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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 06, 2012

Front Page Photo By DOUG BURKMAN

Herring Cove: Bear Parade
Near fish hatchery...
Front Page Photo By DOUG BURKMAN©2012
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Fish Factor:
Survey: Fishermen anxious about future of industry By LAINE WELCH - Kodiak fishermen are a happy lot, but they are also anxious about the future of their industry.  

Those are some of the early findings of an ongoing survey that focuses on the social and cultural perceptions of the fishing life in Kodiak and how things have changed over two decades. 

The survey is part of a multiyear project titled Social Transitions and Wellbeing in Kodiak Fisheries and Communities by Courtney Carothers, an assistant professor UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.  Carothers lived for more than a year in Kodiak villages to research peoples’ experiences and perceptions; extensive interviews and the survey are helping to flesh out more findings.

“In terms of fisheries policy, when there is an analysis of some social or human component it’s often just the economics.  It all boils down to how much money people are making and what are the costs, that sort of thing,” Carothers explained.  “I think the social and cultural connections people have to fishing, to communities, to shared ways of living are really important.”

In June about 1,000 surveys were sent to a random sample of    Kodiak fishermen in all gear groups and fisheries. It asked them to rank questions that asked how happy or satisfied they are with fishing and various aspects of it today compared to 20 years ago. Carothers has compiled responses from the first 150 returns by fishermen having an average of 26 years experience out on the water. 

“It’s really great that folks who have had a ton of fishing experience, mostly out of Kodiak, are sharing their insights,” she said in an interview that revealed some of her findings.

Overall, commercial fishermen said if they had their lives to live over again, they would be fishermen, with most responding ‘yes’ or ‘strongly yes.’  Most also agreed that Kodiak is a healthy fishing community.

“Very few strongly agreed, though,” Carothers said.  “Most were sort of in the middle or neutral. So I think that suggests people have some concerns about certain aspects of Kodiak compared to 15-20 years ago.”

The survey asked what people see as major threats to the sustainability of Kodiak as a fishing community and got back a wide range of perspectives.  Unforeseen environmental challenges, such as ocean acidification made the list of worries. Another is friction among local fishermen.

 “People often mentioned the disharmony among the different gear groups in town. They feel like that has gotten a bit more pronounced and they recognize that everyone in Kodiak needs the fish to be healthy and everyone needs to get along,” Carothers said.

The cost of entry into fisheries was cited as a major stressor, as was fear that spiraling costs will prevent young people from entering fisheries.  Not surprisingly, the impact of catch share programs was mentioned as a major cause of change and concern for Kodiak fishermen.  

“Haves and have nots – that’s the way people say fishing is characterized now as compared to the past. Certain programs have been put in place and they have been great for certain people but others feel they have been left out of those programs. I think that has affected some people’s sense of wellbeing,” Carothers said. - More...
Monday - August 06, 2012

Alaska Science: The most remote spot in Alaska By NED ROZELL - Out of the million square miles of basin, range, peaks and prairies that compose the interior West, the farthest it’s possible to be from a road is a trifling 28 miles.”

Richard Forman, a Harvard professor of landscape ecology, once visited a mangrove swamp in the Florida Everglades that he described as the most remote place in the eastern U.S. The swamp was 17 miles from any road.

What’s the most remote spot in Alaska? Dorte Dissing helped me tackle that question. Dissing is a geographer with Alaska Biological Research, Inc. She’s proficient with the use of the electronic mapping system known as GIS, Geographic Information Systems. Scientists use GIS to make detailed maps of everything from migration routes of dark-eyed juncos over Alaska to maps of permafrost, slope aspect, forest type and elevation for road engineers. The possibilities are endless, and they include searching for the most remote place in Alaska.

When my friend first mentioned that the farthest spot from a road in the Lower 48 was less than 30 miles, I didn’t believe her until I looked at a detailed map of the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 3,919125 miles of road crisscrossed the continental U.S. as of the year 2000. In 2000, Alaska had 12,823 miles of public roads, according to the same source. That’s less than Vermont, which is 62 times smaller.

Dissing uses a GIS program with a blank map of Alaska to which she can add features, such as rivers, towns, roads, and trails. To begin the search for the Alaska’s middle-of-nowhere, she created a buffer zone of increasing mileage around Alaska roads, trails, and villages. The most remote spots appeared as tiny wedges in northwest and northeast Alaska. Other lonely spots were a few Aleutian islands and St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea.

When she lengthened the buffer zones to 85 miles from villages and trails listed on her GIS program, the most remote spot on mainland Alaska was an upper branch of the Coleen River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge close to the Canada border. The hill is about 85 miles from both the villages of Old Crow in the Yukon Territory and Arctic Village in Alaska’s Brooks Range. - More...
Monday - August 06, 2012

Science: NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain - NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain

The Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot (almost 16 meter)-wide parachute as it descended toward its landing site at Gale Crater.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

An image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot (almost 16 meter)-wide parachute as it descended toward its landing site at Gale Crater.

"If HiRISE took the image one second before or one second after, we probably would be looking at an empty Martian landscape," said Sarah Milkovich, HiRISE investigation scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "When you consider that we have been working on this sequence since March and had to upload commands to the spacecraft about 72 hours prior to the image being taken, you begin to realize how challenging this picture was to obtain."

The image was taken while MRO was 211 miles (340 kilometers) away from the parachuting rover. Curiosity and its rocket-propelled backpack, contained within the conical-shaped back shell, had not deployed yet. At the time, Curiosity was about two miles (three kilometers) above the Martian surface.

"Guess you could consider us the closest thing to paparazzi on Mars," said Milkovich. "We definitely caught NASA's newest celebrity in the act." - More...
Monday - August 06, 2012


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Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Rise of Coastal Management Phoenix By A. M. Johnson - Nice to see old faces return to the Ketchikan scene. I recall Ms. Troll being a what is now commonly referred to as 'Community activist or maybe organizer' in her early days as a resident she apparently continues very successful with what she does. Good to hear comments from retired Judge Schultz, happy to know that he and his wife chose to retire here in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - August 06, 2012

letter Col. Archie Van Winkle By Stephen C. McGowan - I recall getting a brand new Rambler American Sedan, fresh from Warren, Michigan for use by Col. Van Winkle. I was working as a motor-pool dispatcher with the MP's aboard Camp Pendleton, USMC. Calif. The Col. advised me that it would be arriving soon. It came in on a Friday afternoon, so I polished it up and backed it into the cage with the Col's name on it. That evening a boot Lt. came into my office to get a vehicle for his shift as Officer of the day, for the MP's. He said he wanted the brand new sedan that had just come in. I informed the Lt. that the sedan was the Col's brand new vehicle, and that I couldn't let anyone use it, other than the Col. The Lt. said he was giving me a direct order to use the car. Well, I was just a Lance-Corporal, and being a good Marine I had to follow his orders. - More...
Monday PM - August 06, 2012

letter Warning:  District 33 House Seat Not for Sale By Jim Shoemaker - Three GOP candidates – Agnes Moran, Patti Mackey, and Peggy Wilson – want to represent Ketchikan and Wrangell in the State House of Representatives. 

The latest reports filed by those three candidates with the Alaska Public Offices Commission tell a crucial tale of campaign financing and outside special interests.  Every voter in Ketchikan should take heed.  - More...
Friday PM - August 03, 2012

letter Rights of Person's with Disabilities Treaty By Amanda Mitchell - The CRPD stands for The Convention of Rights of Person's with Disabilities. It is a treaty that is going to be voted on in the Senate to be ratified soon. I have done my own research and am horrified that we would even consider this. Basically, it is the same as The Convention on the Rights of a Child. However, it is giving the UN/government control over what is in the "best interests" of the disabled and disabled children. It supersedes any of our own fundamental rights like the right to self-govern, our laws and Constitution. And instead of "We the People" it gives further control over to government to do what "it" thinks is best. - More...
Friday PM - August 03, 2012

letter Too Many Lifeguards By Julie Yonker - I do not normally write any responses in the SitNews letters, I just read them. However, this time I want to make a comment. - More...
Friday PM - August 03, 2012

letter School 1957 vs. 2010 By A. M. Johnson - Too good not to submit for consumption! Here is a stark realization of how far we as a civilization have fallen!! We have deteriorated into a Nation of 'Wimps'. You read this stuff happening almost daily where once as in 1957, you grew up toughen to what life was going to present-Reality. - More...
Friday PM - August 03, 2012

letter Re: Voter Turnout By Joey Garcia - Regarding Ken Lewis' comments on voter turn-out, I simply disagree on his premise to somewhat disallow the PFD to non-voters. He should remember that PFD is not a right but a privilege given to Alaskans whether they answered NO in their PFD application but stayed outside Alaska for more than 180 days, an oversight for PFD to really check if the applicants are not committing fraud. - More...
Friday PM - August 03, 2012

letter Parrots will Prevail... then we starve. by Ken Bylund - Constructionism and Determinism is how our species organize our day to day survival strategy, and it works pretty good, but there are many a dangerous flaw; Friedrich Hayek saw it as The Fatal Conceit; Heinz Pagels' Cosmic Code, wrote about Albert Einstein's opposition to the New Quantum theory... his quip, "God doesn't play dice." Einstein was saying he believes in 'determinism', that 'probability' was abhorrent and that nature was 'put together with mathematical precision' and could be understood and predicted. It appears even Einstein could be wrong. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Are we ever disappointed? By Judith Green - NO! We are never disappointed in any of the multitude of events on our island that give us beauty in talent. And so it was again this past week end - CLassics a'la Carte. High school students, recent Kayhi graduates, long time Ktn residents: ensembles, solos, duets: instrumental, vocal. For 2 hours we were engaged, in awe, amazed, enthralled - glad for the evening. Bravo to each one who shared with us just a little of their 'joy of music'. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter RE: Voter Turnout By Mark Stopha - I don't think Ken Lewis's idea of having to vote in order to receive a PFD is unfair or bad at all. In fact, I've had a similar idea, using the power of the PFD without spending any of it to improve things in Alaska. It would change getting a PFD from a right to a privledge - like hunting and fishing. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Voter Turnout Solution By Brian Gray - Heck Ken Lewis, for a piece of that AK Perm Fund, I'd go back to "the homeland" to vote and pay my own way! Especially if only a marginally higher turnout was a result. - More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter NCAA Piling On Penn State By Donald A. Moskowitz - I am upset about the child abuse committed by Sandusky and the cover up by Paterno, Curley, Schulz and Spanier.  The lives of many young children have been adversely impacted by these men.- More...
Monday - July 30, 2012

letter Drinking Burned Garbage By Shelley Stallings - Thank you Kathy Doyle. I continue to be amazed when I see people burning garbage. This form of air pollution is bad enough by itself, but when you add the fact that almost all of us outside of the city limits drink water which is collected from our roofs, it becomes really scary. As you noted there are many synthetic chemicals in much of the garbage that is burned. This ends up on our roofs, then into our cisterns. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter Voter Turn out By Ken Lewis - 7% turn out is sad, so here is my dumb solution. Alaskans get oil revenue money. If you want your Permanent Fund check, Vote. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter RE: Too Many Lifeguards By Kevin Gadsey - I am responding to Ms. Teal's question about having too many lifeguards at the pool. She must have come to the old Smithers Pool when the newly-hired lifeguards were training side-by-side with the experienced lifeguards. At the Smithers Pool, they usually had 3-4 guards for both pools combined. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter RE: "Too Many Lifeguards" By Larissa Otness - I am in shock that someone would question the amount of lifeguards and they're importance to the safety of our children. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

letter Ketchikan Gas Prices By Mike Wilson - Just a friendly note to let people know that the gas prices at Lighthouse Tesoro are 30 cents cheaper per gallon than what I observed yesterday in town. - More...
Monday - July 23, 2012

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