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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 25, 2008

Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis

Busy Ward Cove Beaver
Front Page Photo by Jim Lewis


Southeast Alaska: Halibut Catch for Southeast Alaska Charter Anglers Reduced to Protect Stock - NOAA's Fisheries Service issued a new rule Thursday that states starting June 1, charter vessel anglers in southeast Alaska will be allowed to keep one instead of two halibut per day.

Halibut Catch for Southeast Alaska Charter Anglers Reduced to Protect Stock

In addition, the number of lines used to fish for halibut must not exceed the number of anglers onboard the charter vessel, to a maximum of six lines. Also, guides and crew are not allowed to catch and retain halibut while clients are onboard.

"These new regulations are needed because charter fishing has grown in southeast Alaska while the abundance of halibut has decreased," said Doug Mecum, NOAA's Fisheries Service Alaska region acting administrator.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA's Fisheries Service approved the new regulations to reduce the harvest of halibut to the new target level of 931,000 pounds in 2008 in the waters of southeast Alaska, which is International Pacific Halibut Commission Area 2C. The new regulations will remain in effect until further notice.

While the target harvest for southeast Alaska in 2007 was 1.4 million pounds, the actual amount of halibut harvested by charter anglers was estimated at more than 1.7 million pounds. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

Alaska: State Posts Annual Performance Report for Special Education - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act requires each state to have a State Performance Plan, which sets measurable goals for the provision of educational services to special education students. Furthermore, the state is required to monitor progress toward these goals and produce an Annual Performance Report on the progress.

The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development is required to report to the public each district's performance on 14 indicators. The data is collected from all school districts in Alaska, and this data is used to determine whether Alaska's schools are meeting the targets set forth in the State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

Fish Factor: Health care coverage for fishing families could stall - By LAINE WELCH - An innovative new plan to provide health care coverage for fishing families could stall due to the sudden illness of Senator Ted Kennedy.

The Massachusetts senator was championing the Commercial Fishing Industry Health Care Coverage Act through Congress this session. Kennedy was diagnosed last week with a malignant brain tumor and is scheduled to begin medical treatments. But hopes remain high, both for his recovery and for passage of the health care plan.

"It has had no opposition," said Senator Ted Stevens, co-sponsor of the bi-partisan plan. "It really is a great bill and I think everyone realizes these people need some assistance."

Senator Stevens called the Act "a new approach" to providing access to health care coverage to anyone who performs fisheries related work.

It would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund $50 million in health care grants for commercial fishing states or organizations. The money would jump start the costs for getting a health care coverage plan up and running. It also would be used to offset individual health care costs, and provide group insurance coverage for more fishing families. Coverage would extend to boat owners, captains, and crew, as well as others performing fishing industry-related work, such as shore-side support company employees, and their families.

"No subsidies are involved. It's a partnership," Senator Stevens said in a phone conversation. "The legislation would authorize grants to fishing states or organizations that would be required to provide matching funds of $1 for every $2 in federal funding."

Surveys around the country show that fishing families are much more likely to be uninsured than other Americans. The seasonal and dangerous nature of their profession makes affordable coverage hard to find. Most fishermen are self-employed or work for small businesses, and high priced insurance costs are simply out of reach.

Options for both health care delivery and insurance are even more limited for Alaskans, according to a survey by the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA). It revealed that thousands of Alaska fishermen are more likely to work and live in communities without a hospital, while fewer insurance companies offer individual or small business medical coverage in Alaska than in any other state.

"This legislation will allow fishermen to band together to purchase group coverage, which will give them an opportunity to get the health care they need," he said. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008


National: Liberal groups take aim at McCain's image By JOE GAROFOLI - Labor and liberal activists are starting to get the national press to do what the still-feuding Democratic candidates can't: Focus on Republican nominee John McCain.

On Thursday, the liberal group MoveOn.org began airing a national advertisement on CNN urging McCain to fire Charlie Black, a top adviser who has been a longtime lobbyist; McCain and Black have said that Black retired from lobbying in March. (Five others have resigned from McCain's campaign recently because of their lobbyist ties.)

The national press has been slow to focus on the lobbyist story while zooming in on the Barack Obama-Hillary Rodham Clinton battle for the Democratic nomination, but that has begun to change in recent days.

Outlets like the Washington Post and NBC News have published and aired stories on the lobbyist ties of McCain's aides and cited MoveOn's online "fire Black" campaign. "Because the Democrats are still fighting the primary battle, a lot of us got tired of waiting around," said Cliff Schecter, author of "The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't" -- an attempt to debunk the Arizona senator's image as a maverick.

Still, Schecter and others acknowledged it is hard to change the media image of someone who has been in the public spotlight since he was a POW in Vietnam 40 years ago.

Outside groups like MoveOn, the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club -- though unaffiliated with the presidential campaigns -- are nonetheless doing the Democrats' dirty work.

The most recent weekly survey of campaign coverage by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that while presidential campaign stories dominated the news, only scant attention was dedicated to McCain. Since mid-March, fewer than 10 percent of the respondents to a weekly Pew Research poll say McCain "has been the most visible candidate in the news."

Activists say the lobbyist issue is prompting others to look more closely at McCain's record. A video called "McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare" produced by filmmaker Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films, provides a "video paper trail," as one McCain critic puts it, of how he has changed positions on everything from the economy to his impressions of the Iraq war. It has received nearly a million views in less than a week, making it one of the most popular anti-McCain videos online.

The AFL-CIO is pumping out $53 million worth of anti-McCain information to its union members. Dubbed "McCain Revealed," the campaign focuses heavily on Rust Belt states where Obama has fared poorly with working-class voters.

McCain supporters have countered the campaigns by taking on its accusers, primarily MoveOn, whose members have endorsed Obama for president. In a response this week, the Republican National Committee points out that MoveOn created an ad ridiculing Gen. David Petraeus, the Iraq commander, as "General Betray Us" -- a move that was roundly criticized by Republicans and Democrats. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 200


Public Meetings

The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in regular session on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, in the Ketchikan City Council chambers. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Agenda & Information Packets (pdf)


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Basic Rules

letterMemorial Day: A day of remembrance By Sen. Lisa Murkowski - A few years after our Civil War, General Order 11 was given that designated the 30th of May as a day to remember those in both the North and South who had died in the Civil War. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Memorial Day By Rep. Don Young - Every year at this time we enjoy a three-day weekend in honor of Memorial Day. But how often do we actually stop and remember why we have the extra day off from work? This country is home to millions of courageous men and women who have served their country with honor and bravery, and Alaska is where many of them call home. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Can we avert an economic meltdown? By Sen. Kim Elton - We are in desperate need of a series of unaffiliated solutions -- neither Democrat nor Republican -- to the looming U.S. energy crunch. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letterVoters are the real problem By Mike Isaac - Many voters are too simple to vote for change regardless of their education level. They whine and cry about all the money they spend on gas, food, utilities, property, income and sales taxes but turn around and vote or support someone who will raise their taxes, stand in the way of any domestic energy development which will cause food and all other prices to go up. Even though these issue are real and affect many people on a daily basis,the same voters turn around and vote for someone who is pro life, for gay marriage, builds a new school in their town but have no kids, or buys the whole global warming spin as they look for their snow shovel on this first big weekend of summer to dig out their Prius. - More..
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Democracy By Charlotte Tanner - I was stunned in 2004, when my children who were attending college were not able to vote, BECAUSE Loren Lehman, the Lieutenant Governor at that time, put all absentee ballots in the mail with insufficient postage. They were held in the Post Office until the correct amount of postage could be added. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letterIf only cars ran on political hot air ... By Mark Neckameyer - Washington would be supplying the world instead of begging hat in hand for the kind Saudis to rescue us. The TV shows are in re-run, football season hasn't started and I don't like baseball so I am stuck watching the buffoons who pass for our Senators and Congressmen (sorry, the Democrats are the dumbest ones!) make believe that they are asking "hard questions" of oil execs to somehow prove that the oil companies are "profiteering", whatever that means. They are so incredibly stupid in real life. They all look so clever in the ads they run all Summer to get re-elected but they are so much dumber than dirt trying to think on their feet or on their ample behinds is more accurate. If they were smart they would stay off live TV. - More...
Sunday - May 25, 2008

letter Taking Care of Our American Heroes By Senator Ted Stevens - This weekend, we must take time to remember and honor those who have worn our country's uniform, particularly those who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms. It is a chance to show our gratitude and deepest respects for generations of American heroes. - More...
Friday - May 23, 2008

letter Noise Pollution By Sharon Preston - Short term or impulse noise is becoming a bigger problem in Ketchikan all the time. Some examples include: whistles, horns, bells, sirens, fireworks, gunfire, blasting, pile-driving, aircraft flyovers, and dogs barking. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letterNo Democracy among Democrats By Anita Hales - The Democrat primary has me feeling very ill at ease and leaving me wondering where the media is to protest the gross disenfranchisement that is happening in this primary. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letterSafety Issue for Kanayama Eject a Ruse By Kathleen Svenson - The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. The child who was not allowed to go to Japan has never "disappeared" from school, nor anywhere else. I checked her attendance records. I also checked with the Troopers. No report of her missing. - More...
Thursday PM - May 22, 2008

letter Are Halibut, Chinook, and Coho Salmon populations in Southeast Alaska heading for a crash? By Andy Rauwolf - There are serious issues with the Southeast Alaskan marine ecosystem that have been steadily getting worse. For instance, the 2007/2008 winter King troll fishery just closed after harvesting only 45% of the 45,000 fish quota. Furthermore, for the first time in history both the halibut and summer Chinook commercial quotas have been cut by 48%. Sport and guided sport fishing have been severely restricted as well. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterToday is a Gift By Louise Clark - If you missed the Friday, May 16 band concert "Today Is A Gift" at Kayhi, you really missed something. The music was superb. I'm a big Glenn Miller fan so it was almost impossible not to get up and jitterbug during the "Glenn Miller in Concert" and "Wilson Suite For Euphonium And Band" was so incredibly beautiful, and "Today Is The Gift" was absolutely wonderful. - More...
Tuesday PM

letterWe all wish Ted Kennedy well but he is no paragon of virtue! By Mark Neckameyer - When Senator Ted Kennedy had his stroke scare Saturday morning, all the TV networks including FOX News went on the air with a glowing obituary sounding retelling of the Senator's life. They lionized the man, made him sound like combination of George Washington and Saint Peter. Fortunately Kennedy's health issue was not as serious as it first appeared but I can't help comparing the reality of his life and works with the flowery garbage we have been hearing on TV all day. Here are the facts about his "accomplishments". - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterThanks for a Great Year By Patrick E Johnston - I just wanted to say thank you to all the people I have had the pleasure to work with and serve this past year. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterIn support of Kanayama! By Amber Williams - Most of my friends will tell you how much I love Japan. Their points of view, clothing, music ect. are wonderful. That trip changed my life for the better. If I could, I would love to move there forever. Long have I said "If I go missing, I'm in Japan, don't come and find me" - More...
Tuesday PM - May 20, 2008

letterA GRADUATION MESSAGE FROM YOUR ALASKA STATE TROOPERS By Captain Kurt Ludwig - This is graduation time for high school seniors in Southeast Alaska. Most teens enjoy parties and other get-togethers, especially around graduation. And while celebrating this time is appropriate and natural, there are often decisions made by some parents and teens that are cause for concern for the public's safety. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Getting Spammed! By Scott Willis - Are you getting UCE or Unsolicited Commercial Email, better known as SPAM? Well, if you are a KPU customer with a .KPUNET.NET email account, then maybe I can help you filter some of that out. Here's what you do: - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Stop the secrecy By Thomas Ferry - Regarding the participant that was just kicked out of the Kanayama program, Mr. Worrell cites that some unthinkable negative things have been said about the program in retalliation. This child had supposedly broken some rules of commitment and safety set down by the controlling committee. I, like many others would like to know exactly what transpired to get this child kicked out. As people gossip and retell stories, the truth sometimes gets lost in translation on both sides. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter There's Nothing to Do in Ketchikan? NOT! By Bobbie McCreary - Come out Sat nite to have FUN & support our Youth Try this on for size: Skateboard contests, capture the flag, paintball target range, pie eating contest, kids corner with face painting, balloon animals, go fish, BBQ dinner, and a theme based auction. Fun for the whole family. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter THANK YOU By Mindy Lloyd - I want to thank the gentleman who contacted the Shelter (animal )after my dog was hit. I'm sorry that you were the one. But I thank you so much that I know how she passed. To let you know the wind blew our front door open and our little dogs got out. They do chase cars that's why we normally have them tied out or in our home. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Attention dog walkers By Julia Guthrie - I have lived on Alaska Avenue for about 7 years now. I would just like to say that I am really tired of dog walkers letting their animals use my front yard as a dumping stop. My children play in my yard. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter What he's trying to say By James Greenberg - I have a couple of places to find an answer to your question, first go into your bible and read Luke 21:10-11 also Mark 13:8. Another scripture of interest is 2 Timothy 3:1-5, it shows how people will be during what the bible calls the last days. - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

letter Is Somebody trying to tell us something? By Charlotte Tanner - In reply to another one of Mark Neckameyer's wonderful letters, I can only reply that perhaps we are being told to be better Stewards of the Earth, as the Bible commands us.  - More...
Saturday - May 17, 2008

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