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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 10, 2012

Wild Bill Peacock
Wild Bill Peacock, a life-long resident of Ketchikan, is ready for spring and along with the other peacocks in his muster, or ostentation, shows off his plumage by displaying for the peahens. The males are noted for their display of brilliant plumage to attract attention during courtship and for their "courtship calls". Peafowl are large birds of the pheasant family and are flying birds. Peahens begin laying eggs in April and will lay eggs every other day until a clutch of seven to ten eggs is achieved -- egg laying is closely monitored in order to control the number of offspring, if any, I allow. However, a peahen can lay as many as thirty eggs. Wild Bill Peacock is a 12 year old Blue India.
Front Page Photo By MARY KAUFFMAN


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Ketchikan: Taxi driver robbed at knife point - Officers of the Ketchikan Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at the 5000 block of North Tongass Highway Thursday evening.

According to Lieutenant Joe White, a Taxi driver stated she picked up a fare at Texaco and was told to drive to the 5000 block.  The driver stated to the officers the male put a knife to her throat and demanded money which he obtained and he left the area on foot.  After searching the area officers were unable to locate the suspect.

The taxi driver described the male as 18 to 22 years of age, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 140 to 150 pounds.  She said he was wearing a blue hooded sweat shirt with white pin stripes, a white tee-shirt and blue jeans. - More...
Saturday - March 10, 2012 

Ketchikan: Arbitrary Unfunded State Mandates Concerning Education Under Review by KGB - Over Eight months ago, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly commissioned a thorough review of public policy concerns over education funding. The Assembly’s action stemmed from disappointment and frustration that none of the three branches of Alaska’s state government has taken steps to resolve long-standing and critical public policy concerns over education funding. Volume I, of the review, the ‘Statement of the Problem is currently available for download.

Quoting a press release, unfunded mandates arbitrarily imposed on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and 33 other municipal governments in Alaska that are compelled to carry out the State’s constitutional duties for public education exceed one-quarter of a billion dollars annually. The prospect is dim for abatement of evergrowing unfunded State mandates absent direct action by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and other affected municipal governments in Alaska.

Alaska attorney Bob Hicks was chosen by the Ketchikan Borough to undertake the review. Hicks experience and qualification indicates he is eminently qualified for the task. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Hicks served as an Alaska Supreme Court law clerk, first to Justice John Dimond and then to Justice Robert Boochever. He was later appointed the first Executive Director of the Alaska Judicial Council in 1973, conducting many studies of bush justice in Alaska until 1975 when he entered the private practice of law in Anchorage.

When complete, Hicks’ work for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough will comprise three volumes: Volume I, the ‘Statement of the Problem; Volume II, a ‘Review of the Law;’ and Volume III, an evaluation of ‘Alternative Courses of Action.’

Volume I, a 65-page detailed analysis accompanied by eight appendices, is completed. The following are among the conclusions reached by Hicks in Volume I: - More...
Saturday - March 10, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Seal Captured Near Yakutat Found To Have Hair Loss and Skin Sore Disease - Marine mammal scientists recently received a curious report: fishermen near Yakutat had observed what appeared to be a ringed seal pup hauled out at the shoreline.

Seal Captured Near Yakutat Found To Have Hair Loss and Skin Sore Disease

Photo courtesy NOAA Fisheries in Alaska
Photo By Bill Lucey, Yakutat, AK, Feb. 29, 2012

Because the seal was reported to be fairly bald, sickly-looking, and lethargic, NOAA Fisheries scientists quickly advised that the animal be captured and transferred to Anchorage for examination by a pathologist and wildlife veterinarians from the Alaska SeaLife Center, Bridge Veterinary Services, UAF Marine Advisory Program and ringed seal experts from the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management.

When the seal pup arrived in Anchorage, it was found to be so ill it had to be euthanized.

Alaska Veterinary Pathology Services veterinary pathologist Kathy Burek-Huntington led the necropsy on the animal. Findings indicated that the seal exhibited similar symptoms to those in the declared 2011 Northern Pinniped Unusual Mortality Event (UME) which has been affecting ice seals and walruses in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska since last summer.

"The seal, determined to be a yearling, exhibited almost total hair loss and nodular, ulcerated scabbed skin sores," said Burek-Huntington, the lead pathologist in an international working group of experts working to find out what is causing the disease. "These sores are consistent with the disease process we have been seeing in the ice seals in the North Slope and Bering Strait areas." - More...
Saturday - March 10, 2012

Southeast Alaska: FREE Safety Training Offered for Commercial Fishermen in Metlakatla - Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will offer a 2 day fishing vessel safety and drill conductor course in Metlakatla on Friday March 16 from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturday March 17 from 8:30am to 7:30pm, which will include a pool session. The course will be held at the City Council Chambers, Metlakatla.

This course meets the U.S. Coast Guard requirements for commercial fishing vessels. It is available FREE to commercial fishermen thanks to funding from AK DCCED, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and a support contract for training services from the U.S. Coast Guard. - More...
Saturday - March 10, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Keep distance from eagles and other birds during nesting says Forest Service - The eagles are nesting and the Forest Service reminds Southeast Alaskans to be mindful of disturbing early-nesting birds, particularly eagles, ravens, crows, and owls.

Eagles and other birds are now being seen carrying branches and other materials and behaving defensively against other birds -- obvious signs that they have begun nesting for the season. At this early stage, these birds are particularly vulnerable to disturbance around their nests.

A common assumption is that nest disturbance has the greatest impact when young are present, but Brian Logan, wildlife program leader for the Tongass, points out that the risk of nest abandonment is far greater during the early stages of nesting, because the birds have less invested in their young.

According to Logan, bald eagles in the wild typically live 15 to 25 years, and often return to the same nest -- with the same mate -- for years or even decades. But despite their loyalty to a particular nest site, a disturbance can cause the raptors to abandon nesting attempts for that year.

In terms of reproduction, Logan says, “this can be a significant impact because eagles and other raptors almost never re-nest within that season after abandonment.” That means there will be no young for the mating pair that year. - More...
Saturday - March 10, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

Update in Progress.

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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