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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

March 03, 2015

Front Page Photograph by KEN ARRIOLA

It's a long day hike to Blue Lake. Elevation is 2,700 feet. On this hike, the snow level was low with mild temps, but it was winter nonetheless. Once you reach the top of the Deer Mountain trail, you can follow the trail as it continues towards Blue Lake.
Front Page Photograph by KEN ARRIOLA ©2015
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

Southeast Alaska: Canada plans to limit the hours of a border crossing that divides US village, Canadian town - Read this Public Radio International (PRI) article...

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Southeast Alaska: Southeast Conference Announces New Food Security, Marine Industry, and Timber Programs - Significant changes and growth have been taking place at Southeast Conference recently. Southeast Conference announced this week the addition of three new programs at Southeast Conference, and three new staff members to oversee these programs.

Food Security in Southeast Alaska: In 2010 the Southeast Conference introduced food security in the region as a new focus for the Conference. However, the initiative lacked the right person to move it forward. That all changed when Southeast Conference partnered with Sustainable Southeast

Partnerships and hired Lia Heifetz to be the Food Security Coordinator for Southeast Alaska. Lia’s previous work experience includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and she has a biology degree from the University of Oregon.

Heifetz’s job is to increase food-related sustainability in Southeast Alaska in an effort to promote self-reliant communities. Heifetz was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and wants to see our communities and people prosper. “Food not only provides caloric value, it is a fundamental part of cultures and traditions. Food can bring people together, has cultural and place-based significance and can serve as medicine for physical, spiritual and mental well-being. In addition to these benefits, we have an opportunity to replace the large quantities of food that is imported from out of state and support local food producers,” Lia explains.

Through her work, Heifetz is shaping a resilient food system that decreases our dependence on outside sources, sparks food-based business startups and improves household and community health. This vision for a prosperous regional food system includes a reliable supply of wild foods, thriving agricultural enterprises, and improved access to fresh and nutritious foods for all residents across our region. Her work is predominantly focused on rural communities in Southeast.

Maritime in Southeast Alaska: When Southeast Conference published it’s work, the Maritime Economy of Southeast Alaska, showing that one- quarter of the regional economy is driven by jobs connected to the ocean, it changed the way people think about the Southeast Alaska economy. Since that time the Conference’s work in the maritime sector has become one of the organization’s key focus areas, and a full time coordinator was needed to oversee these efforts.

Southeast Conference hired Kaleigh Holm as the Southeast Alaska Marine Industry Coordinator to advance the expansion of the maritime industry throughout the Southeast Alaska region. Among other duties, she will be supporting and facilitating the implementation of some Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan action steps. “Workforce development is an important component of the success and the health of the marine economy,” explains Holm. “It is important to pool the resources of the region toward a few common objectives.” She is also working on development of a technology to foster communication and coordination between customer and service professionals and creates efficient collaboration between organizations and industry that are working towards a common goal. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015



Alaska: Russia Has Activated 4 New Combat Brigades in Arctic - During an Armed Services Committee hearing today on the Department of Defense’s FY16 budget request, Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) was told about Russia’s plans to attempt to militarize and dominate the Arctic.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that of the six new Russia brigades being activated, four of them will be in the Arctic.

Given Russia’s plans in the Arctic, Senator Sullivan questioned the wisdom of the possible removal of one or both U.S. Army Brigade Combat teams (BCT) from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Ft. Wainwright in Alaska.

“We have a 13 page paper, the Russians are putting major, major troops and infrastructure in the Arctic – does that concern you, and should we be looking at removing brigade combat teams, our only airborne brigade in the Pacific?” Senator Sullivan asked both General Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

Alaska: Board of Forestry to meet March 23-24 - The Board of Forestry will meet in Juneau and by teleconference on March 23-24 to discuss statewide forestry issues and participate in a forest fisheries forum. The meeting and forum will be held in Juneau and the public is invited to attend.

The board will discuss statewide forestry issues from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Monday, March 23, and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.

The forest fisheries forum will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23. The forum is being organized by board members and other stakeholders including the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership. Speakers will address interactions between forestry and fisheries management and will discuss upcoming forestry-fisheries issues and opportunities to cooperate on management and research. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015



Alaska: Scientists Warn Climate Change is Threatening World's Most Expansive Temperate Rainforests - International climate change and rainforest experts warned that without drastic and immediate cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and new forest protections, the world's most expansive stretch of temperate rainforests from Alaska to the coast redwoods will experience irreparable losses.

Scientists Warn Climate Change is Threatening World's Most Expansive Temperate Rainforests

Expansive old-growth rainforests on the Tongass may act as a climate refuge but only if protected from logging
Photo J. Schoen

Using global climate models, researchers assessed changes in temperature and precipitation from recent to future climatic conditions projected toward the end of the century if emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation continue to rise.

According to the lead researcher, Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist of Geos Institute, "In the Pacific Northwest, the glass is half empty as the climate may no longer support rainforest communities like coast redwood, while on the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska the glass is half full as cooler, moister conditions may prevail as a refuge for rainforest communities that can migrate in time."

Applied climate models predicted the future distribution of eight rainforest conifers of commercial value and broad rainforest communities across a 2,200-mile stretch of coastal rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska. Published by Science Direct in the online global reference "Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences," key findings include: - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

Alaska: Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss - It's no surprise that Arctic sea ice is thinning. What is new is just how long, how steadily, and how much it has declined. University of Washington researchers compiled modern and historic measurements to get a full picture of how Arctic sea ice thickness has changed.

The results, published in The Cryosphere, show a thinning in the central Arctic Ocean of 65 percent between 1975 and 2012. September ice thickness, when the ice cover is at a minimum, is 85 percent thinner for the same 37-year stretch.

"The ice is thinning dramatically," said lead author Ron Lindsay, a climatologist at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory. "We knew the ice was thinning, but we now have additional confirmation on how fast, and we can see that it's not slowing down." - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015


Ketchikan Sports: Four in Top Ten at Alaska Age Group Championships By SARAH CAMPBELL - Four swimmers from the Ketchikan Killer Whales finished in the top ten at the 2015 Alaska Age Group Championships held at Juneau's Dimond Park Aquatic Center last month.

Four in Top Ten at Alaska Age Group Championships

Aidan Miller named ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ for the Ketchikan Killer Whales by Head Coach Patrick Burda.

More than 350 swimmers and 21 swim teams from around the state were represented at this age 14 and under three-day competition.

Aidan Miller, age 9, placed 9th overall in the boys 10 and under division. He swam a personal best in the 500 Free (6:49.28), dropping 28.62 seconds, to earn 5th place. Miller had a strong meet, dropping time in every event he swam, and was named ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ for the Ketchikan Killer Whales by Head Coach Patrick Burda. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dan Ortiz
A VIEW FROM THE HOUSE: Child Abuse By DAN ORTIZ - The caging, restraining or secluding of children should be prosecutable under Alaskan law.

Sadly, recent events have demonstrated that Alaska’s Child in Need of Aid law and criminal penalty laws do not address those types of child abuse if there is no physical harm or threat of physical harm. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

jpg Dave Kiffer
DAVE KIFFER: We’ll have less to go on! - As if there isn't already a lot of things to be worried about, I read on the internet (so it must be true) that companies that make toilet paper are cutting back on the sheet size.

Once upon a time, the little squares used to be 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches. Now they are going to be 4 inches by 4 1/2 inches.

Natch, the price isn't going down. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

jpg Dick Polman

DICK POLMAN: Hillary Gets Busted for Secrecy (Again) - Is any remotely viable Democrat prepared to step up and challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016? Because she deserves to be scrutinized by a competitive opponent - more so than ever, now that she's been busted anew for engaging in classic Clintonian secrecy.

Turns out that Hillary, in all her official communications as Secretary of State, used a personal email account - defying the Federal Records Act, which requires that all top feds use government email accounts, thus ensuring that their e-correspondence is publicly archived for the future benefit of congressional committees, historians, and journalists. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 03, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Netanyahu Speech

Political Cartoon: Netanyahu Speech
By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Careful Consideration Is Needed By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Getting our state’s fiscal house in order by establishing a sustainable operations budget plan should be the Alaska State House of Representatives main priority for this legislative session. It’s in the best long-term interests of all Alaskans that the Legislature significantly reduce our 3.5 billion dollar deficit while supporting programs that spur economic growth. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 04, 2015

letter Political Correctness in play By A. M. Johnson - Please to hear that I have stated the most racist statement heard. The more vocal Political Correctness crowd across the Nation will be hurt and sadden to learn their trumpeted bellowing has been overshadowed by a single Alaskan. No apology coming! - More...
Wednesday AM - March 04, 2015

letter Words of Senator McCain By A. M. Johnson - One has to wonder if Senator John McCain has second thoughts regarding his flowery endorsement of then candidate Obama quoted within Mr. Harpold's espial of 2-25-14. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 04, 2015

letter KRBD budget cuts By Deb Turnbull - I am asking for your help today in lieu of the proposed 59% budget cuts to public broadcasting. We view these cuts as excessive and disproportionate causing significant harm to our system. We know KRBD plays an important role keeping our community informed, educated and entertained. I ask that you place a call today to your legislator and ask where they stand on the 59% cut… a $2.5million cut – that would deeply impact all the stations in the state. - More...
Saturday AM - February 28, 2015

letter Ketchikan Recorder's Office Closure By Chris Elliott - The Legislature is very seriously considering closing the Ketchikan Recorder's Office. This is where deeds and other documents are recorded for the Ketchikan Recording District, the Wrangell Recording District, and the Petersburg Recording District. If the office closes, we will be forced to mail documents to Juneau for recordation. - More...
Saturday AM - February 28, 2015

letter Come On, Not Again With Library Funding! By Terri Jirschele - I have never personally used the "library-on-the-cliff", and I don't plan on starting! In this digital age I, like so many other people, read electronic books. I can't remember the last time I held, let alone, actually opened, and read a printed book. - More...
Saturday AM - February 28, 2015

letter RE: Powers Act By Laurin Boyer - Read Marc Kaiwi's comments with interest and would like to point out that unlike living under a dictator or emperor, our allegiance is given to the constitution which allows for the removal of a President if the conditions seem to warrant as well as the freedom to express our opinions of the country and its leaders as both you and Mr. Johnson have done. - More...
Saturday AM - February 28, 2015

letter Respect and Legal Pot By James Schenk - Respect, kind of the first rule in life to follow, to coexist with our fellow Human beings. With the Legalization of Marijuana now here, the number one rule to follow should be Respect! Be respectful first to your self, if you are unable to function as you would expect when using this substance do not do anything to put yourself, nor anyone else in danger. Respect the wishes and health of your family, like cigarettes and other smoke producing products, the best use is away from those who have no desire, nor should be around it, find a quite place outside your home or with no access to minors, no one who does not use pot deserves to be subjected to second hand smoke, or the actions of those not responsible enough respect the space of those who do not use pot. - More...- More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter Changes are way overdue By Guy Lane -Since moving to POW Island it's not hard to see why some small towns just don't go anywhere. First I moved to Coffman Cove where my family was sold an undisclosed buried logging camp dump by the City Administrator which resulted in a lengthy lawsuit with the Defendants paying my family a settlement of $65,000. After the settlement was made, several past and present Coffman Cove Council members and or their associates can't just seem to leave my family alone and continue to harass and slander my family and business which will result in a new lawsuit being filed against them in the near future. My family was threatened and stalked for not wanting to be the proud owners of an undisclosed buried logging camp dump that contained hazardous materials and has since been designated as an illegal hazardous waste dump by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter RE: War Powers act By Marc Kaiwi - ... Stand the Muslim President down NOW! This is the most racist statement I've heard since the 1960's! I'd ask you Mr. Johnson is it that you just don't like Muslims or is it that you simply object to a black President? Might I remind you that Mr. Barack Obama is currently the President of the United Sates of America, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and voted into Office twice by the American people via democratic vote! - More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter RE: War Powers Act By Mike Harpold - Al, this is what the man we both voted for in 2008, Senator John McCain, had to say about then candidate Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Minnesota in 2008: - More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter Daylight Savings Time Change By Mike Bethel - Where does the fact that we lose two hours in the evenings if we stop using daylight savings time come from? Metlakatla is not using daylight savings time and they are currently on the same time as Seattle. They gain an hour in the evening, not lose two. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter RE: Culprit of wealth division By Stephen C. Eldridge - Paul Livingston starts off with a class warfare appeal, “The CULPRIT of wealth division is our federal tax code.” I see, in the besotted mind of a Socialist, the Tax Code CREATES “unfair” distribution of wealth TO the rich. Socialists have no concept initially that the wealthy EARN their wealth, legally. Socialists are blinded by their class hatred of the rich and thus cannot process the long known fact that the rich pay most all of the federal income tax, but that would not matter anyway because in their minds, the rich will NEVER pay their “Fair Share” of taxes, no matter how much they pay. - More...
Wednesday PM - February 25, 2015

letter Ward Creek Trail, Again By Eric Muench - A threat to Ward Creek Trail has receded for now but the risk is still there. The Ward Cove Group proposal to purchase and fully develop the Borough s 297 acres out the Revilla Road, including residential development of Ward Creek Trail in Tract B, has been withdrawn. That is good news, but we cannot let the matter rest there. A new proposal could be made at any time by anyone for any Borough vacant land. It would then be considered and possibly negotiated and approved by the Manager and Mayor and Assembly members. These people are not pushovers; they had serious concerns about the recent proposal, but it would have been better if the proposer had known beforehand what the intents and limits of the Borough s RFP were. It had been too open-ended. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter Shenanigans By David Nees - Jay Hammond must be rolling in his grave at the current shenanigans in Juneau. In his first term as Senator, the young Jay Hammond sought a way to protect Education and Fish and Game commissioners from political cleansing by the then new Republican administration. Sen. Hammond devised and passed a clever way to balance the system: An appointed board for fish management, another appointed board for game management, and an appointed Board of Education. The governor could not have more than four persons from his party on any of the boards. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter Do you hate SE Alaskan Children? By Ken Lewis - Gosh I hope the title caught your eye. Senator Anna MacKinnon wants you to think eliminating daylight savings time is good for you. She obviously either hates SE families or she thinks the northern communities (WANTS) are so valuable to us in SE, we are willing to eliminate yet another hour of afternoon daylight for recreation and basic sight for safety. If her ignorant bill should pass, the diference between a kid in Ketchikan prior to 1983 and her version of efficient use of daylight will be two less hours of after school, after work, after diner natural daylight. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter Hole In The Wall Dock Upgrade By Gail Jackson - The fishermen and hunters haul tons of gear up and down the docks, people that live off the grid haul their supplies up and down the docks. The dock is a working, surviving access to the Alaska waters and marine highway. The dock needs to accommodate those that us it. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter RE: Ketchikan gas prices By Ken Arriola - Mr. Weaver, we here in K-Town are quite accustom to rolling over and being content with subsidising big business be it fuel, food, housing, utilities, labor, shipping or transportation. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter War Powers act By A. M. Johnson - Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, enough screwing around with this Muslim President! On the war powers authorization stand firm, damn firm on terms which better include eliminating Terms of engagement - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter RE: Feral Cats By Laura Plenert - What is missing here is the fact that the feral population - if neutered or spayed will eventually collapse because they can no longer breed. - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

letter Culprit of wealth division By Paul Livingston - The culprit of wealth division is our federal tax code. The tax code has over 74,000 pages with $1.2 trillion in deductions, tax breaks, loop holes, etc. that go up in value with wealth and income. This is the buy and sell tax code game played by special interests, lobbyists and politicians. Do you think winners and losers are being picker? Do you think our present tax code leads to wealth division? Plus it divides us into classes. It has regressive taxes on jobs. The tax code is based on production (income, savings and investment). Production is what creates jobs, a higher standard of living and wealth for the country. Why punish good behavior? - More...
Friday AM - February 20, 2015

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