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April 02, 2007
Mountain Point Humbpack Whale
When beginning to dive,
the humpback whales often lift their flukes (tail) out of the
water. This humpback whale was photographed around the Mountain
Point area this past weekend. Contact Jim Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase this photo.
Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis
Special Advisory Election
Tuesday - April 3, 2007
The State of Alaska will be
holding a Special Statewide Advisory Vote on a single issue on
Tuesday, April 3rd. The Ballot language asks one question.
Question: Shall the legislature adopt a proposed amendment to
the state constitution to be considered by the voters at the
2008 general election that would prohibit the state, or a municipality
or other subdivision of the state, from providing employment
benefits to same-sex partners of public employees and to same-sex
partners of public employee retirees?
Information is on the State of Alaska Division of Elections web
Fish Factor: Election,
appointments, blogs, fish watch & more... By LAINE WELCH
- Twenty two Bristol Bay salmon fishermen are vying for
seven seats on the region's new Regional Seafood Development
Association, which many claim will "give fishermen control
over their destiny." The region's approximately 1,000 set
netters voted against participating in the new association, at
least for now.
Ballots were mailed in February
to 1,865 driftnet permit holders, who voted last year to pay
a one percent tax on their sockeye catches to fund the RSDA.
"It comes out to about
three cents per fish," said interim director Bob Waldrop.
The tax, which was deducted
from driftnet catches starting last year, could provide up to
$800,000 for the RSDA. The money can be used to boost fish quality,
develop or improve infrastructure, and enhance research and marketing.
The RSDA's, which were authorized by the Alaska legislature two
years ago, can also be used to leverage state and federal grants
or other funding opportunities.
"It's all about control
and self direction," Waldrop said.
Bristol Bay sockeye accounts
for almost one third of the value of Alaska's total salmon catch.
Ballots by the driftnet fleet must be postmarked by April 7 -
the election results will be tallied by an Anchorage accounting
firm and announced by April 30th.
Bristol Bay is only the second
Alaska region to embrace the RSDA concept, following the lead
of Prince William Sound/Copper River salmon fishermen. Their
first one percent tax assessment yielded about $200,000, which
the RSDA used in part for a first time fall Copper River coho
salmon promotion in west and east coast markets in the Lower
48. A vote last year by Southeast Alaska harvesters narrowly
rejected an RSDA, which would have represented 61 fisheries under
the Rainforest Wild label. Organizers there say they will try
Another important deadline
is drawing close for other fishing regions - as part of its annual
meeting cycle, the state Board of Fisheries is calling for proposed
changes to fisheries at Cook Inlet, Kodiak and Chignik, as well
as for king and Tanner crab fisheries in all regions, except
for Southeast and Yakutat. Deadline to submit a proposal is Tuesday,
April 10 .
On a related note: Governor
Palin on Friday announced the appointments of Howard Delo of
Big Lake and Vince Webster of King Salmon to the Fish Board.
Webster is currently the Lake
and Peninsula School District Facilities and Maintenance Director,
and for 15 years has served on the Naknek/Kvichak Fish and Game
Advisory Committee. He fills the seat of Robert Heyano of Bristol
Delo is a retired Alaska Dept.
of Fish and Game biologist and fish culturist, and chairs the
Mat-Su Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee. Delo fills the
seat of Art Nelson of Anchorage. Both appointees must be approved
by the Alaska legislature before they can take their seats at
the end of June.The seven member Fish Board oversees subsistence,
personal use, sport and commercial fisheries in state waters.
All's fair in the world of
web logs, or blogs, where people can inform or rant with anonymous
postings on any subject. A new blog at the Anchorage Daily News
called the Highliner targets one of the state's most colorful
and fractious industries - commercial fishing. It is hosted by
Wesley Loy who has been covering the fish beat for the ADN since
"Commercial fishing is
regarded as one of the more complicated, tedious beats at the
Daily News. I also cover the oil and gas industry, which is really
the big money maker in Alaska, but I find it to be a really simple
industry compared to the fishing world," Loy said in a phone
interview. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
Interlock License for Alcohol Offenders Passes House - The
Alaska House of Representatives on Friday unanimously passed
legislation to toughen state driving laws for alcohol-related
offenders, changing the type of limited driver's license they
can apply for from strictly limited to an ignition interlock
Currently, a person convicted
of driving under the influence has been able to get a limited
driver's license from the Division of Motor Vehicles so that
they can continue to drive and to earn a living. The limitation
currently placed on a license focuses primarily on where a person
can drive. House Bill 19 shifts the emphasis from where a person
can drive to how a person can drive by changing the type of limited
license available to an offender from the traditional limited
license to an ignition interlock limited license.
The bill, HB 19, sponsored
by Rep. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), requires the offender to install
and maintain an ignition interlock device on the vehicle they
intend to drive. The device analyzes the person's blood alcohol
content (BAC) and prevents the car from being started if the
person's BAC is above a set level. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
boosts prevention in Medicaid dental care for adults - Beginning
April 2007 adults enrolled in Medicaid will have coverage for
preventive and restorative dental care, the Alaska Department
of Health and Social Services announced Friday.
Eligible adults will have coverage
for dental services such as exams, cleanings, tooth restorations,
crowns, root canals and dentures, up to an annual cap of $1,150
per person per state fiscal year. Previously only emergency dental
care was available for adults enrolled in Medicaid.
"Promoting and protecting
the health of Alaskans includes dental health," said Commissioner
Karleen Jackson. "By emphasizing prevention for adult Medicaid
recipients we will significantly reduce demand for more expensive
emergency dental care, and improve the health of Alaskans."
It is estimated between 12,000
and 15,000 people will likely use the service, out of 41,000
adults enrolled in Medicaid. The number of people able to take
advantage of the expanded benefits may be limited by the availability
of dental providers around the state who are accepting new Medicaid
clients, although the state is working with dentists to encourage
participation. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007 `
TOUR BOAT AGREES TO PAY $7,000 FOR ALLEGED HARASSMENT OF ENDANGERED
HUMPBACK WHALES - It was announced today that on January
2, 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
charged the captain of the Juneu-based tour vessel AWESOME
ORCA and Orca Enterprises, Inc., the vessel's owner, with
a $9,000 Notice of Violation and Assessment for an alleged violation
of the Endangered Species Act.
In a compromise settlement
Orca Enterprises, Inc. agreed to pay $7,000 of the civil penalty
with the remaining $2,000 suspended for a period of three years
on the condition of no similar violations during the suspension
period. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
Columns - Commentary
The Ketchikan Borough Assembly
will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers on Monday,
April 02, 2007 at 5:30 pm.
The Ketchikan School Board
will hold a special meeting on April 3, 2007, in the Ketchikan
High School Library at 6:00 pm. Among items on the agenda is a
motion to approve an agreement with Larry Eklund to serve an interim
the Agenda and Information Packet (pdf)
History By John Stewart - Monday
Underground By Rowan Henderson - Monday
School Board's Decision By Bobbie McCreary - Monday
paint jobs By Tony Alenskis - Monday
to move forward by Sharon Geldaker - Monday
Tenakee beautiful By Meryl Chew - Monday
Dogs, kids... and volunteering By Margaret Cloud - Monday
Total Joke By Ken Levy - Monday
to Nowhere By Charlotte Tanner - Monday
government By Alaire Stanton - Sunday
Should Know By Diana Chaudhary - Sunday
Firing By Dan Williamson - Sunday
to recall By Alisha Greenup - Sunday
school board By Walt Bolling - Sunday
to nowhere By Ken Leland - Sunday
By Dave Kiffer - Sunday
Martin By Al Johnson - Sunday
. . . The Battle of the Rock! By Tony Gwynn - Sunday
Reed Army Hospital is no Ketchikan General By Mark Neckameyer
kids... and volunteering By Scott Kline - Sunday
RE: Puppy Mills and Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Sunday
dogs By Erin Bellon - Sunday
Island By Jeff White - Sunday
Martin By Amy T. Thompson - Friday AM
Forest Plan By Hannah Wilson - Friday AM
voting 'no' April 3rd By Senator Kim Elton - Friday AM
on April 3rd By Rep. John Coghill - Friday AM
up and take a bow By Judith Green - Friday AM
LETTER TO SITNEWS' READERS By Robert D. Warner - Thursday
Board Recall, Where Do I Sign? By Karen Owings - Thursday
Ketchikan for your support By Sara Sivertsen - Thursday
Re: Dog Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Thursday
Hospitals, Health Care, Hillary... By Rebecca Clark - Thursday
Breeding Letters By Kerry Watson - Thursday AM
& Breeders By Kevin Mackey - Thursday
and Breeders By Maggie Garmle - Thursday
School Superintendent By Bill Thomas Sr. - Wednesday
school board's lack of focus By Chas Edwardson - Wednesday
Letter to the Ketchikan School Board By Debra Azure - Wednesday
Night at Ketchikan Public Library, Children's Library By
Christy Moss - Wednesday
Food By Charlotte Glover - Wednesday
Voting No By Don Hoff, Jr. - Tuesday PM
about propaganda! By Anita Hales- Tuesday PM
animals... By CJ Hoggard- Tuesday PM
Hospitals, War and ... By Amber Leslie Williams Baldwin-
Breeders By Kara Jeanne Blazier- Tuesday PM
best dog... By Dain Ellis- Tuesday PM
Southern Gateway Shuttle Ferry Needs to be Operating in 2008
By Mike Round - Sunday AM
Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Sunday AM
is right on with his Islamofacisist remarks By Bob Harmon
- Sunday AM
More Viewpoints/ Letters
AK Troopers Daily
AK Weather Map
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Front Page Archives
I Learned - The older I get, the more I believe that we should
respect the elderly. But recently, after the column about questions
for Saint Peter, my elders wondered aloud whether I or Johnny
Cochrane would make it as far as the Pearly Gates.
They suggested indeed that
our accommodations might be a little hotter. Think Arizona in
It happens that I've been writing
another list: "Stuff I Learned While I Was Alive."
Perhaps they'll run it in hell's newspaper, The Devil's Advocate,
which presently contains nothing but "Family Circus."
Satan doesn't take the paper
anyway. His Cabinet is too busy strategizing the corruption of
"Sir, we're just not reaching
them. Only a small percentage of people own vinyl records, and
hardly anyone thinks to play them backwards."
The truth is that nobody can
say what hell is like. All we know is that it will somehow involve
the Nextel phone chirp.
Incidentally, it was "The
Devil's Dictionary," a collection of smart-aleck-isms by
Ambrose Bierce, that started me down this primrose path. I wrote
my first one on the back cover:
"Altruism is when our
selfishness benefits someone else." - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
K. Thomasson: Democrats'
irresponsible plan to end war - This town has always been
full of bad ideas, but none worse than congressional Democrats'
determination to impose a firm date for the withdrawal of U.S.
troops from Iraq. Even if there were enough votes in both houses
to override a presidential veto of the funding bill in which
this nonsense is included - and there aren't - such a mandate
is ridiculously irresponsible.
In the end, after the political
charade has played out, the troops will get their funds because
no lawmaker wants to be accused of denying them. But the inevitable
delay has the potential of truly harming those carrying out our
military mission. Telling the beleaguered Iraqi government and
its enemies that there is a definite date when all support and
security for it will end merely compounds the major mistakes
already made in this war. Furthermore, it forces the Iraqi leaders
to begin looking at political alliances that are not only threatening
to American interests but also could result in a widening of
the violence. For instance, the power vacuum in the entire region
likely would be filled by Iran.
All this has been argued along
the way as lawmakers still friendly to President Bush have tried
to convince Democratic leaders that there are other ways of sending
an anti-war message to the White House. But the Democrats are
increasingly in a confrontational mood. They firmly believe their
tiny majority for the first time in 12 years resulted from voter
angst over Iraq and Afghanistan and that their fragile control
of the Congress would be fleeting if they ignored that. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
Eye on Red Ink Rising - When I think about Georgia O'Keeffe,
I think pink. Pink flowers, pink shells, and the pink hues that
graced the Western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of
Northern New Mexico at sunset - framed by a picture perfect window
in my family's previous home.
That was then, this is now,
and the negative image of institutional red ink is tinting memories
from the Land of Enchantment. News stories have been splashed
across papers from Nashville to New York, so you may have read
about plans for Fisk University to sell Georgia O'Keeffe's "Radiator
Building - Night, New York" for $7 million. Fisk president,
Hazel O'Leary, says that this is necessary in order to replenish
the university's endowment, which has been depleted in recent
years to cover the university's operating costs.
Fisk became the proud owners
of this valuable piece of modern American art when the painter
herself donated it as part of an art collection that her dying
husband, photographer and art collector Alfred Stieglitz, had
said he hoped would benefit Nashville's historically black Fisk
University. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
Common Sense - "Let me get this straight. One reason
for the default on mortgages is that many people who should never
have qualified for a loan got approved anyhow?"
"You're going to have
"Well, it all dates back
to 9/11. We'd already been in a recession when the terrorists
attacked. To keep the economy from going into a free fall, then
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates."
"Yes, I remember."
"People were suddenly
able to afford houses they couldn't afford before. Home sales
began to shoot up. As demand for housing rose, so did housing
"As housing values climbed,
homeowners saw their equity climb. Others decided owning a home
was the way to easy wealth, so they began to buy, too."
Monday - April 02, 2007
M. Crisp: Global
warming is in the spotlight - Global warming is hot. Here's
a sampling from last week:
The April 2007 "Atlantic
Monthly" carries two adjacent articles on global warming.
The cover story "Hot Prospects," by Gregg Easterbrook,
accepts the idea that global warming is both real and inevitable,
whether anthropogenic or not. Easterbrook suggests that it's
time for some careful thinking about who will be the winners
and the losers in a warmer world.
After all, environmental warmth
is a good thing and civilization has tended to flourish during
the world's warmer periods. As a more temperate climate moves
toward the globe's higher latitudes, the current equatorial hot
band around the earth will become insufferable. In compensation,
currently frigid regions will blossom, and the primary beneficiaries
will be in the Northern Hemisphere: Alaska, Canada, Greenland,
Russia, and Scandinavia.
In fact, Easterbrook reports
that Canada has increased its greenhouse-gas output more than
most other nations in recent years, implying facetiously, I think,
that those "wily Canadians" have a master plan to develop
the kind of prosperity previously enjoyed by countries in the
lower latitudes. - More...
Monday - April 02, 2007
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