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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 06, 2015

Front Page Photo By ALEX WICK

"Deep Down Below the Ocean"
This photo was taken by 16 year old Wick during a recent dive. It shows a Hairy Triton with eggs and a gunpowder star sitting on a rock at about 30 feet.
Front Page Photo By ALEX WICK ©2015

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Southeast Alaska:
Ketchikan and Craig recognized as TsunamiReady® - Ketchikan and Craig have earned the NOAA National Weather Service TsunamiReady® recognition, demonstrating their emergency managers, residents, businesses and visitors are better prepared for tsunamis. Tom Ainsworth, meteorologist in charge, from the National Weather Service forecast office in Juneau, and Cindi Preller, tsunami program manager for NOAA’s National Weather Service in Alaska, presented TsunamiReady road signs to local officials last week.

Left to Right: Debbie Nance, Ketchikan Community Emergency Response Team; Karl Amylon, Ketchikan City Manager; Steve Corporon , Ketchikan Port and Harbors Director; Tom Ainsworth, Meteorologist-in-Charge of Weather Forecast Office in Juneau; Cindi Preller, Tsunami Program Manager for National Weather Service in Alaska; DeAnn Karlson, Ketchikan City Council Member; Erv Petty, Emergency Management Specialist, State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Abner Hoage, Ketchikan Fire Department (KFD) Chief; Jon Dorman, KFD Assistant Chief; Willie Schultz, Dave Breitkreutz, Terry Roberts and Jeff Jones, KFD.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Fire Department

“Alaskans must be aware of the threat of distant tsunamis and be prepared and ready in the case of a locally generated one,” said Aimee Devaris, director of the National Weather Service Alaska Region. “It is critically important that people recognize nature’s warning signs that a tsunami may be imminent such as intense ground shaking, the ocean roaring, or the ocean suddenly retreating. The TsunamiReady program emphasizes the planning, education, and awareness necessary for communities to minimize the risks to lives and livelihoods from tsunamis and other coastal hazards.”

To achieve this distinction the communities met rigorous criteria, including developing tsunami safety plans and communications infrastructure, installing tsunami hazard zone and evacuation signs, and actively promoting tsunami safety through public awareness activities and training. Ketchikan and Craig join the 11 coastal communities also recognized as TsunamiReady, making the Alaskan coast a safer place to live, work and visit.

The TsunamiReady preparedness program helps communities develop tsunami response plans with NOAA's National Weather Service and local emergency managers. Since the program began in 2004, more than 185 U.S. communities have become TsunamiReady. - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015

Alaska: Alaska Supreme Court: Courthouse is open to all who stand up for constitutional principles, not just the wealthy - Last Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court reaffirmed that no Alaskan should ever risk bankruptcy when standing up for the Constitution.

Bristol Bay has one of the world's largest runs of salmon. It also sits on top of gold, copper, and molybdenum: the state let Pebble Limited Partnership explore mining there. Former First Lady Bella Hammond, former Alaska constitutional delegate Vic Fischer, Bristol Bay residents Ricky Delkittie, Sr., Violet Willson, and Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of Bristol Bay-area tribes and village corporations, sued the state, arguing that the process of granting permits to Pebble Mine violated the Alaska Constitution.

The plaintiffs lost and the trial court ordered them to pay almost $1 million in attorney's fees and costs to the state and the mine developer. They believed this decision to be wrong because in Alaska, the courthouse is open to everyone who stands up for constitutional principles, not just the wealthy.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court and the ACLU stood with them filing a friend-of-the-court brief, arguing that no Alaskan should face bankruptcy when she goes to court to challenge the constitutionality of an act. - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015


Southeast Alaska: Fish Tech Students Graduate - Four University of Southeast Alaska Fisheries Technology students graduated, thanks to a scholarship from the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA).

Fish Tech Students Graduate

Left to right: Jim Seeland, Joel Markis, Madalyn Campbell, Richard Shafran, and Fish Tech Program Manager Reid Brewer
Photo courtesy University of Alaska Southeast Fisheries Technology

In January, 2015 the SSRAA board of directors indicated interest in supporting the Fisheries Technology (Fish Tech) program with hopes that graduates from the program might enhance the future fisheries workforce. With a generous gift from SSRAA, the Fish Tech faculty created a Program Completion Scholarship aimed at Fish Tech students who were near the completion of a terminal degree.

Reid Brewer, the Fish Tech Program Manager said, “While this scholarship was meant to financially assist students in completing their programs, it’s nice to be able to reward students who have invested in their education, completed most of their coursework and are ready to move into fisheries fields.” - More...
Saturday PM - JUne 06, 2015

Fish Factor: Alaska fisheries around the state; Shut down impacts; & More online features By LAINE WELCH - Salmon fisheries are opening up this month from one end of Alaska to the other. Total catches so far of mostly sockeye, were under one million fish, but will add up fast from here on. A total haul for all Alaska salmon this season is pegged at 221 million fish.

A highlight so far is a 40 percent increase in troll action at Southeast regions, where nearly 300 fishermen are targeting king salmon. That’s likely due to a boosted price averaging $7.54 a pound, up $1.88 from last year.

Speaking of high prices – Alaska halibut fishermen are fetching well over $6 a pound for their catches at major ports. The longline fleet is nearing the half way mark, with 10 million pounds left remaining in this year’s 17.4 million pound catch limit. Kodiak is in the lead for halibut landings, followed closely by Seward and Homer, which has yet to top the one million pound mark.

Likewise, sablefish, or black cod, is nearing the half way point of that fishery’ 23.5 million pound quota. Fishermen are getting more than $7 a pound for larger sizes (over seven pounds) and over $6 for medium weights.

Southeast’s summer Dungeness crab fishery opens on June 15th at 8am, a new starting time. Crabbers are hoping the price will match last year’s $2.95 a pound for the two pound dungies, bringing the dockside value to $15 million for 192 fishermen.
Just 16 vessels showed up for Alaska’s largest herring fishery at Togiak, taking an estimated 20,374 tons by June 2. At $50 per ton, the fishery will be valued at over $1 million to the region.

Herring fishing is still going on around Kodiak and the runs will continue all the way up the coast to Port Clarence. Nearly 27,000 tons or roe herring can be taken in fisheries in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region, with half of that coming from Norton Sound. - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015



Alaska: Funny fish fall from the sky - Last week the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks, received calls about arctic lamprey found in strange locations. The local Value Village store found a live lamprey in their parking lot and placed it in a bucket of water. Another resident called and said he found one on his lawn! 4 lamprey were found on land so far. How is this happening?

Funny fish fall from the sky

Lamprey latched on to the fish tank glass in Fairbanks ADF&G office.
Photo courtesy Fairbanks ADF&G

According to the Department of Fish & Game, the answer is probably gulls. Gulls are picking them out of the Chena River with their bills and then dropping the squirming critters while in flight. - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015

Alaska: Young Lab Rescued From Hot Vehicle & Certain Death - When Anchorage Police were called to a report of an animal left in a vehicle parked in the area of 5th Avenue and A Street, they found an 8 month old Labrador locked inside of a Subaru; all of the vehicle’s windows were rolled up and were extremely foggy. The outside temperature was 61 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, May 30th in Anchorage.

Anchorage Animal Control Officers also responded and determined the temperature inside the vehicle to be approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Officers were preparing to make entry into the vehicle when the registered owner arrived and unlocked the car. Inside, the vehicle, the young dog was lying on the floor with a puddle of saliva under him. When the young Lab was pulled from out of the vehicle, he collapsed on the sidewalk. Attempts were made to cool the dog by giving him water and fanning him in the shade, but he was ultimately brought to Pet Emergency for treatment. The dog was later released to the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Shelter where he was reunited with his owner, the boyfriend to the woman who had left the dog in her car.

The woman, whose name was not released, told police that she had brought the dog with her for an appointment she had at a local day spa. She said she had left the dog in the vehicle for about two hours with all of the windows rolled up to prevent a break-in. The woman was cited for Animal Neglect.

According to Anchorage Animal Care and Control, they received nine calls for animals that had been left inside hot vehicles from May 29 through May 31. Three of those calls, including the call referenced in this release, resulted in APD charging owners under Title 8.55. Animals from those cases were taken to Anchorage Animal Care and Control for protective custody. When Animal Control Officers arrived at the locations in the other cases, the vehicles were gone. Animal Control Officers are following up to find owners or caretakers to educate them about the dangers of leaving dogs inside cars in warm weather. - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015



Alaska Science: Rocks from space may be in Alaska backcountryBy NED ROZELL - On Feb. 26 at 1:06 p.m., someone in northern Alaska may have seen a torch of light in the cold daytime sky.

Rocks from space may be in Alaska backcountry

Peter Jenniskens, a meteor astronomer with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, is pictured with meteorite pieces he found in Sudan in 2008. He is now on a similar search in the Alaska wilderness.
Photo courtesy Peter Jenniskens

On that afternoon, satellites detected a meteoric fireball headed toward Earth. An asteroid six feet in diameter penetrated the atmosphere at 13 miles per second, piercing the protective shell of gases at a steep angle. Arriving from the northwest, the asteroid exploded 21 miles above the ground. A spray of space rocks sizzled to Earth in a quiet part of the Brooks Range east of the Dalton Highway.

Peter Jenniskens, a meteor astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, thinks this meteorite event over Alaska is a rare opportunity. He is now searching for pieces of it in the wilderness east of Chandalar Lake. Wilderness guide Garrett Jones and I are helping him.

“We don’t know if anything survived,” Jenniskens said before we began the search on foot of the possible fallout zone. “But we only need to find a small piece of it.”

Upon hearing of the asteroid, Jenniskens called Hans Nielsen, a space physicist with UAF’s Geophysical Institute. The pair had worked together before on other meteorite projects. Nielsen checked out several leads, including that of a Kotzebue musher who saw a bright light in the sky (but on a different day). He has not yet found someone who saw the fireball or heard the blast of a sonic boom.

Jenniskens compared the search for space rocks to looking for car keys in the tundra.

“You look where the searching is possible,” he said. “The area over which rocks could have fallen is many square kilometers large.” - More...
Saturday PM - June 06, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: South China sea tensions

Political Cartoon: South China sea tensions
By Paresh Nath ©2015, The Khaleej Times, UAE
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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letter CORRUPTION, COLLUSION, & GRAND CONSPIRACY By David G Hanger  - For all practical purposes the financial foundation of the government of the state of Alaska has been destroyed. According to one reliable source, who I am sure will do his own write-ups on the subject, the tax credits already generated by the oil companies are sufficient for them to avoid paying state taxes for any number of years to come. Kudos to the collective idiocy of the Alaska electoral majority who bit off on oil company propaganda and voted for this crap because you have not only voted to tax to the max yourselves, but even more so babies in diapers. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 26, 2015

letter Deep cuts in state budget By John Suter - We see in the news every day about how the legislature is working on deep cut backs for fire, police, road maintenance, schools and all the other state departments. However, there is no mention of cut backs on the state giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the oil companies in tax credits. They have special exemptions from cut backs. What’s up with that? How come they don’t have to have deep cut backs like all of the state’s departments do? - More...
Tuesday PM - May 26, 2015

letter Non-profits in Ketchikan By Lisa Scarborough - Recently you may have read or heard about the cut in funding to local nonprofits in our community by the Ketchikan Borough Assembly. The funding these organizations and agencies get from our local government is funding used to leverage, I would venture to guess, in excess of 2-3 million dollars each year. The organization that I am involved with, Love In Action, brings in around $125,000 in other grant funds each year alone. These organizations do wonderful work for your friends, family and neighbors throughout the year, whether elderly, disabled or just having trouble putting enough food on the table - services of all different kinds are provided by caring community involved residents. If you know of someone who fits these categories or you are someone who fits in these categories, I would ask you to consider speaking up and letting your government know that the needs are real. The borough is concerned with economic development and I would say that healthy, secure and sustainable families and individuals contribute to a healthy economic community because they work, shop and live in this community. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 26, 2016

letter RE: The Third Quarter of 2016 By Daniel C McQueen - Mr. Hanger hit the nail squarely on the head. Good Job! - More...
Tuesday PM - May 26, 2015

letter Vaccinations By Amanda Mitchell - Every media outlet seemed to be covering the Disneyland outbreak. Did you read where they said the parents choosing to opt their kids out of vaccines caused this? Did you read anything about the whistleblower that came out, Dr. William Thompson, Senior Scientist for the CDC, stating that they intentionally manipulated and adjusted the study data to erase a link to autism from the MMR vaccine? [1, 2,] Did you read about how Merck is being sued for fraud by its own scientists? [3, 4] I would like to go through the Disneyland case, the vaccination logic, and much more. I hope that you bear with me (print it out and read it in chunks if needed), securely fasten your best thinking cap on and get ready to leave your presuppositions behind. We are going to where many of you have never gone before and I hope this will make you think, ask questions and do your own research. - More...
Tuesday PM - May 26, 2015

letter Ketchikan faces a new opportunity By Kent Miller - From inception of the Alaska Marine Highway System through the 1970s, Alaska Marine Highway ships every year ran south to Puget Sound for maintenance, often laying in Seattle through the winter. Then, Ketchikan citizens proposed development of an Alaskan shipyard to perform necessary ship maintenance and repair in Alaska. This was a novel concept at the time, it was even said it could not be done. But today Ketchikan Shipyard demonstrates that ship repair and newbuilding are viable sectors of Alaska’s economy. In creating the Ketchikan Shipyard, Alaskans, and especially the citizens and workers of Ketchikan, have succeeded in bringing home millions of dollars in expenditure — Alaska’s earnings and wealth — that otherwise would have continued to flow outside. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2016 By David G Hanger - Start saving now for what will transpire locally by the third quarter of 2016, or, conversely, get ready to move. I was a little surprised to hear that already the state is delaying payments to the shipyard, and a year from now that situation will be much, much worse. By the end of the third quarter 2016 this hospital boondoggle will have concluded itself, and all those people will have cleared out with their gains that the remaining citizens of this town will be paying off for the next 30 years. We will be lucky if the economic contraction is in the 10% to 15% range; contingent upon what our politicians do that contraction could be 25% or more. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Bar Harbor Parking By Mike Youngblood - Those of us who regularly use the parking area around the VFW hall while we access our boats have noticed recently that parking has become a real issue there. The construction of the new addition to the hospital requires numerous workers, and they all need a place to park. It’s very convenient for them since it’s right across the street from the jobsite. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter High School Concert By Judith Green - We have wonderful dedicated musicians here in our school district - thank you to each one of you. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Myth: Man-made Global Warming By Marvin Seibert - Chicken Little once screamed the Sky is falling! Now we have Barack Obama and his minions claiming the same thing. Mr. Obama claims that it is causing Rising Seas, Poverty, ISIS Beheadings and now Asthma. All you need to know that it is another way for governments to have an excuse to control people s behavior. What he won t tell you that this is just the natural cycle of the climate of the earth. Activity from the Sun regulates the climate, how arrogant is it to believe that man has any influence! - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter LOCAL GOVERNMENTS STEPPING UP TO FILL SHORTFALLS IN SCHOOL FUNDING WON’T BE ENOUGH IF LEGISLATURE DOESN’T RESTORE BASIC FUNDING By Lisa Parady - Juneau and Fairbanks are amongst the municipalities that have voted to increase education funding in light of the gap created by the state legislature. Cities and boroughs can’t do it alone, however. The Legislature should fulfill its commitments, since education is both a constitutional duty and, as schools educate the vast majority of the children in the state, the best place to invest limited funds. In doing its part – by restoring the formula cuts – the legislature can give schools and school boards the time needed to sort out sensible options for the future. Finally, it should be noted that it is unusually underhanded to cut school funding while simultaneously draining forward funding for schools, effectively shorting schools today while taking school dollars for tomorrow to fund other government activities. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Why the Uproar Over Unjust
Teacher Evaluations is a Sham
By Cevin Soling - Recently, Sheri Lederman, a 4th grade teacher, filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Education on the grounds that the metrics used to appraise her performance are fundamentally flawed. Despite a bevy of sincere accolades from students and parents that stretch the length of her esteemed 17 year career, she was deemed “ineffective” as an educator based on her value-added modeling (VAM) evaluation. This complaint follows three other lawsuits which evidence mounting resistance among educators to this approach of measuring performance. In response, defenders cite a body of scientific research that went into developing the assessment protocol. While critics are undeniably correct about certain fundamental problems with VAM – it does not take a genius to realize that if students get high scores on a test, there is little room for measured growth – teachers’ unmitigated hypocrisy undermines any reason to acknowledge the legitimacy of their grievances. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Troops Needed In Afghanistan By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Obama administration finally listened to our military leaders, and they are now planning on leaving 9800 troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and probably beyond. Originally they were going to draw down to 5500 troops. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Re: U.S. History By Derek Andrews - So yet again someone reads or sees comments and twists them out of context because they most likely have some dislike of an individual. Mr. Mateer did this regarding First Lady Michelle Obama due to her saying the founding fathers of the America were not born in the United States. He argues Ben Franklin was born in Pennsylvania and others were born in Virginia. He then concludes his findings with a quote from John Wayne to call her stupid. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

letter Re: U.S History By Margaret Cloud - The letter supposedly written by Michael Mateer has been circulating for some time (about a year) and is nothing more than a copy/paste. It is also factually incorrect. - More...
Wednesday PM - May 20, 2015

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