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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 06, 2009

Ketchikan Celebrates 4th of July
Front page photo by JIM LEWIS


Ketchikan: Tongass National Forest Engaging the Social Media - The Tongass National Forest launched a "Special Update" section on the Tongass web site late last week, with specific and updated information pertaining to the Logjam timber sale.

Leveraging their information with the Internet, the Tongass and many other national forests are entering social networking platforms as a means of direct access to the varied groups, visitors, and individuals with an interest in the management and recreational opportunities available on the Tongass. The Tongass has developed several social networking profiles and accounts, through which the nation's largest national forest will distibute and discuss facts and truths about the Tongass that seem to be continually dropped from most of the news reports, discussions on other web sites, and in blogs and discussion boards.

Tongass Public Affairs Officer Phil Sammon explained that the emerging opportunities in social networking provide direct access to a wider range of audiences, groups, and visitors. - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009

Southeast Alaska: Salmon Passage Project Restoration Brings Jobs to Rural Southeast Alaska - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced the Klawock River Salmon Passage and Habitat Restoration project will receive support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding pays for the construction of a fish passage structure through the causeway on the Klawock River estuary and restores estuarine habitat on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island while creating employment for 22 people.

The project is a partnership between The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, the Klawock Watershed Council, Alaska Department of Transportation, Ducks Unlimited, Alaska Trollers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs $992,062 to the Klawock River project.

"Restoring salmon passage is vital work in Alaska. The local economy depends on healthy salmon runs, and salmon need access to high quality habitat," said Rob Bosworth, who directs the Conservancy's restoration programs in Alaska's Tongass region. "A history of productive partnerships is once again proving successful in restoring habitat and providing jobs for rural communities."

This project restores fish passage between the Klawock River and its estuary. This allows out-migrating juvenile fish to access 460 acres of eelgrass habitat and allows adult salmon to reach more than 65 miles of stream and lake habitat. A central feature of the estuarine habitat restoration is the placement of a concrete fish passage structure beneath a causeway along the Craig to Klawock highway on Prince of Wales Island. Normal tidal flow at this location will resume, creating improved conditions for wild salmon. - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009

Front page photo by JIM LEWIS

Ketchikan's Fireworks
Front page photo by JIM LEWIS

Fish Factor: Trip Limits? Safety laws looming? & Real glimpse of the fishing life By LAINE WELCH - Salmon fishermen at Bristol Bay were bracing for another surge of reds over the July 4 weekend - and likely more trip limits.

The peak of the sockeye run is on its way, said Susie Jenkins on Friday. Jenkins is a "company liaison" at the ADF&G office in Dillingham, where she is in daily contact with fishermen and processors.

"It's hard to pinpoint exactly when they'll be here, but the big push of the run is yet to come," she said.

The second pulse of fish gives processing crews barely enough time to catch their breath after last week's huge haul of 10 million reds, taken throughout the Bay in about three days. The major processing companies were unable to handle the plug of fish, and on June 28 they put fishermen on catch limits, the earliest date ever; some suspended buying altogether.

"What a way to start off the season - on trip limits," scoffed a lifelong Bay fisherman who asked to remain anonymous. "And it looks like we'll end the season on limits too."

The first run of sockeye salmon arrived several days early and seemed to catch some processors off guard, Jenkins concedes, plus "all the bays were hitting at the same time, so they were getting it from all sides."

But that's no excuse, Jenkins bluntly asserts, pointing to the availability of information and daily communications between managers, processors and fishing fleets.

"The fishermen are angry. All winter long we've been told the processors have the capacity to handle large runs. The fishermen have been told they are going to work hard to keep them off limits and bring more tenders into the bay. This is the sixth season in a row that they've gone on limits, and they've been caught unprepared. - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009

Alaska: Cross-border PNWER council to facilitate Alaska's gas pipeline - Alaska Senate Energy Chair Lesil McGuire today said her first priority as president of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), will be jump-starting a Northern Pipeline Coordinating Council (NPCC), to research and help resolve cross-border route, regulatory, workforce and supply issues that could slow construction of the Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline.

McGuire will accept the economic region president's gavel at PNWER's Summit 2009 scheduled July 12-16 at the Boise, Idaho Convention Centre.

A first agenda item at the Idaho conference will be organizing NPCC goals and resources and defining priorities, immediate and long-term.

The NPCC organizational conference will include briefings on the competing gasline proposals presented by Tony Palmer, vice president of Alaska development for the TransCanada project with ExxonMobil; and Bob Bleaney, general manager-Denali Canada for the Denali Alaska Gasline project proposed by ConocoPhillips and BP.

"The mission of the Northern Pipeline Coordinating Council is not to promote the Exxon-TransCanada gasline project, or the Denali Alaska Gas Pipeline proposed by Conoco-Phillips and BP," McGuire said.

"The mission of the Northern Pipeline Coordinating Council is specific: to identify resources and reduce red tape -- not to be another layer of bureaucracy." - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009

Front Page Photo Courtesy SABRA LICHTY-MUZZANA

The Greater Ketchikan 2009 Parade
Best Theme Interpretation: Angie Taggart
Best Overall : Angie Taggart
Front Page Photo Courtesy SABRA LICHTY-MUZZANA

The Greater Ketchikan 2009 4th of July Parade results are as follows:

Best Theme Interpretation:
Angie Taggart
Most Creative :
Ketchikan Tea Party Patriots
Most Patriotic:
297th MP, CO Alaska Army National Guard
Best Performance:
USDA Forest Service
Most Entertaining:
Ketchikan Kruzers Car Club
Best Appearance:
Ketchikan Schools Dance Team
Best Overall : Angie Taggart

Please check back for Duck Race Results.


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: A Young Man For All Seasons - For the past two weeks, I have been walking around as though I have been hit in the stomach with a baseball bat.

I suppose that is appropriate because the first time I remember noticing Pat Doherty, he and his little friends were scuffling around Walker Field about 10 years ago, playing catch and trying to clock each other with their aluminum bats.

I was up there to "get sound" for a radio report on KRBD on the opening of the Little League season. They were making plenty of "noise" for my recorder.

I noticed that the short guy seemed to be the ringleader of all the chaos and later I found out he was Doherty, the "active" older son of one of my favorite news sources in
the local fishing community, Phil Doherty.

Just as Phil was always in the center of the endless, swirling debate over the local commercial fishing industry, his son was frequently the center of much swirling activity in a variety of areas. Baseball was just one of them.

A couple of years later, the "short guy" took up an instrument and started playing in the school and the McPherson bands.

His busy sports schedule (soccer, baseball, swimming) didn't jibe with my schedule for private music lessons, so I sort of watched from the sidelines as he - as he seemed to do in all aspects of his life - developed into a pretty good musician.

Eventually, I had the pleasure of playing with him in various bands as he got older.

In general, he wasn't much for asking a lot of questions or bending my ear, so I knew that if he did ask a question he was serious about figuring something out. - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009

DAN K. THOMASSON: Who can blame Sarah Palin? - Whatever else one may think about Sarah Palin, she obviously is a fascinating person. The absolute proof of that is the attention she receives from a media that has been obsessed with her one way or another since she burst onto the stage as John McCain's unlikely running mate, enlivening the debate and bringing her own down-home perspective to a national political scene too long dominated from inside the Washington beltway.

Probably no vice presidential candidate in history, certainly not after losing, has received as much attention or faced as much derision, some of which seems to be based on fear that she might actually charm enough people to become president of the United States. Saints preserve us!

Her chances of ever occupying the Oval Office seem pretty thin at the moment if one believes the conventional wisdom that resigning the governorship of Alaska with 18 months left on her first term makes the odds pretty long for a successful national effort. Well, that is, after all, the conventional wisdom, based on traditional thinking that wouldn't have given her a hoot in hell's chance of ever making it to a national ticket in the first place.

In fact the move that startled everyone over the Fourth of July weekend may just put her and her lively family in a far better position to expand her national support base than if she were trying to do so from Juneau or Wasilla or some icy Iditarod trail near Nome. But even if her decision marks the beginning of the end of a flash in the pan career, it has been refreshingly fun and certainly never dull. - More...
Monday - July 06, 2009


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Basic Rules

If you submit a letter and it is not published, please contact
The SitNews' mailbox is not receiving some letters.

letterRe: Speech and Public Policy By Hunter Davis - I agree absolutely with Mr. Claus, thoroughly, completely, and joyously with your identification of some of the fantastic freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. - More...
Friday - July 03, 2009

letterThey got my $50 too! By Lynn Stewart - Yes, I too had the same frustrating experience. I was loading two kids, 5 bags into the airport. The young attendant came running inside to tell me that I was about to be ticketed. He knew who I was because I had made several trips into the building already, dragging kids back and forth (can't leave the kids behind). I rushed out to my car, got in and started the engine, the police car rushed up ahead of me and blocked my car (as if I could get away). He got out and came back to my window to inform me I was being ticketed. I tried to ask what my options were given my situation and I was told that was not his problem. I had left my vehicle "unattended" and that was that. - More...
Friday - July 03, 2009

letterMark Sanford By John Suter - Across America people are up in arms about South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford having sex with some woman from Argentina. That's not so bad. - More...
Friday - July 03, 2009

letterRight to speak freely to influence public policy By Bob Claus - I would like to take this occasion, the 233rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, to honor the courage and sacrifice of our forefathers and to salute the servicemen and women currently fighting on foreign fields for our freedom. - More...
Tuesday - June 30, 2009

letterWow, did you Catch the Wave? By George Miller - A picture on the front page of The Daily News offered a glimpse of what happened Monday June 29th , here in Ketchikan. - More...
Tuesday - June 30, 2009

letterSpend, Spend, Spend By Samuel Bergeron - The majority of elected officials on the City Council and Borough Assembly seem to be thinking of more ways to indenture the fewer and fewer taxing units (that's you and me), while at the same time exporting our economy to outside contractors and vendors. The recent construction contracts for Berths 3 and 4, and the design of the Way-finding signs are just a few examples of this process. - More...
Saturday - June 27, 2009

letter Health care bill unworkable, unaffordable By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our health care system. As a member of the Senate committee considering comprehensive health care reform legislation, I am committed to working with both my Republican and Democratic colleagues. - More...
Saturday - June 27, 2009

letter Is Oceans Alaska going to put you and me out of business while using our tax dollars? By Rob Holston - John Sund indicates that Oceans Alaska will depend on revenue from the visitor industry their first year of operation by selling shore excursions i.e. tours of the aquarium facility to 122,000 tourists! This number will increase to 150,000 visitors per summer season according to the Oceans Alaska business plan. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterRe: Out of Sight By Frances H. Field - Ms. Price is not the only one who has had an issue with airport parking tickets at Ketchikan airport. On June 23rd at approximately 7:15 PM I was on an outgoing plane with 6 heavy bags, a car seat, a 2 year old, and I am 5 months pregnant. My 65 year old mother, pulled up to the loading zone right in front of the revolving doors to allow me to move the bags and my daughter through the doors and then she was going to go park in short term. My mother came out of the car to assist me after my 2 year old tripped and nearly got smashed in the revolving door. My mother got my daughter through the door and immediately returned to her car to find an officer writing her a $50 ticket. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterUAS Ketchikan By Cameron Taylor - During high school, I never had any interest in going to college after graduating. It was at the end of my senior year that I decided last minute to attend UAS Ketchikan. I still believe that it was the best decision that I have made. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterReporting NNN By Heather Williams - Thank you to the Browns for their honest assessment of the "progressive" NNN (No News News), as I have been calling it for the last several years. I can get opinions anywhere but would LOVE to sit and watch a newscast which is FACTUAL in regard to ALL world news. - More...
Friday - June 26, 2009

letterKetchikan Pool Bond Vote By Doug Barry - Recent letters about K-town's bond proposal for a new pool caught my eye. Mr. Bylund's view seems extremely shortsided given the maritime location, industries and recreational activities that define the region. Dave Kiffer's letter has a more pragmatic angle and reminded me of my early years growing up in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letterThe Mayor and Pool By Rodney Dial - I wasn't going to get into the pool drama until the Mayor (Kiffer) lambasted Mr. Bylund in the matter of what is important to this community. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter Out of sight By Laurie Price - I arrived at Ketchikan airport on the afternoon flight with my twenty month old grandson. Dropped my carry on bag with a friend who was also waiting for the luggage to arrive, and went to get my car which was parked in long term parking. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter From Bias to Adoration. By Tina Terry - Thanks for the Browns' excellent article, "From Bias to Adoration..." I, too, continue to marvel at the continuing breathtaking idiocy of the media's "useful idiots," which relentlessly keeps expanding instead of contracting. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letterGas For The U.S. By Donald A. Moskowitz - I want to commend Governor Palin and her fellow Alaskans for passing The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which set the stage for Trans Canada and ExxonMobil to enter into an agreement for the construction of a natural gas pipeline. - More...
Monday - June 22, 2009

letter DNA Testing By Peter Bolling - Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Alaska's policy of not granting post-conviction DNA testing to inmates even if they are willing to pay for the tests. This is not a victory for Alaska or Alaskans.- More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

letter Re: Ketchikan Pool Bond Vote by Ken Bylund - Damage control? Obfuscation and angry mud slinging instead of apologizing for poor ethics when you discussed hiding the truth about how the pool bond would be paid, you actually considered telling the residents, it will be covered by a 1/2 cent recreational sales tax. Want the borough attorney to run for Mayor! Okay, how much, and for how long... no more dodging the truth, provide detailed numbers to the voters on this capital issue. - More...
Friday - June 19, 2009

letter Re: Ketchikan Pool Bond Vote By Dave Kiffer - I'm glad that Mr. Bylund considers himself an expert on the "general welfare" of this community. But either he wasn't here in the 1960s when I was growing up or he wasn't paying attention. - More...
Thursday - June 18, 2009

letterKake: Have your forest and eat it too? By Sarah Campen - Whether it's fish, game, serenity, or jobs, properly managed forests in Southeast Alaska can provide us what we need on many levels. In communities like Kake, struggling against high unemployment and high costs of living, meeting local needs with local resources just makes sense. That's exactly what Kake residents and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council proposed through the Kake Community Alternative to the upcoming Central Kupreanof timer sale. - More...
Thursday - June 18, 2009

letter KETCHIKAN POOL BOND VOTE by Ken Bylund - Thanking Mr. Damstedt, for Wednesday's, June 17th article in the Ketchikan Daily News titled, 'Pool bond vote moves forward'. If anyone missed it, more recommended reading! In the end, it appears everyone in the borough will be paying for a $23.5 million bond [loan] for the next thirty years. The cost [for us] will be $23,500,000 [23.5 million] + 15% contingency [~$3,500,000] -- double this in interest, ~ fifty million USD [$50,000,000] for a swimming pool that roughly 500 people out of the entire population of our borough... will enjoy. How does this meet any standard of providing for the general welfare of the community? - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letterLetting the public know By Eileen Small - I realize that the last Tea Party event came up rather suddenly and thus it was difficult to get any advance news coverage. Those of us involved in the Tea Party Patriot Move didn't want to be guilty of this error a second time. - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letterBoys & Girls Club By Chris Corrao - The Boys & Girls Club is now open with its new summer hours. The Club is open Monday - Thursday 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM at 645 Jackson Street (the National Guard Armory). - More...
Wednesday - June 17, 2009

letter THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO COME FORWARD TO SUPPORT OUR YOUTH. By Roberta "Bobbie" McCreary - A very BIG thank you to the following people WITHOUT WHICH we would not have had a really cool YOUTH ART AUCTION that earned nearly $1000 for our young artists. - More...
Monday PM - June 15, 2009

letterTHANK YOU! TO OUR COMMUNITY FROM THE HOT SHOTS PAINTBALL GROUP By Roberta "Bobbie" McCreary - WE cannot say enough to thank those who come forward to help our youth programs succeed. Last month, we benefitted from over a $1,000 of product and services donated to provide wood chips to make the paintball field safe for players. Thank you to Mike Stewart (First City Wood Haulers) and Wade King Trucking who showed up at 7am on a Sunday morning to deliver 14 loads of wood chips to the field. And to Merril Stulkin who brought his equipment out to the field and spread the chips. - More...
Monday PM - June 15, 2009

letterRegarding More AK Airlines Fees By LeiLani Lake - It may sound good Ms. Steiner to say that another airline coming to Ketchikan would resolve our airfare and additional luggage fee problems but it won't. Alaska Airlines is only one of many airlines that now charge to your first bag. Actually I believe it was American Airlines that started this trend. - More...
Monday PM - June 12, 2009

letterAn Educated and Experienced Description of the Life cycle of a Dungeness Crab* or Why They Should Not Be Fished in the Summer By Larry Painter - When I first came to S. E. Alaska in the late 60's we pot fished Dungeness Crab and Spot Prawns all year 'round. There was no closed season for either like there was for Salmon that I seined only in the summer and fall with openings regulated by Fish and Game. As I gained experience I noticed that Dungeness Crab started showing soft shells around late February. Through the summer they all go through a soft shell stage. Around September to October they are hard shelled and full of meat. At this time they are in prime condition! That's the time to start fishing! - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterLogjam By Elaine Price - You need to hear and understand the story of two little boys in Coffman Cove. These two little boys are supported by a logger, a "faller" to be exact. His paychecks earned from the timber industry work he does provides for these two little boys and their mother.

These two little boys are vitally important to the future of Coffman Cove, to the future of the school here, and to the infrastructure, other jobs, and many businesses across Prince of Wales Island. How can two little boys from Coffman Cove be that important to a regional economy? - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterSuislaw Forest By Michael Moyer - My comment is directed to Don Borders and all that may believe that just because the forests of Washington and Oregon have vegetation on the hills that all is well in the woods there. Not so. When my Great Grandfather worked in the woods of Washington they didn't use trucks to haul the logs out, they built railroads. They cut everything. They choked the creeks and dredged the rivers, dammed them up and then blew the dams so the logs would flood downstream. They messed up the hills and rivers so bad that even today the fish haven't come back and the original river channels are far from what they used to be. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterMore AK Airlines Fees By Julie Steiner - It's not bad enough that Alaska Airlines increases their fares for flying to an astronomical price, that they now have to charge each person a fee to take their bags with them? Effective July 15th, they are going to charge EVERYONE a fee of $15 for the first checked bag. And the fee for each additional bag keeps increasing. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letter Akasofu's predictions By John Ziraldo - Thank you for publishing the article about Syun-Ichi Akasofu's predictions. The continuing lies by the IPCC about climate change, and the political will of the far left to use these lies to impoverish us makes it very critical that articles like these get published. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterTraffic, Ferries and Bridges, Oh My! By Marshall H. Massengale - I have been a regular SitNews visitor and Ketchikan watcher for the past nearly two years and have read any number of articles, comments, editorials, opinions, letters, and official documents concerning many of the borough's frequently discussed and debated transportation issues. These issues have included the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" debacle, vehicle traffic congestion, slow drivers, fast drivers, parking, ferry boats in and out of repair, and now the latest rant about a paddle wheel boat that kicks up a wake in the Narrows. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

letterCreate Jobs for Americans By Donald A. Moskowitz - A while ago I read that Bill Gates and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were planning on donating a total of $500 million to reduce the incidence of smoking in developing countries, especially China. I haven't seen any recent information on this subject, but I believe they made a commitment to this ridiculous project. - More...
Friday - June 12, 2009

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