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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 24, 2011

Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

Up a Tree with Mama Bear
Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT

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Governor Signs Child Abuse, Exploitation Bill - Building on his priority to keep Alaska’s children safe, Governor Sean Parnell on Thursday signed legislation that increases the penalties for child abuse and child exploitation. The legislation also updates statutes related to stalking so the laws recognize new and emerging technology used by stalkers. House Bill 127 was introduced by Governor Parnell as part of his Choose Respect and Safe Homes, Strong Families initiatives.

“We are all aware of Alaska’s staggering child abuse and exploitation rates,” Governor Parnell said. “It is our obligation and responsibility to put the safety of our children first. I appreciate the unanimous support from the Legislature that will help us fight against those who harm children.”

House Bill 127 also:

• Raises the penalties for online enticement of a minor for repeat offenders from a class B felony to a class A felony;

• Creates a new crime of sending explicit images of a minor;

• Clarifies that a person who commits the crime of online enticement of a minor or sending an explicit image of a minor can be prosecuted in Alaska if the victim is located in Alaska, regardless of the offender’s location;

• Updates stalking statutes to include the use of global positioning systems (GPS) or installation of a device to observe, record, or photograph events occurring within the victim’s office, home, or automobile; and

• Prohibits a peace officer from engaging in sexual acts with a person in the officer’s custody or apparent custody, or in the custody of a law enforcement agency.

Governor Parnell’s budget includes funding for two new positions in the Cybercrime Unit. The governor also signed Senate Bill 15. SB 15, sponsored by Senator Kevin Meyer, increases penalties on a registered sex offender or child kidnapper providing alcohol to individuals under 21 years of age. - More...
Friday - June 24, 2011

Alaska: Common hacking method, keystroke logging, becomes illegal July 1 - Thursday, Governor Sean Parnell made keystroke logging, a common computer hacking method, illegal when he signed HB 127, the omnibus crime bill, into law.  This language, which was originally proposed by Reps. Pete Petersen and Lindsey Holmes (both D-Anchorage), updates Alaska’s computer hacking laws to make it illegal to use a keystroke logger to steal information as it is being entered into a computer. 

“Right now, using software or spyware to obtain someone’s personal information is illegal, so criminals are using keystroke loggers more and more,” said Rep. Pete Petersen. “It’s important that our laws keep up with technology because no matter how information is stolen from a computer, the victims’ privacy is just as violated.”

The provision from Petersen and Holmes’ bill (HB 23) was added to HB 127 in the Senate. It makes it illegal for someone to install a keystroke logger or to use wireless means to record keystrokes on a computer he or she has no right to access.  Previously, it was only illegal to hack into a computer to steal information, but not to use a device that intercepts the information as it is being entered. - More...
Friday - June 24, 2011

Alaska: Sewage discharge violations prompts Clean Water Act complaint – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a Clean Water Act complaint on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the City of Unalaska, Alaska, and the State of Alaska for long-standing and repeated Clean Water Act violations.

According to the complaint, from October 2004 to October 2010, the city’s wastewater treatment plant reported more than 4,800 violations of pollution limits in its Clean Water Act discharge permit. These violations resulted in discharges into South Unalaska Bay of partially-treated sewage containing several pollutants including fecal coliform bacteria at levels well above legal limits.

Unalaska Bay is protected for a number of uses, such as boating and recreational and commercial fishing, including for human consumption. In addition, Unalaska Bay is listed as an impaired water-body, which means the bay is too polluted or otherwise degraded to meet state water quality standards, and is home to several endangered or threatened species including sea otters, yellow-billed loons and Steller’s eiders, a species of sea duck. - More...
Friday - June 24, 2011

Alaska: Scientist analyzes the nucleus of comet Hartley 2 - Nearly one year ago, a repurposed NASA spacecraft flew by the comet Hartley 2. As a result, a multitude of high-resolution images were gathered over 50 days that allow scientists to understand the nature of the comet’s surface and it’s hidden interior.

University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Don Hampton was a key member of the mission to Hartley 2; he’s an optics expert that helped create the highly sensitive telescope, camera and infrared spectrometer that flew on the spacecraft. Hampton, the optical science manager at Poker Flat Research Range, is now analyzing data from the mission.

The bowling-pin-shaped Hartley 2 is more than one mile long and is a mass of ice and dust. The comet is dynamic, with ice, water vapor and carbon dioxide emitting from the comet’s nucleus through cracks and fissures on the surface. Analysis of the nucleus and its likely composition is the crux of an article published this week in the journal Science. Hampton is a co-author. - More...
Friday - June 24, 2011

National: Bipartisan Bill to Promote Domestic Recycling of Electronic Waste Introduced; Legislation Would Crack Down on Foreign Counterfeits – With significant amounts of U.S. electronic waste currently exported to developing countries that handle the equipment in an unsafe manner, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation to put an end to this dangerous practice.  The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, which is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would restrict the export of electronic waste, help boost the domestic recycling industry, and support efforts to recover rare earth materials found in electronics.“With more and more Americans relying on new technologies and generating a growing amount of electronic waste each year, we must take steps to properly dispose of this material,” said Whitehouse.  “This legislation will crack down on the dumping of electronic waste on developing countries, protect American consumers from counterfeit schemes and identity theft, and support the growth of e-waste recycling jobs in Rhode Island and across the country.”

“We can and should handle our electronic waste in a more responsible way. This legislation addresses where these materials can be sent, helping to create investment opportunities for recycling,” Murkowski said.  “The U.S. is dangerously reliant on foreign supplies for minerals that make up the building blocks of our economy, but recycling can help reverse that trend.  This bill and others will help us lead on environmental stewardship, technological innovation, and developing a more stable supply of critical minerals.” - More...
Friday - June 24, 2011



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Front Page Archives
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letter Roads, Trees and State Rights By A. M. Johnson- Reading the articles regarding Governor Parnell's filing suit against the Tongass Roadless Rule and the accompanying story regarding the suit to address the denial of the road extension out of Juneau, brings to mind that both are fodder for the discussion on States Rights. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2011

letter Re: Propaganda By Ed Brown - In his own Sitnews' description, Florian Sever is a long-time union and environmental activist. He was a pulp mill worker at Sitka's Alaska Pulp Corporation, and was fired by APC for testifying before Congress, in favor of the Tongass Timber Reform Act. Also check out Sealaska Shareholders underground on Face Book (more rants there too). - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2011

letter There is still time to save Coastal Management - Reps. Beth Kerttula and Berta Gardner - We were disappointed when the House adjourned the recent Special Session three days early, failing by one vote to accept compromise language saving the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP).  Sadly, the program was caught up in the larger House-Senate fight over the capital budget, and instead of taking the extra time to resolve it, the House simply gaveled out. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011 

letter Governor Palin Email Extravaganza; What Was Old is New Again By Tara Jollie - The infamous Sarah Palin emails have come and gone.  There was no exciting fodder for scandal like the Corrupt Bastards Club of years the past, no juicy gossip like last year’s love caucus affair.  It was a rather anticlimactic event; big news day though!  How weird is that? - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter RE: the 400 By Richard Easbey - Oh goodie... another unhinged rant from David Hanger! It's such a target-rich environment one hardly knows where to begin. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter Rebuild the fish count By Kami Myles - As a child Clay and I fished the rocks around Clover pass resort. We were fishing buddies and never was there a day when we didn't cast our line into the water and catch some kind of fish. Those are some of my fondest memories as of my childhood. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter PROPAGANDA By Florian Sever - In the June 15th SitNews commentary by Sealaska’s Rosita Worl, she raised many interesting points about the proposed Sealaska Lands Bill, and what it means. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter ANCSA resolution By Vernon Grant - I support the views of Rosita Worls plight for resolution on the ANCSA,that what was promised be settled on the premesis of respect for the native peoples of Alaska.After all we the native people have been a role model for the founding fathers of our country to adopt as a way in which too govern our country.Now isnt making promises too any one given body an act of Cruel And Unusual Punishment? That of which was said too be one of the main 10 amendments made to the constitution in 1791..... More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter Southeast Alaska’s Native people wait 40 years for return of their land By Rosita Worl - Over-regulation and anti-Native bias seem to touch every aspect of life for Native peoples in Southeast Alaska, from how our people make teddy bears to whether the U.S. will keep its promise to restore 85,000 acres of our homelands to us. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Fisheries science is more complex than opponents of Sealaska land bill say By Douglas Martin - Restoring nearly 85,000 acres of Tongass National Forest land to the Sealaska Corporation, in accordance with the 40-year-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, won’t damage salmon runs. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Sealaska Bill a Can of Worms By Rebecca Knight - Jaeleen Araujo, Sealaska vice-president and general counsel recently denied in a Juneau Empire op-ed piece that the other 11 regional corporations could use their proposed legislation as precedent to reopen land claims in Alaska. Sealaska is “perplexed” that this remains an issue. However, her comments in various public forums tell a different story. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Pellet Boilers? Pellet Heat? Public Buildings? Your Home? You Betcha By Samuel Bergeron - The design team on the public library wanted about $80,000 to do a feasibility study on the viability of biomass wood pellet heat. That's like doing feasibility study on using propane heat or electricity. Biomass wood pellet heat is an established technology that has been in use in major metropolitan cities throughout the world for over 30 years with a stellar track record of clean burning emissions, low cost fuel, and great systems reliability. You don't need a feasibility study to see if this is a proven technology, just do the math. - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter Section 17(b) of ANCSA & Public Access By Florian Sever - I want to clear up a claim that Sealaska representatives always make when they address the issue of public acess, regarding public the 3,600 acres of prime anchorages, sockeye streams, cabin sites, and camping areas they want to make under the guise of Cultural, Sacred, Enterprise and other classifications, under the terms of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s, S. 730 “The Sealsaka Lands Bill”.- More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter Property Tax increase amount By Marty West - The Ketchikan Daily News was wrong. The increase was 0.1 mills ($10 per $100,000 of assessed property Value) not 1.0 mills ($100 per $100,000 as reported). - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter KPU By Joey Garcia - I admire KPU's repair technicians in our verbal calls, mostly from residents of the Tongass Towers Condominium, because of tilling, loss of power if you subscribe to three services like telephone, Internet and cable. - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

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