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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Thursday - Friday
August 17-18, 2009

Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON

Ward Lake: Nymphaeaceae
A family of flowering plants commonly called water lilies that live in freshwater areas in temperate and tropical climates around the world.
Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON



Ketchikan: RECOVERY ACT FUNDS TO IMPROVE NATIVE AMERICAN AND ALASKAN HOUSING & SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARDED TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES - During a visit to an Anchorage on Monday, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that HUD is awarding 61 grants, totaling $132 million, to Native American and Native Alaskan communities across the country to improve housing and stimulate community development. The announcement came during a visit to the Mountain View community in Anchorage, which has received Recovery Act funding. The Secretary was joined by U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, and other local elected and housing officials.

Among those receiving grants, the Ketchikan Indian Community was awarded $2,347,000.00 in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the construction of Elder housing. In an email Joel Azure, KIC Housing Director, wrote, "The funding will provide much needed employment opportunities and economic benefits to local business as well as provide 12 units of affordable housing to KIC Elders."

In Southeast Alaska, the community of Metlakatla also received a grant award of $2,000,000.

The Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) and Native American Housing Block Grant (NAHBG)funds awarded Monday are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). These grants will help Native American tribes improve the quality of their housing stock, develop viable communities, promote energy efficiency and create jobs. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009

Fish Factor: Alaska's 2009 salmon season short of forecast By LAINE WELCH - There's still quite a bit of fishing to go, but it appears likely that Alaska's 2009 salmon season will come up way short of the forecast.

The statewide harvest was projected to reach 175 million fish, up 20 percent over last year. The boost stemmed from an anticipated 34 percent higher catch of pink salmon to 113 million fish. But so far, that hasn't panned out.

The biggest shortfall stems from an apparent run failure at one of the prime pink producing regions - Prince William Sound - where hatchery returns by last week were a total bust. Up to 40 million humpies were projected to be taken there this summer; through the first week of August, the catch was just 3.9 million fish.

"We should know in the next week or 10 days," said Geron Bruce, assistant director of the state commercial fisheries division. "If we don't see something then, it's going to start looking really bleak. The wild pink salmon runs to Prince William Sound are also coming back weak."

Good pink salmon catches were coming in at Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula, but another big producer - Southeast - was also off to a slow start. The total statewide harvest of pinks through August 7 had reached 37 million fish. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009

Alaska Science: A brand new world in the Aleutians By NED ROZELL - In a science report in which they wrapped up their 2008 field season, biologists Ray Buchheit and Chris Ford wrote, under a section titled Interesting Observations, "Our island blew up."

A brand new world in the Aleutians

Kasatochi Island before the Aug. 7, 2008 eruption.
Photo by pilot Jerry Morris of Security Aviation,
courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Their island was Kasatochi, a 700-acre green island in the mid-Aleutians that featured an old fox trapper's cabin and a crater filled with aquamarine water.

"It looked like Monster Island," a volcanologist said. "You were expecting Godzilla to stomp around the corner any minute."

That was the old Kasatochi, the one before an eruption on Aug. 7, 2008. Today's Kasatochi, now 32 percent larger, probably has no crested or least auklets, down from about 200,000 a year ago. After the eruption, there were probably no insects or plants on the island either. There is also no evidence of the cabin Buchheit and Ford were living in when they felt earthquakes that lasted for nine minutes, until a fishing boat captain plucked them from the island with one bag each. One hour later, Kasatochi erupted for the first time in recorded history.

The eruption blew an ash cloud 45,000 feet into the air, put more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than any volcano since Pinatubo in 1991, cancelled 44 Alaska Airlines flights, and scattered light into great sunsets from Belgium to Salt Lake City, Utah.

One year after an eruption that destroyed and rebuilt an Aleutian Island, scientists are returning to see what happens at Ground Zero after an explosive eruptions. Will the birds be back? What about insects? Plants? - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009

Alaska: New findings show increased ocean acidification in Alaska waters - The same things that make Alaska's marine waters among the most productive in the world may also make them the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. According to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist, Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska's king crab and salmon fisheries.

This spring, chemical oceanographer Jeremy Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska. When he tested the samples' acidity in his lab, the results were more acidic than expected. They show that ocean acidification is likely more severe and is happening more rapidly in Alaska than in tropical waters. The results also matched his recent findings in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

"It seems like everywhere we look in Alaska's coastal oceans, we see signs of increased ocean acidification," said Mathis.

Often referred to as the "sister problem to climate change," ocean acidification is a term to describe increasing acidity in the world's oceans. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, seawater becomes more acidic. Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago.

"The increasing acidification of Alaska waters could have a destructive effect on all of our commercial fisheries. This is a problem that we have to think about in terms of the next decade instead of the next century," said Mathis. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Read All About It! - When I was in journalism school quite a few years ago, I learned that nearly half of the readers of any daily paper simply scanned the headlines and never read the actual stories.

Which of course leads me wonder how any sentient being could have resisted reading more with such gems like "Alaska Senate Passes Natural Gas" (Ketchikan Daily News) and "Headless Body Found in Topless Bar" (Boston Herald).

But as usual, I digress.

Fortunately in our modern "I don't have time to read anything longer than my BFF can text" world, some recent headlines pretty much give you all you need to know without having to strain your eyes with all the following body copy, IMHO! - More....
Thursday - August 13, 2009

JAY AMBROSE: Side effects of health reform - Maybe you've caught one of those TV commercials that tells you all the terrific stuff about some product that will get rid of sexual dysfunction or pimples or maybe depression, and then, by obligation of law, adds that there are some possible side effects, such as the loss of toes, the growing of a second nose and death.

If you're like me, you find yourself imagining some potential customer thinking to himself, well, it might be a nice thing to get rid of that pimple, but sporting a second nose? Perhaps not. And "perhaps not" is pretty much what lots of Americans are now saying as they look at an Obama health care plan promising a world of good but accompanied by side effects that just might give us a world of hurt. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009

FLOYD & MARY BETH BROWN: Un-American? Protests are as American as Apple Pie - Un-American, disruptive, distorters of truth, manufactured outrage, Astroturf, hired guns, and Nazis are all terms used by President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their liberal allies to disparage those who are speaking out at healthcare town hall meetings.

Rather than address the legitimate questions being raised about Obamacare, the power elite have chosen to attack with personal insults. This is a failed strategy and it runs the risk of creating serious, long-term alienation in the aggrieved victims.

What a difference six months can make. In February, according to the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Obama enjoyed the approval of 65 percent of Americans. Now after his bruising attacks on these activists, his approval rating has slumped to below 50 percent. Alienation is a two-way street. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009

ANN MCFEATTERS: Lynch-mob mentality stirs health-care debate - Americans at county fairs are friendly and nice. Americans at family reunions are fabulous. Americans at town-hall meetings? Not so great.

August being the month for all three, we are seeing a particularly dark side of ourselves this month.

Many Americans are in a rage over the possibility of changing the health-care-insurance system, although our current system has left 47 million Americans out of the picture and has denied coverage to millions of others even if they have insurance.

Americans are flocking to town-hall meetings, screaming and shouting down nonplussed legislators, brandishing guns and throwing around false rumors as if they were hand grenades. - More...
Thursday - August 13, 2009


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If you submit a letter and it is not published, please contact or call 254-1948.

letterElection Time Again By Jackie Williams - It is that time of year again; Elections for City Council, Borough Assembly and School Board are coming up on October 6, 2009. The folks elected to these seats will be making decisions for all of us the next three years, except one (1) for one-year. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterMEMORIES By Linda Brownstein - I thank you Dave Keifer, old friend for writing such a true, beautiful, sad story about our friend Pat. I remember walking behind you on your first date with Charlotte as you both giggled down the Pine St. Hill together. I thank you Ketchikan, Alaska for being the place in my life that grounds me with some of my life's most precious memories and dearest friends. Thank you to the real White Cliff School-where tucked away in the corner of the first floor--always busy...never quiet...soil/gardening and paint stains always on the was always happenin' in my Kindergarten classroom there. Thank you to Pat Doherty--my student there who pushed me to learn that fish don't just just have fins...even when you are just a kindergartener...they have adipose fins, dorsal fins, anal fins,pelvic fins and pectoral fins...and I watched him as he carefully copied the letters of the names of these fins as he labeled his salmon chart/diagram, writing the words before he could really spell or read...proud as can be that his mom Susan, the fish biologist, brought that fish in a bucket to class that day. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterTongass Tribe Land -101 By Don Hoff Jr. - We are the lineal descendants of the Taan ta Kwaan means Sealion People or known as Tongass Tribe (hereinafter the Tongass Tribe or Tribe ), a traditional and historical Alaskan Native Tribe indisputably recognized by all Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes in Southeast Alaska. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterLogjam By Charlie Reynolds - I got the impression that Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Audubon Alaska and the Alaska Wilderness League are dictating to the Forest Service and the timber industry (what's left of it) how to run their business. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterPalin got it right By Rep. Don Young -On July 24, Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts took to The Washington Post to attack former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's opposition to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax legislation and her overall energy philosophy. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterOn the lighter side By Ed Marksheffel - Ah....... you've got to love Ketchikan. While driving South of our Fair City the other day I noticed a politically correct sign at the bottom of the driveway for our Bayview Cemetery - it read "Not a Through Road" instead of saying DEAD END. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterMan arrested for breaking in his own home By John T. Flood - It seems convenient to blame the cops for everything, except when they show up to save your life or the lives of one of your loved ones. If they show up because it appears someone is breaking into a home and the person becomes beligerent then they had every right to arrest the subject, I would expect to be arrested if I was beligerent towards a police officer even if I was on my own property. If he had shown his identification at first instead of becoming belligerent, then I'm very sure he wouldn't have ended up in handcuffs. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterEarly Morning Noise By Damon Hampel - I know first hand what Ms. Lewis is speaking of. Not only do I agree with everything mentioned I would like to add to the list open threats, vehicle damage, property damage, litter, and drug use. Many businesses and homes have had windows broken, electricity tampered with, and doors broken by individuals. And all anyone has to do is walk from the tunnel to First City Saloon to see the vehicle damage and litter. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterRE: Early morning noise By Dawn Lawrence - I am not sure what area of town you live in, but here in the Carlanna area it is the same. So, trust me, you are not alone! We also hear the mid-week parties with people standing outside their homes obnoxiously talking loud and blaring music, dogs barking until 1 am while their owners are inside watching TV and are too occupied or just too inconsiderate to get off their butts and quiet their dogs, etc. etc. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterPresidency In Disarray By Donald A. Moskowitz - President Obama is in disarray and heading in many directions, thereby diluting our efforts, our energies, and our resources needed to move this country forward. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letter RE: Great Horned Owl By Jacy Pierson - Thank you so much Pat. That is the second owl I have seen since I moved to POW in 1994. What was really nice was that we saw a second one that night! - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterBathrooms at Kayhi during events By Marie-Jeanne Cadle - My husband and I recently enjoyed a fun evening at Gigglefeet marred only by the filthy women's restroom that was out of paper in one stall. I wish I could say this wasn't the norm at events but it is. I understand event sponsors pay a great deal for the use of facilities at Kayhi. It seems the restrooms would be cleaned for the event and toilet paper and soap dispensers refilled as part of the service for the payment ­ much like tires on a new car. Something you don't even think to ask for because it should be standard. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterNo guns on Census Form By A. M. Johnson - I answered my own inquiry. Found the form for Census online. No gun question and no question on being a Citizen. - More...
Friday - August 14, 2009

letterPlease continue to be careful with fire By David Hull - The summer of 2009 has been a great one! Let's keep the memories pleasant ones. Please, be very careful with any type of fire. Whether you are camping out, having a day at the beach or just cleaning up around the yard, careless use of fire can spell disaster. North Tongass VFD has responded to several reports of controlled burns that had gotten out of hand. The department has also responded to a few beach fires where people had left a smoldering cooking fire and it flared up. We have been lucky this year as none of the fires caused any real damage. Many may remember the fire a few years ago near Point Higgins School. That fire costs several thousands of tax dollars to bring under control and put out. It will take a long hard rain to lessen the true fire danger. We know it's coming, we just need to be patient. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterQuestions about firearms on census? By Al Johnson - I have been asking Senator Murkowski's office for a copy of the forthcoming census format or confirmation that there are question(s) regarding firearms on the form, and that the question of being a honest US.Citizen is not. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterEarly morning noise By Christina Lewis - Every morning I wake up only because some drunken people are arguing or yelling around my home. I have seen just about everything looking out my window -- people getting beat up, peeing, etc. Mind you this is around two or three in the morning. I am a single parent who needs her critical sleep to take care of two active girls, work, cook, clean, etc. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterHealth Care By La Shaine Reynolds - Let me start by introducing myself, my name is La Shaine Reynolds and what I have e-mailed you is what is in our health care package that the President is trying to get passed. I am sending this to every newspaper that I can in the U.S.. I am also sending this to CNN, Headline News, Fox, and where ever I can send this. Everyone deserves to know what they are up against. And I am exercising my freedom of speech. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterMore on National Health care legislation By A.M..Johnson - As the Congress is returning to their individual states for the August recess and with Senator Murkowski slated to be in Ketchikan,during the recess it is timely that as many of her loyal constitutes be aware of a summation of the current Health bill contents. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterGreat Horned Owl By Pat Long - Thanks to Jacy Pierson for the wonderful picture of the Great Horned Owl. We are used to seeing, and seeing pictures of eagles and ravens, ducks and swans, etc. But it is rare to actually see one and be able to get such a great picture to share with others. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterMan arrested for breaking in his own home. By Alan R. (Rudy) McGillvray - This is about the arrest of that Cambridge professor alleged to be breaking into a home in Cambridge Massachusetts. It is a point that no one, in the drive-by media, the right-wing radio talk show host has mentioned; NO ONE HAS NOTICED. - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterPainted buses By Pat Long - Did I read that the borough assembly members were discussing and considering painting all the buses because of the success of the downtown shuttle? How much did money did they put out for the shuttle painting? - More...
Saturday - August 08, 2009

letterThe rainiest place By Chuck Lakaytis - I always thought that the town of Ketchikan was there because of a chance meeting. - More...
Saturday - august 08, 2009

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Stories in the News
©1999 - 2009
Ketchikan, Alaska

M.C. Kauffman, Webmaster/Editor,
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907 254 1948

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