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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 13, 2010

Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Bugge's Beach
Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH


Fish Factor: Fishermen worried about Chuitna coal mine project By LAINE WELCH - A call is out for public comments on a request to extend exploration permits for what would be Alaska's largest coal mine. The Chuitna Coal Strip Mine (so called because it removes the wetlands and land overlay) is being developed on the west side of Upper Cook Inlet by Delaware-based PacRim Coal LP.

The extension request is routine as the permits must be updated every two years, according to project director Dan Graham. He said comments should be sent to the state Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water by September 24.

But as of September 10 you won't find the Chuitna coal mine project listed on the DNR site, nor was there any mention of a comment period in the public notices section.

"We are still working on getting all our documents up on the state web site - it's a work in progress," said Russell Kirkham, DNR Coal Regulatory Program Manager, when queried in a phone call. "I know there was a problem with the server and it never got on to the public notice server. The notice did go out to the affected communities and agencies by mail."

The first phase of the 5,000 acre Chuitna coal mine site includes 55 square miles of fish and wildlife habitat, and potentially removes 11 miles of prime salmon streams. What is troubling is that you won't find the word "fish" mentioned in any PacRim or related DNR research documents. (Mr. Kirkham declined to comment on that omission.)

According to a 2009 DNR document (found by a Google search) the Chuitna Coal Project is "at an advanced permitting stage." It describes the proposal as "a surface coal mine and associated support facilities, mine access road, coal transport conveyor, personnel housing and air strip facility, a logistic center, and coal export terminal. The current project predicts a minimum 25 year mine life with a production rate of up to 12 million tons a year." All told, the project includes three coal mines within a 20,571 acre area leased by the Kenai Peninsula Borough. PacRim pays $40,000 per year to the borough for keeping its lease option open.

PacRim's Clean Water Act permit states they would discharge on average 7 million gallons of mine waste and runoff into the Chuitna River every day. Plans filed with DNR show the coal would be crushed and transported on a 12 mile, partially covered conveyor belt to a shoreside facility at Ladd Landing, where up to 500,000 metric tons of coal will be stored. A dock jutting two-miles out into the Inlet would shuttle the coal onto 1,200 foot freighters several times a week. The giant vessels would travel through Shelikof Strait and along the Aleutian Chain to deliver all the coal to Asian power plants.

Terry Jorgensen holds the lease to a setnet site on Three Mile Beach, which has been fished since 1896. He is one of seven setnetters who have held private property leases in the area for generations, and who fear displacement by PacRim.

"The two mile trestle would go right over my head. But the other problem is they want to build a permanent 400 feet wide, 600 feet long island a few feet in front of where I fish. So I am at ground zero and it would put me and all the fishermen behind me out of business," he said.

Jorgensen said fishermen are most worried about effects from the dewatering process necessary to retrieve the coal. - More...
Monday - September 13, 2010

Alaska: State Reaches New Settlement Agreement with Publishers Clearing House - The State of Alaska has joined 32 states and the District of Columbia in filing a stipulated supplemental judgment with sweepstakes company Publishers Clearing House (PCH), of Port Washington, New York, aimed at resolving allegations of deceptive marketing practices.

The agreement, a supplemental consent judgment, was filed in Anchorage Superior Court last Thursday and modifies the terms of an earlier judgment filed in 2000.

Previous settlements with PCH in separate state actions in 2000 and 2001 included stipulations based on allegations that PCH mailed promotional materials designed to mislead consumers into believing they were sweepstakes winners.

The states' recent investigation raised concerns that PCH was not fully complying with the prior agreement and that consumers still could be confused by the nature and language of some of the company's subsequent sweepstakes promotional mailings. - More...
Monday - September 13, 2010


National: A child dies every day in an unsolved homicide By THOMAS HARGROVE - Unsolved homicides like the much-publicized slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey are actually a daily event in the United States.

Police report they don't know who committed more than 10,700 killings of children from 1980 through 2008. Of the 51,753 murders of juveniles 17 or younger, nearly 21 percent were unsolved.

Slightly more than one unsolved homicide of a child occurred each day during this period, according to Scripps Howard News Service's first-of-its-kind analysis of crime files provided by the FBI and local police departments.

"Too many are going unsolved," said LaWanda Hawkins of San Pedro, Calif. She founded the advocacy group Justice for Murdered Children following the 1995 killing of her son, Reginald.

"We've found that when much time goes by without the case being solved, the killers often go on and kill again," she said. "We have to realize the mistakes that we've made -- all of us, police, parents, everybody. We have to stop the silence that surrounds this problem."

Child murders are more likely to be solved than adult homicides. About 31 percent of cases involving victims 18 or older were reported as unsolved. But crime experts see little cause for celebration.

"The real question is why aren't the solution rates even higher than this?" asked Charles Wellford, a criminologist at the University of Maryland and an expert in homicide clearance. "It's often very clear who did these crimes."

Infants and very young children are especially vulnerable to fatal violence from family members, whether despondent mothers suffering post-partum depression or angry stepfathers and boyfriends unhappy with the demands of unwanted parenthood. From 1980 through 2008, police reported 17,210 homicides involving infants through children in their fourth year, compared to only 3,099 killings of children 5 through 9 years old.

But crime experts warn that statistics about child homicides and how often such cases are solved are imperfect. Participation in the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report program is entirely voluntary. Many police departments decline to report how many cases they've solved or how many cases involved juvenile victims.

Scripps Howard's analysis included detailed records of 15,322 homicides that were not reported to the FBI. These cases were obtained under local Freedom of Information Act laws from police departments in Florida and the District of Columbia. They included 1,366 deaths of children, 266 of which were not solved.

Few child killings received as much publicity as JonBenet Ramsey -- a child beauty-pageant contestant found brutally slain in the basement of her parents' Boulder, Colo., home in 1996. But Ramsey's death was hardly unique as she was one of 2,203 child killings that year. Twenty-one percent of those were unsolved. - More...
Monday - September 13, 2010

 Volumn I: Ketchikan Economic  Indicators Summary 2010 40 pages (pdf)
Click on the graphic to download & read
Volumn I: Ketchikan Economic
Indicators Summary 2010
40 pages (pdf)
Released 09/08/10

 Volumn II: Industry Profiles  Ketchikan Economic Indicators 2010
Click on the graphic to download & read
Volumn II: Industry Profiles
Ketchikan Economic Indicators 2010
79 pages (pdf)
Released 09/08/10


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Regular Election October 05, 2010Ketchikan
Regular Election
October 05, 2010

Candidates &

For the 9th year, Sitnews will provide a free web page to all local 2010 candidates. Local candidates are requested to provide background information, experience and qualifications for the public office for which they seek election. Candidates are also requested to provide a statement in which important issues facing the community are addressed and what each would like to achieve if elected. Deadline September 24, 2010

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Candidates Forum

Public Forum

Post your question(s) for the candidates as a group and read the responses from the candidates. Candidates are encouraged to participate and address questions from the public.
Forum Began
09/09/10 PM

Basic Rules

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

Update in Progress

letter RE: Praising KGH; A Double Standard? By Karl Richey, MD - Eileen, the kindest reply I can give to your letter is, "Sour grapes!" Neither you, nor Teri J. Wilson, should need to be reminded that we live on an island, & that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. - More...
Thursday PM - September 09, 2010

letterRE: A Double Standard By Vicki Campbell - As an employee of Ketchikan General Hospital and as a member of this community ,I am truly appalled at the letter written by Eileen Small regarding our hospital and its staff. We are lucky to have a medical facility of this calibar in S.E. Alaska. - More...
Thursday PM - September 09, 2010

letterRoad construction By Shannon Smith - I DO NOT share the sentiment of the last two people who sang the praises of the construction work being done on our roads. - More...
Thursday PM - September 09, 2010

letterSomething smells funny By Robert McRoberts - Recently I've been seeing some strange doings at the city that I do not understand. Our economics are solely seasonal now. Building new homes has slowed dramatically, but yet a new friggin library, a luxury item, is a top priority project. - More..
Thursday PM - September 09, 2010

letterWard 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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Regular Election October 05, 2010Ketchikan
Regular Election
October 05, 2010

Candidates &

For the 9th year, Sitnews will provide a free web page to all local 2010 candidates. Local candidates are requested to provide background information, experience and qualifications for the public office for which they seek election. Candidates are also requested to provide a statement in which important issues facing the community are addressed and what each would like to achieve if elected. Deadline September 24, 2010

_arrowSchool Board
_arrowCity Council

Candidates Forum

Public Forum

Post your question(s) for the candidates as a group and read the responses from the candidates. Candidates are encouraged to participate and address questions from the public.
Forum Began
09/09/10 PM

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