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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 02, 2011

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Fish Factor
: Southeast pink salmon winner By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s salmon harvest has topped 170 million fish and it is pretty clear by now that disappointing pink catches in prime producing regions will pull the season up short of the projected 203 million salmon.

Southeast is the pink salmon winner with catches topping 61 million humpies so far, blowing past projections of 55 million.   In fact, combined good salmon returns, hefty pink weights and strong prices have pushed the value of the Southeast seine fishery alone to $100 million!  The pink fishery was topsy turvy with the bulk of the catch coming from northern districts. Pink salmon prices were averaging 42 cents, up from 30 cents last summer. 

Elsewhere, pink salmon catches were lackluster – at Prince William Sound they were nearing 30 million, 8 million shy of projections.  At Kodiak, the pink season has just been strange, said biologist James Jackson at ADF&G in Kodiak.

“It’s been one of those years that really makes you scratch your head and wonder what happened,” he told KMXT. “We either had record or well above average pink salmon returns to Alitak, the east side of Kodiak and even around town, and then had record low returns to the west side, Afognak, and at the hatchery.”

Jackson said Kodiak fishermen “will be lucky” to get 17 million pinks, a shortfall of 13 million fish.

 When it’s all over, Alaska’s 2011 salmon harvest will be comparable to last year’s catch of 168 million fish - but the value could top its value of $534 million (ex-vessel). 

Speaking of values: the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute pegs the  value of Alaska’s total commercial seafood harvest in 2010   at  $1.7 billion,  a 22% increase over the 2009 harvest of $1.4 billion. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

Alaska: NOAA extends public comment period on proposed halibut catch sharing plan - NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced yesterday that it is extending the comment period for the proposed Halibut Catch Sharing Plan by 15 days, to September 21, 2011.

The Alaska Region published the proposed rule in the Federal Register July 22 with a 45-day comment period, which expires Tuesday, September 6.

The decision to extend the comment period comes following a visit to Alaska last month by NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, who attended a luncheon in Homer with U.S. Senator Mark Begich to hear concerns and comments about the draft plan first hand from both charter and commercial halibut fishers.

"Alaska fisheries have been among the healthiest and most sustainable in the world, and we are working to keep them that way for both recreational opportunities and the long-term economic benefit of Alaska fishermen and fishing communities," said Dr. Lubchenco. "During my recent trip to Alaska, I was honored to visit communities where the local economy is tied to the halibut fishery. I listened to the community’s concerns and I want to make sure that everyone has a chance to provide input in this public process of shaping the final halibut catch sharing plan."

"While we need a plan to keep all segments of the halibut fishery within catch limits to sustain and rebuild the stocks, charter fishermen raised several legitimate issues at the Homer meeting warranting further consideration," Sen. Begich said. "While many fishermen have already submitted comments, this extension will allow additional time for fishermen still out on the water to make sure they are heard. I am pleased Dr. Lubchenco is taking action and responding to the comments we heard when we spoke to the Homer Chamber of Commerce." - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

Alaska: Anchorage Gaming Operator Indicted - Abraham Joseph Spicola (“Abe Spicola”), age 36, was indicted on August 26, 2011, by an Anchorage Grand Jury on nine felony counts relating to his conduct while acting as a gaming operator for three non-profit charities: Anchorage Community Theatre (ACT), Alaska Bikers Advocating for Training and Education (A.B.A.T.E.) and Standing Together Against Rape (STAR).  Spicola was the owner of Lucky Times Pulltabs and operated the Alaska’s π and ∏ Million Dollar Lottos.  Spicola’s operator’s license was revoked by the Department of Revenue, effective August 16, 2011.

Spicola was arraigned in Anchorage Superior Court on August 30, 2011.  Bail was set at $10,000.00 cash or corporate performance bond with the following condition that he have no direct or indirect contact with the witnesses involved in the case.

Spicola was indicted on the following counts: (1) one count of Theft in the First Degree, a Class B Felony; (1) one count of Theft in the Second Degree, (2) two counts of Falsifying Business Records, (2) two counts of Misappropriation of Property, and (2) two counts of Scheme to Defraud -Class C felonies.  The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigations Unit of the State Of Alaska, Department of Revenue – the agency tasked with regulating charitable gaming in the State Of Alaska. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

Columns - Commentary

jpg DANNY TYREE:DANNY TYREE: Labor Day: Can It Be Saved? - Labor Day isn't what it used to be.

Parades are less prominent, Jerry Lewis has been ousted from the MDA Telethon, summer weather seems to drag into mid-October and even the "no white after Labor Day" fashion dogma has crumbled.

And our day-to-day lives have made the once-great notion of a day honoring the working people of America a farce.

When you think of how much the welfare state has grown since Jerry first sang "You'll Never Walk Alone," (and how many able-bodied individuals are milking the disability system), you feel more like punching a brick wall than a timecard.

There are still workplaces where management and labor have mutual respect and are in sync for a common goal. There are also employers who forget the role of providing capital, vision, and inspiration and instead merely dump unreasonable expectations on underlings, cut corners and practice a "see no evil" philosophy, under the auspices of rubber-stamp directors.

Politicians pay lip service to the working men and women who made this country great, even as they keep the masses stirred up with self-serving class warfare rhetoric. Of course they have to save time to craft tax laws and regulations that send jobs overseas and entice undocumented workers from across the border.

Workers like to have a sense of significance and contribution. But when you realize that every cent of income tax you sweat to generate — and every cent the other wage slaves in your department generate—won't pay for ONE frivolous flight by Government Official X, you feel like posting a "Zero Days Worked Without Feeling Like An Insignificant Loser" banner. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011



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letter Challenge Issued to the Southeast Alaska Tribes to Work together By Terrance Henry Booth, Sr. - In the not too far distant past and noted in our tribal history of the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian these tribes once traded and bartered with one another. How is this?  This writer’s late father, Ira C. Booth, of Metlakatla, Alaska did a partial tracing of the Tsimshian Trade Route in Southeast Alaska and found in Angoon, Alaska upon visiting that Tlingit Village verifying that they once did trade and barter with one another.  To this day among the Tlingit Dancers of Angoon are three Tsimshian Songs.  Prior to the singing of these songs their Dance Leader announces to the audience that their entrance songs came from the Tsimshian upon their visits to trade and barter.  The same in Yakutat, Alaska the Mt. St. Elias Tlingit Dancers for their entrance songs they too announce how they received the Tsimshian Songs.  They announce the Tsimshian came among them to trade and barter.  Far south located on the Olympic Peninsula, is the Makah Nation, they know of the Tsimshian and it is said by them that they traded and bartered with them and Tsimshian Canoes were either going south along the Pacific Coast or going back home going back north. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter New Fire Station By Darlene Breitkreutz - For the ladies asking questions and discussing the new fire station, I'm hoping I can shed a little light on this subject. Having just retired from the fire department after almost 24 years I can assure you that when I started my career there we were looking for a place to put the new fire station. It was a top priority for the then Chief Dave O'Sullivan. We could have purchased Ketchikan Welding for $1 million, we could have purchased Ireland Transfer on Stedman, we could have purchased the old McKay Marine property but the ideas kept getting shot down. So now, waiting until the last minute before the old fire station sinks into the ground and the roof caves in, they were limited to space available. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter Fire Trucks & Ambulances By Connie Williams - Chris Elliott has a valid question, and it should be answered.  I have never understood this practice, except that after moving to the lower 48, where this practice is also done, I’ve learned, at least down here, each personnel that responds get paid for a call out.  So, when a call comes in to 911, and the closest team responds, they send just about everyone on site, so that everyone gets call out pay, and you get about a $1,200.00 bill. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter Library Cost By Charlie Reynolds - Maybe we should re-consider this library plan. Do we really need an architectural wonder like this or would we be just as well served by a large warehouse style building with efficient air handling and heating in an area that does not have the problems found at Copper Ridge? - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter New Ketchikan Library By Eileen Small - Once in awhile one of my kids shares a truly creative idea.  My middle son, a self proclaimed “computer nerd” did just this the other day as he drove his Dad and I home from the airport after a month’s trip down south.  We passed the location of the city’s new public library.  My son stated:”What a waste of money!”  I asked why he felt that way.  He noted: “Because if you look at the entire population of Ketchikan, much less other cities, almost everyone gets their information from the internet.  Most people read books from Kindle or a like source.”  I thought this over and I think the kid is right.  While I have always loved the feel of a book in my hand, I admit that I find it quicker and cheaper to download my reading material to my PC or laptop using my Kindle app. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter Clean indoor air for Skagway By Amanda Roberts - Congratulations to Skagway for passing a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance during its special election on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter Economic disaster By Robert McRoberts - Yep, we are ruining the earth. We have destroyed everything in our path. Why are we teaching kids to recycle but not doing it ourselves? We ship our garbage to Washington and they sort it out and ship it to China so they can build garbage to send back. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter RE: We are here to help you By Ken Leland - Once again, Mr. Johnson, spot on! - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

letter Broadband: The Game Changer for Rural America By Rick Boucher - Can you imagine never having spoken with a family member on the telephone or having seen the President on your television screen? These technologies revolutionized our country during the 20th Century – but some Americans had to wait for them longer than others. - More...
Friday PM - September 02, 2011

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