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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 08, 2011

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Ketchikan: Ketchikan General Hospital Announces New Name - CEO and Chief Mission, Officer Patrick J. Branco, announced Friday that Ketchikan General Hospital will change its name to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center effective June 17.

Ketchikan General Hospital Announces New Name

Workers from ESA. Eugene Sign and Awning (ESA) of Eugene, Oregon had a sign contract for the name changes at the PeaceHealth hospitals. New signs were hung on Saturday.
Photo courtesy KGH

In 1922 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace responded to needs of an early Ketchikan for quality medical care. In January 1923 the Little Flower Hospital was born. In partnership with the community of Ketchikan in 1963, the doors of Ketchikan General Hospital were opened. Through the years the hospital and the community together have added and expanded services to include a large medical group, laboratory, expanded pharmacy, and a number of other centers. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

Ketchikan: Prenatal Care Sessions Offered - PeaceHealth Medical Group-Women’s Health will offer CenteringPregnancy® group prenatal care beginning June 17, 2011. The two-hour sessions for expectant mothers will be offered on Fridays. The first group sessions will be facilitated by Ketchikan General Hospital Certified Nurse-Midwife Marta Poore, RN. Future group sessions will also be facilitated by Ketchikan General Hospital Certified Nurse-Midwife Katrina Lieben, RN.

The program will provide both private and group time to explore topics chosen by group members. “It’s a great way for expectant mothers to share stories and learn from each other while learning new tools and healthier choices for themselves and their babies,” said Poore.

“This is an expansion of the CenteringPregnancy program we offered through the PeaceHealth Medical Group-Prince of Wales clinic in Craig over the winter,” said Lieben. “Women loved the way the classes were organized, so we’re excited to expand the program to Ketchikan,” she said. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

Alaska: “Alaska’s Heroes Card” for Veterans Proposed; Goal to access health care at home, save money - With the goal of giving Alaska’s veterans, particularly those living in rural areas, the ability to access health care in their own communities, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) announced he is introducing The Alaska Heroes Card Act of 2011. Focused on veterans living off the road system, the heroes’ health card will allow Alaska veterans to have the choice to access care from clinics and other treatment facilities close to home.

“Veterans ask me repeatedly, ‘why can’t we get to the clinics and hospitals in our communities rather than travel to Anchorage or even Seattle?’ Begich said. “We need to constantly strive to better serve our veterans. This is one step forward for our veterans in the most remote parts of America.”

Begich made the announcement speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Alaska 66th Annual Convention in Anchorage on Friday. He said during his recent travel to the village of Kwigillingok, he heard from veterans who can’t drive to a VA facility for treatment and one who relayed spending more than $2,000 to travel from the village to Bethel and then to Anchorage to obtain medical care. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

Alaska: Muskox Calves Rescued - Wildlife biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently helped treat two abandoned muskox calves from the North Slope and transferred them to permanent homes at the University of Alaska’s Large Animal Research facility (LARS) in Fairbanks and the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage.

Both calves were born in a herd on the North Slope near the Dalton Highway. In each case, the calves were not orphaned, but had been separated from their mothers for three days, and could no longer survive in the wild.

“Muskox calves spend at least a year with their mothers and can nurse for even longer,” said wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen. “Once a calf has been bottle fed by a human for the better part of a year, it becomes too attached to humans. It’s not possible to reintroduce it to a wild herd.”

The behavior of the muskox herd was being observed as part of a Fish & Game research project. On May 12th, a researcher noticed a calf about a mile away from the herd. Based on tracks at the scene, the herd may have been scattered after being chased by a grizzly bear.

The researcher attempted to reunite the calf and its mother by leading the calf toward the herd, but the following day, the herd had moved even farther from the calf, which had become extremely weak. The department does not recommend people to attempt to reunite muskox calves with herds because muskox can charge when they feel threatened, especially large bulls.

Abandoned or orphaned wildlife cannot be taken from the wild unless permanent homes are available and have been approved through the Department of Fish and Game. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

Fish Factor: Sea Share nominated for Alaska Hero Award By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s ‘bycatch to food banks’ program is expanding this summer to include fish caught in the Gulf of Alaska.

Since 1994, thanks to relentless pushing by the Alaska industry, boats targeting pollock in the Bering Sea have been allowed to retain bycatch of unwanted species for donation to national food banks. Prior to that, federal law required that accidentally caught salmon or halibut be discarded. 

More than two million pounds of the wholesome fish has gone to hunger relief via Sea Share, the “seafood arm” of the Feeding America food bank network of 220 outlets nationwide.  The fish are headed and gutted, frozen, packaged, held and shipped out from company freezers as directed by Sea Share, the only organization authorized to do so.

Starting in August, more fish will be delivered from the Gulf of Alaska.

 “A lot of the processors who work in the Bering Sea also work in the Gulf,” said Jim Harmon, Sea Share director.  “They came to us earlier this year and said we want to provide more fish to hunger relief, and we want to include the ‘prohibited species catch’ we get in the Gulf pollock fishery.”

The bycatch component is “high profile,” Harmon said, but it is just a small part of the Sea Share pantry, which to date has supplied 25 million pounds of ‘first run’ seafood to hunger relief.  Most recently, van loads of canned salmon have gone to tornado ravaged regions in Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere. 

“Whenever there is an emergency or a disaster, they call us and ask for protein, particularly shelf stable items for people who don’t have refrigeration or feeding centers set up,” Harmon said.

What began long ago in the Bering Sea now includes seafood donation partnerships across the nation. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Thanks to the Naushon By Jerry Cegelske - For those of us who frequently get out on the water close to the Bar Harbor marina, we get to see some of the material that the wind and tides have deposited on the breakwater as well as the shoreline around the harbor.  For many, the area didn’t look bad as seen from the harbor or shore as the material was deposited on the windward side of the breakwater, but it was very visible from the water. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

letter E-Verify By Byron “Chilly” Whitesides - Friends and neighbors, recently I sent an open letter to Senator Bert Stedman and Representative Kyle Johansen to be published on Sitnews.  I have been contacting them recently this year, as there were political leaders attempting to pass a law in our state to require businesses to use E-Verify on employees and applicants to assure only legal workers were being employed (Supreme Court: AZ Can Require Employers to Verify Citizenship Status of Workers ) that the legislature had failed to pass this legislation, and found this news very distressing. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

letter Re: Ketchikan's Tax Burden By Marty West - The Council increased the property tax by 0.1 mills. Not by 1.0 mills. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

letter BE THE FIRST TO KNOW By Karl Amylon - The purpose of this memorandum is to remind citizens that by signing up for FlashAlert you will receive ‘real time’ text messages and/or email messages from the City of Ketchikan and/or KPU with up to date emergency information, news releases, power outages or other important information. - More...
Wednesday - June 08, 2011

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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