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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 04, 2009

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

Gravina Island: Greater White-fronted Goose
These two geese were among a flock of approximately 30 Great White-front Geese on Gravina Island. According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these geese breed across the tundra from Nunavut to Siberia, across Russia, and in Greenland. The Greater White-fronted Goose has one of the largest ranges of any species of goose in the world. In North America, however, it is common only west of the Mississippi River, where it is found in large flocks in wetlands and croplands.
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON


The City of Ketchikan Public Works Department will be closing a section of Park Avenue between Bawden Street and Harris Street at 2:30 pm, May 5th, 2009. Closure duration is estimated at 4 hours. Please plan to use an alternate route thru the area, watch for and obey all traffic control signs and flaggers. Construction is also planned for Wed. May 6th, Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th in the area. Questions or concerns should be addressed to the City Public Works dept. at 228-4727.


Ketchikan: Network sets traps to find any green crabs in Alaska - With spring weather, experts from natural resource agencies, professors, teachers, students and citizens in Alaska are increasing their vigilance for oceanic aliens: European green crabs.

 Network sets traps to find any green crabs in Alaska

European green crab
A female green crab, carrying her egg mass.
Photo: Linda Shaw, NOAA Fisheries

Ketchikan resident Gary Freitag will board a plane within the next couple weeks to ride to Shelter Cover, on Dall Island on the outer coastline of Southeast Alaska to set small crab traps where green crabs are likely to make their first appearance in Alaska.

Freitag works for Alaska Sea Grant which is funded by NOAA and the University of Alaska. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Ketchikan. The cooperative nature of his funding echoes what can be seen across the state: many people from scientists to fishermen to citizens to students, with federal to state to private affiliations have their eyes open for the first sign of green crabs.

"Trained monitors set small crab traps during low tides and check after 24 hours have passed," explained Linda Shaw, invasive species expert with NOAA Fisheries in Juneau. "Most start in May and trap through into September. But in Ketchikan, Gary Freitag is also trapping in the winter."

Green crabs top out at about 10 centimeters (4 inches) across. They displace native species with their voracious eating and breeding habits: clams, oyster, mussels, marine worms and other crabs fall prey. Green crabs also devour herring, salmon bones, or canned cat food, which are most commonly used to bait the traps.

The crabs appear to be moving northward on the currents. Scientists have found them in substantial numbers on the outside coastline of Vancouver Island in British Columbia and speculate that they may have already spread northward to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Vigilant monitors have not yet found any green crabs in Alaska, but the estuaries and sheltered coves of Southeast Alaska are the most likely first sighting points.

Green crabs can also hitch a ride in ballast water of ships. So in Dutch Harbor, Homer, Kodiak, Tatitlek, Whittier, Valdez, Cordova and Chenega in western and south-central Alaska as well as Glacier Bay, Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan in southeast Alaska, dedicated individuals are regularly wading into the shallows to check their traps.

Green crabs invaded Cape Cod nearly two centuries ago. They arrived somewhere between New Jersey and Massachusetts, probably on rock ballast or in the hulls of European ships. They have been spreading in North America since. In San Francisco, California, a breeding population was discovered in 1989. Green crabs were found off Oregon in 1997, off Washington in 1998 and off British Columbia in 1999. Their population has boomed in British Columbia. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

Alaska: Governor Urged to Accept $28.6 Million in State Energy Program Funds; Money Designed to Address Alaska's Energy Issues Should Not Go to Other States Say Senators - Senators Bill Wielechowski (D ­ Anchorage) and Lesil McGuire (R­ Anchorage), Co-chairs of the Senate Resources Committee, today strongly urged Governor Palin to accept money sorely needed to address Alaska's ongoing energy crisis.

Last week, the Governor announced her decision to forfeit receipt of $28.6 million in State Energy Program stimulus funds designed to help reduce energy consumption and costs throughout the state. Alaska was the only state to miss the initial deadline to apply for State Energy Program funds, but can still meet a May 12th deadline.

"It makes no sense to turn these funds away when they will just be given to other states," said Senator Wielechowski. "Alaskans need this money far more than residents of many other states with milder climates and substantially lower energy costs. People around the state are hurting and this money could help."

Alaska faces some of the highest energy costs in the country, and State Energy Program funds can be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, collectively saving the state, homeowners, and businesses millions of dollars. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

Fish Factor: Last chance to get Rainforest Wild off the ground By LAINE WELCH - Seafood Development Association. RSDA's were approved by the state in 2004 as a way to help harvesters promote the distinctive attributes of their region's seafoods, much like fine wine makers do with their varietal grapes. The unique RSDA concept allows fishing permit holders to vote to tax themselves, based on the value of their catch, and use the money for whatever projects they choose.

The Southeast Alaska drift gillnet fleet will decide over the next few weeks if it wants to fund the start up of an RSDA, called Rainforest Wild.

"Nearly 475 permit holders will be voting on whether or not to assess themselves 1% to provide the seed money to get Rainforest Wild off the ground," said Elizabeth Dubovsky, RSDA interim manager in Juneau. Two years ago a vote to form an RSDA and include more than 60 Southeast fisheries was narrowly voted down. Now, fishermen are trying the vote on a smaller scale, hoping others will soon follow suit. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

Alaska Science: Springtime smoke in Siberia is our arctic haze By NED ROZELL - Arctic haze is a blob of air pollution that sloshes over the northern cap of the planet in springtime. It's visible as a murkiness that prevents you from seeing Denali, or as dark bands on the horizon from the windows of planes flying over northern Alaska. On a bad day, it can make Alaska look like Los Angeles or Denver.

In the 1970s, scientists studied the northern air and found sulfur and black carbon floating in it from dirty smelters in Russia and other areas in Eurasia. Last spring, a team of scientists from Colorado took six flights north from Fairbanks in a plane designed to sniff the air and collect samples. After analyzing air from above northern Alaska and the sea ice north of Barrow, team members have concluded what much of the dark stuff was. It was soot from forest fires in southern Siberia and Lake Baikal, and from farmers preparing their fields by burning stubble in Kazakhstan and southern Russia.


"The fire plumes were a big surprise," said Chuck Brock of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. "We don't think of forest fires being a factor until later in the season."

April does seem a bit early for forest fires in the north, but Brock said many of them might have been started as a result of agricultural fires that got out of control and spread to the boreal forest.

So, northern residents are probably breathing molecules of vaporized black spruce trees and wheat stems from across the Bering Strait, and it might be a yearly event, Brock said. The team at the NOAA research lab is trying to determine if spring 2008's event was typical of foul air that visits northern Alaska every year. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: TSA Worries Have Gone (Snow) Global - Somewhere, as I write this, a terrorist is planning to hijack a jet with a snow globe.

"Hmmm, let's see now. I smuggle the globe inside my overstuffed carry-on. Then I subdue the flight attendants by violating all cabin protocol by using the first class bathroom even though I only bought a coach ticket.

"Next, I break open the globe and use the 4.26 ounces of water inside it to short-circuit and open the blast proof cockpit door. Then I blind the pilot with the little sparkly bits and seize control of the airliner. (Insert Snidely Whiplash laugh here)."

Sure, you laugh as well, but people farther up the IQ chain than me are already anticipating this possibility.

Yes, the Thousands Standing Around (TSA) Brain Trust (and no, that is not necessarily an oxymoron) is concerned about snow globes.

Or at least they were recently.

The last time I flew out of Ketchikan a while back there was a notice at the airport informing passengers that "snow globes" were required to be in checked luggage, not carry-ons. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

PRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on Pigs, Poultry, and People - Three years ago the World Health Organization issued a global alert about a dangerous strain of bird flu that was migrating from China. Now they're warning us about a highly contagious Mexican strain of swine flu - or, as vegetarians might prefer to call it, the other white meat influenza.

The WHO recently raised their pandemic alert to the fifth of 6 phases leading up to a global pandemic, the last of which ran its course from 1968 to 1969 and was estimated to have killed a million people - the majority in Hong Kong.

Flu vaccination has become much more widely available since then, and public health systems have many more containment tools at their disposal - such as infrared cameras to measure the body temperatures of passengers disembarking from a plane. And for those that do get sick, there is the balm of Gilead Sciences - the California pharmaceutical company that developed the antiviral drug marketed as Tamiflu by Hoffmann-LaRoche. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009


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Basic Rules

letterHELP SAVE OUR DUNGENESS!!!!! By Kimberly Peters - The Alaska Board of Fisheries has decided to open commercial Dungeness fishing in the Ketchikan area on June 15th, 2009. This just happens to be when the crabs are breeding and have soft shells, this hasn't been done since the 80's because they almost WIPED the species OUT!! - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letter25 MPH speed limit neighborhoods By Michael Moyer - I will have to agree with Jennifer Tavares that there is no intelligent reason why the neighborhood streets of Ketchikan should have speed limits as high as 25 mph. I live on upper Water Street and I have witnessed near fatal accidents with pedestrians there including a child who was simply stepping out of his street side home directly into the path of an on-coming car. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterRe: KPU (Telephone Division) By Alan R. (Rudy) McGillvray - It has never been incumbent upon the City Council to do anything in governing Ketchikan that would REALLY benefit its citizens and or customers. KPU Telephone Division is the only division in KPU that makes more money than it spends; that would be called, by any other name, PROFIT. KPU Telephone Div, is constantly called upon to give monies to the Electrical Division, if you read the minutes of City Council Meetings very carefully you will note that on occasion the Council is asked by the Managers of KPU to do so and they do. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterRE: Enlightment By Jim Dornblaser - Ms. Tanner, I find your choice of words ironic. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterHigh Rent?? By Sonia Streitmatter - I am a homeowner who currently has renters in my home. I'm fairly new to the game (just a few months), but I have to say if anyone thinks I am making money off the deal, they are just plain wrong. The rent covers the mortgage payment, the property manager's fee and the little bit extra goes to paying the increase in insurance from a homeowner's policy to a landlord's policy. If there is anything left, it will go towards a fund for repairs/alterations. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterKetchikan Tea Party By Eileen Small - I thought Mr. Hanger's tirade against Ms. Emmert's letter in support of the nationwide tea parties to be a tad elitist and unjust--a characteristic which that writer shares with many of our currently elected officials and a fact that helped incite the grass root protests leading to the tea parties. I know I am not a racist but I can see unnecessary spending occur and I hate to see my kids and others' kids paying for debts occurred in this generation. Frankly, I hate to pay for it either and if I wanted to own Chrysler or GM I'd buy stock personally! I guess I can determine right from wrong. Why is the "race card" always played when someone disagrees with liberal politics? I think it is silly--sort of like grade schoolers calling each other baby- name-insults on a playground! I don't think Ms. Emmert is a racist either and I am certain of one more thing that neither she nor I are: WE AREN'T SOCIALISTS!!!  - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterIranian Nuclear Missile Threat By Donald A. Moskowitz - Iran tested the launch of a Scud missile from a ship in the Caspian Sea, which was designed to provide the capability of launching intermediate range missiles from cargo ships sitting off coastlines. Also, within a few years Iran will have long range missiles capable of striking North America. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letter Airline Travel Costs By Jerilyn Lester - I have to agree with Chas Edwardson on this one, if Alaska Airlines thought in terms of volume instead of gouging each individual that crossed the Narrows it would be better all around. - More...
Monday - May 04, 2009

letterKPU ADVISORY BOARD By Charles Edwardson - I have recently been nominated and placed and the KPU advisory board. My main interest in sitting on this board is to understand Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) and to understand the sale of the publicly owned utility - KPU PHONE DIVISION - and the discussion of the sale of a company you and I own, without you or I involved in the discussion. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterDeermount Parking By Jennifer Tavares - My family & I live on Deermount St. where the speed limit is currently 25 MPH. The city is considering removing parking on half of my street, which my neighbors and I feel this will encourage speeding even more. I have been speaking to Chief of Police Ed Talik about my concerns. Mr. Talik and the other police officers have been extremely helpful in watching our neighborhood for people going too fast. I was unaware the limit on many residential streets are 25 - I always thought in these areas it was 20 MPH. Water St, Woodland, Baranof- every little road the limit is the same as the main street Tongass Ave. I don't understand why in areas where families live and little children play the speed limit is 25, and downtown where the "tourists" visit in the summer is 20! Does this make any sense at all?!?
- More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterAwaiting enlightenment By Charlotte Tanner - Mr. Stump says in his letter that: "by logging over-mature, decaying, primarily hemlock stands, the industry was creating a better, greener, healthier forest for the future." This is an interesting viewpoint. I've lived in SE Alaska since 1968, if indeed, the logging that has taken place has created a better, greener, healthier forest, I'd sure like to know where it is? Perhaps Mr. Stump could enlighten me. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letter Why, Why, do we give up our Rights By Randy Williams - Someone please tell me what has happened to us, have we become so corporate that we have forgotten how important our food sources are to us as Alaska Natives. I ask again, where is our leadership to stop this greedy money grubbing theft of our traditional food sources. I usually don't write in the Sitnews unless I'm discussing Gaming and all the money that is made in almost every State but Alaska with the exception of Metlakatla and they could make so much more if they really addressed gaming the way it should be, but that's another subject. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letter"Nanny State" is no longer a metaphor By Jay Jones - Commissioner LeDoux's letter disappointed me although it was expected. The State of Alaska has determined that large amounts of parents are incapable of raising their own toddlers correctly. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterLIMBAUGH LOONIES AND BECKBRAINS By David G. Hanger - One Connie Emmert hails that the tea party movement has been "a huge success!" So successful that using her base numbers a total of less than three one-hundredths of one percent of the citizens of this country participated. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterHigh rents not always a simple case of greedy landlords By Mary L. Dahl - I understand the frustration of a tight budget and paying rents that eat up a big chunk of that budget. It is tough to get ahead under those circumstances. However, the problem of high rents is not always a simple case of greedy landlords bilking the tenants. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterRental Costs By Marcia Hilley - We have been landlords in Ketchikan since 1975. Ohhh the stories we could tell! However the only one who cares is another landlord! The tenants I have now are working single parents. They pay their rent each month and I haven't raised their rent since they moved in... - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterHigh Rent By Dave Jensen - There were generations contributing to the cost of housing in Ketchikan. Most people move here to work, or to make money. Some plan to leave with a sack full of cash (retirement). People that grew up here may have the same idea. I say some because there are always those that have no incentive to provide for themselves. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letterHigh Rent Costs By Chris Barry - To those that scream buy a house, I say 'WAKE UP MORONS'! - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letter OUTRAGEOUS prices By Aimee Perry-Mazzella - I am an avid reader of this website to keep up with the "Hometown News" and felt compelled to respond to this issue. - More...
Thursday - April 30, 2009

letter RE: HIGH RENTAL COSTS By Zak Young - Mr. Steiner has a valid point, which is very simply "BUY A HOUSE, END OF STORY!" - More...
Saturday - April 25, 2009

letter School Districts Will Pilot Ideas for Publicly Funded Preschools By Larry LeDoux, Alaska Education Commissioner - Giving our children high-quality care from birth to age 6 is one of the best ways we can prepare them for success at school -- and throughout their lives. The Palin administration will help more Alaska parents achieve this level of care, whether their children are at home or in preschools. - More...
Saturday - April 25, 2009

letterFiddler Problem By Rodney Dial - RE: The fiddler on the roof carving on Creek St. not being in compliance with zoning laws.- More...
Saturday - April 25, 2009

letterCommercial crab restrictions By Trygve Westergard - I heard a rumor that fish and game opened Bostwick Bay along with some others to commercial crabbers? Why was this opened? - More..
Saturday - April 25, 2009

letter Parking By Rhett Jackson - I agree with Jackie Keizer; parking on Deermount is already strained to the max as these old city houses weren't planned as well as other newer homes. If the city would buy the rock quarry behind Deermount and turn it into a parking lot that might be an option but one has to wonder if taking the parking off Deermount by fiat caters to folks who aren't residents. I would have to bring my car up the 48 steps to my house if this happens. - More...
Saturday - April 25, 2009

letterParking for residents By Bobbie McCreary - I strongly support Jackie Keizer's comments and put in my own plea. Please, look first to a more global, city-wide parking plan first and do NOT take a piecemeal approach to parking issues. If you "squeeze" parking in one place, it will just "pop up" in another. We all know there is inadequate parking space allocated in the central part of town to park the vehicles driven by people who live there. - More...
Thursday - April 25, 2009

letter Tea Party Report By Connie Emmert - A PajamasTV report estimates that about one million people came out for the Tax Day Tea Parties across the nation!  What a huge success!  Not only that, but a Rasmussen poll this week showed that 51% of Americans viewed the tea parties favorably, while only 33% viewed them unfavorably. - More...
Thursday - April 25, 2009

letterRemoval of Parking on Deermount St. By Jackie Keizer - I am writing in regard to the notice that appeared in the Weekend Edition stating that "the City of Ketchikan Joint Safety Committee is soliciting input from the public regarding removal of on-street parking for all the north side of Deermount Street." - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letterThe High Cost of UAS Administration By Robert D. Warner - Rapidly rising costs for higher education are a major worry to college students and their parents who struggle to find funds to cover these increases. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letter Man Caused Disasters By A.M.Johnson - U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has demonstrated yet another shallow or corrupt example of the "Kenyan's" cabinet talent, by claiming that the "War on Terror" is really a "Overseas Contingency Operations" and then this. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letter Re: Drivers By Alan R. McGillvray - Well by now, we should all know that there are two ways to drive on the roads and streets, around and about Ketchikan; either WAY TOO FAST, or WAY TOO SLOW. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letterContempt for "tea baggers" By Richard Easbey - Well, well, well. In David Hanger's screed published 04/21/09, he manages to parrot just about every DNC talking point/leftist ad hominem I've seen since last Wednesday's Tea Party. And he starts off magnificently with the elitism and snobbery which only a leftist is capable of, with his remark about Republicans not reading. Yep, that's right, Dave. Those of us who don't agree with statists like yourself are just a bunch of dummies. Thanks for clearing that up. Oh, and by the way: calling us "tea baggers" is so last week. What is it with the left's obsession with this particular sex act? What are you, 12? (If you don't know what "tea-bagging" is, ask a middle schooler.)  - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letter RE: THE FIZZLE IN THE DRIZZLE By William H. Davis - Mr. Hanger, you have an opinion. Great. Americans can voice that opinion in anyway that they want to, be it in a letter to the editor or standing on a soapbox...on a street corner. Either way is perfectly acceptable under the law. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letterRE: Timber Industry Retooling By Dave Abeyta  - I'm in agreement with Keith Stump's comments & information. I've spent half my working life (15 years) in the northwest logging industry & one thing is for sure forest management is an imperfect science in the works. The Forest Service sends out well intentioned, college educated people to tell loggers what's best for the forest. In spite of what the preservationists think we loggers care about what is best for the trees so they will be there for us & our children. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letter Reply to High Rental Costs By Mark Steiner - Buy a house, end of story. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letter High Rental Costs By Katherine Wood - I too think rental costs in Ketchikan are extreme. I have two children and I am renting on my own for the first time. It is such a struggle, not fun at all. I am a hard working person who has a fairly good job and I can never get ahead. It makes me sick when I talk to my mom in Oregon who rents a 3 bedroom 2 bath brand new house with a 2 car garage, a grassy front yard with a fenced grassy back yard and a dog and she only pays $750 a month. I pay $1007 a month not including utilities and that's in a 2 bedroom 1 bath APARTMENT in a four-plex. - More...
Thursday - April 23, 2009

letterHigh Rental Costs By Zak Young - I read the letter about the high cost of rentals in Ketchikan, and myself am in the mad dash search for an apt due to circumstances beyond my control, and am having the same issues. The writer hit the nail on the head! I usually am a person who tells it how I see this is what I see!! - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letterUnbelievable Renters By Susan Hoyt - I read the letter "Unbelievable Rental Costs". I am not defending high rents but I must add that I have had my share of great renters and I thought I might share just a couple stories. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letterTHE FIZZLE IN THE DRIZZLE By David G. Hanger - This "tea bagging" nonsense is a classic example of that old adage, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is Democrats believe what they read; Republicans just don't read. Believing what one reads has always exemplified stupidity; one must follow the footnote trail to determine the writer's ideology, method, and motivation, none of which has anything to do with belief. Not reading epitomizes and enhances ignorance, and ignorance is certainly the primary message broadcast by the "tea baggers." - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter Regarding Tax Day Tea Party By Connie Emmert, Laura Antonsen, and Dick Coose - Thanks to all of you who came out to the sign waving Tax Day Tea Party!  It was a great turn out, and you were true patriots for standing out there in the cold and wind.  We and our fellow tea party patriots across the country made history and surely we have begun to make an impact in congress. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letterTax Tea Party By Eileen Small - Ms. Gay, there is a petition circulating in support of the tea party's concepts. I have one copy in my office if you'd like to drop by and sign. Also, there will be a "like event" on July 4 and you are definitely welcome to come. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter"Tea Party" By Lou Ann Richardson - Ketchikan's "tea party" made one of the New York Times Op-Ed articles, (Gail Collins, 4/18)....along with Texas. We're famous yet again. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter Open Letter: Refund anticipation loans By David G. Hanger - On behalf of the consumers and the taxpaying citizens of the state of Alaska, first and foremost, but in this instance contributing to the enhanced well-being of the citizens of all of the states, I respectfully request the immediate outlawing of refund anticipation loans, an abomination that has brought loan sharks and incompetents into the fields of accounting and of tax preparation, thereby degrading the standards of this profession to an embarrassing degree, while bilking the consuming public for high fees and high rates of interest, constituting as much as 20% to 30% of a taxpayer's refund, for a loan that lasts no more than five to ten days. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter Re: Drivers By Doug Johnson - I share some of Mr. Harper's frustrations. I see just as many over cautious drivers driving well under the speed limit for no apparent reason. Maybe they lack the driving skill necessary to manipulate the corners at speed, maybe they have no place to go and don't care how long it takes them to get there. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letterALASKA AIRLINES TICKETS By Chas Edwardson - If it cost me let's say 300 dollars to get from here to Seattle, I would probably go there at least 4 to 5 times a year just to dry off. Ironic? total= 1200 to 1500 bucks. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter Tickets By Heather Wills - Exactly, we don't have that option here, we don't have any options here and they know it. Alaska airlines has a Monopoly in Southeast Alaska and they know it, it's not just Ketchikan that gets the shaft either, tried flying out of Juneau lately? - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letter Re: Drivers By Floyd Crocker - A classic case of road rage, Give yourself a few more minutes and enjoy the trip. - More...
Tuesday - April 21, 2009

letterKFD Dispatchers By Dave Hull - I want to start off by saying that the Ketchikan Police Department and Alaska State Troopers dispatchers deserve all the accolades given them for the performance of their duties. In fact, they can't be given enough. I have been involved with emergency response for the last 34 years and have taken great comfort many times in the calm, warm voice coming out of my handheld radio speaker. Just knowing someone is there when I key the microphone is of great reassurance. I must object, however, that one group has been left out of the honors recently bestowed by the Borough Assembly. The group I am referring to is the dispatchers with the Ketchikan Fire Department. They are still there filling in when needed and doing an excellent job but were referred to as 'others' in the proclamation. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterUnbelievable Rental Costs - Letter removed by request.
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterHelp save the Dungeness! By Lloyd Gossman - Everyone needs to help stop the Ketchikan area summer commercial Dungeness crab fishery. It hasn't taken place for 20 years because it was a bad idea back in the day and it's a bad idea now. As of now, this fishery is scheduled to start on June 15th, right when most of the Dungeness are soft shelled and reproducing. Millions of pounds of Dungeness will be wasted because of the high mortality rate of the soft-shelled crab. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterRE: Timber Industry Retooling By Keith Stump - I read, with some dismay and perhaps even some amusement, Mr. Hjerpe's attempt to pan Sen. Murkowski's Southeast Alaska Timber Industry Retooling and Restructuring Act. Amused by yet another OIE ("Outside Instant Expert") postulating and perpetuating ad nauseam something somebody told them was true (but really isn't), and dismayed that others with equal ignorance will possibly believe it and extend the vicious cycle of propaganda. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letter Hydaburg School By Frances C. Natkong - On April 9, 2009, the Board of Education of Hydaburg City School District met in a regular school board meeting and voted unanimously to retain the present CEO of Hydaburg school. There was one board member absent that night so was not counted in the vote. Their logic in retaining the CEO is "he's saving the district money and it's not feasible to hire a superintendent at this time." I've done some computing and both the CEO and his significant other's salaries combined are outrageous! The school board hired SERRC to do a superintendent search and that was not brought up at the meeting, the president skipped right over that on the agenda (more money going out without just cause). It makes me wonder how much was spent on the superintendent search and why weren't any of the candidates for the position even considered? - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letter Three if by mandate By Ken Lewis - And then there was dark! Can one of the smarter people on this Island explain in real terms what House Bill 19 will do for evening outdoor activity in South East Alaska? My fear is the Snooze Alarm Junkies are trying to steal another hour of our evening outdoor activity time, for the sake of fewer hours separating Anchorage and a Hash Bar in Socialized Europe. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterClose Encounter of the Squirrel Kind By Joseph Miller - Just wanted to say, we had a squirrel encounter last night. Two of our flying squirrel friends found their way into my home. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterTruth Scenario! By Arilee Bird - Chas Edwardson, I raise you high for your succinct portrayal of what's gone on for years. I used to spit my coffee like you, and then have morning 'incredulous blowouts', and finally started wondering: "Where the heck do I get in line for these outrageous handouts?" Lie like a rug, devise a devious hell-bent-for-failure plan, sell the council and Ta-Dah! Make big lying 'doo-doo', and come out of it with big bucks, and smelling somewhat like a rose, but leaving a stench. Apparently if one is not part of the "inner circle" that keeps it going. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letter Drivers By David C Harper - May or may not be a stupid pet-pieve of mine, but why do 99.99% of drivers either drive too fast, or waaayyyyy too slow? It seems most are confused as to which driving habits they should use during each season. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterTea Party By Gay D. Peters - I did not know the Tea Party was going to happen here or I would have been there. I do not check this web sight all the time. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterALASKA AIRLINES TICKETS By Julie Steiner - I wanted to respond to Kim Morton's letter from April 6 - I agree with her 100%. We live in a town that the only way out is by ferry or plane. I have a big family, and trying to buy airplane tickets costs a ton of money. Oregon - Washington - why are they getting these deals on Alaska Airlines when they have a whole lot more choices on which airline to choose - we sure don't have that option here. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letter Landless settlement due years ago By Anita Edenshaw - I am a landless share holder, most of my family didn't live long enough to see the long awaited settlement, and it's about time people quit playing games and settle. Get the landless people who are willing to put the time and effort in fighting for our land or money. It's long over due. Have them inform the shareholders on the progress if any at all times. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

letterCombat Somali Pirates By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Somali pirates continue to wreak havoc on commercial shipping off the coast of Africa. There are about 20 ships with over 300 hundred hostages currently being held by the pirates for ransom. - More...
Thursday - April 16, 2009

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