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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 10, 2011

Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA

Lake Whitman
A view of Lake Whitman from the backside of Deer Mt.; Herring Cove is on the right, with George Inlet.
Front Page Photo by KEN ARRIOLA


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Ketchikan: Heavy precipitation recorded in Ketchikan for September – Monthly precipitation in Ketchikan was heavy during the month of September totaling 28.33 inches, slightly more than twice the expected amount of 13.79 inches.

Heavy precipitation recorded in Ketchikan for September

Ketchikan's September Weather
Courtesty Alaska Climate Research Center

According to data released today by the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, precipitation occurred in Ketchikan on 28 days of the month. Of note was September 20, with a daily total of 5 inches of precipitation. Despite the heavy rainfall, no new precipitation records were set for Ketchikan during the month of September.

Ketchikan's average temperature of 53.8 degrees Fahrenheit in September was 1.3 degrees above the long-term mean. The highest temperature of the month, 70 degrees, was measured on September 12. The month’s low temperature, 40 degrees, occurred on September 25.

Although the average monthly temperature for September 2011 was somewhat above the expected value, the daily temperature ranges followed fairly closely to the long-term averages. No new temperature extremes were recorded for Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - October 10, 2011

Fish Factor: Good news and bad news for Bering Sea crabbers By LAINE WELCH - Bering Sea crabbers got good news and bad news last week when catch quotas were announced for fisheries that open this week.

The bad news: the catch for Alaska’s most famous crab fishery – Bristol Bay red kings – was slashed by 47% to just 7.8 million pounds. Crabbers were expecting a reduced harvest, but they were shocked by the big drop.

“I was very disappointed. We were looking at something around 10 million pounds. I was surprised and a bit frustrated with that low of a quota,” said Jake Jacobsen, a veteran Bering Sea crabber and director of the Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a harvester group.

The crab harvest is the second lowest since 2001 when 7.1 million pounds were taken, according to Wayne Donaldson, a longtime crab biologist at ADF&G in Kodiak.

The Bristol Bay king crab catches have been trending downwards for several years due to low numbers of legal sized males recruiting into the fishery, the only crabs that can be retained for sale. There are hopeful signs of stronger year classes showing up - but it is slow going, as it takes about seven years for the crab to reach market size. - More...
Monday - October 10, 2011

Alaska: October is Firefighter Appreciation & Fire Prevention Month - Governor Sean Parnell signed a proclamation announcing October 2011 as “Firefighter Appreciation Month” in Alaska. Governor Parnell urges Alaskans to recognize the important role of firefighters in keeping our children, families, and communities safe.

There are over 4,800 firefighters in Alaska, including paid, volunteer, and military members, serving in 249 State, military, industrial, and standard fire departments statewide. These public servants respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without hesitation and are involved in many community programs when not responding to emergencies.

Firefighters receive extensive training and attend hundreds of hours of class room education enabling them to respond to a wide range of hazardous situations. This commitment unfortunately requires the firefighter to spend many hours away from home and family.

As firefighters focus on public fire and life safety education during the month of October, it is important for Alaskan's to remember the commitment and dedication of these public servants. Alaskans should make a special effort to thank their local firefighters for the job that they do.

Governor Sean Parnell also signed a proclamation announcing October 2011 as "Fire Prevention Month" in Alaska. Governor Parnell urges Alaskans to protect their loved ones and possessions by focusing on fire safety. The Fire Prevention Month theme for 2011 is "Protect Your Family From Fire".

In 2010 75% of all structure fires in Alaska occurred in residential structures and all 12 civilian fire fatalities occurred in residential structure fires. The two major causes for home fires in Alaska are unsafe heating practices and unattended cooking. Both of these causes are preventable by following simple fire safety tips in your home. Fire Departments throughout the State will be conducting fire safety and prevention programs in schools and public gatherings focusing on this year’s theme. - More...
Monday - October 11, 2011

Alaska: Carcasses of two killer whales found up river near Dillingham - NOAA Fisheries confirmed late Saturday that two of the three killer whales that have been in the Nushagak River during the past month have died. The third whale was observed Saturday afternoon swimming downriver in the vicinity of Portage Creek.

A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted an aerial survey Saturday afternoon. Based on a tip from a local resident who said he had seen a killer whale carcass near Portage Creek, the biologist was able to locate that carcass floating, and then another whale carcass a few miles downstream on the bank.

NOAA Biologist Barbara Mahoney said Sunday morning that a boat survey would be conducted Sunday in an effort to locate the remaining live killer whale.

Local residents say the three killer whales had been in the Nushagak River for at least three weeks. Scientists believe the killer whales succumbed to stress from being in the freshwater, outside their normal marine habitat.

After reports on Friday identified the whales in lower Nushagak River, above Portage Creek, officials flew a survey from Dillingham to New Stuyahok; however the killer whales were not found. Although the biologists hoped the killerwhales had moved into salt water, a survey was then planned for Saturday to further investigate the whales' location.

There have been no reported sightings of the third killer whale on the Nushagak River since Saturday, when it was last spotted swimming downriver from Portage Creek in the saltwater tidal area. An aerial survey will be conducted Monday in another effort to locate that third whale. An aerial survey along the Nushagak River was planned for this [Monday] afternoon to verify the location of the two killer whale carcasses discovered Saturday, and to see if the third killer whale can be sighted. - More...
Monday - October 10, 2011


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Cruise ships and crossing guards By Art Bailly - Regarding Mr. LeCompte's letter, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is it's private companies (cruise ships and vendors / excursion tours) wanting a place to do their business out of the rain. It's a private business matter not a City of Ketchikan matter to fund. It's not the city's responsibility to pay for or construct a place for private vendors to do their business. - More...
Monday - October 10, 2011

letter Crosswalks By Suzan Thompson - In response to Art Bailly's letter: if someone in the city's administration told him that $50,000 was too much to spend to put a crosswalk light at the intersection of Carlanna and Baranof, then it seems that a monetary value has been assigned to the life of each child who needs to cross there, and it is not high. - More...
Friday PM - October 07, 2011

letter RE: Cruise Line Customer Service By Tom LeCompte - Regarding Mr Bailly's letter about the operations on the port. I have worked on the docks and also for the KVB over the last 15 years. I am not aware of any off-the-ship businesses owned by any cruise line. Could you perhaps be more specific as to who own what? I think you are mis-informed. - More...
Friday PM - October 07, 2011

letter Pirate Fishing Vessel By Olney Webb - This vessel is a hazmat bomb. Fuel oil, lube oil, refrigeration chemicals. - More...
Friday PM - October 05, 2011

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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