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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 29, 2009

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

Bar Harbor Sunset
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON


Southeast Alaska: Coast Guard continues search for Coffman Cove resident - The Coast Guard is continuing its search for 24-year-old Samuel Butler after his partially submerged powered canoe was located by a good Samaritan in Clarence Strait at 10:15 a.m. Monday. Butler's powered canoe was located by a good Samaritan 32 miles west of Wrangell in Clarence Strait.

A good Samaritan on the vessel Ruby Tuesday located the powered canoe in the water with debris floating around it Monday morning. Witnesses reported Samuel Butler, a Coffman Cove resident, departed Coffman Cove at 3:30 a.m. not wearing a life jacket. Rescue crews arrived on scene at 11:20 a.m. Monday and searched until 11:32 p.m. The search was resumed at 5:47 a.m. today and will continue throughout the day. - More...
Tuesday - June 30, 2009

Ketchikan: Coast Guardsman dies while fishing in Ketchikan - A Coast Guardsman attached to Station Ketchikan was pronounced dead after the Ketchikan Fire Department recovered his body in Herring Cove eight miles south of Ketchikan at 12:14 p.m. on Saturday.

The Ketchikan Fire Department reported witnesses stated Petty Officer 1st Class Sefton Reid, 31, was fishing from the shore in Herring Cove, hit by a wave, pulled into the water and did not resurface.

Crews from the Ketchikan Fire Department, Station Ketchikan and a commercial diving boat were immediately launched after receiving the report. The divers located Reid.

Petty Officer Reid had 11 years of Coast Guard service and was assigned to Station Ketchikan for the past year. He leaves behind four children. - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009

Southeast Alaska: Fastboat Waterborne Ambulance Now Serving POW - A Fastboat Waterborne Search and Rescue (SAR) Ambulance is now serving western Prince of Wales Island and vicinity

The new Fastboat Ambulance is a 26-foot, custom-built aluminum SAR watercraft with a 12-foot beam. The Fastboat is fully equipped with twin 140 horsepower engines, Furuno radar system, Garmin mapping GPS navigation, emergency response lights, emergency communication abilities, safety gear, and search-and-rescue equipment. In addition, the Fastboat Ambulance is outfitted with a patient stretcher, medical oxygen, monitoring equipment, and advanced medical gear necessary to provide effective, lifesaving emergency care to patients.

The Fastboat Ambulance is able to respond to any location or vessel accessible by water within a 60-mile radius of the Klawock Harbor, day or night, in all but the very worst weather conditions. This includes response capability as far south as Security Cove, as far West as the "Outside" waters, and as far north as Black Rock and Edna Bay. The boat is always operated by two Search and Rescue Boat Captains provided by the Klawock Search and Rescue Team, and two emergency medical providers employed by Apollo Medi Trans (MT). The Fastboat Ambulance can normally be launched in less than 30 minutes of receiving a request, and redundant safety procedures and checklists are in place to insure a safe medical or rescue mission.

In addition to the Fastboat Ambulance, Apollo Medi Trans (MT) / Klawock Emergency Medical Services (EMS), in cooperation with the Klawock Fire Department and Search and Rescue (SAR) Team, operates two ambulances and a quick-response medical rescue vehicle, each fully outfitted to provide both basic and advanced life support interventions to critically ill or injured patients. - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009

Ketchikan: Class on Tree Biology, Planting & Pruning offered in Ketchikan - The Alaska Division of Forestry, Community Forestry Program announces a one day class on the biology of trees and proper pruning and planting techniques. The class will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough office at 1900 First Street.

Decisions made about trees are more successful when based on an understanding of tree anatomy and biology. This class is intended for anyone who designs, plants or cares for landscapes with trees including arborists, landscape architects, park and public works staff, groundskeepers and nursery professionals

The class will cover how trees function as complex systems and how to use this information when selecting, siting, planting, pruning, and maintaining landscape trees. A classroom presentation will be followed by a demonstration in the field and hands-on experience in pruning and planting trees. - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009

Alaska: Alaska Federal Court Orders Safety Waste Incineration to Stop Burning Medical Waste, Pay $75,000 Penalty - Nancy and James Oliver, doing business as Safety Waste Incineration in Wasilla, Alaska, have received a federal court order to stop receiving, incinerating, or handling hospital, medical, and infectious waste after July 1, 2009.

This order is a permanent injunction issued by Judge John W. Sedwick of the federal District Court of Alaska in a case brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to get Safety Waste to comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

"This is an important decision for public health and the environment in Alaska," said Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Seattle. "Bringing Safety Waste into compliance will reduce human exposure to harmful air contaminants, such as hydrogen chloride, dioxins and heavy metals. The court's order also levels the playing field for similar businesses and sends a message that companies who fail to comply with federal environmental laws will face serious consequences."

Last year, the court ruled that the Olivers had been violating the Clean Air Act and the Federal Plan Requirements for Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators since October 2002. Then, this past March, the court held a five-day trial to determine the appropriate remedy for Safety Waste's long-standing violations. In addition to granting the permanent injunction, the court imposed a penalty of $75,000.

The court found that Olivers' violations were "willful" and highlighted EPA's numerous, sustained efforts to get Safety Waste into compliance before resorting to filing a court action. The court also stated: - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009


National: Costly Federal Air Marshal Service a waste of money, lawmaker charges By MICHAEL COLLINS - The Federal Air Marshal Service is a "useless" agency staffed with under-worked officers who make few arrests, a Tennessee congressman is charging.

U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., has taken to the House floor in recent days to ridicule the service as a "needless, useless agency" and argue that air marshals have "a cushy, easy job" that requires little more than sitting on a plane.

He also contends that the number of air marshals charged with committing crimes exceeds the number of arrests the agents themselves have made.

"I think they are doing almost no good at all," he said.

The air marshal service, which falls under the Transportation Security Administration, is a law enforcement agency that is probably best known for putting armed, undercover agents on selected flights to help thwart possible terrorist attacks or other hostile acts.

President George W. Bush ordered the program to be greatly expanded after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. Before 9/11, the agency had roughly 33 air marshals. Today, there are about 4,000, although the exact number is classified.

Megan Norris, an air marshal and spokeswoman for the agency, defended the program, which has a 2009 budget of about $820 million.

"Obviously, aviation is our primary mission, and since 9/11, we've had tens of thousands of flights that have flown successfully under our watchful eye," she said.

While it's a common belief that an air marshal's job consists only of sitting on a plane and flying back and forth across the country, that is a misperception, Norris said. - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009

Columns - Commentary

Floyd & Mary Beth Brown: Obama's Health Care Plan Will Hurt You - Imagine waiting for a year to have cancer surgery while the malignancy spreads ­ and then be told, "Sorry. You waited too long. Go home and die." It happens in Britain and Canada because they have socialized medicine.

Now imagine a federal bureaucrat possessing the power to choose your doctor, tell doctors what treatments they can prescribe and which tests they can run. They decide at what age you are no longer eligible to undergo dialysis or receive an organ transplant or a CAT scan, even treatments as simple as antibiotics.

Are you ready for a law that forbids you from consulting a private physician for better treatment or to get a second opinion -- even if you're willing to pay for the service yourself?

These are all features of President Obama's health care plan which he recently announced, saying: "After decades of inaction, we have finally decided to fix what is broken about health care in America. We have decided that it's time to give every American quality health care at an affordable cost." - More...
Monday AM - June 29, 2009


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May - June 2009
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Basic Rules

If you submit a letter and it is not published, please contact
The SitNews' mailbox is not receiving some letters.

letterRight to speak freely to influence public policy By Bob Claus - I would like to take this occasion, the 233rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, to honor the courage and sacrifice of our forefathers and to salute the servicemen and women currently fighting on foreign fields for our freedom. - More...
Tuesday - June 30, 2009

letterWow, did you Catch the Wave? By George Miller - A picture on the front page of The Daily News offered a glimpse of what happened Monday June 29th , here in Ketchikan. - More...
Tuesday - June 30, 2009

letterSpend, Spend, Spend By Samuel Bergeron - The majority of elected officials on the City Council and Borough Assembly seem to be thinking of more ways to indenture the fewer and fewer taxing units (that's you and me), while at the same time exporting our economy to outside contractors and vendors. The recent construction contracts for Berths 3 and 4, and the design of the Way-finding signs are just a few examples of this process. - More...
Saturday - June 27, 2009

letter Health care bill unworkable, unaffordable By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our health care system. As a member of the Senate committee considering comprehensive health care reform legislation, I am committed to working with both my Republican and Democratic colleagues. - More...
Saturday - June 27, 2009

letter Is Oceans Alaska going to put you and me out of business while using our tax dollars? By Rob Holston - John Sund indicates that Oceans Alaska will depend on revenue from the visitor industry their first year of operation by selling shore excursions i.e. tours of the aquarium facility to 122,000 tourists! This number will increase to 150,000 visitors per summer season according to the Oceans Alaska business plan. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterRe: Out of Sight By Frances H. Field - Ms. Price is not the only one who has had an issue with airport parking tickets at Ketchikan airport. On June 23rd at approximately 7:15 PM I was on an outgoing plane with 6 heavy bags, a car seat, a 2 year old, and I am 5 months pregnant. My 65 year old mother, pulled up to the loading zone right in front of the revolving doors to allow me to move the bags and my daughter through the doors and then she was going to go park in short term. My mother came out of the car to assist me after my 2 year old tripped and nearly got smashed in the revolving door. My mother got my daughter through the door and immediately returned to her car to find an officer writing her a $50 ticket. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterUAS Ketchikan By Cameron Taylor - During high school, I never had any interest in going to college after graduating. It was at the end of my senior year that I decided last minute to attend UAS Ketchikan. I still believe that it was the best decision that I have made. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterReporting NNN By Heather Williams - Thank you to the Browns for their honest assessment of the "progressive" NNN (No News News), as I have been calling it for the last several years. I can get opinions anywhere but would LOVE to sit and watch a newscast which is FACTUAL in regard to ALL world news. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterKetchikan Pool Bond Vote By Doug Barry - Recent letters about K-town's bond proposal for a new pool caught my eye. Mr. Bylund's view seems extremely shortsided given the maritime location, industries and recreational activities that define the region. Dave Kiffer's letter has a more pragmatic angle and reminded me of my early years growing up in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letterThe Mayor and Pool By Rodney Dial - I wasn't going to get into the pool drama until the Mayor (Kiffer) lambasted Mr. Bylund in the matter of what is important to this community. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter Out of sight By Laurie Price - I arrived at Ketchikan airport on the afternoon flight with my twenty month old grandson. Dropped my carry on bag with a friend who was also waiting for the luggage to arrive, and went to get my car which was parked in long term parking. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter From Bias to Adoration. By Tina Terry - Thanks for the Browns' excellent article, "From Bias to Adoration..." I, too, continue to marvel at the continuing breathtaking idiocy of the media's "useful idiots," which relentlessly keeps expanding instead of contracting. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letterGas For The U.S. By Donald A. Moskowitz - I want to commend Governor Palin and her fellow Alaskans for passing The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which set the stage for Trans Canada and ExxonMobil to enter into an agreement for the construction of a natural gas pipeline. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter DNA 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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