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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 15, 2011

Front Page Photo by KYLE JOHANSEN

Point Alava: The Catch...
Front Page Photo by KYLE JOHANSEN


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: Shipyard Awarded Grant Funds – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship and Drydock, Inc. will receive $1,018,314.75 for a One Side Welder, a Material Handling System and a CNC Cutting System.

Shipyard Awarded Grant Funds

USCG Sycamore DryDocking Friday at the Alaska Ship & Drydock
Photo by Jim Pinckney

Today, $9.98 million in grants were announced to 13 small U.S. shipyards, including the Alaska Ship and Drydock, through the U.S. Maritime Administrations Small Shipyards Grants Program.

“These grants will help improve our ability to build and repair ships in the United States, strengthening our economy and helping position these small businesses and shipyard workers to be better prepared to win the future,” said Secretary LaHood.

Over 50,000 Americans are employed by small shipyards in the United States, varying in size from family-owned businesses employing a few dozen workers to state-of-the-art facilities with hundreds of employees. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

Alaska: Gas prices - Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 10.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.80/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.60/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 35.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 24.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 85.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

Visitors to report that Ketchikan's regular gas prices per gallon range from $4.01 to $4.05 with diesel fuel at $4.35 per gallon. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

Alaska: Public Comment on Future Management of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Sought - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday opened public comment on a draft plan developed to ensure long-term conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and to sustain outdoor recreational opportunities and environmental education and interpretation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

The draft plan, called a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, outlines a 15-year management plan for the refuge. Conservation plans are revised periodically for every refuge around the country, as a matter of course. The draft plan contains six alternatives for long-term management, ranging from the continuation of current practices to the designation of three geographic areas (including the Arctic Refuge coastal plain) for potential inclusion within the National Wilderness Preservation System, and the potential designation of four additional Wild and Scenic Rivers on the refuge.

The draft plan does not identify a preferred alternative among the six presented today; all of the options remain under active consideration and the Service is conducting a series of public meetings and reviewing public comments before finalizing the plan, which will ultimately identify a preferred alternative. Public comments will be accepted through November 15, 2011. None of the alternatives would change existing protocols for subsistence harvest. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

Fish Factor: Technology takes chilling to whole new levels By LAINE WELCH - Keeping fish cold is the key to quality, and new technology is taking chilling to whole new levels. Nano technology, for example, is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The science can easily be applied to making better ice.

NanoICE technology was invented in Iceland 10 years ago, and is now available for the first time in the U.S. The ice is made up of tiny crystal particles about the size of most bacteria, and the frigid ‘fractions’ immerse fish completely.

“With flake ice or larger ice, you get a lot of air pockets and they allow bacteria to breed and multiply. By getting a more complete coverage at a molecular kind of level you exclude air and bacteria from the surface, and the chilling effect is much more efficient,” explained Steve Dearden, NanoICE Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Seattle. 

The generators use 90% less refrigerant and 70% less power than conventional ice making machines. 

“The generators we make actually pump filtered sea water through and produce the thick, slushy ice solution. So Instead of shoveling ice, which is what most small fishing vessels do,  you can actually pump this  into a hold or container where you’re laying the fish down for storage,” Dearden said.

The chilling method helps the fish retain its texture, color and freshness for far longer,  “and the big advantage is if fishing is slow, you can stay out longer,” he added.  

NanoICE generators can be scaled to the size of any operation, and each can be controlled separately. At processing plants, the machines can replace forklifts and bins moving to and from an ice house.  

“You can have much more localized machines, or have a larger machine out in the ice house and you can pump it to where you need it,” he said.

The cost for a NanoICE generator and installation into an engine room or fish hold is $30,000 - $40,000.   The generators are eligible for energy-related tax breaks and grants. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Incivility Rising - "Those dirty lousy jerks at my company can put a sock in it!"

"Ah, yes, you illustrate the findings of a new study by Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion: that incivility is growing in the workplace."

"My co-workers are almost as bad as the jerk politicians who are running our country into the ground!"

"You illustrate another recent survey's findings, by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate and KRC Research: that political discourse is also becoming less civil."

"The country's going down the toilet. Nobody's in the mood to be civil!"

"The first study makes some obvious findings. Companies have laid off workers and are running lean. People lucky to have jobs must pick up the slack. They are working long hours."

"Yeah, every Friday, my co-workers and I say the same thing: only two more working days until Monday."

"As for incivility in political discourse, the cause is also obvious. After years of borrowing our way to prosperity -- remember how people took out home-equity loans to buy nice stuff? -- the bills have come due."

"But the wife and I couldn't pass up that home-equity dough or the big-screen TVs, vacations and gas-guzzling SUV it bought us!"

"Government entitlements have grown so big, they must be overhauled. Excessive government spending must end. Some want to address these challenges now, whereas others are in denial."

"Who doesn't want to cut wasteful government spending? We all agree on that!"

"Really? How about cutting Social Security? Reason magazine says it will grow from nearly $600 billion to nearly $1 trillion in only eight years as baby boomers retire."

"I'll hand over my Social Security check when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Spending and Taxes By Samuel Bergeron - Chas Edwardson is right about our debt load; it's too high. We as a community need to keep in mind what we are doing as a whole; spending and borrowing at an alarming rate. We are losing population and yet we are building a fire station that is the same size as Fairbanks, Alaska, a city with 5 times the population as Ketchikan. We are putting a $700,000 piling and grade beam foundation under the new library because the site is not suitable for a conventional concrete footing foundation as planned. We are building a pool that is slated to cost 23 million dollars. All the while the City is contending because of our spending spree they want to increase our taxes to cover the cost of our debt load. We are facing increases in our water and electrical rates to boot. - More...
Tuesday - August 16, 2011

letter Fire Response Time By Chris Elliott - Dawn Luna says the reason she got most often for putting the fire station in the middle of town was to increase response time. I can only say, this isn't Chicago. This isn't even Juneau. I kid my friends who live on S. Point Higgins that it's like a trip to Peru for me to drive from my home near the high school. I have to pack snacks, schedule rest stops, etc. In reality, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to drive to S. Point Higgins. - More...
Tuesday - August 16, 2011

letter TSA By Patricia Burkman - Every time I hear a complaint about TSA, these people don't realize we are at war! You and I feel we should be exempt from being searched or be allowed that bottle of water because we know we would never harm anyone -- but how are the TSA to know? How are they? Our enemies will use any means to kill us and we can tell them how very easily by saying: We exempt people who are ___ (fill in the blank). How easy it would be for our enemies to send in a bomb or worse yet a chemical that will travel throughout the US by insuring that it is on a person that fit the exemption. And while it is unfortunate that millions of innocent people are inconvienced and sometimes embarassed we do it because that's what you have to do when war has been declared. And war was declared on us. - More...
Tuesday - August 16, 2011

letter Ketchikan Roads By Harry Howard - I would like to express my extreme displeasure and disappointment in which ever government entity should be using our tax dollars to maintain the roadways on this island. I have lived in Ketchikan for only 3 years, but I have seen some roads get completely ignored and some get paved, repaved, and repaved again. I really can't make heads or tails of how the road maintenance is ranked with importance. I originally thought it was tourist based, but looking at what gets paved, that is wrong. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

letter What a surprise" Let's raise taxes! By Charles Edwardson- A public library that was running into cost overruns even before the voters decided we needed one, a fire station with a blank check, a pool, a recreation center roof vetoed in the capital budget but tore the roof off any way, deferred maintenance year after year of our basic infrastructure (actually should be the priority of a city government) to enable us to pay the bond issue debt load -- it goes on and on. The reckless fiscal decisions the City of Ketchikan has made is now catching up with us. And the only thing our city manager - who lead us into many of these ill advised financial decisions - can come up with is (golly ge wiz ) I think you all might have to raise taxes. The others who sit on the council supposedly guiding our city, can only come up with... hey let's sell the only profitable thing we got going (phone division). - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

letter New City of Ketchikan Fire Station By Dawn Luna - I to had wondered why they chose to put the new Ketchikan fire station there. I wondered why they hadn't decided to put the new library there instead and the new fire station up on the hill. The response I got the most was, response time to an emergency call, especially in the winter time. So I sit and ponder Chris Elliott's letter and think to myself, how will the response time be during tourist season? I get a picture in my mind of complete chaos, tourist running everywhere, cars backed up, tourist vehicles trying to find room to pull over to let the emergency response vehicles by (especially the Amphibious Duck Tour Vehicles), and the firetrucks still trying to fight their way through the tourist season traffic. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

letter Blame? By Joey Garcia - I have expressed and admired KPU's Technician group. These people have relentlessly serviced callers even in the rain and late in the evenings. I fully admire their job performance. - More...
Monday - August 15, 2011

letter Fiscal guide By A.M. Johnson - With the recent Congressional vote to increase our National Debt Limit and the appointment of a "Super Committee" consisting of six Senators and six Representatives to address a trifling cut of one and half Trillion dollars from a now, 17 Trillion debt limit, the following five sentences, sent to each of our Alaska Congressional representatives, have a profound impact. - More...
Thursday - August 11, 2011

letter Boat dead in the water! By Kenneth G. Reese - On August 9th a friend & I had a trip to Yes Bay planned to subsistence fish for sockeye salmon. We prepared the day before. We had all our gear ready toped off the fuel tank and planed to leave Knudsen Cove by 9:30 am. We got off to a good start beautiful day, but by the time we reached southern Neets Bay the motor died?? WE soon found out that our gas was siphoned the night before!! So here we are sitting drifting. What to do?? - More...
Thursday - August 11, 2011

letter Deer Mt. Apts. By Chris Elliott - Kudos to the owners of the Deer Mountain Apartments for the paint job. Just finish up the Bawden Street side, and your building will be beautiful. - More...
Thursday - August 11, 2011

letter Customer Service By Robert Fruehan - Over the years it seems that i have had my fair share of situations in which I felt I or a member of my family was treated with less than professional courtesy by Alaska Airlines' representatives whether they be Stewardesses or people at the gate. With that being said, there are many of them who are super great but the fact is, you remember the ones who treat you poorly far easier than the latter. - More...
Thursday - August 11, 2011

letter Art Bailly's Letter on TSA By Charlotee Tanner - I agree with everything Mr. Bailly has to say, and also would like to point out to Mr. Bailly that TSA's authority extends to Ferry systems, Railways, and the Highway system. I read recently they were discussing exercising this authority in those areas in the near future. - More...
Thursday - August 11, 2011

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