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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 15, 2011

Front Page Photo by LAURA JACKSON

Ketchikan Lake
Gram's Mountain: In memory of her grandmother, Laura & Bob Jackson visit Minerva and enjoy one of her grandmother's favorite views. This photograph was taken on Oct. 7th, the 2nd anniversary of her grandmother Irene Zinks' passing.
Front Page Photo by LAURA JACKSON


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Alaska: Trident Seafoods Corp. to Pay $2.5 Million to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations and Spend More Than $30 Million to Upgrade Processing Plants –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Trident Seafoods Corp., one of the world’s largest seafood processors, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty and invest millions in seafood processing waste controls to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Unauthorized discharges of seafood processing waste lead to large seafood waste piles on the seafloor, creating anoxic, or oxygen-depleted, conditions that result in unsuitable habitats for fish and other living organisms.

The settlement is truly a game changer said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “Trident is definitely changing course and seriously investing in waste management and increased fish meal plant capacity. We share Trident’s view that this settlement will be better for the environment as well as their bottom line. We’re establishing a new 'best management practices' yardstick for Alaska’s seafood processing industry," said McLerran.

“This agreement will benefit the quality of Alaskan waters, which host a critical habitat for the seafood industry,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The upgrades will enable Trident to achieve and maintain compliance with the Clean Water Act, and will protect Alaskan waters, eliminate waste and create efficiencies that will serve as a model of best business practices for the seafood processing industry.”

The agreement requires Trident to invest an estimated $30-40 million, and potentially more, in source control and waste pile remediation measures. The source control measures include building a fishmeal plant in Naknek, Alaska, that will have the capacity to handle at least 30 million pounds of seafood processing waste annually, taking in both its own fish waste and potentially that of other local processors.

Trident has also agreed to reduce the amount of seafood processing waste discharged from the Akutan, Cordova, St. Paul and Ketchikan facilities and monitor the amount of seafood processing waste discharged into Starrigavan Bay in Sitka, Alaska. The actions taken will reduce Trident’s fish processing discharges by a total of more than 105 million pounds annually.

The company has also agreed to remediation measures including studying seafloor waste piles at Trident’s facilities in Akutan, Ketchikan and Cordova. Based on the results of these studies, Trident will remove or partially remediate the piles. One seafood processing waste pile in Akutan Harbor is currently estimated to be more than 50 acres in size. - More...
Saturday - October 15, 2011

Fish Factor: What's worth more? By LAINE WELCH - What is worth more to Alaska – healthy wild salmon or coal to fuel Asian economies?  

A comprehensive report by the Center for Sustainable Economy aims to answer that question as the state moves forward with permitting and environmental analyses for the Chuitna coal project in Cook Inlet, 45 miles west of Anchorage.

The project, developed by PacRim coal of Delaware, would be the largest coal mine in Alaska.    It would include  a 5,050 acre open pit coal mine, a 12 mile overland coal transport conveyor, a 4.5 mile power line, mine access roads, a housing and airstrip facility and a coal export terminal at Ladd Landing that will use a 10,000 foot trestle built into Cook Inlet to load the low grade coal onto ships destined for Asia.   At full production the mine is expected to produce 12 million metric tons per year for 25 years. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Prince of Wales Island Road Closures Ongoing - The Tongass National Forest, Thorne Bay and Craig District Rangers are reminding the public that the roads system on Prince of Wales Island is changing.

All road and trails users are encouraged to pick up a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and associated updates free of charge at Forest Service offices. They are available also on the Interisland Ferry and at other locations in Prince of Wales communities. These maps show which roads, trails, and areas are open to motorized use.

The decision to make changes to the road system came about only after extensive stakeholder involvement on Prince of Wales and in Ketchikan in 2009. Public involvement was sought to ensure the system would meet public needs while addressing existing environmental concerns in an era of declining federal government budgets. Nearly 1,200 miles of roads and trails remain open to public use to access the resources on POW. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Vandalism to lights and buoys endangers mariners - The Coast Guard is asking for the public's help to put a stop to the vandalism of aids to navigation throughout Southeast Alaska.

Several navigational lights in the region have been vandalized rendering them inoperable. Recently the batteries were deliberately and illegally removed from a light marking an offshore hazard at Tenakee Springs. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

Alaska: Nushagak Whales Update - A team of six veterinarians performed a necropsy Wednesday on the second killer that was found dead along the Nushagak River last weekend. The necropsy took place near Black Point, downriver from Portage Creek on the Nushagak River.

Veterinarians report the killer whale was an adult female which measured 6-meters, 45-centimeters (slightly larger than the adult female examined Tuesday, which measured 6-meters, 20-centimeters). - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

Alaska Science: Buzzing with activity while the sun shines By NED ROZELL - As Alaska cools and hardens, many scientists are reacquainting themselves with their offices. Such is the case for Derek Sikes, the curator of insects at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. This summer, he traveled across Alaska, from Sagwon Bluffs to Sitka, Prince of Wales and many places between, including a trip to the Aleutians for good lateral coverage.

Buzzing with activity while the sun shines

Far-north ants Derek Sikes found at Happy Valley on Alaska’s North Slope during summer 2011.
Photo by Derek Sikes

Sikes’ tales of his recent insect explorations in Alaska have a Lewis and Clark feel. Scientists have inventoried the insects of Alaska for a long time, but those men and women were very few compared to the researchers studying caribou or the aurora. Because of this dearth of people looking for bugs, Alaska’s rock crevices and tidal splash zones still hide plenty of undiscovered species. Sikes and his colleagues have added more than 1,000 to the Alaska list of insects (and have collected 20 that are new to science) since he moved northward and started work at the museum four years ago. During the short period when insects are crawling, flying and hopping, he jumps at every opportunity to find more.

Sikes’ summer of 2011 began with an ant road trip. His friend, North Carolina State University biology professor and natural history book author Rob Dunn, sponsored a trip around the state to duplicate an expedition an ant researcher made around in Alaska 30 years ago.

Sikes was out to sample the state of the state’s ants in 2011. In following the path driven by the ant collector three decades ago, Sikes ventured about as far north as he could, bumping along the Dalton Highway to Sagwon Bluffs, about 60 miles shy of the Arctic Ocean. He found no ants there, but after flipping about 200 rocks at Happy Valley camp a few miles farther south, he found a nest wriggling with activity, and then another. He uncovered more ant nests beneath south-facing rocks near Toolik Lake. With help from ant-seeking volunteers who work at the UA Museum, Sikes was able to find about 30 species as he duplicated the travels of the biologist of the 1980s, from Sagwon Bluffs down to the Kenai Peninsula.

“We found ants everywhere he found them,” Sikes said. “We want to know if any species are extending their ranges northward.” - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011


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letter Pioneers' Home By Donald Charles - The Charles family would like thank everyone at the Ketchikan Pioneers' Home for the care of our mother, Patricia. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

letter Update: Morning Bus Stops By Amber Anderson - Ketchikan never ceases to amaze me. The community is very strong and alive here in Ketchikan. People in this community take matters to heart, make a difference and change for the good in our community. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

letter Open Letter to KGB: Septic system By Edmund J. Fry, III - I am in receipt of a second notice to pump my septic system from Shoreline Services. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

letter Clarification By Art Bailly - Just to clear a few things up. Mr. LeCompte, please go back and re-read my first post on this. To clarify your accusation of me not telling the truth and sounding like Sarah Palin, what I meant by' it doesn t matter' is that it was 6 years ago and I don't remember which cruise line company had the last spot open on the dock and don't remember the number of spots they had. My point was that the cruise ships have more than we do and we need to reserve more spots on the docks for locals to do business. The city said that there are only a certain number (I don't remember what that number is) of spaces on the docks and the only one left was taken by the cruise ships. Not a lie, just don't remember which cruise ship has it and the majority of them. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

letter RE: Cruise ships and crossing guards By A. M. Johnson - I resent Tom LaCompt's inclusion, in my opinion, the slander of Sarah Palin's name into his rebuttal. The ability to debate successfully is the ability to focus on the issue. When one's position appears weak and the defense lacks purpose, name calling or besmirching of one's reputation becomes a fall back position in an attempt to deflect from acknowledgement of a that weak position. - More...
Saturday AM - October 15, 2011

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

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