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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 13, 2020

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Alaska: Planes aren't the only kind of 'otters' that have flown in Southeast; Local pilots helped transplant Aleutian otters in late 1960s. By DAVE KIFFER - Bush pilots are often required to carry interesting things, but one of the most interesting cargos ever flown into Southeast Alaska was several dozen sea otters that were being used to boost local stocks that had been in decline ever since the Russians moved to Sitka in the early 1800s and decimated the native otters.

Planes aren't the only kind of 'otters' that have flown in Southeast; Local pilots helped transplant Aleutian otters in late 1960s

Southeast Alaska Sea Otter
Courtesy National Park Service

Herman Ludwigsen - who flew for more than half as century in Southeast and Southeast Alaska - certainly feels the otters were his most unusual passengers.

Before the Russians arrived in force in Alaska in the late 1700s, it was estimated there were more than 100,000 sea otters in the waters off Alaska.  But the sea otter pelts were worth a fortune in the Far East and they were hunted to near extinction in little more than a century. By 1900, there were sea otters left in a handful of locations in Russia, Alaska and California. An international treaty introduced a harvest moratorium in 1911, but even that didn't stem the Alaskan decline. By the 1950s, there were no sea otters left in Southeast Alaska.

In the mid 1960s, the newly created Alaska Department of Fish and Game began making preparations to transplant some of the remaining Aleutian sea otters to Southeast. The original hope was that they could restore the SE population and then allow residents to have a small yearly harvest to sell some of the furs.

There was also another reason to move some of the sea otters from the Aleutians. The federal government had settled on Amchitka Island - half way between Dutch Harbor and Adak - as the site for underground nuclear tests. Its remote location figured into testing but also meant that it was one of the few places in the region that had a healthy sea otter population. Marine scientists were quietly concerned that the testing could devastate the otter populations, even though the government was officially announcing that the underground tests would have little or no effect on the marine mammal population. As a result, more than 400 otters were captured at Amchitka, loaded on C-130 transport planes and flown to Southeast, where they were loaded into Grumman Goose amphibian planes and transported to several release sites between 1965 and 1968. Initially otters were released near Yakutat and Sitka, but in 1968, more than 100 were brought to Southern Southeast.

The release sights in 1968 were near Craig, in the appropriately named Sea Otter Sound, where 51 were released and on the Barrier Islands, near the Southwest edge of Prince of Wales Island, near Cape Chacon where 55 were released. Another 50 were released on Cross Sound in northern Southeast.

The Southeast releases were coordinated by Ketchikan based ADFG game biologist Jerry Deppa. A state report on the program quoted Deppa as saying the otters were captured with gillnets in the Amchitka kelp beds and then held in large holding tanks on Amchitka.

"For transport, individual bathtub like kennels were fashioned from galvanized steel approximately 18 inches wide by 36 inches long and 8 inches deep with hinged, perforated, angle iron tops covered by netting," Deppa reported. "The kennels were designed to be stackable and to fit though the rear door of a Grumman Goose amphibious aircraft. They could also hold several inches of water to keep the otter more comfortable."

After the long C-130 flight from Amchitka to the Annette Island airport, the otters were loaded - 10 at a time - into the Grummans which had removed their seats.

"Once the planes landed on the water, the otters were set free one-at-a-time through the plane door by opening the hinged kennel top and letting the animals slide out," Deppa added.

The three Grummans waiting at Annette represented two different airlines. In addition to Ludwigsen flying for Webber Air, Bud Bodding and Ray Renshaw were flying Alaska Airlines Goose. Both Bodding and Renshaw had joined Alaska when it absorbed Alaska Coastal Ellis the year before.

The first batch of otters was taken to the Barrier Islands and then the second batch to Khaz Bay near Sitka. Finally, the three Goose dropped off 30 more otters in Cross Sound, not far from Glacier Bay.

But once the releasing of sea otters was done in Southeast, Ludwigsen wasn't through with the furry mammals. In October of 1969, nine more otters were to be taken to Victoria. The otters had been brought to Ketchikan on a boat which then had engine trouble. They need to be flown on to Victoria but - as usual - the weather was bad. The other pilots begged off, leaving Ludwigsen the only one willing to make the trip from Annette to Victoria. - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020


Fish Factor: One Stop Shop” for Latest Fishing-related COVID-19 Updates By LAINE WELCH - How can fishermen be sure their vessels are clean of coronavirus contamination? Where can they find out about relief funds that are newly available for fishermen?  

COVID-19 has Alaska’s seafood industry traveling in uncharted waters as more fisheries continue and get underway, and fishermen and processors prepare for a salmon season that’s just a month away. Information in an upside down world changes daily, making it tough to plot a course.

 United Fishermen of Alaska  has crafted a “one stop shop” for the latest fishing-related COVID-19 updates, including onboard checklists for fishing vessels and tenders, protocols for crews coming and going and more.

 “We have all the mandates the State has put in place, the UFA updates that we send out weekly,  helpful documents to download, the onboard procedures telling fishermen what they need to do to have a season, and a tab for economic relief and links to other resources and websites,” said Frances Leach, UFA executive director. 

Fishermen can apply for a Paycheck Protection Program that offers $350 billion in low-interest loans to small businesses  implemented through the Small Business Administration. 

Also offered are low-interest loans related to COVID-19 impacts for businesses with up to 500 employees, up to $2 million per business, with relaxed collateral requirements.

And for the first time, because fishermen are designated as “essential U.S. food producers,” they can apply for extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

“Deckhands who work under 1099s previously were not eligible for unemployment. Now that has changed and if you are working under a 1099 you are eligible for unemployment and you can apply under the State,” Leach said.

“Federal law now extends UI benefits for the first time to the self-employed. This is a brand new program, and we are diligently working with the U.S. Department of Labor to address the requirements and system preparedness including: I.T. upgrades, training and staffing to accommodate the added workload,” Tamika Ledbetter, Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner wrote on April 2 in the Anchorage Daily News . 

Ledbetter added “the federal legislation extends the eligibility period by 13 weeks and includes a weekly benefit payment of $600. Both the currently covered unemployment insurance recipients and the newly covered self-employed will be eligible for the $600 payment.”

Fishermen also will get a $300 million chunk of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in direct assistance that also includes charter and subsistence fishermen, processors, fishery dependent businesses and coastal communities.

“This assistance is structured similar to fishery disaster payments, but the delivery of the funds will be quicker by allowing the money to be awarded on a rolling basis, even while a season is still underway, and forgoing the usual requirement for the Governor to declare a disaster,” the UFA website says. An additional federal relief package also is in the works.

United Fishermen of Alaska is the nation’s largest commercial fishing trade group with 35 member organizations. Leach said a top priority today is protecting communities while the fleets go fishing. 

“We are fully aware that communities are very concerned about allowing commercial fisheries to happen in their regions,” Leach said. “Since day one, our first priority was ‘how can we protect these communities while still having a successful fishery. Our first effort has been to put protocols in place to protect communities and fishermen so that we are not continuing to spread this virus and put undue burdens on communities.” - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020

Front Page Feature Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS

Refuge Cove
Front Page Feature Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS ©2020


Alaska: COVID-19 Update: Statewide 277 Cases and 85 Recovered - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced five new cases of COVID-19 as of April 12th in two Alaska communities – Anchorage (4) and Juneau (1).  This brings the total case count in Alaska to 277. Total reported as recovered is 85. A combined total of 7,830 tests statewide have been done.

Of these new cases announced today, two are male and three are female. One is aged 10-19; one is aged 20-29; one is aged 30-39; one is aged 40-49 and one aged 60-69.  There have been 32 total hospitalizations and eight deaths with one new hospitalization and no new deaths yesterday. 

Center (LCCC) in Juneau. This is the third Lemon Creek staff member who has tested positive for the virus. (More specifically, they are the individual cases reported on April 10, April 12, and April 13.) Due to reporting protocols, the newest case won’t be counted in state numbers until tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14th.

There are no known cases among inmates. Department of Corrections (DOC) is monitoring inmates and other staff closely for symptoms, and Public Health Nurses are working collaboratively with DOC to test additional staff and continue daily monitoring of exposed staff. 

Sunday, there were 15 new cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, April 11th announced in seven Alaska communities – Anchorage (5), Fairbanks (3), Girdwood (1) Juneau (1), Ketchikan (1), Palmer (1), Wasilla (3), bringing the total case count in Alaska to 272 on Sunday.

The new case in Ketchikan brings the total of positive cases to 15. According to the  Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center (EOC), it is not yet known if this individual has a history of recent travel, or was in close contact with a person who was previously reported as testing positive to COVID-19. This information is being investigated by Public Health. This individual sought testing and self-isolated after experiencing symptoms. - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020

Ketchikan: Violations of Health Mandates Can Be Reported - The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has received questions regarding how citizens and businesses can report violations of State of Alaska health mandates. While law enforcement can enforce the mandates, the State and local governments are fully expecting compliance from our citizens. If a person is in violation of the mandate the primary goal is not to arrest or file criminal charges against the individual but to gain compliance through education. In the event compliance is not achieved the individual could be criminally charged or arrested.  

The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center saod is their hope that citizens will respect the directives for social distancing for the health and well-being of all and to flatten the curve and stop the spread. 

If citizens become aware of an individual(s) who are not complying with the Governor's Mandates, the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center recommends that it be reported by phone to a local law enforcement dispatch: - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020


National: Deal Made to Decrease Oil Production; Ending Month-long Saudis Waging War on American Oil Producers Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - The OPEC+ group, comprised of 23 member nations, has collectively agreed to reduce their global oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day. The cuts will be made to limit global oversupply in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led a nearly two-hour call between a group of senators and Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, and Deputy Defense Minister, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined her colleagues urging Saudi Arabia to finalize the deal to help stabilize global oil markets and reiterated that the Kingdom’s price war threatened its bilateral relationship with the US.

“While I appreciate that Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, took the time - nearly 2 hours - to update my Senate colleagues and me on the current state of play with other OPEC members, it’s important to remember that Saudi Arabia’s announcement on March 6th of massively increasing production to over 12 million barrels a day greatly exacerbated the turmoil in global energy markets, at a time when the world was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic crisis,” said Senator Sullivan.

Sullivan said, “States, like Alaska, continue to suffer from this turmoil today—tens of thousands of hard-working Americans have been laid off and independent energy companies have been forced to close up shop. While, in recent days, Saudi Arabia has been making commitments to decrease oil production and to play a constructive role in global energy markets, actions speak louder than words. The Kingdom needs to take sustainable, concrete actions to significantly cut oil production, and it needs to do so soon.”

“While we appreciate them taking the first step toward fixing the problem they created, the Saudis spent over a month waging war on American oil producers, all while our troops protected theirs. That’s not how friends treat friends,” said Senator Cramer. “Their actions were inexcusable and won’t be forgotten. Saudi Arabia’s next steps will determine whether our strategic partnership is salvageable.”

The high-ranking Saudi defense and energy officials on Saturday’s call highlight the efficacy of the legislation Senators Cramer and Sullivan introduced to remove troops from Saudi Arabia and relocate them elsewhere in the Middle East.

Also joining the call Saturday was Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the United States, Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, whom Senators Cramer and Sullivan have spoken to multiple times during this dispute. 

Joining Senators Cramer and Sullivan on their Saturday call with the Saudis were Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Barrassso (R-WY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John Hoeven (R-ND).

“We again spoke with Princess Reema, the Saudi Energy Minister and Deputy Defense Minister about the importance of stopping the oil price war and providing stability in global energy markets, especially with the challenges of decreasing demand during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Hoeven.

Hoeven said,  “The agreement by Saudi Arabia and Russia to stop flooding the market and to cut production is a step in the right direction. U.S. producers are driven by global market conditions, and going forward we will work to restore balance to the market and ensure these state-run oil companies are held to the agreement.  At the same time, we will continue our efforts to support U.S. oil and gas producers, including working to fund purchases of domestically-produced oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).”

And, the following day (Sunday) U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) issued statements on the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia striking a deal to cut oil production Sunday:

“The outlines of this unanimous agreement appear to be quite significant. Senator Cramer and I, along with several of our Senate colleagues, have been working hard for the past three weeks for this successful outcome,” said Senator Sullivan.  - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020

Howard Pass an extreme, inviting place

Howard Pass an extreme, inviting place
A National Park Service climate-observing station sits on a hill in Howard Pass, a broad crossing of the Brooks Range between Alaska’s North Slope and the Noatak River drainage.
Photo by Ken Hill, National Park Service



Alaska: Howard Pass an extreme, inviting place By NED ROZELL - Howard Pass, a rock-stubbled tundra plateau in the western Brooks Range, is one of the lowest points in the mountains that arc across northern Alaska. It is a broad gateway between the great drainages of the Colville and Noatak rivers.

Scientists who have visited the lonely spot say Howard Pass is noteworthy for two reasons — it features some of Alaska’s most extreme weather, and, curiously, the area has an abundance of archaeological sites.

Jeff Rasic is an archeologist for the National Park Service who has sifted through wet soil near Howard Pass. The pass, named for U.S. Navy explorer William Howard (who traversed it during an expedition on April 21, 1886) is more than 100 miles away from the closest villages today, Ambler and Kobuk, both to the south.

Howard Pass was not so quiet over the past 11,000 years. In the area, archaeologists have found hundreds of house remains, tent rings, food-storage pits, scattered stone chips from tool makers and cairns that resembled humans to help drive caribou into traps.

“People took advantage of caribou, fish, muskox, berries, waterfowl — and in the earliest period, probably bison,” Rasic wrote about Howard Pass, a tundra bench several miles wide that caribou from the Western Arctic herd still click through during seasonal migrations.

This food-rich area has another side to its character. Howard Pass’ Inupiaq name is Akutuq, a word for a treat made of whipped animal fat, sugar and berries. Natives gave the pass that name because the wind-tortured snow patterns there reminded them of akutuq.

National Park Service scientists in 2011 installed a rugged weather station at Howard Pass as one of 50 similar climate stations in hard-to-reach park lands across Alaska. The stations are battery- and solar-powered, and send their data in blips to orbiting satellites.

That information has included — on Feb. 21, 2013 — a wind-chill temperature of minus 96.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The air temperature that day was minus 45.5 degrees F. The wind blew at a sustained 54 miles per hour.

“This was not an isolated event,” Pam Sousanes of the National Park Service said of the Howard Pass wind chill. “Similar conditions have been recorded in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

The average wind chill for Feb. 12-16, 2014, was minus 84.5 degrees F, when the highest wind gust through the pass was 103 miles per hour. Wind chills of minus 70 or colder have been recorded each year.

This low spot in the western Brooks Range becomes a wind tunnel when a great atmospheric-pressure difference exists between Alaska’s North Slope and the rest of the state. Cold air from the north rips southward though the pass.

“The wind chill can be so severe as to freeze to death caribou caught there by a winter storm,” wrote Ernest Burch in the book “Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupiaq Eskimos.” “After every bad blow the Eskimos used to go into the pass to look for well-preserved caribou carcasses.” - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020


TOM PURCELL: WORK-FROM-HOME PRODUCTIVITY HAS COME A LONG WAY SINCE 1918 - COVID-19 has millions working from home. As a longtime teleworker, let me offer some advice.

Working from home has many upsides: no traffic jams, office politics or need for business attire.

But a month-plus into this pandemic, many are realizing teleworking’s downsides.

My morning commute goes from my bedroom to the kitchen (for coffee) to a small den in the back of my house.

Every morning, though, one rubbernecker (me) blocks my commute by looking longingly at his unmade bed – and frequently climbing back into it.

Maintaining focus on work is challenging at home. Snacks in the fridge, Netflix on the tube, funny videos on Facebook all compete for attention.

I’ve been an adult for a while now, but send me a video of talking dogs and I’d hang up on the company CEO to watch it.

Another challenge is hardly ever seeing other real humans during the day.

Sure, we see clients and colleagues on monitors, but, being social animals, we long for small talk. That regrettable need is straining my relationship with my postal carrier.

Me (head covered by a green wool sock with eye holes cut out): “I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow.”

Postal carrier (sitting in his vehicle by my mailbox): “You’re wearing a sock for a mask?”

Me: “How about a cup of coffee?”

Postal carrier: “But you look like Gumby.”

I used to hang up on telemarketers. Now I look forward to their calls.

Extended-car-warranty guy: “It’s only $2,000 for three years’ coverage.”

Me: “My truck’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty. How’s the weather where you are?”

Those of us able to work from home – able to maintain income while much of the country’s shuttered – are incredibly lucky. - More...
Monday PM - April 13, 2020

jpg Political Cartoon: Covid-19 Guns Alcohol and TP

Political Cartoon: Covid-19 Guns Alcohol and TP
By Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

Legislature Gives Your Dividend to Oil Producers By Ray Metcalfe - Alaska's oil producers are running TV ads saying that they are spending $4 billion each year in Alaska. So let me help you with some perspective. If true, then last year they spent $21.92 to produce each barrel of oil. That's the lowest oil production cost in North America. After paying out $21.92 per barrel, they had an additional $26.00 per barrel as profit. That's the highest per-barrel net profit any producer made anywhere in the world last year.

A $26.00 per barrel profit equates a 118% return on their $21.92 investment. BP's stated international average rate of return is 19%, which calculates to a normal return of $4.16 per barrel.

In other words, your Legislature gave what should have been your dividend to BP, Conoco, and Exxon's shareholders. They buy bigger yachts and you get screwed. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

Legislature’s Elites Refuse To Distribute PFD Early - Claim Some Alaskans Would Waste The Money By David Eastman - Whether they claim to be liberal, conservative, or independent, the elites in Juneau have all opposed distributing a full dividend to Alaskans at one time or another.

When you pull aside the curtains and the rhetoric, it always boils down to a single question: Who will do a better job spending the dividend; the legislators currently in power or Alaskans?

The answer from Juneau is clear: Alaskans can’t be trusted with a full dividend.

Remember, this is the same leadership who publicly declared last year: “Alaskans are more worried about fishing and what’s for dinner than they are about the PFD.”

The truth is that the rhetoric out of Juneau has grown increasingly paternalistic over the last few years.

This year, 23 House Legislators and 12 Senators voted to slash the 2020 PFD from $2,850 to just $1,000. Instead of a 50/50 split between state government and PFD’s, legislators took more than 78% of Permanent Fund Earnings, leaving less than 22% for dividends. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

Recall: Alaskans Safely Adapt to Pandemic Challenges By Meda DeWitt - Alaskans have always met challenges with resiliency and ingenuity — especially in unprecedented times, whether floods, earthquakes or a spreading coronavirus. We persevere over short-term challenges for the long-term good of our state.

As a people-powered movement already backed by more than 49,000 Alaskans of different political stripes and socio-economic backgrounds, the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy is no different. It’s about the long-term health of Alaska.

Starting March 20, we launched a protected and convenient way for Alaskans to sign the petition in the safety of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registered Alaska voters can simply fill out a short request form on the Recall Dunleavy website and we will send them a personal household recall petition booklet by mail with instructions for returning it, postage prepaid.

In today’s virus-inflicted crises, the reasons we started this movement have not changed. But what has changed is how we will collect the next round of 71,252 signatures from Alaskans who want a chance at a better future. No public lines, tables, crowds or people at your door. It’s all in the security of your home.

We cannot pretend that Gov. Dunleavy’s irresponsible approach to governing our state has gone away in light of the pandemic. We remain grateful for Dr. Anne Zinke’s guidance during this crisis; however, Alaskans should know that some of the governor’s actions may lengthen or worsen this crisis. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

Alaskans Need to Practice Fire Prevention More than Ever By Dir. Richard Boothby, Alaska State Fire Marshal - Like many other Alaskans and people around the world, I’ve been watching the events of COVID-19 playout. As time moves on and the virus spreads, it has started major changes to work, school, entertainment, and to our everyday lives. We are now physically isolating at home. We now telework and our children are doing their schoolwork alongside us. With these changes, we are trying to slow down the spread of the virus and to keep our families safe. As the Alaska State Fire Marshal, I am concerned now that we are in our homes much more than usual, there is a risk that is growing.

What many people fail to consider is that nearly all of Alaska’s fire fatalities occur in the home. In 2019, Alaska had 18 fire deaths, 16 of which were in residential type occupancies. In 2020, just this week, Alaska had its first two fire fatalities in separate incidents. Both of the fire fatalities occurred in residential dwellings. As someone who has worked in the firefighting industry for most of my adult life, I can tell you with certainty that fire deaths in the home can usually be prevented. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

THE CRUISE LINES DO NOT DESERVE A BAILOUT By David G Hanger - Let everyone of the existing cruise lines go bankrupt; the sooner the better. The assets will be bought up for pennies on the dollar, and maybe, just maybe, the new owners will have learned how not to be among the number one horse’s asses in the world. Current cruise line management is comprised of brain-dead, incompetent dolts whose callousness and callow conduct deserves no consideration whatsoever but a big middle finger, and a prompt ‘adios.’ It will take years, if ever, for cruising to recover from the total body-bruising this bunch of idiots imposed with no greater justification than obsessed and obsessive greed.

To hell with these completely corrupted pigs who trained their sales forces to deny there was any hazard from Covid19, who left thousands of passengers quarantined for weeks while searching for a port, who infected hundreds of passengers with Covid19, then went further and sent it home with them all over the damned world; who wasted millions of dollars of government resources cleaning up their mess. One cruise ship dumped its entire load of thousands of passengers in Freemantle, Australia, with no provision or allowance for how any of them were to get home. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

COVID-19 Response in Ketchikan By Rob Holston - To: Mayors, Assembly & Council members - I traveled to Portland, Seattle and Vancouver B.C. the first week of March. A few people were wearing masks. Now three weeks later the pandemic is no longer something new or on the horizon. It is here. Yet Ketchikan seems to be behind in response.

I have been wearing a mask in ANY retail environment for the past 2 weeks. People were making comments and I felt awkward.... gradually a few more folks were seen wearing masks....... but few. This past week we used Safeway’s “order in-pick up” grocery buying service. It worked great but the deliveries to my car were made by an employee without mask or gloves. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

AMHS & PFD By Norma Lankerd - This I would like to address our situation of our ferry to Senator Ortiz and other senators that represent We the people of Southeast Alaska and other areas of Alaska.

We have our ferry the Lituya which was built for Metlakatla and for some reason the AMHS- SOA shuts down other ferries for the winter or for an indefinite period of time.  We the people of  Annette Island seem to have to carry the rest of the State Ferry system.

The cost is outrageous, for instance I had a friend who made same day reservations had to pay $320.00 for a 45 min. ride. And I myself purchased 4 days before Friday, I had to pay an extra $28.00.

We shouldn’t be punished because of AMHS situation with the ferry system.

We aren’t getting anymore or better seating on our ferry Lituya (it’s the same 45 min. ferry ride) and it only hold 17 cars but they try to cram up to 21 vehicles on our little ferry, and this is not good, in case of an emergency no one is able to get to the person in distress, because the cars are crammed together where you couldn’t open the car door.

Please try and help rectify our situation. Thank you for your help in advance.

PFD: I want to put this to the people of the STATE OF ALASKA,  so I’m very concerned on the Alaska Legislature deciding the fate of the Alaska Perm fund.  What I want is put it on a poll to the Alaskan Residents. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

Trump's Tardy Coronavirus Response By Donald Moskowitz - Chinese farmers brought virus contaminated animals to a marketplace in Wuhan China. Humans contracted the virus at the market, medical personnel reported it to the authorities, but Chinese leaders decided to cover it up. This allowed the virus to spread around the world.  

The Trump administration down played the potential severity of the virus outbreak. This delayed the response and preparations by medical agencies and state and local governments to combat the virus. In January our intelligence agencies warned Trump of the impending coronavirus outbreak, but he ignored them.

Trump said the coronavirus was a "new hoax" by the Democrats. He blamed the media for fake reporting about it. He said it was no big deal and it would quickly disappear. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

jpg Opinion

Addiction, Stigma, and COVID-19 By Marcel Gemme - Stigma is a mark of shame or disgrace, and people who struggle with addiction are already very familiar with this. It can perpetuate an endless cycle, where the drug user takes more drugs to cope with these feelings, thus furthering their addiction and inevitable stigma. Many social factors influence stigma, but something we haven’t examined before is how a pandemic, such as COVID-19, can affect this vicious phenomenon. People who are in a panicked state can either exhibit their best or worst qualities, and these can be seen especially when dealing with their fellow humankind who are struggling.

One concern with COVID-19 is that those who were getting close to entering treatment may find themselves derailed and wondering if it’s even safe anymore. Coincidentally, stigma also works to keep people from coming forward and asking for help due to fear of ridicule or belittlement. With these two factors working in tandem, people with addiction issues may find this to be an exceptionally challenging time. Getting past the stigma is step one, but then what about the virus? Treatment centers are often comprised of many individuals from different areas sharing close quarters or living in a communal-like setting. This doesn’t mean treatment settings are dangerous necessarily, but in order to remain safe they should be staffed with adequate medical personnel and new clients should undergo a screening and segregation period. Smaller treatment centers, or those which are more remote, and patients stay longer, would theoretically be the least dangerous due to the lower rate of patient exchange between admission and discharge. - More...
Friday AM - April 10, 2020

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