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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 23, 2010

Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES

Ward Lake
Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES


Southeast Alaska: New Prince of Wales Health Care Center Opens In Craig - ith more than 11,000 square feet, the new Prince of Wales Health Care Center in Craig, AK. will provide modern clinic and office space for PeaceHealth Medical Group, Community Connections, and Alaska Public Health Nursing.

The new PeaceHealth Medical Group-Prince of Wales clinic offers Primary Care, visiting specialists, sophisticated lab, digital x-ray, and telemedicine. It also features an electronic medical record that connects directly with PeaceHealth. Physician Robbert Thomas, MD, and his Craig Clinic staff move to the new clinic. As a part of PeaceHealth, they will be supported by visiting PeaceHealth Medical Group physicians and Ketchikan General Hospital - PeaceHealth.

"We were approached by the City of Craig to see if we might be interested in partnering with them in providing health care," said Patrick J. Branco, CEO of Ketchikan General Hospital - PeaceHealth. "Prince of Wales Island residents have been seeking care through our specialty clinics and at Ketchikan General Hospital for years. We've always had a great relationship with them and were pleased for the opportunity to serve them in a more comprehensive way." - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

Alaska: Dog Leads Alaska State Trooper to Fire - German Shepherds were bred for intelligence to protect sheep flocks from predators. They are revered for their loyalty and renowned to be sensitive to people's emotions. While a collie named Lassie may be best known as a dog hero for the saying "Lassie, go get help," Buddy carried on the tradition set by German Shepherds Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin when he went to get help after his owners' Caswell Lakes property caught on fire on April 4, 2010.

Like usual, Buddy was beside his human companion, Ben Heinrichs, who was working in the family's shop. A heater ignited chemicals the 23-year-old was working with, giving Ben flash burns to his face. The flames quickly grew as Ben escaped the shop. However, Buddy was briefly entrapped inside the burning shed when Ben shut the shop door behind him to keep the flames from spreading. After extinguishing the flames on his body, Ben immediately realized his dog was still inside the shed and went back in to let Buddy out. After Buddy exited the shed, Ben said to him, "Buddy, we need to get help."

Buddy headed for the woods, but not to hide as his owners expected the shy dog to do. Instead he ran to Caswell Loop Road where he eventually found help.

Alaska State Trooper Terrence Shanigan was struggling with finding the fire in the Caswell Lakes area outside Willow, which has approximately 75 miles of back roads. He had just received a frantic phone message calling for help left by neighbors of the Heinrichs who are members of the local Neighborhood Watch program. Shanigan's global positioning device froze up on him and dispatch was trying to pinpoint the address among the maze of eighborhood back roads. He was planning on taking a turn that would send him the long way around the neighborhood when Buddy appeared as a shadow at the edge of Shanigan's moose lights on his patrol vehicle. When Shanigan approached the intersection, the dog looked at him, and took off running down a side road. Shanigan acted on a hunch that the loose dog was there for a purpose and followed the running dog through three turns that eventually led the Heinrichs' property. Every once in a while during the run back to his home, Buddy looked back at Shanigan's car as if to make sure the trooper was following. By the time Shanigan reached the property, the work shop was fully engulfed in flames that also lapped precariously close to the Heinrichs' house. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

Fish Factor: Time to comment on new aquaculture policy By LAINE WELCH - Federal fishery managers began accepting public comments last week on a new aquaculture policy in waters from three to 200 miles offshore. The input will guide NOAA Fisheries as it creates a regulatory framework for open ocean fish farms.

An independent Marine Aquaculture Task Force that spent two years canvassing the country and studying the issue already has urged Congress to above all, ensure strong environmental standards are in place to regulate offshore farms.

"There is a complex jurisdictional framework over ocean space and to some extent, these laws cover the major issues of aquaculture expansion, but they are not well coordinated, they overlap in some issues and also there are a number of serious gaps in terms of issues not covered," said panel member Alison Rieser. "And there is no one lead federal agency that has the power to issue authorization for a private company to occupy a portion of the ocean space for commercial aquaculture and oversee potential impacts."

The task force recommended that NOAA Fisheries work closely with states, and that regional fishery councils should not be tasked with oversight.

"It doesn't seem prudent to also have them consider how to balance aquaculture and wild capture fisheries," Rieser added.

The task force said offshore fish farms should be limited to native species, and questioned how much wild fish will be captured to feed all the farmed fish. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

Southeast Alaska: Elfin Cove Charter Fined for Sport Fishing Violations - Elfin Cove Eagle Charters Alaska, LLC, an Elfin Cove fishing charter corporation, was sentenced in Sitka Tuesday in connection with numerous sport fishing violations from a 2009 undercover investigation.

Vancouver, Washington resident Joe Kulavik, the owner and operator of Elfin Cove Eagle Charters, entered a guilty plea on behalf of the corporation to one consolidated count of sport fish guide violations. The corporation was fined $150,000 with $90,000 suspended, informal probation for a period of three years, with the conditions that the corporation commit no new fish and game violations and obey all court orders. Four boats used to commit violations had been seized during the investigation. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed to return the four vessels that were seized. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010


Alaska Science: Underwater desert surrounds Aleutian volcano By NED ROZELL - Stephen Jewett has dived in ocean waters from one end of Alaska to the other, but he has never seen an underwater landscape as barren as one he saw last summer.

Underwater desert surrounds Aleutian volcano

A diver samples the sands offshore of Kasatochi Island in June 2009.
Photo by Héloïse Chenelot.

"Diving off Nome where they were doing offshore dredging (for gold) was close, but nothing compares to what we found around Kasatochi," said Jewett, who dives as part of his job with the University of Alaska Fairbanks' School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Kasatochi is an 800-acre island in the Aleutians that destroyed itself with an eruption in August 2008. Its 40,000-foot ash cloud disrupted Alaska Airlines flights from Seattle to Anchorage. Almost nothing on the island survived its transformation from lush and green to gray and muddy.

Jewett visited the island twice in 2009, once in June and once in August, to perform dives around the island and see what became of the lush kelp forests that had formerly ringed the island. He recently gave a presentation at UAF to discuss his team's findings.

During Kasatochi's violent eruption, the island "blooped out," as one biologist put it, becoming 31 percent bigger as sand and ash flowed out to sea. That sand was mostly what Jewett and fellow divers Héloïse Chenelot and Max Hoberg found off Kasatochi.

"There is absolutely nothing there ­ it is barren," Jewett said of some of the spots in which they dove. "There were no fishes, no large invertebrates, and plants were rare. There were no crabs, sea stars, or urchins that you would see at any other site in the Aleutians."

The erupted ash and mud created an apron of gray that now surrounds the island.

"The lights probably went out underwater (during the eruption)," Jewett said. "Mobile organisms might have been able to get out of the way, but the sponges, kelp, and urchins were buried." - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010


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

letter High taxes in Ketchikan By John Harrington - It is interesting that Mr. Rodney Dial is complaining about the high taxes in Ketchikan. Our taxes are indeed too high. Those tax rates are higher than most consolidated city/borough governments in Southeast Alaska. When a group of us were attempting to consolidate the two governments, Mr. Dial led the charge to stop it by claiming it would raise our taxes. We had determined quite the opposite in our calculations. But Mr. Dial prevailed in his anti-consolidation efforts and now have received what he tried to avoid, higher taxes. - More...
Friday PM - April 23, 2010

letterKetchikan is becoming more expensive every day. By Rodney Dial - As our national tax day passes, a few things you may want to consider regarding the future of your family's finances. The following is an excerpt from a Newsweek article posted on 4/15/10 titled "Today is the best tax day of your life", by Robert J. Samuelson. Newsweek tends to be a liberal leaning publication and this is not conservative hype. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

letterThe times are a changing? By Reed Harding - As the country struggles in the turmoil of unprecedented healthcare reform by the current centrist administration many misguided individuals nash their terrible teeth and groan aloud "we don't want change". I awoke today and realized that I do not recognize my own country. Things have changed so much this past year I can't even point out what has actually changed. In fact, there could have been no change at all but that's not what everyone is saying so it must be a completely new country devoid of any principles and understanding that once existed. I can attest to the validity of the following piece as I wrote it rather than merely copying someone else's opinion. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

letterSealaska lands bill By U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski - In a letter concerning the Sealaska lands bill printed on April 14, an Edna Bay resident stated that it was "stunning" that Sealaska had already filed for lands to complete its entitlement under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), as if the matter of filing for lands meant that the current bill is not needed to complete rational land conveyances due Sealaska's 20,000 Alaska Native shareholders. That is not the case. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterOpen Letter to the KGB Mayor & Assembly By Johnnie Laird - Mayor Dave Kiffer and Ketchikan Assembly, I am disappointed that you passed a resolution in favor of the Legislation and didn't join in solidarity in opposition with Sitka, Port Protection, Point Baker, Edna Bay, Hollis, Whale Pass, Thorne Bay, Craig, Naukati, Kake, The US Department of the Agriculture, The US Department of the Interior and many others. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterMay is ALS Awareness Month: Let's STRIKE OUT ALS!! By Linda Kreider - May is ALS Awareness Month!! I will be representing Alaska for the 4th time since 2006, when this disease took my father away from me, my mother, brother and sister and the rest of our family. My sister-in-law, Teri Teal will be travelling with me this year for the 1st time! We leave Ketchikan on Friday, May 7 and will return May 12. We will meeting with our Senators and Representatives on Tuesday May 11. In the past few years, I have been able to have a State of Alaska Proclamation declaring May as ALS Awareness Month for the State of Alaska, and am hoping that we can get the City of Ketchikan, as well as the Ketchikan Gateway Borough to do the same!! - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterChanges By A. M. Johnson - As the Country watches the huge social changes imposed by the current liberal administration, many are and more are, becoming concerned as to the Nation holding together with civility. I can not attest to the validity of the following piece, however, even if it were not written by the person listed, it still tells well!! - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterTrails and drunks. By Patti Fay Hickox - Where are they going so fast? We only have about 30 miles of road. "What's the hurry, what is everybody hurrying for." Drivers do not stop for people in crosswalks. Remember when most of us walked and smiled and waved at the people going by in cars. People slowed down to wave at their neighbors. I came to Alaska to get out of the cities and a fast pace of life. Now Alaska is moving faster. Everybody going so fast they have no time for their neighbors. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterRe: Married Man's Trail By Laurie Hodne - It was funny timing when I sat down to look at the letters to the editor and the very same subject I was debating on writing about happened to be a "peeve" for someone else. I am not a frequent hiker on Married Man's Trail, but was there when I was searching for the Easter Treasure Hunt and was appalled by the trail and its lack of upkeep. Is that City property? - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterMarried Man's Trail and other stuff By Kara McElroy- Steele - Regarding Ms. Susan Coady's letter about Married Mans trail, I have two things to say. Back in the day (if you lived there for 25 yrs you should remember this), it was common place down on the Tongass dock, for homeless drunks to sit and sleep, behind it and in front of it (before it turned into Tourist Central!). You would also see them hangin out around the loop of bars all the way around the corner by Tom Sawyers. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterThanks from The Mainframe LAN Gaming Center By Ryan Avila - I would just like to thank everyone who came down and supported our business this weekend. We hope to continue providing a safe environment for the youth of Ketchikan so that they have a fun alternative to doing drugs and drinking (which is a large problem in Ketchikan). - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterHope this resolves the issue By Paul Jarvi - Ms. Catron, Please excuse me for stating an opinion. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

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