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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 03, 2013

Front Page Photo by Jacy Pierson

POW: Black Bear Yearling
Front Page Photo by Jacy Pierson ©2013
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)


Alaska: Begich Announces Plan to Make Social Security Fair and Dependable - U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) introduced his three-point plan to strengthen Social Security today at a roundtable discussion with Alaska organizations that are likely to feel the effects of President Obama’s recent budget proposal to cut Social Security benefits. 

“There are responsible ways to cut the budget without hurting our seniors,” said Sen. Begich.  “While I agree that we need to make major cuts to reduce the deficit, let’s be clear - Social Security is not the problem.” - More...
Friday PM - May 03, 2013


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Ketchikan: Earth Day Marked Ninth Year for USCG's Community Clean Up - Marking its ninth year of volunteer service, about 30 Coast Guard personnel, family members, and friends spent most of Earth Day cleaning up areas of Ketchikan and the Borough. 

Earth Day Marked Ninth Year for USCG's Community Clean Up

Coast Guard personnel cleaning up the Carlanna Lake trailhead parking area
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske

One group started working on the Carlanna Lake trail parking lot, filling the dumpster there with a refrigerator, mattress, flooring, a couch, a car seat, building material, trash and other material Ketchikan residents had been dumping there for the last year or so.

Other team members went to North Tongass and picked up trash dumped at pull outs, Borough property, and other locations.  After collecting a truckload of material from an area by Salmon Falls, a member was asked how they found the dump site which was unobserved for years.  Their reply was that they just looked where they thought people would dump stuff.

Revilla Road was another place the Coast Guard cleaned Borough property along with the State Right-of-way and pull outs.  One area revealed a large quantity of children’s toys, a flat screen TV and three bags of trash.  Another area gave up a 30 inch television, truck tire chains, auto parts, scrap metal and other material. - More...
Friday PM - May 03, 2013

Alaska: Governor's trip to Norway and UK unwittingly confirms criticisms of oil tax giveaway says ADP - Governor Sean Parnell this past week engaged in meetings with government officials and key oil and gas companies in Norway and Scotland.

According to a news release, the governor’s meetings examined the real world, positive effects that tax changes are having in North Sea operations so Alaskans know better what to expect from new oil field investment under Alaska’s new oil tax regime. Looking for ways to recover from more than a decade of declining production, the United Kingdom recently reformed its oil tax structure to bring on new production. As a result, substantially higher levels of investment have flowed to the United Kingdom’s North Sea oil and gas operations.

“The UK is seeing the real results of tax reform – billions of dollars in new investment and job opportunities,” Governor Parnell said. “Like the UK, we have positioned Alaska for an oil production comeback by making our state more competitive. Alaska has already seen encouraging steps toward more production and new investment with recent announcements from Conoco and Repsol.” 

During his recent trip, Governor Parnell discussed fiscal and tax policy with officials from BP Norway, Statoil, and BP North Sea, and met in Scotland with oil field service company personnel, university professors on tax policy, and public sector authorities.

However, the Alaska Democratic Party said in a news release, Parnell's trip to Norway and the United Kingdom unwittingly confirmed criticisms of SB 21.  Unlike the Parnell giveaway, Great Britain only offers development incentives for new oil, not existing legacy fields.  Norway charges oil companies higher prices to extract oil and has built a larger Permanent Fund than Alaska's in less time said the Alaska Democratic Party.

"Norway and Great Britain illustrate why the oil giveaway is bad for Alaska," said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party.  "Parnell ignored the Norway model of saving oil revenue and the British model of focusing incentives on new oil production." - More...
Friday - May 03, 2013

High School Students Clean Up 13,150 Pounds of Trash - Under sunny skies, approximately 550 Revilla and Ketchikan High School students made an outstanding effort in cleaning up various areas of Ketchikan in their annual Cleanup Day which was held on 23rd. After receiving instructions, some students walked and others were bussed to their work areas where they received their gloves and yellow bags and began to clean their assigned areas.

High School Students Clean Up 13,150 Pounds of Trash

High school students cleaning the area between Tongass School of Arts & Sciences and Schoenbar Middle School
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske

In the weeks prior to the clean-up, Solid Waste Facility Supervisor Lenny Neeley and Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Cegelske checked local areas where there were concentrations of trash in order to make the most of the time the students had for the clean-up.  Ketchikan High School teacher Joey Fama again coordinated the clean-up with Neeley, and received boxes of yellow bags and gloves for the students to use.

Five dumpsters or “cans” were placed around Ketchikan by Lenny Neeley's crews prior to the clean-up activities.  Gloves for the students were provided by the Ketchikan Indian Community.

Approximately 20 Revilla students made quick work of cleaning up under the Carlanna Creek Bridge.  Someone had made a complete mess under the Carlanna Creek Bridge with a chair, clothing, beer cans, books, beer cases, food containers and other items strewn about on the rocks.  Nick Farstad, AK-DOT became aware of the trash when on a high tide, material was floating down the creek in sizable amounts.  A quick look under the bridge revealed the trash.  Also removed by the students was a trophy sized set of large truck leaf springs weighing close to 100 pounds. - More...
Friday PM - May 03, 2013

Alaska Science: Analysis of 2,000 Years of Climate Records Finds Global Cooling Trend Ended in the 19th Century - The most comprehensive evaluation of temperature change on Earth’s continents over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years indicates that a long-term cooling trend - caused by factors including fluctuations in the amount and distribution of heat from the sun, and increases in volcanic activity - ended late in the 19th century.

Analysis of 2,000 Years of Climate Records Finds Global Cooling Trend Ended in the 19th Century

Examination of lake sediment core from southern Alaska shows intricate layering indicating environmental and climatic changes over centuries.
Photo Credit: Darrell S. Kaufman, Northern Arizona University

The study also finds that the 20th century ranks as the warmest or nearly the warmest century on all of the continents, except Antarctica. Africa had insufficient data to be included in the analysis.

Global warming that has occurred since the end of the 19th century reversed a persistent long-term global cooling trend, say the researchers.

A consortium of 78 authors from 24 countries, some of them supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), also note in research published in the May 2013 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience that there were regional differences in temperature evolution. - More...
Friday PM - May 03, 2013


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letter GSACC Propagates Urban Legends and Offers Uninformed Opinion on S.340, the “Southeast Alaska Native Lands Finalization and Jobs By Rick Harris - I read with great interest the April 25th “viewpoint” by David Beebe of the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC). - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter Sealaska Lands Bill By Joe Mehrkens - Senator Murkowski’s recent press release concerning the Sealaska bill (S.340) rationalizes her Tongass giveaway on basis that Sealaska Corp was treated unfairly under ANCSA.  Even more disturbing, she spins S.340 as not creating a precedent for another round of Native entitlements -- when it actually does.  Senator Murkowski glosses over the lopsided S340 trade that avoided value- for-value appraisals at all costs.  Simply stated, S.340 give Sealaska a blank check to the public’s resources outside the box -- a huge windfall for the Sealaska’s Boardroom, a huge loss to the rest of us, and a major precedent for the further rounds of ANCSA entitlements. - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter Second Amendment By Douglas J. Thompson - I write in response to an argument most recently made by David Hanger concerning the right to bear arms.  Mr. Hanger displays a complete lack of the context and history in which the Second Amendment was formulated. - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter RE: Of guns & museum pieces By Don Sivertsen - After reading David Hanger's letter dated April 30, Of guns and museum pieces, I simply have to respond!  First of all, Mr. Hanger does taxes for people - that tells me he's book-smart.  And that's not a bad thing... But it doesn't mean that he's generally smart.  Obviously, he's far from "people-smart."  His very insinuations make that quite plain! - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013 

letter A waste of money! By Paul G. Jaehnert - While millions of confiscated guns are currently being destroyed by federal, state and local governments, why can't many of these guns instead be expropriated for use by law enforcement agencies and/or the U.S. military? - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter 50th Anniversary of AMHS - May 1 celebration By Judith Green - It is "may day" - a day to dance around the 'may' pole. Well, Ketchikan had its own "dance" today - around the decks of the Malaspina. What a wonderful afternoon was spent onboard, admiring once again, the grand lady of the SE coastline "Malaspina". The turn out of community members was a thrill - from the very young in strollers with mom and dad to the older generation, every age in between, and those who needed special assistance - and nary a complaint was heard. What I did overhear - many crew members exclaiming, with total awe, about the large crowd of people that just kept coming and coming. Many varied activities went ahead without a glitch - rain? so! we live in Ketchikan, the rain capitol. - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter Sale of Post Office owned buildings By P.J. Travis - Reminds us of the Bellevue, WA, downtown Post Office Building sold in 2012 and now in negotiation to lease back. - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

letter Open Letter: Religion and the Military By A. M. Johnson - Dear Senator Murkowski, Truly must have missed your phone call while you were visiting K-Town this week, tragic, we could have discussed many subjects that seemingly are not on your agenda. The following demands Senatorial action to address this insidious attack on our Judo-Christian religious foundation. Perhaps you are unaware. I am not surprised hence my duty to bring this to your attention and request a formal response. Curious people want to know. As habit, CC to Sitnews. - More...
Saturday AM - May 04, 2013

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

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