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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 06, 2012

Front Page Photo By Michael Keye Schuler

Trash Endangers
This young bear was recently freed from this carelessly tossed trash by a good samaritan: Michael K. Schuler. According to information provided to SitNews, this young black bear cub with its head stuck in this plastic container likely had been in this position overnight in full exposure to the snow and wind on the summit of Deer Mountain. Through a bit of trial and error, Schuler was able to cut the container free and the cub ran off into the trees on the south side of the summit. There has been disgust and anger expressed to SitNews by several community members for the irresponsibility of the person who left this trash.
(Text by Mary Kauffman, SitNews Editor)
Front Page Photo By Michael Keye Schuler


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Ketchikan: AMHS Seeks Public Review of 2012-13 Schedule – The proposed Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) schedule for the fall, winter, and spring 2012-13 seasons has been placed on the AMHS website for public review.

This is an opportunity for communities to review and comment on the proposed schedule in consideration of community events. A teleconference to hear comments and consider adjustments is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. for Southeast Alaska schedules and 1:30 p.m. for Southwest and Southcentral Alaska schedules. The meeting will be held in Ketchikan at the Port Engineer’s waterfront office, 3713 Tongass Avenue for participants wishing to attend in person.  - More...
Tuesday - March 06, 2012

Ketchikan: Three Charged With Drug Counts by Ketchikan Police - Officers of the Ketchikan Police Department and the members of Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) charged three individuals from Washington for possession of meth at the Alaska Marine Highway system Sunday.

Working off information given that Daniel Kenneth Grbich, 44 years of age of Puyallup Washington, was traveling to Ketchikan with a large amount of methamphetamine officers executed a search warrant on Grbich and found him to be in possession of about 3.5 ounces of methamphetamine with a street value of about $50,000.00.  Officers also found a scale and baggies.  Grbich was transported to the Ketchikan Correction Center where he was charged with Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree.   He was held without bail. - More...
Tuesday - March 06, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Murkowski Decries Forest Service's ‘Restoration to Poverty’ Policy - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today pressed U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on the lack of timber sales in the Tongass National Forest, which are crucial to the economy of Southeast Alaska. Murkowski called the agency’s preference for stewardship contracts over timber sales insufficient to meet the economic needs of Southeast communities.

Murkowski was also critical of the Forest Service’s new policy, as described by Tidwell, of not pursuing any program that might result in legal challenges from environmental or other activist groups. Such a surrender of the agency’s responsibilities to manage Forest Service lands for the benefit of all leaves Southeast residents at the mercy of Outside groups, Murkowski said. - More...
Tuesday - March 06, 2012

Alaska: Moose Encounters on the Rise - Two separate moose encounters left two adults injured this month. In both incidents, one occurred in Willow and the other happened in Talkeetna, the adults were stomped while walking children to school bus stops.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers say more and more moose calls are coming in every day. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game agrees. Numerous calls from members of the public reporting concerns about aggressive moose were received during the past two months. While ADF&G doesn't have exact numbers, it says this winter the aggressive moose situation is worse than previous winters.

"Because an "aggressive encounter" means different things to different people, it is difficult to quantify the exact number of reports and we know that not every moose encounter is reported to the department," said ADF&G Biologist Lem Butler. "What we can say is that we are receiving considerably more reports than what we receive during a typical winter with less snow accumulation and that the reports are coming from areas throughout the Matsu Valley. We've also received similar reports about aggressive moose from the Anchorage Area and the Kenai Peninsula."

Both the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and ADF&G biologists say people should use extra caution this winter whenever you are in a place that moose may be loitering. - More...
Tuesday - March 06, 2012

Alaska: Bear Control Program Approved on Middle Kuskokwim River – The Board of Game voted unanimously to take steps to increase the moose population in the middle Kuskokwim River area by establishing a bear control program.

The approved bear predation control area is located in some of the best moose habitat along the middle Kuskokwim River, which previously supported high levels of harvest for hunters throughout the Kuskokwim drainage and elsewhere.

“The moose population is very low, and local people depend on moose meat. About half of the unit is closed to moose hunting, and the other half is open only to very limited Tier II hunting,” said Board Chairman Cliff Judkins. “This program will allow moose numbers to rebound much faster than they can now.”

Suitable habitat is available to support a larger moose population. Predation has been identified as a leading factor limiting moose production.

A wolf control program has been in effect since 2004 in Unit 19A, and the wolf population has been reduced to a low, sustainable level by qualified members of the public, but bear predation on moose calves in spring and summer is likely slowing moose population recovery. - More....
Tuesday - March 06, 2012

Alaska: Innovative efforts to reduce colorectal cancer disparities in Alaska Native population - In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has published a special issue for March on colorectal cancer. The issue includes a study describing innovative efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in the Alaska Native population, who experience twice the incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer as does the U.S. white population. As a result of ongoing efforts, statewide Alaska Native colorectal cancer screening rates increased from 29 percent in 2000 to 41 percent in 2005 before the initiation of these efforts and increased to 55 percent in 2010. GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

"The last frontier: innovative efforts to reduce colorectal cancer disparities among the remote Alaska Native population"

Among the Alaska Native (AN) population, cancer is the leading cause of death, and colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death. For the period 2004 to 2008, the AN age-adjusted CRC mortality and incidence rates were about twice those of the U.S. white population. The AN population also has the highest CRC incidence of all Native American groups, with a CRC incidence that is nearly five times higher than that of American Indians living in the U.S. Indian Health Services Southwest Region. The reasons for these regional disparities are unclear; nonetheless, the morbidity and mortality of CRC can be reduced in all regions by population-based screening and surveillance programs that include endoscopy (colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy) and fecal occult blood tests. Screening can detect advanced neoplasia (polyps and cancer) and, in the case of endoscopy, can even prevent cancer by removing precancerous polyps. - More...
Tuesday - March 06, 2012


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letter CAN YOU HEAR US NOW? By Bill Walker - Over the past several months there has been a sea change of support and acknowledgment that the best option for Alaska's natural gas is in the form of LNG at tidewater, sold into the premium Asian markets on long term contracts.  We have now heard this from Governor Parnell, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva and BP CEO Bob Dudley.  They join the chorus of the 138,000 Alaskans who said the same thing at the polls in 2002 and in nearly every opinion poll taken since.  And last November, the Alaska Municipal League, after reviewing all proposed gas line projects and hearing from their proponents, overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting the building of the All Alaska Gasline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez for LNG shipment to the Asian market. The Alaska Gasline Port Authority has recently released the results of several studies. The "Alaskan LNG Exports Competitiveness Study," conducted by world energy experts, Wood Mackenzie, concluded: - More..
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter State or Local Support for Recycle Clubs in School By Luke A. Dossett - I think that there should be more state/local support for recycle clubs in schools.  In the last couple of years schools like Ketchikan Houghtling Elementary  have started things called recycling clubs. A recycling club is a group of students that are concerned about the environment. These students do things such as recycling cans, bottles, unused papers, and plant various plants around the outside of the school. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter Southeast Tournament By Charles Edwardson - Ketchikan just had perhaps the last 3A\4A combined tournament ever. And what an event it was, hundreds if not thousands of people witnessed a few of the so called smaller school teams put Juneau to the test on the crossover tournament. Juneau prevailed but Sitka gave them a run for their money. As the powers that be decide this April to perhaps separate the kids into different divisions once and for all, so things are more equitable, to even out the competition, to make it better for the "smaller schools, to even out the competition -- what's next? Will we do away with all tourney team selection so as not to hurt anyone's feelings or don't keep score so as not to offend? - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter GRAVINA TOLL BRIDGE By Pete Ellis - So why not do our own bridge to open up Pennock and Gravina and charge only for each vehicle? - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter Re: Conservation of Electrical Resources By Alan R. McGillvray - Why is no one addressing the 'elephant in the room'' Which would be wind-generated electricity. As I have written, right here in Sitnews, is that we have a lot more ridges than lakes in southeast. We could be using them for generating electric power. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter Is there some place we can relocate? By Mike Shaffer - First, thank you Sitnews for this forum! When I first moved to Ketchikan my father, whom was born there, visited and we toured the town etc. My father was amazed by all the changes of course as it had been over twenty five years since his last visit. One of the things we spoke about was the development of Gravina Island. My father thought development should have taken place years ago by moving fish processors, small airplane business's, and high school etc. over there as it would have opened up area for just what A.M. Johnson suggests, kind of. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter RE: Is there some place we can relocate? By Robert Maxand - JUST WANTED TO AGREE WITH AL ABOUT HIS SUNDAY LETTER, GOOD JOB AL. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letter Ketchikan's Drug Menace By Joey Garcia - It is lamentable to note in publications how the Ketchikan Filipinos fare from within and from without that gives the brown race a sour note in the social standing of the city's community. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 07, 2012

letterACES Needs to Be Fixed, but HB 110 Is Not the Solution By Senator Bert Stedman - Alaska’s current petroleum tax system, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (or ACES, for short), was an ill-conceived policy pushed through by then Governor Sarah Palin in 2007.  When ACES was voted on in the Senate, I was one of only five Senators who voted against it.  My reason was simple: I felt then and I still feel that ACES is anything but “equitable” and that under ACES the government take at high oil prices is excessive.  - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Ketchikan's Energy Strategy. By Ken Bylund - Who is John Galt? The Ketchikan City Council is considering the problem of dwindling electrical hydro-electric capacity? Good. The Mahoney Lake issue then... still not being considered? We still face the + $50 million pool & library bonds... now citizens are being told they might need to go back to wood burning stoves so SEAPA can heat the new pool/spa and new library? And SEAPA, do they have a gun to our head? It appears we have met their criteria; can we now buy power from Cape Fox as discussed in Mr. Bergeron's Opinion page of 9/19/2011? - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Open Letter: Is there some place we can relocate? By A. M. Johnson - The following has been sent to our local Assembly members: I want to plant a economic seed with you. One never knows when a seed will take root, one can only plant and wait. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter An Open Letter to Governor Parnell By Towns of Thorne Bay, Kupreanof, Edna Bay, Port Protection, Pt. Baker, Hollis, Whale Pass, Naukati, and Cape Pole - We are extremely disappointed that after eight months your office was unable to respond to the July 18th, 2011 letter from our Nine Alaska Towns, but hope you will respond to this letter. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter RE: Conservation Is The Answer... By Pete Ellis = The opinion by Sam on electrical resources is excellent as to background and current status. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012

letter Ketchikan Fireworks By Pete Ellis - The efforts of Arriola and his crew produced a super display and a need for contributions for deposit at Tongass Federal. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 29, 2012  

letter Conservation Is the Answer to Our Short Term Hydro Energy Needs By Samuel Bergeron - The Ketchikan City Council is considering the problem of dwindling electric hydro-electric capacity; a problem largely driven by the use of electric heat. Some of their proposed solutions are troubling to me as it will penalize residents who rely in part or in whole for electricity for their heating needs. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter Postal budget fix By A. M. Johnson - Reading news articles relating to the pending increase in first class postage to $.50 per stamp. This news along with awareness of the huge budget deficit, billions of dollars, the Post Office is experiencing year after year, some outside of the box thinking is in order. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter FIREWORKS: THANKS KEN ARRIOLLA AND CREW By Katy Taylor - The light show at 6:00pm Saturday night was outstanding. The effort Ken Arriolla and his crew gave to get up to the tops of two mountains for the dramatic display for all of Ketchikan to enjoy was amazing. - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

letter Fireworks By Judith Green - Thank you to Ken and crew for climbing to the tippee top in the cold and through the snow to give Ketchikan the wonderful show of fireworks - giving us the thrill of just watching in awe on a cold and wintry night! - More...
Monday PM - February 27, 2012

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