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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 10, 2013

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Ward Cove: Common Loon
Jim Lewis will be giving a presentation of his bird photographs at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center on Friday, April 19th at 7:00 pm. Jim also has a bird walk scheduled for Saturday, April 20th at 8:00am. The bird watch group will meet at the Discovery Center. The events are free.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS ©2013
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)


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Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013


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Ketchikan: Lynden Signs Purchase Agreement to Buy Northland Services - Lynden, a family of freight transportation companies serving primarily Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, has entered into a purchase agreement to buy Northland Services, Inc., a tug and barge carrier providing service between Seattle, Alaska and Hawaii.

A lengthy, complex process remains before the purchase can be completed. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory review and other terms that, if completed, would likely result in closing in late 2013.

"Lynden provides an ideal situation to better serve our customers, our employees and the communities where we operate," explained Larry Stauffer , President and CEO of Northland. "We have seen significant growth in our business over the past decade, and bringing two great companies and teams together will help improve and expand service in the communities we serve."

Northland will be an independent operating company within the Lynden family of companies. The current Northland management team would stay in place. - More...
Wednesday - April 10, 2013

Southeast Alaska: Sitka Tribal Government Disappointed With ADF&G - Sitka Tribe of Alaska said they are disappointed in the recent decision by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to allow a cooperative Sitka Sound Roe fishery to take place and not close the fishery all together. Considering that reported observations from fisheries managers indicated that a viable commercial fishery was not obtainable and that the projected spawning biomass had not materialized, the Sitka Tribe is questioning the validity of additional fishing effort and the effects this effort will have on the Sitka Sound herring stock. Sitka Tribe of Alaska is the Tribal Government for Sitka, Alaska.

At the time the cooperative was formed, the fishery had harvested approximately 5,600 tons of the 11,549 ton guideline harvest level. The previous opening on March 30, 2013, lasted a little over an hour and resulted in a 175 ton harvest. This opening was closed by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game due to spawned out or "poor quality herring in the area". Subsequent reports from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game stated that "surveys and test sampling failed to identify a sufficient volume of good quality herring to hold a fishery" and that the Department had been unable to "identify an area with sufficient good quality roe herring to prosecute a competitive fishery".

Sitka Tribe of Alaska said all the observations made by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game staff were indicators that the 2013 spawning season for the Sitka Sound herring stock was at an end and that no commercially viable herring were available to be caught. What remained were a mix of pre spawn and spawned out herring resulting in an unmarketable composite said Sitka Tribe. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Ketchikan: Ketchikan driver arrested after crash - A 39-year-old Ketchikan driver has been charged with assault after a traffic crash on North Tongass highway Monday night.

Alaska State Troopers responded Monday night to a report of a two vehicle injury accident near the intersection of View Court and North Tongass highway. Troopers say Edyta Kolasa was behind the wheel of a pickup that crossed the centerline and crashed into a sport utility vehicle driven by 20-year-old Jacob Trumble.

Investigation by the Trooopers revealed that the 2008 Silver Toyota Tundra driven by Edyta Kolasa of Ketchikan, was headed northbound on the North Tongass Highway when it crossed the centerline and collided with a 2001 Ford Expedition driven by Jacob Trumble of Ketchikan. Both drivers were injured and transported to Peace Health Ketchikan Medical Center where they were later released for minor injuries. Both vehicles were a total loss. Troopers reported both drivers were wearing their safety belts. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Alaska: ACLU of Alaska Investigates State’s Unconstitutional Censoring of Juneau Pro-Life Protest; Requests Governor and Department of Administration Records About Vehicles Blocking Protesters - The ACLU of Alaska Foundation asked the Governor’s Office and the Alaska Department of Administration this week to share the public records of how, for 45 minutes on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, official vehicles from the Department of Administration blocked a peaceful pro-life protest outside the Capitol in Juneau.

“The First Amendment comes first for a reason: we will vigorously defend the right of all activists to peacefully protest and present their views,” said Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska. He continued, “While we support a woman’s constitutional right to reproductive choice, everyone has the right to peacefully protest and the government may not pick and choose who gets to speak. We are happy that Governor Parnell said this censorship was ‘totally inappropriate,’ and we agree, but we still need to know how and why the Department of Administration thought that it was okay to park its vehicles in front of these peaceful protestors. Today’s public records request is the first step to ensure this will not happen again.”

The ACLU of Alaska asked not only for the “who, what, where, when, and why,” but also for the policies that led the Department of Administration to block these protestors. “We want to know why some state employees thought this was the right thing to do,” said Joshua A. Decker, the ACLU of Alaska attorney who sent today’s request, “and we want to make sure that the State is writing new procedures to make sure this is the last time Alaska blocks free, peaceful speech.” - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Ketchikan: Studded Tire Deadline Extended to May 1st Statewide - The Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Masters issued an emergency order Tuesday to extend the studded-tire deadline to May 1 for all Alaska roads.

The extension deadline will provide all motorists around the state that additional margin of safety on lingering winter roads.

Those driving with studded tires after the deadline could be issued a correctable ticket with a $50 fine. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Alaska: Alaska's Delegation Comments on President's Proposed 2014 Budget - President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion spending blueprint on Wednesday that strives to address runaway deficits, raising taxes on the wealthy, raising taxes on smokers and trimming popular benefit programs including Social Security and Medicare.

Expressing disappointment with untenable cuts to Social Security and the elimination of incentives for energy development, Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) outlined his concerns today about President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget.  The President sent Congress his Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 Wednesday morning.

“I’m disappointed that this budget projects significant annual deficits,” said Begich.  “It doesn’t go after the real issues I hoped we would address like waste and fraud – issues I hear about from Alaskans about on a regular basis.”

Senator Begich said in a press release that he is particularly concerned with elimination of incentives for oil and gas exploration in Alaska - an industry that is critical for the Alaska economy.   “The proposed budget affects oil and gas in a negative way,” said Sen. Begich. “It takes away critical incentives that ensure we continue to grow oil and gas exploration.”

In addition creating obstacles to industry, Begich said the proposed budget jeopardizes already lean Social Security payments to seniors.  “I believe there are ways to streamline Social Security through efficiency - we don’t have to cut benefits to save money,” said Begich.  “This budget puts the burden on the backs of seniors.  Alaskans have paid into this system all their lives and they deserve our support in their golden years.  These kinds of cuts just don’t represent Alaska values and don’t fix the real problem.”  - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Ketchikan: Alaska Hummingbird Festival Juried Art Show Winners Announced - The Alaska Hummingbird Festival Juried Art Show will be on display through May 31st, 2013 at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. The U.S. Forest Service and the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau (KVB) co-hosted the opening reception on April 5th, 2013. The KVB provided the refreshments and support throughout the evening.

Alaskan artists submitted 89 entries from Cordova, Homer, Craig, Port Protection, Skagway and Ketchikan.  There were 31 adult and 58 juvenile art submissions for the annual show celebrating the return of the migratory birds to Alaska. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Financial Responsibility, Obama-Style - Get this: President Obama has proclaimed April as National Financial Capability Month.

After all, who better than Obama — who has added $6 trillion to the national debt so far - to help "every individual take ownership of his or her financial future"?

Well, so worried am I by the financial path the president and our other "leaders" are taking us on, I've become an expert on "financial responsibility" — the way the government does it, anyhow. I fielded some questions from readers to help them be as financially responsible as our government.

Q: Tom, I spend more every month than I earn. Should I create a budget to bring discipline to my spending habits?

A: There's no need for a budget. Budgets are stressful. They force you to make adult decisions about where to allot your limited funds. Just spend as you wish and borrow to cover any shortfalls.

Q: Tom, I just graduated from college with $150,000 in student-loan debt and $30,000 in credit-card debt. I expected to get a high-paying management job, but I am working part-time at a burger joint. I have not been paying my bills and my credit is horrible. How can I buy my dream home?

A: You're in luck! The Obama administration is pressing banks to lower lending standards again, so that people like you can buy homes now! What could possibly go wrong?

Q: I got a debit card, but it doesn't seem to work at ATMs anymore. My bank said that is because I have a zero balance. Should I get a credit card instead?

A: Absolutely. Interest rates are so low right now — our government is doing clever things to hold them down — that you can borrow money at record low rates. Borrow as much as you can and enjoy life! Sure, when rates eventually go back to normal, you'll be in a heap of trouble — much like our government will be — but worrying about the future is a drag.

Q: I am spending about 25 percent more than I earn on boats, cars, vacation homes and more. Do I have a spending problem or a revenue problem? - More...
Wednesday PM - April 10, 2013


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letter The Truth and Encouragement to Check Out the Facts By Bob Sivertsen - This letter is in response to a message that was posted into ‘Annoucements’ on SitNews on April 9-10, 2013...

The Sitnews Editor appropriately removed the ‘Announcement’ and we requested the content so it could be addressed here in the appropriate forum. Had the individual who wrote the above called SEAPA’s office to get the facts, they would have discovered that after checking the schedules, SEAPA’s generation schedule had in fact called for Swan Lake to operate this week at 7 MW. KPU chose to unilaterally change this schedule so Swan Lake was taken offline. - More...
Thursday AM - April 11, 2013

letter Our Ecosystem is dying By Andy Rauwolf - Today’s headlines:  “King Salmon Quota Reduced by 90,000”; “Halibut Shortages Driving Prices Higher”; Sitka Sound Herring Fishery Closed After Second Straight Year of Harvesting Less Than Half of Reduced Quota.”

I would like to discuss this last item, namely our herring.  This little fish is probably the most overlooked, and yet the most critical species in our marine environment.  Its fatty oil content provides essential nutrition to every predator that forages on it, and some species depend heavily on it for their existence. The creator made herring with a special ability to proliferate into enormous abundances scientists call “biomasses.” Although some forage species have substantial amounts of oils, because of their reproductive ability only herring can fill the bays,  inlets, and coastal waters with their shimmering masses, and generate a healthy, rich abundance for predator fish, sea birds, marine mammals, and many land mammals as well that Alaska has always been globally renowned for. - More...
Thursday AM - April 11, 2013

letter RE: About the ammo hording By Mike Harpold - Dear Al, I had hoped to show there might be a simple explanation for federal agencies needs for such a seemingly large amount of ammo, jacketed hollow-points at that, and elected to pass along what I knew from my own experience. I did look at your references and not surprisingly wound up on Joe Miller's web page. I prefer to rely on the info Congressman Young provided. He's in a better position to know, and I appreciate that he chose not to perpetuate rumors. - More...
Thursday AM - April 11, 2013

letter Our wasted money By Don Petrey - Look at this sight and see the two green blocks on the top left and the two red ones at the bottom below them. Those are 2 diesel generators running at bailey power plant and the two green ones are the Swan turbines, not giving us any power - More...
Thursday AM - April 11, 2013

letter An open letter to the US Supreme Court, RE: Proposed legal rights for those that practice homosexual sex. By Michael W. Jarvis - “Homosexual civil rights" is an oxymoron. Popular support and practice of homosexuality puts humans on the endangered species list. Homosexuality is the ultimate anti-civil behavior since homo + homo = 0 +/- HIV AIDS! Those that practice homosexuality already have the right to be civil just as they have the right to choose homosexual sex, which is non-compulsory in that one can choose to abstain from sexual relations just as one can choose what kind of sex to engage in and with whom or what within the law; (children never an option). This means they do not qualify for minority status protection. - More...
Thursday AM - April 11, 2013

letter All drugs are not safe for all people! By Teri J Wilson - Once again Ketchikan is experiencing "cookie cutter" doctoring.  The three favorite drugs, at his time, no matter what you have are:  Cymbalta, Gagapentin, and Lyrica.  Here are the facts:  Cymbalta is an anti-depressant, did you know that?  SOME patients experience a reduction in various pains, but then again, people taking  placebos also experience benefits.  The FDA has decided it's OK to label this drug as a pain reliever, but it's not.  Since it alters brain chemistry, should you be taking it for pain?!? - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter An American First By Alan R. McGillvray - I say this because of Obama's race war, that he is doing everything he can to separate us into various ethnic groups. e.g. Black Americans, Native Americans, White Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans... He is trying to promulgate this war by ethnicizing everyone in the country by calling out their ethnicity before calling them AMERICANS. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter A New Regional Enviro Group By Joe Mehrkens - Every so often a team comes together that really clicks. Where agreed goals are readily reached, where differing opinions are sincerely heard and where a synergy fosters motivation. Hopefully this will be an enduring core of the new, volunteer-run, regional conservation group -- the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC), formed a year ago. Our primary focus will be on habitat protection for fisheries and wildlife but within the greater context of pressing issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, and carbon sequestration. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter Throw out the current tax code By James R. Donnell - Time magazine reported this week that the estimated tax gap - the amount of money the IRS fails to collect due to misfiling or tax cheaters - is an estimated $600 billion dollars. The fact that this money goes uncollected ultimately increases the tax rates and the amount of money that you and I pay. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter About that ammo hording By A. M. Johnson - Relating to retired U.S. Custom - Immigration officer, Mike Harpold's response (March 30) to my inquiry of Representative Young on the hording of ammo by various Federal agencies. Thank you Mike for your service. - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter FairTax By Glen E. Terrell - Have you completed your 2012 income tax form(s) yet? How long did you spend gathering all your receipts needed to prepare your income tax return? If you prepared your own tax return how much more time was required? If you engaged a professional tax preparer, how much did it cost you? Just complying with the income tax is a real burden. Doesn't this bother you just a little bit? - More...
Thursday PM - April 04, 2013

letter RE: Ammo hording By Jeremy Myers - Just a couple corrections. At least 4 times a year per agent, more than double the number of rounds he said each qualification day. - More...
Thurday PM - April 04, 2013

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