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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 01, 2012

Front Page Photograph by DOUG BURKMAN

Canada Geese: The Migration
Front Page Photograph by DOUG BURKMAN ©2012
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Southeast Alaska: Man Charged with 1st Degree Murder By Mary Kauffman - - Alaska State Troopers' Ketchikan and Klawock posts both responded Saturday to the report of the suspicious death of 67 year-old Leona Meely in Metlakatla.

At the request of the Metlakatla Police Department, the Alaska State Troopers assumed case responsibility and obtained and served search warrants. Investigation by the troopers reportedly revealed Meely allegedly died from injuries sustained in a physical altercation that had taken place in a residence on 8th Street.

According to information release by the Alaska State Troopers, William Buxton (29), who also lives at the same residence, was developed as a suspect early in the investigation. Buxton was ultimately charged with Murder in the First Degree. He was transported to and incarcerated at the Ketchikan Correctional Center with bail set at $100,000. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Couple Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud - Judge William Carey has sentenced Ketchikan residents 61 year old Eileen Small and 64 year old Herbert Small for medical assistance fraud.

Eileen Small was sentenced to spend one year in prison and five years on probation for her felony convictions for medical assistance fraud and misconduct involving a controlled substance. She will be required to pay over $8000 in restitution along with Herbert Small. She already completed 80 hours of community work service as part of her sentence. If she violates the terms of her probation, she could be required to serve up to 30 additional months in prison.

Herbert Small was convicted of misdemeanor medical assistance fraud and sentenced to a suspended sentence. He will be on probation for three years and could be sent to jail for up to six months if he violates his probation.

The convictions stem from an investigation by the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit that began in 2009. Eileen Small had been licensed by the State of Alaska as an advanced nurse practitioner. She had been the owner of A Woman’s Place, where she worked as a nurse midwife. Herbert Small worked part time at the clinic and assisted with billing. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Ketchikan: Second Planning Meeting on Expansion of Tongass Historical Museum - The Ketchikan Museum Department is inviting those interested to participate in a planning meeting on the expansion of the Tongass Historical Museum.

“Public comment is a critical component in this phase of the museum’s expansion development,” according to Museum Director Michael Naab.  “Everyone who has an interest in the future of Ketchikan’s community museum is encouraged to attend this meeting and offer their input.”

Ketchikan residents will be asked to help refine plans for an expanded Tongass Historical Museum at a public forum on Monday, October 15th.  The City-owned museum will expand into the space in the Centennial Building that is now occupied by the Public Library, after the Library moves into its new building in January 2013.

The workshop-style planning meeting is a follow-up to one held in September, where local folks shared their ideas and visions of an expanded museum with Bettisworth North Architects and Planners.  The Bettisworth firm has been hired by the Foraker Group Pre Development Program to work on the project at no cost to the City. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Wrangell Ranger District Makes First Awards Through New Timber Microsale Program - The Wrangell Ranger District has awarded the first three small timber sales through a new program intended to support smaller mill operators and other wood-related businesses in Wrangell. The Roadside Timber Sale Program, authorized in November 2010, provides businesses with commercial salvage harvest of dead, dying, or blown down fuelwood and sawtimber resulting from natural disturbance, and the minor harvest of green fuelwood and green sawtimber. The program allows up to 500 MBF of timber per year for offer as small-scale commercial firewood sales, salvage sales, and sawtimber sales along the existing road systems on Etolin, Wrangell, and Zarembo Islands. Individual green timber sales would be limited to 50 MBF per year. (MBF = Symbol for one thousand board feet of lumber. One MBF equals 83.33 cubic feet or 2.36 cubic meters.)

“This program is a great way to meet the needs of existing and future small local mill operators, music wood suppliers, and other value-­added wood products businesses,” said Jeremy Maxand, community organizer with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. “Operators can walk into the woods, select trees, and then competitively bid on the timber, which is economical because it’s on the existing road system.”

A similar microsale program was successfully initiated on Prince of Wales Island in 2000 and between 2000 and 2005 more than 100 timber sales were offered to at least 30 operators on POW. These microsale programs are consistent with the Forest Service’s Tongass Transition Framework that includes smaller scale old-growth logging to support value added wood products industries.

Scott Arrington, owner and operator of Custom Cut, LLC, recently moved his business to Wrangell because of the positive business environment and proposed the three microsales on Wrangell Island. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Southeast Alaska: First Phase of Twelvemile Creek Restoration Project Completed - The Tongass National Forest has completed the first phase of a large-scale watershed restoration project begun this summer with the National Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and communities on Prince of Wales Island.

The Twelvemile Creek watershed restoration project encompasses 28 miles of salmon and other fish-bearing streams as well as 59 miles of additional streams covering an area just under 20 square miles in central Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. The project will strengthen salmon and steelhead populations and boost recreation opportunities in the area while providing jobs and bolstering the local economy.

Past logging and road building in the watershed occurred under less protective regulations in the 1960s and 70s, including harvesting of 92% of the riparian forest along salmon streams. Crews carrying out the first phase of the project this summer thinned dense young-growth forests to improve wildlife habitat and promote larger streamside trees; placed wood in streams to stabilize banks and improve fish habitat; removed invasive vegetation; stabilized roads; and converted several stretches to OHV trail.

Twelvemile Creek is one of several restoration efforts that exemplify the highly successful and productive partnerships the Forest Service maintains with invaluable partners like National Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Alaska: Voter Registration Deadline is October 7 - Alaskans who wish to vote in the November 6 General Election must be registered to vote by Sunday, October 7.

“In Alaska, we are working hard to make it even easier to vote,” Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, whose office administers statewide elections, said.  “But in order to vote, you must first register.”

“The polling booth is where each American protects our right to choose our government.  It’s our freedom and our power – but we must exercise it.”

To register or update your information, simply fill out, sign and submit your voter registration form to any of the Division of Elections offices across the state.  Registration forms can be submitted by mail, by fax or by email.

Treadwell reminds Alaskans who turn 18 by November 6 that they, too, can register to vote now, even if their birthday is after October 7. - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012

Alaska: ALASKANS TARGETED BY SCAMMERS DURING PFD SEASON - On Oct. 4, 2012, eligible Alaskans will be receiving Permanent Fund Dividends in the amount of $878.00. The influx of cash is important to the community, but Better Business Bureau warns that more money usually means more problems.

“There’s typically a spike in scam complaints surrounding PFD disbursements and it’s critical that Alaskans are cautious of coincidentally-timed ‘opportunities,’” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

In general, the BBB says to avoid situations where significant upfront fees are requested: - More...
Monday - October 01, 2012


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letter City of Ketchikan Taxes By Douglas Thompson - Well the city taxes are coming due once more.  It is frustrating to give hard earned money to the city manager to waste.  It is more so when one such tax is illegal.  I refer to the city boat tax.  A tax that the borough has dropped for its residents even though their boats may be in city harbors.  Seems highly discriminatory although that is not why I refer to it as illegal.  The city wishes us as citizens to follow its enacted statutes but they in turn do not seem to feel obligated to follow the higher laws that govern them (state and federal).  - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

letter TIME FOR ALASKA TO ALIGN WITH THE ASIAN MARKET By Bill Walker - Since the award of the AGIA contract, Alaska has funded Exxon/TransCanada in the amount of $188 million, yet Alaska  has not been told the results of the first July 2010 open season.  However, Asia’s strong demand for Valdez LNG was confirmed on September 14th when the Alaska Gasline Port Authority submitted nominations, on behalf of Asian buyers, in response to ExxonMobil/ TransCanada's AGIA second solicitation of interest.  As discussed below, the Port Authority has made those nominations public in the hope of encouraging open discourse about what steps must be taken immediately to monetize North Slope gas. - More...
Friday - September 28, 2012

letter Ketchikan's Animals By Chris Barry - Lots of letters lately about dogs, keeping them locked up, on leashes, spaying, neutering them. Not once do I see anything about the cats we have running loose around here. - More...

letter Tragic Incident At The Landfill By Dr. Marna J. Hall - Recently a Ketchikan family had the sad experience of finding at the Landfill a sack of kittens and their mother. The mother cat and all of her kittens except one had been crushed by a vehicle while they were trapped in the bag. Whether they were run over after being dropped alive in the Landfill or whether they were deliberately run over prior to being thrown away there makes no difference. They died a horrific death. The person responsible for this should be thoroughly ashamed. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Dogs at large By Eugene Martin - As the former Director of Ketchikan Animal Protection, I saw the problem you're talking about everyday. And yes, it would be nice if the shelter could pick up animals day and night. However, that would cost a huge amount of taxpayer money. And yes it would be wonderful if people took responsibility for their animals. I was told one by a person, whose animals ran loose everyday, after the shelter closed, "that's why I moved here, so my animals could run free". It's a community culture that you're dealing with. One that doesn't like to be told what it can or can not do by anyone, especially the government agencies they pay for. Not only that, but they the (animal shelter) have no help. None from the law enforcement agencies or the courts. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Homes for Ketchikan's Homeless Animals By Kathleen Stack - Ms. Cloud's letter is correct. The number of dogs and cats killed here in Ketchikan and elsewhere in one year is an abomination. It's public record and should be easily available and published. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Don't Breed or Buy While 2,151 Pets Die. By Laura Attwood - I enjoyed the share Margaret Cloud posted to the site -- it is a popular favorite of mine that really conveys the problems we have with over-breeding and overpopulation of animals and people's willingness to throw them away without a second thought. However, I think Paul Jarvi missed her point. I don't think she was saying we should not allow more dogs on the island but I do think she was suggesting that we don't need to irresponsibly breed dogs. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Attention Shareholders By Angie Lammers - We have all of the households & businesses on POW to pay Hydro, and turn off the other power company, roughly 3000-4000 houses & businesses on POW. We don't have a commitment from the other cities to do this. This project is over 3 years behind, because inexperienced leadership, do we have any experts working on this? NO. - More...
Monday PM - September 24, 2012

letter Priority list for our community By Alan Bailey - It was reported in the Daily News that I would not compromise the Borough's position on the priority list which is being sent to the Governor's office.  That statement is absolutely correct and there is more to the story.  I have personally advocated continued cooperation between all governmental bodies of our island.  I even co-chair the cooperative relations committee with the city of Ketchikan.  What is frustrating is when we have an established process, we have previously benefited from this process, then several members of the city decide to change the outcome of the decisions made by the three governments or the priority of the projects, It becomes an appearance of a feud between governmental entities and helps no one achieve their goals. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter We go home now McClintock, too little money By A. M. Johnson - Well here we are, $878.00 for each Alaskan's permanent fund share. What a disappointment to many, particularly those who are members of the 47% Romney correctly points out as being on some level of government largess. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter School Bond Proposition is a Good Deal By Agnes Moran - On October 2, voters throughout the Borough will consider a $5.5 million bond proposition for capital improvements at our schools. These improvements address a wide range of district needs including safety, energy efficiency, accessibility, field and playground improvements, and basic maintenance. Funds will also be used to demolish the Mike Smithers Pool, thus allowing the site to be utilized by the School District. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Re: Fawn Mountain Field & Handicap Access By Joseph T. Craig Sr. - I am elated by the response letter of Borough Member Agnes Moran and the phone call that I received from Borough Member Allen Bailey, regarding Handicap Access to the facility at Fawn Mountain. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012 

letter MONEY GRABBERS By Laurie Price - I am a frequent user of the Ketchikan airport ferry and my fee is always the same for my same day round trip pickup of my husband. I always pay with a personal check for debit and credit card paying is not available.  Friday I had my check written out for a quick transaction for the personnel are always swamped and I was told that I owed an additional $1.10 because I had paid with a check, So I was able to scrounge up 11 dimes from my truck console which meant a longer wait for the other walk on and vehicles traffic behind me. - More... 
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Pets in Ketchikan By Marie Zellmer - I have recently had to deal with our local animal "shelter" after I got two dogs from an unexpected breeding. I can say this, the responsibility of any pet and its ability to breed is up to the owner. I myself have agonized over the concept of getting my dogs fixed, mostly because I know they will never have puppies unless I want them to. I think the big issue is not about about people who breed purebreds or designer mixed breeds. It is an issue over the responsibility of the owner, and the lack of proper animal control by our local "shelter". - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter RE: DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! By Margaret Cloud - Mr. Jarvi - you missed the entire meaning of my comment. "Once again someone is looking for a "mate" solely for the purpose of breeding. We certainly do not need anymore dogs on this island." I was only commenting on the deliberate local breeding of dogs. I continuously see ads where people are wanting to breed dogs, sometimes just mutts. This needs to stop. If a person living here obtains a dog (or other animal) from outside the area as a family pet with no intention of breeding, particularly a rescue animal, that is great. However, as a community we need to stop breeding. Since we live on an island with no bridge off, transporting unwanted dogs to new homes or rescues is both expensive and physically difficult. We do not yet have a no-kill animal control facility and more animals are brought into the facility than can be placed locally. As a community we certainly do not need to deliberately add to the problem by locally breeding. - More....
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Phil Kerpen - Gueverra Picture By Joe Ashcraft - The piece published by Sitnews which attempts to paint the EPA as evil because some unknowing underling put an image on an email should bring one to check the agenda of the writer. Kerpen now runs a new PAC which he will not deny is funded by the Kochs, as were his previous platforms. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

letter Haida Corp. Concern By Lisa Krieger - Ms. Natkong, it is nice that you make clear by being open directly to the public and express concerns. Maybe you should try to petition the matter and address it in a meeting with other shareholders. And if you are correct on the information you display, you're right, it is a group decision in all accounts. Spending money in this economy while the country struggles with the high cost of living, social security stresses and Health Care. - More...
Friday PM - September 21, 2012

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