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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Photo by Annette Stevenson

 'City of Rainbows'
Front Page Photo by Annette Stevenson

Ketchikan: Petroleum Production Tax: Important to Know The Issues Says Rep. Samuels By MARIE L. MONYAK - Representative Ralph Samuels (R) of Anchorage began his presentation to the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday by reading Article 8 of the State Constitution stating "It is the policy of the State to encourage the settlement of its land and the development of its resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest".

PPT: Important to Know the Issues...

Rep. Ralph Samuels
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Co-Chair of the House Resources Committee, Samuels thanked the Chamber for the opportunity to speak and attempt to make some sense of the current Petroleum Production Tax (PPT) Bill currently under consideration. "I'm going to give you some of the policy calls that the legislature is grappling with right now," Samuels said. "You've been inundated with the ads on radio, and the newspaper just like everybody else has. I think it's very important to get away from some of the rhetoric and try to get to some of the choices."

"The Governors proposal says that we're going to take some risks at the low end and we're going to take some rewards at the high end," Samuels stated. He explained that as we try to maximize the revenues from our natural resources we have a trade off to make. "You can raise the tax rate as high as you want, they [oil companies] can't leave, they've got too much infrastructure here. Production is going to drop off.the pipeline isn't going to get built up anymore, so do you take the money now and run? Or do you encourage more [production], incentivise well production and use that pipeline for the long run?"

Samuels explained this basic choice and its relationship to the maximum use provision of the constitution. He then quoted Daniel Johnston, en economist he had heard on the radio that said with all the exploration we have on the North Slope and with the three major players we have, nobody is coming to our state, knocking on our door saying I want to drill in Alaska, I want to find oil and I want to ship it. It's that same philosophy that caused the Governor to create the second part of his proposal which was to have a tax credit that looked to the future by encouraging more exploration by offering a tax break. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

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Ketchikan: USCG crew rescues stranded Ketchikan teens - A Coast Guard small boat crew from Station Ketchikan rescued three stranded teenagers Friday night from the shore of Betton Island near Knudson Cove.

The Coast Guard received a call from Alaska State Troopers at 10:26 p.m. Friday reporting three teens had swamped their skiff and were stranded on Betton Island. The teens built a campfire on the beach and waited for help to arrive. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Ketchikan: Saxman announces election results - The Organized Village of Saxman conducted their annual Tribal Council election on Thursday, April 20, 2006. In Saxman there are two forms of government one is the City of Saxman which serves as the municipal government and the other is the Organized Village of Saxman which serves as the Tribal government. The City of Saxman is governed by the Saxman City Council and the Tribal Government is governed by the Saxman IRA Council.

Lee Wallace was re-elected to serve as the Tribal Council President. Richard H.K. Makua and Harvey Shields were elected to serve for the two vacant positions for the term of one year. Ginger M. Fox, Charles Denny, and Sarah Abbott were elected to serve for the three vacant positions for a term of two years. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Fish Factor: Alaska salmon shifts slowly towards pricier product forms By LAINE WELCH - Alaska salmon is making a slow but steady shift towards pricier product forms.

Canned salmon, primarily pinks and sockeye (reds), will always be an important component of each year's catch, but it's the lowest valued commodity. In recent years, more of the fish are being frozen as well as going into the fresh market.

The trend is especially notable with pinks, and it could result in an upward tick in prices. Traditionally, 75 percent of the total pink pack has ended up in cans, but that began to change about three years ago. According to the Seafood Market Bulletin, closer to 55 percent of the total 2005 pink salmon harvest went into cans, the lowest percentage ever.

"Two things are happening at the same time - there is increased demand for frozen pinks, and that has also reduced the supply for canned," said market analyst Chris McDowell of the Juneau-based McDowell Group.

Huge harvests of pink salmon during the past decade (a record 146 million last year) have resulted in a chronic oversupply of canned pinks, and kept a downward press on prices. "If the product form shift continues, two years or so down the road we might be looking at little or no carry over inventory from the previous season," McDowell said. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Alaska: Stevens failed to report compensation from energy firm By LIZ RUSKIN - Semco Energy, the corporation that owns Alaska's largest natural gas utility, is paying state Senate President Ben Stevens more than $70,000 a year in cash and stock to sit on its board of directors, according to the company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

You wouldn't know that the Michigan-based company - operating in Alaska as Enstar - has paid Stevens a dime by looking at the financial disclosure report Stevens filed in March with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. State law requires legislators to list all sources of income paying more than $5,000 during the previous year. Stevens reported that he serves on the board and owns stock, but he did not report any income from Semco.

Stevens, R-Anchorage, has been in the thick of the state Legislature's negotiations over oil and gas taxes. He did not respond to requests for an interview about his Semco pay this week. He did say, through a spokesman, that he "deferred all his compensation" for 2005. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Landing Holds Festive Grand Opening...

Best Western Landing Hotel, Ketchikan
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Best Western Landing Hotel Holds Festive Grand Opening By MARIE L. MONYAK - Likely the biggest party in Ketchikan this past Saturday evening was held at the brand new North Court of The Best Western Landing Hotel, graciously hosted by owners Kay Sims and Terry Wanzer. The festive grand opening celebration began at 5:00 PM and it wasn't long till both the Sunny Point main banquet room and the adjacent reception room were filled with curious residents happy to get a first look at the striking new addition and congratulate both Sims and Wanzer on their newest enterprise.

Guests were greeted at both elevators by nicely dressed hostesses who were happy to answer questions and direct the more curious to the various hotel rooms opened for viewing. The Queen and King rooms as well as the King suite and the handicapped accessible ADA compliant rooms were beautifully appointed with rich cherry wood furnishings, charming decorative accessories and soothing fabric choices. In each room, hidden in a massive cherry wood armoire is a microwave and refrigerator and there's no need to search for the internet connection as the entire property provides free Wi-Fi access. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Kayak Ranger Susan Bliss Jenkins of the Ketchikan Misty Fiords Ranger District talks with some of the audience members.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

Ketchikan: Discovering the Nature of Wilderness By MARIE L. MONYAK - The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center presented their last Friday Night Insight Program of the season until next fall last Friday evening. The scheduled program was "The Nature of Wilderness" presented by U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Kayak Ranger Susan Bliss Jenkins of the Ketchikan Misty Fiords Ranger District.

In her second year with the Ketchikan Misty Fiords District, Jenkins came to us from the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho where she served for 11 years. Although the program called for the ranger to highlight the differences and similarities of two other wilderness areas in the lower 48 against the Misty Fiords Wilderness area, Jenkins had decided to forego the expected presentation in favor of discussing two particular experiences she had during her previous assignment.

When asked what the biggest difference is between the two ranger districts, Jenkins quickly replies, "Packing!" With a photo of Edna the mule, her previous mode of transportation in Idaho, and Edna the Kayak, her current form of transportation, Jenkins explains that there's a huge difference between packing the two for trips to the backwoods. With Edna the mule, Jenkins never had to worry about keeping her head above water! - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006



letter RE: A Warning to Alaskans By Samuel Bergeron - Monday
letter Forever grateful to residents of Ketchikan By Sherry Freeman - Sunday
letter In defense of the Ketchikan Borough and Animal Protection By Georgianna Zimmerle - Sunday
letter THE AQUARIUM OF DEAD FISH By David G. Hanger - Saturday
letter Ketchikan's litter problem By Karen Ramsey - Saturday
letter Bear Valley Pride Despite Zoning Ruling By Lynne Miller - Friday
letter Response to integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Tamela McColley - Friday
letter Protests against aerial spraying By Frances Natkong - Friday
letter RE: Drugs By Catlin Rettke - Friday
letter Murkowski Must Show His Cards By Sarah Palin - Thursday
letter A UNIQUE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN By David G. Hanger - Thursday
letter Aerial Spraying By Andreas Lenz - Thursday
letter Alaskans deserve full disclosure new bill would provide By Rep. Berta Gardner - Thursday
letter Drugs By Kayleigh Martin - Wednesday
letter Integrity & ethical behavior lacking By Jon T. Van Essen - Tuesday
letter Positive examples needed By Bruce Dixon - Tuesday
letter Pesticide Spraying By R.K. Rice - Tuesday
letter Kohring has his allegiances confused By Peter Bolling - Tuesday
letter Re: $3.00 a gallon By Ken Lewis - Tuesday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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May 01, 2006, Monday, 5:30 pm - Borough Assembly Meeting - City Council Chambers
Agenda - Information Packet

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April - May 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: Bigger and Better, New and Improved! - When I was at Kayhi (during the Ford and Carter administrations!), one of my favorite TV shows was the original "Saturday Night Live" with Ackroyd-Belushi-Radner et al. It was "must see" every week TV for myself and my semi-delinquent posse.

I particularly remember one of its first "spoof" commercials in which a razor company was introducing the "Trak 3" razor.

At the time, everyone else had two blade razors and the "Trak 3" was that much better because, well simply because it three blades instead of two. The two bladed razors of the day claimed that the first blade pulled the whisker away from the face and the second cut if off for a "closer" shave. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on the Starfleet Academy - Chemist's log - stardate 2006.5. Present location: Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.

A previous log entry (stardate 2005.10) noted the publication of a report from the National Academies that advise the nation on science, engineering and medicine. Like its sister organizations, the National Academy of Sciences is a private institution, but this report was commissioned by Congress. Its full title - "Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future" - alludes to the impetus, but clearly spells out the goals of the report.

The continuing popularity of Thomas Friedman's economic thriller, "The World is Flat", which ties future prosperity to competency in science and mathematics, may help explain the resurgent interest in science education at the state level. Here, too, the Academies have been engaged, but without as much media attention. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Michael Reagan: Filling Demagogues' Tanks - When you think about rising gas prices the first thing to understand is that the people we expect to solve this problem ­ the folks in Washington ­ are the very people who do not want it solved.

To ask politicians to do something about the skyrocketing cost of gasoline at the pump is like asking Osama bin Laden to do something to prevent terrorism. Neither can provide solutions because they are both responsible for the problem to begin with.

How many years has it been since we've been living with an energy crisis? Why hasn't it been solved?

It's because politicians are always looking for some issue to exploit, and when they have an issue dealing with a matter that hits everyone in the pocketbook they would much prefer to have the problem always on tap so they can demagogue it at election time. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

Bob Ciminel: Brakeman's Weather - Wednesday, February 20, 2002, dawned cold and rainy in north Georgia. I was up at 5 a.m. for the one-and-a-half hour drive north to Blue Ridge where I would meet Carl, the Georgia Northeastern Railroad engineer I would be working with that day. I had taken a day off from my full-time job in Atlanta to work on the weekly "log train" the GNRR sent from Blue Ridge to Tate, 42 miles south.

I would not be paid for working the freight train; I was strictly a volunteer. However, the opportunity to work a freight train through the North Georgia Mountains was payment enough. Besides, if they paid me, I would feel like I had to do it and it would become just another job. It was certainly more exciting and physically demanding than my regular weekend stint as a volunteer conductor on GNRR subsidiary, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, hauling excursions back and forth from Blue Ridge 13 miles northward to Copperhill, TN. - More...
Monday - May 01, 2006

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