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April 28, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By BRITTANY BROWN

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October 1, 2019
Ketchikan Local Election

This is the 17th year, SitNews has provided FREE unfiltered web exposure to all local Ketchikan candidates to tell the voters why we should elect you.

Tell your possible future constituents about your background, work experience, qualifications for the position, etc. Please send a photo. Links to your contact and social media page accepted: Email to

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By: 09/15/19

The sooner the better; absentee voters may vote as early as 15 days prior to the Borough election - absentee voting begins Sept. 16th.

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Ketchikan Borough Mayor
3 Year Term, 1 Seat Open
jpg Rodney Dial Rodney Dial
Filed 08/05/19
Candidate's Statement 08/27/19
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  Michelle O'Brien
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Candidate's Statement 08/28/19
  David Landis
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  Jeremy T. Bynum
Filed 08/26/19

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  Bridget Mattson
Filed 08/06/19
  Jordan Tabb
Filed 08/20/19

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Filed 08/15/19
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  Kathleen Yarr
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  Lew Williams III
Filed 08/05/19
  Judy Zenge
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Alaska: Public employees' First Amendment rights are not adequately protected; Workers in Alaska must provide clear consent before union dues collected Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN – Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson issued an opinionyesterday that says the state may no longer collect union dues from public employees unless they provide new explicit consent to do so. The effect will be that all employees in the state payroll system will no longer pay union dues until they sign a waiver of their First Amendment rights and those waivers need to be renewed annually.

The formal opinion on the State of Alaska’s compliance with the United States Supreme Court decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 was released yesterday. The opinion finds that the State must take significant additional steps to protect the First Amendment rights to free speech for State employees.

“Forcing State employees through state law to pay union dues that will be used for political purposes and speech they may not agree with has created an unconstitutional restriction of free speech,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “The nation’s highest court has ruled repeatedly that freedom of speech also means the right to refrain from speaking at all. In order to comply with the highest court’s ruling and the U.S. Constitution, the State has to determine that an employee must have freely and knowingly consented to have dues deducted from their paychecks.” 

“[Yesterday’s] Attorney General opinion clearly articulates that the State of Alaska is not in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v AFSCME,” said Governor Michael Dunleavy. “In the coming days and weeks, my administration will be working to ensure the State is in full compliance of the law and that Alaskans are informed of their rights.”

Upon taking office, Governor Dunleavy initiated reviews across all departments. As part of that review, he asked Attorney General Clarkson to evaluate whether the State of Alaska is in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v AFSCME.

To bring the State into compliance with the Janus decision, Attorney General Clarkson says the State will need to significantly change its payroll process by obtaining “clear and compelling evidence it has the employee’s consent before deducting union dues and fees." 

In Janus v. AFSCME the Supreme Court did not simply require government agencies to stop collecting agency dues. The Court also said that “employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them.”

Janus (and other Supreme Court precedent on waiving a constitutional right) mandates that waiving a Constitutional right cannot be presumed. There must be clear and compelling evidence that an employee has freely and knowingly waived their First Amendment rights before affirmative consent to waive a constitutional right is valid.

The opinion points out the flaws in Alaska’s payroll deduction system and encourages the state to implement a new system to ensure employee’s consent before deducting union dues, as required by Janus. It also calls on the state to ensure that it has the clear and compelling evidence required by Janus.

The Supreme Court ruled that employees have a First Amendment right to a choice when it comes to paying union dues. 

Workers for Opportunity, an organization focused on advancing the liberty of employees across the country, praised the decision because it properly implements the U.S. Supreme Court decision Janus v. AFSCME. 

In Janus, the Court ruled that forcing public employees to subsidize labor unions violates their First Amendment rights. Therefore, states must have “clear and compelling evidence” that public sector workers wish to waive these rights before they may deduct union dues from employees’ paychecks. Attorney General Clarkson’s opinion held that Alaska’s payroll system is out of compliance with Janus and that public workers in Alaska must provide clear consent before opting in to paying union dues. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 28, 2019

Alaska: BP agrees to sell all Alaska operations and interests to Hilcorp Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - BP announced yesterday that it has agreed to sell its entire business in Alaska to Hilcorp Alaska, based in Anchorage, Alaska. Under the terms of the agreement, Hilcorp will purchase all of BP’s interests in the state for a total consideration of $5.6 billion. Hilcorp is largest private operator in Alaska, specializing in managing and optimizing mature oil and gas assets.

The sale will include BP’s entire upstream and midstream business in the state, including BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., that owns all of BP’s upstream oil and gas interests in Alaska, and BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc.’s interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: “Alaska has been instrumental in BP’s growth and success for well over half a century and our work there has helped shape the careers of many throughout the company. We are extraordinarily proud of the world-class business we have built, working alongside our partners and the State of Alaska, and the significant contributions it has made to Alaska’s economy and America’s energy security.

“However, we are steadily reshaping BP and today we have other opportunities, both in the US and around the world, that are more closely aligned with our long-term strategy and more competitive for our investment. This transaction also underpins our two-year $10 billion divestment programme, further strengthening our balance sheet and enabling us to pursue new advantaged opportunities for BP’s portfolio within our disciplined financial framework.

“As a highly-capable operator with extensive Alaskan experience, Hilcorp is ideally-placed to take this important business on into the future, continuing to optimize its performance and maximize its value for the State of Alaska. We are committed to a safe and smooth transition of operations so that our employees, partners and local, state and federal government officials all feel that we have handed over these important assets in the right way.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Hilcorp will pay BP a total consideration of $5.6 billion, comprising $4.0 billion payable near-term and $1.6 billion through an earnout thereafter. Subject to state and federal regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to be completed in 2020. The deal forms a significant part of BP’s plan to divest $10 billion of assets over 2019 and 2020.

Janet Weiss, regional president, BP Alaska, added: “[Yesterday’s] announcement marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Prudhoe Bay. Alaska has been a core part of BP for 60 years and saying goodbye will not be easy. Our people have achieved incredible success over the decades developing and maintaining these hugely important assets, but we are confident this sale is in BP’s and the state’s best interests and the business will be best positioned for the future with Hilcorp. We will do all we can to ensure they are able to quickly build on the strong foundation that we and others have built here.”

“[Tuesday’s] announcement – a passing of the torch within the Alaska oil and gas sector – is significant news for our state, the future of North slope energy production, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. While we are only just reading of this announcement, we look forward to learning more and seeing operational details,” said Governor Dunleavy in a prepared statement. “We welcome Hilcorp to their next phase in Alaska operations and thank BP for their decades long commitment in bringing Alaska’s mineral wealth to market. 

“As Alaska’s Governor, I will continue pushing to make Alaska ‘Open for Business’ with a vision for new investment, added production, and a regulatory environment that ensures safe and responsible development to Alaska’s fullest potential,” said Dunleavy.

After Hilcorp announced it has reached agreement to acquire substantially all of BP’s assets and interests in Alaska, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in a prepared statement said, “We thank BP for its long-standing partnership on resource production in our state and for the many significant and lasting philanthropic contributions it has made in our communities.”

Murkowski said, “I’m looking forward to learning more details and am encouraged that an enterprising company like Hilcorp sees so much opportunity in Alaska and is willing to make such significant investments in one of the most prolific and under-explored basins in the world. Hilcorp has a strong record of hiring Alaskans and I hope they will continue and strengthen our record of responsible production on the North Slope.”

Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-AK) in a prepared statement said, “For over 60 years, BP has been an important part of Alaskan communities and a significant contributor to our state’s economy. I would like to thank them for their decades of service.”

Young said, “Alaskans are committed to responsible energy development, and BP has been a steadfast partner in this important cause. It is difficult to see a great company leave, not only because of our strong shared history in Alaska, but more critically because so many of our family members and friends have built great careers with this company. I am greatly looking forward to working with Hilcorp as Alaska continues producing the affordable energy our country depends on. Throughout this transition, Alaskans have my commitment that I will continue doing everything in my power not only to strengthen our energy development sector, but to support the current BP employees working on the North Slope and across our great state.” - More...
Wednesday PM - August 28, 2019

Ketchikan: Coast Guard conducts pollution response exercise in Ketchikan - Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel will conduct an oil spill response exercise in Ketchikan, Thursday.

Representatives from the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization and Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation will participate in the exercise, where an exclusion boom will be deployed in Ward Cove and Whipple Creek.

The purpose of the exercise is to practice the on-water recovery of free oil within the Tongass Narrows with the deployment of boom around environmentally sensitive areas in accordance with prescribed geographic response strategies contained in the Southeast Alaska Area Contingency Plan. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 28, 2019

Fish Factor: Shellfish & Seaweed, the makings of a major Alaska industry By LAINE WELCH - Underwater and out of sight are the makings of a major Alaska industry with two anchor crops that clean the planet while pumping out lots of cash: shellfish and seaweed.

Alaskans have now applied for over 2,000 acres of new or expanding undersea farms, double the footprint from two years ago, ranging in size from .02 acres at Halibut Cove to nearly 300 acres at Craig. 

Nearly 60 percent of the newest applicants plan to grow kelp with the remainder growing a mix of kelp and/or Pacific oysters, said Cynthia Pring-Ham, aquatic farming coordinator at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game which issues the permits. ADF&G partners with the Dept. of Natural Resources which leases the tidal and submerged lands for farms.

Currently in Alaska 36 operators are producing primarily Pacific oysters in Southeast, Prince William Sound and Kachemak Bay. Their combined crops of about two million bivalves have sales topping $1.5 million from a mostly local customer base. - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

Ketchikan: Ucore Hosts Senators Murkowski & Sullivan, Submits Proposition to US Department of Defense - Ucore Rare Metals Inc. recently hosted Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in separate visits to Ketchikan, Alaska, to discuss Ucore's promise as a secure domestic supply source for rare earth elements (REE) crucial to U.S. defense, manufacturing, and industrial base needs.

"We're delighted to be working with two influential federal Senators, both of whom recognize the importance of secure domestic supply chains for critical materials," said Ucore Advisory Board Member, Randy Johnson of Ketchikan.

Johnson said, "Senator Murkowski has established a long record of interest in critical materials legislation, most recently sponsoring the bipartisan American Mineral Security Act, along with Senator Sullivan, and is actively engaged in the development of a critical REE supply chain in Alaska. We're also thrilled that Senator Sullivan, a decorated member of the U.S. Marine Corps and an active member of the Armed Services Committee, expressed an interest in Ucore's activities, especially with the Defense Production Act Title III program opportunities." - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships’ logbooks

More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships’ logbooks
The U.S. Revenue Cutter Thetis moored to sea ice near
King Island, Alaska, in 1903.
Courtesy of Coast Guard Museum Northwest

Alaska: More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships’ logbooks By HANNAH HICKEY - Our knowledge of dwindling sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean comes mostly through satellites, which have imaged sea ice from above since 1979. The University of Washington Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean and Modeling System (PIOMAS) is a leading tool for gauging the thickness of that ice. Until now the system has gone back only as far as 1979.

A new paper extends the estimate of Arctic sea ice volume back more than a century, to 1901. To do so, the scientists used both modern-day computer simulations and historic observations, some written by hand in the early 1900s aboard precursors to today's U.S. Coast Guard ships.

“This extends the record of sea ice thickness variability from 40 years to 110 years, which allows us to put more recent variability and ice loss in perspective,” said Axel Schweiger, a sea ice scientist at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory and first author of the study published in the August issue of the Journal of Climate.

“The volume of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean today and the current rate of loss are unprecedented in the 110-year record,” he added.

PIOMAS provides a daily reconstruction of what’s happening to the total volume of sea ice across the Arctic Ocean. It combines weather records and satellite images of ice coverage to compute ice volume. It then verifies its results against any existing thickness observations. For years after 1950, that might be fixed instruments, direct measurements or submarines that cruise below the ice. - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019


Alaska: Alaska Attorney General joins 51 Attorneys General and 12 companies in fight against illegal robocalls – Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson announced last week that as a result of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies, the phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

“Illegal robocalls harass Alaskans every day, and consumer fraud often originates with an illegal robocall," said Attorney General Clarkson. "It is important for phone companies to both assist law enforcement in identifying the origin of illegal robocalls, and to assist consumers by blocking as many robocalls as possible.”

The principles address the robocall problem in two main ways: prevention and enforcement.

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:- More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

Alaska: Governor Issues Disaster Declaration for McKinley, Deshka Landing, and Kenai Peninsula Wildfires; Releases individual and public assistance for lost homes, personal belongings and public infrastructure - Governor Michael J. Dunleavy issued a Disaster Declaration Friday for the Matanuska Susitna Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough for impacts from the McKinley, Deshka Landing, and Swan Lake wildfires.

The wildfires have damaged or destroyed an estimated 83 structures, resulted in mandatory evacuation of approximately 400 residents, and caused intermittent travel delays along the Sterling and Parks Highways and for rail traffic along the Alaska Railroad. The scope of the damage is not yet fully realized due to active fire suppression efforts. However, substantial damage to private homes, public facilities, and communications and utility lines are anticipated.

The response to the wildfires has been hampered by conditions affecting the entire southcentral portion of the state, such as drought and record dry fuels, strong winds, and low humidity.

“In a short amount of time, these wildfires have already cost dozens of Alaskan families everything they own. Many homes, personal belongings, and businesses are completely gone, and the disruption brought to their lives is unimaginable,” said Governor Michael Dunleavy. “This declaration frees up financial assistance to help the victims of these devastating fires begin to rebuild their lives as quickly as possible.” - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019     

Wildfires could permanently alter Alaska's forest composition

Wildfires could permanently alter Alaska's forest composition
Alaskan boreal forest
Photo By Scott Rupp, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska: Wildfires could permanently alter Alaska's forest composition - This summer, Alaska has experienced record high temperatures and devastating wildfires. If such events become more frequent, how might that impact our northernmost forests? A team of researchers led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) projected that the combination of climate change and increased wildfires will cause the iconic evergreen conifer trees of Alaska to get pushed out in favor of broadleaf deciduous trees, which shed their leaves seasonally.

Using a well-tested ecosystem model called ecosys, they predicted that by the year 2100 the relative dominance of evergreen conifer trees (black spruce) will decline by 25% and non-woody herbaceous plants such as moss and lichen will decline by 66%, while broadleaf deciduous trees (aspen) will become dominant, nearly doubling in prevalence. With such large declines, this shift in vegetation will highly likely have reverberations for the entire ecosystem and climate. 

"Expansion of the deciduous broadleaf forests in a warmer climate may result in several ecological and climatic feedbacks that affect the carbon cycle of northern ecosystems," said Zelalem Mekonnen, a Berkeley Lab postdoctoral fellow who was first author of the study.

The paper, "Expansion of High-Latitude Deciduous Forests Driven by Interactions Between Climate Warming and Fire," was published today in Nature Plants. The study was funded as part of DOE's Office of Science through the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment--Arcticproject and included co-authors from UC Irvine, the University of Alberta, and Woods Hole Research Center. NGEE-Arctic seeks to gain a predictive understanding of the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem's feedback to climate and is a collaboration among scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Berkeley Lab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"We predict the forest system will remain a net sink for carbon, meaning it will absorb more carbon than it emits," said co-author William J. Riley, a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth & Environmental Sciences Area. "But will it be more or less of a sink? Our next study will quantify the carbon and surface energy budgets. This study focused more on how vegetation types are expected to change." - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

jpg Unsolved mystery: the case of the weathervane scallop

Unsolved mystery: the case of the weathervane scallop
Weathervane scallops, also known as the giant Pacific scallop
or Patinopecten caurinus.
Photo courtesy


Alaska: Unsolved mystery: the case of the weathervane scallop By PAULA DOBBYN - Mariculture in Alaska centers mainly around oysters. Kelp, blue mussels and geoduck clams are also farmed, but in much smaller quantities. Many Alaskans, including members of the governor’s mariculture taskforce, want to boost this fledgling industry to diversify the state’s oil-dependent economy, and researchers are trying to help develop alternative species for ocean farmers.

One of the species being examined is the weathervane scallop, also known as the giant Pacific scallop or Patinopecten caurinus.

Prized by five-star chefs and seafood connoisseurs, weathervanes are a bit of a mystery animal. Major gaps exist in our understanding of the tasty mollusks, which are native to Alaska. In scientific literature, weathervanes are described as one of the most “data-poor” fisheries in Alaska, despite more than four decades of commercial harvesting.

“We as a scientific community know very little about weathervane scallops” said Diana Perry, who recently completed her one-year Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship, working at NOAA Fisheries in Juneau.

Kevin McNeel, a fishery biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said scientists have basic unanswered questions including how to properly determine the age of a weathervane, how fast they grow, and how abundant they are in Alaska waters.

“We also have a lot of questions about when the scallops spawn. Do they spawn multiple times a year?”

Answers to such questions would help better inform ecosystem management of weathervanes, which fall under both federal and state oversight. - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

Mummy squirrel tells of a different Alaska  By NED ROZELL

Mummy squirrel tells of a different Alaska
This mummified ground squirrel, curled up at lower right in its nesting material, lived in Alaska about 20,000 years ago.
Photo By Ben Gaglioti


Alaska: Mummy squirrel tells of a different Alaska By NED ROZELL - One fall day in Interior Alaska, a lion stalked a ground squirrel that stood at attention on a hillside. The squirrel noticed bending blades of grass, squeaked an alarm call, and then dived into its hole. It curled up in a grassy nest. A few hours later, for reasons unknown, its heart stopped.

Twenty-thousand years later, Ben Gaglioti teased apart the mummified ground squirrel’s cache in an attempt to better reconstruct what Alaska was like during the days of the mammoth, bison, wild horse and camel.

Gaglioti was then a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student, using tools ranging from tweezers to an isotope-analyzing device in his attempt to sift Alaska’s distant past from the midden of a ground squirrel that perished during the last ice age. At that time, from about 14,000 to 45,000 years ago, North America looked much different than it does today.

For one thing, blue ice one mile thick was pressing down on Toronto and Chicago. Massive sheets covered much of the continent, but northern Alaska was a grassland, part of what UAF scientist Dale Guthrie named the “Mammoth Steppe.”

The Mammoth Steppe blanketed the top of the globe from about France to Whitehorse. It was cold and dry, and featured grasses and sedges. So rich were the feeding grounds that the ancestors of today’s animals were jumbo versions.

“Sheep, bison, caribou and other ruminants on the Mammoth Steppe were giants,” Guthrie wrote in “Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe.”

Not many ground squirrels live in Interior Alaska today, probably because the current landscape of tundra and boreal forest plants doesn’t provide them enough nutrition. But the squirrels were here during the ice age. A few of them died within their dens, and, through a rare process of being buried and then frozen, became mummified. - More...
Monday PM - August 26, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Johnson and Johnson

Political Cartoon: Johnson and Johnson
By Bruce Plante ©2019, Tulsa World
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Enthusiastic for Tourism By Chelsea Goucher - The primary mission of the Ketchikan Chamber is to advocate for a healthy business climate, sustainable economic growth, and a rich quality of life in Ketchikan. In accordance with this mission, the Chamber's Board has determined that now is the time to make crystal clear our enthusiasm for tourism. We applaud the Ward Cove Group's efforts to support this industry through the construction of new cruise ship berths north of town, and we are encouraged that this is being done through private sector investment in our community. In equal measure, we stand behind the efforts of our municipal governments to improve public infrastructure and ensure that locals and tourists alike experience Ketchikan at its very best.

Are there concerns associated with tourism? Of course.

Environmental concerns are fair, but we must be vigilant not to conflate the actions of bad actors with an entire industry. This is a dishonest and divisive tactic used by extremists of all kinds; we are better than that. In this same vein, it is vital that we not twist our concerns with the quality of our own environmental regulations into disdain for the industry. This is an unfortunate misdirection of energy.

Concerns with the number of visitors coming to Ketchikan and how they are to be managed are also fair, but we would be wise to view this concern as opportunity - not only for tour operators and developers, but also for our local governments. Now is the time to re-think everything from traffic patterns to parking zones, and to utilize CPV and other funds in a way that modernizes our city and benefits locals year-round. Again, this is a challenge incumbent upon us to overcome, and we can do it without artificially "capping" or being unfriendly to an industry enamored with us. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Who is OURPORT? By Janalee L Minnich Gage - While I have been on the Ketchikan city council since 2015, in this statement I speak for myself as a member of this community. I do not speak for other members of the council or the council as a whole. 
Community Members are very busy, and expect their elected officials to do the job of planning and administering the City. I believe everyone on this council truly has the community’s best interest at the heart of their decisions. However; there are people and groups that would like to skew the facts, so that we don’t see the truth, or that what they get is more beneficial to their pocketbook not the community as a whole. 
It is also very important that we all stay on top of the most important issues especially if we want change and we are frustrated because we are not seeing any change. I will tell you that right now the people who are making time to show up at every council meeting are the same 45 people who have benefited the most, from the current system we have in place. This is the very system that benefits a small fraction of our community, which is the main reason many of our community members who see no benefit in the cruise industry are complaining, but at the same time are not showing up to speak out against it.  

This weekend there was an ad in the paper by a group called OURPORT sponsored by the public interest? Who is that? And who’s interest are they really watching out for? 

The ad questions how the city of Ketchikan can maintain and spend 20 million dollars to upgrade our own port as it has done for more than a century? I would like to make some corrections here. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Defend Alaska Against Foreign Corporate Interests By Dr. Al Gross - The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay is the epicenter of crony capitalism, and the poster child for what’s wrong with politics.

On July 30th, following a meeting between Governor Dunleavy and President Trump on Air Force One, the EPA announced that it is doing away with a protection that the Canadian Pebble Mine operators viewed as an obstacle. No longer will these foreign developers have to worry about section 404 C of the Clean Water Act, which provides veto authority over dredge or fill operations that are shown to have harmful effects on aquatic life. Scientific evidence shows that the Pebble Mine footprint will cause irreversible damage to our wild Alaska salmon population. President Trump, Governor Dunleavy, and the Corporate Interests from Canada don’t seem to care.

As a fisherman, an Alaskan, and an American, I am outraged. As a US Senator, I will do everything in my power to stop this travesty from happening.

Southeast Alaskans have been fighting for action on transboundary mining issues from our Congressional Delegation ever since the doomed Canadian Mount Polley mine disaster in 2014. Governor Dunleavy and President Trump should be working on transboundary mining protections, and implementing world class standards on the Canadian mines operating in our shared rivers. Instead, they have worked to allow a Canadian corporation to come into Alaska and conduct risky development in our critical local watersheds. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

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Funding Our School Budget to the Cap By Sidney Hartley - John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.” When we look at our Ketchikan School District, we need to be asking ourselves if we are breathing enough life into the future of our children. Last year, by no easy task, Ketchikan Education Association (KEA) successfully reached a negotiated agreement with the school board to provide Ketchikan educators with competitive pay and affordable health insurance. KEA’s effort to negotiate an agreement spanned three years, and required robust, committed meetings with an all too dismissive school board president and certain other board members. Amidst the advocacy and protest for the board to hear the concerns of our educators last summer, (then) school board president Shaw resigned in response to facing the recall petition I spearheaded, along with incredible support of eight other co-sponsors: Matt Hamilton, Austin Otos, Kevin Staples, Lindsey Johnson, Jackie Yates, Penny Johnson, Cassidy Patton, and Christine Furey.

The recall sort of set off this domino effect, changing the environment of the school board entirely. After Shaw resigned, Boyle, Hodne, and Thompson followed, all within less than a year. While this is never the legislative process we would want to resort to, years of negotiating and a sexual abuse case of former teacher Edwards, led concerned allies to act in support of a better academic environment for our children. Now, most would argue that attending a school board meeting is a breath of fresh air, welcoming of staff and community voice. - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

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Vote Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor By Lance Twitchell - I am writing to endorse Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor. I trust her leadership completely, and feel she is by far the greatest candidate for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. She brings with her great patience, genuine interest to listen to people, an ability to find the middle ground between groups with differing interests, and a mindset that is inclusive and holistic. In this era of American politics, where issues are decided by the intentions of large special interest groups and political alliances, Alaska is in need of leadership that will take a close look at the issues before making a decision. Ms. Hartley is exactly the candidate that our state needs, and will bring good things to Ketchikan, especially in terms of sustainable tourism decisions, embracing language revitalization at a community level, protecting the stability and safety of schools, and making stronger moves to ensure environmental protection without harming the economy. 

I have known Sid Hartley for several years as an instructor and mentor, and have always felt she was ready for community and state leadership at the highest levels. After talking with her at length about her campaign and vision for the Ketchikan Borough, I am convinced that she is the right choice for leadership in the area. My hope is that you can also see her excellent leadership qualities, and how much she will benefit the borough and our state. She is the right choice for this election, and will work with the people to make Ketchikan a safer and stronger place that has more respect and participation of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples.  - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

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