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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 29, 2012

 Front Page Photo By KAREN HORN

M/V Malaspina
 Front Page Photo By KAREN HORN

Ketchikan: Kayhi honors 2012 graduates by Maria Dudzak, KRBD -145 students were honored Sunday during Ketchikan High School’s 2012 commencement ceremony. - Read or listen to this KRBD story...

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Midwife Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud - A Ketchikan midwife and nurse practitioner pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and controlled-substance misconduct. - Read this...


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Ketchikan: Sen. Bert Stedman Chosen as 2012 Grand Marshall of Ketchikan's 4th of July Parade; Theme for this year's parade is  "Building for Ketchikan's Future." - The Board of Directors of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce has selected Senator Burt Stedman as the 2012 Grand Marshall of Ketchikan's 4th of July Parade. Senator Stedman was selected out of eleven formal nominations. 

Sen. Bert Stedman Chosen as 2012 Grand Marshall of Ketchikan's 4th of July Parade; Theme for this year's parade is  "Building for Ketchikan's Future."

Senator Bert Stedman

Ketchikan City Mayor Lew Williams III gave the following reasoning for his nomination of Sen. Stedman, "Not since the late Bob Ziegler has a senator representing Ketchikan provided such financial support for capital projects and maintenance as Senator Stedman has these last several years.  Just within the past two years, Senator Stedman has brought more than $50,000,000 in State funds to help Ketchikan renew its docks, contribute to a new fire station, library, the shipyard, and additional hydropower from the new Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project. Thanks to the Senator's leadership and support for Ketchikan, we find ourselves in sound economic condition, well poised to meet the challenges of the future, despite trends in the larger economy." - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

Ketchikan: Officers seize almost one pound of heroin - Officers of the Ketchikan Police Department, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant on a Garden Lane residence last Thursday afternoon.

Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a package mailed to that Garden Lane residence which contained 410 grams (.9 pounds) of black tar Heroin with a street value of over $200,000.00. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Governor Appropriates $250,000 to Chief Shakes Island; Sealaska Donated Cedars Receive Blessing - Wrangell Cooperative Association just got another dose of financial help, as Governor Sean Parnell included the Chief Shakes Tribal House and Carving Shed on the list of Alaska House District 2 funding recipients for the upcoming fiscal year.

"Alaska’s cash position is as strong as it’s ever been," said Governor Parnell in his annual Budget Message given in Anchorage on May 14th.  "We start from a position of strength.”

The WCA submission was just 1 of 8 Wrangell projects recieving funding in the new budget.  The Governor appropriated $250,000 for use in either, or both of, the Chief Shakes Tribal House restoration and Carving Shed projects.  Speaking with KSTK’s Charlotte Duren, Wrangell Finance Director Jeff Jabusch called Wrangell’s results in the 2013 Fiscal Year Capital Projects list “by far, one of the better years we have ever had … We did well last year but I think this year was even better."

Governor Appropriates $250,000 to Chief Shakes Island; Sealaska Donated Cedars Receive Blessing

Justin Smith and Dawn Hutchinson
Songs, beaded regalia and a blessing from members of the Tlingit community welcomed the Sealaska donated cedars.
Photo by Greg Knight - courtesy WCA

Architectual plans for the new Carving Shed have been completed, and the 40,000 + sq. ft. building will serve as not only a carving facility, but will contain retail and office space.  Sitting on the land adjacent to the SNO Building in downtown Wrangell, property given to the WCA by the Tlingit and Haida Housing Authority, the WCA plans to have master carvers taking one-month shifts at the facility for a period of 2 years to train local carvers.

"We were on the City of Wrangell priority list for Capitol Projects for over a year," said WCA's Tis Peterman.  "They submitted it and we were so focused on further fund raising and the Tribal House restoration, which is currently underway, that we were pleasantly surprised when Senator Bert Stedman called us in April, letting us know we were still on the Governor's table."

As far as the Chief Shakes Island restoration, Peterman says complete funding for the project is “very close,” after the State appropriation. 

"This is huge for the Tribe," said Peterman.  "It's not only a relief to know we will have the money for not only the Tribal House, but enough set aside to break ground on the new carving facility too.  This appropriation by the Governor should create momentum for further funding."

First of Sealaska donated Cedars arrive:

The first batch of giant Cedars for the Chief Shakes Island restoration were delivered to the carving facility in Wrangell last week, where the gift was met with a songs, beaded regalia and a blessing from members of the Tlingit community.

Elders, dancers and Wrangell community members were on hand for the blessing, which began with a prayer from Father Thomas Joseph Weise of the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church.  Tribe members then brushed the massive, milled logs with Cedar branches and eagle feathers to brush away the negative spirits, and concluded the blessing with songs and dancing from members of the local clans.

"The blessing went beautifully," said Tongass Tribe member Willard Jackson of Ketchikan, who is assisting the WCA with Tlingit history during the resoration.  "I believe it is important to remember the tree and its life, as it too was part of this Earth." - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: RIP,(CLICK, CLICK, CLICK) - One thing we all share is scanning obituaries.


(A) if a person is older than us, they have lived a long and fruitful life.
(B) If they are younger than us, they were tragically taken before their time.
And, ( C)  if they are our age?

Well, we really don’t want to think about that. Yet, we still want to know so we can check off all the reasons why we will outlive them, significantly.

By the same token, we are often caught up in the all “hullaballoo” when someone famous shuffles off this mortal coil.

For example, the airwaves have been tsunamied in recent weeks with music by Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and the Bee Gees.

We use these famous folks passing as a way to relive the music of our youth. Inside, we mourn our own aging, because if this was the soundtrack of youth, then our youth must also be gone.

It is equally disturbing if those artists are either just slightly older or slightly younger than ourselves  (see C above).

But lost in all that recent humming along to our lost youth was an obit that hardly caused a ripple in the public consciousness and certainly didn’t lead to an elegiac musical marathon.

And yet, I believe that this man is more responsible for the way we are today than any of the above named “music icons.” Or any music icon ever for that matter.

His name is Eugene Polley. I don’t expect you to go “aha.” I certainly didn’t when I saw his obit on a Chicago newspaper website recently.

But he is responsible for the way you spend a significant amount of your free time. Yes, indeed, there would no real Couch Potato Nation without Eugene Polley.

No, he did not invent the couch. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012


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letter Road conditions By Zig Ziegler - Anyone who drives, or at the least, rides in a vehicle in Ketchikan knows our roads are terrible. State highway, in-city or borough ignored doesn't matter. It is not possible to drive anywhere for any distance without endangering your vehicle, any passengers, or pedestrians unfortunate enough to be on the shore of one of the lakes we call puddles. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter End Times By Rodney Dial - FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY! Just read two SitNews letters, one by Mayor Kiffer and the other by David Hanger that I actually agree with. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter Proposed Seabridge mine By Terry Williams - I think most people in Canada would not want to see an environmental disaster by the development of the Seabridge KSM mine. I also believe that the mine won't be developed if the Provence of B.C. does not ensure that reasonable protections are in place. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter There's gold in them hills! By A.M. Johnson - Good to hear Victoria is still in residents. As one looks around the community it is hard to recognize anybody as a permanent resident. There are a few of us old barnacles still hanging on after the timber industry was successfully eliminated from the economic pie. Seems Victoria was involved with that issue as well. I can't recall if Victoria was or remains a member of the local environmental league, seems that was the case, could be mistaken and if so, charge it to old age. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter Mining question By Duane Hill - I would like to present a serious question that has puzzled me for a while. - More...
Tuesday - May 29

letter RE: Progressive Activism By David G. Hanger - To me the most interesting aspect of what Jim Guenther wrote is how two simple paragraphs could expose so much rabidity; for in reading all of the letters written in response what is most notable is that none of the respondents disagreed that the Republican Party does in fact endorse all of the points of view Mr. Guenther cited. They just damned him for observing and stating that fact. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter RE: Educational Equipment By Chris Elliott - It's a bit disingenuous for Mr. Powell to say that students "get wind of the cuts, no matter what we do." - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter RE: GRADE SCHOOL POPULARITY CULTS By Kelli Carlin-Auger - I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, I feel the need to respond to Mr. David Hanger in general. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter GRADE SCHOOL POPULARITY CULTS By David G. Hanger - Congratulations Ketchikan.   Your number one politician of the last four decades is now a convicted life-long pedophile.  How embarrassing.  Rather than anger (at whom?), some serious soul-searching is in order.  I do not myself forget the fact that Andrea Jacobsen was falsely accusing the Talleys, young Ken Liljekvist, and any number of other innocent people of various forms of child abuse they never thought of committing; and the late Dick Callentine was howling that Ketchikan is the child abuse capital of the universe; and many innocents were terribly victimized and impoverished. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Re: Educational Equipment By Mike Carney - In response to Mr. Powel's comments about videos, I watched a video on the Ketchikan School District's web site last week that was called "GONEPLAY" and if this is what they teach at our high school, I would like a refund on my taxes. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Ketchikan Gymnastics By Gerald Scarzella - It has been a pleasure to sit on the Ketchikan Gymnastics Board for the past few months. There have been some exciting changes in regards to the gymnastics club. There is a new and exciting summer program for all children interested in gymnastics. We have a new manager, Calli, and she has been working on a summer schedule that should accommodate anyone interested in participating. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Massive mine planned on the Unuk; Economies of Scale Create the Greatest Damage By Victoria McDonald - The proposed KSM mine on a tributary of the Unuk River could give rise to one of the largest gold-copper mines in the world. If Seabridge's project is permitted, Alaskan waters within Misty Fjords will be threatened by millions of gallons of heavy metals laden acid drainage. King, coho and sockeye salmon that rely on the Unuk River will be forced to find new spawning areas, in addition to steelhead, cutthroat, char, and other species of fish and wildlife. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Canoe Journey By Vivian Mork - I am writing this in hopes that someone will be able to help us there in Ketchikan. We have a 38 ft. canoe in Ketchikan that needs to get to Kake via the ferry on May 26th .In order to put it on the ferry we need a boat trailer for it. Our original way of shipping it to Kake fell through at the last minute. Now we are in a race against time to get this canoe to Kake. We only need to borrow it for the shipping to Kake and we will send the trailer right back on the 30th. Does anyone have a boat trailer we can borrow or rent? - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Lands Bill: Push is still on By Gretchen Goldstein - If you do not receive a Corporation newsletter, you may think that Sealaska’s land-grab Bill, S 881/HR 1408, has died a merciful death.  Attacked by local, State and Federal land managers, Alaska Natives, private hunting, caving and environmental groups, and Southeast residents facing the loss of their living in the name of job creation, one might hope that our elected official would abandon the outdated proposal. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter No Cut in Ketchikan's Educational Funding By Dave Kiffer - I must correct some incorrect information that was recently published in a letter on your website. First of all, the Borough is absolutely not proposing a cut in "local" funding for the school district. - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

letter Re: Educational Equipment By Agnes Moran - In response to Mr. Powell's assertion "The video is a reminder to all what the most important item is in your child's classroom... the teacher." - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

letter XKKF Activtities By Lisa Lang - The XKKF (Xaadas Kil_Kuyaas Foundation) or "Precious Haida Words Foundation" is the 501(C)(3) public non-profit in Hydaburg, Alaska. My name is Lisa Lang, my Xaada name is Ka'illjuus. I am the Executive Director for the XKKF. Our Board of Directors volunteer and provide their expertise to assist in developing a sustainable non-profit for the future benefit of our culture. - More...
.Monday - May 21, 2012

letter China’s Expansionist Policies By Donald A. Moskowitz - The U.S. Defense Department believes China will soon have anti-ship missiles with a range of 1000 miles, B-6 bombers armed with long range cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, 75 surface navy ships, 60 submarines and missile boats.  These forces will enable China to project its influence in the Asia Pacific region. - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

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

letter 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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