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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 15, 2012


Knudson Cove
Front Page Photo By SUNITA MCKENZIE ©2012
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Ketchikan: Fire Causes Evacuation and Minor Damage - Late Thursday night at 11:52 PM, the first call came in to 911 dispatchers with the caller reporting “smoke and flames in the building” at 2415 Hemlock, the Marine View building.  According to Fire Chief Frank Share of the Ketchikan Fire Department, firefighters arrived on scene in three minutes and reported smoke showing from the third floor.

Upon arrival, firefighters were told that there may have been occupants in the third floor apartment but upon entry firefighters found no one left in the involved Marine View apartment. The building was evacuated and the fire was quickly put under control.

Chief Share said the fire was caused by a pan left on the stove and the fire was contained in the kitchen and apartment of origin. Fire crews worked until 2:43 AM performing ventilation of all eleven floors and water clean-up on the first three floors of the Marine View. - More...
Saturday - September 15, 2012

Ketchikan: Record Rainfall for Southeast Alaska by Mary Kauffman, SitNews - The series of fronts that moved across Southeast Alaska this week brought record level amounts of rainfall for the area.

As of 8 am Friday morning, Snettisham had received a record breaking 10 inches of rain. Rainfall records were broken in Annette, Klawock, Craig, Skagway and Sitka.

The latest front also brought in some high winds in the southern panhandle. Winds of 40 to 55 MPH occurred in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Hydaburg, Klawock and Coffman Cove. Additionally, Coffman Cove experienced power outages.

As of 8 am Friday morning Ketchikan had received a total of 5.11 inches of rain. No rainfall records were broken for Ketchikan. Current Ketchikan rainfall records for Sept. 12 - 14th are 3.01 inches in 2004, 2.65 inches in 1949 and 2.85 inches in 1949. - More...
Saturday - September 15, 2012

Fish Factor: Fishermen Feeling the Squeeze By LAINE WELCH - Alaska fishermen are feeling the squeeze of lower prices at the same time that their operating costs continue to spiral upwards.

For halibut, in a reversal of trend and fortune, prices have dropped by 70 cents a pound in recent weeks.  Dock prices usually peak from September until the halibut fishery closes in November, but that is not the case this year -- overstocked freezers and resistance from buyers has put a downward press on fish prices.

 “Buyers simply aren’t buying,” said several Alaska fish processors.  Prior to the start of the season in March, processors believed carryover halibut from last year would be sold out by May, but that didn’t happen. Now they are still holding the fish in freezers and selling it at a loss, while at the same time the high end fresh market has fizzled. 

Prices at Kodiak were reported at $5.00, $5.40 and $5.80 per pound, depending on size. At Homer, halibut prices dropped as low as $5.25 but were up slightly to $5.40. Last year’s average halibut price for the season was $6.61 a pound.

Those prices still might seem high, but they don’t balance out when you factor in the millions of pounds in lost catch. Pacific halibut catch limits have been reduced by 40% in the past two years resulting in an Alaska take of just 24 million pounds for 2012.

So far 79% of the Alaska halibut catch has been landed with five million pounds remaining in the catch limit.  Kodiak was the leading port for landings at nearly 3.7 million pounds, with Homer a close second with 3.6 million pounds.  That’s followed by Seward (2.2 million), Dutch Harbor (1.7 million) and Sitka 1 million pounds).

The market also “stinks” for sablefish (black cod), said major buyers. As with halibut, freezers also are still full of sablefish from last year. An added downer -- most of the fish crossing the docks this season are small and Japan, the #1 customer for black cod, wants larger sizes. Sablefish prices were ranging from $2.25 for one to two pounders to $7.50 a pound for “seven ups.”   Prices for large fish reached $9/lb earlier in the season. The sablefish fishery also ends in November.

Prices for Pacific cod also took a dip to between 32-35 cents a pound, down about a dime.  That’s due to good catches in the North Sea, where cod has been rebounding for six years. That’s pulled Europe out of the buying equation for Alaska cod, there is less demand from China, and nearly all the catch is now going to US markets. Looking ahead – the cod catch next year in the Barents Sea off of Russia was increased 25% to 940,000 metric tons (over 2 billion pounds),  the highest quota in 40 years.

Finally, Gulf pollock boats remained tied to the docks till September 12, although the fishery reopened Sept. 1.  The trawlers wanted 18 cents a pound for pollock – the usual price is closer to 12 cents. The  fleet settled for 15.5 cents before heading out. - More....
Saturday - September 15, 2012

Columns - Commentary

DANNY TYREE: Are You Ready For Immortality? - According to ABC News, "Business Insider" and other sources, phrases such as "Nobody lives forever" and "death and taxes" could become quaint relics in just a few decades.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov and 30 top Russian scientists have formed a collective called The 2045 Initiative, with the goal of designing a future in which humans will be routinely upgraded to androids/hologram avatars. Shortly before death, a person's personality/thought patterns/consciousness would be uploaded into a super-powered artificial body. In other words, over the next 33 years, the human race would achieve IMMORTALITY!

Itskov has sent an open letter to the 1,266 individuals on the Forbes World Billionaires list, challenging them to fund the project (for profit AND for the betterment of the species).

Anybody else foresee problems here, starting with "til death us do part" controversies, earth's finite resources and the question of what sort of jobs will remain? And either we will have a new caste system with avatars living alongside mere mortals who can't afford an avatar OR flesh-and-blood folks will stop reproducing and leave a single generation "frozen in amber" as it were.

The 2045 people have the pie-in-the-sky notion that cranking out the avatars will somehow eradicate war. No, more likely, major confrontations will erupt over who gets the good hologram models and who gets the Naked Randy Travis model.

The new paradigm will supposedly free mankind for projects of self-improvement and Higher Spiritual Evolution. Oh, yes, the achieving of a major goal like immortality will work just like the major goal of winning the hand of your Special Someone in marriage. Look for avatars lounging about with raggedy underwear, unshaven armpits, anniversary amnesia and a predilection for flatulence.

The scientists seem to assume that if a human soul even EXISTS, it will magically be transferred into the avatar without stepping on any Divine Entity toes. Yes, the researchers are playing God, and you have to wonder, if you stripped away their billions, would they even be qualified to play Chutes and Ladders? - More...
Saturday - September 15, 2012

PHIL KERPEN: Che and the EPA - On September 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent an internal email to its staff under the subject line "Hispanic Heritage Month." The email, obtained by The Weekly Standard magazine, featured a picture of infamous communist butcher Che Guevara with the slogan "hasta la victoria siempre," or "on to victory, always."

Che has long been a hero of communists and other radicals for his brutal tactics, and the iconic photo of Che taken Alberto Korda has shown up in inappropriate places before. But it is especially chilling to see Che's image being used by a government agency that has pursued an astonishingly aggressive anti-growth and anti-property rights agenda.

The seeming ubiquity of Che's image should not desensitize us to the depravity of the man. Alvaro Vargas Llosa explained the depths of Che's evil a few years ago in the New Republic. He noted that Che wrote in "Message to the Tricontinental" in April 1967: "hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."

In January 1957, Che murdered Eutimio Guerra, writing his diary: "I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain.... His belongings were now mine." - More...
Saturday - September 15, 2012


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letter It's a privilege to serve By Kyle Johansen - As the Ketchikan Daily News (KDN) Editor wrote in a recent, very long editorial about me, it is a great privilege representing constituents in Juneau.  It is also a great responsibility.  It is also about to be more difficult as, through redistricting, Southeast Alaska has lost a seat in the Alaska State House of Representatives.  There will be only four House members representing our region next year. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter Re: Fawn Mountain Field & Handicapped Access By Agnes Moran - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the School District have been working cooperatively over the past year to make Esther Shea Field handicapped accessible. A contract has been awarded to install a paved driveway and four handicapped accessible parking spots on the east end of the field. A sidewalk is being installed along the southern edge of the field to connect the new parking spaces to the grandstand area. Construction is underway and the estimated completion date is the end of October 2012 (provided a paving contractor is available at that time to finish the project). - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter Re: Handicapped Access By Allegra Machado - As I mentioned back in June, I would still love to see ADA Accessible curb ramps installed on both ends of the large section of sidewalk that runs along the creek on Park Avenue. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012 

letter Haida Corporation Shareholders By Frances C. Natkong - First of all, the $20 million the President and Chairman of the Board are hot to borrow should go to a shareholder vote, I've heard they are meeting with the lawyer on the QT. If I'm not mistaken it takes a full board to agree to even talk to the lawyer. Again, I would like to know why there are only two board members making decisions? It's time for a change in officers. The President and Chairman should step down and let someone in there who knows what's going on instead of trying to figure out how to spend more of OUR money. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter Re: Access to Fawn Mountain Track & Field By Dawn Frizzell- Luna - In reading the letters written by Peter Bolling and Joseph Craig Sr., I to have wonder about Handicapped Accessibility at Fawn Mountain Track & Field and why there is no access or accommodations for those with disabilities who are not able to walk up the stairs. There should be accessibility and accommodations for everyone not just those who can walk up the stairs. Is it not there for our students, athletes, etc. to use? What about our students and athletes who are disabled and can not walk up those stairs? What about a family member or friend who wants to go watch a game who is disabled and can not walk up those stairs? Are they suppose to sit in their car while everyone else enjoys the game and listen to the yells from the crowd when someone makes a touchdown, because there is no access for them? The field is beautiful and there was a lot of money spent on it so our community could enjoy it. The thing is, community should include everyone not just those who are able to walk up the stairs. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter RE: DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! By Paul Jarvi - I agree with the main points of Ms. Cloud's shelter manager letter, however I disagree with Ms. Cloud's views on people bringing new dogs on the island. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter Disappearance of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs By Donald A. Moskowitz - The United States has lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month or a total of 2,000,000 high paying manufacturing jobs under President Obama. - More...
Saturday PM - September 15, 2012

letter Access to Fawn Mountain Field By Peter Bolling - I would like to echo the concerns Mr. Craig brought up regarding access to the field at Fawn Mountain.  Several years ago several other gentlemen and I carried a father who was wheelchair-bound up the concrete steps so he could watch his son play soccer.  I am ashamed to admit that although I had watched my own children play on that field for several years, I had not given any thought to the difficulty other parents or grandparents might have in accessing the field.  - More...
Wednesday PM - September 12, 2012

letter It takes no brains to spend someone else's money By Douglas Thompson - I read a letter to you saying Ketchikan is in debt for $128 million.  Hard to believe with the fine leadership and management we have had in this town.  It doesn't matter anyway all their friends are doing quite well and the manager's personal account is bulging.  So why should we common citizens worry?  They never worried in the Soviet Union, spend - spend - spend. - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

letter DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! By Margaret Cloud - Once again someone is looking for a "mate" solely for the purpose of breeding.  We certainly do not need anymore dogs on this island. - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

letter Fawn Mountain Athletic Field & Handicapped Access By Joseph T. Craig Sr. - I have some serious questions regarding handicap access accommodations at the Fawn Mountain Athletic Field . After reading the American Disability Act on their web-site, I get a strong feeling regarding, if that facility is in compliance.  I have found that there is no wheelchair access, no way for the handicap to walk or drive up to the field, if you were able to get up there, there are no handicap relief facilities that would accommodate a person in a wheelchair, and there is no covered area for the handicap to escape the elements. - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

letter Pac12 Network By Charlie Reynolds - Hey all of you Dawg Fans, Quacker Backers, Beaver Believers, and Cougs. There is a new TV network called the Pac12 Network that has all of the Pac12 sports. The network website shows GCI as the provider for Ketchikan however GCI at this time only shows it in Anchorage. - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

letter Re:“My Mind is Full and My Heart is Happy” By Peg Travis - Thanks to Lisa and to Sitnews for publishing her letter. We agree with her - Alaska is a great land - truly the Last Frontier. - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

letter Time for A New Congress By Glen Terrell - It’s about to happen again.  Nation-wide, Congress has only a 10% approval rating yet we are about to RE-ELECT 90% OF THE INCUMBENTS!  How can this be?  The only explanation: 90% of us approve of our own representative but want everyone else to elect someone different.   - More...
Monday - September 10, 2012

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