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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 11, 2021

SitNews Front Page Photo By CINDY MOODY

Humpbacks Bubble Feeding
Mary Island area, located roughly twenty-five miles south of Ketchikan and about the same distance north of the Canadian border. Mary Island was named for Admiral John A.Winslow’s daughter, who cruised past the island with her father in 1872 aboard the U.S.S. Sarnac
SitNews Front Page Photo By CINDY MOODY©2021
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Ketchikan: Ward Cove developers race to get facility at new cruise ship dock ready north of Ketchikan - Click here to read this KTUU article, Alaska's News Source

Ketchikan: Changes in Ketchikan EOC Operations Announced - The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will cease operations effective July 23, 2021. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

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Ketchikan: First Cruise Ship Welcomed Back to Alaska Since 2019; "An important step toward Alaska’s road to economic recovery” Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer, and City of Ketchikan Mayor Bob Sivertsen joined community members in Ketchikan Friday at an event hosted by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the trade association for the global cruise industry, as Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas became the first large cruise ship to return to Alaska following the suspension of cruise operations due to the pandemic.

First Cruise Ship Welcomed Back to Alaska Since 2019; "An important step toward Alaska’s road to economic recovery”

In Ketchikan Friday morning, Senator Murkowski welcomes the first large cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas, to return to Alaska since the pandemic.

Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas arrived to the Ketchikan port Friday morning to serve as the state’s test cruise - with volunteer passengers - to demonstrate to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionl (CDC) the implementation of COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Following Friday’s simulated voyage, nNine large cruise ships are currently scheduled to operate in Alaska this year, with 78 sailings to take place through Oct. 21, 2021. All sailings must receive approval from, and meet the requirements of, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The event marked the return of cruise tourism to Alaska nearly two years since cruise ships last operated in the state. Prior to the pandemic, cruise passengers represented more than 60% of all mainland visitors to Alaska, and the industry’s operations generated more than $3 billion to the Alaskan economy per year, supporting 23,000 local jobs.

U.S. Senator Murkowski, Alaska Lieutenant Governor Meyer and City of Ketchikan Mayor Sivertsen spoke at the event, as did representatives from CLIA, Royal Caribbean Group, and Patti Mackey, president and CEO of the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. CLIA concluded the speaking program with a tribute to U.S. Senator Murkowski for her leadership in the passage of the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act, which was instrumental in facilitating the return of cruise tourism in Alaska this summer.

Murkowski said, “I am pleased to welcome the first large cruise ship of the 2021 season. Tourism is the lifeblood for hundreds of Alaska small businesses and thousands of employees. I’ve been committed to help bring tourism back for the 2021 season and keep Alaskans afloat through the hardships created by the pandemic. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to find a solution to the 2021 cruise ship season and bring a much-needed economic boost to our communities. I want to thank the other members of the delegation for working with me to get my legislation, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, across the finish line. This legislation made it possible to begin to bring cruise ships back to Alaska – so that our communities can have a productive tourist season. Today marks an important step toward Alaska’s road to economic recovery from the pandemic.”

At the event, hosted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Senator Murkowski was presented with an award in appreciation for her leadership in the passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (ATRA).

Michael McGarry, Senior Vice President Global Government Affairs and North American Secretariat, CLIA said, “CLIA and our ocean-going member lines have been hard at work to bring cruise business back to Alaska and to support a vibrant tourism economy, with enhanced health and safety measures. We would not be here today if not for the efforts of Alaska’s elected officials, who moved mountains to ensure that communities throughout Alaska would not go a second summer without cruise tourism. On behalf of our members, we would like to share a special thank you to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, whose commitment to serving her constituents was pivotal in bringing cruise tourism back to Alaska this summer.”

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer said, “The cruise ships are back, and we look forward to many more to come. This is the boost Alaska needs for our economy and businesses. This industry is critical to our state livelihood. Today’s event is the result of the private sector and federal, state, and local governments working together. When we work together, good things happen for Alaska.”

City of Ketchikan Mayor Bob Sivertsen said, “Having the ships return is like a late spring. As with spring it brings hope, joy and the anticipation of brighter days ahead. Ketchikan is ready for the hustle and bustle of a vibrant economy. We are excited to see our cruise partners back.” - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

Bill Mitchell's last blaze was 60 years ago; Firefighter responsible for at least 5 local arsons in 50s and 60s

Bill Mitchell's last blaze was 60 years ago; Firefighter responsible for at least 5 local arsons in 50s and 60s
Coliseum Theater next to Hamburger Heaven 
at 423 Dock Street on fire May 21, 1956
Donor: Estate of Ralph M. Bartholomew
Courtesy Ketchikan Museums - SitNews 2002

Ketchikan Historical: Bill Mitchell's last blaze was 60 years ago; Firefighter responsible for at least 5 local arsons in 50s and 60s By DAVE KIFFER - On July 3, 1961, Ketchikan was ramping up for another Fourth of July celebration.  Loggers and fishermen were flooding the town, Dock Street was closed off to vehicle traffic and residents were flocking to the food and game booths. It seemed like all 6,750 residents were in the downtown prepping for the next day's parade, logging show and fireworks.

Then, shortly before 3 pm, fire alarms sounded and smoke began pouring out of the Tongass Trading building on Dock Street housing the hardware and grocery store. Firemen had to fight through the milling crowd to get to the second floor of the building only to find that the building firehose had been sliced open. As they worked to control the fire, another fire was reported in the Federal Apartments building two blocks away. As they fought the first two fires, a third blaze was reported in the Stedman Hotel across from Tongass Trading.

Soon every able-bodied person, including Coast Guardsmen and Boy Scouts, were pressed into the fight to keep the entire town from going up in flames. The fires would continue until 2:20 in the morning on July 4 and cause an estimated $500,000 in damage, or $4.5 million in 2021 dollars.

Immediately, locals recognized the handiwork of local firebug, Bill Mitchell. But Mitchell had left the community months before, after a Grand Jury weighed the evidence that he had started several local fires in the community, going back to at least 1956 but probably even earlier.

Mitchell was a tall, handsome lieutenant in the Fire Department and president of the junior chamber of commerce.  His mother and step-father, Mae and Jess Ison owned the Ben Franklin Five and Dime store that his step-father had opened in Ketchikan in 1936 and they were still operating it in the early 1960s. Mae Ison was the president of the local Soroptimists Club and Jess Ison served briefly on the Ketchikan City Council. Jess Ison also served on the Ketchikan Fire Department.

Bill Mitchell was born in 1928 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to genealogical researcher - and former Craig resident - Betty Marker. His mother was Mae Wrightsman who was born in Missouri and his father was Aubrey Mitchell, an Oklahoma highway patrolman who had been born in Texas. By 1940, the Mitchells were living in Salt Lake City and Aubrey Mitchell was an auto salesman and Mae was a stenographer, according to the 1940 census. Shortly thereafter, they divorced, and Mae Mitchell married Ketchikan resident Jess Ison in 1947 in Seattle. The marriage certificate listed Fort Smith, Arkansas as Mae Mitchell's current home. If that was when she moved to Ketchikan, Bill Mitchell would have been 19.

In Ketchikan, Bill Mitchell managed the Ben Franklin store for his mother and step-father. In 1951, he married Lucia Walther, a Petersburg woman who was a teletype operator. They divorced in 1953. In 1954, he married Lona Spurgeon, a reservations clerk and occasional flight attendant for Pan Am in Ketchikan. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

SitNews Front Page Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS ©2021

July 4th 2021 - Ketchikan, Alaska
SitNews Front Page Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS ©2021
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Ketchikan: The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce announces the following winners of the 2021 July 4th parade;“The Spirit of Resilience: Presented by the Royal Caribbean Group” - The Executive Director of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce Michelle O’Brien stated in a news release, "We were honored to have the Pioneers of Alaska judge this year’s parade entries."

The 2021 Spirit of Resilience Parade winners are as follows: - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

Ketchikan: Ketchikan First City Rotary Duck Race Winners 2021 - Congratulations to the winners of the  2021 First City Rotary Duck Race. The First City Rotary thanked all who helped with their projects by purchasing a duck race ticket. Records sales were repored this year.

Rosie Ropell, First City Rotary Ketchikan Public Image Chair, said, “We want to thank Fred Drake of Snorkle Alaska for providing wetsuits for the student Quacker Sackers that make sure the ducks keep going in the race."

Thank you First City Rotarians for your hard work.

The 2021 Duck Race Winner Are: - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

etchikan agent Gary Freitag retires

Ketchikan agent Gary Freitag retires

Gary Freitag examines a settlement plate for invasive marine species.
Photo by Deborah Mercy.


Ketchikan: Ketchikan agent Gary Freitag retires By ANNE GORE - Gary Freitag, Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program agent in Ketchikan, retired in June after 13 years of providing educational and technical assistance and marine-related outreach for Southeast Alaska communities. His expertise, coupled with his passion for teaching and skill at making complex information understandable and interesting, has made him a valuable and respected resource for the region.  

“Gary’s enthusiasm and passion will be missed,” said Alaska Sea Grant’s Director Ginny Eckert.  

Freitag’s career in Alaska has spanned four decades. Prior to joining Alaska Sea Grant, he conducted research, evaluation and management of salmon aquaculture programs, first with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, then as Research Director at the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (SSRAA). He also taught oceanography at the University of Alaska Southeast, and has served on the Pacific Salmon Commission Chinook Technical Committee since 1984 as a liaison between fisheries management and the fishermen and communities who depend on salmon. 

Freitag has contributed his knowledge and expertise to marine mammal necropsy and disentanglement, invasive species and baseline marine monitoring, salmon fishery forecasting, and remote underwater vehicle operation. He has given numerous public presentations on a wide range of topics from seaweed mariculture to marine mammals. 

One of the accomplishments he is most proud of is getting students excited about marine science. “I’ve had them come up to me after they’ve continued their studies and gotten jobs doing ocean science, and they tell me they wouldn’t be doing this work if it weren’t for me,” Freitag said. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

Ketchikan: FREE Blueberry Vaccine Clinic - In partnership with the Ketchikan Public Health Center and sponsored by the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council presents the first ever Blueberry Vaccine Clinic during the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council’s 46th Annual Blueberry Arts Festival, Saturday, August 7th, at the St. John’s Episcopal Church parking lot, 10am to 5pm.

The FREE Blueberry Vaccine Clinic will have available all three COVID vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Anyone can get their first or their second vaccine at the clinic! Please bring your vaccine card if this is your second. Those interested in a vaccine may sign up prior to Blueberry Saturday to schedule a time, but it is not required as walk-ins are very, very welcome. Please find the QR code and link for sign up at

In June the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce (GKCC) received a $45,000 grant from the Alaska Chamber to incentivize vaccinations in Ketchikan. GKCC spent the bulk of the grant to purchase $100 gift cards from local Ketchikan businesses to be given away at several vaccine clinics since June 5th. As the original one-month grant timeline runs out, GKCC still has funds and $100 gift cards to disburse. In a new collaboration, GKCC will partner with the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council (KAAHC), to re-granting funds and gift cards and continue to encourage the Ketchikan community to be vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

SitNews Front Page Photo By MARY KAUFFMAN

Alaska's Fast Ferries Before Departure
Red Zed 1 was photographed with the Alaska Fast Ferries just before departing Ketchikan before the 4th of July. Photographed in the north Tongass Narrows, Murphy's Point area on July 2nd. She is a Heavy Load Carrier built in 2015 and currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.  The vessel is currently enroute to Panama, sailing at a speed of 10.8 knots and expected to arrive in Spain on July 25, 2021. As of today's date, she is off the coast of Mexico.
SitNews Front Page Photo By MARY KAUFFMAN ©2021
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Southeast Alaska: Alaska’s Congressional Delegation asks Biden Administration to defend American waters from Canadian mine contamination. Will it? - Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, along with Congressman Don Young (All R-AK), have sent a letter of concern to the Biden Administration regarding potential impacts from risky large-scale mines in Canada near transboundary waters that flow into Alaska. The letter, dated June 24, 2021 went to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and urges the Department of State and Canada to protect downstream communities from British Columbia (B.C.) mines’ potential negative impacts, in line with the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. In spite of decades of repeated efforts from both Republican and Democratic state and federal lawmakers, a proven record of failures in B.C., and repeated requests from sovereign Indigenous nations, B.C. has continued to heavily industrialize and put at risk the international salmon rivers vital to the Tongass National Forest. The ball is now in the Biden Administration’s court.

The letter highlights that seven years after Canada’s worst environmental disaster, at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine, Americans are still not protected “from the potential downstream impacts of B.C.’s large-scale mines.” It also follows a report released on June 18, 2021 by the British Columbia government, highlighting that B.C. has failed to follow through on its commitments to prioritize human health and environmental safety in its mining regulations. Those commitments were made after the 2016 B.C. Auditor General reported that when it comes to the mining industry, “B.C. is failing on every level to protect human health and the environment.”

“We are very thankful that our congressional delegation continues to alert the Department of State regarding this complex international issue, especially as our wild salmon populations are struggling in the face of the climate crisis. But so far, these letters have fallen short to garner the attention of Secretaries of State. Thousands of Alaskans are united in asking to protect our coastal communities from B.C. - the bad neighbors next door - and we have been waiting, so far in vain, for our federal government to defend American interests and communities from existing and threatened Canadian mine contamination. President Biden has committed to initiatives like America the Beautiful and the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership. If those commitments are to have any real meaning, Secretary Blinken must take immediate action to prevent our vital international salmon rivers from being completely overrun with poorly regulated, polluting mines in Canada,” said Salmon Beyond Borders Director Jill Weitz. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

SitNews Front Page Photo By DEBORAH SIMON

South Tongas: Black Bear
SitNews Front Page Photo By DEBORAH SIMON ©2021
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Fish Factor: Sockeye catches at Bristol Bay “Unprecedented” By LAINE WELCH - “Unprecedented” is how fishery managers are describing sockeye catches at Bristol Bay, which topped one million fish for seven days straight at the Nushagak district last week and neared the two million mark on several days. 

By July 9, Alaska’s statewide sockeye salmon catch was approaching 32 million, of which more than 25 million came from Bristol Bay. The only other region getting good sockeye catches was the Alaska Peninsula where nearly 4.6 million reds were landed so far.

The Alaska Peninsula also was far ahead of all other regions for pink salmon catches with over 3.3 million taken out of a total statewide tally of just over 5.4 million so far.

Pink salmon run in distinct two year cycles with odd years being stronger, and the preseason forecast calls for a total Alaska harvest of 124.2 million pinks this summer.   

The timing for peak pink harvests is still several weeks away; likewise for chums, and most cohos will arrive in mid-August. 

Alaska salmon managers are projecting the 2021 statewide salmon catch to top 190 million fish, a 61% increase over last year’s take of about 118 million salmon. By July 9, the statewide catch for all species had topped 41 million fish. 

There’s still lots of fishing left to go and so far, the most sluggish catches were coming out of Southeast where only 258,000 salmon were landed by last week.

On the Yukon River, summer chum salmon returns are the lowest on record and state managers will request a disaster declaration for the second year in a row. 

Norton Sound primes for pinks:

Chums also are a bust at Norton Sound where the runs have dropped to less than 5% of what is typical each summer. 

“Right now, we don’t see any chum salmon openings. Something happened in the ocean that really knocked them down for this stretch,” said Jim Menard, regional manager for the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game in Nome.

Menard told KNOM that low chum runs have been occurring throughout Western Alaska in general, and it could be a side effect of the high numbers of pink salmon that have been surging into the region.  

“Five years running we’ve had incredible pink salmon runs. And the even numbered year pink runs in Norton Sound are a lot bigger than the odd numbered years,” Menard said, adding that pink returns to the region’s rivers have skyrocketed to well over 10 million fish.

The shift in fish means a small fleet of Norton Sound purse seiners will test the waters for a new pink salmon fishery this summer. It will be a first experiment for seine gear fishing for humpies so far North, and Icicle Seafoods is lined up to buy all the pinks that the local boats pull in.  

“If it’s possible to target pinks without adversely affecting the important subsistence and gillnet fleets, this pink salmon fishery warrants pursuing,” Menard said.

As far as the appearance of so many pinks, fish managers say it’s all about the food. 

“They're definitely the colonizers, for sure,” said Sam Rabung, director of the commercial fisheries division at ADF&G. “I've had calls from people on the North Slope asking about fisheries because pink salmon are showing up there. I don't know that they're going to persist because it still freezes down up there, and so the eggs that are deposited in those rivers won't generally survive. But they're trying.”  

As ocean waters warm, Rabung said it changes the makeup of the plankton the pinks feed upon and the fish are following their healthier food sources northward.   

“As the warmer water moves north, the warm water copepods, which are one of the main foods for salmon, move north with it.  The cold water copepods have a high lipid, high fat content, so they're very energy dense and have a lot of bang for the buck for eating on them,” he explained.

Warm water plankton don’t. And since salmon are a cold water species, he said warm waters also boost their metabolism, meaning they need more food to grow. 

Rabung pointed to the 2018 Gulf of Alaska cod collapse that science has linked with a preceding multi-year, warm water blob. The resulting food imbalance wiped out two cod year classes, and water temperatures that topped 60 degrees permeated to the ocean bottom and prevented cod eggs from hatching.

A changing ocean brings big challenges, he said, and paying attention to the impacts on fish can help managers better react. 

“That’s a tough ship to turn around and it’s probably not going to reverse course in my career,” he said. “But what we can do is understand what the changes are and know what’s happening with the stocks and try to not exacerbate any negative effects by not being responsive in our management.” - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

SitNews Front Page Photo By KATHLEEN RICE CAREY

Newly Born Fawn: Welcome to Our Garden
SitNews Front Page Photo By KATHLEEN RICE CAREY ©2021
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PHIL KERPEN: CREDIT CARD REWARDS ARE IN POLITICAL PERIL - The same politicians who mostly killed free checking and debit card rewards programs through government price controls are setting their sights on credit cards – and that means miles, cash back, and other rewards are now in jeopardy.

That’s a potential political earthquake, because a recent study found that 84 percent of all credit cards are rewards cards, and 70 percent of cardholders who make less than $20,000 a year have rewards cards. Many small businesses also rely on rewards cards – especially cash-back cards.

Those individuals and small businesses need to engage quickly to stop efforts underway by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to build support from his colleagues to extend his 2010 price-control and network-routing regulations on debit cards to credit cards.

The debit card experience should be seen as a cautionary tale. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021


DANNY TYREE: IS AN EXOSUIT IN YOUR FUTURE? - “You load 16 tons and what do you get? Disability payments and not a Corvette.” – with apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford.

I worked in an often-understaffed warehouse for 18 years (once becoming quite emotional when I heard Sam Cooke on the radio singing, “That’s the sound of the men working on the chain ga-a-ang…”), so my interest was piqued by a new development in the lives of blue-collar workers.

At least one grocery chain is expanding its use of exosuits – wearable robotic technology that workers strap on to reduce the strain of lifting heavy boxes all day.

No one is claiming that exosuits can single-handedly resolve unergonomic situations; but they are an additional tool to complement regular chiropractic care, better workplace design, and platitudes such as “Work smarter, not harder,” “Lift with your legs,” “If you don’t stop slouching, I’m going to throw out all your baseball cards,” etc. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021


RICH MANIERI: WELCOME TO A WORLD WHERE ETHNICITY IS RELATIVE - I confess that I had never heard of Oli London.

London is a British-born “influencer.” I’m not sure how one becomes an influencer but London, who identifies as “non-binary” and “transracial” is an influencer. I’m pretty sure I’m not an influencer. I am sure that I’m white, as is London.

“Hey guys, I’m finally Korean. I’ve transitioned!” London recently announced.

Yes, thanks to 18 plastic surgeries and a fractured take on ethnicity, London is now Korean, at least according to London. But the transition has come with a price – death threats and estrangement from family, London said.

Various published reports indicate that, for some reason, London wanted to look like Korean popstar Park Jimin. This created somewhat of an uproar and triggered another debate over cultural appropriation.

In a culture in which gender is a matter of personal preference, why not ethnicity? - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

jpg Political Cartoon: Climate Change warning signs

Political Cartoon: Climate Change warning signs
by Dave Whamond©2021, Canada,
Distributed to subscribers for publication for Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

jpg Political Cartoon: Afghan Exit

Political Cartoon: Afghan Exit
by Steve Sack©2021, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN
Distributed to subscribers for publication for Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

jpg Political Cartoon: Bezos, Musk and Branson in Space

Political Cartoon: Bezos, Musk and Branson in Space
by Jeff Koterba©2021
Distributed to subscribers for publication for Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

jpg Political Cartoon: Refusing the vaccine

Political Cartoon: Refusing the vaccine
by John Darkow©2021, Columbia Missourian
Distributed to subscribers for publication for Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion
Sine Die
By Rep. Dan Ortiz - On Monday June 28th, the Alaska House of Representative was able to come together for a final passage vote of the state budget, averting a looming government shutdown. The budget totals $4.5 billion in state unrestricted general funds, which is very similar to previous year budgets, continuing the six-year trend of flat spending.

The budget forward funds the Alaska Marine Highway System for 18 months, giving more stability for future season schedules. The budget also includes an additional $2.5 million for Pre-K programs, funds to reopen the Wrangell Fish & Game office, funds for DIPAC and Crystal Lake Hatcheries, and a slight increase over the Governor’s compact to the University.

Unique to this year, the budget includes one-time federal COVID-19 emergency funds that will be given directly to local communities, provide tourism relief, and offset other small business and nonprofit lost revenue. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

jpg Opinion

Alaska's Budget By Senator Bill Wielechowski - The new fiscal year began on July 1st . With the Governor’s vetoes, the budget appropriates $4.3 billion in unrestricted general funds for state operating expenses and $240 million for the capital budget, which authorizes or leverages nearly $1.6 billion spending in federal funds for roads, bridges, parks, maintenance, and other important

The Governor’s Budget Vetoes

The Governor vetoed $889 million from the budget that passed the Legislature.

The Governor’s vetoes include: - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

jpg Opinion

Base Dividends on resource revenue deposits to the Fund, instead of percent of Fund earnings. By Ray Metcalfe - Almost daily, I read where some legislator is pontificating over what we meant back when we, in the 11th and 12th Legislature, were setting up the Permanent Fund's management and Permanent Fund Dividend program. But so far, not one Legislator has bothered to ask.

When I was in the 11th Legislature, I was a member of the House Committee that proposed and wrote the first proposal for a dividend; the proposal the US Supreme Court threw out because of excessive residency requirements.

In the 12th Legislature, I chaired the House Committee through which the second Dividend proposal passed. It was Jay Hammond's bill, the one that legislators are still arguing over what we meant.

I also chaired the House State Affairs Committee that worked with its Senate counterpart drafting the investment strategy for the Alaska Permanent Fund. Acting against the political pressures of the day, we made the Permanent Fund a growth fund. The oil companies, the Chamber of Commerce, and Common Wealth North all wanted to get their hands on it. Had they had their way, there would be no Fund and no Dividend today.

Back then, many of us wanting it to be a growth fund had hopes that the Permanent Fund would grow until its earnings exceeded oil revenues. At that time, we hoped voters would pass an additional constitutional amendment committing all future revenues from the sale of resources to the fund, and authorizing the Legislature to draw out a fixed percent each year thereby creating an endowment to guarantee a stable economy with dividends included. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

jpg Opinion

Violation of our civil rights By Joe Bialek - It has been common knowledge for years that all major developing countries have possessed the ability to conduct germ warfare.

The Wuhan crisis is no exception.  Was a virus created in the lab and deliberately leaked into the local wet markets for experimentation on the people of Wuhan?  This is totally consistent with China's poor record on civil rights and it's complete lack of concern for all of the Chinese people.

The virus created in Wuhan is by no means a poor reflection on all Asians especially Asia-Americans.  It is simply a reaffirmation of the Communist Chinese Government's inhuman disdain for human life.  They are the ones to blame.

Now we the American people are required by our government to get the vaccine without being told what are the short/long term side effects. This is inherently a violation of our civil rights. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

jpg Opinion

RE: Ward Cove has Been Ketchikan's Economic Engine for 100 years By Terri Sims - My great grandfather was Eugene Wacker and my great grandmother Lillian Wacker, his wife. My mother was raised by her grandparents (Wackers) in Ward Cove and many of the children in the school photo would be her aunts and uncles she was raised with. I will send the article with the picture of the house to my mother who is 81 and determine if the house was the Wacker home. I also have some postcards for Wacker city made by my grandfather which are definitely not considered appropriate today but nonetheless are history. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

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The United States Needs Allies By Donald Moskowitz -President Biden is working on reestablishing and nurturing our relationships with our allies in the world.

We are recommitting the United States to backing our European allies against the influence and territorial ambitions of Russia; and NATO is  the key organization positioned to  block Russian moves in Europe, and it is needed to help combat Russia's cyber attacks on our infrastructure.

In the Far East China is significantly expanding its military and reach in the South China Sea. Our support of Taiwan, The Philippines, and Japan is critical to containing China's ambitions in the region. As a counter weight to China, we should probably encourage Japan to embark on a limited build up of its military forces, especially its Navy and missile capabilities. Additionally, we have to counter China's pilfering of our intellectual property. South Korea needs ongoing  support to deter North Korean threats. - More...
Sunday PM - July 11, 2021

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