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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 14, 2012


Black Bear Cubs
These cubs intently watch their mother during a recent visit to the photographer's yard. The photo was taken from a safe distance and from inside the photographer's home.
Front Page Photo By BETH BRANDT-ERICHSEN ©2012



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Alaska: State Files Suit Against EPA Challenging New Fuel Standards; New Fuel Standards will increase shipping rates on goods being transported to the state - The State of Alaska on Friday filed suit against the Secretary of State, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, and others, to block federal agencies from extending the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) to Alaska

The EPA and the Coast Guard, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, plan to enforce the EPA’s new emission control regulations beginning Aug. 1.

The EPA is requiring marine ocean carriers, including cruise ships, in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska to use fuel that meets 1-percent sulfur limits starting on Aug. 1. The new requirements tighten even more to 0.1 percent sulfur beginning in 2015.

The regulations will require marine cargo carriers and cruise lines to use costly and difficult-to-obtain low-sulfur fuel.  The regulations will mean greatly increased shipping costs to Alaskans and will also harm the state’s tourism sector.  Freight carriers have said EPA’s new requirements will force them to raise their rates on goods being transported to the state.

The increased shipping costs from these regulations are expected to be passed on to Alaska consumers in the form of higher prices for goods, raising Alaskans’ already high cost of living even higher.

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), one of Alaska’s largest shipping companies, estimates that moving to low sulfur fuel will result in an increase of about 8 percent in TOTE’s total costs.

“Alaska relies heavily on maritime traffic, both for goods shipped to and from the state, and for the cruise ship passengers who support thousands of Alaskan jobs,” Attorney General Michael Geraghty said. “There are reasonable and equally effective alternatives for the Secretary and the EPA to consider which would still protect the environment but dramatically reduce the severe impact these regulations will have on Alaskan jobs and families.”

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) applauded Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R-AK) for challenging the Environmental Protection Agency in court over new low-sulfur fuel standards for marine ocean carriers being imposed on Alaska-going vessels.

“Given the immediacy of the threat that these requirements pose to Alaska, Gov. Parnell’s decision to file litigation against the EPA is the right one,” Murkowski said. “The only way to avoid the damage these requirements will cause is for a judge to issue a stay against them before they go into effect Aug. 1.” - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

Ketchikan: Alaska Delegation Requests Rationale & Plan for Ketchikan Social Security Office Proposed Closure - The Social Security Administration (SSA) proposes to close the only Social Security Office serving the southern region of Southeast Alaska on September 30, 2012.

The Ketchikan branch shutdown is projected to save the federal government $100,000, but the Alaska Delegation is calling on the Social Security Administration to reevalute the closure.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mark Begich (D-AK), as well as Representative Don Young (R-AK) called on the Social Security Administration on Friday to open thier books and explain the rationale and plan for the proposed closure of the office in Ketchikan. - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

Ketchikan: New General Surgeon joins PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - General Surgeon William Sims, MD, has just joined the PeaceHealth Medical Group in Ketchikan, Alaska.

New General Surgeon joins PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

General Surgeon William Sims, MD
Photo courtesy PKMC

Dr. Sims has been practicing general surgery for 23 years. Most recently, Dr. Sims was a senior partner in group practice at the Mountain Valley Surgery in Sylva, North Carolina. He received his doctorate from the Texas Tech University, Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine and went on to complete his residency there as well. He has been a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons since 2001.

Dr. Sims is looking forward to practicing medicine in a rural setting again, having spent two years in Hobart, Oklahoma after finishing his residency. “I’ll be able to put my years of experience to good use here,” explained Dr. Sims, “providing additional surgery options like breast and colorectal cancer procedures for people in the area so they won’t need to travel away from their homes and families to get the surgical services and care they need.” - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

Ketchikan: Murkowski Announces New Southeast Alaska Representative; Ketchikan-Born Sonia Henrick Will Bolster Southeast Alaska Connectivity -   United States Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced yesterday that Sonia Henrick (previously Christensen) will join her team Monday as the new Southeast Alaska Representative -- working out of Murkowski’s Ketchikan field office.

“Sonia’s knowledge base is that of a born-and-raised Ketchikan resident, combined with a high degree of policy expertise from her time working for Governor Parnell,” Murkowski said.  “She has broad experience working on issues of statewide interest, as well as focused background in Southeast Alaska.” - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

Ketchikan: 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.

The following day, June 11th, Troopers were dispatched to approximately mile 17 of the North Tongass Highway in response to a report that Anderson had locked himself in his vehicle and would not respond to friends standing outside. Shortly after the Troopers arrived, Anderson shot himself in the jaw, twice. - More...
Friday AM - July 13, 2012


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letter Election Chaos Puts Ketchikan in Political Peril By John Harrington - The on-again, off-again State election district boundaries have created disarray and political danger particularly for Ketchikan. - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

letter Congress' Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown By Michael Spence - The most recent action of our US House of Representatives to repeal the Health Care Act reminds me of that Rolling Stones song about a spoiled adolescent who cannot reason: - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

letter Too many lifeguards? By Audiene Teal - I recently made a trip to our Ketchikan swimming pool with my family. We have children so we spent a lot of time in the kiddie pool so they could play and splash around. Now I know it is for our own safety to have lifeguards at the pool but there were four lifeguards that day at our little swimming pool. I felt it was in excess. - More...
Saturday - July 14, 2012

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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