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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

April 29, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By ADRIANNA SAAVEDRA

Bugge's Beach
This popular beach was originally named after Martin Bugge. Also know as Rotary Beach, it is located at Mile 3 South Tongass Hwy. This water front beach has picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and fire pits.
Front Page Feature Photo By ADRIANNA SAAVEDRA ©2019

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Fish Factor: Alaska Seafood Industry A Seafood Superpower By LAINE WELCH - Why should every Alaskan budget watcher care about the price of fish? 

Because when the price at the docks goes up by just one penny, it means more money for state coffers.  

In 2017, for example, the average dock price per pound for all Alaska seafood was 41 cents. If the price had increased to 42-cents, it would have added nearly $2 million more from fisheries landing and business taxes.

That was one of the takeaways in an updated McDowell Group report presented last week at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s spring board meeting. It offers a good snapshot of the industry that spawned Alaska statehood and is now a seafood superpower. Here’s a sampler:    

Alaska’s seafood industry puts 60,000 people to work and supports at least $150 million a year in taxes and fees.   

More than 9,000 vessels are homeported in Alaska and deliver fish to 87 large shoreside processing plants. 

Catches of nearly six billion pounds of seafood worth about $2 billion were the industry averages for 2016 and 2017. Pollock accounted for 57 percent of the volume caught and 22 percent of the value. 

Salmon ranked second for volume at 14 percent but was tops for Alaska seafood value at 34 percent. Cod catches were third and accounted for 11 percent of the value. Halibut, sablefish and crab each accounted for one percent of the total catch volume and 12 percent of the value.

The U.S. is usually the largest market for Alaska seafood, followed by China, Japan, South Korea and the European Union. 

The export value over the past decade has averaged $3.3 billion, making seafood Alaska’s largest export leader by far. (By value, fishery products accounted for more than two-thirds of Alaska’s exports in the first quarter of 2017, according to the first quarter economic report by the state Dept. of Commerce.)  

Alaska’s top exports are pollock surimi and fillets (a combined $845 million) and frozen sockeye salmon ($313 million). 

Exports to China, which in 2018 comprised 32 percent of Alaska’s seafood sales and 23 percent of the value, dropped 20 percent due to ongoing trade spats with the Trump Administration.  

That included a 54 percent drop in Alaska salmon sales, a 49 percent decrease for crab and cod sales to China dropped 29 percent.   

In another trade hit:  Imports to the U.S. of fresh Atlantic halibut from Canada have nearly doubled since 2012 to 8.8 million pounds last year.

Looking at 2019, harvests of Alaska salmon, crab, halibut, sablefish and pollock are expected to increase, with declines for cod and rockfish catches. 

The market outlook for salmon is “stable to strong” said fisheries economist Garrett Evridge, who presented the report.  

“While there is optimism surrounding the harvest volume for the 2019 salmon season, we have been hearing reports of buyers pushing back against strong prices,” he said in an email message. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

Ketchikan: University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Students to Graduate - The 2019 commencement ceremony for University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Ketchikan students will be held Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 PM at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The public is invited to attend.

Sixteen 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 Amanda (AJ) Pierce, Executive Officer of Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association. UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, UAS Provost Karen Carey, Vice President of Academics, Students and Research Paul Layer, and University of Alaska Regent John Bania will bestow degrees at the ceremony. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019


Ketchikan Historical: A late night visit to Creek Street; Old memo details a 'meeting' between police chief, Dolly Arthur By DAVE KIFFER - History and time have a way of rubbing the rough edges off a person.

A late night visit to Creek Street; Old memo details a 'meeting' between police chief, Dolly Arthur

Ketchikan Police Chief Samuel Shirley Daniels,
better known as S.S. Daniels
Courtesy Ketchikan Museums
Tongass Historical Society Collection

A perfect example is Ketchikan's most famous "madam" Thelma Copeland, AKA Dolly Arthur. The one-time proprietor of the brothel that is now Dolly's House Museum, was one of hundreds of women who worked Creek Street during its half century. During much of her lifetime she was not thought particularly noteworthy, but the fact that she outlived the closing of the Creek by two decades and was the subject of a biography by Ketchikan historian June Allen gave her a certain notoriety.

By the time she passed away in 1975, she was the grand doyenne of a bygone Ketchikan era. Four decades later she has become one of Ketchikan's most famous residents, her face on everything from T-shirts to posters to coffee mugs.

But recently the Tongass Historical Museum received a copy of a long ago "memo" from the hand of a long time Ketchikan police chief that reminds us of Dolly's more rough and tumble character during the height of the infamous Creek Street Red Light District.

The police chief was Samuel Shirley Daniels, better known as S.S. Daniels, a fifteen-year member of the Ketchikan police force and chief from 1932 to 1943. The memo was called "Just a Typical Night for the Police Department." It is undated, but clearly happened during the time Daniels was chief.

The memo began with a time, "10 PM"

"Lefty Shoel came to the station," Daniels wrote. "Said Dolly Arthur had called him on the phone at the Stedman Hotel and said there was no use of him coming down there as he would be too late to do anything and it would be all over."

Chief Daniels wrote that he and Shoel went over to Dolly's House and found her in the hallway at the top of the stairs.

"She asked what I was doing there," he wrote. "Told her I came to see what the trouble was. She said 'well get out of here you s. of b. and came at me."

That's when things got interested, according to Daniels.

"Grabbed her hands, held her for a short time," he wrote. "Thot (sic) she had cooled off and released her hands. She grabbed a tea kettle of hot water from the stove and tried to throw it on me. Both got burned. Threw the tea kettle at me when nearly empty. Grabbed her again and held her down and she started to cry and let her go again.

That, of course, was not the end of it. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

Alaska fishermen are becoming more specialized

Alaska fishermen are becoming more specialized
A shrimp trawler works in Port Wells, on the western side of Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
Photo by Richard Brenner

Alaska: Alaska fishermen are becoming more specialized By LAUREN FRISCH - Participation in Alaska’s fisheries has dropped and specialization has increased during the past 30 years, according to a new study published in the journal Fish and Fisheries.

A team of researchers led by University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences professor Anne Beaudreau synthesized 30 years of income and catch data from individual commercial fishermen in Alaska. Beaudreau’s team found that the overall number of permit holders in Alaska decreased by 25 percent from the early 1990s to 2014. In addition, the number of fishermen with multiple fishing permits declined from 30 percent of permit holders in 1988 to 20 percent in 2014.

“Diverse fishing portfolios can buffer against risk, akin to a diverse financial portfolio,” said Beaudreau. “As Alaska fisheries become more specialized, how resilient will fishing communities be to future change?”

Several previous studies of Alaska fisheries have found that individuals, vessels and communities with broader access to more species or permit types tend to have more stable incomes due to diversification. Despite the potential benefits of diversification, Beaudreau’s team found, Alaska fishermen have become more specialized in their fishing strategies, rather than more diverse, during the past 30 years.

This reduced diversity may be caused by a number of barriers, including a limit to the number of fishing permits allowed for many fisheries. For example, current fisheries for halibut and sablefish have an individual quota system, where new fishers may enter the fishery, but only if they’re able to buy quota from another fisher selling shares. Additional barriers to diversification may be socioeconomic. Many Alaska fisheries have seen permit prices and equipment costs skyrocket since the 1970s, so that it may not be feasible for some fishermen to participate in multiple fisheries. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019


Alaska: Former Keybank Vault Manager Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Stealing over $4 Million - U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Gerardo Adan Cazarez Valenzuela, a/k/a “Gary Cazarez,” 34, of Anchorage, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve 10 years in prison, with no credit for seven years he served in a Mexican prison.  In January 2019, Valenzuela pleaded guilty to theft of bank funds, as charged in a 2011 superseding indictment. 

According to court documents, on or about July 29, 2011, Valenzuela was the Vault Manager for KeyBank when he stole approximately $4.3 million dollars in U.S. Currency from KeyBank in Anchorage, and then flew in a chartered jet to Washington, bought a car, obtained an AK-47 for protection and drove to Mexico.  He mailed his and his girlfriend’s cell phones to Florida and New York to throw off investigators.  The investigation revealed that Valenzuela’s motive to rob his employer was his concern that Keybank was going to make his position obsolete and he would be out of a job. 

Months prior to his theft, Valenzuela told his girlfriend that he could rob the bank noting that the bank had video surveillance, but no physical surveillance at that time.  In June 2011, he started to put his plan into action, which began with requesting that his brother obtain a firearm for him.  On July 8, 2011, Valenzuela falsely trained new employees on vault procedures, effectively removing dual controls over the vault and laying the groundwork for his ability to steal $4.3 million a few weeks later.  - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

Obituary: Karen Jones - Former Ketchikan teacher Karen (Williams) Jones passed away March 29, 2019, at the age of 67. 

Karen was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and raised in Yamhill, Oregon. She attended Yamhill Grade School and graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School in 1969. She attended Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University, and earned her degree in health and physical education in 1973.

After graduation, she received a teaching job at South Salem High School, where she taught health and P.E. and coached the Saxonette drill team, volleyball and track. In 1977, she moved to North Salem High School, where she taught health and coached the Vikettes drill team and became department head in health and science. While at North, she developed a course in health occupations for students interested in the medical field. The program is still going today. In 1992, she became assistant principal. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019



TOM PURCELL: Doggone Discourse Better Focused on Real Problems - Boy, is our political discourse going to the dogs.

The Washington Post reports Donald Trump is the first U.S. president in 100-plus years not to have a dog -though others, including Ronald Reagan, didn't have dogs until their second terms.

During a February rally, reports The Post, Trump said "he doesn't have a dog because the idea of getting one seems 'phony' to him."

Using presidential pets to score political points is not without precedent. The Hill says "avid dog lover" Herbert Hoover was among the first to do so, while running for the nation's highest office.

"Following campaign advice, with hopes of shaping his image into something warmer and more charismatic, he released a photograph of himself with his German Shepherd, King Tut," says The Hill.

King Tut helped Hoover win the White House, but after he presided over the 1929 stock-market crash, Hoover was routed by FDR in the 1932 presidential election.

According to The Hill, some suggested Bill Clinton got Buddy, his beloved chocolate Labrador, to help his image at the peak of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Maybe so, but photos clearly show Clinton enjoyed Buddy's company. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

MICHAEL REAGAN: Good Luck, Old Joe - For the third time in his political life, Old Joe Biden has started down the road to the White House.

On Thursday he used a misleading and Trump-bashing video to announce he's running because he wants to save the country from four more years of Donald Trump.

The 76-year-old immediately became the front-runner in the Democrat Party's over-crowded presidential primary, thanks to his name ID and his long, gaffe-filled career as a liberal senator from Delaware and loyal Obama VP.

Biden is the Democrat's strongest candidate for many political reasons, but my big question is whether he still has that feeling in his gut that all presidential candidates must have to succeed.

His first and probably hardest feat will be to win the nomination of his own crazy party.

It's not that he is too old, too male, too white, too establishment or too creepy-feely for the new Democrat Party, which has suddenly lurched hard left, splintered into factions and become leaderless.

It's not that he supposedly treated Anita Hill unfairly as a senator three decades ago at the Clarence Thomas hearings.

Or that he held some embarrassing, now very politically incorrect, not-very progressive positions on race, crime, civil rights and forced school busing in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Biden's Running

Political Cartoon: Biden's Running
By Kevin Siers ©2019, The Charlotte Observer, NC
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Oil & Gas Tax Reform By Mary Lynne Dahl - I do not make a habit of offering my opinions publicly. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I try my best to judge impartially, on a non-partisan basis. I have spent the last 35 years of my professional life giving financial advice as objectively as humanly possible. With these things in mind, I have decided that I must comment on one aspect of the debate over the fiscal situation Alaska finds herself in and the prospects for solutions to the problems.

I am not going to address the debate about whether or not to solve the financial problems of the state via budget cutting or increased income. That is another subject. My comments in this letter are directed solely to one issue of concern that has not been discussed enough and which, I believe, is critically important to solving our budget crisis. The subject is complex, so I will try here to keep it fairly straightforward, in an effort to make it understandable at all levels and representative of the most important points for citizens to consider.

That issue is the oil and gas tax system in Alaska. The Alaska system is based on a hybrid methodology of collecting taxes on a combination of mostly net tax basis and some gross tax basis. Unlike Alaska, all other state oil tax systems are gross systems.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is owned by 3 big oil companies doing business in Alaska. They are Conoco Phillips, Exxon and British Petroleum (BP). As the TAPS owners, they charge tariffs on the oil they send down the pipeline. The tariffs are intended to fund the dismantling and removal of the pipeline if/when the oil runs out and the complete restoration of the land back to the original condition it was in before the pipeline was built. The oil companies agreed to be legally obligated to this plan, which is called “Dismantle, Remove and Restore” (DR&R). DR&R tariffs were the methodology designed to insure that there will be enough money on hand to accomplish this legal obligation of the oil companies. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

jpg Opinion

The Income Tax: A Way Out By Ghert Abbott - We should all be very grateful to Representative Dan Ortiz for his efforts to compel a straight answer from the Governor during the April 8th public meeting. Representative Ortiz pointed out that the Governor was being “disingenuous” in claiming his administration’s budget had no taxes, when it essentially necessitated local tax increases due to cost shifting from the state to local governments.

Governor Dunleavy’s reply: “No, we’re not proposing taxes at the state level, but will the local municipalities have to ponder additional taxes? Yes they will.”

And with that the Governor gave the game away; Dunleavy is all for taxation, provided it is the most geographically unequal and socially unfair taxation imaginable. While attention has naturally focused on the existential threat that the combination of AMHS elimination, Medicaid cuts, public education cuts, and state university cuts would pose to our town, this is the long term danger. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

jpg Opinion

KCCB Collage II Concert By Judith Green - Well, another great evening of music from our own talented community members. Last week end it was 3 in 1: Ketchikan Community Chorus (Director Steve Kinney) with Ketchikan Orchestra Project(Director Jeff Karlson and Deidra Nuss) and Ketchikan Community Band (Director Roy McPherson).

This week end it was the KCCB - Ketchikan Community Concert Band under Roy McPherson.

A wonderful evening with a continuum of music all around the ballroom. The Ted Ferry Civic Center was lovely. Every wall in the ballroom had information about pieces to be played with pictures, hand made quilts, history. The tables were assigned with classical composer names and had decorative hand made lights; hand made soap from AURORA Soap Magic (a local artisan) all about The Man In Ice; and a fortune teller cube with 4 of the pieces that were played along with some notes about the music. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

jpg Opinion

Lisa Murkowski's Nuclear energy plan By Robert Rice - My god, do we need our own mini Fukishima? She said "the only alternate energy source available in Alaska is Hydro power." No wind or sun available here? Also ended by saying how good this would be for oil and mining operations. (Could this be the reason for this idea?)

I can see the temporary solution to rural energy projects, until it becomes a mini disaster. What about Earthquakes? Also we have NO current permanent solution to nuclear waste disposal. Seems an irresponsible idea. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

jpg Opinion

Ode To Joy By Judith Green - This past weekend, April 20, Ketchikan was invited to hear the beautiful musical sounds of Beethoven, Rutter, Chilcott and Marcello. Some of these composers may not be well known, but the sounds invoked were good to consider as we listened and learned.

What a wonderful collaboration between the Ketchikan Community Chorus/KCC, the Ketchikan Concert Band/KCB (an ensemble part of the Ketchikan Community Concert Band/KCCB), and Ketchikan Orchestra Project/KOP.

Ktn is indeed a favored community to have at the helm of these 3 musical groups the professional musical talent of Steve Kinney, Roy McPherson, and Jeff Karlson with Deidra Nuss. We hope they will consider coming together again. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2019

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