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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 04, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Photographed in the Ketchikan Creek area.
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

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Borough Assembly Will Consider Ward Cove Sale - A local Ketchikan-based business, Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska, is offering to buy the Ward Cove properties from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly for $2.1 million. The Ward Cove properties include 347.86 acres of tidelands and uplands.

The Ketchikan Assembly will consider Resolution Number 2317 at tonight's meeting , which if approved, will authorize the sale of all remaining Borough-owned property at Ward Cove to Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska, LLC.

David and Andrew Spokely, owners of Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska, a Ketchikan-based Limited Liability Company, submitted the lone responsive bid in the amount of $2,100,000. They also submitted a $25,000 security check.

On February 11, 2011, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough issued an Invitation for Bids to purchase all of the Borough’s property at Ward Cove. Two addenda to the Invitation for Bids were issued, one on March 2 and the other on March 9. The February 11 Invitation for Bids was published in Ketchikan, other parts of Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest at a cost of approximately $5,000. The Invitation for Bids was also mailed directly to more than 30 prospective bidders. Prospective bidders were given more than one month to submit bids.

A commercial and industrial marina are among the plans for development and use of the property by Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska.

While Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska expressed no plans to dispose of major portions of the properties for the foreseeable future, it wrote a letter on March 19 expressing a willingness to share with the Ketchikan Borough “windfall profits” from a sale of the properties.

Upon review of the information submitted by the lone bidder, the Borough Finance Director concluded that Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska has the capacity to pay the purchase price. In a memorandum included here as Exhibit D, the Borough Finance Director noted:

Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska ( PSSA) financial transactions are through a local bank in Ketchikan. Upon review by the Borough of the last three years of tax returns, current annual operating revenues of PSSA generate sufficient revenues and liquidity to service debt of $2,100,000. Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska's plan is to consolidate operations in Ward Cove and indicates substantial savings in operations enhancing their ability to finance the debt.

If the Assembly authorizes the sale of the property, both the Borough and Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska will be responsible for certain closing costs. The Borough is also responsible for cleaning up a small oil spill on the property which will involve the removal of an estimated 8+ cubic yards of soil and 5+ cubic yards of wood chips. Additionally, the Borough is responsible for removal of 17 totes of used oil and other hazardous materials. Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska has indicated verbally that it is willing to assume full responsibility for the cleanup of the estimated 8+ cubic yards of soil and 5+ cubic yards of wood chips, as well as the removal of 17 totes of used oil and other hazardous materials for $50,000. That figure is well under the Borough’s estimated cost of performing the work. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

Fish Factor: Biggest crab fishery comes to end and Laying claim to the Arctic By LAINE WELCH - The last pots are being hauled in Alaska’s biggest crab fishery, and by all accounts it’s been a good one, with all hands home safe.

“Everyone I have spoken with has said it’s been a really smooth snow crab fishery this year,” said Heather Fitch, area shellfish manager at the Fish and Game office at Dutch Harbor. “We didn’t have any problems with ice, and it got wrapped up really quickly.

On Friday just three crab boats remained on the Bering Sea grounds finishing off their shares of the 49 million pound catch quota.  A fleet of 67 vessels took part in the snow crab fishery, which traditionally gets underway in mid-January.  Only legal sized male crabs are retained in all of Alaska’s crab fisheries; females and small crabs are sorted out and returned to the sea.

Fitch said this season’s snow crab hauls have been hefty, averaging 250 crab per pot. The crabs also are bigger by several ounces, averaging close to 1.5 pounds.

“Our average pack is 5-8 ounce clusters, and with some of the deliveries this year, half of the load is 8 and ups,” said Jake Jacobsen, a veteran Bering Sea crabber and director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a harvester group. “The slower pace of the fishery allows longer soaking time for the gear, leading to better catches, and the larger crab means it doesn’t take as many of them to accumulate pounds.” 

Another plus: the shell quality of the snow crab is excellent, making it more appealing to buyers. The average price to fishermen, not including post season adjustments, is $2.12/lb, compared to $1.25 last year. That means the value of the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will top $103 million at the Alaska docks.


Alaska and the U.S. can’t lay any claim to the Arctic, unless it signs on to the Law of the Sea Treaty, appropriately called LOST.


“As an Arctic nation we have an opportunity as to extend our territory on the outer continental shelf to an area nearly the size of California. That would be available to us for resource exploration and development,” Senator Lisa Murkowski has lamented for years.

Russia has already planted a flag on the seabed at the North Pole, and is building the first offshore oil rig to withstand extreme cold and pack ice. Norway has staked claims to vast oil and gas deposits, and Canada has plans for an Arctic military training base. Meanwhile, the US remains sidelined. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

Ketchikan: New ferry christened - Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc. and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough christened the double-ended ferry M/V Ken Eichner 2 on Saturday. The vessel will be the borough's second ferry providing service to the Greater Ketchikan International Airport and entering service as the sister ship to the M/V Oral Freeman. Both ships were built by Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc. and are registered as Hull Nos. 001 and 004 respectively for the Ketchikan based shipbuilder.

The ferry project was funded through state legislative appropriations sponsored by Senator Bert Stedman and Representative Kyle Johansen. Bids for the new ferry were opened in January 8, 2009 with ASD submitting the lowest bid at $7,088,457, with the next bid coming in at $8.2 million.

The concept design for the new ferry was by Matt Miller of Glosten and Associates and detail design was aby Mr. Callum Campbell of Capilano Maritime Design, Ltd. The vessel is designed for a service life of 25 years.

The ferry can carry 100 persons, 37 of them seated and either 23 autos, or one semi tractor/trailer and 17 autos. It is ABS classed AMS, A1 +, Under 90 m Rules, RO RO Passenger Vehicle, Ferry Crew: 2 Licensed, Restricted Service: Ketchikan Alaska, Tongass Narrows, Fuel: 8,000 US Gallons - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011


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

letter Cost of Living in Ketchikan By Terri Anderson - I have traveled around Alaska and yes you are correct about the cost of living in Ketchikan, I've seen the highest rents and utilities there, and the lowest amount of services for that money. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter KCC performance By Judith Green - This weekend Ketchikan was once again treated to a wonderful live performance by our own talented community members, some from our outlying communities, and 3 professional string players from the State of Washington. We do not (yet) have a great nationally known music hall, but we do not lack for talent or enthusiasm for the performing arts and live performances. There is a specialness about live performance that one can only understand by being present. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Opposition to Sealaska legislation is diverse By Judy Magnuson - Southeast Alaska has been held in a state of turmoil and uncertainty for more than two years. This is when the majority of the public found out about the proposed Sealaska Bill and the far reaching impacts of this legislation. Once the public found out, and the issue was brought up at city council meetings all over Southeast, it created opposition to this legislation that spans across the full spectrum of people, user groups and communities in our area. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Know who you are By Lewis Amundson - Not all the the time do I know where I'm going, but I can say for sure I know where I've been. I'm an Alaskan and this is something I'm proud of. Our family has instilled something in us that set us apart from the rest of the states. We know that when people are in need we lend the hand to help, we stand up for what we think is right and we protect our family. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Sitka's Gift of Kazunoko By Jake Ingman - Japan is the major buyer of herring sac roe, called kazunoko. Kazunoko is traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve, often given as a gift. Kazunoko means many children and symbolizes fertility and family prosperity. In recent years, American fast food places have changed the taste of Japan s youth. Strong herring returns have produced more roe, while the demand in Japan has shrunk. Japan only wants half of this year's quota. Some see this as a reason to shut down this industry, but is that a good idea? - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Abortion By Paul Jarvi - Thank you Mr. Holston for your thoughts on the matter of abortion and the reminder of " Thou shall not kill." I wonder if our heros in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world can keep faith with this commandment and still do their job protecting our country. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Re: Abortion: Re-cross Examination Part I By Cindi Davis - I just wanted to thank Rob for having the courage to stand up for the American citizens who are slaughtered every year. It is an unpopular stance and one that divides our nation, unfortunately. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter America Must Lead By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Libyan people rose up against their dictatorial and murderous president, and asked for world help to overthrow the tyrant and establish a democracy in Libya, but the world, including the U.S., delayed taking any action.  The western world wanted to study the situation. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letterAchievements By Judith Green - We in Ketchikan recently were very aware there was a local teacher representing our city in the 2011 Iditarod Race - many in town were present at the start, many were present at the finish line. HOORAY to Team Taggart for beginning and ending the race. Ketchikan was talking proud. One family that was present at the start of the race was the Valentine family: Trevor and Tiffany with their 2 sons, Jake and Jared. - More...
Thursday PM - March 31, 2011

letter Kudos to Bobbie McCreary! By Diana Chaudhary - I would like to congratulate Bobbie McCreary for being selected by Sandy Parnell as a "First Lady Volunteer of the Year". I have worked with Bobbie on several projects and have long admired her incredible organizational skills, as well as her compassion and dedication to youth. - More...
Thursday PM - March 31, 2011

letter Abortion, Re-Cross Examination: Part one By Rob Holston - I’ll address some of Laura Allen's comments made in a letter of March 21.  I am law abiding.  I recognize that the Supreme Court decision is the law of the land.  That does NOT mean that this law is immune from either legal, scientific or moral debate.  It neither means the law is correct nor does it abrogate my right to challenge it.  Your premise that to oppose any law of the land simply because it is the “law of the land” is sophomoric logic.  Slavery was once upheld by the the law of the land.  Women were prevented from voting by the “law of the land.” - More...
Thursday PM - March 31, 2011

letter Where does the money go? By Lewis Roger Amundson - I would also like an answer on where the money goes too. I know they make good money off us otherwise they would not do what they do. I also think if you're going to come here and run a business you should live here and have an Alaska state identification. I'm not against people who work, just the ones who are greedy! They should have to tell us what is going on. Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) has more money than the City of Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday PM - March 31, 2011

letter Nurses face over-load of patients and complaints By Rida Wazni - This letter is in regards to the issue of nurses in the health care system today. There is an increase in the number of acutely ill patients to the lower number of nurses to attend to their needs. Nurses are dealing with job dissatisfaction, burnout, distress, physical and mental illnesses due to the heavy workloads. Patients on the other hand, are unhappy about the shortage in delivery of care. - More...
Thursday PM - March 31, 2011

letter Misappropriations or good business? By Gayle Brooks - We the people have been screaming from every corner of the U.S. about Government spending and misspending, and here we are in small town America adding to the pile. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter States Rights By A. M. Johnson - It has been a very frustrating past few days from Senator Begich and Representative Young's visits to Ketchikan. Frustrating from the standpoint of typical "No Action" visible from either of these two or Senator Murkowski, in taking firm aggressive stances on various Federal acts such as the Tongass Roadless Act, that are detrimental to Alaska and Ketchikan in particular. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNMENT By Charles Edwardson - I missed a recent Ketchikan townhall type meeting on economic development, as I was out of town. If I had attended, the first statement I would have made is: economic development and government are like oil and water and the borough assembly and city council are forms of government, and I would then gauge the response of the industry experts in the room before I engaged in any other talks about economic development. If some of the industry experts agreed it would be worth further discussion, but if no one agreed than it would have been a nice forum to catch up with friends and have a nice brainstorming session that will lead nowhere. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter Low income housing is a great need in Ketchikan By Shannon Nelson - Housing is defined as a combination of: Mortage or rent, insurance, gas, electricity, maintenance and phone. Housing should not exceed 30% to 36% or 1/3 of your monthly income. Rent should not be more than 25%. Transportation 18%, Food 14% household 7%, Savings 10%, Debt 10% and everything else 11%. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter Cost of Living in Ketchikan By Lewis Amundson - I have read the letters about the cost of living in Ketchikan and I have to say that it is not just high costs for electric, heat and rent. We live in a cornered market from bad doctors to poor airlines. I have lived here for 31 years - more than most and I'm getting tired of being walked on and have some big issues with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We pay high prices for every thing purchased locally -- their answer is we have to ship everything in. So is that why I would have to pay $250 dollars for a pair of work boots purchased locally and could buy the same boots from Big J's out of Washington for $160 dollars? Don't try to tell me it costs that much to ship a pair of boots. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter Re: Upcoming State Herring Sac Roe Fisheries; Open Letter to Commissioner Campbell By Andy Rauwolf - As you may be aware, conditions exist that are severly impacting the marketability of our kazunoko (herring roe) in Japan.  It has been common knowledge for several years that younger Japanese are losing interest in this tradition.  Along with this problem, Japanese super markets reported that Russian herring roe outsold Sitka’s and British Columbia’s product in the year-end 2010 sales season.  This is due in part to lower prices for shipping.  There is also reported to be a backlog of unsold Sitka herring roe left over from last year’s huge harvest. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

letter An Apology to Our Customers By Brad Tilden & Glenn Johnson - Alaska Airlines experienced a computer system outage this past weekend that disrupted our operation, and we want to offer our profound apologies to the thousands of customers who were affected. We recognize we fell far short of our service commitment to you and are working diligently to determine the underlying causes of the failure to prevent a recurrence. - More...
Monday - March 28, 2011

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