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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Thursday - Friday
September 4-5, 2008


Neets Bay Fishing Bear



Alaska: 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend is $2069; Energy Rebate $1200 - Alaska Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell today announced the amount of the 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend.

According to the Department of Revenue, 610,768 eligible Alaskans will receive a 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) in the amount of $2069. Resource rebates of $1,200 will be sent out with the PFD. Eligible Alaskans will receive a total of $3269.

"The Alaska Legislature and the Governor, along with her administration, worked together and passed legislation to distribute a special Resource Rebate this year, before the arrival of winter, to assist with rising energy costs," Lt. Governor Sean Parnell said. "Governor Palin is sensitive to the fact that high energy prices have had a negative impact on Alaskans' wallets."

Half a million (493,000-plus) qualified Alaskans will receive the 2008 dividend directly deposited into their bank accounts on September 12, historically early. The Department of Revenue's PFD Division will be mailing checks to all remaining eligible Alaskans on September 30, with those checks expected to arrive within two weeks. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

Alaska: Palin seeks review of Monegan firing case By LISA DEMER - Gov. Sarah Palin has taken an unusual step: She's made an ethics complaint against herself. She wants an Alaska state board to review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

Her lawyer sent an "ethics disclosure" Monday night to Attorney General Talis Colberg. The governor asked that it go to the three-person Personnel Board as a complaint. While ethics complaints are usually confidential, Palin wants the matter open.

The lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, also asked the state Legislature to drop its own investigation into the Monegan matter. He says the Personnel Board has jurisdiction over ethics, but a senator running the investigation immediately refused. - More...
Thursday - September 04, 2008

Alaska: Democrats to Palin: Let's hear some solutions By STEVE BRANDT - After a night when Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin rocked the Republican-packed Xcel Energy Center with a message of small-town can-doism and mockery of alleged Democratic elitism, Democrats demanded her specifics on national issues.

"She mastered the words by the Bush speechwriters. Unfortunately, although it's a new face and a new voice, she didn't talk about what people talk about every day -- what are the solutions?" said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, one of her party's designated hitters in a conference call on Thursday. - More...
Thursday - September 04, 2008

Alaska: Alaskan delegates, mayor in high press demand By SEAN COCKERHAM, ZAZ HOLLANDER and RINDI WHITE - Suddenly, everyone wants to know what Alaska thinks about Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor picked by John McCain to be his vice-presidential running mate.

At the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., that has translated into reporters from around the world forming long lines in front of each Alaska delegate, waiting their turns to interview someone from Palin's home state.

"It's ridiculous," said Chris Nelson, who is leading the Alaska delegation.

Nelson said it's a far different experience than the GOP convention four years ago in New York.

"We sat in the back and nobody really paid any attention to us," he said.

Alaska delegates said they'd briefly spoken about how to handle the media, but denied a network television report they had four hours of media training.

Alaska delegates were wearing plastic hard hats that said, "Drill Here. Pay Less." They sported reflective construction vests with photos of caribou grazing at the Prudhoe Bay oil fields on the back. - More...
Thursday - September 04, 2008

Health - Fitness: McCain, Obama say they're pumped up to do the heavy lifting By SAM MCMANIS - In this mass-media age, the health and fitness of presidential candidates often is equated with their fitness to lead.

But should someone's health, vigor and resting pulse rate make a whit of difference as a barometer of performance as president? And is it fair to compare the health and wellness of candidates who have a 25-year age gap, as is the case with Barack Obama and John McCain?

Yes, says presidential historian Allan Lichtman, author of "The Keys to the White House" and other political books.

"Sure, it reflects the superficiality of politics, but it also reflects a reality a modern president has to go through," says Lichtman, a professor at American University in Washington. "Health and fitness of a candidate is a legitimate issue. The president is under enormous pressures and tensions.

"And when you look at the two candidates, the electorate is bound to make (physical) comparisons. Robust health has been a positive image for a president for over a century."

Recent media coverage provides a glimpse into how the Democratic and Republican candidates are perceived as physical specimens during this election season.

There was Obama, on his overseas trip, stalked by a leggy blond German tabloid reporter documenting his every bead of sweat during what had been a private workout at a Berlin health club. And there was McCain, campaigning in Bakersfield, Calif., around the same time and recovering from the removal of another skin lesion from his face.

So at the same time Obama was being peppered with questions about the number of biceps curls he does, McCain was assuring reporters that the bandage on his cheek did not mean his melanoma had returned.

McCain, who just turned 72, has a history of skin cancer and other ailments, and the injuries he sustained as a prisoner of war in Vietnam have limited his ability to exercise. - More...
Thursday - September 04, 2008


Alaska Science: Whither the ice worms? Team offers bounty By NED ROZELL - A five-man team just returned from a walking tour of Alaska Range glaciers where they had hoped to spot the mythical ice worm, a fingernail-clipping size creature that lives on ice and dies away if from it. After 11 days of moving, they found no worms.

Whither the ice worms?

Todd Tumolo looks for ice worms in a cave beneath an unnamed glacier in the Little Switzerland area of the Alaska Range.
Photo by Roman Dial.

Before the team left Talkeetna on an air charter a few weeks ago, Dan Shain of Rutgers and Alaska Pacific University professor Roman Dial grilled a few mountaineers to find where they had seen ice worms in the past. Longtime Denali National Park Ranger Roger Robinson told them his spots. Dial then called mountaineer Brian Okonek in Washington, who backed up Robinson's stories about encountering ice worms on climbing trips long ago.

"We put together a route that hit all the hot spots," said Shain, who studies leeches and earthworms when he's not looking at ice worms. "It'd be hard to search more extensively than we did."

At dusk, when ice worms usually head to the surface, the team searched Pika, Crown, Kahiltna, Granite, and other glaciers.

"After making that trek in Denali, we concluded that worms weren't there, and never were there," Shain said. "However, that changed when we went to Learnard Glacier."

After the Denali trip ended with what Shain called a "fantastic" float out in packrafts on the Tokositna River, he and Dial went down to Learnard Glacier near Whittier. Shain had been there years before, and had seen many worms. Not so this time.

"The worms were just about gone," Shain said. "We found about one worm every 10 square meters; there used to be hundreds per square meter."

Shain and Dial saw that Learnard Glacier was quite similar­with a steep upper part and a wide lower valley­to Crown Glacier in the Alaska Range. Shain also noticed that the glacier had shrunk since the last time he was there.

"It was dramatic to see that much ice loss," he said.

Shain now thinks that the Alaska Range glaciers probably had ice worms in the days that Robinson and Okonek spotted them, about 20 years ago, but perhaps those glaciers shrunk like Learnard, losing the snow portion that is critical habitat for ice worms' favorite food, algae. - More...
Thursday - September 04, 2008


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October 7, 2008

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Basic Rules

letter Candidate for Borough Assembly By Tyrell Rettke - While I have used SIT News many times to express various views and as a means to communicate various events that I have been a part of, today it is my honor to use it as a way to introduce myself to the entire community in more detail than ever before. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letterCruise Ship Funds and Energy By Rodney Dial - May I respectfully suggest that some of the Cruise Ship Tax Proceeds that the local government is now recommending be spent on art and beautification, be invested as follows: - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter An Alaskan a Heartbeat Away From McCain? By Chris Arteaga - As a born Alaskan, I felt a surge of pride when I heard that Governor Sarah Palin had been selected as the Vice Presidential nominee. Suddenly, my friends were calling me asking for the inside information on my home state's governor; it is truly a glorious moment for anyone who loves Alaska. Then I watched her nomination speech and my roots Revillagigedo Island were outraged. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letterThe Stench of Vitriol By Sandy Powers - What happened to good editorial judgment as to appropriate content in opinion letters to be published? David Hangar's letter clearly violates Sitnews' own standards of propriety and decency stated under Basic Rules and Spirit of Viewpoints . - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Governor - Vice President By Frances C. Natkong - After watching the GOP Convention and Gov. Sarah Palin last night my conviction to vote for Obama held fast. I don't agree with anyone, much less the Gov. who says Ketchikan's Gravina Bridge would have been a "Bridge to Nowhere!" - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Focus on the Point By Tami Linne - I read Donita O'Dell's letter, and Mr Garcia's letter. I am just wondering if Ms. O'Dell can read and write in two or three different languages?? - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Ferries vs Bridge By Thomas Thrush - I agree on the main part of Ms. Lester's rebuttal to me about the funds. It should have been spent down here, but, how about making the remaining 2 or so miles of North Tongass highway, South Tongass highway, and the main road in town nice to drive on, all the way. And while they are at it make sure the piping is going to last more than a few months to dig the road up again. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter SARAH PALIN -TOO TOUGH? By Ken Bylund - This morning, one of the many desperate CNN analysts said that Sarah had bullied Barack Obama; those reporters are very close to being exposed with trying to bend reality to match their desires. Democracy is supposed to be about 'rule of majority' in that the people select representatives that are periodically elected to office for the purpose of fixing problems, not creating conflict. The needs start with the care and good of American Citizens around the world, not about sparing the feelings of those who hate us; our representatives job is to investigate the truth, wherever it may lead them, then inform and rally support via arguments based on honest, reasonable, and rational discourse... and yet, we are inundated with these "un-elected talking heads" doing everything in their power to steer the majority toward weakness and dependence. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Where's the change? By Mike Isaac - Since it became clear that John McCain could be the President of the United States, I have always felt not only that he would sell this country out with the now dead Bush, McCain, Kennedy amnesty plan that would have added up to 30 million mostly low income people to our 300 million, but do little for issues like energy and the economy. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Pres. GWB on "Maverick" John By Mike Sawyer - "John is an independent man who thinks for himself. He's not afraid to tell you when he disagrees. ... No matter what the issue, this man is honest and speaks straight from the heart," President George W. Bush addressing the Republican National Convention. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter The Stench of [Complaining] By Katie Parrott - Things are not so black and white, Mr. Hanger. Not one of our elected boneheads, as you so endearingly call them, is infallible, nor are their decisions always going to be infinitely wise and the outcomes perfectly judicious. How presumptive can you get? (An honest question.) - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Retorical baloney By Jeff Hendrickson - As usual, Mr. Hanger spouts his one-sided retorical baloney. Attacking someone's religious stance is a new one for him and an all new low, as well as utterly rediculous. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter What Palin Hasn't Said By Jerilyn Lester - If Ms. Brewer hasn't noticed, Palin would really like Southeast Alaska, Ketchikan in particular, to dry up and blow away. The money that she brags that she has vetoed is mostly the bridge, but the rest of it is money that was supposed to come down here. - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letterPicking Sarah By Julie Kay Smithson - Like the rest of America, the media is abuzz with talk of Sarah Louise Heath Palin.- More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter Befuddled By Misty Archibald - I read Mr.Garcia's and I must admit that I am befuddled. What is it exactly that you're trying to say? - More...
Friday - September 05, 2008

letter RE: The Stench By Dave Kiffer - It is perfectly reasonable, acceptable and appropriate for my old friend David Hanger to fault political actions that have been made by John Harrington, Joe Williams and myself. - More...
Tuesday PM - September 02, 2008

letter Developing Alaska's Workforce By Click Bishop - Yesterday on Labor Day we honored the dignity of human labor. In Alaska, that means honoring the approximately 397,000 Alaskans in our workforce ­ the lifeblood of the land of opportunity that is Alaska. Our great state has been built by the blood and sweat of all the individuals who envisioned a grand future for themselves and their children. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterTHE STENCH OF ONE-PARTY RULE By David G. Hanger - No, I'm not changing my mind about anything; I am done with Alaska politics and writing about the subject. This is just closing out a little bit of old business. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterSarah Palin -- the barracuda By Bill Taylor - Now that John McCain has selected Sarah Palin as his running mate, there are several issues that should be addressed. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterMeandering... By Donita O'Dell - Mr. Garcia's letter was so meandering that I cannot be 100% sure what he was saying. Is he even writing in English? However it seems pretty clear that Mr. Garcia has a bone to pick with a sizeable portion of our community, based on their ethnicity. I find the sentiment sickening . Frankly, I am shocked that the editor of Sitnews has posted his letter. If this is the quality of opinion that is given a stage on this website, I hope I am not the only one who will cease to participate. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterWhat is Crab Mentality? By Heizelle Jones - It's interesting how people come up with analogies to discribe a person, point of view or thing. What I would like to know is, What characteristics do Crabs and Filipinos have in common? - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Smelly Rat By Linda Burger - The smelly rat I refer to is "troopergate." Much has been said about Sarah Palin abusing her power. Looking closer at the issue, it comes to light that the involved trooper has had several incidents that truly scares me as a citizen: - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter VA doctors' accoutability By Berton Galloway - Wow wouldn't that be great if Ketchikan General Hospital would do that! I was a long time employee for the hospital. I went in for a minor surgery and 5 surgeries later my life is ruined. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterVerification on residency for energy relief By Joey Tillson - There are actually a few different factors to verify residency in the State of Alaska. The first one being documentation that is also required by the permanent fund division. How a person verifies residency in our state is to provide documentation such as pay stubs, DMV license applications, rental leases, travel documentations, etc. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Some in Ketchikan react to nomination with concern, ire By Audrey Ofedahl - Way to go Sarah Palin!!! I for one am thankful that Sarah is the VP nominee and believe she will do a wonderful job just as she has proven to do here in Alaska. I regret that the article I just read in The Juneau Empire states that some in Ketchikan react to Sarah's nomination with concern and ire. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Dog Attacks By Marina Hinkle - Many of us are dog lovers, and it seems an old Ketchikan tradition for many dog owners to allow their faithful companions to run free. Most of us tolerate this with little or no complaint. There are, of course, the occasional close calls along Tongass Highway, or the unfortunate dog that is hit and killed by a car. I have never understood this behavior of dog owners, but I am not here to change the beliefs or practices of others. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Bridge By Jerilyn Lester - Mr. Thrush, I wouldn't mind riding the ferry if 1. it wasn't so expensive and 2. I would be able to get to the airport even in bad weather. The bridge should have been built but where it actually landed is of no real importance. We should have had the opportunity to have it. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterGas Prices By DeAnn Karlson - I read the letter regarding the local price of gas, and I too have some questions. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Palin Slaps Alaskans in the Face By Jennifer Brewer - I listened to Governor Sarah Palin's acceptance speech as John McCain's running mate. I was proud and happy for her; at least until the "Bridge to Nowhere" came up. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letterMcCain - Palin By Signe Markuson - I am SO Pleased with John McCain to choose Alaska Govenor Sarah Palin as His choice for VP running mate. My Spirit is filled with Joy in REAL HOPE for this Nation and its People. - More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Sports Facility By Scott Kline - Mr. Gwynn, I for one would rather my tax dollars go for a facility that promotes the well being of today's youth rather than it be spent on rehab for today's and tomorrow's youth.- More...
Tuesday - September 02, 2008

letter Wake up Ketchikan! By Tony Gwynn - While I admire Ketchikan Little League board member's aspirations of a baseball facility that would match a professional team's spring training site, I wonder if it's time to stop dreaming of a pot of free gold and instead concentrate on reality. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Energy assistance by Bill Meck - I have read many of the complaints of discrimination regarding the executive order signed by Governor Sarah Palin for the "Energy assistance package" recently and find there were many flaws regarding the process of which residents of the state of Alaska were qualified. Including those who have been residing in the state continually since as long as March of 2007 or those who had paperwork that may have been filed for the annual Permanent fund dividend checks improperly. It is also not limited to those who may for one reason or another have their wages garnished but will be in need of the stimulus over the next six months or longer to come. Every person I have spoken with including a person whom works in our local legislative office in Ketchikan has given their opinion that there are going to be many people who are going to be "left out in the cold" this winter so to speak. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Let's Stop the Illegal use of Drug Cycle By Terrance H. Booth, Sr. - A very sad and depressing report on illegal drug use for Indian Country, USA. I know action has been taken but it is time to safe and preserve our future who are the youth. More needs to be done about it for the Native Drug Dealers are killing our youth and our future. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter 2007 Taquan Air Plane Crash By Mike McComb - If you read the entire accident report you will find that the pilot was previously suicidal and also taking anti-depressant medication at the time of the accident which would NOT allow him to be legal to fly an aircraft. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterPoke'em in the eye By Edward Brown - Throwing our most senior senator under the bus is not called for. He should be presumed innocent until the verdict or plea comes in. The trial will not end until 2 weeks before the general election. Ted is worthy of one more primary vote by all patriotic Alaskan voters. This can be our thank you to Ted with his 40 years of service to our state. - - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterKetchikan vote Democrat? By Chris Arteaga - In the wake of Senator Stevens indictment, Ketchikan should reconsider its staunch support of Republican candidates. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterNorth Point Higgins Repaving? By Debbie Rahr - Just wondering why we are repaving North Point Higgins when there are worse roads that need fixing. This doesn't make sense to me. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Crab Mentality By Jose Garcia - Not only Filipinos in Ketchikan, or other Alaskan cities, but the entire country where Filipinos conglomerate; having been, and mostly in cities where the onslaught of Filipinos have ekked their living to fuse themselves in the American Dream, there is still that old tradition of crab mentality embedded in the sinews of their sublimal instincts. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterKetchikan gas prices By Karen Ramsey - Ketchikan-area gas stations have been charging $4.45 a gallon for unleaded gas since about the third week of July. Today, August 25, the news media reported that the average price in the U.S. is $3.69 a gallon. I wonder how long it will take for stations here to start reflecting that downward trend of the price of oil and gas. Will we drivers in Ketchikan have to suffer the fate of paying at least 70 cents more per gallon than the national average for a lot longer? I hope not. Even in Honolulu where drivers usually pay even more exorbitant prices for gas than we do, the most expensive gas station today is charging $4.34. Gas stations in Ketchikan, please give us a break soon! - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Why take a chance on Joe Biden? By Mark Neckameyer - In the business world we are so very careful in vetting people who will have responsible management positions. People who have fiduciary responsibility like CFOs and Treasurers are thoroughly investigated and any impropriety is reason for a negative conclusion. Police officers are checked out back to high school friends' opinions of them and senior military officers, those in control of nuclear weapons especially are very carefully screened. even to the point of having psychological examinations and lie detector testing before they are retained. Why in the world would the Democrat Party pick for a Vice Presidential candidate, someone the proverbial heartbeat away from being the most powerful person on Earth, someone with so many serious character flaws? - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter RE: energy relief Yes or NO By Robert Bates - First of all I would like to say that I understand Mr. Tillson's concern about non-residents not getting the relief for the rise of fuel prices. But my concern with having applications being filled out by non-residents is the fact that there are a lot of seasonal workers in the state that might try to take advantage of that and fill them out as well, thus taking money from the people who live here year round. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Kanayama Exchange By Haley Widness - I am saddened by the argument over who should participate in the Ketchikan-Kanayama Extchange Program. I am an alumni of the program and felt that it was one of the best experiences I have ever had the privilage to be a part of. It is not a matter of who is popular or smart, but more of a matter of commitment. At times I didn't want to fundraise or go to class, but I kept a good attitude about it and went eventhough I might not have felt up to it. At the very begining I signed a contract to that commitment. In the end it was very worth it and I had the time of my life while meeting so many new people and learning new things. It is a great program and I hope that it continues for many years to come. I thank all those who have supported this program in the past and continued support in the future. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter GREAT JOB GIRLS By Jodi Warmuth Rosenthal - I live in Jackson, Wisconsin and Anna Warmuth is my niece. I found this letter online and I need to say that I am very proud of Anna and the rest of the Girl Scouts who worked so hard on this clean up project. - More..
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letter Doesn't make me a Democrat By Mike Isaac - Somehow my defense of Ted Stevens and my dislike of John McCain the RINO republican from AZ makes me a Democrat according to Kris Hansen's letter dated 08/09/08 -- and someone trying to sway voters of Alaska???? - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterBridge? By Thomas Thrush - Mrs. Lester, I agree with the bridge concept, but to me it was pork, to Gravina? - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

letterSen. Stevens By Robert Glenn - Jerilyn Lester, if you read the about me section you will see that I did live in Ketchikan for 3 years (year round, not only for summer). Never once did I miss a flight because I had to take the ferry over to the airport. I missed more flights because I would be sitting there at the airport and listen to the plane fly over because of weather. - More...
Thursday - August 28, 2008

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