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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 28, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By ROGER MCKEEHAN

In the background is Metlakatla.
Front Page Feature Photo By ROGER MCKEEHAN

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Southeast Alaska:
TYLER RENTAL, INC. TO ACQUIRE T&S WELDING, INC. BUSINESS AND ASSETS - Alaska based capabilities to support the Welding, Mining, and Industrial supply business in Southeast Alaska are now strengthened as Tyler Rental, Inc. and T&S Welding, Inc. (T&S) jointly announced today their intent to incorporate T&S Welding’s business into the growing Tyler Rental, Inc. Juneau operation.


Tyler Rental, Inc. Juneau

T&S intends to transition ownership of its business and assets to Tyler Rental following completion of an expansion and remodel of the Tyler Rental Juneau facility located at 5295 Glacier Hwy. The privately owned companies hope to finalize their agreement on or before July 1st of this year. T&S will continue to operate its business from its current location until the ownership transition is finalized and the business can be moved to the Tyler Rental Juneau facility.

Tyler Rental will continue to supply the broad range of products and services that have made T&S a respected welding supply business in Juneau for over 30 years; T&S employees and customers will notice little change in day-to-day operations. T&S owner Russell Shivers, a Juneau resident who has directed operations since T&S’s inception, will remain a part of the business in his new role as a technical consultant to Tyler Rental.

“The purchase of T&S will increase the capacity and competitiveness of Tyler Rental in many ways, positioning Tyler Rental as the most significant supplier of welding and compressed gases and industrial supplies with retail operations throughout Southeast Alaska. Tyler Rental’s high level of service to customers, both existing and new, will remain a core value of the company as it expands its participation in the mining, industrial and construction markets in Southeast Alaska,” stated Tyler Rental President, Randy Johnson. “It is truly an honor for Tyler Rental to have this opportunity to carry on the traditional business that Russ and Caroline have worked so hard to build” said Johnson.

Since its inception in 1989 in Ketchikan, Tyler Rental has expanded and diversified its business to offer a full line of Tool and Equipment Rental Services and Industrial Supplies in Southeast Alaska, and the Northwest. Tyler Rental is pleased to expand its investment and position the Juneau Branch for long-term growth and sustainability.

“We see a tremendous opportunity here to work with Juneau and surrounding area residents and businesses to expand product offerings and strengthen our relationship with our customers” said Steve Kikendall, who has managed the Juneau Tyler Rental Branch since its inception in 1996.

Tyler Rental currently operates five locations in Southeast Alaska and one in Washington State. Its current Rental Equipment fleet consists of over 32,000 rental items ranging from small tools to large aerial and earthmoving equipment. The addition of T&S will increase Tyler Rental’s total Welding and Industrial inventory in Southeast Alaska to more than $2.5 Million Dollars. Tyler Rental customers include Homeowners, Construction, Mining, and Forestry businesses as well as commercial fishing fleets and workboats, along with Federal, State and Local government agencies. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Sitka Tribe of Alaska's General Manager Resigns - Michael Baines, Tribal Chairman for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, announced Wednesday that General Manager Lawrence SpottedBird has submitted a letter or resignation and his last day will be June 20, 2016.

Sitka Tribe of Alaska's General Manager Resigns

Lawrence SpottedBird

Baines wrote in his announcement letter, "Lawrence has been serving admirably at Sitka Tribe for about two years. His enterprise development expertise was very useful in getting several tribal corporations and a new company call Sitka Tribal Sports organized."

Lawrence was also instrumental in helping to turn the tribe around financially said Baines. "After Lawrence assembled a new finance department staff, the tribe went from operating in the red every year to having a small but healthy cash surplus," wrote Baines.

Baines said Lawrence is a great asset to the Sitka Community noting that he was a member of a local veterans group and served on a citizen's task force who task was to make recommendations to the Sitka City and Borough Assembly on financial matters. Lawrence is also active in the Sitka ANB Camp 1. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Volunteers on Prince of Wales Island work and learn - Recently, the U.S. Forest Service and Southeast Island School District, Thorne Bay, partnered together to provide a second annual Alternative Spring Break in Alaska for Linfield College students. The college is located in McMinnville, Oregon. It was a resounding success, according to staff, students and educators. The students elect to be part of this work/learn program each year. Eleven students and one faculty advisor arrived on Prince of Wales Island Sunday, March 21, and their schedule was full the entire week.

The educational theme was sustainability. Alaskans from around the island showed them what Alaskan sustainability means, how it can be different from what they’ve learned about so far, and that it works. Students learned that Alaskan sustainability means many things; personal accountability for what you buy at the store, what you can grow at home, what you do with your garbage or by-products of other work, and how you re-purpose things that would otherwise go in the garbage or recycling bins.

Volunteers on Prince of Wales Island work and learn

Linfield College students volunteered their spring break time to do brush work at the El Capitan area to open the ocean view to camping visitors.

Service work the group provided for the Forest Service included:

  • maintenance work at two cabins, including a thorough cleaning of Control Lake cabin and grounds; sanding and painting of bunks at Staney Creek cabin and some grounds work;
  • brushing work at the El Capitan area to open the ocean view to camping visitors;
  • laying additional gravel at the Gravelly Creek Day Use Site;
  • cleaning up several garbage dump sites along the 20 Mile Spur Trail road and at the Harris River Campground.

“The group worked hard all week,” said Forestry Technician (Recreation) Katie Rooks. “The students were eager to learn and work, and it showed as their smiling faces greeted the coordinators every morning, with a little extra coffee and cookies for them, as well.” - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

Alaska - National: Life's basic necessities: food, clothing, housing... the federal government - According to a new report from the Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy research organization, Americans spend more on federal income taxes than on housing and clothing combined. Americans will spend approximately $2.6 trillion on these basic necessities in 2016 -- in the same time frame they will spend $3.3 trillion in federal income taxes. When state and local taxes are added to that total, Americans will pay more taxes than they will spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.

This year, 2016, Tax Freedom Day fell on April 24th, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day). Tax Freedom Day® is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2016, Americans will pay $3.34 trillion in federal taxes and $1.64 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.99 trillion, or 31 percent of the national income.

In 2016, Americans will work the longest to pay their federal, state, and local individual income taxes (46 days). Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (nine days), and property taxes (11 days). The remaining seven days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

Alaska - Nationwide: Alaska Ranks 49th In Overall Taxpayer Return on Investment - There is an obvious disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over each April and what we ultimately deserve in return from our government. Tax Day can be a painful reminder of our investment in the operation of federal, state and local governments, but it’s difficult to discern their precise role in our day-to-day quality of life or overall pursuit of happiness.

Perhaps that’s why two out of five U.S. adults feel they pay too much in taxes, and why Americans estimate that slightly more than half of every tax dollar is wasted by the federal government - higher than the amounts they approximate state and local governments squander. One thing we do know is that taxpayer return on investment varies significantly based on simple geography. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others.

Tax season can be stressful for many Americans, especially those who still owe money to Uncle Sam at the end of it. Every year, the average U.S. household pays more than $5,700 in federal income taxes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And what do taypayers in Alaska and nationwide see in return for their tax investment? - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016


Ties to Alaska's wild plants; Ethnobotany film series connects plants with traditional uses - A new series of films produced by ethnographic filmmaker Sarah Betcher explores traditional Alaskan indigenous uses of wild plants for food, medicine and construction materials.

Ties to Alaska's wild plants

Gathering wild plants near Kotzebue, Alaska.
Photo by Sarah Betcher

The "Ties to Alaska's Wild Plants" project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Betcher and principle investigator Steffi Ickert-Bond, the Herbarium curator at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The videos have been published online in a variety of locations and are accessible for free.

"We want to make sure people know that they are available to anyone who can find them useful," Betcher said. "Iñupiaq people, anyone who is interested in ethnobotany and scientist with an interest in botany who want to learn about the cultural uses of plants. This medium helps people remember the information more than just reading about it."

Betcher finished the first film in the series to honor Tlingit elder Helen Watkins, who passed away this winter. It features footage filmed in Juneau, Alaska of Watkins processing the devil's club plant to make beads, medicinal powder and infused salves and oils. The post has already received more than 2,500 views on the museum's YouTube channel.

Most of the films document Iñupiat traditions, but Betcher said there is interest in expanding the scope to explore the traditional uses of plants in other cultures and communities throughout northern latitudes.

The idea for the series came when Betcher, who has a background in conservation biology and spent many years as an interpretive ranger, took an ethnobotany class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The class took place in Kotzebue and included students and elders from Point Hope, Ambler, Norvik and different villages. Each day, an elder shared traditional uses of plants with the participants. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016


Ketchikan: "Below the Ground & Beyond the Stars" Concert: A Musical Aventure for All Ages - The Ketchikan Community Concert Band directed by Roy McPherson, will perform "Below the Ground & Beyond the Stars" concert featuring many young performers, this Sunday, May 1, at 3:00 PM in the Ketchikan High School Auditorium. While the program will be of particular interest to young folks, the music should be appealing to adults as well. - The Ketchikan Community Concert Band directed by Roy McPherson, will perform a “Children’s Concert” this Sunday, May 1, at 3:00 PM in the Ketchikan High School Auditorium. While the program will be of particular interest to young folks, the music should be appealing to adults as well.

There will be an instrument “Petting Zoo” in the quad area before the performance begins. The program itself will begin with Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man’ which is often played at presidential inauguration ceremonies. “Stardance” follows with many of the band members spread throughout the audience. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

Columns - Commentary

jpg Michael Reagan

MICHAEL REAGAN: Going for Broke with Obamacare - Everything about health insurance was confusing, stupid and horrible long before Obamacare came along.

Just hearing it was time again to choose your healthcare plan for the next calendar year made some business people I know so sick they had to see a doctor.

Not really.

We all know the ugly truth about the Affordable Care Act.

Its rules and regulations and subsidies and penalties and red tape and false promises and reinsurance programs have only made buying healthcare worse for consumers.

It's more confusing to sign up for, costs more than Obama promised it would and it's shredding the bottom lines of the already crippled companies that provide private health insurance.

Some say it's all part of Obama's grand plan to make health insurance and healthcare so expensive that private companies will get out of the business and voters will beg Washington for a mandated government program like like they have in England, Canada or Cuba.

If that's Obama's plan, it's working nicely.

Earlier this month UnitedHealthcare announced it was pulling out of most of the 34 state health insurance exchanges it was participating in under the Affordable Care Act. - More...
Thursday PM - April 28, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Party of Lincoln

Editorial Cartoon: Party of Lincoln
By Adam Zyglis ©2016, The Buffalo News
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Part 6: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, & OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G. Hanger - Alaska’s Future(.org) is a classic example of an entity that should never be granted non-profit status. It is the dictatorial fiefdom of one Ron Duncan, co-founder and CEO of GCI, and no dissent or questions are tolerated. When our own Mary Kauffman asked as a reporter a routine question (x2), rather than responding the question was simply deleted. Agree with Duncan or else is what this operation is all about. [The question weeks ago: Why are so many opposing comments deleted from Alaska’s Future's FaceBook page?] - More...
Friday AM - April 29, 2016

letter Europe Under Attack By Donald Moskowitz - Since WWII Europe has welcomed tens of millions of Muslims from Africa and the Middle East who replaced the murdered Jews of Europe. - More...
Friday AM - April 29, 2016

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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