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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 06, 2012

Sinking of the Ghost Ship

Sinking of the Ghost Ship
The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa crew douses the adrift Japanese vessel with water after a gunnery exercise 180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast April 5, 2012. The crew was successful and sank the vessel at 6:15 p.m. in 6,000 feet of water by using explosive ammunition and filling it with water.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man Charged In Crazy Wolf Studio Break-in; Investigation On-going - Officers of the Ketchikan Police Department on Tuesday conducted an investigation of a burglary of Crazy Wolf Studio located at 607 Mission Street.  According to information provided by Joseph White of the Ketchikan Police Department, an unidentified male broke out the window of the main door to the business and entered the store shortly after 4:00 am Tuesday.  The male knocked over a glass display case, breaking it.  He took approximately 12 carved silver native bracelets valued at $500.00 each. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2012


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Southeast Alaska: Ghost Ship Ryou-Un Maru Scuttled - The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa successfully sank the derelict fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru 180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast Thursday at 6:15 p.m.

The Coast Guard went ahead with plans to sink the vessel after a Canadian company that was going to salvage the vessel decided not.

The Anacapa crew began its operation to sink the vessel at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday and completed two gunnery evolutions shooting highly explosive ammunition into the vessel until it sank in 6,072 feet of water.

"For the safety of mariners, sinking the vessel was the quickest way to properly address the danger this unattended vessel posed," said Capt. Daniel Travers, Coast Guard District 17 Incident Manager. "The Anacapa crew did an outstanding job safely completing their mission."

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) said in a prepared statement, “I support the Coast Guard’s decision to sink the tsunami ghost ship as a threat to navigation.  We can neither let this abandoned vessel drift freely amidst the shipping lanes off Sitka, nor can we allow it to become shipwrecked along the coastline of Alaska."

Begich said, “Having been written off by its Japanese owner and now a Canadian salvage interest, and no responsibility party to assume the expense, I don’t want the American taxpayer to foot the bill or Alaskans to clean up the mess."

“I recommended last year the renegade pirate ship be sunk, so I am glad to see the Coast Guard moving forward on my suggestion to sink the Japanese vessel, said Begich. 

Begich said he was confident Thursday’s action will have a minimal environmental impact, if at all.  NOAA officials say any fuel on board will be quickly dispersed on the high seas.  And any debris that hasn’t already been stripped from the vessel is minimal compared to the millions of tons of debris swept out of sea by last year’s tsunami and has either sunk or is still headed toward our beaches. - More...
Friday - April 06, 2012

Alaska: Senate Passes Operating Budget Emphasizing Savings, Energy, and Restrained Growth; $9.5 billion budget includes $2 billion in savings, reduced agency growth, energy relief, education and debt retirement - Today, the Alaska State Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2013 Operating and Mental Health Budgets, House Bill 284 and House Bill 285.

The $9.50 billion Operating Budget emphasizes many of the Senate Bipartisan Working Group’s top priorities:  Energy Relief, Savings before Spending, Education, Health and Debt Retirement.  The Operating Budget, which is used to run the state’s daily activities and programs, includes $6.28 billion in general funds, $2.01 billion in federal funds and $1.21 billion in other state funds. That’s about $22 million in general funds or about $67 million overall less than the governor’s proposed Operating Budget.

During his floor speech today, Senate Finance Co-Chair Senator Hoffman (D-Bethel) emphasized how the “Savings Spree” began when the Senate Bipartisan Working Group formed in 2006.  In fact, in 2005, the balance of the state’s undesignated savings funds was $8.1 billion.  Under the leadership of the Senate Bipartisan Working Group, that has now grown to $21.15 billion.   - More... 
Wednesday - April 04, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Prince of Wales Outfitter and Guide Management Plan Environmental Assessment released - The Craig and Thorne Bay District Rangers have released the Prince of Wales (POW) Outfitter and Guide Management Plan Environmental Assessment (OG EA). The OG EA considered four alternatives: the No Action, Proposed Action, and two alternatives based on public input during scoping.

The rangers are seeking public input on how to allocate recreation use to outfitters and guides on the Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts. The ranger districts cover more than 2.3 million acres and include the communities of Coffman Cove, Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Klawock, and Thorne Bay on POW Island. The project area includes only National Forest System (NFS) lands and does not cover any state or privately owned land.

The Outfitter and Guide Management Plan Environmental Assessment (OG EA) looks at 209 recreation use areas that have been or are being used by outfitters or guides. Since outfitters and guides are not limited to these areas, the assessment looks at all NFS lands for both districts. A legal notice will be printed in the Ketchikan Daily News, which will start the official 30-day comment period for this project. Those wishing to have standing for appeals should be sure to comment during that comment period.

The Outfitter and Guide Management Plan Environmental Assessment (OG EA) does not set limits on those people visiting the Tongass National Forest without an outfitter or a guide (unguided visitors). Unguided visitors can continue to enjoy POW recreation and subsistence opportunities in the same way they do now.  The district rangers also did not address construction of resorts, cabins, tent platforms, or any other structure or facility in the OG EA. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Carrier-ing on with Gravina Access - My desk phone jangled, “Mr. Kiffer?” the serious voice queried, “this is Fridley Bofkin (not his real name) of the San Francisco Comical (not its real name), do you have a minute?”

It was nice of him to ask, usually big city journalists just start in asking questions. They figure us small town folks are just sitting around picking our toes anyway and have nothing better to do than act as humorous fodder for the cultural elite on slow news days.

“Uh, sure, what’s up?”

I said that with trepidation.

“The Bridge to Nowhere” was back in the news and it was probably one of those calls.

It was kinda nice when people were calling about the “Tatsuda Bear” last year, those were fun calls. “Bridge to Nowhere” calls are like the “Sarah Palin” calls, nothing good comes out of them.

“It’s about that aircraft carrier.”

“Uh huh.”

“Are you folks serious about that?”

“Depends on your definition of serious.”

I wasn’t trying to be clever, I just didn’t want to come right out and ask “Fridley” if he had accidentally taken stupid pills that morning.

“There was a report in the Navy Times on-line blog about it.”

“Uh huh.”

“So are you folks serious?”

Where to start, where to start.

We have been pondering better access to Gravina Island for nearly 40 years. We’ve talked about bridges, we’ve talked about causeways, we’ve talked about tunnels. Heckfire, we’ve talked about ziplines and catapults. - More...
Wednesday - April 04, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696
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letter Bar Harbor Boat Launch and 3rd Avenue By Shari Fisher - Summer is just around the corner and we all know what that means, time to put the boat in the water and go have fun. I have lived on the last block of the 3rd Avenue (nearest Bar Harbor) for most of my life and one thing really drives me nuts: People who launch their boat and then drive up 3rd Avenue and leave their boat trailer parked on the side of the street and then drive off. - More...
Monday PM - April 02, 2012

letter USS Enterprise as a bridge By Dee Armstrong - My husband was a commissioning crew member of this legendary ship. I just wanted to set the record straight - IF the ship was to be used for anything (that’s a BIG “if”), it would have NO nuclear elements, no reactors. It would be a shell. It is scheduled to be “gutted” of its propulsion system BEFORE it’s even decommissioned. That’s straight from the ship’s commanding officer and the Navy. - More...
Monday PM - April 02, 2012

letter KETCHIKAN CHOOSES RESPECT By Diane Gubatayao - Last Thursday, Ketchikan community members of all ages marched together to “choose respect”. We were one of over 122 communities throughout Alaska to stand up and demonstrate that we each have the power to end domestic violence and sexual assault. But it goes beyond these issues. Respect is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Whether it is a parent disciplining a child, or one adult resolving differences with another adult, or a teacher instructing students, or young people learning how to relate to one another, respect is at the center. - More...
Monday PM - April 02, 2012

letter Deployment By Brian K. and Julie A. Schum - Hello to our friends in Ketchikan, for those that remember us and may be interested I just wanted to pass along that our son, Seth K. Schum (K-Hi class of 2010) is being deployed with the 1st Marine division 1st combat engineering battalion to Afghanistan for 10 months next Thursday. His platoon will be quickly passing through Anchorage on the journey from Camp Pendleton CA. to begin combat patrols in Afghanistan. - More...
Monday PM - April 02, 2012

letter Carbon Neutrality of Biomass Energy By Eric Muench - This is a response to Paul Olson's criticism of the Southeast Integrated Resource Plan, in which he says that conversion to biomass energy would be harmful because, among other claims, it adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and is therefore not carbon-neutral . That is a misleading statement. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter Funding for a Unuk River study By Victoria McDonald - Three years ago, in response to concerns about mine tailings damaging the Taku River, fishermen asked the Alaska legislature to fund a study documenting water quality on the river. The legislature appropriated $35,000.00 for a report on the Taku, with enough left over for a similar study on the Stikine. These reports have been extremely valuable when Alaska Dept of Fish & Game have worked with the Canadians on transboundary mining proposals. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter Fund water quality monitoring on Stikine, Unuk, Taku By Tammi Meissner - I was born and raised in Wrangell, and I live here with my husband and two daughters. I am Tlingit and I practice traditional food gathering. My family has a cabin at the mouth of the Stikine River, the fastest free flowing navigable river in North America, where we often live and where we fish. This river is the source of salmon that my family relies on to sustain us year round, and is the source of salmon that contributes to our community s fishing economy. The Stikine is also an important spiritual and cultural resource. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter BOYCOTT ETCH A SKETCH By David G. Hanger - Pass this message forward via email, facebook, tweets & twitters, whatever.  Don’t buy a single Etch A Sketch; trash any of recent vintage that you have.  They are the product of slave labor. - More..
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter RE: USS Enterprise, Bridge By Peter Jacob - I'm writing this in response to James Dornblaser and Charlotte Tanner's proposal of using the USS Enterprise as a bridge to Gravina. - More...
Tuesday - March 27, 2012

letter USS Enterprise By Eric Riemer - So I'm pretty sure nobody has pointed out the complete ridiculousness of the idea to use an old aircraft carrier as a bridge to Gravina because the flaws are quite obvious if one spends even a few moments thinking about it, but after reading someone's positive response to the idea I cannot hold my tongue, so I beg your indulgence.. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter Bridge By Mike McColley - I would like to see the bridge built. The job itself will help Ketchikan people benefit from carpenters laborers and all trades. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter Nicholas’ Law By Nyna Fleury, Bessie Singleterry, Tim Booth, Loni Iingley-Mills, Chief Ely - We are looking for support in putting together a law that we can pass called Nicholas’ Law, where it would be against the law to be intoxicated while taking care of a underage child. Before we can take it to the legislators we need documentation from concerned parties. Police Officers, Social Services workers, Teachers, Daycare works, Parents (anyone) who can see a need in this law. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter Parking, Trash By Lisa Krieger - It seems to be the parking has been an isue for some time now. I notice a lot of people parking in Handicapped zones and they don't seem to be ticketed. In fact, in front of my own place, a peron was taking up two spots, which left the person behind them, take up another spot, which led us to park a ways from our own home. We called Law Enforcement.. they came in the area, had a Cruiser check it out... WE thought something would become of it and straighten it out.. nope... they just looked at the parking situation and drove off! - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

letter RE: Parking By David Wylie - Ms. Elliot we are talking about 2 different parking areas. I am talking about the Lower Centennial Parking. The one under the library parking lot. Now I don't doubt that they are giving out parking tickets. I just don't understand why this lot has now slipped through the cracks. - More...
Tuesday AM - March 27, 2012

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