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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 17, 2009

Front Page Photo By CARL THOMPSON

Murphy's Landing Sunset
Front Page Photo By CARL THOMPSON


Ketchikan: Sleep Center Opens in Ketchikan - A new PeaceHealth Sleep Center will provide Ketchikan General Hospital with the ability to diagnose and treat common sleep problems in Ketchikan. It is estimated that more than 25% of the general population suffer from significant sleep disorders. Snoring, sleep apnea and insomnia are common.

David Morison, M.D., Kelvin Lam, M.D., and Stuart Thorson, M.D., Pulmonologists and board-certified sleep disorder experts from PeaceHealth's Sleep Disorders Center in Bellingham, WA, will serve patients in Ketchikan through monthly visits to KGH and through interim telemedicine visits.

The new facility is located within the hospital. The new sleep center features two comfortable, state-of-the-art, sleeping rooms where patients are monitored while sleeping. Patients are connected to sleep monitoring equipment that collects information about eye and limb movements, brain activity, breathing and heart rates. Data is analyzed by the experts in Bellingham who will work with local physicians to design treatments to correct sleep problems. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

Alaska: New Kensington Brief Filed; $300 million mining project would create hundreds of jobs - At the direction of Governor Sarah Palin, the Alaska Department of Law filed a supplemental brief Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting development of the Kensington Mine near Juneau.

"The state's legal efforts, including the supplemental brief filed today, show support for developing our resources responsibly, growing Alaska's economy and creating well-paying jobs," Governor Palin said. "The brief should assist the Supreme Court with rendering a decision that finally allows the Kensington Mine to move ahead."

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) filed a lawsuit to stop the mine. The suit alleged that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by issuing permits that allow tailings to be deposited in a small and remote muskeg lake. The state intervened to assist mine owner Coeur-Alaska and the corps in defending the permit.

The U.S. District Court upheld the corps permit, but SEACC appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court and invalidated the permit. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court followed.

"One of the issues raised by the justices implies that they are considering narrow procedural grounds for deciding the case, without actually determining whether the mine discharge is legal," said Deputy Attorney General Craig Tillery. "We, and Coeur, want the court to make a definitive ruling on the central issue, so that everyone knows what the rules are."

Governor Palin noted the importance of the mining industry to the Alaska economy.

"Except for the oil and gas sector, mining jobs are the best-paying jobs in Alaska, with average annual wages over $80,000," she noted. "These jobs and the jobs created indirectly would be a tremendous boost to Southeast Alaska. Coeur-Alaska also has a good record of working with the university and tribal and ANCSA entities to train and hire Alaskans." - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

Fish Factor: Salmon season officially underway; Fish counts; & Halibut hits By LAINE WELCH - Alaska's salmon season officially got underway on May 14 with the first 12 hour opener at Copper River. A fleet of more than 500 gillnetters were competing for the first catches of the reds and kings, along with the usual media swirl surrounding the famous fish.

Cordova was busier than ever, said Rochelle van den Broek, director of Cordova District Fishermen United, a regional trade group active since 1919. The "lower" fuel prices ($3.60 compared to over $5 last year) mean that more fishermen will be able to come back to town between openers.

"They definitely looked more optimistic. That will help business owners and people can spend time with their families. It really helps our community a lot," van den Broek said.

The rush of media also keeps Cordova cash registers ringing. The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association partnered with the Cordova Chamber of Commerce to bring PBS and National Geographic film crews to the world renowned fishery. As usual, news outlets covered the race from fishing grounds to high end users in Seattle, all vying to be the first to menu the fish at their restaurants and retail counters.

Alaska Airlines whisked 20,000 pounds of Copper River salmon to Seattle within 12 hours after capture; first reports showed retail prices at $29.99/lb for kings; $19.99/lb for reds.

Prices to fishermen for their first catches were reported at $5.25/lb for king salmon and $3.50/lb for sockeye, a bump up from pre-opener posts of $5 and $3 per pound. (That compares to $6.55/lb. for kings and $4.55/lb.for sockeye last year).

The high prices are not a true reflection of the market place, and they will drop as more Alaska salmon fisheries come on line.

But there is no denying that Copper River-ites have created marketing magic for fish from their region, and they aim to expand their realm. Starting this season, ice is being barged to fishing boats in remote western reaches of Prince William Sound. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

Alaska: Former Youth Center Counselor Indicted by Federal Grand Jury on Charges of Distributing Crack Cocaine Near the Youth Center - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Edward Jamal Mason, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was arraigned in federal court in Anchorage on May 11, 2009, on charges of distribution of controlled substances in or near a school.

The four-count indictment named Mason, age 31, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, Mason, sold crack cocaine on four separate occasions during 2008. Two of those drug deals took place near the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), where Mason was working as a counselor. As a counselor for MYC, Mason was responsible for supervising juveniles at the center. The McLaughlin Youth Center is operated by the State of Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice. The mission of the Division of Juvenile Justice is to hold juvenile offenders accountable for their behavior, promote the safety and restoration of victims and communities, and assist offenders and their families in developing skills to prevent crime. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009


Hydaburg: Anna Frisby wins Health Aide of Year Award - Community Health Practitioner Anna Frisby recently received the 2009 Health Aide of the Year Award from the directors of the Alaska Community Health Aide Program. Frisby works for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Hydaburg Health Center.

Anna Frisby wins Health Aide of Year Award

Community Health Practitioner Anna Frisby of the SEARHC Hydaburg Health Center and Steve Gage, SEARHC Assistant Medical Director for Community Health Services, pose with the award Frisby received as 2009 Health Aide of the Year from the directors of the Alaska Community Health Aide Program. 
Photo courtesy SEARCH

The award is part of the "Shining Star" recognition awards for the Alaska Community Health Aide Program. Also honored was the late Anna Madros, who was the first community health aide/practitioner in Kaltag. The awards were presented during an April 22 luncheon at the Community Health Aide Forum in Anchorage.

"It was an honor and a scare to receive this award," Frisby said. "I don't like to speak in public, so that was the scare. I thanked my supervisor, Steve Gage, and the CHAP board for the award and recognition, my husband for always supporting me and my efforts to continue my education, and my coworkers for their support and willingness to help me as well. I was so surprised when I was told that I was chosen to receive this award because I feel that I'm just doing my job." - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

Health - Fitness: Americans worried about how to afford health care By LEE BOWMAN - Your money or your life.

It's a no-brainer in a stickup situation. But when discussing health-care reform, the answers get a little trickier.

Most people would say they want both access to good medical care when they need it and for that care to be affordable.

When people are sick, they're more likely to worry about getting care. But most Americans -- including many uninsured -- worry more about affordability than access or quality of care. That's particularly true when the economy is in a downturn, with mounting evidence that people are postponing or skipping health care to save money.

A new survey released this week by the Stanford Center on Longevity reflects some typical attitudes about the health-care system and reform. While 62 percent of the more than 2,000 voters surveyed nationwide said the health-care system works well for them, 68 percent said it does not work well for most Americans.

Only 16 percent said they were "very" or "fairly" satisfied with the cost and affordability of health care, but only 20 percent said they were "not at all" or "not very" satisfied with the quality. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009


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Basic Rules

letter Letter of Resignation By Samuel Bergeron - To the Mayor and City Council and citizens of Ketchikan,

Effective 5-18-09, I reluctantly resign my seat on the Ketchikan City Council. I do so with a heavy heart. When I left on work assignment in Kazakhstan, I was supposed to be working in the large metropolitan areas that had good high speed internet service. Due to a change in my work assignment, I will not be able to continue participating without impacting my work. My current assignment is in a location that does not have internet and is remote. I said before I left that if it became impractical for me to continue to participate, I would resign. The circumstance has arisen that makes it impossible for me to continue. - More...
Monday - May 18, 2009

letterThe Boys and Girls Club has a new home. By Chris Corrao - After months of searching the Boys & Girls Club has now opened in our new location 645 Jackson Street (more commonly known as the National Guard Armory). - More...
Monday - May 18, 2009

letterCruise Ship Tax By Vic and Judi Vreeland - On September 13, 2006, you published our letter concerning the cruise ship tax. We were opposed to it and said; - More...
Monday - May 18, 2009

letter Last Knot on the Rope to progress. By Don Borders - While Ketchikan stands sliding on the slippery slope, fixated with both hands firmly grasping the last stop, it has its back to the deep waters. The cruise lines dropped one of its ships visiting our little town, while adding one more to Anchorage. Sure, they cited the cost of oil to run the ships, but in thought, it must take more fuel to get the added ship visit to Anchorage. The fact two of our local governments chose to spend the cruise ship passengers' tax on stuff not adhering to the imposed head tax guidelines must have been their problem. That is one aspect of the last knot. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letterOpen Letter: Dungeness crab fishery By Rep. Kyle Johansen & Rep. Bill Thomas - We are very concerned with the decision by the Board of Fish (Board) to open the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Districts 1 and 2 of Registration Area A from June 15 to August 15 (summer season). - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letter Foster Care in Alaska By Lisa Bezenek - I certainly hope the state will look into this information Mr. Jackson presented, and somehow have Mr. Jackson's college fund be funded from that large amount of money per month. What a great thing for him to come to the public with information most people hide from or just ignore. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letterRental costs in Ketchikan By Heather Wills - Let me tell you about us. I stay at home during the week and waitress on the weekends and he works full time at the hospital and is going to school for Nursing. I consider us to be very good renters. We have two small children, no pets, we don't smoke or stay out late, don't play loud music, always pay our rent on time and take very good care of our little apartment. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letterTongass National Forest By Charlotte Tanner - Mr. Stump you are indeed an articulate, and well written person. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letter Appeasement Jeopardizes National Security By Donald A. Moskowitz - President Obama is making mistakes impacting our foreign policy. - More...
Sunday - May 17, 2009

letter RE: Foster Care in Alaska By Charlene Burns - I am sorry that Mr. Jackson has been hurt by this news of the mass amounts of money that is being used in some facets of our foster care system. I would be just as devastated as you are if I had found out similar news about my caregivers.  - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterRE: Foster Care in Alaska By Melissa Muller - I have lived and worked with the youth, in Ketchikan, for the past eight years. Treating their mental health. At RYC, some of the kids come in because they are having difficulty navigating adolescence with their families. These kids are placed at RYC by their parents. - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterRental Costs in Ketchikan By Maria Neufeldt - There have been several letters about "slumlords" in Ketchikan. Well I have the other side. Is my rent higher here than in Oregon? Of course. The cost of living is about 30% higher here overall than Portland. - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterCoastal Alaska Forest Regrowth By Keith Stump - In response to Charlotte Tanner's second request that I answer or otherwise enlighten her: "Over-mature forests" include "dead and decaying" trees, and healthy, growing trees. They are marked by a canopy populated by gray, dead wood, and distinguished from a "mature forest" by the substantial percentage of dead and dying trees and more technically by the comparative lack of increase or decrease in wood fiber. "Over mature" is a term used to describe a forest, not a tree. A standing tree can be dead or dying (i.e. decaying, rotting in part). A tree fallen and turning to rot on the forest floor is not an "over-mature tree," it's a dead tree, but it would possibly be in an over-mature forest. - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterRE: ON SECESSION By Eileen Small - A discussion of history is always a good thing in my opinion since, as they say, those who don't study history are destined to repeat it. Slavery was, infact, a great evil in the world. This includes wherever it existed in America in our past and in places where minorities (such as women) are enslaved today and where innocent civilians are tortured and beheaded for quasi religious reasons by Al Quaeda and the Taliban such as in Iraq and Afghanistan --- and where our current elected U.S. President and Congress seem to have HUGE issues in showing a little backbone when dealing with these oppressors. - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterRE: ON SECESSION By Jeremy Price - I am sick to death of secession being painted as such a dastardly act, when come to think of it, our nation was born from secession. - More...
Thursday - May 14, 2009

letterResponses to my letters By Charles Edwardson - For some reason some of my letters make it to this publication and some do not. I do not know if they are screened or not but it seems that some of my more polite letters make it on right away and some of the more sarcastic letters do not make it at all. In any case sarcasm is not a reason to discount the content of an opinion. - More...
Tuesday - May 12, 2009

letter The Theft of Taan ta Kwaan Lands in Ketchikan By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - The low tidelands around Ketchikan, Alaska belong to the Taan ta Kwaan (Sea Lion People), also known as the Tongass Tribe. Encroachment or theft of Native lands in Ketchikan actually started during the Alaska gold rush in the late 1880's with so-called mining claims like Venetia Lode and Schoenbar Lode. It was during this time that Alaska Natives were unable to make mining claims on their own lands, because they were not citizens of the United States. - More...
Monday PM - May 11, 2009

letterANOTHER CLIFF HANGER by Ken Bylund - Mr. Hanger, do you believe that defending your political religion with the fervor of Pope Gregory IX is persuasive, or productive? Many, especially non-partisans, non-believers [like me] have had enough of this religious inquisition rhetoric from all sides... leaves a bitter history, all this constant sniping, the compulsive disorder to shout down, accuse, and pitch divisive epithets; peculiar [as it is repulsive], is the tone, that hollow echo of past totalitarianism. My recommendation; provide logical, persuasive arguments for specific concepts, [scientific method] to be studied, tested, and proofed; resist all the blustery energy aimed at destroying the reputations of them who disagree with you [not very scientific]. Listen and think about what skeptics are saying, much of it is justifiable, offer reasonable, constructive alternatives. - More...
Monday PM - May 11, 2009

letterThank You By Julia Guthrie - My son Christopher R. Stacy was involved in a single car accident on South Tongass Highway on May 4th. My family would just like to thank the South Tongass Fire Department, the Alaska State Troopers, the Ketchikan General Hospital, Guardian Flight, Harbor Veiw Medical Center, our friends and family, and all the people of Ketchikan who offered their support to our family. - More...
Monday PM - May 11, 2009

letterFoster Care in Alaska By Mary Ida Henrikson - I must respond to Matt Jackson's letter. First it must have been devastating to learn that money was the motivation in your foster care. Your letter describing your conclusion is full of emotional pain and confusion. - More...
Monday PM - May 11, 2009

letter$414,000.00 plus $30,000.00 By Bob Jackson - The people I have talked with believe the council made a costly mistake in the decision to move KPU customer service out of its current location. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterKPU Telecom Sale By Michael Naab - Reading the recent letters from Charles Edwardson and Rudy McGillvray, one might assume that the sale of KPU's Telecommunications Division is a foregone conclusion. Not so. Here are some facts: - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterDungeness Crab in Southeast Alaska By Jackie Tyson - Briefly, I was at the Petersburg Board of Fish (BoF) meeting. I spoke for the people of Whale Pass who wanted to keep the little bay in front of their town closed to commercial crabbers. My husband was trying to get a small area in the Wrangell Narrows by Petersburg closed to Dungeness because it's so depleted. We were shot down. It was not pretty. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letter Foster Care in Alaska By Matt Jackson - Today, I learned what really makes the "youth treatment system" go 'round in Alaska. It's not love, it is not about the kids, and no one cares about us. It is the money. I won't go into the many grievances Residential Youth Care and foster care have committed against me. Rather, today I will only talk about the numbers.  - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterSpeed Limits By Libby Oaksmith - I have read the previous two letters and agree with both of them. In 2000, I wrote a letter to the Daily News asking drivers to please slow down. I too live in the same area as Jennifer, only right across from the ball park. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterON SECESSION By David G. Hanger - Eileen Small would have us believe that there exists a binding contract between the state of Texas and the United States that allows Texas to secede from the United States if it so desires. That so-called contract language dates to 1845 and was voided and superseded by what is known as the American Civil War. You might have heard of it, Eileen. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterOur children's children's Forest By James Schenk - I have been to the Maybeso experimental forest! For such a place to be chosen as an example of a good one, is beyond my belief. The alder after 60 years in the Maybeso is still profuse, the reprod which was never properly thinned makes human and animal passage difficult at best. The reasoning of destroying our forest for profit of corporations and publicly funded logging should be as dead as a spawned out salmon. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterCoastal Alaska forest regrowth By Louise Clark - I feel an obligation to add my opinion to this discussion of old growth ugly versus new beautiful human managed forests because it is refreshing to know that man in his ultimate wisdom is better at this than God or mother nature.  - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterCoastal Alaska Forest Regrowth By Charlotte Tanner - Thank you Mr. Stump for your attempt at "enlightening" me. I tend to agree with you on your assessment of your grandmother, she is over mature. Just as a tree that has fallen and decayed on the forest floor for a few decades could be called over mature, but to call a standing tree "over mature" is rather pre mature in my humble opinion. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterSidewalk congestion By Julie Grimmer - This morning at the tunnel, I witnessed two women get on their small electric wheelchair-type vehicles and zoom on to downtown, using the sidewalk. Now, these 2 were not handicapped in any way. I saw both of them walking around their vehicles prior to using them, stooping down, one even running down the street to get something. - More...
Saturday - May 09, 2009

letterSlumlords By Cecelia Johnson - On rent and landlords I really need to add my two cents. I am a homeowner but have been involved with social services which I was an advocate. - More...
Wednesday - May 06, 2009

letterCoastal Alaska Forest Regrowth By Keith Stump - Charlotte Tanner has requested me to enlighten her with locations of "better, greener, healthier forests" in Southeast Alaska. OK. First, check out Maybeso Valley on POW where the Maybeso Experimental Forest is located. It was used for experimental logging by the U.S. Forest Service when large-scale logging first began to provide the timber contracted to the two long-term (50 year) sales to the two pulp mills build in the 1950's (Ketchikan and then Sitka). To evaluate and better understand the effects of more significant harvesting of timber (particularly the effects on salmon streams),and the natural regrowth capabilities and processes in Southeast Alaska, over four miles of forests on both sides of the Maybeso Creek were clear-cut logged, and within that area a square mile (after being was first clear cut logged) had all remaining trees (down to just sprouts) removed. In that regrowth (or second generation forest), you will uniformly find an overall "greener" forest canopy (over sixty feet tall about ten or twenty years ago) without the grey dead tops of dead or dying trees found in the or climax forest that was there when the logging began. - More...
Wednesday - May 06, 2009

letterOld Growth Trees - worthless? By Shelley Stallings - About the only sentence in Mr. Dornblasers letter I can find any agreement with is the one which states that trees, like all living things, grow, mature, then die. After that it becomes more complicated and most of these issues have be hashed and re-hashed many times over in the media and at countless USFS public meetings. - More...
Wednesday - May 06, 2009

letterTake the Money By Rick Ferguson - I think our governor should get off her high horse and take the money. - More...
Wednesday - May 06, 2009

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

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