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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 08, 2012

Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

Ward Lake: Yellow Warbler
Front Page Photo by SUSAN HOYT

Alaska: Alaska's High School Graduates ; An early look at where they go and what they do - What happens to the thousands of Alaska high school students after they leave school — whether as graduates or otherwise — is not just an educational question. It’s also an economic issue for the state, given that much of Alaska’s workforce will come from that pool of potential workers. - June's Alaska Economic Trends Magazine


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Fish Factor: Study tracks otter activity in Southeast By LAINE WELCH - Sea otters are expanding throughout Southeast Alaska and dining on crab, sea cucumbers, geoduck clams and more as they go.

An ongoing study aims to track the otters, what they’re eating and where they are going – and researchers hope to get ‘grounds truth’ from Southeast residents.

For the past two years, Sea Grant marine advisory agents have spearheaded a project to learn more about the region’s sea otter diets and behaviors.   The US Fish & Wildlife Service has provided aerial surveys and otter tagging to track their movements around Kupreonof Island, and ADF&G helps with logistics and data.    

 “This is just for Southern Southeast Alaska,” said Sea Grant’s Sunny Rice in Petersburg. “It includes Kupreanof Island, Prince of Wales Island, Kuiu Island and inside in the Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell areas.  We’ve sort of drawn a line at Frederick Sound, although we will be interested in how they’ve moved up the north shore.”   

Aerial surveys have provided snapshots of otter activity but Rice wants to hear about otter sightings from longtime residents.  

“We want to learn when they first saw otters entering the areas they use on a regular basis, when they started seeing bigger groups if they did, and if they noticed what those otters were eating,” Rice explained, adding that it’s most important to hear from people with a long term perspective.

“People who frequent those areas continually year after year, so commercial fishermen will be great sources as well as recreational or subsistence users who to the same place time after time and have witnessed   an influx of sea otters,” she said.

The resident surveys will be combined with other research to make some otter predictions.    

“Hopefully, we can use that information and add it to what we know and come up with a good model on how the sea otter population has expanded, with the long term goal of being able to predict how it will continue to grow so people can make decisions based on more information,” Rice said.

Sea otters were reintroduced to the southern regions in the late 1960s.  Best estimates peg the population at about 19,000 animals in 2011.  The animals are able to reproduce at any time of the year, and have a population doubling time of about 5 years. The otters are predators of almost every species that fishermen target; they have completely wiped out  urchins and sea cucumbers in several areas, and are making inroads into some prime geoduck areas, according to Phil Doherty , director of the  Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fishery Association. Out of 15 Dungeness crab districts, six have large otter populations and Dungie pots have lost nearly 3 million pounds to otters in a decade, based on ADF&G estimates. A report last year by the Juneau-based McDowell Group said otter predation has cost Southeast’s economy over $28 million since 1995. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

Ketchikan: "Ocean Zip" Offers New Zipline Adventure - A new Ketchikan zipline adventure stretching under the canopy of the rainforest and then soaring out over the ocean is thought to be one of a kind for Alaska.

The new "Ocean Zip' launched this season by Southeast Exposure's Rainforest Ropes and Zip Park, stretches over the rainforest forest 380 feet onto a platform supported 50 feet above Knudson Cove. Southeast Exposure believes that their new "Ocean Zip" is one of a kind for Alaska. - More...
Thursday - June 07, 2012

Ketchikan: KIC donates surplus computers to North Tongass Fire Department - Ketchikan Indian Community donated six surplus computers to the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department.  Accepting the donation on behalf of the fire department was Fire Chief Dave Hull.  Rod Short, IT Director at KIC, said, “We are pleased to have these computers repurposed for use with the fire department training system.”

In a thank you letter to Ketchikan Indian Community, Hull stated these computers would also be used for a variety of training including Incident Command to subject in EMS.  An added benefit to the fire department is allowing volunteers to take online training in a manner that fits their schedule instead of the departments. - More....
Thursday - June 07, 2012

Alaska: Salmon Lake Land Exchange Legislation Headed to President’s Desk for Signing - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, today praised the passage by the full Congress of the Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act, finalizing a settlement between the state of Alaska, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Bering Straits Native Corp., and fulfilling a promise made in the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

“It took more than 40 years, but today I’m happy to see that the Bering Straits land conveyance is headed to the president’s desk for signing. The agreement passed by Congress resolves a long-standing conflict over land selections on the Seward Peninsula and finally gives the shareholders of the Bering Sea Native Corp. their full land endowment,” Murkowski said. - More ...
Thursday - June 07, 2012

Science: Unprecedented Blooms of Ocean Plant Life Discovered in Arctic Ocean - Scientists have made a biological discovery in Arctic Ocean waters as dramatic and unexpected as finding a rainforest in the middle of a desert. A NASA-sponsored expedition punched through three-foot thick sea ice to find waters richer in microscopic marine plants, essential to all sea life, than any other ocean region on Earth.

The finding reveals a new consequence of the Arctic's warming climate and provides an important clue to understanding the impacts of a changing climate and environment on the Arctic Ocean and its ecology. The discovery was made during a NASA oceanographic expedition in the summers of 2010 and 2011. - More...
Thursday - June 07, 2012

Columns - Commentary

Danny Tyree: Needed: Super-Heroes For The Rest Of Us - Just when you think the entertainment world has enough mutants, gods and playboy scientists, you realize there's room - nay, a terrible demand -- for MORE.

CBS News recently carried a heartwarming story about Anthony Smith, a four-year-old boy with the genetic disorder mosaic trisomy 22. Anthony is forced to wear a prominent blue hearing aid the family has dubbed "Blue Ear."

Anthony eventually refused to wear Blue Ear, on the grounds that "super-heroes don't wear hearing aids." His distraught mother wrote to Marvel Comics and begged for help. The public-spirited crew collaborated on creating a listening-device-enhanced role model named Blue Ear. Now Anthony wears his hearing aid proudly.

That got me thinking about the implications for mankind if we could commission Marvel Comics, DC Comics and the other publishers to craft not just generically motivational heroes but heroes designed to inspire us in specific situations. If heroes could challenge key individuals to develop a BACKBONE...

Take for instance The Doorman. His power is to act upon the concerns of the Little Man, while simultaneously showing lobbyists, consultants and Super PACs THE DOOR. His one "weakness" is a mischievous propensity to use his telekinetic abilities to make SURE the door hits them on the way out. ("In brightest day, in blackest night...your fistfuls of dollars have sparked a fight!")

Looking for a hero who can overcome stereotypical male behavior brought about by hormonal urges and years of locker room conditioning? Let's hear it for Hey-Eyes-Up-Here Man! ("Really? You get a lot of questions about your job as a stripper? I guess there's no accounting for taste. I just want to pick your brain about math and science...") His sidekick, Digit Master, resists producing flatulence no matter how his fingers are pulled, twisted or tortured. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012


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letter Is this how we show our gratitude? By Yolanda Sainz - How discouraging to learn that my longtime physician, Dr Vicky Malurkar is no longer employed at Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Health Clinic.  How is it possible I was seen by her last week and now she is gone? - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter Ketchikan city roads By B. E. Jacobson - Thank you Mr. Ziegler, your letter was long over due, but much appreciated. I'm furious over our North end roads. Every time I take my car out it is like driving an obstacle course. Our North end of town (Jackson St. Safeway,etc) has no lines at all on the road. When it rains (which is often) there are no lines to see at all. We just pray that we are in the right lane. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter RE: Roads By Joey Garcia - I agree with Zig Ziegler regarding the bumpy or unattended roads. Somebody please clarify to me the proposed proposition by the City of Ketchikan in bonds to convert this into road rehabilitation. Or where are the revenues of the City? Why can't local residents, or old timers, simply enjoy our own roads? Does it mean to say that the City simply does a grandstanding on innovating our ports and left off some portions due to lack of funds? - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter Bibles at Kayhi By Riley Gass - Recently there was a group of people who were giving out free Bibles to students at lunch at Ketchikan High School. I would like to thank everyone who donated their time, money and resources to do this. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter Ooligan fishing By Dennis Parsons - Thanks for the article on ooligan fishing. I found it while googling the fish while conceiving an interest in trying it as food. Reading about Lewis and Clark (Pioneering Naturalists, by Cutright) one of the explorers had said that the fish was his favorite for eating. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter Notes on the Righteous Mind By Jim Guenther - According to Jonathan Haidt author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, humans are genetically hard wired to respond in intuitive ways when presented with moral questions. Sure our environment and social situations are reflected in our belief systems but he makes a strong argument, based on thousands of surveys, that intuition overrides reason for most of our responses concerning politics and religion; which, he contends, are nearly inseparable. Arguing for or against a political party’s’ ideals is much like telling a Christian that they are wrong about their choice of Gods. He divides the moral response into six general categories.  For example liberal Democrats hold Caring, or empathy for fellow man, highest in their hierarchy of criteria for stance making, while on the other side of the spectrum the conservative Republican favors platforms that hold to Fairness, the idea that one deserves what is given them. They also highly regard Loyalty, (remember Reagan’s’ eleventh commandment), Liberty, and Authority. Libertarians who participated in his study choose Liberty almost exclusively above all others and tended to put Caring in the least influential category. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter RE: Progressive Activism By Ed Bush - "To assert that the Founding Fathers were a bunch of extreme Right wingers is really dumb. Edmund Burke, the great British conservative of the era, would certainly have told you otherwise; he would have preferred to hang them all. Establishing via revolution the only representative democracy on the planet at the time is about as progressive and as liberal as one can get." - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter Water additives? By Charlotte Poirier - I have concerns about the water additives (soda ashe, ammonia) that will be added to Ketchikan's water supplies -- it causes cancer. - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

letter SEARHC says thanks for successful men’s cancer retreat By Richelle Whitson - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is pleased to announce the successful completion of the second annual Southeast Men’s Prostate and Testicular Cancer Survivor Retreat on June 1-3 in Wrangell. We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our sponsors: - More...
Friday - June 08, 2012

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