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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 12, 2011

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

To observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and to honor and remember the thousands of brave Americans lost on that day, 17 year-old Justin Brown displayed a large American flag on the front of his home. Brown illuminated the flag so that anyone in Ketchikan and the cruise ships passing through Tongass Narrows would see it.
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON


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Fish Factor:
Seafood Industry Pumps Millions into Alaska's Communities By LAINE WELCH - Millions more dollars are being pumped into Alaska communities and state coffers by the seafood industry.  All fish/ shellfish catches are assessed a 3% raw fish tax - half remains in the local community, half goes to the State general fund and is disbursed at the whim of the Legislature. Based on big boosts in landings and values for many major fisheries last year and this year, there will be lots more Alaska fish bucks to go around.

The just released Fisheries of the U.S. Report by NOAA Fisheries shows that 11 Alaska ports made the top 50 list for seafood landings and poundage in 2010.  For the 22nd year in a row, Dutch Harbor/Unalaska ranked #1 with more than a half billion pounds of seafood crossing its docks, an increase of nine million pounds from 2009. Kodiak dropped from 4th to 5th place with deliveries of 325.3 million pounds, up from 283 million pounds.

Cordova ranked #8 with landings soaring to nearly 148 million pounds compared to 45.5 million in 2009! Similarly, Seward (#18) deliveries jumped from 29.3 million pounds to 75.4 million. Ketchikan ranked # 17 with 75.7 million pounds compared to #15 in 2009 with 75.9 million pounds.

Six Alaska ports were in the top 10 in terms of seafood value.  New Bedford, MA held on to the lead for 11 consecutive years at $306 million, thanks to pricey scallops. Dutch Harbor ranked #2 for value at $163 million (an increase of $3.4 million), and Kodiak bumped up a notch to third place with seafood values topping $128 million, a $24.3 million increase from 2009.

Naknek-King Salmon ranked #4 for value at $101 million, up from $76 million. Cordova was number five with seafood values of $84.3 million – a $51.5 million increase. Seward ranked #10 with landings valued at $69.2 million, compared to $33.1 million the previous year. Sitka came in at #11 with seafood values totaling $62.2 million, a $10 million increase over 2009.  

Other Alaska ports making the top 50 list for landings and values include Homer (#13, $56.1 million), Ketchikan (#20, $41.3 million, compared to $32.9 in 2009), Petersburg (#24, $36.3 million), Kenai (#34, $25.1 million), and Juneau (#36, $23.8 million). - More....
Monday - September 12, 2011

Science: Hummingbirds All A-Flutter During Courtship - Though famous for their mid-air hovering during hunting, tiny hummingbirds have another trait that is literally telltale: males of some hummingbird species generate loud sounds with their tail feathers while courting females.

Now, for the first time, the cause of these sounds has been identified: a paper published in the Sep. 9, 2011 issue of Science by Christopher Clark of Yale University reveals that air flowing past the tail feathers of a male hummingbird makes his tail feathers flutter and thereby generate fluttering sounds.

Male hummingbirds only produce fluttering sounds during their elaborate courtship rituals. Typically, during such a display, a male hummingbird will climb into the air five to 40 meters, and then quickly dive-bomb down past a perched female; when the courting male bird reaches the lowest point of his dive, he rapidly spreads and then closes his tail feathers. This spreading exposes the tail features to air, which causes them to flutter and generate sound.

Clark's research, which he began as a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, shows that the males of each hummingbird species have their own signature sound--largely determined by whether and how the fluttering frequencies of its different tail feathers interact with one another and blend together. For example, the fluttering of one of a hummingbird's tail feathers may cause a neighboring feather to flutter, similar to the way that the vibrations of one tuning fork may cause another nearby tuning fork to similarly vibrate.

When interacting in this way, a hummingbird's neighboring fluttering tail feathers produce a sound that is louder--usually about 12 decibels louder--than would the two tail feathers fluttering independently of one another. What's more, neighboring feathers that flutter at the same frequency produce a different tonal sound than neighboring tail feathers that flutter at different frequencies.

Other factors, such as the size, shape, mass and stiffness of the hummingbird's feathers, also help determine the tone of each species' particular sound. "The sounds that hummingbird feathers can make are more varied than I expected," said Clark.

When diving during their courtship dances, male hummingbirds exceed their usual flight speeds--with birds of at least some hummingbird species reaching their possible maximum speeds during dives. Also, the faster a male hummingbird dives, the louder his fluttering sounds become. - More...
Monday - September 12, 2011

Columns - Commentary

Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Taking Rural Refuge By TOM PURCELL - I'm torn about it, if you want to know the truth.

See, the world has been pretty nutty of late. We've had an economic calamity that wants to keep on calamatizing.

We've had hurricanes, earthquakes and more hurricanes.

And some are predicting that overactive sunspots could wreak havoc on our electrical grid and computer systems.

Sheesh, how far behind can a plague of locusts be?

So I am happy to spend most of my time living in Pittsburgh's countryside, rather than Washington, D.C., where I spent most of the past year and still visit plenty.

Though I'm torn.

Washington is a fun place. I have friends from all over the world there.

Then again, I'm better off in the country if a real catastrophe occurs.

In D.C., people with master's degrees think they have the city covered in the event that the unimaginable occurs.

They have contingency plans in place that are supposed to establish mobile command centers and organize police, firefighters and Homeland Security types.

They have cots, blankets, water and canned goods at the ready, and mobile lighting they could fire up if the electrical grid were to go down.

Though too much lighting in Washington is not necessarily a good thing. It only gives the muggers more visibility to work in.

I delight in watching white-collar people create plans they think will help out other white-collar people.

But the truth is that if something calamitous did happen in D.C., most people there would have little idea what to do. - More...
Monday - September 12, 2011



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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Thank you By Dick, Judy, Rich, Barb and Traci Madden - The family of Michael Madden would like to extend our thanks to everyone who attended the Celebration of Life picnic for Michael at Ward Lake on Aug 25th. It was a fitting tribute to the outdoorsman that he was. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Alexander Archipelago Wolf By Andy Rauwolf - I wish to voice my strong support for the stand Butch Olmstead took in late August against the radical environmentalists’ latest scam regarding the so called “Alexander Archipelago Wolves.” His letter stemmed from a recent article entitled “Protection Sought Again for Rare Alaskan Wolf” in many recent publications. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Statement on Hotel Reimbursement By Sen. Bert Stedman - Recently, legislators from 13 western states gathered in Hawaii for the Council of State Governments’ Annual Conference.  My participation was highlighted in the press due to excessive hotel fees that were incurred inadvertently.  A reservations error with the hotel resulted in an expensive room I never requested. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter SitNews By Sam Bergeron - So often we take for granted the things we have without remembering where they’ve come from. SITNEWS is one of those things. Dick and Mary Kauffman founded this website in 1999 and have operated it since then. When Dick left us in 2007, Mary continued on with this important work. This is on top of caring for her house, the many animals she takes in and cares for plus doing the work of two people. This website is a marvel. It really is. It’s a free and open forum that has so many useful, interesting and thought provoking things in it that it gets many thousands of hits every day and is very influential in our community. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Sealaska Land Transfer Bill By Ralph Wells - For over two years I have followed the attempts by Rep. Young and Senator Murkowski to pass this controversial legislation.  I remain adamantly opposed to these bills, especially the provisions that would transfer acreage within designated wilderness areas to Sealaska corporation. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Sealaska Land Transfer Bill By Todd Heininger - This is an extremely controversial bill and should not be run through the House without debate and further review of the impact it will have on the residents of Sitka. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Sealaska Land Transfer Bill By Marlene Clarke - HB 1408, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, has been put on the suspension calendar in the House. This will allow the house to vote on it as if it is not controversial. Many communities in Southeast Alaska have spoken clearly that this bill would be devastating to their futures. - More...
Monday PM - September 12, 2011

letter Open letter to Southeast Islanders By Ed “Mongo” Fry - If you are reading this, chances you are witnessing some economic effects right here locally from poor local community planning and leadership without fiscal responsibility to big spending items that are in progress.  There are many “for sale” signs posted on our island and some of those are properties are in foreclosure. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

letter Swede Risland By John McDermott - I was reading the SitNews page about Ketchikan's legendary logger, the late Arvid "Swede" Risland. As a longtime friend of Swede's, I can vouch for the comments about Swede's legendary generosity - he truly was 'the real deal.' There have been many comments about his reputation for great physical strength as well, but few specifics have been mentioned. So, I'll relate one of my many personal experiences with Swede. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

letter Ketchikan's Public Library Disaster, Chapter Three By Robert Warner - Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Ketchikan City Council had the courage to represent the taxpayers instead of the special interests?  Here is their golden opportunity.  They can exercise their authority and reject this  gravel pit and former garbage dump as the site of a new library.  This site never had any merits and many detriments for constructing a new library. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

letter Open Letter: Renewable energy challenge By Ed “Mongo” Fry - As a resident and taxpaying citizen (both local and federal), it is quite concerning that renewable energy programs made available by and through federal grants cannot be funded because of the obscurity of hiding behind regulation and not adhering to law nor the best interests of the environmentally conscious property owner. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

letter Tribes working together By Mike Shaffer - What an exceptional concept Terrance Booth, Sr. has. I think this may be the best idea I've heard in quite some time for economic development in SE Alaska. With some collaboration from other Tribes as he mentions this idea has much potential. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

letter Ketchikan Fire Dept By Jan Lemire - I totally agree with Darlene Breitkreutzabout the Ketchikan Fire Department. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 07, 2011

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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