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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 15, 2018

Front Page Feature Photo By CORINNE FITZGERALD

Black Bear
Bear photo taken in Sea Otter Sound on Singa Island in the Prince of Wales-Hyder region, part of the Alexander Archipelago. Haida Indian name from the word "shing-ia," meaning "night," and "used as a synonym for north, cold, dark or gloom." The translated name "North Island" was published
in 1925 Coast Pilot (p. 154).
Front Page Feature Photo By CORINNE FITZGERALD ©2018

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Fish Factor: Extra 10% Duty on China Seafood Exports to U.S. = $275 Million Tax for Americans By LAINE WELCH - Trump’s trade war now includes tariffs on seafood going to and from China. 

China is Alaska’s biggest seafood buyer purchasing 54 percent of Alaska seafood exports last year valued at $1.3 billion. On July 6 a 25 percent tariff went into effect on U.S. imports to China, including all Alaska salmon, pollock, cod, herring, flatfish, Dungeness crab, sablefish, geoduck clams and more.

Then on July 11 Trump added a 10 percent tariff on all seafood sent from China to the US. 

According to market expert John Sackton of Seafoodnews.com, it includes products that are reprocessed in China and sent back for distribution in this country.

The total value of the 291 seafood products China sends to the U.S. each year is $2.75 billion. Sackton called the 10 percent tariff “a $275 million dollar direct tax on Americans.”

It will hit 70 percent of imports of frozen cod fillets. Likewise, 23 percent of all frozen salmon fillets come into the U.S. from China, including pink salmon that is reprocessed into salmon burgers and fillets.  

Trade data show that China represents 47 percent of U.S. breaded shrimp imports and 37 percent of frozen squid imports. China also supplies 20 percent of the U.S. frozen scallop market.

Sackton said the economic hit will go far beyond the $275 million consumer tax.  

“As sellers are forced to raise prices, competitive products from other countries will follow suit resulting in across the board seafood price increases. That will discourage seafood buying so sellers will lose business as customers back away,” he added.

China has been the fastest growing global market for high-end seafood. Last month Governor Walker led a trade mission to China with several Alaska seafood companies which have spent millions to expand their brand even more.  

“All this money will go up in smoke,” Sackton said. 

In recent years, Alaska seafood sales to China have increased by millions of dollars through eCommerce activity, said Hannah Lindoff, international program director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. 

Lindhoff said ASMI will try to expand sales to other markets, such as Brazil, Spain and Ukraine. But, as Sackton points out, it is more expensive to mount campaigns in multiple countries than in a single large market like China.   

ASMI operates on a shoestring international budget of less than $7 million a year, mostly from grants and federal dollars. Its overall budget is about $22 million, nearly all from processor taxes. 

Trump’s seafood tariffs come at a time when the Alaska legislature has zeroed out the state’s $1 million dollar contribution to ASMI.

Compare that to Norway’s more than $50 million marketing budget from a small tax on its seafood exports. 

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported on Thursday that “scant” American fish or shellfish was for sale at Jingshen, Beijing’s largest wholesale seafood market which supplies restaurants and grocers across China. Several distributors said that the recent 25 per cent tariff has made American seafood unaffordable.

Unless Congress intervenes, the additional10 percent will take effect in September. Alaska’s delegation has yet to comment. - More....
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018


DEC continues sampling of coastal water bacteria through September - The Alaska BEACH program will continued to monitor any fecal waste contamination during the 2018 recreation season at beaches along the Ketchikan coastline. Marine water samples are being collected from mid-May through mid-September to evaluate any potential health risks indicated by fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria, and to notify the public when levels exceeded state standards.

Recently, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation lifted the advisory for the beach at Ketchikan's Knudson Cove because enterococci bacteria levels were found to be within the state’s limit for safe recreation. The advisory was first initiated for Knudson Cove on May 24th.

Fecal coliform bacteria levels were above state limits protecting consumption of raw fish and shellfish at three beaches including South Point Higgins Beach, Rotary Pool and Herring Cove. Because the elevated levels have not been persistent, an advisory was not in effect for these beaches.  However, DEC recommends that when fishing in these areas people should rinse fish/marine foods with clean water and cook seafood to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy pathogens.

As part of a statewide recreational beach monitoring program, marine water samples will be collected at the listed coastal areas to evaluate enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria levels from May 17 – September 12. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018

Alaska: Icing Leads to Loss of Life, Sinking of Fishing Vessel -  The National Transportation Safety Board issued a marine accident brief and a related safety alert Thursday, warning mariners of the dangers of icing following the agency’s investigation of the sinking of the fishing vessel Destination.

The 110-foot, 196-gross ton, fishing vessel Destination sank in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea, 2.6 miles northwest of St. George Island, Alaska, Feb. 11, 2017. None of the six crewmembers aboard were found and are presumed to have perished in the accident.

While the exact nature of the accident is unknown because there were no survivors, no witnesses and no mayday call from the Destination, evidence analyzed by the NTSB indicates the Destination quickly capsized and subsequently sank after an accumulation of ice on the vessel and its fishing gear after encountering forecasted heavy freezing spray conditions.

The NTSB’s Marine Accident Brief 18-14 states the probable cause for the sinking was the captain’s decision to proceed during heavy freezing spray conditions without ensuring the vessel had a margin of stability to withstand an accumulation of ice or without taking sufficient mitigating action to avoid or limit the effects of icing. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018


Alaska: Way back when, artist believed Alaska was a good deal By NED ROZELL - About 150 years ago, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward was taking some heat for his significant role in the purchase of Alaska. On the day the Russians received the $7.2 million check, a group of white travelers were at Nulato, getting ready for an upriver trip to Fort Yukon to explore this strange land.

Among them was Frederick Whymper, an adventurous English artist who had signed on to help document a telegraph project across North America. In his book “Travel and Adventure in the Territory of Alaska,” he left behind some insights about what America was getting itself into.

In his 20s, Whymper left what must have been a comfortable life in London to travel to British Columbia, where he gained the position of artist on the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition. That experience may have whetted his appetite for wild and uncomfortable, because he soon became the artist for the Russian-American Telegraph Project. His job was to document an attempt to string a wire from San Francisco to Moscow.

Though the successful laying of a sea-floor cable between Ireland and Newfoundland killed the telegraph project while Whymper was in Alaska, he and the others had a fine tour up and down the Yukon, and his are among the most detailed descriptions of the time when Alaska became part of America.

The Natives of both Alaska’s coast and Interior fascinated Whymper as he wrote of the isolated “perfection” of the aboriginal people here. Here, he describes Interior Natives catching salmon on the middle Yukon River:

“We saw the very pretty sight of a whole fleet of birch bark (canoes), proceeding together as regularly as a company of soldiers. At a given signal the owners of each dipped his round hand-net into the water, and if, on raising it, a big salmon came up struggling to get away, there was a general shout,” he wrote. “I saw so much harmless fun and amusement among these Indians, and they evidently find so much enjoyment in hunting and fishing, that I could only wish they might never see much of the white man, and never learn the baneful habit and custom he is sure to introduce.”

The size of the Yukon River, which Whymper and his comrades ascended to Fort Yukon before turning around and floating all the way to the mouth, was another lasting impression. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018


jpg Danny Tyree

DANNY TYREE: You Might Be An Irresponsible Pet Owner If... As a responsible pet owner, I'm usually exasperated by the human race at this point every summer.

I have to endure listening to the media remind knuckleheads that animals DO need fresh water and DON'T need to be locked in hot vehicles. ("But I'll only be at the DMV for a minute! Unless I run into Joey and have to spend a few seconds catching up on everything since he moved away after sixth grade...")

This follows Valentine/Easter warnings about what candy dogs can safely consume. ("But I've already paid the renovator to take out the downstairs toilet and replace it with a chocolate fountain!")

And of course, there's the year-round pleading for pet owners to do the right thing and avail themselves of a spay/neuter clinic. ("Doggone if I can figure out where all these puppies and kittens keep coming from! Surely there are union rules that stop storks from delivering anything but HUMAN babies.")

Yes, a combination of laziness, ignorance, cheapness and orneriness can make some people a nuisance to the general public and a genuine hazard to their "fur babies."

Let's face it: some people just don't have the wits, empathy and patience to be pet owners. In fact, you just might be an irresponsible pet owner if you... - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018

jpg Will Durst

WILL DURST: The Resistance is a Failure - You don't need 20/20 vision to see that the whole world is waiting for the Democratic Party to push back against the tyrannical tendencies of the Trump administration. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Those of you with weak stomachs need to avert your eyes and keep all children sequestered behind closed doors (at least until after the Midterms are over) because the current state of the American Opposition Party is... well, it ain't pretty.

These pitiable progressives have managed to combine ineffectiveness with indecision. Add a sprinkle of incipient infirmity and a soupcon of both inert and inept, and you end up with a recipe for impotency, irrelevancy and extinction. A message that their candidates are finding increasingly difficult to sell to concerned constituents. "Join the Democrats. Just like you, we're confused too."

Watching them desperately bumble about these days is scarier than finding scorpions in your underwear. Like a letter from the IRS with a big red "Urgent!" stamped on the outside of the envelope. Or the sound of a gun being cocked in the dark. Nearby.

If this current liberal narrative were being chronicled on the big screen, it would qualify as the most boring horror movie ever made - another "Saw" sequel, but one in which everyone sits around talking to their detached limbs and absolutely nothing happens. They are "The Walking Dead" without all the light-hearted slapstick. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018

jpg Political Cartoon: Putin Hacks the Planet

Political Cartoon: Putin Hacks the Planet
Monte Wolverton ©2018, Battle Ground, WA
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Letter / Opinion

The Truth about Wildlife Management in Alaska By Sam Cotten - Alaska’s support for the National Park Service’s recently proposed amendments to hunting and trapping practices on national preserves in Alaska is not about trophies. It does not concern sport or recreation. It has nothing to do with predator control.

Alaska’s scale and geography are incomprehensible to most Americans. The state is enormous, largely without roads, and in many places as wild today as when its Native people first encountered Russian explorers some 275 years ago.

Grocery stores and jobs are scarce or nonexistent in Alaska’s rural communities. Lacking road access and affordable store-bought food sources, people in small communities scattered across the wilderness depend upon fish and wildlife for sustenance. It is for these Alaskans who “grocery shop” from the land that exceptions to standard hunting laws - both state and federal - are made.

The Alaska Board of Game, Alaska’s regulatory body for hunting and trapping rules, considers all regulations through an open public process. The board sometimes adopts exceptional regulations like those allowing harvest of black bears at den sites. The board allowed this only in a handful of remote locations where the practice is considered customary and traditional for obtaining food. The harvest is small and carried out mostly, if not entirely, by Alaska Native people who have taken bears in dens for thousands of years. The same is true of swimming caribou taken with rifles from boats, allowed only in two isolated game management units where caribou serve as a primary food source.

Taking bears in dens or caribou in the water are not widespread or popular hunting methods. Both activities are currently allowed under state and federal regulations in limited locations and neither is employed by the general hunting community. Bottom line, hunting guides do not take out of state clients on such hunts, nor do average urban Alaskans participate. Under the amendments to hunting and trapping rules recently proposed by the National Park Service, none of that will change. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

That Moon Colony Will Be a Reality Sooner Than You Think By Wilbur Ross - The first man on the moon held an American flag. In the not-too-distant future, astronauts on the moon may be holding fuel pumps.

The future for American commercial space activity is bright. Space entrepreneurs are already planning travel to Mars, and they are looking to the moon as the perfect location for a way station to refuel and restock Mars-bound rockets. As much as this sounds like the plot of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” it is coming closer to reality sooner than you may have ever thought possible.

A privately funded American space industry is the reason. This industry is making progress in leaps and bounds. The global space economy is approaching $350 billion and is expected to become a multitrillion-dollar industry. There are more than 800 operational American satellites in orbit, and by 2024 that number could exceed 15,000. Thanks to public-private partnerships, for the first time in seven years American rockets will soon carry NASA astronauts into space. Long dormant, Cape Canaveral is now bustling with activity. America is leading in space once again.

Space tourism may only be a year away. Tickets for human flights into lower earth orbit have already sold for $250,000 each. Earth-based mining companies may soon face stiff competition from the mining of gold, silver, platinum and rare earths on asteroids and even other planets. A race is already developing to create the technology that will bring those crucial resources back to earth. - More...
Sunday PM - July 15, 2018

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