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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 26, 2011

Front Page Photo by ZACK HAMILTON

Knudson Cove Marina Rainbow
Front Page Photo by ZACK HAMILTON


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THE LITUYA BAY LYNCHING OF 1899; Miners Create “Justice System” In Order To Execute Accused Murderer A Feature Article By DAVE KIFFER -   There is a history of “rough justice” at the many mining camps and towns in the American West.  With trouble often so close and the law frequently far away, there are numerous instances of the inhabitants taking the law “into their own hands.”


Yakutat village, Yakutat Bay, 1899
The village stands on a moraine Yakutat district, Alaska Gulf region, Alaska.
ID. Gilbert, G.K. - U.S. Geological Survey - Public domain image

Yet an example of frontier justice that happened more than a century ago, not far from Lituya Bay at the north end of the Panhandle, was unusual in the extreme. So much so that it inspired the famed writer Jack London to pen a short story based on it and continues to intrigue non-fiction and fiction authors.

Even a century later, the incident has been noted prominently in several books about the Lituya Bay and the “Fairweather Country.”

The part of Alaska that stretches more than 500 miles from the Cross Sound to Cordova is one of the wildest parts of the continent with few Alaskans choosing to live there and even fewer choosing to visit. The Fairweather “grounds” 50 miles off the coast is one of the richest areas for salmon trollers and the Lituya Bay area has attracted numerous, unsuccessful, mining ventures over the years. The only community in the area is Yakutat, and it’s Mayor, Dave Stone, cheerfully calls it “the most isolated town in Alaska.”

Physically, the area is cut off by both the often stormy Gulf of Alaska and by two high mountain ranges, including Mt. Fairweather (15,325 feet) and Mr. St. Elias (18,008 feet). Two of the largest glaciers in the world, the Malaspina and Bering, further isolate the narrow shoreline. Mt. Fairweather rises to its full height less than 15 miles from the coast, making it the tallest tidewater mountain in the world and further adding to the sense that the “Fairweather Country” is a very narrow toe-hold indeed.

Even the areas where civilization could possibly get a toe-hold, such as Lituya Bay, come with their own challenges, not the least of which is brutal storms in the winter and summer. - More...
Monday - September 26, 2011

Ketchikan: State Presents Award to Local Fire Prevention Program – A member of the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department was recently recognized as the State of Alaska Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year for her work in fire prevention. Traci Davis of Ketchikan coordinates fire prevention for the department and Fawn Mt. School as well as Saxman's Head Start pre-school program.

This award is presented annually by the Alaska Department of Public Safety / Fire and Life Safety. Davis was presented the award at a ceremony in Fairbanks on the evening of September 24, 2011 recognizing the work she coordinates for the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department. Dave Tyler, Fire Marshall for the State of Alaska, presented Davis with the award as Jodie Hettrick with the Training and Education Bureau looked on.

The State of Alaska received several nominations for Traci Davis that included her work in the fire prevention program over the last five years.  Chief Scott Davis of the South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department said, "Traci is active throughout the community as a true volunteer, not receiving any compensation, and always bringing a friendly smile to all the fire prevention programs throughout the year on a regular basis." Traci Davis has been active in the fire prevention program in Ketchikan for the past five years and makes arrangements with the schools and sets up volunteers to help with the hundreds of children that have visited the fire station. - More...
Monday - September 26, 2011

Metlakatla: TONGASS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION IS BUILDING NEW METLAKATLA BRANCH – PK Builders of Ketchikan has been contracted to build a new branch in Metlakatla for Tongass Federal Credit Union, CEO/President Susan Fisher announced.  Work is expected to begin immediately with completion in spring 2012.

The new credit union branch will be about 2,200 square feet and will feature a drive-through, a small multipurpose meeting room, 24-hour ATM and depository, offices and teller service area in the lobby. Amanda Welsh of Welsh Whiteley Architects designed the facility.

PK Builders has been in business since 1984 and is owned by P. Kelley and Pam Roth.  A prime subcontractor will be Doug Booth, owner of Eden Builders in Ketchikan.  Mr. Booth is a member of the Metlakatla Indian Community.  A number of local firms will be subcontractors on the project.

A few dozen skilled and unskilled jobs are expected to result from this new construction over the winter.  Metlakatla Indian Community, the tribal government on the Annette Island Reserve, requires employers to work through the Tribal Employment Rights Office as applicable.  Metlakatla has about 1,460 residents, and is 90% Native Alaska residency, according to 2010 Census data.  - More...
Monday - September 26, 2011

Alaska: Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority receives six SOQ proposals from international consortiums; KABATA will evaluate proposals to advance three qualified firms to formal RFQ process. - The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) received six Statements of Qualification (SOQ) by the submittal deadline of 4:00 p.m. of Wednesday, September 21, 2011. These SOQ’s were submitted from national and international development groups and included firms from Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America. Each development group is hoping to earn an opportunity to become the private partner that finances, designs, builds, operates and maintains the Knik Arm Crossing.

“We are pleased to attract interest from developers that span the globe. These development groups or consortiums cover all aspects of the project - and include equity investors, engineering firms, construction companies, maintenance organizations, and concessionaires. This sends the message that Alaska is open for business.” Said Michael Foster, KABATA Board Chair.

The Statement of Qualifications will be evaluated, scored and ranked. The top three development teams will be “short listed”, which will allow them the opportunity to respond to the formal Request for Proposals (RFP) which is planned for release in early 2012. - More...
Monday - September 26, 2011

Alaska: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases report on dental decay in Alaska Native children; Report examines role of factors influencing the severity of dental decay - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services released a report today based on a 2008 investigation of child dental decay in rural Alaska. According to the report, lack of water fluoridation and soda pop consumption were two key factors associated with dental decay severity in both baby and adult teeth.

Findings in the study concluded that cavities among rural Alaska Native children are up to 4.5 times as severe as children the same age within the general U.S. population. The authors also found that 4- to 5-year-old children had an average of 2.6 times more decayed and filled baby (or primary) teeth in non-fluoridated villages than in fluoridated villages. Children 12–15 years old in non-fluoridated villages had more than double the number of decayed, missing and filled adult (or permanent) teeth than children in that age group living in fluoridated villages.

"Numerous national and international studies have documented the role of water fluoridation in reducing dental decay, however this is the first such study conducted in Alaska ," said Dr. Brad Whistler, state oral health director and co-author of the study. "Optimal fluoridation of public water systems is a critical component in protecting the oral health of both young and old Alaskans alike." - More...
Mnday - September 26, 2011



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Front Page Archives
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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter RE: School Spirit By Amy Bowman - I am writing in response to Charlene Thomas' letter about School Spirit. At this moment I feel very frustrated that her letter would be published with out checking facts. I'm thrilled that Ms. Thomas is in support of wanting more School Spirit because I have been working towards this for several years! At the same time I'm doing my best to word this response very carefully so that I do not offend anyone involved with the School as well as School athletics. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2011

letter RE: Bullying at Morning Bus Stops By Vanessa Ohlson - Bullying is a matter reportable to the police. The fact there are witnesses and verbal accounts from other children a case can be made. This young man is in need of some intervention before he escalates and seriously injures another child. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter School Spirit By Charlene Thomas - I recently attended a Kayhi Kings football game at Fawn Mountain and I was completely taken aback when I was told that Kayhi cheerleaders don't attend the football games. Apparently, they don't cheer if the weather is too cold? Thunder Mountain's cheer squad was in attendance and they didn't put on warmer clothing until the game was half over! - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter Yes Prop 2: Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project By Sam Bergeron - Please join me and the City Council in voting yes on the much need Whitman Lake Hydroelectric project. During my time on the City Council I pushed hard for this project and my support for The Whitman Lake project has not diminished. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter Entitlement Programs We can do Without By Michael Spence - Five entitlements the American taxpayers can do without: 1.The Entitlement of large corporations and labor unions to buy public policy through unlimited political contributions, leaving most Americans out of the political process. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter The Library By Ken Leland - Here we go again. First they designed a massive open aircraft hanger sized structure that will cost a mint to heat, now they say the fill is not strong enough and the bedrock is uneven so they will have to drive pilings or float a heavy base under it to support it. Not to mention the size of the property originally sought but abandoned for a smaller site, (read parking) plus pedestrian accessibility. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter An Open Letter to SitNews Readers: Whitman Lake Hydroelectric - Proposition 2 By Lew Williams On Behalf of the Ketchikan City Council - On October 4th, 2011, Proposition 2 will ask voters to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, regarding authorizing the City to issue up to $15 million dollars in bonds to finance construction of a new hydroelectric facility.  The Ketchikan City Council recommends a ‘Yes’ vote. - More... 
Wednesday - September 21, 2011

letter The Mahoney Lake and Whitman Lake Hydroelectric projects, how can we bring them online? By Sam Bergeron - Those of us who live in Ketchikan and get our power from Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) belong in the two dam pool, owned and operated by: Southeast Alaska Power Association (SEAPA). We are required to buy our power from SEAPA before we use any other source of power, including our own. - More...
Monday AM - September 19, 2011

letter Closing: PATCHWorks By Bobbie McCreary - I'm sure I join many others in our community in applauding the efforts that PATHWorks, their volunteers and a "slim" staff (of two part-timers) accomplished during the time that organization evolved from a community process addressing the health of this community to current times. - More...
Monday AM - September 19, 2011

letter Thank You Ketchikan By Sara Schroeder - Since I left Ketchikan in 2006, I have moved residences at least once every year, and that leaves a lot of packing and unpacking. Today I was sorting through some old papers and I found the news article from a few weeks following my transplant in 2005. I could go into to various stories about how thankful I am, how I am doing, what my future holds, etc. but I will keep it simple and just want to say, Thank You Ketchikan. - More...
Monday AM - September 19, 2011

letter Bullying at Morning Bus Stops By Amber Anderson - Kids are easy targets to bullying if adult supervision is lacking at bus stops. Elementary children are being bullied in the morning at both bus stops in front of the Ketchikan Rec Center. I have a group of kids telling me that a boy across the street is verbally abusing them. The language is very offensive from what the young ladies are reporting to me. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter Pro Bergeron for Ketchikan City Council By Randy Kienbaum - I'd like to show my support for Sam Bergeron and thank him for responding so quickly to the e-mail I sent to him. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter Hickel's Vision Inspired Norway Policy Tour By Bill Walker - Governor Walter Hickel founded the Institute of the North which organized last week's Norway Policy Tour. Hickel long advocated that AIaska, as owner of its natural resources, must take control of its resource development for the benefit of all Alaskans. I was privileged to participate with the legislators and community leaders from Kotzebue, Nome, Bethel, Dillingham, Southeast, Kenai, Kodiak, Wasilla, Fairbanks and Anchorage who met with ambassadors and top level government and industry officials to learn about the Norway "model" of government-owned and developed oil and gas resources. Having traveled with Governor Hickel to China in 2008, I know he would have been the first to enlist for the Norway trip keeping lock step with us on even on the eighteen hour days visiting industry headquarters and facilities across Norway. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter Wolf rant got it wrong By Marty Bergoffen & Larry Edwards - Andy Rauwolf's Sept. 12 Viewpoint Commentary, criticizing our effort to ensure the Alexander Archipelago wolf's safety from extinction, relies on supposed facts that are simply wrong. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter Closing Message from PATCHWorks By Dawn Rauwolf for the PATCHWorks Board - Since the early 1990's, PATCHWorks has been a voice in sharing the value and lessons of the 40  Developmental Assets.  Many in the community have been impacted by the asset message over the years.  PATCHWorks started as a group of committed community members interested in improving the overall health and wellness of Ketchikan.  All of the efforts to encourage parents, teachers, and community members to reach and support our youth have made a positive difference.  - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter RE: Statement on Hotel Reimbursement By Scott R. Davis - Senator Stedman, thank you for your letter to Sitnews regarding the Hotel Reimbursement. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

letter Vote for a plan not a statement of what "we need By Ed "Mongo" Fry - After reading the Ketchikan Daily News with the forum that was hosted with the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce and the candidates that were present, it is "status quo" for the Ketchikan Borough Assembly, again.  No new news there other than bombastic statements of, "we need".  If you happen to search past candidate speeches and statements, it is the platform of the majority, "we need".  Unacceptable in my book and Ketchikan deserves better. - More...
Saturday - September 17, 2011

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Regular Election
October 04, 2011

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