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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Front Page Photo By JUDY MADDEN ©2012

Baby tree swallows are snuggy in the photographer's birdhouse.
Front Page Photo By JUDY MADDEN ©2012

The Alaska Highway or, The 'Alcan'; What did it have to do with Ketchikan?

First truck to go over the rough cordurouy road along the Alcan Highway route was an Army jeep
Courtesy the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs
Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944

Alaska: Celebration of 70th Anniversity of Building of Alaska Highway By MARY KAUFFMAN, SitNews - If you see military vehicles traveling the Alaska Highway later this month, don't be alarmed -- plans are for historic military vehicles to make their way through the Alaska Highway to their final destination of Fairbanks, Alaska in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the building of the highway and to raise public awareness and remembreance of veterans.... - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012


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Ketchikan Man Faces 98 Felonies for Drugging and Sexually Assaulting Girl By MARY KAUFFMAN, SitNews - An arrest warrant has been issued for a local man who is alleged to have drugged a young girl and sexually assaulted her numerous times while she slept. Jake J. Anderson, 36 years of age of Ketchikan, is facing 98 charges including sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful exploitation of a minor, incest, possession of child pornography, and indecent viewing or photography.

The initial investigation began when the mother of the victim contacted the Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan in mid-June to report that she believed Anderson was "poisoning" her family and that she had recently learned that he was sending graphic sexual texts to her 16 year-old daughter. The mother of the victim was concerned that Anderson might be "doping" the young girl in order to have sexual relations with her. The victim's mother told the Troopers she had no clue of anything until her daughter came to her on June 8th and told her there was blue powder in her food every time Anderson made her food. The victim's mother said she didn't confront Anderson but searched the property and found everything that would show that he had been tampering with the blue sleep aid "Unisom". When questioned if every one was going to sleep at the same time, the victim's mother responded, "Everyone is passing out, tired, really tired."

According to the charges, Troopers obtained a search warrant and looked through Anderson's home on June 10th. At the end of the search Anderson reportedly admitted to Troopers that he had been sending sexually explicit texts and email messages to the teenager claiming that he was trying to discourage her from being sexually active. Anderson also admitted to grinding up over-the-counter sleeping medications and adding them to his food, but claimed that he did not add the substance to the food of others. - More...
Friday AM - July 13, 2012

Ketchikan: The Alaska Highway or, The 'Alcan'; What did it have to do with Ketchikan? By JUNE ALLEN - The American Road & Transportation Builders Association based in Washington, D.C. named the Alaska Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system as Alaska's top two infrastructure projects of the 20th century in 2002. The pipeline, from the North Slope to Valdez, impacted Ketchikan along with other, farther north Alaska cities via jobs during the line's construction years and through the influx of state oil dollars in the years following its completion. But the Alaska Highway, the road that starts at Dawson Creek in British Columbia and continues for 1500+ miles to end at Fairbanks how does that have anything to do with Ketchikan?

That wartime highway hundreds of miles to the east and north dashed Ketchikan's hopes for a new road system across Revilla Island. Also dashed were plans for expansion of the town's unique little City Park and a road replacing Deer Mountain trail. And the present drive for today's proposed multi-million dollar bridge is not the first time Ketchikan has lobbied for a bridge! The proposal for a bridge - with ups and downs and lengthy periods of inaction, began in Ketchikan back in the 1920s!

It all really started with Henry Ford's production line automobiles that even a working man could afford. By the mid-1920s the United States was awash in autos of several makes and models of "touring cars" that rumbled along dirt roads, through mud and sand, and jolted through potholes all across the nation, traveling to see the sights and visit new places. This new pastime/industry was called tourism. The new industry led to the need for better roads, for paved interstate highways, for gussying up local attractions along the way to lure tourist dollars. As more and more roads were built, recreational travelers began to dream of more spectacular and exciting routes.

And thus, in the prosperous and roaring '20s, was born the dream of what was dubbed the International Highway, a road that was to begin (or end) at Barrow, Alaska, and drop down through the States and thence southward through Medico, Central America, into South America and all the way to tip of that continent! Today there are stories in the papers every year of travelers - bicyclists and motorcyclists and once or twice a walker - who attempt to travel all of North and South America top to bottom even though the highway as first envisioned was never built. In the touring '20s, such a project caught the imaginations of everyone from Alaska to Argentina. The press took up the vision of an International Highway with all its possible routes and scenic splendors. Such stories were fodder for years for newspaper features and for kitchen and barroom discussions across the nation! - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012

Fish Factor: Possibly 1.5 million tons of debris are afloat or under waters of Alaska coastlines By LAINE WELCH - Marine debris trackers are taking to the air any day to get a better idea of where and what is washing ashore from last year’s devastating tsunami in Japan. Best ‘guesstimates’ claim at least 1.5 million tons of debris are afloat on and under the current driven waters that routinely cover Alaska coastlines.

The State has funded a $200,000 systematic aerial survey by Airborne Technologies, Inc. of Virginia that will span waters and beaches from Cold Bay to Ketchikan to get a more complete view of the debris problem.  

 “That should give a good picture of where the debris is concentrated and some idea of the makeup and quantities of it,” said Merrick Burden, executive director of the Marine Conservation Alliance. “That allows us to have the next conversation about what is it we are really talking about  - is it a $1 million or a $40 million problem? Then we can start putting together a plan of attack. Right now we don’t have that level of information.”

The MCA Foundation took the lead on debris tracking and radiation monitoring efforts in January when sightings began appearing a year earlier than expected. The group deployed experienced clean up contractors over several months to multiple beaches at Sitka, Craig, Yakutat and Kodiak where debris was most likely to hit first.

A report released last week said while heavy snow was a hampering factor in all regions, seven trips to Craig showed patterns of early debris; 12 trips to Sitka yielded 1,600 pounds of mostly Styrofoam debris, and 34% of the debris found in June was tsunami related; at Yakutat, in 10 trips, the crew hauled away 95 large Styrofoam blocks and 52 floats, along with 48 large black buoys; seven trips to Kodiak were foiled by bad weather. No radiation was detected at any of the Alaska sites.

The amounts of Styrofoam are very worrisome, Burden said, because it breaks up into tiny particles that look like food and can be deadly when it accumulates fish and birds. - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012

Columns - Commentary

MICHAEL REAGAN: There You Go Again - There you go again, Mr. Obama -- again and again and again, engaging in class warfare.

Trying to make voters think Mitt Romney cares more about the offshore bank accounts of the wealthy than the pocketbooks of the middle class.

Proving for the umpteenth time that you know nothing about economics, how wealth and jobs are created or why businesses and rich people are moving themselves or their money overseas to escape the taxes you think aren't high enough.

"There you go again, Mr. Obama." - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012

CLIFF SCHECTER: Two Fists Full Of Dollars - Recently, America's Independence Day, we celebrated that grand experiment in human progress and evolutionary biology known as self government. In other words, we engaged in our yearly ritual of driving up to our cottage in New Hampshire--after deciding against the beach house in San Diego--and posing for the pictures of eager reporters just after mounting our jet ski and slicing our way through the bubbling wake of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Wait, that wasn't us. That was Mitt Romney. - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012

MICHAEL STAFFORD: Two Failed Parties, Two Inadequate Choices - America is a nation in crisis. Faith in our economic and political institutions, from Wall Street to Congress, is at or near historic lows.

Our crisis is fueled, in part, by two perceptions. First, that our government is becoming increasingly unrepresentative of, disinterested in, and unresponsive to, average Americans. And second, that the political process is broken- that our government is incapable of fashioning a coherent response to the range of problems our society is facing, including growing wealth concentration, the budget deficit, and combating global warming. - More...
Wednesday - July 11, 2012


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letter MAIL BALLOT THE ONLY CORRECT VOTING SOLUTION By Pete Ellis - Michael Spence has certainly "hit the nail on the head" in terms of local election needs and results.  The mail ballot is the only solution in terms of determining what the local voting residents really want. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter 4th of July Fireworks By Catherine Brown - Thank you to all those who put together the festivities for the 4th and especially the fireworks display. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter “Oh, you’re so negative” By David G. Hanger - There is something particularly juvenile about the attitude that you can judge some other person, “Oh, you’re so negative,” and thereby invalidate anything that person might say. In the article that you were criticizing so harshly I actually discussed that local inclination briefly. Thus my simple observation that your ignorance has precluded the possibility that you begin to comprehend the fact that everything you said is far more negative than anything I have said. It even has a word or label by which it is called: nullification. It’s the old slay the messenger game because you don’t have the guts to deal with the message. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter Thank You By Sandy James- The Ketchikan Seventh-day Adventist Church would like to thank the community for supporting our Fund Raiser for a Sound System.  Shamburgers (veggie burgers) and Homemade Pies were a HUGE success. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012 

letter Thank You & Before the fireworks start By Ken Parks - I was at the fireworks display this fourth and was suitably impressed by the display, not so much from the locals shooting off roman candles as it was over my kids and almost at them a couple of times. This ironically enthused my kids and they still had a great time... I wanted to thank the City of Ketchikan and their workers for a great display, making it a fun and enjoyable as well as memorable event for my family. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter Whale watching By HelgaOhmer Ohmer - On Saturday morning (June 30), I enjoyed watching a big pod of killer whales going down the channel. I counted at least 12. All the boaters got out of the way, enjoying them from the distance. But not so for the two tourist outfits who turned around to get closer than comfort just for the sake of picture taking clients! - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter Spins & Facts By Paul Jarvie - Charley, thank you for your information. As a concerned voter you have taught me to check the facts for myself. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter A patch to grind??? By Joey Garcia - Bill Meck "Road" caption in the Jun 25 issue sure has something to reckon with. I think you should not go far inside the hillsides of Ketchikan to wrangle up enough spirits of something like what Bill was pointing about. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

letter Comeuppances By A. M. Johnson - Hummm, It would appear that I have been corrected by readers. I accept the comeuppances. Yet, there is good from this. The fact that these executive orders produce the wrong sided intent is made apparent. Kennedy, Bush, Obama whom ever. The bottom line is many of these executive orders affects the Constitution's intent of guarding against over bearing government intrusion or violation of our freedoms and rights under the Bill of Rights and the Constitution itself. - More...
Monday - July 09, 2012

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 29, 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

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