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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 12, 2011

Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA

Ketchikan's Fireworks
A view of Saturday's July fireworks from Deer Mountain's summit.
Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA


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Southeast Alaska:
Ancient Haida Canoe Found Near Kasaan - An ancient, partially carved Haida canoe has been found on forested land owned by the Sealaska Corporation near the Organized Village of Kasaan on Prince of Wales Island.

A surveyor working for Sealaska Timber Corporation (STC) spotted the 33-foot-11-inch canoe last winter under a heavy layer of moss. Steps were taken immediately by STC to protect the area from the scheduled selective harvest in order for a full investigation to take place. After the spring snowmelt, Sealaska leaders and tribal members from Kasaan visited the canoe and observed that at least five cedars at the site had been hand-harvested using traditional, non-commercial tools.

“Other abandoned canoes have been found in Southeast Alaska, but it is rare to find canoes crafted with traditional tools,” said Dr. Rosita Worl, president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Daniel Monteith, an anthropology professor at the University of Alaska Southeast, surveyed the site for Sealaska. Evidence was found, Worl said, that traditional tools, rather than modern saws, were used to cut the trees and hollow the canoe. The carving of the canoe was nearly complete, but it had not yet been steamed, a process used to give the craft its final shape. Another log that apparently split when it was harvested also lies at the site, and segments of its wood appear to have been salvaged for other uses.

Worl said the canoe could be partially dated by a known historical fact - that the present-day Village of Kasaan was founded in 1900, at which time tribal members had access to commercial tools. And STC President and CEO Wade Zammit said that the cedar forest that has grown up around the canoe site is around 500 years old.

Clarence Jackson, a Sealaska board member and chairman of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Council of Traditional Scholars, said, “The Sealaska Board of Directors views this Haida canoe as a tangible tie to Haida ancestors, who made this canoe and who left their footprints on the land.”

Discovery of the canoe reinforces Sealaska’s decision to include historic and sacred sites as part of its land legislation (H.R.1408 and S.730) that is now before Congress.

“We believe sites like this one will be better protected and preserved under Alaska Native ownership,” Worl said.

For now Sealaska is keeping the canoe site private and secure. The Organized Village of Kasaan will make decisions about the care and use of the canoe and site. - More...
Tuesday - July 12, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Kake Man Sentenced To Six Months Imprisonment For Illegally Trafficking In Sea Otters – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a Sitka man was sentenced in Ketchikan, Alaska to six months in imprison for illegally selling two tanned sea otter pelts to an undercover officer in violation of the Lacey Act.

On July 8, 2011, Michael E. Smith, 36, a resident of Sitka, Alaska. was sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh. Upon completion of his sentence, Smith will serve one year of supervised release. While on supervised release, Smith cannot hunt, or in any way participate in the take, sale or manufacture of marine mammals or marine mammal products. Smith must also forfeit the firearm used in connection with the offense.

According to court documents, Smith, an Alaska Native, who was employed at the Sitka Tribal Tannery, illegally sold two whole sea otter pelts to an undercover agent for $800, in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The tanned pelts were then shipped outside of Alaska to the undercover agent in violation of the Lacey Act. - More...
Tuesday - July 12, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Haines Man Sentenced In Federal Court For Importing Ecstacy Into The United States - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a Haines man was sentenced in federal court in Juneau to 16 months of home confinement for his conviction of unlawful importation of a controlled substance.

On July 8, 2011, Dennim Craig Hagwood, 19, a resident of Haines, Alaska, was sentenced by United States District Judge Timothy M. Burgess. Hagwood must also perform 750 hours of community service and five years of probation for his conviction.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, the defendant, on November 9, 2010, imported 802 pills of Ecstacy, otherwise known as MDMA, from Canada into the United States via the Dalton Port of Entry outside of Haines, Alaska. Hagwood was arrested by border agents at the time of the offense. Hagwood has been detained since that time. - More...
Tuesday - July 12, 2011

Alaska: Scientists Say Brown Bear was Ancestor of Polar Bears - An international team of scientists has discovered that the female ancestor of all living polar bears was a brown bear that lived in the vicinity of present-day Britain and Ireland just prior to the peak of the last ice age -- 20,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Scientists Say Brown Bear was Ancestor of Polar Bears

An international team of scientists has discovered that the female ancestor of all living polar bears was a brown bear that lived in the vicinity of present-day Britain and Ireland just prior to the peak of the last ice age -- 20,000 to 50,000 years ago. Photo Credit: Daniel J. Cox

Beth Shapiro, the Shaffer Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State University and one of the team's leaders, explained that climate changes affecting the North Atlantic ice sheet probably gave rise to periodic overlaps in bear habitats. These overlaps then led to hybridization, or interbreeding -- an event that caused maternal DNA from brown bears to be introduced into polar bears. The research, which is led by Shapiro and Daniel Bradley of Trinity College Dublin, is expected to help guide future conservation efforts for polar bears, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The results of the study was published on July 7, 2011 in the journal Current Biology.

Polar and brown bears are vastly different species in terms of body size, skin and coat color, fur type, tooth structure, and many other physical features. Behaviorally, they are also quite distinct: Polar bears are expert swimmers that have adapted to a highly specialized, arctic lifestyle, while brown bears -- a species that includes Grizzlies and Kodiaks -- are climbers that prefer the mountain forests, wilderness regions, and river valleys of Europe, Asia, and North America. "Despite these differences, we know that the two species have interbred opportunistically and probably on many occasions during the last 100,000 years," Shapiro said. "Most importantly, previous research has indicated that the brown bear contributed genetic material to the polar bear's mitochondrial lineage -- the maternal part of the genome, or the DNA that is passed exclusively from mothers to offspring. But, until now, it was unclear just when modern polar bears acquired their mitochondrial genome in its present form." - More...
Tuesday - July 12, 2011



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter "Home-Ruin" Government By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the move to Unify (cancel) consolidate (cancel) Home Rule the Ketchikan Gateway Borough: If you voted for Unification or Consolidation, then you will really want Home Rule. This is an end run to achieve the goal of Unification/ Consolidation. If you were opposed to Unification or Consolidation and voted against, you will not be happy with a Home Rule Borough. Even with the assurances that there no authority to propose a move towards the two offerings. Bet me!! - More...
Monday - July 11, 2011

letter Just Imagine By Tara Jollie - The nation’s June jobs report listed national unemployment at 9.2% with an estimate of 16.2% as the more realistic rate measure of American joblessness.  It went on to say the private sector created 18,000 new jobs in June; not nearly enough to claim a viable recovery from the recent recession.  I hate to be insensitive to the nation’s unemployed, but imagine a 9%, or even 16%, unemployment rate in rural Alaska.  We would be dancing in the streets. - More...
Monday - July 11, 2011

letter Ketchikan & Chloramine Disinfection By Susan K. Pickford - It is my understanding that Ketchikan will be converting to a chloramine disinfection system in the public drinking water.  I am the director of The Chloramine Information Center in Pennsylvania. I have been corresponding with Thomas and Kristine Bellanich, customers in your water district and submit this letter together with them.  I would ask that you consider this letter and the information attached to this email in educating your readers as to whether it is prudent to proceed with Chloramine in your water system.  I sent a similar letter to the mayor, council and water company manager prior to the July 7th meeting. - More...
Monday - July 11, 2011

letter Snow zones and parking lines By Patti Fay Hickox - First the Snow Zones signs went up and no one knew why? When I hear the snow plows on Grant St. I park at Main St. School parking. This summer the yellow lines at the end of the street (Grant @ Bawden) were extended 2 and 1 car lengths. So two of the best parking spots in the winter are gone. The white crosses in the road for regular resident parking were made smaller. So the big vehicle's bumpers are left over the new lines. Leaving less parking on my street. - More...
Thursday - July 07, 2011

letterREVISITING “TRASH TOUR 2005, REVILLA ROAD” By Jerry Cegelske - This year the high school students contributed to the community by collecting over 20,000 pounds of trash in Ketchikan.  The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Naushon helped to clean the breakwater along the Tongass Narrows, while the Electronics Support Detachment worked to clean up areas along North Tongass.  A lady organized a cleanup of Rotary Beach, collecting over 400 pounds of trash, litter, and the nails from burned pallets.  Other people organized and participated in their own local cleanup activities.  Keep Alaska Beautiful organized the high school cleanup for the second year and is now working to clean up Gravina Island and Nichols Passage.  The Borough is working on removing boats and trash from Gravina, Pennock Island and the Tongass Narrows. - More...
Tuesday - July 05, 2011

letter Hydaburg School By Frances C. Natkong - I am very distressed about what has happened the last three years at our school in Hydaburg! The past CEO could care less what happened at the school as long as he got paid his big money and the same goes for the "lady boss" at the school. They were paid very well with most of the school board members' blessings and now they want our children to fund raise! Fund raise for sports, and other extra curricular activites, oh my! - More...
Tuesday - July 05, 2011

letterEnergy 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

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