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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 30, 2011

Front Page Photo By GRETCHEN KLEIN

Tweetie Birds Team Member Raises $4,000
Karly-Joanne, Joann Flora BBBS Director, and Svend-Karl pose before the Bowling for Kids Sake Event April 30th at the Ketchikan Recreation Center.
9-year old Karly-Joanne Klein-McMahon a member of the Tweetie Birds Team raised over $4,000 for the Ketchikan BBBS program making her one of the highest fundraisers in the state for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. The Bowl for Kids Sake Event is from 10 AM-4PM today at the Rec Center -- all the teams are still taking donations.
Front Page Photo By GRETCHEN KLEIN

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Fish Factor:
Salmon season soon to officially get underway By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s 2011 salmon season officially gets underway in two weeks!

While trollers in Southeast Alaska provide Chinook salmon to markets nearly year round (their spring fishery got under way  April 25),  it is the runs of reds and kings to the famous Copper River that mark the official start of Alaska’s salmon season.  State managers have announced May 16 as the first opener there, three days later than last year.   

The Copper River forecast calls for a catch of 1.2 million sockeye salmon, 9,000 kings and 293,000 cohos this season. Fingers are crossed that the catch will come in on target, unlike last year when Copper River salmon catches were well below the 10 year averages.  Sockeyes, for example, yielded a harvest of  636,000 fish, about half of what was expected.

Overall, last year’s statewide salmon catch of 171 million fish was valued at $534 million at the Alaska docks, the best showing in 18 years. (And that doesn’t include bonuses or other post-season price adjustments.)  State managers predict even better salmon catches this year – nearly 204 million fish.  If the catch comes in on target, it will be the fifth largest salmon harvest on record. 

The boost stems from a projected pink catch topping 133 million fish, about 25% higher than last year. All major pink salmon regions – Prince William Sound, Kodiak and Southeast - are expected to produce abundant humpy harvests. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011

Alaska: Governor Defends Resource Development, Access, and Jobs on BLM Lands - Governor Sean Parnell has directed the Alaska Department of Law to participate in, and support a lawsuit against the federal government filed by the State of Utah. Utah filed a complaint Friday against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that targets the recently created federal “Wild Lands” policy.  

In December 2010, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar imposed an order significantly changing how BLM manages public lands. The new BLM policy arbitrarily creates a new public land designation of “Wild Lands,” directs federal agencies to protect the wilderness values of such lands, creates additional potential costs and delays in the permitting process, and overrides existing regional land use management plans.  

“States, local communities, and residents, particularly in Western states with a large amount of BLM lands, deserve far better from the federal government,” Governor Parnell said. “Now is not the time for the federal government to impose new hurdles to developing America’s oil, gas, and other natural resources.

“Not only is the ‘Wild Lands’ order bad policy, it was imposed without following the procedures required by Congress that are designed to allow members of the public and affected states to have notice, information, and an opportunity to comment before BLM’s new policy became final. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011


Alaska: Three Indicted for Widlife Trafficking & Firearms Crimes; Charged with Illegal Trade of Walrus Ivory and Polar Bear Hides - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Thurdsay that three people were indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for one count of felony conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, six counts of Lacey Act violations, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of illegal possession of a machine gun, and one count of possession of an unregistered machine gun.

The 10-count indictment names as defendants, Jesse Joseph Leboeuf, also known as Wayne Gerrard Christian, 47, Loretta Audrey Sternbach, 52, both residents of Glenallen, Alaska, and Anchorage resident Richard Blake Weshenfelder, also known as Rick Weshenfelder, 50.

The three defendants were arraigned Thursday, before United States Magistrate Judge John Roberts.

The indictment charges that Leboeuf, Sternbach, and Weshenfelder conspired to illegally sell and transport walrus tusks and polar bear hides in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, all in violation of the Lacey Act, from July 2010 to April 2011. The indictment alleges that Leboeuf and Sternbach purchased walrus parts and tusks and polar bear hides from individuals in Savoonga, Alaska and transported the items to their home in Glenallen, Alaska. The indictment further alleges that Leboeuf and Sternbach paid the Savoonga-based walrus ivory and polar bear hides sellers either with money or in trade for items such as firearms, ammunition, marijuana, cigarettes, snow machines, and other items of value. The indictment states that in July and August 2010, Leboeuf and Sternbach made two trips to Savoonga and purchased more than 500 pounds of walrus tusks. Leboeuf made two trips to Savoonga without Sternbach in September 2010 and March 2011 - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011

Alaska: On-the-job death rate down in Alaska; Still one of the highest in the nation - Although Alaska has consistently had one of the highest work-related fatality rates in the nation, several agencies have teamed up over the past decade to significantly reduce the incidence of work-related deaths in our state. Using work-related fatality data, state and federal government agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations identified hazards, and developed and implemented interventions to address them. Examples of such interventions include policy changes, engineering controls, education/training, and the use of personal protective equipment.

During 2000–2009, 379 work-related fatalities occurred in Alaska, a 42.5-percent decrease from the previous decade. For example, commercial fishing deaths declined from 202 in 1990–1999 to 111 in 2000–2009. Pilot deaths declined from 104 to 47.

"Interventions developed in Alaska since 2000 include stability checks for the Bering Sea crab fleet, and the Capstone program to improve pilots’ situational awareness," said Jennifer Lincoln, with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Alaska. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011


Alaska: DOT&PF Reminds Motorists to Remove Studded Tires - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) reminds motorists that studded tire season ends statewide on May 1.

Due to predicted adverse weather, an extension was issued early this month by the Department of Public Safety extending the deadline for motorists south of 60 degree latitude, creating a universal statewide deadline. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011

Saxman: Nathan Jackson Artwork Dedication at Saxman Community Center - On Friday May 6th, 5pm, the City of Saxman will be hosting a dedication ceremony for a new cedar bear screen carved by artist Nathan Jackson.  The event will take place at the Saxman Community Center, located at 2841 South Tongass Highway.

The 24 foot long, 5 foot tall bear screen is installed on a new outdoor canopy system at the Saxman Community Center.  The project was funded through a grant provided by the Rasmuson Foundation. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011

Craig - Public Hearing to be held regarding changes in deer harvesting reporting in Unit 2 - The USDA Forest Service, on behalf of the Federal Subsistence Board, will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 starting at 6:00 p.m. in Craig, Alaska.

This hearing will provide an opportunity for members of the public to offer comments to on a special action request to rescind the requirement that Federal subsistence users hunting for deer in Unit 2 complete a joint State-Federal deer harvest report. Instead, hunters would use the State deer harvest reporting system which was established by the State Board of Game in November of 2010. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011

Alaska: Haines and Sterling Students Place First in KidWind Design Challenge - A team of four students from Haines High School won first place for high schools in the 2011 KidWind Design Challenge, a new statewide competition that tests students’ ability to design a wind turbine. A team from Sterling was the top middle school team.

More than 50 teams from schools around the state participated in the competition, which was sponsored by University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Renewable Energy Alaska Project in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy Wind for Schools program.

Students worked in teams of four to create their turbines. Teams designed a base, then determined the size, shape and number of blades that maximized the efficiency of their turbine. Turbines were tested in a wind tunnel and judged based on their generation performance, construction quality, material selection, and level of creativity and innovation. Students were also required to demonstrate knowledge of wind energy principles. - More...
Saturday - April 30, 2011


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Update in Progress

letter Sealaska to take over Redoubt Falls? By Florian Sever - Sealaska Corporation is due to receive yet another allotment of land, separate and apart from the land that Sealaska is trying to get through the Sealaska Lands Bill. Sealaska has asked the BLM for 11 acres of land surrounding the falls where Lake Redoubt drains into Redoubt Bay, near Sitka.  The falls are a popular site for subsistence fishing for sockeye salmon.  Many people in Sitka rely on this fishery for a part of their livelihood.  I question what Sealaska shareholders have to gain from the proposed conveyance of 11 acres of Forest Service land at Redoubt Falls into private Sealaska Corporation hands. - More...
Thursday - April 28, 2011

letter Coast Guard Waste: Blame GSA By Scott Willis - In response to Linda Heiser's post: I could not agree more. The reason the USCG and other Federal Agencies can not donate stuff to local charities is very complicated and to explain "why" would require volumes and volumes of books on the matter. - More...
Thursday - April 28, 2011

letter Government Waste By Joe Grady - I agree with prior letters concerning government waste. When I was in the U.S. Army I was astounded by the waste that would go one. - More...
Thursday - April 28, 2011

letterCoast Guard waste By Walt Hoefer - The Coast Guard has been doing this for many years. When we lived in Metlakatla (teachers) back in 1959, we observed the Coast Guard burning boxes of meat and other grocery products at the dump. When we questioned this they said a new shipment had come in and there was no room to store it. We asked why not give it to the Tsimshean indian community. "Against the law" they said. - More...
Thursday - April 28, 2011

letterCoast Guard Waste By Linda Heiser - I agree with Mark Hoyt. Why not donate those items to a charity. They could have one of their volunteers repair the items for sale or sell "as is" to the public and use the funds to help pay for services provide to the homeless, pay the fuel bill at WISH for a month, provide a great meal at the Salvation Army. I am sure the wonderful people of Ketchikan could think of other ideas. - More...
Tuesday - April 26, 2011

letter Recycling / salvaging By Barbara Day - I often wonder why so many folks are upset when others are fortunate enough to have the talent and creativity to be able to recycle an item by utilizing it for something it was not manufactured for or by using components of a given item or items to make something useful from or repair it to be used for what it was intended. - More...
Tuesday - April 26, 2011

letter Encourage & Support Salvagers By Pam Thornlow - There is a small group of hardy Ketchikan residents who routinely salvage electronics, copper, brass, etc. from the Ketchikan Landfill. Recent changes in the rules are curtailing their activities and their access. It would seem to me that they provide a service in reducing the landfill waste and providing a benefit to the community by not only providing economical usable electronics that would otherwise have been dozed under but by bringing money back into the community by recycling copper, brass, etc..- More...
Saturday - April 23, 2011

letter Coast Guard Waste By Mark Hoyt - Are any of you aware of how many of our tax dollars the USCG wastes every year? I'm willing to bet that most of you never had any idea what the Coast Guard and other branches of the military do with your money. - More...
Saturday - April 23, 2011

letter Front Street Rebirth By Chris Elliott - Wow! As I drove by where the old Revilla Theatre was towards the tunnel this afternoon, I was amazed at the beautiful building being uncovered on the corner across from the Sourdough Bar. Many thanks to the developer who had the vision to restore it to its former glory. - More...
Saturday - April 23, 2011

letter Demise of Tlingit Natives is Religion By Don Hoff Jr. - If only Alaskan Native Tlingits in Southeast Alaska spent only half the time learning Tlingit culture, our traditions and our history, instead of wasting our time learning about Non-Native Gods and churches, we would know what Clan, Tribe and house we belong to. We would be better off in today's society. - More...
Saturday - April 23, 2011

letterKetchikan Indian Community By David Jensen - Ketchikan Indian Community is a unique organization. It is a tribe of Indians, not in the traditional sense but an IRA. The Tribe was established under The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which was extended to Alaska in 1937. KIC was chartered and incorporated and the original constitution was approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1941. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter SPECIAL NOT-SO-SPECIAL SESSION By Mike Doogan - I’ve been to two goat ropings and a county fair, but I ain’t seen nothing like this before. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter WHY BERTHOLF “MATTERS” TO ALASKA By Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter BERTHOLF stopped into the State Capitol for a brief port visit earlier last week.  It was the first Alaskan port visit for this new class of ship that will become critically important to Alaska.  Symbolic of its importance, Governor Parnell went aboard and graciously thanked the crew for their service to Alaska and the Nation. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter BLING ..... BLING ...... By Joey Garcia - It is unfortunate, really, that my inquiries about imposing drug-test to employees to focus on the rampant use and distribution of these menacing drugs can be seen, or felt, within the ranks and files of some of Ketchikan's fish processing companies. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter RE:Southeast Alaska's timber By Alexis Schofield - Did you SERIOUSLY just say "Whites"? This country is pretty equal opportunity if you ask me, you shouldn't hold it against an entrepreneur for making money, no matter what their race may be. EVERY race has EVERY opportunity to cash in if they are so inclined to do so. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter Fair Treatment? By Jeff Orr - I am writing this letter the year I should have retired from the Airport Police in Ketchikan Alaska. 2011 - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

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