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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 06, 2010

Front Page Photo By TERRI BERMUDEZ

Herring Cove: Black Bear
Front Page Photo By TERRI BERMUDEZ


Ketchikan & Southeast Alaska: Proposed Changes to Sealaska Bill Unveiled - Following a dozen town meetings and the review of hundreds of comments and suggestions, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) presented her recommendations for changes in a bill to permit the Sealaska Native Regional Corp. to finalize its ANCSA land selections in Southeast Alaska.

Murkowski is proposing a major rewrite of the bill, removing all lands on northern Prince of Wales Island from possible timber selection to meet the concerns of Port Protection and Point Baker residents. She has reduced harvesting on Koscuisko Island to meet the concerns of Edna Bay residents, and has reduced harvesting by 40 percent at Keete to meet the concerns of some over wildlife impacts of the bill. She also has proposed to add about 150,000 acres of lands into conservation areas to offset impacts from timber development in the southern Tongass National Forest.

Murkowski is proposing to eliminate 17 of 46 proposed "Futures Sites," other land selections for Sealaska to diversify out of timber and mining operations and into ecotourism and renewable energy development, to satisfy local recreation and fishery concerns. And she is proposing to add nearly two dozen amendments to protect continued public access. She is also deleting two provisions that had raised concerns that the bill might somehow affect the definition of Indian Country in Alaska.

"I knew that reaching a consensus on this bill would be exceptionally difficult since every acre in the Tongass is subject to competing demands. Still these revisions to the bill address the vast majority of the concerns expressed by Prince of Wales Island and other Southeast residents. The changes, based on a wide variety of input, addresses the desire of both Point Baker and Port Protection residents and mill operators in Thorne Bay and Klawock to prevent reductions in the private-sector timber base on northern Prince of Wales.

"The bill addresses most of the complaints received about the bill from Sitka, Tenakee, Juneau, Ketchikan and Craig residents about the proposed Future Sites. It meets many of the concerns about the impacts of timber on fisheries by adding twice the acreage that could be impacted by logging into protected areas to guarantee salmon habitat in the future. And it addresses a host of access concerns repeatedly voiced during local town meetings. The revised bill probably won't make everyone totally happy, but it attempts to resolve most of the main complaints," said Murkowski, who continues to welcome comment regarding the proposal. - More...
Tuesday - July 07, 2010

Ketchikan: Engine-2 Returns to Service - The Ketchikan Fire Department announced the "Return to Service" of Fire Engine #2. Engine-2 is one-of-two primary response vehicles for the Ketchikan City Fire Department. Staffed daily by KFD's career personnel. Engine-2 responds to all calls for assistance within the City of Ketchikan with its counterpart, Medic-One.

 Engine-2 Returns to Service

Engine #2 participating in the 2010 Fourth of July Parade
Photo courtesy KFD

Built in 1998, Jim Hill, Fire Chief Ketchikan Fire Department, said Engine-2 was in-need of serious maintenance resulting from its 12 years of continuous service. "It was time to either replace Engine-2 or continue to do expensive maintenance and repairs," said HIll.

Chief Hill said, "After investigating our options and with the current state of the economy, we decided "Refurbishment" was a better option when a comparably equipped New Fire Engine costs about $500,000. The refurbishment plan was chosen and we essentially have a brand new engine for less than half the cost of replacement. The actual cost to the taxpayers was less than $240,000." - More...
Tuesday - July 07, 2010

Alaska: Cruise Industry Lawsuit Dismissed with Prejudice - Attorney General Dan Sullivan announced last Thursday that the Alaska Cruise Association (ACA) has officially terminated its lawsuit against the state's excise tax on cruise ship passengers.

A stipulation filed with the U.S. District Court for Alaska dismisses with prejudice the lawsuit that was filed against the state last September. In a settlement agreement reached between the state and ACA in April, ACA agreed to dismiss its lawsuit if the governor signed into law a bill passed by the Legislature that reduced the commercial passenger excise tax from $46 per passenger to $34.50 and also provided an offset for passenger taxes paid to local governments.

On June 24, Governor Parnell signed into law Senate Bill 312, passed by the Legislature in April, that contained the elements necessary to trigger dismissal of ACA's lawsuit. The stipulation filed today permanently resolves the legal issues.

"The issues in this case were factually and legally complicated, and without this settlement this case could have been tied up in federal court for years to come," Sullivan said. "Beyond that, the tax cut introduced by the governor and enacted by the Legislature should spur economic growth, particularly among small businesses that will benefit from increased tourism traffic." - More...
Tuesday - JUly 06, 2010


Alaska: Court Partially Grants Temporary Restraining Order of "Bail Bill"; Blocks Amendment Alleged Unconstitutional by Defense Lawyers - The Court on July 2nd partially granted a Temporary Restraining Order requested by the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (AkACDL) in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of HB 324, the Governor's "Bail Bill".

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska Foundation (ACLU), attorneys for the AKACDL argued to the court that, as the Alaska Constitution guarantees the right to bail, allowing the Bail Bill to be implemented would have improperly denied Alaskans charged with certain crimes of their liberty, and that such a denial required emergency action.

The court agreed as to a provision mandating exclusion of those accused of domestic violence from homes or places of employment. - More...
Tuesday - July 07, 2010

Ketchikan: 'The Rock' unveiled; 'Sea Beaver and Jewel Raven' unveiling to be rescheduled - Dave Rubin's "The Rock", a monument in bronze, was unveiled on Sunday as scheduled according to Blaine Ashcraft Executive Director of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce.

'The Rock' was designed to honor in life-size 7-figures from Ketchikan's past: Chief Johnson, The Logger; The Fisher, The Miner, The Aviator, A Native Elder woman, and an Elegant Lady. The principle artists were David Rubin, Terry Pyles and Judy Rubin.

However, The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce and the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council received news late last week that the 2 resin piling caps (Sea Beaver and Jewel Raven) created by local artist, Stephen Jackson, would not be completed in time for installation and Sunday's scheduled dedication ceremonies at the entrance to Thomas Basin. - More...
Tuesday - July 06, 2010

Ketchikan: First City Rotary's 22nd Annual Rubber Duck Race Winners Announced - The First City Rotary has announced the Rotary Rubber Duck Race Winners for the 2010 race. The winners are:

1st Place with ticket # 3596 Mike Gates 23. ($2,500.00)
2nd Place with ticket #1707 Dennis Olsen 24. ( $1,500.00)
3rd Place with ticket # 2832 Amy Russell 25. ($1,000.00) - More....
Tuesday - July 06, 2010

Ketchikan: Free Sleep Disorders Presentation - Dr. David Morison, board-certified sleep disorder physician from the PeaceHealth Medical Group in Bellingham, WA, will make a free presentation on sleep disorders. The presentation will be Wednesday, July 7th, 6-7 p.m. in the Ketchikan General Hospital Education annex located on the second floor of the Plaza Mall, above the Wells Fargo bank.

Dr. Morison will discuss: - More...
Tuesday - July 06, 2010


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letterTongass Tribe Land - Ketchikan By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - We are the lineal descendants of the Taan ta Kwaan means Sealion People or known as Tongass Tribe (hereinafter the "Tongass Tribe" or "Tribe"), a traditional and historical Alaskan Native Tribe in Ketchikan indisputably recognized by all Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes in Southeast Alaska. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letterKetchikan's Rock Pit Library By Robert D. Warner - Some of us are rather tired of hearing about "Ketchikan's harassed public librarians." The last time I checked, many of them have been feeding quite heartily at the public trough. We are also tired of the continuing effort to hide our public library in an unsightly rock pit removed from the center of Ketchikan. This is both frustrating and discouraging. Why doesn't Ketchikan Public Library have professional leadership and courage to stop this misguided effort? It is fortunate that several folks like Mr. Bergeron are willing to speak out on this important issue. Shouldn't we be pleased that the public library would remain at the hub of a city center as it has for over 100 years? Why would we want to hide it at a unsightly rock pit? - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letterThe Ten Top Reasons to Put the Library in the Rock Pit at Copper Ridge By Patrick Jirschele - Number Ten: The librarians won't have to waste time waking up the bums because the drilling and blasting will make it impossible to sleep. That's right, it is an active rock pit! Look out for flying rocks. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letterLibrary By Tom LeCompte - As much as I would've liked to see a gorgeous new library sitting on top of the hill downtown, it has been explained to me by KJ Harris that one of the main reasons to not have it there is the limited access and maneuvering room for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. That is the best explanation for not using that spot. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letterRotary Beach By MJ Cadle - I was at Rotary Beach yesterday and noticed what I believe is Japanese knotweed beginning to take hold. For those of you who know knotweed, you know what a terrible thing this will be. For those of you who don t, think plants with large leaves that grow 15 feet high in one year and are so densely packed even grass finds it hard to grow between. There is an excellent example of what they are capable of doing as you go north around the sharp corner just before the first Sunset Drive turnoff. That dense growth on the right side is knotweed and only knotweed. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letter I Oughta Be In Pictures By Daylene Currier - I just finished Dave Kiffer's article. Thanks! I really needed that laugh! I think I need to go back through my pictures now to see how many have been graced by your presence! - More...
Tuesday PM - July 06, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Suzan Thompson - An inaccessible rock pit? Would that be the one with the broad paved two-lane road sweeping past it? As opposed to an inaccessible cliff top requiring construction of an extremely expensive elevator, the realigning of two steep, narrow streets, and the elimination of the parking which local jurors depend on to keep from being loaded with overtime parking tickets as they do their civic duty down at the bottom of the hill? And that so that we can provide tourists with access to our library? - More...
Wednesday - June 30, 2010

letterPlace it here, or place it there! By Joseph T. Craig - Everyone has their idea of where the new library, fire station, museum , or other buildings should be placed. I would like to inject my thoughts as well. - More...
Wednesday - June 30, 2010

letterBorough loans By Angelo L. Martin - No , No , No. Have you not learned from past history? I was a Borough Assembly member when the mill closed and when we got the 25 million dollars as the economic disaster fund. I voted to give loans to the bowel factory, Veneer plant, etc. Only one word describes it -- DISASTER!! - More...
Wednesday - June 30, 2010

letterThank You By Ben Hastings - I am the father of a handicapped young lady that every one in Ketchikan knows - Lizzy. We just came from the dedication of Opportunity House on Caralina and I was totally impressed. - More...
Wednesday - June 30, 2010

letterNo Friend of the Taxpayers By Sam Bergeron - The City Council is no friend of Ketchikan's taxpayers. - More...
Monday PM - jUne 28, 2010

letterBill Walker for Governor By Andy Rauwolf - Bill Walker is the only candidate with a plan and the know how to bring low cost energy to every corner of the state. This is the crucial element that will allow our businesses to grow and develop. With a thriving economy and continued revenues from an in-state gas pipeline flowing into the state coffers Alaska will be a model for the rest of the nation, and our children will finally have a future right here instead of being forced to seek jobs elsewhere. - More...
Monday PM - June 28, 2010

letterS. 881: Sealaska Bill By Bob Claus - Last week, the U.S. Senate Energy Committee passed 26 bills out of the committee. Senate Bill 881, the Sealaska Bill, was not in this big group of lands bills. - More...
Monday PM - JUne 28, 2010

letterOil Spill Compensation Act of 2010 By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - We're entering the third month of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the 22nd year since the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef. In the Gulf of Mexico, as much as 3 million barrels of crude have already spilled from the blown-out well, and in Prince William Sound there is still oil hiding under rocky beaches. - More...
Thursday - June 24, 2010

letterKetchikan Gateway Borough economic loan proposal. By A.M.Johnson - After reading the economic loan proposal on an Economical Development Loan program on the borough website, I am convinced that the concept of the borough staff and Assembly being in a decision position to loan money is not a healthy concept. - More...
Thursday - JUne 24, 2010

letterThe Case for Burying S 881 By Alan Stein - Two of America's most open and transparent Senators are on a campaign to keep legislation they wrote and cosponsered behind closed doors. - More...
Thursday - June 24, 2010

letterBill Walker has the plan By Ann Graham Radford - We recently attended the funeral of Governor Wally Hickel. It was a wonderful tribute to a great Alaskan. Wally loved Ketchikan and we returned the affection - we were the only District in Alaska where Wally won every election he ever entered, even the write-in! - More...
Thursday - June 24, 2010

letterProposal to purchase property for Fire Station 7 By Ed Fry - In response to both Chief Hull and Mr. Dial, the questions that were asked were on target and appropriate; thank you Mr. Dial for calling the questions. - More...
Monday - June 21, 2010

letterBill Walker has an Alaskan Plan! By Barb Lander - Bill Walker, Republican gubernatorial candidate deserves your consideration. He is a lifelong Alaskan that like most real Alaskans has a broad and varied background. Most recently he has worked as a lawyer focusing primarily on oil and gas issues, but he has also done construction, worked as a laborer building the pipeline and had a stint commercial fishing. - More...
Monday - June 21, 2010

letterCity improvements By Casey Eberle - First of all let me say, that yes I am a new resident of Ketchikan. It seems that many in this town feel that unless you have been here for an extended period of time you aren't a "local", but I am here for the long haul, and there are several things about this town that I have noticed. - More...
Monday - June 21, 2010

letterS 881 By Judy Magnuson - We are still waiting to see the new revised S 881 bill, hopefully we will have enough time to adequately assess the new impacts of this legislation on the communities of Southeast. From what we have heard so far I feel that the new bill will not be any different than the last one, places will have been moved around effecting different communities more and others less, but the main objections to this bill will remain the same. Sealaska will still be given millions of dollars of infrastructure paid for at the taxpayers expense, in essence a bail -out of a private corporation by the taxpayers because of their own failure to properly utilize the land they were originally given. The second growth alone cost the taxpayers $10 million in thinning on the 20,721 acres of young growth, plus costs of roads, log transfer facilities, bridges, decades of maintenance, costs of planning, studies, loss of 184 acres with established long term research plots, and loss of 7,359 Geological Special Areas. - More...
Monday - June 21, 2010

letterProposal to purchase property for Fire Station 7 By Dave Hull - In reference to Mr. Rodney Dial's questions regarding the proposal to purchase property for Fire Station 7, he asks that I answer questions he poses in his letter to the editor. For the record, these are excellent questions that I am sure are being asked by many. I encourage others to call, write or stop by and talk. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letterLet Everyone Vote By Penny Hamlin Connelly - I have been a townie pretty much my whole life, taking for granted being able to vote on all issues concerning the city and the borough. Imagine my surprise when I moved out North a few years ago, went to vote, and discovered part of my election ballot was missing. I went into total Ketchikan Culture Shock. "What do you mean I don't get to vote on city issues?" Took me awhile to get over it, but I did. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letterLibrary By Mark Johnson - The Library has served us very well since it started way back when in 1901 now it's time for us to serve it well and build the new building. Now we'll get much of it paid for with matching funds that we will lose at the rate we are going and that is not going to get us anything. The current building is too small so moving to a new site is the only real option. The downtown site that was the main street school has been rejected twice already. There are problems with all the sites we could have a library on, not one of them is perfect and no place we choose to build can be, but we have a site picked and money in the bank as well as plans in the works. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letterS.881: Same Pig, Different Sunglasses and Wig By Sandy Powers - The proposed revisions of the rehashed Sealaska bill S.881 reflect but little difference from previous versions. Some of the selections of the high-value roaded timber got switched with other selections of high-value roaded timber. Parts of north POW were spared immediate impact but Edna Bay, Hollis, Thorne Bay and other areas were hit as hard or harder in return. Some brand new areas were added, such as two tidal energy sites and two geothermal sites. A hydroelectric site is still proposed for Josephine Lake. 190,000 acres of additional LUD-II style lockups on Kuiu, Prince of Wales, Kosciusko, Kupreanof and a couple other islands recommended by staffers, and no doubt SEACC are thrown in for good measure. How ironic - the very groups and politicians who call for transparency and public involvement now eagerly override those guiding principles when it serves their own personal interests. The revision claims new protection for karst, but the Forest Plan already identifies and protects karst. This politically motivated bill hatched up behind closed doors only panders to the special interests of a private corporation and foundation-funded green groups. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letter Re: Tax Payers Revelation By Peggy Green - I think Don Borders makes perfect sense in his article regarding the Library, and other Government offices. I too think that the Borough offices should utilize the Ward Cove property. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letter Federal Government Unprepared for Disasters By Donald A. Moskowitz - Our federal government under two administrations has dropped the ball with a major regional problem and unfortunately the Gulf oil spill debacle succeeded the hurricane Katrina debacle in the same region of the country. Where are FEMA and other government agencies when these problems occur? - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

letter Re: A letter to North Tongass residents By Daylene Currier - I applaud Rodney Dial's ambition and his open-mindedness to this issue. So many people argue about what is right and wrong, and of course, theirs is the only opinion that ever matters. - More...
Thursday PM - June 17, 2010

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