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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 06, 2012

Front Page Photo By DAWN HINK, Ketchikan

Big Fish - Big Smiles!
Sharon Clarkson, (RN Surgery Clinic, Ketchikan) is the awesome Fisherwoman. It was her second fish caught ever. She was able to bring in this Ling Cod with the help of the photographer's husband, William Hink. It was 47 Pounds, 48 Inches long. (Dawn Hink said they looked it up on fish and game, and they have been sighted up to 5 feet long, this was four feet!
Front Page Photo By DAWN HINK, Ketchikan


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Alaska: Beluga Whale Calf Rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center By Mary Kauffman, SitNews - The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) rescued a stranded male beluga whale calf from Bristol Bay recently. Alaska SeaLife Center President and CEO, Tara Riemer Jones told SitNews today that the calf is doing well. However due to its age, it is at risk of complications and staff remain guarded yet optimistic.

Beluga Whale Calf Rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center

Baby Beluga Feeding
Photograph courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center

Monday marked the two week point since the beluga calf's was admitted to the ASLC's rehabilitation center. The calf was spending a lot of time seeking attention from his caretakers Monday and it was noted that he loves to be rubbed all over and swim in between his caregivers' legs.

The solitary animal estimated at two to three days old, was found near the Diamond O Cannery in Naknek Monday, June 18. The calf was first spotted after a large storm, and no other beluga whales were observed in the immediate vicinity. The animal repeatedly returned to shore after being encouraged to return to the open ocean. It was picked up after rescuers called the Alaska SeaLife Center, who received authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to attempt a rescue.

With support from Georgia Aquarium, three Alaska SeaLife Center staff flew on a Grant Aviation aircraft from Seward to South Naknek airport to retrieve the calf.

“Grant Aviation delayed scheduled flights to enable this rescue to occur, and we thank them for their fast response and accommodation to the special needs of transporting a beluga whale,” said Tim Lebling, stranding coordinator. - More...
Friday - July 06, 2012

Ketchikan - National: 'Ghost Click' malware may knock thousands off internet Monday Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews - Warnings about the "Ghost Click" Internet problem have been around for months, but thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service on Monday, July 9th, unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that may have taken over their computers more than a year ago.

The problem began when international hackers engaged in a massive and sophisticated Internet fraud scheme that infected with malware more than four million computers located in over 100 countries. Of the computers infected with malware, at least 500,000 were in the United States, including computers belonging to U.S. government agencies, such as NASA; educational institutions; non-profit organizations; commercial businesses; and individuals. Today, according to the FBI over 60,000 computers in the U.S. are believed to still be infected.

This DNS-Changer malware, around for over a year, secretly altered the settings on infected computers enabling the hackers to digitally hijack Internet searches and re-route computers to certain websites and advertisements, which resulted in the defendants to be paid. The hackers subsequently received fees each time these websites or ads were clicked on or viewed by users. The malware also prevented the installation of anti-virus software and operating system updates on infected computers, leaving those computers and their users unable to detect or stop the hackers’ malware, and exposing these computers to attacks by other viruses.

DNS (Domain Name System) is a critical Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names, such as, into numerical addresses that allow computers to talk to each other. Without DNS and the DNS servers operated by Internet service providers, computer users would not be able to browse websites or send e-mail.

On March 12, 2012, to assist the victims affected by the DNSChanger malicious software, the FBI obtained a court order authorizing the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary clean DNS servers. This solution is temporary, for the purpose of providing additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings.

Most victims don't even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their Web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their computers more vulnerable to other problems. It is important to note that the clean DNS servers that have been in operation since March will not remove the DNSChanger malware - or other viruses it may have facilitated—from an infected computer.

The clean DNS servers will be turned off on Monday, July 9, 2012, and computers still impacted by DNSChanger may lose Internet connectivity at that time.

The FBI said internet providers may come up with technical solutions that they will put in place Monday that will either correct any problem on the providers' end or provide information to their customers when they call to say their Internet isn't working. If the Internet providers correct any server problem they have, the Internet will work; however, the malware will remain on victims' computers and could pose future problems.

DNS Malware: Is Your Computer Infected? Check your System - More...
Friday - July 06, 2012

Science: Remote Siberian Lake Holds Clues to Arctic and Antarctic Climate Change; Fates of polar ice sheets appear to be linked - Intense warm climate intervals--warmer than scientists thought possible--have occurred in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years.

That result comes from the first analyses of the longest sediment cores ever retrieved on land. They were obtained from beneath remote, ice-covered Lake El'gygytgyn (pronounced El'gee-git-gin) ("Lake E") in the northeastern Russian Arctic.

The journal Science published the findings in June.

They show that the extreme warm periods in the Arctic correspond closely with times when parts of Antarctica were also ice-free and warm, suggesting a strong connection between Northern and Southern Hemisphere climate. - More...
Friday - July 06, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Sometimes You Do Have to Shovel Rain - So our climatically-challenged cousins in Juneau are crying because they had 6.69 inches of rain in June. It was the wettest June on record in the Capital City.

Waa, waa, waa.

In Ketchikan we had 9.85 inches of rain in June making it something like the 379th wettest June on record.

Waa, waa, waaaaaaaaaaa.

For the record, the wettest Ketchikan June was in 1984 when 14.32 inches was recorded.

We’ll have to really go for the precipatory (rhymes with purgatory) gusto if we want to set an all-time record for July. Some 28.36 inches was recorded in 1914, although if you ask me someone probably drizzled a beer or two into the rain gauge that year because 28 inches sounds a wee bit high! Even for Ketchikan.

 After all, last year’s delugiously  downsodden Julytember was only a hair under 12 inches. It’s hard to imagine that if 28 inches really fell in July of 1914, there was anyone still left in town by August  1. We would now be having this conversation in a locale that had a little less liquid sunshine to deal with. Which if course is just about anywhere else on earth that is not a mountain on Kauai or a village in the path of an Indian monsoon.

Speaking of Augustober, it gets even worse with 33.9 inches being recorded in 1912. Once again, you wonder if it was some inadvertent metric misconversion.

Still it does get wet here. If you don’t believe me, ask the visitors. I had another one ask me the other day if ever stopped.

I resisted the urge to tell her that I don’t know because I’m only 53, I’ve used that one too many times before.

So I just smiled and shrugged. It is a rainforest after all. Just one without the pretty birds and 20-foot-long snakes to make it interesting.

Anyway, I was looking at another one of those “climate change” predictors on-line the other day. The current dreary weather is not fun enough so I have to see what I have to look forward to in 2050 when I am 91. Sure enough, it just gets worse for every living, waterbreathing soul between Nanaimo and Valdez. - More...
Friday - July 06, 2012


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letter Harbor Bond Election By Eric Muench - I was glad to see the harbor bond proposition pass in last Tuesday's vote, especially since I had to go through the trouble of casting my yes vote fourteen times. It is empowering to have such influence on the outcome and still have thirteen other people beside myself responsible for repaying the bond debt. For that I thank the 93% of city voters who allowed us 7% to make the decision for them. Maybe in the next election, if the 93% oblige by staying away again, I might be able to organize a pressure group to show up at the polls and swing the vote to my preference. - More...
Friday - June 29, 2012

letter The seven percent voter turnout By Michael Spence - The recent 7 percent voter turnout for the bond election in Ketchikan illustrates the problem of the restrictive voting process in Alaska. Other states, for example Washington, send postal ballots to all registered voters. By receiving a ballot in the mail, a registered voter is able to cast his/her vote without jeopardizing job and or travel obligations. Alaska in particular has a large proportion of registered voters who work away from town (fishing, transportation industry, etc). Absentee ballots are not the answer either, (as is evidenced by this recent turnout), because they are often sent out late by the state/borough, and are hence received late by the election authorities. - More...
Friday - June 29, 2012

letter Gunalcheesh (Thank you) By Harvey Shields - The Cape Fox Dancers of the Saanya Quan Clan wishes to thank ALL OF YOU from the Ketchikan/Saxman area that contributed, helped, encouraged and supported the Cape Fox Dancers in their endeavor to attend Celebration 2012.  We were able to attend because of your generosity and support. - More...
Friday - June 29, 2012

letter Double Headed Plants By Chris Rose - I've seen this on my property with other plants; not often. - More...
Friday - June 25, 2012

letter Executive Orders? By Margaret Cloud - I was wondering about all the Executive Orders mentioned by Al so I did a quick internet search.  It appears that President Obama would have been a bit young to have signed Executive Order 10997 and according to government reports it was signed by President Kennedy in 1962. - More...
Friday - June 29, 2012

letter American voter is the problem, grow up and stop blaming those you elect By Erik Hovden -Congress is not the biggest problem America faces. That clearly would be the sheep who vote for Republicans or Democrats. They are two sides of the "Big Goverment, Tax and spend party" and you're not invited, but you do get the bill. - More...
Friday - June 29, 2012

letter Roads By Bill Meck - As I was driving around town recently I decided to keep driving for a while to try and find a few of the good stretches of road system we have to be proud of. I came to several conclusions. - More...
Monday - June 25, 2012

letter ADA Accesible Park Avenue By Allegra Machado - I would love to see ADA Accessible curb ramps installed on the large section of sidewalk that runs along the creek on Park Avenue.  I walk that area of downtown regularly and have noticed many tourists and locals alike struggle with the high curbs on that section of sidewalk that is part of the Downtown Walking Tour Route.  The alternative route is to walk the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street which is very narrow and abruptly ends at the hill to Cape Fox; requiring pedestrians to have to jay walk across the street and have to step up almost a foot high to get back on the sidewalk along the creek. - More....
Monday - June 25, 2012 

letter Deformed Plants? By Amanda Mitchell - I live in the Bear Valley area. We have been noticing, the past few weeks, that some of the wild buttercups in our yard have extra petals. Not too concerning. However, today my children found a two-headed dandelion in the yard. We have never seen this before. - More...
Monday - June 25, 2012

letter RE:Congress is a problem but not 'The' problem By Charley Starr - The problem with politics is that it brings out a bunch of BS that just gets spread around the internet without anyone checking the facts. I am not a democrat, nor a strong supporter of the President. I like to think for myself and not blindly follow a political party. - More...
Monday - June 25, 2012

letter Let’s be Fast & Furious and dump Congress By Katheryn Burson - The Fast & Furious saga drama has dragged on for more than a year and a half.  Subpoenas have been ignored.  Congress has dragged its feet. - More...
Monday - June 25, 2012

letter Congress is a problem but not 'The' problem By A. M. Johnson - In response to Mr. Irving B Welchons' "Congress may be Nation's serious problem", I submit that the following epistle will dispel any notion that President Obama has found an apparent way to suspend the need for Congress or a Constitution. If Congress has a srious problem it is the lack of "Gonads" in not impeaching the sitting President for ignoring the Constitution and the rule of law.The following is not of my words, however I do support the content and agree with the conclusion. - More..
Wednesday - June 20, 2012

letter Ocean acidification By Mike Svenson - Laine Welch's fish report this week about ocean acidification was the usual environmental  talking point. She wants us fishermen to be all upset about this and blame coal plants, oil refineries, cars, etc. But in the summertime in Alaska there are probably at least 3000 diesel boats running around putting out smoke. - More...
Wednesday - June 20, 2012

letter AGAFAGUMAS ETC. By Chris Elliott - With the exception of the unnecessary last paragraph, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Hanger's trip down memory lane. - More...
Wednesday - June 20, 2012

letter Federal PILT Payment By Agnes Moran - As a taxpayer and Ketchikan Borough Assembly member, I welcome the recent $1,038,263 federal payment in lieu of taxes to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough (see Alaska Communities See Increase in PILT Payments, SitNews, June 15). However, I wish to add some important context. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2012

letter Obama: “private sector is doing fine” By Donald A. Moskowitz - In February 2009 President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program was supposed to create 5 million new jobs and reduce unemployment below 8% by the end of 2010.  He missed both projections by wide margins. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2012

letter THE BATTLE OF AGAFAGUMAS AND BILOXI JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL NOVEMBER 22, 1963 By David G. Hanger - Memories are funny things in two separate directions, the one, of course, often caricatured, is the exaggeration and embellishment about events long past, distortion that evolves quickly to abstraction, if not pure fantasy; then, too, there is the other, that of memories so deeply etched they are formative, and never forgotten.  These two vignettes are from my past, and are of the latter category, so deeply etched they cannot be forgotten.  Any quotes are verbatim; the events occurred specifically as described, and there is no intent whatsoever at exaggeration on my part. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2012

letter Congress may be the nation's most serious problem By Irving B. Welchons III - This year the candidates for President will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising.  One telling us of the heroic things he has done and the other telling us of the miraculous things he will do. Almost everything President Obama takes credit for had to be passed by Congress.  The promises made by candidate Romney must be made law by Congress to be fulfilled. The President can only veto a law; he can not pass one. - More...
Monday - June 18, 2012 

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