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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 04, 2012

Front Page Photo by CINDY BALZER

Double Vision
Two Sitka Black-tailed Deer Strolling in the Hole In The Wall Area
Front Page Photo by CINDY BALZER

Ketchikan: Assembly to consider Shay proposal by Maria Dudzak, KRBD - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly on Monday will consider a proposal from Assembly Member Glen Thompson to prohibit the display of photographs or other public recognition of convicted felon Jack Shay, a former borough mayor and former Assembly member. - Read or listen to this KRBD story...


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Ketchikan: Hansen Holds Lead Through Second Derby Weekend; 7 Entrants Make Their Way Into Top Ten - The Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby wrapped up the second of three weekends of fishing Sunday evening.  Kevin Hansen, whose 43.2 lb entry took the top spot during week-one fishing maintained his lead atop the derby ladder through the second weekend, in spite of 7 new entrants making their way into the top 10.

jpg Hansen Holds Lead Through Second Derby Weekend

Hansen Holds Lead Through Second Derby Weekend

Hansen’s king was weighed in at the Clover Pass Resort weigh-in station at noon during the second day of the tournament.  Hansen will have to anxiously await one more weekend of fishing to see if his fish will hold on to claim the derby’s grand prize, over $10,000 in cash.  

This is the 65th annual king salmon derby, with an event held each year since 1949 with the exception of 1974.  From 1949 In 1976 (excluding 74) both “derby days” and a seasonal derby were held.  “Derby Days” mimicked the current event, with fishing dates generally coinciding with Memorial Day weekend and subsequent weekends.  The seasonal derby lasted through the entire summer.  Since 1977, only one local derby has been held.  

Participation in the event remained down from 2011 by about 100 anglers over the second derby weekend, about the same difference between years that was noted during the first week of fishing.  A total of 727 anglers checked in at one of four weigh-in stations during week two.  

New entrants into the top ten include: Mathew Murphy at 38.6 lbs (Knudson Cove); John Dickinson at 36.9 lbs (Clover Pass Resort); Mike Ramsay at 36.3 lbs (Mountain Point Boat Launch); Tyler Jackson at 35.8 lbs (Mountain Point Boat Launch); Michael Wills at 33.7 lbs (Clover Pass Resort); Ron Wilks at 31.9 lbs (Clover Pass Resort); and Matthew Boyd at 30.9 lbs (Mountain Point Boat Launch).

Total numbers of fish turned into the derby remain at about half the number weighed in during the 2011 event.  Week two saw 250 fish hit the dock, compared to 459 in 2011.  Total weight landed during week two was 4,371. - More...
Monday - June 04, 2012

Ketchikan: Charter Boat hits Rock Near Ketchikan - Four of the five people on board the Silver King were picked up by a United States Coast Guard helicopter after the charter fishing boat struck a rock and began taking on water near Ketchikan.

Silver King on the rocks at Dall Head around 7 pm Sunday
Photograph by Jon Van Essen

The Coast Guard reported receiving a call Sunday afternoon that the boat was in trouble off of Gravina Island's Dall Head which is located about 12 nautical miles southwest of Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - JUne 04, 2012

Fish Factor: The five million pound question By LAINE WELCH - Nobody wants to waste fish – least of all those who make their living from the sea.   Fish harvesters want and need to be able to catch as much as they can to sustain their families and livelihoods. And as upstanding citizens, they obey the law when they discard “prohibited species” taken while they’re fishing for their “target catch.”

When fishing seasons open, it’s impossible to not catch a mix of fish when they blanket the sea bottom, and fish of all kinds and sizes will go after a baited hook.  So certain amounts of “prohibs” are allowed to be taken in a fishery, and there are strict limits on how much. When it comes to setting the rules, the buck stops with fishery managers. 

Rules about halibut bycatch will be the five million pound question when the North Pacific Fishery Management Council convenes this week in Kodiak.  The NPFMC sets the catch and bycatch limits for all federal-water fisheries (3-200 miles) in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, which produce 80% of the state’s seafood landings. 

Since the mid-1980s, managers have allowed 2,300 metric tons (five million pounds) of halibut bycatch each year in Gulf of Alaska groundfish fisheries. Meanwhile, commercial fishermen have had their halibut catches reduced 63% in recent years due to dwindling numbers of legal sized halibut, and sport charters are being limited to one or two fish per day.

“I think the basic fact is that for so long there hasn’t been any adjustment for bycatch. Yet for both commercial and sport charter fisheries, there have been huge adjustments based on shifts of halibut biomass.  That on its face is not quite equitable,” said Denby Lloyd, Kodiak fishery advisor and a former NPFMC member.

There’s plenty of finger pointing to go around. Most of the halibut bycatch (2,000mt) is taken in trawl fisheries, with 300mt for the hook and line cod fleet.    

A big unknown is the amount of fish discarded by the halibut IFQ fleet, which unlike the others, is not required to have onboard observers and/or vessel monitoring coverage.  Analysts estimate that due to 32 inch size restrictions for retention, for every 10 halibut the IFQ fishermen catch, they must throw six smaller ones away. (A restructured observer program set to be in place next year will include coverage of the longline halibut fleet as well as vessels less than 60 feet.) - More...
Monday - June 04, 2012

Southeast Alaska: POW Health Network Hires New Executive Director - The Prince of Wales Health Network recently announced that Gretchen Klein, formerly of Ketchikan, has been hired as Network Director, replacing Esther Hammerschlag, who left the position in January.

A lifelong resident of Alaska who grew up in the rural areas of Southeast, Klein understands the many issues that face residents of rural Alaska. Klein received a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in Commercial Recreation, Park & Tourism Management with an emphasis in Business. She has worked for the last 25 years in a variety of roles that have included the tourism industry, healthcare industry, and developing regional programs with the Association of Education of Young Children, Ketchikan Youth Court, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Alaska.  Klein enjoys developing sustainable community-based programs and initiatives, and working with a wide array of agencies, businesses and community stakeholders. - More...
Monday - June 04, 2012


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letter Road conditions By Zig Ziegler - Anyone who drives, or at the least, rides in a vehicle in Ketchikan knows our roads are terrible. State highway, in-city or borough ignored doesn't matter. It is not possible to drive anywhere for any distance without endangering your vehicle, any passengers, or pedestrians unfortunate enough to be on the shore of one of the lakes we call puddles. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter End Times By Rodney Dial - FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY! Just read two SitNews letters, one by Mayor Kiffer and the other by David Hanger that I actually agree with. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter Proposed Seabridge mine By Terry Williams - I think most people in Canada would not want to see an environmental disaster by the development of the Seabridge KSM mine. I also believe that the mine won't be developed if the Provence of B.C. does not ensure that reasonable protections are in place. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter There's gold in them hills! By A.M. Johnson - Good to hear Victoria is still in residents. As one looks around the community it is hard to recognize anybody as a permanent resident. There are a few of us old barnacles still hanging on after the timber industry was successfully eliminated from the economic pie. Seems Victoria was involved with that issue as well. I can't recall if Victoria was or remains a member of the local environmental league, seems that was the case, could be mistaken and if so, charge it to old age. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter Mining question By Duane Hill - I would like to present a serious question that has puzzled me for a while. - More...
Tuesday - May 29

letter RE: Progressive Activism By David G. Hanger - To me the most interesting aspect of what Jim Guenther wrote is how two simple paragraphs could expose so much rabidity; for in reading all of the letters written in response what is most notable is that none of the respondents disagreed that the Republican Party does in fact endorse all of the points of view Mr. Guenther cited. They just damned him for observing and stating that fact. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter RE: Educational Equipment By Chris Elliott - It's a bit disingenuous for Mr. Powell to say that students "get wind of the cuts, no matter what we do." - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter RE: GRADE SCHOOL POPULARITY CULTS By Kelli Carlin-Auger - I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, I feel the need to respond to Mr. David Hanger in general. - More...
Tuesday - May 29, 2012

letter GRADE SCHOOL POPULARITY CULTS By David G. Hanger - Congratulations Ketchikan.   Your number one politician of the last four decades is now a convicted life-long pedophile.  How embarrassing.  Rather than anger (at whom?), some serious soul-searching is in order.  I do not myself forget the fact that Andrea Jacobsen was falsely accusing the Talleys, young Ken Liljekvist, and any number of other innocent people of various forms of child abuse they never thought of committing; and the late Dick Callentine was howling that Ketchikan is the child abuse capital of the universe; and many innocents were terribly victimized and impoverished. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Re: Educational Equipment By Mike Carney - In response to Mr. Powel's comments about videos, I watched a video on the Ketchikan School District's web site last week that was called "GONEPLAY" and if this is what they teach at our high school, I would like a refund on my taxes. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Ketchikan Gymnastics By Gerald Scarzella - It has been a pleasure to sit on the Ketchikan Gymnastics Board for the past few months. There have been some exciting changes in regards to the gymnastics club. There is a new and exciting summer program for all children interested in gymnastics. We have a new manager, Calli, and she has been working on a summer schedule that should accommodate anyone interested in participating. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Massive mine planned on the Unuk; Economies of Scale Create the Greatest Damage By Victoria McDonald - The proposed KSM mine on a tributary of the Unuk River could give rise to one of the largest gold-copper mines in the world. If Seabridge's project is permitted, Alaskan waters within Misty Fjords will be threatened by millions of gallons of heavy metals laden acid drainage. King, coho and sockeye salmon that rely on the Unuk River will be forced to find new spawning areas, in addition to steelhead, cutthroat, char, and other species of fish and wildlife. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Canoe Journey By Vivian Mork - I am writing this in hopes that someone will be able to help us there in Ketchikan. We have a 38 ft. canoe in Ketchikan that needs to get to Kake via the ferry on May 26th .In order to put it on the ferry we need a boat trailer for it. Our original way of shipping it to Kake fell through at the last minute. Now we are in a race against time to get this canoe to Kake. We only need to borrow it for the shipping to Kake and we will send the trailer right back on the 30th. Does anyone have a boat trailer we can borrow or rent? - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter Lands Bill: Push is still on By Gretchen Goldstein - If you do not receive a Corporation newsletter, you may think that Sealaska’s land-grab Bill, S 881/HR 1408, has died a merciful death.  Attacked by local, State and Federal land managers, Alaska Natives, private hunting, caving and environmental groups, and Southeast residents facing the loss of their living in the name of job creation, one might hope that our elected official would abandon the outdated proposal. - More...
Thursday - May 24, 2012

letter No Cut in Ketchikan's Educational Funding By Dave Kiffer - I must correct some incorrect information that was recently published in a letter on your website. First of all, the Borough is absolutely not proposing a cut in "local" funding for the school district. - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

letter Re: Educational Equipment By Agnes Moran - In response to Mr. Powell's assertion "The video is a reminder to all what the most important item is in your child's classroom... the teacher." - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

letter XKKF Activtities By Lisa Lang - The XKKF (Xaadas Kil_Kuyaas Foundation) or "Precious Haida Words Foundation" is the 501(C)(3) public non-profit in Hydaburg, Alaska. My name is Lisa Lang, my Xaada name is Ka'illjuus. I am the Executive Director for the XKKF. Our Board of Directors volunteer and provide their expertise to assist in developing a sustainable non-profit for the future benefit of our culture. - More...
.Monday - May 21, 2012

letter China’s Expansionist Policies By Donald A. Moskowitz - The U.S. Defense Department believes China will soon have anti-ship missiles with a range of 1000 miles, B-6 bombers armed with long range cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, 75 surface navy ships, 60 submarines and missile boats.  These forces will enable China to project its influence in the Asia Pacific region. - More...
Monday - May 21, 2012

letter Land Exchange By Lois Morgan - Thank you so much for your ongoing, open-eyed coverage of this issue, and special thanks for today's extensive installment. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter The Senate Hearings on the Sealaska Land Exchange Bill - A political cartoon by Jim Guenther - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Sealaska Term Limits 2012 By Wanda J Culp - Ray Austin's letter is well written and respectfully presented. The Sealaska Term Limit Resolution is a very important business decision for the owners of the Sealaska Corporation. If election reform is not passed in 2012, it will be status quo, business as usual for the select few as the beneficiaries. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter KTB Spring Gala Saturday Matinee By Debbie Azure - All of our extended family dropped everything on Saturday afternoon to attend our little ballerina's Spring Performance. We all dressed up, even uncles, bought flowers and watched all the darling kids dance on the big stage. The music was bright and fun, the costumes were cute or beautiful, depending on the age of the dancer and the performances were all we could hope for. I would recommend this fun afternoon to anyone looking for something fun to do. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter ATV Off-Road Trails By Jose Blanco - Upon receiving orders to Ketchikan I got excited being I consider myself an ATV off road, outdoors enthusiast. Since my arrival however I have spoken to both parks and wildlife and the State Troopers about legal places to ride. I checked out Whipple Creek and sadly was a bit disappointed by its size. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Educational equipment By Sean P. Powell - The following video was recently submitted for airing on KPU and was turned down as it was deemed too political. Since I don't believe that is a restriction here, I would like to humbly submit it for your perusal. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter School Funding By Rebecca L. King - I have concerns about the money being allocated to the school district by the borough assembly. At the proposed amount many programs may be in danger of being reduced or completely cut from schools including universal preschool, advanced placement courses, academic support courses, culinary arts, building construction, welding, child careers, business courses, art, and music. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Bill and Charles Huckins By Becky (Huckins) Hanson - Mr. Finch, the pictures posted with your letter are of Bill Huckins himself. Charles was Bill's father, not his brother, and it was Charles that was involved with the raising of the Islander. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Elephant in the Womb By Jim Guenther - As I have earlier stated, I don’t believe that governments, either state or federal, have the right to insert their legislative dogmas into the reproductive organs of American women.  I would have thought that Ron Paul-Republicans would agree with me on this point, but it seems otherwise. Since 2010, when the Tea Party backed, conservative Republicans won seats in many state and federal elections they have introduced over 916 bills related to limiting the reproductive rights of women. Nine hundred and sixteen! These bills defund Planned Parenthood, require abstinence only sex education, and make it illegal for private insurance companies to provide abortion compensation. Some even limit access to contraception!  Where is the logic in that? - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter The real problem By Irving B. Welchons III - The members of the U.S. House of Representatives have been working in Washington on 41 of the first 127 days of this year.  They are planning to be in session half of the remaining weeks.  How long would you keep your job if you worked like that? Even when they show up they fail to address the biggest problems facing the country.  It would take a 50% tax increase in order to balance the so called budget yet they are avoiding the problem while the debt grows by 1200 billion dollars per year.   - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Just sat there... By Sam Stouder - A few days ago I was sitting at a Ketchikan bus stop. The air was crisp and the day beautiful. I believe it was May day for it was a friend's birthday. Compared to the deary winter that has thankfully begun to pass; the ocean was bright and shining and the island hummed with the notes of spring. I was eating banana chips and ice cream, the crisp fruit slices perfect sized spoons for my tiny palm sized frozen treat. The day thus far had been rather enjoyable, then I saw her. Young, pretty, blonde, rather a tiny girl really; by the usual curvy Alaskan women I've become accustomed to. She was walking - no rushing down the opposite side walk. She was tightly gripping her purse glancing back behind her at the man who followed her at a determined pace. He scared me, that's the biggest thing I remember. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Progressive Activism By Jim Guenther - My recent credo of beliefs certainly raised some hackles on the necks of my right wing brethren. I supposed that it would have such an effect and anticipated a healthy debate in return. I appreciate those of you who offered some defense of your own opposing viewpoint and disregard those few others whose response degenerated to insults and patronization. Enough said about that. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter RE: Progressive Activism By Doug Barry - As has been well-expressed by others, "everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts". Unfortunately, and too often, both sides of many controversial issues seem to forget that adage or only partially apply it to suit their viewpoints. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Re: Progressive activism By Alethea Johnson - I believe that Mr. Guenther, a man who made his living as a teacher for decades in this small town is most likely a role model to hundreds of the young adults who live here. As a person who holds (or held) a position of authority in the classroom while dispensing both wisdom and grades, he is looked up to with respect. He has influence. So when a man in that position writes a letter to the editor, I believe it should be a well developed essay that contributes something meaningful to the public discourse on significant issues. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

letter Recess is for children By Billy D. Clifford - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives continue to get re-elected in spite of their inability to resolve our $15 trillion national debt - which they created. Yet Congress is taking a two-week recess! And when they get back in session, they will spend much of their time and energy preparing for the next election. Why do we continue to give jobs to these inept people? We need serious, responsible adults who will spend their time and energy on the real problems our country faces. Recess is for children. - More...
Friday - May 18, 2012

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