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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 28, 2012

Front Page Photograph by PAUL HOVIK

Bon Voyage
The Sapphire Princess (left) and the Oosterdam (right) before departing Ketchikan, officially ending the 2012 cruise ship season.
This photograph was taken from Pennock Island.
Front Page Photograph by PAUL HOVIK ©2012
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Alaska: Board approves new stock manager search - The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees reelected Bill Moran Chair and Steve Rieger Vice-Chair at its annual meeting on September 26 and 27 in Anchorage. The Board also approved a new stock manager search and reviewed the final audited financial statements for Fiscal Year 2012.

Callan Associates, the Board’s general consultant, reported that the Permanent Fund returned -0.01 for the fiscal year 2012, ending on June 30 with a value of $40.3 billion. Adverse conditions in the overseas stock markets produced a noticeable drag on the Fund’s performance, but solid returns in the bond and real estate portfolios helped counteract those losses. The Fund’s alternative assets had mixed performance for the period.

“We are pleased with how our bond and real estate portfolios performed over the last year, but stocks make up half of the portfolio so they were the greater determinate of the Fund’s total return,” said Board Chair Bill Moran. “An essentially flat return shows the power of a diversified portfolio, as our bond and real estate investments were able to prevent the Fund from experiencing a significant loss. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Fish Factor: Heavier, current driven debris still to land By LAINE WELCH - At least 1.5 million tons of debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami is still afloat, and at least half of it is expected to hit Alaska’s coastline. The region from Yakutat to Gore Point off the Kenai Peninsula will likely see the heaviest debris piles, but Southeast Alaska and other areas will see chunks of junk as well.

Those are conclusions of a fascinating new report by Washington Sea Grant titled Debris Accumulation Scenarios in Washington State from the March 2011 Tohoku Tsunami . The Sea Grant report, authored by Ian Miller and Jim Brennan, says most of the debris should  land within four years of the 2011 tsunami, with Alaska receiving more in subsequent years as it is released from ocean gyres. 

Most of the debris that has landed so far has been lighter items driven by the wind, such as buoys and astonishing amounts of Styrofoam.  Trackers find that plastic particularly troublesome, said Dave Gaudet, marine debris program coordinator for the Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation.

 “We don’t have any definitive data on what Styrofoam does to the wildlife and the environment. We do know that it breaks up and animals ingest it and it gets into the ecosystem. So we need to be vigilant for that,” Gaudet said.

The MCAF has spearheaded marine debris cleanup in remote Alaska for regions for years. Shortly after the tsunami occurred in March 2011 it began tracking where and what types of debris are coming ashore at monitoring stations at Kodiak, Yakutat, Sitka and Craig.  Arriving soon will be heavier, current driven debris riding beneath the ocean surface. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Historic Bridge For Sell - The historic Brotherhood Bridge in Juneau is up for sale. The 319-foot long by 30.1-foot wide reinforced concrete slab-bridge is supported by welded steel plate girders and designed by Roy Peratrovich, Jr. It was dedicated on Alaska Day, October 18, 1965 to carry traffic on the Glacier Highway over the Mendenhall River and to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Native Brotherhood.  

The dedication had some distinguished dignitaries from the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood as well as government and civic leaders: Secretary of State Hugh Wade, Highway Commissioner Donald McKinnon, Senator Frank Peratrovich, Senator Richard Peter, Representative Elton Engstrom, Representative Bill Ray, Andrew Wanamaker and both Roy Peratrovich Sr. and Jr. among others.

The first recorded bridge that crossed the lower Mendenhall River dates back to 1903 when Mansfield Mining installed the infrastructure. A Record-Miner newspaper article on April 29, 1903 reported that “the businessmen of the place appreciating the enterprise of Mr. Day in opening up the whole country at an expense of many thousands of dollars in order that he might reach (his mine).”

The first bridge washed away in Sept. 1918 and was replaced two months later. The third bridge was built in 1931. The fifth bridge, to be built next year, will accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction, a multi-use path on the upstream side and a sidewalk on the downstream side. The DOT&PF is also investigating ways to incorporate the ten distinctive bronze eagle and raven memorial medallions that were a focal point of the current bridge. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Alaska: Teadwell Says Alaska Should be Removed from National Report; Rebuts Claims of Voter Suppression – Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell yesterday refuted conclusions of a national report accusing Alaska of voter suppression. The report “Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012” was published by the Advancement Project based in Washington, D.C., whose Co-Director is Judith Brown Dianis. The report claims Alaska is one of 23 states that “currently has legal barriers that disproportionately impact voter registration and participation by Latino citizens.” The report says Alaska does this by requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration and a practice of purging its voter registration rolls.

In a letter to Brown Dianis, the lieutenant governor defends the state’s purging process by laying out the multiple steps the state takes to ensure no eligible voter is removed from the voter rolls. “Our goal is clear – we need to ensure integrity in the election process and ensure that elections are accessible to all eligible voters,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell said his door is open to meet with any voter group concerned about disenfranchisement.  He said he hopes to attend the Hispanic Heritage Family Day in Anchorage on October 7th and will offer a voter registration table if organizers allow it. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Alaska: Foster youth get help from State & UAA partnership; Easing transition to adulthood is goal - In an effort to provide integrated services to youth aging out of foster care, the Office of Children’s Services (OCS), in partnership with the Child Welfare Academy (CWA) of the University of Alaska, has created a position to enhance support and outreach services to current and former foster youth between the ages of 16 and 23.

“Too many foster youth enter college without the support of a loving family or a connection to a caring adult,” said Amanda Metivier, a former foster youth and newly named CWA Youth Education Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to support those youth in achieving their goals.”

As young adults, foster youth are faced with the harsh reality of moving out, finding a job, and going to college without the lifeline of parents to help them navigate the transition. Nearly 40 percent of youth who age out of Alaska’s foster care system experience homelessness, while roughly 30 percent end up incarcerated. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Southeast Alaska: SHI AWARDED $4.5 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, WALTER SOBOLEFF CENTER - Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has received three federal grants for educational programs and to help fund construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau.

The first grant awards approximately $2 million over two years to help build the center, which will be an educational facility for the sharing and study of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. The center will include classroom and event spaces - which will be available for public use— artist demonstrations, and a state-of-the-art research facility for the preservation and study of archival and ethnographic collections. SHI plans to offer educational programs at the center for students through a memorandum of agreement signed by SHI, the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). The center will be operated by SHI, a nonprofit. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

Alaska: Wilderness Awards Recognize Efforts - Forest Service employees, along with employees from Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, were recognized for their efforts to improve the quality of Southeast Alaska's Wilderness areas. Regional Forester Beth Pendleton presented group Wilderness Champion, Wilderness Partner of the Year, and Line Officer Wilderness Leadership awards in Juneau Friday, September 21.

The group Wilderness Champion award was earned by Forest Service staff from Admiralty Island National Monument and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for their work at the Brown Bear Viewing Area and Stan Price Wildlife Sanctuary at Pack Creek. ADF&G staff included Chad Rice, Carl Kock and Jane Pascoe. Monument staff included Harry Tullis, Don MacDougall, Dori Brogliano, Daven Hafey and John Neary. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012


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letter City of Ketchikan Taxes By Douglas Thompson - Well the city taxes are coming due once more.  It is frustrating to give hard earned money to the city manager to waste.  It is more so when one such tax is illegal.  I refer to the city boat tax.  A tax that the borough has dropped for its residents even though their boats may be in city harbors.  Seems highly discriminatory although that is not why I refer to it as illegal.  The city wishes us as citizens to follow its enacted statutes but they in turn do not seem to feel obligated to follow the higher laws that govern them (state and federal).  - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

letter TIME FOR ALASKA TO ALIGN WITH THE ASIAN MARKET By Bill Walker - Since the award of the AGIA contract, Alaska has funded Exxon/TransCanada in the amount of $188 million, yet Alaska  has not been told the results of the first July 2010 open season.  However, Asia’s strong demand for Valdez LNG was confirmed on September 14th when the Alaska Gasline Port Authority submitted nominations, on behalf of Asian buyers, in response to ExxonMobil/ TransCanada's AGIA second solicitation of interest.  As discussed below, the Port Authority has made those nominations public in the hope of encouraging open discourse about what steps must be taken immediately to monetize North Slope gas. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

letter Ketchikan's Animals By Chris Barry - Lots of letters lately about dogs, keeping them locked up, on leashes, spaying, neutering them. Not once do I see anything about the cats we have running loose around here. - More...

letter Tragic Incident At The Landfill By Dr. Marna J. Hall - Recently a Ketchikan family had the sad experience of finding at the Landfill a sack of kittens and their mother. The mother cat and all of her kittens except one had been crushed by a vehicle while they were trapped in the bag. Whether they were run over after being dropped alive in the Landfill or whether they were deliberately run over prior to being thrown away there makes no difference. They died a horrific death. The person responsible for this should be thoroughly ashamed. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Dogs at large By Eugene Martin - As the former Director of Ketchikan Animal Protection, I saw the problem you're talking about everyday. And yes, it would be nice if the shelter could pick up animals day and night. However, that would cost a huge amount of taxpayer money. And yes it would be wonderful if people took responsibility for their animals. I was told one by a person, whose animals ran loose everyday, after the shelter closed, "that's why I moved here, so my animals could run free". It's a community culture that you're dealing with. One that doesn't like to be told what it can or can not do by anyone, especially the government agencies they pay for. Not only that, but they the (animal shelter) have no help. None from the law enforcement agencies or the courts. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Homes for Ketchikan's Homeless Animals By Kathleen Stack - Ms. Cloud's letter is correct. The number of dogs and cats killed here in Ketchikan and elsewhere in one year is an abomination. It's public record and should be easily available and published. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Don't Breed or Buy While 2,151 Pets Die. By Laura Attwood - I enjoyed the share Margaret Cloud posted to the site -- it is a popular favorite of mine that really conveys the problems we have with over-breeding and overpopulation of animals and people's willingness to throw them away without a second thought. However, I think Paul Jarvi missed her point. I don't think she was saying we should not allow more dogs on the island but I do think she was suggesting that we don't need to irresponsibly breed dogs. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Attention Shareholders By Angie Lammers - We have all of the households & businesses on POW to pay Hydro, and turn off the other power company, roughly 3000-4000 houses & businesses on POW. We don't have a commitment from the other cities to do this. This project is over 3 years behind, because inexperienced leadership, do we have any experts working on this? NO. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

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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