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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 15, 2012

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Ketchikan: Infamous ‘Tarp Murders’ were twenty years ago A Feature Article By DAVE KIFFER - Two decades ago, Ketchikan residents were shocked by two murders that were unrelated, except for the fact that they both involved the victims’ bodies being disposed of in blue and green tarps.

That led some residents to even joke that local stores would put a mandatory waiting period for the sale of the ubiquitous blue tarps, a joke that is even evoked today if one is seen purchasing a blue tarp at a local store.

But the crimes themselves were very serious and both involved domestic violence.

The first occurred in the summer of 1991 in a small house on the corner of First Avenue and Adams Street. Toward the end of the summer, neighbors began complaining of a rank smell in the area and a large number of flies.

They finally contacted the city police who came to the house. The smell was coming from a a tarp in the yard. They investigated and the woman living in the house, Dana Hilbish, told them her landlord had left some fish under the tarp.

Weeks later, the smell and flies had worsened. The police returned and looked a little more closely under the tarp. They found human remains.

The remains turned out to be Charles Dalby, Hilbish’s common law husband. Dalby was a mechanic at the Thorne Bay logging camp while Hilbish lived in Ketchikan with the couple’s four daughters. They had been a couple for many years but had never married.

According to testimony at Hilbish’s subsequent trial, Dalby had discovered that Hilbish was having an affair and had come into Ketchikan on May 30 to confront her.  Dalby made several attempts to reconcile with Hilbish over the next couple of days, but she rebuffed him. He was last seen alive on June 3.

When the case went to trial it was determined that Dalby had died of two .22 caliber gunshot wounds in the head. When police questioned Hilbish about Dalby’s whereabouts after June 3, she told them, and others, that Dalby had left and gone to Hawaii.

After Dalby’s body was discovered and Hilbish was charged with his murder, Police uncovered evidence that Dalby had been killed inside the house and they found Hilbish’s fingerprints on a box of ammunition that had been concealed inside the house. They also concluded that Hilbish had lied about weapons in the house and had also tried to forge his signature so she could cash his last check.

 At the trial, evidence was also introduced about Hilbish’s efforts to “clean” areas in the house where blood residue was later found and that she was seen by neighbors “fiddling” with the tarp on the day after Dalby was last seen alive. - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

Fish Factor: The Case of Disappearing King Salmon By LAINE WELCH - State fishery managers are asking for input from Alaskans to help solve the case of disappearing king salmon.

A letter went out recently from Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell inviting stakeholders to a two day symposium in Anchorage later this month titled ‘Understanding Abundance and Productivity Trends of Chinook salmon in Alaska.’ The stated goal is ‘to increase understanding and develop the most complete research plan possible.’

A draft analysis by a newly appointed fisheries research team represents initial efforts by the state to better understanding the causes for Chinook declines.  The report, titled Alaska Chinook Salmon Knowledge Gaps and Needs, says that from 1994 through 2011, Chinook catches have decreased 7% for subsistence users, 40% for commercial fishermen and 12% for sport users.   Chinook salmon make up only about one percent of Alaska’s annual commercial catch.

The analysis states  that the Alaska-wide downturns in abundance of Chinook “has created social and economic hardships” in many regions and that “there is a significant need for ADF&G to better characterize and understand changing productivity and abundance across the state to identify actions that could be taken to lessen the hardships.”     

While there are hundreds of individual Chinook salmon stocks throughout Alaska, the research team recommends that ADF&G establish a suite  of “indicator stocks” that will “provide an ongoing index of statewide Chinook salmon productivity and abundances trends across a diversity of drainage types and size representing a wide range of ecological and genetic attributes from Southeast to Arctic waters.”  

The team has selected stocks from 12 rivers: Unuk, Stikine, Taku, Chilkat, Copper, Susitna, Kenai, Karluk, Chignik, Nushagak, Kuskokwim and Yukon.

The report also accounts for bycatch in groundfish fisheries and says the average number taken in the Bering Sea from 2008-2011 has been about 19,000 Chinook. In the Gulf of Alaska, bycatch takes peaked in 2010 at nearly 55,000 king salmon – the North Pacific Council adopted a hard cap of 25,000 kings in 2011.  - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

Columns - Commentary

jpg Danny TyreeDANNY TYREE: Needed: A Moratorium On Punditry?- Suppose they gave an election and nobody prognosticated?

The current climate of political coverage reminds me of one reason I've been able to stay happily married for 21 years. Early on, my wife laid down the law that she didn't need the emotional rollercoaster brought on by my breathless daily reports of the ups and downs of the Dow Jones Average. We were in the 401(k) business for the long haul and the quarterly statements would be sufficient.

I wish I could so easily ignore 2012's surplus of journalists, analysts, pundits, bloggers and "talking heads" who populate the "24-hour-what-passes-for-news" cycle. I appreciate hearing what the candidates say. I appreciate fact-checking. I appreciate a sincere enumeration of the reasons why Candidate A is the better choice for the nation. But I'm suffering burnout from all the minute-by-minute poll analysis, context, perspective, sage advice, insider scoops, "who's cashing $10,000 checks and who's collecting pop bottles THIS week," etc.

Yes, it is eye-straining, mind-numbing, and gut-wrenching to endure a relentless onslaught of self-important blather about evangelicals, blue collar, skewed surveys, bounces, the base, sticking a fork in it, swing states, game-changers, "his one hope" and the rest.

To hear the pundits, everything hinges on the Latino vote...everything hinges on the retiree vote...everything hinges on likeability...everything hinges on the weather...This election has more hinges than ACE Hardware!

Yes, yes, I've already heard all about the importance of the Electoral College ad nauseum. I half expect that late on the evening of November 6, we'll hear the winner of the presidential race. Then a puff of white smoke will arise and we'll have the announcement of a new pope, the overturning of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the reinstatement of Pluto as a planet.

Members of the Fourth Estate seem to think it would be dereliction of their patriotic duty if they didn't share every single scrap of trivia and speculation. ("If we don't — King George III will return to power. And stuff.") - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter VP Debate By Rob Holston - CNN Wolf Blitzer, commenting on the VP debate, said one issue was “women’s right to abortion.” Is there anyone else out there who actually recognizes the liberal left wing position that Blitzer demonstrates with this supposedly “neutral” (CNN) comment? - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

letter Support Rep. Peggy Wilson By Linda Koons Auger - I will be voting for Representative Peggy Wilson for House District 33 on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th.  For those of you that seem to be worried about a candidate being “LOCAL”, I would say that “SENIORITY” is what you should be concerned about! Losing one House seat due to re-districting places our community and Southeast Alaska in a potentially precarious position in the Legislature. In a 40-member House of Representatives, the SENIORITY Representative Wilson brings to the table is invaluable.   - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

letter Theft By Jeff Lundberg - I must proclaim my disgust to the person who stole the donation jar from the Craig library on October 11 during business hours. - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

letter Timely President's speech By A. M. Johnson - As a staunch conservative constitutional voting citizen who has NEVER voted Democrat for the obvious philosophical reasons allows me to suggest that a speech by this Democrat given in today's strain of Democrats would have current Democrats screeching much as finger nails on a black board to attempt shutting out the words. Doubt me? Then listen to that speech and you draw your conclusions of what the Democratic Party was and where it is today. - More...
Monday PM - October 15, 2012

letter The Bait-and-Switch on Alaskan Energy By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - An alliance of environmental activists and Democratic politicians has spent decades blocking the efforts of Alaskans to access the rich energy resources of our state.

When Alaskans wanted to open the 1002 area of ANWR to exploration and production, opponents of progress stymied our efforts with fear-mongering and obstructionism. In so doing, they frequently pointed to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in the northwest corner of the state as a preferable location for drilling. This, they argued, would protect the coastal plain of ANWR. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 10, 2012

letter New Trade Agreement Could Hurt U.S. Companies By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Obama administration is currently negotiating another free trade agreement, which will increase the likelihood of awarding federal contracts to foreign companies located on the Pacific Rim.  Countries in Southeast Asia will benefit by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), add jobs, while the U.S. could lose more manufacturing jobs. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 10, 2012

letter Open Letter: Alaska Airlines & TSA By Donna Lewis - I flew to Seattle urgently due to a family emergency last Wednesday.  The cost of my ticket $508.40.  Being in the frame of mind that I was, I had not thought to look in my "wallet" on Alaska Air to discover that there was a 30% discount, and unfortunately since I had already booked the ticket I was not able to use that discount.  I booked my flight last night to return today and used the 30% discount with this return flight.  This cost was a total of $364.30.  All in total, my round trip ended up costing me a total of $872.70 and that was for flying in coach. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 10, 2012

letter Fair Tax Plan By Roy T Newsom - The unemployment report at 7.8% with 32 days left before the election gives a false impression.  Not counted were those who have stopped looking for a job, unemployment is closer to 14% with over 23,000,000 Americans unemployed or under-employed. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 10, 2012 

letter Fair Tax By Irving B. Welchons III - Both presidential candidates are making noise about how their tax plan will help you and their opponents will harm you.  Neither of them has talked about a plan that has been put before congress that would eliminate the income tax, payroll taxes and the IRS. - More..
Wednesday PM - October 10, 2012 

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

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