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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 04, 2008

Front Page Photo By FREDDIE SELUDO

Ward Lake Trail
Front Page Photo By FREDDIE SELUDO



Alaska: HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS ROSE 5.7 TIMES FASTER THAN EARNINGS IN ALASKA FROM 2000 TO 2007; Alaska-Specific Report Finds that Premiums Rose by 73.6 Percent While Earnings Rose by Only 13 Percent - Family health care premiums rose an estimated 5.7 times faster than earnings for Alaska's workers from 2000 to 2007, according to a report issued Wednesday by the consumer health organization Families USA. In that eight-year period, family health care premiums rose by 73.6 percent while median earnings rose by only 13 percent.

The Families USA report for Alaska updates its 2006 report, which was the first of its kind to document these changes on a state-specific basis. Among the key findings in the new report are:

  • For family health coverage provided through the workplace in Alaska, annual health insurance premiums in the 2000-2007 period rose from $7,456 to $12,942-an increase of $5,486, or 73.6 percent.
  • Between 2000 and 2007, the median earnings of Alaska's workers increased from $27,373 to $30,931-an increase of $3,558, or 13 percent.

According to the report, the disproportionately high increases in insurance premiums occurred despite the provision of "thinner coverage" to workers ­ coverage that offers fewer benefits and/or that comes with higher deductibles, copayments, and co-insurance. As a result, Alaska families are paying more but receiving less in health care coverage.

The Families USA report concludes that the confluence of higher health costs and slow wage growth is causing a growing number of Alaska families to join the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured. The number of non-elderly uninsured people in Alaska is approximately 115,000, which is 18.5 percent of the non-elderly population.

"Skyrocketing health care costs were a problem in Alaska before the current economic downturn, and slow wage growth or job losses now only make matters worse," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. "As health care becomes less and less affordable, Alaskans face difficult choices in trying to provide health coverage for themselves and their families. A bad situation is clearly growing worse."- More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

Alaska: Flags to be Lowered in Observance of Fallen Firefighters on October 5th, 2008 - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has ordered Alaska state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Sunday, October 5, in recognition of National Fallen Firefighters Remembrance Day. Legislation already requires the U.S. flag to be lowered to half-staff on all federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters.

"I encourage all Alaskans to honor the legacy of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our communities," Governor Palin said. "We will never forget their courage and selfless service." - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

Ketchikan: Schulte receives Emmy Nod - University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan faculty member, Priscilla Schulte, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, has added an Emmy award to her list of accomplishments.

Schulte receives Emmy Nod

Priscilla Schulte, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
Photograph courtesy University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan

Dr. Schulte received the award as a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for an educational series titled "Physical Anthropology: The Evolving Human", which won an Emmy at the 2008 awards show in the category of Best Instructional Programming.

The series is a production of California's Coastline Community College. According to the college, "Physical Anthropology: The Evolving Human" was produced with the help of more than 30 content advisors and more than 100 professional experts. For the series, a Coastline producer had the opportunity to travel to Africa and Europe to conduct interviews and gain footage of anthropologists working in their field. Footage includes hominid digs at Kobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge, and conversations with world renowned scientists at the Max Plank Institute in Germany. This is the 16th Emmy award for Coastline Community College. - More...
Saturday - October 4, 2008

Ketchikan: GILLAM PLANE CRASH, AMAZING SURVIVAL STORY TO BE FEATURED; SLIDE SHOW AND BOOK SIGNING AT THE DISCOVERY CENTER, OCTOBER 10 - One of the most gripping tales of survival in the Alaskan wilderness will be recounted in a slide show on Friday evening, October 10th, at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. John Tippets, author of the recently published book, "Hearts of Courage", will present this amazing story, which unfolded just thirty-five miles southeast of Ketchikan in the winter of 1943.

On January 5, 1943, a twin-engine plane, flown by the legendary bush pilot Harold Gillam and carrying five passengers, crashed on a forested, snow-covered mountainside while trying to reach the airport on Annette Island.

All six aboard survived the crash, but one of the passengers, a young woman, died a few days later. Gillam set off in search of help, and was never heard from again. Of the four remaining passengers, two were immobilized by injuries sustained in the crash. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008


Basic Rules

letterIt's Not A Question Of Beach Or Pool By Eric Muench - Opposition to purchase of South Point Higgins Beach has been based on other needs for the money, but the argument is flawed. The high cost of dealing with a defective Mike Smithers swimming pool was raised as reason to abandon a public swimming beach. How odd. But the two are different and separate issues. Lumping them is not like comparing apples and oranges. It is more like grapes and watermelons. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Energy Solutions in a Time of Crisis By Albert K. White - For over 15 years there has been a private entity looking to partner to help meet KGB and Ketchikan's Energy needs. This alternative energy source would have allowed for back-up energy should it be needed in the future. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Vote no on propositon 1 By Barb Lander - Say No to Proposition 1; Cast your vote for fiscal responsibility; don't buy the Beach! South Point Higgins Beach is extraordinary, it's old growth trees, eagles nest, and sandy beach are a beautiful place to visit, picnic and swim. Unfortunately it is also a public nuisance. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Make South Point Higgins Beach Ours By Kathleen Wiechelman - Opposition to the purchase of South Point Higgins Beach has been based on the needs of a defective Mike Smithers swimming pool, but that argument is flawed. The beach purchase and pool repair or replacement are entirely different issues, and lumping them together makes no sense to me. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Thank you Councilman Coose By Charles Edwardson - Councilman Coose finally addressed a very serious subject that the entire council should have addressed weeks ago, the mayor of this city did have a very serious lap of judgment by berating the one person who we should be trying to change their opinion and outlook of Ketchikan --"the current administration ", You do not have to support Governor Palin or her policies, but DO NOT ANTAGONIZE HER ON OUR BEHALF. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Bailout - No Consequences by Ken Bylund - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Ford, GMC, California...why? Because the vision of politicians is limited to buying votes. Why not, it's free money? The continued siphoning of our money stream... our energy, that productive potential we earned, from January 1st to July 11th, encourages their bad stewardship of our wealth. All of them, Democrats, Republicans, Independents... don't see any innocent parties in this choice to poison the economic well of our nation; the cost of consistently bad judgment to allow lifetime careers in elitist roles. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Thanks Mayor Weinstein By Nancy DeWitt - Thank you Mayor Weinstein for standing up for our community in light of the half truths and lies repeated over and over again by Govenor Palin and Senator John McCain, referring to the so called "Bridge to Nowhere". - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter New ideas needed By Eileen Small - Mayor Weinstein may be a kind and gentle man. I don't know him personally so I cannot comment. However having lived here 10 plus years, I CAN honestly attest to saying that I have never seen him accomplish ANYTHING!!! We need some new blood and new ideas! - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Power from Metlakatla By Jim Dahl - I agree with Mr. Byland. We should persue every opportunity to get clean, green hydro power to Ketchikan. Mahoney Lake is good opportunity. The other "good" opportunity is Metlakatla Power and Light. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Focus on issue being debated By Lexie Jones - While I love to throw my support towards an issue I believe in and I look forward to an intelligent debate, I typically do not write letters to the editor. Simply because people cannot seem to keep their discussion soley based toward the issue being debated. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Lake-Ferry Letter By Chris Elliott - Nice lead paragraph in the Lake letter. I m assuming the book with a hard cover was Nancy Pelosi"s 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008


 Regular Election
October 07, 2008

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November 4, 2008

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Public Meetings

arrowCANCELLED: SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING - The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in a special session at 5:30 p.m. Monday, October 6, 2008, at the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences.

The board will consider a policy for recruitment of students from the TSAS to other district programs in order to maximize the total revenues to the district. Such policy would hold TSAS harmless for lost revenues from the recruitment effort. The Board may also consider and discuss and direct staff to pursue alternatives to make up for the shortfall in anticipated enrollment during the October student count period.

arrow The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in regular session on Wednesday, October 8, 2008, in the Ketchikan City Council chambers. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
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September 2008
31 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 01 02 03 04

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letter Pet Safety, Please! By Stephanie Bailey - I was an unfortunate witness to a dog being hit by a car earlier this week on North Point Higgins Rd. While the driver of the SUV was very likely driving faster than the posted 25mph speed limit, the dog was IN the road in front of its house which is located right along a bend, and therefore would have been difficult to avoid. A few minutes after this incident took place, a pair of women came walking by on the sidewalk here, their dogs unleashed and in the roadway. A few days later, I saw another dog just a few houses down sitting lazily smack on the yellow lines in the middle of the road on this same bend. I waved frantically at a truck coming along the bend to get the driver to slow down in time to see the animal, which he did, because the dog sure wasn't moving in a hurry. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Obama/Biden By Roy Nathan - Republicans have occupied the best seats in the House and more than had their fair share of the King's dainties. Every time I hear a Republican whine it makes me sick! The biggest problems we have are because of Republicans. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Thanks By Marie Jeanne Cadle - I just want to express my appreciation to all the hard working people that help to keep our city clean - often despite the best efforts of some to leave a mess without thought for others. Keeping Ketchikan clean, whether working on a garbage truck, cleaning the streets and sidewalks or even picking litter from your yard is often not an easy job and I am sure it is not always pleasant. Yet it always seems to be done in good humor. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter "Levee is dry" By Mike Sawyer - With foreclosure and bankruptcy becoming shameful words to many of us, I'm in shock to discover that on September 30 our Federal contracting office awarded a $40,000 contract to paint an oil portrait with frame included of the Department of Commerce Secretary Guitierrez. - More...
Saturday - October 04, 2008

letter Bail Out the American Home Owner By Randy Williams - Let me preface my comments with two quick statements, first for all the republicans that can only hear and see the party line, I owned three business s and as such appreciate the Republican tax benefits and vote republican as often as I vote for a Democrat. Second, I don t pretend to know all the answers but I do know that this blind faith following of the Bush doctrine to reduce our civil liberties, deregulate issues that support the rich and our continuation of an occupation of other countries at a significant cost to the American taxpayer has got to end. We need to get back to the task of fixing our country first and foremost. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2005

letter Research goal: more king crab in every pot By Jeff Stephan, Heather McCarty and Gale Vick - The Deadliest Catch it's not, but the results of a research project in Seward might be just as intriguing to skippers of the rugged Bering Sea crab fleet as the next installment of the adrenalin-pumping television show. After all, the goal of the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) program is to fill king crab pots throughout Alaska. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Public Forum a must before you Decide By Albert K. White - I encourge everyone to participate in the Public Forum on the SITNEWS web page in the upper right hand corner either by reading or responding. It time for those waiting for change to vote for real leaders. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter YES to Prop #1 By Mary Gregg - I've lived in Ketchikan all my life. My parents took me to South Point Higgins Beach for picnics, fires, and sunsets. I took my children there and I hope they will be able to take their children there. Every year the schools use Pt Higgins Beach for educational field trips. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letterProposition 1/SPH Beach By Lauralynn Williams - Vote YES on Proposition 1. Save South Point Higgins Beach for public use and enjoyment. Be informed of the facts. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Thank you, Mayor Weinstein By Joseph Prows - Thank you, Mayor Bob, for showing integrity and telling the truth about the bridge. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letterBorough Mayor and Assembly By Heather Muench - Dave Kiffer, John Harrington, Janine Gibbons, and Ty Rette understand this community and the recreational needs of many of us without the time or money to travel to off road system beaches. I appreciate Dave and John's experience and the fresh youthful appeal of Ty and Janine. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letterYES on Proposition #1 By Taylor Gregg - I was born in Ketchikan in 1984. I have spent many hours on South Pt Higgins beach playing in the ocean and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I went there with my classes from Pt Higgins Elementary School for beach day every year. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Mayor Weinstein By Myrlie Barrier - I have great respect for Mayor Bob. He is a kind gentleman and is good for the city. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Emery Tobin article By Liv (Knutzen) Hauge - What fun to read this wonderful article you have about Emery Tobin written in March of 2007 by Dave Kiffer. My father, Marcus Knutzen, was the Director of the Norwegian Seamen's Mission which was right to the left of their home on Mission Street. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Good Investigative Reporting By Walt Bolling - Well, good investigative reporting has served the public well once again. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Out of touch By Randy M Lake - Regarding Mr. Ferry's letter, I am only a two year resident of Ketchikan, and am a semi retired tax accountant as well as a former IRS auditor and a former Military Policeman. If I had to guess, based on Mr. Ferry's rather simplistic and naive, rambling and generalization ridden, misinformed spiel that between us, only I have read a book with a hard cover. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

letter Politics By Rob Glenn - I was trying to figure out which gubernatorial candidate Ketchikan voted for in 2006. Turns out I found this statement and it mentions Palins popularity as well as who SE voted for. - More...
Wednesday - October 01, 2008

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Stories in the News
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Ketchikan, Alaska

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