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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
June 13, 2018

Fawn Nursing
Nursing her fawn, this Sitka Black-tailed Deer demonstrates her mothering skills. Fawns are born in early June and weigh 6-8 pounds at birth.
Front Page Feature Photo By SUSAN HOYT ©2018

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Alaska: Study: Alaska fishermen suffer high rate of health problems By PAULA DOBBYN - Alaska salmon fishermen have a significantly higher rate of health problems than the general population, according to a new study conducted by the University of Washington School of Public Health in partnership with Alaska Sea Grant. The health issues include noise-induced hearing loss, upper extremity disorders and fatigue possibly associated with sleep apnea.

Study: Alaska fishermen suffer high rate of health problems By PAULA DOBBYN

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent Torie Baker speaks with fishermen in Cordova, Alaska, in 2015 about participating in a study about fishermen’s health led by a University of Washington researcher, Dr. Debra Cherry.
Photo courtesy of Alaska Sea Grant

The study began in early 2015 when Torie Baker, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Cordova, and members of Cordova District Fishermen United invited 600 salmon gillnet permit holders to answer health questions before and during the fishing season. Dr. Debra Cherry, a physician and injury prevention and treatment researcher with the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology, led the effort.

The research is one of the first of its kind in the United States, according to the study’s authors. The peer-reviewed study was published in April 2018 in the Journal of Agromedicine.

Evidence of noise-induced hearing loss in the study is striking. About 80 percent of physical exam participants had hearing loss, compared to the 15 percent norm for Americans. In addition to engine noise while fishing, most fishermen reported exposure to noise during off-season activities, such as snowmachining, hunting and construction jobs.

Researchers also found evidence of rotator cuff problems in 40 percent of physical exam participants compared to the norm of 8-14 percent. The potentially high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea, captured via standardized survey questions, is also concerning, say the authors. Less sleep combined with poor quality sleep may exacerbate fatigue during the fishing season.

Worldwide, fishermen are exposed to noise, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, long and irregular work hours and physical strain. Prior studies show that fishermen have a higher prevalence of hearing loss, actinic keratosis (a precancerous skin condition), leukemia, fatigue and musculoskeletal injuries. Because poor health in fishermen can result in urgent medical evacuation, countries such as Italy and Poland require fitness-for-duty exams.

The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health funded the Cordova, Alaska, research through the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center. While injuries and fatalities in the U.S. fishing industry have dropped significantly between 1990 and 2009, NIOSH saw a need to evaluate chronic health risks.

Sixty-six Cordova-area fishermen participated in the preseason online survey, and 38 responded to the midseason survey. Some were outfitted with Fitbits to track activity and sleep habits before and during the fishing season, and 25 fishermen had a complete physical exam including medical history, a hearing screening and a 3-minute step test to assess fitness during the fishing season. - More....
Wednesday PM - June 13, 2018


Southeast Alaska:
NOAA Necropsy Team Finds Indications of Trauma in Death of Male Humpback - Preliminary results from the necropsy of a male humpback on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska found signs of hemorrhage, bruising, and a fractured skull - indications of trauma likely caused by a vessel strike.

NOAA Necropsy Team Finds Indications of Trauma in Death of Male Humpback

NOAA Fisheries biologist, Alicia Bishop, during humpback whale necropsy in southeast Alaska.
Photo courtesy NOAA

“Confirmation of cause of death is pending lab results, which won’t be available for at least six months,” said Kate Savage, the lead veterinarian for the necropsy.

Savage and her team of 9 - including a bear guard - were greeted by numerous bald eagles feeding on the whale carcass, but no bears, when they arrived at a beach at Point Young on Admiralty Island early Saturday morning. After a brief squall, the team got to work taking measurements and collecting tissues from the subadult humpback. They collected multiple samples which will be used to determine the cause of the death as well as an ear plug which will be used to age the animal.

Analysis of photos taken of the whale since it was first reported Sunday, May 27 put the timeframe of death within a week before that first report. - More...
Wednesday PM - June 13, 2018

Alaska: New Study Provides the First Comprehensive, Long-term Look at Alaska’s Changing Ecosystems - New research has revealed significant changes to Alaska’s landscape in recent decades. During the past 32 years, about 13 percent of the state -- 67,000 square miles or an area larger than the state of Wisconsin -- has changed, according to a new USGS-led study in collaboration with researchers from academia and other federal agencies.

This is the first study to document more than three decades of land and water changes across Alaska, and it is the first study to quantify the underlying drivers of those changes, which is vital for understanding how these systems may continue to change.

Alaska has experienced glacial retreat, shrub and treeline expansion, wildfires, erosion, pollution disturbances, and other changes over the last 32 years. Most of that change occurred in boreal regions due to the residual effects of fires that are still apparent after 60 years.

To fingerprint the sensitivity of Alaska’s ecosystems to changing environmental conditions and disturbances, the team of researchers combined aerial photography, satellite imagery (e.g. Landsat) and climate data into an integrated modeling framework. As a result, according to lead author Neal Pastick, the study provided the most detailed and comprehensive reconstruction of modern-day landscape transformation in Alaska to date.

Renowned landscape ecologist, Professor A. David McGuire from the University of Alaska Fairbanks – and a co-lead investigator and author of a ground-breaking study in to carbon and greenhouse gas effects on Alaskan ecosystems – believes that this research "…fills a critical gap in the understanding of the historical and potential future trajectories of change not only in Alaska, but in other northern high latitude regions.”

The team discovered that Arctic and boreal landscapes have experienced unprecedented changes in recent decades, a trend that is expected to continue, with significant consequences for natural and man-made systems. Despite a legacy of studies that have documented the heightened sensitivity of northern high latitude regions to change, the characterization and prognosis of that ecosystem change has remained elusive. - More...
Wednesday PM - June 09, 2018


Ketchikan: THS Pat Roppel Scholarship Recipient is Pierce Bateman - The Tongass Historical Society announced the selection of the third recipient of the THS Patricia Roppel Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2016 with the Alaska Community Foundation thanks to generous donations from the Roppel Family, the Eichner family, the Tongass Historical Society, and other generous donors. It was established to honor the memory of Pat Roppel; author, historian, researcher, and two-time recipient of the Alaska Historian of the Year award.

Roppel served the public for over thirty years on boards and commissions of state and nonprofit organizations. She also served on the THS Board of Directors, and made significant donations of objects, information, time and money. She was a supportive member and friend to THS for over 50 years.

The 2018 scholarship recipient is Pierce Bateman. Pierce attends the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His final thesis will focus on the “History of Steamships in Alaska”. He expects to graduate in the spring 2019.
The THS Patricia Roppel Scholarship gives a $5,000 award annually to an undergraduate or graduate student attending an accredited college and majoring in history, especially pursuing the study of Alaska and the North. Special consideration is given to an applicant specializing in Southeast Alaska History, or the history of mining, fisheries, or timber in Alaska. - More...
Wednesday PM - June 13, 2018

Ketchikan & Statewide: CDVSA Awards $18 Million to Support Victims of Domestic, Sexual Violence; Grants will support prevention, victim services, batterers intervention programs across Alaska - The Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) awarded a total of $18.2 million in community grant awards at its 4th Quarter Meeting Tuesday, with $16.4 million going to Community-Based Victims’ Services Grants. The Victims’ Services Grant program provides critical and immediate emergency services, support, and referrals to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, and other violent crimes. The remainder of the funds will support sexual assault and domestic violence prevention efforts, as well as batterers intervention programs statewide.

“Community-Based Victim Services play a critical role in ensuring that Alaskans across the state have access to the care and support they need in the aftermath of trauma,” CDVSA Executive Director L. Diane Casto said after the meeting. “These grantees will assist victims in receiving the services they need, support survivors of domestic and sexual violence as they move forward, and increase community capacity to hold offenders accountable for their crimes. I am excited to see the good work that will be done through these community programs.”

The funding awarded represents a nearly 21% increase over last year, and includes several first-time grant recipients. FY19 grant awards will go to: - More...
Wednesday PM - June 13, 2018




CHRISTINE FLOWERS: Tragic Celebrity Suicides Should Be a Reminder to Listen - When I heard my brother Jonathan had taken his own life, my first thought, unfiltered through the sieve of reason, was: "Why the hell did he do this to me, to my mother, to us?"

When I learned that Kate Spade had taken her own life, my first thought was: "Why did she do that to them?" referring to her husband and 13-year-old daughter.

And when, almost unbelievably, I learned that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide in his hotel room in France, I thought "My God, he had everything to live for! Why?"

Twenty years have not blunted my instincts or reflexes. But unlike the decades it took for me to grapple with my anger and bewilderment at my brother's act, I quickly realized my gross mistake in blaming Spade or Bourdain for "hurting" their loved ones or making it about "fault," and felt ashamed. My friend helped me listen to those better angels in a Facebook post where she observed, "To paraphrase Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck, 'What you don't know about depression is a lot.' "

I'm not a psychologist, and my judgment of human nature has been called absolutist, but even I understand that humans cannot live without hope.Emily Dickinson took her Baccarat crystal words and described it like this:

Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul/And sings the tune without the words/And never stops at all

And sweetest in the gale is heard/And sore must be the storm/That could abash the little Bird/That kept so many warm

Indeed, depression is something that obliterates the ability to see light through the fog.I have never suffered from its heavy gravity, dragging its victim down to a place where reality is seen through a dark veil, even when the rest of the world can only see why he or she should be filled with gratitude for a wonderful life.
- More...
Wednesday PM - June 13, 2018

jpg Political Cartoon: Murderous Excesses

Political Cartoon: Murderous Excesses
By Bill Day ©2018, Tallahassee, FL
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Correction to UPRIVERS Documentary Misrepresentations By Brent Murphy - I am writing to correct the public record about misleading and inaccurate information regarding Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project presented in the UPRIVERS documentary currently being screened in Alaska and British Columbia. Seabridge Gold has also requested the producers and funders of the documentary to retract their misrepresentations.

The documentary’s suggestion that a failure at KSM would destroy the Unuk River and the way of life in Ketchikan is an extreme exaggeration and scare mongering.

The potential impacts to Alaskan waters were carefully evaluated during both the provincial and federal government environmental assessment reviews. In her final decision, the Canadian Minister of the Environment relied on an independent Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency scientific report which stated, “that no significant adverse impacts on water quality, water quantity, fish, or human health are expected on the Alaskan side of the Unuk River.”

The documentary also falsely states Alaskans were not consulted during the mine review process. Seabridge Gold, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency both worked extensively with US Federal and Alaskan State Agencies during the environmental review process. Both the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded Seabridge Gold conducted significant, meaningful engagement with all concerned parties, including Alaskans. The Alaskan regulators concurred by stating: “The participating US federal and state agencies did not identify any outstanding transboundary concerns with the environmental assessment.” - More...
Saturday AM - June 09, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Keep Out Potential Terrorists By Donald Moskowitz - Islamic terrorist bombings in Belgium; Islamic terrorist truck attacks in NYC, France, Germany, and Spain; and attacks in England and the U.S.are indicative of the violent Islamic extremism pervading the world. Muslim attacks on non-Muslims have proliferated in Europe over the years because Europe murdered 6 million Jews and replaced them with 50 million Muslims. European countries should stop absorbing immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa and deport potential terrorists.  

The U.S. should pay attention to the problems in Europe and keep out immigrants from countries that spawn terrorists. Some liberal religious organizations and individuals believe we should show compassion and open our borders to people from the Middle East and North Africa. Hopefully, the courts will uphold Trump's ban on immigrants from the countries which spawn Islamic terrorists. - More...
Saturday AM - June 09, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

BARR vs BEE: ABJECT RACISM vs ABJECT RUDENESS By David G Hanger - I have never watched either of these two programs, but there are very good reasons why the one should be instantly canceled and the other should not. Despite the brunette who went out of her way to glorify herself in explaining her reasons why she will no longer be watching Samantha Bee, there are two fundamental reasons why this is not in any sense justified or, for that matter, even rational.

Equating a successful black woman with a monkey is as repulsively racist as you can get, and there is no excuse for that deplorable behavior. Nor is there forgiveness. Roseanne Barr has been spewing racist crap for a long time on her time, and there is no question she is what she says. She is a white supremacist, and, yes, by definition she is an extreme racist. And she is not, and never has been, really funny at all. - More...
Saturday AM - June 09, 2018

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