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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 08, 2012

Front Page Photograph by JIM LEWIS

Tongass Sunrise
Front Page Photograph by JIM LEWIS ©2012
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Ketchikan: Summer Weather Summary For Ketchikan - The climate of Southeast Alaska is usually cool and damp and summer is no exception. Although it is possible to have summer temperatures in the 80s in Ketchikan, it is not a common occurrence. In June, the temperature did reach a high of 81°F which occurred on the 23rd, tying the record for this day, set in 2004.

For the month of September 2012, Ketchikan reported average temperatures of 53.3°F, 0.8°F above the long-term mean of 52.5°F. The maximum temperature for the month was 67°F, which occurred on the 7th, while the minimum (41°F) was reported on the 16th.

Precipitation was near normal, totaling 14.43", or just 5% above the long term mean of 13.79". - More...
Monday PM - October 08, 2012

Alaska: Medication recall related to meningitis outbreak is expanded; Newly recalled products include products sent to Alaska - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are coordinating a multi-state investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection (medication injected into the spine). According to CDC, Alaska is not one of the 23 states that have received this product.

The company that distributed the medication associated with an outbreak of meningitis in the Lower 48 has now recalled all products compounded at and distributed from one of its facilities as a precautionary measure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said some of the products in this precautionary recall came to Alaska.

None of the medication implicated in the meningitis outbreak has come to Alaska, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The FDA had previously issued guidance for medical professionals that all products distributed by New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. dba New England Compounding Center (NECC) should be retained and secured. While there is no indication at this time of any contamination in other NECC products, they are being recalled out of an abundance of caution.

The FDA, the CDC and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy are investigating the outbreak and potential risk of contamination.

“Alaska has had no reported meningitis cases associated with the implicated product,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will continue to monitor the situation and notify the public if any Alaska cases are identified.

The Alaska providers who received medications on the precautionary recall list have been notified to return them. - More...
Monday PM - October 08, 2012

Southeast Alaska:
From Timber to Tourism; Hoonah evolves to meet its economic needs By PAULA DOBBYN - Hoonah resident Floyd Peterson powers his 35-foot catamaran in the waters near Point Adolphus, a major feeding ground for whales in Southeast Alaska. Aboard his vessel are clients from Oklahoma City.

From Timber to Tourism; Hoonah evolves to meet its economic needs

Floyd and Marjorie Peterson, owners of FISHES, a Hoonah-based tourism company that offers whale watching and wildlife tours on the north end of Chichagof Island.
Photograph by Paula Dobbyn

“We always get to see whales when we go out with Floyd,” says Annette Hott. “He seems to attract them.”

As if on cue, a pod of humpbacks soon surfaces near Peterson’s boat, the Silver Spoon. To the delight of Peterson’s passengers who have been sampling smoked salmon dip, the whales perform acrobatic stunts. They do partial breaches, roll on their sides, slap their flukes and forcefully exhale saltysmelling air through their enormous blowholes.

“This is is the highlight of the trip, no question,” says Shannon Wilcox, who is touring Southeast Alaska’s lush Inside Passage with her husband, Spencer, aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship.

The Oklahoma visitors joined Peterson at Icy Strait Point, an Alaska Nativeowned cruise ship port developed in 2004, the first of its kind in Alaska. It’s on the outskirts of Peterson’s hometown of Hoonah, a predominately Tlingit community on Chichagof Island, about 40 air miles west of Juneau, Alaska’s capital. The backdrop to Hoonah, in the Alaska Panhandle, is the Tongass National Forest, a 17-million-acre temperate rain forest with old growth spruce, cedar and hemlock trees and more than 17,690 miles of salmon-bearing rivers, streams and lakes, according to the US Forest Service. Because of its abundance, the Tongass is ofen called a “salmon forest.”

But it’s also home to thousands of migrating humpback whales, which attract tourists from all over the world every summer. - More...
Monday PM - October 08, 2012

Alaska: Native health research center awarded $5.3 million grant - To continue the work of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been awarded $5.3 million.

The five-year grant is the final in a series of National Institutes of Health grants meant to build biomedical research infrastructure. The center has been studying obesity, genetics, nutrition, cancer and resilience in Alaska Natives for 11 years.

The Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) faculty and staff members will build upon previous research in order to become sustainable after the grant ends.

“The next five years are critical,” said Bert Boyer, CANHR director. “We have a good track record with our work over the last 10 years in Alaska Native health disparities. We have a great opportunity to add to our knowledge.” - More...
Monday PM - October 08, 2012

Alaska: Abbott Laboratories to Pay $1.5 Billion to Settle Drug Marketing Claims - Alaska Attorney General Michael C. Geraghty announced Friday that Alaska, other states and the federal government have reached a settlement with an international health care company. Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay $1.5 billion to settle federal and state claims that it illegally distributed, marketed and sold the anti-seizure medication Depakote for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The settlement represents the largest Medicaid fraud recovery in the history of the United States resulting from a state-led inquiry. The State of Alaska Division of Medical Assistance has received a check for over $508,000 dollars as its share of the settlement.

Abbott pled guilty on May 7, 2012 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia pursuant to a criminal action filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Abbott agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve its civil and criminal liability related to government health programs that were allegedly defrauded when the company received reimbursements for Depakote after engaging in illegal marketing practices. - More...
Monday PM - October 08, 2012


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letter We strengthen ourselves by voting By Ishmael Hope - In November of 1912, thirteen men and one woman gathered together in Juneau to organize the Alaska Native Brotherhood, which is now celebrating its momentous Centennial in Sitka where its first camp was organized. The Founders included Peter Simpson, Ralph Young, Frank Price, Paul Liberty, Seward Kunz, James Watson, Frank Mercer, Chester Worthington, James C. Johnson, George Fields, Eli Katanook, William Hobson, Andrew Wanamaker and Marie Orsen. The Founding Fathers and Mother of the Alaska Native Brotherhood likely couldn't have imagined in their wildest dreams the great achievements of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood. They gathered together to protect their people, and they proved to be enormously successful. - More...
Friday PM - October 05, 2012

letter Matt Olsen for State Rep. By Karen Eakes - As a teacher in the School District, I have known Matt Olsen since he was an elementary school student at Valley Park School. As a parent, I have known Matt as a high school friend of one of our daughters and as a fine musician in the Concert Band.  Then, years later I got to know him much better as an adult with a young family and a responsible job at the University. - More...
Friday PM - October 05, 2012

letter World Teachers' Day: October 5th By Arne Duncan - World Teachers’ Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of teachers across the globe. Education is recognized worldwide as the most important driver of economic growth and social change, and teachers are the ones leading the way. - More...
Friday PM- October 05, 2012

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...
Friday - September 28, 2012

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

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