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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
July 17, 2022

SitNews Front Page Photo By STEVE SPEIGHTS

TAMSEN is a 52.4 m Sail Yacht, built in Italy by Perini Navi and delivered in 2007. She is the only Perini 52M model. TAMSEN is currently sailing under the Cayman Islands flag, the 2nd most popular flag state for superyachts with a total of 1255 yachts registered. She is known to be an active superyacht and has most recently been spotted docked in Ketchikan. She can accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms, and 8 crew members.The owner is an executive named Steve Firestone. Estimates are that this mega-yacht could sell for more than $70 million,
SitNews Front Page Photo By STEVE SPEIGHTS ©2022
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arrowCOVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – July 13, 2022
Reporting data for July 6-12, 2022
OVERVIEW – 3,449 new cases - 24 newly reported deaths - 67 hospitalizations
A male resident of Ketchikan in his 60s; A male resident of POW-Hyder Census Area in his 70s; A female resident of POW-Hyder Census Area in her 40s; A male resident of Juneau age 80+;
Ketchikan 41; KGB 1; Metlakatla 5; Juneau 128; Haines 9; Craig 1; Petersburg 7; POW_Hyder Census Area 5; Sitka 39; Skagway 6; Wrangell 46.
arrow COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – July 6, 2022
Reporting data for June 29 - July 5, 2022
OVERVIEW:   3,323 new cases - 0 newly reported deaths - 56 hospitalizations 
SE ALASKA POSITIVE CASES: Juneau 111, Ketchikan  50, KGB 1, Sitka 29, Wrangell 7, Craig 3, Haines 7, Metlakatla  3, Petersburg 3, POW- Hyder 3.
arrowCOVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – June 29, 2022
Reporting data for June 22-28, 2022
SE Alaska Positive Cases:
Ketchikan 63, Juneau 141, Metlakatla 3, Petersburg 2, POW 6, Sitka 22, Wrangell 4
arrowCOVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – June 22, 2022
Reporting data for June 15-21, 2022
SE Alaska Positive Cases:
Ketchikan, 70, KGB 3, Juneau 167, Haines 8, Metlakatla 4, Petersburg 4, POW 6, Sitka 17, Wrangell 13
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Ketchikan Historical: Aviation came to Ketchikan a century ago; Roy Jones started first commercial aviation company in Alaska By DAVE KIFFER - A century ago, Roy F. Jones flew the first airplane into Ketchikan and brought the modern transportation world to Alaska.

Aviation came to Ketchikan a century ago; Roy Jones started first commercial aviation company in Alaska

1918 photo of Roy Franklin Jones
Courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Planes had flown into and through Alaska before, but Jones' flight from Prince Rupert on July 17, 1922, was the first commercial flight in Alaska. He hoped to start a successful aviation business with his Curtiss Flying Boat, which he had named the Northbird.

It wasn't to be.

A crash at Heckman Lake in 1923 proved the end of the Northbird Aviation Company,  but Jones lived long enough to see the jet age come to Ketchikan and to take part in the dedication of the Ketchikan International Airport on Gravina Island in 1973.

Jones and mechanic Gerald Smith's flight from Seattle to Ketchikan only involved 10 hours of flight time, but took nine days, according to Lone Jansen, writing in the Anchorage based "Great Lander" newsletter n 1981. It involved numerous stops along the British Columbia coast, Jansen wrote. At one point, Jones attempted to take a paying customer aloft, a pulp mill manager looking to scout timber in the area. But Canadian authorities nixed the flight as competition to Canadian boat operators, because the plane was, after all, a flying boat.

The final leg, from Prince Rupert, took 90 minutes. Jones had wired friends in Ketchikan letting them know when he planned to arrive. He did not expect a big welcome and was shocked when nearly the entire town of 3,000 people thronged the waterfront to see him fly over, land, and then be brought to shore. There were cheers, speeches and much hullabaloo.  Jones may have underestimated his role in changing local transportation forever, but the residents of Ketchikan, hundreds of miles from the nearest large cities, were very aware that something had changed for the community the minute the Northbird touched down in Tongass Narrows.

An editorial in the Ketchikan Daily Chronicle the next day, lauded Jones' pioneer "pluck" for leading Ketchikan into the "aerial transportation epoch" noting that while the Northbird was a small plane, it heralded the arrival of much larger planes that would overcome the slow transportation options that limited development in the region.

"Only last night, after the arrival of the machine, an attorney talked of wanting to use it to go for a witness needed," the Chronicle opined. "An official talked of returning to his post in the seaplane. Several sportsmen planned on going for an outing, to go fishing. Each of these estimated it would take him a day to go by boat while he could cover the desired ground in an hour or little more by air."

At the time, according to George Beck, who worked for Jones  briefly, the Northbird's hanger was near Thomas Basin and the usual fee for a 20-minute flight over Ketchikan was $10 ($173 dollars in 2022).

Jones spent the next year giving flight seeing trips but also doing aerial photography and working for fishing and mining companies running workers and equipment to locations throughout Southeast Alaska. He was the first true commercial bush pilot in Alaska.                

Even after the August, 5, 1923 crash when a sudden downdraft brought down the Northbird at Heckman Lake,  Jones tried to keep Northbird Aviation alive, according to Ketchikan aviation historian Don "Bucky" Dawson in a presentation to the Alaska Historical Society in 1987.

"Still undaunted, Jones  shortly afterward purchased a Boeing pontoon equipped bi-plane from Juneau physician Dr. DeVighne in an effort to keep his charter business alive," Dawson wrote in 1987. But by December of 1923, Dawson wrote, Jones  ended up dissolving his business. Jones  - staying in Ketchikan and working in construction and as a Prohibition agent - offered to help anyone else who was interested in starting another flying service in Ketchikan. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Alaska: Alaska Governor Turns to Courts to Compel Feds to Address Contaminated Lands Conveyed under ANCSA - Friday, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said Alaska has exhausted all options before filing a complaint today in U.S. District Court to compel the U.S. government to take responsibility for and address contaminated sites that it conveyed to Alaska Natives beginning some 50 years ago as part of the land exchanges under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

“The transfer of contaminated sites to Alaska Natives is one of if not the most significant environmental injustices perpetuated by the federal government in Alaska,” said Governor Dunleavy. “It’s time for the United States to make good on its bargain.”

Alaska Natives agreed to relinquish their aboriginal land rights in exchange for 44 million acres of land from the federal government under ANCSA in 1971. Neither Alaska Native people nor Alaska residents expected that these lands would be contaminated.

Federal and State law are both clear that federal agencies are responsible for the cleanup of these sites because, for example, the federal government owned and, in many cases, operated the ANCSA Lands when releases of hazardous and/or toxic materials and other contamination occurred.

Despite repeated direction from Congress since 1990 and persistent requests from the State of Alaska, no action has been taken. Through half-measures and delay tactics, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have shirked responsibility and perpetuated this injustice for decades. For example, despite direct Congressional orders to do so, the DOI and BLM have not yet completed a comprehensive site inventory, nor have they meaningfully identified the types of contamination present on the ANCSA Lands, or provided information on their knowledge of the contamination at the time the sites were transferred, or prepared cleanup plans for each of the contaminated sites.

On Friday, the State of Alaska also filed comprehensive Freedom of Information Act requests with the DOI/BLM, the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Air Force, and the United States Army to obtain information that the DOI and BLM have not voluntarily shared with the State, including information regarding the nature and extent of any response activities at the identified contaminated sites.

“Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has pledged to address the concerns of those who have suffered from pollution and environmental degradation, especially in America’s minority populations. There is no greater environmental justice issue in Alaska than this and I hope today’s lawsuit and the Secretary’s leadership will finally inspire action from DOI,” said Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune.

“When Alaska Natives agreed to the historic ANCSA land settlement, few could’ve imagined they would receive lands polluted by the very federal government they were negotiating with. That’s not fair, and it’s not right,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I’ve been able to make progress with my colleagues by exempting Alaska Natives from this liability in law, but the Interior Department continues to drag its feet on the actual clean-up. Alaska Natives and the state have been left with no other choice but to file in court to hold the feds to their responsibilities and finally correct this injustice, which I fully support.”

“Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA) has been advocating on this issue since our inception,” said Hallie Bissett, Executive Director of ANVCA. “It has been 50 years since the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and too many sites remain contaminated. ANCSA was supposed to transfer meaningful lands that provided economic opportunity, not lands littered with toxins that continue to creep into our water and food systems. How many of our family members have to get cancer before we see some action? How many glow-in-the-dark fish? The Federal Government contaminated these sites, they need to clean them up. We are grateful that Governor Dunleavy and his team are passionate about this issue, we hope to see a proper resolution.” - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Front Page Photo By STEVE SPEIGHTS

Motor Yacht Moonstone
This luxury yacht currently in Ketchikan can accommodate 12 guests and a crew of 13. Moonstone is currently sailing under the Cayman Islands flag. According to, the yacht’s owners are the billionaire brothers Rob and Richard Sands. On the ranking of the largest yachts in the world, Moonstone superyacht is listed as number 467th - she has a length of 60.0m and is the 26th-largest yacht built by Amels.  Price: $ 75 million ; Annual Running Cost: $ 7.5 million 
Front Page Photo By STEVE SPEIGHTS ©2022
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Ketchikan: FILING FOR KETCHIKAN BOROUGH ELECTED OFFICES OPEN - Filing forms for the October 4, 2022, Ketchikan Gateway Borough Election became available beginning July 1st. Candidates may submit filing forms beginning August 1st through August 25th.  The Borough has elective seats open for the offices of the Borough Mayor, Assembly Members and School Board Members.  The following seats are available on the October 4, 2022 Borough ballot:

Borough Mayor – One (1) seat for a three-year term

Borough Assembly – Two (2) seats for three-year terms

School Board – Two (2) seats for three-year terms

To qualify as a candidate for Borough Mayor or Assembly Member, a citizen must have resided in the Borough for one year prior to the election date, and must be a Borough registered voter 30 days prior to the election.  To qualify as a candidate for School Board, a citizen must be a Borough registered voter 30 days prior to the election. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Alaska: Alaskans will Start Receiving the 2022 PFD on September 20th - Governor Mike Dunleavy announced the electronic distribution of 2022 Permanent Fund Dividends will begin September 20th, about a month ahead of the usual payout in early October. It will be a single payment to all eligible Alaskans with applications that have been approved by September 9th and selected direct deposit on their application. Those that filed a paper application or requested a paper check will be distributed starting the week of October 3rd. The direct deposit distribution will take place approximately three weeks before the traditional distribution in early October.

“Alaskans have waited seven long years to receive a fair and sizable dividend, and it couldn’t have come at a more important time,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Dunleavy said, “Alaskans, especially in rural communities, will have to pay extraordinarily high fuel and heating oil bills this winter, and rampant inflation is forcing all Alaskan families to pay more for basic needs, like food and medicine. We need to stop determining what amount the PFD will be using an arbitrary political process. Alaskans deserve a constitutional amendment that protects the PFD from politicians and special interests, and sets out a funding formula we can all count on.” - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Alaska: Conservation Groups Say New Analysis Confirms British Columbia Mines Pose Unacceptable, Irreversible Threats to U.S. Waters, Communities - British Columbia’s rapidly accelerating mining boom – and the dangerous waste that accompanies it – threaten communities and watersheds in neighboring states, including Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana according to a new report prepared for BC Mining Law Reform and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust.

Climate-fueled floods and disasters are exacerbating the threats these mines pose. 

The report coincides with the publication of an interactive online map that is said to clearly detail how billions of metric tons of toxic liquid mine waste, called tailings and stored in British Columbia dams, present unacceptable and irreversible risks to vulnerable U.S. communities downstream. The dams that hold these toxic tailings are among the highest in the world, and British Columbia plans to expand on existing structures.  

“Washington and British Columbia are neighbors that share so much that is good, including some beautiful rivers that flow south across the border,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Seattle-based Conservation Northwest. “But this report shows that British Columbia is playing fast and loose with its mining waste, putting the entire Northwest region, its communities and resources at dire risk. That is anything but neighborly of them.”

One major threat to U.S. waters is the Copper Mountain copper mine, located just 25 miles from the Washington border on the Similkameen River, which feeds into the Columbia River watershed. Mine operators have proposed a plan to increase the height of one of its tailings dams to 853 feet — 250 feet higher than Seattle’s Space Needle. This would make the Copper Mountain Mine tailings dam the second tallest in the world.

The sheer volume of tailings looming over the Similkameen is deeply concerning, earning the Copper Mountain Mine a ranking among the “Dirty Dozen” mines for poor environmental practices and non-compliance with environmental regulations.

“This alarming report clearly highlights the potentially catastrophic impacts of a tailings dam failure for our region. With billions of cubic meters of toxic liquid mine waste just on the other side of the border, we are one mishap away from an event that will have dire consequences for human life, wildlife and local economies,” said Erin Farris-Olsen, Northern Rockies, Prairies,  and Pacific regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation. “Now it’s up to our elected officials to push the Canadian government for greater accountability, safety and regulation.” 

Further north, one of the four tailings dams at the proposed KSM Project mine, which is slated to be sited close to the Alaska border in Northern B.C. near the transboundary Unuk River watershed, could rise to 784 feet. The tailings facility could hold up to 2.6 billion metric tons of wet tailings, the equivalent of 460,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

AK State Office of Veterans Affairs honored Army Guardsmen for 1955 rescue

AK State Office of Veterans Affairs honored Army Guardsmen for 1955 rescue
By 1st Lt. Balinda ONeal
Alaska Heroism Medal
The Alaska Heroism Medal is awarded to any member of the Alaska National Guard who distinguished themselves by heroism, exceptionally meritorious achievement, or exceptionally meritorious service beyond the call of duty. 
Alaska National Guard photo by Victoria Granado

Alaska: AK State Office of Veterans Affairs honored Army Guardsmen for 1955 rescue By 1st Lt. Balinda ONeal - On June 22, 1955, two Russian MiG 15’s from Siberia shot down a U.S. Navy plane flying a routine maritime patrol over the Bering Sea. It crash-landed on an ice shelf prompting fourteen Guardsmen from the First Scout Battalion to mount a rescue mission saving everyone on board. 

On July 9, 2022, more than 67 years later, the Alaska State Office of Veterans Affairs presented medals to one veteran and 13 family representatives of the Alaska Army National Guard’s First Scouts. 

The ceremony took place at the high school gym in Gambell, a St. Lawrence Island village located south of the Bering Strait and approximately eight miles from where the Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune crashed. 

“In 1955 each member received a Letter of Appreciation for their actions,” said Verdie Bowen, director of the Office of Veterans Affairs, who explained that at the time there were no medals in the U.S. or National Guard inventory that could be awarded for their heroism.

The Guardsmen, Siberian Yupik Eskimos, responded to the crash site in umiaks, open boats with wooden frames covered by bearded seal or walrus hides. 

The Alaska Heroism Medal citation states that the First Scouts mobilized and rescued the 11-member crew who received critical burns and gunshot and shrapnel wounds. The two MiG 15’s that shot down the Navy patrol plane, 40 miles off of Siberia and 200 miles west of Nome, remained overhead during the extraction.  - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Alaska: Potential market for liquid hydrogen as marine fuel in the Aleutian Islands - As interest grows in the potential of using “green” hydrogen generated from renewable electricity to help decarbonize maritime shipping, a new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates there could be substantial demand for liquid hydrogen (LH2) at the Aleutian Islands ports in Alaska, including 10,000 tonnes annually from ships that already call on Dutch Harbor.

The introduction of hydrogen-powered ships is likely to happen in stages, and meeting the 10,000 tonnes of latent demand, about 77% of it from local fishing vessels, might stimulate a market for LH2 that could later be expanded to oceangoing vessels. Indeed, the study finds that in a future scenario where additional oceangoing vessels divert to Alaska to refuel as part of a mature transpacific hydrogen network, the annual demand at the Aleutian Islands could be up to 260,000 tonnes of LH2. That is a market value of more than $1 billion, assuming 2035 LH2 prices. An even larger potential market of up to $1.6 billion could potentially be captured if Alaska is an early mover and makes proactive investments in LH2 bunkering infrastructure to lock in customers. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Fisheries: Safety in numbers’ tactic keeps Pacific salmon safe from predators - Animals that live in groups tend to be more protected from predators. That idea might be common sense, but it’s difficult to test for some species, especially for wild populations of fish that live in the ocean.

A new University of Washington study that leverages historical data has found unique support for the “safety in numbers” hypothesis by showing that Pacific salmon in larger groups have lower risk of being eaten by predators. But for some salmon species, schooling comes at the cost of competition for food, and those fish may trade safety for a meal. The study was published June 29 in the journal Science Advances. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

110 years since the largest Alaska eruption

110 years since the largest Alaska eruption

Explorers of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes after its eruption in 1912 stand at a campsite above the valley floor.
Photo by D.B. Church, from the book “The Valley of 10,000 Smokes” by Robert Griggs

Alaska: 110 years since the largest Alaska eruption By NED ROZELL - To put the largest eruption in Alaska’s written history in context, Robert Griggs pondered what might have happened if the volcano that erupted in summer of 1912 was located on Manhattan Island rather than the Alaska Peninsula.

“In such a catastrophe all of Greater New York would be buried under ten to fifteen feet of ash and subjected to unknown horrors from hot gases. The column of steam and ash would be plainly visible beyond Albany (150 miles away) … Explosions would be heard as far as Atlanta and St. Louis.

“The fumes would sweep over all the states east of the Rocky Mountains. In Denver they would tarnish exposed brass.”

Griggs, a botanist from Ohio State University, ventured to what he named the Valley of 10,000 Smokes a few years after the giant eruption. 

His connection to this grand, strange landscape was a bit of a fluke: One year after the June 6-8, 1912, eruption, he visited Kodiak Island to determine if kelp beds might be a possible source of fertilizer. While there, he became fascinated by the foot of ash that had blanketed much of the island.

Griggs just had to see what had caused such an effect 100 miles from its source. The National Geographic Society soon funded several of his expeditions to the mysterious eruption site. For that organization, Griggs later wrote a book on one of the most remarkable events in Alaska’s natural history.

In “The Valley of 10,000 Smokes,” published 10 years after the eruption, Griggs wrote of what he and his partners saw as they first entered the valley in 1916.

“Stretching as far as the eye could reach … were hundreds — no, thousands — of little volcanoes.

“Many of them were sending up columns of smoke that rose a thousand feet before dissolving.”

The valley has cooled enough in the past century that those geysers of steam no longer greet visitors to Katmai National Park and Preserve, but the eruption site is still pretty much a moonscape, with scant vegetation popping through the pumice. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Community Working Group Addresses Sustainable Strategies for Pinto Abalone in Alaska

Community Working Group Addresses Sustainable Strategies for Pinto Abalone in Alaska
Pinto abalone.
Photo Credit: Alaska Sea Grant/Ashley Bolwerk


Southeast Alaska: Community Working Group Addresses Sustainable Strategies for Pinto Abalone in Alaska - Pinto abalone is the northernmost abalone species on the west coast of North America, and the only abalone species found in Alaska. Pinto abalone live in kelp beds along well-exposed coasts. Abalone meat is a delicacy across numerous cultures and has always been an important traditional food and component of the Tlingit and Haida way of life.

Historically, there was a commercial abalone fishery in Southeast Alaska, but the State of Alaska closed it in 1996 due to drastic declines in harvest. Legal harvest continues today through personal use and subsistence fisheries, with restrictions including a bag limit of five per day.

Although the commercial abalone fishery remains closed, the pinto abalone has not recovered.

Enhancing abalone habitat and farming the species through aquaculture are potential ideas to recover the population. Currently in Alaska, no one is farming abalone to maturity for sale or for food, so there may be commercial opportunities. There are still many aspects of abalone culture that would need to be researched and developed.

All About Abalone

Abalone are large gastropod mollusks, or large snails, that live in the marine environment. The pinto abalone can grow up to 6 inches in length and has a multicolored, oval shape. The interior of the shell is a beautiful iridescent mother-of-pearl that is used in jewelry and other decorations.

Abalone are found in the cold waters around the world. In Alaska, they need rocky shores and kelp forests to thrive. They are usually found crawling on the sea floor in kelp beds and along rocky beaches.

Sometimes they can be found exposed during extreme low tides.

Abalone are a key part of the Alaskan ecosystem. Their numbers are influenced by other species, including sea otters, sea urchins, and humans. They are found in Alaska from the outside coast of Chichagof Island, south to the Canadian border and east to Ketchikan and Metlakatla. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022

Columns - Commentary



CHRISTINE FLOWERS: JANUARY 6 HEARINGS ARE NOT WATERGATE - I was 11 during the summer of 1973 when the Watergate hearings were televised. The memory is still very clear in my mind, and it was a watershed moment for a young girl who thought her country was perfect. It clearly wasn’t.

Now, almost 50 years later, I am even more cognizant of the flaws in our nation, even though I spend most of my waking hours helping other people become American citizens. The flaws pale in comparison to the problems people face in other countries, mass shootings and “women stripped of their rights” included.

But I am not convinced that these hearings are a legitimate exercise in facing up to those flaws because unlike Watergate, it is an utterly partisan process. And that is not entirely the fault of the GOP. - More..
Sunday - July 17, 2022


MICHAEL REAGAN: TRUMP 2024 IS TOO RISKY FOR REPUBLICANS - Donald Trump is out there speaking and drawing fired-up crowds in places like Illinois.

It’s obvious that he’s still the most popular figure and dominant force in the Republican Party.

But I’m worried that despite his lasting popularity among most Republicans, he’s a liability to the GOP’s chances to retake the White House in 2024.

The good news for Republicans is that this fall, thanks to Joe Biden, it looks like nothing is going to prevent a Red wave from flushing Democrats out of power in the House and probably in the Senate. - More...
Sunday - July 17, 2022


TAYLOR KOVAR: Ask Taylor: How to invest for rising interest rates - Hey Taylor: Lots of variables to track in our current economy, but I’m wondering what you think about ways to invest while interest rates are rising. Rate hikes seem like the only sure thing right now, so how does the modern investor factor that in? - John

Hey John: Solid, timely question. You should never take a break from putting your money to work, so it’s all about adjusting to meet the situation. Rising rates hurt in some ways and help in others, meaning you’ve got opportunities no matter what’s going on. Here are a couple of options that should be on your radar.  - More....
Sunday - July 17, 2022

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Strengthen your ‘three-legged stool’ for retirement Provided By BEN EDWARDS, AAMS® - For many years, Americans provided for their retirement needs through three sources: employer-sponsored pension plans, Social Security income, and savings and investments accumulated through employer plans or individual accounts – the so-called “three-legged stool.” But today, that stool is shakier than it used to be. What can you do to strengthen it?

To begin with, all three legs of the stool are facing challenges. Let’s consider them:
• Employer pensions – A generation ago, workers employed in many companies could count on a set monthly pension income to help them through their retirement years. Today, pensions – also known as defined benefit plans – are mostly found in public sector employment, as most private-sector employers have replaced their pensions with 401(k) and similar plans. These plans can be quite effective at helping build resources for retirement, but they do place most of the responsibility for saving on the employee. - More....
Sunday - July 17, 2022


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Gun reform finally passed Congress after almost three decades of failure - what changed? By MONIKA L. MCDDERMOTT AND DAVID R. JONES-

Gun control legislation almost never passes Congress, even when there is widespread public support for action in the wake of mass shootings such as those in Buffalo and Uvalde.

That’s why we did not expect that on June 25, 2022, President Joe Biden would sign into law a bill containing a set of gun reform provisions known as the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”

Based on our expertise studying public opinion and the U.S. Congress, here are four reasons we believe some gun control measures got enacted this time around. - More...
Sunday - July 10, 2022

jpg Opinion

A letter to the Ketchikan community By Rodney Dial - Friends, it’s been a while since I wrote a letter to the community. In light of recent events now seems like the right time. As many of you are aware, two issues, one involving the Borough and the other the City have preoccupied public discourse over the last two months. Specifically for the Borough, grant funding for the Ketchikan Pride Alliance (KPA) and for the City, the Drag Queen event at the Library.

Generally at this point in a discussion regarding a topic like this most feel compelled to add the standard disclaimer “I have nothing against _X_ group ”. However, as I have never written or said anything in my life against the group I am about to discuss, I see no reason to disprove a negative, or justify my right of free speech.

The Borough issue was/is as simple as this… should the Borough fund the Ketchikan Pride Alliance. That was all this issue was about. It had nothing to do with:

• Should KPA exist
• Does KPA contribute to the community

KPA has existed for years and no one (including me) has suggested that KPA and its members do not have the Constitutional right to exist and engage in lawful activities in Ketchikan. KPA has existed for years without governmental support and would have continued to exist without Borough support. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

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Return of Prince Rupert Ferry Run By Prince Rupert Mayor Mayor Lee Brain and Rep. Dan Ortiz - This past month, the Alaska Department of Transportation reinstated the Prince Rupert Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) route. Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan and Mayor Lee Brain of Prince Rupert are jointly writing this letter to illustrate our supportive working relationship on the issue of reinstating this route for over the past two years. Rep. Dan Ortiz had the opportunity to ride “inaugural return voyage” of the AMHS to Prince Rupert to meet with officials there, including Mayor Brain.

The relationship between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan is an important one as they are sister cities. Officials from Prince Rupert come to Southeast Alaska roughly 3 times per year to discuss transboundary, transportation, and economic issues.

The ferry route connecting Prince Rupert and Ketchikan brings strong economic benefits to both Prince Rupert and the communities of Southern Southeast Alaska. It is the fastest way to connect Southern Southeast with the road system, and therefore is helpful in shipping goods. According to the McKinley Research Group (formerly known as the McDowell Group), seafood companies rely on this port connection to ship fresh seafood. During a time when freight costs have increased substantially, it is wonderful to have this route option available again.

The Prince Rupert run is ideal for longer-term visitors to Alaska. Economic data indicates that folks who visit Alaska via the AMHS spend significantly more money in our communities than the average cruise ship passenger, bringing economic benefits to both Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. This route also helps new-to-town movers, particularly members of the Coast Guard, as they navigate transporting their belongings in and out of Southeast Alaska. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022

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"What is a woman?" By Steven Booth - The unspoken rule for attempting to answer The Daily Wire's, Matt Walsh question, in his new controversial film, "what is a woman?” is that you must give the answer that Matt Walsh wants to hear, because that is all that will fit in his myopic view. For him it appears there is only one answer, his. If you stray from those rules, he will attempt to correct you by stating that you must make the answer simple. Matt wants to say it is about "simple biology", yet, when the complications of biology is used, he will dismiss those facts because differences of opinion discussions morph into arguments where we have different facts. In my opinion, the question more difficult to answer is, "explain what is God, give 3 examples, and keep under one paragraph". It is my belief that Matt Walsh never intended to ask the question to understand why people believe that there is a spectrum of gender differences or why some men believe, that on a spectrum, they are more woman than a man.  

The questions is to create controversial content through controversial issues in order to get views, because views makes him and the daily wire more money. Daily wire is taking a play right out of Facebook’s algorithm tactics to increase engagement and then keep people engaged. It is a model that prioritizes profit. In order to maximize engagement from both sides of the issue, they stoke controversy, misinformation, and extremism (conveniently, for the daily wire, in their opinion, that extremism is only coming from other groups): "put simply, people just like outrageous stuff." 

 "What is a woman?" A person born female, whose sex development did not differ in any way, or form any variation form the "Eve" originally created and developed by God. Good enough one line answer for Matt Walsh? Probably not, because it still suggests that there is a spectrum between a man and a woman. - More...
Thursday - June 30, 2022  

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Let's let the children of our community remain innocent and enjoy their childhood By Ann Graham Radford - I spoke to the Ketchikan City Council on June 16th and urged them to cancel the upcoming Drag Queen Story time at Ketchikan Public Library.  Some of my reasons are that children across the nation are already being confused about their bodies through all they see and hear in today’s culture.  We know there is a widespread phenomenon occurring today, particularly among young girls who are suddenly deciding they are transgender.  Why has this become a current trend among teenagers and young adults?  In previous eras, young women had “the vapors” and fainting back in the 1800’s; more recently there have been widespread eating disorders.  Now the rising trend is to be transgender.  Why?  Some studies have shown it is because of the influence of culture, particularly through the internet, and peer pressure. - More...
Tuesday - June 21, 2022

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Ketchikan Public Library's Story Time By Kathy Flora - I’ve been a tax paying resident of the Ketchikan for 50 years, with the help of the Ketchikan Public Library I’ve raised 3 beautiful children. We went to a wide variety of guest readers at Story Time. - More...
Tuesday - June 21, 2022

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Drag Queen Story Hour By Robert Holston - What our children need more than ever in these times is STABILITY. Stable homes, stable families, stable communities, stable education. The opposite of stability is CONFUSION. Knowing that up is up and down is down is a good thing. Wondering about these FACTS is a BAD THING. - More...
Sunday - June 12, 2022

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TIME TO FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR KETCHIKAN'S BOROUGH MAYOR By David G Hanger - The KGB Mayor of course, is Rodney Dial, our not so erstwhile Mayor who earned that handle by seeking to claim in order to get elected college credibility and experience on the basis of a few courses at the community college. “College Boy” is a grade schooler, and while that is not disqualifying respective the position he currently holds (Most of our city and borough mayors have been grade schoolers, and none were in any sense exceptional.), it was an intentional attempt to elevate himself by disparaging advanced education and those who have attained it. This is a popular point of view in this country these days; the simple fact that one does not have a college education, is not capable of attaining such, is sufficient in itself to degrade those who are educated.

There is nothing more disgusting, not even the soldier bit, than an individual who claims educational experience and qualification he or she does not have. Sometimes you go to prison for it. Mayor Rodney Dial in fact is very one-dimensional, and he will never be a college man. He does not have the guts or the capacity to be a college man. - More...
Sunday - June 12, 2022

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Open Letter: KETCHIKAN GATEWAY BOROUGH MAYOR & ASSEMBLY RE: The Ketchikan Pride Alliance funding  By Rob Holston - I agree with Mayor Rodney Dial’s VETO rationale. Advocacy groups may exist without being divisive but the LGBTQ+ agenda is not among such causes.  - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Why would I talk to them? Research shows we can talk across our political divides By Melinda Burrell - As we look at the pictures from Uvalde, Buffalo, and other mass shootings, we’re having agonized conversation. It seems inconceivable that “the other side” could look at those same photos yet reach utterly different conclusions about their meanings. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Pelosi & Roe VS Wade By Rob Holston - Nancy Pelosi just emailed me stating she’s never been so angry in her life! And that she refuses to let Republican MEN shame, attack and imprison women for fighting for the right to kill their pre born innocent children?(paraphrased) What about the 10’s of 1,000’s of Republican WOMEN who don’t agree with Nancy and choose to protect the innocent life of the pre-born children. A vast majority of Republican MEN & WOMEN favor reproductive rights for women. No Republican that I know of would mean to prevent any woman from having a baby, i.e. “reproductive rights”. Nancy and her followers adhere to the ROE decision but perhaps fail to read the Supreme Court majority opinion. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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Sealaska Shareholders vote "NO" on The Blood Quantum Resolution By Dominic Salvato - The blood quantum resolution removes the last obstacle standing in the way of total domination by Sealaska's management over shareholders. By allowing more shareholders Sealaska moves original shareholders and their votes out of management's way. - More...
Thursday - June 02, 2022

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