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April 01, 2008

Front Page Photograph by Jim Lewis

Deer Mountain
Front Page Photograph by Jim Lewis


Fish Factor: Greenpeace launches assault against U.S. seafood retailers By LAINE WELCH - Greenpeace is launching an assault against U.S. seafood retailers - and Alaska pollock tops the list of fish the environmental group wants removed from the marketplace. Alaska pollock is the largest food fishery in the world, and is regarded as a model for sustainable management. Pollock is most popular in fish sandwiches, fish sticks and seafood flavored surimi products such as 'seafood salad."

The Greenpeace campaign, which mirrors one in Europe that met with some success, uses a "red list" to rank good and bad seafood choices based on sustainable management and other 'earth friendly' criteria.

"We were quite dismayed and surprised to be on the red list," said Pat Shanahan, spokesperson for the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), a trade group that represents every Alaska pollock fishing company.

"It seems to contradict the scientifically-based endorsement of Alaska pollock by nearly every other environmental group in the world, including the international Marine Stewardship Council which has a very extensive certification program. It also goes against the government's recommendation that people eat more seafood for their health, " Shanahan added.

But that's not enough for Greenpeace.

"We have several concerns about the pollock fishery, among them Chinook salmon bycatch and food web impacts," said Greenpeace Oceans Specialist John Hocevar in a phone interview from Texas.

"Pollock is the dominant prey species for much of the marine life in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. As the industry has removed so much of the pollock, there has been a dramatic reduction in the available food for endangered Steller sea lions, depleted northern fur seals and other marine mammals," he said.

Hocevar added that Greenpeace also is very concerned about the overall health of the pollock stocks. He said that the group "has always felt it was a mistake" for Alaska pollock to merit a 'green' label by the MSC.

Greenpeace does give Alaska fishery managers some credit.

"The number of boats that have observers is more than most other places, and there is a real emphasis on collecting data on fish stocks, if not on the broader ecosystem. There is not a problem with illegal catch and enforcement is strong. So these things are certainly positive," Hocevar said.

However, Greenpeace believes Alaska fishery managers "cut it too close to the edge." - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

National: Conspiracy theories persist 40 years after King's death By BARTHOLOMEW SULLIVAN - Thirty years after the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded its exhaustive review of the shooting of Martin Luther King, its chairman, Louis Stokes, stands by its findings.

"No one to my knowledge has come forth with any factual evidence of any kind that would in any way controvert the findings of our committee," Stokes, now a retired lawyer in both Cleveland and Washington, said in a recent interview with The Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal.

"I don't know of one single piece of evidence that anyone has brought forth that has tainted our findings."

But some have looked at the evidence and drawn different conclusions.

The committee found it "ironic" that the FBI's ongoing surveillance and harassment campaign against King helped prove that the bureau did not have prior knowledge of his 1968 assassination in Memphis. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

National: Powell promotes dropout prevention summits By GAVIN OFF - The road for a high school dropout often leads to low-paying jobs and jail, yet some 1.2 million students choose that path each year, said officials with America's Promise Alliance, a dropout prevention organization.

"All you're doing is growing the prison population," said Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state and Alliance founder. "It's a farm system for the jail system."

The Alliance unveiled a plan Tuesday to hold 100 dropout prevention summits nationwide to curb what Powell called "a national catastrophe."

According to a report prepared by Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, a student drops out of high school roughly every 26 seconds.

Powell said 30 percent of all high school students fail to graduate, while 50 percent of minorities do not earn a diploma.

"You'll be frightened by the numbers you see," Powell said. "The trend is real, and it's a trend that has to be reversed." - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

National: Volunteers will help investigate online spam By DEBORAH GAGE - See that pop-up ad? Click on it! You just won the lottery? Well, by all means, e-mail them your contact information to claim your prize.

Security company McAfee Inc. is urging 50 volunteers to spam it up during the month of April in the hope of getting a fresh handle on the ever-growing landscape of malicious software programs circulating on the Internet and attacking people's computers.

The Santa Clara, Calif. company solicited participants through an ad on Craigslist and chose five people from each of the 10 countries in which it does business. The spam-hunters will be given new Dell laptops with minimal anti-virus protection -- which they'll be allowed to keep -- disposable e-mail addresses and, in some cases, small amounts of money so they can buy products offered through spam or respond to various money-making schemes. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008


Alaska: BBB WARNS CONSUMERS AGAINST GETTING INSTANT TAX REFUNDS - Tax season is here and many Americans are looking forward to their tax refunds. With the downturn in the economy, some taxpayers are growing impatient for their checks. Some are even turning to tax preparers who offer instant tax refunds, also called Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL). While RALs are a source of instant cash, the BBB warns they may come with high interest rates.

Instant tax refunds are short-term loans given to the consumer immediately after the tax preparer files their taxes. The tax preparer will then receive the filer's refund check two to three weeks later from the IRS. The effective annualized interest rate for instant tax refunds range from 50 to nearly 500 percent, according to the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). Some tax preparers further gouge consumers by tacking on administrative fees. According to the NCLC, consumers took out more than nine million RALs in 2006; paying more than $990 million in fees.

"Taxpayers who want to get their hands on their tax refund money right away need to keep in mind that an instant refund can cost more than it helps," said Robert Andrew, President and CEO of the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "RALs are based on anticipated tax refunds. If consumers end up getting less money back than predicted, they will owe the money loaned plus hefty fees and fines if they don't pay off the RAL on time." - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

Klawock: SEARHC WISEWOMAN hosts body image discussion - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) WISEWOMAN program will host a special Saturday women's talking circle on body image as part of WISE At Every Size.

The free talking circle takes place from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, at the Klawock Clan House, located on the Klawock-Hollis Highway across from the IGA and next to the carving house. The talking circle will be facilitated by WISEWOMAN Community Wellness Advocate Brenda Isaacs and WISE At Every Size Health Educator Marci Getz.

Many women aren't happy with their bodies, and a negative body image can lead to poor health. After attending the talking circle, women will have a better understanding about how they view their bodies, will be able to list one or more positive things they like about their bodies, and they will learn how to improve their own body image. All women on Prince of Wales Island, including those not enrolled in the WISEWOMAN program, are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be available. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008


Public Opinion Poll

The General Services Administration, landlord of the downtown Federal Building, plans to paint the structure this summer. Should GSA go with the original, historic white; or retain the "pink salmon" color?

Click here to Vote

View Vote Stats

Federal Building Poll

Federal Building
File Photo by Dick Kauffman

Ketchikan Federal Building Added to National Register of Historic Places - To some locals it is the "Big Pink."

The workers within its walls often call it the "Pepto (Bismo) Palace." - Read this archived story by DAVE KIFFER...


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Basic Rules

letterKVRS Rocks! By Melissa Ausman -On Sunday March 23, around dinner time, a young girl went missing in the woods behind Bear Valley. This area leads to mile after mile of dense dark forested land. She had played behind the house for years, without ever a problem. Not this night. After looking and calling for her to no avail, her dad called the State Troopers and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad. When I came upon the scene, it was scary. A great deal of people had gathered, walkie talkies and flashlights in hand. Search dog ready to roll. They were all gathered around the KVRS mobile unit. It's a large panel type van, filled with computers, gps systems and more. On top of this van is mounted two large poles with bright bright lights on top. People were searching under cars, between houses, before getting their search instructions and heading off into the woods. Every minute seemed so long. After several hours, YEAH!! she was found, safe and sound, although cold and scared she put up a brave front. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Bristol Bay is burned out By Cindy Roque - When a lightbulb is burned out in our homes, we change it - and things are bright once again. I'm afraid some of the brightness of Bristol Bay has burned out and it's all in the face of the economic & energy crisis that has silently sneaked up upon us and is holding us captive. Our communities are blowing away in the cold wind around us as life long residents of Bristol Bay are migrating out of the Bay. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Alaska Marine Highway By Elma Schiel - Our family of eight (included three generations) visited Alaska in May-June of 2003. We traveled by plane, train and ferry. We had a fantastic experience and hope someday to be able to return. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letterSeward's Purchase of Alaska By Rudy McGillvray - I just love correcting writers. The "Purchase of Alaska" was NOT for the territory itself. Russia didn't OWN Alaska: what they sold was "Rights of Governance" to the United States, and no one, except an educated few understand that point. What Russia had in Alaska was colonies, (some of them stil exist today), and she sold us the right to govern those colonies for the 7.2 million dollars the U.S. paid for them. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Federal Building By Barbara Morgan - I am glad that the Federal Building is going to be painted again as it now looks like a spawned out salmon. However, I do not really like either the original white or salmon pink options. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Teens & Alcohol By Brenda (Zwieg) Benson - This is about my nephew -- a good kid from a good family that made a bad decision one night. We are also parents and are involved through Girl Scouts and other oraganizations with kids in our own community. We would like his story to be a learning tool so other teens will think twice before drinking. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letterRE: Various Medical Economics Responses By Joel Galli - I'm glad to see there are those out there with a pulse and who actually care about some of the real issues in the upcoming elections and I'm pleased to be a part of the healthy debate here on SitNews. If you missed the premise of this response, I encourage you to read Mr. Harmon's and Mr. Neckameyer's March 15 opinion responses to one I wrote not long ago regarding universal health care. The scope of issues has since grown and I will now respond to all of the items raised by these two gentlemen. - More...
Tuesday PM - April 01, 2008

letter Ketchikan Youth Initiative Scores Big! By Nancy Coggins - When recently talking on the phone with an older female family friend in North Carolina, she was complaining about the teenagers who are into drugs and other destructive behavioral activities. So I told her about the Ketchikan Youth Initiative (KYI) and its goal to renovate a vacant building [the Water Warehouse (WW)] to benefit teenagers. In this plan, the teenagers would be its leaders, and we adults, their mentors. Our aim, I explained, is to provide a safe place for teenagers not only to hang out but also to get a chance to run a small business like an ice cream or a gift shop. The whole idea gave her a lot of hope for America's teenagers. - More...
Sunday - March 30, 2008

letterSqueezin' out a big bucket o' savings By Sen. Kim Elton - As we begin, I agree it is not irrational to believe giving a lot of money to politicians is like giving a credit card to your teen before they head to Vegas on a class trip. - More...
Sunday - March 30, 2008

letter School budget process By Charles Edwardson - I guess my last rambling letter missed the mark appealing to the public to attend and comment on the Ketchikan school budget process. Only one guy commented and apparently the budget is perfect so none of us has any room to complain. Good job school board and borough budget committee. You have passed a perfect budget that needs no public comment or participation. The public trusts you completely and has no qualms about how things are running. Microsoft could take some pointers from this budget committee and the school board. - More...
Sunday - March 30

letter March for Babies By Janie Odgers - The March of Dimes March for Babies (WalkAmerica) has taken Ketchikan by storm! Over a long weekend ladies from around Ketchikan gathered at the Ted Ferry Civic Center for the annual Scrap-A-Thon organized by Heather Borch. They raised $3,520.00! - More...
Thursday PM - March 27, 2008

letter Bridge, No Bridge By Angela Garton - I just wanted to say a brief thank you to Dan Williams for expressing so clearly some common sense about that bridge. I have lived in Ketchikan for 22 out of my 23 years. My dad worked at the airport for many years so I spent quite a bit of time traveling on the ferries back and forth to visit dad's work. - More...
Thursday PM - March 27, 2008

letter School budget process By Charles Edwardson - I am afraid this letter will be too late for the budget comment period for the district on March 26, 2008, never the less I urge the people who have time to participate in this process to express your opinions. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letter Rev. Wright's viewpoint of America is wrong By Patty Alsup - I consider Rev.Wright's speech just a speech & not a sermon. The speech did not address religious ideals it appears to promote only hate for white people & for America. If this is the type of speeches he promotes then it is no wonder the African American population can not forget Slavery or Racism! People need to remember that Slavery is an unfortunate history. But that is what it is .. "History"! A War was fought to also abolish Slavery... Slavery is not now. - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letterHillary's wild stories and ... Lies! By Mark Neckameyer - The crazy stories Hillary has been telling make no sense. We all have seen people with no "resume" make up tales of war heroism or athletic accomplishments but Hillary has had a stellar career; top corporate attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator and more. So why the crazy tales? Here are a few examples; - More...
Tuesday PM - March 25, 2008

letter Thank you Ketchikan! By Angie Olson - I am so proud to call Ketchikan my home! My friends and I decided to put together a community Easter egg hunt out at Ward Lake, the support we received was amazing!! - More...
Monday PM - March 24, 2008

letter The Bridge By Chuck Saunders - The first time I ever heard of "the bridge" was when it hit national news due to the cost. Having visited Ketchikan several times now, I think I understand the need for "the bridge". - More...
Monday PM - March 24, 2008

letter Behavioral Health Services By Camielle Call - I am the most recent director of Gateway Center for Human Services, having tendered my resignation on or about March 1 of this year. It is important for me to clarify some issues associated with this position and with recent SitNews letters and the Ketchikan Daily News of March 8 - 9. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Infestation of Local Faith Groups By George Miller - There a several local churches downtown who could be listed as part of the 'infestation of non-profits' -- at least in the eyes of those who might belittle faith along with everything else. It is a proven fact, practiced by even the faithless rich, that generosity brings financial health -- and that the opposite is also true. Those who support groups that are doing good for our community are doing themselves a favor. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Petition to the MIC Council to apply Due Process By Steven G. Booth - A Petition to the MIC Council to apply Due Process states: We, the undersigned Members of the Metlakatla Indian Community (MIC), do hereby in signing this petition affirm that every Member should have a basic right to due process of MIC laws and procedures when faced with charges against us in MIC remedial forums. When MIC Council violated Mayor John A. Scudero, Jr. s due process rights on February 6, 2008, the Council set (or continued to set) a precedent for the type of treatment any Member can expect at all MIC remedial forums, including tribal government. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Non-Profits By Debra Pomeroy-Dundas - In response to Jay Jones' letter, I also have to protest with Ms. Antonsen! Not only is this non-profit agency, Community Connections, an asset to Ketchikan and the many people they help, they are part of the out lined communities, providing respite care and PCA services! They also employee people in other communities. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter The Bridge By Forrest Mackie - I had a thought outside the box! I heard it said once that it would be cheaper to build an airport on this side that we could drive to than build a bridge. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

letter Stimulus Loan By Judith Green - Thank you, RK Rice, for your thoughts about the Stimulus Loan which is being offered to citizens by our Federal Government. - More...
Saturday - March 22, 2008

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