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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 18, 2012

 Front Page Photo By CINDY BALZER

This eagle kept struggling to move his tasty fish to dry ground
as the tide was coming in.
 Front Page Photo By CINDY BALZER


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Fish Factor: See-sawing Alaska fishing permit values By LAINE WELCH - The value of Alaska fishing permits has see-sawed over the past year with Cook Inlet prices heading upwards and Bristol Bay on the down side.

“Cook Inlet had a really good year last year, and they’re expecting another strong fishery this summer.  Salmon drift permits have taken off with sales made at $80,000 compared to around $50,000 last year,” said Doug Bowen of Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer.

Prices have headed the other way in Bristol Bay.

The Bay permits, are not so hot. They ran way up last year on expectations of good fish numbers and a good price, but it didn’t really pan out the way folks were hoping it would,” Bowen said, adding that Bristol Bay drift permits that fetched $165,000 right before last season are now selling for $110,000 - $115,000.   

Elsewhere, Prince William Sound seine permits are selling at $172,000, and drift permits at Copper River are trading at around $180,000 with strong demand. Bowen said there’s been little sales action at the Alaska Peninsula, Chignik and Kodiak, where seine permits are at $40,000.

Brokers are busy in Southeast, says Olivia Olsen at Alaskan Quota and Permits in Petersburg.  Hand and power trolls have been in demand all year with power permits jumping from $33,000-$40,000.  Southeast seine permits are wanted but none is available due to the recent buyback and reorganization of the seine fleet, and gillnet permits have slacked off at around $85,000.

Olsen said interest has really picked up for Dungeness permits as well as for other crab fisheries,

“There’s really good interest in red king and Tanner crab permits for the last two years, and those had been very slow,” she said.  “Stand alone permits for red king crab are at  about $60,000 -$65,000 and they are hard to come by and very few. Tanners are at $160,000 -$175,000.   A full package deal for red, brown, blue  king crab and Tanner runs about $200,000. There are only two on the market and there’s lots of interest.”

Also hard to come by are Southeast dive permits --  sea cucumbers have jumped from $11,000 in January to $19,000 now, “and  people would pay more” Olsen said.   Permits for geoduck clams are averaging $88,000. 

While permit values are up and down, prices for shares of halibut and sablefish (black cod) continue to climb but the market is very tight with little sales action.  

“Only small amounts are available so it has pushed the price up,” said Olsen.  Halibut quota in Southeast is in the $35-$39 range depending on the amounts and category, sand has gone as high as $43 per share; Southeast black cod shares are fetching about  $35, compared to $22- $32 last year. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

jpg Mary Lynn DahlMoney Matters: The Road to Financial Success is Called “Financial Planning” By MARY LYNN DAHL, Certified Financial Planner ™ -   Do you want to achieve financial success? Is financial security an important goal for you? If so, you will need to do some financial planning in order to make it happen. Financial Planning is a term used to describe a process of setting financial goals, solving financial problems, making financial decisions and reaching those financial goals. For most people, it is a lifetime process that happens in stages. Most people who are financially successful do not achieve their success haphazardly; they work at it. They develop the discipline and patience to stick with a financial plan and a strategy that is reasonable, not pie-in-the-sky. Many make considerable sacrifices in the early years of the plan because they really, truly want to reach those goals. Those are the people who achieve financial success, on their own terms.

A good financial plan includes budgeting, saving for emergencies, investing for retirement, buying a home, funding college expenses, starting a business or engaging in self-employment, reducing or eliminating debt, managing risks, paying taxes, making charitable gifts or donations and planning for long term care, disability and death.

Unfortunately, many Americans are financially illiterate; the concepts involved in financial planning are a mystery to them. That doesn’t have to be you, however. The goal of this column is to change that fact, at least a little bit. To do this, I will start with the basics and get gradually more complex.

Naturally, the place to start is at the beginning. That means to identify your goals. An example of a financial planning goal would be “a comfortable retirement”. You may have a long list of goals, or just one, but whatever yours are, make a written list.

Next, identify problems that would prevent you from reaching your goals. To solve a problem, you must first identify it. Don’t sugar-coat this issue, please. Be real here, and write down what you know is in the way of reaching those goals. For example, if you would like to be self-employed but have too much debt to risk quitting your present job for self-employment, write this down as a problem. Remember, this list is for you, not for someone else, so be totally real and honest here.   

Once you have a list of goals and a list of problems needing to be solved, the next step towards financial freedom is to crunch some numbers. This is the really hard part for most people. If you don’t like to deal with money, this is where you have to get tough on yourself. Skipping this step is like telling the doc you know you are sick and need medicine but don’t want a diagnosis to identify the cause of your illness. Don’t kid yourself by making the mistake of skipping this part of the process.

So, what are the all-important numbers to crunch? Read on: - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Tribal house restoration on schedule; Cedar Logs Received for Chief Shakes Tribal House, Land for Carving Shed - Project Manager Todd White stated that he was “very happy” with the schedule the Chief Shakes fire pit pre-restoration is keeping, as walls have already been removed and concrete poured.  “The concrete will go a long ways to help to battle moisture and helping prevent future insect and pest infestation by keeping the Cedar dry and off the ground,” said White. 

Tribal house restoration on schedule; Cedar Logs Received for Chief Shakes Tribal House, Land for Carving Shed

Chief Shakes fire pit pre-restoration
Photo courtesy WCA

While the Chief Shakes Tribal House in Wrangell will have a new floor and footings, the centerpiece of the structure, the fire pit, has been preserved.  Original restoration plans had the Tribal House’s historic fire pit to be replaced; however, carbon dating conducted on the ash dated the pit back to the late 1800’s and White quickly changed the plans to leave the pit untouched.  In the new renovation plan, the Shakes Island crew carefully covered the pit with planks as concrete was delivered one wheelbarrow at a time, creating a foundation around the fire pit to ensure visitors will enjoy the fire pit for another 100 years.

The Tribal House of the Bear on Shakes Island in Wrangell is an example of the architecture of the Tlingit Nation. The house, once the home of Chief Shakes, is a replica of the original house erected on the site in the 1800's. - More...
Thursday - May 17, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Opponents Concerned About Sealaska Land Exchange Proposal By Mary Kauffman, SitNews - Concerned about the proposal being discussed by the Obama administration and Congress, opponents have travelled to Washington, D.C. to participate in meetings in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and with undersecretary Harris Sherman of the US Department of Agriculture regarding the impacts of the proposal on Tongass communities. 

Participating in these meeting are Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s Forest Program Director, Bob Claus, and Grassroots Attorney, Buck Lindekugel, Mike Sallee of Ketchikan and Gene Natkong of Hydaburg. Their position is that the proposal threatens not only old-growth stands in America’s largest remaining temperate rainforest, but would give 30 world-class hunting, fishing, and tourism destinations in the Tongass that are now in the public domain to the Sealaska Corporation. The eight of the 30 places that could be lost are described in an eight-page Southeast Alaska Conservation Council report released yesterday (Trading Away the Tongass).

Negotiations between government officials and Sealaska are based on a legislative proposal sought by the Sealaska Corporation that would give it ownership of some of the public lands in the Tongass National Forest. Opponents assert the proposal will allow Sealaska the right to log stands of old-growth and second-growth forests of higher value than those available to the corporation under current law, and would give the corporation ownership of up to 30 key parcels near Tongass communities.

The talks are based on H.R. 1408, introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and a similar bill, S. 730, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and would modify Sealaska’s selection rights under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). - More...
Thursday - May 17, 2012


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letter Land Exchange By Lois Morgan - Thank you so much for your ongoing, open-eyed coverage of this issue, and special thanks for today's extensive installment. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

The Senate Hearings on the Sealaska Land Exchange Bill - A political cartoon by Jim Guenther - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Sealaska Term Limits 2012 By Wanda J Culp - Ray Austin's letter is well written and respectfully presented. The Sealaska Term Limit Resolution is a very important business decision for the owners of the Sealaska Corporation. If election reform is not passed in 2012, it will be status quo, business as usual for the select few as the beneficiaries. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter KTB Spring Gala Saturday Matinee By Debbie Azure - All of our extended family dropped everything on Saturday afternoon to attend our little ballerina's Spring Performance. We all dressed up, even uncles, bought flowers and watched all the darling kids dance on the big stage. The music was bright and fun, the costumes were cute or beautiful, depending on the age of the dancer and the performances were all we could hope for. I would recommend this fun afternoon to anyone looking for something fun to do. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter ATV Off-Road Trails By Jose Blanco - Upon receiving orders to Ketchikan I got excited being I consider myself an ATV off road, outdoors enthusiast. Since my arrival however I have spoken to both parks and wildlife and the State Troopers about legal places to ride. I checked out Whipple Creek and sadly was a bit disappointed by its size. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Educational equipment By Sean P. Powell - The following video was recently submitted for airing on KPU and was turned down as it was deemed too political. Since I don't believe that is a restriction here, I would like to humbly submit it for your perusal. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter School Funding By Rebecca L. King - I have concerns about the money being allocated to the school district by the borough assembly. At the proposed amount many programs may be in danger of being reduced or completely cut from schools including universal preschool, advanced placement courses, academic support courses, culinary arts, building construction, welding, child careers, business courses, art, and music. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Bill and Charles Huckins By Becky (Huckins) Hanson - Mr. Finch, the pictures posted with your letter are of Bill Huckins himself. Charles was Bill's father, not his brother, and it was Charles that was involved with the raising of the Islander. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Elephant in the Womb By Jim Guenther - As I have earlier stated, I don’t believe that governments, either state or federal, have the right to insert their legislative dogmas into the reproductive organs of American women.  I would have thought that Ron Paul-Republicans would agree with me on this point, but it seems otherwise. Since 2010, when the Tea Party backed, conservative Republicans won seats in many state and federal elections they have introduced over 916 bills related to limiting the reproductive rights of women. Nine hundred and sixteen! These bills defund Planned Parenthood, require abstinence only sex education, and make it illegal for private insurance companies to provide abortion compensation. Some even limit access to contraception!  Where is the logic in that? - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter The real problem By Irving B. Welchons III - The members of the U.S. House of Representatives have been working in Washington on 41 of the first 127 days of this year.  They are planning to be in session half of the remaining weeks.  How long would you keep your job if you worked like that? Even when they show up they fail to address the biggest problems facing the country.  It would take a 50% tax increase in order to balance the so called budget yet they are avoiding the problem while the debt grows by 1200 billion dollars per year.   - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Just sat there... By Sam Stouder - A few days ago I was sitting at a Ketchikan bus stop. The air was crisp and the day beautiful. I believe it was May day for it was a friend's birthday. Compared to the deary winter that has thankfully begun to pass; the ocean was bright and shining and the island hummed with the notes of spring. I was eating banana chips and ice cream, the crisp fruit slices perfect sized spoons for my tiny palm sized frozen treat. The day thus far had been rather enjoyable, then I saw her. Young, pretty, blonde, rather a tiny girl really; by the usual curvy Alaskan women I've become accustomed to. She was walking - no rushing down the opposite side walk. She was tightly gripping her purse glancing back behind her at the man who followed her at a determined pace. He scared me, that's the biggest thing I remember. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Progressive Activism By Jim Guenther - My recent credo of beliefs certainly raised some hackles on the necks of my right wing brethren. I supposed that it would have such an effect and anticipated a healthy debate in return. I appreciate those of you who offered some defense of your own opposing viewpoint and disregard those few others whose response degenerated to insults and patronization. Enough said about that. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter RE: Progressive Activism By Doug Barry - As has been well-expressed by others, "everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts". Unfortunately, and too often, both sides of many controversial issues seem to forget that adage or only partially apply it to suit their viewpoints. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Re: Progressive activism By Alethea Johnson - I believe that Mr. Guenther, a man who made his living as a teacher for decades in this small town is most likely a role model to hundreds of the young adults who live here. As a person who holds (or held) a position of authority in the classroom while dispensing both wisdom and grades, he is looked up to with respect. He has influence. So when a man in that position writes a letter to the editor, I believe it should be a well developed essay that contributes something meaningful to the public discourse on significant issues. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Recess is for children By Billy D. Clifford - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives continue to get re-elected in spite of their inability to resolve our $15 trillion national debt - which they created. Yet Congress is taking a two-week recess! And when they get back in session, they will spend much of their time and energy preparing for the next election. Why do we continue to give jobs to these inept people? We need serious, responsible adults who will spend their time and energy on the real problems our country faces. Recess is for children. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

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