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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 04, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By CINDY BALZER

Bubble Feeding
Humpback whales really put on a "bubble feeding"
show Sunday south of Ketchikan in the Tongass Narrows.
Front Page Feature Photo By CINDY BALZER ©2017

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Ketchikan: Ketchikan: A town of few 'highrises'; In the First City, buildings grew outward rather than upward By DAVE KIFFER - Ketchikan is not a city of high rises, few Alaskan towns are.

Ketchikan: A town of few 'highrises'; In the First City, buildings grew outward rather than upward

The old Ketchikan Court House
Wickersham State Historic Site Collection, ca 1882 - 1930s
Courtesy: Alaska State Library - Historical Collections

But that doesn't mean that Ketchikan hasn't had its share of prominently sized buildings over its 130 years along Tongass Narrows.

Photos from the mid 1890s show a large warehouse on the Clark-Martin dock, likely the storage area for the goods that were beginning to flow into the growing community, as well as the barrels of salted salmon that were beginning to flow out.

That building set the trend for Ketchikan's buildings being more horizontal than vertical. Cannery lines called for long, relatively narrow buildings and soon the small town on the water had a number of docks with long buildings extending out on pilings because there was little flat land inland. Canneries  and cold storages like Sunny Point, Whitney Fidalgo and NEFCO had buildings that were more than a hundred feet long, but rarely more than two stories high. Even the Ketchikan Cold Storage, located where the lot next to Tongass Dock Store is now, was only three stories high, although it was nearly 50 feet high at its peak.

Early photos also show a number of two story buildings in Ketchikan's downtown, a pattern that still exists today, although a few three story ones sprouted up in the 1920s. Those photos also show the early Main School and the courthouse prominently located on hills just behind downtown. With its cupolas and dormers, the school building was likely 2 1/2 stories.

One of the tallest structures in the early photos was a 40-foot tower at the fire station on Mill Street, which was likely used for hose storage. Another prominent feature early on was the 35-foot beehive sawdust burner that soared above Ketchikan Spruce Mill for many years, often lending a plume of black smoke to the horizon. The spire from St. John's Church at more than 30 feet was also prominent in early town photos.

Because fire was such a concern in the early city of wooden docks, streets and buildings, Ketchikan became one of the first Alaskan cities with concrete buildings, but even those buildings were rarely more than two stories. Two exceptions were the three story brick building that housed the NBA bank and professional offices for many years and the concrete Tongass store that was 3 1/2 stories high.

In the 1920s, the new Main School and White Cliff School were three-story concrete structures. Several three story hotels, including the Ingersoll, Revilla. Gilmore, Pioneer and Knickerbocker were also built during the years when Ketchikan was the largest community in the state.

In the early 1930s, the Federal government build a six story court house/jail/office building next to Thomas Basin. And in the early 1940s, the four story Ketchikan hospital was built at the corner of Park and Bawden. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017

Fish Factor: Will the Sea Cucumber Be A Miracle Cure for Cancer? By LAINE WELCH -  Alaska sea cucumber divers could be helping to cure cancer!

Will the Sea Cucumber Be A Miracle Cure for Cancer?

The Red Seacucumber is a common species distributed from Mexico to Southeast Alaska and has been observed at least as far west and north as the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea. The abundance of sea cucumbers in Southeast Alaska is greatest in the southern and western portions in protected bays and inlets.
Photo courtesy the Alaska Department of Fish & Game

 Sea cucumber meat and skins have long been considered a delicacy in Asian cuisines; they also are hailed for having healing properties that soothe sore joints and arthritis. Most recently the soft, tubular bottom dwellers are being added to the list of foods acclaimed to kill cancer cells. 

Dried sea cucumber or extract is anti-viral; anti-bacterial, and an anti-inflammatory, said Ty Bollinger, a leading cancer expert and author of Cancer: Step Outside the Box. 

Sea cucumbers are very high in chondroitin sulfate, commonly used to treat joint pain and arthritis. To my knowledge, they have the highest concentrations of any animal,” he said in an interview, adding that scientists have been studying the echinoderms for more than 15 years. 

“They have properties that are cytotoxic, meaning they kill cancer cells, and that also help stimulate your immune system. The sea cucumber does both,” Bollinger added.

The cuke extracts have demonstrated the ability to kill lung, breast, prostate, skin, colon, pancreatic and liver cancer cells, reports Ethan Evers, author of The Eden Prescription. Credit for clobbering the cancer cells goes to a special molecule called Frondoside A isolated from the sea cucumber by researchers at United Arab Emirates University.

In a 2013 report, the researchers said Frondocide A was a “highly safe compound” that in lab tests significantly decreased the growth and migration of lung cancer cells. They said their findings identify it as “a promising novel therapeutic agent for lung cancer.”

While sea cucumber capsules, powders and liquids can be bought over the pharmacy counter, Bollinger said you won’t see cancer credentials on the packaging because the claims have not been verified by federal health agencies.

A scan of online retail shelves shows a varied mix of products and sizes typically selling between $20 to $40. Alaska Wild Caught Sun Dried Red Sea Cucumbers are priced at $75 to $145 per pound. Cukes sold to the food market fetch $25 to $110 per pound. 

There are nearly 1,700 species of sea cucumbers in the world’s oceans.  Starting October 1, up to 200 Alaska divers will be heading down for the red variety that thrives throughout Southeast waters. The animals, which can grow to 20 inches and weigh just over a pound, typically produce a harvest that tops one million pounds.  

The divers usually get more than $4 a pound for cukes, making the fishery worth nearly $5 million at the docks. It could be worth far more but sea otters have devoured virtually every sea cucumber from the Panhandle's most abundant bays in recent years. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017


Marine agent draws on experience to advise Alaskans By PAULA DOBBYN - Former Ketchikan resident Terry Johnson has spent much of his life on boats. Whether he’s catching salmon, showing marine wildlife to tourists or penning dockside stories about Alaska’s fishing industry, the University of Alaska Fairbanks professor’s life for decades has revolved around the sea and coastlines.

Marine agent draws on experience to advise Alaskans

Terry Johnson stops outside the Alaska Sea Grant offices in Anchorage.
Alaska Sea Grant photo by Deborah Mercy

Raised near Seattle, Johnson has been a professor at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and one of Alaska Sea Grant’s marine advisory agents since 1991.

A longtime commercial fisherman and charter operator, Johnson’s career has taken him to Ketchikan, Sitka, Dillingham, Homer and, for nearly the last decade, Anchorage. Before joining UAF, Johnson lived in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, working as a correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and writing for trade publications.

While living in Prince Rupert, Johnson decided to pursue his dream of being a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He sailed a dory hand troller made of plywood to Ketchikan, got his permit, and dropped hooks and lines. Johnson was still plugging away on his master’s thesis in marine resource management at the time. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017


Columns - Commentary



RICK JENSEN: Media Reports on Antifa... Finally - The Washington Post headline is absolutely astonishing:

"Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley"

Seriously, an astute reader these days would think the masthead above such a headline would read, "Washington Times," not "Washington Post."

After months of talking and writing about the major political media shrugging their collective shoulders when confronted by the violent political left in this country, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the L.A. Times, Washington Post and even CNN presenting meaningful reports earlier this week on the violent "antifa" and "black bloc" instigating violence against peaceful conservative marchers, free-speech proponents and police.

Of course they attacked Nazis, too.

In Berkeley, it was a cancelled Saturday "Free Speech" event that first drew anger from the left.

This rally was organized by Japanese-American Joey Gibson, a free-speech advocate who quite publicly denounced Nazis, white supremacists and all kinds of racism.

In a Facebook event, for Saturday's rally, Gibson's statement reads:

"No extremists will be allowed in. No Nazis, Communist, KKK, Antifa, white supremacist, I.E., or white nationalists. This is an opportunity for moderate Americans to come in with opposing views. We will not allow the extremists to tear apart this country."

Ignoring this, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the mayor of San Francisco chose to spew lies, hatefully smearing the Patriot Prayer group as racist white supremacists. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017


JOE GUZZARDI: A Labor Day Wish - More Jobs for Americans - Don't be deceived by media reporting about the jobs market. Economists like to say that the monthly data is encouraging or shows improvement. A lot of smoke is thrown out at the unsuspecting about seasonal adjustments, monthly revisions or weather-related declines that, when the jobs numbers are too miserable to overlook, is intended to distract.

For recent college graduates, laid off professionals and especially minority job seekers with no more than a high school diploma, finding meaningful employment, the type that will sustain a family, is tough sledding.

Start with the sobering fact that the United States' employers have manipulated their hiring patterns to eliminate full-time workers, and instead substitute part-timers. What was once a full-time position is now part-time.

Recently, friends and I were talking about our children and grandchildren's job prospects. Each of us recalled that our first post-college jobs were full-time, with generous health care benefits, paid vacations and pension plans - unheard of today.

Wall Street analysts play down the part-time angle. To hear them tell it, Americans seek out the flexibility, or enjoy working at home. That may be true in some cases, but ask those flexibility-seekers if they'd rather have time away from the office to live a more balanced life, as the claim goes, or to have comprehensive medical insurance, and an income substantial enough to save a few bucks. The resounding answer: "I'll take 9-5."

Given the good jobs shortage, and decades-old wage stagnation, Congress should use every tool it has to put Americans back to work. Translated: pass mandatory E-Verify that will assure that increasingly scarce U.S. jobs are held either by citizens or legal residents. Congress has kicked around E-Verify legislation for two decades while the Pew Research Center estimates that about eight million illegally present workers hold non-farm jobs in manufacturing, administration and retail. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Texas Worry

Editorial Cartoon: Texas Worry
By Nate Beeler ©2017, The Columbus Dispatch
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Opinion - Letter

New beverage container excise tax By Deborah Hayden - At next Tuesday’s, September 5, Assembly meeting, the Assembly will consider an ordinance establishing a beverage container excise tax.  The ordinance dedicates revenue from this tax, up to $450,000, for funding nonprofits.

Any additional revenue above $450,000 from this tax, up to $750,000, will replenish the economic development fund.  Revenue above $750,000 will flow into the education fund. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Substance Abuse Prevention By Christine Furey - Good morning Ketchikan. I would like to start by saying that I suppose that I am just as much to blame as anyone else that is involved with any one of the task forces, Coalitions or agencies in our community but I am incredibly concerned about a few things. - More...
Monday PM - September 04, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Stop medical price gouging By Amanda Mitchell - We all need care from time to time and finding that perfect doctor can be tough. Adding to the problem of finding a good doctor is price transparency. No one wants to go in to a doctor needing help for something that is not life threatening and come out with a medical bill that is life altering. However, this is reality and medical insurance has only made this problem worse: It’s called mining for diagnostic codes. With how the system is currently set up, insurance companies allow clinics to exploit the system to get the max amount of money they can possibly extract. It's not about what is fair or reasonable to the individual. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 30, 2017

Opinion - Letter

“Alaska Government Accountability Act” By Rep. Dan Ortiz - If legislators do not pass a budget within the regular legislative session, they should not receive legislative per diem during the subsequent special session. Alaskans for Integrity – a group founded by one independent lawmaker, one Democratic lawmaker and one Republican citizen –proposed a ballot initiative for 2018 that will raise legislative standards of financial transparency and accountability to the public. I support this initiative, known as the “Alaska Government Accountability Act.” - More...
Wednesday AM - August 30, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Please stop the name calling By Kelli Carlin-Auger - Regarding David Hanger's response to Rex Barber's letter: David, the fact that you call Liberals "Libtards" show your true (ugly) colors. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 30, 2017

Opinion - Letter

An opportunity to return to honor By Mary L. Stephenson - By the time William H. Seward was born in 1801, Russia’s empire included Kodiak and Sitka.

In 1867, Seward, as President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, negotiated the Alaska Treaty of Cession in 1867. Two years later, the retired public servant began traveling around the world – first to Alaska. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 30, 2017

Opinion - Letter

CORPORATE TAXES SHOULD BE ZERO By Wiley Brooks - Tax reform is a priority agenda item in the 115th Congressional session. In the coming months, we will hear significant proposed changes to the extremely complex income tax laws. One of the hotly debated provisions will be what to do with the corporate tax rate. The current rate of 35% is the highest in the industrialized world. When you add the corporate amount charged by most states the total in near 40%. The average rate levied by other industrialized countries is about 23%. This is a huge disadvantage for American businesses in the global economy. It is driving American corporations and their profits offshore to avoid such a heavy tax burden. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 30, 2017

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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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