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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 18, 2010

Front Page Photo by WESTON DAVIS


Alaska Day...

Tlingit canoe in front of government buildings, Sitka, Alaska, 1914
Photographer Asahel Curtis, 1874-1941
Courtesy Library of Congress

Alaska: ALASKA DAY: What We're Commemorating By JUNE ALLEN - OCTOBER 18 is Alaska Day, a day that commemorates an afternoon in 1867 when Southeastern's October rains held off long enough for Russia's imperial double eagle flag to be lowered and the Stars and Stripes raised to flap wildly in the autumn winds atop a 90-foot flagpole on Castle Hill in Sitka. The United States was consummating its Purchase of Alaska. Few or none of either nation's dignitaries and troops standing at attention below during the ceremony were particularly happy about the event. Neither were the Tlingits from the nearby village, who were not allowed to attend.

The transfer ceremony had not run smoothly. The Russian flag had tangled and a bosun's chair had to be raised to cut the flag loose. It fluttered down and landed on a raised bayonet of a soldier below. At the sight, a Russian Princess fainted, demonstrating the general feelings of the Russian inhabitants. The American troops, unhappy over having been kept aboard the gunboats in Sitka harbor for ten days before the transfer rituals, were cranky and ready for some shore leave. Each side reflected the attitudes of their respective nations. Some of the Russians interests had not wanted to sell, and Americans, stirred up by editorials and cartoons in the national press, thought the Alaska Purchase was silly, expensive and unnecessary.

No money had yet changed hands. It would be months before a tightfisted Congress would let loose of the $7,200,000 to pay for the sale arranged by Secretary of State William Henry Seward on March 30 of that same year. That is the day we now celebrate as Seward's Day. But from that day on, the remarkable Russian-Alaska capital of New Archangel would be known as the American village of Sitka, to serve as Alaska's capital for the next 30-plus years. -More...
Monday - October 18, 2010

Ketchikan: WAL-MART GIVES $38,000 TO THE KETCHIKAN GENERAL HOSPITAL FOUNDATION - Wal-Mart presented the Ketchikan General Hospital Foundation a gift of $38,000 for its “Campaign for Excellence, Equipment, and Technology” at their remodel unveiling Friday, October 8.

Wal-Mart gives $38,000....

WalMart KGH Foundation - Left to right: Foundation Board Members Georgianna Zimmerle and Carolyn Wilsie, Wal-Mart Manager Terry Smith, KGH CEO Patrick Branco and KGH VP of Patient Care Kendall Sawa
Photo courtesy KGH

“Wal-Mart has been an incredible supporter of our work,” said Gretchen Klein, Executive Director of the KGH Foundation, “they’ve been so generous with grants, volunteer support and the annual Solestice Shoe Auction.

“This donation is a huge boost to our campaign to fund new and replacement equipment to bring advances in technology and a higher level of care and service to our patients.”

Wal-Mart Manager Terry Smith lauded the Foundation for the support it gives Ketchikan General Hospital to continue its care to people in Southeast Alaska. “We are pleased to be able to support the work of the KGH Foundation here in Ketchikan and southern Southeast.” - More...
Monday - October 18, 2010

Fish Factor: Salmon fishery most valuable in two decades By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s 2010 salmon season could be one for the record books!  Based on preliminary data, stronger prices, hefty fish and a good haul will combine to make the salmon fishery the most valuable in two decades.

“We will be at least at the $450 million level and probably at or above $500 million for salmon exvessel (dockside) value,” said market expert Chris McDowell at the Juneau-based McDowell Group. “That’s the highest value since   1992 when it was $607 million (exvessel).”

A bumper return of pinks yielded a catch of 103 million humpies, 40% more than expected.  The fish were larger than usual and averaged 30-40 cents a pound to Alaska fishermen. The 10 year average price is closer to 15 cents, McDowell said.  Chum salmon prices also received higher prices, reflecting a growing demand at retail counters and chain restaurants.

“Chum has the most desirable roe in the marketplace and historically, a lot of the chum exvessel price has been driven by the roe. But in the past 2-3 years, while there have been peaks and valleys in the roe prices,  underneath that has been a steady increase in the wholesale value of chum salmon meat products, fillets, portions and so on,” McDowell explained.

Chum prices have nearly tripled this decade to average 50-60 cents a pound or more.

"At 65 cents for a chum that averages 7.5 to 8 pounds, you’re looking at five dollars per fish. A get a 17-18 million fish harvest, you’re getting pretty close to $100 million for chum salmon,” he added.  - More...
Monday - October 18, 2010


Alaska: Seaweeds a passion for ‘nerdy’ Juneau biologist - Mandy Lindeberg always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Seaweeds a passion...

Mandy Lindeberg
Photo courtesy NOAA

“I knew it would have something to do with the beach. I love that zone, it’s so dynamic,” said Lindeberg, a marine biologist with NOAA’s Auke Bay Lab in Juneau. “You can’t really choose what you’re passionate about, and it definitely is a passion for me.”

For Lindeberg, a federal fisheries biologist, her passion for the beach includes a fascination with seaweeds. So much so that she and fellow Juneau biologist Sandra Lindstrom authored a new book on the subject, “Field Guide to Seaweeds of Alaska.”

To the uninitiated, such a book would likely be rather short. How many different seaweeds could there be in Alaska?

“There are more than 500 seaweed species, and counting,” said Lindeberg. “People say to me, ‘Wow, I had no idea there were that many.’”

About 100 of those species are described with full-color photos and descriptions in the new field guide just published by the Alaska Sea Grant Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The new book is available at most local bookstores or directly from Alaska Sea Grant at

The guide is the first of its kind for Alaska seaweeds and it took Lindeberg nearly 15 years to compile it. Lindeberg said she began working on the book because scientists and friends needed it—there just wasn’t a decent reference book available.

“That was the big complaint - people would grab a specimen and try to identify it, and the books had drawings that didn’t help much,” Lindeberg said. “So I wanted to be sure to have photos of what they look like in their natural habitat; that was the big priority for me.” - More...
Monday - October 18, 2010



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696.

letter The News Media and Transparency By Ken Bylund - ... reading inflammatory on-line news reporting, radioactive comments, and blistering headlines relating to Joe Miller, is there nothing positive -- what are the motives these reporters have writing their hit pieces -- what? Certainly not seeing Diogenes, the skeptic, looking for the honest man. That comparison is closest to fun-house distortionist-mirror reality when we see their self-serving profession, consisting of an army of character assassins, searching for that honest man -- only to destroy his reputation... but why? West Point? Not an issue? Bronze Star... don't need to go there... the lunatic left isn't even bothering to wear clothes. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter False claims By Andy Rauwolf - For the benefit of those who have been expressing concerns regarding Alan Stein’s relationship with the Miller campaign: I have been a volunteer on Joe’s campaign almost from the beginning. I first heard about Alan Stein when he himself contacted us in an attempt to convince us that he was taking over as the S.E. campaign coordinator. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter Write-in Lisa Murkowski By Karen Dillon Haggstrom - Through the military, my dad, Warren Norrgard, brought my family to Ft. Wainwright just days before Alaska became a state. I grew up with Alaska's statehood. I have been an English teacher, real estate broker, and owner of a precast concrete company. Our senators, Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski, were very successful in gaining federal funding for Alaska in those areas -- the military, education, and construction. Due to them Alaska has grown to be what it is today. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter Just Vote Opinion By Chris Elliott - Mr. Herby refers to Joe Miller as a slick talker from Kansas that never held public office before. Ted Stevens was what some might call a slick talker from Indiana who never held public office before he was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives. What is our obsession with Lisa Murkowski being Alaska born? - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter Pro Joe Miller By Trapper Bishop I support Joe Miller for U.S. Senate because I believe like most Americans,they want to change Washington. And like me, they understand that in order to change Washington, we need to change the people we send to Washington. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter Scott McAdams, The Underdog By Myra McGaughey - We all know that Scott McAdams is running for the United States Senate. He is running for this particular position because he strongly cares for the people of Alaska, he wants our voices to be heard by the rest of the nation. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letterPro-Life By Lance Roberts - I'd like to point out to all Pro-Life voters the following Pro-Life candidates: - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter Those that oppose Joe Miller By Chris Barry - I read the dribble that spews from the keyboards of people like David G. Hanger and can't help but laugh and shake my head at the same time. These very people that attack those they feel are unfit for office appear to be merely lashing out at others that are living their dream. They spew forth fallacies and half-truths like they are kisses for babies and care only that they themselves are made to look more intelligent and wise than their fellow citizens. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letter RE: What's Another $17.5 million By Dustin Hofeling - I agree with Ms. Pickard and Mr. Edwardson on this issue. Voter turnout was deficient, which is sad when you consider how much of our money was on the table. Let's take $17.5 million and divide it by 13,000 (roughly the number of people who reside year round on this island). That equals about $1,350 each. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letterFinancial crisis By Shelia Smith - The United States holds a debt-to-GDP ratio of 94%. In addition, GDP cannot be entirely devoted to debt repayment; some must be spent on survival needs. When we reach 100%, we will be in the same sinking boat as Greece. - More...
Monday PM - October 18, 2010

letterThank you for Listening and Acting - Drug Dog and more! By Roberta “Bobbie” McCreary - At the last City Council meeting I was extremely pleased to hear Councilman Sivertsen’s presentation supporting the installation of a community drug dog.  And thank you councilman Jason Harris  “there is large community support”  and councilman Coose “don’t sit around for six months” and Councilman KJ Harris “need to move on this” …to take these steps.  And thank you Chief Talik, “you tell me you want this and I’ll get it done,” and for bringing the excellent police workshop leader, Joe Keil, to our town.   This is the ‘can do” attitude we need in our community to take on our own war on drugs (and underage use of alcohol).  Thank you to our leaders who are stepping forward. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterWrite-In Lisa Murkowski By Chris J. Herby - I am writing to ask everyone to join me in writing in Lisa Murkowski for US Senate on November 2nd.  Lisa truly cares about Alaska and I believe she has done a fine job for us during her 8 years in the senate. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010 

letterThank you KPU By Robert Renninger - I live 14 miles north, and when the power went out last Saturday night, I just figured KPU would have it up in an hour or so.  When I got up, and the power was still off, I though there must be a big problem this time. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterKPU Guys and Gals By Mindy Lloyd - Great job on 10/10/10. I live in Forest Park and we knew how busy you all were that day. I'd like to give a great big THANK YOU to all of you who had to work a great deal of hours and be away from your families. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letter The American Dream By Marla House- I lied to my children. I taught them responsibility, integrity, respect, to live within their means, and to have a strong work ethic so they could strive for The American Dream. Yet, for the past twenty months, my children kept asking me why most politicians don't have the same qualities. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterRE: What's Another $17.5 million By LeAnn Pickard - I read Sitnews quite a bit and though I do not always agree with Mr Edwardson, this time I am right next to him. I cannot believe that it was approved to spend MORE money we do not have. Unless you do not care about your credit, who in their right mind spends money, especially THAT kind of money they do not have? - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterI'll have to agree... By Terry Miles - I'm gonna have to agree with Mr. Edwardson on the sad voter turn out by the people of Ketchikan. 1500 people? Seriously?!! We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the privilage and the right to vote, yet, we choose to just not show up? Does anybody care anymore? - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterYou go David Hanger By Patti Fay Hickox - Thanks for telling it like it is. You have a way with words. I heard Diane Benson speak last night. She said, "If you want war, send your kids first." Her only son lost 2 legs, and part of one hand to this war. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterObama’s Economy A Shambles By Donald A. Moskowitz - In February 2009 President Obama implemented an economic stimulus package of $787 billion, which was supposed to CREATE five million NEW jobs by the end of 2010.  This estimate was subsequently lowered to three million NEW jobs.  The administration then said they would CREATE and SAVE jobs.  They said unemployment would peak at 8.0% by the end of 2010, and then recede. - More...
Tuesday PM - October 12, 2010

letterThreat to A Valuable Beach By Eric Muench - We all need to be aware of a threat to a valued and historically used area known as Coast Guard Beach. It is the longest stretch of sandy beach close to the Ketchikan road system. The land is owned by The State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, so it belongs to us all. - More...
Thursday - October 07, 2010

letterWhat's another $17.5 million By Charles Edwardson - Your vote does count even here. In Ketchikan less than 1,500 people decided to put the rest of us in debt for 17.5 million dollars. I can't express my disappointment enough. - More...
Thursday - October 07, 2010

letterVague statements and catchy sound bites By Tony Hann - Before selecting which City and Borough candidates to vote for, please take a few moments to find out what their overall political philosophy is. - More...
Monday - October 04, 2010

letterRE: NO MORE BONDS UNTIL WE PAY THE OLD ONES OFF By Cindi Davis - Chas, when are you going to run for office? You will have my vote! Your common sense approach is just what we in Ketchikan as well as in the state and federal government. It is a basic principle that anyone coming out of the Great Depression or the WWII era would agree with: YOU DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE. - More...
Monday - October 04, 2010

letterSigns By Mary and Tom Schulz - Even though a "Vote for Joe Miller" sign has been attached on a tree in front of our property at the intersection of Pine and Forest Ave, we do not support him. A member of the Joe Miller campaign committee stated that it is their right to put the sign in that place on the tree because it is on the right of way. - More...
Monday - October 04, 2010

letterQuestions for Mr. Miller and his supporters By Vicki Harsha - To the supporters of Joe Miller's campaign, can you respond to these questions? I have asked the campaign directly, but was told: "Thank you for contacting the Joe Miller for US Senate Campaign. Joe's goal is to respond to your message promptly but due to his busy travel schedule, your patience and understanding is appreciated." - More...
Monday - October 04, 2010

letterNew Sidewalk in NewTown By Alan R.(Rudy) McGillvray -Isn't this interesting, Newtown is getting new sidewalks, wider, better marked, etc. But folks, have you looked at the power poles along Water St? The city obviously has enough money for new sidewalks but nothing for moving the power poles a little distance in or out of the traffic pattern. Has anyone but me noticed? - More...
Sunday PM - October 03, 2010

letterNO MORE BONDS UNTIL WE PAY THE OLD ONES OFF By Charles Edwardson - I am not in any way shape or form against libraries, fire stations. or fixing our sewer systems, any more than I am against a new ipod, a new car, new boat, some new tools, all of which would improve my life and enable me to keep up with the times, so let's just save the shocked indignation, I simply cannot afford those items. - More...
Sunday PM - October 03, 2010

letterTerm Limits/Age Limits By Virginia E. Atkinson - For too long there has been politicians dying while still serving in office, whether i'ts Local, State or Federal, it's getting ridiculous that our Senators, Reps, etc dying in office when they ought to have stepped down twenty years ago and let the younger generation take over and pick up where they left off. Why stay in office for 30 or 40 years when they could be staying home and enjoy being home with family and friends, spending time with grandkids and let the younger generation take over what needs to be done in Washington. - More...
Sunday PM - October 03, 2010

letter KIC ALWAYS BEEN HERE BUT COMING ON STRONGER By Charles Edwardson - HOW about something other than the library.

One of the hats I wear with great pride is a past Ketchikan Indian Community (here after KIC) Tribal councilman. - More...
Sunday PM - October 03, 2010

letter JOE MILLER & THOSE SUPPORTING HIM By David G. Hanger - He’s a nice enough looking fellow, this Joe Miller, and speaks with a rigid enthusiasm about the power he wants you to give him, but what he spews is a vicious ugliness that is completely divergent with the reality in this country today. This is not a recession, folks, this is a depression, and while you don’t see it in Ketchikan, or generally that much in Alaska, this is the hardest, most desperate economic time I have seen. There are old people in their 70s on street corners singing for their supper. Every rest stop is filled with beggars, children two to six, and adults of all ages. “Just Hungry,” the sign reads, and it is not a joke. And just so the racists amongst you get it, most of them are white people. More...
Sunday PM - October 03, 2010

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