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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 30, 2012

Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES

Grand Opening: Gateway Aquatic Center
The assembled staff of the Ketchikan Parks and Recreation Department at Saturday's Grand Opening of the new 35,000 sq. foot Gateway Aquatic Center... The proposed cost was $23.5 million, with the final cost $2.2 million.
Front Page Photo By MIKE GATES©2012
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Agreement To Build New Moorage Facility Will Boost Ketchikan Economy - The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), together with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough announced last week the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement regarding the construction of a new moorage facility in Ketchikan. The new facility will provide berthing for Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ships and could also have the capacity to dock National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessels.

“This important development for Ketchikan is part of Governor Parnell’s plan to foster economic growth and create new jobs in the region,” said AIDEA Executive Director Ted Leonard. “We are pleased that the governor sought and received funding from the Legislature for this vital project, and that he encouraged collaboration among the parties to accelerate its development.”

The Alaska Marine Highway System currently uses a moorage facility adjacent to AIDEA’s Ketchikan Shipyard. The new facility would be located at Ward Cove and would allow Ketchikan Shipyard to expand its operations and add jobs. NOAA would have the opportunity for a moorage facility for the Fairweather, a 241 ft. hydrographic survey vessel. The Fairweather and its approximately 40 member crew are supposed to be homeported in Ketchikan, but a lack of a functional berth in the community has kept the vessel outside of Alaska. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Investigation Finds M/V Matanuska's Captain Made Maneuvering Error –The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) concluded the internal investigation of the May 7, 2012 mishap involving the M/V Matanuska and the Ocean Beauty Seafoods dock in Petersburg, Alaska.

“While we regret the mishap ever happened it is the responsibility of Alaska Marine Highway System to conduct a thorough investigation so that we may take the necessary steps toward reducing the possibility of any such event reoccurring,” stated Michael Neussl, DOT&PF Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations.

The investigation completed in July concluded that given the existing environmental conditions at the time, the ship’s captain made a maneuvering error that could not be corrected before impacting the Ocean Beauty Seafoods dock.

As the M/V Matanuska transited southbound into Wrangell Narrows with a strong following current, the captain intended to maneuver out of the strong current and into the back eddies of Petersburg Harbor, where a counter current exists. The intention of the maneuver was to slow the ferry’s approach to the Petersburg AMHS terminal. The combination of these two strong currents, combined with the captain’s engine and rudder commands, prevented the ferry from completing its turn and proceeding along the Petersburg waterfront to the AMHS terminal.

The ship’s captain did not recognize this maneuvering error with enough time available to avoid the collision. However, the ferry crew was able to significantly reduce the speed of the vessel and minimize the force with which the ferry struck the dock.

“The crew maintained situational awareness throughout the entire event and took immediate actions that actually reduced the impact made by the ferry,” said Neussl. “As a result, no one was injured either on the ferry or on the dock, and the vessel was safely moored at the AMHS terminal a short time after the collision.”

The report stated that following the incident all crewmembers underwent drug and alcohol testing, as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. All results came back negative.

The investigation also included AMHS crewmember testimonies and technological data such as the Marine Exchange of Alaska vessel tracking information and the Voyage Data Recorder, which provided the audio from the ferry bridge as well as the engine and rudder settings. - More....
Monday - July 30, 2012

Ketchikan: Harbor Cruise Fundraiser September 8th - The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus Advisory Council (KCAC) is hosting an “Exploring Our Depths” harbor cruise and live video feed on Saturday, September 8, 2012, from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Participants can explore what Ketchikan looks like beneath the waves with an incredible live view using a remotely operated video camera, courtesy of Gary Freitag, UAF Marine Advisory Program. Tickets are $50 per individual or $90 per couple and are available from UAS Ketchikan by calling 228-4511.

The harbor cruise is a fundraiser to endow the Carroll Fader Maritime Scholarship, which benefits students pursuing maritime careers in Ketchikan. The fund needs to be endowed at the $25,000 level in order to make scholarships available to students.

In addition to the cruise there will be a raffle for 2 round-trip Alaska Airline vouchers; a half day Ketchikan Charter Boats, Inc. fishing trip for 4; and your choice of a Spirit of Alaska Tours Adventure Karts or Alaska Canopy Zipline tour for 4. - More...
Monday- July 30, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Let Voting to Felons, Dogs, the Dead?- Why not let dead people vote?

Maybe I better explain.

A recent article in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch says the Washington-based Voter Participation Center has sent voter registration applications — with names and addresses already filled in — to dead people, pets, felons, children, nonresidents, noncitizens and others who ought not be voting.

There is suspicion among some that the group, which targets Democrat voting blocs, such as unmarried people, blacks, Latinos and young adults, is trying to pad voter rolls with ineligible voters who are likely to support Democrats.

But the center says all it is trying to do is to get legitimate, under-represented voters, who may be unregistered, to register and exercise their right to vote. It says it is using commercial mailing lists that are imperfect and produce all kinds of odd results.

According to CBS News, one woman, Brenda Charleston, received a filled-in application for a Rosie Charleston; "Rosie" was the name of her long-deceased dog. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

jpg Danny TyreeDANNY TYREE: The Internet, Mental Illness And You - "Is The Web Driving Us Mad?," asks a recent Newsweek cover story.

According to the article, there is now a growing body of evidence that our fascination with the Internet, smartphones, video games and related technology has become a clinical ADDICTION. Our ever-present hobbies have contributed to loneliness, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit disorder and "the sad delusion that the awful figurine you bought via Craigslist DOESN'T make your whole den look tacky."

I am not immune to the phenomenon. I admit to experiencing a certain endorphin rush when I Google my name and see that some newspaper has been kind enough to print one of my columns, and then becoming irritable when I have to wait for new stimuli. (But is this unique to electronic social media? Does it really differ from Delores becoming anxious when Madge is late bringing juicy neighborhood gossip to the backyard fence?)

Not only do social media rob us of exercise, nature appreciation and face-to-face human contact, but supposedly our hunger for email, Facebook posts, and Twitter tweets is rewiring the human brain -- and not in a good way. Scientists proclaim these warnings with confidence because "Hey, we've already said everything and its brother causes CANCER; now brain rewiring has dibs on the spotlight." - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012


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letter Parrots will Prevail... then we starve. by Ken Bylund - Constructionism and Determinism is how our species organize our day to day survival strategy, and it works pretty good, but there are many a dangerous flaw; Friedrich Hayek saw it as The Fatal Conceit; Heinz Pagels' Cosmic Code, wrote about Albert Einstein's opposition to the New Quantum theory... his quip, "God doesn't play dice." Einstein was saying he believes in 'determinism', that 'probability' was abhorrent and that nature was 'put together with mathematical precision' and could be understood and predicted. It appears even Einstein could be wrong. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Are we ever disappointed? By Judith Green - NO! We are never disappointed in any of the multitude of events on our island that give us beauty in talent. And so it was again this past week end - CLassics a'la Carte. High school students, recent Kayhi graduates, long time Ktn residents: ensembles, solos, duets: instrumental, vocal. For 2 hours we were engaged, in awe, amazed, enthralled - glad for the evening. Bravo to each one who shared with us just a little of their 'joy of music'. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter RE: Voter Turnout By Mark Stopha - I don't think Ken Lewis's idea of having to vote in order to receive a PFD is unfair or bad at all. In fact, I've had a similar idea, using the power of the PFD without spending any of it to improve things in Alaska. It would change getting a PFD from a right to a privledge - like hunting and fishing. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Voter Turnout Solution By Brian Gray - Heck Ken Lewis, for a piece of that AK Perm Fund, I'd go back to "the homeland" to vote and pay my own way! Especially if only a marginally higher turnout was a result. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter NCAA Piling On Penn State By Donald A. Moskowitz - I am upset about the child abuse committed by Sandusky and the cover up by Paterno, Curley, Schulz and Spanier.  The lives of many young children have been adversely impacted by these men.- More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Drinking Burned Garbage By Shelley Stallings - Thank you Kathy Doyle. I continue to be amazed when I see people burning garbage. This form of air pollution is bad enough by itself, but when you add the fact that almost all of us outside of the city limits drink water which is collected from our roofs, it becomes really scary. As you noted there are many synthetic chemicals in much of the garbage that is burned. This ends up on our roofs, then into our cisterns. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter Voter Turn out By Ken Lewis - 7% turn out is sad, so here is my dumb solution. Alaskans get oil revenue money. If you want your Permanent Fund check, Vote. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter RE: Too Many Lifeguards By Kevin Gadsey - I am responding to Ms. Teal's question about having too many lifeguards at the pool. She must have come to the old Smithers Pool when the newly-hired lifeguards were training side-by-side with the experienced lifeguards. At the Smithers Pool, they usually had 3-4 guards for both pools combined. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter RE: "Too Many Lifeguards" By Larissa Otness - I am in shock that someone would question the amount of lifeguards and they're importance to the safety of our children. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter Ketchikan Gas Prices By Mike Wilson - Just a friendly note to let people know that the gas prices at Lighthouse Tesoro are 30 cents cheaper per gallon than what I observed yesterday in town. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

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