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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 07, 2010

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Ward Lake: Black Bear
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS


Ketchikan: Teens' survival credited to keeping calm & making themselves as visible as possible - The Alaska State Troopers contacted the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad's office at 12:45 am Saturday morning to report an 18 yr. old female, and a 14 yr old male - brother and sister- had gone missing from Yes Bay Lodge. The owner of Yes Bay had reported that the teens were guests of the lodge, The family was on vacation from California and had arrived at the lodge around 5:00 pm the previous day. It was thought the brother and sister may have taken a trail leading to nearby McDonald Lake.

Teens' survival credited to keeping calm...

Search crews take a moment to relax at Yes Bay Lodge after returning from their search assignments
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)

An aerial search of the area was started at 6:15 am Saturday, with Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) ground teams and one canine team joining the search at 7:07 am. One helicopter and two fixed wing aircraft were also used to support the 15 search personnel involved in the operation.

The two were located on the west shoreline of McDonald Lake by a Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) fixed wing aircraft at 10:39 am the two victims were sighted by 061 on the west shoreline of McDonald Lake. The aircraft was able to land and pick them up and return them to the lodge. They were wet and cold but not injured and in excellent spirits said Jerry Kiffer, the on scene commander for KVRS.

In a post incident interview, the teens reported they had walked up the trail to the cabin. Arriving before dark at the cabin they thought there must be more trail so started north along the lake, they thought the trail they were following had made a turn back toward the lodge so continued to follow what they described as a possible game trail. They walked until after dark and spent the night somewhere near the lake shore but not sure where. They got up after daylight and continued walking down the lake. They said they heard the search aircraft and several times turned around and walked towards the sound of the aircraft but did not know which direction to go to get back to the lodge. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

Alaska: G.O.P. Senate Candidate in Alaska Is Charged in Accident - Joe Miller, the Republican candidate for Senate from Alaska, has been found at fault in a three-car accident that happened shortly after he took a narrow lead in the Republican primary. - Read this New York Times article

Alaska: Murkowski says she's not a quitter By BECKY BOHRER - AP Exclusive - A week after conceding the GOP primary, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's not a quitter and is "still in this game."

Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she's been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters, asking her not to leave the race. She says she's been humbled and is listening - and weighing her options.

She said that if this was "all about Lisa, certainly the easy thing for me to do would be to figure out what my next opportunity would be with my family and just settle in to a nice job."

"But what I'm looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I'm going to give up. I'm not a quitter, never have been. And I'm still in this game," Murkowski said.

She met briefly Tuesday with the Libertarian candidate, David Haase after friends of hers - without her direction, she said - approached his party, asking if they would consider a Murkowski candidacy. She said she had an interesting discussion with Haase but made clear she's not interested in changing her "political stripes."

Besides a third-party run, Murkowski also could seek a write-in candidacy, which she called high risk. Or, she could decide to stay out of the race. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

Alaska: Fishermen Thank Governor - Commercial fishermen who participate in the groundfish fisheries in Alaska thanked Governor Parnell for taking a strong position on the Endangered Species Act tregarding Stellar sea lions.

"The Pacific cod fisheries of the Aleutians should not be closed based on the fact that sea lion populations are increasing. This fishery is important for Alaska and we greatly appreciate that Governor Parnell has been so responsive in reviewing and opposing the federal government's plan to close waters where the fisheries occur," said Linda Kozak, a Kodiak based fisheries consultant.

Rob Wurm, managing director of Alaskan Leader Fisheries stated, "Governor Parnell has been a strong advocate for the commercial fishing fleet and coastal communities. We can't thank him enough for his leadership on this important issue and for challenging the federal government on their proposals to close fisheries needlessly. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010


Alaska: Alaskan Elected National Commander of American Legion; Van Horn of Ketchikan appointed his Aide - Jimmie L. Foster of Anchorage, Alaska, was elected national commander of the 2.5 million-member American Legion on Sept. 2, 2010 in Milwaukee, during the 92nd national convention of the nation's largest veterans organization.

 Alaskan Elected National Commander of American Legion

Jimmie L. Foster of Anchorage, Alaska, was elected national commander of the 2.5 million-member American Legion

Foster has appointed Jim Van Horn of Ketchikan to be his Aide.

Foster was born and raised in Oklahoma, he graduated with a degree in Agriculture Education from Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla. After working in the textiles and grocery business, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego from 1973 to 1976. Following a short break in military service, he reenlisted in the U.S. Army, ultimately retiring with 20 years of military service on Aug. 1, 1994, as the chief legal noncommissioned officer at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Alaska Strikes Gold With The Roads To Nowhere - Toyota of America announced this afternoon that it is purchasing the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for $1.573 billion dollars.

Toyota negotiated the purchase price with the State of Alaska last week. State officials say that other portions of the state will be for sale now that the likelihood of additional federal dollars to support them has diminished.

"Face it, we've been operating a loss for years," said Alaska Landmass Divestment Director Tuckerman B. Tuckerman. "We'd have gone under years ago if it wasn't for that 30 percent federal subsidy of our statewide economy. We actually relish this recent political sea change because it will allow us to get leaner and meaner and to be better able to compete in the new global economy."

Tuckerman declined to say what specific further landmass cutbacks Alaska will undergo or whether Alaska would eventually shrink to a size smaller than Texas and end its half century reign as the largest state.

"I can only say there have been significant signs of interest from other corporations and even some other states, for example, California has expressed interest in the Sitka and Juneau boroughs and West Virginia recently sent an inquiry about the availability of the MatSu." Tuckerman added. "If you take the 'pay your own way' strategy to its logical conclusion then the only parts of the state to turn a profit are probably the North Slope and Anchorage boroughs, and I'm not too sure about Anchorage."

Officials from Toyota of America say they accelerated the purchase process for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough because they were concerned it would lose its value as a vehicle test center if the state moved forward with completion of the various Department of Transportation road projects currently taking place. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letter Ward Cove Pending Sale By Rob Holston - For many of the past ten years I was told by the Borough that Ward Cove was needed to anchor the forest products industry for the sake of our economic future. This was back when the Borough loaned large sums from the federal $25,000,000 post KPC shutdown fund. 8-9 & 10 years ago I was arguing that Loggerville deserved a piece of the pie while the Roy Eckert administration said those tidelands were needed for log storage for the saw mill and veneer mill. After Gateway Forest Products folded I thought I had another window of opportunity to purchase land. But this time the entire site was sold to Jerry Jenkins for the veneer mill and a variety of other ventures, such as electrical generation, bottled water, hotels, etc. I did take the opportunity afforded by the KGB / Renaissance sales agreement to enter into a long-term lease with option to purchase with Jenkins. This purchase opportunity was thwarted when Jenkins went belly up and the mill was gutted. I assume that with the sale of veneer site or 29 acres to AMHS that the KGB is no longer insistent that the property be used for wood products production. It is probably safe to say that the KGB felt very comfortable in selling to the state because the sale basically guarantees that quality jobs will be maintained and created in an industry that is in no way controversial. I agree. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 8, 2010

letterAN OPEN LETTER TO MARTA POORE: "Praising KGH" By Teri J. Wilson - With derision I read Marta Poore's Letter to the Editor "Praising KGH" (Ketchikan Daily News, September 4, 2010). For those who are not familiar with you, you neglected to state that you are employed by Southeast OB-GYN Clinic, which is owned by Ketchikan General Hospital/Peace Health. Therefore, I am not surprised that you had such a pleasant time during your ordeal of a broken wrist. You stated that you "came into surgery the next day and felt greeted by friends." Of course you were, these "friends" are your co-workers. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 8, 2010

letterRoad Construction By David Hull - I would like to echo the comments by Al Johnson on the road construction crew working on the North Tongass Highway project, especially the flaggers. We have had several occasions to pass through the construction area on our way to an emergency call and the people with the stop signs got us through every time with very little wait time. I'll be they would have been willing to kick a car to get it move if the occasion called for it. The operators were always willing to immediately stop what they were doing to let us pass.- More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterKetchikan's Port Ranking By Linda Koons Auger - Congratulations to our commercial fishing fleet and processors for the Port of Ketchikan's ranking of #15 in Landings & 18th in Values. (See, Sit News September 03, 2010 issue of the Fish Factor By LAINE WELCH.) With Ketchikan's early beginnings at the base of Ketchikan Creek, it should be evident, now more than ever, that this industry is essential for the economic well-being of our community. It's long-term viability is possible (in part) by to the State's Constitutional mandate to manage Alaska's fisheries for sustainability. With increasing demand for wild Alaska seafood in the marketplace comes the opportunity for growth. To our benefit, some of our local processors currently staff and operate year-round. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterThank You Senator Murkowski By Scott Cragun - I want to post a note of thanks to Senator Lisa Murkowski and thank her for her time served representing the State of Alaska, and particularly to thank her for not being a "puppet" to the party and having the courage to cross party lines when she thought it best served the people of Alaska. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterChurch and State: What was By A.M.Johnson - All of us who have been educated in our public schools over the past 50 plus years and present day,have been taught the separation of church and state. It has been driven home that there is no common relationship between the two. Now in the current venue of public debate, the schism between religions has become wider. In the Village Square Judo-Christian religions are being viewed in even more disparaging terms. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterChloramine in our drnking water By Sharon Nobilio - I have read many letters by citizens concerned about the hazards of chloramination of Ketchikan's drinking water, but none suggest how we can prevent Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) from forging ahead with this treatment. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterMore positive than negative By Charles Edwardson - For the woman who did not like my word friggin, I have had many more positive responses than negative about my 'no new library of any kind' opinion. - More...
Tuesday - September 07, 2010

letterCongratulations to Joe Miller by Ken Bylund - My hat's off to you, Joe, best of luck; enough honest effort will bring this once great ship of state back into safe waters. Only hope you can be strong in the face of bribery [aka compromise and arbitrary justice]. These seem to be the primary tools in Washington. Best advice -- buy a copy of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand, read it again, or better, get the Audible read by Anna Fields... refresh that keen memory as to what we are. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 01. 2001

letter Road Construction By Al Johnson - Sitting in the traffic during our North Tongass Highwasy re-construction reminded me that I wanted and am now, writing to say how much I appreciate the work ethic of the Secon construction company, crew and subcontractors is during this construction effort. The professionalism of the equipment operators is fascinating to watch, the daily dispatch of road debris is outstanding.Daily progress reflects rapacity towards the job completion. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterGaanax adi Lands Are Not Yours By Aan Kadax Tseen aka Don Hoff Jr. - I was born and raised in Ketchikan; I have sat on the City Council/Vice Mayor, O.S.H.A. Review Board member/Chairman, I.R.A. Councils, etc. I have been writing opinion letters on Land Claims for Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterMiller is DEPLORABLE By Stacey Stone - Miller had a campaign full of lies and now he is likening a United States Senator to a prostitute. Who is this man and who in the heck in their right mind can consciously vote for him? - More...
Monday PM - august 30, 2010

letterWrong By Susan Round - Perhaps Mr. Edward's attitude toward libraries and literacy, and those who share it, have much to do with children not meeting "standards". Ever consider that? I wholeheartedly and enthusiasticly support the new library. I raised two children in this community. They spent a considerable amount of their childhood in the public library and they both exceeded the "standards" by any measure. - More...
Monday PM - august 30, 2010

letterThank you voters By Diane Naab - The members of ABC: A Better Choice are pleased with the voter turnout concerning the library site location. We thank those in the community who took the time to vote. - More...
Monday PM - August 30, 2010

letterRaven's Way program thanks Sitka merchants for their support By Rebecca Howe - Over the course of the year, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Yéil Jeeyáx Raven's Way adolescent residential substance abuse treatment center receives support from several organizations in Sitka. Raven's Way would like to thank five Sitka businesses for their support. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterIn response to Library By Aprill Gass - This is the first time I have written to Sitnews, I was happy to see Mr. Edwardson point out the lack of educational progress we have seen in this community and the new library. I agree that we have many important issues facing us, the library seems to be one we could put on hold for the time being given the economic climate of our town. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterVoting Haida Corp. By Frances C. Natkong - If anyone on Haida Corporation Board of Directors approaches you asking you to vote for ANYONE please give me a call at 907-209-9447. Board members are not supposed to be campaigning, it is against policy. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterAppreciation for Volunteers By Judith Green - KUDOS to all those who volunteer to sit at the polling places. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

letterEconomy By Robert Freedland - Our economy is of great concern to me. We have 9.5% unemployed and many other who have lost hope about finding a job, and we do not have a unified approach to dealing with this problem. - More...
Monday PM - April 30, 2010

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