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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 07, 2007

Ketchikan took shape 120 years ago

Ketchikan took shape 120 years ago
View of Ketchikan ca. 1899
Photograph courtesy Library of Congress

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U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: Ketchikan took shape 120 years ago A Feature Story By DAVE KIFFER - One hundred and twenty years ago in March, the quiet of Tongass Narrows was broken by the sound of hammers and saws.

The owners of a salmon cannery in Boca de Quadra were moving it to the mouth of a large fish stream in the Narrows and hoping to build a community around that stream. The community would eventually be named Ketchikan.

It was not the first effort to populate the Tongass Narrows area.

Tlingit Natives had been coming to the area for untold generations to take advantage of the salmon stream. Some had even apparently tried to live year round in the Narrows area, but most returned to the better weather slightly to the south in the Cape Fox and Village Island area.

After Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867, the American government had established a military base at Fort Tongass (near Cape Fox). In 1891, a custom house and lighthouse were built at Mary Island, 25
miles south of Tongass Narrows

In 1879, the missionary Sheldon Jackson - on a week-long canoe trip from Fort Wrangell to Port Simpson in British Columbia - reported the presence of a white homesteader in Tongass Narrows.

"At six o'clock, rising from an uncomfortable sleep, we embarked and paddled until nine, when, reaching the cabin of Mr. Morrison, at Tongas (sic) Narrows, we went ashore for breakfast," Jackson wrote in "A Canoe Voyage into the Tongas Country " in 1880. "Mr. Morrison has a fine vegetable garden and is also engaged in salmon fisheries."

Whatever became of Mr. Morrison's homestead is apparently lost to history, as is much information about a man from Oregon named Snow who reportedly started a salmon saltery in Tongass Narrows in 1883. Several early histories of Ketchikan briefly mention Snow but none offer any detail on him or his saltery.

The same year, a salmon cannery was built in Loring, 25 miles north of Ketchikan, and that community quickly grew into the dominant village in the area.

1883 was obviously a boom year for the canning industry in Southeast Alaska.

"One of the first canneries in Alaska was located on the northern shore of Boca de Quadra, about eight miles from the entrance," G.M. Bower wrote in 1898's Bulletin of the United States Fish and Fisheries Commission 'The Salmon Fisheries of Alaska.' "It was built in 1883 by M.J. Kinney of Astoria and operated under the name of Cape Fox Packing from 1883 to 1886."

In the winter of 1886, Kinney sold the operation to fellow Astorian Capt. A.W. Berry who decided to relocate the Tongass Narrows near a large stream, aptly named Fish Creek that emptied into the Narrows. - More...
Saturday - April 07, 2007


Alaska: Young may return tainted money By KEVIN DIAZ - Rep. Don Young might return some $20,000 in campaign contributions linked to a Wisconsin businessman under federal investigation.

Young had boosted the businessman's trucking company by helping pass new federal truck-hauling rules.

Young has maintained a public silence on the case, though his top aide said this week that Young does not recall ever meeting Dennis Troha, the apparent target of the probe.

Two other congressmen involved in the legislation, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democrat Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, have purged the money they got from Troha and his associates. Young's chief of staff, Mike Anderson, said Young is "considering" doing the same.

While Young's office has denied any link to the investigation, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Milwaukee declined to say whether Young is "in or out as a subject."

Family members and others associated with Troha were among Young's top campaign contributors in his 2006 re-election, though their money was a tiny fraction of the $1.9 million that filled his campaign coffers. - More...
Saturday - April 07, 2007

National: Pet-food crisis ... IRS humor (no joke!) ... WWI vets By LISA HOFFMAN - Look for America's devotion to its 130 million dogs and cats to push the federal government to create the first official national network to collect information from veterinarians and disseminate crucial data on pet food and health.

The ongoing pet-food emergency has demonstrated how anemic the Food and Drug Administration's monitoring of the animal food supply has been. No one can say how many pets have died or been sickened by the suspect food, with estimates ranging from 16 to as many as 3,000 deaths.

Deluged in recent weeks by more than 10,000 complaints from the public - almost double the number it got on all subjects last year - the FDA has now assigned more than 400 employees to handle the crisis. Also hearing from worried owners is Congress, which is poised to order the agency to establish a national data-gathering and -sharing system if the FDA doesn't move quickly enough.


About this time of year, the last thing the initials "IRS" bring to mind is humor. But root around on the tax agency's Web site (, then search for "tax quotes") and you can actually find a few laughs to lighten the last-minute tax-filing load. To wit:

"Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund." - F.J. Raymond, humorist

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." - Gerald Barzan, humorist

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." - Albert Einstein, physicist - More...
Saturday - April 07, 2007

Scientific journey...

Scientific journeys move smoothly across the North
Tohru Saito passes a headwind-ducking Iditarod musher while on a permafrost-observatory drilling trip from Manley to St. Marys.
Photo by Kenji Yoshikawa.

Alaska: Scientific journeys move smoothly across the North By NED ROZELL - Traverses across the bumps of the frozen northern landscape are not easy, but two scientific teams I recently wrote about are cruising right along.

University of Alaska Fairbanks permafrost scientist Kenji Yoshikawa and his partner Tohru Saito of the International Arctic Research Center zipped through a trip down the Yukon River with two snowmachines and three sleds. They traveled from Manley Hot Springs to St. Marys in less than two weeks, installing permafrost-monitoring stations at Manley, Galena, Kaltag, Shageluk, Russian Mission, Marshall, and St. Marys. Along the way, they pulled off the trail for head-on passes with the top 10 Iditarod mushers near Eagle Island, and each put about 800 miles on his snowmachine.

"I really liked this trip," Yoshikawa said when he returned to Fairbanks. "Every night and every day we met new people who helped us out."

Saito and Yoshikawa would drive between villages, sometimes in air as cold as minus 40, or along a river surface more like sand than snow. - More...
Saturday - April 07, 2007


Basic Rules

letter Facts, not opinions By Joel Galli - Sunday PM
letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By Rob Holston - Sunday PM
letter School, etc By Alaire Stanton - Sunday PM
letterK-town in general By Richard Harney - Sunday PM
letter 70% of the community?
By Soren Wuerth - Sunday PM
letter Bridge to Somewhere!! By Forrest A. Mackie - Sunday PM
letter The Liberating Truth By George Miller - Sunday PM
letter Traduced By Chris Elliott - Sunday PM
letter Open Letter to Sitnews By Patti Fay Hickox- Sunday PM
letter Mutt Breeders By Vickie Hansen - Sunday PM
letter 70 percent of our population? By Kevin Mackey - Sunday PM
letter Elkins will be missed By David Hull - Thursday PM
letter Treatment of School Board President By Peter Bolling - Thursday PM
letter Proud of Superintendent Martin's Performance By Bill Thomas Sr. - Thursday PM
letter Never mind By Chris Elliott - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Evan Bolling - Thursday PM
letter More on Maturity and "K.U." By Peter Stanton - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Shane Johnson - Thursday PM
letter RE: "Fancy paint Jobs" By Scott Willis - Thursday PM
letter Dog breeding By Margaret Cloud - Thursday PM
letter Hooray for Purebred Dogs! By Vickie Hansen - Thursday PM
letter Puppy Mills By Kris Hansen - Thursday PM
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
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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National: The week in review By THOMAS HARGROVE - British sailors released by Iran

Fifteen Royal Navy sailors and marines held captive by Iran for 13 days in a dispute over whether they entered Iranian territorial waters returned home Thursday.

The Britons said Friday they were bound by their captors, blindfolded, kept in isolation and threatened with prison if they didn't "confess" that they had strayed into Iranian waters. The sailors and marines were captured as they searched a cargo ship for smugglers in Iraqi waters, according to British and U.S.

Presidential hopefuls tally 'money primary' results

Democratic and Republican presidential candidates this week announced the results of their frenetic first-quarter campaign fund-raising efforts with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leading that pack, as expected, with $26 million. But her chief Democratic rival, Illinois freshman Sen. Barack Obama, beat expectations with a very close second place showing at $25 million. Many Republicans were astonished when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney led the GOP field with $23 million even though polls show him well behind former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who raised $15 million, and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who garnered $12.5 million.

Bush sidesteps Senate Democrats to appoint Fox

Using his authority to make temporary appointments when Congress is in recess, President Bush appointed prominent GOP fundraiser Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium Wednesday. Senate Democrats objected to Fox because in 2004 he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group, which damaged Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's campaign by accusing him of exaggerating his record during the Vietnam War. "It's sad but not surprising that this White House would abuse the power of the presidency to reward a donor over the objections of the Senate," Kerry said.

Bush denounces Pelosi's Syria trip

President Bush criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others in Congress Tuesday for going to Damascus to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, something the Bush administration refuses to do. The president said the trip by House Democrats and Republicans "sends mixed signals" that the Assad government is "part of the mainstream of the international community when, in fact, they are state sponsors of terror." Pelosi waved off the criticism. "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," she said. Pelosi met with Assad for three hours.

Supreme Court slaps Bush's air pollution policies

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by automobiles must be regulated under the Clean Air Act, reversing the Bush administration's claim that it lacks authority to do so. In a 5-4 ruling, the court criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for offering "no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change." The next day, President Bush said he's taking the decision "very seriously" and promised to push for new standards with Congress.

World panel issues new global warming cautions

After an all-night series of negotiations, the United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change meeting in Belgium issued a report Friday that said warming temperatures will cause massive floods, food shortages and species extinctions. The United States, Saudi Arabia and China raised objections to the near-final draft Thursday, prompting last minute revisions. Panel chairman Rajendra Pachauri said the compromises were "a complex exercise." Even so, the report is apocalyptic, warning that 30 percent of all animal species face extinction if the world temperature rises another 3.6 degrees. - More...
Saturday - April 07, 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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