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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 19, 2010

Front Page Photo By JACY PIERSON

Prince of Wales: Black Bear
Front Page Photo By JACY PIERSON

Ketchikan: "Ketchikan Lover" Charged For Online Enticement of a Minor by MARY KAUFFMAN - A complaint from a citizen regarding a help wanted ad she answered on this local community web site led to charges being filed against 27-year old Nathan B. Olsen of Ketchikan for Online Enticement of a Minor.

The complaint was received on June 3, 2010, by Ketchikan Police Officers at which time the citizen reported that after answering the help wanted ad, the individual who allegedly posted it offered to pay her for a sexual favor(s). - More...
Tuesday - August 17, 2010


Ketchikan: History of Alaska Tourism, Part 2; Tourism Grew Significantly From Goldrush To World War II; Alaska Benefited Twice From Uncertainty In Europe A feature article By DAVE KIFFER - Just as the Klondike Gold Rush was beginning to wear down, and Alaska was becoming a little less prominent in the national media, another event took place that boosted Alaska's national profile and helped boost tourism to the district.

History of Alaska Tourism, Part 2; Tourism Grew Significantly From Goldrush To World War II; Alaska Benefited Twice From Uncertainty In Europe

Harriman Alaska Expedition members pose on beach at deserted Cape Fox village, Alaska, 1899, with Tlinget totem poles in background
Creator Edward S. Curtis, 1868-1952
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

In May of 1899, the steamer George W. Elder left Seattle carrying what was called the "Harriman Expedition."

Edward Harriman, a railroad magnate and one of the world's wealthiest men, had organized a trip to Alaska and Siberia which included 25 of the nation's foremost scientists and artists including John Muir, William Dall, Edward Curtis and Louis Aggasiz, among others. There were also representatives of the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institute. Noted botanists, biologists, geologists and anthropologists were also part of the group. All told there were 126 people on the expedition.

Between May 31 and July 30 the expedition made numerous stops throughout Alaska and Siberia, including Metlakatla, Ketchikan and the abandoned village at Cape Fox. The voyage generated significant media coverage and when it was over the scientists, photographers, artists and writers on board collaborated on a 14-volume collection of writings about the trip that was published over the next decade.

"For years (it) was revered as the standard reference work on Alaska," Frank Norris wrote in his 1985 history of Alaskan tourism "Gawking at the Midnight Sun." "It was repeatedly consulted by scientists, developers and potential tourists."

Although the Harriman voyage did significantly add to the scientific knowledge of Alaska, it was not without controversy. Scientists and other members of the expedition had no qualms about taking items from abandoned villages either as souvenirs or for ethnographic research. Later generations would consider these actions theft or looting. In 2001, a group of scientists retraced the steps of the Harriman Expedition and several items were returned to the descendants of the Cape Fox villagers.

For tourism in Alaska, the publicity from the gold rush and the Harriman expedition was a good thing and visitor numbers increased as did the steamship visits. Communities such as Ketchikan quickly learned to take advantage of the increased traffic and "curio" shops began springing up adjacent to the community docks.

Ketchikan was particularly well situated, especially after 1900 when the Alaskan entry customs station was moved from Mary Island to Ketchikan and all ships entering the district were required to stop there.

Prior to 1900, most of the steamships that came to Alaska were owned by Pacific Coast Steamship Company but in the first decade of the new century, three other lines - Alaska Steamship Company, the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company and the Humboldt Steamship Company ­ were also plying the inside waters. - More...
Monday - August 16, 2010

Fish Factor: Remembering the Senator By LAINE WELCH - One thing that can be said about Ted Stevens - you always got a straight answer and knew exactly where he stood on fish issues. And he didn't give a damn if his views were unpopular or who he ticked off.

In my 23 years of covering news about Alaska's seafood industry, I had many interviews and conversations with Ted Stevens, both on and off the record. He always made time to talk and explain his views, he always called back. He loved talking about Alaska's fisheries.
Forthwith some memorable comments and encounters with Senator Stevens:

At a Congressional field hearing in Kodiak in the late 1980s, on proposed updates to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the body of laws that govern conservation and management of our nation's fisheries - Senator Stevens pounded the table in a rage over big trawl vessels displacing small fleets from nearshore pollock fishing, and their high rates of bycatch.

"If this was occurring with our game resources, these people would be thrown in jail. This is wanton waste and it is going to stopped in short order," Stevens railed.

Not long after, big pollock trawlers were booted from the Gulf, they were required to carry observers to monitor their catches, and pollock quotas were strictly apportioned between at-sea and shorebased sectors.

As keynote speaker at a statewide Salmon Summit in Kodiak in the early 1990s: "Long after the last drop of oil is removed from our lands, our fisheries will sustain us."

When asked about the proposed Pebble Mine at a 2008 campaign stop in Kodiak: "I am not opposed to mining, but it is the wrong mine for the wrong place."

Of his countless fisheries endeavors, Senator Stevens seemed most proud of the role Alaska played in championing a 200 mile limit to boot foreign fishing fleets out of U.S. waters.

"In 1970 I took a flight over the Pribilofs and counted more than 90 foreign fishing vessels anchored up with catcher boats servicing them. It was quite a sight, and I knew something had to be done about it," he recalled.

In 1976, the law was passed extending U.S. jurisdiction to 200 miles from shore.

"There is no question that Alaska commercial fishermen drove that bill," Stevens said last year at a Kodiak fisheries event. "There is not a country in the world today that doesn't claim the 200 mile limit, and Alaska helped bring that about. We did it not for the fishermen, but for the reproductive capability of the fisheries that we wanted to succeed." - More...
Monday - August 16, 2010


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Ketchikan Weather Visiting Anchorage This Summer - Here's a headline sure to elicit sympathy from all Ketchikanders:

"Anchorage Ties Record For Consecutive Rainy Days."

Okay, now, on the count of three.

One, Two, Three.waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

No really, we do feel for our northern cousins in Los Anchorage!

Especially given the severity of their suffering. As of August 13, 2010, they had had measurable precipitation for 27 straight days, tying a record from 1951.

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that 27 straight days of rain in the summer really bites the big one. No one wants to spend "the good season" togged in Gore-tex.

A few years ago, we had a summer from H-E-double-toothpicks in which there were only nine sunny days between Memorial Day and Labor Day and then there was 2008 in which we had 27 inches of rain in June-July-August. That was depressing. I feel Anchorage's pain.

But really it's hard to get all worked up over 27 days of rain. That isn't even a full month. Noah would have barely uncovered his cubit stick at that point.

Which of course begs the question, if we are mocking Anchorage's wet weather weenieness, just what is Ketchikan's consecutive rainfall record?

I don't know.

I once asked one of the Weather Gnomes at NOAA what the Ketchikan record was for most consecutive days of measureable precipitation. He snorted.

"I don't know" he said. "But you did have three consecutive days without precipitation in 1946." - More...
Monday - August 16, 2010

TOM PURCELL: Needed -- Plain English - "My question to you is simple," I said, as I sat across from the government bureaucrat and his interpreter. "Why doesn't the government communicate in plain English?"

"Your query poses prospective considerations," said the bureaucrat, "that rise above and beyond the level of considerations that the voter-taxpayer may be prepared to rise above and beyond."

"Huh?" I said to his interpreter.

"He said it's best the public doesn't learn the real reason," said the interpreter.

"But we deserve to know," I said. "Our politicians voted on a 2,400-page health bill that was so confusing, few legislators knew what was in it. Now it is being converted into rules and regulations that are confusing the public even more."

"It is because," continued the bureaucrat, "government representatives and their legislative aides are often persuaded, at the behest of revenue-generating entities, to apply lawyerly terminology to obfuscate clarity in a manner that benefits their outcome."

"He said that bills are written in confusing language, in part, to conceal the special favors politicians slip in for their buddies," said the interpreter. - More...
Monday - August 16, 2010


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letterRight Cost at the Right Time By Heidi Ekstrand - This coming Tuesday I will vote "Yes Please" on the library Proposition 1 to allow the city to build a new library anywhere within the city limits. And I will vote "No Thanks" to Proposition 2, which restricts a new library to a very limited section of the downtown core area on city-owned property. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterVote Yes on Proposition 1 & No on Proposition 2 By Chris J. Herby - Our local election on August 24th is going to decide something very important for our community. There are two ballot propositions that will determine the location of our new public library if one is built. It is unfortunate that only city residents can vote on this important issue. All of the residents of the Borough help pay for it and also have access to it. Even though it is unfortunate Borough residents can't vote on it, I still feel it is very important to build it in a location that all residents can have reasonable access to it. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterTime To Take A Stand By Kysa Barrett - Imagine for a minute: You get off work and you go to pick up your child from the babysitter. When you arrive the babysitter warns you that your two year old has a bad rash on his face. He hears you and runs to you, arms open. You look at your two year old and one entire side of his face is bruised. There's no rash, just severe bruising, and a bleeding cut under his eye. You take your boy to the ER because you KNOW these are injuries. Two doctors tell you your child is suffering from head trauma and the impact needed to leave the marks he had should have broke his neck and killed him instantly. He says that you are lucky he's alive. You file a report and she admits to what she has done. She is charged with a class C felony assault, but the trial gets pushed 15 months out and the babysitter gets to walk free until then. This seems completely unjust! - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterThe Logical Library Location By Heather Muench - On August 24th, voters will choose our new library location. One choice is a location within city limits, for which the City Council has chosen Copper Ridge, located on a neighborhood road near a major thoroughfare. The other, advocated by the ABC group, is to restrict the library to a heavily congested area downtown. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterYES on Proposition 1, NO on 2 By Kathy Flora - How wonderful it would be to have the library in the same neighbourhood as two elementary schools, Schoenbar Middle School, the Rec Center and our new pool. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterLibrary: Head Tax Money By Ace Chenhall - The statement made in "License to Spend" that head tax money could be used to fund a library goes way beyond deceptive, it's an outright lie. That money can only be used for tourist related development, which the library certainly is not. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterThe Better Choice: Weighing in on the Library By Katie Parrot - I agree wholeheartedly with John Scoblic. I also agree with Susan Peters when she writes: "As a successful private developer would say, 'The three most important ingredients of any project are: location, location, location.'" A bank that is poorly located will not prosper, nor a food store or an apparel shop. Neither will a public library. Acquiring anything less than the best site will prove a false economy in terms of the life-cycle costs of the library. Anything less than the best site will also hinder public use of this important community resource, except that we differ significantly in our ideas about what site fulfills this ideal." (Susan, I recommend reading Eric Muench's insightful and well-written letter posted on Sitnews.) - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterLisa Murkowski must go By James Bounds - Lisa Murkowski would not be a U.S. senator from Alaska if were not for her father Frank Murkowski appointing her when he was governor of Alaska. Lisa is a very bad choice to be re-elected as Alaska U.S. senator, and she has to go... - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letter Letter to city voters By Drew Lindner - I use the library at least once a week and have been closely following the debate over a new library. We need a new library and most everybody agrees on this point. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Orrin A. Chenhall - After reading everyone's letters, hearing radio call-ins and talking to people throughout the community; the picture is starting to come into focus: Our library is seen either as an essential public facility that requires the most convenient access for the most amount of people, or as a tourist attraction, there to give the impression of a "vibrant" downtown so that visitors feel like they are in a real community, as opposed to some quasi "Alaska Land" amusement park. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterWhy I support Joe Miller for US Senate! By Sandra Rusin McCray - For many months now I have become more and more concerned about the direction I see our country going. I was sitting one evening, wondering out loud, why is no one doing anything about it. - More...
Thursday AM - august 19, 2010

letterRE: Public Library By Suzan Thompson - Don Hoff Jr.'s letter to Sitnews last week states, in part: "I've been reading the debates on the public library for some time now... here is what I know. The present library was designed to add additional floors for growth. It would be common sense to add an upper floor to the existing library and would be affordable to the taxpayer." - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010
letterAFA does not issue rankings By Patrick Vaughn - What was the basis for Mr. Eastman's statement that "the American Family Association recently ranked Murkowski the third most anti-family Republican in the Senate?" - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterTroops Are Hamstrung By Donald A. Moskowitz - General Stanley McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus because of insubordination expressed by General McChrystal's staff to a Rolling Stone reporter. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterBedbugs By Steffani Schwierking - Bedbugs are definitely a problem and can create a great deal of financial and mental distress, especially among the elder. The cause of bedbugs though is not the over crowding of apartments. Overcrowding has occurred before the infestation began in the Tongass Towers or Marine View Apartments. Most overcrowding is due the economy and cost of living, so families are helping out other family members or friends are trying to get by. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterSitnews By Jacy Pierson - I would like to say how much I appreciate all the hard work that goes into Sitnews. I find myself going there daily if not more, just so I can look through everything. You do a great job and I thought I would remind you. I love to share the website with all my friends and family near and far. - More...
Thursday AM - August 19, 2010

letterLibrary Location By John Scoblic - I'm the father of four children who are all enrolled in Ketchikan schools. I'm writing because we rarely use the public library anymore because we avoid the downtown area for so many months of the year. - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterLicense to Spend By Diane Naab, Susan Peters, John Hill, Lani Hill, Terral Wanzer, Mary Wanzer, Steven Reeve, Len Lawrence, Patrick Jirschele, Terri Jirschele and Samuel Bergeron - Why would the government decide to buy property in a rock pit, build a library and spend millions doing so when they have two excellent choices for the library on property they already own? Because they make bad decisions, that's why. - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterLibrary Location By Scott Willlis - In response to Eric Muench's letter about a new library location: Touching that you remember Ketchikan in the past. The Ketchikan you remember is no more! Until the Citizens wake up and actively seek input into the new library location, this current City Council board under the direct control of the City Manager (That's correct! The City Manager directs the City Council, and like the good Obama supporters they are, they do as exactly as they are ordered.) - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterProper Planning for our Library By Susan Peters - Soon the City's registered voters will have the opportunity to vote for the location of the new library. We all are very anxious to have a new library building or remodeled existing building. Now that funding may become available very soon we need to be ready with a good plan. Planning is a crucial component with establishing the site for this facility. A simple search on-line will bring up extensive information on the importance of the location of a library. Currently the government body responsible for this decision has no planning department nor have they engaged our Borough's Planning Department to help with this decision. - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterDowntown Library Creates the Community's Future By John Hill - I strongly support a downtown location for our library and encourage voters to vote yes on Proposition 2. Vibrant and healthy downtowns are not an accident or an "impulse" as other writers suggest; they are a result of good planning and leadership by local officials. Healthy downtowns are not "nostalgic" or "quaint" either. They are long-term economic powerhouses as demonstrated by thousands of communities across the nation. - More....
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterKeep the Library Downtown By Lani Hill - I love this town and support a downtown library. There are so few towns in which you can walk to parks, grade schools, daycares, churches, shops, police station, post office, fire station, bus stops, apartments, condominiums, houses, museums, marinas, the public library, and various other businesses and services. You can even walk to Tatsuda's grocery if you won't have too much to carry afterward. - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterWake Up Alaska - Murkowski is a Democrat! By David Eastman - Did you know the American Family Association recently ranked Murkowski the third most anti-family Republican in the Senate? She scored 20% lower than one Democratic Senator and only 5% higher than Harry Reid! - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterA Vote For Joe Miller is a Vote for the Constitution By Connie Emmert - "Some people do not seem to understand fully the purpose of our constitutional restraints. They are not for protecting the majority, either in or out of the Congress. They can protect themselves with their votes. We have adopted a written constitution in order that the minority, even down to the most insignificant individual, might have their rights protected." - Calvin Coolidge  - More...
Monday PM - August 16, 2010

letterThank you for your hospitality and kindness By Bill Walker - Last weekend, Donna and I made our fourth trip to Southeast this year and were fortunate to travel to POW.  The trip began like an adventure novel.  As a life-long Alaskan, I have grown accustomed to preparing for the unexpected.  When we were told that poor weather required that we fly into Hollis instead of Craig, I knew we were in for an adventure.  The flight over by float plane was non-stop breathtaking beauty and flying into Hollis gave us the opportunity to have a scenic 30 mile drive across the Island to Craig.  It's been eight years since my last trip to POW but I was reminded that it is one of the most beautiful places in Alaska. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterStop the Free-Wheeling Spending By Sam Bergeron - The Ketchikan policy makers at the City and Borough have too much power. They can indenture us for life with 4 votes. The White Cliff building sale, then the subsequent lease backs to the Borough for $42,000.00 a month, with an escalation clause, is but one example. On the City side, the Berth 4 construction and 30 year lease, is another example of both bodies going way beyond the scope of what their powers should be. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterWhy Can't We Have Fair Elections in Ketchikan? By Robert D. Warner - For a number of years I have been wondering why Ketchikan cannot have fair and honest elections. All too often there are direct attempts to confuse the voter. Such practices are discouraging and likely are primary reasons for low voter turnout. This current vote on the public library is an excellent example. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letter Library Location Can't Recreate The Past By Eric Muench - Ketchikan must make a far reaching decision in the August 24 primary election. Should our needed new library be built in a location favored by the City Council, or should it be forced into a restricted area of downtown? - More...
thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterWalker for Governor By Andy Rauwolf - Sometime in the next ten years oil will stop flowing from the Alaska pipeline. Oil revenues comprise over 80% of our state operating budget. Experts now say that an in-state gas pipeline is the best alternative for our state. Bill Walker is the only man running who has the plan and the know-how to get an in-state gas pipeline built in time to offset some of the revenues which will soon be lost. - More...
Thursday - August 12, 2010

letterMurkowski has been a champion for patients with ALS By Linda (Teal) Kreider - I have been going to Washington DC since 2006, when my father Mel Teal, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. My friend, and former Ketchikan resident, Jenny (Gore) Dwyer and her husband, Pat, who also has ALS, have joined me as well. Jenny was recently named "Advocate of the Year" for ALS, and Senator Murkowski was there to see her get the award. Senator Murkowski and her staff have always taken the time to listen, and I greatly appreciate all that she has done for Alaska, especially her continued support for ALS. Without her support, we would have never seen the ALS Registry Act passed. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterJoe Miller for U.S. Senate By Andy Rauwolf - I've noticed many signs in and around Ketchikan supporting Lisa Murkowski. Many are in yards of friends and fellow conservatives I've known and seen eye-to-eye with for years. Her state campaign manager is doing a great job and is a friend of mine, and until a couple of years ago I would also be sporting her signs on my property. But I have to question her voting record. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterNeighborhood swimming pools By A.M. Johnson - Enjoy looking for solutions other than throwing big bucks at them, I came across this "Out of the Box" solution.Use your imagination! We could have these throughout the Borough. - More...
Thursday PM - August 12, 2010

letterChloramine By Linda Corwin - Many people across the lower 48 and in other countries consider Chloramine to be a Pandora's Box. I have listed here only some of the things that have been observed after chloramination of water supplies. - More...
Thursday - August 12, 2010

letterAre we invaded by bedbugs? By Jose S. Garcia - When I came home today, I was surprised that a two-page letter was hung on every door of the Tongass Towers Condominium which gave notice to report any infestation of bedbugs in the area. - More...
Thursday - August 12, 2010

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