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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 24, 2019

Inlandboatman’s Union on Strike After Impasse

Inlandboatman’s Union on Strike After Impasse; AMH Vessels will not be Sailing Until Further Notice
Workers on strike in Ketchikan in front of the Alaska Marine Highway carrying signs that read: "On Strike", "Fair Contract"....
Photo By CHRIS WILHELM ©2019

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Alaska: State Warns Inlandboatman’s Union its decision to Strike is Illegal, Unprotected ; IBU Urged to Return to Negotiating Table - Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka this evening is calling on the Inlandboatman’s Union (IBU) to end its strike, return to the negotiating table, and remove the portions of its contract offer that the State believes are unlawful and likely constitute an unfair labor practice. 

“The state did not want a work stoppage, nor does the State believe the strike is necessary to reach an agreement. If anything, it will be detrimental to negotiations and is going to seriously harm the communities and Alaskans served by the ferry system,” said Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka. 

It is the position of the State that the latest contract proposal from the IBU contains one or more unlawful provisions. The IBU has within the last 24 hours removed one of those unlawful provisions. We continue to urge the IBU to return to the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that is fair to the employees it represents, fair to the other State of Alaska employees, and fiscally responsible in today’s budget environment.

The consequences for going on strike over an unlawful contract proposal could be extreme for the IBU and State employees represented by IBU and their families. - More...
Wednesday PM - July 24, 201

Alaska: Inlandboatman’s Union on Strike After Impasse; AMH Vessels will not be Sailing Until Further Notice - The Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific said yesterday, barring a settlement, a strike could come as early as Wednesday afternoon, July 24th - and this afternoon the union representing Alaska Marine Highway System workers are on strike.

The other two unions, the AFL-CIO affiliated International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association have both negotiated a one-year extension to their contracts and are not involved in the strike.

Following the Inlandboatman’s Union of the Pacific initiatating a strike this afternoon, the Alaska Department of Transportation announced Alaska Marine Highway Vessels will not be sailing until further notice.

Quoting today's announcement from the Alaska DOT, "At this time, we are focused on the safety of passengers, crew and vessels. We are reaching out to ticketed passengers to work with them to reschedule, or offer refunds for tickets. We are working to return ships to safe harbor with adequate shore side support."

The IBU said in a July 23rd statement received by SitNews today, that hundreds of public ferry workers who operate Alaska’s vital Marine Highway conducted a democratic vote this week – and decided by a margin of 86% to reject the package of harsh measures proposed by Governor Dunleavy’s administration, that included the following:

  • Cancelling 28 negotiated settlements reached during almost three years of contract bargaining.
  • No wage increases in over 5 years
  • A one year contract instead of the normal and more efficient three year contracts.
  • Failing to respect employees who work away from their families for weeks at a time.
  • The use of expensive and wasteful mandatory overtime instead of hiring more workers.
  • Poor treatment by management has resulted in most new hires quitting this year.

On top of these issues at the bargaining table, the IBU said the Alaska legislature is threatening the entire ferry system by: - More...
Wednesday PM - July 24, 2019

Alaska: State of Alaska, Inlandboatman’s Union at Impasse After Multiple Rejected Contract Offers; State met with the IBU 38 times over two-and-a-half years, desires contract that is “fair and equitable to both IBU employees and the State” - The State of Alaska and the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU), one of three unions that represent Alaska Marine Highway System state workers, remain at impasse after IBU’s rejection of numerous contract offers the state says were fair and fiscally responsible. The IBU represents approximately 430 unlicensed crewmembers on our state ferries who perform the unlicensed work on vessels, including the deck, engine and hospitality side of ferry operations. The IBU remains the last of the three unions to agree to a contract. 

“Contract negotiations have been ongoing since December 2016 and, every offer – including concessions on pay increases, lump sum payments, and benefit enhancements – has been turned down by the IBU,” said Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka. “Over the course of two-and-a-half years, the State met with the IBU 38 times, only a few of them with the Dunleavy administration, and participated in mediated sessions to address its requests in good faith. It is our goal to agree to a contract that is fair and equitable to both IBU employees and the State. We bumped up our last offer 25% because we do not want to disrupt coastal operations in the height of Alaska’s tourism season.”  

The Department of Administration is responsible for negotiating state worker union contracts. One of the existing contract terms the union seeks to eliminate is the current cost of living differential (COLD) which ensures equity by preventing employees who live out-of-state from receiving a higher salary than their counterparts who live in-state. The IBU wants all out-of-state employees to get the same salary as Alaskan employees. The IBU further requests uncommon wage increases – increases most other unionized state employees have not received – and that the State continue covering health care costs with no contribution from IBU employees. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Alaska: Bill funding capital budget falls one vote short, another vote planned; SB2002 will be taken up again later this month in effort to achieve supermajority support - For the second time, legislation that would fund the capital budget ahead of a key July 31 deadline to receive $1 billion in federal funding for highway and construction projects fell short of achieving necessary supermajority support.

Senate Bill 2002 passed 29-to-7 Tuesday, just one vote shy of a three-quarter supermajority. That represents four additional supporters for the capital budget compared to Sunday.

Sunday, all 23 members of the Alaska House Majority voted to pass legislation that would fund the capital budget ahead of a key July 31 deadline, part of an effort to prevent the state and private sector from missing out on nearly $1 billion in federal funding. Eight members of the Republican minority prevented the bill from receiving the supermajority vote needed to fund the capital budget. The vote was 25-to-8, as seven members of the minority were not in attendance for Sunday's vote.

Senate Bill 2002  passed the Senate 19-0 on Sunday and was sent to the House. 

“The capital budget bill that failed to receive a three-quarter supermajority vote Sunday is completely separate from debate surrounding the Permanent Fund and the amount of this year’s dividend,” House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (I-Dillingham) said. “We urge every member absent today to return to Juneau for a reconsideration vote and to set aside the issues that have been unnecessarily dragged into this politically charged debate. There is still a chance to pass this budget, which is absolutely essential to our citizens and econom.

With the special session ongoing, the legislation remains alive. House Speaker Edgmon committed yesterday that the Alaska House of Representatives will, by the end of July, hold a vote to rescind previous action on S.B. 2002 to get the thirtieth vote, either from members who initially voted no or from the four absent members. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Alaska: DOJ to Host Webinars on up to $167 Million Available to Improve Crime Victims Services for Alaska Native Villages, American Indian Tribes - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska will host a Department of Justice webinar that will review application procedures and the benefits to Alaska Native villages and American Indian tribes of awards to be made under the Department’s Fiscal Year 2019 Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program.

Those benefits include funding to support the establishment of new - as well as coordination and expanding existing—victim service programs that address the needs of a wide variety of crime victims in tribal communities.

Front Page Feature Photo By JOHN FLORA

Cruising to the popular destination of Ketchikan.
Front Page Feature Photo By JOHN FLORA ©2019


The webinar takes place tomorrow, July 24, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time and will be facilitated by the Department’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office of Tribal Justice.

“Alaska Natives suffer disproportionate rates of domestic abuse, sexual assault and other violent crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder. “We encourage all of our native communities to participate in these webinars to learn how they can take advantage of these funds to provide and improve services to crime victims.”

This year’s solicitation builds on last year’s Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program, which directly funded 153 tribal applicants totaling an estimated $87.3 million (and another $20 million awarded in FY 2018 to fund other tribal victim services programs). The FY 2019 Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program allows applicants to select objectives and activities that are relevant to their specific community’s victim service needs.

Alaska Native Villages and American Indian Tribes are encouraged to register and participate in any of the remaining online webinars: - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Alaska: The Village Where Every Cop Has Been Convicted of Domestic Violence By KYLE HOPKINS, ProPublica - When Nimeron Mike applied to be a city police officer here last New Year’s Eve, he didn’t really expect to get the job.

Mike was a registered sex offender and had served six years behind bars in Alaska jails and prisons. He’d been convicted of assault, domestic violence, vehicle theft, groping a woman, hindering prosecution, reckless driving, drunken driving and choking a woman unconscious in an attempted sexual assault. Among other crimes.

“My record, I thought I had no chance of being a cop,” Mike, 43, said on a recent weekday evening, standing at his doorway in this Bering Strait village of 646 people. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Alaska: Cops in One Village Have Been Convicted of 70 Crimes. Here’s What They Had to Say About It. By KYLE HOPKINS, ProPublica - No gun. No training. $14 an hour.

If there were better jobs to be had, city police officers in this Bering Strait village say they’d apply for them. But working as a village police officer is one of the few options available. Especially for those with fresh criminal records or felony rap sheets.

“I made a change in my life. I don’t use drugs. I don’t drink,” said Officer Delbert Acoman, 45, who has served a total of 292 days behind bars and amassed 18 criminal convictions including burglary and assault over the years.

ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday that at least 14 Alaska villages, including Stebbins, have hired police with criminal records, a violation of state hiring requirements. In eight other communities, tribes have hired tribal police officers convicted of domestic violence or sex crimes. The findings are based on the first-ever database of Alaska VPOs and TPOs, created by contacting city governments and tribes in 57 villages. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019


Alaska: Alaska researchers will apply hibernation insights to human health By MARMIAN GRIMES - A new five-year, $11.8 million National Institutes of Health grant will help University of Alaska scientists translate their knowledge of hibernating animals into treatments that advance human health.

Jeanette Moore, a UAF Institute of Arctic Biology research professional, holds an arctic ground squirrel in 2016.
UAF photo by Todd Paris

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology will lead the newly formed Center of Transformative Research in Metabolism. University of Alaska Anchorage researchers will also participate.

Hibernating animals, such as arctic ground squirrels and black bears, undergo unique changes in their metabolism — the processes that build and break down materials in living cells and provide them with energy. These changes allow the animals to survive long periods of reduced activity and body temperature with no health problems.

Understanding these adaptations could reveal ways to treat certain human health problems, such as atrophy in unused and aging muscles, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The center will build on the university’s long history of research into northern animals that hibernate through Alaska’s winters.

“We’re going to understand the novel insights that they provide and be able to translate that into human applications,” said UAF professor Kelly Drew, who led the effort to obtain funding.

Knowing more about hibernating animals may point to new treatments for metabolic diseases in humans, according to IAB Director Brian Barnes, a UAF professor who has studied arctic ground squirrels for more than three decades. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Dragons of summer now on the hunt

Dragons of summer now on the hunt
A sedge darner dragonfly rests on a leaf. The dragonfly’s compound eyes are each made up of thousands of light- and motion-sensitive units.
Photo By Ned Rozell

Alaska: Dragons of summer now on the hunt By NED ROZELL - The Piper Super Cub is a nimble favorite of Alaska bush pilots who land on and take off from gravel bars and mountaintops. Engineers who designed the plane in the 1940s found a simple model that still works.

Another flying machine, the dragonfly, has not changed much in 300 million years, except it is no longer as large as a raven.

Humans have for a long time admired the design of this creature, one that can fly backward and zigzag with abrupt turns.

Aerospace scientists at the University of Colorado once leashed live dragonflies inside a wind tunnel. By observing smoke added to the wind, the researchers noticed the dragonflies twisted their wings on each downstroke. The smoke curled off the top of their wings, reducing air pressure there and providing more lift than is available to any aircraft with static wings.

A few years ago, scientists at Harvard, the University of Chicago and Columbia developed a mathematical model in an attempt to predict and duplicate the complex patterns within dragonfly wings.

Each veined dragonfly wing, “a model of evolution and biological engineering,” is as unique as a human fingerprint, wrote Harvard Ph.D. student Jordan Hoffmann, a mathematician who likes to find order in systems that seem to have none. His team came pretty close to nature’s design.

Worldwide, there are about 3,000 species of dragonfly. Thirty types live in Alaska. The largest in the state is the lake darner, a cool blue dragonfly that turns dark when the air is chilly. The delicate treeline emerald flies around cold ponds north of the Brooks Range, miles farther north than any tree. The azure darner patrols the extreme northern coast of Alaska, just a few yards from sea ice and the Arctic Ocean. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

Analysis: The politics of fear: How it manipulates us to tribalism By ARASH JAVANBAKHT - People have always used fear for intimidation of the subordinates or enemies, and shepherding the tribe by the leaders. Recently, it appears that Pres. Trump has used fear by suggesting in a tweet that four minority congresswomen go back to the places they came from.

There is a longstanding history of employing the fear of “the others,” turning humans into illogical ruthless weapons, in service to an ideology. Fear is a very strong tool that can blur humans’ logic and change their behavior.

Fear is arguably as old as life. It is deeply ingrained in the living organisms that have survived extinction through billions of years of evolution. Its roots are deep in our core psychological and biological being, and it is one of our most intimate feelings. Danger and war are as old as human history, and so are politics and religion.

I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in fear and trauma, and I have some evidence-based thoughts on how fear is abused in politics.

We learn fear from tribe mates

Like other animals, we humans can learn fear from experience, such as being attacked by a predator. We also learn from observation, such as witnessing a predator attacking another human. And, we learn by instructions, such as being told there is a predator nearby. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019



TOM PURCELL: Our Childish Politicians Need Kindergarten Lessons - We could use a hearty dose of Robert Fulghum wisdom about now.

Our political discourse is at a fever pitch. Our allegedly esteemed elected leaders are carrying on like unruly children - shouting and pouting and becoming increasingly strident with their political opponents., 

If they wish to carry on like children, they need to learn some kindergarten wisdom.

"All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten," wrote Fulghum in his famous 1988 essay, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten."

"Share everything," he writes.

Too few of us realize it, but we share many things. Most of all, we share a magnificent representative republic - and every one of us shares the incredible responsibility of running it by voting and participating in public discourse.

Our politicians must embrace our shared responsibility by discussing and debating political ideas civilly - by working out political agreements as well-mannered adults. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019


DICK POLMAN: Mueller's Testimony: Impeachment Accelerant or Anticlimax? - Remember the now-distant days when we Americans who closely track Donald Trump's lies and lawlessness waited in great anticipation for "Mueller Time"? 

That historic reckoning seemed virtually assured - until Trump's servile attorney general, Bill Barr, falsely spun the Mueller report as a total exoneration of his client. Barr's bumper-sticker mantra, amplified by his client's relentless tweets, infested the mainstream media bloodstream and struck a chord with a public that hasn't bothered to read the densely circumlocutions report.

So it's quite possible that Robert Mueller's long-awaited open testimony, slated for Wednesday in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, will be a yawner. Indeed, he recently warned that "the report is my testimony." But key House Democrats believe (or hope) that if the special counsel merely recites the most crucial passages on TV, that he will somehow bring the report to life and seed more grassroots support for impeachment.

If that were to happen, fine. But it's a sad commentary on our attention-deficit, sub-literate culture that the powerful substance of the Mueller report has not sufficiently resonated. Only three percent of Americans have reportedly read the entire thing, and only 10 percent say they've read some of it.

If Mueller's public testimony moves the needle, fine. But legal experts with federal prosecutorial experience know already how damning it is - regardless of whether Mueller remains characteristically reticent under questioning. - More...
Tuesday PM - July 23, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Robert Mueller testifies

Political Cartoon: Robert Mueller testifies
By Bruce Plante ©2019, Tulsa World
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

The PFD By Michael Fitzgerald - I agree that some of the programs affected by the Governor’s vetoes must have their funding restored. But I’m shocked by the careless disregard shown by those that support accomplishing that goal by taking $$ away from those Alaskans that can least afford it. Think about it for a moment... every $1.00 by which the PFD is reduced or (gasp!) eliminated comes out of the pocket of EVERY Alaskan - essentially a regressive tax that hits the poorest the hardest! How can ANY fair minded person really support that? How can someone that considers themselves “Progressive” support that? There are at least 2 separate issues here that need to be addressed. In my opinion, they cannot be addressed until they are separated:

1) How the payout from the PFD is calculated MAY need to be adjusted. The political truth is this will only ever be accomplished by a vote of the people. This will require a level of leadership and statesmanship heretofore not seen from the current batch of folks. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Correction of the Record, “Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in.” By R Brent Murphy - I am writing to correct the statements made in Frances H. Leach's opinion editorial titled, “Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in.” published on July 11, 2019 in SitNews.

The opinion article states, “As they’re currently being permitted, B.C’s large-scale, open pit transboundary mines threaten all of that (commercial fishing).”

This statement is inaccurate and does not stand true for Seabridge Gold’s KSM Project. The proposed KSM Project underwent a rigorous independent joint harmonized BC-CANADA Environmental Assessment over a seven-year period (2007-2104), a regulatory review that also involved both US Federal and State representatives working alongside Provincial and Federal regulators.

As noted in the decision statement of the Canadian Minister of the Environment: The project is not likely to cause adverse environmental effects as defined in the former Act, taking into account the implementation of mitigation measures described in the report ... the mitigation measures and follow up programs described in the Report are appropriate for the project.

The British Columbia Ministers of Environment and Energy and Mines concluded, “the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.” - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Measles & Vaccinations By Amanda Mitchell - There was a single case of measles of an unvaccinated youth being reported in Alaska.  It is being said that there have been no cases of measles in Alaska in the past couple of years.  

This is not entirely true. We have had cases of measles in Alaska in the past couple years, but which were caused by the vaccine. Shannon Ballard, on January 23, 2015, posted an article titled, ”The Disneyland measles outbreak may have reached Alaska.” In this article (which you can no longer find) they blamed the unvaccinated for 1 year old Rivki Webb testing positive for measles. Robert Herriman on January 24, 2015 published the follow-up stating after an investigation by DSHS, the child had symptoms and tested positive for measles, but it was from the child’s recent vaccine. The ‘measles case’ was then reclassified to a reaction to the vaccine.  There are similar cases out there, however, because of the pervasive bias towards vaccine efficiency and safety these events get downplayed, blamed on the unvaccinated or not covered at all.  - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Our Public Lands Must Be Part of the Climate Change Solution By Alison Kelly and Briana Mordick - The millions of acres of public lands that belong to all Americans should be part of the solution to the climate crisis, but mismanagement by the federal government is making them part of the problem. The fossil fuels found on our public lands are significant sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead of addressing this problem, the Trump administration is downplaying or outright ignoring it to benefit the oil, gas, and coal industries.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a dire warning about the rapidly shrinking window of time remaining if we want any hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, such as extreme temperatures, flooding and drought, sea level rise, and species loss and extinction. Yet the data show we’re still going in the wrong direction - a recent report found that America’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion rose by 2.7% in 2018—the second largest annual increase since 2000 after three years of continuous decline. While our emissions are still down overall, we’re not cutting them anywhere near fast enough to meet Paris Agreement climate goals, let alone the more ambitious target of holding global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that federal lands are a big contributor to U.S. emissions. The researchers found that together, coal, oil, and gas produced on federal lands account for approximately 25 percent of the total fossil fuels produced annually in the United States and that, on average, emissions from combustion and extraction of those fossil fuels accounted for 23.7 percent of national carbon dioxide emissions, 7.3 percent methane emissions, and 1.5 percent of nitrous oxide emissions from 2005-2014. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

The SQUAD By Rob Holston - Trump wants to send congresswomen who were born in the U.S. back to…? Back to where? He believes they are foreign born? It’s a bit of a stretch for me to defend Trump on this particular verbiage. However I’m sure he was referring to these women’s not too distant removed homeland of lineage.

Think of some black NBA players who return to their ancestral homeland, finance and set up foundations for the betterment of youth, Trump sees the NBA guy as a hero who embraces the USA and it’s opportunities and wants to change the rest of the world for good…….. while these freshman congresswomen seem to detest the USA and want to make changes that Trump sees as leading our country backwards into 3rd world country status. - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Israel Is Essential For Survival Of Jews By Donald Moskowitz - This is the 81st anniversary of the Evan-les-Bains, France conference conducted July 6-15, 1938 to discuss the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany, and develop and implement a plan to rescue them. President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated convening the conference of 32 countries and 24 relief agencies.

Adolph Hitler said he would agree to allow the Jews to leave Germany and emigrate to the 32 countries represented at the conference.

Unfortunately, 31 countries refused to take in any of the Jewish refugees. Only the Dominican Republic agreed to allow in some Jews. All kinds of excuses were stated. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King said "We must … seek to keep this part of the Continent free from unrest and from too great an intermixture of foreign strains of blood." The British, who controlled Palestine, refused to allow the Jews to emigrate because of the ongoing conflict between Arabs and Jews. The French said they could not help. The U.S. State Department, who had at least one Jew hater in a prominent position, blocked entry to the U.S. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama said they wanted no traders or intellectuals. Argentina said it had enough immigrants from Europe. Australia said it had no racial problems and did not want to create any.  - More...
Thursday PM - July 18, 2019

jpg Opinion

Transboundary Mining: Alaska’s senators are working hard. Now let’s lock it in. By Frances Leach - United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is grateful to Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan, as well as the senators of Idaho, Washington and Montana, for coming together across party lines to urge British Columbia Premier John Horgan to clean up B.C.’s mining sector and to work towards alleviating the threat B.C.’s large scale open-pit mines pose to the province’s downstream U.S. neighbors. All eight senators representing B.C.’s four U.S. border states wrote Premier Horgan on June 13, informing him on what they have been doing to monitor and sustain rivers that flow from B.C. into their states and requesting he increase the province’s efforts to do the same. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Argument Proved: State Spending Increasing By Rodney Dial - I was going to keep the debate going and write a long response to Rep. Ortiz; then I realized that he essentially proved my argument…. that state spending is increasing. He previously proved it was unsustainable when he advocated for additional taxes on top of increased use of the PFD earnings. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Protect our Seniors and Students By Rep. Dan Ortiz - As the Alaska Legislature debates how to resolve the amount and sustainability of the PFD, and what services should be funded and at what level, I pledge to continue caring for our children and our seniors. Legislators may disagree on many of the ‘hows’, but we should stand together in protecting our most vulnerable. - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

CHLORINE STILL IN KETCHIKAN? By Florian Sever - Does the City of Ketchikan filter the drinking water it provides to the public? - More...
Thursday AM - July 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Assembly and School Board Need Immediate Fiscal Plans By Dan Bockhorst - A Borough Assembly member (writing as a private citizen) recently expressed legitimate concerns about practices of State officials that have caused acute fiscal troubles throughout Alaska. The concerns expressed boil down to four points: - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Governor's Vetos By Rep. Dan Ortiz - I would like to thank Rodney Dial for the letter he submitted to SitNews published on June 30, 2019. Even more I would like to thank Assemblyman Dial for his commitment to public service by serving on the Ketchikan Borough Assembly. I offer the following facts that counter many of the points raised by Mr. Dial but I do so in the spirit of open communication and with respect for the arguments being made by him. The following facts & figures come from the non-partisan Legislative Finance Division and are viewable by the general public. - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

Open Letter: RE: Boondoggle By Al Johnson - Good to hear from you Rep. Ortiz during you busy break (I agree with the Senate President as to the Governor calling the location, I disagree that it has to be. I would if asked, suggest that you attend where the Governor has indicated while the lawsuit proceeds (Deal with the determination). That too, disturbs me that the separated powers are in this fix. .- More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

jpg Opinion

RE: Boondoggle Looking For A Place To Happen By Rep. Dan Ortiz - In response to the letter submitted by A.M. “AL” Johnson entitled “Boodoggle Looking For A Place To Happen”, I agree with the sentiments/concerns expressed by Mr. Johnson. His concerns centered around SB 92, the “Derelict Vessels” bill, sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche. The bill was submitted at the request of Harbor Masters across the state because of the problems encountered statewide with vessels being abandoned with no or little way law enforcement personnel could trace who were the owners of the boat. - More...
Sunday PM - July 07, 2019

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Boondoggle looking for a place to happen By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the upcoming LIO Ortiz Ketchikan meeting, I will not be attending, however were the chance to give Representative Ortiz a piece of my mind on a particular matter it would be:   Title registration of boats over 24 feet.  This legislation is a SNAFU big time. What a mess this will be.

Having to register in person at the DMV office, not on line, required paperwork on boats owned for years without any formal information on the transaction or worst, lost paper work never thinking of this worthless goal legislation would be approved. The worthless intent alone should have told legislators that it will be a nightmare effort to police. More it appears to be a avenue for revenue over the stated intent of its being. - More...
Wednesday PM - July 03, 2019

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RE: Governor's Vetoes By Elaine Taylor - I read with great interest the letter to the editor from Rodney Dial.   In high school we were taught that when you have a complaint, valid or not, you also offer a remedy.  Dial did not offer any real suggestions. - More...
Wednesday PM - July 03, 2019

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Governor's Vetos By Rodney Dial - So the Governor has announced his vetoes, cutting $444 million from the budget. Assuming these cuts stand, just about everyone will feel some pain, and it will have an impact on local taxes. - More...
Saturday AM - June 29, 2019

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Cuts Could Have Been Avoided By Ray Metcalfe - The University could have avoided all these cuts had it recognized years ago that we Alaskans, unlike any other state, have a collective responsibility to manage a cornucopia of valuable resources that were given to the people of Alaska to develop and sell on the world market as a means of supporting our schools and other governmental needs. - More...
Saturday AM - June 29, 2019

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