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September 28, 2022

The steamship era lasted a century; If you wanted to come to Alaska, Alaska Steamship was the way

The steamship era lasted a century; If you wanted to come to Alaska, Alaska Steamship was the way
Steamship Ketchikan, Later Called Nizina
Eureka (1899-1937), a steel-hulled freighter built in Ohio was purchased by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company in 1907 and sold to the Alaska Steamship Company in 1916 and renamed SS Ketchikan and later Nizina.
She was scraped in 1937.
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COVID-19 DATA SUMMARY – September 28, 2022
Reporting data for September 21-27, 2022
OVERVIEW – 800 new cases - 0 newly reported deaths - 34 hospitalizations
Ketchikan 8; Juneau 55; Metlakatla 1; Petersburg 3; Sitka 10; POW 1; Skagway 4; Wrangell 2, Haines 3
arrowCOVID-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.
arrowCOVID-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.
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Historical: The steamship era lasted a century; If you wanted to come to Alaska, Alaska Steamship was the way By DAVE KIFFER ) - On September 29, 1922, the SS Ketchikan left the dock at the Port Althorp Cannery on Chichagof Island west of Juneau near the mouth of Glacier Bay with a load of more than 3,000 tons of salmon and herring.

The Ketchikan - a 250-foot Alaska Steamship company vessel - was headed with its cargo for Puget Sound, but it didn't get very far. Just outside of the Port Althorp harbor, the ship ran into a large iceberg that had floated down from the north. The ship began taking on water and the 30-member crew managed to beach the ship in nearby Pinta Bay. The holes were repaired, and the ship went on its way. None of the 30 crew members on board were injured.

But the story made the New York Times on September 30, 1922.

It was barely a decade after the sinking of the Titanic and any time a ship hit an iceberg, it was still pretty big news, no matter how minor the scraping.

The 2373-ton SS Ketchikan had been part of the ASC fleet since 1916, according to information in the Alaska State Museum on the history of the Alaska Steamship Company.  Originally the ship was built in Washington state in 1898 to take advantage of the sudden need for larger ships to handle Gold Rush era traffic to Alaska. It was called the Eureka until Alaska Steamship bought in and renamed it the Ketchikan. In 1926, the Ketchikan was renamed the Nizina and continued to serve until 1937, when she was scrapped.

And that's just about all we know about the SS Ketchikan.  Fortunately, there is a much bigger story to tell about the Alaska Steamship Company, which was the primary way that goods and people came and went from Alaska for much of the early 20th Century.

After the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, the US government immediately began subsidizing monthly boat service into the newly acquired territory. Initially, ships traveled between Portland Oregon and Sitka and also made occasional stops in Wrangell, which was the only other “established” community in the region. 

The primary service was to deliver the mail. Some of the ships also stopped at Fort Tongass, the brief military port post that was established on Tongass Island near the southern Alaska border with Canada.

An early visitor on one of those steamships was none other than William Henry Seward who visited the Alaska territory in 1869 on the ship, The Active, shortly after resigning as Secretary of State. Seward gave a speech in Sitka in which he promoted the idea of an eventual Alaskan statehood and he also visited Fort Tongass. Seward had been the prime mover in the US acquisition of Alaska and he made the trip north even though he was in poor health and would die not long after he returned from his Alaskan trip. 

For the first two decades of Alaska service, the mail was handled by a revolving number of smaller ship lines. That changed in 1881 when the Pacific Coast Steamship Company of San Francisco took over the mail contract 

The Pacific Coast Steamship Company brought several familiar steamers intro the region including the Eureka (a different ship than the one that became the SS Ketchikan), the Idaho and sidewheeler, the Ancon, which would famously sink near Loring in 1889.

With the development of the cannery at Loring in the early 1880s, the Ancon particularly became a familiar site in "Tongass Narrows" it approached Loring. Soon,"Tongass Narrows" or sometimes just "Tongass" was listed as an "as needed" stop on the PCSC schedule, even though there was no community yet in the area around a large salmon stream called - appropriately enough - Fish Creek. By 1887, the first cannery was operating in "Tongass Narrows" and ships were stopping to drop off supplies or passengers.  - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

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Alaska: New economic report: AIDEA’s “investments” are politically-driven gambles that have lost Alaskans billions. Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN - An in-depth new report prepared for SalmonState analyzing the Alaska Industrial Export and Development Authority’s (AIDEA’s) costs shows that AIDEA’s project decisions are more politically driven, losing gambles than they are investments. AIDEA has not only mostly failed to create jobs or wisely invest state funds, it has cost Alaskans $10 billion over the years — a figure that equates to $27,842.74 per hour according to SalmonState.

The 126 page report, AIDEA – Cost and Financial Performance — A Long, Hard Look, by Alaska economists Milt Barker and Gregg Erickson, is bolstered by the information in the spring 2022  Alaska Megaprojects Update (30 pages) by economist Ginny Fay. 

Milt Barker has worked as a fiscal, financial, and economic analyst in Juneau, Alaska since 1971 — first as staff for the Alaska State Legislature, Legislative Finance Division, then as Deputy Commissioner for Treasury, for the Alaska Department of Revenue, and subsequently as a consultant. While head of the State Treasury, Barker served on the Board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, as the Commissioner of Revenue’s designee.

Gregg Erickson is an economic consultant with offices in Juneau and Bend, Oregon. A graduate of West Anchorage High School, Erickson is a former staff member at the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and a former Research Fellow with Resources for the Future in Washington, DC. He formerly served as the Alaska Legislature’s Director of Research, as senior economist in the Office of the Governor, and headed the state’s restoration efforts following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1991 he co-founded the Alaska Budget Report, an award- winning weekly newsletter. Erickson frequently testifies as an expert witness, and in 2018 was elected to the board of the American Academy of Economic and Financial Experts.

“This report makes clear that AIDEA is hemorrhaging Alaskans’ money — which, instead of benefiting Alaskan communities, is lining the pockets of the rich and powerful overseas,” said SalmonState executive director Tim Bristol.

Bristol said, “Alaskans are dealing with inflation, can’t figure out how to get their kids to school, and are looking at a cold, expensive winter. Meanwhile, AIDEA is pushing through even more bad ideas that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s time to invest in Alaskans — not AIDEA’s politically-driven gambles.”

“AIDEA’s investments in projects are more likely to cost rather than make money,” said economist and report author Milt Barker.

Barker said, “Projects lost money in 17 of the 35 years since AIDEA’s first project, $233.3 million in net losses.  There is adverse selection going on here.  The risky and undercapitalized projects come to AIDEA.  Good projects go to the bank.  Undercapitalization is a prime culprit in AIDEA’s latest failure, the Mustang oil project.” 

“AIDEA’s money comes from the same pot used for anything else in Alaska: law enforcement, the university, school funding, road maintenance, social services, and PFDs,” said Rick Halford, a Republican who served as president of the Alaska Senate. “Any of those uses would be better than throwing it away on AIDEA, an entity whose performance can be characterized in three ways: loss, waste and giveaways.”

“AIDEA’s project decision-making has been fundamentally flawed," said economist and report co-author Gregg Erickson. “The agency generously subsidized schemes that were losers from the outset. The bankrupt Mustang oil project is a sad example. Ironically, AIDEA also provided assistance to other projects that would have moved ahead anyway; Red Dog mining  is the poster child for a would-have-happened-anyhow project.”

 “AIDEA is subsidizing the giveaway of Alaska’s resources away to foreign multinational corporations and nonresident workers,” said economist Ginny Fay. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

Ketchikan Regular Election Oct. 04, 2022 - Tuesday
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Ketchikan Borough Mayor - 3 Year Term (One Seat Open)
Rodney Dial

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Katie Jo
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Austin Otos
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Michael Iann Martin
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As per City Clerk, name will still appear on ballot due to withdrawing after official deadline.

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Jack Finnegan
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Alaska: Steven Downs Sentenced to 75 Years for Sophie Sergie's Murder 29 Years Ago - Twenty-nine years after he was a freshman living in the dorms at the University of Alaska Fairbanks,Steven H. Downs was sentenced to 75 years in prison for sexually assaulting and murdering 20-year-old Sophie Sergie in 1993.

In sentencing Downs on Monday in the Rabinowitz Courthouse in Fairbanks, Superior Court Judge Thomas Temple noted that there was nothing the Court could do to restore the harm caused by Downs’ actions. In his sentencing remarks, Judge Temple commented that Sergie’s life was taken by Mr. Downs’ senseless act and noted Downs gave zero regard to her autonomy as a person, to her value of life, and pointed out that she is forever gone because of Downs’ callous choice. Judge Temple commented that in addition to taking Sophie from the world, Downs robbed her family of their ability to love her, experience life with her, to continue time on earth with her. 

For nearly three decades after Sergie’s murder, there were no suspects in the cold case. A DNA sample taken from Sergie’s body was put into a national DNA database, but did not match another profile in the database. But in 2017, a new investigative method linking DNA technology and genetic research was used to solve a murder case in California. Alaska State Troopers first used this same methodology in 2018, when they submitted the unknown sample from Sergie’s body for genetic genealogy analysis. 

This analysis identified Downs as a possible suspect based on a connection to an aunt who had uploaded her profile to an open-source genealogy website. Investigation confirmed that at the time of the murder, Downs was attending UAF and living in the dorm where Sergie was murdered. When interviewed in 2019, Downs denied having ever met or come into contact with Sergie. Downs was arrested in February 2019, when his DNA was definitively linked by traditional DNA comparison to the DNA sample collected decades ago on Sergie’s body. Downs was extradited from Maine where he worked as a nurse.

Sergie was from the Native village of Pitkas Point in western Alaska. Sergie was a UAF student who had taken the semester off. She returned to Fairbanks for an orthodontics appointment and was staying at a friend’s dorm room on a girls-only floor of Bartlett Hall. In the early hours of April 26, 1993, Sergie left her friend’s second floor room for a late-night smoke; the next afternoon, she was found dead in a bathtub in the women’s bathroom on the second floor. Evidence showed that Sergie had been sexually assaulted, stabbed multiple times on her face and shot in the back of the head at close range. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

Alaska: Retired Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya to Lead MMIP Efforts - Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya has returned to the Alaska Department of Public Safety to lead the department's Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative. Investigator Piscoya will lead the department's outreach efforts for the MMIP initiative and will assist the Alaska Bureau of Investigation with both active and cold case murder and missing person cases involving Alaska Natives. Investigator Piscoya will take over the role of MMIP Investigator from retired Alaska State Trooper Anne Sears who decided to return to retirement. 

"I am happy to see that Investigator Piscoya has returned to state service to lead the State of Alaska's efforts on outreach and investigations surrounding Alaska's Indigenous persons," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "Public safety is my administration's number one priority, and I know that Investigator Piscoya will continue to lead our MMIP initiative in a positive direction." 

Investigator Lonny Piscoya is a lifelong Alaskan who was born in Nome, where he grew up. He joined the ranks of the Alaska State Troopers in 1993; during his storied career, he patrolled in Fairbanks, Galena, Interior Alaska, Southeast Alaska, and Ketchikan. He worked as a post supervisor, AST Tactical Dive Team member, and detachment deputy commander over his 25-year law enforcement career. Piscoya retired from state service in 2018. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

Southeast Alaska: USDA Awards $33m Grant for Klukwan-Skagway Fiber Project - Alaska Telephone Company (ATC), a subsidiary of Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T), has been selected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to receive a $33,017,636 grant award from USDA Rural Utility Service’s ReConnect grant program to expand fiber optic connectivity in rural southeast Alaska. Alaska Telephone Company will invest $11,005,879 in matching funds. The “Klukwan- Skagway Fiber” project will develop fiber optic networks capable of 100 Mbps symmetrical service and higher for in the Alaska Native community of Klukwan, rural areas near Haines, and underserved areas of Skagway. This joint investment by ATC and USDA will bring new, highly affordable, technology-driven opportunities to families and businesses throughout the region.

AP&T estimates that initial construction may begin in 2023, depending on the timing of permitting and environmental approvals. Construction will be a multi-year process, with completion projected for 2028. The project utilizes existing right-of-way and previously disturbed areas, minimizing its environmental footprint and impacts.

Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson, stated: “I am excited about this project and the impact that it will have on our remote communities in Southeast Alaska. In the last three years, the pandemic has shown us how remote our communities really are. By closing that connectivity gap, we are providing more opportunities for our youth, employment opportunities for citizens, and unlimited potential of growth for our tribes and village corporations.” - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


Alaska: Murkowski Announces Federal Grants Heading to Alaska - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the following grants to organizations, Tribal entities, and communities in Alaska:

Southeast Alaska:

Ketchikan: $599,033 to Women in Safe Homes Inc. from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women for legal assistance for victims.

Ketchikan: $221,624 to Ketchikan Public Utilities from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project. 

Hoonah: $33,110 to Inside Passage Electric Cooperative from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Gartina Falls Hydroelectric Project. 

Hoonah: $250,000 to the Hoonah Indian Association from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program. 

Sitka: $566,745 to the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for commercial fishing occupational safety training. 

Sitka: $611,123 to the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for commercial fishing occupational safety training in the west coast.

Sitka: $125,000 to Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services, Inc. from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for drug free communities, supporting noncompeting continuation. 

Sitka: $250,000 to Youth Advocates of Sitka from the Administration for Children and Families for social science research. 

Sitka: $19,748 to Benjamin Lawrie from the Rural Energy for America Program for installation of an energy-efficient freezer on the commercial fishing vessel Mindalina. 

Petersburg: $8 million to the Petersburg Medical Center in Congressionally Directed Spending, secured by Senator Murkowski, for the construction of a new hospital.

Wrangell: $200,000 to Wrangell Cooperative Association from the Indian Health Services for domestic violence prevention. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

Why whales don’t get brain damage when they swim

Humpback Whales
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash


Whales: Why whales don’t get brain damage when they swim - Special blood vessels in whale brains may protect them from pulses, caused by swimming, in their blood that would damage the brain, new UBC research has suggested.

There are many theories as to the exact use of these networks of blood vessels cradling a whale’s brain and spine, known as ‘retia mirabilia’, or ‘wonderful net’, but now UBC zoologists believe they’ve solved the mystery, with computer modeling backing their predictions.

Land mammals such as horses experience ‘pulses’ in their blood when galloping, where blood pressures inside the body go up and down on every stride. In a new study, lead author Dr. Margo Lillie and her team have suggested for the first time that the same phenomenon occurs in marine mammals that swim with dorso-ventral movements; in other words, whales. And, they may have found out just why whales avoid long-term damage to the brain for this.

In all mammals, average blood pressure is higher in arteries, or the blood exiting the heart, than in veins. This difference in pressure drives the blood flow in the body, including through the brain, says Dr. Lillie, a research associate emerita in the UBC department of zoology. However, locomotion can forcefully move blood, causing spikes in pressure, or ‘pulses’ to the brain. The difference in pressure between the blood entering and exiting the brain for these pulses can cause damage.

Long-term damage of this kind can lead to dementia in human beings, says Dr. Lillie. But while horses deal with the pulses by breathing in and out, whales hold their breath when diving and swimming. “So if cetaceans can’t use their respiratory system to moderate pressure pulses, they must have found another way to deal with the problem,” says Dr. Lillie.

Dr. Lillie and colleagues theorized that the retia use a ‘pulse-transfer’ mechanism to ensure there is no difference in blood pressure in the cetacean’s brain during movement, on top of the average difference. Essentially, rather than dampening the pulses that occur in the blood, the retia transfer the pulse in the arterial blood entering the brain to the venous blood exiting, keeping the same ‘amplitude’ or strength of pulse, and so, avoiding any difference in pressure in the brain itself. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

Columns - Commentary



JOE GUZZARDI: GOP PINS HOPES ON ‘COMMITMENT TO AMERICA' - With seven weeks remaining before the 2022 midterm election, Republicans and Democrats have drawn their battle lines and staked out what each party considers their opponents’ political vulnerabilities.

Last week, the Republicans released what it called a “Commitment to America” that included many oft-made, unfulfilled promises to its base. GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and fellow Republicans Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik vowed to fund border enforcement, end catch-and-release and mandate E-Verify, the online program that confirms whether a newly hired employee is legally authorized to work in the U.S.

President Biden swiftly rebutted. Speaking to the teachers’ union in Philadelphia, Biden called the “Commitment to America” thin gruel, and chided McCarthy for omitting references to issues that, in his view, voters most care about like a woman’s right to choose, Medicare, Social Security, gun violence and LGBT discrimination. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


PETER ROFF: AMERICA SHOULDN’T HAND ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP TO CHINA - Globalization has its benefits but, after COVID, it might be time to consider just how much of America’s economic activity we want to continue to share with other countries.

Is it too much to ask to have safeguards put in place so that American firms employing American workers reap the benefits of cutting-edge technologies developed in America using American taxpayer dollars?

Is that protectionist? Some free-market purists probably will say it is. For the rest of us, the idea the government spends our money to develop technologies that could change the world for the better and then lets other countries like China commercialize them makes us wonder whether the folks in Washington are working for us or against us. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


TOM PURCELL: HEY, CONGRESS, STOP FIDDLING WITH OUR CLOCKS - With the “fall back” clock change coming soon, one thing makes me especially grumpy and confused.

Last March, the Senate passed a bill that would make daylight saving time a year-round standard and end the “fall back” and “spring forward” clock changes that make Americans even groggier and crabbier than we usually are.

But the bill has not advanced.

Daylight saving time (DST), which ends Nov. 6, has been agitating me every fall and spring for my entire life.

First tried for seven months in 1918, says wikipedia, DST was used for a full year for the first time during World War II. It was used again in 1973 in a bid to reduce energy usage because of an oil embargo, then repealed a year later. - More....
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should you stick with index-based investments? Provided By BEN EDWARDS, AAMS® - You may have heard that you can simplify your investment strategy just by owning index-based or passive investments. But is this a good idea? You’ll want to consider the different aspects of this type of investment style.

To begin with, an index-based investment is a vehicle such as a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that mimics the performance of a market benchmark, or index — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and so on. (An ETF is similar to a mutual fund in that it holds a variety of investments but differs in that it is traded like a common stock.) You can also invest in index funds that track the bond market.

Index investing does offer some benefits. Most notably, it’s a buy-and-hold strategy, which is typically more effective than a market-timing approach, in which individuals try to buy investments when their prices are down and sell them when the prices rise. Attempts to time the market this way are usually futile because nobody can really predict when high and low points will be reached. Plus, the very act of constantly buying and selling investments can generate commissions and fees, which can lower your overall rate of return. Thus, index investing generally involves lower fees and is considered more tax efficient than a more active investing style. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


TAYLOR KOVAR: Ask Taylor: Are There Non-Financial Retirement Pitfalls? By Taylor J Kovar, CFP® - Hey Taylor - My wife and I are retiring early next year, and though we feel like our finances are adequately prepared, I’m not sure we are mentally. I know you have worked with many retirees, so I’d love to get your thoughts on some other things we should consider before taking this big step.

Hey Richard – Congratulations on your quickly approaching retirement! First off, let me put your mind at ease; there is no blueprint that you have to follow to have the perfect retirement. Everyone’s retirement looks different, and the important thing is to enjoy the things you have worked so hard for! With that in mind, here are a few things to consider that you may not have seen elsewhere: - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022


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Defunding Means Defunding By Ghert Abbott - The vocal supporters of Proposition 2 would very much like us to believe that the ballot proposition which legally defunds the library, which was explicitly written by its authors to defund the library, and which is supposedly necessitated by a moral imperative to defund the library…will not actually defund the library.

Mr. Harrington for example writes in his KDN letter of September 22nd:

The City and Borough will probably find an avenue to fund the library should this measure pass. - More...
Sunday - October 02, 2022

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Dial for Ketchikan Borough Mayor By Sharyl E. Yeisley - I wanted to take the opportunity to express my continued support for Rodney Dial in our upcoming local election, October 4th. Over the years, I personally watched Mr. Dial in our community raising his children, providing support to locals, and protecting our community in law enforcement. He treats others with dignity and respect. Mr. Dial has the experience we need for Borough Mayor, with six years of local elected experience and many more working for the State legislature.

Mr. Dial continues to advocate for the protection of our constitutional rights. He is concerned about private businesses and other issues important to our community when the government wants to overreach, impose mandates, or create hardships. He is willing to listen, meet you where you are at, and address issues locals have.

He has been assigned to three boards by the Governor, two E911 boards and currently the 911 Advisory board.   These assignments improve public safety statewide and in Ketchikan. - More...
Saturday - September 30, 2022

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Stabilizing the Future of the Ketchikan Public Library By Trevor A. Shaw & Glen Thompson - On October 4, 2022, voters in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough who live outside of the City of Ketchikan and the City of Saxman will vote on Proposition 2. The question placed before the voters is simple:

“Shall the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s adoption of nonareawide library powers be repealed, as proposed in Resolution 2956-CI?”

If a majority of those eligible vote “Yes”, the Borough’s nonareawide library powers would be repealed effective January 1, 2024, and the Borough’s financial support of the Ketchikan Public Library would cease after that date. The financial impact to the Ketchikan Public Library? A cut in funding of approximately $500,000, or nearly 40% of the library’s operating budget.

The background of Proposition 2 stems from constituents who are concerned that they pay taxes to support the library without any say in how the library is managed. Recently, there was a specific library program that really caused this issue to reach terminal velocity, but that issue doesn’t even merit being discussed as part of the overall problem at hand. The property owners outside of the City of Ketchikan and the City of Saxman pay 0.7 mils of property tax to pay for the Borough’s financial support of the Ketchikan Public Library, run solely by the City of Ketchikan, without any ability to participate in the management or governance of the Ketchikan Public Library. This is, without question, a problem. The concept of “taxation without representation” goes against the very foundation and fundamentals of our nation and design of our government at all levels. - More...
Friday - September 30, 2022

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Re-elect Dial, keep the budgets clean and honest By Hannah Ramiskey - The School Board designs an educational program and the Borough Assembly decides if the community can afford it. That’s the American Check and Balance that is designed to prevent the most egregious excesses since our country’s inception.

The Borough’s largest expense is the Ketchikan School District, but it also has community responsibilities such as the Ketchikan International Airport, the Parks and Rec programs, the Rec Center, Animal Control, Planning and Zoning, and tax collection. All of these things help make Ketchikan a desirable place to live. Demand is always high for better ball fields, more basket-ball courts, track repair, as well as bus service, and library support. Less fun, but necessary is fire protection, emergency services, and solid waste issues. - More...
Friday - September 30, 2022

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Judge me based on my service to you By Rodney Dial - Friends, I have served you for six years. If you have followed my efforts you know I looked for every efficiency, found creative ways to fund essential services and always remembered my oath of office.

I worked every day during the pandemic to support public health and never forgot our neighbors behind each business who were risking everything to provide services, jobs and tax revenue to our community.

To help our budget needs, I applied for every board/commission I could. It took me years of work to get on my first Governor appointed commission (now on my third) and 4 years to get appointed to two national boards. This gives us an ability to participate in requests for national legislation that have huge financial impacts to the borough. - More...
Friday - September 30, 2022

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Re-elect Mayor Dial By Riley Gass - I considered writing a letter in of support of Mayor Rodney Dial's re-election effort in the upcoming election, but after some thought decided it would be best not to weigh in due to my sitting on the Ketchikan City Council. However, after seeing multiple other elected officials submit their opinions on various candidates and issues on the ballot, including a fellow City Councilman writing a letter directly smearing and making personal attacks on Mayor Dial, I changed my mind.

About six years ago I began paying close attention to and having a strong interest in our local politics. I was born and raised in Ketchikan, love it here, don’t ever plan on leaving, and plan to raise a family here. I realized the importance of getting involved with things that matter and having a clear understanding of the issues our communitty faces. This is about the time Rodney Dial was elected to the Borough Assembly, after retiring from a career of service to our communitty and state as an Alaska State Trooper. - More...
Saturday - September 30, 2022

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Parrott for Ketchikan Borough Mayor By Kathy Flora - I am endorsing Katie Jo Parrott for Borough Mayor. I believe Katie will help the Borough continue its strong positive growth and economic development by forming local and statewide partnerships.

Katie recognizes the need for literacy for our children, affordable housing, and community involvement to promote relationships to get things done. - More...
Friday PM - September 30, 2022

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WHY I AM SUPPORTING RODNEY DIAL FOR BOROUGH MAYOR By Byron Whitesides - I view Mayor Dial as has done an excellent job in his position as borough mayor, in being a leader who was active in protecting the constitutional rights of the citizens of this borough, opposing the mandates and lockdowns that are a clear violation of our constitutional rights. He also attended over 200 policy meetings with local, state, and federal officials, providing input on the critical issues affecting our community.

He worked tirelessly for this community in protecting health, our economy, and our individual rights and freedoms. Worked to keep our businesses open and did this without mandates and division they bring. I really appreciated how we were able in Ketchikan, to not have lockdowns and job losses to the detriment of the workers and our economy. In my opinion there are NO “non-essential” jobs or business, and we in Ketchikan weathered this pandemic much better than some other communities.

In his own words, he never could have been involved in but a fraction of what he worked on, if he had another full time job. And because we in this community were able to keep our businesses open, many of our friends and neighbors were able to survive these very trying times, and keep food on the table and their businesses out of bankruptcy. - More...
Friday - September 30, 2022

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KGB Assembly report on Southeast Conference By Austin Otos, Grant Echohawk and Jeremy Bynum - We recently had the opportunity to attend the 2022 Southeast Conference which was held in Ketchikan from September 13th through September 15th. Many organizations from the community attended the event including: KGB and City government staff, Forage and Found, Tongass Federal Credit Union, Tessa Axelson (AFA), Patti Mackie (KVB), The Landing Hotel and Restaurant, GROW Ketchikan, Ketchikan Evergreens, Representative Dan Ortiz, AML, Seagrove Kelp, Vigor, and Ward Cove Group. The conference started with highlighting the theme of “Charting the Course Ahead”. This was selected due to COVID disheveling all private and public operations starting in 2020 and the need to reset the course back to normalcy. Both Mayor Kiffer and Dial followed by KIC President , Trixie Bennet, and Tlingit and Haida President, Richard Peterson, who all conducted the opening ceremony of the event. The conference showcased various topics that are important around the Southeast region including updates on: AMHS operations, state and local projects from the new “infrastructure bill”, a snapshot of the seasonal visitor industry, expanding broadband capabilities, new economic industries (mariculture), and addressing ongoing electrification, workforce development, and housing issues. - More...
Friday - September 30, 2022

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PLEASE VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION #1 AND YES ON PROPOSITION #2 By Byron Whitesides - I  would like to thank Dan Brockhorst for your letter of Sept. 26th on Sitnews, pointing out the arrogant disregard by the borough assembly, of the voters they claim to “represent”.  This is among the many reasons to vote NO on proposition #1, on whether we want to maintain our present form of government.

I do not like the present way we pick our assembly members, by area wide elections, and would like to go to a designated districts form of electing assembly members.  I feel this would be a superior form of assembly, more representative and democratic, and where the residents of these districts would have their issues and concerns able to be represented by assembly members voted on only by their district.  Some of you might say “why do you want this new form of government”.  Well, it isn’t a new form!  What I suggest is we return to the original form of government we had here when our borough government was instituted.

After we became a state, there were officials sent here to get the boroughs organized.  I was 11 years old, and attended meetings with my parents, and was with my parents when they had many discussions with other outside the city residents, from north and south Tongass, about the issue of forming a borough government. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022  

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Reelect Rodney Dial for Mayor By Hans and Laura Antonsen - Mayor Rodney Dial spent the last 6 years building a reputation for integrity and trust during some of the most difficult times our community, state and nation have faced.  That’s 6 years just in Ketchikan!  Before that Rodney served in the US Army, Alaska State Troopers and 10 years as a Legislative Liaison at the State level.

While the “job” of Borough Mayor on paper might just be to lead meetings, the reality is that our Mayor is the face of the community, as well as it’s heart and soul.  Especially during the COVID crisis and now with inflation and rising costs of basics like food and energy. 

Rodney has taken these challenges as an opportunity to lead the way by: - More...
Wednesday PM - September 28, 2022

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List of candidates I believe will help Ketchikan grow and thrive By  Susan Dotson - I was born here in Ketchikan over 66 years ago, I have lived my life here, and now as a senior, I have watched my hometown being torn apart by division across many social issues. I have watched my hometown go from being prosperous in timber, mining, and fishing industries to relying more on government jobs and handouts.

It is time for people to unite and debate honestly on how to fix our town and help us grow into a thriving city. My Mom Irene Dotson worked as an OB nurse in the old hospital and helped deliver many babies who still live in Ketchikan. My Dad, Red Dotson, helped to build the tunnel we all drive through daily; he worked on the Alaska Marine Highway for 28 years before he retired. They both discovered Dotson Ridge in Kendrick Bay on POW, which with pro-development people in the office, will be the biggest Rare Earth mine in the world. If they were alive today, they would both be very upset about what Ketchikan has become.

I have researched all local candidates and come up with an endorsement list for the candidates I believe will help Ketchikan grow and thrive. I think they will protect not only our town but our children. - More...
Wednesday - September 27, 2022

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Register to Vote by 10/9/22 for the General Election on 11/8/22 By Carol DelValle - Teens that will turn 18 prior to Nov 8 can register to vote now.  The voter registration deadline is 10/9/22, so don't delay.  Many people, young and not-so-young, are frustrated with the state of the world.  Here is an opportunity to make your voice heard… vote.

Voter registration is available online, in person, or by mail, find information at this link.  Voters can also find information about current candidates on this website.

In this upcoming General Election, Alaskans will be voting for:  

One of our U.S. senators, our U.S. representative, our Alaska state governor/lieutenant governor, our Alaska state senators and representatives, as well as retention of our court judges. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2022

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Prop 2 - A Civics Lesson By Dan Bockhorst - Apparently, it doesn’t matter how we vote on the library proposition.  If we vote "no" the assembly can continue to fund the library; if we vote "yes" the assembly can continue to fund the library.  

It says so right there on page 5 of the borough’s voter information pamphlet: ‘If the library power is repealed, the borough could still support the library by utilizing a different power.’ The assembly made that declaration by a unanimous vote earlier this month – it wasn’t even debated.

What contempt for voters.  What arrogance.  What abuse of power. More...
Monday - September 26, 2022  

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Misrepresentation by Some Of My Corporal Punishment Statement in Forum By Robb Arnold - I would like to take the time to respond and clarify my public candidate statement in the recent KRBD forum as well as a recent op-ed posted in Sit-News. We were asked, due to a recent change in a school districts policy in Missouri that reenacted corporal punishment, if we agreed or disagreed with that.

My response was somewhat misrepresented by some, and I would like to explain.

As I stated, I grew up in a public school system that had corporal punishment. From first grade on I was slapped, hair and ear pulled, scratched, by teachers, paddled and swatted by the principle. As I got older, I received rulers across the back of my hands and head, the teachers up to seventh and eighth grade would use paddles in class, after school, I would go home and receive a belting from my dad or mom. I do not think this helped me, it gave me a strong indication of boundaries in society but made me rebel more and disrespect authority.

I would not wish this on any students, in our schools and I am totally against teachers using paddling in anyway shape or fashion. The recent situation at our high school is something we all disagree with and if a teacher mishandles our students, we should call for accountability and investigation of the matter. - More...
Monday - September 26, 2022

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Candidates Asked If They Would Ever Consider Corporal Punishment in the Ketchikan School District By Keenan Sanderson - My opinions are mine and mine alone, this statement does not reflect any body that I may be affiliated with. 

Last night [09/20/22], KRBD radio hosted a school board candidate forum. Upon the conclusion of the forum, a number of Ketchikan residents reached out to me about a topic that came up during the forum. I would like to address that topic and address the concerns that people have. 

The question that I will be referring to is the following: “A Missouri School District recently reinstated policy that would allow school district faculty to spank students as a form of punishment, including the use of a paddle. Is this a policy, or any form of this policy, that you would ever consider for the Ketchikan School District? Specifically state yes or no. Why or why not?” In other words, corporal punishment.

Let me be abundantly clear with you all, in no way, shape, or form will I ever support corporal punishment in any part of our school district. This is non-negotiable for me. Here are my reasons why: - More...
Saturday - September 24, 2022

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Proposition 2 is a Meritless Proposal By Ghert Abbott - Severe measures require solid reasons and good intentions. A moment’s consideration shows that the advocates of Proposition 2 are deficient in both.

Mr. Harrington and company do not think the Drag Queen Story Hour hosted by the Ketchikan Public Library was appropriate for young children, fair enough. But the public library’s Drag Queen Story Hour was a purely voluntary event. Given this fact, I am 100% confident that no person who was morally opposed to the event took their children there. The event was also very forthright about its contents, right down to the name, so no one would have attended ignorantly nor accidently.

So the only children present were those that were brought to the library, willingly and knowingly, by their parents or with their parents’ permission. And presumably every parent whose children attended felt this event to be morally beneficial (or at the very least harmless) to their children’s education and development. Maybe they were right, maybe they were wrong, but every parent has the right to decide such questions themselves and teach their children what values they see fit.- More...
Saturday - September 24, 2022

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Vote NO on Proposition 2 By Lori Ortiz - In the midst of these few weeks leading up to a  vote on Proposition 2, I have been reading, Clams on the Beach, Deer in the Woods, edited by Louise Brinck Harrington and Mary C. Smith. It is a compilation of oral histories from 19 Ketchikan pioneers.   The first dedication pages describe the passion for this project by the book’s editors, the thanks extended to the Friends of the Library (and no doubt some librarians) and  a shout out to John Harrington for his efforts in editing, etc. 

I find great irony in this. 

On the one hand I think, I am just so Darn grateful that the stories… indeed the voices of these amazing pioneers have been preserved. The stories are like magic, and they are instructive. For example, within Marie Henn’s  story, I read this paragraph with interest,

 “,...I liked to read. I used to go to the library and just pick out books at random. If I didn’t know words, I looked them up in the dictionary.”Wasn’t it great that Marie, a child with less than two pennies to rub together, had the Public Library as a refuge and a resource where, in her own words she Learned to Read! - More...
Saturday - September 24, 2022

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Dial Versus Inclusivity By Janalee Gage - Ketchikan likes to say we are a community that comes together and supports each other in times of need, and I have seen this repeatedly. Still, I have also seen it used to put shackles upon those of us who identify in marginalized groups if we do not get in line with a select group.

In the past year, we have heard mayor Dial point fingers at marginalized community members and blame them for division and unrest within the community. We have listened to people speak about how they have nothing against LGBTQAI+ community members, and they treat them equally every day, and in the same breath, call them monsters, lump them in with pedophiles and say they are indoctrinating members into a cult.

Let's talk about who divides and creates unrest in the community, Mr. Dial. His current ad states voting for him will keep Ketchikan Affordable, prosperous, friendly, and safe. Really, for who? Those in the community who have the greatest wealth and go to specific religious establishments, and get in line with his agenda requirements? - More...
Saturday - September 24, 2022

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Thank You Dial By Jasen Hansen - I graduated from Ketchikan high school in 1993 and then proceeded to take classes at the Ketchikan campus of the University of Alaska SE until my father's passing in early 1996 that took me off island. I finally found my way back home in early 2014 when my son was 6 months old and my wife and I were looking for a wonderful community to raise our son in. It was shortly after moving back that I met Rodney Dial and was immediately impressed with his love for the community and more specifically the people of the community.  

We did not spend a lot of time together though, so I would be lying if I told you that I knew his true character at that time.  I wouldn't have hesitated to say that he was a friend, but that was more to do with his cordial demeanor every time we spoke than being able to point to shared experiences. Every time we spoke though, his passion for the community of Ketchikan and the people was evident. I had no idea how hard he worked behind the scenes putting that love and passion into action and quite honestly am still unaware of his countless hours of service. - More...
Saturday - September 24, 2022

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Forcing Views By A.M. Johnson - This afternoon, Tucker presented during his show, the article regarding the deviant actions of one soul forcing his views on children while employed as a teacher. The "Woke" authorities failed to address the situation and continue doing so. - More...
Tuesday - September 20, 2022

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Pro-Abortion advocates By Rob Holston - Hi Caity Pearson and other pro-Abortion advocates.  If your abortion did not KILL an innocent HUMAN life then I would agree with the sign you are holding and the arguments you have.  - More...
Tuesday - September 20, 2022

jpg OpinionKetchikan 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.” - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

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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....... - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

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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. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

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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. - More...
Thursday - September 15, 2022

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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.. - More...
Thursday PM - September 15, 2022

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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

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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. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

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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. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

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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. - More...
Tuesday - September 13, 2022

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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