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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 31, 2009

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Ward Creek Area: Black Bear
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS


Ketchikan: Transportation Dept. Releases 2010-2013 Draft STIP for Public Comment - The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has released the draft version of the 2010-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

One particular project in the draft STIP will reconstruct the North Tongass highway in Ketchikan for approximately two miles to provide a paved width of 36 feet from the first junction with D-1 Loop Road (Lighthouse Grocery area) to Whipple Creek Bridge. The current pavement rating on this section of the North Tongass Highway D1 to Whipple Creek is "poor". This roadway work will exclude the 0.2 mile section from the second junction with D-1 Loop (Mud Bight area) to Lighthouse Grocery which will be addressed in a later project.

Another project proposed for funding in the STIP is the Alaska Class Ferry. This project will design and construct an efficient and environmentally responsible vessel to meet the future needs of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The STIP is a four-year highway spending plan describing how Alaska will use federal funds to implement the state's long range transportation plan. The release of the draft STIP initiates the public participation process necessary prior to the release of federal funds to the state. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

Ketchikan: KETCHIKAN MAN CONVICTED BY FEDERAL JURY OF DRUG TRAFFICKING - United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Friday that after deliberating for approximately four hours, a federal jury in Anchorage found Eulogio F. Seludo, of Ketchikan, Alaska, guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, five counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of attempted possession with intent to possess methamphetamine, and one count of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Seludo, age 53, was tried before United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Aunnie Steward, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Seludo trafficked in methamphetamine from sometime in late 2006, to April 2008. The defendant, together with his co-conspirators, shipped methamphetamine to Ketchikan through the U.S. Postal Service, and also bought it from other methamphetamine dealers in Ketchikan, and sold it in Ketchikan.

Judge Beistline scheduled sentencing for November 9, 2009, at 10:00 am. The law provides for a maximum of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

Ketchikan: UAS Ketchikan Announces New Humanities Faculty Member - Teague Whalen, UAS Ketchikan's new Assistant Professor of English and Communication, recently moved here from Marquette, Michigan, where he was a teaching fellow and received his Masters of Fine Art (M.F.A.) in creative writing. In the past, he has taught English at North Central Michigan College and in the University of Michigan's New England Literature Program. Currently, he is teaching three sections of COMM 111, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, online this fall and is also a writing tutor in the campus Learning Center. In upcoming semesters, he will be teaching composition, creative writing, and literature as well. Teague is also a performing singer/songwriter/guitar player; writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry; and he is an avid outdoorsman. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

Fish Factor: Danger posed to fisheries in Southeast by sea otters By LAINE WELCH - Several things pose dangers to various fisheries in Alaska, but there is one big threat in the Panhandle that is seldom mentioned: sea otters.

Sea otters in Southeast Alaska were hunted almost to extinction by Russian fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries, and estimates peg the population at just 2,000 in 1911. Sea otters were re-introduced to the region by ADF&G in the 1960s; within a decade their numbers reached 160,000 animals, and otter counts have grown exponentially ever since.

Sea otters can grow larger than four feet and weigh up to 90 pounds. They are voracious feeders and eat 25% of their body weight each day. Sea otters are blamed in part for the collapse of the lucrative abalone fishery, which ended in 1995.

"It is clear that abalone cannot co-exist in commercial quantities with sea otters," said a 1999 fishery report to the state Board of Fisheries.

Now, their appetites are starting to take a bite out of other commercially important species.

"We've closed many fisheries now - sea cucumbers, urchins, and just this last year we closed the first geoduck fishery due to presumed sea otter predation," said Zac Hoyt, a diver and research biologist at ADF&G in Petersburg. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

National: Facts are first casualty in health-care debate By JOE GAROFOLI - egislation in Congress have heard that it will "ration" care to the nation's oldest citizens and hike premiums "95 percent."

Or that Republican voters "might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health-care rationing system." President Obama, meanwhile, has said don't worry, the plan "will be paid for."

Such statements, made in what analysts say is likely to be one of the most expensive issue-oriented campaigns ever, are misleading -- if not flat-out wrong.

More than $67 million has been spent on TV advertising on the health-care debate so far this year, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, which analyzes TV political advertising, and more misinformation and nastiness is expected when Congress returns next week.

"Definitely, the debate is going to ratchet up," said Keith Appell, a spokesman for the group Conservatives for Patients' Rights, which plans to spend $20 million against the Democrats' health-care plans. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009


Health - Fitness: Is death knocking at your door? Check odds on the Web By MICHAEL A. FUOCO - The Internet is full of information, oddities, porn and, now, thanks to a Web site developed by researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University, a way for users to determine their chances of dying within the next year.

The Web site officially unveiled Thursday -- -- was immediately so popular it quickly recorded 3 million hits and temporarily shut down for two hours because of server problems.

"One of our tag lines is 'Death has never been so much fun,' " said Paul Fischbeck, site developer and professor of social and decision sciences, engineering and public policy at CMU.

"I study risk -- financial, environmental, health and safety, I've done all of those things," Fischbeck explained. "One of the biggest risks we have is dying, it's always hanging over us. When you look at death statistics, there's infant mortality and life expectancy. There's not a lot in between.

"If you really wanted to know the statistics for you personally that you might die next year, you'd have a hard time trying to find it. We wanted to develop a site to allow you to do that." - More....
Monday - August 31, 2009

Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: We're Off On The Road To Alaska's Capital! - No, not Juneau, but the capital in waiting, Willow.

What it is waiting for? I'm so glad you asked.

It is waiting for that tipping point in the future when 51 percent of the people in Alaska have finally been "asleep at the wheel" enough (see penultimate paragraph below) to approve the $1 billion plus cost of building a capital that is truly in the middle of nowhere.

A brief history is in order. In 1976, when Alaska Pipeline construction peaked and Alaska's IQ (idiot quotient) topped 50 percent, voters approved moving the capital to Willow to make it more accessible to the "majority" of the residents of the state.

Willow was picked primarily because the folks in Los Anchorage - who really wanted the capital to themselves - felt that they needed to pay lip service to their friends in Squarebanks and pretend that a new capital - located between the two, but actually lot closer to Anchorage - should be built in a brand new city.

Voters (or at least all those folks from Oklahoma and Texas who were pretending to be permanent) agreed. But when it came to actually spending the money to carve Alaska's Brasilia out of the mosquito infested swamp in 1982, voters said "wait just a darned cotton picking minute."

Since then there remains lots of talk about moving the capital. But when it comes to talk about Willow, not so much. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009


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letterSummer Commercial Crab Season By John A. Beck - I recently went crabbing up the Carrol Inlet and was amazed at the lack of crab after the commercial crab season. I also was amazed how few crab were just under the legal limit. I would say it was one third the take in the same areas compared to past years. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

letterFACT OR FICTION, OR CITY POLITICS? by Ken Bylund - The story, "Teen charged with theft", on A-2 of the weekend edition of the Ketchikan Daily News, was at best a weighty psychological slant designed to put words in the mouth of Patrick Doherty... to ensure he looks guilty? All pulled out of "the complaint". Was on the grand jury earlier this year, and respect the DAs, the citizens who served, and our humanly imperfect process... but this article has built a prejudicial case against a 19 year old boy who can't challenge his alleged accomplice, or the authorities. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

letter Remembering Don Ross By Doug Barry - The picture on the Sitnews front page of floatplanes-in-formation honoring Ketchikan bush pilot Don Ross brought back an instant memory of a time when I believe Don's exceptional experience and skill saved four souls. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

letterThank you letter to donors and volunteers on the trail By Alethea Johnson - Ketchikan Outdoor Trails and Recreation Coalition (KORTC) volunteers had two productive work parties on the trail from Point Higgins School to Coast Guard Beach over the weekend of August 22-23 thanks to generous donations from several individuals and businesses in the community: - More...
Monday - august 31, 2009

letterHelp Me Solve A Mystery Ketchikan! By Shauna Lee - Any homeowner in Ketchikan can tell you that the older homes have interesting construction, at best. I own a home which is on the historic registry, it overlooks the dock 4 area of downtown, and I couldn't love it anymore than if I'd built it with my own two hands. I have done what I can over my 10 years of ownership to help preserve it, restore it, and give it the loving care that a single income can afford. - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

letterPublic or Private Health Care? By Peter H. Jensen - Ladies and Gentlemen: Image yourself with the desperate urge to relieve yourself, where do you go? Would you rather use your private bathroom, in the privacy of your own home, or would you rather make the most of the nearest public restroom where privacy, access control, and congenial sundries may be none existent? - More...
Monday - August 31, 2009

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Stories in the News
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Ketchikan, Alaska

M.C. Kauffman, Webmaster/Editor,
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Richard (Dick) Kauffman


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