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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 09, 2010

Weekend Camp at Naha
Southeast Stevedoring's Shoreline 1 vessel arrived at Naha dock last Friday to drop off the Boy Scouts for a weekend camp at Orton Ranch.
Front Page Photo By PENNY EUBANKS

Alaska: Guardsman and Active-Duty Airman perform Heroic Actions During Plane Crash By CHRISTOPHER GROSS - An Alaska Air National Guardsman and active-duty Airman from Elmendorf Air Force Base jumped into action and put themselves in harm's way June 1 while rescuing survivors from a Cessna 206 plane crash.

This Cessna 206 crashed into a Fairview home near Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, June 1, 2010.
Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Police Department

A plane that took off shortly after 5 p.m. from Anchorage's Merrill Field went down moments later into the side of a Fairview building, injuring four people and killing one.

"I could hear an aircraft coming over the top of me," said Capt. Erik Boltman of the Alaska Air National Guard, who was sitting in traffic a few blocks over from the crash site. "Next thing I knew I just heard this really loud thud, and my truck shook."

Captain Boltman said he could see smoke coming from the front of the aircraft and tracked it by where everybody was looking. Once he located the aircraft and parked his vehicle he immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher from his vehicle and rushed over to the site.

He said people were already there attempting to bust out windows and using fire extinguishers to keep the fire that was spreading on the floor of the plane under control. - More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010

Ketchikan: Bell Island Hot Springs was 'good for what ails you'; Local resort has been private club for the last three decades A Feature Article By DAVE KIFFER - Oral tradition indicates that the hot springs on what is now called Bell Island, 40 miles north of Ketchikan on Behm Canal, have been used for centuries by the local Native tribes, who recognized the medicinal qualities of the springs and the mineral water.

Bell Island buildings and walkway, 1904
Harriet Hunt photo; Donor: Forest J. Hunt
Photograph courtesy Tongass Historical Society

The water temperatures at the hot springs range from 125 degrees to 175 degrees and for generations locals have sworn that it is "good for what ails you."

When Captain George Vancouver transited Behm Canal in August of 1793, he passed by Bell Island but took no notice of the hot springs. He later anchored in Port Stewart and then sent his ship's launch and small cutter out to further explore some of the bays and passages his bigger ship, the Discovery, was too large to enter.

That was when Bell Island was officially named, after Edward Bell, a clerk on the voyage.

There is no evidence that any of Vancouver's men discovered or used the hot springs.

Ketchikan residents reportedly began visiting the hot springs, probably on the advice of local Natives, in the early 1890s.

There was a small bath house with a tub on site in 1899, according to regional Historian Pat Roppel in her 1995 work "Historical Guide to Revillagigedo and Gravina Island, Alaska."

In 1902, the Ketchikan Chapter of the Redmen's Lodge, Thlinket Tribe No. 4, decided to build a facility for its members at the hot springs. The August 18, 1902 edition of the Ketchikan Mining Journal noted that the project was "worthy and ought to succeed."

The paper didn't mention Bell Island specifically but reported the "bath house" was at the hot springs on Behm Canal, about 40 miles from Ketchikan.

"Members of that organization may go for recuperation and pleasure, having access to the baths without cost," the newspaper added.

Information in the Tongass Historical Museum files indicates that in addition to the bathhouse, the lodge also built and outdoor cement basin and a 3 foot wide, 1,200 foot long board walk from tidewater to the hot springs. Local physician J.L. Myers began recommending patients go to the hot springs. - More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010

Alaska: Alaska Attorney General Asks Feds for New ANWR Notice - Attorney General Dan Sullivan has called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a new "notice of intent" for its review of a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, questioning whether the current notice impermissibly excludes public comments on the prospect of oil and gas development on the ANWR coastal plain.

Sullivan's letter to ANWR Refuge Manager Richard Voss Monday followed up on concerns expressed May 11 by Governor Sean Parnell and came as the Alaska Department of Natural Resources also weighed in on defects in the proposed planning process.

The federal agency issued its notice of intent on April 7 to solicit public comments that would address "the desired future conditions of the refuge" and "the full range of purposes." But the notice expressly stated that it will not consider comments related to oil and gas development in ANWR, highlighting the fact that only Congress can open the coastal plain to oil and gas development: "Therefore, the Service does not have the authority to decide this issue, and we will not consider or respond to comments that support or oppose such development during the CCP process." - More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010

Alaska: Two Admit Guilt to Federal Felony Civil Rights Violation - Acting United States Attorney Kevin Feldis announced Tuesday that Robert Bruce Gum and Deanna Angelina Scaglione, aka Deanna Powers, residents of Anchorage, Alaska, pleaded guilty in federal court to the civil rights crime of threatening, intimidating and interfering with an Alaska Native, while he used the public streets of downtown Anchorage, in violation of 18 USC §245(b)(2)(B).

Scaglione, age 21, pleaded guilty to the one-count indictment in front of United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess on June 1, 2010, and Gum, age 19, pleaded guilty to the one-count indictment in front of Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline on June 8, 2010.

In connection with the guilty plea, Assistant United States Attorney Retta Randall advised the court that in the early morning hours of July 28, 2009, the defendant, Deanna Scaglione, was driving a car in downtown Anchorage. Her co-defendant, Robert Gum, was riding in the front passenger seat. Scaglione carried a flip-video digital video recording device that she used to record her and Gum as they pursued, harassed, and assaulted an Alaska Native man they saw walking downtown. Scaglione subsequently posted two video recordings that she made of this incident on YouTube.

According to the detailed factual basis presented in court at the time they pled guilty, and as captured by statements on the video recording, Scaglione and Gum were downtown "egging Natives." Scaglione, who operated the camera, recorded both of the defendants' faces on the video and introduced themselves. The victim, an Alaska Native male, was walking along the city sidewalks and streets toward Beans Café, an Anchorage shelter that provides food and services to those in need.

Both Scaglione and Gum each admitted to the following:- More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010

Alaska: Alaska Sea Grant to fund $1 million in marine research; Pollock fisheries models, crab genetic studies, sea otter impacts top the list - Alaska Sea Grant will provide $1 million during the next two years to support marine research that includes projects to assess the potential impact of the growing sea otter population in Southeast; develop better pollock fishery management models; and determine the genetic stock structure of red and blue king crab.

Alaska Sea Grant is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that conducts marine research, education, communication, and Marine Advisory Program extension throughout coastal Alaska. The program is based at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Alaska Sea Grant also will fund a host of other studies. These include a study of the abundance of plankton species that are an important food source for juvenile pink salmon in Prince William Sound, and a project to determine whether some small salmon fisheries can be effectively managed at a lower cost by using predetermined fishing periods rather than expensive test fisheries and escapement surveys. The program also will fund development of a marine ecosystem model that monitors patterns of environmental variation to predict sudden ecological change. - More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010

Alaska: Area M Commercial Fishermen Volunteer To Sit Out First Opening of June Sockeye Salmon Fishery; Seiners Recognize Concerns Surrounding Chum Runs in A-Y-K - The purse seine fleet in Sand Point and King Cove has decided to stand down this week during the first sockeye salmon opening for 2010 in Area M. The Area M fishery is located around Alaska's Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula on the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. The first opening began today at 6 a.m. (June 7, 2010) and ends at 10 p.m. on June 10, 2010.

Chum salmon is a controversial issue. Although existing data indicates that the chum salmon catch during the Area M fishery has only a small impact on A-Y-K (Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim) chums, many residents living in the A-Y-K believe otherwise.

During two separate meetings late last week, Area M fishermen debated what action they might take in response to A-Y-K chum concerns. Seine vessel captains gathered in Sand Point City Council Chambers and at the harbor house in King Cove last Thursday and Friday evening while they hashed out their options for several hours. Their final decision was based on high amounts of chum caught during the subsistence harvest. Giving up fishing time after a long winter is a difficult decision.

"My husband is sitting on the beach right now," said Sand Point resident Tina Anderson, "and that's lost income to my family."

However, the Area M fleet has learned that as long as A-Y-K residents and the Alaska Board of Fisheries believe Area M's fishery is having a serious impact on their runs, the fleet in the Aleutians East region is under great political scrutiny.

"Area M seiners recognize the concerns of residents living in the A-Y-K (Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim region) who believe we're catching high numbers of chums," said Glen Gardner, Jr., a seiner and the Mayor of the City of Sand Point. "We view our stand down as a positive gesture of solidarity."

"We're all fishermen who feed our families and make our living in Alaska waters," said Sand Point seiner Robin Larsen. "Our fleets are also primarily Alaska Natives. We are sympathetic to the plight of families in the A-Y-K."

For decades, Area M fishermen have been plagued by accusations that they are affecting commercial and subsistence chum salmon runs in the A-Y-K. In 2001, the Alaska Board of Fisheries implemented severe restrictions which nearly bankrupted the entire Area M fishing fleet. The fishermen lost nearly 70 percent of their fishing time. However, scientific evidence shows that the Area M sockeye salmon fishery has very little impact on the chum salmon stock. - More...
Wednesday - June 09, 2010


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letterDemocracy Is Messy By Samuel Bergeron - Winston Churchill said "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried". I'm grateful I live in a country that allows its citizens to criticize and challenge its government. The decision to start a ballot initiative to require the City to build a future library on property it already owns and keep it in downtown Ketchikan was well considered by our group. We are made up of planners, builders, citizens, land developers, local business leaders, realtors and concerned community members of both the City and Borough. We are united in the concept that the library should be centrally located downtown so all of the public has convenient access. After all, it is a Public Library. - More...
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2010

letterLower property tax rate is good for all By Rodney Dial - On Tuesday as I was reading the paper you could have knocked me over with a feather after I saw that the Borough Assembly reduced the mill rate (they had been discussing raising it). As a frequent critic of local government I feel that it is only right to say "thank you". - More...
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2010

letterThank you By Becky Burnham - Thank you to the officers and volunteers who risked their lives to save our friends (and my bridesmaid), Stacie Cavner's, life, and the lives of all who could be saved in the plane. - More....
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2010

letterCapital Budget By Maj Gen Thomas H. Katkus - Alaska requires infrastructure to reach resources and improve the economy. Governor Sean Parnell created the Alaska Military Force Advocacy and Structure Team (AMFAST) to provide recommendations for cooperative projects that support and expand the military industry in our state. As chairman of the AMFAST, I am pleased to tell you that our short-term strategic plan has already yielded success! - More...
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Amanda Kiely and Drew Lindner - The purpose of a public library is to provide its patrons with resources, information, and materials. As of late, though, it seems this central objective has been completely lost in the debate over where to build our new library. - More...
Wednesday PM - JUne 09, 2010

letterMilitary support and Tanana Bridge project By Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Katkus - The State of Alaska and the communities of Fairbanks and North Pole should join me in thanking Rep. Mike Kelly and Governor Sean Parnell for supporting the rail bridge over the Tanana River. This bridge is the first step in completing our rail connection to Fort Greely and to Canada. More importantly, it provides dependable year-round access to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. This training area is one of the largest in the country. Reliable access provides an exceptional opportunity to all branches of our military to exercise and train in a realistic and challenging environment without public disruption. - More...
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2010

letterDungie clarification By Chris Snyder - Apparently Mr. Moyer misunderstood the relevant gist of my letter. So, I repeat: "...if there are legitimate conservation issues, then by all means lets restrict crabbing--for everyone." That is not a question. It is a statement. - More...
Monday - June 07, 2010

letterCOURTESY By Cecelia Johnson - My family and I were out enjoying the sunny weather recently and took a drive out North. We stopped in a store to purchase a refreshing bottle of water and snacks. An unnamed store has a very rude clerk. This individual's whole persona exhibited ill manners! We need Mystery Shoppers. Another Northend store clerk was also very rude. I purchased an item and received a "look of disdain" with no thanks before I walked out! - More...
Monday - June 07, 2010

letterRE: Library Location By Pat Long - Kudos to Nathan Brooks for a well thoughtout and reasonable letter. - More...
Monday - June 07, 2010

letterLibrary Location: Ballot initiative By Chris J. Herby - It seems that here in Ketchikan there always needs to be a divisive issue to keep everyone from getting bored. This year's issue appears to be the location of the proposed new library. - More...
Friday - June 04, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Nathan Brooks - There are many generations of my family living in Ketchikan. There are always issues in any community which cause conflicts and differing opinions. However, Ketchikan is reaching a level of constant conflict which is making it difficult for me and mine to want to live here any longer. - More...
Friday - June 04, 2010

letter Ketchikan City Council and private business By Charles Edwardson - I would like to retract any statements about the Ketchikan City Council meddling and intervening in the private sector. I criticized them for meddling and intervening in a cab company's request to invest their own money to improve their own business, - More...
Friday - JUne 04, 2010

letterBill Walker for Governor By Lawrence "Snapper" Carson - As Alaskans we have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. What a beautiful place to work, play and live. Its stewardship should be of utmost importance to all us. We have the opportunity this year to elect a governor who has the interest and ability to make Alaska a better place for all Alaskans. His name is Bill Walker, he was born in Alaska and has worked and raised his family as a life long Alaskan. - More...
Friday - JUne 04, 2010

letterMemorial Day By Joel W Jackson - This past Monday my family and I had the honor of attending Ketchikan's Memorial Day services at our local cemetery. It is a tradition that my mother passed on to me and I have tried to pass on to my children. - More...
Friday - June 04, 2010

letterCrab Question By Mike Moyer - To answer Chris Snyder's' question: Yes there are legitimate concerns over the handling of crab by the commercial fleet during the summer months and increased mortality occurs during this time. It is known that simply handling crab causes stress and increases mortality. Handling crab during the summer months during molting and mating increases that mortality even more. The numbers of crab handled by commercial boats would obviously be greater than sport fishers because they are using more pots and trying to target more crab. - More...
Friday - JUne 04, 2010

letterReal Men By Al Johnson - My comment to Representative Ethan Berkowitz, "Real Men do not KILL Babies". - More...
Friday - June 04, 2010

letterRe: Dopey Mushers By Alan R. (Rudy) McGillvray - What a wonderful thing is propaganda. Mr. William R. Hearst launched a propaganda assault against hemp (marijuana by another name) because he could make paper more cheaply using wood pulp instead of hemp pulp. He and Harry Anslinger of the FDA, (a tool of a tax and spend rich Democrat, J.P. Morgan, who was Sec. of the Treasury at the time) saw a way to turn a whole class of people into criminals. So they all launced a propaganda campaign against Pot, hemp, marijuana, and managed to turn public opinion, against a mostly harmless substance, that did not even approach illegality or harmfullness of heroin, but through their propaganda campaign, managed to turn it into something even more powerful than heroin. Peoples' perception. - More...
Friday - June 04, 2010

letterCommander-In-Chief Went AWOL By Donald A. Moskowitz - As a Navy veteran, I am appalled President Obama, our Commander-In-Chief, did not lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2010. Instead, he went on vacation. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 01, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Chris Elliott - It would be interesting to know what the community's reaction was when the new high school was built at the top of that huge hill "out the road" (Fourth & Madison). -More...
Tuesday PM - June 01, 2010

letterGulf Oil Spill By A.M.Johnson - Just a thought. Do you suppose that Cletus and Barney, a couple of rednecks, hold the solution to cleaning up the oil spill? - More...
Tuesday PM - June 01, 2010

letterSlow moving vehicles By Kim Morton - Just wanted to post a rant about the slow moving eclectic golf carts that I have ran into out south and now out by Wal-Mart. I am pretty sure these cars need to stay in town and seeing them driving down the road when it's supposed to be 50 mph is frustrating to say the least. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 01, 2010

letterIllegal Immigration Healthcare Costs Affect YOU! By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D. - The national spotlight is on Arizona for doing what the Federal government and previous Governor Napolitano refused to do: rein in an invasion of illegal aliens bankrupting our state (Arizona). At an August 2009 healthcare Town Hall in Phoenix, legislators said that more than half of Arizona's 4 billion dollar budget deficit was the result of paying for three areas of services to illegal immigrants: education, healthcare, and incarceration. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 01, 2010

letterOil Spills as an Opportunity... By Donald Lee Struthers - What an opportunity. With the April 2010 oil spill situation in the Gulf of Mexico comes several opportunities. - More...
Friday - May 28, 2010

letterDungeness By Chris Snyder - There is something very telling in Mr. Gossman's letters regarding the summer dungie fishery. Apparently he thinks that a crab cares WHICH user group harvests him. This simply is not the case. A crab is a fairly simple critter. He doesn't have the ability to look around at the boat deck he is on and say "sure am glad I got caught by this sport fisherman, or retired visitor, or whomever instead of", gasp!, "someone trying to make a living". - More...
Friday - May 28, 2010

letterLocation of Library By Rita Leighton - I understand the library needs more room - but wouldn't it be much simpler to just move the museum out to a different location - possibly somewhere next to the cruise ship docks? There is a vacant lot between the Federal Building & the Logging Show, and that would give the library room to expand in its current, convenient location. - More...
Friday - May 28, 2010

letterFY2011 Capital Budget By Senator Bert Stedman - Governor Parnell has indicated that he intends to veto a significant number of projects in this year's Capital Budget. That would be a mistake. - More...
Wednesday - May 26, 2010

letterGovernment Regulation By R.K. Rice - DEROY MURDOCK's column "Era of unlimited government arrives" stated "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business," President Calvin Coolidge told journalists in March 1929. - More...
Wednesday - May 26, 2010

letterTax Heroes By Michael Spence - I have read with great interest the stream of letters coming to Sitnews about our high taxes and how to avoid them. - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterWhere are your taxes going? By Jean Griffin - Taxpayers, where are your dollars going? - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterParking Carnival By George Miller - Can you hear the calliope music as the parking carnival gets underway? Do people working downtown set an alarm clock so they know when to trot about looking for a place to park, thus possible avoiding the inevitable ticket? Is it worth ten bucks to not miss a sale during the season, and just roll over and pay? - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterGreat Library Site By Gay D. Peters - The best place to have the new library is Copper Ridge. I drive and it's almost impossible to find a parking space and now there will be plenty of spaces available. - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterLibrary By Robert McRoberts - Over the last few years living in Ketchikan, I think our Borough government has been improving -- maybe from knowing and liking most all working there. With that said, I feel the city is just nuts. Why do we need this library? Where is your planing here? you have no place to build it, no thought at all in the area you select for the site. You get a good deal on the site, but what is the site? Have you dug holes yet? Yet that area is under development. It's going to have some kind of construction activity there for 30 years. Go ahead, put people out of work so you can have quiet. The only good thing I see about putting it there is the jail can let people check out books. - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterDwindling Fish Stocks By Carol Baines - It's estimated that seven out of ten people on the planet depend on fish as their primary source of nutrition. According to the experts, at the rate the seas are being degraded due to over-fishing and pollution, in approximately 40 years there will be no more fish. This all spells trouble --- a catastrophe for our future generations, our children and grandchildren. Fish provide roughly 40 per cent of the protein consumed by nearly two-thirds of the world's population. For example, over a billion people throughout Asia depend on fish and seafood as their major source of animal protein. Here in Alaska we have enjoyed our salmon, halibut, red snapper, et al. and don't want to see the stocks diminish or be contaminated. - More...
Monday - May 24, 2010

letterRecent posts regarding pool By Zig Ziegler - I appreciate Sitnews and the forum it provides for healthy discussion of our community's issues. I truly appreciate it when there is disagreement amongst posts that remains civil and to the point, rather than a personal attack, while addressing different opinions. - More...
Friday - May 21, 2010

letterDo Not Participate By Lloyd Gossman - Please do not participate in the sale or purchase of Dungeness Crab caught by Commercial fisherman during the summer in Southeast Alaska. This fishery is scheduled to open June 15th, 2010. - More...
Thursday PM - May 20, 2010

letterRE: Dopey Mushers By Dale Albertson - Well all be! WOW! Would someone please inform John that users of "dope" of this sort does not produce hallucinations? Talk to almost all street cops John, they would much rather deal with a person influenced by THC, which is the active ingredient in Cannabis, than to deal with a drunk. The person on "pot" there I said it, just gets the munchies and wants to lay down and go to sleep. Drunks are seldom non-violent, cause many accidents and deaths annually. I have dealt with both types hundreds of times in my many careers going back to early 70's, and the results have never differed except for the amount of violence one person can perpetrate on another when drunk. I have never in my long career had to deal with a violent pot head. Oh, and no I am not nor have I ever been a user of pot. I have observed a person on pot function and be a contributing productive member of society, and am always amazed, having been fed the same falsehoods you seem to have latched onto. - More...
Thursday PM - May 20, 2010

letterRe: New Pool By Chris Barry - Poor silly people. Do you honestly believe that if something benefits you, that it benefits the community as a whole? You need to wake up. I have never said I oppose replacing the pool. I understand it is needed for many activities in this community and that the current facilities would be too costly to repair correctly. - More...
Thursday PM - May 20, 2010

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