Unofficial Election Results as of October 06, 2009 - 10:40 PM

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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 05, 2009

Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Clover Pass: Humpbacks Feeding
Front Page Photo by MIKE SMITH

Alaska: New rule suffocates oxygen delivery to the Bush By Joshua Saul - A new regulation for oxygen tanks shipped by air went into effect yesterday, and its implementation is highlighting the conflict that sometimes arises between federal laws and the distinct challenges faced by rural Alaskans. - Read this article...
Alaska Dispatch News -


Ketchikan: Grueling Firefighter-1 Training Underway - Current members and new recruits of the Ketchikan Fire Department, North Tongass and South Tongass Volunteer Fire Departments have been working diligently since August 22nd to complete Firefighter-1 training under the direction of Ketchikan Fire Department Training and Safety Officer, Terry Roberts.

Grueling Firefighter-1 Training Underway

Firefighter Instructor Jay Diorec of the Ketchikan Fire Department prepares the "Live Fire" burn room for the students.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Fire Department

The 140 plus hours spent training these firefighters includes more than 27 subjects and countless hours of home study in preparation for a written examination on October 16th, said Fire Chief Jim Hill in a news release.

Hill said the grueling training requires 100% attendance and several weeks commitment from the students who hope to become "interior qualified" and properly trained to safely and effectively become firefighters for this community. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

Alaska: Governor Touts OCS Development at Annual Meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission - In a speech to governors, commissioners and other members of oil- and gas-producing states, Governor Sean Parnell today promoted development of Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf and construction of the natural gas pipeline.

Governor Parnell made his remarks while attending the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission annual meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi.

"Responsible resource development built Alaska and remains the foundation for our future prosperity," Governor Parnell said. "My administration believes that Alaska can stimulate the national economy through the opening of our OCS. We appreciate the support of this commission."

Alaska's OCS contains an estimated 27 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. The available oil is more than twice the amount that has been produced on Alaska's North Slope since the Trans Alaska Pipeline System went online in 1977. Counting its OCS reserves, Alaska likely has more than 30 percent of the nation's recoverable oil and gas. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009


Clover Pass: Humpbacks Feeding
6 whales stayed around the Clover Pass area for hours on Saturday.

Alaska: Begich Continues to Push for Fair Pay for Federal Workers - Continuing the fight to ensure fair pay and retirement benefits for federal employees in Alaska, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich continues to push to bring parity between federal workers' retirement in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories with those in the continental U.S.

Begich joined Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii in March in introducing The Non-Foreign Area Retirement Equity Assurance Act, which allows for the gradual transition to locality pay from cost of living allowance (COLA) increases.

Hawaii, Alaska, and the territories currently receive untaxed COLA that does not count toward retirement instead of the locality pay that other federal employees receive. As a result, many citizens of Alaska, Hawaii and the territories move back to the mainland to boost their pensions in the last three years of their employment; or receive inequitable pensions.

The issue is currently being considered as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Meanwhile, with the start of the new Fiscal Year on Oct. 1, federal employees in Alaska, Hawaii and the territories saw a 1 percent reduction in their federal wages. Although locality rates generally increase, the non-foreign COLA rates have been gradually declining. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

Northwest: Thousands of jumbo squid appear off Pacific Northwest By CHRISTOPHER DUNAGAN - he Humboldt squid, a voracious predator that can grow to 100 pounds in two years, has captured the attention of researchers all along the West Coast.

Thousands of the mysterious creatures appeared suddenly off the Washington Coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca this summer. Some researchers say the aggressive animal, which has generally stayed south of California, has the potential to disrupt local ecosystems in more northern areas.

Why the squid arrived here and how long it will stay are just two of the questions researchers would like to answer. Since the squid eat just about anything -- including young salmon -- fisheries managers are looking for answers that can help them protect vulnerable species.

This week, Greg Bargmann, a biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and William Gilly, a Stanford University researcher, went about 20 miles offshore of Westport to catch a few dozen squid. Stomach contents were examined in about 30 animals. Another 24 were implanted with acoustic tags, which will allow researchers to track their movements through a network of acoustic receivers up and down the West Coast, including Canada. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009


Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: Ketchikan's Arts & Entertainment - This week in Ketchikan, Alvin Youngblood Hart Performs! Alvin Youngblood Hart defies genres- a blues, rock, jazz, metal, anything guitarist. He's a "musician's musician" whose praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. He's had multiple Grammy nominations, two Living Blues Awards, had a New York Times top 10 album, the BBC's Best Release of the Year, and the blues and guitar magazines continue to shower him with awards and nominations.

Alvin Youngblood Hart
Saturday, October 10th

In short, he's one of the world's foremost practitioners of the blues genre. His collaborations include Bo Diddley and Ruthy Foster, David Murray, Leo Onocentelli and Ishmael Reed Audley Freed (Black Crowes), and he's opened for Taj Mahal at Yoshi's, (who said of Hart: "Boy got thunder in his hands,"). He has worked on multiple film projects including a feature in "the Soul of a Man," in Martin Scorsese's film series "The Blues," and was also featured in the documentary "Last of the Mississippi Jukes." He has a list of recordings, collaborations, and praises that can't fit here. Don't miss the hottest blues to visit Ketchikan! The Alvin Youngblood Hart concert is part of the Arts Council's Torch Nights Performance Series, and will be at 6:00pm and 8:00pm on Saturday, October 10th at the Saxman Tribal House. Tickets are $20 for Adults, $16 for Students and Seniors. Call the Arts Council at 225-2211.

Seeking Volunteers for the Alvin Youngblood Hart Concert! We couldn't make the Torch Nights Season of Performances happen without the help of our volunteers taking tickets, ushering, helping us load in, and so much more! Want to get involved? We would love to have you help at the Alvin Youngblood Hart performance on Saturday, October 10th. Give us a call at 225-2211, or e-mail

Sweet Second Saturdays. Dance to old time music- no dance partner or experience necessary! Join the fun on Saturday, October 10th, 7:00pm at the stARTled Salmon. All are welcome, FREE! - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009


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Front Page Archives
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Basic Rules

If you submit a letter and it is not published, please contact or call 617-9696.

letterHow Can We Survive as a Community Without Access to Public Lands? By Myla Poelstra - News of the upcoming Senate hearing on S. 881, the Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization Act, or "the Sealaska bill," has sent a wave of disbelief and disappointment throughout our community. For years we have been reaching out to our Senators and Congressman, imploring them to take a closer look at the devastating impact this legislation will have on Edna Bay and other Prince of Wales communities. We have sent more than 1200 letters to our government over the past two years trying to get someone to listen. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterVote Yes on pool issue By Wayne Kinunen - Ketchikan Borough citizens, On this upcoming Tuesday, I am encouraging you to vote yes on Proposition 2 which will provide Ketchikan with a new pool at no increase in your taxes. Reasons: - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterPlease write in Michelle Houtcooper By Michelle Houtcooper - I would greatly appreciate your write in vote on October 6th for the Ketchikan Gateway School Board.  - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterPool By Walt Hoefe - In 1968 I was elected to the Borough Assembly. My main platform was to push for a pool/pools. We had a lot of projects going at the time: Valley Park School, High School addition, White Cliff upgrades, Airport Terminal, buying two airport ferries. It was an exciting time, what with all the public works projects. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterSchool Zones: Slow Down the Speed Limit is 20mph By Amber Anderson - Failure to enforce the school zone speed limits are a tragedy in waiting. I am appalled at the lack of concern of our children's' safety here in Ketchikan. Over the course of a year I have witnessed that most drivers drive far above the posted limit. These drivers do not come into any stereotype. Offenders to yield to this school zone are young, middle aged and older. They are city bus drivers, cab drivers, city workers, people dropping their kids off at school and those going to work. The worst time is during the time children are walking to school and their bus stops and then again when school lets out, for these times are when everyone is in a hurry getting to school, work or returning home. I know this because I stand with my children as we wait for their buses. I stand out there on Schoenbar every morning and afternoon. Schoenbar has a bend in the road across from the charter schools and there are kids walking along the opposite side of the road where there is no sidewalk. Cars drive so fast around the bend that they often have to slam on their brakes just in time to notice a school bus with their flashing lights. Or worse blow past them. In addition, cars often don't stop for children at the cross walks. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterRE: THE DEVIL WEARS POOL-LA By Vanessa Nowland - THE DEVIL WEARS POOL-LA is quite honestly one of the best pieces of entertainment to come out of Ketchikan in a long time. Thank you Mr. Dial for sharing your knowledge on the financial hurdles we as a community are up against. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterHigh Costs & Judgmental Medicine By Ken Parks - I was transported in 07 to Harborview Medical Center for injuries sustained during an auto accident I didn't cause, the bill just about killed me as the amount exceeded any expectation I could have afforded.... 25,000 dollars for a 2 hour flight with life support was the amount to fly with Guardian Flight. I realize we have to pay for our services that are provided, but that's a little steep by me. I could have died, without the assistance, but it seems to be a little extreme don't you think???? - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterSwimming Pool By Kim O'Shea - It is refreshing to see your support for development of a community facility. You have certainly hit the needs of many of our aquatic facility that can accommodate everyone. Every day, we are seeing the need for pools that aqua-aerobics, hydrotherapy, lessons programs and competitive clubs can use. - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterUrination (proper word) By Jacquie Meck - Mr. Bolling, you were quick to attack Ms. Elliott's solution to a very large problem our young people share with a great deal of the world, but my questions to you are: - More...
Monday - October 05, 2009

letterElections By Cecelia Johnson - Elections for the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) is coming up fast. When you vote it is important to vote for an individual who promotes tribal membership input. The Health Board has been changed to Health Committee and the public no longer can vote for their health representative. They are now appointed by tribal council. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letter Kyle Palmer & Upcoming Elections By Cheryl L. Dodson - I am the grandmother of Kyle Palmer, the young man who was shot in the face while asleep in his apartment in Ketchikan on September 1, 2009. Our family is finally at the point where we can thank and acknowledge the beautiful people who have sent their love, prayers and good wishes to us. We especially want to express our appreciation to those of you from Ketchikan who have come together as a community in showing your love and support for Kyle. You are too numerous to name individually, but we will not forget each and every one of you. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterVote Yes for the New Pool By Mike Dooley - I agree with Zig Ziegler 100%, and I will certainly vote yes for the new pool. I use the pool on a daily basis. Mr. Ziegler's letter did a great job listing the folks that use the pool, and I thank him for his research. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterPLEASE SUPPORT A NEW POOL! By Lois Munch - One summer day, when rain canceled a tennis game, I went to the newly opened pool to swim. And thus began a relationship that continues today. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterTHE DEVIL WEARS POOL-LA By Rodney Dial - After my last letter regarding the pool I received phone calls, emails and had people stop me to comment on the letter. Only one of those I talked to still believed we should build the mega pool, and not renovate our existing facility. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterLet's vote for a new pool By R.K. Rice - As a regular user of the pool, and observer of the non-stop use of the pool, I would hope we can continue access to this vital facility. Reading the letters from native Ketchikanites who recall numerous, yearly drownings of their classmates, before we had a pool, dramatically illustrated how important this pool is for the safety of Ketchikan's children. Swim teams, Killer Whales, kids birthday pool parties are all healthy activities to help our children make good choices. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterRe: Important Community Information - The Pool Vote By Ken Bylund - Rodney Dial's lengthy, and yet chillingly accurate report on the Borough's decision to press on with the Mike Smithers Pool replacement, has gone unchallenged by the promoters for this > $fifty million dollar debt$ < that will be attached to our future... they want it, and if or when they don't want it anymore, they can just sell their property, and move away. Their names are not attached to this loan; it is our property that is attached... does this sound like an alluring consideration for them who might be thinking to move here... or another reason to leave? - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letter VOTE By Denise Buker - Just a question for Mr. Dial and his opposition to the pool intiative...he stated in his letter: "..Valley park pool can be re-opened while Mike Smithers Pool is being renovated, meaning that we will ALWAYS have an open pool." - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterVote for the Pool By Steve Clossick - Even though I do not live in Ketchikan anymore, I want to express my support of the NEW POOL in Ketchikan. I moved from Ketchikan 4 years ago and used the pool on the regular basis. I also coached KKW under Coach Martin during my time in Ketchikan.- More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterWorkshop for Creek Street HD Zone By Richard Harney - The Planning Department will be holding a Workshop session on November 10 at noon in the Assembly Chambers, in the White Cliff building to discuss the Creek Street Historic District's section of code. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterWrite In Chris Barry for School Board By Chris Barry - Hi. I am running for School Board as a write in candidate. As a write in candidate, the voter must spell the name correctly and fill in the bubble. My name is Chris Barry. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterCustomer service By Bill Hartley - I wanted to express my opinion on the customer service at a north of town retailer. It's my opinion that the workers there may not be extremely well paid so I don't expect to be treated like family when I walk in the door, so here's what I do... get what I need and get the heck out. It works for me. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterCustomer Service By Heather Montero - I just thought I should add that I applaud the people who DO have good customer service skills at Walmart. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterPoor customer service By Ken Arriola - To you with complaints of negative customer service at our local stores, sorry that someone hurt your "feel goods". If you perceive this to be a serious and/or pandemic problem among store personnel then, your concerns rightfully should be addressed by the store management, public forum won't get you far. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterCustomer Service By Lisa Martin - I agree when it comes to customer service, despite if it's minimum wage or not. WE all work for our money and would like it if someone would acknowledge our presence once in a while or make an effort to put forth seeing that we may need help. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterHealth care By Jessica Rollberg - I have been a working, tax paying citizen for over 10 years now and have gone without health insurance for 8 because of my inability to afford it. I pray constantly that nothing will happen to me so that I can continue to support my family. I graduated from college, I am educated. There is no reason that I should have to fear for myself and my families welfare should I fall victim to illness. - More...
Thursday PM - October 01, 2009

letterVote Yes for the New Pool By Zig Ziegler - I am a strong supporter of the bond issue for the new pool. I have been an active user of the pool since it was built and have seen how broad=based the activities there are. Just the other day I saw the pool utilized by mothers and fathers with infants, a crew from a cruiseship doing lifeboat training, physical therapy for young adults to older adults, and the school swim teams. This was just a portion of the day! - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterPace and Borough Atty. By Michael Moyer - After reading Mr. Adams letter concerning his child and the help PACE has provided and then reading the attached threat by Mr. Brandt-Erichson, I would suggest Mr. Brandt-Erichson be terminated immediately from employment by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterCustomer Service By Heather Montero - I have just read the letters about customer service at Walmart. I lost a necklace there and when I asked if anyone has turned it in, I got an immediate NO. She didn't even bother to look in the box under the counter or go in the back room and take a peek. So unless she already looked for my necklace and knew it wasn't in there before I got there she really didn't care and she made that very clear to me. - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterSmile By Lorrie Gunya - If Alaska Airlines could see how customers are being treated here at Ketchikan International Airport, most likely all would be demoted, or whatever their policy & procedures are. - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterCustomer service By Tom Hanson - To all these people complaining about the service they recieve, it's pretty simple, if you get treated bad once um ok. You get treated bad twice not good, but to have multiple bad experiences??? Why do you keep shopping there? Is the crappy service worth the extra $2.31 cents you're gonna save? Or are you using that much in gas to get there? - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterKyle Palmer Fundraiser By Rhonda Green - Congratulations to Kayla, Tre', Danika, and all of the other Ketchikan High School students involved in putting together the Concert/Spaghetti feed fundraiser event for Kyle Palmer! - More...
Saturday AM - September 26, 2009

letterPACE By Lonnie Adams - Good Day all. My name is Lonnie Adams and I am a 27 year resident of Ketchikan, my wife Lisa and have been married for 16 years. My two children were born and raise here in Ketchikan, we have one child in 7th grade at Schoenbar and one in fourth grade at Holy Name. Our youngest child was blessed with dyslexia and has struggled in school from the beginning. In third grade her teacher did research on dyslexia and our daughter had the same characteristics, after struggling for years to help, and get her help we finally have a direction that does help her, my wife spent countless hours researching ways to help her finally finding Camille Booth with the Pace Program out of Craig, AK. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letterVoting in Hydaburg's City Election By Frances C. Natkong - To Registered Voters of Hydaburg: I'm writing once again with the threat of being sued hanging over my head because I feel that our school here in Hydaburg needs to be about the children again. Right now there are two (2) teachers for Kindergarten to 5th grades. Sounds like way back in the day when all grades were grouped in one class. We're supposed to be moving ahead not going further back. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letter Catching a Can in Ketchikan By Bill Rentz - Great and informative article on the history of canning in Ketchikan! We have a very interesting history for such a young city. The fish wars were one of the most exciting. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letter Cats, Wolves, Winter By Ardath Piston - If you let your cats outside to roam, the likelihood that they will be eaten, hit by a car, stolen, or killed by ingesting poison is high. There are many possibilities as to why a cat does not come home besides being eaten by a wolf. If you let your cats outside, you must accept that they may not return. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letterMultiple pool indoor facility By Mick Nelson & Sue Nelson - The USA Swimming Facilities Development Department is pleased to learn of the community's interest in developing a multiple pool indoor aquatic facility that would include pools for not only competitive swimming but also pools and programs dedicated to water safety for children and health and wellness for adults. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letterConcert/ Spaghetti feed fundraiser By Kayla Howe - On October 8th, Ketchikan High School is holding a fund raiser for Kyle Palmer. As we all know Kyle is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Kyle is uninsured and will be requiring extensive surgeries. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letterRE: Customer service By Candice Bailey - I am a frequent shopper at our local big box store. I have had more bad shopping experiences there than good ones. - More...
Thursday - September 24, 2009

letterAlaska Airlines Fails to Live Up To New Moto, "North of Expected" By Russell Thomas - Before Alaska Airlines rolls out another catchy slogan to adorn its uniforms and promotional material, they ought to spend some time talking with their team about how it might actually be implemented. Yesterday I watched as nearly twenty of their customers were left in the Ketchikan lobby because, although they had been in line for more than hour, they checked in too late for the flight. Although most of my 45 clients and their bags made the 6:15 a.m. ferry, the ferry was too full to allow our last van (carrying some of the luggage) to board the ferry. When the last van did arrive the lobby was stilled packed with people and fish that had arrived on the 6:15 a.m. ferry. The people whose luggage arrived on the 6:45 a.m. ferry lined up behind the others who were already patiently waiting in line. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterDrugs By Ken Lewis - It is understandable that we have an emotional outrage over drug use, locally, regionally and nationally. And that focusing upon our young adults just might curb future use. But if the reason we send our youth to public schools is to get the best education, then I will suggest the following: - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterTo pee or not to pee By Chris Elliott - I'm confused. Is the current drug testing policy, the one in place in the Ketchikan School District, unconstitutional? What about Acton v. Vernonia? Is it lawful to drug test students who participate in extracurricular activities? My suggestion or recommendation that parents and teachers work together on a plan for selective or suspicion-based drug testing was just that. Perhaps it wasn t as clear as it could have been, but I was envisioning a voluntary, confidential program. My whole point was that it should not be punitive. In addition, I would strongly disagree that the only information teachers have is gossip picked up in the hallways. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterTo Pee or Not to Pee By Kristenia Johnson - I would first like to say that while I agree that drug testing should be performed and more frequently with no interference from coaches, it is not the only problem facing children and teens today. I do not know if drugs or alcohol were involved in the recent suicides but there certainly was no reference of them in the police reports as I saw. This should show that a mental or emotional issue was prominent and along with the debate (and action) of drug testing should be the debate (and action) of helping our young adults with their mental and emotional wellbeing. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterWolves in Ward Lake area By Ardath Piston - It is always good to be aware of wolf activity in our area. I appreciate Meghan Hogben taking the time to inform everyone that the packs are making their way closer to town. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterWolves By Bev Newell - I read Meghan Hogben's SitNews letter about wolves. We have two of our cats missing since April to Sept 3rd. Our last cat went missing Sept. 3rd. We were told by Humane Society for Animals that wolves could have gotten our last cat. It is odd, three cats missing in four months. One of our neighbors cats went missing this summer too. That makes three cats that I know of missing. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterGas Prices By Steve Randall - While visiting Juneau this past week (Sept. 18, 2009), I was astounded to see gas prices at multiple service stations that were 60-70 cents a gallon cheaper than any in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterCustomer Service By Cayenne Rowton - Moving to Ketchikan from larger cities in the south has been quite an experience. Mostly positive, I find this town to be refreshing in its simplicity and beauty. Being that there are limited places to shop for general goods, I too am a frequent visitor to the local Wal-Mart. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letter Mr. Fisherman Sculpture By Mary Ida Henrikson - Regarding the "Mr. Fisherman" wire sculpture divers found off the Arctic Bar Deck, don't you just love that art is everywhere in Ketchikan? - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterSobriety Walk By Wanda Isaacs - On Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Klawock there will be an island wide Sobriety Walk. The event is intended for families and individuals. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterReckless Health Care Changes By Donald A. Moskowitz - President Obama continues to pitch his reckless and unrealistic health care initiative to the public. "Big Brother" Obama wants Congress to pass a bill quickly before Congress and the public understand the plan. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterAbusive treatment of animals By Alka Chandna - Reports of color blindness experiments on squirrel monkeys at the University of Washington (UW) have only speculated on any relevance to human beings and have failed entirely to mention the pain and misery suffered by the hundreds of monkeys, cats, dogs, gerbils, and rats used by the experimenters over the past 25 years. These animals are invariably forced to endure lives of deprivation, terror, depression, and physical trauma. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterMega-disaster pool By James Schenk - Thank you Mr. Dial. I appreciate your watch. - More...
Monday PM - September 21, 2009

letterImportant Community Information By Rodney Dial - As you decide how you will vote on the proposed Pool bonds on October 6th, you may want to consider the following concerning the health of the City and Borough finances: - More...
Thursday - September 17, 2009

letterTo Pee or Not to Pee By Evan Bolling - Aside from the extreme unconstitutionality of the current drug testing system, the proposal for a "selective drug testing policy" offered by Chris Elliot is much MUCH worse. - More...
Thursday - September 17, 2009

letterSuicide and abuse problems in Ketchkan By Donna Teal - I have read all letters with interest lately on this subject. - More...
Thursday - September 17, 2009

letterNorth Slope seas contain oil and gas vital to US By Senator Lisa Murkowski - Alaska's offshore oil and natural gas resources are vital to the nation's strategic economic and energy security. That's why I strongly support responsible exploration and production in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. - More...
Thursday - September 17, 2009

letterDrug Testing By Chris Elliott - As parents we are sometimes (oftentimes?) oblivious to what is going on right in front of us. We can't see the forest for the trees. We can't believe that our child would lie to us or take drugs or routinely drink too much. We believe that because their friends come from "good" homes, everything is fine. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterKPU DIESEL GENERATION EXPLANATION By Pete Ellis - The reasoning behind running diesel generators at this time of year needs to be further explained by KPU so that we can understand the economics involved in not waiting to see the effect of Tyee connection access and the extent of lake level changes that will be occurring later in the year as affected by Tyee and our further rainfall. Or perhaps the Tyee connection will cost more than the diesel generation? - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterRE: They just don't get it By Dave Kiffer - On Sept. 8, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly authorized $6,000 for a voter pamphlet for the swimming pool bond issue AND the transient occupancy tax changes. It is now estimated that the pamphlet will actually cost approximately $3,200. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterYes to Proposition 2 By Mary Schulz - YES, it is time to replace the Mike Smithers' pool with a new facility. The movement to build pools in Alaska began 40 years ago. The State of Alaska recognized the value of pools in each community and developed a plan to assist with the pool projects through the Department of Education. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterAirlift Northwest's History By Shelly Deering - In 1978, a Sitka house fire left 3 children severely burned. Dr. Michael Copass, founder of Airlift Northwest, was teaching there at the time and spent the day assisting Dr. Longenbaugh in caring for and trying to arrange transfer of these critically injured children to the regional burn center in Seattle. The children died before this could happen. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterDon't be too quick By Evan Bolling - Let's play a quick session of Q&A. Question: Does Ketchikan have a major drug abuse problem? Answer:Yes. Question II: Is that drug abuse the major force behind the recent suicides? Answer: No. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterSuicide, Violence, and Drug Abuse. By Ken Bylund - At thirteen [1955], two friends and I went to see "Rebel Without a Cause" [a movie] at the local cinema's 25 cent matinee; a few weeks later one friend began acting out, the distraught, misunderstood, unreachable character of young Jim Stark, arguing with his girl friend - and she played her part too - both seeming to enjoy the drama... then he did something that stunned us all. Won't go into detail, just that we all went to the funeral parlor, saw his mother sitting in a chair, her back against black curtains, crying her eyes out -- we all felt bad -- there in his coffin, rosy cheeks and handsome, was our friend, Doug. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterRendezvous Senior Day Services Adult Day Program - Adult Day Services week is celebrated September 21-25th by centers like Rendezvous Senior Day Services across the nation. Alaska has 12 adult day programs across the state, two in Southeast Alaska. Rendezvous Senior Day Services currently has an adult day program, among other programs which support our community. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterEyes Finally Opening By Nicole Esau - Upon watching and reading SitNews lately I have to say that I am encouraged that the people of Ketchikan are finally opening their eyes! - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterI Do Not Assert A Stigma By Harold A. Maio - There is such a stigma regarding Mental Health. The sentence actually reads, "I associate such a stigma." It is the writer's statement. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letter Mayor's support of 347 Bawden EPA Assessment By Kenneth Carpenter - As the owners of 347 Bawden Street, we extend our public thanks to Mayor Lew Williams III for his writing a letter of support for EPA assessment on the behalf of the City of Ketchikan. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letter The Time Is NOW To Act By Kristenia Johnson - After my letter was published on Sitnews I received a number of responses from my friends and family congratulating me on saying what they have been thinking for years. I also received a reply from a man I did not know who shared his struggles with staying positive while growing up in Ketchikan and having to combat depression almost year round during the rain. He suffers from SAD. I also knew to expect those replies who did not whole or at all agree with my opinion, one opinion more personal to me was from my boyfriend. While he agreed with some of what I said he still had his disagreements and it hurt me to hear a semi-lack of support from him. I soon realized that this was my big test to understand that not everyone shares the same opinion. However, this is not about me or whether you believe my opinion is one sided or not. Aren't all opinions usually geered toward one side? This is about protecting and saving our children and our town from drugs, alcohol and disruptive behavior which will most likely lead to a life in and out and in jail again. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterSuicide By Tracey Horne Scadden - Having read Ms. Martin's letter on her thoughts about suicide.I applaud you for taking the stand it wasn't your fault. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterWolves By Meghan Hogben - This is a letter to warn people who are walking dogs in the Ward Lake area. Minutes before 8 pm tonight my boyfriend and I were walking our dog on the road down to Ward Lake, they were unmistakable -- wolves, five of them, and they wanted our dog. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letter RE: Memorial fund By Linda Beaupre - First of all, my condolences to the Azure family. Not only do they have to grieve for their son, but they also have to process the tragic circumstances of his death. I cannot imagine the heartache they must be experiencing right now. - More...
Wednesday - September 16, 2009

letterResponse to "Enough" By Rebecca Clark - I couldn't agree with Mr. Ziegler more! Drugs, murder and suicide seem to be a big problem; EVERYWHERE! It seems more threatening when it is closer to home. "Gatekeepers" is a suicide prevention coalition that had their open house last night. I encourage those in our community who want to be proactive in the fight against these monstrosities(both physical and spiritual) to attend upcoming invitations. - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letterKetchikan Youth By Sara Skan - After reading and agreeing with Public Nuisance by Harry Howard, it got me thinking. Yes, there are quite a bit of Ketchikan youth that is disrespectful, destructive amongst other things. However, there is also a side of our beautiful town's youth that is worth encouraging. Three of my four children are enrolled in the Ketchikan school district, on many occasions my oldest has spoken with me about the things that are said and done on the bus, the way the "older kids talk" It makes me nervous to send her off! She is learning things that she shouldn't know at her age, things their father and I should be discussing with them at what we feel is the appropriate time. As a parent I also know that I am responsible for teaching my children to have good judgment and knowing the difference between right and wrong. Having respect and compassion for their elders and one another. - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letterWorried By Rebecca Simpson - I am a concerned citizen of Ketchikan and worried about the children and young adults in our area. There is so many actions being taken by the young people in our area. With all the drug and alcohol use in this town, WHY isn't drug & alcohol awareness being taught to our students? - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letter RE: Too many suicides and attempts By Charlanne Heath - While I realize that this forum is intended to spout your own point of view to a community, Kristenia Johnson's letter is a typical one-sided point of view. - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letter Mental Health Stigma By Jan Cadero - This letter is in response to Mykayla Martin's letter regarding too many suicides or attempts. Mykayla, it is really sad that you at the young age of 17, have a strong opinion regarding suicide. And it is a tragic thing that anyone should have to deal with, but you should not say it is an easy way out. - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letterHealthcare reform By Dale Albertson - In reading Dale McFeatters' oped on Healthcare reform I was inclined to ignore this issue. However, truth always wins out. Revisit the "speech" on this matter to the joint session. It is empty of fact or substance, full of rhetoric and grandstanding. There is plenty of denial on issues dear to the citizens but empty of sources to back up those denials, just denial, oh, and threats against any who oppose the "reforms". Here is just one "fact" relative to peoples concerns: In an article by Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent, The Washington Examiner, entitled: "Health care reform means more power for the IRS", he claims that the IRS would become the main agency charged with determining if you have "acceptable" health insurance. This article inspired Herman Cain, "The Herman Cain Show" to do some research. He found the following little tidbit: "It's Division A, Title IV on pages 167-215 called Amendments to IRS Code of 1986. The expanded powers of the IRS in H.R. 3200 would empower the IRS to require taxpayers to show proof of health insurance coverage, collect fines on individuals and employers who did not have adequate proof of health insurance and determine whether your health insurance was a government approved plan." - More...
Monday - September 14, 2009

letterTime to say "Enough" By Zig Ziegler - There is a huge problem in Ketchikan that appears to be the undercurrent to much of the criminal activity, suicides and social problems we are experiencing. That problem is drugs, specifically, meth and oxycontin. I would be willing to wager that drug use is directly linked to so much of what our community has been facing over the past few years. Is Ketchikan alone in this? Certainly not. Is that an excuse for not taking on this problem head on? Absolutely not. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letter RE: Too many suicides and attempts By Kristenia Johnson - I am having a hard time believing that people in Ketchikan could solely blame a person for ending their own life.There are two (from what I understand) different suicides in a matter of a few months in Ketchikan and neither share two commonalities. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letterKyle Palmer Had KIC insurance...but By Wayne Beaupre - Ketchikan Indian Corp has refused to cover Kyle Palmer, a 23 year member of Ketchikan Indian Corp because, they were not notified first. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letterThey just don't get it By Jon Van Essen - I really find it hard to believe that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly feels the need to spend $55K to supposedly inform us voters all the details on why we need a new community pool. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letterMy Roof Thanks You! By Shauna Lee - I recently wrote a letter to Sitnews regarding my leaking roof and asked for ideas. I must say, Ketchikan didn't fail me. I had three phone calls and numerous letters with offers to help. I couldn't even get to them all so please know that to every one of you that called and wrote, I thank you so much!! - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letter Sea Otters By Mike Moyer - In response to Mr. Jean Bland's letter to me concerning the truth about Sea Otters, I can only say that if there are no shellfish around Craig, Klawock, or Hydaburg now, then how did people survive in the old days there before the Russians wiped out the Sea Otters? - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letterRE: Memorial Fund By Lisa McClould - Regarding the request from Deborah Harney, a child is a gift from God. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

letterObama Attempts School Intrusion By Donald A. Moskowitz - President Obama continues to hover over us like "Big Brother". Tuesday, September 8, 2009 his targeted audience was our impressionable school children. - More...
Thursday PM - September 10, 2009

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