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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 27, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By CARL THOMPSON

Sitka Black-Tailed Deer
Photographed in front of the Saxman Tribal House.
Front Page Feature Photo By CARL THOMPSON

Ketchikan: Body of missing Ketchikan man found during targeted search and rescue training By Shannon Kemp, KTVA
April 24, 2016

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Southeast Alaska:
Tribe Holds 81st Annual Tribal Assembly - Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) held its 81st Annual Tribal Assembly April 20-22, 2016 in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. Over 100 Delegates from Southeast Alaska, Anchorage, Washington, and California gathered in Juneau to conduct tribal business and elect new officers.

Tribe Holds 81st Annual Tribal Assembly

Edward (Sam) K. Thomas, Marvin Adams, Jacqueline Pata, Ralph Wolfe, William Micklin, Rob Sanderson Jr., Miciana Hutcherson, and President Richard Peterson standing at podium.
Photo courtesy Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

The opening day of Tribal Assembly included a special welcome from Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott which reaffirmed the state’s committed to strengthening its relationship with tribes. Governor Walker also announced the appointment of President Richard J. Peterson to his 11 member tribal advisory council.

The commencement day also included a State of the Tribe Address by President Peterson followed by a series of reports covering tribal operations, financials, and the Tribe’s business enterprise. In line with this year’s theme, Prosperity through Sovereignty, the State of the Tribe Address covered the governmental activities of the Executive Council, significant accomplishments of the Tribe, and top administrative priorities. Areas of accomplishments covered the new Tribal Title IV-E Maintenance Agreement with the State of Alaska and the Alaska Supreme Court’s recent ruling that reaffirms Central Council’s Tribal Court has the authority to issue child support orders which must be recognized by the State of Alaska’s Child Support Services Division. Priorities identified include tribal court expansion, land into trust, language preservation, improving and expanding program services, and economic development through strategic business acquisitions and continued exploration of alternative sources of revenue.

A special report from Tlingit Haida Tribal Business Corporation (THTBC) CEO Richard Rinehart and Business and Economic Development Manager Myrna Gardner provided an update on THTBC’s subsidiary and limited liability company T&H Services, the development of the Tribe’s cultural immersion park, and the upcoming acquisition of an accomplished and profitable government contracting company that will generate unrestricted revenue for the Tribe.

“This is going to change the face of the Tribe and we expect to see returns as early as next year,” said President Peterson. “The board has done its due diligence and thoroughly vetted out the government contracting company which we expect to close on next month.”

On Thursday, tribal elections resulted in the unanimous reelection of incumbent President Peterson who ran unopposed. Delegates also seated 1st Vice President (VP) Robert Sanderson Jr. of Ketchikan, 2nd VP William Micklin of San Francisco, 3rd VP Ralph Wolfe of Yakutat, 4th VP Jacqueline Pata of Juneau, 5th VP Marvin Adams of Anchorage, and 6th VP Edward (Sam) K. Thomas Jr. of Craig; Chief Justice Michelle Demmert of Washington and Tribal Court Judge Lisa Lang of Hydaburg; Delegate Citizen of the Year James Jack Sr. of Juneau; and Emerging Leader Miciana Hutcherson of Washington. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

Southeast Alaska:
Thorne Bay Health Fair features health screenings and promotes local food - Thorne Bay will have a Community Health Fair on Friday, May 13, 2016, at the Thorne Bay School, hosted by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).

Events will take place from 8:00 am to 12 noon and will include health screenings and vendor booths promoting a healthy lifestyle. Many of the vendors will be focusing on locally grown and harvested foods as a way to achieve and maintain health.

SEARHC will be distributing material to teach attendees about the benefits of local and traditional foods in the area. Examples of the educational material include, “Good Beach Food,” a children's coloring book, desk calendars, posters, food guides, seafood recipes, and nutritional information. In addition, there will be educational and promotion information on Men's Health.

Attendees can also look forward to visiting with local gardener, and writer James David Sneed, who will feature gardening tips at his booth. Another local gardener, Shane Aysrand will provide information about the Community Garden in Craig, and let people know about opportunities for planting and renting space there.

The Prince of Wales Health Network will be passing out “Grow! Harvest! Eat!” bumper stickers to raise awareness about the Network’s initiative that places an emphasis on locally grown and harvested foods as a tool to improve and maintain health. The mission of “Grow! Harvest! Eat!” is to educate and remind community members that the Island’s best foods are locally grown and harvested. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

Alaska: Alaska has the highest average health care prices - Among the commercially insured, wide variation in prices have some states paying more than double what other states pay for health care, finds a new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The study also finds that within states, health care prices can vary threefold. The study, published today as a Web First in Health Affairs, is accompanied by HCCI’s National Chartbook of Health Care Prices—2015, which illuminates differences in prices for over 240 common medical services in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Compared to the national average, Alaska has the highest average health care prices, followed by Wisconsin, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Minnesota. In New Hampshire and Wisconsin, over 20 percent of health care services are twice the national average price. While in Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee, over 90 percent of health care services are priced lower than the national average.

Prices vary more around the nation for some health care services than others. For example, states have similar prices for acupuncture, while prices for cataract removal vary significantly from state to state. The greatest variation in prices was observed for imaging, radiology and lab tests. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016


Alaska Science:
Amount of plastic in marine environment may be greater than previously thought By KAREN B. ROBERTS - Plastics are all around us. They are found in containers and packing materials, children’s toys, medical devices and electronics.

Amount of plastic in marine environment may be greater than previously thought

A decaying plastic bag found floating in a marine harbour
Photo by seegraswiese - Creative Commons

Unfortunately, plastics are also found in the ocean.

A 2015 paper published in Science estimates that anywhere from 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic were dumped into the ocean in 2010 alone. One metric ton equals approximately 2,200 pounds.

As people celebrated Earth Day on Friday, new research by University of Delaware physical oceanographer Tobias Kukulka provided evidence that the amount of plastic in the marine environment may be greater that previously thought.

Troubling tiny travelers

Plastic in the ocean becomes brittle over time and breaks into tiny fragments. Slightly buoyant, these microplastics often drift at the surface where they can be mistaken for food by birds, fish or other marine wildlife. Microplastics have turned up in the deep ocean and in Arctic ice, too.

“You have stuff that’s potentially poisonous in the ocean and there is some indication that it’s harmful to the environment, but scientists don’t really understand the scope of this problem yet,” explains Kukulka, an expert on ocean waves and currents, and associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s School of Marine Science and Policy.

One technique scientists use to try and quantify how much plastic is in the marine environment is to drag a tow net over the surface for a few miles in one of the world’s five ocean gyres, then count the number of plastic fragments. This number is then used to calculate a concentration considered representative of the amount of plastic in the area.

But Kukulka isn’t so sure this method provides an accurate picture of what’s happening - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom Purcell

TOM PURCELL: Needed: Some Will Rogers' Sanity - With incivility running high in our politics and society, we sure could use a dose of sanity from Will Rogers, one of America's greatest humorists.

The words he spoke about elections during the Great Depression are as helpful to us now as they were then.

"If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics"

"One of the evils of democracy is you have to put up with the man you elect whether you want him or not. That's why we call it democracy."

"Both gangs have been bad sports, so see if at least one can't redeem themselves by offering no alibis, but cooperate with the winner, for no matter which one it is, the poor fellow is going to need it."

As king of the velvet-tipped barb, Rogers never intended to be mean but rather to bring us to our senses. One of his favorite subjects was to remind the political class that it worked for us — not the other way around.

"When Congress makes a joke, it's a law, and when they make a law, it's a joke." - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

jpg Bob Garver

MOVIE REVIEW: The Jungle Book By BOB GARVER - While Disney continues to put out new hits like “Zootopia,” it’s also working hard to update its old hits. The live-action version of “Cinderella” was one of the ten biggest movies of 2015. Even more impressive is that the new live-action version of “The Jungle Book” opened to over $100 million in April. It’s a commercially impressive trend. Creatively, Disney has yet to get it quite right.

“The Jungle Book” centers around Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a human boy raised by animals in the jungles of India after the tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) killed his father. A pack of wolves serves as his family, the panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) as his teacher. Shere Khan discovers that Mowgli is still in the jungle and vows to finish the job. Bagheera and the wolves decide that Mowgli is best sent to live with a nearby human tribe, but Mowgli doesn’t want to leave his home. He’s offered protection and tempted to stay by preying snake Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), friendly bear Baloo (Bill Murray), and monkey gang leader King Louie (Christopher Walken). But they all want something from Mowgli, like fire (King Louie), food that he can gather (Baloo), and him as food (Kaa). - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

jpg Bob Garver

MOVIE REVIEW: The Huntsman: Winter’s War By BOB GARVER - When I see an unnecessary sequel, I’ll often wonder what the studio was thinking. I’m not talking about the huge franchises where any kind of new installment is basically a license to print money. I’m talking about unwanted sequels to movies that don’t have a fan base clamoring for more. Obviously I can think of a few motivating factors – greed mixed with a lack of imagination – but what makes studios think that they have a franchise on their hands when the first movie wasn’t exactly a franchise-launcher? In the case of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” I actually don’t have this question. I know exactly what they were thinking.

2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” had decent box office ($155 million domestic), mostly because of the Snow White name, but it wasn’t a very well-liked movie. The consensus seemed to be that Charlize Theron was great as the villainous Queen Ravenna, Chris Hemsworth was barely passable as Eric the Huntsman, and Kristen Stewart was awful as Snow White. There was a lot of negativity attached to Stewart because of her association with the oft-maligned “Twilight” franchise and gossip about her having an affair with the film’s married director. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” makes the conscious decision to keep Hemsworth and Theron, but remove Stewart from the equation to see if the franchise can succeed without its biggest albatross. Of course, it’s also losing the Snow White name, but it has a plan to pull people in with something possibly even more appealing. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Poverty Trap

Editorial Cartoon: Poverty Trap
By Pat Bagley ©2016, Salt Lake Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter State Sponsored Enabling: Welfare for Life By Rodney Dial - I began researching the information for this letter months ago. The portions of this letter dealing with the State’s Public Assistance/Welfare Program, also called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) were difficult to come by. First, this information is not publicly available and to get it required months of work, contacting various elected officials up to the Governor’s office, filing of Freedom of Information Act Requests and even the threat of a civil suit. As you will see in this letter, I was initially given false and misleading data by the State and only after continued efforts was I able to obtain the following information all Alaskans should be aware of. Most of this letter was written weeks ago when it appeared that the state was refusing to assist me with this research project. I have updated the letter with the new information I received from the state (4/26). - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Remember The Fireside? By June Allen By Debbie Gorzycki - I remember the Fireside. I was stationed at USCG Base Ketchikan in 1983-4. Many of us would walk over to the Fireside to listen & dance to the band on Friday & Saturday nights. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Boca De Qurada H2O By A. M. Johnson - In reading the recent Ketchikan Daily News article on anticipated shipping of a natural resource, water, from Boca De Quara followed by a second article focusing on the opposition to the endeavor; typically the usual case of anti-anything resource development, leap out in vocal opposition without any details of the concept, none, just a knee jerk reaction to a perceived capitalist project. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Incarceration Conditions By Vicky Foley - As a community, I believe we need to get a better understanding of addiction. I am not saying I know the answers, but I do think that the way we punish those people that get arrested for drug charges needs to be reassessed. Here in Ketchikan, our facilities are not suitable for retaining a person for very long. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter An Open Letter to the Members of the Alaska House and Senate By Jerry Cegelske - Recently I heard one of you on the radio talk about dealing with the Alaska Permanent Fund in solving the State budget crisis. What was said was "I don't think the Alaskan people are going to accept us using the Permanent Fund to fix this." - More...
Saturday PM - April 23, 2016

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

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