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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 23, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By JiM LEWIS

Ward Cove: Black Bear
Black bears stand to get a better look at something. Maybe this black bear was trying to get a better look at the sun which peeked out Tuesday afternoon after days of rain.
Front Page Feature Photo By JiM LEWIS ©2017

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Alaska: Severity of North Pacific storms at highest point in over 1,200 years; Warmer tropical waters impact weather from Alaska to Florida - The intensification of winter storm activity in Alaska and Northwestern Canada started close to 300 years ago and is unprecedented in magnitude and duration over the past millennium, according to a new study from Dartmouth College.

Severity of North Pacific storms at highest point in over 1,200 years

Section of Denali Ice Core
Ice cores from Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park and Mount Logan in Canada were used in an analysis of over 1,000 years of history of the Aleutian Low pressure system that drives storm activity in the North Pacific.
Credit: Bradley Markle

The research, an analysis of sea salt sodium levels in mountain ice cores, finds that warming sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have intensified the Aleutian Low pressure system that drives storm activity in the North Pacific.

The current period of storm intensification is found to have begun in 1741. According to researchers, additional future warming of tropical Pacific waters - due in part to human activity - should continue the long-term storminess trend.

"The North Pacific is very sensitive to what happens in the tropics," said Erich Osterberg, an assistant professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College. "It is more stormy in Alaska now than at any time in the last 1200 years, and that is driven by tropical ocean warming."

While the Aleutian Low pressure system sits over Southcentral Alaska in the winter, it can impact weather across the North American continent. 

"Storminess in the North Pacific not only impacts Alaska and Northwestern Canada, it creates colder, wetter and stormier weather as far away as Florida," said Osterberg.

The analysis focuses on two ice cores drilled in 2013 from Mount Hunter in Alaska's Denali National Park, and an older ice core from Canada's Mount Logan. The ice cores, each measuring over 600-feet long, offer glimpses into over a thousand years of climate history in the North Pacific through sea salt blown into the atmosphere by winter ocean storms.

The two ice cores from Denali benefited from high levels of snowfall, providing what Osterberg says is "amazing reproducibility" of the climate record and giving the researchers exceptional confidence in the study results. 

"That's the other remarkable thing about this research," said Osterberg, "not only are we seeing strong agreement between the two Denali cores, we are finding the same story of intensified storminess recorded in ice cores collected 13 years and 400 miles apart."

While 1741 is noted as the year the current intensification began, the paper also references an increase in storminess in the year 1825. According to the paper, warmer tropical waters since the mid-18th century can be the result of both natural variability and human-driven climate changes.

"There is no doubt that warming tropical ocean temperatures over the last 50 years is mostly caused by human activity," said Osterberg, "a really interesting question is when you go back over hundreds of years, how much of that is anthropogenic?" - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo KENNON CALIWANAGAN

Sunset: South Pt. Higgins Beach
Front Page Feature Photo KENNON CALIWANAGAN ©2017

Atmospheric River Event Drops 9.66 Inches on Ketchikan - An atmospheric river event impacted portions of the Southeast Alaska panhandle Sunday into Tuesday. The set up was enhanced due to additional moisture that was provided from the remants of what was originally Typhoon Banyan.

Summary of Atmospheric River Event August 20th - 22nd
Courtesy National Weather Service

From August 20th - 22nd, Ketchikan had a total of 9.66 inches according to the National Weather Service.

This event caused some flooding issues in the southern panhandle, and a flood advisory was issued for the Ketchikan area from the Juneau Forecast Office. Impacts from the heavy rain in Ketchikan included: - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017

Ketchikan: Ketchikan District Ranger closes campground in Ward Lake Recreation Area due to flooding - The Ketchikan Misty Fiords District Ranger, Susan Howle, has officially closed the Signal Creek Campground in the Ward Lake Recreation Area due to flooding and forecasted heavy rains. The closure is for the next seven to 10 days, depending on weather and site conditions at the campgrounds.

The road is closed near the Perseverance Trailhead parking lot; however the day use area and trail access remain open to recreationists. The public is encouraged to exercise extreme caution because of potentially fast moving water, falling trees and erosion undercutting roads and trails in the area.

Heavy rain has raised the level of Ward Lake high enough to reach the day use shelters, and some campsites in the Grassy Point and Signal Creek campground are completely underwater. In other areas, lake levels are at and across the road. Heavy rain is forecast for the next week, increasing the potential for higher levels of water to come. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017


Karl Richey, MD Joins Creekside Family Health Clinic - As an avid jazz musician, performer and local cabaret owner, changing up the tempo is not something new for Dr. Karl Richey. This time, his change in rhythm includes shifting from a long career in emergency medicine and joining Creekside Family Health Clinic in Ketchikan as an outpatient physician. At his new venue, he'll complement the existing team of four family nurse practitioners to provide acute and basic primary care to children, adolescents and adults. 

Karl Richey, MD Joins Creekside Family Health Clinic

Dr. Richey is well known in Ketchikan having worked as an Emergency Room Physician at PeaceHealth Medical Center from 1990 to 2016. Most recently he worked as a Physician at the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Health Clinic and is still employed by the State of Alaska Department of Corrections providing health care services at the local jail. His new position at Creekside in many ways is a change in careers from his more than 30 years in emergency room medicine. "I've been an ER doc nearly my entire professional life managing people's health care in a very episodic, short term way. I think it's a great thing at this point in my career to pull back a little and get to be someone's regular doctor, getting to know my patients more personally," he said. 

Although emergency medicine has been his calling over the years, there are a few things that he looks forward to. "Being more my own boss is certainly a great thing and the flexibility that goes along with it. And I got to tell you, I'm not going to miss the 24 hour shifts much," he said with a smile. "The best thing though will be the opportunity to spend more time with my patients" he added. "I really like Creekside's pace and the extra time they allow me to do my job, it really attracted me to the practice for sure", he said.  - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017

Columns - Commentary



TOM PURCELL: Money and the Pursuit of Happiness - Money does make us happy, so long as we spend it right.

According to the U.K. newspaper The Independent, "New research from the University of British Columbia has found that spending money to buy free time, such as paying others to cook or clean for you, does improve happiness, leave you feeling less stressed and generally more satisfied with life."

Beyond that, however, money does NOT necessarily make us happier.

According to Time magazine, Dan Gilbert, a Harvard University psychology professor and the author of "Stumbling on Happiness," says that money has its limitations.

"Once you get basic human needs met, a lot more money doesn't make a lot more happiness," says Gilbert.

Research shows, reports Time, that "going from earning less than $20,000 a year to making more than $50,000 makes you twice as likely to be happy, yet the payoff for then surpassing $90,000 is slight."

In other words, once you have enough money to pay your bills and enjoy going out to dinner now and then, additional increases in wealth do not necessarily correspond with greater happiness.

Where happiness is concerned, Americans are conflicted people. On one hand, we want wealth and fame. We want people to bow down to us when we walk into a public place. We want adulation and expensive cars and big houses staffed by a dozen servants. We believe in our bones that more money will make us happy and we work like crazy to acquire it. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017

jpg Editorial Cartoon: ESPCN

Editorial Cartoon: ESPCN
By Rick McKee ©2017, The Augusta Chronicle
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Opinion - Letter

Common Denominator By Rex Barber - There are many similarities between hard core progressives (antifa) and the Nazi party.

1. They are both socialist. That's what Nazi means: National Socialist German Workers party. And progressivism is synonymous with socialism.

2. They both use race to divide and conquer.

3. They both believe in an oligarchy of so called highly elite intellectuals to run government. They think self-government by the American people is an experiment that has failed. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 23, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Freedom of speech and the rule of law By Paul Bergeron Sr. - What a mess. A group of people get a permit to hold a rally to protest the removal of monuments honoring the soldiers on the confederate side of the civil war.

The KKK and other extreme right wing groups get wind of it and decide to add their voice to the permitted protesters. Their agenda has never been a secret. They want a white race America and believe that a race war in the USA is the way to reach this utopian dream. They came prepared to protect and initiate violence should the opportunity arise.

The extreme left gets wind of the same rally and decides to show up ready to defend the right to dismantle said monuments in support of the powers that be. They also came prepared to protect and initiate harm to their opponents.

Both of these groups represent tiny minorities of our population. The vast majority of people in the USA believe in the Constitution of the United States.

The first amendment of the Constitution has only about 45 words in it. Look it up. It is crystal clear that the people have a right to PEACEABLE assemble.

Since the election of President Trump, the powers that be seem to have ignored the peaceable part of the first amendment and allowed the far left to violently assemble. Each incident on the part of the extreme left has for the most part has been ignored by law enforcement. This has to stop or more and greater acts of terror will take place. - More...
Monday AM - August 21, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Statues today, books tomorrow By A.M. Johnson - Confederate statues today, book burnings tomorrow?

Public Announcement: Please DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use the $1 $2 $50 or the $100 bills. They have pictures of former slave owners on them! Send them all to me and I will dispose of them properly! - More...
Monday AM - August 21, 2017

Opinion - Letter

We need politicians with courage and ideals By Norbert Chaudhary - The violence, death and injuries that occurred in Virginia was completely predictable and given the direction the President has taken this nation, pretty much inevitable. 

This sort of reaction from Far Right minions is exactly what the fear/hate blathering heads on cable TV, a.m. Radio and the internet have been driving their weak minded, low information voters to do for years. And this isn't the first time they have acted up. Remember the Bundy Ranch standoff? The armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge? Or the Oklahoma City bombing? There is no forgiving the carnage these 'for profit' social agitators have wreaked upon us. 

And if you add to that the Far Right politicization of the NRA encouraging violence against other Americans and the media, combined with a President who continues to appeal to his base by inciting them to look upon their fellow Americans as the enemy, then nothing that happened in Charlottesville should come as a surprise to anyone. Expect more to follow. 

For more than year now we have listened to Trump's unrelenting attacks against the media, against Obama, against Hillary, against higher education, against Democrats, against facts, against Muslims, against science, against moderate Republicans, against our global allies and against the entire US Intel Community.  - More...
Monday AM - August 21, 2017

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for

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