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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 06, 2008

Front Page Photo By MIKE HOUTS

Fog Blankets Gravina Sunday
Ketchikan International Airport is pictured.
Front Page Photo By MIKE HOUTS



Fish Factor: Fleet of Alaska crabbers on way for startup of crab fisheries By LAINE WELCH - An eager market will be competing for reduced supplies of king crab this winter and that is likely to boost prices for fishermen.

A fleet of about 86 boats is on its way to the Bering Sea this week for the October 15 start of king and Tanner crab fisheries. For Alaska's largest king crab fishery at Bristol Bay, crabbers will drop pots for a total catch of 20.36 million pounds of red king crab, compared to 20.38 million pounds last year. Ten percent comes off the top for the CDQ (Community Development Quota) allocation, designed to help the economies of remote Western Alaska communities that border the Bering Sea.

While U.S. king crab buyers might be tightening their belts due to the sluggish economy, that's not the case for Alaska's #1 customer: Japan. According to market analyst Ken Talley of Seafood Trend, demand for Alaska king crab is strong in Japan and that should be reflected in higher prices. Imports of frozen crab into Japan through June dropped 27% from a year ago, and average wholesale prices increased by 41.5% on a per-pound basis.

Retail sales are key to the king crab market in the U.S. and reduced supplies have pushed up wholesale prices by nearly 40% for imported product (primarily from Russia). Talley said some major U.S. buyers may forego king crab until after the prime holiday sales season when prices may soften.

Alaska crabbers have proposed an opening price of $5.15/lb for red king crab, according to market expert John Sackton of That compares to of $4.35/lb last year. Fishermen receive a base price and then a final adjustment after the crab is sold.

Alaska crabbers compete with Russia and Norway in world markets, and fishermen there also are negotiating for higher prices this year. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

Alaska: Energy costs drive rural Native Alaskans to cities By JULIA O'MALLEY and KYLE HOPKINS - With growing evidence of an Alaska Native exodus from villages to the city, Anchorage officials want the state to organize and emergency task force to find ways to stem the migration.

Anchorage and the state "cannot stand by and tolerate the deterioration of rural Alaska," said the letter from Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and Schools Superintendent Carol Comeau.

The main evidence of the migration is enrollment in Anchorage schools, which have seen more than 400 new Native students since school started this year, said Doreen Brown, Indian Education supervisor for the district. It wasn't clear how many of those came directly from rural Alaska, but schools in communities across western Alaska report losing pupils, Comeau said.

The $1,200 energy bonus that came with annual state Permanent Fund checks this year was supposed to ease energy costs for rural residents, but many used the money to move to urban areas where food and fuel are cheaper, Comeau said. The district added 18 teachers, most of them at elementary schools, to accommodate increased enrollment, she said.

The transition from rural to urban schools can be hard, Comeau said.

"We're talking about high schools that are bigger than the communities most of the students are coming from," she said. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

National: Bailout bill stuffed with earmarks By ZACHARY COILE - While crafting a bill intended to rescue the U.S. economy this week, lawmakers couldn't stop themselves from adding billions of dollars in tax breaks that have little to do with restoring confidence in financial markets.

Senators quietly tucked a number of earmarks into the tax package of the 451-page bill that was passed Wednesday night: a $2 million tax benefit for makers of wooden arrows for children; a $100 million tax break to benefit auto racetrack owners; $192 million in rebates on excise taxes for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry; $148 million in tax relief for U.S. wool fabric producers; and a $49 million tax benefit for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill.

Several House Republicans railed against the pork-packed bailout bill.

"One thing we didn't appreciate in the Senate's action was that they decided that this bill should become Christmas in October," said Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio. "We just don't think (the earmarks) should be in this piece of legislation."

The tax earmarks were scarcely noticed during the Senate debate over a bill that featured a $700 billion bailout package and a $112 billion tax package, including the renewal of popular tax breaks for businesses and renewable energy projects and a one-year effort to shield at least 20 million Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax.

The bill was approved easily, 74-25, winning support even from lawmakers who have crusaded against earmarks. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

Columns - Commentary

BILL STEIGERWALD - Why the Bailout Is a Crock - It's not your fault you don't know that the percentage of American home mortgages in foreclosure today is about 2.75 percent.

That shocking but true figure hasn't been emphasized nearly enough by our favorite politicians and media sensationalists, who, as they usually do when real and imagined "national" crises appear, have managed to create the misleading impression that the current foreclosure mess affects every second or third American household.

Yes, the financial crisis is real. Yes, some homeowners and Main Street folk have behaved badly. Yes, the greedy, corrupt corporate and political rats on Wall Street and in Washington are largely responsible for the meltdown that will cost us and our grandtaxpayers untold hundreds of billions if not trillions of inflated dollars.

And yes, the near-quadrupling since 2005 of our annual mortgage foreclosure rate (historically about 0.7 percent) has ignited a banking and credit crisis that looks to be dragging the whole world into recession.

But there are two truths about the foreclosure mess that our beloved media -- especially the TV branch -- have done a lousy job of revealing to the masses.

One is that 97 percent of America's home mortgage loans are not in the process of being foreclosed. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008


Basic Rules

letterPublic Forum & Candidates' Statements By Michelle Fry - Mr. White, I agree one hundred percent that everyone should read the public forum prior to voting. However, how can the citizens of Ketchikan properly vote if 1) the candidates running do not provide a statement about themselves and 2) provide information about what their plans are for the city. It seems as if those running feel a statement would be a waste of time. Why? Because running for office in Ketchikan is just a popularity contest. The perception of this mentality is that I have this in the bag no need to waste my time with a statement. I find this very disappointing, disturbing, and highly deceptive. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

letter Vote to Preserve South Point Higgins Beach By Stacey Hallmark-Morales - I am a newer resident of Ketchikan and have fallen in love with South Point Higgins Beach! It is such a wonderful place to go in a town with so few beautiful beaches that are easy to access (and within fifteen minutes of town). I often take my dogs to the beach to play and love the beauty, solitude, and easy access. Yes, the litter is a hassle and I do end up cleaning up glass, misc. debris, and even the waste of others dogs along with that of my own dogs, but its often worth it. I do wish the state troopers would be more diligent on Saturday nights about patroling the area because I often go out on Sunday mornings and find the remnants of the previous nights party in the form of broken glass and trash. I know the issue is different for those living in the area knowing it is a popular party spot- but wouldnt it be wise to ask the state troopers to spend a little more time looking for drunk drivers, drug use, underage drinking, instead of getting rid of the beach all together?? Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water! - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

letterNorth Point Higgins' "Watchdogs" By Melissa O'Bryan - I live on North Point Higgins Road and walk my dog on this road (almost) daily. For anyone not familiar with dog walking on North Point Higgins a typical walk involves no less than 4 sometimes as many as 6 dogs either following you or barking at you and sniffing at your dog. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

letterYes to South Point Higgins Beach By Linda Beaujean - Many have concerns of the fiscal responsibility of the Borough buying the South Point Higgins Beach from the Mental Health Trust. I suggest that all of you please read the fiscal facts that both Eric Muench and Kathleen Wiechelman have outlined in their letters to Sitnews. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

letter North Point Higgins Road By Katie Shull - In response to Ms. Bailey's letter, I do agree that leash laws should be obeyed. They are in effect for a reason, which includes protection of your pets. However, there is another very important law that wasn t mentioned in the letter Ms. Bailey submitted. It is called the speed limit. My daughters attend a daycare on the bend in the road that Ms. Bailey mentioned, between Mattle Road and Moore Drive. In the three years that my children have attended this daycare center, I have driven through that bend nearly each weekday. There are a lot of animals, dogs included who roam the neighborhood at their leisure and many times, I have come around this bend and encountered an animal or a child in the road. I have never hit an animal or a child driving on North Point Higgins Road. Why is this? Because I follow the speed laws. If you are driving the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour on this residential road, you should have ample time to stop before you hit an animal or child. - More...
Monday - Octobdr 06, 2008

letter RE:Obama/Biden By Katie Parrott - "I remember a time when Alaska was -- before big business moved in. We had trees, oil, fishing and honesty."-More...
Monday - October 06, 2008

letter Thank you By Gay D. Peters - Thank you Mr. Edwardson on your letter to SitNews. You now have our votes. And thank you Mr. Coose for standing up and having your voice heard and saying what the rest of us should have. - More...
Monday - October 06, 2008


 Regular Election
October 07, 2008

Candidates Forum

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Post your question(s) for the candidates as a group.
Forum Launched 09/24/08

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Nation's Finances
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November 4, 2008

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Public Agenda for Citizens -

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.
Agenda & Information packets pdf

Public Information

arrow Nonproprietary Ketchikan Telecommunications Division Initial Evaluation Phase Report, prepared by Falkenberg Capital Corporation pdf


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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
05 06          

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letter It'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

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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Ketchikan, Alaska

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 General Election Oct. 7, 2008

Unofficial Election
Results - Canvassed
10/08/08 pdf

Borough Mayor
(3-year term)

arrowDave Kiffer 1,1999
Joe Williams 829

Borough Assembly
(3-year terms)

arrowJohn Harrington 1,618
arrowJanine Gibbons 1,587
arrowJim Shoemaker 1,142

School Board
(3-year terms)

arrowDave Lieben 1,494
arrowPatrick E. Johnston 1,415

City Council
(3 year terms)

arrowMarty West 816
arrowKj Harris 685
arrowJason Harris 620

arrowLew Williams III 958
(1-year term)

Borough Prop 1 - South Point Higgins Beach

arrowYes 2,027
No 835

City Prop 1 - Financial Disclosure

arrowYes 1,040
No 414

Black Bear Inn

Saltery Lodge

Talbot's Building Supply

Skinner Sales & Service - Ketchikan, Alaska

Tatsuda's IGA - Ketchikan, Alaska


Tongass Forest Enterprises

Tongass Federal Credit Union - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan H2)

Vicki's Place - Exclusive Salon - Ketchikan, Alaska

Lighthouse Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Gateway City Realty, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

KFMJ - Ketchikan, Alaska

Parnassus Books Ketchikan, Alaska

McPherson Music - Ketchikan, Alaska

Water Tap - Ketchikan, Alaska

The Local Paper & The Home Office - Ketchikan, Alaska

Carl Thompson's Photographs - Ketchikan, Alaska

North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department

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