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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 01, 2011

Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Herring Cove: Mother & Cubs
Safety is primary when photographing bears.
A telephoto lens providing long -focus was utilized.
Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

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Alaska: Court Voids Alaska Statute to Protect First Amendment Rights; Holds Restrictions on Internet Speech Violate Constitution - Holding that an Alaska criminal statute threatened to reduce all speech on the Internet “to only what is fit for children,” the Federal District Court in Anchorage permanently barred enforcement of a statute because it violates First Amendment rights of free speech.

In a lawsuit brought by Alaska booksellers, libraries, a photographer, and other First Amendment and media organizations, Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline held that Senate Bill 222, which could have made anyone who operates a website criminally liable for posting material deemed “harmful to minors,” would have chilled free speech. “There are no reasonable technological means that enable a speaker on the Internet to ascertain the actual age of persons who access their communications,” the Court held. “Individuals who fear the possibility of a minor receiving speech intended for an adult may refrain from exercising their right to free speech at all – an unacceptable result.”

“The Judge recognized the clear violation of the First Amendment rights of all citizens posed by this overbroad statute,” said Michael Bamberger of SNR Denton US LLP, General Counsel to Media Coalition and lead counsel for plaintiffs. “Plaintiffs agree with the Court that other Alaska laws already address the important interest in protecting children.” - More...
Friday - July 01, 2011

Ketchikan: Home fire likely caused by fire works – Early Thursday morning, South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department received a report of a structure fire with two occupants trapped inside. The 911 call was received by central dispatch at 1:24 pm.

The first units arrived on the scene at 1:31 pm. Captain Scott Jackson assumed incident command and formed a plan for rescue. At 1:37 pm Captain Jackson had determined no occupants were trapped inside the structure and efforts were then directed towards an offensive fire attack. The fire was brought under control at approximately 2:00 pm and extinguished at 2:21 pm.

Mutual aid from the Ketchikan Fire Department and North Tongass Volunteer Fire department was requested early in the call. Chief Share and four firefighters from the Ketchikan Fire Department along with Chief Hull and nine firefighters from the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department also responded.

One individual on the scene was assessed in the ambulance by the EMT's for smoke inhalation. Transport to the hospital was refused. - More...
Friday - July 01, 2011

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man competes for title “Fittest on Earth” By ROCKY ELERDING - For the past three years Bo Meredith has been spending his lunch hour doing an intense and constantly varied workout program known as CrossFit. This workout regime is not for the faint of heart. One of the workouts includes a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 squats, followed by a 1 mile run, for time.

Ketchikan Man competes for title “Fittest on Earth”

Bo Meredith was in 35th place in the Northwest Region. This earned him the honor of competing in the 2011 CrossFit Games Northwest Regionals.

In May of this year Meredith competed in the the inaugural Reebok CrossFit Games Open. The Open was the first of its kind, a truly open competition. Anyone, anywhere could compete. Athletes could compete at any place of their choosing, even from home, so long as they provided video-taped evidence of their performance.

The ground-breaking, Internet powered format of the Open proved to be compelling. In the end, nearly 27,000 individual athletes completed six grueling workouts in their local gyms, making the Open one of the largest sporting events ever held. Only the top 60 athletes in each region were invited to the Regional competition held in June.

After completing the Open, Bo was in 35th place in the Northwest Region. This earned him the honor of competing in the 2011 CrossFit Games Northwest Regionals.

The regional competition was held at the Puyallup Fair Grounds in Washington state. For three days the best of the best from WA, OR, ID, AK, MT, and WY shed blood sweat and a few tears for the opportunity to advance to the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson California at the Home Depot Center. - More...
Friday - July 01, 2011

Fish Factor: Health and abundance of salmon rated as a top concern By LAINE WELCH - Alaskans have a strong personal connection to salmon and believe the iconic fish is essential to the Alaskan way of life and the state’s economy. Furthermore, they rate the health and abundance of salmon as a top concern on par with the federal budget deficit, and even higher than concerns about jobs.

Those are the primary results of a new survey of 500 Alaska voters done by Public Opinion Strategies for the Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy. (The survey also conducted additional interviews to reach 200 respondents in the Mat-Su Valley and 200 in the Southeast Alaska regions.)

According to an executive summary, the strong connection to salmon extends across all ages, ethnicity, demographic and partisan sub-groups, with Native Alaskans and voters in Southeast showing the strongest personal connections on multiple questions.

In the survey, 96 percent of Alaskans said salmon are essential to the Alaskan way of life, and 97 percent said salmon are an important part of the Alaska economy.  Statewide, 89 percent said that even in tough economic times, it is important to maintain funding for salmon conservation.  Four of every five Alaskans polled said they are personally concerned about the health and abundance of salmon in Alaska. - More...
Friday - July 01, 2011

Alaska: Attorney General Issues Statement on Polar Bear Listing - The District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. The court denied the environmental groups’ motion that the listing was insufficient and the bear should have been listed as endangered. Alaska and others had moved to set aside the threatened listing because it was based on speculative forecasts of habitat loss, and not the species current numbers, which are at an all-time high. The court upheld the USFWS’s conclusion that “there is simply no information in the Administrative Record to suggest that the species has experienced significant population declines or severe retractions in its range such that it is currently on the brink of extinction or that it faced a sudden or calamitous threat.”  

“While the State is disappointed the polar bear remains listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the State believes the court was correct in rejecting the environmental groups’  claim that the polar bear should be listed as endangered,” said Attorney General John Burns. “However, given the current health of the species the State continues to believe that it is inappropriate to list this species at this time.” - More...
Friday - July 01, 2011



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Front Page Archives
Letter Archives
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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

Update in Progress

letter Energy Questions and Solutions By Sam Bergeron - We have an energy problem here in Ketchikan. We have spiraling fuel oil costs, coupled with an electrical grid that is maxed out for inexpensive hydro-electric generation. We need to act now to reverse the demand we now place on our electrical grid by using alternate technologies and learn to use our resources wisely. - More...
Wednesday - June 29, 2011

letter Conserve Electricity and Weatherize Your Home By Sam Bergeron - We have a shortage of inexpensive hydroelectric power. All of us need to conserve electricity and do our part to keep the diesel generators idol and stave off the dreaded rate increases talked about at the Ketchikan City Council chambers. Here's what you as an individual can do and save yourselves some money in the process. - More...
Wednesday - June 29, 2011

letter Rally Around The Flag By Donald A. Moskowitz - Once again, I am compelled to address the desecration of our flag by those who do not comprehend the meaning of the U.S. flag.  Our flag is the symbol of freedom and democracy in this country, and around the world.  It epitomizes what our military personnel defend and rally around.  It is sacred and must not be desecrated. - More...
Wednesday - June 29, 2011

letter Roads, Trees and State Rights By A. M. Johnson- Reading the articles regarding Governor Parnell's filing suit against the Tongass Roadless Rule and the accompanying story regarding the suit to address the denial of the road extension out of Juneau, brings to mind that both are fodder for the discussion on States Rights. - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2011

letter Re: Propaganda By Ed Brown - In his own Sitnews' description, Florian Sever is a long-time union and environmental activist. He was a pulp mill worker at Sitka's Alaska Pulp Corporation, and was fired by APC for testifying before Congress, in favor of the Tongass Timber Reform Act. Also check out Sealaska Shareholders underground on Face Book (more rants there too). - More...
Wednesday - June 22, 2011

letter There is still time to save Coastal Management - Reps. Beth Kerttula and Berta Gardner - We were disappointed when the House adjourned the recent Special Session three days early, failing by one vote to accept compromise language saving the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP).  Sadly, the program was caught up in the larger House-Senate fight over the capital budget, and instead of taking the extra time to resolve it, the House simply gaveled out. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011 

letter Governor Palin Email Extravaganza; What Was Old is New Again By Tara Jollie - The infamous Sarah Palin emails have come and gone.  There was no exciting fodder for scandal like the Corrupt Bastards Club of years the past, no juicy gossip like last year’s love caucus affair.  It was a rather anticlimactic event; big news day though!  How weird is that? - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter RE: the 400 By Richard Easbey - Oh goodie... another unhinged rant from David Hanger! It's such a target-rich environment one hardly knows where to begin. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter Rebuild the fish count By Kami Myles - As a child Clay and I fished the rocks around Clover pass resort. We were fishing buddies and never was there a day when we didn't cast our line into the water and catch some kind of fish. Those are some of my fondest memories as of my childhood. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter PROPAGANDA By Florian Sever - In the June 15th SitNews commentary by Sealaska’s Rosita Worl, she raised many interesting points about the proposed Sealaska Lands Bill, and what it means. - More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter ANCSA resolution By Vernon Grant - I support the views of Rosita Worls plight for resolution on the ANCSA,that what was promised be settled on the premesis of respect for the native peoples of Alaska.After all we the native people have been a role model for the founding fathers of our country to adopt as a way in which too govern our country.Now isnt making promises too any one given body an act of Cruel And Unusual Punishment? That of which was said too be one of the main 10 amendments made to the constitution in 1791..... More...
Monday - June 20, 2011

letter Southeast Alaska’s Native people wait 40 years for return of their land By Rosita Worl - Over-regulation and anti-Native bias seem to touch every aspect of life for Native peoples in Southeast Alaska, from how our people make teddy bears to whether the U.S. will keep its promise to restore 85,000 acres of our homelands to us. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Fisheries science is more complex than opponents of Sealaska land bill say By Douglas Martin - Restoring nearly 85,000 acres of Tongass National Forest land to the Sealaska Corporation, in accordance with the 40-year-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, won’t damage salmon runs. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Sealaska Bill a Can of Worms By Rebecca Knight - Jaeleen Araujo, Sealaska vice-president and general counsel recently denied in a Juneau Empire op-ed piece that the other 11 regional corporations could use their proposed legislation as precedent to reopen land claims in Alaska. Sealaska is “perplexed” that this remains an issue. However, her comments in various public forums tell a different story. - More...
Wednesday - June 15, 2011

letter Pellet Boilers? Pellet Heat? Public Buildings? Your Home? You Betcha By Samuel Bergeron - The design team on the public library wanted about $80,000 to do a feasibility study on the viability of biomass wood pellet heat. That's like doing feasibility study on using propane heat or electricity. Biomass wood pellet heat is an established technology that has been in use in major metropolitan cities throughout the world for over 30 years with a stellar track record of clean burning emissions, low cost fuel, and great systems reliability. You don't need a feasibility study to see if this is a proven technology, just do the math. - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter Section 17(b) of ANCSA & Public Access By Florian Sever - I want to clear up a claim that Sealaska representatives always make when they address the issue of public acess, regarding public the 3,600 acres of prime anchorages, sockeye streams, cabin sites, and camping areas they want to make under the guise of Cultural, Sacred, Enterprise and other classifications, under the terms of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s, S. 730 “The Sealsaka Lands Bill”.- More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter Property Tax increase amount By Marty West - The Ketchikan Daily News was wrong. The increase was 0.1 mills ($10 per $100,000 of assessed property Value) not 1.0 mills ($100 per $100,000 as reported). - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

letter KPU By Joey Garcia - I admire KPU's repair technicians in our verbal calls, mostly from residents of the Tongass Towers Condominium, because of tilling, loss of power if you subscribe to three services like telephone, Internet and cable. - More...
Monday - June 13, 2011

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