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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 29, 2011

Photograph by JACY PIERSON

Up A Tree: POW Black Bear Cubs
Photograph by JACY PIERSON


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New Replacement Totems To Be Raised - The City of Saxman, Alaska will be raising two 13-foot tall bear totem poles in Totem Row Park on August 6th at 1pm. The poles are replacements for two older Bear Entrance Poles on Totem Row Park’s Frog Wall, which have reached the end of their lifecycle.  New replacement poles will be hand-raised in the traditional fashion. The dedication event will also feature song, dance, oratory, and refreshments. 

Carver Donnie Varnell will be present, along with a range of exciting guest speakers, who will recall the history and significance of Saxman’s Totem Row Park.

Totem Row Park was constructed in the 1930s through a federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project.  Totem poles were collected from abandoned Tlingit communities such as Cape Fox and Tongass, then transported by boat to Saxman, where they were restored or recarved in the community's waterfront ANB hall.  In addition to preserving traditional artwork, the CCC project helped facilitate the transfer of carving and restoration skills to a new generation of Saxman residents.  

The completed poles were placed in a new public park in Saxman, where they would be visible to passengers traveling on ferry routes.  The US Forest Service transferred ownership of Totem Row Park to the City of Saxman in 1961.  Since that time, the City has worked to maintain the park as a regional cultural/historic attraction.  - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

Alaska: WOOD MACKENZIE STUDY SHOWS AN ALL-ALASKA GASLINE PROJECT COULD GENERATE UPWARDS OF $400 BILLION IN REVENUES TO THE STATE; Superior Economics of Large-Volume Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez Proven by Analysis – The Alaska Gasline Port Authority (AGPA) released the results of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project Comparison Study performed by global energy analysts Wood Mackenzie. The study, released Wednesday, compared the economics of the large-volume All-Alaska Gasline/LNG project to Valdez - which runs parallel to TAPS, with a spur line to Southcentral Alaska—with nine other LNG projects being advanced or under construction in Australia, Western Canada, and the Lower 48. 

The report concluded that due to Alaska’s competitive advantage and strong price forecasts for the Asian energy markets, the All-Alaska Gasline could generate State revenues of $3 billion the first year, increasing annually to $5 billion in Year 5 and up to  $24 billion in Year 30. Wood Mackenzie estimates the project could generate between $75 to $419 billion in total State revenues over a 30-year life. Currently, the State of Alaska receives approximately $5 billion annually from oil revenues.

 “The economics for LNG from Valdez are superior to the comparable projects,” AGPA General Counsel Bill Walker said. “This independent, objective analysis proves what Alaskans need to know:  while oil has historically been the driver of State revenues, it is our natural gas that can propel Alaska into economic prosperity and provide low-cost energy for our homes and businesses throughout the State, not just the population centers.” - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Celebration of Prince of Wales Watershed Restoration Planned – The U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and partners are gearing up to celebrate the completion of a critical watershed restoration project on Prince of Wales Island.

The project, known as the Harris River Restoration Project, is an important large-scale effort by a broad-based partnership of local organizations and stakeholders, state and federal agencies, and conservation groups.

The seven-plus-year project includes more than 11 miles of stream restoration; eight miles of road work to improve fish passage and reduce erosion; over 400 acres of tree thinning for habitat improvement; and extensive trail and recreation enhancements.

Primarily a fish habitat improvement project, the years-long work also created excellent recreation opportunities for the public. These include improved fishing for salmon, dolly varden, and steelhead trout; picnic sites along stream gravel bars; and a half-mile trail with signs detailing the habitat restoration process. The new Harris River trail system also includes the three-mile Harris River Trail, which leads from the Hollis Highway to the Hydaburg Highway and crosses over streams and small bridges to numerous fishing holes. - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

Southeast Alaska: SEARHC, Hoonah mourn death of Chuck Luck and his wife – The recent crash of a Cessna 182 near Eaglecrest Ski area was closely followed by SEARHC believing that the pilot was their Hoonah Health Center employee, Charles W. “Chuck” Luck.  Mr. Luck and his wife, Liping Tang-Luck, were on board the plane when it crashed. Both were on their way from Hoonah to Juneau and were not heard from after they checked in with the Juneau tower.

Chuck started working for SEARHC in Hoonah in June of this year. He was 77 years old and had 11 years experience as a physician assistant in Alaska.

“Chuck was not here long, but it was obvious he and the community were a good fit because he was patient and compassionate and got along well with those he provided care for,” said Jeff Chelmo, PA-C, SEARHC Hoonah Health Center. “He loved fishing, but was not so fond of the bears. Chuck had a smile for everyone and he will be missed as both a medical provider and a member of the community. I will miss him as a friend.” - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

Alaska Science: Sea ice study goes beyond the numbers By NED ROZELL - In places where the air gets cold enough to freeze seawater, sea ice creates a world known by few people - a shifting, ephemeral, both jagged and smooth platform of white that clings to the shore for much of the year. In Barrow, people who hunt whales start packing down snowmachine trails over this blue-white dreamscape in March. The trails allow a few dozen crews to pursue and hopefully winch home a few bowhead whales in April and May.

Sea ice study goes beyond the numbers

Matt Druckenmiller, right, and his research advisor Hajo Eicken, a professor of Geophysics, on an ice floe near Barrow.
Photo by Daniel Pringle.

Like most college students, Matt Druckenmiller did not know much about sea ice when he began his degree program. But now he has walked and snowmachined whaler’s trails to the ice edge near Barrow, earning a doctorate and getting to know people who harvest bowhead whales along the way. - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Cats 2, Bathroom Doors 0 - The score is now Clever Kittens 2, Kiffer/Glover family 0.

You would think we would have learned our lesson seven years ago when our brand new tiny male kitten locked himself in the bathroom.

We didn’t.

You see we have this problem with one of our downstairs bathrooms. The door opens inward and right next to the door are the drawers for the bathroom vanity. If the one of the drawers is left open the door can’t swing open.

I know what you are thinking, but the yes the hardware is also on the inside of the door, so you can’t just de-hinge the danged thing to get in, either.

Someone must have really treasured their privacy when they built that one. Even if you remove the door knob you still can’t get in.

Anyway, it’s not usually a problem. If you are inside the bathroom and you open the drawers you can obviously close them again when you want to get out. Even I can eventually figure that one out.

If you are outside the door – well then you can’t open the drawers so there is no problem, right?

Except when cats are involved. - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011



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

letter The real reason By Rodney Dial - A.M. Johnson’s letter regarding how a borough change to a home-rule government will lead to consolidation is my concern as well.  I have spent my free time over the last few weeks trying to determine the “real reason” some elected officials are pushing to change our form of government.- More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter TEA PARTY Extremists?by Ken Bylund - Hello? TEA PARTY extremists... the same crowd who predicted this moment way ahead of them short-sighted monkeys in Washington who said... naw, everything's fine... we've got this; and the News Media, busy marginalizing Abe Lincoln's, 'for the people, of the people, by the people?' The rational few at the bottom of this pyramid scheme, the citizens who feed this money stream under penalty of imprisonment... have been told that they are extremists for questioning a government that has taken us to the brink. How far or how close is this Oligarchy... from Fascism? - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter The Federal Budget Feasco! By James Dornblaser - I do not pretend to understand the whole of the US budget, but I understand when I am charged MASS, LARGE, GROSS more in taxes than the benefits I receive. To fuel my distaste for the bureaucrat & make me consider siding with the Tea Party, the media depicts Social Security as an "entitlement". - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter Nation's Debt Crisis By Kimberly Peters - I watched the President's speech on Raising the Deficit Ceiling. What's the problem? Why can't the House and the Senate just realize that we are in serious trouble here and we need to cut spending now! - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter Looking Ahead, Looking Back By Jan Bush and Ann James - As the Prince of Wales Island Marathon Committee starts meeting once again to plan the island’s May 2012 marathon, it is important that we look back and acknowledge those organizations that made the 2011 marathon such a wonderful success.  Many race improvements were realized because of the generous support of the organizations listed below.  - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter Deaths on the Road Marc Luiken & Joe Masters - Over the past seven days there have been six traffic deaths on the Kenai Peninsula. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those involved. Their lives will never be the same. As Commissioners, we receive death notifications which informs us of the basics of every traffic crash in Alaska. It is especially heartbreaking when a small child has died. This is a part of our job that we will never get used to. - More...
Friday - July 29, 2011

letter Snagging in the derby By Eric Tyson - In reply to Mr. Skidmore. You are misinformed sir. Snagging is allowed in the derby. The official rules state "Entries must be caught according to Alaska Sport fishing regulations." Alaska sport fishing regulations allow snagging. I have also been informed that at least one fish on the derby ladder was snagged, and he also received another prize for that fish. - More...
Wednesday - July 27, 2011

letter Diabolical Deficit Ceiling issues By A. M. Johnson - The current time is 11:00 AM local 7/26/11. I have just attempted to connect to Senator Lisa Murkowski's, Senator Begich's, and Representative Don Young's offices to send the following letter regarding the pending negotiation on the Debt Ceiling issue. Access is denied at this time. To what this denial is chargeable I have no idea. Either is it a planned "System Failure" due to the nature of the issue, or the system has been over loaded by public submission such as my own. - More...
Wednesday - July 27, 2011

letter Large structures By Paul Jarvi - Thank your lucky stars Mr. Harris that the Alaska Ship and Dry Dock Company is doing business in our town. I am sorry for the obstruction of your view because of the new buliding. I am over joyed with the jobs that the new building is and will generate in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - July 25, 2011

letter The Lord’s Table By Charlotte DeVere Hunt - On behalf of The Lord’s Table, I would like to publicly thank Don and Pam Thornlow of The Narrows Inn.   On July 3, The Narrows hosted a pig roast with all the trimmings.    All the proceeds were to benefit to The Lord’s Table. - More...
Monday - July 25, 2011

letter RE: King Salmon derby by Alan Skidmore - With all due respect Mr. McQueen... NOT!!! Read the derby rules, no snaggy waggy allowed, although it would be hard to tell but, for the most part people are honest. - More...
Monday - July 25, 2011

letter Green thinking or hydrocarbons By Ed Fry - As we know, Alaska is well advertised rich in resources.  The mass media is making it well known that renewable energy is a short term cure for our addiction to fossil fuels.  So begs the question that in order to re-tool our workforce in green technologies, introduction of new educational programming needs to be developed and implemented through a structured certification program; when will we see this programming at the university level? - More...
Monday - July 25, 2011

letter Block Iran on the Arabian Peninsula By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Iraqi Shiites have increased their attacks on American troops in Iraq.  June saw 14 U.S. soldiers killed, which is the highest death toll since 2008. - More...
Monday - July 25, 2011

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