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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 02, 2010

Canada's Algonquin Area Air Defense Destroyer
Photographed during a visit to Ketchikan on 3/26/2010
Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH


Ketchikan: Gravina Access Project: Deadline for Comments April 16th (SitNews) - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) completed the latest Alternatives Screening Report for the Gravina Access Project Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in March 2010 and invited the public to comment. Written comments on the report should be submitted by Friday, April 16, 2010.

Previously in 2004 the Gravina Access Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) examined nine build alternatives and the No Build Alternative. The nine build alternatives included six bridge alternatives and three ferry alternatives. The Final Environmental Impact Statement which was distributed to the public and federal and state agencies on July 30, 2004, identified Alternative F1 as the FHWA's and DOT&PF's Preferred Alternative.

The 2004 Preferred Alternative, Alternative F1 would cross Tongass Narrows via Pennock Island with two bridges: a 200-foot bridge over the East Channel and 120-foot bridge over the West Channel. FHWA issued a Record of Decision on September 15, 2004, and identified Alternative F1 as the Selected Alternative.

However, on Sept. 21, 2007, Governor Sarah Palin announced that the State of Alaska could not fund the selected bridge identified in the Gravina Access Project Record of Decision (Gravina Access Project Redirected 07-192) and directed the DOT&PF to look for the most fiscally responsible alternative for access to Ketchikan International Airport and Gravina Island instead of proceeding further with Alternative F1.

Work did continue on an additional road segment on Gravina Island that was included in Alternative F1. The road segment started on Gravina Island approximately 3.4 miles south of the airport runway and continued north to the intersection of the Airport Access Road and Lewis Reef Road. Referred to as the Gravina Island Highway, work on this road was completed in the fall 2008. The Gravina Island Highway is now open and provides public access to lands on Gravina Island. The work included the site grading, placing embankment, constructing bridges over Government Creek and Gravina Creek, installing drainage structures, and other improvements. Construction of the Gravina Island Highway was complete in the Fall 2008.

The pupose of the Gravina Access Project is to improve surface transportation between Revillagigedo Island, home of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, City of Ketchikan and the City of Saxman, and Gravina Island, the location of the Ketchikan International Airport and adjoining lands that offer recreational and development potential.

Currently, ferry service provides the only regular access to Gravina Island with a terminal at Ketchikan International Airport. Access to the remainder of Gravina Island is available by watercraft and the Lewis Reef Road. The opening of the Gravina Island Highway in 2008 also provides access to some private lands and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough's developable lands north and south of the airport reserve, and to the Bostwick Lake Road and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service's timber lands.

The need for improving access was identified as threefold:

  • To provide the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and its residents more reliable, efficient, convenient, and cost-effective access for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians to Borough lands and other developable or recreational lands on Gravina Island in support of the Borough's adopted land use plans.
  • To improve the convenience and reliability of access to Ketchikan International Airport for passengers, airport tenants, emergency personnel and equipment, and shipment of freight.
  • To promote environmentally sound, planned long-term economic development on Gravina Island.

The latest screening report released in March 2010 describes the alternatives previously considered and those that arose during scoping, the screening process, and the reasonable alternatives selected based on financial, environmental, and engineering considerations.

In 2008, FHWA and DOT&PF reassessed the nine reasonable alternatives evaluated in the 2004 FEIS, as well as six new alternatives or variations identified through agency and public comment during SEIS scoping. In 2009, these 15 alternatives, which include both bridge and ferry alternatives, underwent a screening process to determine if the alternatives were reasonable.

The screening process examined the 15 alternatives based on criteria that included the purpose and need for the project, a cost threshold established by the DOT&PF Commissioner, and potential environmental or socioeconomic impacts that would result in the alternative being unacceptable or unpermittable.

Based on this screening process, six alternatives (C3-4, F3, G2, G3, G4, and G4v), as well as the No Action Alternative, have been identified as reasonable alternatives to be evaluated in detail in the Gravina Access Project SEIS.

Following is a brief description of each alternatives identified in the March 2010 Report: - More...
Friday - April 02, 2010


Columns - Commentary

MICHAEL REAGAN: Appeal to our Sensibilities - Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006. His grieving father, Albert Snyder, did what too many military families have had to do over the past several years -- bury his child. But this sad story takes a cruel and despicable turn.

You see, a group identified as the Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka, Kan. had taken to demonstrating at military funerals in their attempt to attract attention to their anti-homosexual views. The group claims that the loss of life in overseas military operations is directly attributable to America's refusal to universally condemn homosexuality. Taking it a disturbing step further, this group even carries signs that read "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor, the group has an online press release that concludes with the phrase "Thank God for IEDs" (Improvised Explosive Devices). - More...
Friday - April 02, 2010

ANN MCFEATTERS: Obama's 'unpredictable streak' showing - The other day President Barack Obama defied environmentalists by giving permission for new oil and gas drilling off U.S. coasts, after a decades-long moratorium. It was a thrilling moment.

Not because drilling is necessarily a good thing -- it can be good or bad depending on where it's done, why it's done, if jobs are created and what environmental controls are in place. And it's often been bad.

No, Obama's decision was a good thing because it shows Obama has an unpredictable streak. As a candidate, he opposed drilling off U.S. coasts. A year ago he blocked plans put in place at the last minute by the Bush administration to permit offshore drilling and to open the national outer continental shelf for drilling.

If more politicians were unpredictable, this would be a better democracy. There would be less rancorous partisanship and more people would debate the issues on their merits rather than engaging in knee-jerk conservatism or liberalism. Lobbyists might have a harder time buying votes. - More...
Friday - April 02, 2010

PRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on Bras and Kets - Two Tennessee teams made it to the sweet sixteen during March Madness, but only one made it to the final bracket. Congratulations to Governor Phil Bredesen, Commissioner of Education Dr. Tim Webb, and everyone else in an impressive line-up of public and private-sector players that collaborated in President Obama's Race to the Top of a $4.35 billion fund of federal grant money for educational reform.

With $500 million to invest in K thru 12 educational reforms, Tennessee is the big-dollar winner among the celebrated pair - out of 820 possibilities from the 40 competing states and the District of Columbia that uploaded their post-script data proposals at the starting line. Delaware, corporate home of DuPont and where chemistry is a big freaking deal, is the other winning state. They had a slightly higher score, but requested only $100 million to execute their four-year game plan. - More...
Friday - April 02, 2010


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Basic Rules

Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letter Sell KPU Telecommunications Division By Mike Ellis and Susan Fisher - Selling the KPU Telecommunications Division is the right move for our city. We're voting yes on both ballot propositions April 6. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterDon't Sell KPU Telecom, Part III By Mike Harpold - The Ketchikan City Mayor wants to get KPU Telecom out of private business, but selling the utility would be nothing less than throwing the baby out with the bath water. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterRe: Southeast Economy and S.881 By Evan Hjerpe - Senator Murkowski's letter to the editor in the SitNews on 3/24/10 ( Southeast's Economy and Promises ) states that the Sealaska legislation would bring renewed economic development to Southeast and is needed for the economic survival of the region. A single-interest bill that is based on the liquidation of old growth and exporting processing jobs overseas is by no means the answer to the regional economic woes of Southeast; this perspective has been echoed during the recent listening sessions in the region. In fact, letting Sealaska harvest these lands represents a costly option in terms of adverse impacts on subsistence opportunities and the regional economic drivers the Senator alludes to of tourism, fishing, and trade. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterSealaska Land Bills By Roger DiPaolo -Sealaska refers to the bills HR2099 and SB881 as "Haa Aaní Bill". Since "Haa Aaní" means "Our Land", one could easily assume that the Sealaska is saying in effect that the specific Tongass National Forest lands on North POW and Kosciusko Islands that they want to privately own somehow belongs to them. This is not at all true, completely false in all respects. The disputed lands are part of the Tongass National Forest that belongs equally to ALL Americans, not just to Alaskan Natives. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterOnce Upon a Time By Carol Cairnes - It is fitting that Senator Murkowski started her March 24th Viewpoint with "Once Upon a Time" in classic fairy-tale style.  Her version of the facts is a fantastic fiction.  The Senator is living in a dream world if she believes Senate bill 881 will revive Southeast Alaska's economy.  The bill, and a similar House bill, 2099, allows Sealaska Corporation to trade the land it is entitled to by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for publicly owned land in the Tongass National Forest, along with roads and log transfer facilities paid for by American taxpayers.   The deal the Senator envisions for Sealaska Corporation would give the corporation ownership of timber and other valuable resources currently owned by all American citizens under the false claim of aboriginal rights. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterCity Council Meddling By Charles Edwardson - I was contacted by the owner of the low speed vehicle - golf carts as I referred to them in my last tirade against the ineptitude of Ketchikan City Council decisions on private business. - More...
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letterSkating Rink and Sports Facility By Amy Stepper - I really love the idea of having a ice rink here in Ketchikan, but I don't care for another sports facility. Isn't that what the Recreation Center is for? - More....
Wednesday - March 31, 2010

letter"Part one" DOT-PF AMHS new terminals and South Tongass By Steven G. Booth - I believe new terminals located at Annette bay or at a location along South Tongass Highway will cause numerous burdens for the Community Members of Metlakatla and at the same time cost the State and the federal taxpayers money that need not be expended. Therefore, it will also further deteriorate any efforts to create a more efficient operation for DOT-PF AMHS. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterRE: Southeast's Economy and Promises By Don Hernandez - Senator Murkowski's recent opinion published on SitNews begins with " once upon a time"; this should indicate to all who read it that they are reading a fairy tale, a complete work of fiction spun from her imagination. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterAmerican citizens own National Forest By Carol Cairnes - Regarding Southeast's Economy and Promises By Sen. Murkowski, the U. S. Forest Service does not own any land. American citizens own the land that is designated National Forest. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterA BETTER SOLUTION TO SEALASKA LAND CONVEYANCE By Eric Muench - Much of Senator Lisa Murkowski's opinion is quite true, but her promotion for Senate Bill 881 left out so much of the other side of the story that it could almost have been written by Sealaska Corporation. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterSealaska Lands Bill By Mike Brown - Murkowski lies when she speaks of the need for the Sealaska CORPORATION to be allowed to reneg on a legal CONTRACT that they drew up, and pick lands outside the AGREED upon area they chose in the 1970's. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterA definite need for more taxi permits in Ketchikan By Conan Steele - The Ketchikan City Council recently rejected a proposal to increase the number of taxi permits based upon the argument that there is no need for more taxis. I have driven taxi in Ketchikan for a number of years and I know this to just not be true. During peak periods in Ketchikan (usually during the cruise ship season), it can be nearly impossible to get a taxi in a timely manner, if you can get one at all. This is even true in a bad year. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterAdditional Taxis By Richard Morgan - As someone who works in the retail sales business, I know that wait times for a taxi can be very long in the Summer. So it is fine and well that some oppose additional Taxis, citing short wait times for bar-goers at night as ample reason to reject the proposal, but what about normal, everyday people who are just trying to get home with their groceries during daylight hours? - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterObamaCare: Advancing the Destruction of America By Lawrence R. Huntoon - On March 21, 2010, our country witnessed a Bolshevik moment, whereby our U.S. Constitution was trampled and utterly violated by those for whom the ends justified the means. If Obamacare is allowed to stand, the American way of life will be changed forever, and not in a good way. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterNational Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month By Patti Fay Hickox - April is "National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month." In Alaska, for the last 12 years, we have been doing this awareness campaign with "Mint Green Ribbons." 12 years ago two women from Kenai made 1000 mint green ribbons with Forget-me-knots embroided in the middle. These ribbons were distributed up north and to Juneau. At a "Stand up for Kids" rally in Juneau we saw the ribbons and we brought the idea to Ketchikan and South Southeast Alaska. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterRe: Sitnews Front page photos By Alan R. Rudy McGillvray - I find myself in total agreement with Ms. Susan McMurray and her thoughts on Sitnews' front page photos. I check Sitnews for a new photo every time I turn on my computer. A new picture goes first to my desktop screen saver, and then I e-mail it to friends and family, to show them the beauty that surrounds us everyday, whether seen or not. Then I save it to a folder in My Pictures. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterMike Gates Photos By Nellie Miller - I couldn't agree more that Mike Gates pictures are consistently impressive and really capture what I miss most about Ketchikan-thank you for sharing your mind's eye and keep up the excellent work! - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterAcDc By Alexis Schofield - In regards to AcDc, CONGRATULATIONS! - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterA great teacher By Katie Shull - I wasn't a member of AcDc in high school, but Mr. Sean Powell was my geometry teacher one year. I have to say that classmates of mine who shared the experience of being his student and I still talk and reminisce about days in his class. - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letter Thank you By Sean Powell - It has been pointed out that I missed a few people that helped us get to state: - More...
Monday - March 29, 2010

letterSoutheast's Economy and Promises By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - Once upon a time, the Southeast timber industry was one of the largest economic drivers in Alaska. In 1990, timber jobs hit an all time employment high. Now the timber industry consists of a few remnants, scratching desperately to hang on. Southeast has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Alaska, and it's the only region in the state where the population is declining and the average age is increasing. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 24, 2010

letterKayhi Academic Decathlon By Miguel Torres  Mr. Powell's leadership and passion to direct these great students is an inspiration. Thank you for your commitment. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 24, 2010

letterRE: City Council, Who are you representing? By Leonard Bergamaschi - I think the only thing that surprises me anymore is how surprised some people are when they realize how much bullheaded biases local businesses have to go through while anything that will benefit "short term" business,IE tourist related, goes on the fast track for approval. 'Nuff said? - More...
Wednesday PM - March 24, 2010

letterPermits for Yellow Taxi By Shane Sooter - Now, I must be honest, I was against the permit increase for the simple fact it would increase the competition between my fellow drivers and the other two companies, but with the comments made at the Ketchikan City Council meeting last Thursday, I have had a mind change. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 24, 2010

letterFront Page Photos By Susan McMurray - Monday's featured front page photo by Mike Gates is one of the most beautiful shots I have ever seen of the Ketchikan area, and I have seen several. - More...
Wednesday PM - March 24, 2010

letterSubject: SB 129 -- Residential Sprinkler System Requirements By David Hull - This residential sprinkler system debacle needs some air clearing I believe. First of all, I oppose SB 129 because I don't think the state should pick and choose the way the local community should conduct their business. It has nothing to do with the installation of residential sprinkler systems. This bill has to do with whether or not the local community can make an appropriate decision on their own to require the sprinkler systems or not. The state and the home builders apparently think we can t be trusted to do things the way we always have. We need more process and state guidance on this one specific issue. Why? - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterSubsistence Rights opinion By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - Our Lands, Our Seas, So fight for it!

I was thinking a lot about my Brothers and Sisters living in Southeast Alaska. I love and miss the fishing. I really need to teach a few of you how to subsists off the land and sea, I noticed that you lucky dogs catch a King Crab every now and then, but you throw them back because the State of Alaska State laws say so. I say hell with the State of Alaska... the State and Federal Governments are protecting the King Crab and Halibut for the commercial fisheries only. Watch the Deadliest Catch... you don't see any Subsistence Users! Money and greed is all I see by a very few people dictating what we Indigenous People can eat or can't eat and when to eat it! Time to say No! - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterLandless, money-less, heritage-less By Chris Barry - It has been my experience personally, and what I have witnessed & read that when a group of people want to be accommodated and repaid, that they never stop. With every restitution they seek, they state that they will be happy, yet with every restitution given them, they become more hungry and seek to gain more and more. This is true with all peoples. And the Natives of SE Alaska it is no different. Once they get land for payment, what will stop them from seeking more of 'their' land. After all, they did live here first. - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterCITY COUNCIL WHO ARE YOU REPRESENTING? By Charles Edwardson - OK I tried, I have tried to not put my two cents in but I cannot help it with headlines like "CITY COUNCIL NIXES TAXI PROPOSAL" WHAT ?? SERIOUSLY?? - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterDon't Sell KPU Telecom, Part II By Mike Harpold - Never mind that GCI is forty times KPU's size; the backers of the sale of KPU Telecom say that it is unfair for a public utility to compete against a private company. But the competition has been good for Ketchikan, facilitating the lowest telephone and cable TV rates in Alaska and bringing a variety of Internet related services not found in most other Alaskan communities. - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterWASTE, FRAUD, & ABUSE By Rob Holston - The following is taken from a recent email from Senator Mark Begich: "Health reform will NOT bust the bank ­ it is fully paid for. The money will come from cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs, ending big subsidies to insurance companies and increasing efficiency by coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. Reform takes money already being spent on health care and re-allocates it. We can reduce unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies, negotiate cheaper drug prices and cut unneeded hospital readmissions. The Senate bill also taxes the most expensive insurance plans (the vast majority of Alaskans won't be affected) with the goal of making good benefits affordable, while the House pays for reform through a health tax on families making more than $1 million annually." - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterSincere thanks By Sean Powell - I would like to thank the following ten people: Marco Torres, Leslie Snodderly, Kate Guillemette, Dorsey Winter, Maxx Keizer, Jodie Gatti, Michael Hosley, Valena Johnson, Amelia Cooper and (Kayhi's own team Mom) Ellen Funk. This is our 2010 Kayhi Academic Decathlon State team and they did something magical on the last weekend of February. For those of you who don't know what it is: Academic Decathlon (AcDc...small "c" no copyright infringement here!) is a school sponsored activity that has kids studying Math, Music, Art, Economics, Literature, Science (Chemistry this year) and the Superquiz (this year it was the French Revolution) so they can take tests on those subjects. For fun. They also write an essay, give two speeches and attend an interview as part of the competition. This year they placed in all but one event, took third in the Oral Superquiz and were the second place OVERALL in the STATE! While that is a matter of some indifference to some, it is an amazing accomplishment! - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterFawn Mountain By Kay Jones - After years of waiting, planning and hoping the new turf field at Fawn Mountain is finally ready for Ketchikan to use and enjoy. It is going to make such a difference in the playing ability and experience for our soccer and football players. Our track and field participants now have beautiful track and field event place. This is a dream come true for many. Now it is up to all the folks of Ketchikan to work together and take care of this beautiful facility. This means NO DOGS! No exceptions. I love dogs as much as the average Ketchikan citizen (I have 3), but dogs will destroy the track and field. Their nails tear up the track and rubberized field surface. Urine will clog the drainage system and disintegrate the rubber pellets and I will avoid describing what dog poop does to fields. Not to mention it is just gross and unfair to our players as they come out to enjoy the new field. - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterIce Hockey Rink By Randy Cooper - It's nice to see others interested in an ice hockey rink. Kids love hockey and we are one of the few communities in Alaska that doesn't offer it. It's a fun pastime for families and is a wonderful sport to watch. - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterIce rink & sport facility By Penny Eubanks - Both an indoor skating rink and an indoor sporting facility has long been a discussion in our home as a good idea for Ketchikan. I think both would benefit the community economics. Hotels and restaurants would see a boost from outside teams coming for competitions. All stores would see more spending. It would open some jobs up as those industries would need more year round employees, as well as the new skating and sporting facilities needing employees. - More...
Monday PM - March 22, 2010

letterDon't Sell KPU Telecom By Mike Harpold - Saying that the KPU Telecommunications Division is losing profitability, the city wants to sell it. But voters need to ask if selling the utility is truly in the best interests of city residents. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterEnsuring Accurate Tribal Counts In 2010 Census By Norman Arriola & Lee Wallace - Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) and Organized Village of Saxman (OVS) are proud partners with the 2010 Census. The 2010 Census will provide us with a snapshot of our nation and tribal communities. By being counted, tribal citizens will help paint a clearer picture of Alaska Native peoples. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterStolen Tongass Tribe Lands, 202 By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - We are the lineal descendants of the Taan ta Kwaan means Sealion People or known as Tongass Tribe a traditional and historical Alaskan Native Tribe in Ketchikan indisputably recognized by all Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes in Southeast Alaska. My Clan, Gaanax adi Clan is the oldest Clan in the Tlingit Nation, with that said, Ketchikan is the aboriginal territory of the Gaanax adi Clan that is Tongass Tribe. We still claim all the low tide lands starting from Tatsuda's to the Tunnel. Tongass Tribe also owned unoccupied village sites on Tongass Island, Long Island, Village Island, Cat Island, Duke Island, Annette Island, Portland Channel, Nakat Bay, Cape Chacon, Pennock Island, Gravina Island, Prince of Wales Island, and Kasaan. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterLands Sealaska Wants NEVER Belonged to Sealaska By Roger DiPaolo - The following argument has become very prevalent of late: "Sealaska only wants the lands they are entitled to returned to them" - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterSealaska Land Bill By Jean Bland - I attended the meeting in Craig; Sealaska's Attorney said to quit hiding behind these letters and call them, they welcome calls and will answer your questions, the land will still be open for public use, if you read the paperwork they handed out. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterSealaska Land Swap bills By Roger DiPaolo - As a resident of Edna Bay, one of the 3 communities most affected by this bill, the major reason that these bills are bad is that the lives of the residents of our 3 towns were not adequately taken into consideration. We residents of these towns are not hostile to Sealaska nor our native neighbors, we wish to see them live and prosper equally beside us. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterBig thank you to Sitnews By Sandy Powers - I just want to thank Sitnews for their lack of bias in running articles and letters which present various points of view, THANK YOU! Also for running a lot of user generated content, pictures, classified ads, etc. It is very encouraging that, while the local printed newspaper's content shows a marked bias, yours does not. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterTHE OLD FOLKS AND THE CORPORATION By Lois Morgan - There was once an old woman who had spent her whole life in the Great Forest. She was the daughter of a lumberman on the most southern edge of the Great Forest, she grew up benefiting from the beauty and purity of the nature around her and learned at an early age that the nature beings were much kinder then most humans; counting on the creatures of nature to soothe her when a human had abused her. She grew up wanting to go to Alaska, at the far north of the Great Forest, where there were alleged to be fewer humans as well as more pristine nature. When she met a man who wanted to go with her, she abandoned her studies and left with him on their grand adventure. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterIce Rink Suggestion By Kara Steele - I was reading Linda Beaupre's letter and wanted to say kudos! An ice rink is an EXCELLENT idea for Southeast! - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterEnergize with Nuclear Power By Donald A. Moskowitz - Oil is a diminishing and expensive source of energy, and coal is dirty. - More...
Tuesday - March 16, 2010

letterThe Need to Stop S. B. 881 By Eric Muench - The people of Southeast Alaska need to know what is in Senate Bill 881, sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski and Nick Begich, and the subject of a meeting Saturday, March 13 at the Borough Assembly Chambers. So far much of it appears to be unknown to most people. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterSealaska Bill listening sessions on POW By Bob Claus - The Sealaska Bill listening sessions on POW proved the bill is controversial and splits our communities. But they did not serve the stated purpose of letting affected communities be heard. Nor do the way they were handled give residents confidence that their statements will be accurately conveyed to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterS881 Sealaska Lands Bill: Port Protection & Point Baker By Judy Magnuson - Port Protection and Point Baker residents deserved the common courtesy of notification that their meeting was canceled. Residents of both communities kept calling to ask - has it been canceled? And the answer was always the same- no word yet. Finally, with no notification to the contrary and needing a half hour to travel from Point Baker across the open Bay to Port Protection, and not wanting to miss the only opportunity to be heard we have had , people came. We were never notified by Mr. Kleeshulte that he was not coming until 5 minutes AFTER the time the meeting was to start. Even though he must have known in advance of that he would not make it. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterS.881 Impact: Town Hall Meeting Canceled in Edna Bay By Myla Poelstra - The community of Edna Bay is deeply disappointed that Chuck Kleeschulte has unilaterally canceled a meeting in Edna Bay scheduled for 1:00 pm Wednesday. Had he consulted with us first we could have told him the timing of the meeting was ill conceived and dangerous.  - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterS.881/HR.2099 - SEALASKA LAND GRAB LEGISLATION THE WRONG ANSWER FOR SOUTHEAST ALASKA By Myla Poelstra - S.881/HR.2099, two highly questionable pieces of legislation that are quickly becoming stark examples of the wrong approach being taken to resolve an issue that cannot possibly be defended by its sponsors as equitable. The responsibilities being avoided or ignored by our representatives only add to the perception that something is wrong with this process. The recent ethics violations by Senator Kookesh during his lobbying on behalf of Sealaska Corp., in which he is Chairman of the Board, bring into focus the tip of an iceberg many now believe exposes unconscionable support for a contentious proposal that will only represent the interests of its proponents. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterProhibition of U.S.Citizens from Commercial, Personal fishing By A.M Johnson - The Obama administration has ended public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing some of the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterDXM By Lela Raymond - I would like to say how thankful I am to the Ketchikan school board, police chief Ed Talik, Kyle Johanson, Dave Scott and the Ketchikan Daily News for really getting the issue of DXM out there. I missed getting tapped in to the school districts mailing to get this thank you out to all the parents for the support that I have received which has been overwhelming and more than I expected. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterIndoor Ice Rink By Patrick Branco - Thank you Linda. Families can skate together, boys and girls can learn figure skating, boys and girls and men and women can play hockey. And on the heels of the olympics we could try a curling club here. (that wasn't a joke, by the way). I love the idea of an ice rink for family fun. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterThe cup half full By Ivy Rose - With the days seeming to fly by and caos of our everyday life we all fall short of looking at the cup half full. I remember not to long ago writing a letter on sitnews about customer service and being positive, and it got me thinking. Customer service is more than just serving people, and being nice, but what how we react day to day. It is a proven fact that people remeber and hold on to negative experiences more than the positive ones. How easy it is to let the zen of goodness be zapped by something as silly as someone not letting us out in traffic when we are in a hurry. Then we feel that the whole world needs to know of the wrong doing. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterRe: Wake Up Parents By Bethany Phippen - So the debate continues. First and foremost I have totally given up the talk about the older children who ditch their coats. There is only so much that can be done when it comes to the kids who can actually speak for themselves leaving their coats when they are told to put one on. - More...
Friday - March 12, 2010

letterS 881 meeting set for Ketchikan By Johnnie Laird - I want to take this opportunity to thank those that sent in emails to Sen Murkowski asking her to set a meeting about this legislation in Ketchikan. It has been set for Saturday, March 13th at 12 noon at the borough chambers.

I want to make a few statements about this legislation. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letter Why are S 881 meetings being rushed through? By Alan Stein - The Sealaska's Bill S 881 should die immediately in committee in Congress. Two weeks ago, I warned the Senate Staffer, Chuck Kleeschulte, who is conducting the S 881 dog and pony shows in Alaska, how dangerous travel conditions are on Prince of Wales this time of year. In a stampede to get this bill through Congress, Chuck Kleeshulte did the opposite. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letter Landless By Charles J. Jackson Jr. - As part of the landless and relatives, when is Sealaska going to help-out the landless people of Southeast? - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterSealaska S 881 observation By Michael Lee Beasley - Arm in arm and toe-to-toe, Sealaska tribal member shareholders are united in their quest to secure acreage owed for for a debt unpaid on behalf of the Federal Government and the People of the United States, since 1971. Nearly 4 decades or 40 years have not satisfied this debt totally. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterSouth Tongass Hiway Ferry Terminal By Rob Holston - Back in 2007 Saxman missed an opportunity. Perhaps this is their second and last chance to take advantage of their strategic location. The measure failed at that time because the Saxman political leadership took the position that the waterfront property could never be replaced once it is sold. I think they can have their cake and eat it to. The Saxman community should sell the land necessary (Seaport A or B) for the new terminal for 100% of commercially appraised value with the following conditions: - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterKetchikan Wellness Coalition: Letter to the community By Karen Eakes - In July of 2006, the United Way of Southeast Alaska sponsored the United Way Compass II Community-Building Assessment in Ketchikan. The McDowell group completed this assessment with 300 randomly selected phone interviews, ten focus group discussions with different segments of the community and individual interviews with community citizens and leaders. The comprehensive report on the results was released in January of 2007 and copies were distributed to our governmental bodies and throughout the community. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterWard Cove By Rob Holston - As I enter my 11th year of trying to purchase or long-term lease waterfront property in Ward Cove, perhaps this information, gleaned from a news article by Dave Kifer will help folks understand the history behind the present circumstances in Ward Cove: - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterAnnual immigration cost By Al Johnson - Do you wonder as you watch the various newscast reporting Tea Party frustrations, what it is that has these usual normal non-activist citizens on the streets and in front of public buildings or at Town Hall meetings? Lord, there are so many encroachments by Government into the lives of private citizens to the extent the collective weight test the patience and patriotism of each. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterGood Samaritan By Will Roberts - Dear Good Samaritan, the words "thank you" aren't enough to describe the gratitude that I feel when I think about what you did for me Tuesday in line at Wal-Mart. I've been thinking about what you did ever since and am proud to have met you. Love for one another is rare these days, especially between strangers. You are the proof that "love thy neighbor" isn't a pointless phrase these days. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterUncle Al By Jay Jones - I heard with my own ears The "Honorable" Senator Kookesh threaten, bribe the Craig/Sitka City Council. He received a slap on the wrist and has to write a letter of apology to the Craig Council for use of a poor choice of words which implied he would use his senatorial power to block funding for capital improvement projects for the City of Craig. Since the ethics findings Kookesh has already denied intent and claims his statements were "misconstrued". - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterRE: WAKE UP PARENTS By Julie Steiner - Okay! Sounds like we have some controversy along the "kids and coats" subject. Lori Headley is right: You can't force your kids to wear something they don't want to wear! You can try, however, you can also give them consequences when they disobey! But they will just leave and then take it back off! It's a battle your gonna fight until they are 18! - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letter GOLDEN PARACHUTES & BIRDS THAT CANNOT FLY By David G. Hanger - Mr. Jarvi keeps referring to these bills (plural) that I have not paid and I must confess you have one on me, because I am not familiar with any unpaid bills. I duly noted back in July I was late paying a bill, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with your allegations that I am not paying my bills. Where did you get that from? You have been carping so loudly about all these unpaid bills of mine, I invite you simply to provide the venders' names, the amounts of the bills, and copies of all of these invoices you keep saying I have not paid. Put up or shut up. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterThank yous to others By Judith Green - You know it is just nice to finally see that our community can and will and does put on the positiveS about our town and peoples and organizations. - More...
Monday - March 08, 2010

letterGood Things Happen in Ketchikan By Charles Edwardson - WHAT does lumpia and the Cape Fox Dancers have in common? Nothing but the KAYHI girls' basketball team. So often I write this publication to complain or find fault in our elected officials. Today I want to change the tone. - More...
Wednesday - March 03, 2010

letterCustomer Service By Scott R. Davis - In 1989 I popped a hole in my fuel tank. While the details of that particular incident aren't important, what happened after that is. - More...
Wednesday - March 03, 2010

letterNew Column - "Community Endeavors" by Enough is Enough Citizens Committee By Bobbie McCreary - The Enough is Enough citizens committee is proud to announce a new Sitnews column written by Jessi Chapman addressing positive actions taken by individuals and groups of citizens to improve the quality of life in Ketchikan. - More...
Wednesday - March 03, 2010

letterRe: Wake Up Parents By Bethany Phippen - I just finished reading Lori Headley's letter responding to Spring McCurry's statement. I don't know if you have children, but I don't know of one single Pediatrician who is going to have ANY child with a fever outside in just a diaper. Yes, my kids are 4 and 7, and I have to argue with them occasionally about wearing their coats outside to go play. I can understand where high school students don't wear coats, but having an infant outside in a diaper there is no excuse for. If a child has a dangerously high fever you alternate tylenol and ibuprophen every 4 hours, you run them a cool bath, not so cold that they go into shock. If you know of ANY doctor that is recommending a child go outside in 40 even 50 degree weather to get them over a fever, they need to be turned in for malpractice. That is just asking for pnemonia. - More...
Wednesday - March 03, 2010

letterIndoor sports facility By Linda Beaupre - Instead of a indoor turf field, why not an ice rink? - More...
Wednesday - March 03, 2010

letterSB 881: No Lands Bill Meeting for Ketchikan By Johnnie Laird - I was surprised to read the schedule of meetings about SB 881 being arranged by Senator Murkowski's staff do not include Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - March 01, 2010

letterIndoor Sports Facility By Jeff Carson - You may have noticed a petition going around town that asks for your support in urging the Borough to help a local group remodel the veneer building into an indoor turf field facility. This letter is to answer the questions that have come about because of this petition. First of all, the plan is to install a 250' by 100' sport turf field that would run from the south wall of the building 250 feet to the north. Currently in Ketchikan there are 2,241 kids who participate in Little League baseball, youth softball, youth soccer, wrestling, dribblers league, gymnastics, Kayhi baseball, softball & soccer & youth football. All of these kids would benefit from this facility, especially in the Winter months. That doesn't include adult soccer, baseball & softball leagues that could benefit from a field like this. - More...
Monday - March 01, 2010

letterCongressional Reform Act of 2010 By A.M. (Al) Johnson - The following caught my attention while studied current events surrounding the arrogance of our Congress in addressing many important issues of the day relating directly to our well being. - More...
Monday - March 01, 2010

letterBrief Letter of Thanks By Jeff Hendrickson - This brief letter is just to say thanks to Kris W. I too am tired of reading the "childish bantor" and business bashing that happens regularly by Mr. Hanger. - More...
Monday - March 01, 2010


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