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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

April 25, 2006

Front Page Photo by Dave Kiffer

A Long Day's Journey into Behm Canal
After stopping to give New Eddystone Rock its "photo opportunity,"
the Malaspina sailed on to Rudyerd Bay.
Front Page Photo By DAVE KIFFER

Ketchikan: A Long Day's Journey into Behm Canal By DAVE KIFFER - It takes a special event to get nearly 400 Ketchikan residents out of bed and standing in line at 7 in the morning.

But the chance to see a part of the area that most Ketchikan residents rarely see spurred several hundred mostly locals to board the state ferry Malaspina for a 12 hour trip around Revillagigedo Island on Friday.

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Passengers were treated to a rare spring day in which the seas were flat calm, the skies were generally sunny and the only breeze was the chill created on the bow by the 16 knot speed of the vessel.

The trip also proved to be a wildlife viewing extravaganza as whales, sea lions, porpoises, mountain goats and black bear were all seen along the way. The trip had barely begun when the vessel had to slow southbound through Tongass Narrows as a small humpback whale appeared to play at the bow the ferry and then swim alongside the ship for several minutes before breaking off to chase some feed near Pennock Island.

It is an interesting fact of Ketchikan life that so few residents have ever seen the back side of the island on which we live. We tend to forget that our little corner of Revilla, is just that, a little corner. Our island is the size of the entire landmass of Rhode Island, but without a road system, many people rarely explore beyond our inhabited southwestern edge.

Each summer, more than 100,000 visitors fly or boat out to Misty Fjords, yet - while some locals do use their boats or planes to see the rest of the island, it might as well be the dark side of the moon as far as most locals are concerned. Far more Ketchikan residents have seen Seattle than have seen, for example, Ella Lake or Point Whaley.

That's why, whenever the Alaska Marine Highway System offers an around the island cruise, it always sells out. Even on a Friday. - More...
Tuesday - April 25, 2006

Fish Factor: Pacific halibut gets MSC's stamp of approval By LAINE WELCH- After a three year wait, Pacific halibut has finally gotten the stamp of approval by the international Marine Stewardship Council. It means that halibut can now boast the coveted blue MSC logo in world markets, telling customers that it comes from a fishery that is well managed and friendly to the environment. So far, only 15 fisheries from around the world have merited the MSC label.

"It is a great testament to fishermen from Alaska and Washington and all they've promoted over the past 10 to 20 years, as well as to the scientists and fishery managers," said Bob Alverson, director of the Fishing Vessel Owners' Association (FVOA) who announced the news on Friday. Alaska will get the biggest boost from the green label, with its catch this year of 53 million pounds of halibut. Washington, California and Oregon have a combined harvest of just 1.38 million pounds.

The FVOA sponsored the MSC certification attempt starting in February 2003. That began a lengthy process of intense scrutiny of the halibut fishery by a group of independent evaluators, Scientific Certification Systems of California. Fishermen financed most of the effort by taxing themselves $1,700 per season. The funds were matched by a donation from the Resource Legacy Fund, for a total cost of more than $150,000. - More...
Tuesday - April 25, 2006

Saxman Ferry Terminal Construction...

Saxman Ferry Terminal Construction
Could Begin Next Year

On the left addressing the crowd is DOT&PF Project Manager Jim Heumann and on the right is City of Saxman Mayor & Ketchikan Borough Mayor Joe Williams.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Saxman Ferry Terminal Construction Could Begin Next Year By MARIE L. MONYAK - A showing of the preliminary designs of the Saxman Seaport AMHS Ferry Terminal and updates on the progress of the project was the topic at a public open house at the Saxman Tribal House on Monday evening. Approximately twenty people attended to hear from the project staff from the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and from the Federal Highway Administration.

Project staff provided detailed conceptual designs of the Proposed Upland Actions for the Saxman Seaport and handouts detailing the project timeline and description of the proposed undertaking.

The timeline was most noticeable as it projected a completion of the Saxman Ferry Terminal in late 2007 or early 2008. As this project has been talked about for some time, it appears that it may be realized within only a few more years.

In 2000, the State began discussions with the City of Saxman about construction of an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry terminal and service to Metlakatla. With the Waldon Point Road project well underway on Annette Island, the idea of providing fast service from Ketchikan to Metlakatla appeared to be a project worthy of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF). - More....
Tuesday - April 25, 2006

Yourth Service Day...

Youth Service Day Celebrated With Ketchikan Seniors
Ketchikan Youth Court members prepare
to plant flowers with Seniors.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Youth Court

Ketchikan: Youth Service Day Celebrated With Ketchikan Seniors - Over 55 kids and elders from Boys and Girls Club, Ketchikan Pioneers Home, Alaska Community Services, and Ketchikan Youth Court took part in an effort to celebrate National Youth Service Day on Saturday, April 22nd. The Intergenerational Party held monthly at the Pioneers Home provided a perfect opportunity for the youth of Ketchikan to do something special for its residents.

After Ketchikan Youth Court received an announcement that it would have a grant specifically remarked for this Service Day, it was Ketchikan Youth Court Board of Directors' wish to give something to the residents of the Ketchikan Pioneers Home and Ketchikan General Hospital's Long-term Care Unit. Plants and flowers were choice by Ketchikan Youth Court for the youth and Seniors to plant together.

Saturday's weather slightly hampered the number of residents who could take part in planting the flowers; however, while some hovered inside watching from the windows, a few braved the conditions to plant spring flowers on the upper garden section of the Pioneers Home. - More...
Tuesday - April 25, 2006



letter Integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Jon T. Van Essen - Tuesday
letter Positive examples needed By Bruce Dixon - Tuesday
letter Pesticide Spraying By R.K. Rice - Tuesday
letter Kohring has his allegiances confused By Peter Bolling - Tuesday
letter Re: $3.00 a gallon By Ken Lewis - Tuesday
letter Palin Shows She Can Lead Even Her Political Opponents! By Ed Middleton - Tuesday
letter RE: Twilight zone By Catlin Rettke - Tuesday
letter 71st General Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit- Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska By Dana Ruaro - Tuesday
letter"Twilight Zone" By Jerry Cegelske - Monday
letter A Warning to Alaskans by Rep. Vic Kohring - Monday
letter Aerial Pesticide Spraying By Mark Schindler - Monday
letter Long Island A Subsistence Area By Jean Bland - Monday
letter The true hero, Bill Blackwell By Eric Muench - Sunday
letter Addiction to oil By Joseph Prows - Sunday
letter Comments By George Jackson - Saturday
letter Timber Company Plans Spraying of Dangerous Chemicals By Jonathan Neiss - Saturday
letter Medical Malpractice By Jane Marshall - Saturday
letter $3.00 a gallon! By Marty West - Friday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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April 25, 2006, Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. - Teleconferenced CONSTITUENT MEETING with
, REP. ELKINS & REP.WILSON at the Legislative Information Office,
50 Front Street, Suite 203, Ketchikan. This is an informal teleconference for members of the community to discuss issues or concerns with local legislators. Contact the LIO at 225-9675 for more information.

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April 2006
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Ketchikan: Alaska Preparedness Response Drill Planned - The Ted Ferry Civic Center in Ketchikan will be the command post for the Southeast Alaska Preparedness Response Exercise Program (PREP) Drill occurring April 26 and 27. 

The equipment deployment scheduled for April 27 will take place in Bostwick Inlet, testing and validating one of the Southeast Alaska Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) as part of an ongoing project. It is designed to develop specific tactics for protecting areas considered sensitive by resource agencies, tribal governments, and local residents.

On April 17, an unannounced drill was successfully completed at Ward Cove. The drill simulated a release of diesel fuel requiring the tug crew to conduct immediate response actions. This included the placement of boom around the tug and barge, and using the onboard spill response skimming equipment to remove simulated spilled oil contained within the boom. The command post exercise on April 26 will build off the scenario and drill exercised on April 17.

Participants will include representatives from the Oil Spill Response community and various stakeholders (Coast Guard, ADEC, ADNR, ADFG, SEAPRO, Burrard Clean, Island Tug/Barge, DOI, US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force).

The National Preparedness for Response Program includes completion of one of these large scale exercises every three years for Southeast Alaska, alternating between a government-led or an industry-led exercise. It is meant to test the oil spill response community's capability to respond to a significant discharge by a regulated vessel or facility. These drills validate and test the facility/vessel response plans, as well as the Southeast Alaska Sub-area Contingency Plan. This year's exercise will have an international flavor, featuring participants from the Canadian provincial government and Canadian Oil spill Co-op. - More...
Tuesday - April 25, 2006

National: Bush energy strategy still a work in progress By LISA ZAGAROLI - President Bush prides himself on being a "plain-spoken fella," but a few straightforward words he uttered earlier this year still have a lot of people perplexed about his energy policy.

"America is addicted to oil," Bush declared during his State of the Union address on Jan. 31.

Though an obvious observation to many people, it was an unexpected statement coming from a former Texas oilman who had been accused of letting the industry write energy policy for him early in his administration and attacked for going to war at least in part to protect access to Middle Eastern crude.

Bush has since been on an energy jag, making stops in places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado and California to tout alternative fuels for vehicles and homes and dispatching his Cabinet members elsewhere to do the same.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is considered one of the most promising ways to eventually wean drivers off gasoline without polluting the environment, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has pledged to do his part with a "hydrogen highway" to make refueling convenient. But both the technology and the infrastructure are considered many years away from viability and widespread use.

That's been one of the most common criticisms of Bush's energy policy, that it invests in solutions years off and does little to address more immediate gains.

"For too long, we've looked out decades and said, 'This is what it should be eventually,' and we have sacrificed the short term," said Bradley Berman, editor of

To power buildings, Bush has pushed for breakthroughs in clean coal, solar and wind energy, and nuclear advancements.

At the heart of his policy on vehicle transportation - which makes up 70 percent of U.S. oil consumption - is research on better batteries, ethanol production that doesn't rely solely on corn, and hydrogen fuel cells. He's also offered consumers tax incentives to buy green cars, and given fuel providers breaks to add clean fuel pumps to their stations. - More...
Tuesday - April 25, 2006

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