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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 30, 2010

Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES

Ward Lake
Front Page Photo by MIKE GATES


Alaska: Alaska's Highest Court Makes Write-In Ruling - Late Friday afternoon the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that election poll workers will be allowed to hand out a controversial write-in candidate list.

The seven page ruling comes with conditions, including leaving out the candidate's party affiliation. Ballots cast by voters who see the list will also now not be segregated from other ballots.

The key part of the justice's finding states only voters in actual need of the list will be able to view it. The justices' findings stated that they recognized a myriad of reasons why a qualified voter in Alaska may require assistance casting a write-in ballot. Some voters require assistance for medical difficulties or conditions that make spelling or memory recall difficult. Some voters suffer from learning disabilities that interfere with word retrieval, such as aphasia and dyslexia. Some voters may need assistance remembering or spelling the name of a candidate due to conditions impacting their memory or comprehension, including stroke victims who may have word retrieval problems. Other qualified voters may need assistance spelling the name of a candidate for a variety of reasons, including language barriers. Providing the proper spelling of names written in English could assist those voters who want to vote for a particular candidate and need assistance in ensuring that they write the candidate's name correctly.

The Court decided the Division of Elections may provide the list only when its use is tailored to address a voter's request for specific assistance. There will be circumstances where providing the list will not be necessary to address a voter's request for assistance and other circumstances where providing the list will be necessary to address a voter's request for assistance. For example, if a voter requested the correct spelling of a specified registered write-in candidate's name, it would be unnecessary to provide the entire list to that voter in order to provide the requested spelling assistance.

The justices agreed with the Alaska Democratic Party and the Alaska Republican Party that providing information about a write-in candidate's party affiliation is prohibited because part affiliation is "information regarding" a write-in candidate that is not necessary to address a voter's request for assistance. Thus the justices reiterated their previous order that the "write-in candidate list" shall not include any information other than the write-in candidates names. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Man Sentenced to 38 Months in Federal Prison For Conspiracy To Distribute Methamphetamine – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Friday that a Ketchikan resident was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 38 months in prison for his conviction for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Michael Todd Stanley, 40, a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Ralph R. Beistline, on October 28, 2010.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, while under an investigation conducted by the Ketchikan Police Department, Stanley was secretly recorded distributing methamphetamine to an undercover informant on three separate occasions. The investigation later linked Stanley to a larger, drug-distribution conspiracy involving a number of individuals distributing methamphetamine in Ketchikan. The conspiracy involved the distribution of over 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine over the course of the conspiracy. - More...
Saturday AM - October 26, 2010

National: Seniors upset that Social Security checks won't rise this year By MICHAEL COLLINS - Phone calls and e-mails from upset seniors have been flowing steadily into congressional offices ever since the federal government disclosed a few weeks ago that Social Security recipients will not get a raise for the second year in a row.

"They are very disappointed that they are not getting a cost-of-living increase because they feel like their cost of living has gone up in both of the last couple of years," said Rep. John Duncan, a Tennessee Republican. "I agree with them. Anybody that says the cost of living hasn't gone up in the last couple of years, I don't know what world they're living in."

The announcement that Social Security benefits will be frozen in 2011 has caused anger and confusion among some seniors, who erroneously believe it is Congress and the White House that are denying them raises in the monthly checks that make up a significant portion of many retirees' incomes.

It also has once again raised questions about whether the formula used to calculate inflation -- the trigger that determines whether Social Security benefits will rise -- truly reflects the living expenses of seniors on fixed incomes. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010


Columns - Commentary

Dave KifferDAVE KIFFER: Still Aging After All These Years - A while back, I mused on how it was that folks in my age group had suddenly become “old.”

Natch, I have received several emails, phone calls and letter bombs from people who are a wee bit over-concerned about “premature” aging. The most common question I have received is “Hey Dave, you old geezer, how can I be sure that I am not on the Road to Ruin like you?”

Well, I can assure you that you are all aging, and at a speed that is indeed somewhat faster than continental drift.

But, in order to ease your concerns, I have come up with a series of questions that could help clear things up. As always, your answers are completely confidential and I promise not to share them with any more than one or two dozen of my closest personal friends or on more than two social networking sites. And I promise not to laugh too loudly when you come into the room.

Got your number two pencils ready? (And no using Google or Wikipedia to find the correct answers!) - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: For Halloween -- Dressing Up in Down Times - “What's the matter? You seem agitated.”

“Every year, the wife and I and the neighbors dress up for a Halloween bash. But the wife won't let me buy a costume this year. She says our dough is so tight I have to make my own.”

“There's no shame in that. Some of the cleverest costumes are homemade. They can be satirical and mock current events.”

“That's what I thought. I figured I'd mock our lousy economy by dressing up as a hobo. I was going to wear old, torn clothes, but the wife put a stop to it.”

“She stopped you because it would be rude to make fun of people who live on the streets?”

“No, because I planned to wear my regular clothes. I haven't been able to afford a new pair of pants since the economy tanked in 2008.”

“Surely you have other satirical ideas to choose from.” - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010



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

letter Uncivilized behavior By Robert K Rice - Joe Miller “I Lied", his thugs handcuffing and detaining private citizens on public property. Rand Paul’s thugs manhandling and then stomping on a young woman’s head because her sign is offensive. Despite this uncivilized behavior, these whacko’s are ahead in the polls. To me it is frightening that so many Americans will accept this kind of behavior from people who are to represent them in the US Senate. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letterPro McAdams By Dave Lieben - This year's Senate race is certainly an interesting one. Recent polls show the three candidates about even, with the number of undecided voters increasing instead of decreasing. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Redistribute the wealth By Patti Fay Hickox - I'm Irish, it's cultural. I agree with Bob McLaughin II. The changes that (THE PEOPLE) made in the presidential election 2 years ago are the first changes to help the poor and middle class in many years. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Cutting Public Safety By Darlene Guzman - Every year Public Safety is on the chopping block for positions. I understand the hard times this community is going through but without police officers and firefighters it could be harder times for the citizens who need them. Public Safety is partially funded by sales tax in the amount of $3 million dollars a year split between police and fire. Excluding the proposed fire station, that is nearly half of the fire department's budget. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Write-In Candidates By Shannon Nelson - America is a wonderful place to live. We have the privilage and right to vote and we have the privilage and right to run as an elected runner or as a 'write in'. That is the American way. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letterBallot Measure 1: Increase Number of Legislators and Districts; Senate Joint Resolution 21 By Carolyn V Brown - The League of Women Voters of Alaska encourages voters to weigh the facts of Ballot Measure 1. At statehood, 1959, the Alaska Constitution mandated 20 Senators and 40 Representatives to serve in the Alaska Legislature to serve a population at that time of 225,000. The current population of Alaska is 691,000 (in 2008 - 2009) and the number of members in the Alaska Legislature has remained the same, as the population tripled.  In 1959, each Representative served 5625 Alaskans; however, in 2010, each Representative is asked to represent 17,275 Alaskans. If Ballot Measure 1 is not approved by the voters, the number of voters in each legislative district could increase to approximately 18,000. - More...
Thursday AM - October 28, 2010

letterPro Joe Miller By Glen Thompson - In this year’s US Senate race, Alaska is fortunate to have three fine citizens to choose from.  They each bring experience, skill, and aptitude to the table.  They are also our friends and neighbors.  We should bear this in mind when our political discourse tends to devolve into personal attacks.  During my recent six years in elected office, it was rare to find an elected official who put themselves ahead of their constituents.  We generally agreed on our desire for success, we just disagreed on how to go about it.  Personal attacks merely serve to deflect from the issues and there are not many saints walking amongst us. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010 

letter Lisa Murkowski By Ken Arriola - I truly find it hard to believe that Lisa Murkowski's two term tenure in the Senate has earned her the misfortune of being ousted for an all but unknown candidate. - More...
Wednesday - October 27, 2010

letter MAN UP By David G. Hanger - By concise do you ( Laura Plenert) mean a sound byte that is not visible? Or are you concerned with something that is not quite precise enough for your taste? The devil is in the details, so I am told. It is simple fact, for example, that the leader of a goon squad is also a goon. That is an unfortunate fact in this instance, to be sure, because the man is running for U.S. Senator, but the leader of a goon squad is also a goon. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letter What Will Alaskans Remember about November 2nd, 2010? by Ken Bylund - Too many of today's Politicians run for office to initiate a career with the primary objective of keeping that coveted position for life... their product is generally legalized bribery and generating a confused issuance of useless drama. Question - do they represent the people? Have our veterans, past and present, risked their lives and died for this travesty? Did we the people ask for this welfare state, or was it just a scheme to insert a Burmese Monkey Trap into our culture? If we don't learn to let go of the bribe... we will be sharing that cook-pot with the frog. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterRE: Great Job, Seniors By Judith Green - WOW how nice - life in Ketchikan needs to be at the top of the list of positives for us all. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterKetchikan Packing Company By Bruce Anderson - Would anyone have any info on the Ketchikan Packing Company. My grandfather ran it and had an old codfishing schooner- the Fanny Dutard, that he towed behind the Narada between Seattle and Ketchikan with empty cans for the cannery. He also built and had floating salmon traps. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 27, 2010

letterJoe Miller, the RIGHT Choice By Sandy Powers - Sometimes I almost wish I were a Democrat. It would be easier to stomach the political articles appearing right and left - but mostly left - in Alaska's media. Newspapers wield an undue amount of influence on political outcomes. And so, misleading headlines such as AP Becky Bohrer's recent "Missteps Cost Miller" are disturbing in their bias. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letter Great job, seniors! By Michael Cron - I would like to take a moment to commend the senior class at Ketchikan High School. This last Thursday, the high school held a pep assembly that included the traditional "senior walk-in," where the seniors enter the gym to cheers and walk around the basketball court a few times. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letter Privacy outweighed by public's significant interest By A. M. Johnson - The "Retired" judge, appointed by Frank Murkowski, rules on a weekend that: "I hold that although Mr. Miller has a legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents, Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate," the judge said. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterPro Joe Miller By Richard Easbey - Amen, Debbie Nance. It's hard to say who should be more ashamed of themselves: Lisa Murkowski for her sleazy attempt to hijack the election, which she lost to Joe Miller fair and square ... or Alaskans who apparently prefer to be welfare queens and stay on the government teat rather than to make Alaska self-sustaining and prosperous. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterRE: The News Media and Transparency By Tom Barrett - Regarding Ken Bylund's letter: well put, and in very few words. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 26, 2010

letterPro Scott McAdams By Bob  McLaughlin,II - If you were one of the voters who turned out in large numbers on Stedman Street for the caucus (2008), to put an end to the Bush/Cheany administration, and turned out to vote in November 08 for President Obama, then you should know what your vote did and how it affects you every day.- More...
Saturday AM - October 23, 2010

letter"Old school" tax and spend By Doug Gosnell - So, Lisa wants to "make history" as a write-in candidate? Of all the republicans now sitting in congress, Lisa has one of the worst conservative voting records. Of 319 house and senate republicans in congress, only 11 had a worse conservative voting record than Lisa. - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

letterRE: Miller Time By Laura Plenert - Mr. Hanger, why can you never be concise in your comments?? And why are you always calling names and blaming others for everything?? Your points might be taken seriously if you weren't always accusing and could keep it to a couple of paragraphs. - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

letter Pro Joe Miller By Debbie Nance - Lisa Murkowski, I have a question. The voters made their choice known and Joe Miller won, yet here you are insisting that you know better. How many other times have you decided you knew better than those you represent??? - More...
Friday PM - October 22, 2010

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

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