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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 04, 2010

Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES

Dawn at Herring Cove
Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES


Ketchikan: University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Students to Graduate - The 2010 Commencement ceremony for University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Ketchikan students will be held Saturday, May 8 at 3:00 PM at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The public is invited to attend.

Twenty-six University of Alaska students are receiving degrees this spring. University of Alaska students living in Ketchikan and receiving degrees from other campuses are invited to participate in the local ceremony. This year's commencement keynote speaker is UAS Master of Public Administration graduate Sara Lawson. University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh, University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus Director Cathy LeCompte, along with University of Alaska Board of Regents members Fuller Cowell of Anchorage and Patricia Jacobson of Kodiak, will bestow honors and degrees at the ceremony.

Kali Bowers, Karen Head and Debra Taylor will receive a Bachelor of Liberal Arts. Elizabeth Carle will receive a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Steffani Schwierking will receive a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Eugenia Smith will receive a Master of Education, Special Education. - More...
Tuesday - May 04, 2010

Southeast Alaska: DOT&PF, Partners to Conduct Wrangell Airport Disaster Drill - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) along with other partners will conduct a disaster drill at the Wrangell Airport May 5th to test the readiness of communications, teamwork and the airport's emergency plan.

The drill's scenario will be similar to New York's Hudson River aircraft ditching that occurred Jan. 15th involving a commercial airliner carrying 155 passengers.

According to DOT&PF's airport manager Patrick Taylor, the simulated incident will involve a Boeing 737-400 aircraft sustaining engine failure after a bird strike, forcing the aircraft to descend rapidly, crash and separate the plane with a portion entering the water. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 4, 2010

Ketchikan: Ketchikan 5th Graders Sample College Life - Ketchikan 5th graders from Houghtaling Elementary School are busy gearing up for their May 14th visit to the UAS Ketchikan campus. The "I'm Going to College" program is their chance to learn how they can become college students - and to see first-hand what it will be like.

This national program is made possible in Alaska through a partnership between the Northwest Education Loan Association (NELA) and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) AlaskAdvantage Programs. It enables children to participate in a variety of exercises and activities. This includes a full-day event at a nearby college campus, sponsored with support from the host institution. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

Alaska: Prosecutors Pursuing Lengthy Sentences in Sexual Assault Cases - State prosecutors remain in aggressive pursuit of lengthy prison sentences for sex offenders, with one man recently sentenced to serve 38 years in prison and another likely facing 99 years.

In Fairbanks Superior Court April 19, Gareth Demoski, 22, learned his fate for committing seven different crimes, including two counts of sexual assault in the first degree and two counts in the second degree, involving conduct against two different victims, both of whom were intoxicated and asleep.

Assistant District Attorneys Sara Simpson and Renner Eberlein argued that despite Demoski's young age he remains extremely dangerous. Judge Olsen concluded that Demoski lacked empathy for his victims and sentenced him to 58.5 years in prison, with 20 years suspended and 15 years of probation. The time-to-serve of 38.5 years is five years more than recommended in the presentencing report. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

Fish Factor: Alaska's 2010 salmon season By LAINE WELCH - It's hard to believe, but Alaska's 2010 salmon season officially begins in less than two weeks with the May 13 opener for kings and reds at Copper River!

State fishery managers project a total commercial catch of 1.27 million sockeye salmon from Copper River this season, compared to less than 900,000 last year.

"We're expecting lots of four year old fish so that bodes well for the season," said Fish and Game's Steve Moffitt at Cordova.

As with many other regions of the state, the expectations for king salmon at Copper River are low, with a projected catch of just 17,000 Chinook. Last year the drift fleet of roughly 500 boats took 9,500 king salmon from the famous River, the lowest catch since the 1960s.

Meanwhile, Southeast Alaska trollers wrapped up their winter king salmon fishery with a harvest of about 32,000 fish. The dock price averaged $7.46 per pound and the kings averaged 13.24 pounds during the winter season. Trollers now swing right into the Spring fishery that starts on May 1. In all, just under 222,000 Chinook salmon can be taken in Southeast this year by all gears, an increase of 3,000 from last season. Those catches are dictated by treaty agreements with Canada.

Speaking of king salmon: for the first time in three years, Alaska will face competition from West Coast fisheries. The Pacific Fishery Management Council recently finalized this summer's salmon numbers, giving trollers the ok to land 194,700 kings. That's 52.2% higher than last season's catch, according to Seafood Trend's Ken Talley. Washington and the tip of Oregon will be the drivers of that fishery, which also begins on May 1. For Alaska, the statewide king salmon catch for 2010 is expected to increase slightly to 515,000 fish. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010


Alaska Science: Small village may model future Alaska By NED ROZELL - This village in southwest Alaska, so small it doesn't have its own zip code, is of great interest to Kenji Yoshikawa. It once had permafrost, but he's not finding it now.

Small village may model future Alaska

A Russian Orthodox church in the village of Koliganek.
Photo by Ned Rozell

"This is a model town," he says to 14 students in the school who have gathered for the University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist's presentation. "How Koliganek changes in the future might be like how other parts of Alaska change."

Yoshikawa, a scientist and adventurer who has walked on every continent, is on a chartered Cessna trip around southern Alaska monitoring ground temperatures and speaking to students. Some students know him better as his alter ego "Tunnel Man," who stars in a video he shows to Koliganek students.

While watching the movie, students shoot glances between the caped superhero on the screen and the broad-shouldered Japanese man with the shaved head who is visiting them. When the video finishes, Yoshikawa projects on the whiteboard an engineer's report from mid-1990s construction in the village. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

Alaska Science: Research shows part of Alaska inundated by ancient megafloods - New research indicates that one of the largest fresh-water floods in Earth's history happened about 17,000 years ago and inundated a large area of Alaska that is now occupied in part by the city of Wasilla, widely known because of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The event was one of at least four "megafloods" as Glacial Lake Atna breached ice dams and discharged water. The lake covered more than 3,500 square miles in the Copper River Basin northeast of Anchorage and Wasilla.

The megaflood that covered the Wasilla region released as much as 1,400 cubic kilometers, or 336 cubic miles, of water, enough to cover an area the size of Washington, D.C., to a depth of nearly 5 miles. That water volume drained from the lake in about a week and, at such great velocity, formed dunes higher than 110 feet, with at least a half-mile between crests. The dunes appear on topographical maps but today are covered by roads, buildings and other development.

"Your mind doesn't get around dunes of that size. Obviously the water had to be very deep to form them," said Michael Wiedmer, an Anchorage native who is pursuing graduate studies in forest resources at the University of Washington.

Wiedmer is the lead author of a paper describing the Wasilla-area megaflood, published in the May edition of the journal Quaternary Research. Co-authors are David R. Montgomery and Alan Gillespie, UW professors of Earth and space sciences, and Harvey Greenberg, a computer specialist in that department. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010


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letterCan't we work this out? In support of the Oceans Alaska Project By Jennifer Castle - I am a Mother with a preschool age child, I cannot tell you how much my son and other families enjoy the small aquarium tank outside the office in the mall. Seeing local sea creatures up close, and being able to ask questions and see them feed is a rare treat for adults and children alike. To me, this seems like just the beginnings of a wonderful relationship between Oceans Alaska and the people of Ketchikan. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterBorough property tax rate By Dave Kiffer - I was surprised to read, in a recent letter to SITNEWS, that the borough property tax rate will go up this year because of the replacement pool project. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterRe: Better management leads to lower taxes. By Ken Bylund - Mr. Dial... always refreshing to watch an effective observer criticize the devil; amazing how the majority of our species don't seem to notice as the current pack of predators skim ever increasing portions of our potential and freedom while they promote some feel-good give-away described as another crisis by our news creators; they and we have been mesmerized, ignoring that snakelike stealth of career politicians moving us toward absolute social fascism. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterSwimming Pool By Jon Hurley - I wish Mr. Dial would attend a swimmg meet with the wind blowing and the rain pouring down. I know that he would love to have the tar dripping on his head and the roof shaking. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterOpen Letter To Ketchikan City Council: Ketchikan Public Library Concerns By Robert D. Warner - The following are basic questions that I feel need to be answered prior to any decisions being made on the future location of the Ketchikan Public Library. This is an important long term decision. The community will have to live with it for many years to come. We must not be pressured into hasty decisions by special interest groups. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterTalent on Revilla Island By Judith Green - Never a disappointment is the music community on our island. We have great talent and not just talent, as my son reminded me, but we have people in Ktn who 'inspire' and encourage all ages and abilities to share that which they have and enjoy. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterThank You Ketchikan By Nicole Esau - Dear Ketchikan Residents, I have been living in Ketchikan for the last 5 1/2 years. I consider it my home. I recently was in a boating accident and spent 3 hours in the cold Gulf of Alaska on my way to fish herring and Salmon. I was traveling on the Northern Belle that went down quickly in the Gulf. It was a both horrifiy and life changing experience. I wanted to write because it was noted in several sources that I was from various places in the Northwest. I have been avoiding national media. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterKayhi and Revilla Class of 2010 Graduation Party By Ginny Clay - Dear Parents of Graduating Seniors, as you know every year the parents get together and throw a graduation party for the Seniors, this year is no exception. There are many fun and exciting things planned for a wonderful event at the Plaza Mall on the night of graduation. BUT we need your help! - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterWithdraw THE BILL By Alan Stein - The new article "Sealaska Logging in Tongass rainforest would imperil rare species" is a very good article with good illustrations. Great writer. - The new article "Sealaska Logging in Tongass rainforest would imperil rare species" is a very good article with good illustrations. Great writer. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterOpen Letter to President Obama: Sealaska Land Bills By Gretchen Goldstein - Dear President Obama, thank you for your muscle and perseverance in getting us some health care reform. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterSomething's Fishy Here By Terri Anderson - Just curious, I know a lot of people all over the country are starting to get a vibe, that maybe some or maybe a lot of our extreme environmentalists might be responsible for the two oil rig mishaps that have happened, with precision timing. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterRE: Trail Closure By Beth Doddridge - While I do understand the position this writer took I feel I must mention the many other trails that are available to the "public" she made reference to. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letter "Ozzy" White Persian Found By Kathy Armey - Our beloved Ozzy went missing April 17th from 12 Mile North Tongass. We did everything we could think of to bring Ozzy home. My husband, Doug got a call yesterday and Ozzy was found under a trailer home at 12 mile. He's in pretty good shape for being out in the elements for two weeks.He's skinny, but otherwise okay, just needs a good brushing out and a bath. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterGulf Oil Spill Response By Marie-Jeanne Cadle - Here is a number you can call if you are interested in volunteering or working on the gulf oil spill response. Right now they are taking names, skills, training and contact info. They do not have any info about housing, travel, compensation, etc. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterRE: Hope this resolves the issue. By Marilyn Catron - There is no need to asked to be excused for giving your opinion here Mr. Jarvi. Isn't that what it's all about? Viewpoints, Opinion Letters? - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 3010

letterAircraft Carriers In Jeopardy By Donald A. Moskowitz - An article in the Navy Times entitled "Strike group mission expands far beyond simple escort" has me concerned. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 04, 2010

letterLet's get behind the aquarium By Larry Jackson - This letter is in response to the efforts of many in the tourist industry to thwart the aquarium's efforts to raise federal grant money.  Although I appreciate their concerns of public money being used in a quasi competitive endeavor I think their efforts are bit shortsighted.  - More...
Wednesday PM - April 28, 2010

letterOceans Alaska Submitted By Kirk Thomas for Various Ketchikan Businesses - We, the undersigned, are writing you this letter to state our strong opposition to Oceans Alaska (formerly known as the Tongass Aquarium) becoming a shore excursion tour operator for cruise passengers here in Ketchikan, Alaska. Oceans Alaska has promoted and represented itself as a research, education and shellfish mariculture facility and has successfully applied for and been granted public seed money for all of the progress they have made thus far. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 28, 2010

letterBetter management leads to lower taxes By Rodney Dial - Mr. Harrington, I am going to assume that your letter and assumption that taxes in Ketchikan would somehow be lower if we consolidated a simple attempt to goat me into writing a three page letter on why you are wrong. I will make that assumption because the only alternative is simply that you as a government official are attempting to mislead the public. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 28, 2010

letterOpen Letter to the Ketchikan Borough Assembly Members By Rodney Dial - You guys know that as soon as you raise the mill rate and increase property taxes I am going to write a rather long letter detailing why several of you lied to this community about being able to afford a 23.5 million dollar pool with no tax increase. Right? - More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letterPerserverance Trail Closure By Heather Muench - The Forest Service is planning to close the Perseverance Trail from May 15 to September 30 for trail reconstruction. While I support the much need trail work, I strongly object to the summer long closure. I agree the trail should be closed on days when helicopters will be moving material to and from the area; but not on other days. - More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letter HEAD TAX: VERY BAD CHOICE OF WORDS By Charles Edwardson - It has always bothered me -- the term HEAD TAX. It sounds like a hunting trip. It should be labeled what it is a PORT AND HARBOR TAX. - More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letterTaxes By Sonia Streitmatter - Tourism is a double-edged sword. - More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letterSealaska lands bill By Sarah Red-Laird - I still have a strong connection to Southeast Alaska, although I now live in Montana for school, through my friends and family that remain in the area, and through my crystal clear memories of all the years I spent there, especially those of my childhood on Prince of Wales Island.- More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letterSealaska lands bill By Judy Magnuson - Senator Murkowski stated not too long ago that the government was the largest land owner in Alaska. I wish to correct that statement. The PUBLIC, not the government, is the largest land owner in Southeast Alaska. We the people, native and nonnative own these lands, we have full use of these lands for any use compatible with public use of these lands. This is not an aboriginal rights issue, it is simply the right of citizens and taxpayers who have added value through their tax dollars, time and energy through their efforts to support, preserve, participate and have a say in the management of public lands. We have the right to retain those lands that belong to us and have cost us dearly during the last 40 years. Public lands, heavily invested in should not be given away to a private corporation in order that only a few may profit from them. - More...
Tuesday - April 27, 2010

letterHigh taxes in Ketchikan By John Harrington - It is interesting that Mr. Rodney Dial is complaining about the high taxes in Ketchikan. Our taxes are indeed too high. Those tax rates are higher than most consolidated city/borough governments in Southeast Alaska. When a group of us were attempting to consolidate the two governments, Mr. Dial led the charge to stop it by claiming it would raise our taxes. We had determined quite the opposite in our calculations. But Mr. Dial prevailed in his anti-consolidation efforts and now have received what he tried to avoid, higher taxes. - More...
Friday PM - April 23, 2010

letterKetchikan is becoming more expensive every day. By Rodney Dial - As our national tax day passes, a few things you may want to consider regarding the future of your family's finances. The following is an excerpt from a Newsweek article posted on 4/15/10 titled "Today is the best tax day of your life", by Robert J. Samuelson. Newsweek tends to be a liberal leaning publication and this is not conservative hype. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

letterThe times are a changing? By Reed Harding - As the country struggles in the turmoil of unprecedented healthcare reform by the current centrist administration many misguided individuals nash their terrible teeth and groan aloud "we don't want change". I awoke today and realized that I do not recognize my own country. Things have changed so much this past year I can't even point out what has actually changed. In fact, there could have been no change at all but that's not what everyone is saying so it must be a completely new country devoid of any principles and understanding that once existed. I can attest to the validity of the following piece as I wrote it rather than merely copying someone else's opinion. - More...
Friday - April 23, 2010

letterSealaska lands bill By U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski - In a letter concerning the Sealaska lands bill printed on April 14, an Edna Bay resident stated that it was "stunning" that Sealaska had already filed for lands to complete its entitlement under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), as if the matter of filing for lands meant that the current bill is not needed to complete rational land conveyances due Sealaska's 20,000 Alaska Native shareholders. That is not the case. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterOpen Letter to the KGB Mayor & Assembly By Johnnie Laird - Mayor Dave Kiffer and Ketchikan Assembly, I am disappointed that you passed a resolution in favor of the Legislation and didn't join in solidarity in opposition with Sitka, Port Protection, Point Baker, Edna Bay, Hollis, Whale Pass, Thorne Bay, Craig, Naukati, Kake, The US Department of the Agriculture, The US Department of the Interior and many others. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterMay is ALS Awareness Month: Let's STRIKE OUT ALS!! By Linda Kreider - May is ALS Awareness Month!! I will be representing Alaska for the 4th time since 2006, when this disease took my father away from me, my mother, brother and sister and the rest of our family. My sister-in-law, Teri Teal will be travelling with me this year for the 1st time! We leave Ketchikan on Friday, May 7 and will return May 12. We will meeting with our Senators and Representatives on Tuesday May 11. In the past few years, I have been able to have a State of Alaska Proclamation declaring May as ALS Awareness Month for the State of Alaska, and am hoping that we can get the City of Ketchikan, as well as the Ketchikan Gateway Borough to do the same!! - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterChanges By A. M. Johnson - As the Country watches the huge social changes imposed by the current liberal administration, many are and more are, becoming concerned as to the Nation holding together with civility. I can not attest to the validity of the following piece, however, even if it were not written by the person listed, it still tells well!! - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterTrails and drunks. By Patti Fay Hickox - Where are they going so fast? We only have about 30 miles of road. "What's the hurry, what is everybody hurrying for." Drivers do not stop for people in crosswalks. Remember when most of us walked and smiled and waved at the people going by in cars. People slowed down to wave at their neighbors. I came to Alaska to get out of the cities and a fast pace of life. Now Alaska is moving faster. Everybody going so fast they have no time for their neighbors. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterRe: Married Man's Trail By Laurie Hodne - It was funny timing when I sat down to look at the letters to the editor and the very same subject I was debating on writing about happened to be a "peeve" for someone else. I am not a frequent hiker on Married Man's Trail, but was there when I was searching for the Easter Treasure Hunt and was appalled by the trail and its lack of upkeep. Is that City property? - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterMarried Man's Trail and other stuff By Kara McElroy- Steele - Regarding Ms. Susan Coady's letter about Married Mans trail, I have two things to say. Back in the day (if you lived there for 25 yrs you should remember this), it was common place down on the Tongass dock, for homeless drunks to sit and sleep, behind it and in front of it (before it turned into Tourist Central!). You would also see them hangin out around the loop of bars all the way around the corner by Tom Sawyers. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterThanks from The Mainframe LAN Gaming Center By Ryan Avila - I would just like to thank everyone who came down and supported our business this weekend. We hope to continue providing a safe environment for the youth of Ketchikan so that they have a fun alternative to doing drugs and drinking (which is a large problem in Ketchikan). - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

letterHope this resolves the issue By Paul Jarvi - Ms. Catron, Please excuse me for stating an opinion. - More...
Wednesday - April 21, 2010

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