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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
March 27, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By JASMIN TINNEY

Ward Lake
Front Page Feature Photo By JASMIN TINNEY ©2019

Photos of the Month

Ketchikan: More than 40 years after their last crown, Ketchikan Kings resume their reign in Alaska basketball - Read this ADN article

Ketchikan: Kings reclaim state title after 45 years - Read this KRBD article

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Ketchikan: USS Zumwalt, the Stealth Destroyer, Visits Ketchikan By MARY KAUFFMAN - The lead ship of the U.S. Navy’s newest class of guided-missile destroyers, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), arrived in Ketchikan on Saturday.

USS Zumwalt, the Stealth Destroyer, Visits Ketchikan

USS Zumwalt
Photo Courtesy US Navy

“My crew is excited for this outstanding opportunity to visit Ketchikan,” said Capt. Andrew Carlson, Zumwalt’s commanding officer. “Alaska is a strategic location when it comes to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and we value Alaskan communities like Ketchikan for their consistent support of our nation’s military.”

The visit marked an opportunity for the crew to experience the hospitality of the Alaskan port, as well as showcase the U.S. Navy’s newest class of destroyers.

“I speak for Zumwalt’s entire crew when I say that we are grateful to the citizens of Ketchikan for the warm welcome; we are excited to get out in town, and we are honored to connect this community with its Navy,” Carlson said.

During the scheduled port visit, Carlson met with Robert Sivertson, mayor of the city of Ketchikan, David Landis, mayor of Ketchikan Gateway Borough, and Saxman mayor Frank Seludo.

Zumwalt made the stop in Ketchikan after completing a visit to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Caderock Division’s Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility (SEAFAC). SEAFAC is part of the Naval Surface Warfare Center community providing engineering expertise and technical assessment for the Navy’s operational units.

“The facilities and technical expertise of the SEAFAC and Naval Surface Warfare Center personnel are critical components for the continued maturation and ultimately the delivery of Zumwalt capabilities to the fleet commander,” said Carlson. “SEAFAC absolutely has a significant role in the ship’s development, as do the Alaskan communities of Ketchikan and Saxman that are simultaneously neighbors and hosts for the U.S. Navy. Our country’s global Navy is a success because of local partnerships like this.”

The Zumwalt-class destroyer is designed and built to execute multiple maritime missions including deterrence and power projection. The ships’ stealth and ability to operate in both the open ocean and near-shore environments creates a new level of battlespace complexity for potential adversaries.

Zumwalt is under operational control of the U.S. 3rd Fleet. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.

Zumwalt is named after Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., who was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War.  A highly decorated war veteran, Zumwalt reformed the US Navy's personnel policies in an effort to improve enlisted life and ease racial tensions.

At 610 feet long, it is 100 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and provides the space needed to execute a variety of surface, undersea and aviation missions.

She's the Navy's first surface ship with all-electric propulsion, powered by two main-turbine generators, two auxiliary-turbine generators, and two Rolls-Royce 34.6 MW advanced induction motors, which provide all the energy needed to run the propulsion, electronics, and weapons systems. This system can bring the Zumwalt to a top speed of nearly 35 mph.

The USS Zumwalt has state-of-the-art electronics, including a SPY-3 multi-function radar, which can detect advanced antiship cruise missiles. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019


Fish Factor: Commercial fishermen fund the hatchery programs By LAINE WELCH - Commercial fishermen pick up the tab for just about anyone who catches a salmon in Alaska that started its life in a hatchery.

That was a finding that wended its way to the surface during a hearing last week of the House Fisheries Committee on the state’s hatchery program. The program began in the mid-1970s to enhance Alaska’s wild salmon runs. 

Unlike meetings that are top heavy with fishery stakeholders, most of the committee members are not deeply familiar with many industry inner workings and their interest was evident. 

“Who funds the hatchery programs?” asked Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka), referring to the 25 private, non-profit associations that operate in Prince William Sound, Southeast Alaska, Kodiak and Cook Inlet. 

Turns out, it’s commercial fishermen.

“In each region where there is an aquaculture association, commercial salmon permit holders have levied a salmon enhancement tax upon themselves from one to three percent,” said Tina Fairbanks, executive director of Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association.  

Fishermen also catch and sell returning adult salmon to the hatchery which operators use to pay operating expenses, a process called cost recovery. In 2017 cost recovery fish, which fetch a lower price for fishermen than selling to processors, accounted for 79 percent of hatchery income.

There have been discussions about sport charter operators contributing, but it’s not really needed, said Steve Reifenstuhl, executive director of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. “Because of the mechanism we have for doing cost recovery there is not really a need to bring in additional money.” 

“That’s very refreshing to hear right now that you have adequate revenue. That is not something we hear very often,” said Rep Sarah Vance (R-Homer).  “So thank you to all the fishermen who contribute and make it sustainable.”

“The hatchery programs truly represent one of the most successful public/private partnerships in the state’s history,” Fairbanks said.  “These facilities produce salmon for sport, subsistence, personal use and commercial fisheries at no cost to the state of Alaska. The revenues generated through commercial  landings and fish taxes go back into the communities and state coffers and represent a great return on the state’s initial investment.”

“It’s very uncommon,” said Dan Lesh, an economist with the McDowell Group. “It is quite impressive that it produces such large economic benefits with no cost to the state.”

“It seems to me that the commercial fishing industry is paying out millions of dollars through foregone revenue in cost recovery and enhancement revenues that benefit Alaskans collectively,” responded Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins, adding that he would like to see an analysis done.  “It’s paying for all Alaskans in a sense by underwriting this common benefit.”

Alaska’s hatchery harvest in 2017 of 47 million fish accounted for 21 percent of the statewide salmon harvest valued at $162 million to fishermen, which was 24 percent of the statewide value. That was the lowest percentage of hatchery fish in the overall catch since 1995, and due largely to a wild stock harvest that was the 3rd highest in Alaska history. An additional 194,000 Alaska hatchery fish were caught in the sport, personal use and subsistence fisheries. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019


Ketchikan: Turnbull Announces Retirement - KRBD General Manager Deborah Turnbull has announced her retirement, effective March 31st.

Turnbull Announces Retirement

Deborah Turnbull
Photo courtesy KRBD Board

Turnbull made the announcement to the KRBD Board of Directors during its regular meeting in February. Turnbull said she has been giving retirement serious consideration for quite some time, and now seemed like the right time to make the decision.

She plans to spend more time hiking with her dog, Otis; socializing with friends, and quilting. Turnbull intends to remain in Ketchikan and will continue to be an active and avid supporter of KRBD and public media. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019

Alaska: University President says Alaska needs UA more than ever; Invokes the Spirit and Vision of Constitution’s Framers - University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen delivered his annual State of the University address yesterday telling a statewide audience that the university is strong, successful and is the cornerstone of Alaska’s future.

“There is no other cornerstone in this state more robust than the University of Alaska in creating success for our state – from its earliest days as a territory, through the fight for statehood, through our hard economic times and now as we fight for our very future,” he said.

Johnsen addressed the cut to the university’s state funding saying: “We face a proposed budget cut of $134 million, or 41 percent of our state funding, and that cut is on top of state funding cuts in four out of the last five years, resulting in program reductions and the loss of more than 1,200 faculty and staff. These cuts hurt UA and they harm Alaska’s ability to grow the highly trained workforce we need to be economically competitive with other states.” - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019


Analysis: The public may never see a report from Mueller's investigation By STANLEY M. BRAND - Almost from the day of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, the media and the public have expected that his investigation will end with a report to either the Congress or the public or both.

I’m a law school professor who teaches a course on the independent counsel, the predecessor of the special counsel.

For eight years, I was the general counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, the chief legal officer responsible for representing the House, its members, officers and employees in connection with legal procedures and challenges to the conduct of their official activities.

I believe that the public’s expectation that they will see a report from the Mueller investigation is unrealistic. That expectation appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the legal principles involved in making any such report available to anyone outside of the Department of Justice.

Regulation reflects history

The previous law creating special counsels – which has now lapsed – directed the special counsel to report to the House of Representatives “substantial and credible information” of impeachable conduct.

The current regulation, adopted during the Clinton administration, provides no such direction.

It says only that “[a]t the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report” explaining the decision to either prosecute or not.

The goal of those drafting the regulation was to restore more control to the department over the special counsel after what was seen as the excesses of previous independent counsels in the Iran Contra and Clinton cases.

Those excesses included overly broad and lengthy investigations such as the HUD Independent Counsel, which took eight years to complete; expensive investigations, including US$52 million estimated in one case; and oppressive prosecutorial tactics, like subpoenaing Monica Lewinsky’s mother to the grand jury.

Former Department of Justice official Neal Katyal, who drafted the regulations, has explained that returning a degree of control over the process to the Department of Justice would result in a restoration of the separation of powers balance between the executive branch and Congress in these cases.

“The special counsel regulations were drafted at a unique historical moment,” wrote Katyal in the Washington Post.

“Presidents of both parties had suffered through scandals and prosecutions under the Independent Counsel Act…There was a chance to rethink things without either party fearing that it would give its political adversaries an advantage.” - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Mueller Report

Political Cartoon: Mueller Report
By Nate Beeler ©2019, The Columbus Dispatch, OH
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

Feel-Good Politics Doesn't Pay the Bills By Rep. Josh Revak - Planning and readiness.

They are the most critical elements needed for success in any endeavor. Through six years in the U.S. military and two deployments to the Middle East, I had no choice but to accept that planning and readiness are, in fact, the greatest defenses one has when staring any adversity, or even death, in the face.

When it counts, it is planning and logical thinking – not emotional reaction – that keeps you alive and afloat.

Today, as I sit in Juneau as a member of the citizen Legislature, I am increasingly concerned that far too many Capitol players and influencers have adopted the practice of emotional sensationalism to avoid hard conversations about fiscal planning and readiness.

Over the past month, I’ve watched as special interests launched protests and organized biased public testimony. I’ve overheard community organizers imploring their followers to act like children who are threatened with the loss of a toy rather than rational adults focused on solving fiscal problems.

The fact that special interest groups can get away with using vulnerable people to manufacture crises as a way of avoiding unpopular conversations about real problems is, in my opinion, abhorrent. Nonetheless, this outrage has led to the House Majority’s conclusion that the government must continue to grow. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

"Ortiz Traveling Pre-determine Outcome Tour" By A.M. Johnson  - Let me be bold, I am willing to bet those who begged during the recent "Ortiz Traveling Pre-determine Outcome Tour" to be taxed (I suspect most of them being educators, union members or receive state benefits) are not now voluntarily donating money to the state in lieu of an income tax.

What is obvious is these folks are trying to volunteer my (you and your children's) Permanent Fund Dividend and tax me (You) so the status can remain quo. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Draft Dodger Trump (DDT) By Donald Moskowitz - President Trump continuously bashes John McCain about various McCain positions that Trump disagrees with, which is somewhat amazing since McCain has been dead for seven months. I believe DDT wants to be in the spotlight all the time and doesn't care if he receives negative criticism about his comments. - More...
Wednesday AM - March 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Thirty years later, Council continues mission to combat complacency By Donna Schantz - On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil. Congress determined that complacency on the part of industry and government was a contributing factor in the accident and they mandated citizen involvement in the oversight of crude oil terminals and tankers. For the past 30 years, the Council has filled this role for Prince William Sound and its downstream communities, advocating for environmental safeguards to prevent oil spills and a strong response system should prevention measures fail.- More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

Sustainable fiscal plan, reliable funding crucial for K-12 education By Norm Wooten, Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, Sarah Sledge - Last month, Governor Dunleavy unveiled his proposed FY 2020 operating budget, which among other drastic cuts, slashed $330 million from education funding. This budget would devastate public education and leave a bleak future for our children and communities. These severe proposed budget cuts have damaged Alaska’s reputation as a desirable place to live. Thankfully, they’ve also galvanized many citizens across the state, who realize that now is the time, more than ever, for Alaska’s budget to prioritize the things we value. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

Our Children Must Read by 9 By Jodi Taylor - Right now, Alaska’s public-school children are ranked dead last in the nation in fourth-grade reading proficiency, a key indicator used to measure academic success. In terms of school years, they are up to a full year behind their counterparts in other states. This means many of our fourth graders cannot read Charlotte’s Web or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. While it may seem like such a simple, basic issue, the ability to read is actually the foundation of a child’s educational success; the value of reading cannot be stressed enough. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

Traveling Big Top legislative circus By A. M. Johnson - In response to an article in the Alaska Daily Planet regarding the upcoming traveling "Big Tent Majority House Circus" to confirm "What?" The following was submitted in defense of District 36 Representative's perceived efforts with this movement. - More...
Thursday PM - March 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

The Subdivision That Never Was By Harlan Heaton - About forty years ago the State of Alaska designed a ninety six lot subdivision in the Mountain Point area. The State sold over half of these lots to the citizens of Ketchikan. When these lots were sold forty years ago, the buyers were told by the State that there would be access to their lots. - More...
Monday AM - March 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

School District failure to report child abuse By Margaret Cloud - Mark O'Brien is correct that school district employees annually sign that they are aware of their legal requirements to report witnessed abuse as well as report if there is cause to believe that abuse has occurred.  I had to read and sign the same type of document when employed by a private Alaskan school. - More...
Monday AM - March 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Open Letter: Live Within Means By Byron Whitesides - We have known this time was coming for years, but our legislative leadership has failed to prepare for it, bringing us to this disaster, with no rational, SUSTAINABLE, way out but to cut the size of government, and live within our means. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 13, 2019

jpg Opinion

Open Letter to the Ketchikan School Board By John Harrington - I am here to talk about the Edwards' Mess. With the plea agreement, Mr. Edwards part in the mess has reached a conclusion. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 13, 2019

jpg Opinion

Budget and education By A. M. Johnson - Resolutions aside, the proposed Dunlevy budget pertaining to education, two points. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 13, 2019

jpg Opinion

Sealaska shareholders need Congressional Intervention By Dominic Salvato - 75 million dollars paid to a handful of people collecting it year in and year out over a ten year period. Paid by thousands of shareholders barely surviving. 

With no end in sight! - More...
Wednesday PM - March 13, 2019

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