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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 31, 2013

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Alaska: New Report Outlines Some Shocking Results on Status of Women in Alaska - A report on the status of women in Alaska released this week has revealed some shocking and disturbing results. The report requested by McGuire, was conducted by the non-partisan Legislative Research Services. The research examined several areas of concern including homelessness, property ownership, gender wage gaps, crime, health care, and mental illness.

“Some of the numbers are shocking and disturbing.  Sadly, some of them are what I expected,” said Senator McGuire.  “That’s why it is important for us to figure out what’s behind these numbers and come up with solutions which make Alaska better for our daughters and granddaughters.”

Senator McGuire requested the Status of Women Report after reviewing the 2010 Alaska Victimization Survey, where nearly a thousand Alaskan women were interviewed.  The survey revealed 59-percent of women currently living in Alaska have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence, or both.   In just the last year, according to the Victimization Survey, women made up 80-percent of the people in victim service programs.

Major findings in the report include:

Homelessness:  The report made an important distinction between single homeless people and homeless families.  In 2012, 25% of single people in shelters were female.  In sad contrast, for adults considered part of a family staying in shelters, 62% were women with children.  The report also noted that domestic violence is a major cause of homelessness for women and children.   In 2012, 3,125 women and children stayed in Alaska’s domestic violence facilities.  Of these, 1,372 were under the age of 18.

Property Ownership:  For home ownership, the numbers were the worst for single mothers where research found that only 42% of single mothers with young children own their homes, which is the lowest rate for any group.   - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Alaska: Majority of Alaskans Support School Choice Amendment; New statewide poll shows Alaskans prefer options in education - A new poll conducted shows a majority of Alaskans support amending the state’s constitution to allow for school choice.  Dittman Research conducted the poll earlier this month on behalf of the House Majority Caucus to help inform members and the public on priority issues before the Legislature. All regions of the state were represented and balanced to the 2010 Census.

“These numbers show a majority of Alaskans support our efforts to expand the public education system,” said Senator Mike Dunleavy, R-Mat-Su Valley.  “Our opponents will tell you they haven’t heard anyone support school choice.  This poll shows when you ask everyday Alaskans, not special interest groups, you will find Alaskans from many walks of life support parents being able to make smart choices on behalf of their children.”

The poll asked 800 Alaskans whether parents should be allowed to choose where to send their child to school and whether allowing a portion of the public funds to follow the child would create a healthy competition and improve Alaska’s schools overall.  61-percent of respondents said yes.  Furthermore, an overwhelming 84-percent of those people said they would support amending Alaska’s constitution to allow a school choice program in Alaska.

“This poll also shows the majority of Alaskans do not think amending the Constitution to allow school choice will gut our public schools,” said Senator Dunleavy.  “They are not buying into the misconception that school choice erodes public schools.” - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Ketchikan: Alaska Congressman apologizes for ethnic slur - National leaders of both major political parties condemned Alaska's Congressman Don Young on Friday for calling Latino farm workers "wetbacks." Young, 79, made his comments Wednesday at a news conference in Ketchikan and his comments were posted online the next day by KRBD, one of Ketchikan's local radio stations.

In response to the criticism Thursday, Alaskan Congressman Young released the following statement saying, “During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California.  I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect."

Young said on Thursday, “Migrant workers play an important role in America’s workforce, and earlier in the said interview, I discussed the compassion and understanding I have for these workers and the hurdles they face in obtaining citizenship. America must once and for all tackle the issue of immigration reform.”

After undergoing a day of blistering criticism Friday from around the nation, Young issued an apology. "I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska.  There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century,  and I’m sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform." - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Ketchikan: AMHS Seeks Public Review of 2013-14 Schedule – The proposed Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) schedule for the fall, winter, and spring 2013-14 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. Written comments will be accepted via email at and by fax at 907-586-8365 prior to April 5, 2013.

A teleconference to hear comments and consider adjustments is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2013 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 Alaska Marine Highway Central Office office, 7559 North Tongass Highway for participants wishing to attend in person. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Ketchikan: Aetna Insurance Signs Contract with Creekside Family Health Clinic - Aetna Insurance announced that it has signed a contract with Creekside Family Health Clinic located in Ketchikan.  Aetna members, including those covered by Meritain Health, will be covered at the in-network benefit levels beginning April 1st.

“Network membership will pay real savings to our patients who carry Aetna or Meritain insurance” said John Hill, Clinic Manager.  “We look forward to continue providing the quality care that our patients have come to expect and to help them maximize their health care dollars”. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Southeast Alaska: Alaska Airlines Awarded Essential Air Service Bid for Southeast Alaska - Alaska Airlines will continue flying jet service to five Southeast Alaska communities for another two years. The federal Department of Transportation has awarded Alaska Airlines the contract to continue flying to Cordova, Gustavus, Yakutat, Petersburg and Wrangell as part of the Essential Air Service program.

“I’d like to thank Southeast Alaska residents for their strong support of our application to continue serving these communities,” said Marilyn Romano, regional vice president for the state of Alaska. “We understand the vital role we play in delivering our customers and cargo to the communities we serve in Southeast Alaska and throughout the state.”

Among the more than 600 hundred community letters supporting Alaska’s bid was Icicle Seafoods Inc., the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau Chamber of Commerce and Angerman’s Inc. Family Clothing & Sporting Goods Store. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Alaska: ALASKA HOUSE APPROVES PRO-GUN, PRO-BUSINESS RESOLUTION; HJR 12 encourages firearm and accessories manufacturers to move to Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution to encourage firearms and firearm accessories manufacturers in the Lower 48 to move their businesses to Alaska, if they feel threatened by restrictive anti-gun legislation at the state and federal level.

House Joint Resolution 12, sponsored by Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, also urges the Governor promote the state’s business-friendly climate and actively seek out companies and help with relocation efforts.

“We’ve got plenty of land and a citizenry that appreciates and fully supports our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, unlike others in the Lower 48,” Chenault, R-Nikiski, said. “In a time in Washington, D.C., and in states across America where gun laws are being more exclusive we’re sending an inclusive message to manufacturers: come to Alaska, where we won’t punish you or mandate how or to whom you can make and sell your products.”

Speaker Chenault recently wrote a letter to Magpul Industries Corp Founder and CEO Rick Fitzgerald of Boulder, Colo., who in press accounts said he will seriously consider moving his ammunition magazine manufacturing plant out of the state following the Colorado Legislature’s passage of restrictive gun laws. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

Southeast Alaska: Former President Of The Native Village Arrested For Theft Of Funds From Indian Tribal Organization - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that an Anchorage woman was arrested this week on allegations that she misapplied over $200,000 of funds from the Southeast Alaska Native Village of Tatitlek, for her personal use. Charges include a $20,000 cash withdrawal of Tatitlek funds that she is alleged to have provided to her brother was also improperly misapplied.

On March 21, 2013, Lori “Sue” Johnson, 45 (married name now Lori Clum) of Anchorage, Alaska, was named in a four-count indictment with three counts of Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization. Johnson’s brother, James Kramer, 47, of Valdez, Alaska, was named in one count of the indictment for Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.

The indictment alleges that Lori Johnson was voted out of office as President of the Native Village of Tatitlek in April 2008, but refused to acknowledge the election ousting her and maintained control over the village bank accounts until April 2009. During this time, it is alleged that she paid herself duplicate paychecks, took significant cash withdrawals, and wrote checks to herself totaling over $200,000. This amount included a $28,750 cash withdrawal she deposited into her personal bank account; a check for $19,500 that she wrote to herself and deposited into her personal bank account; and a $20,000 cash withdrawal that she gave to her brother James Kramer that he used for personal expenses. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013


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letter RE: Federal government ammo hording By Mike Harpold - Al, for once I agree with Don Young; given training requirements, 590 rounds per officer is pretty reasonable. As you know, I am retired after a 35-year federal law enforcement career, and my wife is still on the job with DHS's Office of Customs and Border Protection. She has to qualify with her firearm on a quarterly basis. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Education Funding: Borough Reserves By Agnes Moran - A recurring theme during my terms on the Borough Assembly has been the misguided notion that the Borough's General Fund Reserves were built at the expense of school funding. The implication being that reserves are not necessary and that reserves grew by cutting local funding to our schools. Neither assertion is correct. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter School Funding By Amanda Mitchell - A ‘budget’ is a wish list without factual numbers. Plus, giving money to an administration for a general fund does not guarantee that a class which needs the funds will get it later. However, raising taxes and taking funds away from the citizens and businesses guarantees a decrease in quality of life in a community. This affects everyone including the students if not directly then indirectly. I am sure that many students don’t want to go to school so that they may one day have someone taking their earnings for ‘predictions’ and ‘wish lists.’ - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter STATE OF “ECONOMIC” EMERGENCY By David G. Hanger - The first adult step to civil war in this country has been taken by the most fascist state governor in the history of the United States, Rick Snyder of Michigan, a cretin who despises and is out to destroy representative democracy in this country.  It just isn’t efficient enough. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter A dissenting view on wars with false causes By Alfred Ray Waddell - Looking back on the ten year anniversary of the Iraq war, many of us can remember the silence in the media before this war started; this was a disservice to those Americans who were willing to stand up and say that they wanted their sons and daughters that are taught to fight to be put in the right fights and the right causes. These voices were smothered out by the neocons that believed the Bush administration was right to invade Iraq.  No real challenge came from the News media against going into Iraq before the attack. In fact, the neocons were given a free hand; and the faint voices that spoke out against the war were kept off the front pages and judged by many as unpatriotic. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Media Has Loose Lips By Donald A. Moskowitz - On March 27, 2013 the ABC-TV Nightly News broadcast information concerning the new head of the CIA clandestine unit. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Taxation By Anthony Gasbarro - It is not a Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative type issue.  Federal taxation is an issue that all Americans deal with daily.   There is a bill in Congress, HR25, the FairTax bill that eliminates taxes on income and replaces it with a tax on consumption of new goods and services. - More...
Saturday AM - March 30, 2013

letter Mind Control II by Ken Bylund - Another concerned American here, not shocked; puzzled, certainly. About the motive of that small minority of smart people using Schopenhauer's - Art of Controversy, to Interrupt, Break, Divert attention away from American's instinct to continue as the longest surviving nation of productive, imaginative, and well mannered people in history? Look to the reason why we are respected by them who would like us 'heads on stakes' dead. Could it be because we have a standing army of a hundred million armed citizens, who are not criminals, respecting legitimate law, and have the means to defend themselves? The main complaint by wanna-be aristocracy, at home or abroad, seems to be that we the people are not willing to embrace the European model of ever increasing dependency on and acceptance of Government Control. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 27, 2013

letter Open Letter: Federal government ammo hording By A.M. Johnson - The following response is made to Representative Don Young to a response he made to me requiring the vastly large ammo purchases by various Federal agencies. As reported by various news outlets, the amounts of weapons and ammunition purchased by our leading Federal agencies other than military, have been viewed as exceeding normal requirements. In one report several Iraq wars ammo consumption would be required to consume the amounts purchased and on order in 2012-13 alone. This is a disconcerting development heightened by the decreasing trust of our Federal Government and its actions promoted by the current administration. To that degree, I submitted a letter of this concern to Representative Don Young. Excerpts from his response begged for the return response to his attention. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 27, 2013

letter “Createmonth” By Bob Pickrell - This is a notice to my family, friends, and the rest of the world.  This year I will celebrate my “Createmonth” in December.  My September birth days are gone forever! - More...
Monday PM - March 25, 2013

letter Kayhi Needs a Tlingit Class By Peter Stanton - I would like to make a serious, concrete suggestion for Ketchikan High School: Get a Tlingit class. It could be just one period, but Kayhi needs a class teaching the Tlingit language. - More...
Monday PM - March 25, 2013

letter Open Letter: Proposed changes to oil taxes By Bella Hammond, Chancy Croft, Jay Kerttula, Katie Hurley, Sam Cotten, John Sund, Jim Whitaker, Mike Miller, Ethan Berkowitz, Harry Crawford, Eric Croft & David Gottstein - The legislature is contemplating tax changes which would forgo tens of billions of dollars of revenue.  SB 21 would replace a progressive tax structure with a flat tax, while substantially changing which oil fields are eligible for tax credits.  It would eliminate legislative language designed to promote industry competition.  These are major policy changes, and would affect Alaska’s business climate and state budgets for decades. - More...
Thursday - March 21, 2013

letter Mind Control By Norbert Chaudhary - As a concerned American, I am shocked that my constitutional right to own many firearms is now in jeopardy. It seems the liberal media and Obama have scared people into thinking that guns are a problem. And now they want to change things. Can you believe that? Just who does this Obama think he is? - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2013

letter The Income Tax – An Open Door to Corruption By Frank C. Kuchar - History has repeatedly demonstrated when a people and their leaders lose their virtue, freedom perishes.  It has recently come to light that Senator Robert Menendez (D) of New Jersey allegedly sponsored and promoted legislation that would benefit a major donor to his political campaign.  The legislation in question would have granted special tax credits and grants to a company in which his donor had invested heavily. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2013

letter Time for a FairTax By Ward Atcher - Everyone, just imagine getting your whole paycheck [no federal income or FICA deductions] every pay period; and, you decide how much federal tax you pay and when? FairTax does this for all of us.   It’s much simpler and fairer than the 77,000 page federal income tax code it replaces.  FairTax eliminates the IRS. - More... 
Thursday PM - March 21, 2013

letter Pass FairTax HR25 By Beverly Martin - Keeping a flat tax flat is like eating chocolates – you can’t stop with just one. Income tax started as a flat tax but legislators can’t keep their hands off your goodies. The more chocolates you make, the more they take. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2013

letter RE: End Abortions, Get A Vasectomy By Marie Zellmer - I have tried to stay out of this conversation for the longest time, but I would like to add something that has been on my mind and has become disturbing for me. Mr. Holston has forgotten something very important... he is not a woman. If I said that all men should have vasectomies to prevent getting women pregnant because of the "inconvenience" of paying for child care, or the "inconvenience" of having too much testosterone, I doubt that he would like the word as much. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2013

letter LET’S STOP BEING NUMBER ONE By Diane Gubatayao - Reliable statistics tell us that two out of three Alaskan women will experience domestic violence or sexual assault in their lifetimes. Alaska leads the nation in this statistic; we are a sad number one. Here in Ketchikan it is estimated that there are two DV cases a day on average and one major sexual assault a month. - More...
Tuesday - March 19, 2013

letter The Cost of Education in Ketchikan By John Harrington - I have been following the education funding discussions here and in the public meetings. I usually try to avoid getting in the middle of these discussions, but I felt that some factual information might be useful. And we ought to look at all the information. - More...
Tuesday - March 19, 2013

letter Re: How much the district spends per student By Agnes Moran - Per ordinance 1630-A, found on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough website, the school District's FY2013 funding authority (budget) was $40,425,914 for 2165 students or approximately $18,672 per student. - More...
Tuesday - March 19, 2013

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