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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 06, 2011

Front Page Photo By CINDY BALZER

Herring Cove: Black Bear
Wildlife Viewing Ethics (ADFG)
Front Page Photo By CINDY BALZER

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Worman Keeps Top Spot; Overall Fish Count More Than Doubles 2010 Week Two ResultsMore than 800 anglers made their way out onto the water over the weekend to participate in the 64th Annual Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby.  Although roughly the same number of anglers that checked out during Week 2 of the 2010 derby, the fish count was up by more than double. 459 king salmon were entered over the weekend, compared with just 197 during week two of last year’s derby.  

Worman Keeps Top Spot

64th Annual King Salmon Derby:
Kyle Worman's 49.7 lbs King Leader in Week 1 & Week 2
Photo courtesy Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby

“All of the weigh-in stations commented on how busy certain times of the day were compared to last year,” said Russell Thomas, 2011 derby coordinator.  “The weather seemed to hamper participation some on Saturday but a lot of fishermen took advantage of the good weather and the good fishing on Sunday.”  Thomas expects similar levels of participation and potentially better fishing during the final weekend of the derby.  

No changes were recorded in the top three ladder positions in the second weekend of fishing. Kyle Worman continues to lead the way with a 49.7 lb king, weighed in just hours after the derby began last Saturday. Worman’s fish would have won every Ketchikan derby since 2006 but he’ll have to endure one more weekend of anticipation to see if his fish will capture him the derby’s grand prize, over $10,000 in cash.  Some large fish were entered during the second weekend, knocking anything under 30 lbs from the thirty-place adult derby ladder.  

Youth ladder leader Hunter Matthews didn’t fare as well as Worman during Week Two fishing.  Matthews’ 25.3 lb entry was bested by Sage Mirsky (photo), who weighed in a 27.9 lb king late Sunday night.  Three other entries broke into the youth ladder’s top ten over the weekend.  Over $6,500 in cash and prizes are available to the top ten youth finishers. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

Ketchikan: Coast Guardsmen investigating grounded tour vessel - Coast Guardsmen in Southeast Alaska responded to a grounded vessel near Ketchikan Friday.

Coast Guard Station Ketchikan and Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel responded to the 108-foot motor vessel Aleutian Ballad after the vessel struck a rock and sustained damage. The Aleutian Ballad offers the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's TourTM in Ketchikan.

The grounding occurred during a wildlife tour south of Pennock Island with the Aleutian Ballad carrying 125 passengers and six crewmembers. No injuries or pollution was reported. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

Southeast Alaska: NOAA seeks information from public on marine mammal deaths near Skagway - It has been a deadly 2011 for marine mammals in the Skagway area. Since January, the carcasses of two Steller sea lions and three harbor seals have been discovered.

Of the five deceased mammals, four showed signs of head trauma, and a bullet was recovered from one harbor seal skull during a necropsy.

NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement is asking the public for help in determining exactly what is causing these deaths.

"One Steller sea lion appears to have died from illness," said NOAA Fisheries' Aleria Jensen, marine mammal stranding coordinator for the Alaska Region. "The other Steller sea lion and the three harbor seals showed signs of trauma to the head indicative of marine mammal-human interaction."

"We are currently investigating these incidents," said NOAA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Ron Antaya. "However, any information that can be provided by the public would be welcome and could help to resolve these matters more quickly."

Antaya said that any unexplained death of a marine mammal is concerning, multiple deaths over a relatively short period of time in the same general locale is alarming. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

Alaska Science: Fire is a natural part of the boreal forest ecosystem By NED ROZELL - With their mushroom clouds topped with cauliflower crowns, plumes from wildfire smoke are again a common sight in Interior Alaska, which - with barely a sprinkle of rain - just experienced one of the driest Mays in the 100-year written record.

Fire is a natural part of the boreal forest ecosystem

The plume from a 19,000-acre fire near Volkmar Lake in Interior Alaska on May 29, 2011.
Photo by Ned Rozell

Though it’s a normal human reaction to think of wildfire as a bad thing, fire’s occurrence on the landscape predates the arrival of people to the boreal forest by a long shot. The forest doesn’t function well without it. In researching the topic, I came across a previous interview with Tom Paragi, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks.

Paragi’s specialty is the ecology of disturbances to the boreal forest, among them logging and the effects of wildland fires. The following is from a column I wrote in 2006 with him on the subject of wildfires.

I told Tom that the word “ravaged” came to mind when I walked through a burned spruce forest and saw the charred bones of red squirrels. He countered by saying that red squirrels have the unfortunate tendency to seek shelter in spruce trees when something threatens them. Other small mammals, such as voles on the forest floor, might survive a fire because the soil around them is wet enough not to burn. Larger animals move fast enough to escape slow-moving wildfires typical of the boreal forest, he said.

“I’ve seen pictures of deer and elk being caught in fires down south, but I’ve never heard of anyone seeing a moose getting killed by fire,” he said. “In most cases, wildlife has a chance to move on." - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011


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letter Ketchikan's Tax Burden By Rodney Dial - I was optimistically hopeful that Ketchikan government spending was leveling off, and our elected officials were going to cool it on the insane spending over the last few years.  I truly thought… what else can they spend money on?... just about every group has received something, lately, and government spending has been increasing by millions per year even though our population has been declining. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

letter M/V Tongass Ranger By P.J. Travis - Now with the M/V Tongass Ranger declared "unsafe" who is going to monitor timber sales, mining, recreation cabins, mooring buoys, archaeology sites, etc.? - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

letter E-Verify and Drug Enforcement Problems UNSOLVED... By Joey Garcia - I agree with Byron Whitesides on his topic of E-verify format. Not only that, why does the City of Ketchikan not comply with the drug test for new hires and old hands thereby corrupting other non-drug users/pushers to continue their trade within our city? I do not blame the Office of the Ketchikan City Mayor, but the office of the Gov. Parnell, referring to the response made by a certain Ms. Lien that the Office of the Governor has no jurisdiction in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

letter RE: 400 By Charles Mackey - David Hanger, Thank you for your letter "400". You are one of many vigilant individuals in the country yet one of few brave enough to speak out using the last little bit of freedom we truly have. The Freedom of Speech. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

letter RE: The 400 By Chris Elliott - The richest man in America according to Forbes magazine's 2010 annual list of the 400 richest Americans is Bill Gates. His fortune is estimated at $54 billion. - More...
Monday - June 06, 2011

letter THE 400 By David G. Hanger - According to CNN reports on February 20, 2011, four hundred individuals in this country now earn more than the combined earnings of half the people.   In other words 400 self-proclaimed living ‘gods’ earn more than 160 million Americans combined.  A few tens of thousands earn much of the rest.  ‘Earning’ is a relative term in this respect, for much of what is being “earned” is via deceit, graft, and corruption. - More...
Thursday PM - June 02, 2011  

letter 8th grade class of 2011 By Judith Green - The 8th grade class had their "Continuation Ceremony" tonight in their new school building auditorium - KAYHI. They move from being Knights to being Kings - as SBA president, Brendan Stanton, mentioned in his welcome to the new freshman class. - More...
Thursday PM- June 02, 2011

letter Education Funding is Astonishing By Agnes Moran - Alaska Statute 14.17.410(b)(2) requires the Borough to make a local mandatory contribution to schools of $5,281,288 for FY2012. The Borough could walk away at this point, consider its education funding obligation fulfilled and go on to other business. But it doesn t. The Borough will grant an additional discretionary cash contribution of $3,368,712 to the school district for operating costs in FY2012. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Ketchikan School Budget By Chris Elliott - I'm astonished that Mr. Jaqua doesn't know that there's no such thing as a free lunch. The national debt is $14 trillion, a little over $42,000 for each of us. When you speak only of the local contribution and act like the federal contribution is pennies from heaven, you're forgetting something. As US citizens, we pay for everything, including the federal contribution to our schools and to schools across the nation. It's out of one pocket or another. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Sealaska Lands Bill: Senate Bill 730 Should End By Greg Petrich - The Sealaska lands bill, S.730, has drawn considerable controversy in southeast Alaska. Concerns have also been voiced state-wide because certain aspects of the bill could easily unbalance the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) leading to new claims across the state; complicating development, conservation management, and public access to resources. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Recall of Kyle Johannsen By Trapper Bishop - I would like to take a moment to voice my opinion on the recall campaign of Kyle Johannsen. I was recently asked by someone, "Where do you stand on the recall of Kyle Johannsen?" I said to this person, "I strongly favor it." She said, "Really? I think District 1 Republican's campaign for recall is just a waste of time." - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Open letter to Senator Bert Stedman and Representative Kyle Johansen: E-Verify By Byron Whitesides - Why?  Why is Alaska not implementing E-Verify?  WHY are you against requiring businesses in Alaska to use E-Verify?  WHY are you against punishing repeat offenders by taking their business license away? - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Condolences By Joey Garcia - I wish to convey my condolence to the family of the late Jack Estipona who passed away last week. Being a pioneer frontman of the Trident Seafoods Inc. in the Tongass facility, Jack has been a man who makes people laugh with his jokes, even in times of helping fellow Filipino-Americans in need of assistance not only in his workplace but in the City of Ketchikan as well. - More...
Tuesday - May 31, 2011

letter Timber Sale Misinformation By Larry Edwards - This month an editorial and a news story in the Ketchikan Daily News have repeated significant misinformation about Tongass timber sales that came from a press release by Governor Parnell. After over two weeks the Daily News has not published a short letter I wrote to inform Ketchikan residents of the error, so now I use this forum. - More...
Friday - May 27, 2011

letter Also Astonished! By Mark Jaqua - I share Ms. Plenert's sense of astonishment regarding the KGBSD budget, however, my friend; I'm not so sure you are as good at math as you propose. The FY2011 Expenditure Authority Request, (available right next to your letter in Sitnews under School Board Packets -- see Meeting Materials, May 11) shows a total operating budget of about $36.6 million. I'm perplexed where your number came from. - More...
Friday - May 27, 2011

letter School Budget By Laura Plenert - First of all, thank you Agnes Moran for caring and asking questions about OUR school budget. The first thing that struck me in your letter to Sitnews was the figure of $40,472,050.00 in the budget to educate 2100 students. Being a math lover, I immediately had to do the division. The answer to my question (how much per student) is $19,272.40. OVER $19,000.00 PER STUDENT PER YEAR. Does it strike anyone besides me that the cost per student exceeds what some of those student's parents make per year, more than many of our fellow citizens make per year. That alone is staggering. I would like someone to factor in the drop out rate and how much money per year is thrown down a rat hole because the school system can't seem to keep students until graduation. - More...
Wednesday - May 25, 2011

letter GIVE KETCHIKAN A CHANCE By Joey Garcia - The influx of tourists docking along Ketchikan ports is something to behold and the brisk revenues seemed to give Ketchikan something to reckon with. I have observed, in my opinion, that dock stores peddling tourist crafts are not Ketchikan owned. Rather, it is sad to note that when the cruise ship season ends, traffic along Ketchikan ports goes to school youths flying on their skateboards, and OT's (old timers) stroll the ports with their leased dogs, children strolling with their folks, and what is left for OT's, again is succumb to the norms of high prices from stores, if they are open. - More...
Wednesday - May 25, 2011

letter Sealaska bill and fisheries By Paul Olson - I am writing regarding the Sealaska bill and the misrepresentations about how it reduces impacts to fishery habitat. The legislation establishes “conservation areas” and adds a temporary increase in buffer size. These measures are superficial and do nothing to offset the prospective impacts of this bill on fishery habitat. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

letter Sealaska Bill Bad for Commercial Fishermen By Mickey Knight - One aspect of the Sealaska Lands Bill (S.730) that has garnered little attention on this website is a discussion regarding Senator Murkowski's hollow attempt to gain the support of commercial fishermen. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

letter Deja-Vu-Roadless Rule By A. M. Johnson - Well, Déjà-Vu on the "Roadless Rule" controversy. Nice to see Senator Murkowski voice her wonderment at the continued and long standing decline in the "Thread Hanging" timber industry. - More...
Monday - May 23, 2011

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