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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 13, 2008

Front Page Photo By Cristina Doyle

Carroll Inlet: Wildlife
Front Page Photo By Cristina Doyle



Alaska: Global warming creates oil exploration rush to Arctic By ZACHARY COILE - It's a scramble for the spoils of global warming as the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice is opening access to previously unreachable deposits of oil and gas, setting off a race by northern nations -- including the United States, Canada and Russia -- to claim them.

The pursuit of those resources will be underscored this week as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy sails north from Barrow, Alaska, on Thursday to map the sea floor of the Chukchi Cap, an area at the northern edge of the Beaufort Sea. The maps could bolster U.S. claims to the area as part of its extended outer continental shelf.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed last month what the oil industry had long suspected when the agency released an estimate that the area north of the Arctic Circle may hold as much as 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or roughly 13 percent of the world's total undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas.

The dash to stake out territory across the Arctic has accelerated since Russia sent one of its submarines last August to plant the country's flag on the sea floor beneath the North Pole, provoking an outcry by other nations that viewed it as an unauthorized land grab.

Earlier this month, Canadian officials at a geology conference in Norway detailed their territorial claims to the Lomonosov Ridge, an underseas mountain range that runs beneath the North Pole. Canada argues that the ridge is part of the North American continent, not part of Siberia, as Russia has asserted. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Alaska: Immediate seismic survey of oil and gas in the Coastal Plain of ANWR urged - Governor Sarah Palin issued a letter to President Bush today, joining Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and nine other U.S. Senators in calling for immediate action to combat the American energy crisis. Gov. Palin's letter urges the administration to immediately conduct a seismic survey of oil and gas in the Coastal Plain of ANWR.

"Across the country Americans are calling for sensible, positive action toward addressing the energy crisis," said Senator Stevens. "I am delighted that Gov. Palin has joined me in urging President Bush to take a look at what Alaska can offer the country. Alaskans know that our state has the energy resources needed to safely provide America with domestic energy security and economic growth. Now is the time to let technology tell us just how much Alaska can help combat the energy crisis." - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Ketchikan: Tongass Construction Means Alternate Route to KGH ER - Thursday and Friday nights (August 14, 15) the only way to reach the Emergency Department at Ketchikan General Hospital will be to approach the entrance from the uphill side of Carlanna Lake Road.

The intersection at Tongass Avenue and Carlanna Lake Road will be closed between 6:30pm and 6:00 am while Secon Construction Company grinds and resurfaces Tongass between the main KGH entrance on Tongass and the West End Fire Station. During the daytime flaggers will control traffic flow and the intersection will be open. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Alaska: NOAA's Oldest Ship, John N. Cobb, to be Retired - NOAA ship John N. Cobb, the oldest and only wooden hulled ship in the NOAA fleet, will be decommissioned today in Seattle after 58 years of service.

NOAA's Oldest Ship, John N. Cobb, to be Retired

NOAA Ship John N. Cobb in Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Photo Credit: NOAA

The 93-foot fisheries research vessel began service in 1950 with the Bureau of Fisheries, predecessor to NOAA's Fisheries Service, conducting albacore tuna surveys in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Homeported in Seattle, Cobb has operated primarily in Alaskan waters for much of her service life, most recently in support of the fisheries service's Auke Bay Laboratories in Juneau. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Alaska: Solution to energy rebate problem sought - Several Democratic legislators have asked Attorney General Talis Colberg to remedy a situation that would deny many qualifying Alaskans from receiving this year's energy rebate. Because the rebates are tied to the Permanent Fund Dividend program, many Alaskans who qualified for 2008 PFDs, but did not apply will also be cut out of the energy rebate program.

Reps Berta Gardner and Bob Buch (D-Anchorage), Andrea Doll (D-Juneau) and Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) sent a letter to Colberg urging him to create an application form for Alaskans who qualify but are not included in the rebate.

Gardner introduced an amendment to remedy the problem during the recent special, but it was defeated on a party-line vote.- More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Alaska: Voter Registration Scam - A new scam has been announced involving voter registration. According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers may send messages asking for Social Security number or financial information to register you to vote or to confirm your registration. Scammers are representing themselves as being from the location election board.

The Alaska Division of Elections warns voters that Division staff would never ask a voter to provide financial information to register or confirm voter registration. If you get a message asking for this information, it is a scam to commit identity theft. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

Alaska: FIRST TRAFFIC SAFETY RESOURCE PROSECUTOR ANNOUNCED - Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg appointed Assistant District Attorney David Brower to be Alaska's first Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP). Nationally, traffic crashes of all kinds claim nearly 43,000 lives a year. In Alaska in 2006, traffic crashes took the lives of 46 people and injured many more.

Additionally, traffic related prosecutions, particularly DUIs and DUI-fatalities, are among the most complicated cases to handle. "Line prosecutors with substantial caseloads need a specialized prosecutor they can turn to for help, a person who focuses solely on traffic issues and prosecutions" said Deputy Attorney General Rick Svobodny "Dave Brower is the person with the expertise to do that job." - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008


Alaska: Disinterest in dock side fish sales; Ketchikan fish school scores funds; and Fish watch By LAINE WELCH - Buying locally produced foods is becoming a national trend ­ but it hasn't made a dent at the local docks. At Kodiak, for example, fishermen seldom sell their catch directly to customers.

"It seems to go in spurts. Five or six fishermen will be interested one year, and the next year there's no interest," said Mike Gardiner, a longtime Environmental Health officer with the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

It is not a complicated process that demands a lot of paperwork or permits, Gardiner said, adding that fishermen do not even need a direct marketing permit to sell to individual customers or to local stores or restaurants.

A fisherman does need a 'mobile retail vendor' permit if he wants to sell his catch at another location, say, from iced totes in the back of a pick up truck along side of a road.

"The mobile retail vendor would have to wash his fish with approved water, have a means to clean his equipment and use a permitted fish processor as a commissary," Gardiner said.

Of course, fishermen selling directly from their boats must account for their catches, said Kodiak fishery manager Jeff Wadle.

"They have to get a catcher/seller permit and fill out a fish ticket and let us know how many they sell," he said.

Wadle agreed that local fishermen haven't shown much interest in selling their catches directly to customers.

"Typically, we have several fishermen who live in the Lower 48, especially California and Seattle, who have their fish custom processed locally and take it to the Lower 48 and sell it themselves. That's fairly common. But not so much around town," Wadle said.

Requirements are a bit different for dockside sales of halibut, which fall under federal management. Fishermen need a 'registered buyer' permit, they must off load and weigh the fish at a landing site, and have the catch debited from their quota shares.

"Then they can sell it directly from their boats," an enforcement agent explained, adding that they must fill out (and save) receipts listing the date, time and poundage sold. A fisherman also needs a product transfer report if the halibut is shipped somewhere before selling it elsewhere.

Based on an informal survey, fishermen in other Alaska ports appear to have a similar disinterest in dock side fish sales. DEC's Mike Gardiner speculates it might be due to convenient arrangements with processors, who can also provide ice and other amenities.

"It's just the way it's always been done," said a Kodiak fishermen. "And it's kind of a hassle to hold back some fish to sell from the boat when you've got a big haul."

A Kodiak sales tax of 6 percent would apply, but a City spokesperson said "dock side sales are so infrequent, we have not felt the need to track it."

Ketchikan fish school scores funds

Ketchikan is fast becoming a leader in training young Alaskans in fishery science and management careers. Its Fisheries Technology program through the University of Alaska received a $170,000 grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture to expand its programs, and to partner with shellfish farmers and researchers. Funds are also available for tuition and travel, said professor and program chair, Kate Sullivan.

The program offers s one-year certificates and two-year degrees in fisheries technology. Students work alongside fisheries professionals in hatcheries and management agencies during required hands-on internships.

It is the third year that the Ketchikan program has received a grant through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CREES), which includes fisheries and aquaculture.

Ketchikan aims to be a world leader in shellfish aquaculture at its new Oceans Alaska center. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008


Public Meetings

The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in regular session at 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 13, 2008, in the KETCHIKAN HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY. Please note this is a change from the regular meeting location.
Agenda & Information Packet


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Basic Rules

letter Crossing Guards By Chris Elliott - I drive through town on my way to work every morning and want to say Thank You to the crossing guards who smile and interact pleasantly with the tourists and with us locals. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

letterAbandoned Vehicles By Rodney Dial - The Troopers share Mr. Johnson's concerns regarding abandoned vehicles, and we to want them removed as soon as possible. If it were as simple as filing charges we would do so in every instance. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

letterMoser Bay trail By Kathy Paulson - A word of thanks: I like to offer an overdue thank you Mike Sallee for the cedar chip trail behind our lot at Moser Bay. - More...
Wednesday - August 13, 2008

letter Unsung Heroes By Dave Hull - To the unsung heroes who stopped to help an accident victim near Fire Station 8 on August 11th: Just about noon on August 11, 2008, there was a vehicle accident just below Fire Station 8 at 13110 North Tongass Highway. I first became aware of the situation when a gentleman, a little short of breath from running up the driveway, entered the station and told me there was a car in the ditch just below us. Upon my arrival I found several people attending to the driver of the vehicle, keeping the driver calm and not allowing the driver to move. - More...
Monday - August 11, 2008

letter Why are we stuck on only selling unfinished raw products? By Ed Brown - Why are we stuck on only selling unfinished raw products ? Our shortsighted leadership can result in AK squandering its jobs and abundant resources. Where is the leadership from our federal and state delegations? Especially when it comes to our reversing the squandering our states resources? - More...
Monday - August 11, 2008

letter Another whipple Creek "Prize" By A. M. Johnson - Well I did it! I stopped at the Alaska Trooper's office to voice my concern at a new "Arrival" at the Whipple Creek pull out. A Cherokee Jeep, Ak Lic: EPP299 black and full of junk has been parked there after it sat at the entry of the mobile home park for a few days prior. - More...
Monday - August 11, 2008

letter Positive changes at the Alaska Marine Highway System By James Beedle - This administration inherited an Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) spiraling out of financial control and lacking operational stability. In the four fiscal years from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2007, the amount of state funds needed for operations escalated from $43.5 million to $94.2 million. During this period, budgets and operating plans were submitted to the legislature for approval and then routinely changed again and again. In 2006, the legislature became so concerned, it passed language in a bill stating that the AMHS should operate within the budget and operations approved by legislators. We're doing just that, and we're making positive, beneficial changes that Alaskans are likely to embrace. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterAMHS schedule By Michael Moyer - Isn't that nice the new ferry schedule is out?!! Too bad that's not the issue! No one ever really cared that the schedule was late in the first place. It's where the ferries are scheduled to travel that was, and still is, the issue. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterPolitical Humor & Road Flowers By A.M.Johnson - During the current political season, issues of many colors - -Whoops! Is that a politically correct statement? -- are being bantered about. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Agia equation really can add up By Sen. Kim Elton - Does 1+1=1?

When it comes to the gasline, hopefully so. A week ago, the legislature actually added one to one to enhance getting to one. We figured the TransCanada highway gasline project plus the ConocoPhillips/BP project makes it more likely we get one pipeline that delivers natural gas from the North Slope to North American markets. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Bob's Last Wish By Carroll Parr -Mackie - Of course there should be a "Plaque" for Bob. It would be the "decent" thing to do. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letterGrilling with Ted By Kris Hansen - Ahhhhhhhh, as they say in California, "Dude"-- please don't post rhetoric that is not backed up by truth. You obviously are a democrat trying to sway the voters of Alaska. The Democrats and no other are behind the Stevens' debacle. - More...
Saturday - August 09, 2008

letter Aircraft Accident By Jerry L. Kiffer - As most have heard we had an accident involving a Cessna 210 going into the water short of the airport here in Ketchikan last week. The rescue of the two persons on board was accomplished by swift reaction of local 135 pilots who were backed up by our rescue service and local civilians. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterBob's Last Wish By Beverly Reeves - He was born Charles R. Hirsh in Juneau Alaska May 14th 1984. Everyone called him Bob. He was stricken with leukemia at the age of 11 and lost his battle May 24th 2005. He was 21 years old. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterGrilling with Ted By Mike Isaac - I have heard that Bush and his buddies in the Justice Department want to lock up Ted Stevens for his "bridge to nowhere" idea. The truth is Ted Stevens may be locked up and lose his seat in the Senate over a BBQ grill, trading a classic 1964 Ford Mustang for some run of the mill SUV and having his deck repaired on his little ski cabin in Girdwood that he paid for. Ted Stevens is a good man and not one of those bible thumping, right wing kooks that give Republicans a bad name. He not only looks out for Alaska but the other states as well. I would hate to think how much gas would cost here in California if the pipeline had not been built. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letterAlaska "Roadside" flower By Carrie Beckham - On my way to work this morning, I noticed that the Jeep now has a homophobic slur spray-painted across the drivers side. - More...
Monday - August 04, 2008

letter Alaska "Roadside" flower By Al Johnson - On or around the 20th of July I contacted the State Police regarding What is now a trashed Jeep Cherokee, AK License EEP 229 located at the Whipple Creek pull out. I was advised that abandoned cars were the responsibility of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough enforcement officer. The State Trooper on duty volunteered to pass the matter on to the Borough enforcement officer. I thanked him and departed knowing the issue was being delt with. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter Rebuttal: The Other Presidential Candidates By Frank McEnulty - I couldn't be more different than Alan Keyes and the others that Tom Proebsting compared me to. First, I am not, nor have I ever been a bible thumper. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter GIVING AWAY MONEY AT ELECTION TIME By Rep. Mike Doogan - AGIA License in Peril: The bill to grant a state license for the gas pipeline is in the clutches - did I say clutches? I meant, of course, loving hands - of the Alaska State Senate where, I'm sure, a thousand plots are being hatched. I could list them all, but why bother. These things are like soap bubbles and last about as long. So let's talk about something concrete, like logistics, instead. If the legislature is to approve granting a license <> to a subsidiary of TransCanada, it must do so by midnight Aug. 2, which is the last of the 60 days the law allows for legislative review and approval. The way the votes seem to be distributed in the Senate, approval will take four days: send the bill to the floor, second reading, third reading, reconsideration. As I write this, there are four days left. What does that mean? It means the license's opponents have succeeded in stalling long enough that the slightest bobble could kill it. (Necessary disclaimer here: The license's opponents claim they haven't been stalling. But if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and talks like a duck ) Stay tuned. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter The Other Presidential Candidates By Tom Proebsting - The media has offered extensive coverage to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Every day reveals something new about the two mavericks. However, to be fair and balanced, there are other presidential candidates. There may be virtually dozens running for president, but only ten worthy of honorable mention. - More...
Friday - August 01, 2008

letter The Truth Abouts Cats & Dogs By Chris Elliott - I live on Jackson Street. While I sympathize with Mr. Griffin, I think Ms. Pitcher makes an excellent point. I don't remember cats being such a problem when I was a kid. I don't know if they were more apt to hang out at home or what, but there are a lot of cats running around our neighborhood now. On a nice day, when I've got my front door open, it's not unusual to have a cat poke his nose in. Often, when I go to work in the morning, I find little cat prints on the hood of my car. They get under our house and do whatever it is they do (stinking it up). I wish they would stay on their own property, but they're sneaky, and if you let them out, they're going to cat around. - More...
Monday - July 28, 2008

letter Thank You From the Family of Benjamin Noah Phillips By Karen Galloway - Words cannot express the gratefulness in our hearts as we try to write this thank you. We were (and still are) absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our friends, family and community members when our son and grandchild, "Baby Ben," was critically injured by a truck and had to be medevac'd to Harborview on June 9, 2008. That was the scariest thing any of us has ever experienced and those first few critical days were heart-wrenching. We live in a kind and caring community and your support has been more than awesome. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Neighborhood Cats By Karen Pitcher - I don't live in the Jackson Street neighborhood but I can really understand the frustration of the neighbor who was setting a trap for cats. The cats in my neighborhood also love to use my fenced yard as a large litter box and I get very tired of scooping up after them. Especially when I miss some and don't discover it until I've mowed over it. Yuk. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Energy: We can't just have a box of chocolates By Sen. Kim Elton - This week I'm giving my laptop's keyboard a break. I'm not putting more miles on the A,G, I, and A keys. Truth be told, I'm so tired of downloading and forwarding data on gas pipeline economics that I too need a short break from that acronym I'm not mentioning in this newsletter. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

letter Alaska Driver's Manual By Jay Jones - To Chief Davis, I would hope that operators of Departmental Vehicles would already observe what is included in the second paragraph of your letter concerning pedestrians entering/occupying crosswalks, and that it would already be Department policy, as it is on page 60 of the Alaska State Driver's Manual. - More...
Sunday - July 27, 2008

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