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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
September 20, 2019

Front Page Feature Photo By Carl Thompson

Ketchikan Airport
A ferry ride from Ketchikan's Airport located on Gravina Island on
a recent sunny day. In the distance, a floatplane prepares to land.
Front Page Feature Photo By Carl Thompson ©2019

October 1, 2019
Ketchikan Local Election

Sample Ballots & Propositions

Email statements to
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
jpg Paul Robbins JR Paul Robbins, Jr.
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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Fish Factor: Upcoming Alaska meeting will provide first glimpse at potential 2021 catches of whitefish By LAINE WELCH - Federal stewards of Alaska’s fisheries will meet in Homer for the first time since 1983 as they continue their pursuit of involving more people in policy making. 

From September 30 to October 10, the Spit will be aswarm with entourages of the 15 member North Pacific Fishery Management Council  which oversees more than 25 stocks in waters from three to 200 miles offshore, the source of most of Alaska’s fish volumes. 

The NPFMC is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson-(Ted) Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 that booted foreign fleets to waters beyond 200 miles and “Americanized” the Bering Sea fisheries.

“The council certainly is interested in engaging more stakeholders, particularly from rural and Alaska Native communities, and by going to more coastal communities, it allows them more opportunity for input into the process,” said Dave Witherell, council executive director, adding that in recent years the council has expanded beyond Kodiak, Juneau and Sitka to convene in Nome and Dutch Harbor. 

At Homer, following the lead of the state Board of Fisheries, a first ever “Intro to the Council Process” workshop will be held to make the policy process less daunting. Witherell said that came at the suggestion of the council’s local engagement committee created in 2018.

“It’s quite a steep learning curve to understand all the ins and outs and goings on at a council meeting and what's written in our analyses,” Witherell said. “We're trying to open it up so that someone who may not follow or live and breathe the council process can still participate. We're trying to put it out there in plain language.”

Plain language is also what you’ll find on the revamped NPFMC website.  All postings of meeting agendas, document overviews, etc. are in a “conversational style” and have been consolidated in one place, said Maria Davis, council IT specialist.

 “Some of the topics are very complex so distilling them down into two or three sentences may not be exactly what is happening, but it gives them a large overview. Then you can read the analysis if you're really interested in a lot of the detail,” she said adding that searchable digital content is included back to 2014.

“It's so easy to find documents and it's so easy for the staff to upload their documents,” Davis said. “There's also a public comment portal where you can read comments and you can upload your comments for committee and council meetings under each agenda item. It’s very user friendly and you get a return email that says thank you, your comment has been received and council members and the general public can see it immediately. It's really been a game changer as far as accessibility for the public.”

The council members know that the topics they discuss and the decisions they make affect many who are not directly involved in fishing, Davis added.

“It’s also all the businesses where you live year round and the communities,” she said. “We want to hear from them and we want to make it easy and not intimidating.” 

The industry will get a first glimpse at potential 2021 catches of Alaska pollock, cod, sablefish, rockfish, flounders and other whitefish at the Homer meeting. - More...
Friday PM - September 20, 2019

Metlakatla: VA Funding of Metlakatla Veterans Cemetery Announced - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has awarded nearly $1.1 million in grant funding for the creation of a Veterans Cemetery in Metlakatla, Alaska.

This announcement is the culmination of cooperative work between U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Metlakatla leaders, and the VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA).

“We’ve been working toward this goal for years and it is a huge achievement for the entire Metlakatla community,” said Senator Sullivan

“Every American veteran, no matter where they live, deserves a resting place that commemorates their service and sacrifice to our country. I am incredibly pleased that funding is on the way so that our great veterans in Metlakatla will now have that place,” said Sullivan.

According to the VA, this grant will fund the construction of 48 standard burial gravesites, a flag assembly area, roadway, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure. The project will develop 2.5 acres, enabling the cemetery to provide service for approximately 1,600 Veterans and their eligible family members. 

Senator Sullivan and Metlakatla leadership – including former Mayor Audrey Hudson and current Mayor Karl Cook – worked with VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves to prioritize federal funding for the cemetery.

Reeves was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to serve as the 6th Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs and was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 8, 2017. - More...
Friday PM - September 20, 2019

US & Canada: New study finds US and Canada have lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the past 50 years - A study published yesterday in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological crisis according to the researchers. The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats -- from iconic songsters such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows and backyard birds including sparrows.

"Multiple, independent lines of evidence show a massive reduction in the abundance of birds," said Ken Rosenberg, the study's lead author and a senior scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy. "We expected to see continuing declines of threatened species. But for the first time, the results also showed pervasive losses among common birds across all habitats, including backyard birds."

The study notes that birds are indicators of environmental health, signaling that natural systems across the U.S. and Canada are now being so severely impacted by human activities that they no longer support the same robust wildlife populations. 

The findings showed that of nearly 3 billion birds lost, 90 percent belong to 12 bird families, including sparrows, warblers, finches, and swallows -- common, widespread species that play influential roles in food webs and ecosystem functioning, from seed dispersal to pest control. 

Among the steep declines noted:

  • Grassland birds are especially hard hit, with a 53 percent reduction in population -- more than 720 million birds -- since 1970. 
  • Shorebirds, most of which frequent sensitive coastal habitats, were already at dangerously low numbers and have lost more than one-third of their population.
  • The volume of spring migration, measured by radar in the night skies, has dropped by 14 percent in just the past decade.

"These data are consistent with what we're seeing elsewhere with other taxa showing massive declines, including insects and amphibians," said coauthor Peter Marra, senior scientist emeritus and former head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and now director of the Georgetown Environment Initiative at Georgetown University. "It's imperative to address immediate and ongoing threats, both because the domino effects can lead to the decay of ecosystems that humans depend on for our own health and livelihoods -- and because people all over the world cherish birds in their own right. Can you imagine a world without birdsong?"

Evidence for the declines emerged from detection of migratory birds in the air from 143 NEXRAD weather radar stations across the continent in a period spanning over 10 years, as well as from nearly 50 years of data collected through multiple monitoring efforts on the ground. 

"Citizen-science participants contributed critical scientific data to show the international scale of losses of birds," said coauthor John Sauer of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). "Our results also provide insights into actions we can take to reverse the declines." The analysis included citizen-science data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey coordinated by the USGS and the Canadian Wildlife Service -- the main sources of long-term, large-scale population data for North American birds --the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and Manomet's International Shorebird Survey.

Although the study did not analyze the causes of declines, it noted that the steep drop in North American birds parallels the losses of birds elsewhere in the world, suggesting multiple interacting causes that reduce breeding success and increase mortality. It noted that the largest factor driving these declines is likely the widespread loss and degradation of habitat, especially due to agricultural intensification and urbanization.  - More...
Friday PM - September 20, 2019

New tsunami map tool empowers Alaskans to plan for the worst

New tsunami map tool empowers Alaskans to plan for the worst
The city of Ketchikan is shown in the Alaska Tsunami Hazard Map Tool. The tool is a web-based map portal that displays potential tsunami hazard zones for settlements across Alaska. The red line represents the estimated maximum extend of tsunami flooding, while the colored portions represent estimated water depth.
Courtesy Alaska Earthquake Center


Alaska: New tsunami map tool empowers Alaskans to plan for the worst By FRITZ FREUDENBERBER - September is national preparedness month and, for many Alaskans, that means thinking about tsunamis.

With the most earthquakes and the longest coastline in the U.S., Alaska is the state most vulnerable to tsunamis. However, planning for natural disasters is difficult across a landscape peppered with communities only accessible by boat or seaplane.

The Alaska Earthquake Center’s new Alaska Tsunami Hazard Map Tool will help people plan for the worst. The tool, which went live this month, is an online map portal that displays potential tsunami hazard zones for settlements across Alaska.

“We have decades of top-notch research on what each community should, and should not, be worrying about in the next tsunami,” said Michael West, Alaska state seismologist and director of the earthquake center. “I am excited because this tool helps put that information in the palm of every Alaskan.”

Since 1998, the Alaska Earthquake Center, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, has been working in partnership with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys and the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to map tsunami inundation zones in coastal Alaska communities.

Maps were previously available as individual paper or digital documents, which could often be quite large. The new Alaska Tsunami Hazard Map Tool makes this information easier to access, especially for rural communities with limited internet connectivity.

“This is why I came to Alaska: to make something that actually helps people living in the danger zone,” said Elena Suleimani, a senior tsunami scientist ­with the project, who came to Alaska from Russia in 1993 to pursue a Ph.D. in tsunami science at UAF. “Finally, we made something for John Smith living in Valdez.”

The production of tsunami maps involves several stages. First, researchers develop hypothetical tsunami scenarios and create computer model simulations for each. Then they compare the results with historical tsunami observations. Based on these, they are able to calculate the maximum likely extent of flooding.

The final result is a map that shows the possible extent of tsunami flooding, or inundation. The possible depth of the water on dry land, or flow depth, is also calculated when enough data for the community is available.

In total, 55 communities are included in the tool. They were selected based on factors such as tsunami hazard exposure, location, infrastructure and availability of data. - More...
Friday PM - September 20, 2019

Alaska’s changes are many, and so fast

Alaska’s changes are many, and so fast
Worthington Glacier north of Valdez is among many in Alaska that are quickly transforming into ocean water.


Alaska: Alaska’s changes are many, and so fast By NED ROZELL - If you want to live in a place where nothing changes, don’t live in Alaska.

A gold miner once told me that. He was referring to new houses that would pop up on the hillside across the valley, but his words ring true regarding natural Alaska, where recent, measurable differences are enough to make you dizzy.

University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers took a few breaths recently to put together a new document. In it, they summarize what scientists have observed in this place that is changing faster than anywhere else in the U.S.

Rick Thoman and John Walsh of UAF’s International Arctic Research Center, with help from editor Heather McFarland, have created the 15-page “Alaska’s Changing Environment: Documenting Alaska’s Physical and Biological Changes Through Observations.”

Team members decided to avoid technical language, and to include no predictions for the future. Here’s part of their current state of the state:

Wildfire seasons with more than 1 million acres burned (black patches the size of Rhode Island) have increased by 50% since 1990.

Before 2004, Fairbanks residents experienced only one summer with more than three weeks of significant wildfire smoke. Since then, we have breathed in five such summers, including in 2019.

The earliest ice breakup in recorded history of the Tanana River at Nenana was on April 14, 2019. The previous earliest was April 20. Nine of the 10 earliest breakup days there have happened since the mid-1990s.

People in the village of Northway felt the sting of minus 30 degree F air about 40 days each year before 1960. In the last 10 years, Northway residents have experienced less than one month per year of such days.

Since 2014, thermometers from Ketchikan to Utqiagvik have recorded from five to 30 times more record highs than record lows. Homer has seen one of the most extreme percentages of record high temperatures since 2014, but all Alaska towns with enduring weather records have experienced way more record highs than lows. - More...
Friday PM - September 20, 2019



DAVE KIFFER: WELCOME TO THE TONGASS ZOO! - We are so totally missing out here!

The other day, I was walking along Park Avenue. In Ketchikan we like to be as obvious as possible. Therefore, we call the road that goes to City Park "Park Avenue." No confusion there.

Back when we had actual docks and not just tourist disembarkation points, we called one of the first streets that went perpendicular to the docks, "Dock Street."

The street that went by St. Agnes Mission was indeed "Mission Street."

The section of Tongass Avenue that passed by the Spruce Mill was "Mill Street." Then we - well not actually me, I wasn't around then - started naming things after people or places and it became a little more confusing, Especially Tongass Avenue which went from Tongass to Water to Front to Mill to Stedman before going back to Tongass again. Bet that really ticks off the Transit Trolls at Google Maps.

And how come Water Street doesn't actually go to the "water?" As a trestle, it does go over the water but not to the water. I suppose it should be called "Overwater Street." Or maybe just call it Trestle Street or just make it a continuation of Front Street.  Go figure. - More...
Saturday AM - September 21, 2019


DAVE KIFFER: The Three RCMs - With the recent passing of Francis Charles "Sonner" Murphy Jr, I can't help but ponder how he, his son and his father have all intersected with my life.

Actually, our family intersection with three Francis Charles Murphy's goes back before me. 

Yes, there was a before me. I had a uncle who once insisted that life did not exist before he did. When confronted with "history" he claimed that it was completely made up - Uncle Milt would have loved the phrase "Fake News."  Uncle Milt's simple response to anything that happened before him was "I wasn't there, so I don't believe that ever happened.:" He died a couple of decades ago. And life has continued on. Go figure.

But I digress.

The Murphys and the Kiffers were both old local fishing families, so they were certainly familiar with each other. As familiar, I guess, as seiners and trollers could be in those days. It wasn't quite like the Hatfield's and McCoys, but generally seiners and trollers didn't spend much time together and they really only agreed on thing. That gillnetters were idiots. So it goes.

But at one point my family lived not far from the Murphys. The Murphys had a young Irish setter that seemed - for reasons known only to it - to keep running off and ending up at our house. At some point, my Dad got tired of returning the dog and just kept it. I don't know if money exchanged hands or what, but we had an Irish setter that my Dad promptly named "Murphy." I think it was just a bonus that he enjoyed shouting ""@!#$&*!@#$&*!@# Murphy get the ~@!#*&~!*@#~!(@# back over here, you @~!#@!(*@#!@(*# dog" at the top of his lungs. - More...
Saturday AM - September 21, 2019

jpg Political Cartoon: Missing Birds

Political Cartoon: Missing Birds
By Pat Bagley ©2019, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Opinion

Vote Yes on Proposition 2 By Bob Sivertsen - The purpose of this letter is to encourage voters to ‘Vote Yes’ on Proposition 2 – a Revenue Bond for construction of KPU Telecommunications’ undersea fiber optic cable to Prince Rupert, BC - in the municipal election scheduled for October 1, 2019.

I encourage you to visit KPU’s webpage for a review of frequently asked questions/answers about the project and the Revenue Bond.

Notably, a Revenue Bond cannot and does not rely upon property taxes – Proposition 2 will not increase or otherwise have any impact upon property taxes.

Rather this $11.5 million infrastructure project that is designed to pay for itself via cost savings. Simply put, by owning its own cable, KPU will be able to stop ‘renting’ Internet capacity from a competitor, and will use the savings to make the annual bond-payments. - More...
Saturday AM - September 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

Ketchikan officials concerned over Ward Cove private cruise project By A.M. Johnson - Want to see a community greed opportunity?? You see it with the City of Ketchikan, my home town. Stay tuned as private enterprise provides these new docks and then after all the bitching by the city, they will begin the process of annexing the borough boundary from the current city limits to include not only the Ward Cove area, the new docks, but continue out to include Air Marine Harbor ending at Sunset Drive.

Unfortunately as the annexing of the Shore Line Drive area, those residents pay the high property tax and receive very little in return, save for fire protection, from a distance, like wise will be the new annexation having no direct benefits that would prove a positive as the fire protection is more readily available via those “Volunteer” fire personnel who live in the Ward Cove area. - More...
Saturday AM - September 21, 2019

jpg Opinion

Open Letter: Objections to Ward Cove Proposal By Cruin MacGriogair - To whom It May Concern: (Letter sent to Army Corps of Engineers)

I am writing as a resident of Ketchikan Gateway Borough, to notify you of my concerns and objections to the “Ward Cove Proposal” to build a large cruise ship dock in Ward Cove, North of Ketchikan, which would accommodate the largest cruise ships, with preferential docking for Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

Even though my own business (a small private tour company) will be undamaged, or possibly enriched, by this development, I object to this development on three grounds:

1. Economic Damage to Ketchikan.

2. Congestion and stress damage to Ketchikan's Infrastructure, and quality of life.

3.Environmental Damage to Ward Cove. - More...
Saturday AM - September 21, 2019

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. - 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. - 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.  - 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. - 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. - 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

jpg Opinion

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

jpg Opinion

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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