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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 30, 2010

Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT

Ketchikan Hatchery: Black Bears Fishing
After this photo was taken, mother bear lost one of her cubs in a hatchery tank at the Ketchikan Hatchery. Mama bear was bawling something fierce says the photographer. After a couple of minutes, mother bear managed to get her cub out of the tank as her second cub looks on. Every one observing the rescue of the cub clapped after mother bear saved her cub.
To see a photo of the cub rescue, click here.
Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT


Ketchikan: Grant Funding Puts Lifesaving Equipment at the Port of Ketchikan and in KPD Cruisers - As part of The Alaska Code Blue Project, the Ketchikan Fire Department has been awarded a grant from Southeast Region Emergency Medical Services "SEREMS" that will place two (2) Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) on the Port-of-Ketchikan and three (3) AEDs in Ketchikan Police Department vehicles. One additional AED, with more advanced features, will be placed in a Ketchikan Fire Department Incident Management vehicle.

Grant Funding Puts Lifesaving Equipment at the Port of Ketchikan and in KPD Cruisers -

Police Chief Ed Talik (3rd from Left), Nick Burns, Natalie White, Terry Roberts, and Mike Moyer brief the media Thursday on the Code Blue project.
Photo courtesy KFD

The cost of the AEDs was about $10,000, with the USDA picking up 55%, the State of Alaska contributing $2000, and the remainder being paid by the city of Ketchikan Fire Department, about $2,500. - More...
Friday - July 30, 2010

Fish Factor: Alaska's most dangerous fishery isn't Bering Sea crabbing By LAINE WELCH - Surprise! It turns out that salmon fishing is the most dangerous fishery in Alaska and crabbing in the Bering Sea is the safest.

That is just one of the findings of a new report by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, which tracked U.S. fishing deaths from 2000 through 2009. The report is the first ever to explore how hazards and risk factors differ among fisheries and locations.

Some findings: During 2000-2009, 504 commercial fishing deaths occurred in the United States The Alaska region had the highest number of deaths at 133 (26%), followed by the Northeast at 124(25%), the Gulf of Mexico at 116 (23%), West Coast at 83 (16%), and the Mid- and South Atlantic (41, 8%). A total of 491 (97%) of those killed were male, with an average age of 41 years (range: 10--86 years).

Of the total number of deaths, 261 (52%) occurred after a vessel disaster, 155 occurred when a person fell overboard (31%), and 51 (10%) resulted from an injury onboard. The remaining 37 deaths occurred while diving or on shore. Among the 155 fishermen who died from falling overboard, none was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

The 261 deaths that resulted from a vessel disaster occurred in 148 separate incidents. Of these, 37 (28%) were initiated by flooding, 24 (18%) by vessel instability, and 23 (18%) by being struck by a large wave. Severe weather conditions contributed to 61% of the 148 fatal vessel disasters. - More...
Friday - July 30, 2010

Southeast Alaska: Necropsy to be performed on deceased whale discovered on bow of cruise ship - Wednesday morning at about 8 a.m., Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess discovered a whale on top of the ship's bulbous bow, the part of the bow that goes through the water. The Sapphire Princess, enroute from Ketchikan to Juneau, was south of Juneau near Tracy Arm at the time the whale was discovered.

Necropsy to be performed on deceased whale discovered on bow of cruise ship

Necropsy to be performed on deceased whale discovered on bow of cruise ship. NOAA officials say from photos, the whale appears to be a juvenile humpback.
Photo courtesy NOAA

The Sapphire Princess notified the U.S. Coast Guard, who contacted NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau. Both the Coast Guard and NOAA's enforcement and protected resources divisions responded to the incident. - More...
Friday - July 30, 2010

Alaska: 2010 ALASKA FARM FAMILY OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED - The Pyrah Family of Palmer has been selected the 2010 Farm Family of the Year by the Alaska agricultural community. The Palmer family will be honored at the Alaska State Fair Board of Director's reception on opening day of the Fair, Thursday August 26th, 2010.

Ted and Katie Pyrah began farming 277-acres in the shadow of Pioneer Peak in 1979. They originally ran the farm for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The LDS Church discontinued the farm in 1988 and the Pyrahs began leasing the farmland. They continued to operate under the U-Pick model used at the LDS farm, and though they've tried other ways of selling produce, they now sell their 30 varieties of vegetables strictly through U-Pick.

As the Pyrah's five children grew, each left to attend college out of state, because their father, himself having earned several degrees, stressed the importance of education. Eventually, three of the five children returned. In 2007, Ted and Katie left the farm to go to Kirtland, Ohio for a year and a half to serve as missionaries for the LDS church. Their daughter Janet and her husband Joe stepped up to keep the business afloat. Later, their youngest son Lucas came to join his sister and work as a farm mechanic. Since then, the Pyrah parents have returned and the family decided to run the farm as a big group.

In addition to U-Pick vegetables, the Pyrahs also grow sod, hay, and are experimenting with trees. "We do what we can to diversify as technology evolves," Janet Dinwiddie said. - More...
Friday - July 30, 2010


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Unplugged! - The most horrendous thing happened to me other night.

In fact, I am still so appalled by it that I can barely calm myself to type this. It was truly awful and I was left completely unable to cope with the shock of it.

I went to log onto FACEBOOK and it wouldn't let me. It was undergoing "site maintenance" and suggested I try back in a "few hours."

It was like finding yourself adrift in the North Pacific, thousands of miles from Nowhere, without a hope of rescue. Talk about "isolation."

I was stunned. Since "joining" FACEBOOK a few months ago, I have never been "off" for even a few hours.

Naturally, I frantically emailed a friend.

"Have you ever been off FACEBOOK?"

"Absolutely not," she fingered back, a short time later, acting as though I had asked her an absurd question like "had she ever voted for a Democrat."

"Neither have I," I replied.

And that is absolutely true. I swear it on the bible of the mother of Dustin Moskovitz.

I have spent, on average 17.6 hours a day posting, reposting, replying to posting, replying to reposting and replying to replying. The other 6.4 hours, I sleep, but I leave my FACEBOOK screen on just in case someone else is reposting to my replying. (and yes, I sleep in my chair at my desk in front of my computer, why waste time go back and forth to a bed, that is so 20th Century!)

There is absolutely nothing else that I do any day other than FACEBOOK. I mean, really, what else matters?

In fact, I have been so absorbed with FACEBOOK that I can't even remember what it was like to not spend 17.6 hours a day in concert with my fellow "BOOK people."

You could just as soon ask me what it felt like to be born as what my life was like before FB. I kid you not. I don't remember. WTH! OMG!

Natch, I immediately began to overflow with the "chat" that endlessly burbles up inside me and demands FACEBOOK as its outlet. Without my "connection" I had no way to "share" it.

Would I swell up like character in Willy Wonka that turns into a giant blueberry? Would I have to be put inside a giant social network juicer? Or worse, sign on to MySpace?

Who could I brag to about how clean my house was or how I was whipping up chateaubriand for a lite snack?

Who could I immediately share the coolest new link of singing and dancing platypuses with? - More...
Friday - July 30, 2010


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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696.

letterThe Whitecliff factor By Rodney Dial - Mr. Thompson, I agree with your letter and share your frustration with the way the Whitecliff project has progressed. Here is my take on the issue as I see it over the last several years: - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterStill want to know... Still no Answers. By Marilyn Blair - It's nice to see that a shareholder would take all that time to go to Cape Fox Corporation (CFC) and research years of archives to learn so much about my time with CFC and things that transpired during my time as a board member of Cape Fox. But, Eric, you give one board member way too much credit! You make it seem as if I brought all those proposals to the board when I didn't. LOL! Sorry, just couldn't help but find it all so humorous. Really, IF I was so powerful, believe me, all Cape Fox Shareholders would be rich right now! - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letter Service Ketchikan with USCIS Office By Jose S Garcia - It is lamentable to note that Legitimate Permanent Residents (LPRs) takes the cudgel in spending their own money to go to Juneau to avail of the applications for US Citizenship (N400). - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterAmnesty won't work: Secure our borders By Clarence E. Hill - Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterRE: Drainage (and the purpose of government); and bear stuff too By Vanessa Nowland - I bet if SitNews had a "like" button similar to Facebook's there would be a lot of "thumbs up" for Mr. Hofeling's opinion letter. I recall getting the exact same response from the city when we lived on Ketchikan Lakes Road. It wasn't until my husband fell on the glacier that covered our road, injuring his ribs and the ambulance almost took out a utility pole trying to get to us that they started paying any attention. - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterThankful By Joey Tillson - A while ago, I posted a letter on SitNews stressing the importance of community and how this is my home. The many events over the course of a year have put many of us all in stressful, hurtful times. But I will tell you and stress it again, what I love about this town is the sense of community you will NOT find anywhere else. No matter what walk of life each of us has stumbled into, we are still community. - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterSkate Park By Connie Williams - Is the Borough experiencing the same song and dance about a skate park as it did in 1997-1998? Lots of folks, talking to assembly members and parks and recreation staff about the importance of supporting the youth and giving them something to do. Government officials were hearing it in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. The problem I saw was you had many folks in favor of the project, but in reality, only a few, by comparison actually utilized the facility for what it was intended. - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterSitNews By Lou Ann Richardson - I just wanted to send out a couple thank you's. First to Sitnews editor Mary Kauffman for her dedication and committment to keeping Sitnews current and relevant. Thank you Mary, we know it's often challenging. Second, to the various photographers who take the time to find those special moments in this grand place and then share them with all of us here on Sitnews. I always look forward to seeing what the front page has in store from day to day. - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterRE: Bailey Bay Hot Springs By Linda Beaupre - In regards to Bailey Bay Hot Springs, my husband and I tried to hike up to the hot springs last summer. Unfortunately the trail we found was in a sorry state of disrepair. The rope crossing the creek was frayed and loose (and dangerous!) and a large landslide had taken out the entire trail right after the waterfall, ending our journey since we had no way of circumventing the landslide. Large parts of the trail was nothing more than mud pits. - More...
Saturday - July 31, 2010

letterBack to old tricks. By Glen Thompson - I haven't written Sitnews in a while but the issue is simply too important to let slip by. When I was elected to the Assembly, the Borough finances were in shambles. We had less than $1 million in General Fund reserves, we had a Schoenbar project that was in serious trouble and under water by several million dollars. Thank heaven we had a Land Trust Fund with a few million savings in it that we could borrow to fill the gap. Had the Legislature not come through and reimbursed us to the tune of $6 million, we would be in a fine pickle still! Our mill rate was approaching 7 and we were having trouble funding basic services and schools. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterDrainage (and the purpose of government) By Dustin Hofeling - Living in a rain forest, drainage is a problem we all have to face sooner or later. I live on Deer Mountain Court, which is a road that has been forever plagued by drainage problems. I plan to put to fix the drainage issue on my property - what home owner wouldn't want to do this? But it will do no good unless the city fixes the drainage issue on the street that they built and paved. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterBailey Bay Hot Springs Should Remain Public By Mike Sallee - Many of the people in the Ketchikan area have enjoyed Bailey Bay Hot Springs - known to some as Shelokum Hot Springs.  It is a picturesque and remote hot springs nestled next to excellent trout fishing on Lake Shelokum, just north of Bell Island Hot Springs. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterWhat Happened to our SkatePark? By Bobbie McCreary - Monday night I appeared in front of the Borough Assembly during public comments. I passed out a letter from Taira Wilhelm (Kayhi grad 2008) along with the recent Sitnews letters. I explained I would take only a little of their time as this was a special meeting to address the White Cliff building. I explained that day as I left the Youth Center building project on Park Avenue and drove up Schoenbar towards the bypass I passed by Walker Field. I looked at the fenced lot with a truck and a few pieces of miscellaneous equipment in it and said (out loud, actually!) WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OUR SKATEPARK? - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterSupport Bill Walker for Governor By Radford, Harrington, Fultz, Carson, Radford, Bakk, Cooke - We listened to gubernatorial candidate Samuels on the radio this week. Ralph talked about the decline of oil output, which provides 90% of our State income, but we didn't hear any plan to replenish this lost revenue. He would like to see more oil drilling in Alaska. Wouldn't we all, but does anyone seriously think we can count on that to pay for our State government in the near future? He mentioned cutting State spending, but we are talking about 90% of our income disappearing! He supports a natural gas bullet line which he says will provide cheap energy to Alaskans, but the figures all show that a gasline carrying only the small amount Alaskans would use would be far too expensive to provide low cost fuel. Also, there are no permits, rights of way or environmental studies done for a bullet line, which puts construction ten years in the future. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterAlaska Lifeline: Walker for Governor By Barb Lander - Reality Check! Think oil and gas issued aren t important to us in SE Alaska? Oil production is approaching a critical low that will mark the end of the pipelines viability. No oil flowing through the pipeline no oil revenue. The massive cuts in services AND new taxes needed to keep this vast state even barely functioning are staggering. Alaskan life as we know it is about over! - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterFaces of the Sea By Judith Green - We in South East communities are used to artists giving us photos, drawings, paintings, and writings based on the culture of this great land. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterJapanese Knotweed By Jane Collins - I have had this awful weed behind my shoe shop here in Northampton, UK for the last 4-5 years if not longer. It will NOT go away, despite everything I try to do. We are now using a powerful chemical that my husband uses on his farm to see if does the trick so it is just a matter of waiting to see the result. - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letterJapanese Knotweed Removal By Samantha Quinn - I was reading the letters regarding the Japanese knotweed problem some are having and found this information on Wikipedia.com on it's removal. I hope this helps! - More...
Wednesday - July 28, 2010

letter RE: Cape Fox Corp. Lack of Respect for Shareholders By Eric Trout - TO CAPE FOX SHAREHOLDERS: Marilyn Blair's letter is just another attempt to twist the issues while protecting her real personal interests. We all know there are two types of politicians, the ones who tell the truth and fight for what's right, the other politicians who twist the issues to benefit their own personal interests. Marilyn has been in the Cape Fox Board room for over 15 years I would say she has a history and experience in twisting issues. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterWater Street Sidewalks By Chris Elliott - We have a one-way tunnel with a road going the other way around it. Now we have parallel sidewalks on Water Street. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterSkateboard Park By Norm Noggle - I would like to second Vicky's suggestion to develop a skateboard park in Ketchikan. I agree that the existing half pipe at the rec center is very limited in developing skateboard riding skills. I would suggest that if there are a solid number of kids who want a qulaity skateboard park, then they need to organize (with adult assistance) and begin identifying the assets and barriers involved in the development of such a site. Some of the concerns that need to be addressed include: - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterRe: Skate Park By Keith Woodard - Although I haven't really followed the skate park issue, I can sympathize with you Vicky. I know what it was like growing up as a bored teenager in this town with seemingly little to do. And I'm really saddened that as much community spirit this town has and as much as people would like to help the youth here, there still hasn't been a new skate park built among other things. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterRE: Skate park By Lexie Jones - I'm a 24-year-old who thinks we shouldn't always be looking for handouts! - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterDoing Business without insurance By Terry Miles - Recently, I took my motorcycle, that happens to be a custom chopper into a local "Detail" shop here in the Ketchikan area, to have it cleaned and detailed. The bike is worth about $75k... it's a custom.  - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterConcerned about Japanese Knotweed By Melinda Stewart - Browsing Sitnews this morning I saw the letter posted on Rotary Beach. Reading the description and looking at pictures online of knotweed, it is EXACTLY what I have growing in my yard!! - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letter Goodbye, Don & Lois Kralis By Bill Sullivan - I was saddened to read of the passing of Don and Lois Kralis. They will be missed. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

letterAdhere To Immigration Laws By Donald A. Moskowitz - The federal government, working with the border states, should provide the personnel and resources to secure our borders. - More...
Monday - July 26, 2010

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