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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 11, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Downy Woodpecker
This male Downy Woodpecker was photographed in the Ketchikan Creek area.
The free Friday night Insight program on April 15th at 7:00 PM at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is “Photographing Wild Birds” presented by local photographer Jim Lewis. There will also be a Bird Walk on Saturday (April 16th) around downtown Ketchikan -- Interested Bird Walkers will meet at the Discovery Center at 8:00 AM.

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

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Positive Impacts of SBA 8(a) Program Defended; Indian Affairs Committee hearing focuses on successes of SBA 8(a) Program -At the request of U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing last Thursday to highlight the successes of the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. Entitled Promise Fulfilled - the Role of the 8(a) Program in Enhancing Economic Development in Indian Country, the purpose of the hearing was to highlight the positive impacts of Alaska Native Corporations (ANC), Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Indian tribal entity participation in the program.

Panelists included Alaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka, National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Johnson-Pata, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Chief James Allen and representatives from the Small Business Administration.

“Today is a chance to shed the full light on the success of the 8(a) program and the advances in employment and self sufficiency they have supported,” Sen. Begich said. “We have come a long way in the lives of Alaska Native People.”

Sen. Begich pointed out although there have been major advancements for Alaska Natives in the last several decades, steep obstacles remain including gas costing upwards of $10 per gallon in many rural areas; 46 communities across the state still relying on “honeybuckets”; one-third of rural communities still haul water from a community source; and 20 percent of Alaska Natives continue to live in poverty.

Begich emphasized many of the companies involved in the 8(a) program play an important role as taxpaying businesses, creating jobs and boosting local economies.

“This is not an entitlement. It’s not a hand out. It’s a step to help create opportunity,” Begich said.

“When the Native 8(a) program was first started, the goal was to provide an economic development tool to provide economic self-sufficiency for Native communities. The intent was a “helping hand” and not a “handout” via social welfare programs. This program has demonstrated success, and as a result, it has become a target,” said Sen. Inouye. “In Hawaii, we have established Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO). Native Hawaiian Organizations are non-profit organizations, managed by Native Hawaiian individuals and principally serving Native Hawaiians, which have majority ownership by an 8(a) designated for-profit firm. NHO’s are the youngest among the Native 8(a) businesses. However, they are making their mark in the Native Hawaiian community in a positive way. They are becoming more competitive in government contracting. As they become profitable, social programs and Native Hawaiians benefit. I truly hope it continues.”

Sen. Begich said the SBA should be recognized for its rigorous tribal consultation process to ensure the needs of Native participants in the 8(a) program were recognized and previous loopholes closed. The SBA had a number of tribal consultations and discussions with impacted communities, which helped to shape new regulations designed to better serve both the government and contractors.

In prepared testimony Joe Jordan, SBA Associate Administrator, Government Contracting and Business Development, identified the extensive work done by the agency to have a thorough tribal dialogue and consultation in line with the President’s Executive Order on Native Consultation.

Alaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka said in prepared testimony, "I would like to make clear that the AFN has zero tolerance for abuses of this program, or for media hype, which is not grounded in fact." She said, "AFN and I candidly recognize that there have been isolated instances of abuse or lapses in judgment by some involved in the 8(a) program. We do not condone such abuses or lapses and are committed to helping ensure that they are not repeated." - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

Ketchikan: FIRST BANK HONORED WITH ABA COMMUNITY BANK AWARD - First Bank has been nationally recognized for its community outreach efforts by the American Bankers Association.  First Bank was awarded for its endeavors in the Encouraging Volunteerism category for their Community Service Award Program.


Sheila Kleinschmidt, Vice President and Community Development Officer and Michael Medford, Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer, receive the American Banker Association award given to First Bank for Encouraging Volunteerism within their communities.
Photo courtesy First Bank

The ABA selection committee awarded 9 banks from a field of more than 180 nominations across the nation based on the innovation, creativity and effectiveness of the bank’s approach to making a difference in its community.  “First Bank is honored to receive this award which represents our commitment, passion and leadership to our communities in Southeast Alaska throughout the year,” Michael Medford, Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer for First Bank said.

First Bank’s Community Service Award Program is designed to encourage and foster citizenship, knowledge, and personal development of people in Southeast Alaska through community service opportunities. The program provides local organizations opportunities to serve their communities and at the same time, get paid for it. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

Columns - Commentary

jpg Bob CiminelBOB CIMINEL: Fukushima Daiichi and the Black Swan - With regard to the nuclear power plant accidents that have occurred over the last 30 years, the events at the Fukushima Daiichi (1) station may go down as the worst because of the extensive media coverage, which is orders of magnitude greater than the coverage of the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents in 1979 and 1986.  The media was quite different in those days.  Television newscasts were provided by three major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC (Ted Turner’s CNN network did not appear until 1980).  Breaking news was provided by radio stations, and what we call in-depth reporting came from newspapers and magazines. 


Although the television coverage was better during the Chernobyl accident in 1986, Russia was a closed society and little information was released by the Soviet government until the cat was out of the bag and recognized the world-wide implications of the event.  (Radiation alarms at the Forsmark nuclear plant in Sweden, 1,000 kilometers from Chernobyl provided the first indication of the accident event outside of Russia) The Internet was around in 1986, but it was primarily used for email (remember America Online?) and by government, the military and universities.  We did not have Internet news sites, video streaming, satellite telephones, or cell phones capable of transmitting live video.  This was certainly not the case with Fukushima Daiichi. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Tax-Time Miseries - Boy, are accountants going through a rough patch now -- even rougher than we taxpayers are.

Despite software that has greatly simplified tax preparation, American accountants suffer a host of daily aggravations.

They're responsible for filing on behalf of some 82 million U.S. taxpayers and for understanding the U.S. tax code's 5,600 incomprehensible pages, according to

No wonder, then, that the American accountant suffers "a poor work/life balance, botched sleep schedules, poor eating habits, and problems in personal relationships."

One survey found 64 percent complain that their clients, far more confused by the tax code than they, are careless or unprepared. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011


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

letter Thanks to the membership By Cecelia Johnson - I would like to thank the KIC membership that have taken the time to get involved with their government. When you participate in "Persons to be Heard" on the council agenda, you are exercising your right, and I, as a council member appreciate that. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter KIC By Stephanie Rainwater - On my recent trip to Ketchikan, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with all the new construction projects going on within the Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC).  Capital Project Manager Construction Trades Lead Adjunct, Charles Edwardson and KIC President Norman Arriola gave me a tour of KIC’s Southern Southeast Technical College, which will provide training skills for Southeast Alaska youth, Native and non-native.  Norman Arriola stated, “Tribal Council established a college endowment fund to assist students’ to further their education, this was set up in 2007.” Last year Charles Edwardson used his personal funds to travel to the Legislative Fly to secure state funding for this project, this proved to be a successful endeavor, the state’s contribution was half a million dollars and according to Charles there is more state funding to come.  Hat’s Off to Charles Edwardson! Good Job Housing department and Tribal Council! - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter The Evil That Men Do ... By Florian Sever - Lisa Murkowski should take to heart the words of William Shakespeare. Many of his passages are relevant to modern events, and some are timeless. An example of the latter came to my mind after reading the SitNews article regarding Murkowski's re-introduction of the Sealaska Lands bill: "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones..." - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter How the top 1-2% have been the beneficiaries of government for the past 3 decades By Gerry Knasiak The GOP once stood for the Grand Old Party... no longer. It has become the Guardians of the Privileged. There are only two ways to create a reasonable budget... cut spending or increase revenues. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter Ketchikan Indian Community By Charles Edwardson - Some readers of my last letter would like more information of who I am or felt the need to point out I worked for Ketchikan Indian Community -- as do several of my family members. If that was relevant to my concerns I would have included it in my letter. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letterRE: Opposition to Sealaska legislation By Rick Harris - Sealaska’s land legislation is about jobs, environmental protection and cultural preservation. It has broad support because it protects local jobs and conservation areas that are treasured by all residents of Southeast Alaska. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSEALASKA BILL NOT NECESSARY By Rebecca Knight - There is no credible justification for the Sealaska Lands Bill introduced again this week by Senator Murkowski. If enacted, the end result will be privatization of thousands of acres of cherished public lands including numerous so-called future sites, rights to several tidal, hydro and geothermal resources, use and access issues, and much more. That the corporation has been somehow prevented from making their final selections is the basic myth they perpetuate. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterHere We Go Again By Myla Poelstra Here we go again... it's payback time for Senator Murkowski. We all knew this was coming when Mr. Byron Mallot and Sen. Albert Kookesh appeared at the announcement ceremony for the Senator's unconventional write-in campaign. Endorsements from across the aisle by these two men who have traditionally supported Democrats foretold of the next round of legislation that was sure to follow. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter Vivian Phillips By Tony Hatano-Worrell - Vivian Phillips is more than just a great waitress. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterResponse to the union picket By Max Swaim - I did not see the picket at the bottom of Jefferson, but I do have something to say about the people complaining about the unions. I myself was born and raised here in Ketchikan and I'm from a family of loggers, fisherman, and hard working men. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter An Open Letter to the Ketchikan Community By The Board of First City Council on Cancer - First City Council on Cancer completed another wonderfully successful annual St. Patrick’s Day Auction on Saturday, March 12, 2011. This year’s auction total was $60,000. Once again our mission as an organization was fulfilled. We could not have accomplished that mission without the support provided by so many friends and volunteers. First City Council on Cancer is grateful for the many people who supported us this past year and who continue to support us year after year. We would like to recognize some of the additional community supporters and fundraisers: - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSick and tired of KIC members' complaints By Sue Allen - First of all Mr. Edwardson you forgot to mention you work for KIC, so yes of course you'll say it's a great place to work. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterRE: Tired of KIC members whining By Tina Stephens - There are many services available from KIC, unfortunately many members are never offered the same treatment as other members who have found themselves in the same position. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter KIC Complaints By Cynthia Taylor - In response to Mr. Edwardson's letter about members of KIC complaining. First Mr. Edwardson I am glad you are sometimes employed by our corporation as is several of your family members. Must be nice! In case the people didn't know this. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterFront page photo by Jeremy Barry By MJ Cadle - Great cover photo! But I think it is a phenomenon called the green flash not northern lights. This phenomenon happens just after sunset as the sun goes behind the horizon, I have heard of it in the Caribbean, but never in Alaska though I do find reference online to it. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter Abortion, Re-Cross Examination: Part Two By Rob Holston - This letter concludes my response to Laura Allen’s letter of March 24 re: abortion. You seem indignant that I cited Wikipedia as a source describing “viability”. Yet you offered no better definition and no source at all. I used this information in my letter, published March 7, 2011, because it seemed in complete agreement with what I had learned in my university classes in biology, anatomy and kinesiology. If you can site a source describing viability as an exact point of development along the continuum from conception to birth then you probably will find numerous pediatricians arguing that they can deliver babies with less weight, less gestation and less development who are viable. Indeed if any point is determined it will always be seen as arbitrary and the question will begged to be asked “Can viability exist 5 seconds before this chosen point? 5 minutes before? 5 hours? 5 weeks? - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter COMMANDMENT By Justin Eckstein - Why is it that Muslims claim Moses was a a prophet and the 10 Commandments given to Moses by OUR HEAVENLY FATHER on Mount Sinai clearly gives OUR HEAVENLY FATHER's Commandment not to kill while they believe in killing those who will not convert, and killing for other various reasons under Sharia Law. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSick and tired of KIC members' complaints By Charles Edwardson - As a member of Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) I am very tired of all the whining and complaining about KIC. 99.9 percent of the complaints are from our own membership. The entire community is grateful for KIC and the economic impact we have region wide. Everyone it seems is aware of our positive activities and how we distribute our resources community wide -- everyone it seems but our own KIC membership, who are one of the most privileged tribes in the United States of America. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letter Sharia Law vs: Alaska Law By A. M. Johnson - In today's Ketchikan Daily News 4/4/11 editorial column the subject of Rep. Carl Gatto's bill to establish that all judicial actions within the State of Alaska will be conducted under the terms of the State of Alaska Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. The stated purpose of the bill (HR88) is to confirm that these two documents will be the ONLY factors considered in Alaska courts. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letter Public unions By Rex Barber - Today 04/04/11 on the corner of Tongass and Jefferson I saw something that broke my heart. A group of people supporting public unions. I'm sure every one of those people had the potential to be a great American. But instead they chose to act like a bunch of European cry babies, selling their souls both to government and Government unions. I'm all for a fair day's wage for a fair day's work,nbut what is fair about being forced to join a public union or risk losing your job? - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letterCost 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

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