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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 12, 2011

Front Page Photo by HEIDI PRENTISS

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Front Page Photo by HEIDI PRENTISS


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Southeast Alaska: Begich Calls for Update of Tongass Roadless Area Maps - In a recent letter to Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Tom Tidwell, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) requested the service to update the inventoried roadless area maps for the Tongass National Forest.

Given the economic distress throughout much of Southeast Alaska, this common sense action of updating the maps would mitigate to some degree the negative effects of the Roadless Rule on the timber industry and communities in Southeast Alaska, said Begich.

The maps are more than a decade old and don’t reflect the situation on the ground. Begich said in the letter, "Significant road construction has occurred in the decade after the adoption of the inventoried roadless area maps, and without an update, the result is a somewhat illogical situation wherein areas of the Tongass which are actually roaded are considered roadless." - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

Southeast Alaska: 12th Annual C.R.U.I.S.E. Service Awards Recognize Top Local Tour Operators - Each year, Princess Cruises marks the end of the Alaska season with shipboard awards ceremonies celebrating the year's favorite local tour operators. The line's 12th annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards have just been handed out, honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in most ports on Alaska itineraries, based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season.

Award winners were chosen from the extensive line-up of Alaska and Pacific Northwest shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, and recognize the most popular tours, individual guides and dock representatives in many of the communities where Princess ships call. The awards highlight the important role played by local tour operators in each community as part of a passenger's overall cruise experience. Winners are determined primarily by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.

"It's always gratifying to recognize these local tour operators who go above and beyond to provide our passengers with unforgettable experiences in Alaska and British Columbia," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We know that a passenger's time in port and their activities while on land are a significant part of their cruise experience, especially in such an exciting place as Alaska and the Pacific Northwest." - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

Alaska: Officials Introduce Coastal Zone Initiative; Initiative gives Alaskans a say in federal coastal development decisions - Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho held a press conference on Monday to introduce the citizens’ initiative he and others filed late last Friday to ensure Alaskans have a say in decisions affecting their coastal zones. Because Alaska is the only coastal state without a coastal zone management plan, Alaskans have a diminished voice in decisions made by industry and the federal government that affect coastal communities.

 “When the old program expired, Alaskans lost their say in how we manage our coastal resources. We introduced this initiative because Alaskans deserve a voice in what happens in our waters and industry deserves a predictable, streamlined process for developing Alaska’s coastal resources,” said Mayor Botelho.

Mayor Botelho, Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Mako Haggerty, and Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby sponsored the initiative to recreate a strong coastal management plan for Alaska. - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

Southeast Alaska: WCA Covers Shakes Island Totem Poles for Winter; Totems to be repaired, repainted and put back up next summer – Over the last days of September and early October, master carver Wayne Price and members of his adzing team worked through and around hard rain, gale force winds, and ankle deep mud on the behalf of the Wrangell Cooperative Association (WCA) to position and then cover all of the downed totem poles on Shakes Island. The totem were taken down for refurbishing earlier in the month and placed on the lawn behind the Chief Shakes tribal house.

WCA Covers Shakes Island Totem Poles for Winter; Totems to be repaired, repainted and put back up next summer

Adzers Tammi Meissner, Susie Kasinger, Linda Churchill and Josh Lesage and master carver Wayne Price push against the Chief Kadashan Crane totem closer to the Chief Kadashan Red Snapper totem.
Photo courtesy WCA 

The activities began with hauling heavy timbers across the bridge by wheeled dolly and then hand carrying the timbers to a staging area behind the Chief Shakes tribal house. The totems were then jacked up with a 2 ¼ ton floor jack and the timbers inserted underneath to raise the totems further up off the grass. Then the hard work began.

The large Chief Kadashan Crane totem needed to be moved about 10 feet closer to the Chief Kadashan Red Snapper totem to make it easier to cover them with the same set of tarps. The first step was to insert a large timber under both totems so that they would share the same support and could be slid closer together. All of which needed to be done by hand because it was more feasible than bringing in heavy equipment, which can only arrive by barge at high tide. So, the crew primarily used the floor jack and a lever consisting of a long 4x4 post with a small log as a fulcrum.  Once the large timber was in place under both totems, they next used a logging technique, learned by Wayne Price in 1978 when he worked setting chokers, to move the Crane totem. They moved the lever and fulcrum to the end of the Crane totem and used it to “walk” the Crane totem closer to the Red Snapper totem. Eventually, the team inserted the wheeled dolly under the Crane totem and pushed the totem by hand the remaining 4 feet. - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Historic Female Adzing Team are a first for Tlingits - Four women working on the Shakes Island Renovation Project are making history. Wrangell Cooperative Association (WCA) believes this is the first time that women have been a significant part of an adzing team. Three of the women, Linda Churchill, Susie Kasinger, and Tammi Meissner are from Wrangell and this is their first time adzing. The other woman, Vanessa Pazar, a carver from Sitka, “broke open the gate for us,” says Tammi.

Historic Female Adzing Team are a first for Tlingits

From left to right: Susie Kasinger, Vanessa Pazar, Tammi Meissner, Linda Churchill
Photo by WCA

The matriarch of the team as far as experience goes, Vanessa has worked for far too long only with male carvers. “Wrangell is unique in its community support and acceptance of women carvers,” says Vanessa. She has experienced her share of resistance to women using a man’s tool and doing a man’s work. She has even had to go before a panel of elders to explain why she should be allowed to adze. She held fast to the work she loves and has witnessed attitudes improve over time. She thinks that, traditionally in the Tlingit culture, men did not allow women to touch carving tools because women were perceived to have much power and that could be transferred into the tools. - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

Alaska: Nushagak Whales Update - A team of veterinarians performed a necropsy exam Tuesday on an adult, female killer whale. The carcass of the whale had been secured to a beach in Dillingham, Alaska, after it was discovered floating in the Nushagak River Saturday.

Dr. Judy St. Leger, director of pathology and research at SeaWorld, reports that the animal was examined for human interactions, and no evidence was found.

Diagnostic and biological samples were collected from the whale and will be tested for a suite of data, including age, genetic status and possible infection.

The main finding of the necropsy was that the female killer whale had a large, late-term fetus, which may indicate pregnancy complications. - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011

National: Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act Introduced - U.S Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have introduced the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act. The bill allows for the interstate sale of firearms and removes several antiquated and unnecessary restrictions imposed on interstate firearms transactions.

“Current laws restricting interstate commerce of firearms not only lag behind common sense and new technology, they are unfair and burdensome,” Sen. Begich said. “This legislation cleans up decades-old laws that are unnecessarily restricting the rights of Alaskans and other Americans to purchase and sell firearms.” - More...
Wednesday - October 12, 2011


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letter Alaska is asleep at the switch on natural gas By  Bill Walker - I am perplexed by the lack of industry acknowledgement of Alaska’s vast resources of natural gas. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 12, 2011

letter Anti-American Funeral Picketers By Donald A. Moskowitz - The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the First Amendment right of the Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS to picket at the funerals of military personnel was a victory for our Constitutional rights but a defeat for morality in this country. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 12, 2011

letter Cruise Line Customer Service By Rob Holston - Mr. Bailly has a good point. Unfortunately it doesn't have much to do with the need to provide adequate customer service facilities for cruise ships and vendors. Most citizens could come up with a variety of public needs that government should be addressing. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 12, 2011

letter Crossing Guards Extraordinaire By Chris Elliott - Those of us who work in the downtown area spend a lot of time during the cruise season stopping at the direction of the crossing guards so tourists can cross the street. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 12, 2011

letter RE: Cruise ships and crossing guards By Tom LeCompte - So Mr. Bailly, it doesn't really matter if what you said about who owns what is the truth or if you just made something up to further your point of view. Saying "The truth doesn't matter, this is how I feel," sounds like something Sarah Palin would say. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 12, 2011

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

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