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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 26, 2009

Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Black Bears
This Black Bear is pictured with one of two offspring.
The photo was taken south of Ketchikan.
Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH


Ketchikan: Tollfeldt's 44 Pounder Leads After First Weekend; Largest fish of first weekend tops last year's winning entry - Tim Eide must have felt pretty good after landing his 41.5 pound king early Monday morning and taking the lead in the 62nd Annual Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby. But Eide's stay at the top was short, as Mark Tollfeldt spent the noon hour weighing in the derby leader, a 44.0 pound chrome-bright king, at the Mountain Point Boat launch. Tollfeldt's king was one of 222 fish weighed in at the derby's four weigh-in stations over the Memorial Day weekend.

Tollfeldt's 44 Pounder Leads After First Weekend

2009 Ketchikan King Salmon Derby
Mark Tollfeldt with his 44.0 pound Chinook Salmon. Weighed in at the Mountain Point Boat Ramp.
Photograph courtesy 2009 Ketchikan King Salmon Derby

"Anglers felt the fishing was a little bit slow but the total number of participants and the number of fish weighed into the derby looks to be slightly over the first weekend of the 2008 king salmon derby," said Russell Thomas, 2009 King Salmon Derby coordinator. In 2008, 9-year-old Gage Heath took a first-weekend lead with a 42.7 pound entry. Heath's fish held the top spot through the final two weekends of the derby, making him the youngest winner in the derby's history.

Changes to the derby weigh-in procedure caused some additional work for derby committee members on Saturday. The derby committee moved to an electronic weigh-in process, allowing results to be more easily tabulated and tracked. Internet connection problems at some of the weigh-in locations caused some early result reporting to be delayed. By the end of the weekend some sites were still experiencing minor glitches but results were showing up within minutes of being weighed in. "We knew when we moved to a new weigh-in process there would be some issues we would need to work through," said Thomas. "The derby judges were fantastic in their willingness to help us make the system work." Thomas added that the patience of anglers waiting to weigh their fish in while judges experienced technical difficulties also made the process less stressful. - More...
Tuesday - May 26, 2009

Southeast Alaska: Forest Service signs ROD on Angoon hydroelectric project - Residents of Angoon are one step closer to realizing a hydroelectric facility to power their community-a facility which could potentially lower the cost of electric bills and reduce the village's dependence on expensive diesel-generated power.

Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole signed the Record of Decision for the project May 8. Cole, selecting Alternative 3 from the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project. The Selected Alternative requires buried power line and other terms and conditions to provide protection to resources in the project area, on Thayer Creek.

Kootznoowoo, Inc., the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporation for the city of Angoon, is the project proponent. In 2003, Kootznoowoo asked the Forest Service to begin the process necessary to permit and develop a hydroelectric facility, pursuant to the rights granted in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), which exempted the hydroelectric project from the requirements of the Wilderness Act.

The Selected Alternative describes the terms and conditions required for issuance of a Special Use Authorization related to the construction and operation of the hydroelectric facility. This means Kootznoowoo must obtain all necessary federal and state permits, as well as submit to the Forest Service design plans, site plans, and specifications as necessary to assure consistency and compliance with the ROD.

The Forest Service will then review the proposal and determine if it meets prescribed conditions for protection of natural resources, recreational, heritage and scenic values. Upon issuance of the Special Use Authorization, construction can begin. - More...
Tuesday - May 26, 2009

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Arts & Entertainment - Tonight the Kayhi Choral Department will be performing songs from the movies for our "Music on the Red Carpet" pizza dinner and dessert auction. The event will take place in the Kayhi Commons on Tuesday, May 26th, at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $5 for dinner (available with choir members), or just show up, enjoy the entertainment, and bid on a dessert!

A Collective Animal Kingdom. FINAL WEEK! The Mainstay Gallery's May exhibit features the work of Sarah Asper Smith, an incredible designer with a knack for composition and a wonderful palette- and a great sense of humor. The show features fine art prints of the herds, schools, gaggles and parades of the animal world- plus tons of other goodies like t-shirts, note cards, and tote bags. Did you know that a group of jellyfish is called a "smack?" A group of crows is called a "murder?" There's an animal and its grouping for every letter of the alphabet! On display through Friday, May 29th at the Mainstay Gallery, 716 Totem Way. Call 225-2211 for more info! - More...
Tuesday - May 26, 2009


Columns - Commentary

TOM PURCELL: Stimulus for the Dead - "Dead? What do you mean you're dead?"

"You heard me. My physical life has long been over. Some of us are able to show ourselves to the living and that is why I'm here now."

"What do you want?"

"Respect, my friend -- and money."

"Ah, yes, you speak of recent reports about long-dead people receiving stimulus payments from the Social Security Administration. Upward of 10,000 dead people were paid -- and some of them died very long ago."

"We deserve that money."

"But you're dead."

"Look, remember when Bill Clinton became president? He passed a retroactive tax -- one that raised taxes of some people AFTER they had died."

"You have to give Clinton points for creativity."

"Well, we dead weren't going to take that lying down. We formed our own lobbying group, the AADP."

"The American Association of Dead People?"

"That's right. As we see it, we deserve our own slice of the government-waste pie. Many of the politicians running this country certainly owe us."

"Owe you?"

"Take the electoral process. Do you know how many candidates dead voters get elected every election cycle? You never would have heard of JFK if our coalition of the dead in Chicago hadn't been so active."

"Fair enough."

"And what about health care? By croaking, we save Medicare and private insurers billions -- freeing up needed resources for the living."

"Another fair point."

"And think of how much revenue we generate. We pay inheritance taxes when we die. We generate revenue for undertakers, graveyard caretakers, hearse manufacturers and the linen industry."

"The linen industry?"

"Handkerchiefs. The point is, we contribute more to the living than many of the living do. We deserve our fair share of the government-waste pie." - More...
Tuesday - May 26, 2009


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Basic Rules

letterFourth of July By Tom LeCompte - My letter may be moot as Independence Day is on a weekend this year, but I've always advocated having Fourth of July Fireworks at Midnight between the third and fourth. - More...
Thursday PM - May 21, 2009

letterIn the wake of the Queen By Bill Meck - I hopped in the trusty 19' Glasply Wednesday to make a run for a friend from city float to the airport as a favor. There was a little chop but overall still a nice day. I pulled out in the channel and saw the usual cruise ships and float planes taking off from their piece of the narrows. Then I took note of the Alaska Queen paddle boat lumbering dead center in the channel heading towards her port. I was able to stay clear as she was in front of Safeway. However after I dropped of my pal she was next to the shipyard. Between her, an incoming Beaver and the airport ferry my options were severely limited. - More...
Thursday PM - May 21, 2009

letterFreedom to Decide By Preston Clark -I am a Vet and I believe those of us who have gone off to protect have done this to give people the right to say or do as they wish. - More...
Thursday PM - May 21, 2009

RE: Foster Care in Alaska By Cherry Ferry - Way to go, Mr. Jackson! I applaud you for putting the harsh reality of "Greed" out there. It's very sad times we live in, even though as Americans - we are spoiled and have many opportunities. But, the fact remains - it is very hard for those of us who haven't had the luxury of a somewhat decent childhood to make a better life for ourselves. And, the people who never have experienced such don't get it. You have to live it to really understand it. Compassion and genuine caring out of the kindness of the heart is becoming a lost act in today's society. It does have a lot to do with money. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 19, 2009

letterKPU TELEPHONE DIVISION SALE By Sharon J. Wolfe - I am writing to voice my opinion on this matter because I feel I have to as a concerned citizen. I base my opinion on inside knowledge as a small community member, as well as observance of recent public meetings and information gained from many employees that I know. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 19, 2009

letter Congratulations! By Frances Natkong - Congratulations, Anna Frisby! You more than deserve the award for 2009 Health Aide of the Year! You do so much for the people of Hydaburg. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 19, 2009

letter DO I HAVE TO SECEDE, TOO? By David G. Hanger - Mr. Bylund, I don't need you to tell me the U.S. military is an equal opportunity employer; I have three honorable discharges. Nor do I mind being called a liberal, but to an extent that may be faulty labeling. Certainly in this instance I am definitely taking the conservative point of view. I am standing in defense of flag and country against boneheads who want to secede, have a civil war, and kill all those disagree with them. Folks apparently like you, Mr. Bylund. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 19, 2009

letterLetter 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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