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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 16, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By JEFF LUND

Dude Mountain: Wolf
This wolf showed up a few hours after a couple of hunters harvested a bear.
Front Page Feature Photo By JEFF LUND ©2019

October 1, 2019
Ketchikan Local Election

Sample Ballots & Propositions

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Absentee voting began Sept. 16th.

Ketchikan Borough Mayor
3 Year Term, 1 Seat Open
jpg Rodney Dial Rodney Dial
Filed 08/05/19
Candidate's Statement 08/27/19
jpg Sidney Hartley Sidney Hartley
Filed 08/08/19
Candidate's Statement
jpg Michelle O'Brien Michelle O'Brien
Filed 08/23/19
Candidate's Statement 09/03/19

Borough Assembly
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
jpg Austin Otos Austin Otos
Filed 08/01/19
Candidate's Statement 08/28/19
jpg David Landis David Landis
Filed 08/01/19
jpg Jeremy T. Bynum Jeremy T. Bynum
Filed 08/26/19
Candidate's Statement 09/08/19

Ketchikan School Board
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
jpg Bridget Mattson Bridget Mattson
Filed 08/06/19
Candidate's Statement 09/05/19
jpg JOrdan Tabb Jordan Tabb
Filed 08/20/19

Ketchikan School Board
1 Year Term, 1 Seat Open
jpg Leslie Baker Leslie Becker
Filed 08/15/19
Candidate's Statement 08/29/19
jpg Hilary Kvasnikoff Hilary Kvasnikoff
Filed 08/16/19
Candidate's Statement 08/27/19
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Filed 08/16/19
Candidate's Statement 09/02/19
jpg Kathleen Yarr Kathleen Yarr
Filed 08/23/19
Candidate's Statement 09/15/19

Ketchikan City Council
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
jpg Lew Williams III Lew Williams III
Filed 08/05/19
jpg Judy Zenge Judy Zenge
Filed 08/05/19
jpg Spencer Strassburg Spencer Strassburg
Filed 08/26/19
Candidate's Statement 09/15/19

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Ketchikan Historical: The King of Ketchikan, Circa 1940; Salmon industry lobbyist one of the most powerful men in Alaska By DAVE KIFFER - From the 1930s to the 1950s, Winton C. Arnold was the most powerful man in Ketchikan.  By some accounts, he was one of the most powerful men in Alaska.

"Judge" Arnold was not an elected official. He was an attorney and a lobbyist, a very good one. His steadfast representation of the canned salmon industry - then Alaska's largest industry - is credited by some with delaying statehood for Alaska by nearly two decades. The salmon canning industry opposed statehood because it preferred working with the federal government, which was much more easily manipulated in ways favorable to the industry.
Arnold was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1903. He later moved to Idaho and studied law at the University of Idaho, graduating with a specialization in mining law in 1924.
In her 2017 book about Alaska territorial judges and lawyers "The Biggest Damned Hat," Pamela Cravez devotes a chapter to Arnold calling him "Alaska's most powerful lobbyist." She noted that Arnold quickly became discouraged by his prospects in Idaho and, while working for US Sen. William E. Borah who headed  the Senate committee that oversaw Alaska, decided to make his mark in the territory. Borah gave Arnold a letter of introduction to various Alaskan political leaders. Arnold came north in 1927.
"Arnold arrived in Juneau and used his political connections to get his first job as handyman and guard at the territorial jail," Cravez wrote. "But when gold was discovered at Hyder and the US Commissioner's post opened up there (Arnold) was appointed to the post."
Because his tenure in Hyder frequently required sitting as a judge to deal with mining disputes, Arnold was referred to as "Judge Arnold" for the rest of his life. His close friends called him “Bill.” His opponents often called him “Fish Arnold.”
When the mining activity slowed in Hyder after a couple of years, Arnold got himself appointed US Commissioner in Ketchikan, then the regional center for the booming canned salmon industry and briefly the largest town in the state. He also served as Justice of the Peace, Coroner and Magistrate.
"Arnold could see that while gold could be an unsteady commodity, salmon provided a constant source of income for the territory," Cravez wrote. "The entire physical and economic structure of Ketchikan rested on it, and Ketchikan was thriving....Arnold decided that Ketchikan's economy would not slow easily, as had Hyder's, and he scouted out a position in private practice."
In 1932, Ketchikan attorney Lester Gore was named district judge for Nome and he turned his Ketchikan legal practice over to Arnold. Gore had often represented the canned salmon industry. Arnold took those connections, ran with them, and soon became the industry's most indispensable advocate.
In short order he became a common face at virtually every governmental fisheries hearing, either in Alaska or in Washington D.C. He soon became such an expert on catches and seasons that he was often at the table when the regulators decided the rules under which industry would operate. He usually knew more than the people charged with managing the industry and, as a result, whenever new rules came out they almost always favored the industry.
Arnold was most aware of protecting the primacy of the Organic Act of 1912 which forbade the territorial legislature from passing any laws that would “alter, amend, modify or repeal any federal laws relating to the fisheries of Alaska.”
This was not an idle concern. As early as 1935, the territorial legislature began sending requests to the federal government asking it to ban fish traps. The territorial legislature approved the ban 24-1 in 1935. But with Arnold already whispering in its ear, Congress took no action
The State of Alaska history website mentions Arnold several times.

"John Butrovich, a long time territorial and state senator from Fairbanks, once told a reporter that Arnold was exceptionally capable," according to the website.

"You couldn't be that good and not be smart," Butrovich said. "He was the best I saw, in my time, and I was there for 30 years. And I'm looking at it from the other side."

"Butrovich opposed Arnold's work to continue the advantages of the canned salmon industry - including big tax breaks - in Alaska. Many said Arnold stopped any tax reform legislation for a decade in the territorial Legislature. He became the most effective and articulate opponent of Alaska statehood," the website concludes.

In the 1930s, Arnold often clashed with Alaska's territorial congressional delegate, Anthony Dimond.

"When it came to Alaska fisheries, Anthony Dimond and W. C. Arnold didn’t see eye-to-eye very often," Historian Ross Coen wrote on the Alaska Historical Society website in 2013.  “As the territory’s congressional delegate from 1933 to 1945, Dimond advocated local fisheries management, a hiring preference for Alaska residents, and the abolition of fish traps. As lawyer and lobbyist for the Seattle-based packing industry, Arnold opposed all of those things. On at least one point, however, the two men were in full agreement."

That point was a shared opposition to a Japanese fishery incursion into Bristol Bay in 1937 that both men feared, if unchecked, would allow foreign fleets to chase Alaska salmon runs all the wayt back to the mouths of the Alaskan streams. Their joint lobbying eventually persuaded the US government to step in and  extend territorial boundary limits to protect the fisheries.

Arnold also served on the Alaska Territorial Planning Council from 1937 to 1941 and from 1941 to 1945 as the chairman of the federal Salmon Consultant Committee, which made sure that the canned salmon was Alaska's significant contribution to the World War II war effort, especially for meals to the troops. Over fishing - primarily from the fish traps that Arnold so aggressively promoted for their "efficiency” - had caused the industry to retrench by the late 1930s, but the sudden market of millions of GI's allowed the industry to stave off collapse at least into the late 1940s.

In 1945, Arnold became the managing director of Alaska Salmon Industry Inc., a group formed with two specific purposes. One was out in the open, to promote the industry and to limit any attempts at "burdensome" "regulations. The other, delaying statehood,  was a little more under the table. That year Arnold moved to Seattle, but was still in Ketchikan and Juneau often enough to look after the industry interests.

The canned salmon industry had always been an opponent of the statehood for the territory. The big canneries preferred dealing with federal regulators far from the fishing grounds. It was always easier to lobby officials in far off Washington D.C. where the ravages of the fish traps were out of sight and out of mind. The industry also found common cause with the Republican leadership in Congress because Alaska was perceived in the 1940s and 1950s as a Democrat leaning area. It wasn't until Hawaii - then perceived as a Republican stronghold - came into the equation that Congress finally moved to approve Alaska statehood in the late 1950s.

"Arnold typically did not say he opposed statehood" the story about him on the state history website notes. "He made a habit, though of pointing out obstacles, such as transportation problems, and the need to settle Alaska Native land claims. He also said Alaska could not afford to become a state because of the additional burdens that it would place on its citizens."

A common Arnold tactic was to note that only 1 percent of Alaska had ever been surveyed and it would take decades to get an accurate accounting of Alaska lands to determine land grants that could support the new government.

"Alaska territorial delegate E.L. "Bob" Bartlett described Arnold as an ‘opponent of every progressive proposal for Alaska’ and  ‘a smooth operator -intelligent and with a pleasing personality ‘,"  according to the state website. "He hosted private lunches for senators, and made elaborate presentations to show the economic damage that statehood would cause Alaska. Mary Lee Council, Bartlett's administrative assistant, said that by explaining the problems with statehood bills before Congress in an attempt to stop statehood, Arnold's complaints forced Congress to resolve those issues. In that way, Arnold's stalling tactics improved the chances that the state would have the resources it needed for survival. The provisions eventually adopted by Congress gave the new state more than five times as much land as had been proposed in some of the early proposals."

Arnold's staunch defense of the canned salmon industry also brought him into conflict with the proponents of self determination for Alaska Natives. Arnold was particularly concerned that any movement toward Native self-determination would hurt the canned salmon industry's monopolistic control over the salmon runs. Arnold's numerous skirmishes with William Paul were particularly noteworthy, according to Diane Purvis, a historian of the Native civil rights efforts.  - More...
Monday PM - September 16, 2019


Alaska: DOJ Updates Efforts Made to Address Public Safety Crisis in Rural Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder recently updated the efforts made by law enforcement agencies to address the public safety crisis in rural Alaska.  In May 2019, Attorney General William P. Barr came to Alaska to personally examine the public safety situation in the vast rural areas of the state.  Based on that visit, Attorney General Barr declared a law enforcement emergency in rural Alaska under the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance (EFLEA) program, making $6 million immediately available to the State of Alaska for critical law enforcement needs.  Recognizing that Alaska has the highest per capita crime rate in the country, and the unique circumstances of Alaska’s geographical and jurisdictional landscape, the Attorney General authorized additional funding, and several long-term measures to support village public safety and victim services.  A summary of the grant awards and ongoing agency efforts are below.

Formation of the RAAVEN Working Group

 In his announcement of emergency funding for public safety in rural Alaska, Attorney General Barr tasked the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska to form a rural Alaska violent crime reduction working group.  Within days, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder formed the group, now called the Rural Alaska Anti-Violence Enforcement (RAAVEN) Working Group.  Initially, the group helped coordinate the law enforcement and prosecution resources provided by Attorney General Barr, including the $6 million EFLEA grant, and almost $5 million in Tribal Resource Grant Funds, both discussed below.  In addition to members from the federal, state, and local law enforcement community, RAAVEN will also form a consultation group with Alaska Native leaders, working on medium and long-term planning to address violent crime issues in rural Alaska.

EFLEA Grant Award to the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS)

Based on the Attorney General’s declaration of a law enforcement emergency in rural Alaska, the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) applied for, and was awarded, $6 million from DOJ’s EFLEA Program.  DPS proposed to use this funding to address the high rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes in the state by subgranting funds to Alaska Native organizations and villages to address critical public safety infrastructure needs in rural Alaska to support law enforcement services within communities. 

DPS is actively developing the sub-grant solicitation for communities and tribal entities to apply for a portion of the $6 million made available through the EFLEA Program. The funding is expected to be available starting Oct. 1, 2019, for qualifying infrastructure projects, such as holding cells.  Quality infrastructure for public safety purposes will help ease recruitment and retention issues in rural Alaskan communities. 

With the notable call for more public safety options in rural Alaska, the Alaska Police Standards Counsel has increased its outreach to communities to help screen Village Police Officer (VPO) applicants.  Additionally, training opportunities for VPOs and Tribal Police Officers (TPOs), through Yuut Elitnaurviat (YE) Corporation, commonly known as Yuut, has increased.  An extra academy was added to the training schedule for October 2019.  Providing training in rural Alaska makes it less burdensome for recruits and existing VPOs to attend. Yuut provides training and education opportunities for the people of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region.

COPS Grant Award

On July 30, 2019, Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) awarded nearly $5 million through the Tribal Resources Grant Program for the hiring, equipping, and training of VPOs and TPOs working in rural Alaska. 

The awards are as follows: - More...
Monday PM - September 16, 2019

Thermometers at work everywhere in Alaska

Thermometers at work everywhere in Alaska
Prospect Creek in northern Alaska, shown here on a recent 80-degree summer day, has the record for Alaska’s coldest temperature of minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, on Jan. 23, 1971.
Photo By Ned Rozell


Alaska: Thermometers at work everywhere in Alaska By NED ROZELL - Every Alaskan owns at least one version of a sensitive scientific instrument: the thermometer. But what is it measuring?

Because hot and cold are relative terms, sometimes our senses can’t be trusted to tell us the difference. For example, a tub of ice water will feel warm if you stick your foot in it after walking barefoot at 40 below.

Real hot and cold can be thought of as a measurement of motion: the temperature of water, air, motor oil or any other substance is a measure of the average speed of molecules and atoms within the substance. The faster the molecules are bumping around, the higher the temperature.

If we had a freezer capable of cooling air to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, the oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen molecules within air would theoretically stop moving. This point, known as absolute zero, is the starting point of the Kelvin scale, which was named after Lord Kelvin, a British scientist who lived from 1824 to 1907.

The Kelvin scale is useful for temperature measurements in space. The average temperature of the universe is about 2.7 Kelvins, or  minus 454.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures on Earth are much higher because of several factors: the sun’s warmth, the ability of Earth’s surface to absorb solar radiation, and the heat-trapping effects of the atmosphere, a 30-mile shell of gases.

Because Earth is tilted on its axis, the north and south poles lean away from direct sunlight for much of the year. Although we northerners tend to talk tough about our cold snaps, those on the other end of the globe feel greater extremes. The coldest temperature ever measured was minus 129 degrees Fahrenheit, at Vostok, a Russian scientific station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. - More...
Monday PM - September 16, 2019



TOM PURCELL: Our Cursed 2020 Campaign: 'F-bombs' Away!  - Some presidential candidates, past and present, sure have cursed up a storm.

The Washington Examiner notes Julian Castro said the "BS" word on HBO, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan called on Republicans to "get their 's-word' together," Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard used the "b-word" to describe President Trump, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told a group of activists that "if we are not helping people, we should go the 'f-word' home."

Then there's the queen mother of today's cussing campaigners: Beto "f-bomb" O'Rourke.

He has used the "f-word" as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection - pretty much everything but a dangling participle, whatever the "h-e-double-hockey-sticks" that is.

O'Rourke has been struggling in the polls since Mayor Pete "Trump 'P.O.'d' our allies" Buttigieg stole his thunder. O'Rourke's cursing appears to be a ploy for attention, which is all it's getting him.

I agree with political observers who cite two reasons for the increasing use of salty language.

Emma Byrne, author of "Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language," tells Smithsonian there is a science to why we curse. She says "peppering our language with dirty words can actually help us gain credibility and establish a sense of camaraderie" - if it's done properly.

She distinguishes between "propositional swearing, which is deliberate and planned, and non-propositional swearing, which can happen when we're surprised, or among friends or confidants."

O'Rourke's swearing comes across as contrived - a sign of weakness from an unserious candidate trying to make headlines. - More...
Monday PM - September 16, 2019


RICH MANIERI: Hold Your Applause, Congress is Back - In case you haven't heard, our lawmakers have returned from their six-week, summer sabbatical, ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. Among the agenda items for this legislative session: firearms, keeping the government from shutting down, trade and, at least for some Democrats, impeaching the president.

The congressional recess is necessary. Not for members Congress, but for the rest of us. We need the break from them, even though, out of 261 work days, the House and the Senate will be in session together for just 121. Both chambers are actually scheduled to meet fewer days this year than in 2018. (By the way, senators and representatives make, on average, about $174,000 annually.)

You might be thinking this is a lot of time off for a legislative body that takes six months to come to a consensus on where to put the water cooler.But, considering a disapproval rating of about 75 percent, perhaps we'd appreciate them more if we saw less of them.

There might be something to this.

There was an episode of Seinfeld in which George decides his best strategy for promotion with the Yankees is to stay home from work and leave his car parked at the office.

"My presence in that office can only hurt my chances," he said. 

If only members of Congress were so self-aware.

With an election looming, there will be plenty of pulled hamstrings among lawmakers racing to the nearest TV camera to try to convince their constituents that they're not part of the problem. - More...
Monday PM - September 16, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Democrat Vaping

Political Cartoon: Democrat Vaping
By Rick McKee ©2019,
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

Rodney Dial for Mayor of Ketchikan By Barry A. A. Dillinger - It’s not very often that I feel compelled to personally do something about the local political process outside my normal civic duty of voting.  Normally, I read the platforms and I keep up with the local scuttlebutt, but I generally don’t voice my support through lawn signs, bumper stickers or letters to the editor.  I’ve lived in Ketchikan for the past three years and something has changed.  I saw an extremely dysfunctional relationship between the city Borough Assembly members and others in the local governmental system and noted that much of it centered around one person.  More on that in a moment.

On the radio one night in 2016 while driving home from work, I caught the tail-end of a debate or interview with a few candidates who were vying for Borough Assembly seats and I was struck by the words of one of them, namely Rodney Dial.  Not knowing Mr. Dial from Adam, I got home and researched him online, only to find that he was exactly what the Assembly was missing, as far as I was concerned.  I am an avid Trump supporter and I make no apologies for that.  Mr. Dial reminded me so much of our president, not so much in what the media has identified ad nauseum are Trump’s faults, but more so in Mr. Dial’s drive and determination to do what’s right by his constituents.  That spirit is so easily identifiable in this young man.  As an Army veteran, I admire his service to our country.  As the nephew of a 35-year veteran of the police force outside of Manhattan, I admire his service in Blue.  As a Non-Commission Officer and manager for many decades, I admire his leadership skills and abilities to make difficult decisions and to always seek another answer to any problem.  Where most bureaucrats would be satisfied to merely throw more taxpayer cash at the problem, Mr. Dial is an out-of-the-box thinker who was integral as a Board member in saving taxpayer cash, not squandering it. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 17, 2019

jpg Opinion

LINK CORRECTED: Ketchikan's Sales Tax Cap By Janalee L Minnich Gage - I have been on the Ketchikan City Council since 2015, however my comments here as a community member. I am not speaking for other council members or the council. I appreciate all the thanks for my last letter regarding the Berth issues. I got more questions asked of me, so I am taking them one at a time - picking them apart for you- from my perspective utilizing information, and evidence available.

The definition of politician is:

1. A person experienced in the art or science of government (is this not a person who goes to college with the intentions to run for political office)
especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government

2a: a person engaged in party politics as a profession.

To be fair we need to add in what most of us think of politicians these days, per the Webster Dictionary definition:

2b: often disparaging: a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons.

No one ever runs for public office campaigning to raise taxes, service fees, or Create a hardship on community members. None of us are born politicians, whatever that means. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 17, 2019

jpg Opinion

We Believe in Ferries By Sidney Hartley - Since 1948, travelling by ferry has been a vital piece of Alaskan livelihood and, as such, a way for Alaskans to be connected to one another. In 1963, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) was born, providing Alaskans a link to our neighboring communities and Canada. There has been a saying in Alaska that, it’s a small world in big Alaska. That’s because, it’s hard to travel from one community to another in Alaska without running into someone we know, and sometimes even a relative. We’re all family here, and that unique piece of our home is largely due to our ferry system, connecting us to places and people that may not otherwise have a method of travel (especially from/to remote parts of Alaska). Additionally, the AMHS employs roughly 430 Alaskans, and provides transportation to nearly 350,000 passengers and 100,000 vehicles annually. 

With Alaskans facing the real possibility of losing the Prince Rupert port due to Governor Dunleavy’s budget cuts, 13,000 Alaskans lose a connection to Canada. Traditions, vacations, and family memories are being threatened to 13,000 Alaskans. This cut, as I see it, is an easy way out. This would be like going to the doctor with a broken arm, and resolving to just cut it off instead of mending the bone. To preserve our connections, we need to work harder at making solutions for the ferry system to stick around for future generations to utilize, and for special traditions to be passed down for years to come.  - More...
Tuesday AM - September 17, 2019

jpg Opinion

Opposed to development of the waters over the superfund MOU at Ward Cove By Betsey Burdett - I am writing to voice my opposition to the development of the waters over the superfund marine operating unit (MOU) at Ward Cove. I hope you will comment to the Army Corps of Engineers concerning the permit application by Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska, Godspeed, Inc., and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd. The comment period was extended until September 19, 2019 so that agencies (EPA, DEC, etc.) and the public (us!) would have time to respond. Information disseminated thus far has come from the above companies. You can search the cleanup at Ward Cove from the EPA website. The more I look into this, the more astounded I am that the Army Corps has received only two requests for a public hearing as of this writing. Do we care about our water? Do we have time to comment about this? If you want to comment you just have a few days.

Here are some of the things I have found out. - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019

jpg Opinion

Unlocking Arctic Energy Is Vital for Alaska - and America By U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski & Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young - This week the House of Representatives is set to consider measures that would restrict America’s future energy supply, including one that would block responsible development in northeast Alaska. As the state’s congressional delegation, we are unified in strong opposition and believe passage would be a reckless strategic mistake.

The bill in question comes from a California representative and targets the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Congress set aside in 1980 for future exploration. After years of debate, Congress agreed in 2017 to allow careful development of just 2,000 acres of the 1.5-million-acre area, itself located within the ANWR’s 19.3 million acres. This developable fraction of a fraction amounts to one ten-thousandth of the refuge. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

"Traitor Teachers" By Kathleen Yarr - "Traitor Teachers" have been forwarding Ketchikan Education Association President email to me. (Emailed on school email. Huh. Wonder if that’s okay?) Regardless, this is evidence the KEA is not quite the rock-solid, union monolith KEA would like to think they are.

With a whiff of ..... displeasure, President Lundamo mentions I was a para (Implication: Who will run for school board next? A janitor? I hope so.) Lundamo then goes on to gently correct the record on the National Teachers Association-Alaska’s position on pregnancy, which they support providing the mother supports her pregnancy. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Trade War Hurting Farmers By Donald Moskowitz - President Trump is trying to attain trade equity with China, but his trade war is having a devastating impact on U.S. farmers, which could lead to long term losses of the Chinese market for our agricultural products since they are being replaced by competing countries. The $12 billion farmers subsidy is just a temporary reprieve for farmers.

China typically imports large quantities of U.S. fruit, pork, cotton, soybeans and other farm products. It imports 60% of U.S. soybean exports, about 30 million tons per year. Although the European Union agreed to import more soybeans, its 14 million tons falls far short of the 30 million tons to China. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Why would you want to opt out of KEA? By Kathleen Yarr - Teachers: What could you do with an additional $1,123 dollars a year? And paraeducators, an additional $582 a year? You could save that money by 'not' opting into the Ketchikan Educational Association (KEA). For those of you who appreciated the Trump Tax Cuts, here’s a way to put some more money in your paycheck. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 03, 2019

jpg Opinion

Enthusiastic for Tourism By Chelsea Goucher - The primary mission of the Ketchikan Chamber is to advocate for a healthy business climate, sustainable economic growth, and a rich quality of life in Ketchikan. In accordance with this mission, the Chamber's Board has determined that now is the time to make crystal clear our enthusiasm for tourism. We applaud the Ward Cove Group's efforts to support this industry through the construction of new cruise ship berths north of town, and we are encouraged that this is being done through private sector investment in our community. In equal measure, we stand behind the efforts of our municipal governments to improve public infrastructure and ensure that locals and tourists alike experience Ketchikan at its very best. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Who is OURPORT? By Janalee L Minnich Gage - While I have been on the Ketchikan city council since 2015, in this statement I speak for myself as a member of this community. I do not speak for other members of the council or the council as a whole. 
Community Members are very busy, and expect their elected officials to do the job of planning and administering the City. I believe everyone on this council truly has the community’s best interest at the heart of their decisions. However; there are people and groups that would like to skew the facts, so that we don’t see the truth, or that what they get is more beneficial to their pocketbook not the community as a whole.  - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

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Defend Alaska Against Foreign Corporate Interests By Dr. Al Gross - The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay is the epicenter of crony capitalism, and the poster child for what’s wrong with politics. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

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Funding Our School Budget to the Cap By Sidney Hartley - John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.” When we look at our Ketchikan School District, we need to be asking ourselves if we are breathing enough life into the future of our children. Last year, by no easy task, Ketchikan Education Association (KEA) successfully reached a negotiated agreement with the school board to provide Ketchikan educators with competitive pay and affordable health insurance. KEA’s effort to negotiate an agreement spanned three years, and required robust, committed meetings with an all too dismissive school board president and certain other board members. Amidst the advocacy and protest for the board to hear the concerns of our educators last summer, (then) school board president Shaw resigned in response to facing the recall petition I spearheaded, along with incredible support of eight other co-sponsors: Matt Hamilton, Austin Otos, Kevin Staples, Lindsey Johnson, Jackie Yates, Penny Johnson, Cassidy Patton, and Christine Furey. - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

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Vote Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor By Lance Twitchell - I am writing to endorse Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor. I trust her leadership completely, and feel she is by far the greatest candidate for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. She brings with her great patience, genuine interest to listen to people, an ability to find the middle ground between groups with differing interests, and a mindset that is inclusive and holistic. In this era of American politics, where issues are decided by the intentions of large special interest groups and political alliances, Alaska is in need of leadership that will take a close look at the issues before making a decision. Ms. Hartley is exactly the candidate that our state needs, and will bring good things to Ketchikan, especially in terms of sustainable tourism decisions, embracing language revitalization at a community level, protecting the stability and safety of schools, and making stronger moves to ensure environmental protection without harming the economy.   - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

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