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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

June 19, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By DENNIS SUCH

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind
This very nosy bear was photographed peeking around the photographer's home in the South Tongass area.
Front Page Feature Photo By


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Ketchikan: All Survive Big Goat Lake Plane Crash - Sunday afternoon at approximately 2:22 PM, Alaska State Troopers were notified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of an airplane crash with survivors on Big Goat Lake, located approximately 25 air miles east of Ketchikan in the Misty Fjords National Monument. Both the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were notified. 

All Survive Big Goat Lake Plane Crash

According to the photographer Dale Curtis, these people said they were on a tour from a cruise ship. There appears to be a float upside down in the water. Six people plus the pilot made it to shore with no serious injuries reported. Curtis, the photographer, was on a tour with Misty Fjords Air and the pilot of his plane stopped to help. One other plane was there offering help also.
Photo by DALE CURTIS ©2017

The pilot, Matthew B. Perron, 30 of Ketchikan was operating the DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver. It crashed into the lake during takeoff.

Perron had a total of six passengers. Two passengers, Tim Friedrich, 40, and Catrin Fredrich, 36 are from Germany. Four passengers, Robert S. Grover, 63, Debra A. Grover, 60, Nicole D. Grover, 30, and Jonathan M. James, 36, are all from California.

The pilot and passengers were able to exit the aircraft and swim ashore. They were treated by Emergency Medical Services when they arrived in Ketchikan and were later transported to the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center and  treated for minor injuries. 

At approximately 3:35 PM Sunday, the Ketchikan Fire Department with mutual aid from North Tongass Fire Department and South Tongass Fire Department responded to Taquan Air's Ketchikan dock for a report of two planes returning to Ketchikan with seven passengers that were involved in the plane crash near Goat Lake in the Misty Fjords. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

Fish Factor: Market Potential for Alaska Salmon in China By LAINE WELCH -   China holds big promise to become a top customer for Alaska salmon, and not just for the bright red fillets.

Since 2011 China has been the number one customer for Alaska seafood with purchases nearing $800 million and comprising 54 percent of all Alaska exports to China. 

In Chinese food culture, fish symbolizes abundance and prosperity, which plays into a growing middle class that now earns the equivalent of about $25,000 in U.S. dollars a year. That gives buyers significant disposable income to spend on more high-end foods, such as salmon. Add in increasing public concerns about food safety and pollution, and it means Alaska is well poised to send even more salmon to China. 

A photo-filled Alaska Sea Grant report – called Consumer Preference and Market Potential for Alaska Salmon in China – gives a glimpse of that potential in a country with 1.4 billion people. Researchers from the University of Alaska/Fairbanks and Purdue spent over three months surveying more than 1,000 urban supermarket shoppers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to get their results.  Here’s a sampler: 

While nearly 40 percent of Chinese consumers said they eat seafood at least once a week, only about nine percent eat salmon that often, and seven percent have never eaten salmon. The most popular fish consumed by Chinese is carp.

Over 66 percent considered seafood to be healthier than other foods, and more than 25 percent preferred wild-caught seafood. Nearly the same number did not pay attention to or understand the difference between wild and farmed fish.  

Almost 40 percent of Chinese consumers said they eat salmon in restaurants and prefer it raw, as sashimi or sushi. Nearly 18 percent eat salmon in the same uncooked ways at home.   

On average, consumers ranked the method of harvest as the most important salmon attribute, followed by environmentally friendly certificates, color, the method of preservation, country of origin, and fat content  

Over 68 percent said they would be more likely to buy Alaska salmon after knowing it comes from a clean environment and is sustainably harvested.

Nearly 59 percent of Chinese urbanites said they definitely or probably would buy Alaska salmon if it was available at an acceptable price. They also find appealing parts of the fish that most Americans consider toss in the trash.

Chinese culinary traditions include cooking fish heads, tails, and bones for various soups and stews.  Supermarket prices showed salmon heads selling for $4.99 USD per pound, salmon skins at $2.46, and salmon bones at $5.10 per pound.

The report said those low-value parts can add significant value to Alaska seafood exports to China.

“The survey responses show that consumers, if presented with more opportunities to purchase Alaska salmon, would favor the wild fish because of its health benefits, pristine source waters and sustainability,” said Quijie “Angie” Zheng, a study co-author along with H. Holly Wang, Quentin Fong, and Yonggang Lu, all professors within Alaska’s university system.

The salmon potential has not been lost on Norway, the world’s top producer of farmed fish. The national fish news site reports that Norway plans to export 343 million pounds of farmed salmon to China by 2025, worth about 4.4 billion yuan, or $646 USD million. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017


Alaska: Nominations Sought for Alaska Summer of Heroes Program; Alaskans Encouraged to Nominate Youth Heroes for Seventh Annual Program Now Through July 17 - The seventh annual Summer of Heroes scholarship program recognizes five young Alaskan heroes, plus one from the Alaska Communications Employee Program, who are making noteworthy contributions to his or her Alaska community. Alaskans are encouraged to nominate Youth Heroes through July 17, 2017.

The Summer of Heroes scholarship program is a partnership between Alaska Communications and the Boys & Girls Clubs - Alaska to promote awareness and support for youth development programs throughout the state.

Each selected hero receives a $1,500 scholarship through the UA College Savings Plan and a trip to a special recognition ceremony at the Alaska State Fair. In addition to the scholarship program, Alaska Communications has pledged to donate $25 to Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska for every new Unlimited or Business Internet sign up between April 25 and July 17, 2017, up to $15,000 total. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

Business: 4 Ways to Escape the Rental Trap; New Home Buyers Have More Options Than They Realize  - After living as renters for the first seven years of their marriage, Geoff and Kristi decided it was time to purchase their first house.

They decided to pass on making a purchase earlier in their lives for reasons ranging from unstable job security to high mortgage rates. Whether justified or not, Geoff and Kristi kept making excuses for not pulling the trigger on a new-home purchase. They had no idea of the opportunity they were missing to start building their personal wealth through home ownership.

As time moved on and their family grew, they knew they finally needed to make that move to build some equity and have something to show for the money they were dishing out just to keep a roof over their heads.

“A lot of people have been misinformed, resulting in becoming content to live as renters,” says Joe Puthur, President of Mortgage Coach. “Families have been missing out on opportunities because of lack of knowledge. With today’s mortgage options, people can achieve affordable home ownership wherever they want to live.”

Puthur offers first-time home owners the following insight to help find the right mortgage: - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

Digitizing Alaska History: The Sheldon Jackson Papers

Gathering of Cape Fox and Tongass natives at Ketchikan Alaska, July 4, 1895. At this meeting with Sheldon Jackson these two tribes of the Tlingit people agreed to relocate in a common village to share educational and other services. The village was named for former missionary Samuel Saxman.
Photo courtesy Sheldon Jackson Collection

Southeast Alaska: Digitizing Alaska History: The Sheldon Jackson Papers By Rev. Larry S. Emery - The Alaska Library Network has partnered with the Presbyterian Historical Society to digitize portions of the Sheldon Jackson Papers, a valuable collection of papers and pictures related to the earliest years of Alaskan history under American rule.

Dr. Sheldon Jackson (1834-1909) was a Presbyterian Missionary as well as the United States Government’s General Agent for Education in Alaska for over twenty years. He made a total of twenty-six trips to Alaska, frequently aboard the famous United States Revenue Cutter Bear. Jackson was committed to the spiritual, educational, and economic well-being of the Alaska Natives. He founded numerous schools and training centers that served native people. The Sheldon Jackson School in Sitka, where many Native Alaskans attended from throughout southeast Alaska, was named for him.

One of the complaints about Jackson during his lifetime is that he spent more time and resources on education for the native population than for the white population of Alaska. Also, there has been controversy over his requirement that all education of native people to be in English, though some churches and schools went beyond this and forbid all use of the native languages. He and the commander of the Bear helped import nearly 1,300 reindeer for Native people to use as food, clothing and other necessities. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017



jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: Technology is a wonderful thing: Or not. - Hi, I am from Technology and I am here to help!

Yes, I know I stole that line from President Reagan's famous quip about "government."

Actually that quote didn't originate with Reagan. 

It was reportedly first uttered by the Aga of Kish when he arrived to convince the hairy potters of Sumeria to switch from hand forming their pots to a new high tech doohickey called a potters wheel - which the Aga called a "robowheel."

And specifically what the Aga of Kish said was... - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017


SUSAN STAMPER BROWN: The Painful Reality of 'Love Trumps Hate' - Although longtime Democrat voter and Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson is the one who pulled the trigger at the GOP batting practice in Alexandria, Va. on June 14, the Democratic Party and its leftist media sidekicks should take a long look in the mirror.

They are not without fault, given their relentless spewing of hate-filled propaganda framing President Trump as a Russian Hitler, his supporters as racists and Nazis and Republican lawmakers as evil villains who want people to die.

Garbage in, garbage out. No wonder Hodgkinson went postal.

Those calling for unity should understand unity is impossible unless those smarmy swamp dwellers slither their way out of the sludge and cap off the sewage they have been gushing since Trump's inauguration. 

Until they do, leftists will do what leftists do, communicating their opinions and demonstrating their frustrations by breaking and burning things... or going on Hodgkinson-style shooting sprees... or stabbing police horses with nail embedded flagpoles like one did in Harrisburg, Pa. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

jpg Will Durst

WILL DURST: Snowflakes Want Me To Be Nicer to Trump - I need to stop and thank all the nice folk who've been kind enough to take time from their busy schedules to provide this column with some constructive criticism. By the way, moron is spelled with two Os, idiot doesn't have an E and using all caps is frankly, rather rude. 

It seems a segment of my loyal audience has come to the considered opinion that this award-seeking, hard-hitting, investigative journalistic feature needs to be more positive as concerns our 45th president, Donald J. Trump. And they do not mean to hear he is positively a puppet of a dyspeptic alien lizard and our country is now knee-deep in despicable doo-doo and will be for 3 years and 7 more months. 

It is my most recent musings that have been accused by a grammatically-challenged few as skewing towards the contrary, overly focused on the gloomy, and said unsolicited feedback implores me to make efforts concentrating on the uplifting and employing a more optimistic myopia. 

It should be pointed out that the job description of political humorist does entail this sort of mocking and scoffing and taunting no matter the partisan nature of the White House occupant. That's part of the deal. You would think people who supported a guy who called opponents "Little Marco," "Lying Ted" and "Crooked Hillary" would realize that "Stupid Donald" was in the offing. Especially with such low-hanging fruit.  - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Senate Secret

Editorial Cartoon: Senate Secret
By Steve Sack ©2017, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter RE: Wildlife Recovery Following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill By Paul D. Boehm - Just to make sure that your readers have accurate and balanced scientific information you should note that the USGS’s fine work on recovery of sea otters (summarized in Deep Sea Research) largely overstates the effect of the oil spill in delaying recovery of sea otters. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

letter Why There's Gridlock By Sen. Berta Gardner - I'm not surprised that at day 154 of the 2017 legislature, my inbox is stuffed with messages from Alaskans asking what is going on, asking for a budget, asking for a fiscal plan, decrying or begging for income taxes, opposing cuts to education, etc. Here is the essence of my response to folks. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

letter Sealaska Board of Directors By Dominic Salvato - The news coming out of Juneau is Sealaska shareholders want to reduce the size of the board of directors. Passing Sealaska resolutions are impossible under current ANCSA election rules. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

letter The Race to Alaska By Michael Spence - Kudos to the Northwest Maritime Center for running its third successful Race to Alaska. Ketchikan has a long and rich maritime heritage and makes an ideal venue for the sport of sailing and the promotion of maritime trades. - More...
Monday PM - June 19, 2017

letter Use for Taku By A. M. Johnson - As a suggestion regarding the Alaska Ferry Taku currently for sale without any apparent takers at what is soon to be a ridiculous reduced price. Would it not be better than paying a huge mooring sum while making the sales attempt, to move the Taku to Juneau and provide housing and meals for the legislature. Rather than paying out $250 dollars a day per legislator, provide room and board. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 13, 2017

letter State Spending By Nancy Amend - Cut government spending first! Once a tax is implemented it will only increase with mis/overspending not being resolved. Alaska's government has 95% of the PFD, why are they taking any of the people's 5%? - More...
Tuesday PM - June 13, 2017

letter Child marriage is a human rights abuse By John Suter - I saw on One American News that the state of Alaska allows girls at the young age of only 14 to be able to get married.  This is outrageous.  Sec.25.05.171 needs to be corrected so that the state does not have child marriages.  It needs to be corrected to the age of 18.  If a girl is too young to vote, then that girl is too young to marry. - More...
Tuesday PM - June 13, 2017

letter Alaska's fiscal situation By Rodney Dial - Visualize the State of Alaska as a large lifeboat. On that boat half the seats are in the middle and half are on the outside edges. Those sitting on the edges, the workers, are paddling while those in the middle are enjoying the free ride and first class services. This continues for some time until the boat hits a fiscal iceberg and begins to sink. - More...
Friday PM - June 09, 2017

letter Looming Government Shutdown By Senator Berta Gardner - For years, Republicans in the legislature have stonewalled all efforts to create a stable, durable fiscal plan.  This must stop.  We cannot accept a plan simply because it averts a government shut down this year, while all but guaranteeing one next year. The can has been kicked far enough and it’s time for a long-term solution. - More...
Thursday AM - June 08, 2017

letter Finding fiscal waste By A. M. Johnson - In a citizen's effort to assist in finding areas of the state budget woes, the following site and information was passed to Representative Ortiz [Dan]. Knowing Dan's desire to fine solutions along with refining departmental cost it is felt that Dan will confirm the numbers this report exposes and take the appropriate actions to eliminate the obvious always hidden from the public, cost to taxpayers that needn't be. - More...
Thursday AM - June 08, 2017

letter Understanding the Legislative Standoff: The House Plan Versus the Senate Plan By Ghert Abbott - The best way to understand the reasons behind the current legislative standoff is to examine the House Majority’s fiscal plan and the Senate Majority’s fiscal plan side by side, in order to determine their respective goals and values. - More...
Monday PM - June 05, 2017

letter State Shutdown By Lance Clark - So now Governor Walker and the Alaska House Majority Coalition are saying if we can't have an income tax, i.e. our money, they'll shut down the state. All I can say is I hope they never get elected for anything anywhere ever again. - More...
Friday PM - June 02, 2017

letter The Solution is in the Non-Partisan Middle By Rep. Dan Ortiz - As of June 1st, the Alaska State Legislature is in the middle of the “special session” called by Governor Bill Walker. The Governor called us into special session because we reached the end of the 121st day of regular legislative session without fulfilling our one required legislative duty – to pass a state operating and capital budget out of both the House and the Senate for the Governor’s signature. The two bodies are currently at odds and at nearly a standstill over the issue of establishing a fiscal plan. So far, there has been no compromise to find the middle ground. - More...
Friday PM - June 02, 2017

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for

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