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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 28, 2010

Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Ketchikan Surfer
Unusually high waves offered good surfing conditions at Bugge's Beach for this unidentified local.
Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH


Alaska: Bill Walker rules out write-in candidacy - Bill Walker announced today that he will not be entering the race for governor as a write-in candidate.

"I will not be running as a write-in candidate for governor but my commitment to Alaska and the critical issues that caused me to enter this over race one year ago remains strong," said Walker. "I cannot overemphasize the significance of the crisis we are facing as the cost of energy across our state continues to go up while the production of oil on the North Slope continues to decrease rapidly each year. Alaska cannot continue to sit back, wait and study while the window of opportunity for a natural gas pipeline passes us by. The gas is needed to significantly lower the cost of energy across Alaska and to help offset revenues resulting from the decline in oil in the Trans Alaska oil pipeline, which is presently 2/3 empty."

Walker says he wants to remain active in the political process and plans to continue educating the public about the All-Alaska Gasline.

"As I have said before, there is a rising tide of Alaskans who are fed up with business usual," said Walker. "They want to see a prosperous future for Alaska. I will be exploring ways to ensure that their interests will be represented and their concerns will be heard, not ignored."

Following Walker's announcement. Democratic candidate for Governor, Ethan Berkowitz, in a prepared statement said, "Bill and I have had a good relationship over the years, and we both share a commitment for seeing the All-Alaska line turned into a reality. As I have said before,  I'd be honored to have Bill Walker be part of my administration and have a prominent role in negotiating the gasline." - More...
Monday - September 27, 2010

Alaska: Prosecutor in Ted Stevens case commits suicide By PETE YOST (AP) - A Justice Department prosecutor killed himself while under investigation over whether he and other attorneys in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens acted improperly in the case, officials said.

Nicholas A. Marsh, 37, committed suicide on Sunday, two years after being part of the Justice Department team that convicted Stevens on corruption charges that were eventually thrown out. Marsh's suicide was confirmed by his lawyer, Robert Luskin.

"I think Nick loved being a prosecutor and I think he was incredibly fearful that this would prevent him from continuing to work for the Justice Department," Luskin said Monday. "It's incredibly tragic after all this time when we were on the verge of a successful resolution."

The prosecutors in the Stevens case failed to disclose evidence favorable to the defendant as Supreme Court precedent requires. The omission was so serious that Attorney General Eric Holder stepped in and asked a federal judge to throw out Stevens' convictions, which the judge did, while taking the additional step of appointing a prominent Washington attorney, Henry Schuelke, to investigate possible improprieties by the prosecutors. - More...
Monday - September 27, 2010

Fish Factor: Record prices; Genetically modified salmon; & more... By LAINE WELCH - Halibut prices have remained through the ceiling since the fishery opened in mid March. Restaurateurs and retailers all say the same thing this year: People want Alaska halibut and they're willing to pay for it.

In recent years it's not uncommon for prices to top $5/lb for halibut at major ports, and that has been the case this year. Prices to fishermen at Kodiak last week ranged from $5.10-$5.35 and $5.60 per pound, depending on fish size. Prices were even higher at some ports.

So far, 87% of Alaska's halibut catch has crossed the docks, with just over 5 million pounds remaining in this year's 40.3 million pound catch limit. Top halibut ports for landings are Homer, Kodiak, Seward and Juneau.

Besides halibut, Alaska longliners also are getting record prices for sablefish (black cod) - for example, $5.20 /lb for small sizes, and topping $7/lb for 'seven ups.' For sablefish, 83% of the catch has been taken, with 4.3 million pounds remaining in the 25 million pound quota. Seward and Sitka are the top ports for sablefish landings.

Alaska's biggest fishery - pollock - will yield a bigger catch next year. As predicted, summer surveys showed the stocks appear on track for good recruitment into the fishery. At an industry/agency plan team meeting last week, "back of the envelope calculations' suggested a catch of between 1.1 and 1.3 million metric tons of Bering Sea pollock in 2011.

Alaska's salmon catch so far is approaching 165 million fish, compared to the forecast of 137 million salmon. Industry insiders predict the dock side value of the catch could approach $400 million.

Is it or Isn't it?

A panel of experts has urged the Food and Drug Administration to require more studies before approving genetically modified salmon for America's dinner plates. The fish would be the first animal product to get the GM nod for human consumption.

The "Frankenfish" hearings were held in Maryland last week by the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The panel said it had lingering questions about the safety of genetically engineered salmon, without offering a view on whether the fish should come to market. - More...
Monday - September 27, 2010


Alaska: Long-Delayed Opening of Juneau Mine Celebrated - Attorney General Dan Sullivan today joined a group of public officials at the opening of the Kensington gold mine 45 miles northwest of Juneau.

The Department of Law played a key role in ensuring that the mine could open. The state intervened to challenge a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to shut down the mine. The state and Coeur D'Alene Mines Corp. took the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, even after the federal regulatory agency with jurisdiction over the project declined to do so.

"The opening of the Kensington mine, with the creation of hundreds of well-compensated jobs, demonstrates why the State of Alaska should not hesitate to intervene in cases that threaten our ability to develop our resources responsibly," Sullivan said. "When the state brings its legal expertise to bear on these important matters, we often prevail."

In the past year, the Department of Law has initiated or intervened in about a dozen cases in which resource development projects in Alaska have been put at risk.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state and Coeur d'Alene in June 2009, reversing a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and upholding a previously issued permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for disposal of mine tailings. The case involved the complex issue of interpreting the federal Clean Water Act. - More...
Monday - September 27, 2010

Alaska: Where is Stella? Cold Case Unit Seeking Clues - Stella Evon was 17 years old when she last walked out of her sister's apartment in Bethel, Alaska. Standing just shy of five feet tall, the young Yupik Eskimo girl vanished without a trace in the early morning of September 26, 1996.

As the years passed, Evon's sister continued to look for her. She isn't the only one searching for answers. The Bethel Police Department filed its case on Evon with the Alaska State Troopers' Cold Case Unit last fall. It has since caught the attention of Cold Case Investigator Jim Gallen.

"She didn't just disappear. You don't go missing in a place like Bethel without someone knowing something," said Investigator Gallen. "My hope is that whoever has the information we need to find Stella Evon comes forward so we can bring her family peace."

Evon was out with friends the night before she disappeared. She had tried to go home but when she arrived she found the door locked and she couldn't get her Grandma to wake up to let her in. She and her Grandma lived across the street from the Bethel Police Department. As she was out past curfew and couldn't get inside her home, Evon went to the police department for help. - More...
Monday - September 27, 2010


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

letterPlease vote 'Yes' on City of Ketchikan Proposition 2 on October 5th. By Chief Jim Hill - Your 'Yes' vote - on October 5th - on "Prop 2" authorizes construction of a new downtown fire station. Prop 2 is on the ballot for very simple, yet critically important reasons. Essentially, the 'old' fire station ---built in 1943--- is too small, worn out, used up, and simply cannot meet the mission which the Ketchikan Fire Department (KFD) is required to perform. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterVote No on KGB Prop 3: EMS and Fire By Ed Fry - Having had the privilege to serve as a Firefighter and Paramedic for over 20 years and the honor to teach administrators how to plan resource allocation and needs assessment, I do not support Proposition 3 and will vote no. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterUnanswered Questions By Ken Holmes - People of Ketchikan I have a few unanswered questions. Is our City/KPU manager really worth more than 65% of the governors of the country who run their whole state? His wage is now over $170,000 a year. Check out the pay scale for the governors online. In my opinion, I don't think so. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterLibrary Bond Proposition By Heather Muench - Ketchikan's current library is cramped and doesn't meet ADA compliance. Despite this, it is heavily used by young and old, by rich and poor, including those without other literary resources. Monthly circulation is over 16,000. Many Ketchikan children developed a love of reading and learning from visits to the library. The community supports our library and its wonderful staff. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterSupport for Library Funding Vote By Heidi Ekstrand - Ketchikan voters voiced overwhelming support for a new library in the August special election by voting nearly 2-1 to allow the building to be built anywhere within the city limits. That vote cleared the way to purchase the recommended property on Copper Ridge at the top of the Third Avenue bypass. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterVote Alan Bailey for Ketchikan Assembly By Tom LeCompte - I am urging friends and citizens to vote for Alan Bailey on election day. Alan is a long time Ketchikanian with strong ideas about how things work around here, and some ideas on how to improve and streamline local processes. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterGo get em Sam! By James Schenk - Good Luck to Sam Bergeron on his run for the Ketchikan City Council. We need more people like Sam running for office in this town. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterLibrary By Charles Edwardson - I encourage people to save their news articles and pay a little attention to some recently published stories and advertisements. .Look back and compare related stories. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterRE: Language Diversity= Divisiveness By Donald A. Moskowitz - In response to a recent response to my letter by Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton I wish to clarify for her the thrust of my letter. When I refer to a potential problem of immigrants having diverse language skills I am referring to those immigrants who do not learn English and who persist in only communicating in their native languages, whether it be Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, German or any other non-English language. These people not only impair their ability to assimilate but they could also hinder our overall communication system in this country. I stand by my argument that if a large segment of our population cannot communicate in English, our country will be weaker for it. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterPFD "sale" By Melissa O Bryan - I sent this letter to Alaska Airlines in regard to their PFD sale, how many others out there are tired of these so called "sales?" - More...
Tuesday AM - September 28, 2010

letterTuesday's Vote - October 5th, 2010 by Ken Bylund - Proposition 3: On the $800,000 being considered for the North Tongass Fire & EMS; it seems likely that more will be required to rehabilitate this industrial property after the initial purchase price that should be brought to the attention of the voters. This was an industrial facility supplying metals and associated chemicals; will there be additional funding required to rehabilitate the soil and modify the structures to accommodate the... what? What is this property to be used for? Water storage and... what? So the costs that are being estimated are ______ and what is the goal/benefits of this TBD total cost? - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterEmergency Services By Jonathan Agnew - During my time in Ketchikan, I've had ample time to watch the machinery of this city in action, and I am excited for Ketchikan's future based on what I've seen. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterVote M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I By Stacey Stone - I am calling on you to fill in the bubble and write in Lisa Murkowski to continue serving us as senator in Washington. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterJoe Miller By Paul Jarvi - How does a vote for Joe Miller help the citizens of Ketchikan Alaska? All I know about Mr. Miller is that he is a "Constitutional Conservative" whatever that is and that Sarah Palin endorsed him. Sarah is not a friend to Southeast Alaska. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterWriting-in Lisa Murkowski By Frances C. Natkong - I'm sorry for those of you who will vote for Joe Miller, you and I will have to live with your vote. He's trying to get rid of social security, unemployment, and federal funding for Alaska. He DOES NOT have my vote. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterVoters Should Be Closely Scrutinizing Senator Murkowski's Motives By Myla Poelstra - The recent shakeup in Alaska's political arena from the surprising results of our primary election are bringing some interesting pictures into focus and disturbing questions to mind. Senator Murkowski's obviously unexpected loss, and subsequent decision to pursue a write in campaign after promising to respect the will of the people of Alaska by showing her support for the Republican nominee, has caused many to question her judgment and integrity. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letterKGH and Peacehealth are awesome By Linda Kreider - I, too, am very happy and very proud to have KGH and Peacehealth as my healthcare providers. My family members, myself included, have had several surgeries at KGH. Each visit there has been great, the care and the treatment has been outstanding. I would not consider going "outside" if I can have the service performed here in my hometown. - More...
Friday AM - September 24, 2010

letter Fire Stations By Stephanie Sherva - It's been a long time coming, but the city is finally getting a new Downtown Fire Station. Too bad it doesn't fit the locale. Downtown has spent tons of tax dollars making itself look "old" and now they want a red and gray, modern, all angled building in the center of Downtown. Didn't any one consider the surrounding area and all the time and money spent to impress the Tourist with the "old fishing and logging town" feel? Where was the Historical Commission when all this was in the planning stages? They have no problem getting the rest of Downtown into the historical mode. As long as the inside of the building meets all the requirements of the Fire Department, why can't the outside have an "old Ketchikan" look and feel? - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letter Open Letter to Ketchikan Police: School Zones By Amber Anderson - I wanted to express my appreciation for your presence in the Schoenbar school zone this morning (09/20/21). It was nice to see a lot of cars tapping their breaks and stopping for kids in the crosswalks. I've lived on this bend for 3 years and have been frustrated with the lack of concern for children walking to school and bus stops. My children and I have often been nearly hit by people in a rush and/or on their cell phones. This is not something I thought I had to worry about when we bought our home here. I was naive in thinking it would be a safe walk since we live in a school zone. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterVote on October 5th By Rodney Dial - As you vote on October 5th, I would ask that you look back to the spending over the last few years and consider our current fiscal condition: - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterAsking for your vote October 5th By Sam Bergeron - I'm in the race for council because we need people in there that know the value of a dollar and where those dollars come from. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterSupport Joe Miller By Liz Williams - I am unable to understand why it is wrong for Joe Miller to take out of state funds but okay for Sen. Lisa Murkowski to do so.  There is nothing illegal about the funding in either case.  While some of the funding for both Murkowski and Mr. Miller came from out of state, 100% of the votes came from Alaskans.  The majority of the voters in the Republican primary picked Joe Miller to represent them in the General election.  Republicans have a closed primary so that their members, not the members of the opposition, elect the representative who they believe will most closely represent their views in Congress.  - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterWrite-in Lisa Murkowski By Frances C. Natkong - Have you heard Joe Miller speak? Wake up, people, he's a male Sarah Palin! If he gets elected we, in Alaska, will be in deep you know what. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterMoonbattery By Richard Easbey - Mr. Hanger's latest rant, which is nothing more than a ham-handed attempt at character assassination directed at Joe Miller, is proof that being a liberal is the next best thing to having actual IDEAS. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterAlaskans - A Message to DC on Nov 2nd, 2010 by Ken Bylund - A quote by Anthony McAuliffe, on December 22, 1944 -- his official reply to General Von Luttwitz's demand that he surrender the 101st Airborne at Bastogne, aka, The Battle of the Bulge... "To the German Commander... Nuts! The American Commander." - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterSmall town politics again By Marcia Hilley - As a city taxpayer I am now going to help pay $100,000 plus because some City of Ketchikan administrators still have their panties in a wad because of an old lawsuit. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterLearning languages empowers us By Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD - In response to the letter submitted by Donald A. Moskowitz on September 15, I agree with you wholeheartedly that the U.S. is an English speaking country. - More....
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterProud of KGH By Donna Teal - Just a few lines about the excellent care given by all the staff at KGH. I have been a patient there several times and am still alive because of their wonderful talented care -- the first time in 1962 and several times since then. I also have had several family members healed there. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

letterKGH Praises By Charlene (Spurgeon) Burns - I'm not entirely sure how to approach this subject. A service provider does not deserve to be slammed because she simply expressed her praises for Ketchikan General Hospital. - More...
Tuesday - September 21, 2010

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