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August 26, 2020


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Ketchikan: Not All Die in Combat; Ketchikan man was killed in huge munitions explosion in World War II By DAVE KIFFER - Not all the people who die in wartime are killed in combat. Traditionally, one quarter of the war deaths that Americans have suffered since the Civil War have been either during in training or in accidents unrelated to battle itself.

Not All Die in Combat; Ketchikan man was killed in huge munitions explosion in World War II

View from the demolished pier looking toward shore and more flattened buildings following a munitions explosion at Port Chicago, California, United States, 17 Jul 1944. 18 Jul 1944 photo.
US Navy Photo

Such was the case with Robert K. Hendrickson, an able-bodied seaman in the US Merchant Marine who died in 1944. Many members of the Merchant Marine died during World War II, especially when submarine packs hunted the cargo ships as they crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but Ketchikan resident Hendrickson did not go down with his ship. He died during a huge explosion when his ship was being loaded with explosives in California.

The Port Chicago explosion was one of the most-deadly non-combat accidents in US history. More than 300 sailors died and tens of millions of dollars in damage was done to the port near San Francisco. The explosion also caused a controversial walk-out by African Americans charged with loading ammunition in the port. The African American sailors were later court-martialed, an action that was eventually overturned long afterwards.

Little is known about Hendrickson's time in Ketchikan. He was listed in the 1920 census as the one-year-old son of Knute Hendrickson, who had a sheet medal business in the Newtown area. But neither father nor son was listed in either the 1930 or 1940 census. The Merchant Marine on-line site lists Robert Hendrickson's home as the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, although it is not possible to access Hendrickson's actual merchant marine records because a 1973 fire damaged them.

Henrickson was not listed as a Ketchikan High School graduate in the 1930s, but in those days many residents were allowed to finish school in the eighth grade rather than go on to high school.

The story of the ship Hendrickson died on, the Quinault Victory, is very well known. The SS Quinault Victory was the 31st "victory" ship built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in Portland, Oregon during the war.

Its keel was laid down on May 3, 1944 and it was launched barely a month later on June 17th. Victory ships - at 10,000 tons and 455 feet in length - were slightly larger than the "liberty" ships they replaced. More than 500 were built during the War. They had larger engines and were slightly faster than the liberty ships, making them less susceptible to torpedo attacks. Victory ships cost an average to $2.5 million to build in the 1940s.

When she was ready, the War Shipping Administration took charge of the Quinault Victory and the ship was leased to the United States Lines Company. The USL operated both troop ships - which were converted ocean liners - and cargo ships like the Quinault Victory. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

Ketchikan: Gravina Access Improvements Work to Begin, Final Bids Awarded - Work will soon begin on a host of projects meant to enhance the movement of people and goods between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.

The project will not only provide improved access to the airport, but will improve access to developable land on Gravina, promoting long-term economic development of the island.  

“I am happy to see all of the bids awarded and progress made towards making access to Gravina easier and more convenient,” Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, said. “I would like to thank Governor Mike Dunleavy and Commissioner John MacKinnon for moving this project forward. Ketchikan’s economy can really use this $100 million project infusion over the next few years.”

Sen. Stedman has worked doggedly with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Legislature over the years to keep this project on the radar and ensure that the residual original bridge money is used and that there is enough money available to make better access to Gravina Island a reality.  

Better access to Gravina Island has been a local goal since before the airport was constructed in the early 1970s. Starting in the mid-‘90s, Congress started earmarking money for the project. Pacific Pile and Marine was just awarded the remaining outstanding project bid for $17.8 million for work on the layup berth and freight facility, and will be employing several local subcontractors.

Work on the project will start fall 2020. DOT officials estimate the project will be completed by 2023.

“The community has been working for better access to Gravina for generations,” Sen. Stedman said. “This project couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Some benefits of the Gravina Access Project will be to: - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

Army finds Pebble Mine project cannot be permitted as proposed

Army finds Pebble Mine project cannot be permitted as proposed
Aerial view of braided wetlands and tundra that is typical of the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency photo.

Alaska: Army finds Pebble Mine project cannot be permitted as proposed By MARY KAUFFMAN - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday, the Pebble Mine project, as currently proposed, cannot be permitted under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Pebble Mine project is a massive gold and copper mine project proposed in the area of the Bristol Bay headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found the Pebble Mine project as proposed would likely result in significant degradation of the environment and would likely result in significant adverse effects on the aquatic system or human environment. According to the announcement, the finding is based on factual determinations, evaluations, and tests laid out in the environmental impact statement published on July 24, 2020.

In a letter to the Pebble Mine’s vice president of permitting, The Army Corps admits, “factual determinations that discharges at the mine site would cause unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources and, preliminarily, that those adverse impacts would result in significant degradation to those aquatic resources,” and directs the Canadian company to submit a mitigation plan that would offset these impacts by November 18, 2020. 

Quoting a news release by U.S. Army Public Affairs, "The administration supports the mining industry and acknowledges the benefits the industry has provided to the economy and productivity of this country, from job creation to the extraction of valuable resources, which are especially important as we recover from this pandemic. The Pebble Mine project has the potential to fulfill all of those needs; however, as currently proposed, the project could have substantial environmental impacts within the unique Bristol Bay watershed and lacks adequate compensatory mitigation."

Since taking office, the Trump administration has provided for a fair and thorough process to evaluate the proposed Pebble mine, according to a news release from U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Murkowski and Sullivan have strongly supported the administration’s decision to reverse EPA’s preemptive veto of the project, which occurred well before Pebble even applied for a federal permit under the Clean Water Act. 

Pebble submitted its permit application to the Corps in December 2017. The agency completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project in July 2020. The finding and decision announced by the Corps Friday were made under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, as well as its associated guidelines, and based on the record laid out in the FEIS. The FEIS found, among other things, that the proposed mine would permanently impact several thousand acres of wetlands and waters, including about 120 miles of streams in the Koktuli River Watershed.

Following the announcement, Senator Murkowski released a written statement saying, "I strongly support Alaska’s mining industry and the jobs, revenues, and raw materials it provides. Mining’s role in our state economy will only grow in the years ahead, but each project will have to demonstrate that it can be built and operated in accordance with strict regulations and without significant adverse impact on the environment."

Murkowski said, “In this instance, after years of extensive process and scientific study, federal officials have determined the Pebble project, as proposed, does not meet the high bar for large-scale development in Bristol Bay." 

“I understand, respect, and support this decision. I agree that a permit should not be issued. And I thank the administration for its commitment to the protection of this world-class watershed and salmon fishery,” said Murkowski.

U.S. Senator Sullivan also released a written statement in which he said, “Throughout my career, I have been a very strong advocate for responsible resource development in Alaska – it provides good-paying jobs to countless hard-working Alaskan families and is the backbone of our economy. A key part of responsible resource development or any economic project in Alaska is the need to allow the state and federal permitting process to work pursuant to our laws and regulations. This is critical for the rule of law, and predictability in attracting investment for our state. The permitting process also provides transparency for the public to see the data and science to judge whether a project meets the high standards we demand in Alaska."

Sullivan said, “For these reasons, I have consistently advocated that the permitting process for the Pebble project go forward in an orderly, science-based manner. That is why, for example, I strongly opposed the Obama administration’s preemptive veto of the project, which short-circuited the permitting process well before Pebble even applied for a federal permit, and was based on very questionable legal authority." - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

PeaceHealth Ketchikan recognized for patient care

PeaceHealth Ketchikan recognized for patient care
PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center
Photo courtesy KMC


Ketchikan: PeaceHealth Ketchikan recognized for patient care - PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center has been rated one of the best hospitals in Alaska for patient experience.

Becker’s Hospital Review published a list last week of the top-rated hospitals in each state using data from randomly sampled patients and reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Seven of the 25 Alaska hospitals evaluated by CMS received four out of a possible five stars for patient experience.

“I am so pleased our medical center received this recognition” said Dori Stevens, RN, CAO of PeaceHealth Ketchikan. “This coming on the heels of receiving the Pathway to Excellence Designation recognizing our nursing excellence just makes me beam. 

“This team of caregivers and physicians truly go that extra mile to keep our patients and community at the forefront of all we do. This is wonderful news to share with our caregivers who live our mission daily by treating each person in a loving and caring way.”   - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

Southeast Alaska: AMHS Reshaping Work Group Seeks Input; The public can comment via teleconference on August 26 and September 2 -  The Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group is seeking public input regarding the future of Alaska’s ferry system.

“The AMHS Reshaping Work Group welcomes and appreciates public input," said the group's Chairman, Admiral Thomas Barrett. "Our goal is to deliver a more reliable marine highway system, operating at less cost and providing coastal communities transportation that helps support their fundamental economic, educational, social, health, and mobility goals."

Two meetings will be held providing members of the public an opportunity to phone in with questions and comments. Audio from the meeting will be streamed live and meeting recordings will also be available online. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

Southeast Alaska: Seabridge Gold requests another 5 year construction extension for their KSM mine project - Seabridge Gold has asked British Columbia for another 5 year extension on starting construction of what would be the largest open pit mine in North America.  BC ‘s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says it is considering Seabridge Gold’s request.   

In an article in THE NARWAHL by Stephanie Wood, a Ministry spokesperson said the environmental assessment office will “initiate a review process with technical advisors and Indigenous nations to review the request.”

The Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) asks BC’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to deny the extension.  “Say “No” to this extension request” said Rob Sanderson, Jr, Vice President of Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and Chair of SEITC.  “We look forward to our involvement in this review process.”

Added Jennifer Hanlon of Yakutat Tlingit Tribe and SEITC Vice Chair.  “KSM already needs an updated Environmental Assessment.  Seabridge asking for a construction extension is a perfect time to also ask for a new EA.”

Seabridge Gold argues in THE NARWAHL article that another 5-year extension for the Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell mine project is necessary due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  But as noted in the article, Dr. David Chambers, founder and president of the Center for Science in Public Participation, “would like to see another environmental analysis, rather than a permit extension.  With a five-year extension already granted for the mine, its environmental analysis is quite dated.” Also noted, since receiving its certificate, Seabridge Gold did more exploration and found more minerals than initially proposed. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020


Alaska: LAWSUIT AIMS TO BLOCK DRILLING IN ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE By MARY KAUFFMAN - Amost a week after U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed a Record of Decision approving the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday. Environmental groups are challenging the Trump administration’s decision to allow oil and gas leasing in ANWR and say the Bureau of Land Management’s plan for drilling in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge would cause irreparable damage to one the world’s most important wild places and takes America in exactly the wrong direction on combating climate change, the suit says.

The lawsuit, filed August 24, 2020, by the National Audubon Society, Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Friends of the Earth, represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjust and NRDC, is one of several legal actions launched in response to the oil and gas drilling plan. The Gwich’in Steering Committee, a voice for indigenous traditional hunting communities, also filed suit to challenge the oil and gas development plan. Gwich’in people revere the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain as a sacred place because it serves as calving grounds for the Porcupine Caribou Herd, animals that are essential for food and cultural tradition in Gwich’in villages. 

The environmental groups say the Trump administration’s plan to sacrifice this cherished place for oil and gas development comes at a time of rising concerns about the climate crisis, and as energy markets contend with an oil glut due to a global pandemic. The administration selected an alternative that maximizes the area to be handed over to the fossil fuel industry. Its flawed analysis ignores the irreversible harm oil and gas development will bring to one of the world’s most significant wildlife habitats, dealing a blow to species such as polar bears, caribou, and millions of migratory birds. The final Environmental Impact Statement even acknowledged that some bird species may go extinct.

Those filing the lawsuit say the Bureau of Land Management also downplayed how development would damage the tundra and permafrost that support the Arctic ecosystem and the consequences on the people who recreate, hunt, and otherwise use the Arctic Refuge. And although temperatures are rising in the Arctic at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, federal approval for oil and gas drilling also under-reported leasing’s climate change implications. 

The lawsuit calls for the court to block the leasing program because its approval ignored federal law, violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act, the National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act, and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The program maximizes oil development at the expense of all other protected values in the Refuge, and ignores important requirements designed to avoid such damage.

However, the leasing program is required by law in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-97), which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017. The decision determines where and under what terms and conditions leasing will occur in the 1.56 million-acre Coastal Plain within the 19.3 million-acre ANWR.

“Congress directed us to hold lease sales in the ANWR Coastal Plain, and we have taken a significant step in meeting our obligations by determining where and under what conditions the oil and gas development program will occur,” said Secretary Bernhardt on August 17th when he signed the Record of Decision on August 17, 2020. “Our program meets the legal mandate that Coastal Plain leaseholders get the necessary rights-of-way, easements and land areas for production and support facilities they need to find and develop these important Arctic oil and gas resources.” - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

Why are Alaska’s salmon shrinking?

Why are Alaska’s salmon shrinking?
A female sockeye salmon that spent three years in the ocean (top) compared to a female that spent just two years in the ocean in Pick Creek, Alaska. One year in the ocean makes a big difference — which is why salmon returning younger has caused such a dramatic decline in body size.
Photo by Andrew Hendry ©



Why are Alaska’s salmon shrinking? By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN - Alaskans who have fished for salmon consistently over the years know it: Alaska’s salmon, especially king salmon, are getting smaller. Now, a new study, published August 19 in the journal Nature Communications by lead author Krista Oke, a postdoctoral fellow with the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks;  senior author Eric Palkovacs, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz; and an international team of co-authors, many of them also based in Alaska, delves into why that is — and what it means. 

Salmon are getting smaller

Over the last 60 years, the sizes of Alaska’s salmon have declined, though there were also periods of slight recovery. Around the year 2000, however, size declines intensified, and in 2010, they began accelerating. The size change was most extreme for Chinook salmon — most likely because they’re the largest and tend to stay out in the ocean the longest — and in regions that historically have older, larger Chinook salmon returning, like the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. The average size of Chinook salmon in the Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim area, as well as Southcentral Alaska, was, on average, 10 percent smaller after 2010 than it was before 1990. Some specific populations declined as much as 20 percent on average. 

Overall, the length of Chinook salmon has gone down 8 percent on average between 1990 and 2010; coho salmon length has gone down by 3.3 percent; chum salmon by 2.4 percent; and sockeye salmon by 2.1 percent. 

That size decline was driven by fish spending less time in the ocean and returning younger. “Some populations lost multiple years, on average,” Palkovacs said. 

There isn’t much size data out there for pink salmon, so that’s the one species they didn’t look into. 

What does that mean?

The study identified several main consequences of smaller salmon. The first: smaller females mean fewer eggs. 

“That means to get the same population productivity, you need more fish in the population,” Palkovacs said. “Fixed escapement policies assume a certain number of females is going to continue to produce the same number of juveniles. But if females are smaller, it means that same number of females is going to be producing a smaller number of eggs than in the past.”

From a subsistence perspective, “if you have a limited harvest opportunity and the fish you get are smaller than what you used to get, it really does mean fewer meals in your freezer for the winter,” Oke pointed out.

From a commercial perspective, smaller fish earn fishermen less money — because it takes more salmon to get the same amount of poundage, it takes more time to process a fish, and because larger fish can command more per pound. 

From an ecosystem perspective, smaller salmon transport fewer marine-derived nutrients into the ecosystem.

From a resilience perspective, losing certain age classes means less resilience in the face of environmental change. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020


CHRISTINE FLOWERS: CANNON HINNANT’S MURDER IS NOT ABOUT RACE - I am no longer surprised at the depths to which some people will sink in these fraught and tortured moments.

A friend recently posted something on her Facebook page honoring the life and tragic death of Cannon Hinnant, the little 5-year-old from North Carolina who was shot through the head by his next-door neighbor. I also posted about the death, and made the child’s picture my social media profile photo. We both did it to call attention to the loss of another innocent to senseless, ubiquitous violence.

But my friend was told her posting smacked of racism. Why, you might ask? Because the killer of Cannon Hinnant – a white child – was a black former drug dealer and felon. Apparently, recognizing that this child was the victim of a felon who happened to be the same race as George Floyd was engaging in race baiting, even though race was barely mentioned in any of the posts about the child’s death. For that matter, the parents and family of Cannon Hinnant have come out saying that they don’t believe race was a factor in the murder.

Yes, there are some conservative outlets that have tried to make it about race, and that’s wrong. This is about the death of a child, one whose blood is the same color as the spilt blood of Black and brown children in the inner cities.

So focusing on the race of Cannon Hinnant and his killer is wrong.

But let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here. Some people don’t seem to like the fact that we are talking about a child who isn’t Black or brown. There is the not-so-subtle suggestion that even focusing on the tragedy of his lost life is an attempt to deflect attention from the larger national conversation on racism and the “mattering” of Black lives, and the bigotry of Republicans. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

MICHAEL SHANNON: CHRISTIANS STOP BELIEVING THE CORONAVIRUS CON - Pastors are belatedly coming to the conclusion that letting Caesar decide when and where they can worship was a bad idea from the beginning. The fact the vast majority of churches meekly shut down and surrendered Easter demonstrated how deeply secular culture has penetrated the pastorate.

These collaborationists forgot the one time Jesus lost his temper was when secular concerns were interfering with the worship of God inside the Temple. Pastors evidently confused meek with weak and that faulty thinking dominated their Flu Manchu decision-making.

The rush to surrender to secular authorities and be good little church people was positively French in its intensity.

These so-called shepherds surrendered a constitutional right to worship like it was an expired handicapped parking tag. Instead of outsourcing outreach to St. Facebook, pastors should have kept their churches open, urging the frail elderly and those with underlying conditions to stay home and watch while the healthy gathered together as Christians are instructed to do.

During the week, the staff could’ve visited elderly parishioners in person and prayed through the storm door. That would have been much more work than the virus vacation the clergy opted to take. More important, it would have been biblical. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

jpg Political Cartoon: Missing Mailboxes

Political Cartoon: Missing Mailboxes
By Gary McCoy ©2020, Shiloh, IL
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

OURPORT By Mike Holman, Chris Parks, Mary Wanzer, Kay Andrew, Charles Freeman and Wally Kubley - OURPORT was formed nearly a year ago by a small group of local business owners who were opposed to the City of Ketchikan’s plan to lease and transfer management of the downtown cruise ship docks to a private company for a term of thirty years. Last winter, over 400 citizens and dozens of additional business owners signed petitions supporting OURPORT’s opposition to the City’s plan. The petitions and much more information about the City’s Request for Proposals (“RFP”) can be reviewed on the internet at ourport.org.

Three proposals were submitted to the City last January. Just as the City was about to undertake a proposal selection process that was originally intended to be complete by June, the COVID pandemic began to change everything. The selection process slowed down when the health crisis took priority. Still, the City has continued to pursue its goal of privatizing our public docks. Although the Council has already rejected one of the three proposals (without explanation); unless they abandon the plan altogether, they will select one of the two remaining proposals in the coming weeks.

We believe the City’s port management decisions are just as consequential to the community now as they would have been had the pandemic never occurred. The pandemic has affected the cruise industry to an extent none of us would have imagined six months ago. No one knows how long it will take for the industry to fully recover. Have conditions changed in ways that better justify privatization of the port now than before the pandemic? Reasonable people can disagree about this; but, we can all agree that the general public has a stake in the outcome and that more citizens should weigh in based on the best available information. That information is available only in the proposals themselves. Without it, any debate is full of assumptions and more philosophical than realistic. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26m 2020

jpg Opinion

Business Liability Protection is Necessary for Alaska’s Businesses By Win Gruening - Alaska is beginning to re-open our economy post-COVID and the economic impact has been particularly felt by our small businesses. Employers have especially valid concerns, since they must concern themselves with their own health and the health of their employees and patrons, but also the future of their businesses.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to lawsuits from customers and employees contracting COVID. For that reason, Alaska needs to implement its own business liability protections, as many states have already, without waiting for the federal government to act – businesses need confidence in order to reopen and bring our economy back online.

Small business owners are concerned about liability for their businesses, and for good reason. A NFIB survey found that about 70 percent of small business owners surveyed are concerned about increased liability during the reopening of their states. In states without COVID business liability protections, a single lawsuit could devastate a small business through damage payments and legal fees, even without proving negligence or malice. The mere threat of burdensome legal fees, negative publicity, and dozens of spurious lawsuits will chill the economy. After weeks of mandated closures, it’s a financial risk that many small businesses may be unwilling to undertake. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

jpg Opinion

DIVIDENDS DON'T GROW ON TREES By Ray Metcalfe - When I was seven, I read a book titled: THE LITTLE RED HEN. The Little Red Hen found four stalks of wheat her farmer had dropped. The Little Red Hen thought to herself, "if I plant the grain from these stalks of wheat, the seeds will grow enough grain to make a loaf of bread." One at a time, the Little Red Hen asked the pig, the cat, and the duck, if they would help her plant the wheat so she could make some bread. One by one the pig, the cat, and the duck, all refused to help plant the grain. When ask to help harvest the grain, they all said no, no, no! They refused to grind the wheat into flour and they refused to help make the bread. The Little Red Hen did everything herself. But when the smell of fresh baked bread came wafting through the barnyard, they all came running to help eat the bread. The Little Red Hen said no, no, no, I'm going to eat it myself.

I'm reminded of this story every time I hear that whining sound, "Where's my PFD?" And the loudest echoes of "where's my PFD" seems to be coming from voters who have for decades, voted to elect Senators and Representatives who absolutely refuse to vote to tax for the extraction of the oil we all own.


Without taxing for the extraction of our oil, there will be no dividends. In 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, I helped the FBI put six of my fellow elected legislators behind bars for taking bribes in exchange for their votes to prevent the State from taxing for the extraction of our oil. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

jpg Opinion

Running for Ketchikan City Council By Riley Gass - Hello friends, family, and fellow citizens of Ketchikan. My name is Riley Gass, and I am humbly asking for your support in this year’s Ketchikan City Council race. I am a life-long resident of Ketchikan and have family ties to Ketchikan on both sides of my family. I’m a proud Christian, proud American, proud Alaskan, and I am a proud Ketchikanite. I believe I’m the right man for the job because I believe in listening, understanding, and compromising, but I also believe our elected officials need to be strong and stand up clearly for what they believe in. There is nothing worse than a politician who beats around the bush and tries to tell everyone what they want to hear without being clear on their stance. With me, you will know what you’re getting. I am a staunch supporter of our police department. I believe we need to run our city budget the same way average citizens run their personal budget, you don’t spend more than you make, and yearly increases on taxes in order to go on major government spending sprees is unacceptable, the citizens should not be responsible for reckless spending within our city government. Year after year we see increases on virtually everything within the city from property tax to utility rates and other fees and charges, this is extremely difficult on citizens and local small business owners. These small businesses are the heart of Ketchikan, and year after year they go above and beyond to fund and support our youth in activities such as Little League baseball, youth soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, track, cross country, swimming, ballet, debate, and much more. That is why it would be my priority to make Ketchikan the most business friendly city possible for our local businesses. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

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Ketchikan School Board's Decisions By Charles Edwardson By Charles Edwardson - My Name is Charles Edwardson I am writing this publication not representing any organized boards, organizations, tribes, governments, non profits or any other groups or individuals in any way, these are my thoughts and my thoughts alon . Feel free to contact me direct at 254-9000 with any comments rebuttals or criticism or support. I won’t get into a back and forth on this publication.

I am writing to express my appreciation for the City of Ketchikan Alaska’s school board for making the right decisions and standing their ground in an obviously polarized situation and considered what is best for the children of this community and opening the schools to the extent that we can safely do.

I have two daughters who teach in the district, my niece who is like a daughter to me teaches in the district, my wife has been a para for nearly 20 years, and a son in-law who teaches in the district and my sister teaches as well, along with another daughter who is a substitute teacher to help pay her way through college not to mention my three grandkids who all attend school in our district. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

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Is there an upside to COVID-19 By A. M. Johnson - Is there a possible upside to the Corona Virus Hoax?  Hoax defined as this virus being no more deadly than prior major virus statics resulting in far reaching doctorial  consequences. Having so stated, then the upside.

Recently due to the travel restrictions placed on travelers facing the cost of  air fare (We choose to limit flying) and /or Ferry fares,  the negative disruptive social issues in Seattle, seat of our medical objectives, my wife and I chose to delay or cancel scheduled medical appointments.  Our medical sources in Seattle suggested using 'Zoom' type communications if we were game. We agreed, downloaded the invitation to join and awaited the internet appointment. 

In the meanwhile, in anticipation, we self applied blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar score, and temperature which was passed on to the statistic noting nurse prior to the Doctor's appearance.  The appointment went well, both the medical staff and the patient were comfortable with the exchange. recommendations were offered and prescriptions filled.  A call for blood test through Peace Health here in Ketchikan was made and future appointments scheduled. This particular doctor noted that we had neurologist and oncologist with in the hospital whom we had canceled appointments, suggesting that she contact these doctors and suggest similar internet appointments to which we Hartley agreed as welcome. To this we received within a few days the second of three anticipated  appointments. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 26, 2020

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Use CARES Act funding to make Alaska elections safer and more accessible By Claire Richardson - I think most Alaskans agree that a cornerstone of our democracy is our right to vote. In this turbulent pandemic time across our state, providing absentee ballots for Alaskans so they can safely vote early at home is more important than ever.

Using federal dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Governor’s Office said in May that Alaska’s COVID-19 Response Fund (CRF), included $3 million in Elections Support, and further noted, “…funds are used to support modifications to the current elections process in light of the COVID19 public health crisis.”

With additional funding in hand for months, there are important actions Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, who oversees elections, should have implemented to improve voter safety and accessibility.

Postage-Paid Absentee Ballot Return Envelopes

Lt. Gov. Meyer could have removed an additional hurdle to democracy this year by not requiring voters to pay postage to mail back their completed absentee ballot. This problem hit home for me when a 69-year-old disabled friend expressed concern about leaving her apartment to walk to the post office or store to purchase a stamp. She falls into the high-risk category for Covid-19 and with no car and living alone, remains isolated. How many other Alaskans face similar pandemic roadblocks? - More...
Wednesday AM - August 26, 2020

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