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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 20, 2010

Front Page Photo by Peaches Wallin

Stormy Tongass Narrows
Front Page Photo by PEACHES (NAONA) WALLIN


Alaska: After Alaska primary upset, missteps cost Miller By BECKY BOHRER (AP) - Since his stunning defeat of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, tea party favorite Joe Miller has suffered a series of potentially crippling missteps that have helped turn the Alaska Senate campaign into a highly competitive race.

After Alaska primary upset, missteps cost Miller

In this Sept. 16, 2010 file photo, Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller gestures in Juneau, Alaska.
(AP Photo/Chris Miller, File)

Miller has been forced to acknowledge his family has benefited from the kinds of entitlements — Medicaid, unemployment, federal farm subsidies — he now rails against. He used a Cold War symbol of suppression, the Berlin Wall, as an example of how the U.S. can secure its own border. He had to deal with the fallout from his security handcuffing and detaining a journalist at a town hall meeting.

And that's only part of it.

With less than two weeks until the election and early voting under way, the near-constant hiccups have helped to make this a heated three-way race between Miller, Murkowski as a write-in candidate and Democrat Scott McAdams, a former Sitka mayor.

Supporters see the media as unfairly targeting Miller. To them, he's the voice of an angry populace, one of the tea party movement's brightest prospects for shaking up an out-of-control Washington.

"Is any candidate perfect?" asked Jennie Bettine, whose Wasilla-based Conservative Patriots Group is backing Miller. "No. But Joe Miller is closer to what we think we need for this country" - a pro-gun, anti-abortion defender of the Constitution.

Critics have labeled him an extremist, whose ideas, like weaning Alaska off its reliance on federal aid by giving it greater control of its resources, imperil the future of the state.

They also accuse him of being a hypocrite and a flip-flopper.

After criticizing Murkowski during the primary for voting with Democrats on some issues, Miller now stresses a need for bipartisanship to break through congressional gridlock. He once said he'd "absolutely support repeal" of the constitutional amendment that lets voters elect senators but later said he doesn't see amending the Constitution as the "practical solution" to addressing issues in Washington. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

Alaska Science: Wandering whitefish surprise biologists By NED ROZELL - Aaron Dupuis lost his fish. Last year, the graduate student installed radio tags on a few dozen whitefish in a maze of lakes near Minto, Alaska. Using a radio receiver, he followed some fish up the Chatanika River to where they spawned, but the location of about 40 others were a mystery. Dupuis’ search for the missing whitefish helped lead biologists to the discovery of an unlikely gathering place “boiling with fish.”

Wandering whitefish surprise biologists

A section of the Tanana River that is “boiling with fish” in the fall. Biologists recently identified this area as the spawning grounds for many whitefish.
Photo by Randy Brown

Dupuis, who has since earned a master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, searched for his lost whitefish in drainages near where he had previously caught them. Washington Creek. No luck. Tatalina River. Nope. Upper Tolovana River. Not there, either. Then a biologist who has spent much of his career studying whitefish, Randy Brown of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, offered Dupuis a ride in a Cessna about 1,500 feet above the Tanana River. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

Alaska: Rat Island is Officially Rat-Free; Restoration for Aleutian Seabirds Brings New Life to Refuge Island - Biologists who are restoring seabird habitat on a remote island in Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge confirmed in August that Rat Island is now rat-free. The report comes after two years of careful field monitoring at Rat Island, where the invasive predator decimated native seabird populations by preying on eggs and chicks.

“We’re incredibly pleased to see this fresh new start for Rat Island,” said Randy Hagenstein, director of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska. “In the Aleutians, great clouds of seabirds normally fill the skies over islands teeming with life. The rats’ devastation had turned Rat Island into an eerily quiet place.”

Restoring habitat on Rat Island for native seabirds is the most ambitious island habitat restoration project ever undertaken in the Northern Hemisphere and the first in Alaska. The eradication of the non-native rats took place in September of 2008 after four years of planning. The restoration of the 10-square-mile island was led by Island Conservation, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Rat Island is the most ambitious restoration effort we’ve undertaken on a refuge island, and we couldn’t have done it without our partners,” said Geoff Haskett, regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Nearly 7,000 acres of wildlife refuge habitat has been reclaimed for native wildlife and that is an exciting result.” - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010


National: Some benefit when Social Security benefits don't rise By KATHLEEN PENDER - The announcement that next year there will be no cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security checks for the second year in a row is disappointing for everyone receiving benefits, but there's a silver lining for two groups of people.

One is high-income earners. Because there was no cost-of-living adjustment, the Social Security wage base -- the annual income subject to Social Security tax -- will remain at $106,800 for a third straight year in 2011.

The other is seniors who participate in Medicare Part B, the voluntary insurance program that covers doctors' visits and outpatient care. Because there was no Social Security COLA, most seniors who have Medicare Part B insurance will have no increase in their premiums in 2011 for the second year in a row.

However, a small percentage of Medicare Part B participants will pay higher premiums next year -- and the increase will be even bigger than it would have been if there had been a Social Security adjustment. They will have to pay more because others don't have to.

This oddball outcome stems from a provision in the law that didn't matter much until inflation disappeared.

The background: Each October, Social Security announces how much benefits will go up the following year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners, or the CPI-W. Because there was no increase in the CPI-W over the relevant time period, there will be no increase in Social Security benefits in 2011.

Near the end of the year, Medicare announces Part B premiums for the following year. Most participants have their Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks.

By law, Medicare Part B participants, as a group, must pay for 25 percent of the program's cost through their premiums. Almost everyone pays the same monthly premium except for higher-income people, who pay a surcharge every year. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010



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letter Write-in Lisa Murkowski By Lyle Simpson - I am a lifetime Alaskan (over 70 years) and I have never seen a campaign as dishonest as the one launched by Joe Miller. His attacks on Lisa Murkowski misrepresented her stand on issues and then he had the audacity to lie about her financial disclosure claiming that she has investments that actually do not exist. Yet, he has not bothered to file his own disclosure statement which was due 6 months ago. what is Joe hiding? He presents himself as a fiscal conservative yet he used the very system that he rails against when he collected farm subsidies for several years. Joe denied taking subsidies but was forced to admit to them when the facts became known. Where is the transparency he promises? How can Alaskans trust Joe when he has lied so much throughout his campaign. - More...
Thursday AM - October 21, 2010

letterWrite-in Lisa Murkowski By Olga Simpson - Alaskans need to be united against outside interest groups who are trying to buy our U.S. Senate seat. Thousands of dollars from Californians, Nevadans, Pennsylvanians and many other outsiders are being poured into Joe Miller's campaign for Alaska's Senate seat. Previous involvement from outside groups have prevented us from utilizing our State's natural resources. Once again these OUTSIDERS want to involve themselves in Alaska's business by removing our influential Senator Lisa Murkowski. As a native born Alaskan, she knows ALL of Alaska well. Every vote she has cast during her tenure has been in Alaska's best interest. - More...
Thursday AM - October 21, 2010

letterKGBSD vs local nonprofits By Agnes Moran The Ketchikan Gateway School District (KGBSD) has secure sources of funding from the local, state and federal governments. The KGBSD needs to rein in their spending. They need to put off implementing expensive programs such as providing Apple laptops to every high school student until the local economy improves. KGBSD should not be competing with local nonprofits for local charitable resources. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterThe Challenge of Fixing Our Economy By Mary Lynne Dahl - As I think about my vote in the upcoming election, I cannot help but make a few comments. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I am not impressed with or interested in blasting any candidate. I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, for what it's worth. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterWrite-in LISA MURKOWSKI By Vicki Harsha - It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote my first letter to Sit News asking for answers from either Joe Miller or his supporters. I am still unable to get a response to my questions from his campaign. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter What’s Right For Alaska? By Connie Emmert - Remember how “Hope and Change”  turned out to be something other than what Obama’s voters bargained for?  I think about that every time I hear Lisa say she’s going to do “what’s right for Alaska”.  What does that mean?  It’s an ambiguous phrase. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter Write-in LISA MURKOWSKI By Jonna Cragun - This is my choice. because it's best for Alaska.. and I'm a democrat. The other candidates are too green to get what Alaska needs at the DC level. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letterWHO’S REALLY LYING? By Andy Rauwolf - Lisa Murkowski has accused Joe Miller of lying about her record and her vote on health care, repeatedly stating that Joe said she voted for the bill.   I have searched the Web, including Senator Murkowski’s website, and nowhere can I find a video clip or recording of Joe Miller stating she voted for Obamacare.  What Joe has said is taken directly from Lisa’s statements from videos, namely:  “It’s not so much that the government run plan is in and of itself a bad thing … what we have to have is a government run plan that actually works.” This and other recorded statements she has made leave little doubt that Lisa Murkowski is supportive of some form of government run health care which will ultimately lead to the end of private sector health insurance. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter MILLER TIME By David G. Hanger - That short step to jackboots, brownshirts, and storm troopers has now been taken by this nut job, Joe Miller. I think now you can clearly see that what I said then is not in any sense an exaggeration of current circumstance. He has his own hired goons and thugs who now handcuff and kidnap anyone who asks questions of this man who wants to be our Senator, but refuses to answer any questions whatsoever about his past. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter Standing water on the roadway By Laurie Price - With monsoon rains of late I have notice more standing water on the highway. It could be an easy fix if the state would muck out the grass and dirt build up from under the guard rails allowing for proper drainage. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 20, 2010

letter 'Personal Responsibility' By Virginia E. Atkinson - Bullying in this country is so out of control thanks to too much negative news coverage and all the copy-cats coming out of the woodworks 'cause they have that strong desire for a few minutes of fame and shame. Bullies ought to be treated like any other criminals 'cause it involves individuals harming others around them. - More...
Wednesday PM- October 20, 2010

letterThe 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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