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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 21, 2012

Front Page Photograph by MIKE SMITH

Ketchikan: Mighty Whales
These humpbacks were photographed this week as they were bubble feeding. The photographer observed the humpback whale approach regulation which has been in effect since July 2001. The regulation requires that you: Not approach within 100 yards of a humpback whale. Not place your vessel in the path of oncoming humpback whales causing them to surface within 100 yards of your vessel. Operate your vessel at a slow, safe speed when near a humpback whale. Please report violations to NOAA Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964 -- NOAA: Viewing humpback whales and marine mammals code of conduct.
Front Page Photograph by MIKE SMITH ©2012
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Ketchikan: Ketchikan Police Blotter - On September 18, 2012, the Ketchikan Police Department released their latest public records covering August 01, 2012 - August 14, 2012. Any charges reported are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Ketchikan Police report is as follows: - More...
Friday - September 21, 2012


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Fish Factor: 15th Year In A Row, Dutch Harbor Nation's Top Fishing Port By LAINE WELCH - Dutch Harbor-Unalaska held onto the title of the nation’s top fishing port for the 15th year in a row, with over 700 million pounds of fish and crab crossing the docks there last year, a 36% increase from 2010.  New Bedford, Massachusetts remained as the priciest port with landings, mostly scallops, worth nearly $370 million at the docks.   Dutch Harbor ranked second again for seafood value at $207 million, an increase of $44 million.

The numbers come from the annual Fisheries of the United States Report  just released by NOAA Fisheries. Overall, the report paints a healthy picture of the nation’s fisheries. Landings of edible fish topped 10 billion pounds, a 17 year high and up 21% from 2010.  This increase was led by bigger harvests of Alaska Pollock and Cod, as well as increases in shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico, and lobster and crab landings in the Northeast. The dockside value of the US catch also jumped to $5.3 billion, an increase of nearly $800 million. 

In all, a dozen Alaska ports made the Top 50 ports list for either landings, values, or both. Akutan made a big debut on the charts ranking third for US seafood landings (431 million pounds, up from 302 million in 2010), and fourth for value at $114 million, a $30 million increase. Kodiak ranked fifth in terms of landings (372 million pounds vs. 325 million) and third for value at $168 million, an increase of $40 million from 2010.  Other Alaska ports with top seafood landings include Sitka (#14), Petersburg (#15), Ketchikan (#16), Naknek-King Salmon (#19), Cordova (#20), Seward (#22), Kenai (#29), Juneau (#43) and Homer (#44).

Nearly 60 percent of all US seafood landings hail from Alaska where last year deliveries topped 738 million pounds (down two percent), valued at almost $565 million (a 12% increase). 

Other report highlights: U.S. salmon landings in 2011were 780 million pounds valued at $618 million - a one percent decrease in poundage, and 11 percent increase ($63.5 million) in value. Alaska provided 95% of the US wild salmon catch.

Pollock provided the most US seafood poundage;  ‘crabs’ were the most valuable at $650 million, followed by salmon.

Seafood exports surged last year with US producers exporting 3.3 billion pounds, up 19%. 

The average price paid to US fishermen last year was 53 cents, down from 55 cents.   Alaska fishermen fared better, averaging 77 cents per pound across the board, up a dime from 2010.

U.S. per capita consumption of fish and shellfish in 2011 was 15 pounds, a drop of .8 pounds per person.

The fisheries report also includes recreational fishing. It’s a great read. - More...
Friday - September 21, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Unfair for FERC to Continue Collecting Land-Use Fees on Non-Federally Owned Lands; Practice affects 11 hydropower projects in Alaska Says Murkowski - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, this week questioned an administration witness on her legislation to prohibit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from collecting land-use fees from hydropower projects on land that the federal government no longer owns during a Water and Power Subcommittee hearing Wednesday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Under the Federal Power Act, FERC is authorized to collect reasonable annual fees from project owners for the “use, enjoyment and occupancy” of federal lands. The federal government is, in some sense, a landlord for these types of projects and can collect just and reasonable rent from its tenants.

However, because of the way the law is written and interpreted by FERC, the commission has continued to collect user fees even after the federal government has sold or transferred the land underneath a hydropower project. - More...
Friday - September 21, 2012

Alaska Science: Alaska's view of the sea-ice minimum By NED ROZELL - As the northern end of the globe nods away from the sun at fall equinox, the amount of sea ice floating on the northern oceans is now at the lowest amount ever detected by satellites, a period that goes back to 1979. This new sea-ice minimum follows an extremely cold Alaska winter that led to the formation of thick ice off the northern coast. In spring 2012, it looked like old times for ice floating off northern Alaska.

Alaska's view of the sea-ice minimum

Sea Ice At Barrow
Photo by Ned Rozell

“The first-year ice thickness was pushing six feet,” Andy Mahoney, a sea ice expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’

Geophysical Institute who often visits Barrow, said of conditions this spring. “It was like those legends from the 1970s, when six-foot-thick ice was the norm.” - More...
Friday - September 21, 2012

Alaska: Alaska Files Amended Complaint in Suit Over Emission Control Area - The State of Alaska filed an amended complaint Tuesday in its lawsuit against the federal government to prevent enforcement of an emission control area (ECA) in the state. Under rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of August 1, 2012, marine vessels in the ECA must use expensive low-sulfur fuel. The ECA includes the waters within 200 miles of the Southcentral and Southeastern Alaska coasts. The state’s lawsuit aims to overturn the extension of the ECA to Alaska.

"The ECA could have a negative impact on Alaska, especially the rural areas," Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty said. "Alaska relies on marine shipping for the majority of its goods as well as tourism, and higher costs in shipping means higher prices at the store and potential job losses." - More...
Friday - September 21, 2012

Ketchikan: Betty King the Dog Lady; Ketchikan's one-woman humane society A feature article By JUNE ALLEN - There is an alley in downtown Ketchikan named Betty King Alley. It's a very narrow little mid-block lane that begins on Dock Street and cuts through to Mission and then to Mill Street. Mill is a comparatively new (1972) street named for the sprawling and now-gone Ketchikan Spruce Mill that buzzed and rumbled with activity at the site for some eighty years. A few years back, the previously anonymous alley was finally named. The name chosen was Daly Alley, chosen to honor one of the Spruce Mills pioneer families. It was a dubious honor, actually. And at least one member of that family may not have been delighted with the tribute.

Betty King Alley
Photo by Carl Thompson

So the alley was then more appropriately re-named in honor of Betty King the Dog Lady, a long-time alley resident and dog lover who was the town's one-woman volunteer humane society. Nobody ever spoke of her as just plain Betty King; she was always referred to as Betty King the Dog Lady, sort of like Alfred the Great or maybe Louis the Good. Betty was proud of her title, as she was proud of her dear dogs. They all lived together in a tiny two-story house on the alley, built by private business leaders especially for her and her canine charges.

From its beginnings, Ketchikan had stray dogs, the occasional dogbite, and the ever present sidewalk dog piles. Although the City made efforts at various times to handle the pet problems, it was Betty King who served as best she could the stray dog population from the mid-1940s until her death in 1970. Ketchikan's Borough, the form of local government required by the Constitution of the new State of Alaska (1959), was structured gradually in Ketchikan as a series of assemblymen formulated its borough code. There was no animal control until the Gateway Borough took over that power shortly after Betty King's death. Finally, in 1982, an borough animal shelter was built south of town, near the cemetery. - More...
September 21, 2012


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letter Priority list for our community By Alan Bailey - It was reported in the Daily News that I would not compromise the Borough's position on the priority list which is being sent to the Governor's office.  That statement is absolutely correct and there is more to the story.  I have personally advocated continued cooperation between all governmental bodies of our island.  I even co-chair the cooperative relations committee with the city of Ketchikan.  What is frustrating is when we have an established process, we have previously benefited from this process, then several members of the city decide to change the outcome of the decisions made by the three governments or the priority of the projects, It becomes an appearance of a feud between governmental entities and helps no one achieve their goals. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter We go home now McClintock, too little money By A. M. Johnson - Well here we are, $878.00 for each Alaskan's permanent fund share. What a disappointment to many, particularly those who are members of the 47% Romney correctly points out as being on some level of government largess. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter School Bond Proposition is a Good Deal By Agnes Moran - On October 2, voters throughout the Borough will consider a $5.5 million bond proposition for capital improvements at our schools. These improvements address a wide range of district needs including safety, energy efficiency, accessibility, field and playground improvements, and basic maintenance. Funds will also be used to demolish the Mike Smithers Pool, thus allowing the site to be utilized by the School District. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Re: Fawn Mountain Field & Handicap Access By Joseph T. Craig Sr. - I am elated by the response letter of Borough Member Agnes Moran and the phone call that I received from Borough Member Allen Bailey, regarding Handicap Access to the facility at Fawn Mountain. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012 

letter MONEY GRABBERS By Laurie Price - I am a frequent user of the Ketchikan airport ferry and my fee is always the same for my same day round trip pickup of my husband. I always pay with a personal check for debit and credit card paying is not available.  Friday I had my check written out for a quick transaction for the personnel are always swamped and I was told that I owed an additional $1.10 because I had paid with a check, So I was able to scrounge up 11 dimes from my truck console which meant a longer wait for the other walk on and vehicles traffic behind me. - More... 
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Pets in Ketchikan By Marie Zellmer - I have recently had to deal with our local animal "shelter" after I got two dogs from an unexpected breeding. I can say this, the responsibility of any pet and its ability to breed is up to the owner. I myself have agonized over the concept of getting my dogs fixed, mostly because I know they will never have puppies unless I want them to. I think the big issue is not about about people who breed purebreds or designer mixed breeds. It is an issue over the responsibility of the owner, and the lack of proper animal control by our local "shelter". - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter RE: DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! By Margaret Cloud - Mr. Jarvi - you missed the entire meaning of my comment. "Once again someone is looking for a "mate" solely for the purpose of breeding. We certainly do not need anymore dogs on this island." I was only commenting on the deliberate local breeding of dogs. I continuously see ads where people are wanting to breed dogs, sometimes just mutts. This needs to stop. If a person living here obtains a dog (or other animal) from outside the area as a family pet with no intention of breeding, particularly a rescue animal, that is great. However, as a community we need to stop breeding. Since we live on an island with no bridge off, transporting unwanted dogs to new homes or rescues is both expensive and physically difficult. We do not yet have a no-kill animal control facility and more animals are brought into the facility than can be placed locally. As a community we certainly do not need to deliberately add to the problem by locally breeding. - More....
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Phil Kerpen - Gueverra Picture By Joe Ashcraft - The piece published by Sitnews which attempts to paint the EPA as evil because some unknowing underling put an image on an email should bring one to check the agenda of the writer. Kerpen now runs a new PAC which he will not deny is funded by the Kochs, as were his previous platforms. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Haida Corp. Concern By Lisa Krieger - Ms. Natkong, it is nice that you make clear by being open directly to the public and express concerns. Maybe you should try to petition the matter and address it in a meeting with other shareholders. And if you are correct on the information you display, you're right, it is a group decision in all accounts. Spending money in this economy while the country struggles with the high cost of living, social security stresses and Health Care. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

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