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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 20, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By SUSAN HOYT

Sitka Black-tailed Deer Family
Three deer walking along a South Tongass beach.
Front Page Feature Photo By SUSAN HOYT

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Southeast Alaska:
Professor in serious condition following bear mauling near Haines - University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Assistant Professor Forest Wagner was mauled by a bear with cubs Monday during a field mountaineering course near Haines.  Wagner was reported in stable condition Monday and was transported to Providence Hospital in Anchorage. On Tuesday, April 19th, Wagner’s condition was updated to serious by Providence Hospital. None of the students were injured.

Pictured is an ABC Brown Bear (this is not the bear involved in the mauling) Haines is included in Alaska's Admiralty, Baranof, and Chicagof Islands -- known as the ABC Islands.
Photo courtesy USFWS

Alaska State Troopers were notified of the bear mauling by the Haines Police Department on Mount Emmerich near Kicking Horse River. Troopers responded to the location of the mauling with Temsco Helicopters.

Wagner was leading a University of Alaska Southeast group of 9 students and 2 teaching assistants in a mountaineering course when Wagner, 35 of Fairbanks, was mauled.

A student hiked down the mountain to get cell reception and called for help.

Wagner was removed from the mountain by helicopter and transported by a LifeMed helicopter before being taken to a hospital in Anchorage.

The university arranged for all its students to be transported off the mountain as the bear was sighted again after the mauling. Haines is home to both black and brown bears. The bear involved in the incident was a brown bear.

Haines is located 92 miles north of Juneau and is accessible only via air or sea as there no road system linking cities in Southeast Alaska. The group was traversing an area between Mt. Emmerich and the Chilkat River when Wagner was attacked by a bear with cubs.

Chancellor Rick Caulfield said “I commend the students for their quick action in responding to this situation and appreciate the prompt response from Alaska State Troopers, Haines Police, Temsco Helicopters, and medical staff in Haines and in Juneau. Our thoughts are with faculty member Forest Wagner as he recovers from this incident, and we are thankful that all involved are safe.” - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016


Ketchikan: University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Students to Graduate - The 2016 commencement ceremony for University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Ketchikan students will be held Saturday, April 30 at 3:00 PM at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The public is invited to attend.

Thirty-four students are receiving degrees this spring. University of Alaska students living in Ketchikan and receiving degrees from other University of Alaska campuses are invited to participate in the local ceremony.

This year’s commencement keynote speaker is Elizabeth “Biz” Robbins, UAS Ketchikan Retired Adjunct Faculty. UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, UAS Interim Provost/Ketchikan Campus Director Priscilla Schulte, and University of Alaska Regent Dale Anderson will bestow degrees at the ceremony. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Participants Wanted For A Study On Alaska Native Identity - Two visiting scholars who will be conducting a study of how Alaska Natives think about their cultural identity will be hosted this spring by the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI). The scholars, Dr. Caitlin Stern and Dr. Jessie Barker, are currently seeking as many participants as possible for the study, scheduled to take place in May and June.

Participants will be asked to take part in surveys and group activities and will receive about $15 for an hour of their time. All answers will be kept strictly anonymous.

The scholars will give a public lecture on the preliminary results of their research prior to leaving Juneau in June.

Dr. Stern is originally from Haines and is now a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Dr. Barker is a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark. Both scholars are biologists interested in social behavior - for example, how people interact with others in groups, and how people perceive themselves in relation to others in different social contexts. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016


Alaska: Why the wild things go where they go By MARIE THOMS - On remote coastlines of the Arctic Ocean, the Inuit have reported seeing killer whales harassing unicorn-like sea mammals called narwhals and forcing them toward the beach where they could be easily eaten.

Why the wild things go where they go

University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Greg Breed has studied the movements of a variety of animals, including killer whales such as these.
Photo by Greg Breed

University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Greg Breed studies why wild animals go where they go and live where they live. He and his students follow butterflies, grey and Weddell seals, Cassin’s auklets and golden eagles, in addition to killer whales and narwhals.

“We want to know why killer whales are showing up in greater numbers, how they are behaving and how they are affecting the behavior of narwhals and other marine mammals,” said Breed, a movement ecologist at UAF’s Institute of Arctic Biology.

Narwhals are typically found far out to sea in waters that are hundreds of meters deep. But when killer whales arrive, local observers say the narwhals appear to be chased to the shore.

“Warming Arctic waters and a lack of sea ice appear to be making it easier for killer whales to swim north in search of prey such as the narwhal,” said Breed. “It’s also possible that killer whale populations are rebounding after years of being hunted and what’s being witnessed isn’t new.”

Breed’s killer whale-narwhal study came about somewhat serendipitously. “I was working with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans on ringed seals and they gave me a fantastic data set from GPS-tagged killer whales and narwhals,” he said. “The sample size is small, but it’s unusual and there are no other predator-prey data sets like this.” - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: I Never Did Mind The Waterboarding - It's springtime in Alaska.

No, it's not 40 below.

Sorry, all you Johnny Horton fans.

Speaking of which, my dad loved Johnny Horton. Sang those tunes over and over again. Sang them until I got tired of hearing them. Which was usually in about two minutes.

I guess I wasn’t much of fan of Johnny Horton. He was big on “saga” songs like North to Alaska and the Battle of New Orleans. But I've always been more of a Tim Horton fan myself. Donuts, yum. Not just for breakfast, lunch and dinner, anymore.

But I digress.

Anyway, it's springtime in Alaska. Spring is that wonderful time in the First City where winter hangs on and on like someone digging their fingers into the edge of a bridge ledge after realizing, one step too late, that they really didn't want to commit suicide after all. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

jpg Danny Tyree

DANNY TYREE: How Long Before We Start Taxing Churches? - Shall we gather at the guillotine?

Ironically, in an election cycle when we're being warned daily about demagogues with superficially appealing populist proposals, a liberal icon has used his bully pulpit for just such a proposal.

On a recent episode of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," the outspoken host listed organized religion as a tax deadbeat, declared that religions do much more harm than good and demanded that churches in the U.S. be taxed.

This message resonates with a vocal minority of citizens and stirs them up on the pretense of making churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. pay their "fair share"; but the venom in Maher's pronouncements make this sound like a purely punitive maneuver. Chief Justice John Marshall's admonition "The power to tax involves the power to destroy" gives Maher no pause; apparently he just hopes he gets to WATERBOARD the churches first.

Citing "sin taxes" on alcohol and tobacco, the enlightened Maher strongly suggested a tax on Sunday school, which allegedly harms kids by making them stupid. Sunday school has only sharpened my son Gideon's reasoning abilities; but just for the sake of argument, let's concede Maher's point and double down on the stupidity by installing a "boob tube" in every Sunday school class. ("Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every gem that proceedeth out of the mouth of Celebrities.") - More....
Wednesday PM - April 20, 201t

Editorial Cartoon: 2016 Poll
By Rick McKee ©2016, The Augusta Chronicle
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Oil Tax Credits By Dan Ortiz - Aaskans are the beneficiaries of the state’s investment. Our constitution requires the State of Alaska to manage our resources to the maximum benefit of the people. Government’s fiduciary duty to its citizens is to make prudent investments and establish a sustainable budget. The State of Alaska must make responsible and wise business decisions, as we are an owner state. The current oil and gas tax credit system, with its many layered and net operating loss credits, does not do that. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

letter Part 5: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - At this moment all Alaskans are being victimized by a massive propaganda blitz designed to deceive you in to believing two out-and-out lies: 1) That low oil prices are causing the State of Alaska’s financial disaster, and the massive depression that is in process of developing; and 2) That the only solution to our dilemma is to spend down the Permanent Fund as quickly as possible. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

letter Guns on UA campus By Pat Bethel - John Suter and others opposed to guns on U of A campus need to change the Alaska constitution. Article 1; section 1.19 "...The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by the state or political subdivision of the state...". article 7; section 7.2 "The U of A is hereby established...". - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

letter RE: Time for timber to face the harsh realities of their own making By Owen Graham - I'd like to offer a few corrections to the Boat Company letter that was posted on Sitnews on Friday, April 8, 2016.

The Boat Company letter says Viking Lumber is threatening to close down unless they can continue cutting down old growth trees What the Boat Company does not seem to understand is that sawmills cannot physically manufacture lumber without a log supply. It is just a reality, not a threat. - More...
Saturday AM - April 16, 2016

letter RE: Time for timber to face the harsh realities of their own making By Brian Brown - Hunter MacIntosh, who is obviously an angry and misinformed ideologue, in addition to peddling falsehoods in his April 8, letter (Time for timber to face the harsh realities of their own making) accuses we in the timber industry as engaging in distortion and receiving subsidies among other things. - More...
Saturday AM - April 16, 2016

letter JUNE ALLEN By Bill Tatsuda - Great story on June Allen by Dave Kiffer. She contributed greatly to telling Ketchikan's history. I hope her work is preserved and revisited often. She herself was also a real Alaskan character and will be sorely missed for her colorful writing and great sense of humor. - More...
Monday PM - April 11, 2016

letter Guns on UA campuses By John Suter - Our legislature will be allowing concealed guns on UA campuses soon. Everything that can help Alaska’s students to get A’s in college needs to be done right now. In our down turned economy jobs are going to get harder and harder to get. Students that get A’s will be able to get the last remaining jobs in our state. A student that has a concealed gun is in a much better position to negotiate with the teacher to get the needed A in class than the student that does not have a concealed gun. The legislature understands that if that is what the student needs in order to get that an A in class, then so be it. - More...
Monday PM - April 11, 2016

letter Part 4: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - Before Sean Parnell was appointed, then elected Governor of the State of Alaska he was an oil company lawyer; just another staffer in a law firm doing oil company business. He is also very much a provincial hick who actually believes that people living off the “road network,” by which he means the Anchorage-Fairbanks corridor and the Kenai Peninsula, should not expect anything at all in the way of state government funding. - More...
Friday AM - April 08, 2016

letter Time for timber to face the harsh realities of their own making By Hunter McIntosh - Viking Lumber and other southeast Alaska timber companies are threatening to close down unless they can continue cutting down old growth trees in the Tongass National Forest and other nearby forests. To which I say: Good riddance. - More...
Friday AM - April 08, 2016

letter Abortion By Robert Holston - I agree with this argument. Do you? 'The irony is that people who imagine themselves to be "enlightened" are actually making a pro-slavery argument with their pro-abortion position. The argument used to sustain slavery is the same argument used by pro-abortionists. - More...
Friday AM - April 08, 2016

letter Rep. Young blames "bunch of idiots" for Trump phenomenon By A.M.Johnson - Thank you Congressman Young for characterizing a high number of Alaskans, many who have in the past, I say past as Young has surely established the present with his observations of the mental state of many, supported his elections. Were Young to demonstrate a similar level of tirade on Hillary and her long list of corrupt dealings, or Sen. Sanders and his relationship to being a socialist or worst, Communist one would give some credence to Young being a Republican. - More...
Friday AM - April 08, 2016

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