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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

September 30, 2015

Front Page Photograph By CARL THOMPSON

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Ketchikan: PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center selected to participate in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative - Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced Tuesday that PeaceHealth is one of 39 health care collaborative networks selected to participate in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI)

Burwell announced a total of $685 million in awards to 39 national and regional health care networks and supporting organizations to help equip more than 140,000 clinicians with the tools and support needed to improve quality of care, increase patients’ access to information, and reduce costs. The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is one of the largest federal investments designed to support doctors and other clinicians in all 50 states through collaborative and peer-based learning networks.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center (PHKMC) was selected to participate in this 4-year grant program receiving $3,656,522 the first year of the grant to provide technical assistance support to help equip clinicians in the Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Washington and Oregon).

Secretary Burwell released the awards in conjunction with a roundtable discussion Tuesday with Members of Congress and health care leaders on the transformation taking place across our nation to move our health care system to one that rewards value over volume.

"Supporting doctors and other health care professionals change the way they work is critical to improving quality and spending our health care dollars more wisely," said Secretary Burwell. "These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes."

As a Practice Transformation Network, PeaceHealth will support 577 clinicians to expand their quality improvement capacity, learn from one another, and achieve common goals of improved care, better health, and reduced cost.

"We at PeaceHealth are pleased that our continued efforts toward improving health in all the communities we serve through innovative approaches have been recognized by CMS via this TCPI grant award. Our goals are clear -- enhancing our care delivery model resulting in improved health outcomes while reducing unnecessary health care expenditures. This grant will support that on-going work consistent with PeaceHealth's mission," said Ken Tonjes, CAO and CFO of PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Residents Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking Meth and Heroin - Robert Duane Moriarty, 36, and Sara Skan, 35, of Ketchikan, Alaska, were sentenced yesterday in Juneau by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess. Moriarity received a sentence of 60 months of imprisonment followed by a five year term of supervised release, and Skan received 18 months of imprisonment followed by a three year term of supervised release. On July 21, 2015, Moriarty and Skan pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking conspiracy charge involving methamphetamine and heroin.

According to information presented to the court, beginning in September 2014, Moriarty and Skan began trafficking methamphetamine and heroin in Ketchikan. During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants travelled to the Lower 48 with drug proceeds to purchase narcotics and transport those narcotics on their person back to Ketchikan for subsequent distribution. Based on a tip, law enforcement was notified that on January 25, 2015, Moriarty and Skan were scheduled to fly to Seattle, Washington, with drug proceeds to purchase narcotics. On January 27, 2015, Moriarty and Skan were both contacted upon arriving back at the Ketchikan airport where they were searched pursuant to a search warrant. During the search, law enforcement found approximately 141 grams of methamphetamine, 121 grams of heroin, and drug proceeds. Law enforcement seized a total of $1,009 in U.S. currency that was obtained from the sale of narcotics and subsequently abandoned to the United States as part of the defendants’ pleas. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015



Southeast Alaska: Actively Venting Underwater Volcano Discovered in Dixon Entrance - A US - Canadian cooperative cruise aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship John P. Tully investigating the Queen Charlotte - Fairweather fault system have discovered an actively venting volcanic cone near Dixon Entrance.

Actively Venting Underwater Volcano Discovered in Dixon Entrance

Life at 1,000 m deep, where no light reaches the bottom organisms, requires food from other sources such as from chemicals seeping out vents or settling out in the water column. Organisms shown here are living near where fluids are seeping out of the newly discovered volcano.
Photo courtesy Sitka Sound Science Center

The Queen Charlotte - Fairweather fault system extends from offshore of the northern part of Vancouver Island, Canada to the Fairweather Range in Southeast Alaska.

The actively venting volcanic cone was found just north of the US Alaska - Canadian boundary, northwest of Haida Gwaii, near Dixon Entrance. According to the Sitka Sound Science Center, the volcanic cone crests at 1,000 m water depth and exhibits multiple gas plumes rising about 700 m into the water column. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015

Alaska: USCG Encourages Dockside Safety Exams Prior to Rule Change - The Coast Guard is urging commercial fishing vessel owners and operators to receive a dockside safety examination prior to the enforcement of the mandatory dockside safety examinations that are required for certain fishing vessels starting Oct. 15, 2015.

The 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act required all commercial fishing, fish tender and fish processing vessels that operate more than three miles from the territorial sea baseline or, that carry more than 16 individuals anywhere or, fish tender vessels engaged in the Aleutian Trade Act, complete a biennial dockside safety examination.

The 2012 Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act specified that the completion of the first examination be no later than Oct. 15, 2015 and allowed for follow-on examinations at least once every five years. Any vessel which is required a mandatory examination that has successfully completed an examination since Jan. 01, 2013 would not be required to be examined again for five years from that date until such time that the Coast Guard implements regulations to change the interval between examinations. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015


Half of Alaska’s glaciers could be gone by 2100 - A new study predicts that Alaska’s glaciers will lose 30 to 60 percent of their volume and contribute half an inch to 1 inch to global sea level rise by 2100.

Half of Alaska’s glaciers could be gone by 2100

The Susitna Glacier
UAF photo by Regina Hock

Researchers Matthias Huss from Switzerland and Regine Hock from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute projected the contribution of all the world’s glaciers to sea-level rise by the year 2100, given three scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions. Their paper was just published in Frontiers in Earth Sciences.

Alaska is one of the largest regional contributors to future sea-level rise from glaciers. Worldwide, there are about 200,000 glaciers. Alaska has 25,000 glaciers covering an area roughly the size of Maine: 35,385 square miles.

Huss and Hock computed the mass changes of every glacier in the world and used temperature and precipitation predictions from 14 different global climate models, running three different future carbon dioxide emission scenarios.

Their results predict that, worldwide, glaciers will be reduced between 25 and 48 percent by the year 2100, depending on carbon dioxide emissions. This would cause a sea-level rise of between 3 and 6 inches. Alaska’s contribution to this total would be half an inch to 1 inch, even though Alaska has only about 12 percent of the world’s glaciers.

In addition to the effect on sea-level rise, glaciers have a profound effect on the quantity, timing and temperature of river flow, which makes them critical to fisheries and hyroelectric power generation. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015


Columns - Commentary

jpg Michael Reagan
MICHAEL REAGAN: GOP Can't Win in 2016 by Losing Now - Some Republicans in Congress will never learn.

This time the GOP's hard-right conservative minority had dreams of shutting Washington down over Planned Parenthood's illegal profiteering in fetal tissue from its abortion business.

They hoped to defund Planned Parenthood of its half-billion in annual federal dollars by attaching a measure that did exactly that to a larger spending bill.

They thought their legislative trickery would force President Obama into vetoing the spending bill, thereby shutting down the government in Washington.

Obama would then get the blame for the shut down and — what? — not get reelected in 2016?

Come on. The super-conservatives were never going to get enough votes in Congress to catch Obama in their trap.

Luckily, they were saved from seriously hurting themselves, their party and the conservative cause on Wednesday, when the Senate and the House each voted for a stopgap spending bill that keeps D.C. operating until Dec. 11.

But the televised hearing on Tuesday, where Republicans grilled Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards, was a PR disaster for the GOP.

Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz and his allies scored some points during their five-hour interrogation.

They got Richards to admit she earned $600,000 a year and exposed that Planned Parenthood had transferred millions of dollars from its charitable arm to its lobbying and political operations.

Planned Parenthood's claim that only 3 percent of its services are for abortions was also shown to be a lie. About a tenth of its clients get an abortion and abortions account for about a third of its annual revenue.

Those Republican highlights were featured later on Fox News and talk radio and gave their conservative audiences something to gloat about for 24 hours.

But they were not what most of the country saw or heard. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Putin Syria Bully

Political Cartoon: Putin Syria Bully
By Rick McKee ©2015, The Augusta Chronicle
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Wong for Borough Assembly By Deborah Hayden - I have known Felix Wong for two years. In that time I have observed his integrity, his intelligence and his generous and humane spirit. He has a big picture approach to issues and an overall motivation for the good of borough residents. He is not driven by a particular ideology or philosophy but will examine each issue carefully, thoughtfully and with the overriding goal of the benefit to the people. He understands industry and job creation, is a gifted practitioner in his field and is valued, and has been promoted, at the shipyard for his technical and administrative abilities. - More...
Wedesday PM - September 30, 2015

letter RE: Scoring the Great Debate By David E Boone - Reagan's criticism of the FAIRtax is especially disappointing because not too many years ago he was a national spokesperson for it. To his point, if enough Americans want the FAIRtax, they will get the FAIRtax. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015

letter Matt Eisenhower for School Board By Doug Andrew - I am supporting Matt Eisenhower for school board. As the director of community health development for PeaceHealth Matt is in the community talking to people all the time. He is very smart and listens well. Matt is the vice president of Little League Baseball and coaches a junior league team. Matt is also the president of the leadership council for Ketchikan's chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Matt has three sons in the Ketchikan school system; Josh is a senior, Nate is a sophomore and Caleb is in 6th grade. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter State taxes? By John Suter - Unless you just came in from Saturn, every one everywhere knows that our state is heading toward a prolonged rescission. The state is looking for ways to raise revenue. We have recently see the Chinese Navy come up to our state. China has a clear desire to have their Navy here. They are willing to pay handsomely to lease some land so they can put in a port here in Alaska for their naval operations. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter A FEW THINGS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT GAS PRICES By David G Hanger - The following are excerpts from a SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS business section article dated September 6. The title of the article is “PRICE OF GAS ON THE SLIDE, EXPECTED TO REST BELOW $2,” By Vicki Vaughan. - More..
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter Gas Prices By Frances C. Natkon - Thank you to Rev. Penisten about correcting the cost of gas on POW. I've been wondering where they get their prices from and why do they charge so much when other companies charge less. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter Bill Egan By Lloyd Prouty- One night while I was on patrol Gov. Egan flagged me down and asked "How's business?" He asked if he could ride around with me for a spell and then asked me to take him downtown to buy the "boys" a round. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter RE: Scoring the Great Debate By Joe O'Hara - I agree with much of Michael Reagan's Sept. 17th assessment of the Sept. 13th GOP Presidential Hopefuls for 2016 debate on CNN, but have added the following exceptions: - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter When Politicians Call By Arnold Milton - When politicians ask for donations, I respond that they must first back school vouchers for children of all citizens, good as cash at any school, public or private. Also, they must back a simple consumption tax like the "Fair Tax". This response brings pause, because most want to first address their money problem. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

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.
1. Local candidates are requested to provide basic background information, experience and qualifications for the public office for which they seek.
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5. Email to by September 30, 2015.

Don't delay, take time to communicate with the voters. Voting takes place on Oct. 6th.

Statements will be published as received. All submissions will be published.

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Williams III
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