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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 22, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By CHARLES HABERBUSH

Stars Over Ketchikan
A clear & starry night over Thomas Basin and Stedman Street bridge
Front Page Feature Photo By


October 04, 2016
Ketchikan Borough Election
This is the 14th year, Sitnews has provided FREE web exposure to all local Ketchikan candidates to provide information for consideration by their constituents.
Email Your Statements to editor@sitnews.us
Absentee voting began
September 19, 2016

KTN Borough Assembly
3 Year Term
2 Seats Open
jpg Rodney Dial
Rodney Dial
Filed 08/01/16
Statement Published 08/30/16
jpg Keith Smith

Keith Smith
Filed 08/15/16
Published 09/20/16

jpg Susan PIckrell
Susan Pickrell
Filed 08/24/16
Statement Published 09/14/16
jpg Judith L. McQuerry
Judith L. McQuerry
Filed 08/25/16
Statement Published 09/08/16
jpg Dave Timmerman
David Timmerman
Filed 08/25/16
Published 09/22/16

KTN Borough Mayor
3 Year Term
1 Seat Open
jpg David Landis

David Landis (Unopposed)
Filed 08/01/16

KTN City Council
3 Year Term
2 Seats Open
  Judy Zenge
jpg Julie Isom

Julie Isom
Filed 08/04/16
Published 09/12/16


Spencer S. Strassburg

KTN School Board
3 Year Term
2 Seats Open
jpg Conan Steele

Conan Matthew Steele
Filed 08/25/16
Published 09/21/16


Trevor Shaw

Kim Hodne

jpg Kevin Johnson Kevin Johnson
Published 09/18/16

Ketchikan: Saxman Environmental Rally; Another Rally Scheduled By JESSICA COX - Dozens of protestors rallied on Monday, September 19, 2016 led by Saxman Tribal President, Lee Wallace and administration staff, Jessica Cox. The public rally was held in Saxman, Alaska to give support to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they battle the construction of a proposed oil pipeline on treaty land.

Saxman Environmental Rally; Another Rally Scheduled

Saxman IRA President Lee Wallace, Paris Albertsen II of Saxman, Jessica Cox of Saxman, and attendees from the Southeast Environmental Conference.
Photograph By JESSICA COX

Enjoined to supporting the Sioux Tribe, the protesters also opposed the mining occurring between the boundaries of Canada and the United States and its’ ill effect on fisheries and water quality, and proposed ill-effects to Deer Mountain. This rally was well-timed because it occurred during the SE Environmental Conference taking place September 19-23 week, and in which attendees gladly supported by their presence.

The rally was held in front of the Beaver Clan House in Saxman, with more than 50 people who came out to show their support, including conference attendees, tribal leaders, Ketchikan and Saxman locals. At the rally signs were being held up protesting “#WaterIsLife”, “#SaveDeerMountain”, “#NoDAPL”, “Alaskans Stand with Standing Rock”, “No Transboundary Mining”, “#WaterIsSacred”, and “Defend Our Sacred Waters”, to name a few. A number of tribal leaders and locals stood up and expressed their concerns in support of the rally and the current environmental issues; speakers included OVS Saxman IRA President Lee Wallace, CCTHITA President Richard Peterson, CCTHITA Vice President Rob Sanderson Jr, Organized Village of Kasaan Vice President Fred Olsen, Hydaburg Mayor Tony Christiansen, KIC Council Member Richard Jackson, and former Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein.

The Organized Village of Saxman, Saxman I.R.A. Council recently passed and approved a Resolution in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on September 6, 2016, stating “WHEREAS, the Organized Village of Saxman affirms there is a special legal relationship with the United States through a government to government consultation process, and the Secretary of Interior has a duty to exercise the trust responsibility and obligations to protect tribal property and recourses. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Organized Village of Saxman, Saxman I.R.A. Council accordingly firmly opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline Project.” - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

Ketchikan: KIC Supports Standing Rock Tribe; Local Man Traveling to SD to Lend Support - As the Standing Rock Tribe works toward preserving their cultural and historical sites from the Dakota Access Pipeline and to ensure clean drinking water, the Ketchikan Indian Community announced they stand and support their efforts. A news release from Ketchikan Indian Community's President, Irene Dundas, states, "While Standing Rock, South Dakota seems so far from our home in Ketchikan, it is not. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is an extension of the native peoples in Southeast Alaska and Alaska."

It was announced today that Ketchikan resident David D. Guthrie Jr. will be traveling to South Dakota to stand with the Sioux people in honor of his ancestors, his clan members, mother, children and grandchildren on Friday, September 23rd. As a result of contemplation and prayer, Guthrie decided to travel to Standing Rock to support the traditional people of that area.

Guthrie descends from the Saanya Kwaan-Tlingit, Beaver Clan, from the Eagle Tail House of Cape Fox Village/Saxman, Alaska. Guthrie is a Tribal Member of the Ketchikan Indian Community.

Ketchikan Indian Community's President Dundas stated, “We are very proud of David and his determination and desire to be a part of a historical movement to save a peoples way of life.”- More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

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Ketchikan: PeaceHealth Ketchikan Long Term Care receives quality award; New patient safety system will decrease falls and increase resident interaction - New Horizons Long Term Care (LTC) was one of four Alaska LTC facilities to receive Recognition of Quality Achievement last month at the annual Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNA) meeting.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Long Term Care receives quality award

Marguerite Auger (left) and Jessica Tacker a CNA who is the Unit Coordinator.
Photo courtesy PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

The award was given to the local PeaceHealth Ketchikan facility by Mountain-Pacific Quality Health in recognition of meeting goals which included instilling quality and performance improvement practices, eliminating health- care-acquired conditions, and improving resident satisfaction.

One way New Horizons is improving patient safety is to discontinue reliance on alarms while increasing interaction between caregivers and residents through what they call the CHAT system.

While it might seem counter-intuitive to remove alarms that sound when residents get out of bed or a chair or recliner, Marguerite Auger ACD, LTC Activities Director did her research, “reliance on alarms can cause ‘alarm fatigue’ among caregivers who respond to all alarms only to find someone just shifting in a chair.” Nationally, there is a move away from alarms.

“Alarms are loud too and can startled other residents and they might not prevent falls. Alarms tell us someone is up,” said Auger, “but, sometimes a resident will have already fallen or will fall before we can get there” - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

Ketchikan: Cube Cove land will become part of Kootznoowoo Wilderness - The recent Forest Service acquisition of land in Cube Cove will return 4,463.45 acres to the Kooznoowoo Wilderness on Admiralty Island National Monument. It is the first purchase in a phased acquisition that will eventually return over 22,000 acres of land back to Wilderness within the Monument. The Forest Service paid $3,960,165.00 for this purchase according to information provided to SitNews by James King, Forest Service Director of Recreation, Lands and Minerals.

An agreement between the Forest Service and Shee Atika’ Corporation established a procedure making it possible for the Forest Service to buy the property in segments, using funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This first purchase represents approximately 20 percent of the total acreage.

“I am proud of all the staff who worked deliberatively with Shee' Atika to return this amazing landscape back to the public trust,” said Earl Stewart, Supervisor Tongass National Forest.

Admiralty Island National Monument is located within the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. Cube Cove is an inholding within the boundaries of Admiralty National Monument owned by Shee Atika’ Corporation, which received the property in the early 1980s as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The federal government has long been interested in acquiring the inholding.

“We look forward to engaging with the public and our partners to bring this land back into the national monument wilderness,” said Chad Van Ormer, Admiralty Island District Ranger. “Our next step will be to start a formal assessment of the resources that will eventually lead to the minimum actions necessary to reestablish wilderness character for future generations.” - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016


Southeast Alaska: Forest Service closes bridge near Hoonah - In the interest of public safety, the Forest Service has closed an unsafe bridge on the Hoonah Ranger District that is accessed at Salt Lake Bay, 13 miles southwest of Hoonah.

The deteriorating bridge structure spans a deep V-notch. “Bridge failure due to a vehicle using the bridge would be catastrophic,” said Chad VanOrmer, District Ranger.

All motor vehicles, including off highway vehicles (OHVs) and Over Snow Vehicles (OSVs) are prohibited from using the bridge located at mile post 1.65 on National Forest System Road 85794. - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

Alaska: Two Men Indicted for Series of Armed Robberies and Brandishing a Short-Barreled Shotgun – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that two men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for multiple armed robberies including the armed robbery of Wells Fargo Bank on Aug. 18, 2016.

Kaleem Tikori Fredericks, 23, of Anchorage, and Calel Calvis Alexis Crofford, 23, of Dallas, Texas, were charged in an eight-count indictment that includes charges of armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery, and interference with commerce by robbery, together with three forfeiture allegations.

According to the indictment, Fredericks and Crofford were armed with a short-barreled shotgun and a BB gun, which they used to intimidate bank personnel and customers, and obtained over $25,000 in bank funds during the robbery of Wells Fargo Bank on Aug. 18, 2016. In the week prior, Fredericks and Crofford had conspired to commit a series of armed robberies in Anchorage to include several liquor stores, a gas station, and on the morning of Aug. 18, they also robbed a jewelry store. Fredericks’ phone revealed internet searches for “mountain view robbery,” “how to rob banks,” “how to sell diamonds for cash,” and “anchorage for sale ‘guns.’” - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016


Alaska Science:
HAARP ready for business under UAF management By NED ROZELL - Ever since the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program opened in 2003, people have been intrigued by the field of antennas off mile 11.3 of the Tok Cutoff Road.

HAARP ready for business under UAF management

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program facility near Gakona is used to conduct research on the ionosphere. HAARP was built and operated by the U.S. Air Force until 2015, when ownership was transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
UAF photo by TODD PARIS©

The field of radio transmitters designed to heat portions of space has not operated since 2014. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute took it over from the U.S. Air Force in 2015. Despite that inactivity, 350 people were curious enough to travel to Gakona on Aug. 27 and explore the HAARP ­­facility during an open house held by faculty and staff members of the Geophysical Institute.

Long a conversation piece for people who questioned what Department of Defense scientists were doing in the Copper River Valley far from any town, HAARP will soon host its first campaigns under university ownership.

Technicians are now preparing the site for two science missions in February 2017, said Bill Bristow, a space physicist at the Geophysical Institute and HAARP chief scientist. UAF scientists will run one experiment and researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico the other.

“We aim to get 60 percent of the array functional by February,” Bristow said. That amount of capability will be enough to conduct the initial experiments.

Geophysical Institute scientists will fire the transmitters as part of a three-year experiment involving a few elements of complicated space physics. The Los Alamos researchers will use HAARP to generate irregularities in the ionosphere to test satellite-to-ground communications under conditions similar to solar storms. Large solar storms can disrupt communications and sometimes take out power grids. - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jpg Danny Tyree

DANNY TYREE: Parenting With Precision: Are We There Yet? - "I wish I'd found you 10 or 12 years ago!"

No, that's not what I said as I brushed the lint off that succulent M&M from my winter jacket. Okay, it is; but it's also what I sighed after giving a quick read to the new book "Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life With Kids," by Asha Dornfest (who founded ParentHacks.com in 2005).

Oh, sure, some of the advice in this breezy volume from Workman Publishing Co. may leave you saying, "Well, duh"; but other tips on diaper blowouts, sleep rituals, organization and improvised repairs could well pay for the book by themselves.

The book really brings the generations together with chapters such as "7 restaurant items that double as toys." "AARP Magazine" used some of the same research on stir sticks and drinking straws for the article "7 restaurant items that double as Social Security increases." - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

jpg Phil Kerpen

PHIL KERPEN: Obamacare, Not Drug Prices, to Blame for Record High Costs - President Obama promised he would bend the health care cost curve and he has ---- but in the wrong direction. Premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing and Obamacare has entered what experts grimly call a "death spiral." Overall health care costs jumped in the last year at the fastest rate in over three decades.

Looking to dodge political blame for Obamacare's spectacular failure and steeply higher health care costs, Democrats and their insurance industry allies have settled on a poll-tested strategy of pretending prescription drugs are the principal driver of higher costs ---- despite the fact that data proves such claims completely false.

The latest Altarum Institute report shows that prescription drug spending is just 10 percent of total health spending, versus 32 percent for hospital and 20 percent for physicians and clinics. And the smaller piece of the pie is also growing more slowly ---- just 3.9 percent for drugs versus 4.6 percent for hospitals and 5.2 percent for physicians over the last year.

As millions of Americans experience steeply higher costs for narrower provider networks and less access to care, we enter yet another election cycle where health care is a dominant issue. A recent national poll found that an eye-popping 77 percent of registered voters personally have had trouble using their health insurance in the past year or know someone who has. While access is down, cost is up; the same poll found 43 percent are personally paying more for health care this year than last year. - More...
Thursday PM - September 22, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Wells Fargo

Editorial Cartoon: Wells Fargo
By Pat Bagley ©2016, Salt Lake Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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

letter Things are not “fine” as some would have you believe By Rodney Dial - So I thought I would give an update on how my attempt to become your next borough assembly member is going. - More...
Friday AM - September 23, 2016

letter Why I believe in Sheila Finkenbinder By Paula Spreter - After working for four governors and two legislators with the State of Alaska, I was privileged to retire and enjoy the life of travel in a truck and 5th wheel trailer. - More...
Friday AM - September 23, 2016

letter Rodney Dial for Assembly By Michelle Sanchez - I've lived in Ketchikan over 25 years. I've seen the bad and the good in our community, but I have to say the increasing costs of water, sewage, city taxes, and property taxes are UNACCEPTABLE. - More...
Friday AM - September 23, 2016

letter Open Letter to Joe Miller By A.M. Johnson - Thumbs up and thank you Mr. Miller. You will not recognize my name and that is expected. I and a recently passed friend, Bob Pickrell, visited with you and your entourage at a gathering at the Point a couple of years ago regarding your desire to test the waters for another entry to the political landscape. Both of us urged you drop the issue as in our opinion, you had tainted your reputation with personal issues, real or imagined. Not any personal slant there, just our position. - More...
Friday AM - September 23, 2016

letter Write-In School Board Candidate By Kevin Johnson - I do apologize for just recently adding my name to the list of current school board candidates. I had every intention of filing my candidacy earlier this year but do to unforeseen circumstances I was not 100% sure that I could commit the necessary time. Serving the public in this capacity I strongly feel requires nothing less that 100% commitment. However the great gift of life is that circumstances often change and I was afforded the opportunity to take on a new challenge. I am committed! - More...
Wednesday AM - September 21, 2016

letter Support Johnson/Weld By Donald Moskowitz - The Libertarian ticket of Johnson for President and Weld for Vice President provides a huge amount of executive experience acquired when they were governors. I believe governors are the most qualified politicians to ascend to the Presidency. With this ticket we have a former governor available to assume the Presidency. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 21, 2016

letter RE: Americans must get solidly behind Clinton By Joe O'Hara - The September 14th letter "Americans must get solidly behind Clinton" is essentially my letter "Americans must get solidly behind Trump" that appeared in SitNews on August 29th. - More...
Wednesday AM - September 21, 2016

letter Open Letter to Alaskans By Senator Bill Wielechowski - I’m writing this letter to speak directly to you, without the filter of the media or hearsay. Today [Friday], former Senators Clem Tillion, Rick Halford and I filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the Permanent Fund Corporation to transfer the amount necessary to pay all Alaskans a full PFD. We don’t take the decision to file a lawsuit to protect the PFD lightly, but after weeks of serious consideration and feedback from Alaskans, I feel that we must. I hope you take a few minutes to read this letter so you understand what led to my decision to file this lawsuit. - More...
Saturday AM - September 17, 2016

letter 2016 Pink Salmon Run By Rep. Dan Ortiz - I currently serve on the House Fisheries Committee. My colleague, the chair of that committee, Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak, has requested the Walker-Mallott administration declare the 2016 pink salmon run a disaster, and has requested that Division of Investments temporarily suspend state boat loan payment requirements. I support these actions as well and am pleased to report that both measures will likely be taken. - More...
Saturday AM - September 17, 2016

letter Open Letter to Sen. Murkowski By Michael McNally - Dear Senator Murkowski, Do you remember 2010? As an independent Alaskan voter you can bet I do.

To refresh your memory, 2010 was the year that the far right wing of the Republican Party denied you the party nomination, preferring to run Joe Miller as their candidate. You were re-elected only with the support of Alaska's moderate centrist voters -- I was one -- and we hoped that when you returned to Washington you would remember that it was the people, not the party, who sent you back to represent our interests. - More..
Wednesday PM - September 14, 2016

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for

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