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September 02, 2021

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Ketchikan Historical: 'People still have to eat'; A history of grocery stores in the First City By DAVE KIFFER - With the announcement, ealier this year, that Tatsuda's Supermarket would not reopen after a landslide destroyed its Stedman Street store last year, it not only marked the end of a century old local business, it also marked the first time in 130 years that Downtown Ketchikan would be without a grocery store.

The first store to sell groceries in "Ketchikan" was the pioneer store of Clark and Martin, in the late 1880s. George Clark and Mike Martin had the first store when Ketchikan was still a handful of shacks on Ketchikan Creek. And the nearby wharf they built helped turn Ketchikan into a permanent community.

By the 1910s, Ketchikan had numerous small grocery stores, as it spread out north and south from the Creek. Most only had had a handful of items, some specialized in meats, some in dairy, others in dry goods. Many came and went with the seasons, the names of most lost to history. Two prominent early stores that carried groceries and did last for several decades were Tongass Trading and J.R. Heckman's.

Tongass, which formed in 1898, was a true department store, and one of those departments was groceries. Between the Coast Guard base and the north end of town, out toward Sunny Point Cannery, there were an estimated 15 small stores selling groceries in Ketchikan by 1920. That number rose as the town population grew and the economy surged with the booming of the salmon canning industry in the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1937, the number of grocery stores in Ketchikan was pegged at more than 20. Why is that year important? That was the year that the biggest name in Ketchikan grocery history, Paul Wingren, opened his own store on Front Street with his brother Al.

When Paul Wingren retired from the grocery business in 1975, he sat down with Lew Williams Jr, of the Ketchikan Daily News and talked - at length - about how the grocery industry had changed since he arrived in Ketchikan in 1929.

Although Tongass and Heckman's had the larger grocery stores in the community, as did Forest Hunt, they were not like the giant, multi-aisled supermarkets of the modern day.

Paul Wingren came to Ketchikan in 1929 to work for United Groceries and Markets. He was transferred by the chain from its store in Mount Vernon, Washington. Two years later, Don Amour bought United Groceries. Amour also owned the Piggly Wiggly Stores in Ketchikan, Juneau and Petersburg.

In 1936, a fire destroyed the Zimmerman Building where the store was located. It was on the site of the current Reid Building in Downtown Ketchikan.

Wingren told the Daily News in 1975 that Amour wanted to retire rather than rebuild but building owner Wanda Zimmerman decided to rebuild and the Wingren brothers decided to open a new store in the new building. Al left to join Gaffney's Men's Wear a few years later, but Paul stayed in the grocery business until 1975. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

Alaska: Alaska House passes bill finalizing budget; Senate to consider Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - The Alaska House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that took the first step toward finalizing this year’s budget, including payment of an $1,100 Permanent Fund Dividend for every Alaskan. House Bill 3003 passed 24-to-16 with unanimous support from the Alaska House Coalition.

HB 3003 included a $2,350 PFD but on Tuesday, August 24th, the House Finance Committee amended the Bill to reduce the PFD to $1,100. The Bill was also amended to pay over $100 million in owed oil tax credits.

In August 2021, Governor Michael Dunleavy expanded the third special session and introduced a budget bill to provide for a $2,350 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) and fully fund Alaska’s student scholarship programs.This followed the release of the legislative Fiscal Policy Working Group’s report, and conversations between the Dunleavy administration and legislative leadership.

Dunlevy said at the time he introduced a budget bill in August, “Alaskans are still in recovery mode from the economic impacts of the pandemic. With this in mind, and following recent encouraging conversations with legislators, my administration has put forth a vehicle for the legislature to fund the PFD and student scholarships – two critical programs that directly impact Alaskans,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We recognize there may be other appropriations the legislature will consider as we work collaboratively to finalize the FY 22 budget in this special session; but I am committed to ensuring Alaskans get a fair share of their resource wealth.”

HB 3003 was moved out of the House Finance Committee on Wednesday, August 25th. After a lengthy amendment process, the Bill passed the House on Tuesday, August 31st. Some of the highlights of the appropriations Bill follows: 

  • Fully funds Alaska's student scholarship programs
  • $3.3 million to WWAMI Medical Education
  • $1.47 billion one-time transfer from the earnings reserve account to the CBR (Constitutional Budget Reserve)
  • $11.7 million to Alaska performance Scholarship Awards
  • $1,100 PFD

However, prior to the vote in the House, Governor Dunleavy Directed Immediate Funding of Student Scholarships, WWAMI Program, Other Critical Programs on August 26, 2021. In addition to HB 3003, there are several other bills introduced on new revenues and more. 

“Today’s outcome provides certainty to Alaskans after the dividend was vetoed earlier this summer that much-needed cash will land in their bank accounts this fall," Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) said.

Stutes said, "The dividend that found consensus is the most the state can afford to pay until Alaska's structural budget deficit is resolved, a task we remain committed to taking on in the months ahead.” - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

Alaska: Revenue Measures Introduced Would Raise Motor Fuel Tax and Decrease Oil & Gas Per Barrel Tax Credit - Yesterday, members of the Alaskaa Senate Democrats introduced two pieces of legislation to increase revenue for the state of Alaska. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on August 24, 2021, it was noted by the non-partisan Legislative Finance Division that Alaska faces a $285 million budget shortfall for Fiscal Year 2023, even after overdrawing from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account.

Sponsored by Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage), Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson (D-Anchorage), and Senator Donny Olson (D-Golovin), Senate Bill 3002 will increase the motor fuel tax from $0.08 per gallon – the lowest in the nation – to $0.16 per gallon, which would then rank Alaska 43 rd in the nation for its fuel tax. The bill would also decrease the oil and gas per barrel tax credit from $8 to $5, and close a loophole in Alaska’s corporate tax law by requiring highly profitable non-public companies to pay the current publicly traded corporation income tax rate of 9.4 percent. Combined, these revenue measures would begin generating approximately $250 million next per fiscal year for the state of Alaska, and would continue to grow at a steady rate.

Senator Begich and Senator Gray-Jackson also introduced Senate Bill 3003 accompanied by Senate Joint Resolution 302. The proposal prioritizes constitutionally obligated critical government services, including Power Cost Equalization; resolves the spending tensions between dividends and government spending, and provides for a minimum $1,200 sustainable dividend that will grow over time. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

NOAA Breaks Ground On Project To Rebuild Ketchikan Port Facility

NOAA Breaks Ground On Project To Rebuild Ketchikan Port Facility
Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Manager Ruben Duran; City of Saxman Mayor Frank Seludo; Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Sivertsen; Ketchikan Borough Mayor Rodney Dial; Director of the NOAA Acquisition and Grants Officee Jeff Thomas; Rear Adm. Nancy Hann, the Deputy Director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations; U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK); Senator Bert Stedman (R-District R); Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Don Graves; Randy Ruaro Chief of Staff to Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy and a Former Chief of Staff for Senator Bert Stedman; Tom Maloney CEO of Ahtna Infrastructure and Technologies LLC; and Deputy chief of the NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Pitts.
Photo courtesy NOAA

Ketchikan: NOAA Breaks Ground On Project To Rebuild Ketchikan Port Facility Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - Federal, state and local officials joined NOAA Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of a project to revitalize the agency’s port facility in Ketchikan, Alaska.

“Building back better with climate-resilient infrastructure is what this NOAA facility revitalization project is all about,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony.

Graves said, “The investment we are making in partnership with the state of Alaska will help ensure that NOAA can continue to support safe navigation and commerce in Alaska efficiently and effectively for years to come.”

NOAA awarded an $18.7 million contract in April 2021 to Alaska-based Ahtna Infrastructure & Technologies, LLC to make major improvements to the facility. Under the terms of the $18,771,041 contract, the Alaska-based company will make major improvements, including the construction of a new office building, large floating pier, steel access trestle, and updated power and water utility systems for servicing visiting ships. The project will begin with the removal of the existing pier and related structures.

Upon completion of the project, NOAA will have a fully functioning homeport in Alaska capable of supporting the Ketchikan-based NOAA Ship Fairweather and other visiting NOAA and government vessels. NOAA expects the project to be completed by December 2022. 

“This project is a major step forward in NOAA’s effort to recapitalize the agency’s fleet and supporting infrastructure,” said Rear Adm. Nancy Hann, deputy director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). “We look forward to serving Alaska and the nation from this greatly improved facility.”

The Ketchikan, Alaska, port facility became home in 2001 to the Fairweather and later the port was condemned after a failed 2008 inspection.

Since 2008, NOAA Ship Fairweather utilized Coast Guard Base Ketchikan for port calls, when necessary, while operating in Alaska and had also been operating out of NOAA’s marine operations center in Newport, Oregon.

The Ketchikan facility was a former fuel terminal, and Hall stated that this will be the first major renovation since 2004. The reason it has taken so long was purely financial.

“Until recently, NOAA has not had the funds available to make the necessary improvements to the facility,” reported Hall said.. “A recent change in federal law has allowed NOAA to accept state funds for this project. This combination of state and federal funds has made it possible to repair and improve the facility.”

NOAA Ship Fairweather maps the ocean to support safe navigation and commerce. Fairweather’s officers, technicians and scientists collect data that NOAA cartographers use to create and update the nation’s nautical charts with ever-increasing precision. In addition to supporting marine navigation, Fairweather’s data is also used for marine ecosystem studies, fisheries habitat mapping and ocean research. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

Xaad Kíl Birth Speaker K’ujúuhl  Jane (Adams) Kristovich Remembered

Xaad Kíl Birth Speaker K’ujúuhl  Jane (Adams) Kristovich
Photo Courtesy

Southeast Alaska: Xaad Kíl Birth Speaker K’ujúuhl  Jane (Adams) Kristovich Remembered - To honor the memory of Haida Elder K’ujúuhl Jane (Adams) Kristovich, who was one of the few remaining birth speakers of the Xaad Kíl Northern Haida dialect, Tlingit & Haida released a short film documenting her participation in the Xántsii Náay Immersion School graduation ceremony in Hydaburg, Alaska in May of 2021. The film was funded under Tlingit & Haida’s Cultural Heritage & Education department and documents K’ujúuhl giving Haida names to the Xántsii Náay students.

“It was a distinct honor to be in her presence and hear her wit and wisdom,” shared K'uyáang, Benjamin Young, Director of the Xántsii Náay Immersion School. “To experience her bold advice along with her kindness and humorous comments was absolutely grand. Her legacy will live on through the voices of our Haida children. They will carry her sarcasm, songs, stories, prayers, and the love she had for them in their hearts.”

K’ujúuhl, or Náanii Jane as she was fondly called by loved ones, joined her ancestors on August 18, 2021 at the age of 93. She was a treasured speaker who gave her time and knowledge to nurture new generations of Haida language learners and speakers through her involvement with language and dance groups, community events and even on film.

K’ujúuhl was born on December 12, 1927 in Masset, British Columbia. As a young girl, she placed herself among the Elders in her family in Masset to listen and learn her ancestral language. While living in Indiana later in life, she would narrate her chores and activities around the house to continue using the language.

K’ujúuhl was instrumental in numerous language documentation and revitalization efforts throughout her life. Most recently, she was involved in the “Increasing Fluency through Partnerships” project (2020-2021) supported by Tlingit & Haida, X̱ántsii Náay, and Sealaska Corporation. In 2019, her voice was featured in the documentary film, Now is the Time, directed by Christopher Auchter. In 2018, K’ujúuhl participated in the Sealaska Heritage Institute's Voices of our Ancestors Native Language Summit in Juneau, Alaska. During 2017, K’ujúuhl and her younger sister, world-renowned weaver Dr. Delores Churchill, acted in the monumental Canadian drama film, Edge of the Knife, co-directed by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown, the first film to be spoken entirely in X̱aad Kíl.

“As a language learner and teacher, and especially as a Haida, I feel the losses of master speakers and wisdom bearers Kwíigaay Í’waans Phyllis Almquist and K’ujúuhl Jane Kristovich,” shared Dr. X̱unei Lance Twitchell, Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast. “Their contributions to the life and health of X̱aad Kíl are beyond measure, and their absence creates a void that we all must rush to fill with efforts of embracing, learning, using, and creating space for the Haida language. I send my love to their families, and to the communities of speakers and learners.”

In her later years, K’ujúuhl lived in Washington where she became an active volunteer with Haida Roots, an Indigenous preservation, non-profit organization in the Seattle area. She shared her knowledge of the Haida language, cultural perspectives, traditions, and social structure and is captured on dozens of videos available on YouTube and Facebook sharing various phrases, stories and songs in Xaad Kíl. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, Thursday PM

SitNews Front Page Photo by CINDY BALZER

Herring Cove: Sitka Black-tailed Deer
SitNews Front Page Photo by CINDY BALZER ©2021
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Alaska: Governor Dunleavy Takes Immediate Action to Address Hospitalization Capacity and the Surge of COVID-19 - The surge of COVID-19 cases across Alaska is placing the state’s health care systems and emergency response at urgent risk. Recently, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy urged Alaskans to take immediate action to combat the virus as the state remains in the red zone, at the highest alert level. The current statewide alert is over 450 cases per 100,000 people. 

For boroughs and census areas, as of September 02, 2021, all boroughs in Alaska are in the high alert level.

Governor Dunleavy has directed the Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Law to work with the hospitals to address the hospital capacity constraints. These efforts include: 

• DCCED is expediting the process for licensed healthcare providers to work in licensed facilities. At the same time, DHSS is implementing an expedited background check process and waiver for licensed providers who are seeking to work in certain licensed facilities in Alaska, such as hospitals. This will aid in decreasing the time it takes to get new health care employees working in our communities.

• DHSS and DCCED are assessing General Services Administration (GSA) staffing contracts to temporarily support hospitals. This will aid in increasing staffing levels in our hospitals to care for all patients.

• DHSS and the Department of Law are evaluating the authorities in the public health order and seeking amendments as needed to support hospitals, including working with them on CMS 1135 waivers that allow for certain Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) flexibilities to expedite additional staffing at Alaska’s health care facilities. This would allow alternative care sites, urgent care sites and other areas of healthcare delivery to be more efficiently used to relieve pressure on the hospitals while still providing care. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

Southeast Alaska: SECURITIES COMPLAINT ALLEGES CONSTANTINE METAL RESOURCES’ STATEMENTS ABOUT ACCESS ROAD FOR ITS PALMER PRJECT AND HAINES PORT ARE MISLEADING AND NOT “FULL, TRUE AND PLAIN” - Three Alaska conservation organizations filed a complaint this week with securities regulators in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia alleging statements from Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. (CMR) in regard to its Palmer project near Haines, Alaska and the village of Klukwan are not “full, true and plain” and leave out material information, thus violating securities regulations. The complaint alleges CMR’s statements about road access and access to a port that can handle ore concentrates for ship transportation are not accurate or complete and mislead the public and investors. The complaint asks  securities commissions in the three provinces to direct CMR to fix the inaccurate disclosures to date and to ensure they are not repeated, and to also put CMR on the refiling and errors or default lists. 

“CMR has repeatedly claimed there is paved road access from the Palmer project to a port in Haines that can load ore concentrate for export. This is demonstrably false,” said Chris Zimmer of Rivers Without Borders. “There are no facilities in Haines to export ore concentrates, no ore terminal. About 12 miles of the project access road is an unpaved gravel road in poor shape that frequently washes out. It is very unlikely this is an innocent oversight by CMR; it seems much more an attempt to obfuscate and avoid admitting that the company does not have an economical and reliable way to export its product.”

Reliable road access and an export port are critical to the Palmer project, and neither exists. The Lutak Dock in Haines is unsafe and largely unusable. Discussion is underway as to how to replace the Lutak Dock, but any replacement is decades away. Part of the access route, the Porcupine Road, would need a significant and expensive upgrade for ore trucks. CMR has made no attempt to explain the costs, timeline and logistics of creating reliable road access and building an ore terminal. The company has also refused to answer questionsfrom the local community about the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Palmer project, despite a wide range of uncertainties and risks evident in the Assessment. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

August's Last Sunset or 2021
Photographed 14 miles North Tongass.
SitNews Front Page Photo by RACHELLE SPEIGHTS ©2021
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Alaska: Governor Dunleavy Directed Immediate Funding of Student Scholarships, WWAMI Program, Other Critical Programs By Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - Governor Mike Dunleavy recently directed his Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to implement the remaining outstanding appropriations passed in the FY22 state budget that were eventually subject to the reverse sweep. This directive brings certainly to a number of valid appropriations including the University of Alaska Performance Scholarship Awards ($11.7M) and the WWAMI Medical Education Program ($3.3M).

“Alaska’s students who worked hard and excelled and chose to stay in Alaska deserve stability in their university education. Performance scholarship recipients and WWAMI students can rest assured the funding for their secondary education is secure,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Governor Dunleavy’s decision came after his administration’s analysis on the recent court decision on the Power Cost Equalization Program and Endowment. The review, which included both the Alaska Department of Law and the Office of Management and Budget, determined the appropriations made in the general fund budget were enacted prior to the sweeping of funds into the Constitutional Budget Reserve, and therefore should be funded.  

The Governor’s direction to OMB was effective immediately.

The Interim University of Alaska President Pat Pitney in a prepared statement responded to the Governor's announcement.

Pitney wrote, "The University of Alaska appreciates Governor Dunleavy’s action to release $21.4 million in funding for the Alaska Performance Scholarship [APS], Alaska Education Grant [AEG] and the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho [WWAMI] Program. By recognizing the validity of FY22 budget appropriation this action provides certainty for UA’s universities and students."

"You’ll recall that in July, I announced the university would honor funding for these state scholarships and grants, by delaying receipt of payment from the state. My purpose for doing so was to ameliorate our students’ concerns about the outcome of the legislative special session. This action today assures stable year-long program funding," wrote Pitney. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

Alaska: Governor Dunleavy Amends Special Session Call to Accelerate COVID-19 Response - Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy expanded his special session to include two pieces of legislation that will strengthen the state’s ongoing response to the recent COVID surge.

Today, the Governor will transmit a new bill which will expand the use of telemedicine and telehealth services and provides additional tools to expand our health care workforce and enhance capacity within the state’s healthcare system to help respond to the recent surge in COVID-19. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021



Fish Factor: Alaska’s 2021 salmon harvest has blown past the forecast By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s 2021 salmon harvest has blown past the forecast and by August 27 had topped 201 million fish, well above the 190 million projected at the start of the season. 

The catch was bolstered by a surge of pink salmon to the three top producing regions: Prince William Sound, Southeast and Kodiak, combined with strong landings of sockeyes.

“Pink salmon runs are over 95% complete, based on average run timing. Effort drops off quickly this late in the season, so it is difficult to predict where that harvest will end up,” said Forrest Bowers, deputy director of the Commercial Fisheries Division at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.  “My guess is up to another half million late-run sockeye salmon and perhaps 10 million pink salmon will be harvested. If that occurs, we will end up with around 143 million pink salmon, 54 million sockeye, and 207 million total salmon harvested. 2021 could end up being the 6th largest sockeye and 6th or 7th largest pink salmon harvest on record.”

Pinks are the “bread and butter” catch for Alaska salmon fishermen and total landings were approaching 137 million, well above the 124 million projected for this season. 

At Prince William Sound, which had a catch forecast of about 25 million pinks, nearly 62 million had crossed the docks.

“Wild stocks are returning stronger than anticipated (to PWS) given the uncertainty about spawning success from the 2019 parent year which was negatively impacted by drought conditions,” said the weekly ADF&G inseason summary.

Southeast Alaska humpy landings had topped 40 million on a forecast of 28 million fish. At Kodiak, the pink harvest was on target to reach 22 million. The Alaska Peninsula also has had a strong catch nearing 11 million humpies.

The bigger catches combined with increased prices for all salmon will mean a nice payday for Alaska fishermen, well above the $295 million from the 2020 season.

Base prices for pinks were averaging $0.35/lb, up a nickel from last year when the catch totaled about $62 million. 

Sockeye base prices, which last year averaged just $.76/lb, were at $1.25 to fishermen at Bristol Bay, making that catch worth $231 million to fishermen. The value will increase substantially as bonuses and other prices adjustments are added in. 

Base prices for sockeyes at Kodiak were reported at $1.45-$1.50 and $1.75 at Southeast. 

For the other salmon species, chum catches had picked up and were nearing nine million on a forecast calling for 15.3 million. At Kodiak the base price for chums had doubled to $0.50/lb and nearly doubled to $0.85 at Southeast. 

Coho catches typically near their peak around this time and a statewide catch of 3.8 million is predicted. For Chinook salmon, the catch had topped 204,000 out of a projected 296,000 kings.

The Southeast fleet of 713 trollers was averaging $6.68/lb for Chinook ($74 per fish vs. $70.42 for a barrel of oil) compared to $5.07 last year. Troll-caught cohos were fetching a whopping $2.84/lb and $1.03 for chums, according to ADF&G. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021



CARL GOLDEN: REPORTERS DESERVE PRAISE FOR TOUGH COVERAGE OF BIDEN - At one point in his running, four-year war with the news media, former President Donald Trump referred to it as “the enemy of the people,” a remark which rightfully drew a cascade of denunciations from news organizations, academics, members of Congress and the punditocracy which inhabits cable television opinion studios.

The remark was needlessly provocative, inflammatory and profoundly stupid. It revealed the occupant of the highest elected office in the land and a leader of the free world as a petty, petulant, thin-skinned bully who sought refuge in insults and undisguised contempt for those who expressed views contrary to his.

Now, as President Joe Biden is reeling from an onslaught of criticism for his administration’s chaotic handling of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan, those who gleefully belabored Trump and stoutly defended the media have turned on it, complaining bitterly that news organizations have become obsessed with the unfolding debacle and have unfairly and incorrectly blamed the president.

In a clear-cut case of the warning “Live by the media, die by the media,” last year’s cheerleaders have become this year’s boo birds. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021


MICHAEL REGAN: THE TROUBLES WITH BIDEN’S BRAIN - Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York got a special Emmy last year for his nauseating daily pandemic press conferences.

So why shouldn’t President Biden win something this year from his Hollywood supporters for his series of wildly untrue Afghanistan speeches about the evacuation of Kabul?

How about something like a special Oscar for “Best Performance by a Confused American President in a Reality TV Series”?

Gov. Cuomo and his sickening ego had to step down, and his phony politically inspired award was revoked by the Emmy people because of the credible groping accusations by nearly a dozen young women who worked for him.

But unfortunately for our future, Biden continues to play the lead role in the Democrat Party’s long-running production of “The Decline and Fall of America.”

He’ll be reading his scripts from a teleprompter, refusing to take tough questions from journalists and pretending he truly believes the lies he’s saying for as long as his guardians think it’s safe to let him out of his basement. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021


FINANCIAL FOCUS: Start thinking about your retirement income plan Provided By BEN EDWARDS, AAMS® - If you’re getting close to retirement, you’re probably thinking about the ways your life will soon be changing. And one key transition involves your income – instead of being able to count on a regular paycheck, as you’ve done for decades, you’ll now need to put together an income stream on your own. How can you get started?

It’s helpful that you begin thinking about retirement income well before you actually retire. Many people don’t – in fact, 61% of retirees wish they had done better at planning for the financial aspects of their retirement, according to an Edward Jones/Age Wave study titled Retirement in the Time of Coronavirus: What a Difference a Year Makes.

Fortunately, there’s much you can do to create and manage your retirement income. Here are a few suggestions:

• Consider ways to boost income. As you approach retirement, you’ll want to explore ways of potentially boosting your income. Can you afford to delay taking Social Security so your monthly checks will be bigger? Can you increase your contributions to your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, including taking advantage of catch-up contributions if you’re age 50 or older? Should you consider adding products that can provide you with an income stream that can potentially last your lifetime? - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

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MONEY GRUBBERS By David G Hanger - Let’s start with a simple observation: I can sell $4 million worth of cars & trucks or $2 million of tourist trinkets and still only make $30,000 to $80,000 for myself. In actuality such a level of sales would represent $200,000 or so in salaries, so it becomes a question of distribution to employees and the number of employees retained that determines whether an owner-manager of such a business entity earns $30,000 or $80,000. Squeezing it more than that, you are fast into shoddy goods territory.

The main point: Gross sales income can be very high depending upon the cost of the product sold, but the net return on these types of operations is a few pennies on the dollar. The take-home pay in these operations is real ordinary, and sometimes much less so.

So a whole bunch of business operations here in Ketchikan have purportedly been compromised by the lack of cruise ship business, and the first go-round of Trump’s stimulus distributions I found quite objectionable because the majority got nothing at all; those connected or semi-connected to a group of some sort might have been able to snarf $50,000 to $150,000 (fishing groups primarily); and a handful of tourist outfits got hundreds of thousands of dollars, 80% to 90% of which went into owner-manager or family employee pockets.

At this point fishing groups thus supported got a more or less reasonable subsidy, while tourist entities in too many instances were awarded annual salaries three to five times what they make annually when they are actually working.

It gets even more curious the more closely we look. - More...
Thursday PM - September 02, 2021

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Our transboundary watersheds By Frederick Olsen, Jr  (K’yuuhlgáansii) - Sometimes a pause in the hustle is necessary.  

Our transboundary watersheds, the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers, that flow from Northwest British Columbia into Southeast Alaska, face an onslaught of too many industrial mining projects proposed for locations too close together to each other in far too sensitive areas. Those projects, and the way they are being approved without the consent or input of many of those who could be impacted, including Tribes and Southeast Alaskans, give many reasons for a pause in business as usual. - More...
Monday PM - August 23, 2021
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RE: The Front-Page Test By Tamela Cegelske - In response to Dan Bockhurst's opinion letter posted Aug 18 titled Front-Page Test.   Just my two cents but as someone who worked in local government in excess of 19 years I genuinely appreciated the honesty necessary in bringing these disclosures to our community.  I don't believe most taxpayers in the Borough knew that this type of activity existed locally and its is my belief that in bringing it to the attention of the general pubic a great service was provided.  We can not fix a US Government problem that has clearly gotten out of hand, without first starting on a local level.  The description Mr. Bockhorst provided in # 1. "Misuse of Public Resources"  immediately brought to my mind 'State of Alaska Conflict of Interest Laws', which I would allege certainly look to be purposefully, willfully, violated for what looks to be a n obvious personal gain. Mr. Bockhorst spoke to a second Manager's internal salary study saying: #2 "Study Used Different Standards and Procedures," as opposed to a previous - certainly contracted, consultant study which cost the Ketchikan tax payers $65,000 stating:  "It was heavily skewed" as it didn't take into account  benefits nor used the Manager's salary recommendations as presented in the tax payer paid consultants study. This made me immediately question who was involved in the "in-house" study, what if any, their possible gain could have been expected to be, if changes presented were suggested in any way or mandated changes to the paid study. How many hours were involved in the in-house study, at what dollar amount per hour and what were the totality of the costs for the second study to facilitate a proposed 23% increase to the Managers salary and a 20% increase in the Borough Manager's time off. The word malfeasance keeps flashes in my mind. While I am not personally alleging malfeasance, coercion, bribery, a misuse of public funds, or a violation of State Conflict of Interest or Ethics Laws, it to me already far exceeds what would be necessary to initiate a recall of an elected official  (I know I've been a part of one before.)   Certainly far past enough unexplained self edifying incidents to ask this Manager to step down from the his current position, of what should include accountability and community trust.  The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly hired  him to work for for the people of this community.  I allege what appears to have happened, has happened a lot to people in positions of trust and power.  At some point they take it upon themselves to enrich themselves - because they CAN! We The People were NOT looking, not watching, we trusted.  Unfortunately, We The People have been gullible and absent. We can no longer afford to be! - More...
Monday PM - August 23, 2021
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The Front-Page Test By Dan Bockhorst - The Front-Page Test is a simple way to consider whether an action is ethical. The test involves answering the following question: If I took a particular action, how would I feel if details were reported on the front page of the local newspaper? - More...
Saturday PM - August 14, 2021
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RE: Ketchikan Airport Ferry Service By Chris J. Herby - I am writing as a follow up to my previous letter regarding our problems with access to our airport. I really hope that our Borough Assembly will realize the problem we have and begin the process of fixing it. After all, assembly members are elected to deal with these types of problems as well as do long range planning to hopefully avoid similar problems in the future. - More...
Saturday PM - August 14, 2021
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Open Letter To Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Sullivan, Rep. Young, & Gov. Dunleavy By Michelle O’Brien, On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce - This letter is regarding Amendment 2186, filed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to the Senate's Infrastructure bill, which would require Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) for all commercial motor vehicles (CMV) designed to carry 9 to 15 passengers. - More...
Saturday PM - August 14, 2021

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CONFERENCE OF YOUNG ALASKANS By Austin Otos - I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2021 Conference of Young Alaskans (COYA) hosted by Alaska Municipal League (AML) in Fairbanks. 55 student delegates from around the State of Alaska traveled to Fairbanks to get a crash course in local government, resolution writing, and networking with other elected leaders from around the state. The conference was modeled off of the 55 delegates who crafted the Alaska State Constitution. The youth attendees crafted resolutions intended to be delivered to all mayors of Alaska. Each resolution focused on key issues that impact local government including: economic development, public safety, education, public utilities, energy, and public transportation. In order to craft the resolutions, the delegates were split into committees that focused on those core topics. After three days in committees the delegates crafted a resolution on each topic and presented it to the whole body to be voted on. This type of model is one of the more effective and traditional ways of lawmaking. The overall idea of the exercise was to show the delegates that it is more productive to divide tasks amongst members of a large governing body instead of getting bogged down in debate over the finer details. - More...
Saturday PM - August 14, 2021

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