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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 05, 2011

Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON

Marine Vessel Columbia
Front Page Photo by CARL THOMPSON


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AMHS Releases Summer 2012 Schedule - The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) has announced the release of its 2012 summer schedule.

“We are thrilled to get our new summer schedule out on time so passengers can start booking either online or by phone immediately,” said Deputy Commissioner Mike Neussl. “We know how important it is for residents and visitors alike.”

The popular summer ferry schedule includes the new cross gulf trips from Bellingham to Whittier, includes a new schedule for the Upper Lynn Canal and continues to serve both Southcentral and some Southeastern routes with fast ferry service. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Alaska: Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority signs MOA with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough – Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) announced Monday it is forging a new partnership with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough by funding a one-stop permit center within the Borough’s planning department. The new funding will assist the Borough to streamline permitting processes, increase staff efficiency, save time for customers and help protect the environment by coordinating with federal and state resource and regulatory agencies.

“We recognize the ongoing growth that is occurring in the Borough right now and that additional growth will occur as a result of Knik Arm Crossing. The needs for planning and permitting will only increase in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough as the Knik Arm Crossing moves toward construction.” Said Andrew Niemiec, KABATA Executive Director. He continued, “In order to offset these indirect and cumulative impacts, we are assisting the Borough to develop their land use, development, and environmental planning efforts.”

KABATA is also funding a Corridor Study and Access Management Plan from Point MacKenzie to the Parks Highway. “This corridor study is particularly important to the success of the bridge and the Borough’s ability to plan for the future.” Said Larry DeVilbiss, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor. He added, “The corridor study will help us develop a land use plan and get our economic development efforts underway throughout the area that’s most likely to see impacts of the Knik Arm Crossing.” - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Alaska: Alaskans invited to take the food stamp challenge - The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is challenging Alaskans to live off the weekly food stamp budget Oct. 9-15.

The food stamp challenge aims to raise awareness of the difficulty of eating well on the food stamp budget. Participants limit their food purchases to the amount of the weekly food stamp benefit, which is $55 for a single Alaska adult who lives on the road system and up to $85 for residents of remote, rural communities. That works out to $8 to $12 a day.

Challenge organizer Helen Idzorek, of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service, coordinates two nutrition education programs that work with low-income Alaskans. She said other states and members of Congress have participated in the challenge.

And it is a challenge, Idzorek said, especially since food stamps are intended to be a supplemental program and bolstered by contributions from wages, food banks and other programs. “Unfortunately, for a lot of people, that’s not the case.”

As of February 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 76,488 Alaskans received food stamps, or about one in nine residents. Participation in the program has increased substantially in recent years. According to the Division of Public Assistance, Alaska food stamp usage was up by 72 percent for the five-year period that ended July 2011. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Alaska: State Public Health Centers have adult flu vaccine on-hand; Alaskans over 65 have first preference - The Alaska Division of Public Health has purchased approximately 5,500 doses of adult flu vaccine and distributed them to most public health centers around the state. The vaccine is targeted for adults over 65, those at higher risk for serious flu complications, and those without other access to the vaccine. Cost for the vaccine is $40.

“We decided to purchase some adult vaccine to help ensure that it’s available to Alaskans at higher risk of complications from the flu,” said Dr. Ward Hurlburt, director of the division.

Vaccine is now available at public health centers in Cordova, Homer, Kenai, Mat-Su, Seward, Bethel, Dillingham, Kodiak, Nome, Craig, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Valdez, Tok and Kotzebue. Itinerant nurses will also have small supplies with them as they travel through the villages. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Alaska: Murkowski Hires Stefanie Moreland as Fisheries Advisor - U.S. Senator Murkowski announced Tuesday she has selected Stefanie Moreland to be her legislative aide covering fisheries issues and Arctic matters.  “Alaska’s fisheries are one of our largest economic drivers – employing more people in Alaska than the oil and gas and mining industries combined – so Alaska needs a smart, strong advocate,” said Murkowski.  “Stefanie’s expertise and Alaska focus will be a great addition to my staff.” - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Alaska: Sink Rat-Infested Pirate Fishing Vessel says Begich; Seized ship poses threat to seabirds, wildlife; should be scuttled - The Bangun Perkasa engaged in pirate fishing was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard on September 15, some 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak with more than 10 miles of illegal driftnets on board. High seas driftnets have been banned globally since 1992 for their indiscriminate killing of fish, marine mammals and seabirds.  The vessel also had 30 tons of squid in its holds and about 30 shark carcasses.  Later brought to Dutch Harbor, the ship’s 22-member crew was brought to shore and remain in custody but the vessel remains anchored miles offshore because of an infestation of rats.

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) congratulated the Coast Guard for its successful capture of a pirate fishing vessel on the North Pacific and suggested the rat infested ship be towed out to sea and sunk.

“Please convey my thanks to the crew of the Kodiak-based cutter Munro for seizing this vessel on the high seas and retrieving its derelict driftnet,” Begich said in a letter today to Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp. “Now that this pirate ship is in custody, I have one recommendation: the Coast Guard should sink the Bangun Perkasa.”

“Rats have been devastating to waterfowl and other native wildlife species in Alaska and spread disease and contamination,” said Begich, who chairs the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries and the Coast Guard.  “The State of Alaska is correct in banning this infested vessel from port but I am concerned rat eradication efforts will not be totally effective.  I am very concerned about the threat of rat infestation in the Aleutians posed by this vessel.” - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Stedman Elected Vice Chair of Energy Council - Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of the Energy Council during the council’s annual meeting in Anchorage last week.    

“I’m honored to continue serving as part of the Energy Council’s leadership,” said Senator Stedman.  “Legislators’ work at Energy Council is a key part of our efforts to develop Alaska’s energy resources.”

The Energy Council is a legislative organization with members from 12 states, 6 Canadian provinces, and the country of Venezuela.  The council’s mission is to provide a forum to exchange ideas, best practices, and sound solutions on vital energy issues.  The Energy Council does most of its work during four quarterly meetings that rotate among member states and provinces, with a spring meeting in Washington, DC. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011



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letter Fishing Fleet By Angelo Martin - Why isn't someone pursuing the fishing fleet that's based in Seattle to move to Ketchikan? It's a perfect fit. Do as much as you have done to pursue the cruise ship industry, maybe even give free berthing to lure the fishing fleet. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

letter RE: Cruise Line Customer Service By Art Bailly - In response to Ms. Gates' letter, here's how I see it. - More...
Wednesday - October 05, 2011

letter Endangered Species By Don Borders - You might have noticed I wrote Species as plural, because there are actually two Southeast Alaska endangered species. One has recently gotten much attention in various publications and the other one has had very little concern by the environmental groups. Both have been able to disguise themselves and have gone into hiding. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter The Yates Building By Nicole Church - I would like to make the community aware of an opportunity that has recently presented itself. It appears that the Yates building, most recently known as the Seamen’s Center, can be saved from demolition. Restoration seems to be a possibility and at a reasonable cost. If a long term tenant, with a stable cash flow, and a mission that is acceptable to the Church were interested, it is believed by many that financing could be put together. But, it will take the work of Historic Ketchikan, the Ketchikan Historical Commission, the Tongass Historical Society, and the City Officials and Council along with a suitable tenant to make this happen. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter Challenge Day By Karen Eakes - Challenge Day is once again coming to Ketchikan! The Strengthening Cultural Unity taskforce of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition in partnership with the Ketchikan School District and School Board is bringing this nationally recognized event to Ketchikan for the third year. We are pleased with the very positive response that the community has given to this organization and appreciative of the generous financial assistance that we have received over the years. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter Open Letter: Cruise Line Customer Service By Jill Gates - As the cruise ship season wraps up for another year and with the upcoming elections, I would like to express a few concerns I have encountered working with the various Cruise Lines in my capacity of Dock Manager for The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show specifically issues that have come up over the last 5 years. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter Woman of Distinction: Fay Freeman By Anita Hales - This past weekend 5 Ketchikan women were honored for their contributions to the community.  I was honored to present 94 year old Fay Freeman. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter RE: School Spirit By Charlene Thomas - My letter was not intended to offend anyone or to place false information in the public spotlight. I was at the game - I didn't see one cheerleader with the exception of Thunder Mountain. If the Kayhi cheerleaders were there, where were they? I was on the sidelines with a pretty good view of the field. I didn't see the cheer squad take the field during half-time, or any other time for that matter. But, I did see several of the football players try to rally the crowd, and never one time did I hear a cheer from our side indicating we had cheerleaders present. - More...
Monday - October 03, 2011

letter REMEMBERING PATCHWorks By Diane Gubatayao - Over fifteen years ago a great many citizens of Ketchikan participated in a planning process led by Ketchikan Public Health. The key question was what builds a healthy community? Their response was not the customary prevent heart disease or prevent cancer. Their response was truly visionary:  if we want to build a healthy community, we need to invest in healthy youth. But how? Don Mitchel, a school counselor at the time, learned about a new model called “developmental assets” designed by Search Institute based upon a comprehensive review of fifty years of research on youth development.  The concept of developmental assets is so seemingly simple:  if a young person possesses 30 or more of the 40 assets in his or her  life, the chances of that young person avoiding serious risk behaviors such as substance abuse or gangs is greatly increased. Extensive ongoing studies by Search Institute and other researchers on diverse student populations confirm this positive outcome. - More...
Thursday AM - September 29, 2011

letter Disgusted with the federal government By Walter Norum - I am so disgusted with the performance of the federal government, that I want to get all of them out of office. I am not going to get into what they are doing wrong because it would take hours. The purpose of this letter is a possible solution to the problem. In November of 2012, when we vote, let's NOT vote for an incumbent. Let's get all of these people out and start with new people. If we had a 50 or 60% voter turnout, (I would like to see more), and not a single incumbent had been elected, we would be sending a tremendous message to the world. The American people are taking back their country. - More...
Thursday AM - September 29, 2011

letter RE: School Spirit By Amy Bowman - I am writing in response to Charlene Thomas' letter about School Spirit. At this moment I feel very frustrated that her letter would be published with out checking facts. I'm thrilled that Ms. Thomas is in support of wanting more School Spirit because I have been working towards this for several years! At the same time I'm doing my best to word this response very carefully so that I do not offend anyone involved with the School as well as School athletics. - More...
Wednesday - September 28, 2011

letter RE: Bullying at Morning Bus Stops By Vanessa Ohlson - Bullying is a matter reportable to the police. The fact there are witnesses and verbal accounts from other children a case can be made. This young man is in need of some intervention before he escalates and seriously injures another child. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter School Spirit By Charlene Thomas - I recently attended a Kayhi Kings football game at Fawn Mountain and I was completely taken aback when I was told that Kayhi cheerleaders don't attend the football games. Apparently, they don't cheer if the weather is too cold? Thunder Mountain's cheer squad was in attendance and they didn't put on warmer clothing until the game was half over! - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter Yes Prop 2: Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project By Sam Bergeron - Please join me and the City Council in voting yes on the much need Whitman Lake Hydroelectric project. During my time on the City Council I pushed hard for this project and my support for The Whitman Lake project has not diminished. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter Entitlement Programs We can do Without By Michael Spence - Five entitlements the American taxpayers can do without: 1.The Entitlement of large corporations and labor unions to buy public policy through unlimited political contributions, leaving most Americans out of the political process. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter The Library By Ken Leland - Here we go again. First they designed a massive open aircraft hanger sized structure that will cost a mint to heat, now they say the fill is not strong enough and the bedrock is uneven so they will have to drive pilings or float a heavy base under it to support it. Not to mention the size of the property originally sought but abandoned for a smaller site, (read parking) plus pedestrian accessibility. - More...
Monday PM - September 26, 2011

letter An Open Letter to SitNews Readers: Whitman Lake Hydroelectric - Proposition 2 By Lew Williams On Behalf of the Ketchikan City Council - On October 4th, 2011, Proposition 2 will ask voters to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, regarding authorizing the City to issue up to $15 million dollars in bonds to finance construction of a new hydroelectric facility.  The Ketchikan City Council recommends a ‘Yes’ vote. - More... 
Wednesday - September 21, 2011

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Regular Election
October 04, 2011

Unofficial Election Results
Download: 10/04/11

Voter Turnout: 22%

Borough Mayor:

Dave Kiffer - 1, 569

Borough Assembly:

Agnes Moran - 980
Mike Painter - 866
Glen Thompson - 697

School Board

Misty Archibald - 1,095
John Harrington - 923
Stephen Bradford - 664

KGB Prop 1
Assembly Rep

Yes - 1536

City Council

Marty West - 703
Kj Harris - 623
Sam Bergeron - 582

City Prop 1:
Charter Amendment Filing Period

Yes - 718

City Prop 2
Whitman Lake Bonds

Yes - 783

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

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Ketchikan H20 - Ketchikan, Alaska

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