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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 29, 2011

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

White River: Black Bear
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oto by JIM LEWIS


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Ketchikan to Shelter Cover Road Project to be Discussed By MARY KAUFFMAN –The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) has scheduled an open house on September 7, 2011 to discuss the proposed Shelter Cove Road Project. DOT will provide information on the project planning activities to date and the open house will give the public an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

The proposed road project would provide vehicle access to Shelter Cove on Carroll Inlet, 22 air miles northeast of the City of Ketchikan, Alaska. The Ketchikan to Shelter Cove Road would allow the public increased opportunities for recreation, subsistence hunting and gathering, tourism, and small scale economic development consistent with public land use plans and policies. Results of a previous household survey conducted in Ketchikan identified increased public access for these various activities as an unmet need.

The proposed Shelter Cove Road project would construct a new single lane, rock and gravel road between two existing low-standard roads. Several potential corridors are being considered including a reciprocal easement between the State of Alaska and the US Forest Service.

If funding is adequate, the low-volume road would extend from the end of Revilla Road at Harriet Hunt Lake all the way to the Shelter Cove road system administered by the Forest Service. It is proposed that the Alaska Department of Transportation accept the road maintenance until the road reaches the Forest Service boundary and the Forest Service would accept long term maintenance of the portion of the road on federal lands.

Length of the road is proposed to be 8.3 miles unless alignment changes are required as part of the permitting process. The new road will provide public access to Shelter Cove and forest resources accessed by the contiguous national forest road system. The road standard would be a 14 foot wide, single lane, gravel and rock surfaced road with turnouts.

The total cost of the project is projected to be $20,000,000. During Gov. Frank Murkowski's administration, this road connection was added to the Roads to Resources program and scheduled to be funded out of the Alaska Department of Transportation's General Fund.

In 2001, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough passed a resolution (Resolution 1363) supporting this project and the borough submitted a Forest Highway Proposal application at that time. Unfortunately, the proposed road standard was too costly. Also, portions of the road location would require a right-of-way from Cape Fox Corporation and they were not supportive at that time.

In 2006, Mental Health Trust sold timber from the Leask Lakes parcel near the head of George Inlet to Alcan Timber Company. Low standard roads to remove this timber were constructed resulting in additional road segments available for reconstruction and use in this project. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

Alaska: Study Finds Marijuana Odors Significantly Associated With Marijuana Grows - Utilizing funds acquired from federally forfeited illegal drug proceeds, the Alaska State Troopers (AST) commissioned the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Justice Center to analyze three years of marijuana grows which were discovered by Troopers.

The primary purpose of the study was to provide an empirical estimate of the extent to which AST investigators’ detection of marijuana odors served as a reliable indicator of the presence of illegal quantities of marijuana in structures.

The University's study analyzed 200 marijuana grow searches conducted by Alaska State Troopers during calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Marijuana was found and seized in 197 of the AST cases, or in 98.5% of the cases reviewed.

Out of the 200 cases reviewed investigators reported detecting the odors in 121 cases or in 60.5% of the cases. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

Alaska: Former Anchorage Police Officer Sentenced For Passport Fraud And Making False Claim To United States Citizenship – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a former Anchorage Police Officer was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage, to three months in prison, a $10,000 fine and to serve three years of supervised release after his jail term, for passport fraud and making a false claim to United States citizenship.

On August 25, 2011, Rafael Mora-Lopez, 47, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced by United States District Judge Timothy M. Burgess.

According to documents filed in court, Mora-Lopez assumed the identity of Rafael Espinoza, a United States citizen, in the late 1980s. On June 30, 1989, he applied for an Alaska driver’s license using the name, birth date, and social security number belonging to victim Rafael A. Espinoza. The defendant presented a birth certificate and social security card in the Espinoza name as evidence of identification, and falsely claimed that he was a citizen of the United States. In fact, the defendant was a citizen of Mexico, was in the United States illegally, and had assumed the identity of the victim, a natural-born citizen of the United States. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

Alaska: New potato developed for the Alaska market - A new line of potato developed at the Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer stands to boost the state’s agriculture industry with its consumer plate appeal.

New potato developed for the Alaska market

The 29-6 potato is pictured with its colorful skin and flesh.
UAF photo by Jeff Smeenk

“It has high potential,” said Carol Lewis, dean of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station director. “It will benefit the public, the university and the agriculture industry.”

For now, the potato is simply called 29-6. Researcher Jeff Smeenk has been working on 29-6 for several years. The yellow-fleshed potato’s appeal is that it has flashy red and white skin that will entice restaurant chefs seeking to add excitement to the dinner plate.

“It was selected for the Alaska sales market,” Smeenk said.

Smeenk worked in cooperation with Chuck Brown of the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Bill Campbell of the Alaska Division of Agriculture’s Plant Materials Center to collect several years of data. Each year, the USDA ARS geneticist sends UAF between 1,500 to 2,500 marble-sized tubers, which are planted in a greenhouse to get a jump-start on the season. The transplants are placed in the field in early June and grown for the season. In the fall, all the plants are dug up and individually examined. The tubers of the top 100 plants are collected for planting the next year. In the following season, only the top 20 lines of the previous 100 are kept. In the third season those 20 lines are narrowed down to the best two or three. At this point some of the tubers are cooked and evaluated for flavor. If they taste good, the lines are put into replicated trials for further evaluation. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011



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

letter Roadless Rule on Tongass management By Buck Lindekugel - I found the concerns expressed by Sealaska’s Executive Vice President in last Sunday’s article, “USDA’s Sherman discusses forest transition in Juneau,” puzzling.  Mr. Harris claims that the roadless rule prevents building roads to mining projects like the Niblack Mine on Prince of Wales Island.  To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, Mr. Harris’ “imperfectly informed” opinion is directly contradicted by the language of the Roadless Rule.   Either he hasn’t read the rule, relied on mistaken legal theories, or just tried to lay it on a little thick for the media.  - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011   

letter Surprised about taxes?? By Charles Edwardson - I have to correct a letter of my own I wrote. I complained that we ran into cost overruns on a library the voters had not even decided we needed yet. In fact, we had not ever voted on if we needed a library -- I think we voted on where to put the darn thing. There was plenty of press, meetings,"friends" of the library round tables and then cleverly put on the ballot as an initiative on where to put it, not if we needed one. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011  

letter Remembering Bill Baker By Von Braschler - Your memories of Bill Baker as a Ketchikan character really touched me and was so very accurate. I worked at the Ketchikan Daily News along with my wife in the early Seventies and was a little afraid of old Bill Baker as the former newspaper rival of my publisher with whom he'd reportedly had street altercations. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

letter We are here to help you By A. M. Johnson - Where to begin! Today's Ketchikan Daily News [August 27, 2011] contained enough material to keep Rush Limbaugh busy for a week!! - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

letter Apology By Jennie Hill - About a year ago my niece Jaime King sent me a wonderful book full of pictures of her recent visit to Missouri where we had celebrated her marriage. Every time I look at the pictures in the book I am reminded of how great it was to see all those family members and friends. Now looking thru the book again I realize that I never sent a thank you or a call to tell her how much I love the book. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

letter Use More Helicopters By Donald A. Moskowitz - On August 6, 2011 the U.S. lost 30 special forces troops, including 22 Navy SEALS in a helicopter shot down over Afghanistan.  These people were the elite of our military who have trained for these missions over many years. - More...
Monday - August 29, 2011

letter RE: What Could Go Wrong? By Ken Leland - Spot on, Mr. Johnson! The best example was the disaster on Fishery Management prior to statehood, which was spiraling into disaster. With statehood Alaska assumed control of fisheries and the industry ( which is one of the cornerstones of Alaska's economy) that has not only recovered, but expanded. - More...
Wednesday - August 24, 2011

letter What could go wrong? By A. M. Johnson - Returning from an out of town trip and reading the Ketchikan Daily News issues during that absence, a sequence of items regarding Federal intrusion raise continued concern with the Federal Government agencies over-riding States Rights. - More...
Monday - August 22, 2011

letter Southeast Alaska Wolves By Butch Olmstead - The recent article in Sitnews about some of our environmental groups again attempting to classify our wolves here in Southeast Alaska as endangered is of concern to me. We all know that these wolves are here as a result of the availability of food. I have seen them swimming from the mainland of Alaska to our islands in search of food and new territory. If there is any difference at all in the specie it's because these wolves are hybrids, having bred with our domestic dogs on occasion. Our Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky dogs and others are very capable of survival in the wild and have inbred with these so called phony hybrid Alexander Archipelago wolves, rare indeed, what a crock. - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

letter Economy, taxes By Angelo Martin - What are you folks surprised about? When the pulp mill announced they were closing, I was a borough Assembly member. They said utilities, rent taxes would go up. Your town is run by the city manager, the council is advised by him and the council abides by his advice. - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

letter MV Wickersham By Jack Kinney - The Wickersham was a Beautiful Lady of the Sea. I enjoyed being on the bridge and conversing with Captain Ken Florian. - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

letter TSA By Louise Clark - Yes, Patricia Burkman I realize we have wars going in several countries which by the way were never declared by Congress. As I understand our constitution gives only Congress the power to officially declare wars but just who is paying attention to our constitution any more? - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

letter Thanks By Marlene Steiner - I would like to say thank you to Chris Elliott for the comment on the Deer Mtn. Apts. Yes the Bawden Street will get painted. - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

letter RE: Question By Rosemary Nelson - Regarding to Chris Elliott's question, my understanding of why the fire truck will accompany the ambulance is so that there is extra personnel to help if need be. - More...
Friday - August 19, 2011

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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