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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 19, 2009

Front Page Photo by DENNIS MOODY

Connell Lake: Baby gulls in nest
Front Page Photo by DENNIS MOODY


Ketchikan: Ferry Matanuska to Return to AMHS Fleet Service - The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) announces the return of the ferry Matanuska to service in Alaska next week. The Matanuska has been in Portland for a nine-month overhaul.

The 46-year-old Matanuska and its crew will begin sailing Alaska's waters June 23. The three-day delay is necessary according to AMHS General Manager, Capt. John Falvey.

"The ship's delayed return is due to required training for the crew on the new evacuation system and the automated testing system in the ship's engine room," Falvey explained. "These are essential to ensuring all mechanical components are operating correctly. Crew familiarization with these systems is necessary and mandated under federal requirements."

The Matanuska was originally scheduled to depart Ketchikan June 20, southbound to Prince Rupert. Falvey says the ships schedule will be altered as a result of required crew training. Matanuska will now sail southbound from Ketchikan June 23. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

Alaska: ALASKA PERSONAL INFO. PROTECTION ACT SOON TO TAKE EFFECT - Long sought-after consumer protection legislation will take effect Thursday, July 1. The Alaska Personal Information Protection Act, passed by the 25th Alaska Legislature in April of 2008 and signed into law that June, offers Alaskans comprehensive protections and easy-to-understand steps to follow should their personal information be accidentally breached or stolen.

House Rules Committee Chair John Coghill, R-North Pole, wrote and sponsored the law along with Senator Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, and Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, and worked closely with former Sen. Gretchen Guess, D-Anchorage, to gain passage over the past three-plus years.

"We tried for more than three years to find that balance between providing strong consumer protection measures while not constricting business and government transactions involving personal information," Coghill said. "We crafted clear rules and guidelines for all parties in the event of a breach or theft. Starting July 1 Alaskans will have cause for greater comfort that their social security numbers, lines of credit, credit scores, and other personal information is safe and well-protected." - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

Ketchikan: Only Fools Run at Midnight - A family dressed as sled dog team, six grown men wearing cardboard beer cans forming a six-pack, and a young woman painted green carrying a torch! Is it a Halloween party? Or maybe a fraternity event?

These costumes and more can be sighted at the 6th Annual Only Fools Run at Midnight Family Fun Run, guaranteed to have more fools running than every before. This year, we are celebrating Alaska's 50th Anniversary by offering two special Costume Categories for individuals and groups of five or more dressed in Alaska-themed Costumes!

On June 27th at 11:59 p.m., hundreds of Ketchikan residents will gather at the Southeast Discovery Center for a 5K run or 1-mile walk dressed in wild and crazy costumes to raise funds for the local branch of Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL). According to a news release, SAIL's mission is to empower Southeast Alaskans with disabilities by providing and promoting options to live as active, productive, and involved citizens in their community of choice. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

Petersburg: Coast Guard responds to grounded Petersburg vessel - The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Southeast Alaska has placed a captain of the port order on the 42-foot commercial fishing vessel, Moonshadow and the owner has placed an oil containment boom around the vessel after it reportedly grounded 30 miles west of Wrangell at 10 a.m. Monday, June 15th.

Coast Guard responds to grounded Petersburg vessel

42-foot commercial fishing vessel, Moonshadow
Coast Guard Photos courtesy Air Station Sitka

The owner was transferred to Petersburg by the Petersburg Boat Detachment and was issued a verbal captain of the port order to boom the vessel, submit a salvage and safety plan and remove the pollution threat.

A Coast Guard boat detachment crew in Petersburg boarded the vessel with dewatering pumps and determined the hull's watertight integrity had been compromised. The operator of the Moonshadow reported to have 300 to 350 gallons of diesel fuel when it grounded. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

Alaska: One moose, two moose: Scientist seeks species number correction - A wildlife geneticist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking to correct a misinterpretation of the application of taxonomy that led to the identification of two, rather than one, species of moose.

"When we give something its own name we're saying this is a unit of biodiversity that deserves to be conserved," said Kris Hundertmark, of the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology. "If you name something that doesn't deserve a name, you are wasting resources that could be spent on worthwhile groups."

Hundertmark will be presenting his research during the American Society of Mammalogists 89th Annual Meeting June 24-28 at UAF.

The reference book Mammal Species of the World, which Hundertmark calls the "unofficial bible of what is a mammal species and what isn't," lists two species of moose. The two-species concept is based primarily on a difference in chromosome numbers and the physical structure, or morphology, of moose. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009


Columns - Commentary

DAN K. THOMASSON: Yes, but how do we pay for all this? - One can't help but think there is considerable danger in Barack Obama's unswerving determination to alter the nation's health care landscape at what may be a cost most Americans can't even fathom.

The president's zeal is impressive. It is the passion of a true believer who sees a country in which no one is without medical insurance as key to restoring the economy even as the national debt approaches unimaginable dimensions and some of his most ardent supporters are beginning to wonder how to pay for such an ambitious goal. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

PRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on Persian Priestleys - Persian priests, or Magi, followed a twinkling star to Bethlehem, where they glorified a miracle birth. Over two-thousand years later, Iranians by the millions follow Twittering in cyber-space towards a glorious democratic rebirth of their republic.

They are hoping and praying for a miracle, but it may be enough to give unwavering support to the Persian Priestleys. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

DEROY MURDOCK: The curious case of the $134.5 billion briefcase - A funny thing recently happened at the Italian-Swiss border. Italian authorities found a briefcase filled with $134.5 billion in U.S. government bonds. While this now appears to be merely a massive counterfeiting case, initial worries were that a major nation clandestinely attempted to unload a staggering sum of genuine U.S. dollar securities.

On June 3, Italy's Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) arrested two Japanese men in their 50s. They were apprehended in Ponte Chiasso, a frontier town about 25 miles from Milan. Rather than travel express to Switzerland, these suspects were on a local northbound train where they stood out among working-class Italians.

When quizzed, the Guardia say, the two men claimed they had nothing to declare. Authorities inspected a briefcase they carried. Beneath a false bottom, it featured a secret compartment that primarily concealed 249 U.S. bearer bonds, each with a $500 million face value. Several smaller financial instruments brought the haul to $134.5 billion. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

FLOYD & MARY BETH BROWN: From Bias to Adoration: The Absurd Reporting of Political News - Here's a hint, David Letterman: An apology starts with you admitting you were totally wrong... no equivocation... no explanation... no rationalization; it ends with you expressing your sorrow, giving a promise that it won't happen again and offering an act of contrition (such as your resignation or self-imposed suspension)... no smirking... no laughing... period.

Your "apology" to Sarah Palin and her daughter is totally insufficient. She should have never accepted it. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

DALE MCFEATTERS: DNA testing not a constitutional right - The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to deny a convicted criminal access to DNA evidence that might conclusively prove his guilt or innocence is not as heartless as it sounds.

In the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, the decision is limited: "the court merely spoke about what is constitutional, not what is good policy." And it would be good policy to have uniform national standards on under what circumstance prisoners can have access to post-conviction DNA testing.. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009


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Basic Rules

letterDNA Testing By Peter Bolling - Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Alaska's policy of not granting post-conviction DNA testing to inmates even if they are willing to pay for the tests. This is not a victory for Alaska or Alaskans.- More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

letter Re: Ketchikan Pool Bond Vote by Ken Bylund - Damage control? Obfuscation and angry mud slinging instead of apologizing for poor ethics when you discussed hiding the truth about how the pool bond would be paid, you actually considered telling the residents, it will be covered by a 1/2 cent recreational sales tax. Want the borough attorney to run for Mayor! Okay, how much, and for how long... no more dodging the truth, provide detailed numbers to the voters on this capital issue. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

letter Re: Ketchikan Pool Bond Vote By Dave Kiffer - I'm glad that Mr. Bylund considers himself an expert on the "general welfare" of this community. But either he wasn't here in the 1960s when I was growing up or he wasn't paying attention. - More...
Thursday - June 18, 2009

letterKake: Have your forest and eat it too? By Sarah Campen - Whether it's fish, game, serenity, or jobs, properly managed forests in Southeast Alaska can provide us what we need on many levels. In communities like Kake, struggling against high unemployment and high costs of living, meeting local needs with local resources just makes sense. That's exactly what Kake residents and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council proposed through the Kake Community Alternative to the upcoming Central Kupreanof timer sale. - More...
Thursday - June 18, 2009

letter KETCHIKAN POOL BOND VOTE by Ken Bylund - Thanking Mr. Damstedt, for Wednesday's, June 17th article in the Ketchikan Daily News titled, 'Pool bond vote moves forward'. If anyone missed it, more recommended reading! In the end, it appears everyone in the borough will be paying for a $23.5 million bond [loan] for the next thirty years. The cost [for us] will be $23,500,000 [23.5 million] + 15% contingency [~$3,500,000] -- double this in interest, ~ fifty million USD [$50,000,000] for a swimming pool that roughly 500 people out of the entire population of our borough... will enjoy. How does this meet any standard of providing for the general welfare of the community? - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letterLetting the public know By Eileen Small - I realize that the last Tea Party event came up rather suddenly and thus it was difficult to get any advance news coverage. Those of us involved in the Tea Party Patriot Move didn't want to be guilty of this error a second time. - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letterBoys & Girls Club By Chris Corrao - The Boys & Girls Club is now open with its new summer hours. The Club is open Monday - Thursday 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM at 645 Jackson Street (the National Guard Armory). - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letter THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO COME FORWARD TO SUPPORT OUR YOUTH. By Roberta "Bobbie" McCreary - A very BIG thank you to the following people WITHOUT WHICH we would not have had a really cool YOUTH ART AUCTION that earned nearly $1000 for our young artists. - More...
Monday PM - June 15, 2009

letterTHANK YOU! TO OUR COMMUNITY FROM THE HOT SHOTS PAINTBALL GROUP By Roberta "Bobbie" McCreary - WE cannot say enough to thank those who come forward to help our youth programs succeed. Last month, we benefitted from over a $1,000 of product and services donated to provide wood chips to make the paintball field safe for players. Thank you to Mike Stewart (First City Wood Haulers) and Wade King Trucking who showed up at 7am on a Sunday morning to deliver 14 loads of wood chips to the field. And to Merril Stulkin who brought his equipment out to the field and spread the chips. - More...
Monday PM - June 15, 2009

letterRegarding More AK Airlines Fees By LeiLani Lake - It may sound good Ms. Steiner to say that another airline coming to Ketchikan would resolve our airfare and additional luggage fee problems but it won't. Alaska Airlines is only one of many airlines that now charge to your first bag. Actually I believe it was American Airlines that started this trend. - More...
Monday PM - June 12, 2009

letterAn Educated and Experienced Description of the Life cycle of a Dungeness Crab* or Why They Should Not Be Fished in the Summer By Larry Painter - When I first came to S. E. Alaska in the late 60's we pot fished Dungeness Crab and Spot Prawns all year 'round. There was no closed season for either like there was for Salmon that I seined only in the summer and fall with openings regulated by Fish and Game. As I gained experience I noticed that Dungeness Crab started showing soft shells around late February. Through the summer they all go through a soft shell stage. Around September to October they are hard shelled and full of meat. At this time they are in prime condition! That's the time to start fishing! - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterLogjam By Elaine Price - You need to hear and understand the story of two little boys in Coffman Cove. These two little boys are supported by a logger, a "faller" to be exact. His paychecks earned from the timber industry work he does provides for these two little boys and their mother.

These two little boys are vitally important to the future of Coffman Cove, to the future of the school here, and to the infrastructure, other jobs, and many businesses across Prince of Wales Island. How can two little boys from Coffman Cove be that important to a regional economy? - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterSuislaw Forest By Michael Moyer - My comment is directed to Don Borders and all that may believe that just because the forests of Washington and Oregon have vegetation on the hills that all is well in the woods there. Not so. When my Great Grandfather worked in the woods of Washington they didn't use trucks to haul the logs out, they built railroads. They cut everything. They choked the creeks and dredged the rivers, dammed them up and then blew the dams so the logs would flood downstream. They messed up the hills and rivers so bad that even today the fish haven't come back and the original river channels are far from what they used to be. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterMore AK Airlines Fees By Julie Steiner - It's not bad enough that Alaska Airlines increases their fares for flying to an astronomical price, that they now have to charge each person a fee to take their bags with them? Effective July 15th, they are going to charge EVERYONE a fee of $15 for the first checked bag. And the fee for each additional bag keeps increasing. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letter Akasofu's predictions By John Ziraldo - Thank you for publishing the article about Syun-Ichi Akasofu's predictions. The continuing lies by the IPCC about climate change, and the political will of the far left to use these lies to impoverish us makes it very critical that articles like these get published. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterTraffic, Ferries and Bridges, Oh My! By Marshall H. Massengale - I have been a regular SitNews visitor and Ketchikan watcher for the past nearly two years and have read any number of articles, comments, editorials, opinions, letters, and official documents concerning many of the borough's frequently discussed and debated transportation issues. These issues have included the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" debacle, vehicle traffic congestion, slow drivers, fast drivers, parking, ferry boats in and out of repair, and now the latest rant about a paddle wheel boat that kicks up a wake in the Narrows. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterCreate Jobs for Americans By Donald A. Moskowitz - A while ago I read that Bill Gates and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were planning on donating a total of $500 million to reduce the incidence of smoking in developing countries, especially China. I haven't seen any recent information on this subject, but I believe they made a commitment to this ridiculous project. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

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