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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 15, 2015

Front Page Photo By A. BLAKE BROWN

Prince of Wales: Red Bay Lake
Front Page Photo By A. BLAKE BROWN ©2015

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Southeast Alaska: Groups file Emergency ESA Petition after Feds’ Refusal to Stop POW Wolf Hunt - In another move to protect a troubled wolf population in Southeast Alaska, six conservation organizations on Monday petitioned for an emergency listing of Alexander Archipelago wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

Groups file Emergency ESA Petition after Feds’ Refusal to Stop POW Wolf Hunt

Alexander Archipelago wolf
Photo courtesy ADF&G

The petition follows a decision on Friday by the Federal Subsistence Board that denied the groups’ July request to close federal wolf-hunting and trapping seasons on Prince of Wales and nearby islands. The wolf-hunting season opened Sept. 1, and the trapping season opens on Nov. 15. In addition, a state wolf-trapping and hunting season set to open on Dec. 1 in the same area was approved last month by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“The two agencies are continuing to allow wolves to be killed, despite a deep population decline over the past decade that places this important population in immediate danger of extinction,” said Gabriel Scott, Alaska legal director for Cascadia Wildlands.

According to these conservation organizations, in the mid-1990s the Prince of Wales area had about 300 wolves. However, a June population estimate by the state’s fish and game department found a mid-range estimate of only 89 wolves for 2014, and perhaps as few as 50. But because this number did not factor in the 29 wolves killed in legal hunts over the winter, or poaching (which may be substantial), the population may now be a scant few dozen. Some reproduction may have occurred to offset losses, but only one den was documented, and the proportion of females in the population has fallen to just 25 percent. In response to this dire situation, the conservation organizations in July petitioned the subsistence board and Fish and Game to cancel the hunting and trapping seasons.

“Allowing another season of hunting and trapping on Prince of Wales Island is like sucker-punching a heart-attack victim,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Unless the emergency protection provision of the Endangered Species Act is applied, these unique wolves are in great danger of disappearing forever.” - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015

Southeast Alaska: Possible explosive device, a novelty alarm clock - Alaska State Troopers responded to a call last Thursday afternoon from an Inter-Island Ferry (IFA) Terminal employee in Hollis who was reporting a possible explosive device in an exterior trash can.

As a precaution, the Hollis terminal building was evacuated, vehicle and foot traffic was blocked from the area, the IFA ferry was held in Ketchikan, and air traffic was routed away from the building. The Hollis Inter-Island Ferry Terminal building is located on Prince of Wales Island.

The Alaska State Troopers were able to obtain a photo of the device, and after sharing it with explosives experts at the FBI, it was decided that there was a high likelihood that it was real. - More...
Tuesday PM - September



Governor Walker Discusses LNG in Japan - Governor Bill Walker on Monday kicked off a week long series of meetings in Japan about taking Alaska’s natural gas to market. He and members of his team met with officials of a leading Japanese trade company, a governmental financing organization and two major utilities. They also met in Tokyo with U.S. Department of Energy officials and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

Tuesday: Governor Walker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize Alaska’s relationship with the prefecture of Kyoto. Governor Keiji Yamada also signed the document.

Governor Walker, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford and Gas Team General Manager Audie Setters discussed Alaska’s liquefied natural gas potential with the presidents of Itochu Corporation, a trade company; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a government agency that provides financing for Japanese companies interested in natural gas exploration; Tokyo Electric Power Company, the largest in the country; and Tokyo Gas, which serves more than 11 million customers in seven cities. - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015

Alaska: Alaska’s Fiscal Future Discussed with Business Leaders - Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott today announced they have solicited input from more than 20 leaders of the state’s business community about Alaska’s fiscal future. The Walker-Mallott administration convened the meeting on Friday - the second such business roundtable discussion so far this year.

“I wanted to assemble a number of business leaders and owners from various industries to get their input on Alaska’s fiscal challenges and opportunities,” Governor Walker said. “We received some great feedback, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with this group about Alaska’s future.”

The group discussed ongoing spending cuts and how much to reduce from state government. The State currently has 600 fewer employees than in December, Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney told the group.

“Cuts alone won’t get us there,” Pitney said. “Even if we were to lay off every state employee, we would not make a significant difference in the $3.5 billion deficit. We must discuss revenue options, though there is tremendous pressure to do nothing because it’s not politically expedient.”

The group also discussed the potential effects of using Permanent Fund earnings to fund public services, as well as implementing a sales or income tax.

“For the first time in a long time, Alaskans have an opportunity to really shape the future of the state,” Lt. Governor Mallott said. “The outcome may not be popular, but we must keep in mind the greater good. We have the responsibility to not only preserve our wealth for posterity, but to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a state in which they can prosper and thrive.” - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015


Arctic Sea Ice Summertime Minimum Is Fourth Lowest on Record - According to a NASA analysis of satellite data, the 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the fourth lowest on record since observations from space began.

Arctic Sea Ice Summertime Minimum Is Fourth Lowest on Record

The 2015 Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is 699,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average, shown here as a gold line.
Credits: NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

The analysis by NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder showed the annual minimum extent was 1.70 million square miles (4.41 million square kilometers) on Sept. 11. This year's minimum is 699,000 square miles (1.81 million square kilometers) lower than the 1981-2010 average.

Arctic sea ice cover, made of frozen seawater that floats on top of the ocean, helps regulate the planet's temperature by reflecting solar energy back to space. The sea ice cap grows and shrinks cyclically with the seasons. Its minimum summertime extent, which occurs at the end of the melt season, has been decreasing since the late 1970s in response to warming temperatures.

In some recent years, low sea-ice minimum extent has been at least in part exacerbated by meteorological factors, but that was not the case this year.

"This year is the fourth lowest, and yet we haven't seen any major weather event or persistent weather pattern in the Arctic this summer that helped push the extent lower as often happens," said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It was a bit warmer in some areas than last year, but it was cooler in other places, too."

In contrast, the lowest year on record, 2012, saw a powerful August cyclone that fractured the ice cover, accelerating its decline.

The sea ice decline has accelerated since 1996. The 10 lowest minimum extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last 11 years. The 2014 minimum was 1.94 million square miles (5.03 million square kilometers), the seventh lowest on record. Although the 2015 minimum appears to have been reached, there is a chance that changing winds or late-season melt could reduce the Arctic extent even further in the next few days.

"The ice cover becomes less and less resilient, and it doesn't take as much to melt it as it used to," Meier said. "The sea ice cap, which used to be a solid sheet of ice, now is fragmented into smaller floes that are more exposed to warm ocean waters. In the past, Arctic sea ice was like a fortress. The ocean could only attack it from the sides. Now it's like the invaders have tunneled in from underneath and the ice pack melts from within." - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015


Columns - Commentary

jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: The unspeakable word - Gentle readers with delicate constitutions may want to avert their eyes.

Today's topic is the "F" word.

(shock and horror ensues)

Yes, I have been subjected to several recent conversations in which the four letter "F" word has been bandied about so frequently, so carelessly, so routinely that you would "swear" it was as ubiquitous as a humpy trying to make it up Ketchikan Creek or at least as common as an alder leaf dancing on the winds of September.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, the "F" bomb has landed.

It is FALL in Our Fair Salmon City.

Sure, sure, chronologically it is not "Fall" until September 23. And that other harbinger of the season, the Death of Daylight Savings, doesn't even happen until after Halloween on November 1 (Spring Ahead, FALL down!).

But the chill was in the air on Labor Day and that got people jawing. - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015
jpg Tom Purcell

TOM PURCELL: The Single Life - Boy, are people staying single in huge numbers these days.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the proportion of one-person households increased from 17 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 2012. In 1990, there were roughly 23 million one-person households.

That number jumped to 32 million in 2011. In 1960, only one in 10 adults had never been married. By 2012, that number jumped to one in five.

And, as a still-single person, I'm not sure the increase in single households is such a grand thing. I feel guilty about it sometimes.

My mother was only 19 when she married — my parents are heading into their 60th year of marriage — and she and my father believed that raising a family was what their life was about. To date, they have been blessed with six children, 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Heck, when my father was my age, he was working every hour of overtime he could to put kids through college and pay for weddings, while Mom did everything she could to minimize household expenses. - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Hillary Eclipses

Political Cartoon: Hillary Eclipses
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Open Letter: Dear Delta and Future Delta Fliers By Derek Meister - In the interest of veracity, it will suffice to say here that prior to the writing of this final letter regarding our experiences with Delta Airlines, there were indeed several very bizarre and disappointing events that occurred including, but not limited to, compensatory letdowns and wholly unexplainable phone call redirections to apparently scam-oriented sweepstakes prizes. And then it all changed. - More...
Tuesday PM - September 15, 2015

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.
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Williams III

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