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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 22, 2015

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Fisheries Economists Meet in Ketchikan - Members of the North American Association of Fisheries Economists recently gathered in record high numbers for the 8th biennial conference in Ketchikan. The main conference theme was "Economic Sustainability, Fishing Communities, and Working Waterfronts".

Fisheries Economists Meet in Ketchikan

The 2015 North American Association of Fisheries Economists' 8th biennial conference was held at the Lumberjack Arena in Ketchikan.
Photo courtesy Alaska Sea Grant Program

Coordinators Quentin Fong (Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory seafood marketing specialist), Keith Criddle (UAF Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy), and others welcomed 142 fisheries economists to Southeast Alaska for what was described as great weather and excellent talks.

The opening reception took place aboard an Allen Marine vessel that cruised between Ketchikan and Metlakatla. Attendees also had the opportunity to tour Trident Seafoods and the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association Whitman Lake Hatchery, the OceansAlaska Shellfish Hatchery, and a Walk-the-Dock look at Ketchikan-based fishing vessels.

Keynote speaker Lee Anderson helped streamline the last minute room switch from the University of Alaska Southeast to the Lumberjack Arena, where Anderson gave recommendations for operationalizing ecosystem-based management in U.S. fisheries.

“Many participants said the program was well balanced, and there was something for everybody,” said Fong. Alaska Sea Grant staff hosted the website for the NAAFE symposium, and Ketchikan Marine Advisory agent Gary Freitag and University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan staff assisted with on-site logistics.

The “Best Student Paper” prize given in conjunction with the NAAFE Forum was presented to Yutaro Sakai. The purpose of this award is to recognize the most outstanding paper presented by a graduate student at the biennial Forum. Papers may be on any aspect of the economics of fisheries or aquaculture, fisheries resource management, seafood trade and markets, fisheries or aquaculture sector development, or related topics. The 2015 contest was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

Southeast Alaska: Kake Reopens its Public Library, Closed for 16 Years - In 1999 the town of Kake, with a population over 500, shut its public library’s doors. Though the space still served as the high school’s library, lack of a dedicated librarian to oversee the collection reduced the library to little more than a warehouse for books. Over the next sixteen years the library fell further and further into disarray.

Recently, community members partnered with the Alaska State Library’s VISTA project “Libraries Build Communities” . In February, VISTA Volunteer Lindsey Bennet arrived in Kake and began coordinating the renovation of the abandoned library. She assisted with recruiting volunteers and facilitating library board meetings. She worked with the library board to develop library policies and wrote a public library assistance grant. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015



Northwest: Kennewick Man closely related to Native Americans, geneticists say - An 8,500-year-old male skeleton discovered in 1996 in Columbia River in Washington State has been the focus of a bitter dispute between Native Americans and American scientists, and even within the American scientific community. Craniometric analysis showed that Kennewick Man, as the skeleton was named, resembled populations in Japan, Polynesia or even Europe, suggesting he was not ancestral to Native Americans, a finding that helped block Native Americans' request for a repatriation of the skeleton.

jpg Kennewick Man closely related to Native Americans, geneticists say

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle is the court-appointed neutral repository for the remains of Kennewick Man, also known as The Ancient One. The Burke Museum doesn't display the remains, but has been caring for Kennewick Man since 1998.
Courtesy of Richard Brown Photography

A new study based on his genome sequence shows that Kennewick Man is in fact more closely related to modern Native Americans, than to any other population worldwide and, further, that the earlier craniometrics analyses cannot be supported. The study was led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen and is published in Nature.

When Kennewick Man was discovered in 1996 initial cranial analysis suggested that he was a historic-period Euro-American. Later radiocarbon dating of the bones revealed an age of ca. 8,000-9,000 years BP making him pre-Columbian in age. This sparked a legal battle over the disposition of the skeletal remains. Tribes inhabiting the region where Kennewick Man was found requested the remains to be turned over to them for reburial based on him being Native American and ancestor to them. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which managed the land where the skeleton was found, was prepared to do so. However, this was blocked by a lawsuit by eight scientists questioning his Native American origins and generated a scientific stir as to Kennewick Man's ancestry and affiliation. The lawsuit lacerated the anthropological community, badly damaged relations with Native American groups, and triggered a divisive, long-running and expensive legal tug of war that ended in 2004 with a ruling in favour of a more detailed study, a study that was published in 2014. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

Alaska: Fairbanks Priest Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Child Sex Crimes - Clint Michael Landry, 58, of Fairbanks, Alaska, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 10 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime period of supervised release for Attempted Enticement of a Minor. At the time of the offense, the Landry was employed as a priest with the Catholic Diocese in Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been in that position since June 2011.

According to the filed plea agreement and sentencing memoranda in the case, in May 2014, the defendant was caught using a work computer to receive images of child pornography through his Yahoo email account. A search of the computer found multiple sexually-explicit Instant Messages (IM) between the defendant and others believed to be located in the Philippines. In many of these IMs, the defendant is negotiating with a Filipino coconspirator about viewing sexually explicit conduct involving minors through webcams and Skype communications.

Between June 2013, and May 2014, the defendant engaged in negotiations with individuals in the Philippines for the purpose of viewing online sex shows. The defendant communicated with at least eight different Yahoo accounts for the purpose of viewing live videos through Skype or other streaming services of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In at least three of these communications, the defendant sought access to sex shows involving children younger than 11 years old. - More...
Monday PM - JUne 22, 2015



Alaska Science: The northern boreal bird nursery By NED ROZELL — Two-hundred miles straight north of my home in Fairbanks, I'm at the northern edge of a forest that carpets the continent all the way to Labrador. Here for a meteorite search with an astronomer, I have helicoptered into a place humming with life.

The northern boreal bird nursery

A robin chick in a nest near the Middle Fork of the Chandalar River.
Photo by Ned Rozell.

This dark spot on the nighttime map of North America is not always in this active state, with the squeak of bank swallows overhead and passing bumblebees so heavy with pollen they fly like water balloons. A few months ago, this gray river was hard as a stone. An online thermometer nearby registers a dependable minus 50 F every winter.

In early summer, the air is perfumed with blooming purple lupine and pink wild sweet pea. It’s so fleeting, and such a contrast to the locked, odorless winter. Songbirds sing from every direction — tiny warblers, thrushes and sparrows have flooded the spruce and spongy ground beneath them.

In the past few days, meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens, Fairbanks guide Garrett Jones and I have noticed that looking for meteorites is a lot like searching for bird nests. We find none of the former but a few dozen of the latter.

Flushing a bird from a nest is an unexpected, pleasant event. We always stop, happy for the break from squinting at the ground. Even though he feels pressure to find black rocks from space, Peter, of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, pauses to contemplate nests. He found curious that a water bird like the lesser yellowlegs was sitting on four eggs on open tundra a mile from the river. The mother’s scolding peeps hurt our ears. We moved on. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015



Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom Purcell
TOM PURCELL: Hairy Women, Hairless Men - It's a fashion trend that I don't think I'll ever get used to: More American women are letting their armpit hair grow.

According to The Associated Press, "Women are proudly showing off their growth on Instagram and YouTube, and it's not just Miley Cyrus anymore."

Hairy-armpit celebrities may be attempting to make a feminist statement, but the truth is that armpit shaving is a relatively recent concept.

According to, shaving didn't begin to catch on until about 1828, with the invention of the safety razor. The invention of the disposable safety razor in 1895 made shaving all the rage, though most shaving involved men removing facial hair.

MentalFloss explains that American women didn't begin shaving their armpits until about 1915, with the advent of the sleeveless dress. They didn't begin shaving their legs until the 1940s, with the introduction of "shorter skirts, sheerer stockings, and the rise of leggy pin-ups such as Betty Grable." - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

jpg Will Durst
WILL DURST: Googling the Fountain of Youth - Rich people with too much time and money on their hands often seem to get bored with the hum and drum of their gold-filigreed existences. In response they turn to egalitarian enterprises, such as feudal kings commissioning alchemists to turn base metals into gold, because a lot of stuff back then needed to be filigreed.

Today's Billionaire Princes of Silicon Valley don't care so much for filigree as they've already figured out how to turn base metal into gold. So they've taken to funding molecular biologists and biogerontologists, our modern day alchemists, to conduct experiments to seek out an elixir of life. A liquid or pill that will restore youth and grant longevity. After all, what good is being rich, if you can't live forever?

Of course, immortality is a relative thing. Compared to our ancestors we already live to be antiques. Wasn't long ago, folks just up and died. At 35. Of old age. Or were victims of accidents involving livestock. Not to mention plagues, pitchforks and blue meat. Or the village would band together and get rid of you for the "greater good." Of course, back then, like today, the "greater good" was always a sort of a fluid measurement. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Confederate Flag

Political Cartoon: Confederate Flag
By Nate Beeler ©2015, The Columbus Dispatch
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Alaska Delegation United to Make Alaska VA Work for Veterans By U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski - Sometimes things seem too good to be true. Last year when the Phoenix VA waiting list scandal broke, and even as we began to discover that VA facilities in other parts of the country weren't meeting wait time standards, things were better in Alaska.It’s not that Alaska VA didn't have staffing challenges like facilities in the Lower 48. Some of our challenges like staffing Wasilla with one doctor -- who ultimately quit -- when two were called horwere even more difficult to fix than they might be in the Lower 48 because of our remote location. To its credit, Alaska VA faced up to its recent challenges before they became scandals. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

letter A NEW OPTION FOR ALASKA’S FUTURE By Deborah Hayden - Recently, in a brilliant move, Governor Walker convened a group of experts in Fairbanks and is entertaining suggestions for building a sustainable fiscal future for Alaska. The Rasmuson Foundation created a position paper with options for cutting education and social service funding, adding taxes and using Permanent Fund reserves and other Permanent Fund revenue to fill the oil revenue gap. I submit offer an additional option. If we increase revenues for local governments, they can fund more of their own education and social service expenses. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

letter Alaska National Guard Investigator's Report By Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Laurie Hummel - On Monday, the Department of Law released retired Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins’ independent investigation of the Alaska National Guard to the public. Like many Alaskans, I greet its release with a sense of anger and frustration that over several years some members of the Guard mistreated people and misused public funds. Also like many Alaskans, I am relieved the report contains no new examples of improper behavior. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

letter Alaska's oil and gas profits distributed to the rich By John Suter - I read in the news that Mayor Sullivan is reminding us how wonderful it is for Alaska and Anchorage that the state gave all of these millions of dollars to the oil companies in tax credits to drill in Cook Inlet. However, what he did not remind us of was that the state could have drilled in the Cook Inlet using the Norwegian oil field model which is very successful for the Norwegians and Norwegian oil field management to run the Alaskan oil field company that the state could have developed for us. The state could have used the profits made from the oil and gas that the State would have developed to pay for the state budget. As it is now, the oil field companies will be taking these profits and distributing them to the rich and powerful in the lower 48 who own these oil field companies. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

letter Sightseeing Tour Stops By Audree Armey - Driving back and forth from South Tongass Highway I have noticed that there always seems to be a lot of traffic at the corner of Totem Row and South Tongass. Tour vans pull over at the bus stop on the water side. People get out and take photos. It seems to me that this is a dangerous place for them to get out, why don't they find another place to pull over, isn't it illegal to park in a bus zone? - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

letter RE: Lack of Responsibility By Bob Maxand - I agree with Mr. Freeman's letter, as like him, I have been around awhile and at some time the state government has to say no. - More...
Monday PM - June 22, 2015

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