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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 19, 2011

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

Super Full Moon Expected Saturday
Pictured is Friday's moon as it rose over Deer Mountain - Ketchikan, Alaska.
On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
"The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," says Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC. "I'd say it's worth a look." - Read more...
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

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Faulty electrical equipment cause of house fire - The Ketchikan Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at 3442 Baranof Avenue this morning. According to Acting Fire Chief Frank Share, first arriving crews reported smoke showing from a two story residential house.  Fire crews were informed all residents were out of the house.

Share said a total of 15 Ketchikan Fire Department personnel responded at 5:16 AM to the call assisted by crews from the North and South Tongass Fire Departments. Fire crews quickly brought the blaze under control. - More...
Saturday - March 19, 2011

Alaska: March 31 Deadline to Apply for 2011 PFD Fast Approaching - The March 31st deadline to apply for the 2011 PFD is just around the corner.  If you are an Alaskan who has not yet filed a 2011 PFD application – apply today.

Online applications must be completed before midnight, March 31st, Alaska Standard Time (AST).

Mailed applications must be postmarked on or before March 31, 2011.  Hand delivered applications will be accepted at all Dividend Offices between 10 am and 4:30 pm.

Eligible applicants will receive their PFD on October 6, 2011. The 2011 dividend amount will be announced mid-September.

PFD Division Manager Dan DeBartolo encourages applicants to file online, “The online application is easier than ever.” - More...
Satureday - March 19, 2011

Fish Factor: Roe herring fishery set to get underway By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s most lucrative roe herring fishery is set to get underway any day at Sitka Sound, starting a circuit that each year swims its way all the way to Nome.  The herring are valued for their eggs, and harvesters get paid according to the amount of roe in the fish.

The Sitka Sound harvest could approach 19,500 thousand tons for the fishery’s 50 permit holders. Last year after price adjustments they got $690 per ton for their catches, making the fishery worth over $12 million at the docks, far more than halibut or black cod. 

The Bristol Bay roe herring fishery at Togiak was worth about $4 million to seiners and setnetters in 2010, and over $2 million at Kodiak. 

But virtually all of the roe herring goes to one buyer: Japan. In fact, Japan is Alaska’s #1 customer for all its seafood; Japan imports more seafood than any other nation in the world.

The northeast coast of Japan hardest hit by the horrific quake and tsunami is home to the bulk of Japan’s seafood industry, for both fishing and processing - especially roe products. 

“You have to look at this on a species specific leve,” said John Sackton, editor of  “And for us we have black cod, crab, herring roe, salmon roe, Bristol Bay salmon, pollock and cod.  The real question is what’s happening in those species, and to what extent have the Japanese been driving the market.

“You can rank them and say that the Japanese drive the market for herring roe and pollock roe,’ Sackton continued. “After that they drive the market for crab, and their approach to surimi has an impact on the pollock market. But when you get down to fish like Alaska salmon, and black cod, the Japanese are not really the market leaders anymore. There are plenty of other buyers who will step in and purchase those products.”

Sackton said the “buying psychology” might shift as the Japanese focus on rebuilding. - More...
Saturday - March 19, 2011

Alaska: State continues monitoring for radiation from Japan’s nuclear plant crisis; Still no immediate or anticipated threat in Alaska — additional monitors being installed - Scientists working in the state of Alaska Public Health Laboratory in Anchorage continue to monitor levels of radiation in Alaska. To date, there have been no levels detected above normal background range.

Three radiation monitoring stations, located in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, sample the air throughout the day. These stations have been in place for the past three years. The Juneau monitor is currently being upgraded. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is installing additional monitoring sites in Dutch Harbor and Nome this week. The Dutch Harbor monitor is working and EPA officials are on site. The Nome monitor is on site and EPA officials are en route to assist in installation. Results from the additional monitors should be available as early as the week of March 21.

Should the situation change, state officials will notify the public immediately through regular media channels and department websites.

Because there is no immediate or anticipated indication of harmful radiation reaching Alaska or its waters, all seafood and other food items produced in Alaska remain safe to consume. - More...

Alaska: ComputerCOP Software to Combat Online Child Predation Distributed - In an effort to help parents protect their children on the internet, the Department of Public Safety utilized federal grant funds to purchase and distribute the ComputerCOP software package to every school, public library, and police agency in Alaska.

The software should foster and initiate communication between parents and children regarding the positive and negative uses for the internet. This program is easy to use, and allows parents to monitor and manage images, information, and emails that have been downloaded on their home computer.

The intent is for schools and public libraries to put copies of this software program into their resource library and make it available to check out by parents. In addition, law enforcement agencies throughout the state have received copies of the program for their community policing programs.

Funding for the purchase of the program came through grants received through the Alaska State Troopers rural policing program and the D.A.R.E. program. School Resource Officers, D.A.R.E. Officers, and Village Public Safety Officers who teach an internet safety course to parents will be provided with a copy of the ComputerCOP software program for every parent that attends.

Over one billion people use the internet, and Alaska has one of the highest per capita internet usages in the nation. Our children are at the highest risk for internet-related sexual abuse between the ages of 13 and 16. Nationally, 1 in 4 children are exposed to unwanted nudity, 1 in 5 children are exposed to sexual solicitation, and 1 in 17 children are threatened or harassed. Fifty-eight percent of children admit that someone has said mean or hurtful things to them and 53% of children have admitted to saying mean or hurtful things to another. Finally, 42% of students’ grades 4 – 8 say they have been bullied online. - More...
Saturday - March 19, 2011



Alaska: Warmer Arctic could disrupt animal-disease balance - Climate change in the Arctic could change the balance of power between humans, animals and the germs or pathogens that make them both sick, according to a paper by University of Alaska Fairbanks microbiologist Karsten Hueffer.

Hueffer, an assistant professor at the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology, published his findings in a recent issue of the online journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica.

“Interestingly, people and animals can reach a point of equilibrium in which the pathogens that affect them do not cause a lot of disease,” said Hueffer, who studies zoonotics, infectious diseases that spread between humans and animals. “Day length and temperature are thought to play a significant role in regulating this equilibrium.”

The rates of predicted climate change for the Arctic could spell disaster for this longstanding host-pathogen balance. A warmer Arctic could increase survival of organisms that carry disease and decrease survival of the animals they infect – including animals used as subsistence food by people living in the Arctic.

“What happens when a caribou has its calf on ground warm enough to have pathogens the calf cannot fight off?” said Hueffer. “The same issue could face bears giving birth in dens.”

Muskoxen are affected by a lung worm known to develop much faster when it’s warmer. “The faster the worm grows the more generations are born, which increases the disease pressure on the muskoxen,” said Hueffer.

Humans are at risk as well. A warmer Arctic and the prospect of an ice-free Northwest Passage is expected to drive an increase in development and other human activity in the North, all of which will increase contact among wildlife, humans and domesticated animals. - More...
Saturday - March 19, 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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