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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 15, 2013

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Pair of Harlequin Ducks
Coast Guard Beach...
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS ©2013
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Ketchikan: Two Former Realtors Arraigned on Theft Charges - Two former realtors have been arraigned on charges that they stole client funds. - Read this...
Monday PM - April 15, 2013


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Southeast Alaska: Following Fish By PAULA DOBBYN - She grew up in Wisconsin farm country. Today, Dodie Lunda of Hoonah is an Eagle, an adopted member of the Kaagwaantaan clan, Wolf House, of Tlingit Indians. Her Tlingit name is Wha a’ hee.

Dodie Lunda
Photograph courtesy of Icy Strait Point

She’s also a community volunteer, Alaska seafood advocate, culinary instructor, retired commercial fisherman, and more recently, first responder in an accident that nearly claimed the life of her husband.  But among the many roles she plays, being an adopted Kaagwaantaan is among Lunda’s most prized.

“It’s a very cool thing, especially living in the village and being part of the tribe. You’re much more accepted. You get to do things you otherwise wouldn’t and there are expectations that go along with it too.  I help with the elders, I help with the children, I help with the funerals. My husband says I’m never home,” said Lunda, a retired commercial fisherman.

It’s uncommon for a non-Native to be adopted into an Alaska Native tribe. The privilege is bestowed only after careful consultation, particularly among elders, said Ken Grant, clan leader of the Seagull House or T'akdeintaan.  Grant’s Tlingit name is X'óolxaa.

“The honor may come to you if you married a Native person or if you have substantially contributed to the community as a whole. Everyone saw that Dodie has done that. She’s there to help out without being asked,” said Sally Dybdahl, Hoonah Community Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, an organization for which Lunda volunteers.

Over the years, Lunda has woven herself into the fabric of Hoonah, a mostly Tlingit community of about 750 located on Chichagof Island near Glacier Bay National Park. 

“She helped us with the loss of our mom. She took care of my daughter and son at the potlatch. She basically managed the children.  She’s the kind of person who can just take charge of things,” said Hoonah School Superintendent Angie Westman  Lunda, a Kaagwaataan clan member who is married to Dodie Lunda’s brother-in-law.

But Lake Wissota, Wis., where Lunda grew up, is a long way, geographically and culturally, from Hoonah.  How did a Wisconsin farm girl embed herself into the heart of a Tlingit village on an island of coastal mountains and temperate rainforest?

Lunda followed fish. - More...
Monday PM - April 15, 2013

Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill to Help Build Residential Facility at ANMC - The Alaska State Legislature unanimously passed a bill aimed at saving the state millions in Medicaid funding while providing better medical care for thousands of Alaskans.  Senate Bill 88, sponsored by the Senate Finance Committee, authorizes the Department of Administration to enter into a lease purchase agreement with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to build a residential housing facility on the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage.

Senate Bill 88 addresses the critical need for patient housing by authorizing $35 million in State Revenue bonds to build a 170-bed residential housing facility with sky bridge access to ANMC.    The project grew out of an effort started two years ago when ANTHC and the Department of Health and Social Services began identifying ways in which working together could result in Medicaid cost savings for the State.  One method they identified was making sure Alaska Natives have better access to tribal facilities, which are fully federally funded.  

“Improving access to care for the people we serve has been the ANTHC Board's highest priority.  Patient housing is critical to ensuring meaningful access to care for pregnant moms, for those who are receiving cancer treatment, and for those who must receive care far away from their home communities,” said Valerie Davidson, ANTHC Senior Director of Legal & Intergovernmental Affairs.  “We applaud the Senate Finance Committee's leadership and thank the Legislature for their unanimous support of this bill.  This partnership with Commissioner Streur and Deputy Commissioner Rodell allows us to break ground this summer and provide a home away from home for people who must travel to Anchorage for critical health services.” - More...
Monday PM - April 15, 2013

Alaska: It’s Bear Awareness Month: Make Your Neighborhood Safer for People and Bears - April is “Bear Awareness Month” in Alaska and although only a few reports of bears awake and roaming around have so far been received, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists say that’s likely to change any day. In preparation, the department is asking Alaskans to take down bird feeders and place garbage, livestock feed, and pet foods indoors or in bear-resistant containers.

Bears appear around homes early each spring, drawn by bird feeders stocked with seed and suet. To prevent attracting hungry bears, feeders should be taken down by April 15. Storing pet and livestock foods, trash and other bear attractants inside, in a garage or sturdy shed or in bear-resistant containers further reduces unwanted bear visits. Owners of chickens, goats and other small livestock should consider erecting electric fences to discourage raids by bears. Once bears associate homes and people with food, they often return. Minimizing attractants reduces the likelihood of potentially dangerous interactions, loss of personal property, and the unnecessary destruction of bears. - More...
Monday PM - April 15, 2013

Column - Commentaries

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: The Higher Our Tech, the Ruder We Get - Get this: Social media are making us ruder.

According to Reuters, social media users face "an increase in rudeness online with people having no qualms about being less polite virtually than in person."

I think our rudeness began ticking up with the introduction of another technological innovation: the telephone.

As phones became commonplace in American homes, people could communicate miles apart with each other — rather than being face-to-face.

People are much more likely to say things over the phone that they would never try to get away with saying while looking you in the eyes.

Technology continued to evolve, and so did our opportunities for rudeness. When answering machines become widely available in the '70s, people initially considered them rude.

Callers had the sense that the people they were calling were using the devices to screen their calls — and they were, so callers often hung up before leaving a message.

The telephone company solved that problem with the introduction of "*69" — punching in *69 to retrieve the number of the last person to call you.

Boy, did that technology make us ruder. I remember coming home once from a business meeting to find someone had hung up on my answering machine without leaving a message. I dialed *69, retrieved the number and called.

The phone rang four times before an answering machine picked up. A woman's recorded voice said, "Hello, Bill and I aren't in right now ... ." I had no idea who the woman was, so I hung up.

I returned home again later that day to discover another person had hung up on my machine. I dialed *69, retrieved the number and called. I got an answering machine — "Hello, Bill and I aren't in right now ... ." — and hung up.

A few moments later, my phone rang. - More...
Monday PM - April 15, 2013


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
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letter Bowl for Kids' Sake By Joann Flora - I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the people and businesses of Ketchikan for their support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake event on March 30th. Without a bowling alley, this is a very complicated event to stage, and we couldn't have done it without the help of a great many people. Particularly important to our event is Susan Wall and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Parks and Recreation Department. Thank you for the use of your facility and the great staff cooperation. Thank you Trina Elliott and the Kayhi Choir for your labor as our 'Pin Set & Ball Return' team. I wish to thank the wonderful businesses who helped us with cash sponsorships and donations of prizes and food. Thanks also to the registered teams who raised money and the members of the public who came out and participated. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter Ketchikan Community Chorus By Judith Green - Thank you Community Chorus! Steve Kinney, Musical Director and the KCC Board! - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter Unborn should be protected By Rob Holston - Ruth Marcus displays collective and popular ignorance of the day in her recent article published in the Ketchikan Daily News: “.....politics of ?Roe? “. Her premise, that the Supreme Court should protect certain rights that the democratic process may unwittingly deny, is one I agree with. But, villainizing states like Arkansas and North Dakota for protecting human life at 12 and 6 weeks, reeks with the stench of left wing self righteousness. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter Warning! Is your money really going to the septic system or is it going downhill? By Ed Plute - Your property taxes have grown from 6.2 to 7.2. Oh and by the way, do you realize we spent $35,000 in travel and expenses for one person, to go where? Did you also realize, that our own borough manager has a $15,000 door replacement/ cabinet? Is it made of gold? - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter The Price of Cheap Beer By Alexander R. Cohen - America's top beer-ocrat goes to the Senate today (April 16th). Bill Baer, the head of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, is forcing Budweiser's corporate owner AB InBev to give up a big piece of the value of its purchase of the half of Corona brewer Grupo Modelo it didn't already own. Today, Baer will join FTC chair Edith Ramirez in testifying before the antitrust subcommittee. The two agencies share the power to review corporate mergers before they're completed. - More ...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter Intolerance By Jonathan Tully - It's difficult to ignore the disturbing views presented in the SitNews Letter to the Editor by Michael W. Jarvis. I'm not gay, African-American, Jewish, or a member of any other group that has suffered horribly in the past due to the likes of him. I can, however, recognize the self-righteous, disgusting intolerance that is a danger to any society. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter Eliminate personal and business income taxes By Beverly Martin - In the call for reduced government spending, the Mortgage Interest Deduction has a target on its back. At a cost of $90-108 Billion annually, (Goozner, The Fiscal Times; Kort, USA Today) who is benefiting? Only 1/4 of taxpayers filing returns claim the MID. A third of that money is claimed by people with annual incomes of $200,000 or more. 42% is claimed by those earning $100,000-$200,000 annually and 4.3% is claimed by those earning less than $50,000. (Goozner). Those earning $200,000 or more saved $1,862. Those earning $49,777 or less saved $120. Hardly an equitable distribution. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 16, 2013

letter State of Alaska Denies Herring Forage Fish Status By Michael Baines - Currently Pacific herring are acknowledged as a keystone forage fish species that is responsible for maintaining the health of the marine ecosystem in the waters of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (BC). As you cross the maritime boundary between BC and Alaska herring lose their forage fish status and become just another commercially harvested finfish. At a recent Board of Fish meeting in Anchorage, the Board heard testimony from fishery managers, the herring industry and the public on a proposal that would have acknowledged herring as a forage fish by adding them to the State’s Forage Fish Management Plan (FFMP). - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Herring Fisheries By Andy Rauwolf - We don't get news from Canada very often, especially when related to their herring management. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has stated repeatedly that our herring harvest policy is based on and patterned after the "conservative" management plan designed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in B.C.  This fisherman's letter illustrates just how far reaching the degradation of the North Pacific's coastal waters has become, thanks to the failed policies of both British Columbia and Alaska. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Marriage Equality for Gay Couples By Chuck Anziulewicz - While it's true that the Constitution doesn't define "marriage," the federal government has complicated the issue by taking a vested interest in married couples for the purposes of tax law and Social Security (among the 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on couples once they marry). Therefore this is not an issue that can be left up to the states to decide individually, since it wouldn't do for a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa, for instance, to become automatically UN-married once they decide to move somewhere else. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Where is your honor and decency Jarvis? By Hamilton Gelhar - From my understanding of Jesus Christ's teachings he taught love and kindness. Jesus taught love your neighbor as you love yourself. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Offensive By Edelweiss Serlin - I just finished reading the Viewpoints Opinion letter entitled "An open letter to the US Supreme Court, RE: Proposed legal rights for those that practice homosexual sex." I found this letter to be highly offensive and feel that it should not have been published on Sitnews. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Oil tax revenues By Victoria McDonald - Vic Fischer, a long time Alaskan, Anchorage city planner, and one of 55 citizens who drafted the Alaska constitution, released "To Russia with Love" in 2012. Vic's words on the struggles with the oil industry are especially pertinent as we face falling State revenues. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Open Letter: Strongly Oppose SB 21 By Joe Samaniego and Chaz Rivas - As students, we are writing to express our strong opposition to SB 21, which would reduce the price that oil companies pay to Alaska residents for our oil.  This legislation represents a multi-billion dollar theft which will eviscerate Alaska’s secondary and higher education system while compromising our state’s economic competitiveness. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter Poor and middle class won't suffer under FairTax By Dr. Walter Wesley Snyder V - Some clarification of the FairTax is in order. I have read from several forums where people state the poor and middle class will suffer under FairTax. The poor and middle class are not put into hardship with this transparent tax. In fact, these two groups are better off with FairTax as they will have more spending money and can choose when to pay taxes. How would these groups make out under FairTax? - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter CBS STATION By Marlene Steiner - I want to know why that I am having problems watching Channel 4 when it is so compact to a 15 inch screen when I have 32 inch flat screen. This was NEVER this way until 4 days ago. I had contacted your Juneau station about this and all it comes down to is my provider is a fault. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

letter RE: Ammo Hording By A. M. Johnson - It is obvious that Mike and I will not arrive at any middle ground on the subject of ammo. Mike prefers to rely on the info Congressman Young provided. Fine. That position allows me to interject a report to the public regarding the subject that I had requested from Representative Young's office and placed that request on a 10 day trace and so stated in a letter to Sitnews. To day a young staffer "Paul" representing Representative Young, responded by telephone. He advised that a number of House Republicans are not satisfied with the response received to Senator Coburn's specific request documenting the purchase and accumulation of this large ammo supply. It is my take away that the House will become more detailed in their request in the form of an audit on the purchases. Representative Young is support of the audit request. Let this serve as my confirmation that Representative Young did in deed, respond as reported. - More...
Saturday - April 13, 2013

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... - 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.” - 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

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