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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 07, 2006

The Founding of Metlakatla

The Founding of Metlakatla
Metlakatla Indian Reservation, 1907
Photographer: Harriet Elizabeth Hunt - Donor: Forest J. Hunt, THS
Photograph courtesy Ketchikan Museums

Metlakatla: The Founding of Metlakatla By DAVE KIFFER - Nearly 120 years ago today, an American coastal steamer pulled into Port Chester on the west side of Annette Island. On board the "Ancon" was the federal commissioner of education Nathaniel H.R. Dawson who was on a tour of educational facilities in the territory.

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But that was not why the Ancon anchored off Annette Island on Aug. 7, 1887. Also on board the ship was Father William Duncan.

Duncan - an Anglican missionary who has spent 30 years in British Columbia - was meeting with an advance party of more than 40 Tsimpshians from Old Metlakatla near modern day Prince Rupert, B.C.. Duncan was returning from Washington, D.C. where he had obtained permission from the US government to move more than 800 Tsimpshians to Alaska.

This was the second time that Duncan tried to set up a Native society that was separate from the temptations of modern white society. Duncan had arrived in Port Simpson, just south of the Russian Alaska/British border in 1856 and quickly discovered the problems facing the native Tsimpshian as the white presence increased on the North Coast.

In 1862, the new settlement of Metlakatla was established 20 miles south of Port Simpson but within two decades Duncan and his community had become a thorn in the side of his church hierarchy and the secular leaders in the British Columbia government.

"Duncan was a lay minister with the Church of England and a man of great principles," according to information provided by Community Secretary Ellen Ryan to the US military in 2004. "He disagreed with the church authorities in Old Metlakatla over teaching certain rituals and ceremonies to the Tsimpshian Indians. This disagreement led to the church seizing Tsimpshian lands, and almost led to open conflict."

Duncan journeyed to Boston and then on to Washington, D.C. where he met US President Grover Cleveland, who was sympathetic to the plight of the Tsimpshian Indians, according to Ryan's "History of the Metlakatla Indian Community."

Ryan wrote that Cleveland recognized the right of the Tsimpshian to occupy land within their native home region regardless of the division of the area by Canada and the United States. He told Duncan to select an island in Southeast Alaska for the community's new home.

"The spot chosen for the settlement was once the site of a Tlingit village (Taquan)," wrote British Columbian journalist Peter Murray in his 1985 book "The Devil and Mr. Duncan: A History of the Two Metlakatla's." "The gently sloping beach was pebbled and sandy, ideal for pulling up canoesThere were a number of lakes in the mountains and from one flowed a stream with a steep 800 foot drop which could be utilized for power. Most importantly, the advance party was told by natives at nearby 'Tongass Narrows' (soon to become Ketchikan) that the surrounding waters were dark with salmon every summer."

The beautiful warm, sunny weather of the day matched the greeting that Duncan received from the members of his flock. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Pet and Doll Parade

Blueberry Festival: Pet and Doll Parade
Back Row: Connie Stewart and Angela Salazar
Front Row: Payton Simmons, Gavin & Tessa Salazar and Joseph & Erica Stewart -- and in the carriage Rocket the rabbit.
Front Page Photo by Bill Hupe

Pet & Doll Parade Photo Gallery
by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

Alaska: Most Alaska candidates back downsizing donations By KYLE HOPKINS - A public-policy watchdog group has asked would-be governors to take sides on a question voters will decide Aug. 22 - should Alaska tighten campaign finance and lobbying rules?

Ballot Measure 1 would chop in half the amount of money a person or group can donate to a candidate. It would also require people who lobby 10 or more hours within a 30-day period to register with the state.

The Alaska Public Interest Research Group began surveying candidates for governor in June, asking for their take on the proposal. Most said it's a good idea.

Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin - who faces Gov. Frank Murkowski and former state Sen. John Binkley in the Republican primary - wrote that the measure isn't perfect, but she will vote for it. "Hopefully this measure helps build the public's trust in our government." - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Alaska: 677,000 tossed crab could pinch industry By WESLEY LOY - Bristol Bay red king crab is among the most regal and coveted of Alaska's abundant seafood. Last season, seafood processors shelled out about $29 for each king crab commercial fishermen delivered to the docks.

Yet crabbers threw an estimated 677,000 of the giant orange spiders overboard at sea, many of them to die from the trauma of being hauled up in steel cages and dumped onto the decks of pitching boats.

All totaled, the tossed crabs were worth about $15 million. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006


Alaska: Alaska mourns its iconic Iditarod champion By CRAIG MEDRED - Far from her Alaska home and the dogs she loved so much, four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher died Saturday in a Seattle hospital, and a year-and-a-half battle with leukemia. She was 51 years old and the mother of two daughters, ages 10 and 5.

A child of the American upper middle class, Butcher turned her back on the civilized world of Cambridge, Mass., to carve out a niche for herself and her beloved dogs in a cold, difficult corner of Bush Alaska.

Through her 20s and into her 30s, she lived an almost cloistered existence in the Interior with her life dedicated to one seemingly impossible goal, winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. She spent days on end on the runners of a dog sled following huskies through the frozen taiga and barren wilderness north of Fairbanks. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Alaska: Images from space, via Alaska, for 15 years By NED ROZELL - On an August day 15 years ago, a dozen people crowded around a computer in Fairbanks and saw what they hoped to see-islands and ice rafts north of Hudson Bay, Canada, transmitted to them from a satellite 500 miles overhead. After letting out a collective whoop, they compared the snapshot from above to maps of northern Canada, marveling at the view Alaska's newest scientific tool provided them.

From that beginning in 1991, the Alaska Satellite Facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has received millions of data bits from orbiting satellites, and scientists have used the view from space to study things that are hard to view any other way. Those things include the amount of sea ice that forms on the northern oceans, or the slight inflation of an Aleutian volcano that may hint of an eruption.

All of this action takes place through one of the most noticeable features of the Fairbanks landscape: a 10-meter dish that looks like a birdbath sitting on top of the Elvey Building on the UAF campus. The facility also uses a similar antenna in the woods a bit west of the Elvey Building. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Alaska: Geophysical Institute purchases unmanned aircraft system - It only weighs about 40 pounds, but the Insitu A-20, an unmanned aircraft system, will provide a hefty boost to a variety of research projects throughout Alaska. The new system purchased by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has a 10-foot wingspan and can fly more than 20 hours at a time. The aircraft is robotic and controlled by an operator through a computerized ground control system.

Poker Flat Research Range will manage the new aircraft for the Geophysical Institute. Range Manager Greg Walker says there are many uses for the Insitu A-20 including wildfire mapping, trans-Alaska oil pipeline security, and large mammal mapping. Walker stresses that uses for the A-20 are many and varied because the aircraft can easily fly over and study areas that are difficult for people to get to. There will be opportunities for students to conduct research as well as for faculty. Arrangements may be made to accommodate applications from outside users. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

2006 Blueberry Arts Festival contest results
'Fun Run'
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson

Fun Run Photo Gallery
by Tom Thompson

Ketchikan: 2006 Blueberry Arts Festival contest results - It was a time for celebrating summer and blueberries at the annual Blueberry Arts Festival held in Ketchikan over the weekend. According to the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council, the event is attended by thousands including locals and visitors.

The annual event features local and visiting artists, community organizations, gourmet food and blueberry delicacies, games, and performing and visual arts. Among the traditional activities are the Blueberry Juried Arts Show, the Fun Run, a Slug Race, a Trivia Contest, a Spelling Bee, a Blueberry Pie Eating contest, Battle of the Bands and Best Blueberry Dish Contest. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Fish Factor: Alaska has what it takes to create more seafood offerings By LAINE WELCH - Food scientists from the mid-west believe the time is right for customers to accept salmon-based baby foods. Two leading researchers from the University of Illinois/College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences recently visited several Alaska processing plants in Kodiak and Seward. Both have backgrounds in the meat industry, and they were amazed and impressed with seafood production and procedures.

"I expected the plants to be small operations, but they are huge," said food chemist Susan Brewer after visiting Kodiak's Ocean Beauty and Alaska Pacific Seafoods plants. "They are very mechanized and have processing equipment I've never seen. The workers were all so professional and efficient. It was a real education ­ especially pumping the fish off the boats," she added with a laugh. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006



letterON CONSOLIDATION By David G. Hanger - Sunday
letter Honest Leadership Will Restore Trust By John Binkley - Sunday
letterBoon-Doggles By Don Hoff Jr. - Saturday
letter Baseball By Michael McColley - Saturday
letterChildren's Clothes Over The Line By Jim Dahl - Friday
letter Cigarette taxes By Joan Hurliman - Friday
letter State for the record... By Al Johnson - Thursday
letter Waste of Alaska dollars By Frances C. Natkong - Thursday
letter Poor Mel! By Mark Neckameyer - Thursday
letter Youth Baseball By Chris Elliott - Wednesday PM
letterGovernors saving Time By Charlotte Tanner - Wednesday PM
letter The Global Warming Hysteria rears it's ugly head again! By Marvin C. Seibert - Wednesday PM
letter Lick Three Times, Then Bite? By Suzan Thompson - Tuesday PM
letter Youth Baseball By Brad Groghan - Tuesday PM
letter Re: Consolidation can be for the better. By Rodney Dial - Tuesday PM
letter Borough Assembly Candidate By Gregory Vickrey - Tuesday PM
letter Concrete Classic Closed By Hunter Davis - Tuesday PM
letterPennys for the Poor, Millions for the Rich By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday PM
letter MURKOWSKI JET TIME QUALITIES By Pete Ellis - Monday
letter Cowards Of Our Own Destiny By Don Hoff Jr. - Monday
letter Ketchikan O.B. Floor By Tracey Scadden - Monday
letter Consolidation can be for the better. By Robert McRoberts - Monday
letter Murkowski's jet By Victoria Canul Dunne - Friday
letter If You Want My Vote By Samuel Bergeron - Thursday
letter Ketchikan Concrete Classic By Tracy Mettler - Thursday
letter Picturesque City By Bill Thomas SR. - Thursday
letter Four years is enough By Charlotte Tanner - Thursday
letter Don't forget your year-round customers By Jean Bland - Thursday
letter Protesters & Baseball By Scott Kline - Thursday
letter The Government is Here to Help By Alan Lidstone - Thursday
letter Tax or Not to Tax or even Tax Higher By Marvin Seibert - Thursday
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August 2006
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Columns - Commentary

Dave Kiffer: The Best Wage of All - This is my 100th column for SITNEWS.

Which means a couple of things.

First, I've been dutifully typing away every week for nearly two years.

Second, if I was a television sitcom, I could now go into the endless rotation of "syndication" along with "F-Troop," "Gilligan's Island" and "Lance Link: Secret Chimp."

And third, I haven't yet embarrassed my family enough for them to toss the computer out the window!

But not for lack of trying.

I was thinking about family the other day.

I was inspired by my son coming back from a walk with my wife at Bay View Cemetery.

My wife likes the cemetery because it is the biggest piece of relatively uninterrupted grass in southern Southeast Alaska. Even after 15 years in Ketchikan, she is not quite sold on my explanation that muskeg is just like grass, only a little wetter. - More...
Monday AM - August 7, 2006

Preston MacDougall: Chemical Eye on Phosphorus and Flamel - "Burt, you haven't been a scientist long enough to wear your hair like that."

So says the caption to a yellowing cartoon posted near my desk. An Erlenmeyer flask in the foreground, two men wearing lab coats are speaking. As only cartoonists can, their hairstyles are efficiently rendered with simple black lines - in this case none are parallel.

By giving Burt more hair lines, he is obviously younger. And by judicious placement of the elder's hair lines, he bears a resemblance to Albert Einstein. Not too much though. That would ruin the joke. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Steve Brewer: When 'middle age' becomes a body part - My mantra for middle age: Every day, in every way, I am getting fatter and fatter.

I diet (sort of). I exercise (a lot). Every day, I step onto the bathroom scales and groan.

I am not what doctors call "morbidly obese." More like pathetically obese. It's just sad the way fat accumulates on the body of a middle-aged man who gave up smoking a couple of years ago and took up Oreos instead.

One look in the mirror raises a number of questions: When did my hips become wider than my shoulders? When did my waist measurement leave my inseam in the dust? Where did my belt go? Oh, there it is, hiding under my paunch. Sneaky devil. - More...
Monday AM - August 07, 2006

Newsmaker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: What's Next for Cuba? - Fidel Castro looks like he'll soon be joining his comrades Stalin and Mao in the communist hereafter. After 47 years of abusing the Cuban people and wrecking their economy, Fidel ­ hospitalized, possibly dying or already dead -- has "temporarily" passed his dictatorial powers to Raul Castro, his vice president and younger brother.

No one is sure what will happen next. But Frank Calzon knows as much about what's going in Cuba and in the Cuban community in Miami as almost anyone. No friend of Fidel, Calzon is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, which calls itself "an independent, non-partisan institution dedicated to promoting human rights and a transition to democracy and the rule of law on the island." I talked to the Havana-born activist Thursday by phone from his offices in Washington, D.C.

Q: Do think Fidel is really already dead?

A: There's no way of knowing that. You don't have an independent media. You don't have a media stakeout. You don't have film of a wife going into visit him. You don't have the kind of coverage that allows Americans to answer questions like about their leaders when they are sick. - More...
Monday AM - August 7, 2006

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