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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 04, 2007

Front Page Photo by Mike Youngblood

Naha Sunset
Front Page Photo by Mike Youngblood

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: Governor Orders State Flags Lowered to Honor Jim Elkins - Governor Sarah Palin expressed sadness over the death of former Ketchikan Representative Jim Elkins and ordered the state flag to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday, April 19, 2007, to honor and remember him. Representative Elkins would have been 70 years old on that day.

Jim Elkins

Jim Elkins

"Jim served with distinction in public office," said Governor Palin. Elkins served in the Alaska State House of Representatives for one term, beginning in January of 2005. He was Co-chair of the Transportation Committee during his tenure.

Governor Palin said, "He was a passionate Alaskan who spoke with a loud voice for Southeast Alaska and what was right for Alaska. He took great pride in the fact that he put up political signs for Ted Stevens and Don Young dating back to their first elections. He was known for his active participation in politics and advocacy for the Republican Party." - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Ketchikan: Justice Agencies Look to Close the Revolving Door - Alaska Chief Justice Dana Fabe will be in Ketchikan on Wednesday, April 4 for the second in a series of state-wide Open Court sessions, a program where judges, criminal justice officials and other members of the justice community discuss ways to improve the courts and the legal system. The Ketchikan program will focus on "Closing the Revolving Door: Therapeutic Courts & Responses to Juvenile Substance Abuse".

The public is invited to a reception and a public forum at the State Office Building, 415 Main Street, Fourth floor, starting at 5:30 p.m. The forum will present an opportunity for the public to learn what the criminal justice community is doing to reduce recidivism in this area for adults and juveniles, hear recommendations for improving the administration of justice, and to provide your own ideas for improving the administration of justice. Chief Justice Fabe will moderate the event. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007


Ketchikan: TONGASS NARROWS TRAFFIC TO BE DISCUSSED - The Coast Guard plans to host a meeting in Ketchikan to review and update the Tongass Narrows Voluntary Waterway User Guide.  The Guide outlines voluntary measures that help de-conflict traffic in the Tongass Narrows. 

The Coast Guard is looking for participants to review the guide, suggest changes, and propose safety improvements.  The meeting will be held on April 10 at The Crow's Nest at ISC Ketchikan from 1:00 to 4:00pm. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Southeast Alaska: ADF&G Announces 2007 Chinook Salmon Quota Plan - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced Tuesday that this year's Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon harvest quota is 329,400 fish. While this is 17,000 fish lower than last year's quota, it remains above the average for the past 8 years.

Utilizing data on the strength of west coast Chinook salmon stocks that contribute to Southeast Alaska fisheries, the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook Technical Committee recently determined that the 2007 Abundance Index for Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska is 1.60. As specified in the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement, this translates into an allowable all-gear catch for Southeast Alaska of 329,400 treaty Chinook. Most Chinook salmon produced in Alaska hatcheries are not factored into the Abundance Index, and may be caught by harvesters in addition to the treaty limit. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Alaska: Homeless in Alaska have it tougher than most By JULIA O'MALLEY - Linda Spencer was trying to focus on her most immediate problem: Her mattress on the floor at Brother Francis Shelter was good for only two more days. Then she had to find another place to sleep.

It was 25 degrees outside and snowing.

For an hour, she'd been meaning to catch the bus to somewhere she could get on the Internet. But the blind man next to her at Bean's Cafe was singing hymns and the sound soothed her, taking her mind out of the humid soup kitchen, away from the shuffle and the smell of bleach. She decided she'd catch the bus later, maybe after lunch.

Her shelter time was almost up, she told the others cupping mugs at the table. They nodded. They knew the drill: Spend 30 days in the shelter, then you have to leave and you can't come back for 30 more. There's an exception for people who are making serious progress getting a place to live. But Linda's time had run out and she wasn't getting more.

Maybe she could sleep outside on layers of cardboard, suggested the blind man.

Or camp out in that van with the bad transmission, someone else advised. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Engagement Announced

Miller - Chandler
Announce Engagement

Former Ketchikan residents, Brian Theodore Miller and Amanda Rae Chandler, have announced their engagement to be married. The couple will be wed in Arizona on August 17, 2007. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Alaska: Bill Bans Allowing Minors to Consume Alcohol in a Dwelling; Closes Underage House Party Loophole - The Alaska House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation that prohibits the owner or renter of a home to allow minors to consumer alcohol on the premises. The bill, HB 118, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), bridges a gap in state statute. Current law prohibits renting a hotel room to provide alcohol to minors, but nothing in statute prohibits allowing minors to consume alcohol in a home.

There's really no reason for parents or other adults to be able to get off scot-free for allowing house parties, and this bill closes that gap. HB 118 gives our law enforcement officials the ability to reprimand the people who supply the house to the underage drinkers.

While it is against the law in Alaska to rent a hotel room for the purposes of providing alcohol to underage persons (AS 04.16.055) there is no provision in statute that makes it illegal to allow underage drinking in a home. Meyers noted this to be a significant oversight in statute since a home is the most commonly cited place underage people consume alcohol.

House Bill 118 closes this gap in statute by making it a non-criminal violation to permit underage persons to possess alcohol in your home. A parent allowing their own child to possess alcohol is not subject to the violation because they are allowed to provide alcohol to their children under AS 04.16.05. Under HB 118 however, a person throwing a party where an underage person possess alcohol (even if they were not responsible for providing the alcohol) would face a $500 fine. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007


Public Meetings

The Ketchikan City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2007, in the City Council Chambers at 7:00 pm.
Agenda & Information Packet (pdf) Click on the agenda item to download the packet.

The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting on Thursday, April 05, 2007, in the City Council Chamber at 7:00 pm.
Agenda & Information Packets (pdf) Click on the agenda item to dowload the packet.

Basic Rules

letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By David G. Hanger - Wednesday PM
letter My gratitude to Mr. Martin By Cecelia Johnson - Wednesday PM
letter New School Superintendent By Mark Murdock - Wednesday PM
letter SE Alaska State Fair- Ketchikan Town Rep. Needed ASAP By Frances Field - Wednesday PM
letter Mature? By Jaime Zink - Wednesday PM
letter REC Center By Michelle Fry - Wednesday PM
letter Bored in Ketchikan? By Shari Fisher - Wednesday PM
letterThank you for your support By Tony and Sharyl Yeisley - Wednesday PM
letter RE: Breeders, Kids .......... Volunteering By Scott Kline - Wednesday PM
letter Dog Breeding Debate By Laurie Donati - Wednesday PM
letter Please Don't Attack Those You Don't Know By Kajla Bellon - Wednesday PM
letter Maritime History By John Stewart - Monday
letter Ketchikan Underground By Rowan Henderson - Monday
letter Elected School Board's Decision By Bobbie McCreary - Monday
letterFancy paint jobs By Tony Alenskis - Monday
letter Time to move forward by Sharon Geldaker - Monday
letter Keep Tenakee beautiful By Meryl Chew - Monday
letter RE: Dogs, kids... and volunteering By Margaret Cloud - Monday
letter A Total Joke By Ken Levy - Monday
letter Bridge to Nowhere By Charlotte Tanner - Monday
letter Local government By Alaire Stanton - Sunday
letter Parents Should Know By Diana Chaudhary - Sunday
letter Superintendant's Firing By Dan Williamson - Sunday
letter Time to recall By Alisha Greenup - Sunday
letter Ketchikan's school board By Walt Bolling - Sunday
letter Bridge to nowhere By Ken Leland - Sunday
letter Correction By Dave Kiffer - Sunday
letter Superintendent Martin By Al Johnson - Sunday
letter Levy-Lewis . . . The Battle of the Rock! By Tony Gwynn - Sunday
letter Walter Reed Army Hospital is no Ketchikan General By Mark Neckameyer - Sunday
letter Dogs, kids... and volunteering By Scott Kline - Sunday
letter RE: Puppy Mills and Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Sunday
letter Breeding dogs By Erin Bellon - Sunday
letter Annette Island By Jeff White - Sunday
letterSuperintendent Martin By Amy T. Thompson - Friday AM
letter Tongass Forest Plan By Hannah Wilson - Friday AM
letter I'm voting 'no' April 3rd By Senator Kim Elton - Friday AM
letter"Yes" on April 3rd By Rep. John Coghill - Friday AM
letterStand up and take a bow By Judith Green - Friday AM
letter OPEN LETTER TO SITNEWS' READERS By Robert D. Warner - Thursday
letterSchool Board Recall, Where Do I Sign? By Karen Owings - Thursday
letter Thanks Ketchikan for your support By Sara Sivertsen - Thursday
letter Re: Dog Breeders By Margaret Cloud - Thursday
letter VA Hospitals, Health Care, Hillary... By Rebecca Clark - Thursday
letter Dog Breeding Letters By Kerry Watson - Thursday AM
letter Dogs & Breeders By Kevin Mackey - Thursday
letter Puppymills and Breeders By Maggie Garmle - Thursday
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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National: A significant erosion of home readiness By LEE BOWMAN - The stash of crackers in the hall closet fell victim to a midnight snack. The bottled water - well, it would have been stale by now anyway. The plastic sheeting became essential when the den was repainted two years back. And the duct tape is now holding together assorted home repairs and school projects.

The smart-looking container of bandages and ointments got stripped of most of its contents when the kids' team needed to restock a first-aid kit. And the fire extinguisher shows suspicious signs of having sprung a leak.

Such is the state of family emergency preparedness in many households nearly six years after 9/11 - and despite several years of governmental reminders that homeland security should begin in the home.

A new survey done for the American Public Health Association points to a significant erosion of home readiness. Forty percent of a national survey of 925 adults said that although they had once taken steps to prepare for an emergency, they have let those arrangements lapse. Forty-six percent said they have no disaster supply kit.

And while 27 percent claimed to be ready for a public-health crisis, only 14 percent of respondents said they have a three-day supply of food, water and medication on hand.

However, about half of those surveyed think that severe weather, or an outbreak of infectious disease such as pandemic flu, is likely to strike their area to an extent that health care and food supplies are affected. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

National: War protesters withhold tax payments By PIA SARKAR - Dorothy Hansen used to pay her taxes faithfully every year - until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Since then, she has stopped filing her income tax returns to show her disapproval of the war.

"I am very sure that I don't want to have any part in killing people and I certainly don't want a part in any wars that do just that," said Hansen, 87.

With the tax-filing deadline just two weeks away, some Bay Area residents are using it as an opportunity to protest the war by withholding their tax dollars to fund it.

Known as war tax resisters, they consider it an act of civil disobedience. Some withhold only a symbolic portion of what they owe - $10.40, for example, to represent the 1040 tax form - while others, like Hansen, refuse to pay anything at all. Many will redirect their tax dollars to a charity of their choice. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

National: Sea birds washing ashore on West Coast By GLEN MARTIN - West Coast seabirds are dying, apparently from a lack of food - and some researchers think the phenomenon may be linked to global climate change.

This is the third year that scientists have found unusually large numbers of marine birds - mainly common murres, but also rhinoceros auklets and tufted puffins - washed up on beaches in California, Oregon and Washington. In 2005, the first year of the phenomenon, large numbers of Cassin's auklets also died.

Hannah Nevins, the coordinator for Moss Landing Marine Laboratories beach survey program, said 253 dead murres were recovered on 11 Monterey Bay beaches during the first week of March. During the past nine years, an average of nine dead birds were collected on the same beaches during the same week, she said.

About 180,000 breeding murres live along the West Coast, so it is unlikely the recent spate of deaths is enough to drastically harm the overall population.

"But if this continues for multiple years, then we could have real problems," Nevins said.

Most of the casualties were young birds that had just gone through their first winter. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: The Arts This Week - This week in Ketchikan Me, Myself and I, a self portrait show in the Mainstay Gallery opens Friday, April 6. As perhaps man's most intimate and pure display of consciousness, self-portraiture reveals the artist as he sees himself, as he wants to be seen, how he studies himself, and as the simple signature which states "I lived", lingering long after the artist has passed. Refreshments and first viewings will be from 5-7pm. The Mainstay Gallery is sponsored by the Arts Council. Call 225-2211 for more information.

Evening of Dancing & Dessert will feature ballroom dancing for all. Bring your favorite dessert and your taste for good music and ballroom dancing. Come show your best Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing and other ballroom dances on Saturday, April 7 starting at 7pm at the North Tongass Community Club across from Refuge Cove State Park on the South end of Sunset Drive. The cost is $10/ person, BYOB, wear your best Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire outfits! Call the arts council for more info, 225-2211.

Presbyterian Church Presents New Lenten Art Show: A new collection of art with Lenten themes is now on display at the Ketchikan Presbyterian Church. The six pieces in the collection were all created in the 20th century; one represents a mid-century traditional Jesus, one represents a depiction of a medieval Jesus, one is a modern wheat weaving, and three are strikingly modern. This show will be on display through Easter and is available for viewing on Sundays or by appointment with the church, 225-3619.

Annual Hummingbird Festival Juried Art Show calling for art for the April 13th, 5-7pm opening reception at the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau. Work inspired by spring migratory birds of SE Alaska is due by 5pm on April 4th at the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau, 131 Front Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901. Cash prizes will be awarded. A full list of eligible birds and guidelines is available by contacting Leslie Swada at 907-228-6247 or

First City Players and ActOUT Youth Theatre Program invites you to join the Pevensie siblings - Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter- as they enter the mysterious and magical world of Narnia in the production of C.S. Lewis' timeless classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, adapted by Joseph Robinette. Tickets are available at the FCP office or call 225-4792, $15 ad, $10 srs, college, military, $5 st thru 12th gr. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2007

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