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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 20, 2012

Front Page Photo By LES HARRINGTON

Blue Lake
Front Page Photo By LES HARRINGTON ©2012
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Jack Shay sentenced to 35 years, 17 to serve by LELIA KHEIRY, KRBD - Longtime Ketchikan resident and public official Jack Shay was sentenced Monday for multiple counts of possessing child pornograph case. Read or listen to this KRBD story...


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PeaceHealth & Catholic Health Initiatives Agree to Form Integrated Regional Health Care Network to Serve Northwest U.S – Catholic Health Initiatives and PeaceHealth, two nonprofit health care systems, announced they have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to create a new regional health care system with the ability to improve care and access for individuals, employers and communities across the northwest U.S.

The partnership will create an integrated health system in the region, combining seven Catholic Health Initiatives hospitals in Washington and Oregon with nine PeaceHealth hospitals in Washington, Oregon including the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Alaska.

The new organization will include nearly 26,000 employees and about 950 employed physicians serving in hospitals, physician clinics, outpatient care clinics, long-term care facilities, laboratories and private homes across the region.

The new organization, with annual revenues of almost $4 billion, will build on the strengths of both organizations to better manage care and resources in a rapidly changing health care environment. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Ketchikan: Partnership Creates Southeast Alaska Film Training Consortium - Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications announced the award of the prestigious Alaska Cast and Crew Advancement Program Grant in the amount of $40,000 from the State of Alaska Department of Workforce Development. As one of only seven entities in the state -- and the only organization in Southeast -- to be awarded this grant, KPU was able to foster a unique partnership with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District to create the “Southeast Film Consortium”.

The Southeast Alaska Film Training Consortium partnership will provide a web-based class in which students will explore the concepts surrounding beginning video production. Emphasis of this class will be on pre-production, camera operation, recording procedures, electronic field production, lighting and audio. In addition, there will be four, 4-day seminars on-site in Ketchikan that will offer students an in-depth opportunity for hands-on experience in the areas of videography, editing, producing, and filming a full length reality show. These seminars are taught by well-known industry professionals.

According to a Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications press release, this unique program will create a vocational education program in Ketchikan that is geared towards educating and training both traditional K-12 students, as well as other learners, in videography, television production, and editing.  The goal is to prepare and train for employment a workforce in the burgeoning Alaska film industry. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Ketchikan: Public comment sought on proposal to remove nine public recreation use cabins -The Tongass National Forest is seeking comment on a proposal to remove nine public recreation use cabins and convert three to shelters due to poor condition, low use, and funding. The twelve cabins are on Admiralty National Monument, and Ketchikan-Misty, Petersburg, Sitka, Wrangell, Thorne Bay, and Yakutat Ranger Districts.

A few of these cabins are collapsed and beyond repair. Many are dilapidated and have not been on the cabin reservation system for many years. The cabins that were available for rent received very little or no use. After these cabins are removed or converted to shelters, 143 cabins and 43 shelters will remain on the Tongass for public use. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Ketchikan: Base Ketchikan Coast Guard Open House – The United States Coast Guard is hosting an Open House for the public at Base Ketchikan on Saturday, August 25 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Open House includes tours aboard Coast Guard Cutters NAUSHON and ANTHONY PETIT.  Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan will display oil pollution prevention and response methods with a hands-on simulator.  The Coast Guard cutter ROANOKE ISLAND, currently in the Base marine railway for an extensive overhaul, will be on display for viewing at a safe distance. 

At 1:00 p.m., Station Ketchikan and Air Station Sitka will present a Search and Rescue demonstration in Tongass Narrows, which will include a 47 foot motor life boat and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.  Visitors are invited to watch this demonstration from the Base pier. 

The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be available to answer questions about courtesy Vessel Safety Checks and offer sign-up lists for boating safety courses. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Alaska: Workshop to examine cargo airship feasibility in Alaska - NASA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will gather roughly 100 business executives, researchers, and government officials in Anchorage this week for the second annual Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop.

The workshop, which will run Aug. 22-24 at University of Alaska Anchorage, will examine how airships could transform Alaska’s commercial transportation system.

“Airship technologies have the potential to move fuel, construction equipment, and supplies to villages and projects in rural Alaska when ice roads, river ships and barges can’t do the job,” said. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, the event’s keynote speaker. “Airships could have a significant effect on economics and life in the bush and the ultimate feasibility of energy and natural resource projects around the state.”

Airships - sometimes called “dirigibles” or “lighter-than-air aircraft”- land and take off vertically, like a helicopter. Inspired by 18th-century technology, modern airships are designed to carry up to 500-ton payloads, operate at high altitudes and serve a wide variety of commercial, defense and aerospace functions. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Fish Factor: Challenge Grant: First of its type in Alaska & first in the nation awarded to a Native organization By LAINE WELCH - Jobs are being put on the fast track in Bristol Bay, with a focus on careers that go hand in hand with the region’s culture and economy: commercial fishing and seafood processing. 

“The fishery is our largest industry; it’s the backbone of the economy here,” said Patty Heyano, Program Development Director for the Bristol Bay Native Association in Dillingham. “So it made a whole lot of sense to concentrate on that. It seemed like we could make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time because the industry is already here.”

Heyano is referring to a $405,000 Rural Development grant that BBNA has received from the US Dept of Agriculture. In collaboration with the Southwest Alaska Vocational and Education Center (SWAVEC), the money will help ramp up industry related training programs. - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Alaska: Coastal Management Program Critical to Keeping Out Fish Farms - A state law banning finfish farming will be rendered useless in offshore waters if Alaska does not restore its coastal management program.   Representative Paul Seaton (R-Homer), a long-time advocate for Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, says if voters do not approve the coastal management initiative, the state would be powerless to stop development of fish farms in federal waters.  “We’ve outlawed fish farms in Alaska waters,” Rep. Seaton said.  “The last thing we want to do is open the door to fish farms offshore.  That would be devastating to our fishing industry.”

The federal Offshore Aquaculture Act would enable establishment of fish farms in the 3- to 200- mile zone of federal waters.  “Since that federal law specifically does not supersede the Coastal Zone Management Act,” Seaton said, “the best way to keep fish farms – which are banned in Alaska – from developing off our shores is to reinstate the coastal management program to the Jay Hammond form.”

An August 2010 Congressional Research Service report on the Open Ocean Aquaculture Act makes clear states with approved coastal management plans have the upper hand in permitting offshore fish farms.  “Without a coastal management program,” Rep. Seaton said, “we risk all our good work in protecting our wild fisheries.” - More...
Monday - August 20, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: It’s A Small Town After All - Although Ketchikan is roughly twice the size it was when I was growing up, it is still a small town.

I was reminded of that twice recently.

Both cases involved vehicles and both involved that small town institution, knowing too much about everyone else's business.

First, my car died Downtown. I went out one afternoon and it refused to go into gear. So I had to call a tow truck.

Unfortunately, it was in a crowded, narrow parking lot and the truck had to do some pretty fancy winching to get it out. The winching was so impressive that it drew a crowd. I bet people were even betting whether it could be done. It was, eventually.

Of course, everyone seemed to know it was my car that had gotten towed. In small towns, we just know those sorts of things.

The next day, several people asked me if I was going to sue the owners of the lot for having my car towed.

No one had me towed, I replied, I had myself towed.

But that wasn’t as good a story, so the untruth spread around. Later I ran into the owner of the lot and he was thought it was all pretty funny.

“Everyone thinks I am now enforcing the 30 minute rule,” he said. “Turnover has been much, much better!”

Well, as always, I am happy to help.

Natch, when the car got to the mechanic, he couldn’t find anything wrong!

At any rate (in this case $140 per tow!), I have stopped parking in that particular lot because – in case it happens again – I don’t want to risk such a difficult winch and tow. Natch, people think I have stopped parking in the lot because I am mad at the owner.

You really should sue, people keep telling me.

So it goes.

The other incident of Ketchikan small townism also involved a vehicle. I recently bought a motorcycle.

Whoa, I can hear you saying. A mid life crisis! What’s next, a beard?  Tats?

- More...
Monday - August 20, 2012


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letter Tough Questions By Guy Archibald - If the Ketchikan Gateway Borough (KGB) Assembly is to protect the long term interests of its citizens, they need to ask tough questions before agreeing to locate an ore processing facility within KGB.  They need to ensure that the promises made by the mine are enforceable and will protect the community far into the future.  Unfortunately, mines have a history of making grand promises in the early stages and then abandoning them after closure or when market conditions change. - More...
Tuesday - August 21, 2012

letter Supporting Agnes Moran By Hannah Ramiskey - Our representative to the State House must have the moral fiber, common sense, good judgment, and intelligence to allow her to sift through the mountains of information and opinions to find the best solution for our community.  She has to really know our community and its needs.  For me, Agnes Moran is the best choice for the House of Representatives.  She volunteers for her church, the Humane Society, provides meals for the Lord’s Table which benefits the less fortunate, donates her time in several schools, and still has the energy to work hard for our community on the Borough Assembly. - More...
Tuesday - August 21, 2012

letter Thank you! By Vicki Harsha - My son, Nick Martin, was recently involved in a jet boat accident on the Stikine River in Wrangell, Alaska. Twelve hours after the accident he called to tell me he was on the way to the hospital in Wrangell and asked if I would let the Ketchikan Indian Community know that he would be going to the emergency room for treatment. He assured me he was fine and that he just needed some stitches in his forehead and possibly his finger. - More...
Tuesday - August 21, 2012

letter Irregularities in Ketchikan's Fiscal Forecast By Ed Plute - Currently the City of Ketchikan is $158 million in debt according to the 2012 annual budget. Established here are just a few examples of financial irresponsibilities that need to addressed and not behind closed doors. - More...
Tuesday - August 21, 2012

letter Cabin elimination By A. M. Johnson - Will the results of the public comments regarding the removal of various cabins from the Tongass National Forest reflect a corresponding reduction in the excessive number of U.S.Forest Service employees in the respective areas? - More...
Tuesday - August 21, 2012

letter Coastal Zone Management By Tom Schulz, Mary Schulz, Tina Singer, David A Smith, Joni P Koerner, Judith McQuerry, Mary Dowling & Joann Flora - It is not hard to understand why the oil companies and other big money business types are fighting so hard against restoring Alaska's coastal management program. They prefer to shut locals out and just let the federal government call the shots, because they have the wherewithal to influence federal decisions. Mere citizens do not - unless we vote to restore coastal management on August 28. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter "Yes" on Ballot Measure 2 By Bob Claus - Tom Boutin, a forester and logging engineer with over 40 years of experience, recently wrote an op-ed opposing Ballot Measure 2, the Coastal Zone Management proposal. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter Ballot Measure 2: Bait and Switch By Debra Heston - I have heard that the ballot initiative for re-establishing the coastal management program has been promoted as protecting local property rights.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It is hard to believe that Alaskans would support the measure if they had read the fine print... which not everyone does. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter Coastal Zone Management: Yes on Ballot Measure 2 By Mary G. Schulz, Tom Schulz, Melissa A Miller, Tina Demmert, David A Smith, Joni P. Koerner, Judith McQuerry, Mary Dowling & Joann Flora - The coastal management program ballot initiative is a pro-growth, pro-development measure. Better yet, it's a smart growth initiative. For 34 years, Alaska's coastal management program allowed key players, (including you and I through our chosen representatives) to sit down together and plan the best way to make new projects happen. It didn't slow things down; it facilitated development by avoiding lawsuits and other costly logjams. When we work together to find locally acceptable courses of action, we can settle disputes before they become huge legal problems. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter "No" on Ballot Measure 2 By Debra Heston - Everyone knows that there are special interests that would like nothing more than to rape and pillage Alaska's natural resources, and steamroller the local opposition.  Until now, they have been kept in check.  Parts of the fine print in ballot initiative #2 read like a laundry list of grievances the state has had about all the tactics Alaskans use when they don't want to shut up and do as they are told... and counters for each of them.  I am sure that there are executives who would trade their viagra to see this thing pass, it could be everything they ever dreamed of.  If there is collusion between the state and the proposed board, then they will have one hell of a blank check to do whatever they want.  The only ones restricted by this are Alaskans and their local governments.  There is even a provision on pg. 10 lines 6-11 for overturning local elections! - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012 

letter Privatizing Mr Ryan By Michael Spence - Paul Ryan's overtures about cutting costs on Medicare and Social Security for middle aged people who have paid into both for many years make me wonder if he will follow in the footsteps of the last GOP vice presidential candidate, who was elected to serve in one capacity and before it was done, ran for another office. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter RE: Girl Scouts on Alaska Air Flight By Esther Rhodes - Thank you Susan for such a nice letter you submitted regarding the girls who were returning to Ketchikan on your flight. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

letter TOO MANY LIFEGUARDS... By Tracey Horne Scadden - I read with interest MS.Teal's concern regarding too many lifeguards. When I lifeguarded back in the early 70's I couldn't tell you how many guards we had. But living here in Utah I counted the other day at a outdoor pool about the same size as your new one, they had at least 7 that I could visualize, there might have been more. - More...
Monday PM - August 20, 2012

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