Gateway City Realty - Ketchikan, Alaska

C&D Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tongass Business Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Gateway Borough - April is Ride Free Month

Fish Creek Company - Ketchikan, Alaska

Baranof Fishing Excursions - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tongass Federal Credit Union - Ketchikan, Alaska

Davies-Barry Insurance - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan H2O - Bulk Water Hauling

Re/Max of Ketchikan

Gateway City Realty, Inc - Ketchikan, Alaska

Coastal Real Estate Group - Ketchikan, Alaska

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaskan & Proud

AAA Moving & Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Waggin Tails Inn & Daycare for Pets - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tongass Forest Enterprises

arrow Call 617-9696
arrowWebmail Lettersletter
arrowNews Tips
arrowCopyright Info

Quick News Search
arrowSE Alaska
arrowAlaska News Links

Columns - Articles
arrowDave Kiffer
arrowFish Factor
arrow Money Matters

Historical Ketchikan
arrowJune Allen
arrowDave Kiffer
arrowLouise B. Harrington

Ketchikan Arts & Events
arrowKetchikan Arts
arrowKetchikan Museums
arrowKTN Public Library

arrowKetchikan Links

Public Records
arrowFAA Accident Reports
arrowNTSB Accident Reports
arrowCourt Calendar
arrowCourt Records Search
arrowWanted: Absconders
arrowSex Offender Reg.
arrowPublic Notices

Weather, Webcams
arrowToday's Forecast
arrowKTN Weather Data
arrowAK Weather Map
arrowAK Weathercams
arrowAK Earthquakes

TV Guide

Ketchikan Phone Book
arrowYellow Pages
arrowWhite Pages

Government Links
arrowLocal Government
arrowState & National


SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 01, 2013

Front Page Photo by LINDA LICHTY

Alaska Ferry Malaspina
The Malaspina is sporting a new golden anniversary paint job on her stack as she heads in to the Ketchikan Terminal on Monday. A 50th anniversary celebration took place on the downtown dock Wednesday night and a sailing around the island takes place Thursday.
Front Page Photo by LINDA LICHTY ©2013
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)



arrow Cruise Ship Calendar (pdf)


arrow Today's Forecast
arrow Weather Extremes
arrow Ketchikan Weather Data

Search the News

arrow Ketchikan
arrow Alaska
arrow Sitnews

Ketchikan: Alaska Marine Highway Celebrates 50 Years - Since its start 50 years ago, the Alaska Marine Highway System has grown to connect an area covering 3,500 miles and 35 port communities, from Alaska to Canada to Washington. Now in its 50th year, the Alaska Marine Highway has grown to 11 vessels and averages 330,000 passengers and 110,000 vehicles a year.

Captain Lloyd H. (Kinky) Bayers Collection, 1898-1967.
Photo courtesy Alaska State Library - Historical Collections

In the Beginning

The story of the Alaska Marine Highway System starts with three men who had a dream to provide dependable marine transportation between Alaska’s coastal communities. In 1948, Haines residents Steve Homer, Ray and Gustav Gelotte set up a company named Chilkoot Motorship Lines and purchased the MV Chilkoot, an ex-US Navy landing craft. The MV Chilkoot was 121 feet long with a beam of 33 feet and drew 3.5 feet when loaded. It could carry a maximum of 14 cars but the passenger accommodations were very poor as it remained in its original Navy configuration. After some initial work in Toledo Oregon, removing gun tubs and other Navy gear, Steve and Ray took the ship to Seattle for the preliminary Coast Guard inspection and necessary outfitting. After all preparations were made they cruised to Haines, arriving around August first.

Upon arriving in Haines, they were greeted by two vehicles ready for transport to Juneau. “The two cars belonged to Ernest Gruening, the governor of Alaska, driving a new black Buick and to Simon Hellenthal, a Juneau attorney who had a grey Chrysler coupe. The governor’s car was loaded first making ‘CY’ Hellenthal’s car the first to be unloaded at Tee Harbor, our southern terminus.” Homer, Steve “The First Ferry from Haines to Tee Harbor.” The Alaska Southeaster Magazine, March 1993.

Their first year provided some challenges, but they were able to haul the first bus north as one of the first charters over the highway to Anchorage. The Board of Road Commissioners, consisting of Governor Ernest Gruening, Henry Roden and Frank Metcalf, supported Chilkoot Motorship Lines and provided funding for three wood ramps to be built at Tee Harbor, Haines and Skagway. The ramps were in service at the beginning of 1949.

After a couple years of service, Chilkoot Motorship Lines faced bankruptcy. Due to snow levels closing the road to Haines between October and May 15 they were not able to operate year-round. They tried to secure contracts with mines in the winter months in order to be profitable; however, these contracts fell through. As news traveled that the service may be discontinued, the Territorial Government came forward and offered to purchase the business. After thoughtful consideration the owners decided to sell Chilkoot Motorship Lines to the territory in June 1951.

The MV Chilkoot soon proved to be too small and was replaced by the MV Chilkat in 1957. The Chilkat was 99 feet long and could carry 59 passengers and 15 vehicles. Its distinct bow ramp meant it could load from the beach as well as a dock. On April 18, 1957 the MV Chilkat began daily service between Juneau, Haines and Skagway. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 01, 2013

Alaska's Deepwater Highway; A part of Alaska history By JUNE ALLEN - When the first Alaska state ferry sailed northbound through the Inside Passage of Alaska on its maiden voyage in January of 1963, there was rejoicing along the entire route from Ketchikan to Haines at the head of Lynn Canal! At last! Cars and even trucks and vans could now travel to and from isolated island-bound towns all along the 450-mile length of Southeastern Alaska's Panhandle. At either end they could roll off the ferry's ramp onto terra firma, connected to road systems north or south! The roadless towns of the famed Inside Passage finally had a "highway" from Prince Rupert B.C. to Haines, Alaska - even if it happened to be paved with salt water and used marine charts instead of road maps.

Alaska's Deepwater Highway; A part of Alaska history

Chilkat at Seaward Marine Ways in Ketchikan
Donor: Ketchikan Daily News, Courtesy Ketchikan Museums

For fifty years state ferries have plied the waters of the Inside Passage, adding additional vessels and routes as the system grows. Today the trim blue and white vessels with the painted eight-stars-of gold of Alaska's flag shining on their smokestacks sail along additional routes between Whittier and Valdez, to Kodiak, between otherwise isolated Native villages, and along the Aleutian's chain of even more remote islands. The state ferries deliver passengers, freight, news, gossip and good cheer. The ferry system is the state's lifeline along the routes of towns without road connection to the outside world.

Curiously, on Alaska's vast mainland expanse that is home to the state's largest cities and the bulk of its population today, many if not most residents have only a vague notion of the existence of their state's ferries, their routes and their significance! That may be partly because almost two-thirds of today's 643,786 big-city-Alaska residents weren't yet born, or lived elsewhere during those earlier years when courageous Alaskans fought for statehood and an improved quality of life.

And with the focus of the news media, it's not surprising that the ferries are often forgotten in light of the armada of high-profile and photogenic luxury cruise ships that now sail the Inside Passage, carrying visitors to one of the world's favorite tourist destinations. The state's present year-round, workhorse ferries seem small and insignificant compared to the behemoth, foreign-bottomed hulls that ply Alaska's inside waters from May through September each year. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 01, 2013

Alaska Science: Big booms over the northland By NED ROZELL - Near a small village in Russia, Marina Ivanova stepped into cross-country skis and kicked toward a hole in the snow. The meteorite specialist with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and Vernadsky Institute in Moscow was hunting for fragments of the great Chelyabinsk Meteorite that exploded three days earlier

Big booms over the northland

A photo from the Leonid Kulik expedition to the Tunguska region of Russia in 1929. A meteorite or comet knocked down millions of trees in one of the largest space-object-meets-Earth events in recorded history. Image from the Leonid Kulik Expedition, St. Petersburg Museum.

This search was different from others. Ivanova has looked for metallic stones on the world’s great deserts and in Antarctica, places where heavenly rocks stand out because of their contrast with the surface. When the Chelyabinsk Meteorite in mid-February rained out fragments over the Ural Mountains, pieces marked their fall with little vole holes in the snow.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Ivanova said during a recent lecture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “This event was amazing.” - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2013

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Out With the Old and In With The ??? - We've clearly been due a little spring cleaning around Our Fair Salmon City.

And no, that does not extend to my hoarder's home office! Maybe next year!

The biggest spring cleaning took place a few months ago when the old hospital - AKA Bawden Street apartments finally gave way to a rocky park.

Recently, US Senator Lisa Murkowski and I commiserated that the place where we were both born no longer exists! There won't be any of those famous personages were born here plaques like they have on just about every old building in Europe. Oh well.

Anyway, the old hospital is gone and now we have an empty spot in the Downtown geography. Several folks have asked me what will go in its place.

Well, it's too late to say a new library or a new downtown fire station. - More...
Monday PM - April 29, 2013


Real Time U.S. Debt Clock

U.S. Inflation Calculator
Easily calculate the buying power of the US dollar & inflation rate from 1913-2013

U.S. Energy Info. Admin.
Heating Oil & Propane Update

Public Service Announcements
Public Meetings & Info

Ketchikan Animal Control

arrowAdopt a Dog
arrowAdopt a Cat
arrowAdopt Another Animal

Ketchikan Borough Assembly

Live Video streamarrow Live video stream of current meeting
arrowArchived videos
arrow Agenda and Information Packets
arrowAssembly Meeting Minutes

arrow Borough Records
arrow Calendar

Ketchikan Planning Commission

Live Video streamarrowLive video stream of current meeting
arrowAgenda, Information Packets & Minutes

Ketchikan City Council

Live Video stream

arrowView a Video of Meeting
arrowAgenda & Information Packets

Ketchikan School Board

Live Video streamarrowLive video stream of current meeting
arrowAgenda & Information Packets

Gravina Access Project SEIS Alternatives Development

arrow Gravina Access Website

Ketchikan- SE Alaska

arrowKetchikan Police Reports
arrowAK Troopers Daily Dispatch
arrowToday's Forecast
arrowToday's Weather Images
arrowMarine Forecasts
arrowAK Weathercams
arrowKetchikan Weather Data
arrowCurrent AK Weather Map



Publish Your Ad
Click Here


arrowHelp Wanted
arrowFor Sale / Free Stuff
arrowGarage Sales
arrowHomes / Apts/ Property
arrowLost & Found
arrowPublish Your Ad

Front Page Archives
Letter Archives
Jan. - April 2013
30 31 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 01 02
03 04 05 06 07 08 09
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 01 02
03 04 05 06 07 08 09
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 01      

arrowMore Front Page Archives & Letters

Basic Rules &
Freedom of Speech

Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter OF GUN NUTS AND MUSEUM PIECES By David G. Hanger - I have no idea what political calculus Senator Mark Begich has come up with to justify his recent performance with the question of background checks for gun purchases; the idea that it is too emotional a time, his words, is pathetic. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 30, 2013

letter RE: The Truth about the Herring By Sam Bergeron - Terri Wenger Anderson thinks if you call someone names their argument will be moot. Turns out the guy your bad mouthing has been sounding the clarion call to action on the commercial harvest of herring for quite some time. His points are fact based, well researched and absent of vitriol and name-calling; we should all strive to write as well. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 30, 2013

letter To Be Fed By Ravens By Judith Green - Our community has so much talent and strength to share - it is wonderful. Many groups of school age children in the arts and sports - we applaud their efforts and enjoy watching and listening as they perform. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 30, 2013

letter Ketchikan's water is more contaminated than you think! By Ed Plute - When consumed in drinking water HAA are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Links have been made between exposure to HAA concentrations above the maximum contaminent level and injury to the liver, kidney, eyes, nerves and the reproductive system. There is not a significant risk of HAAs in drinking water to be absorbed through skin. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 30, 2013

letter Post Office buildings for sale! By A. M. Johnson - Following is a letter submitted to Senator Murkowski regarding hanky panky going on within her Senate and nobody is asking questions. So I have. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 30, 2013

letter Thanks!!! By Doreen Caffrey - Thank you very much to the high school young people who were picking up trash along Ketchikan's Stedman Street on Tuesday, April 23rd, in the morning. - More...
Thursday AM - April 25, 2013

letter GSACC unequivocally opposes S.340, the “Southeast Alaska Native Lands Finalization and Jobs Protection Act By David Beebe - The Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC) is a regional grassroots conservation organization dedicated to the protection of healthy, fully functioning forests, lands and waters of Southeast Alaska. As such, GSACC unequivocally opposes S.340, the “Southeast Alaska Native Lands Finalization and Jobs Protection Act.” Our opposition is based in that S. 340, (1) sets an unnecessary and far reaching precedent throughout our State; (2) was never vetted through an open public process; (3) results in further sacrifice of vulnerable but productive fragmented watersheds; and, (4) yields little socioeconomic benefit beyond Sealaska Corporation’s coffers. - More...
Thursday AM - April 25, 2013

letter Pinwheels for Prevention By Diane Gubatayao - Perhaps you are curious about the silver and blue pinwheels spinning around at various locations around Ketchikan. Pinwheels, always a favorite toy with children, have become the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels reflect the innocence and playfulness of childhood, and yet they represent the fragility and vulnerability of children. Just as you hold a pinwheel in your hands, you hold the protection of children in your hands. - More...
Monday PM - April 22, 2013

letter Major Environmental Groups Support Tongass Jewel as Wilderness; S.340 - The Sealaska Bill Destroys it By Davey Lubin - The Sealaska lands bill has been re-introduced in Congress as S. 340, and alarmingly, this misguided, highly controversial bill is scheduled for a hearing in Senate Natural Resources on April 25th. - More...
Monday PM - April 22, 2013

letter Transition to 2nd Growth Reality or Folly By Joe Mehrkens - Back in the heydays taxpayers paid a subsidy of $12,000-$36,000 per Tongass timber job. Based on more recent Forest Service accounting information, this subsidy has grown during the last decade to a staggering $224,000-$510,000/job a nearly 1,400% increase. How can this be? Simply, the Forest Service kept spending like the industry was in its heyday while the industry was in a persistent long-term decline. - More...
Monday PM - April 22, 2013

letter Herring a Forage Fish By Lawrence Snapper Carson - Spring brings the end of the winter doldrums and the interaction of the blooms of the ocean and the land. Mankind has survived and taken part in Southeast Alaska’s bounty for millenniums of time. The survival and the use of these resources has changed as mankind has moved from a subsistence life style to a greedy, politically managed, and commercially based utilization of herring. - More...
Monday PM - April 22, 2013

letter Sitka’s Herring Population is Stronger than Ever by Jake Ingman - Last week, Andy Rauwolf sent a letter to Sitnews full of panic and misinformation.  The first of many things that need to be corrected is his assumption that the closure of the herring fishery was because of a lack of herring in the area.  That is false; we didn’t catch our quota because of our responsible and sensible approach to this fishery, but first, let’s talk about herring spawn.  58 nm of spawn has been recorded for 2013.  Compare that to the first recorded year, 1964 and 19 nm, then ten years later, 1974 and 10 nm, and 1984 had 65 nm, and then 1994 and 58.1 nm of spawn.  The amount of spawn in the area is much stronger than 40 years ago when the sac roe fishery started.  All the locals who think that the herring run was so much stronger in their childhood because of what they remember seeing from their house window; the data proves that notion wrong.  It is stronger now, but the amount of sea traffic in Sitka is a factor, the population growth, sewage, and pollution has made other shorelines more attractive to the herring than the Sitka beaches.  Herring don’t spawn on the same spot, they aren’t like salmon returning to the same stream.  Mr. Rauwolf goes on to claim that the state management has failed to maintain the population since the sac roe fishery began in 1976.  Let’s check actual facts and numbers, instead of baseless fear tactics and see what the truth is…. - More...
Monday PM - April 22, 2013

letter The QUESTION IS WHY? By Bobbie McCreary - Thanks Marvin Hill, for coming out to take away the TWO vandalized Port-A-Potties out at the paintball field on Revilla Road.   WHY? when a well-meaning non-profit like Ketchikan Youth Initiatives places port-a-potties at the paintball field for ANYONE to use that comes to the paintball field or drives on to other beautiful recreational areas,  DOES SOMEONE BREAK THEM APART SO THEY ARE UNUSABLE? - More...
Thursday PM - April 18, 2013

letter RE: Warning! Is your money really going to the septic system or is it going downhill? By Mike Carney - First of all I would like to say I normally would not respond but this is so far off base I felt it needed a response. Mr. Plute needs to do his homework. The 6.2 to 7.2 is the City tax not the Borough. As for the $35,000 I dont know where he gets his information, but I run a department that sends people for travel and training every year and you could take my department and two others and never total $35,000 let alone for one person. - More...
Thursday PM - April 18, 2013

letter The Sealaska Bill Should Die By Rebecca Knight - Most SE Alaskans are united in opposition to S. 340 (formerly S. 881 & S. 730), the Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act. These are real folks whose lives will be directly impacted including sport, commercial and subsistence fishermen as well as hunters, recreationists and the hundreds of residents of nine communities that will suffer the direct hit of this horrible, forest high-grading bill. - More...
Thursday PM - April 18, 2013

letter The Truth About the Herring By Terri Wenger Anderson - Please disregard the propaganda about the herring. I believe the gentleman that wrote this letter to get every environmentalist's panties in an uproar must be related to Al Gore. Maybe he is trying to get a federally funded grant to study herring, well being in Ketchikan is not going to help him. - More...
Thursday PM - April 18, 2013

letter China Hacking Into U.S. Computers* By Donald A. Moskowitz - Based on the activities of Chinese Army Unit 61398 Communist China continues to wage cyber warfare against the U.S. by hacking into the computers of U.S. corporations. - More...
Thursday PM - April 18, 2013

letter Webmail your letter or
letterEmail Your Letter To:

E-mail your news tips, news
releases & photos to:

Stories in the News
©1997 - 2012
Ketchikan, Alaska

In Memory of SitNews' editor
Richard (Dick) Kauffman


Mary Kauffman, Webmaster/Editor,
907 617 9696


Locally owned & operated.
Online since 1999

Created 1997
©1997 - 2013

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted or redistributed without written permission from and payment of required fees to the proper sources.

Ketchikan March for Babies - May 18, 2013

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Car Rental - Ketchikan, Alaska

Marine Technical Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Area Arts & Hummanities Council - Celebration of the Sea - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tongass School of Arts & Sciences - Ketchikan, Alaska - Enroll Today

Rendezvous Senior Day Services, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Humane Society

Creekside Family Health Clinic - Ketchikan, Alaska

Madison Lumber & Hardware - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tatsuda's IGA - Ketchikan, Alaska
Weekly Specials

Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Lighthouse Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

The Home Office - The Local Paper; Ketchikan, Alaska

Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce - Ketchikan, Alaska

KRBD - Ketchikan Community Radio - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Small Business Development Center - Ketchikan, Alaska



KPU - Salmon Landing webcam - Ketchikan, Alaska KPU Webcams - Ketchikan, Alaska Sample Ballots Official Election Pamphlet