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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 06, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By LAURA JACKSON

Humpback Whales
Humpback whales "bubble feeding" in Tongass Narrows.
Front Page Feature Photo By LAURA JACKSON ©2017

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Ketchikan: Injured Hiker Rescued & Volunteer Squad Also Searches for Overdue Hikers - The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad responded Monday to a call from a concerned citizen reporting a hiker on Dude Mountain with a possible broken leg.

Injured Hiker Rescued & Volunteer Squad Also Searches for Overdue Hikers

The team "packaged" Green and set up a rope system preparing to lower him to a medevac helicopter.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad

TThe reporting source advised he and his son were hunting in the area of Dude Mountain and had voice contact with a hiker who indicated he had fallen, injured his leg and was unable to move. Because of the steep terrain, the hunters were not able to reach the injured hiker.

he Alaska State Troopers were contacted and by 5:00 PM a medical team on board a Temsco helicopter lifted off for Dude Mountain. The aircraft made visual contact with the hunters who were able to direct the rescue team to the accident site.

The Alaska State Troopers identified the injured hiker as Zach Green age, 27 of Florida.

The helicopter was able to insert the rescue team 150 feet below the injured hiker. The team climbed to the accident site finding the injured hiker with a badly broken leg on a small ledge, in steep terrain at the base of a 150 foot cliff. - More...
Wednesday PM -

Alaska: 'Protected Health Information' Breach Notification Issued - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on September 1, 2017, the department had a security breach that may have disclosed personal information of individuals who have interacted with the Office of Children’s Services. Due to the potential for stolen personal information, DHSS urges Alaskans who have been involved with Office of Children's Services to take actions to protect themselves from identity theft.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

On July 5 and July 8, two Alaska Office of Children's Services' computers were infected with a Trojan horse virus, resulting in a potential HIPAA breach of more than 500 individuals. It is not yet known if the division’s confidential information was accessed. It is possible that OCS reports and documents containing family case files, personal information, medical diagnoses and observations, and other related information was accessed during this breach. Preliminary investigations indicate that information potentially accessed from this breach originated in the Western region.

Quoting a DHSS news release, upon discovery of these events, the department took immediate action to mitigate further access to the infected computers. The DHSS Information Technology and Security team continues to work quickly to determine the scope of data potentially accessed, and will provide up-to-date information to Alaskans who may have been impacted by this event. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 06, 2017

Alaska Science: Slicing a 20,000-year-old mammoth tusk By NED ROZELL - In his job as a university machinist, Dale Pomraning has built and fixed earthquake detectors and aurora rockets. But recently he worked on his first object that was once part of a living creature. He and others sliced a 6-foot, 100-pound wooly mammoth tusk lengthwise, sort of like a salmon fillet.

Slicing a 20,000-year-old mammoth tusk

Greg Shipman, at left, and Dale Pomraning of UAF’s Geophysical Institute cut a 20,000-year-old mammoth tusk with a band saw.
Photo by Pam Groves

Seven people spent six hours wrestling the tusk into place for the precision cut.

“We’ve got a great big corkscrew we’re trying to run though the bandsaw,” said Pomraning, who works in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute’s machine shop. “It was an extremely awkward job.”

Three scientists enlisted Pomraning and his supervisor, Greg Shipman, for the job. Dan Mann, Pam Groves and Mat Wooller wanted the tusk split down the middle in order to tell, among other things, how far this northern mammoth roamed.

“Nobody’s taken a tusk and split it lengthwise,” said Wooller, who runs UAF’s Alaska Stable Isotope Facility. “Greg and Dale were way into it.”

Mammoth tusks grew like stacks of waffle cones, extending outward a few inches each year. After they have the flattened side of the tusk polished and perhaps stained, the scientists should be able to see chevrons that correspond with individual years in the mammoth’s life.

And who was this mammoth? It last walked in the ancient basin of the Kikiakrorak River, which flows into the Colville River on Alaska’s North Slope. In 2010, UAF’s Mann and Groves dug it out of the riverbed in two days, with help from Ben Gaglioti, Mike Kunz and a helicopter mechanic who didn’t mind standing in waist-deep water wearing only his underwear. Officials with the federal Bureau of Land Management allowed them to recover the tusk and use it for research.

The tusk is in fine shape and radiocarbon dated to the Last Glacial Maximum. By the curvature and size of this tusk, Groves thinks it belonged to a smaller male. The mammoth was alive 20,000 years ago, when glaciers held much more of the world’s freshwater on land. Sea level was more than 300 feet lower than today, making the Bering Land Bridge a wide, grassy passage from North America to Asia. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 06, 2017


Southeast Alaska:

TFCU's New Klawock Branch Manager Announced

Southeast Alaska: TFCU's New Klawock Branch Manager Announced - Tongass Federal Credit Union announced the addition of a new staff member to the Klawock Branch. Shannon Cheney assumed her role as Klawock Branch Manager on August 28, 2017.

Cheney will oversee the daily operations of the Klawock Branch as well as provide local consumer lending services. Cheney comes to the credit union with a strong background in financial services, a total of over 10 years experience.

Born in Ketchikan and raised on Prince of Wales, Cheney knows and understands southern Southeast Alaska and its residents. “I love the people and the culture of small town living where everyone knows everyone,” said Cheney.

Her personal theme for serving members resonates with the “people helping people” foundation of credit unions, “To make a difference in someone's life, you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care.”

Quoting a news release, Cheney is married to Justin Crosthwaite. They have three children they are raising in the community she loves. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 06, 2017


Columns - Commentary



DANNY TYREE: Network TV: Does It Deserve To Live? -  I am tickled to continue my 43-year tradition of obtaining the Fall Preview "TV Guide," but Associated Press TV critic Frazier Moore seems despondent about the state of the five over-the-air "legacy networks" (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CW).

Like a parent tired of making excuses for slacker offspring, Moore insists the broadcast networks have surrendered to cable TV and streaming services, resigning themselves to cranking out safe, predictable, unimaginative "comfort food" programming (and presumably not re-filling the gas tank when they borrow the family car).

Certainly, I enjoy non-broadcast programs such as "The Crown," "Annedroids" and "Outlander"; but I think God will forgive me for also liking my well-worn jeans, comfort food at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and dopey dad sitcoms. I'm okay with "This Is Us" and "Life In Pieces" being pleasant aberrations rather than The New Normal.

Methinks Moore doth protest too much. Even at its most formulaic, the gore, language and topics on current network TV are (for good or ill) far removed from the days when "story arcs" didn't exist, Ed Sullivan made the Rolling Stones change "Let's Spend The Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together" and network censors freaked out over scripts that required private eye Jim Rockford to deliver a karate chop. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 06, 2017


TOM PURCELL: Humbled by Harvey, Americans Help - "It makes me feel guilty for complaining about any little problems that I am facing."

"Ah, yes, I'm certain you are talking about the massive impact of Hurricane Harvey and the tremendous suffering it is causing for untold numbers of Americans."

"That's right. At least dozens of people have died from that awful storm, a number that is sure to grow. A family of six met its end when its van got washed away by a wall of water. A shivering toddler clung to his dead mother, who drowned trying to protect her children. I can't begin to imagine the pain and suffering that people affected by the storm are enduring."

"As awful as Harvey has been, many people have shown incredible selflessness and heroism. When things are at their worst, and Harvey has certainly been that, many people are at their best."

"There is no question about that. I get goose bumps when I think of the first responders risking their lives to rescue thousands. The police, the Coast Guard, the search-and-rescue teams have been nothing short of amazing. One policeman drowned while working to save others." - More...
Wednesday PM - September 06, 2017

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Trump DACA and Congress

Editorial Cartoon: Trump DACA and Congress
By Daryl Cagle ©2017,
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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