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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 31, 2011

Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Close Encounter of the Whale Kind
This unidentified kayaker recently had an unexpected bird's eye view of humpback whales when they surfaced during bubble feeding in the Clover Pass area.
Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH


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Ketchikan: Seventy Years Ago, Bodding Survived Crash in Canada; Death of other flyers helped him and passenger survive A feature story By DAVE KIFFER - Despite the fact that the north country has vast expanses of nearly unexplored territory, it is not unheard of for airplanes to crash not far from other downed planes.

Seventy Years Ago, Bodding Survived Crash in Canada; Death of other flyers helped him and passenger survive

Bud Bodding 1940
Bud Bodding Collection Photo

First of all, there are “routes” that many pilots follow, especially in the most challenging areas, particularly the narrow mountain passes that connect Alaska.

And there are also the tragic situations in which a plane will crash while a pilot is searching for another plane, often when going in closer after spotting the potential wreckage of the first crash.

But the odds of two completely unrelated crashes taking place at the same small coastal location are akin to lighting striking the same person twice.

Yet, that was just the case 70 years ago this fall and it involved one of Ketchikan’s most famous pilots, Gerald “Bud” Bodding, also known as "Father Goose," for his decades of piloting Grumman Goose amphibians for Ellis Airilines.

In the 2010 book “Alaska’s Father Goose” published four years after Bodding’s 2006 death, he calls the dual crashes in October 1941 on British Columbia’s Salal Island “one of the strangest adventures in the flying history of the north.”

Salal Island is three by five mile island adjacent to Lady Douglas Island in Milbanke Sound, one of the few open stretches of water on the Inside Passage. It is north of Vancouver Island just off the Queen Charlotte Sound. It is roughly half way between the small communities of Bella Bella and Klemtu.

On October 20, 1941, Bodding had left Seattle after a month’s vacation. He was piloting a single engine Waco float plane that he was planning to deliver to a friend in Alaska. His passenger was an Oregon banker named Harry Sherman, who just happened to be the brother of Ellis Air Line’s maintenance vice president Jack Sherman. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Federal appeals court affirms decision in favor of Forest Service in Logjam lawsuit; Forest Service timber project analysis complies with environmental laws - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Logjam Timber Sale Project complies with federal environmental laws. In doing so, the court of appeals affirmed an earlier decision of a federal district court upholding the Tongass National Forest’s environmental analyses of the project.

In its decision Friday, the 9th Circuit found that the U.S. District Court properly granted summary judgment to the Forest Service. The 9th Circuit, summarily rejecting the plaintiffs’ arguments, held that the plaintiffs failed to show that the Final Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act was flawed, or that the Forest Service failed to take the requisite “hard look” at the environmental consequences of the Logjam Project.

The Ninth Circuit held that the Logjam Project, which includes several timber sales, complied with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which requires federal agencies to assess the impacts of activities on federal lands.

The court found that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that the Forest Service prepared took a “hard look” at the environmental impacts of the project, which provides for timber harvest on 3,422 acres of forestland and the construction of 22 miles of roads on Prince of Wales Island.

At stake was the future of the Viking Lumber Co., a family-owned small business that has been one of the largest year-round employers on Prince of Wales Island since 1994. More than 100 jobs in Alaska and Washington state were at risk. Without the “Logjam” timber sales that were given final approval under this ruling, Viking Lumber Co., the only mid-sized mill operating in Southeast, would not have had enough timber to continue operations and the economies of several Alaskan communities would have been negatively impacted.

Viking Lumber Company of Craig, which with the State of Alaska intervened in the case on behalf of the Forest Service, had already purchased the Diesel timber sale when the lawsuit began and subsequently purchased the Slake timber sale. Both sales are part of the Logjam Project. Several groups that brought the lawsuit (the Tongass Conservation Society, Greenpeace Inc., and Cascadia Wildlands) sought to stop the timber sales throughout the course of the suit but the court allowed the sales to continue during the suit. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

Fish Factor: State denies citizens’ petition aimed at protecting Cook Inlet fisheries from coal mining By LAINE WELCH - It took nearly two years for a decision, but recently the state denied a citizens’ petition aimed at protecting Cook Inlet fisheries from coal mining. The petition, by the Chuitna Citizens Coalition and Cook InletKeeper asked that buffer zones be required to protect salmon streams of the Chuitna River should a coal mine be built.  In a 109 page, Dept. of Natural Resources commissioner Dan Sullivan claimed the petitioners’ request would ‘ban all surface coal mining on these lands.’ 

The Chuitna strip mine, so called because it removes wetlands and land overlay, would be the largest coal mine in Alaska.  Plans by developer PacRim of Delaware call for removal of 11 miles of Middle Creek, an important salmon spawning stream.   PacRim claims it will be able to restore the stream after 25 years of strip mining. DNR’s Sullivan said he agrees such reclamation of areas affected by strip coal mining is possible.

Deputy DNR Commissioner Ed Fogels said the citizens’ petition would have called a halt to the permitting process.  

“We decided there is simply not enough evidence to say there is no way you can reclaim the land, and we were not about to pull the plug on this thorough environmental impact process. And that is the appropriate place to make these decisions as to whether reclamation can be done properly and in accordance with the law,” he told APRN.

United Fishermen of Alaska, the nation’s largest commercial fishing trade group, was disappointed with the DNR petition denial. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

Alaska: City of King Cove Celebrates its 100-year anniversary - The City of King Cove celebrated its 100-year anniversary this past weekend. The two-day celebration included honoring the community's elders, visits from U.S. and Alaska lawmakers, a banquet, contests, games and fireworks.

Friday, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, Alaska Senator Lyman Hoffman and Representative Bryce Edgmon arrived in King Cove to take part in the festivities. The school choir serenaded the delegates with America the Beautiful. The King Cove Aleut Dancers also performed for the special guests. Afterwards, Murkowski and Mead shared remarks with residents about the celebration, the City's rich history and its bright future.

Later Friday, King Cove residents were treated to a banquet. The community's elders were honored with biographies and photos adorning the walls of the multi-purpose room.  During the evening, the community voted for the new City of King Cove flag design. There was also a photo contest. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011


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letter Septic Tanks - How Often to Pump? By Shelley Stallings - Attached is a septic pumping schedule from Ohio State University Extension Service. It shows that the frequency of pumping septic tanks depends primarily on 2 criteria: 1. number of people in household & 2. size of tank. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

letter Yates building as Ketchikan visitors' bureau By Mary Ida Henrikson - The demolition of the Yates Building is abhorrent.  It is the center of how Ketchikan identified itself.  It is place where the Alaska Sportsman magazine was edited and published, establishing a creative core around which Ketchikan rotated and thrives to this day.  There were writers who shared frontier experiences and words of wisdom and survival, many of which have become legend.  Artists like Beth Eberhart from Pennock Island created covers and our many local photographers shared their idea of place.  Later the Morning Raven Gallery and the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce were quartered there; both promoting Ketchikan. In front of the Yates Building is the original location of the Ketchikan Rain Gauge. The Ketchikan King Salmon Derby sign was there and served as a backdrop for the winners and their prizes. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

letter Thank you Ketchikan By Don Hoff Jr. - On behalf of the Hoff Family and extended Family, we want to thank all Tillie L. Hoff's friends and family in the Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla and Prince of Wales Island for their prayers, donations of money, food and flowers. - More...
Thursday AM - October 27, 2011

letter RE: Ineptocracy By Ken Leland - Once again, Mr. Johnson, you have hit the nail on the head. That is a beautiful description of our Federal, State, Borough and City Government. I may not have that much knowledge of the State or City Government, but I was impacted by the Borough and I spent 6 1/2 years in Washington, D.C. observing the Federal animal in action. - More...
Thursday AM - October 27, 2011

letter Covered area for cruise ship staff By Mike Dooley - I agree with Jill Gates. Let's keep in mind the cruise lines pay a fee to dock in Ketchikan. Cruise ship passengers also pay a head tax, and sales tax on tours and purchases. It is my understanding the head tax revenues have to be used for cruise ship related expenses and improvements. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 25, 2011

letter Open Letter to KGB: Fiscal tethering account charges By Edmund J. Fry, III - As a matter of public records, I would like to inquire some fiscal analysis of the current sludge fee program.  There are 2 questions that I would like to have answered and they are: - More...
Tuesday AM - October 25, 2011

letter Whale Watching By Seth Gross - I live in Portland Oregon but lived in Ketchikan for several years during the 90's and I still visit regularly. I am a huge fan of the KPU Ketchikan web cams and look at them at least once a day. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 25, 2011

letter Airport Parking - more KGB overreach By Chris Barry - According to the Airport management recently regarding snow removal and winter upkeep in the airport parking lots on the town side, the parking lots are not in the lease with the state and therefore, not the KGB's responsibility to maintain. Yet, somehow they feel obligated to patrol the lots (both short and long term parking) writing tickets, collecting fines and booting peoples' vehicle. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 25, 2011

letter RE: Septic System Boondoggle By Don Borders - I am in complete agreement with Mr. Stallings and Mr. Fry. A larger, intrusive, wasteful local government competing with private companies is just wrong. Their, Ketchikan Gateway Borough council, actions are competing with the private sector and being a government function very inefficient and a waste our taxpayer dollars. Other operations within the Borough are privatized; a Local sanitation company has a fee-based collection operation. So why not include the septic systems dealing with the pumped sludge. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2011

letter Political humor By A.M.Johnson - During these times of political moments, this perhaps, is a outstanding addition to the political speak depicting the current debate. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2011

letter Baby Bear By Deborah Hayden - AWWWWWW! Wasn't he cute, the baby bear running through Tatsuda's produce section? Oh, boy, it's great he was on national news and put Ketchikan into the national spotlight for something other than Nowhere status. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2011

letter Perspective By James Schenk - With all the negatives that affect our lives everyday it is sometimes hard to keep things in perspective. Well I am not here to preach but only to suggest something again you have heard before. This is your life, one person in life can make a difference in anything we wish to pursue, even if you do not see immmediate results everything we do affects people around us. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2011

letter Septic System Boondoggle By Shelley Stallings - I am in complete agreement with Mr. Fry about the waste of money and resources our current septic system policy imposes upon Ketchikan home owners. This one size fits all doesn't fit all, probably only 'fits' 10% or less of home owners. The frequency of pumping needed for any specific septic system varies widely from 1 to 2 years at the high end to possibly 15-20 years on the low end. Being a single occupant home owner who monitors carefully what is being put into my septic tank, I estimate I have easily paid thousands of dollars MORE than required to keep my system operating efficiently since this wasteful program has been in place. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2011

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