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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 19, 2016

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Tatsuda's grocery celebrates centennial; Family's 4th generation operates Stedman landmark By DAVE KIFFER - In 1904, Yawatahama, Japan was a bustling town on the western edge of Shikoku Island, the smallest of Japan’s main islands.

Tatsuda's grocery celebrates centennial

It had been barely 60 years since the American Navy had forced Japan to open itself and its people to the Outside world, but Yawatahama already had a reputation as a growing industrial center for Shikoku.

The small city was called the “Manchester” of Shikoku because several of its local industries had already begun to industrialize, particularly the mikan, better known as the satsuma mandarin, production.

Yawatahama was also adjacent to the Sadamisaki Peninsula, Japan's longest Peninsula, and was also near Japan’s Island Sea, the seafood rich passage between Shikoku and Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Yawatahama, blessed with a large natural harbor, was the significant seafood port in western Shikoku.

In the latter part of the 19th century, jobs were plentiful in the area and by 1889, the town had the first bank in the region and also had the first electric light system on Shikoku. But there was also significant disruption in the centuries old agricultural economy of Japan. That led many Japanese to seek a better economy elsewhere.

Between 1886 and 1907, more than 400,000 Japanese men and women went to the United States.

So what specifically inspired 18-year-old Kichirobei “Jimmie” Tatsuda to leave Yawatahama in 1904 for an uncertain future across the Pacific Ocean. His grandson, Bill Tatsuda Jr. says the word “adventurer” comes up in notes he took when he visited his distant relatives in Yawatahama in the late 1960s.

When he arrived in Ketchikan in 1904, Kichirobei Tatsuda found a world that, at least physically, was not all that different from his home in Japan. There was little flat land in both communities, they clung to steep hillsides above the harbor and both had growing seafood industries.

But where Yawatahama had a population approaching 5,000 and been settled for generations, Ketchikan was still a frontier town consisting of few buildings. Ketchikan had only been incorporated four years earlier and its year round population in 1904 was estimated at no more than 300 hundred, although three times as many people were in bustling community during the summer months.

It was the perfect place for a hard worker to get ahead and Jimmie Tatsuda almost immediately began doing odd jobs in the local salmon canning industry which had started with the Fidalgo Island Cannery in 1900.

According to family members, “Jimmie” Tatsuda also got a small hand troller and spent summers living on the beach at Bond Bay on across Behm Canal from Clover Pass. Each day he would row his small boat out into the Canal to catch salmon.

“They were paid 50 cents per king salmon but could not sell white kings, “ Bill Tatsuda Jr. said recently. “I was showing Ernie Boyd some of the old pictures...and he told me that his mother told him that Jimmie Tatsuda was a cook on the mail boat up north before he got married and they started the store.”

In 1913, after nearly a decade in Alaska and approaching 30, Jimmie Tatsuda decided it was time to settle down He let his family in Japan know that he was interested in marriage and his family in Yawatahama found a 19-year-old woman from the nearby village of Uwajima, Sen Seike.

After 1907, the American government had severely curtailed immigration from Japan, but there was a loophole. Wives and families of Japanese men living in America could still emigrate. That led to more than 25,000 Japanese women coming to America in the next decade as “picture brides.” - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016

GOVERNOR CALLS FOURTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE 29th ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE - Governor Bill Walker announced today that in the public interest he is calling the Twenty-Ninth Legislature of the State of Alaska into its fourth special session. The Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature came to a close Wednesday without any significant action to address the ongoing fiscal crisis brought on by the sudden drop in oil prices and the decreased oil production. The House and Senate failed to pass the FY 2017 Operating Budget.

Without a FY 2017 Operating Budget, the possiblity of a state government shutdown looms six weeks away. The Alaska Legislature was called into special session by the Governor to pass a budget and for deficit-reductions. The special session will take place at Juneau on Monday, May 23, 2016, at 11 a.m. to consider the following subjects: - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016

Alaska: Winners of Contest to Name New Ferry Boats Announced - Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott today announced the names of Alaska’s two new ferry vessels. They thanked Tanalian School 7th grader Malea Voran of Port Alsworth and Eagle River High School 10th grader Taylor Thompson of Eagle River for the winning entries naming the Alaska Class ferries the Tazlina and the Hubbard. According to statute, each ferry is to be christened after one of the state’s 745 named glaciers.

In January, the Governor called on Alaska students to submit essays on potential names for the vessels. The two ferries are being built at the Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan after the Alaska Legislature appropriated funding for the projects in 2009 and 2012. Upon completion in 2018, the ferries will provide day boat service between Juneau, Haines, and Skagway – also known as the North Lynn Canal region.

In all, 448 6th through 12th graders submitted essays to name the two new vessels. - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016


Federal Reform Raises Wages for Many Alaskans Working Overtime - The U.S. Department of Labor has finalized a new overtime rule that increases the minimum salary requirements for employees to be considered overtime exempt. The new rule limits an employer’s ability to classify lower paid workers as overtime exempt. The rule will affect approximately 5,560 qualifying Alaskans currently treated as overtime exempt who receive a salary of less than $47,476 per year ($913 per week). This includes employees working under administrative, executive, professional and other “white collar” overtime exemptions.

“Alaska’s middle class will be strengthened by this regulatory reform,” said Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “The minimum salary requirements for overtime have not been updated for more than a decade. This adjustment means lower paid workers should earn additional compensation when they are required to work overtime.” - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016

Alaska: Governor Walker Signs into Law Bills to Streamline Government - Governor Bill Walker signed four bills into law Tuesday to boost streamlining and budget efficiency efforts across multiple state agencies. The bills address a number of regulatory and eligibility measures within state government, saving departments money and allowing for greater flexibility in the private sector.

“These bills help to maximize state dollars,” said Governor Walker. “I applaud Senator Bill Stoltze, Senator Peter Micciche, Senator Mia Costello, Representative Dave Talerico, Representative Kurt Olson, and the many dedicated state employees who worked on these bills. At a time when we need to be watching every penny the state spends, these are the kind of good, common-sense measures we can work on together.” - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016

Southeast Alaska: Two Southeast Alaska Communities Awarded Forest Service Wood Innovation Grants - Two Alaska communities were awarded Forest Service Wood Innovation Grants; the Haines Borough and the Hydaburg School District. The goal of the grants is to substantially expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets through the United States to support forest management needs on National Forest System and other forest lands. Nationally, over 77 applications were received nationwide with 42 grants awarded after a rigorous competitive process.

The Haines Borough was awarded $250,000 for the design of a wood-fueled district heating system that will heat the Borough’s school, swimming pool, vocational technical school, and other public facilities. - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jpg Danny Tyree
DANNY TYREE: Would President Hillary Clinton Spill Area 51 Secrets? - According to a May 11 United Press International news story, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton promised a radio interviewer that, if elected, she would release government records related to Area 51.

Area 51, of course, is the remote section of Edwards Air Force Base in the Nevada desert that many UFO enthusiasts believe is the site of alien encounters.

I was a little surprised that Hillary took an interest in this "X Files"-type topic. Usually she's chasing little green bills instead of little green men. Usually SHE'S the one saying, "Take me to your leader — so I can hit him up for a Clinton Foundation donation."

Urban legends and conspiracy theories insist that Area 51 is a center for ongoing communications with aliens and/or a place where crashed alien spaceships are taken apart so scientists can reverse engineer the technology and speed up mankind's technological progress. - More...
Thursday PM - May 19, 2016

PHIL KERPEN: Facebook Scandal a Warning for the Future of the Internet - Many conservatives are waving off concerns about Facebook manipulating its Trending News feature because it's a private company. In addition to legal concerns related to the fact the feature was deceptively misrepresented, there is a bigger reason Facebook's conduct should set off alarm bells: the company has long advocated regulatory changes that could eventually make mandatory for the whole Internet the type of content manipulation that Facebook has been imposing on its own site.

During Obama's first term, Facebook was a member of the so-called Open Internet Coalition, which included among its members the neo-Marxist group Free Press. The founder of Free Press, Robert McChesney infamously praised Hugo Chavez and suggested that America should emulate his regime's oppressive media policies, saying: "Aggressive unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own."

Quite a bedfellow for Facebook. And their key ally on the FCC, who voted for the so-called Open Internet Order, was another interesting fellow named Michael Copps.

Copps gave away what the regulatory push branded with the happy name "net neutrality" was really about when he said said: "Can you tell me that minority and women's voices on the Internet are getting through to major audiences—really being heard—like the big corporate sites? Should we just take it for granted that the small 'd' democratic potential of new information technologies will somehow be magically realized without questions being raised about how they are designed and managed?" - More...
Thursday PM - May 16, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Bernie Violence

Editorial Cartoon: Bernie Violence
By Rick McKee ©2016, The Augusta Chronicle
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Why I Voted Against SB91 By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Wouldn’t Alaskans experience violence if a gunman shot into their home? SB 91, a crime reform bill that ignores victims’ rights, says shooting into a home is ‘non-violent.’ - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Alaskans have no meaningful oil & gas rights By Daniel Donkel - I wish all Alaskans better understood the oil business, but it is clear Alaskans do not have any meaningful oil and gas rights like other oil and gas states in the nation do. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Part 9: “OIL COMPANY” WALKER, “OIL CAN” ORTIZ, AND OIL COMPANY SOCIALISM By David G Hanger - HB247, the much-heralded clawback of these insane oil tax credits, was passed out of the State House and referred to the State Senate where its fate is dubious at best. Hailed by our elected officials as the means by which a billion dollars will be saved between now and 2020, if passed it will save at best around $200 million, and is otherwise a gutted piece of junk. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Political legacy By A. M. Johnson - A bit of political Presidential history reflected as the current President establishes his legacy. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter Addendum RE: Poo Journal Wanted! By Douglas J. Thompson - It was so obvious that in my addressing Marie Zellerman's letter I skipped it but in retrospect I think the issue should be highlighted. That is the "charge" by the harbormaster that her boat didn't qualify because it "did not have the original helm station as designed by the original architect" or words to that effect. I was told almost the same thing in that my engine had to be the original engine as designed by the original architect. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

letter RE: Poo Journal Wanted! By Douglas J. Thompson - In regard to Marie Zellmer's letter in Tuesday's Sitnews: Sad to say but it is very predictable what will happen on Thursday at the Council Meeting. No matter if she has nine or nine hundred people there. She will be given her sixty seconds to voice her concern and then be gavelled down. While she is speaking the Ayatollah Amylon (sitting on the elected dais although he is an employee and not elected) will be shuffling papers and whispering back and forth with his acolytes in total disrespect. Then the useless harbormaster (inflated to Port Directer) will stand up and mumble something about it is needed and necessary without any rational justification. The sycophantic seven agree and nothing is changed. - More...
Friday AM - May 20, 2016

By David G Hanger - For the first quarter of 2016 ConocoPhillips recently announced a loss of $1.5 billion on its worldwide operations. While it is somewhat reasonable to assume the remaining three quarters of 2016 will be better, estimates about oil prices throughout the remainder of this year still run from a low of $20 to a high of about $80. So it remains possible that overall ConocoPhillips will lose even more on its worldwide operations by the end of this year. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Poo Journal Wanted! By Marie Zellmer - Things have gone too far down at the docks. New Ketchikan City ordinances are about to be enacted and enforced, and no one knows about them or what they really mean to people who have chosen to live on the water. Don't get me wrong, many of the harbormasters I have worked next to, gone to school with, and built sets for plays with, and I have considered them friends, but when they go to work my home is there. The harbormasters have convinced the council to enact rules such as... anyone who stays on their vessel for 15 days is a live-aboard and must have a coast guard approves toilet installed with a storage tank, and keep daily logs as to how much it is being used and how often it is being pumped out at one of the only three pump stations on the island. This will also affect the fishing industry if the wording is followed. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Our taxes for Health and Fitness By Joe Ashcraft - After a really arduous work day, my daughter convinced me to take her to the Fawn Mountain track for a few laps. This has been an almost nightly affair over the past few summers. And as I travel Southeast and the rest of Alaska on business, when asked about Ketchikan my response has included the track, the pool and the rec center as additions that make Ketchikan a really livable town. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter Drive Careful By Robert Jahnke - In the Ketchikan and outlaying areas we have now entered the green up phase of the year when the road side ditches and open areas are greening up drawing deer into areas dangerous to them and drivers alike. - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

letter RE: Incarceration Conditions By Bonnie J Abbott - You are absolutely, one hundred percent CORRECT! Thank You for caring and speaking out on this horrible disease. Maybe more citizens will step up and voice their opinion on every last word in your awesome letter!!!! - More...
Tuesday AM - May 17, 2016

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