Kevin Kristovich Candidate for Ketchikan City Council - October 04, 2022

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September 13, 2022

Fisherman Hooks the Pot of Gold!
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arrow COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – September 14, 2022Reporting data for September 7-13, 2022
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW – 1,494 new cases -  26 newly reported deaths -  66 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 12; Juneau 54; Metlakatla 11; Petersburg 3; Sitka 23; Wrangell 1; Haines 2; Hoonah_Angoon & Yakutat 3.
arrow COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – September 7, 2022
Reporting data for August 31 - September 6, 2022
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW – 1,391 new cases - 0 newly reported deaths - 62 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 11; KGB 2; Metlakatla 3; Juneau 44; Sitka 23; Skagway 3; Wrangell 2; Hoonah-Angoon & Yakutat 5.
s COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – August 31, 2022
Reporting data for August 24-30, 2022 (Link will be provided when report available online)
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW – 1,988 new cases - 0 newly reported deaths - 80 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 9; KGB 3; Juneau 66; Metlakatla 2; Craig 2; Haines 9; Hoonah, Angoon & Yakutat combined 4; Petersburg 2; Sitka 11; POW-Hyder 2; Skagway 2; Wrangell 11.
arrowCOVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – August 24, 2022
Reporting data for August 17-23, 2022
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW – 2,435 new cases - 8 newly reported deaths - 78 hospitalizations
A male resident of Ketchikan age 80+ was counted among the 8 newly reported Alaska deaths.
Ketchikan 23; Juneau 70; Haines 2; Craig 1; Metlakatla 4; Petersburg 1; POW - Hyder 2; Sitka 22; Skagway 7; Wrangell 4.
arrow COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – August 17, 2022
Reporting data for August 10-16, 2022
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW: – 2,103 new cases - 0 newly reported deaths - 86 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 10; Juneau 68; Metlakatla 9; Petersburg 2; POW-Hyder 3; Sitka 18; Wrangell 4; Haines 8
arrow COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – August 10, 2022
Reporting data for August 3 - 9, 2022
STATEWIDE OVERVIEW – 2,553 new cases - 21 newly reported deaths - 65 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 21; Juneau 52; Haines 18; Metlakatla 1; Sitka 39; Skagway 3; Wrangell 11; Petersburg 4; POW_Hyder 5
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Southeast Alaska: A Big Win for the Metlakatla Community Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - On September 08, 2022, the Nineth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Alaska District Court’s dismissal, for failure to state a claim, of the Metlakatlan Indian Community’s suit against Alaskan officials, claiming that an 1891 statute granted the Community and its members the right to fish in the off-reservation waters where they had traditionally fished and that they, therefore, were not subject to an Alaska statute’s limited entry program for commercial fishing in waters designated as Districts 1 and 2.

The 1891 Act established the Annette Islands Reserve as the Community’s reservation. The panel held that the 1891 Act also granted to the Community and its members a non- exclusive right to fish in the off-reservation waters where they had traditionally fished.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that the Metlakatlans’ reservation extends 3,000 feet from the shoreline of the Annette Islands, and that the Metlakatlans have an exclusive right to fish within the reservation boundaries (the “Proclamation”). After the Proclamation, the Metlakatlans continued to fish, as they always had, both in the waters immediately surrounding the islands and in waters far from the islands’ shores. In subsequent years, courts, federal agencies, and the Territory of Alaska acknowledged with approval that the Metlakatlans fished in their traditional off-reservation waters.

In 1972, Alaska amended its constitution to authorize the State to restrict the entry of new participants into commercial fisheries in state waters. Pursuant to the amendment, Alaska enacted a statute creating a limited entry program for commercial fishing. In 2020, in response to the Alaska’s attempt to subject the Metlakatlans to its limited entry program, the Community sued Alaskan officials in federal district court. The Community contended that the 1891 Act grants to the Community and its members the right to fish in the off-reservation waters where Community members have traditionally fished. The Alaska District Court disagreed, holding that the Act provides no such right.

The Ninth District Court's panel applied the Indian canon of construction, which required it to construe the 1891 Act liberally in favor of the Community and to infer rights that supported the purpose of the reservation.

In Alaska Pac. Fisheries v. United States, 248 U.S. 78 (1918), the Supreme Court inferred a fishing right from the 1891 Act. At issue was the scope of that right. The panel concluded that a central purpose of the reservation, understood in light of the history of the Community, was that the Metlakatlans would continue to support themselves by fishing. The panel therefore held that the 1891 Act preserved for the Community and its members an implied right to non-exclusive off- reservation fishing for personal consumption and ceremonial METLAKATLA INDIAN COMMUNITY V. DUNLEAVY 3 purposes, as well as for commercial purposes, within Alaska’s Districts 1 and 2, which encompassed waters included in the traditional fishing grounds of the Metlakatlans. The panel reversed the decision of the Alaska District Court and remanded for further proceedings.

The Nineth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the 1891 Act reserves for the Metlakatlan Indian Community an implied right to non-exclusive off- reservation fishing in the areas where they have fished since time immemorial and where they continued to fish in 1891 when their reservation was established. The appeals court reversed the decision of the district court and remanded for further proceedings consistent with appeals court's opinion. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Alaska: 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend Hits a Record $3,284.00 - Governor Mike Dunleavy announced Thursday that the 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend will be $3284.00. That makes this year’s dividend the largest in the program’s 41-year history. Alaskans who selected direct deposit on their application will receive their dividend beginning Tuesday, September 20. All other applications and disbursement methods that have been determined by September 28, including applicants receiving a paper check, will be distributed starting the week of October 6.

Governor Mike Dunleavy decided to release this year’s PFD early so Alaskans can receive sorely needed economic relief from runaway inflation. The amount was announced at the Three Bears Alaska store in Palmer. The Governor was joined by Miranda Wagoner, a young mother who counts on the PFD to make ends meet and fund her children’s education.

“I know that there is a lot of politics and debate around the PFD, but to me this isn’t a political issue,” said Alaskan Miranda Wagoner. “For me personally, it’s important that I receive my PFD because it’s the law, and it will help me and my children move forward.”

The 2022 PFD will inject $2.1 billion into the state’s economy. For small business owners, it means a welcome spike in economic activity for the remainder of the year.

“Infusions of cash into the local economy will always be a boon to small businesses. From families buying heating fuel for the winter, to completing back-to-school shopping for their kids, shopping early for the holidays, or making those large purchases they put off all summer, locally owned businesses statewide benefit when Alaskans have PFD money in their pockets,” said Jessica Viera, executive director, Wasilla Chamber of Commerce. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Alaska: Alaska Online Checkbook Act Becomes Law; Creates a Database for Public Transparency of all State Finances - The Alaska Online Checkbook Act became law recently. Last legislative session, Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), passed unanimously in both chambers of the legislature. Senate Bill 25 establishes a searchable online database so the public can easily view details on state government spending and revenues. 

A House companion bill was sponsored by Representative George Rauscher (R - Sutton). Senate Bill 25 received bipartisan support from twenty-nine members of the House and Senate who signed on as co-sponsors and was strongly urged for passage by organizations like the Alaska Public Interest Research Group and Americans for Prosperity - Alaska. Governor Dunleavy did not sign or veto the bill, so under a timeframe set by the Alaska Constitution, it became law automatically without his signature.

In 2019, the Frontier Group, an organization that provides information and ideas to help citizens build a cleaner, healthier, and more democratic America, ranked Alaska 45th in the nation, issuing Alaska an “F” grade on making public finance data readily available to the public. ” - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Alaska: Governor's Veto Rejects 35% Tax Rate on Vaping Products - On Thursday, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy vetoed Senate Bill 45, a bill that would have expanded the excise tax on non-cigarette tobacco products to include e-cigarettes. The bill would have established a 35% tax rate on vaping products. There is currently no tax on e-cigarettes in Alaska.

The Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) commended Governor Dunleavy for defending taxpayers in Alaska while improving public health in the process.

Tim Andrews, ATR’s Director of Consumer Issues, said “Governor Dunleavy’s decision to veto this bill is a huge relief to Alaskans who rely on vaping products to stay away from deadly combustible cigarettes.”

“Rejecting the tax hike will also make it easier for those who currently smoke to achieve cessation using vapor products. We know that many people who smoke cigarettes are low-income. Raising the price of a product proven to be 95% safer than smoking and the most effective way to get smokers to quit would have been unconscionable. Governor Dunleavy veto was necessary and highly appropriate,” said Andrews. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Ketchikan Regular Election Oct. 04, 2022 - Tuesday
Early & In-Person Absentee Voting
Begins September 19, 2022

Ketchikan Borough Mayor - 3 Year Term (One Seat Open)
Rodney Dial

Rodney Dial
Filed 08/01/22

Candidate's Statement

Katie Jo Parrott
Filed 08/22/22


Ketchikan Borough Assembly - 3 Year Term (2 Seats Open)
jpg Austin Otos

Austin Otos
Filed 08/01/22

Candidate's Statement

jpg Joshua Titus

Filed 08/17/22

Candidate's Statement

Michael Iann Martin
Filed 08/17/22


Glen Thompson Filed 08/19/22


Ketchikan School Board - 3 Year Term (2 Seats Open)
jpg Tom Heutte

Tom Heutte Filed 08/02/22

Candidate's Statement

jpg Melissa O'Brien

Melissa O'Brien
Filed 08/19/22

Candidate's Statement

jpg Robb Arnold

Robb Arnold
Filed 08/24/22

Candidate's Statement

Ginger yeil atoowu McCormick
Filed 8/25/22


Ketchikan City Council - 3 Year Term (2 Seats Open)
jpg Lallette Kistler

Lallette Kistler
Filed 08/01/22

Candidate's Statement 09/07/22


Mark Flora
Filed 08/10/22

Candidate's Statement

jpg Dion Booth

Dion Booth
Filed 08/18/22

Candidate's Statement

jpg Kevin Kristovich

Kevin Kristovich Filed 08/24/22

Candidate's Statement

Jamie King Filed 08/25/22


Amy Williams
Filed 08/25/22


Ketchikan City Council - One Year Term (1 Seat Available)
jpg Jack Finnegan

Jack Finnegan
Filed: 08/22/22

Candidate's Statement

Dave Timmerman Filed 08/24/22


jpg Christopher Cumings

Christopher Cumings
Filed 08/25/22

Candidate's Statement

Proposition 1: Assembly Representation - All qualified Borough voters will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1.
(A ballot proposition regarding Assembly representation is required following each decennial federal census. More specifically, State law requires the Borough Assembly to submit to the voters every ten years, one or more plans for the manner in which the Assembly will be elected.) Shall the present form of assembly representation whereby all members of the assembly are elected at-large by the qualified voters of the borough be retained?

Proposition 2: Nonareawide Library Powers - Proposition 2 will be submitted to the nonareawide Borough voters (voters registered outside the City of Ketchikan and the City of Saxman), registered in the North Tongass 1, North Tongass 2, and South Tongass precincts.
(The Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s nonareawide library powers were adopted through voter approval in 1985. Resolution 2956- CI proposes to repeal the nonareawide library powers. If this proposition is approved, the effective date of the repeal would be January 1, 2024. Shall the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s adoption of nonareawide library powers be repealed, as proposed in Resolution 2956-CI?) Currently property is taxed at .7mil. The library tax is included annual property taxes paid.

Download the Voter Information Pamphlet for the October 04, 2022 KGB Election- Includes sample ballots, propositions, voting precincts and more information.

Printed ballots for inspection for the October 4, 2022 election will be available September 14, 2022. 

KGB Election Information Click Here
City of Ketchikan Election Info Click Here

60 years later, 'Ernie's frogs' are still croaking

60 years later, 'Ernie's frogs' are still croaking; Local man flew a bucket of frogs north from Seattle
Frog Pond


Ketchikan: 60 years later, 'Ernie's frogs' are still croaking; Local man flew a bucket of frogs north from Seattle By DAVE KIFFER -  Alaskans have been known to occasionally try to improve upon the nature around them.

Sometimes that involves introducing animal species that are not native to the area. Although the Alaska Department of Fish and Game usually frowns upon efforts to introduce non-native populations, it does happen.

For example, the goats that populate the mountains around Deer Mountain are actually transplants, brought in from elsewhere years ago. There were also two attempts in past decades to establish an elk population on Gravina Island but neither was successful. On the other hand, the elk population on Zarembo Island near Wrangell was brought in from elsewhere.

One of the most noteworthy times an introduction happened has resulted in generations of Ketchikan residents enjoying the songs of the only colony of tree frogs in the state at the so-called "frog ponds" along the old road to Ward Lake.

At certain times during the year, frog song lovers can pull into the frog pond parking lot - now the end of the old road, which has been turned into a trail that continues to Ward Lake, and hear the frogs croaking away, primarily during the spring mating season.

Thirty years ago, government scientists took an interest in why this singular colony of chorus frogs - also sometimes called tree frogs -- had taken root in Ketchikan and nowhere else in Alaska. It was surmised that the frogs had possibly hitched a ride on logs floating north from Canada or the Pacific Northwest.

Turned out the frogs had indeed come north.

But in a much more comfortable fashion, 62 years ago.

In June of 1992, the Ketchikan Daily News ran a story in which a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife, Brad Norman, noted that the only population of Pacific Tree Frogs in Alaska was located at the frog ponds.

Norman told the Daily News that it was possible that the frogs had traveled north on timber barges or log rafts and then "jumped ship" at Ward Cove and had moved inland and populated the two ponds. He said they were clearly "distinct" from the area's normal amphibians, the western toad and the rough-skinned newt.

That story caused long-time local resident Ernie DeBoer to "fess up" and explain just how the tree frogs had arrived in Ketchikan. He brought them.

DeBoer, a 75-year Ketchikan resident who last year celebrated his 100 th birthday at the Ketchikan Pioneer's Home, saw the article in the Daily News and called the newspaper. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

UAS to receive $2.3 million dollars to support Mariculture workforce development

USS to receive $2.3 million dollars to support Mariculture workforce development
Assistant Professor Angie Bowers collects sorus tissue from fertile bullkelp with student Julie Sorrells to create seeded lines for outplanting in Sitka Sound.

Southeast Alaska: UAS to receive $2.3 million dollars to support Mariculture workforce development - The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will be receiving $2.3 million dollars to support its mariculture workforce development program operated through the Applied Fisheries program at UAS. On September 2nd President Biden announced the 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, this includes $49 million for Southeast Conference and the Alaska Mariculture Cluster, of which, UAS will receive $2.3 Million to support its growing mariculture program and workforce development in this emerging industry.

The Applied Fisheries program at UAS has been teaching courses in Aquaculture for over a decade and has taught specific courses focused on mariculture for the last 5 years. The UAS Applied Fisheries program is based out of UAS’s Sitka campus and is a workforce training program focused on getting students jobs in Fisheries Management, Aquaculture, Mariculture, and Science Diving.

The implementation of this grant will allow the Applied Fisheries Program to grow the mariculture specific elements of its fisheries programing, including, hiring a Mariculture specific faculty position to further develop and teach mariculture curriculum, hiring a marketing and recruitment specialist to promote courses and programming, and hiring a mariculture technician, dedicated to taking care of the various kelp, shellfish, and other invertebrate species to be cultivated. In addition, this grant will support the acquisition of a climate controlled growth chamber facilitating spawning of various algal and kelp species as well as the development of a commercial kitchen to test, develop, and refine mariculture products for human consumption. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Alaska: Indigenous dancers in blue jeans; Discovery of oil, Indigenous dance, and two different paths to tradition taken in Alaska - Upon hearing a tambourine drum, villagers on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea in the Arctic hurry to the community hall. Dressed in jeans and T-shirts, they begin to dance, accompanied by drummers’ vocables singing.

In the local Yupik language, the traditional dance event is called ‘atuq,’ and it can happen spontaneously at any time of the day. Dancing on St. Lawrence Island is part of everyday life. Villagers grew up with atuq and learned it without formal instruction.

Over 1,000 km away—but still in Alaska—Iñupiat in Utqiaġvik also perform Indigenous dances, though the setting could not be more different. Learned through formal training as “Barrow Dancers,” they present their well-coordinated dances in Indigenous style of uniformed regalia on special occasions like heritage festivals.

Professor Hiroko Ikuta, an anthropologist at Kyushu University’s International Student Center, lived among these two maritime Indigenous communities in Alaska from 2005 and 2007 to explore the ways in which Indigenous dance occupies a special place in the lives of Alaskan Natives and why it appears in such contrasting ways in the two communities.

“I knew that tradition is always defined in the present in relation to the past. But I was wondering why different groups of people choose different aspects of culture as their tradition, and what they mean by tradition,” says Ikuta.

After two decades of living in Alaska, Ikuta has come to understand that an important traditional value Indigenous peoples perpetuate through dance is sociability.

“As long as dancing completes the task of caring for each other and attending to the wisdom of the Elders, be it ‘atuq’ on St. Lawrence Island or ‘Eskimo dance’ by the Iñupiat Barrow Dancers, both are tradition. From the Indigenous point of view, what matters is what these dances accomplish and not how they accomplish it.” - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Global fish stocks can’t rebuild if nothing done to halt climate change and overfishing, new study suggests

Global fish stocks can’t rebuild if nothing done to halt climate change and overfishing, new study suggests
School of Fish
Photo by Hiroko Yoshii on Unsplash
Courtesy Uni. British Columbia


Fisheries: Global fish stocks can’t rebuild if nothing done to halt climate change and overfishing, new study suggests - Global fish stocks will not be able to recover to sustainable levels without strong actions to mitigate climate change, a new study has projected.

Researchers at UBC, the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions and University of Bern projected the impact that different global temperature increases and ranges of fishing activity would have on biomass, or the amount of fish by weight in a given area, from 1950 to 2100. Their simulations suggest that climate change has reduced fish stocks in 103 of 226 marine regions studied, including Canada, from their historical levels. These stocks will struggle to rebuild their numbers under projected global warming levels in the 21st century.

"More conservation-oriented fisheries management is essential to rebuild over-exploited fish stocks under climate change. However, that alone is not enough," says lead author Dr. William Cheung, professor in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF). "Climate mitigation is important for our fish stock rebuilding plans to be effective."

The research team, including co- author Dr. Colette Wabnitz of Stanford Centre for Ocean Solutions, used computer models to find out the climate change levels at which over-exploited fish stocks cannot rebuild. Currently, the world is on track to exceed 1.5 degrees of warming relative to preindustrial levels and approach two degrees in the next few decades, says Dr. Cheung.

The study projected that, on average, when fisheries management focuses on the highest sustainable catch per year, the additional climate impacts on fish at 1.8 degrees Celsius warming would see fish stocks unable to rebuild themselves.

If people around the world fished only three quarters of the annual highest sustainable catch, fish stocks would be unable to rebuild at a higher degree of warming, 4.5 degrees.

"Tropical ecoregions in Asia, the Pacific, South America and Africa are experiencing declining fish populations as species both move further north to cooler waters and are also unable to recover due to fishing demands," said Dr. Cheung. "These regions are the ones that feel the effects of global warming first and our study shows that even a slight increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius could have a catastrophic effect on tropical nations that are dependent on fisheries for food and nutrition security, revenue, and employment."

In a worst-case scenario, where nothing is done to mitigate global warming, including meeting internationally agreed targets, and where overfishing beyond sustainable targets occurs, fish stocks globally would drop to 36 per cent of current levels, the study projects. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

An attempt to demystify the mysterious

An attempt to demystify the mysterious
During a recent open house, visitors walk their dogs beneath an antenna field at the HAARP facility.


Alaska Science: An attempt to demystify the mysterious By NED ROZELL - In this wild place where dump truck drivers once tipped load after load of gravel onto the moss to make roads and building pads, scientists rolled open an iron gate one recent Saturday afternoon.

They invited in conspiracy theorists, reality-TV hosts and salmon fishermen from Chistochina to the grounds of a mysterious antenna field. It’s a facility that some claim has caused caribou to walk backward. It has been rumored to activate earthquakes, and to hold human souls in a sort of northern purgatory.

Scientists were a bit to blame for all the allegations of weirdness out here between the Copper and Gakona rivers. First off, they used an acronym to name it — HAARP, which stands for High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program.

That acronym added to the mystery of a field of antennas that can heat a region of space far above our heads with radio waves powered by five powerful diesel generators, each the size of a fuel truck. 

The science of studying a region we can’t see by perturbing it with enough electricity to power a small city — located in a place where wolves and bears pad without a sound across its few gravel roads — is hard to wrap your head around.

A few people really understand HAARP, though. They were standing on those smoothed piles of gravel that Saturday when the foreboding metal gate clicked open.

My former boss Sue Mitchell (now retired) initiated this “open house” a few years ago. She was there again in 2022, greeting people at the first table of the first building visitors walked into. I asked her why.

“So we could be as transparent and open as possible,” she said. “Throw open the gate, and show people what’s here.”

When she worked at the Geophysical Institute, Mitchell took the considerable hit of answering phone calls about the HAARP facility. She had no answers for people who were sure the antenna field was somehow controlling their minds.

“My hope has been by showing people what really goes on, the facts will speak for themselves,” she said. “That doesn’t always work. People sometimes make decisions emotionally, not always based on the facts.” - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

Columns - Commentary


jpg Dave Kiffer

DAVE KIFFER: Collecting was definitely in the cards! - A few days ago, my wife, Char, asked me if I have any Mickey Mantle baseball cards.

That was an interesting question.

 It's not like she takes much interest in baseball cards, except of course when I go through one of my little splurges and some suspiciously small packages arrive in the mail. Then she wonders just how much I have spent yet again and just what is in that little shoe box where I keep the best of the best of my collection.

Overall, I have more than 10,000 baseball cards, but, natch, most of them aren't worth squat. Most came into my possession between 1967 and 1975ish. Back when I was an adolescent with way too much disposal income and very limited interests beyond baseball cards. But more on that later. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Carl Golden

CARL GOLDEN: BIDEN’S ABRUPT CHANGE ON TRUMP ATTACK LINE - It took some time, but the Democratic Party establishment finally recognized what had become apparent to most of the political universe many months ago – If the congressional midterm elections became a referendum on the Biden administration, defeat and the loss of both houses of Congress was inevitable.

Their solution? Go hard negative. Mount an attack on former president Donald Trump, change the narrative from a referendum to a choice, focus on the potential for a government controlled by radical fringe elements and portray it as an existential threat to democracy.

Biden bought into the strategy, convinced that Trump was too inviting a target to pass up and Republican congressional candidates would be vulnerable if tied to him.

The new approach debuted when Biden characterized the Republican Party as “semi fascists,” a term that, for most people, conjures up images of Hitler and the Nazi party. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022


TAYLOR KOVAR: Ask Taylor: Any Quick Credit Fix Options? By Taylor J Kovar, CFP® - Hey Money Couple - Is it possible to improve my credit score in a hurry? I’m trying to get a small loan but only have so-so credit, and wondering if I can get it up by 100-150 points in a few months or if it’ll take years and years and I should give up on the loan. Thanks!

Hey Esteban - It’s definitely possible. It all depends on what’s currently affecting your credit score and how many tools you have at your disposal. I’ll throw out some credit score tricks, and you can see if any of them work for you.

1. Credit utilization. This is probably the biggest thing under your control, and it refers to the balances on your current cards/other loans that report to credit bureaus. Essentially, you want your credit use to be no higher than 10 percent of your total limit (and ideally less than 7 percent for credit score purposes). If you can get those balances down, you can see your score jump up in just a month. Probably not a full 100 points, but the credit-to-debt ratio is a huge factor when it comes to your FICO score. Aside from making big payments to lower those balances, you can also request higher limits on your credit cards to put the ratio more in your favor.  - More...
Tuesday - Sept


FINANCIAL FOCUS: When should you adjust your investment mix? Provided By BEN EDWARDS, AAMS® - There are no shortcuts to investment success – you need to establish a long-term strategy and stick with it. This means that you’ll want to create an investment mix based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon – and then regularly review this mix to ensure it’s still meeting your needs.

In fact, investing for the long term doesn’t necessarily mean you should lock your investments in forever. Throughout your life, you'll likely need to make some changes.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and there’s no prescribed formula of when and how you should adjust your investments. But some possibilities may be worth considering. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022


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Front Page Archives
& Letter Archives
July 2022 - Sept. 2022
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jpg Opinion

Ketchikan Deserves to Know the Truth By Dan Bockhorst - The Pew Research Center reports that 64% of adults in America say it’s “hard to tell the difference between what is true and not true when they hear elected officials.”

One borough official claims, “there have been no tax rate increases for borough government” for six years.

That’s not true. Just last year, the assembly increased the property tax mill rate. This year, the tax was kept at the elevated rate. Consequently, the borough will collect an additional $630,000 in taxes from homeowners, businesses, and other property owners.

Further, sales taxes were added to big-ticket items costing between $1,000 and $2,000 such as cars, appliances, boat motors, heat pumps, furnaces, and furniture. The lucrative excise tax on cigarettes was also extended. Additionally, the assembly enacted a tax on internet sales. It also imposed a so-called “special sales tax” on marijuana.

Further, the assembly drained millions of dollars from the education fund reserves. Deficit spending, such as occurred here, is just another form of taxation. Now that reserves are depleted, one assembly member is pushing for a $1.2 million annual tax for education.

Borough assessment rolls swelled by $225 million. The borough upped the taxable value of the average home by more than $37,500. Yet, there was no corresponding reduction in property tax rates. Just the opposite, the impact of the rise in the taxable value of homes and businesses was compounded by the tax-rate hike noted above. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

jpg Opinion

Upcoming Ketchikan School Board Election, Choose Carefully Our Children's Future Depends On It By Charles and Debi White - It is with great hope and a clear vision, an awareness of the problems adolescents face today, that we endorse Robb Arnold for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District School Board. Robb has this vision and awareness, he has an honest pragmatic, and hopeful insight into our community's educational problems, acquired by his willingness to examine issues and listen closely to the public's questions and concerns. Robb will be a strong and vibrant advocate for our children and young adults. Robb will advocate for a recruitment plan that will assure our children have a qualified, richly diverse staff of teachers and administrators, to support expanded professional development; to advocate for increased accountability of administrators and teachers that will help close the minority achievement gap, well providing an efficient monitoring of district programs and services for all our children. Robb will work to strengthen the engagement of parents, students, community, leaders, and stakeholders in helping address the challenges facing our school district. Robb is a long time resident of Ketchikan married with a daughter in Jr. High School. Robb is employed by the State of Alaska as a Chief Purser on the Alaska Ferry Marine Highway System. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

jpg Opinion

APFC Keeps Steady Keel During Turbulent Year By Chair Craig Richards, APFC Board of Trustees - As the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation’s Board gathers in Anchorage this week for the annual meeting, the Trustees would like to update Alaskans on the status of the Alaska Permanent Fund, the outstanding job our staff has done in these turbulent times, and our search for a new executive director.

FY2022 was a challenging year for all investors. Persistent market volatility and some of the highest levels of inflation the Fund has ever encountered reinforced the importance of the long- term investment perspective of the portfolio. Our primary mission continues to be ensuring that the assets of the Fund are safeguarded and well-positioned to maximize risk-adjusted returns over a long horizon.

APFC was able to protect the value of the Principal in FY2022 and generate substantial realized revenues for Alaskans, even as it posted a -1.32% total rate of return. Many peer funds didn’t fare as well through the market volatility. The peer comparison benchmark returned -3.24%; APFC beat that by 1.92%. Further success is provided in the comparison to the passive benchmark that the Fund outperformed by 13.32% through APFC’s diligent management. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

jpg Opinion

The Ketchikan Elections By David G Hanger - Well, the soap opera that is the Dallas Cowboys came to a conclusion Sunday night, morphing in to the ‘Mike McCarthy Retirement Tour.’ Oh yawn. (Look yonder in San Diego’s way the pundits say.) That soap opera concluded let us at least to the prelims of our local annual soap opera add a touch of ginger and spice.

Borough Mayor: “College Boy” started his elective career by insulting and degrading all college men and women and all of the parents and grandparents who financed them by claiming college credibility on the basis of a few courses at the local community college. A gun nut, suffering from one of the worst cases of SDS I have ever seen, he puffs up three weeks wandering around the Panamanian jungle, and uses his very short military career as a wedge to impress, not understanding that service is all that matters; it is the simple, manly thing to do; and so many of his predecessors who had so much more to claim never collectively tooted their horns to the degree this clown does. Religion to him is a foundation for hate, indeed appears to be all that religion is to him, a means to separate them from him and the other anointed. He hates gays and clearly believes they do not have equal rights before God, man, or the law. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

jpg Opinion

Ketchikan library funding By A. M. Johnson - Regarding the upcoming election regarding funding the Ketchikan library with borough taxes, in following the submitted letters to the other news outlet, one would assume the issue is the reluctances of borough residents to fund the library with library levies which is a misnomer. And a misleading message to unsuspected taxpayers, particularly those of recent residence, say 10-15 years in time.

I, a lifelong resident, remember the struggle back when the issue of funding with borough funds a topic and the issue was debated with great heat and emotion. The funding side was successful,peace was obtained following many years of satisfaction with the dust settled.

Coming to the issue today is of a different animal, reflecting in multiply color, the tearing of the social fabric of the community reflected by the similar actions across the nation. How we as a community discuss and vote on this issue will reflect as well, the ability of a community to be rational and respectful in the disagreement of the debate/vote.

Across the nation, elected folks of all political stripe have taken to a very discouraging process of ignoring the field of debate for character assassination of the opposite side creating a red herring attack rather than debate or state a belief for a position to defend. - More...
Thursday PM - September 15, 2022

jpg Opinion

Vote NO on Proposition 2 By Barbara L Bigelow - As a long-standing member of the Ketchikan Borough this letter is in support of our Library.

My reading career started and was enhanced by a kind librarian who suggested books for me as an 8-year-old child. It is hard to imagine a reputable community without a library for all its citizens. Libraries enrich us, compel us to read and supports our communities. The Ketchikan Public Library has so many programs and offerings for its citizens. There are many positive attributes of community, including housing, arts, open spaces, recreation, good schools, jobs, and yes libraries. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

Never again. By Susie Dotson - Former Governor Bill Walker started confiscating our statuary PFD AS 43.23.025 in 2015 with his bill SB26. The Permanent Fund Dividend formula has not been used since 2015 but remains a law under AS 43.23.025. In 2016 he vetoed half of the $2,083.00 statuary PFD to only pay $1,022.00 to each Alaskan. Bill Walker became the first governor in the history of the state to veto a portion of the annual dividend owed to Alaskans.

The Legislature learned from him that they could get away with confiscating the PFD. Some of the Legislators that voted for SB26, like Burt Stedman and Dan Ortiz, are still in office and need to be voted out. The Legislature passed a very different formula in 2018 that constitutes a conceptual change to the state's fiscal system. Before 2018, the only uses for the Permanent Fund's earnings in significant amounts were to pay Dividends from the ERA and to inflation-proof the Permanent Fund principal. The bills transferring the PFD to the POMV in 2018 removed the PFD from the ERA. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

Is this what you really want? By Heidi Ekstrand - On October 4, borough voters in only three precincts outside of the Ketchikan and Saxman city limits (two precincts north and one south) will be given the chance to slash 45% of the Ketchikan library’s budget.

Ballot Proposition 2 is designed to end borough funding for the library.

In a memo to the City Council for its Sept. 1 meeting, the Library Director described services and programs that could be cut if this ballot proposition passes. Some of them include: - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

Vote NO on Proposition 2 By Janalee Gage - The city operates Ketchikan's public library, but since half of the population and all the school districts fall under the borough instead of the city, the borough covers about 40% of the public library's budget via a small non-areawide tax that is .7 mil from our property tax.

The proponents are pushing this as "cutting taxes" and "defending Conservative values," but voters must understand that if they do approve the initiative, it will not reduce our taxes. Instead, it would be undesignated, and still come out of your property tax.

What would be impacted if Prop 2 passes: - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

The Jewel in the Rock By Bridgit Stearns - Embedded in our island community there is a jewel, our Public Library. It holds a rich and valuable trove of materials that are available to everyone who lives in the Borough, whether town or “out the road”, north or south. Library staff are another part of its treasure. They are a dedicated group who have the knowledge and expertise to maintain and refresh the collection, to help library users find needed materials, to troubleshoot computer problems, develop a busy schedule of programming for all ages, to provide library service to the homebound, and to help instill a love of reading in the youngest users. They make the library a place that is welcoming to all. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

Support Our Library Vote NO on Proposition 2 By Kathy Flora - Leaving the library the other day, I realized trips to the library for fifty years were never simply about picking up reading material. They were about talking with the staff knowing their names, and them knowing mine. It was about running into neighbors, hearing the laughter of children’s voices during story time. Browsing the new book shelf, taking a moment to look out at the breathtaking views from our library.

The people in our community depend on our library not only for books, but also for computers, internet access, and a safe, warm, accepting, accessible space. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

jpg Opinion

The Tank (A Labor Day Story) By Rodney Dial - On a Saturday morning in August 2010, I was working at our family business Alaska Ink when I received a call that two Hoonah Police Officers had been shot. My day job was the Deputy Commander of the Troopers in SE Alaska and my responsibilities were to manage Trooper Patrol functions in SE Alaska. - More...
Sunday - September 04, 2022

jpg Opinion

Ketchikan Library Issue & Academic Goals By A. M. Johnson "Grade School is for learning reading, writing, math, not cross-dressing, breast augmentation and castrations.".... Auth unknown.

In light of the current library issue, the above statement is anticipated reflection of liberal bent education professionals (not all) for fads, trends and "Current Research" anticipated, if not already manifesting locally, or soon, to be, left unchecked.  - More...
Sunday - September 04, 2022

jpg Opinion

Open Letter to Ketchikan City Council By John Harrington - O see that the Library Initiative is on your agenda. I also assume that the request for funding will pass in some form. Given that it is on the agenda it is open for some related amendments. - More...
Saturday - September 03, 2022

jpg Opinion

Open Letter to Ketchikan City Council By John Harrington - It is good to see the Borough Initiative has been addressed by the Acting City Manager, it gives me the opportunity to address the issues. - More...
Saturday - September 03, 2022

jpg Opinion

It's Time For A Change; Time For Mike Sheldon By Susie Dotson - Bert Stedman is out of sync with the times. He got into the office when we still thought oil could save us, and for a time it did. He found his place as finance committee chair, doling out the money back when we had money. Now that we're broke, he has no interest in finding a new way forward but only in finding a new source of money to continue his power. He's taking our PFDs to do it.. - More....
Sunday - August 28, 2022

jpg Opinion

Tom Heutte for Ketchikan School Board By Bridget Mattson - first met Tom Heutte the night I was appointed to fill a one year term seat on the school board in the fall of 2018. I had run and come in fourth in the October election for three open seats. The board had an immediate open seat for appointment following the election. Mr. Heutte also applied for the appointment and he was chosen to interview prior to my turn. Mr. Heutte told the board that the hundreds of voters who had chosen me should be respected and he withdrew from consideration to allow for my immediate appointment.  - More...
Sunday - August 28, 2022

jpg Opinion

In defiance against the Binding Caucus; My vote is for Jeremy Bynum By Susie Dotson For many years both the Alaska Senate and House of Representatives have employed the rule of a Binding Caucus on the majority caucus in both houses. Only in this last election cycle did we witness the Senate breaking away from a Binding Caucus and organizing under what they called a "Caucus of Equals" where individual senate members were allowed to "vote their conscience" regarding the final budget. - More...
Sunday - August 28, 2022

jpg Opinion

Idea for Local Use Lumber Program By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Our timber industry has been an integral part of Southeast for generations. Like many people, the timber industry directly impacted my life: I worked for the Ketchikan Pulp Mill during summers and a short stint in the late 1970s, which helped pay for my college education. - More....
Sunday - August 28, 2022

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