Another had to nix her male colleagues’ chivalrous notion of slinging a porta-potti by helicopter to the volcano she was studying. A third was told she could not be promoted to supervisor because men don’t like being supervised by women.

Women scientists face unique challenges and sometimes find distinctive opportunities. To mark Women’s History Month, I sent a questionnaire to a few Alaska women scientists who have excelled at their craft for a few decades.

Following are the edited responses of two of them - Nettie LaBelle-Hamer, director of the Alaska Satellite Facility and Joan Braddock, director of the University of Alaska Press and Dean Emerita of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ College of Natural Science and Mathematics. LaBelle-Hamer earned her doctorate degree in space physics in 1994, switched to Earth science, and became director of the Alaska Satellite Facility in 2002. Braddock worked on bioremediation in Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and later researched biodegradation of contaminants in cold soils.

Were there more hurdles for you to clear in science because you were a woman?

JB: I have certainly had the classic experiences that women in science report, such as being the only women in a group of professionals and thus asked to photocopy materials. Or, being paid less than men. There were several notable experiences where I would make a suggestion in a group that was ignored until a man made the same suggestion later in the conversation.

Since it has also happened on occasions when I became more senior, it is hard to imagine that gender did not play some role. On the other token, I strongly feel that I got some great opportunities by being one of few women in science at UAF. I often was asked to serve on interesting committees or searches for high-level administrative positions.

NL-H: More hurdles in the early years than later, I think. In graduate school, when I was having trouble with a particular class assignment, I was told that maybe I should consider going home and being a mom for a while. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 16, 2011



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letter PROUD OF OUR KAYHI KIDS By Karen Owings - I had the privilege of watching the Region V 3A/4A Tournament.  I want to say how proud I am of the Ketchikan High School students who travelled to Juneau to play or perform during this tournament; Kayhi Boys Basketball, Kayhi Lady Kings, Kayhi Cheerleaders, Kayhi Pep Club, K-Highlites Dance Team, Kayhi Pep Band and last but not least the K-Highlites Dance Team Prom Dates.  Competition is always fierce during the Region V Tournament, yet our students displayed impressive sportsmanship, great attitudes, respect and manners while in Juneau.  Regardless of the situation, our students continually demonstrated by their actions and words that they are terrific representatives of our community. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter Thank you By Craig Tucker - On March 7th, I suffered a heart attack. I would like to thank the staff at Ketchikan General Hospital's emergency room, ambulance, and Guardian Flight for the great job they did in helping me. Also, the doctors and nurses at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, WA, and of course the many friends, and family members of Ketchikan and surrounding areas. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter HOMELESS... No Wonder! By Kristen Gilliard - Homeless... It's NO WONDER the cost of living in Ketchikan is high! I am a single mother with 2 daughters 9 & 5. I have a good job and bring home $2000.00 net a month if I'm lucky! (No sick kids and losing days off work). How is ANYONE supposed to live in Ketchikan when RENT is over $1000.00 a month and that's not including heat, electricity, and other payments due. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter Praise for Fawn Mountain Elementary School By Lisa Noland - I would like to take this opportunity to say how deeply I appreciate the staff of Fawn Mountain Elementary School. All of the professional personnel that interact with my two sons at Fawn Mountain have been courteous, thorough and kind to them and to me throughout this school year. My sons are thriving and even excelling in some areas. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter New UAS Campus Director By Bobbie McCreary - I just read Robert Warner's posting and I am sorry he did not take the opportunity to sit in on the community meetings where we were able to talk with and interview the two candidates for the Campus Director position. These meetings were open to the public and a diverse group of citizens did attend. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter Ketchikan has a big heart By LeAnn Pickard - On Saturday, March 12th, I saw some pretty amazing things. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter Food Handler Safety Card By Natasha Campbell - Regarding Cynthia Moyer's comment about not having testing done to obtain this card, Anna even says to take the test online, which a few years back is what my older sister and I had to do in order to start work at a local restaurant. It is a quick test that covers the basics. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 15, 2011

letter Homelessness in Ketchikan By Lisa Scarborough - Homelessness in Ketchikan is becoming a bigger problem due to many factors such as the lack of full-time year round jobs which pay enough to cover rent, utilities and basic needs, high rent rates and lack of low-income housing. - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter More Humanists, Theologians, and Religious Philosophers Needed? By Robert Warner - The University of Alaska Southeast apparently believes that Ketchikan needs to train more humanists, theologians, and religious philosophers.  Is it strange, but I don't see any listings for employment in these areas according to the Alaska State Employment Service?  To hire a religious theologian from Texas seems to be another illogical decision of top administrators at UAS.  About a year ago, I attempted to ask why it would take a full year to make such a decision. To hire such a individual with little if any knowledge of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest makes little sense in my opinion. - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter Wages & seasonal hiring practices By Joey Garcia - First of all I wanted to touch on the subject on the wage separation of the City of Ketchikan and the Borough concept in seasonal job budgetary functions and to learn better in order to keep my mouth shut I guess. - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter Skate park By Shelley Stallings - The skate park is a great idea.  Thank you to Bobby McCreary, Bob Fultz, Craig Jackson & Steven Perro.  I am glad to hear progress is being made in providing positive activities for our young people. The location near Schoenbar School is excellent. - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter KPU By Michael McColley - I can't figure out why they call Ketchikan Public Utilities publicly owned. What happens to dividends, is there a payout? Who does the audit? When was it last done? - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter Food Handlers' Cards By Kim Harty - Regarding food handlers' cards, some people in Ketchikan do have these cards. - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letter Food Handler Permits By Cynthia Moyer - I'm just curious after reading the letter from Anna Tollfeldt regarding Food Handlers Permits. If all that is required to obtain a Food Handlers permit is to mail in $10.00 to the State of Alaska with no training or testing required, what is your point? - More...
Friday PM - March 11, 2011

letterHomeless in Ketchikan By Shannon Nelson - Regarding Homeless in Ketchikan, I have so many questions because I too would like to see this terrible situation talked about. Do you know that we have mothers with children without homes? It appears that the homeless here are not obvious, they aren't walking around with signs advertising their plight. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter CRUISE SHIP POWER ANALYSIS NEEDS By Pete Ellis - The Cruise Ship power opportunity in Thom Fischer article's commentary is certainly enlightening and appreciated so my compliments to him for the calculations and data. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letterOver Taxed By Scott Cragun - In response to the letter by Thom Fischer, you recommend that "Two solutions should be looked at". The first is to develop more hydropower energy,The second is to connect Southeast Alaska to the North American grid through BC, with the proposed AK/BC Intertie. - More...
Monday PM

letter Forest Service Proposed Budget By Bob Claus - On 3/3/11 Senator Murkowski, in a response to a proposed USFS budget, stated that “Folks in Southeast Alaska are skeptical and perhaps cynical about the promises made by the Forest Service.” - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter Forest Service Proposal By A. M. Johnson - I recently sent this letter to Senator Murkowski regarding her review with the US Forest Service CEO Tom Tidwell, no friend to Alaska. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter Fireworks By Mary Lynne Dahl - Just a quick thank you to Ken Arriola and his team of gusto folks who snowshoed up Deer Mountain last night to put on the best fireworks show I have seen in a long time. I really appreciate the effort at raising the money to do it, and the physical commitment required to haul all the gear and fireworks up the mountain, then put on that great show. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter Food Safety/Food handler's card By Anna Tollfeldt - Recently, I have noticed the lack of food safety in Ketchikan. Most people I know who work or have worked in a food handling environment are NEVER required to get their food handler's card. In fact, I've found it pretty rare to come across someone working in a restaurant with a food handler's card in this town. I myself have previously worked in a restaurant and I was never required (it wasn't even mentioned!) to get my food handler's card nor were any of my coworkers. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter Abortion debate By Rob Holston - The abortion debate is back on the front burner after released it’s horrifying ad campaign against the G.O.P. and “back alley abortions”.  As is typical with all “women’s rights” type organizations they fail to recognize that 51% of all babies aborted by Planned Parenthood and other “legal” organizations are women.  Who is protecting THEIR rights? - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter What a pain By Charles Edwardson - Regarding the stop light at the bottom of Jefferson, I don't know if this bothers anyone else and it might seem like petty stuff, but what a pain in the --- it is. - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

letter Hero of the day By Judith Green - We have a good neighbor in town - other than "state farm". I think we need to start a bulletin board for HERO OF THE DAY! - More...
Monday PM - March 07, 2011

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