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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 11, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN

Settlers Cove Reflections
A log in the water making a very symmetrical reflection.
Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN

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Ketchikan Community Foundation distributes first grant funding - A little over $11,000 was distributed among four Ketchikan non-profit organizations Friday May 6th by the Ketchikan Community Foundation – the first grant awards made by the Foundation, marking an historic milestone.

Ketchikan Community Foundation distributes first grant funding

Foundation advisory board chair Christa Bruce, left, awards $2,500 to Ketchikan’s Special Olympics program.
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Community Foundation

Since forming in 2013 the Foundation’s endowment fund has grown to about $260,000 and reached the point where it could afford to disperse funds, according to Tom Schulz, the Foundation’s grant committee chairman. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016

Ketchikan: State Board Announces 4 Finalists for Educ. Commissioner; Ketchikan's School Superintendent Boyle Among Finalists - The State Board of Education & Early Development has announced the four finalists for position of Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

They are: Dr. Michael Johnson, superintendent of the Copper River School District; Dr. Susan McCauley, Interim Commissioner of the department; Stewart McDonald, superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District; and Robert Boyle, superintendent of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District.

The State Board intends to interview the finalists in executive session on June 15 in Juneau, prior to the board’s regular meeting on June 16-17. The board’s appointment of a commissioner is subject to approval by Governor Bill Walker.

“The finalists have extensive educational leadership experience in Alaska and come highly recommended by other state leaders. We were pleased with the pool of candidates and wish to thank all who applied,” said State Board Chair James Fields. “Despite our fiscal challenge, Alaska is uniquely positioned to transform our education system to better meet the needs of every student. The next Commissioner must be able to lead this transformation. The State Board of Education & Early Development is committed to identifying and appointing such a leader.”

Robert Boyle, of Ketchikan, holds a bachelor of science degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a master’s degree from the University of Alaska Southeast. He has served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent in Alaska, and as an educator in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Kazakhstan.

Dr. Johnson, of Glennallen, holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master of arts in teaching degree from Columbia International University in South Carolina; educational leadership credentials as principal and superintendent from the University of Alaska Anchorage; and a doctorate of philosophy in education and intercultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In the Copper River School District, he has taught and served as principal; director of curriculum, instruction and staff development; and superintendent. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016


Ketchikan: Pilot uninjured in plane crash near Ketchikan - Tuesday afternoon, the Alaska State Troopers received multiple phone calls of a float plane accident at Jordan Lake which is 20 miles North of Ketchikan.

Pilot uninjured in plane crash near Ketchikan

Preliminary investigation by the AST revealed that the pilot and sole occupant Billy Rusk, age 58, from Poplar Grove, Illinois was not injured.

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS), and a Temsco Helicopter responded to Jordan Lake and recovered the pilot who was wet and cold but otherwise unhurt.

The pilot was transported to nearby Heckman cabin where the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad aircraft and medics were standing by. Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad transported Rusk to Ketchikan where he refused transport to the local hospital and Rusk reported no injuries. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man Charged With Kidnapping & Assault; Bail Set at $60,000- Ketchikan Police officers arrested a 23 year-old Ketchikan man Monday charging him with kidnapping and assault. According to information released by Ketchikan Chief of Police Alan Bengaard, officers responded to 529 Pine Street due to a report of a female screaming and crying.

Officers found the exterior and interior doors to the residence locked and barricaded shut requiring officers to make a forced entry into the residence.

Found inside the residence were Elliott D Koenig and a female who was found to have significant injuries to her head, neck and face to include significant swelling and bruising, cuts in and around her mouth, and a swollen lip. She was also observed to have ligature marks on her wrists, ankles, and neck.

The investigation by Ketchikan Police officers revealed that Koenig had tied up the female and kept her restrained on multiple occasions during the last twenty-four hours. During this time, according to Chief Bengaard's information release, Koenig "struck her on her head and about her body with legs of a broken wooden chair, he struck and shocked her with an electronic taser device, punched her with his fists, and strangled her with his hands to the point of unconsciousness." - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016


Don Decker named 2016 Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist; Total of 36 Artists Selected for Awards - Today the Rasmuson Foundation announced that Anchorage artist Don Decker has been named the 2016 Distinguished Artist. The $40,000 award recognizes an artist with stature and a history of creative excellence.

“Don Decker has been uncompromising in his vision of art making. His ever-changing and challenging style of art making has not made for an easily accepted career. He’s always appeared unafraid to cross over art mediums, all the while being committed to topical subject matter in his work,” wrote one nominator.

Actively making art in Alaska since 1971, Decker has had 35 solo exhibitions and was included in 250 exhibitions in Alaska and juried shows in 20 states. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Museum of the North, State Museum, Alaska Contemporary Art Bank, State of Hawaii Collection, Del Mar College National Collection and Alaska Percent for Art.

Decker has been an Adjunct Instructor of Art at the University of Alaska Anchorage since 1992 and has taught 90 art courses at Alaska colleges. He earned his Master of Arts from The University of Guam and Master of Fine Arts from The Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the thirteenth artist to receive the award and he joins a prestigious list of previous winners including Garry Kaulitz (2015), Peggy Shumaker (2014), Teri Rofkar (2013), Kes Woodward (2012), Ray Troll (2011), John Luther Adams (2010), Nathan Jackson (2009), Ronald Senungetuk (2008), Rie Muñoz (2007), Delores Churchill (2006), John Haines (2005) and Sylvester Ayek (2004). - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016

Alaska: C Care Services Owner Sentenced to 12 Months in Jail for Fraudulently Billing Medicaid -The Alaska Department of Law, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, announced Tuesday that 51 year old Cecelia De Leon Sobier was sentenced to 12 months of active incarceration plus 10 years of probation. Judge Michael D. Corey also ordered Sobier to pay a $15,000 fine, restitution to the State of Alaska, Medicaid program in the amount of $73,500.00, and restitution to Wells Fargo Bank in the amount of $18,267.39. Sobier pled guilty to Attempted Medical Assistance Fraud in association with her operation of personal care attendant agency C Care Services, LLC.

Sobier admitted to committing Medical Assistance Fraud in multiple ways. For example, one recipient received over $28,000 in PCA services paid by Medicaid when the recipient in fact did not need the assistance. Sobier admitted that most of the fraudulent billing for this recipient was done at her direction and that she in fact completed the fraudulent timesheets for a period of over one year. Sobier also admitted that she knew her sister DeLeon was billing for providing PCA services to their parents on a daily basis when in fact DeLeon was working at C Care Services, LLC and not providing the services alleged in the medical records. In total, the state has prosecuted 27 cases associated with C Care Services, LLC amounting to approximately $300,000.00 in fraudulent activity.

On Friday, May 6, 2016, 62 year old Leonida E. DeLeon, sister of Sobier, was sentenced to 12 months of suspended jail, three years of probation, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,080.58. DeLeon pled guilty to one count of Medical Assistance Fraud, a class A misdemeanor offense, in association with her fraudulently providing PCA services to Medicaid recipients associated with C Care Services, LLC. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jgp Ron Paul

RON PAUL: What Happened to the Revolution? - In a recent interview I was asked why Bernie Sanders, a self-described "democratic socialist" had seemingly attracted so much support among young people. In fact polls suggest Sanders is the most popular candidate among people aged 18-29, and 51 percent of that same age group appears fed up with "capitalism in its current form," according to a recent Harvard study.

It was just four years ago that so many young people turned out to hear and support my message of personal liberty, non-aggression, and non-intervention at home and abroad. I was thrilled that so many young people were attracted to a candidate whose main message was "I don't want to run your life."

Socialism, of course, is the opposite philosophy. The socialist philosophy has at its core the desire to run people's lives. It is by design an authoritarian system. Who would willingly give up so much of their own property to the state to redistribute to others? That is where the use of government force comes into play. Socialism tells how much of your money you can keep, how you can spend it, if you can spend it, which of your personal habits must be modified in order to qualify for your "free" healthcare, what course of study you must pursue to qualify for your "free" education, and so on.

But we also know the false promises can be very seductive. Socialism preys on that human fault that would like to have something for nothing. You deserve an education, the socialist tells young people, so I will give you one for free. He never tells the student that he will pay for that education many times over in the hidden tax called inflation. Or the student may "pay" for that education with unemployment after college as his potential employer was forced to shut down over the high taxes required to pay for all the things the socialist promises.

So am I surprised that it seems so many young people have fallen for the seductive lies of socialism? Well I don't really believe they have. They are frustrated by a system they are told is capitalism. They are angry over the same things I have been talking about for years. - More....
Wednesday PM - May 11, 2016

jgp Editorial Cartoon: New National Mammal

Editorial Cartoon: New National Mammal
By Steve Sack ©2016, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Outrageous Spending of Local Tax Dollars By Douglas Thompson - Let me start this letter by thanking you for providing a needed forum so that citizens may address abuses by the power structure. It is Ketchikan's only avenue for open discussion. - More...
Thursday PM - May 05, 2016

letter Part 7: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - As the crow flies the distance from Ketchikan to Anchorage is about the same as that from Denver to San Francisco; from Alaska’s First City to the oilfields of the North Slope is the distance from D.C. to Los Angeles. Throughout the 1980s, ‘90s, on into the twenty-first century Ketchikan has had its issues, economic and otherwise, upon which the locals have legitimately been focused, so paying much attention to what is happening in an oil patch almost a continent’s distance away has not really been on anyone’s agenda around here. - More...
Thursday PM - May 05, 2016

letter IS KPU A SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS OR A PLAIN AND SIMPLE DISSERVICE? By Joey Garcia - Sorry readers I have been absent for awhile as I was inside the heat wave in my vacation in the Philippines. But I noticed a lot of changes lately with KPU although I am identified as KPU Public, Customer, enemy No. 1. Much to my regret, my honeymoon with the entire KPU is history. Never can a public utility company survive without the so called bailout, "gratuity et amore" from customers who do not feel comfortable with KPU's customer service people, or the way it is run by the incumbent managerial level lineup. - More...
Thursday PM - May 05, 2016

letter "Oilcan" By A.M. Johnson - Reading the author of the series "Oilcan", the thought comes to mind that we may have the wrong guys in Juneau representing District 1. - More...
Monday PM - May 02, 2016

letter The Fireside By Ken Leland - Oh yes, I definitely remember the Fireside. Loved their Prime Rib. I was the Broadcast Engineer at KTKN and lunch time was a snap, hardly even got wet ducking next door from the Station. - More...
Monday PM - May 02, 2016

letter Part 6: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, & OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G. Hanger - Alaska’s Future(.org) is a classic example of an entity that should never be granted non-profit status. It is the dictatorial fiefdom of one Ron Duncan, co-founder and CEO of GCI, and no dissent or questions are tolerated. When our own Mary Kauffman asked as a reporter a routine question (x2), rather than responding the question was simply deleted. Agree with Duncan or else is what this operation is all about. [The question weeks ago: Why are so many opposing comments deleted from Alaska’s Future's FaceBook page?] - More...
Friday AM - April 29, 2016

letter Europe Under Attack By Donald Moskowitz - Since WWII Europe has welcomed tens of millions of Muslims from Africa and the Middle East who replaced the murdered Jews of Europe. - More...
Friday AM - April 29, 2016

letter State Sponsored Enabling: Welfare for Life By Rodney Dial - I began researching the information for this letter months ago. The portions of this letter dealing with the State’s Public Assistance/Welfare Program, also called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) were difficult to come by. First, this information is not publicly available and to get it required months of work, contacting various elected officials up to the Governor’s office, filing of Freedom of Information Act Requests and even the threat of a civil suit. As you will see in this letter, I was initially given false and misleading data by the State and only after continued efforts was I able to obtain the following information all Alaskans should be aware of. Most of this letter was written weeks ago when it appeared that the state was refusing to assist me with this research project. I have updated the letter with the new information I received from the state (4/26). - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Remember The Fireside? By June Allen By Debbie Gorzycki - I remember the Fireside. I was stationed at USCG Base Ketchikan in 1983-4. Many of us would walk over to the Fireside to listen & dance to the band on Friday & Saturday nights. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Boca De Qurada H2O By A. M. Johnson - In reading the recent Ketchikan Daily News article on anticipated shipping of a natural resource, water, from Boca De Quara followed by a second article focusing on the opposition to the endeavor; typically the usual case of anti-anything resource development, leap out in vocal opposition without any details of the concept, none, just a knee jerk reaction to a perceived capitalist project. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter Incarceration Conditions By Vicky Foley - As a community, I believe we need to get a better understanding of addiction. I am not saying I know the answers, but I do think that the way we punish those people that get arrested for drug charges needs to be reassessed. Here in Ketchikan, our facilities are not suitable for retaining a person for very long. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 27, 2016

letter An Open Letter to the Members of the Alaska House and Senate By Jerry Cegelske - Recently I heard one of you on the radio talk about dealing with the Alaska Permanent Fund in solving the State budget crisis. What was said was "I don't think the Alaskan people are going to accept us using the Permanent Fund to fix this." - More...
Saturday PM - April 23, 2016

letter Oil Tax Credits By Dan Ortiz - Aaskans are the beneficiaries of the state’s investment. Our constitution requires the State of Alaska to manage our resources to the maximum benefit of the people. Government’s fiduciary duty to its citizens is to make prudent investments and establish a sustainable budget. The State of Alaska must make responsible and wise business decisions, as we are an owner state. The current oil and gas tax credit system, with its many layered and net operating loss credits, does not do that. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

letter Part 5: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - At this moment all Alaskans are being victimized by a massive propaganda blitz designed to deceive you in to believing two out-and-out lies: 1) That low oil prices are causing the State of Alaska’s financial disaster, and the massive depression that is in process of developing; and 2) That the only solution to our dilemma is to spend down the Permanent Fund as quickly as possible. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

letter Guns on UA campus By Pat Bethel - John Suter and others opposed to guns on U of A campus need to change the Alaska constitution. Article 1; section 1.19 "...The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by the state or political subdivision of the state...". article 7; section 7.2 "The U of A is hereby established...". - More...
Wednesday PM - April 20, 2016

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