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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 22, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By JACY PIERSON

POW: Sitka Black-Tailed Deer
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Washington Man Indicted For Murder of Ketchikan Doctor By MARY KAUFFMAN - The Ketchikan District Attorney's office announced Friday that 32 year-old Jordan Joplin was indicted by a Ketchikan grand jury for the murder of Dr. Eric Garcia.

Washington Man Indicted For Murder of Ketchikan Doctor

32 year-old Jordan Joplin, of Washington, has been indicted by a Ketchikan grand jury for the murder of Dr. Eric Garcia

Joplin was previously charged with theft in the first degree in April 2017 for allegedly stealing expensive items form Garcia's home and taking money from Garcia's bank account. In the most recent indictment, Joplin is charged with murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, and again with theft in the first degree.

According to the complaint filed on March 31, 2017, Joplin requested the Ketchikan Police Department to conduct a welfare check on Dr. Garcia. Joplin identified himself to the Ketchikan Police as a close friend of Dr. Garcia's who stays at his home when he visits Ketchikan. Joplin indicated that he has never been employed or lived in Ketchikan and only travels to Ketchikan to visit Dr. Garcia.

On March 27, 2017, officers of the Ketchikan Police Department discovered the body of Dr. Garcia in his Ketchikan home during a welfare check initiated at the behest of Joplin. On the date the body of Dr. Garcia was discover, Joplin was in possession of a truck belonging to Garcia, the key to the vehicle, and a set of keys to Garcia's home.

Subsequent investigation revealed that multiple items had been removed from Garcia's home. Ketchikan Police learned that Joplin had been in Ketchikan to visit Garcia on March 16, 2017, and that he left on March 17, 2017. Ketchikan Police later discovered that Joplin shipped approximately 4,415 pounds of household goods and personal affects through a local Ketchikan freight company to a Maple Valley, Washington address. Footage from the freight company showed Joplin using Dr. Garcia's truck to make four trips to the shipping location. Garcia was not in the truck with Joplin.

With a search warrant, three shipping containers were intercepted and held at Alaska Marine Lines facility in Seattle, Washington. The search revealed the containers held the missing items for Garcia's home as well as other documentation with Garcia's name. Recovered items identified as being stolen included high value distilled spirits, a portion of the collection of watches inside a display case, a portion of a coin collection, a flat screen TV, a desk top monio9r, tow laptop computers, one tablet, and miscellaneous household items. During the search of all three containers the only name identified on boxes or documents was tat of Eric Garcia. According to an earlier report by Seattle's, Joplin allegedly stole more than $1 million in belongings from the Ketchikan home of Dr. Garcia including a gold and coin collection worth $500,000.

Ketchikan Police also executed search warrants for Garcia's financial records which revealed that approximately $37,000 of bank transfers had been made out of Garcia's account beginning March 16, 2017 to accounts associated with Joplin. - More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017

Fish Factor: Sweepstakes; Frankenfish moves forward; & Wisdom on the airwaves By LAINE WELCH - As state lawmakers mull ways to update permitting laws to protect salmon habitat, a dual sweepstakes is using text messaging and social media as the means to keep more fishermen informed. 

 “One of the things we’ve learned over the past two years is that most fishermen are getting almost all of their information on their phones,” said Lindsey Bloom, program manager for United Fishermen of Alaska’s Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP).

“Since the start of this program we have heard from thousands of Alaska fishermen who say they care deeply about all issues related to salmon habitat, from ocean acidification and water quality to in river impacts such as dewatering and blocked fish passage,” Bloom added.

They also have learned that fishermen have a variety of preferred communication styles, and Bloom said the sweepstakes were created “to increase our reach to fishermen through multiple channels.” 

To test the waters, SHIP is encouraging fishermen to text “ufaship” to 313131, and UFA will send back four chances to win gift cards of up to $200from Alaska Airlines or LFS, Inc. 

A second “Predict the Bay” contest at SHIP’s Facebook page invites guesses of this year’s Bristol Bay’s total sockeye catch and offers similar prizes.

 “Highlighting Bristol bay is intentional, as it’s an incredibly prolific fishery that is based on superb quality habitat,” Bloom added. 

Fishermen who opt in will receive monthly SHIP updates, as well as alerts about other issues.

“We are trying to incentivize participation and get the numbers up a little higher,” Bloom said. “Throughout the year we’ll be able to send out messages about what’s going on with certain policies, whether it’s at the federal level or state issues with the Board of Fish or the legislature or something else.” 

“We have a vast range of age groups who are participating in fishing and we’re trying to get a better sense of how to best communicate and get the farthest reach for our efforts,” she added.

Various state and federal agencies, such as the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and NOAA, also are interested in bettering communication with fishermen, and Bloom said they are closely watching the SHIP outreach efforts to mirror what is most effective.

The sweepstakes also aims to boost membership in UFA, the nation’s largest commercial fishing trade group. 

“If habitat is as important of an issue as fishermen are telling us it is, it would be excellent if they would put some money where their mouths are and support UFA by signing up through the SHIP program,” Bloom said.  

Winners of the SHIP sweepstakes will be announced in September. 

Frankenfish moves forward:

Plans are in the works to send genetically modified salmon to markets in the U.S. and Canada by next year. 

Despite an outpouring of nearly two million messages opposing the manmade fish, in 2015 it got the nod by the Food and Drug Administration. That followed a more than 20-year push by AquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts for approval of what will be the first GM animal ok’d for human consumption. - More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017


NOAA locates wreckage of crab fishing vessel off St. George Island - Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for snow crab northwest of St. George, Alaska.

NOAA locates wreckage of crab fishing vessel off St. George Island

A 3-D image from NOAA Ship Fairweather multi-beam sonar. The profile of the F/V Destination is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder.
Courtesy NOAA

NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel homeported in Kodiak, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The Dyson used its multibeam echo sounder to search the area around the last known position of the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts as the Destination, it did narrow the search area.

A second survey by NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel homeported in Ketchikan, was conducted on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water. 

With the wreckage and debris field located by NOAA ships, a U.S. Coast Guard dive team aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy will use a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the wreckage later this month. Imagery from the ROV will provide visual confirmation of the wreck site and become part of the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation, which holds its public hearing August 7-18 in Seattle.  

“The Marine Board appreciates NOAA’s help in locating the wreckage of the F/V Destination,” said Cmdr. Scott Muller, U.S. Coast Guard, chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation. “The vessel location is an instrumental piece of our investigation. We have a long partnership with NOAA to support the safety of those on the sea and appreciate their assistance in this and past investigations.” - More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017




DAVE KIFFER: THE AUTUMN LEAVES - For the record, the first leaves began to congregate on our driveway right around the solstice, the official beginning of summer, the third week of June.

Yes, winter seems to coming a little earlier than normal in Our Fair Salmon City.  But that is to be expected since apparently summer decided to take a pass this year.

This, of course, is rather distressing turn of events, or fine kettle of fish, as my mother used to say.

Speaking of which, what the heck does that even mean?

She always said it a negative way. Something that was unfortunate, awkward, ill-timed or unexpected was always a "fine kettle of fish."- More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017


DANNY TYREE: Parking Is Such Sweet Sorrow - Believe it or not, my only college-era clash with school authorities erupted because the campus was experiencing growing pains. Your cash-strapped author received a ticket for parking on the grass when I simply couldn't find an authorized parking spot in time for class.

So, I guess it was only natural that my interest was piqued by a USA Today article about America's parking crisis. The AVERAGE American motorist spends 17 hours a year searching for parking spots. The quest adds up to an estimated $345 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions. (Of course, in urban areas such as New York City, the problem can be five times worse.)

It's a frustrating stalemate. Retailers, government offices and entertainment venues refuse to provide adequate parking or convenient hours. ("How were we to know those dadgum horseless carriages would catch on?") Motorists refuse to utilize mass transit or carpooling. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has hinted at asking the Israelis and Palestinians to help the feuding parties find a non-nuclear answer. - More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017


MICHAEL REAGAN: Fake Republicans - OK, Republicans of the Senate, we get it.

You've proved again how collectively spineless you are on your efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

You've proved yet again that when it comes time to put your incumbent rear-ends where your over-promising big political mouths are, many of you choose to chicken out at the last minute.

After seven months you 52 Senate Republicans and your 241 teammates in the House haven't been able to get it together to repeal, replace or even repair Obamacare.

Now it's time to pay the price for your seven years of fake politics.

Next week Senate leader Mitch McConnell is planning an up-or-down vote on the motion to proceed on the bill to repeal Obamacare.

If that vote happens, voters and the media will see exactly which of you Republican senators have been faking it, and which ones haven't. - More...
Saturday AM - July 22, 2017

jpg Editorial Cartoon: GOP Saves Obamacare

Editorial Cartoon: GOP Saves Obamacare
By Gary McCoy ©2017, Cagle Cartoons
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Opinion - Letter

RE: Fact versus fiction By Rodney Dial - Summer is a busy time for most of us in Ketchikan. Personally, I have better things to do than respond to Rep. Ortiz’s latest letter, however it presents a great opportunity to show how politicians like Ortiz play the word game to deceive and mislead. For example: - More...
Wednesday PM - July 19, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Re: NRA Propaganda By D Jay O'Brien - The violent images in the NRA video Mr. Chaudhary references are indeed disturbing. The video is a compilation of segments from actual events that have occurred in our cities and on our college campuses since the last election. Is this video clip propaganda or just depictions of the new reality of violence that may be brought upon someone for their beliefs and political leanings? - More...
Wednesday PM - July 19, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Giving Alaska's oil away By Ray Metcalfe - Alaska doesn't have a budget problem; Alaska has bribery problems, and gullible legislator problems. Alaska allows oil companies to extract fair payment for their services from net oil production revenues. Additionally, they keep 90% of our ownership equity; equity other owner states keep. At today's prices, the big three are making over $17 per barrel plus cost of production and delivery from our oil. (See ConocoPhillips' quarterly reports) That's about $9 Million per day, or $3.2 billion per year. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 11, 2017

Opinion - Letter

NRA Propaganda By Norbert Chaudhary - The politically partisan, hate filled NRA recruiting video posted a few days ago is shocking but sadly not so surprising. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 11, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Budget cuts By Liz Bruce - All this reduction in spending is good but the problem is there are so many promised benefits and retirement we can't afford. You sit in a position where you can vote to keep state employee and teacher benefits intact when we can't afford those benefits as a state. New taxes are regressive and too easy to rely on. Our household has not seen an increase in income since 2011 but we have to live within our budget. It is time for the state to quit promising benefits we can't afford. You can't expect taxpayers to always come up with more. - More...
Tuesday PM - JUly 11, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Fact versus fiction By Rep. Dan Ortiz - As an elected official, it’s my responsibility to keep Alaskans informed with factual and relevant information about the issues that affect them. As I write I’m busy working for you up in Juneau, so here’s a quick rundown of fact versus fiction. - More...
Sunday AM - July 09, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Please Be A Responsible Pet Owner By William J. Miller - We have tried to be good neighbors and have politely asked our neighbor to keep their dog out of our yard as it has unfortunately gotten into the habit of depositing poop outside the entry to our home. The last encounter with the dog resulted in baring of teeth and challenging us. I’m pretty sure there is a leash law in the borough and although we are avid pet lovers and owners, we are at the point of contention in our household as my wife wants to file a formal complaint with animal control but I am reluctant since it will no doubt drive a permanent wedge between neighbors. - More..
Sunday AM - July 09, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Gilmore Hotel By Kitty Meredith - My mother, Mary Patricia Gilmore Fox, told me that she was born in the Gilmore Hotel on October 23, 1905. Her parents, Peter Francis Gilmore and Mary Eleanor Fitzmaurice Gilmore and my mother moved shortly after into a large Victorian house they had built on Grant St., across from Ketchikan School. The house was called “the Irish Castle”. On the front of the house, high up on the tower area, was a large green shamrock. - More...
Sunday Am - July 09, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Tribute to Sol Atkinson By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the tribute to Sol Atkinson, I met Sol during my careers in the early 70's where Metlakatla was involved. Sol must have retired recently to this introduction. He was a standout personality on the first meet without knowing of his military history. - More...
Sunday AM - July 09, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Neutralize North Korean Threat By Donald Moskowitz - North Korea continues to expand its nuclear weapons program and is making progress in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the Western U.S.  It is working on miniaturizing nuclear weapons to fit on ICBMs by early 2018, and it threatens to attack the U.S. with nuclear warheads. - More...
Sunday AM - July 09, 2017

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