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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 31, 2011


Lunch at the Crow's Nest
A Sitka Black-tailed doe and her fawn in the Crow's Nest area.

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Worman's 49.7 lbs King Leader in Week 1 King Salmon Derby - The 64th Annual Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby wrapped up the first of three weekends of fishing, with Kyle Worman leading the pack. Worman’s 49.7 pounds King was only the second fish turned in during the derby and the first fish of the event turned in at the Knudson Cove Marina weigh-in station.

Worman's 49.7 lbs King Leader in Week 1 King Salmon Derby

Kyle Worman's 49.7 lbs King Leader in Week 1 King Salmon Derby
Photo courtesy Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby

Worman will now have to anxiously await results through two more weekends of fishing as more than 1,000 derby participants try to knock him out of first place.  Given recent derby history,  it is almost impossible to predict whether Worman’s prized catch will keep him at the top of the leader board and ensure recipient of the derby’s $10,000 cash grand prize; his fish would have won every derby since 2006 but the derby’s winning fish has often been caught during the second or third weekend. Many week-one leaders have been sorely disappointed as a last-day entry claimed the top prize.

Worman was one of 1,019 anglers that checked out during week one.  384 kings were weighed in over the three-day weekend, up from 255 in 2010.  Total weight was also up about 2,000 pounds to a total of 7,329.2 lbs.

Allison York hooked second place on the ladder board for week one with a 41.10 pounds Chinook Salmon with Cable Campbell close behind with a 40.90 pounds Chinook Salmon.

Week one's youth leader (under 16 years old) is Hunter Matthews with a 25.2 pounds King,  caught on Saturday and weighed in at the Mountain Point boat ramp. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

Alaska: No special session to save Alaska’s coastal zone management program - Alaska Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, on Sunday announced that the proposed special session to reauthorize and amend the state’s coastal zone management program will not take place this week in Juneau. The Alaska Senate failed to agree to a compromise version with five original Senate “must-haves” working off the House version of the governor’s bill, House Bill 106.

“Why would we go back into special session to vote on something that was twice failed by the House on the last day of the last special session?” Speaker Chenault said. “We offered a compromise with five changes the Senate originally wanted and we were prepared to go with those, but the conference committee report was not acceptable to House members. There’s no sense for House members to go back to Juneau to take up a bill that we already voted down. The House did offer a compromise – taking the House version that passed forty-to-none and incorporating five changes the Senate originally wanted. It is a shame that the program is going to be turned over to the feds – we’ve already relinquished enough powers to them. We wish the Senate would’ve agreed to an actual compromise instead of more of the same.”

House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juenau) said in a prepared statement, “Alaskans elect us to be statesmen and women and to work together to resolve issues for Alaska’s benefit. That is not happening with coastal zone, and it hurts all Alaskans. The coastal zone program is essential if Alaska is to have any say in planning federal projects off Alaska’s coast. It’s past time for those holding the fate of the program, and the jobs of its 33 employees, in their hands to put their differences aside and enact a strong coastal management program for Alaska.” 

Representative Kerttula is a former state attorney for the Alaska Coastal Management Program and has been a leader in the legislature on coastal issues. 

However, the Senate Bipartisan Working Group said on Sunday that it is ready and willing to go into a Special Session to save the state’s Coastal Management Program.

Senate Majority Leadership met Sunday Morning to reaffirm their belief that the carefully crafted compromise reached unanimously by the Conference Committee is the best compromise to keep the program alive and protect Alaska’s best interests.

The Conference Committee report passed the Senate with a strong show of support, by a vote of 14 to 4. The report failed to pass the House by only one vote just before the House adjourned three days early.

“We are concerned about this program.  There are very high stakes if this program disappears,” said Senate President Gary Stevens.  “The Senate believes this compromise fully meets the needs of the parties on both sides of the debate.” - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

Alaska: Experts say shellfish toxin likely to be a problem again this year - Ocean conditions that last year triggered algal blooms and outbreaks of Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) appear to be present again this summer, according to experts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

“Ocean conditions are about the same as last year, so I expect PSP levels could be on the high side again,” said Ray RaLonde, the aquaculture specialist at the UAF Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program in Anchorage.

PSP is a naturally occurring toxin produced by some species of microscopic phytoplankton that appear in blooms each summer as the ocean warms. The PSP toxin concentrates in shellfish as they filter-feed on the algae. People who eat shellfish contaminated with PSP can become severely ill and sometimes die.

Across coastal Alaska, hundreds of residents and visitors harvest clams, mussels, geoducks and other shellfish from local beaches, either recreationally or for subsistence. And almost every year, people become sick from eating PSP contaminated shellfish they harvest. Occasionally, someone dies. Alaska’s Department of Health and Human Services considers PSP to be a public health emergency.

According to agency, people with early symptoms of PSP experience tingling of the lips and tongue, which may begin within minutes of eating poisonous shellfish, or could take an hour or two to develop. Symptoms may progress to tingling in fingers and toes and then loss of control of arms and legs, followed by difficulty in breathing. Death can result in as little as two hours. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011


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letter Education Funding is Astonishing By Agnes Moran - Alaska Statute 14.17.410(b)(2) requires the Borough to make a local mandatory contribution to schools of $5,281,288 for FY2012. The Borough could walk away at this point, consider its education funding obligation fulfilled and go on to other business. But it doesn t. The Borough will grant an additional discretionary cash contribution of $3,368,712 to the school district for operating costs in FY2012. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Ketchikan School Budget By Chris Elliott - I'm astonished that Mr. Jaqua doesn't know that there's no such thing as a free lunch. The national debt is $14 trillion, a little over $42,000 for each of us. When you speak only of the local contribution and act like the federal contribution is pennies from heaven, you're forgetting something. As US citizens, we pay for everything, including the federal contribution to our schools and to schools across the nation. It's out of one pocket or another. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Sealaska Lands Bill: Senate Bill 730 Should End By Greg Petrich - The Sealaska lands bill, S.730, has drawn considerable controversy in southeast Alaska. Concerns have also been voiced state-wide because certain aspects of the bill could easily unbalance the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) leading to new claims across the state; complicating development, conservation management, and public access to resources. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Recall of Kyle Johannsen By Trapper Bishop - I would like to take a moment to voice my opinion on the recall campaign of Kyle Johannsen. I was recently asked by someone, "Where do you stand on the recall of Kyle Johannsen?" I said to this person, "I strongly favor it." She said, "Really? I think District 1 Republican's campaign for recall is just a waste of time." - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Open letter to Senator Bert Stedman and Representative Kyle Johansen: E-Verify By Byron Whitesides - Why?  Why is Alaska not implementing E-Verify?  WHY are you against requiring businesses in Alaska to use E-Verify?  WHY are you against punishing repeat offenders by taking their business license away? - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Condolences By Joey Garcia - I wish to convey my condolence to the family of the late Jack Estipona who passed away last week. Being a pioneer frontman of the Trident Seafoods Inc. in the Tongass facility, Jack has been a man who makes people laugh with his jokes, even in times of helping fellow Filipino-Americans in need of assistance not only in his workplace but in the City of Ketchikan as well. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Timber Sale Misinformation By Larry Edwards - This month an editorial and a news story in the Ketchikan Daily News have repeated significant misinformation about Tongass timber sales that came from a press release by Governor Parnell. After over two weeks the Daily News has not published a short letter I wrote to inform Ketchikan residents of the error, so now I use this forum. - More...
Friday - May 27, 2011

letter Also Astonished! By Mark Jaqua - I share Ms. Plenert's sense of astonishment regarding the KGBSD budget, however, my friend; I'm not so sure you are as good at math as you propose. The FY2011 Expenditure Authority Request, (available right next to your letter in Sitnews under School Board Packets -- see Meeting Materials, May 11) shows a total operating budget of about $36.6 million. I'm perplexed where your number came from. - More...
Friday - May 27, 2011

letter School Budget By Laura Plenert - First of all, thank you Agnes Moran for caring and asking questions about OUR school budget. The first thing that struck me in your letter to Sitnews was the figure of $40,472,050.00 in the budget to educate 2100 students. Being a math lover, I immediately had to do the division. The answer to my question (how much per student) is $19,272.40. OVER $19,000.00 PER STUDENT PER YEAR. Does it strike anyone besides me that the cost per student exceeds what some of those student's parents make per year, more than many of our fellow citizens make per year. That alone is staggering. I would like someone to factor in the drop out rate and how much money per year is thrown down a rat hole because the school system can't seem to keep students until graduation. - More...
Wednesday - May 25, 2011

letter GIVE KETCHIKAN A CHANCE By Joey Garcia - The influx of tourists docking along Ketchikan ports is something to behold and the brisk revenues seemed to give Ketchikan something to reckon with. I have observed, in my opinion, that dock stores peddling tourist crafts are not Ketchikan owned. Rather, it is sad to note that when the cruise ship season ends, traffic along Ketchikan ports goes to school youths flying on their skateboards, and OT's (old timers) stroll the ports with their leased dogs, children strolling with their folks, and what is left for OT's, again is succumb to the norms of high prices from stores, if they are open. - More...
Wednesday - May 25, 2011

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

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