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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 29, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN ©2016

Nighttime Colors of Autumn
A nighttime photo the day before the Fall Equinox displays the radiant colors of autumn. The photo was taken off Brown Mountain road during a full moon on September 21, 2016.
Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN


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
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
Published 09/28/16

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

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

jpg Trevor Shaw

Trevor Shaw
Filed 08/25/16
Published 09/28/16

jpg Kim Hodne

Kim Hodne
Filed 08/25/16
Published 09/26/16

jpg Kevin Johnson Kevin Johnson
Published 09/18/16

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

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

jpg Spencer S.

Spencer S. Strassburg
Filed 08/25/16
Published 09/29/16

Alaska: Government Shutdown Avoided; Short-Term Funding Bill Good for Alaska; Includes Funding for Alaska-Based Military Projects and Veterans Affairs Funding - A Continuing Resolution (CR) Appropriations Package was passed by Congress yesterday, which funds the federal government short-term through December 9, 2016. In addition to providing the full Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations, the bill contains $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus and $37 million to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.

In a prepared statement, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said, “By passing the continuing resolution [Wednesday], we have avoided an unnecessary government shutdown, which would have harmed individuals, families, and businesses across the nation. And we provided funding to combat the public threat from the Zika virus, as well as address the heroin and opioid epidemic."

“This bill is great news for Alaska, because the CR [Continuing Resolution] includes the full appropriations bill for military constructions and Veterans Affairs, which supports crucial defense projects in Alaska, creates thousands of new jobs, and takes care of our veterans," said Murkowski, a senior member on the Appropriations Committee.

"Alaska’s strategic position and strong support for our military continues to make Alaska one of the most important places for America’s national security," said Murkowski. "On the Defense Appropriations Committee, I have consistently pressed our military leadership to recognize the role Alaska plays for our national security and appreciate how Senator Dan Sullivan has reinforced that message from the Senate Armed Services Committee. Today our colleagues have recognized this fact by devoting the largest share of our annual military construction bill to investments in Alaska.”

Senator Murkowski also inserted language into the bill which encourages the use of Alaska contractors and the local workforce when the Department of Defense and Armed Services seeks contractors for military construction activities.

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said in a prepared statement, “While I fundamentally disagree with the process, it was important to ensure that the government of the United States was kept up and running. Government shutdowns are disruptive to our economy and hurt our country’s morale."

Sullivan said, "Going forward, I am committed to reforming the system so that our government is not held hostage to competing political agendas and to political factions on both sides of aisle. To be clear, for the second straight year, all 12 appropriations bills were passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. This year, they passed by a cumulative vote of 345 to 15. Even with this extraordinary level of bipartisanship in committee, the Democrat Minority turned around and chose to engage in filibusters on the Senate floor, blocking defense spending five times alone. This must change and I will work with my colleagues to change it."

“With specific regard to the MilCon/VA funding, I want to especially thank Senator Murkowski for fighting to ensure that Alaska’s priorities are included in federal appropriations bills, especially the military construction funds for the F-35s at Eielson Air Force Base as well working to address the important issues facing the Alaska VA.”

“This MilCon appropriation is a much-needed boost to Alaska’s construction economy for the next few years, and is even more important for our national defense over the next few decades,” said John MacKinnon, Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska Executive Director. “I thank Senator Murkowski for looking out for all of us in Alaska.”

“As I’ve said before, shutting down the government is both shortsighted and irresponsible," said U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK). "Ultimately, it hurts the American people – our military, our senior citizens, our small businesses and the working people of Alaska and the nation.”

Congressman Don Young said this short-term spending measure is certainly not a perfect approach, but we were able to include a tremendous amount of good for Alaska and the nation – vital funding to support our troops, major improvements and reforms for our veterans, and efforts to address the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.

Young said, "By prioritizing investments to support Defense infrastructure projects and improve the Department of Veteran Affairs, this bill will have a tremendous impact on Alaska – not only for our economy and our local communities but for the defense of our nation and the wellbeing of our veterans."

" Although there’s much work to be done when Congress returns – including a number of major reforms and policy provisions to roll back many of this Administration’s destructive rules and regulations – I’m pleased that Congress could put its differences aside to focus on the immediate needs of the nation," said Young. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

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Southeast Alaska: Road Repaired On POW - The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday that repairs are complete on the NFSR 20 road on north Prince of Wales Island at milepost 106 just north of the El Capitan turnoff.

Road Repaired On POW

The Forest Service has repaired the slump along the outside edge of NFSR 20.
Photo courtesy USFS

The U.S. Forest Service warned drivers earlier this month to use extra care as they travel along NFSR 20 road on North Prince of Wales. The road had developed a soft spot that was eroding the outside edge of the roadway from underneath. It was warned that the road may continue to slough off on the outside edge. The area, at milepost 106, just north of the El Capitan turnoff, was marked with stakes and flagging so the possible danger was visible to drivers. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

Alaska: Fifty Years of Glacier Change Research in Alaska - This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America.

Fifty Years of Glacier Change Research in Alaska

Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska. 1967, Unknown USGS photographer. 2016 image by L. Sass, USGS. Public domain

In 1966, the U.S. Geological Survey began measuring changes in mass and volume at Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers in Alaska as part of its Benchmark Glacier program. These data serve as indicators of glacier health and help scientists understand how glaciers respond to a warming climate.

“Collectively, Alaska’s glaciers are shrinking rapidly today. Long-term records from Wolverine and Gulkana glaciers show that summer warming has resulted in sustained mass loss. These changes are evident in both field and in airborne and space-borne data. Alaska’s glaciers are important contributors to sea level rise, and also influence coastal ecosystems through the water that they store and release,” said Dr. Shad O’Neel, head of the Glacier Research Program at the USGS Alaska Science Center.

Since the 1990s, the retreat of glaciers in Alaska has made a disproportionally large contribution to global sea level rise. In total, these glaciers are losing 75 billion tons of ice annually, the equivalent of filling 150,000 Yankee Stadiums with water each year. Although the development of regional estimates is relatively new, the detailed and long-term records at the benchmark glaciers reveal an increasing rate of change through the past 50 years.

“These records are a testament to the hard work of many individuals and an early vision by USGS on the importance of glaciers in the landscape,” said Daniel McGrath, a research geophysicist with the program. “Detailed and continuous records of this length are exceedingly rare in our field and thus these are indispensable to our understanding of the changes we’re observing across this region.”

The glaciers and ice fields of Alaska are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the water that flows into the Gulf of Alaska. This water has a unique “glacial fingerprint” that is evident in the timing, volume and temperature, as well as the nutrients carried by it. This influence also extends to the marine ecosystem, contributing to the rich diversity of species that are important to tourism and fishing industries. - More....
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016


Fisheries: Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem, new study says - Each day in fishing communities around the world, not every fish is counted. This happens in part because of illegal fishing, poor or incomplete surveys and discarded fish from commercial operations.

Recording how many fish are caught is one important requirement to measure the well-being of a fish stock — if scientists know the number of fish taken from the ocean, they can adjust management of that fishery to keep it from being overfished. Missing catch data, however, are rampant, causing concern that fisheries around the world are overfished.

Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem, new study says

Missing fish catch data? Not necessarily a problem...
Photo courtesy Universtiy of Washington

A new study by University of Washington scientists finds that in many cases, this isn’t true. Specifically, misreporting caught fish doesn’t always translate to overfishing. The study was published online this month in the journal Fish and Fisheries.

“While quantifying total catch is important for understanding how much is removed from the system, it is possible to manage sustainably even if we don’t know those numbers,” said lead author Merrill Rudd, a UW doctoral student in aquatic and fishery sciences. “This paper shows there are some situations where, just because there is unreported catch, it doesn’t mean we are overfishing.”

The researchers modeled five different misreporting scenarios on a simulated fishery: complete reporting of catch numbers, constant over-reporting, constant under-reporting, increasing reporting rate over time and decreasing reporting rate over time. They found that in cases where misreporting was constant, the fish population could still be managed sustainably over the years because misreporting was proportional each year.

But in cases where misreporting increased or decreased year to year, those fisheries were found to be over- or under-fished.

In other words, the catch reporting trends - not the specific numbers of fish caught — are the most critical elements to consider when trying to understand a fishery’s overall status, the authors said. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016


Obituary: Gary Lloyd Eddy; June 25, 1950 – September 20, 2016 - Gary Lloyd Eddy, age 66, unexpectedly walked into the forest at home in Juneau on September 20, 2016. Gary was Eagle/Wolf of the Yanyeidi Clan of the Taku Tlingit People. His Tlingit name was Kegaan.

Obituary: Gary Lloyd Eddy; June 25, 1950 – September 20, 2016

Gary Lloyd Eddy
June 25, 1950 – September 20, 2016

Gary was born on June 25, 1950 in Juneau. He graduated from Sitka High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology master’s program in project management.

Right after MIT, he worked for the U.S. Public Health Service, Environmental Health Branch, Construction Section. He was very proud and passionate on working to eliminate the use of honey buckets in numerous small remote rural communities by working on the water and sewer systems including Noatak, Kotzebue, Nome, Kake, Kasaan, Klawock, Craig, Nikolai, and Emmonak (where he met his wife Bernadette). He also worked in Saxman, Sitka, Anchorage, and Juneau, where he retired from the State of Alaska Department of Transportation on August 1, 2016.

He enjoyed fishing and entering the Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau salmon Derbies with family and friends; berry picking, putting up and cooking fish - especially his own deep fried halibut; and watching and talking with friends about football, baseball games, and current political issues. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jgp Joe Guzzardi

JOE GUZZARDI: Americans Deserve More Substance in Second, Third Debates - Days after the first presidential debate, Americans are still wondering why moderator Lester Holt didn't ask more pertinent questions about issues that, according to the latest Rasmussen polling, have 67 percent of viewers convinced that the nation is on the wrong track.

Perhaps not surprisingly given the media's aversion to covering immigration honestly, Holt never asked about it, border security or refugee resettlement even though those topics have, for at least 18 months, dominated the news. The San Bernardino, Orlando, and New York terrorist attacks made headlines while the incredible story that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, granted citizenship to 858 individuals with final deportation orders should bring DHS under intense scrutiny. A nationally televised debate with an estimated 100 million viewers is the perfect forum to delve into the candidates' proposed solutions to DHS' ineptitude, but nary a peep from Holt. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

jpg Ron Paul

RON PAUL: Wells Fargo or the Federal Reserve: Who's the Bigger Fraud? - The Wells Fargo bank account scandal took center stage in the news last week and in all likelihood will continue to make headlines for many weeks to come.

What Wells Fargo employees did in opening bank accounts without customers' authorization was obviously wrong, but in true Washington fashion the scandal is being used to deflect attention away from larger, more enduring, and more important scandals. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: A name is a name is a name - The other day I was flying into Anchorage.

Yes, in a plane.

Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day and there was a marvelous view to the north of the tallest peak in North America. Actually, it had been a lovely flight all around that also included scenic views of Mt. Logan and Mt. St. Elias, the second and third highest peaks in these here parts. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

jpg Arthur Martin

ARTHUR MARTIN: What is the Alt-Right? - One of the things that I pride myself on is the fact that I try and provide my readers the cutting edge commentary on politics, culture, and technology. If you read me regularly you will glean brilliant gems weeks if not months before the mainstream media does.

I love politics (I did major in Political Science and worked for the Legislature after all), so when I started hearing about "the Alt-Right" I had to find out what it is and do the research that the Main Stream Media will not. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: 9/11 Lawsuits vs Saudis

Editorial Cartoon: 9/11 Lawsuits vs Saudis
By Dave Granlund © 2016,
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.
Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot. The most overwhelming override (96) vote of a presidential veto since 1983.


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letter Evolving mariculture industry By Rep. Dan Ortiz - I recently attended Southeast Conference, where Julie Decker of Wrangell gave an insightful presentation on the Alaska Mariculture Task Force, and our evolving mariculture industry. This task force, funded by a NOAA grant, envisions a booming billion dollar mariculture industry in Southeast Alaska. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

letter Stop Clinton and Trump By Donald Moskowitz - Recently, the New Hampshire Union Leader ran a front page editorial endorsing the Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld. Thank you for the foresight and intelligence to realize this is the only way a Fiscal Conservative can be elected President. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

letter Have you read the amendments? By A. M. Johnson - You will recall recently a letter to Joe Miller was published in your good online news. In it it was alluded to that a follow up letter to Senator Murkowski would be sent to Mr. Miller via your services. - More...
Thursday PM - September 29, 2016

letter PFD Cuts Hurt But Changes Will Avoid Economic Disaster By Gov. Bill Walker - Alaskans will soon receive our annual dividend checks. This year's $1,022 check for every qualified resident will help Alaska families with things like winter fuel, food and clothes, holiday gifts and saving for college. These checks will boost local businesses and increase local tax revenues. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2016

letter Open Letter to Governor Walker: Transboundary mining concerns By Chris Chris Zimmer - The Statement of Cooperation (SOC) between the State of Alaska and Province of British Columbia is clearly not a comprehensive solution to transboundary mining concerns, nor was it intended to be. It must go hand in hand with federal engagement that can bring in the authority of the Boundary Waters Treaty, funds and expertise. The SOC is narrowly focused on notification and information sharing, is non-binding and unfunded, and therefore insufficient to address the issue comprehensively. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2016

letter Rodney Dial for Borough Assembly By Robert Luse - I have known Rodney Dial for several years. You couldn't ask for a more honest and caring person. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2016

letter Permanent Fund By Lance Clark - The Governor is keeping a little more than half our permanent fund! It's quite telling that he decided that he could spend our money better than we can, after all, we're merely servants and should be thankful for anything we get. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2016

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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Re-elect Trevor Shaw for Ketchikan School Board

Judity McQuerry for Ketchikan Borough Assembly 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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