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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 20, 2018

Front Page Feature Photo By SANDRA RUSIN MCCRAY

One Fatality in Tragic North Tongass Accident
This photograph provided by McCray shows the car after it was lifted out of the ravine so her son could be cut of out of the vehicle. According to McCray, her son was the only occupant wearing a seatbelt.
Front Page Feature Photo By SANDRA RUSIN MCCRAY ©2018

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Ketchikan: One Fatality in Tragic North Tongass Accident By MARY KAUFFMAN - A young woman lost her life in a tragic accident Sunday in the Whipple Creek area approximately 12 miles north of Ketchikan. According to Alaska State Troopers, at approximately 4:45 PM the report of the single vehicle Motor Vehicle Collision near the intersection of Pond Reef Road and North Tongass Highway was received by the Ketchikan station.

In a public dispatch, the Alaska State Troopers reported their investigation showed the vehicle lost control and struck a guard rail [rail of the Whipple Creek bridge] before striking a tree. Troopers reported one of the occupants Michelle Verney, age 26 of Ketchikan, was transported by Emergency Medical Services to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center where she died due to injuries sustained in the collision.

Sandra Rusin McCray told SitNews that there were three occupants in the vehicle. Her 35-year-old son, Shawn, was a back seat passenger and the only one wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. McCray said her son sustained a broken leg and still remains at Ketchikan Medical Center.

" I truly believe Shawn is alive because of his seatbelt," McCray said, She said if sharing her son's story "could save just one life it would be worth sharing."

McCray said both the driver and Verney were not wearing seat belts noting that Verney passed from her injuries. The condition of the driver was unknown by McCray but she said she did know that the driver was ejected from the car into the ravine. She said," It's sad that Michelle lost her life."

McCray said her son remembers the entire crash and said he could feel the seatbelt holding him in unlike his friend Michelle Verney who he said was tossed violently in the car and the driver ejected. Verney's injuries were fatal and the condition of the driver is unknown at this time.

Rusin McCray said she first heard about the accident on FaceBook before receiving a call from the emergency room. Rusin said, "It was a long night. Shawn is very lucky and had the sense to wear his seatbelt." - More...
Tuesday PM - March 20, 2018

Fish Factor: "Get Ugly" Say Alaska Crab Marketers By LAINE WELCH -  “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” is the message Alaska crab marketers are pushing to encouraging their customers to put appearances aside.          

“We’re telling them to Get Ugly,” said Tyson Fick, executive director of the trade group, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, speaking of the new campaign launched partnership with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute last week at the big Seafood Expo in Boston.

The promotion showcases Alaska crabs with darker, discolored shells, or those that are scarred or adorned with barnacles that may be less visually appealing to shoppers. 

“It’s the initial step in a campaign to raise awareness among retailers, restaurants and consumers,” said Jeremy Woodrow, ASMI communications director. “We’re saying ‘go ahead, tell your customers to get ugly. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts."


“Ugly crab is safe and delicious to eat, it just isn’t as pretty,” says a flyer distributed at Boston, explaining that shell appearance varies based on crab maturity and timing of the molt. It says that shell variations demonstrate “the authentic nature of seafood caught in the wild,” and that “purchasing ugly crab is a way to support our planet’s wild resources.” 

The Get Ugly team is modeling Alaska crab after similar image enhancement efforts underway by farmers. 

“We’re taking a page out of the book of what some fruits and vegetable have done - that a blemish doesn’t affect the taste of the thing, and with crab, the meat fill might even be better,” Fick said, adding that avoiding food waste and improving sustainability are also part of the message. 

Creating more customers for less attractive crab also would improve fishermen’s bottom lines, as the less pretty product drags down prices.  

“It is graded at the processor and may be graded further at the repacker. There may be several grades for off-color shells depending on the species, quantity and other factors. It varies from year to year,” said Jake Jacobsen, director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange which negotiates prices for most Bering Sea crabbers.    

The ugly crab can comprise up to 30 percent of a catch at certain times, which has been the case during this year’s snow crab fishery, said Fick.

“We are in a cycle, especially with snow crab, where there is a higher percentage of old shell crab. We are trying to create consumer demand to help with that situation,” he said.

By all accounts, the Get Ugly campaign got lots of good feedback in Boston. Fick believes it offers potential for other Alaska seafood. 

“Fish with net marks or a little bit of blush to the skin color on a salmon - seafood products that have visual imperfections but are still fantastic quality otherwise,” he said. “It truly is what’s on the inside that counts.” - More...
Tuesday PM - March 20, 2018


Alaska halibut fishermen gear up for March 24 season opener; Catch limits and charter management measures for 2018 announced - From Southeast Alaska to the Bering Sea, Alaska halibut fishermen are gearing up to head out to sea as the 2018 halibut season opens at noon March 24. It's an annual ritual for both commercial fishermen and charter operators seeking to make their living through the pursuit of the tasty flatfish.

Out of concern for the health of the halibut stock, the 2018 Pacific halibut catch limits are lower and charter management measures are tighter compared to last year.

Historic Disagreement

For the first time since 1990, the International Pacific Halibut Commission failed to reach agreement with regard to setting halibut catch limits in U.S. waters, because Canada wanted, as they have repeatedly done, to set catch limits in its own waters that were above science-based sustainable limits.

The U.S. then went forward with setting catch limits through its domestic regulatory process. International trade policies must be free, fair, and reciprocal, including our nation's international fisheries treaties and agreements. Failure of the IPHC to reach agreement may result in the U.S. seeking re-negotiation of the Halibut Treaty to improve the circumstances for U.S. fisherman. Until the treaty is re-negotiated, we must operate under the current treaty.

Through an Interim Final Rule developed by NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. is implementing catch limits and additional charter management measures for waters off Alaska that are consistent with the proposed limits and measures proposed by the U.S. Commissioners at the IPHC meeting. Those limits are lower than 2017 levels and consistent with the best scientific information available on the abundance of harvestable halibut in each area.
Adopting higher catch limits could further exacerbate the decline in halibut abundance throughout its entire range in future years. These lower limits are needed for the long-term sustainability of the halibut resource.
Catch Limits and Management Measures

NOAA Fisheries announced this Interim Final Rule to ensure that halibut catch limits, charter halibut fishery management measures, and Catch Sharing Plan allocations are in place at the start of the commercial halibut fishery at noon on March 24, 2018. The season runs through noon on November 7, 2018. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 20, 2018



jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: Detours Ahead - In Ketchikan, there are four somewhat muddled seasons. Early Wet, Middle Wet, Road Construction and Next Wet.

Welcome to Road Construction.

Once upon a time the seasons used to be pretty well delineated. Well, not the Wets of course. They all just drizzle together. Some are wetter than others, some are cooler than others, but it is all one big monsoon season. That’s why it has always amused me when someone sends me an email asking when the best time to visit Ketchikan, sunshine wise, is. I run out of polite ways to advise "never."

Even worse is when someone writes to tell me they are planning to get married in Ketchikan and they want an outdoor wedding and they want to know a good location and I suggest “indoors.”

Yeah, yeah I get that once in the "Grand History of the Internet" someone got lucky and had a drop-dead gorgeous outdoor wedding in Ketchikan on a beach with eagles soaring overhead and orcas frolicking just off shore. And those photos are still out there floating around giving the false impression that it could happen again.

But I digress.

We are here today to join together, in unholy matrimony, this town - Ketchikan, and this relentless inconvenience - Road Construction Season.

Don’t get me wrong. The roads need to be fixed. Right now Ketchikan has more potholes than pot heads, and that is saying something.

In fact, on the South End of town there is one pothole that is so big - how big is it? - that you drive in one end of it and when you come out the other end you are driving on the Alaskan Way Viaduct. In Seattle.

Of course, that is assuming your car comes out in one piece. Some of the local potholes have become so destructive that insurance companies now consider them Acts of God, which further bolsters my belief that the Deity does indeed have a sense of humor. You can imagine him/her turning to one of his/her Olympian attendants and saying “Potholes, they’re what make a Subaru scrap metal.”

But it is not so funny on this end of things. A drive across town involves the gnashing of teeth every 11.6 seconds when a front tire connects with the edge or bottom of a pothole and you have that sickening sentient second where you wonder if you remember how to remove the undersized spare from its cage in the back of the car. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 20, 2018

jpg Political Cartoon: Russia hacks the US

Political Cartoon: Russia hacks the US
By Kevin Siers©2018, The Charlotte Observer, NC
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Letter / Opinion

By the People, for the People By Terri Robbins - We have a system of government characterized by the principles of “By the People, For the People.” These were revolutionary ideas in the 1700s. Citizens, for the first time, had the freedom to affect the big decisions that directly impacted their lives. Our founders realized that with that freedom must necessarily come responsibility-the responsibility to vote, to serve, and to contribute to the well-being of our nation. Ours was to be a “government by the people.”

Our country has grown, both in population and in diversity. Our government, too, has grown to address the complex and serious challenges facing and motivating our citizens. Our state governments and the federal government must, of necessity, share certain aspects of governance, including the ultimate responsibility-the well-being of our citizens, thereby honoring the ideal of a “government for the people.“ - More...
Sunday PM - March 18, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

FOR MOST OF YOU THE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC) IS AN ABSOLUTE PIECE OF WORTHLESS JUNK By David G Hanger, EA, MBA - It may be that a limited liability company might have some benefit for a business that has 50 or 500 investors, but under ordinary circumstances such a business entity would adopt the corporate form of business organization. For a closely-held business, one owned by one or a handful of members, the limited liability company (LLC) is an absolute piece of worthless junk. I do not care who tells you otherwise. The intent of a limited liability company is to eliminate personal liability for what the business does, to keep you from being sued or held liable for business obligations. There is no possibility, none, zero, that an LLC will protect you in this way. All that paperwork will be instantaneously shredded, and you will be held liable for all business obligations. That is a statement of fact in the state of Alaska, and generally overall in the United States.

To get through an LLC, or a corporation for that matter, to get to you and to hold you liable for the business’s debt or dishonesty is called “piercing (or lifting) the corporate veil.” What that means in practical terms is punching a hole through your silly paperwork and going straight for your throat in the course of taking everything you own, if necessary, for satisfaction. In the state of Alaska you do not even need a lawyer or a judge to do that; any number of bureaucrats are authorized to “pierce the corporate veil” as it suits them in the conduct of their duties. - More...
Sunday PM - March 18, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Boooo HOOO Tillerson By Mary L. Stephenson  - Rex Tillerson leaves with a oil deal the US Government made with Russia in the Artic Circle and Exxon Company will reap big rewards. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 14, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Teachers and guns By A. M. Johnson - Not to belabor the issue of teachers and guns in schools, it requires intense study of options. The excerpts from the following article establishe current application of existing armed teachers and staff. It should be noted that the NRA, an organization with the true purpose of the 2nd amendment as its heart and soul, offers courses in firearm training as an option in protection of children's districts who elect to take advantage of the training. - More...
Sunday PM - March 11, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

There are no easy answers By Amanda Mitchell - I do get the concerns about guns, but I don’t believe guns are the only thing that can cause harm to others in society. If I remember my history correctly, governments have posed a significant risk to life as well. Does this mean all governments are bad or that we should get rid of all governments? Of course not!  - More...
Thursday PM - March 08, 2018

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