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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 23, 2011

Front Page Photo by CINDY BALZER

Sunning the buns
After fishing at low tide, this little otter then dried off by sunning on the rocks.
Front Page Photo By CINDY BALZER

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Canadian Liners Once Served Ketchikan; ‘Pat’ and ‘George’ were the Prince and Princess of the Alaska Cruise Industry A feature story By DAVE KIFFER - Once upon a time, there were no great fleets of gargantuan cruise ships plying the Inside Passage and disgorging thousands of visitors each day onto the streets of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.

Canadian Liners Once Served Ketchikan

SS Prince George, under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, CA
DOT photograph

There were only – for the most part, the small Canadian liners, the Prince George and the Princess Pat. Both ships are long gone, although the name of one echoes on in the most famous cruise line in the world.

The Prince George was actually the second ship of its name to sail the Inside Passage. The original Prince George had been a common site in Southeast Alaska for more than 30 years when it burned in a spectacular fire at the Ketchikan docks in 1945 (See The Burning of the SS Prince George, SITNEWS, Sept. 20, 2010).

The second Prince George would be a familiar visitor for another 30 years, beginning in 1948. The largest ship ever built in Canada at the time, it was built for $3 million at the Esquimalt Shipyard in Victoria, from a design by Vancouver naval architect W. D. McLaren.

The new Prince George was 335 feet long, with a depth of 24 feet. It weighed 5,812 tons and had a single funnel, powered by two 12 cylinder Uniflow engines to a speed of 15.5 knots. There was room for 368 passengers.

She immediately went on the CN’s Alaska run, which initially meant year round service to o Prince Rupert and Southeast Alaska. By the 1960s, though, she was only a summer visitor.

 “The career of the Prince George was uneventful and she built up a reputation for regularity and comfort,” Canadian author Norman Hacking wrote in his 1995 book “Prince Ships of Northern BC.”  “In the spring of 1975, she was 28 years old, expensive to operate. In the spring of that year the company announced officially that she would be withdrawn from service at the end of that season.”

But prior to the start of her last season, there was a fire onboard while she was docked in Vancouver that caused $400,000 damage. Canadian National put the ship up for sale and it was purchased for $230,000 by the British Columbia Steamship Company, which was owned by the provincial government. The plan was to operate the ship during the 1976 summer season but then the provincial government changed and the ship was sold instead to Wong Brothers Enterprises of Nanaimo, BC for $325,000, which planned to use the ship as a floating restaurant and convention center. She was towed to Nanaimo in May of 1976, where she lay idle for some time. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

Alaska: Governor Parnell Orders Flags Lowered for Doctor Soboleff - Governor Sean Parnell has ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday in honor and memory of Dr. Walter Soboleff. He died Sunday at the age of 102.

“Sandy and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Soboleff – a humble man of great wisdom,” Governor Parnell said. “Dr. Soboleff will be remembered for his decades of service to Alaskans, his kind and gentle manner and his quick wit. I was honored to meet with Dr. Soboleff recently. He reminisced about his love for Alaskans, his favorite sermons, and the joys of hosting the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament in Juneau. His legacy will live on in the many generations he touched. Alaska has lost a true treasure.”

Congressman Don Young said, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Soboleff family as they mourn the passing of Walter. Alaska has lost one of its great leaders. Walter was a dear friend to Lu and me and I am deeply saddened by his passing. Walter and Lu worked together on numerous Alaska Native issues throughout the years and I was always amazed at the humbleness and deep dedication to Alaska he showed. Throughout his life, Walter affected the lives of countless Alaskans and today while we mourn his passing, lets also celebrate the life of a true Alaskan hero.”

“The Native community is mourning the loss of our esteemed Elder and dear friend,” said Albert Kookesh, Sealaska board chair. “Walter touched the lives of so many people with his kindness and infinite wisdom. He served in so many capacities throughout his life and was active until his last day. I am saddened by his loss and will miss his warmth and sense of humor.”

“I know our tribal member shareholders will join us in extending our condolences to the Soboleff family. We are here to lift you up in this time of need,” said Albert Kookesh, Sealaska board chair.

Dr. Soboleff was born on November 14, 1908, to a Russian father and Tlingit mother. He spent his early years in Killisnoo on Admiralty Island, speaking fluent Tlingit and English. At age 12, when his father died, his mother moved with him to Sitka, where he spent the remaining years of his childhood. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

Alaska: Status of All Offenders on Sex Offender and Child Kidnapper Registry Verified - The Alaska State Troopers (AST) and United States Marshals Service (USMS) have concluded a five-month program aimed at contacting and verifying the registration status of every registered sex offender in Alaska. Between December 2010 and April 2011, a team of Trooper Investigators and Deputy US Marshals, working in conjunction with multiple municipal police departments, the state probation and parole offices, and the Offices of the District Attorney; contacted or verified the statuses of 1910 registered sex offenders. Additionally, 750-800 convicted sex offenders were in jail during the sweeps and not included in the number to be contacted due to their incarceration status.

These efforts were part of Governor Sean Parnell’s initiative “Safe Homes, Strong Families”, to make communities safer by reducing the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence. Ensuring that convicted sex offenders were in compliance with the sex offender registration requirements is part of that plan. During this operation, team members traveled to 134 cities and villages throughout Alaska. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

Alaska: Scientific Panel to Review Biological Opinion on Steller Sea Lions - Fish and wildlife scientists from Washington and Alaska will meet June 2, in Seattle to discuss the scientific basis of new federal fishing restrictions designed to protect Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea.

The Seattle meeting, which will include opportunities for public comment, will start at 9 a.m. in the Stockholm Room of the Swedish Cultural Center at 1920 Dexter Avenue North.

Last November, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a biological opinion (BiOp) on the western stock of Steller sea lions that has placed significant restrictions on groundfish fisheries in the North Pacific Ocean.

At the upcoming meeting, a panel of scientists appointed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) will hear testimony from other scientists and members of the public on NMFS’s findings as part of an independent review of the federal BiOp.

The four-member scientific panel will release a draft report and recommendations prior to a second public meeting scheduled for August in Anchorage. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Sealaska bill and fisheries By Paul Olson - I am writing regarding the Sealaska bill and the misrepresentations about how it reduces impacts to fishery habitat. The legislation establishes “conservation areas” and adds a temporary increase in buffer size. These measures are superficial and do nothing to offset the prospective impacts of this bill on fishery habitat. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

letter Sealaska Bill Bad for Commercial Fishermen By Mickey Knight - One aspect of the Sealaska Lands Bill (S.730) that has garnered little attention on this website is a discussion regarding Senator Murkowski s hollow attempt to gain the support of commercial fishermen. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

letter Deja-Vu-Roadless Rule By A. M. Johnson - Well, Déjà-Vu on the "Roadless Rule" controversy. Nice to see Senator Murkowski voice her wonderment at the continued and long standing decline in the "Thread Hanging" timber industry. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

letterALASKA COAST GUARD IN TRANSITION By Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin - As I prepare to be relieved of command of the Seventeenth Coast Guard District I’d like to say “thank you” to all Alaskans for the outstanding support you provide to Coast Guardsmen throughout the State. - More...
Wednesday - May 18, 2011 

letter Class of 1981 By Kelli Carlin-Auger, Barry Christensen, Cheryl Elliott, Pat Enright & Cheryl Olsen - We are planning our Kayhi, Class of 1981 30 year class reunion festivities, July 1 thru the 4th and are searching for classmates that we have been unable to contact. - More...
Wednesday - May 18, 2011

letter Health and wellness needs survey By Karen Eakes - The Ketchikan Wellness Coalition’s (KWC) mission is to promote community wellness through action and assessment. We are currently seeking participation and information from community members concerning health and wellness issues in our community. The KWC was originally formed following the Compass II Community Assessment that was done by United Way of Southeast Alaska back in 2006. Our seven task forces and the steering committee were formed based on the major themes and needs that were identified in this assessment. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letter Cherry picking By Jeff Sbonek - In regards to the “Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Job Protection Act", the fact remains that no legislation is or ever has been necessary for Sealaska to finalize its ANCSA land claims settlements. It’s had a designated land pool to make its settlement selections from for over 40 years.  They were principle participants in the establishment of the boundaries of those land pools.  For over 3 years they have had a final selection on file with the BLM,  but have requested BLM to hold off processing that claim while they try to negotiate a “sweeter deal” through attempted legislation the past several years, an attempt to cherry pick the best of the best. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letter Public Relations? By Gretchen Goldstein - The PR approach may be new, but it’s the same worn-out product that Sealaska tried to sell us last fall. And despite their PR claims, there is not public support in Southeast Alaska for Sealaska’s land exchange proposal. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letter Unconsitutional Roadless Rule By A.M. Johnson - The article regarding the "Roadless Rule" issued in the Ketchikan Daily News 5/12/11 reflects the egregious wrong of Federal over reach. In my opinion, this rule and many other Federal edicts are Unconstitutional. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letter Loose Talk Aids Enemy By Donald A. Moskowitz - As a former naval officer who served a tour of duty as an intelligence officer, I am astonished at the covert information released to the media by the U.S. government.  The operation against Bin Laden is an example of this problem. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letter Awareness By Joey Garcia - I wrote a letter to the Office of Gov. Sean Parnell in requesting his office on our Awareness of Drugs in the City of Ketchikan, which we considered the number 1 menace to our children, as well as the proliferation of drugs in any form and substance, which we believe is part of the citizenry concern to make Ketchikan a drug free city. - More...
Monday PM - May 16, 2011

letterEducation funding By Agnes Moran - I find it fascinating the controversy I've generated by simply asking the school district for detailed budget information in a consistent and comprehensive format. FY2011 funding for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District totaled $40,472,050 for 2,100 students. Everyone in this community has a right to question how their education dollars are being utilized and the school district has a legal responsibility to provide the information in a timely manner. - More...
Thursday - May 10, 2011

letter The rest of the story By Alan Bailey - I read with dismay a paraphrased sentence in the Ketchikan Daily News concerning my opposition to a line item 6045 in the Ketchikan Gateway budget which allocated $5750.00 for junk food, prepared food, soft drinks, hors d'erves,party goods, condiments, and a Christmas party for Borough employees with tax payer monies. It was reported by Mr. Miller that I was opposed to $2,000 food served to firefighters at meetings. That was not the whole story. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 10, 2011

letter Re: Inequities in the current system of funding our K-12 schools By Ed Brown - Love that these young people of Ketchikan are paying attention to the politics in our state. Giving away other people's money is a nation and world wide sport. On the backs of the blue collar folks these gold collared folks spend your tax money for you. This is only one of many reasons to throw these bums out of office from time to time. After awhile these smart folks think they are entitled to spend all your tax money on others needs. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 10, 2011

letter Concerned By Marcie Pungowiyi - I am writing because I am concerned that a Ketchikan trailer park may be possibly operating under questionable/ shady business practices. Earlier this year I was interested in purchasing a mobile home. I talked with several mobile home owners, who were selling. Both owners warned me that I would not get approved for parking space, that no one gets approved. I was concerned by the comments, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. With a good record, credit, & long term employment, I did not feel I had anything to worry about. I went to this local office 3-4 times during their office hours and there was no one there each time. When I did finally catch up to the manager, I filled out a credit check application & turned it in to the manager. I was informed that I had to fill out a separate credit check for each adult. These run $20 bucks each, which I did, but this bothered me because all of the information was on the application I had already filled out. The application asked for applicant & co-applicant. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 10, 2011

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