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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 12, 2015

Front Page Photo By WESTON DAVIS

Lunch Creek: Sasquatch, All in Fun!
The photographer created his own Lunch Creek Monster using his photoshop skills. Unfortunately, as a created Sasquatch sighting, it will not be considered for any million dollar award offered for providing "real" proof of a Sasquatch.
Front Page Photo By WESTON DAVIS©2015

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Fish Factor: Commercial Fisheries Division Director Resigns By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s fishing industry was dismayed last week by the sudden news that Jeff Regnart, Director of the state’s Commercial Fisheries Division, will leave the job on October 2nd.

Commercial Fisheries Division Director Resigns

Jeff Regnart
Director of the Alaska Division of Commercial Fisheries
Photo courtesy ADF&G

“I’m resigning due to family reasons, aging parents…I just can’t be in the state full time like this job demands,” Regnart explained.

Jeff Regnart started as an Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game field tech in high school, and over 30 years worked his way to management positions at Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay.

He took over as director of the commercial fisheries division in 2011, which has a staff of 300 full-time and 400 seasonal employers and a $73.3 million budget for this fiscal year. By all accounts, Regnart has been widely respected and well liked.

“It has been my great pleasure to work with and alongside Jeff,” said Sue Aspelund, who served as the division’s Deputy Director until she retired two years ago. “The State of Alaska is losing a consummate professional. Alaska’s fisheries and those dependent upon them have greatly benefitted by Jeff’s hard work and commitment.”

“Jeff has been an outstanding director and he will be greatly missed,” said Linda Kozak, a longtime fisheries consultant from Kodiak. “The Aleutian King Crab Research Foundations has been working with the department for years on trying to develop cooperative research projects for golden and red king crab, and Jeff was instrumental in helping to create that important industry/agency partnership. Whoever takes over as CommFish director will face many challenges, and has some very big shoes to fill.”

“Jeff demonstrated a deep dedication to Alaska’s fisheries and the sustainability of the seafood we all rely on. He was always available to address concerns and took pride in making the Division of Commercial Fisheries better,” said Julianne Curry, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska.

Regnart said things have changed dramatically during his four year tenure as director, most notably, the budget belt tightening. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

Alaska: New study finds delayed effects of Exxon-Valdez oil spill compromise long-term fish survival - For 25 years, methodical research by scientists has investigated the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 on Alaskan communities and ecosystems. A new study released into the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska shows that embryonic salmon and herring exposed to very low levels of crude oil can develop hidden heart defects that compromise their later survival, indicating that the spill may have had much greater impacts on spawning fish than previously recognized. The new study was released September 8th.

The herring population crashed four years after the spill in Prince William Sound and pink salmon stocks also declined, but the link to the oil spill has remained controversial. The new findings published in the online journal Scientific Reports suggest that the delayed effects of the spill may have been important contributors to the declines. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015



Southeast Alaska: Ortiz to Attend Southeast Conference Annual Meeting in B.C. - Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) will be attending the Southeast Conference Annual Meeting, Cross-Border Partnerships, next week in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The meeting will feature researchers, business owners, and political leaders from across Southeast Alaska and Western Canada.

“Attending the Southeast Conference will provide me a great opportunity to meet with and hear from Alaskans around District 36 and our Southeast neighbors,” said Rep. Ortiz. “It’s also a great venue for leaders from around Southeast to discuss issues of mutual concern.”

The attendees of next week’s meeting will hear about transboundary issues from Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott and David Morel, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines in British Columbia. The meeting will also feature discussion of transportation issues, including how to improve the Alaska Marine Highway System. Also on the agenda are presentations about the business climate and economic activity in the Southeast region. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

Alaska: Settlement in Historic Language Voting Case Reached - Alaska state officials and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) jointly announced Thursday a settlement of a historic Voting Rights case relating to language assistance for voters with limited proficiency in English.

Under the terms of the agreement, the State will provide increased language assistance for Yup’ik-speaking voters in the Dillingham and the Kusilvak Census Area (formerly Wade Hampton Census Area) and for Gwich’in-speaking voters in the Yukon-Koyukok Census Area.

For the first time, the State will translate the entire Official Election Pamphlet, which provides information in advance of the election about candidates and ballot measures, not simply in English, Spanish, and Tagalog, but also in Gwich’in and up to six different dialects of Yup’ik.
- More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

Alaska: Still Time to Get Out of Expensive Medicaid Expansion Lawsuit Contract - Alaska Democratic Representatives Sam Kito (D-Juneau) and Les Gara (D-Anchorage) said there is still time to get out of the expensive medicaid expansion lawsuit contract. Thursday, they called on the Alaska Legislative Council to drop the lawsuit filed against Alaska Governor Bill Walker over his decision to accept federal funding to provide healthcare to thousands of hard-working Alaskans. Dropping the Medicaid expansion lawsuit will save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars on a legal contract that is excessive and above market rates.

“Based on the actions by the Alaska Superior and Supreme Courts, we should drop this lawsuit and save the state money,” said Rep. Kito, who serves on the Legislative Council and voted against the contract. Rep. Kito also voted against suing the Governor over Medicaid expansion. “If they will not drop the lawsuit, they should at least renegotiate the contract so the Legislature receives pro bono or more reasonably priced services.”

“Paying a law firm a $100,000 signing bonus is excessive in a time of budget deficits. Paying a law firm $450,000 for a basic case that essentially involves straightforward legal research and writing is also excessive,” said Rep. Gara. “Since this contract has not yet been executed, the Legislative Council can still stop the signing bonus by dropping this wasteful lawsuit, finding a law firm that will work cheaper, or finding a volunteer law firm that will work pro-bono just like the Governor did.” - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015


Alaska Science:
Alders go their own way in autumn By NED ROZELL - With every autumn breath we take, Alaska brightens with yellows, reds and oranges of plants recovering what they can from tired solar panels. But one shrubby tree does not join the party. Alders remain a stubborn green. Many won't drop their leaves until long after the snow falls.

Alders go their own way in autumn

An alder leaf in its mid-September shade.
Photo by Ned Rozell.

This reluctance is one of the wonders of an overlooked organism, said ecologist Roger Ruess. A UAF professor, Ruess has studied alders on Alaska floodplains and within upland forests for the past quarter century.

"It's got its tentacles all over the place," he said of the woody plant that improves the vigor of many others. Often found around road cuts, landslides and other recent disturbances, alders are a terrific hiking obstacle, with ankle-catching curved stems and leaves at face level. The opportunistic plant is often the one scientists refer to when they say the Arctic is getting shrubbier.

Ruess has a notion why alders stay green in the fall.

"My idea has always been that alder keeps its leaves as long as possible so it can photosynthesize as long as possible," he said. "The longer it can photosynthesize into the fall, the more carbon it can acquire to feed its symbionts."

This is where alder is not just another tree. Like other plants, alder pulls carbon dioxide through its leaves and converts that carbon into wood, roots and leaves. But in addition to feeding itself, alder also supplies carbon to bacteria that live in tiny knobs that grow on its roots. Inside these nodules, the bacteria (called Frankia) use an enzyme to convert nitrogen gas into a form alders can use.

It's expensive to feed the bacteria, which might be why alder leaves remain green in fall. Unlike other plants that break down chlorophyll in leaves to regain some nitrogen, alders get most of their nitrogen from their guest bacteria. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015


Columns - Commentary

jpg Dan Ortiz

DAN ORTIZ: Wanted: Your Opinion - In order for our state to responsibly manage our fiscal decline, I am seeking out opinions and fresh ideas from our district concerning our state’s revenue options. I have designed a survey listing different revenue options, as proposed by individual Alaskans and the Department of Revenue.

You may have seen this survey before – I handed it out at Bearfest in Wrangell and Blueberry Festival in Ketchikan. I have also been going door-to-door looking for responses. This online edition is a quick, anonymous supplement to my in-person surveying, so I can hear from as many people as possible across our district. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

JEFF LUND: Why is camping stench fun? - I don’t know why things are the way they are.

That is, I don’t know why I like (and get to do) the things I do. Yeah I have a job, and teachers get the summers off, but that’s not what I’m talking about. There are more circumstances involved, none of which are really worth isolating and analyzing, but I am a little curious about life ingredients.

I’m sitting on my couch, in my half of a duplex with no television, watching friends post more pictures from our summer float down a section of the Stikine River.

It’s so easy to be deliberate and meaningful in life, but that isn’t what happens. Even the slightest bit of work detours us. We can go long stretches with no deep visits to the lifestyle that makes is alive because we can’t afford it, have no one to go with or the plan is never mixed with action. - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

jpg Rick Jensen
RICK JENSEN: Real-life Adventures in the Land of Gimme-Gimme - There's sense of entitlement infecting this country.

While the virus may be originating with politicians bathing in cheers from adoring fans fooled by their empty promises of giving them confiscated money from rich people, it is spreading to everyday life.

The Associated Press reports a Pennsylvania barbershop has been fined $750 for refusing to cut a woman's hair.

Advertising itself as a "gentlemen's" barbershop, the state's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs found the barbershop guilty of gender discrimination.

Owner John Interval told the (Washington) Observer-Reporter the fine "infringes" on his shop's environment. Interval says, "Guys come here as a kind of a little getaway, to be around other guys." - More...
Saturday PM - September 12, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Trump's Wall

Political Cartoon: Trump's Wall
By Larry Wright,
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Matt Eisenhower By John & Jillian Malouf - I am pleased to write a letter of reference for Matt Eisenhower for the position of School Board Member of Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District. - More...
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter POW Gas Prices By Rev. Edmund J. Penisten - The lead article concerning high motor fuel costs in Alaska incorrectly lists the average price of gasoline on Prince of Wales Island as being $3.32 as of September 8. The least costly gasoline on POW has been $3.879 for the past few weeks, and it is sold by the Alaska Commercial Company gas station in Klawock. - More...
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter Republican leadership bullied By A. M. Johnson - It's a continued frustration watching Republican members of Congress continue to allow the criminal acts by this President regarding how the three branches of government work without any pushback. And now the complete surrender to the breaking of law, by the President with noncompliance of the 'Corker’ law passed requiring the President to present ALL facets of details included ‘secret side deals’ with or related to the Iran agreement. - More..
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter RE: "Stop Feeding the Beast" By Wiley Brooks - I'm not going to get into a pxxxing contest with a gadfly who spent his professional life profiting from a politically corrupt, archaic tax system. Much of his rhetoric is laced with demagoguery. Mr. Stephen Eldridge has been discredited by numerous taxation experts. - More...
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter FairTax marketers By Stephen Eldridge - The FairTax marketers are attacking AK. On the same day that SitNews published my reply to AK FT Director Wiley Broojs' letter, they published two more FT propaganda Letters-I replied to one of those two, Joe' O'Hara's and here reply to Amerogo Cimino's. - More...
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter Flat Tax vs FairTax By Stephen Eldridge - Sitnews recently published my reply to AK FairTax (FT) Director Wiley Brooks' Letter along with a Letter from another FT marketer Joe O'Hara whose Letter explains NOTHING specific about the FT, but merely offers generic propaganda. - More...
Sunday AM - September 13, 2015

letter A DISTINCT & PREDICTABLE PATTERN By David G Hanger - The inefficiency, incompetence, and outright corruption that monopolies always bring is once again on display in Southeast Alaska with the now annual “GREAT ALASKA GASOLINE GARGANTUAN PRICE GOUGE & RIP-OFF” in full flood. I am sure we will hear that redundant chiming of excuses why all this has to be, but remember one simple thing: They are all a bunch of damned lies. Every year after the Fourth of July gasoline prices go down, the past two years incredibly dramatically, because of seasonal declines in demand, and generally stay down until after Thanksgiving, i.e. the onset of winter. Everywhere but Southeast Alaska where the rigged deal is in. All evidence indicates our politicians belong to Crowley [shipping], bought and paid for. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Ketchikan's cigarette tax By Chris Elliott - I'm down to 2-3 cigarettes a day, so a tax on them isn't going to hurt me much, but I think our government leaders are missing out on a real cash cow... BOOZE! If they're just looking for an easy mark, booze is going to bring in a lot of extra cash if a hefty tax is levied on it. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter RE: Are You Ready for Back to School 2015? By Amanda Mitchell - Recently, Susan Johnson, wrote into the Sitnews about ‘tighter immunization laws’ in many states. As a clarification, in our State you are allowed religious and medical vaccination exemptions. Hopefully, one day in our State there will be personal exemptions as well. Yes, some states are moving to take your rights away to define what you can or cannot do with your bodies. Some would like States to have full control to define what is healthy and then force you to do what it defines as best. If you believe you have a right to force someone against their will to inject something into their body or alter it for your safety, well-being or desires, then you incorrectly put your responsibility onto somebody else. (So much for tolerance and acceptance of a way a person is or was born, huh? ) Also, if you believe you are responsible for what I or any other person does with our bodies, then you have deemed yourself to be our master and owned by you. Disturbing to say the least as slavery was abolished long ago, but also this paves a very dangerous path for genetic engineering and transhumanism to eventually lead to genocide for those that don’t quite measure up to the ‘health’ standards defined by man. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter THORNE BAY RESIDENTS BEWARE OF THE CITY COUNCIL By Guy Lane - I filed a complaint against the City of Thorne Bay and spoke against the City Council and Administrator, I am now being harassed by the City to an unprecedented level as they attempt to take my constitutional rights and means to protect my family away, this could happen to any resident who makes a complaint or grievance against the City, "there has been recent complaints from several residents of being intimidated and the City Council refused to hear their complaint during a council meeting and or just belittled them". - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Terrorists? By Robert B. Hoston Jr. - Hillary Clinton is now comparing Republican presidential candidates to terrorists. Terrorist are known for barbaric acts of taking innocent lives, even beheadings and not caring for women. Clinton is comparing presidential candidates to terrorists as she touts women’s rights to healthcare, i.e. “the right to kill" their pre-born children by abortion. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Open Letter to President Obama By Brett Veerhusen - The Seafood Harvesters of America (the Harvesters) represents 17 commercial fishing organizations from Alaska, to the Gulf of Mexico and New England. As its Executive Director, a life-long Alaskan fisherman, Bristol Bay fisherman, and the son of a man who has fished for 45 years in Alaskan waters, I [welcomed your recent] visit to this great state. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Global warming By Duane Hill - Inuit verbal tradition includes stories about warmer years, so "global warming" is nothing new. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Trump The Loose Cannon By Donald A. Moskowitz - Donald Trump should not be a candidate for President of the United States. He is a volatile "loose cannon" who is out of control, and I am not referring to the immigration issue, which has to be addressed by more logical minds. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Rebirth of America and the World By Joe O'Hara - There is a multitude of 2016 presidential hopefuls - physicians, business people, politicians, liberals, a socialist, and many conservatives - all claiming to have the best interests of the American people at heart. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter Federal income taxes By Amerigo M Cimino - I am heartily in favor of the Fair Tax. Which I think is the only fair way to finance our Federal Government. The Fair Tax is Fair, because it treats every person as equals! There is no discrimination. as race; color; or creed! The Fair Tax is Blind, exactly as our figure of Justice! - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

letter RE: "Stop Feeding the Beast" By Stephen Eldridge - Mr. Brooks, the Alaska FairTax (FT) Director continues to spew FT propaganda that is false and misleading. He once again pounds on the evils of the current system which we all agree with, including those of us who favor a very flat income tax. He claims (falsely) that "The IRS would be terminated and collection of consumption taxes would become a state level responsibility." That is false on all levels. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 09, 2015

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Regular Election
October 6, 2015

For the 13th year, Sitnews will be providing a FREE web page to all local 2015 candidates.
1. Local candidates are requested to provide basic background information, experience and qualifications for the public office for which they seek.
2. Candidates are requested to address what they would like to accomplish if elected and issues of concern.
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Email to by September 30, 2015

Statements will be published as received.

Borough Assembly
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Scott (Sheen) Davis
Trevor Shaw
Stephen Bradford
Gabriel Duckworth

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jpg Matt Eisenhower
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Williams III

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