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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 22, 2012

Front Page Photograph by JIM LEWIS

Pine-Siskin eating the seeds from an Alder cone. These small birds are usually seen in large groups and can be seen at feeders as well. These Pine-Siskin were photographed at Cape Fox last week.
Front Page Photograph by JIM LEWIS ©2012
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Ketchikan: Bear trapped in entryway 'freaks out' as it tries to escape By Laurel Andrews, Alaska Dispatch - A black bear that trapped itself in the arctic entryway of a Ketchikan house caused more than $1,000 in damage as it tried to escape, according to Alaska State Troopers. - Read this Alaska Dispatch story...


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Alaska: Alaskans Can Now Vote Electronically - Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced that as of today, Alaskan voters can receive and return their election ballots electronically.

The online ballot transmission system allows Alaskan voters anywhere in the world to request their ballot by e-mail or fax, and receive their ballot electronically within 24 to 48 hours.  They then have the option to return their ballot via the secure web-based ballot return system, by mail or by fax.

“Job number one in my office and the Division of Elections is to make sure every Alaskan, whether they’re in Akiak or Afghanistan, can vote,” Lt. Gov. Treadwell said.

This system was launched late September for military and overseas voters (UOCAVA voters), who are allowed to select an electronic ballot delivery method anytime throughout the calendar year.  Non-UOCAVA voters must wait until 15 days prior to the election to apply for electronic ballot delivery, in accordance with Alaska state law. - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012

Fish Factor: Ups and downs in Alaska salmon sales By LAINE WELCH - Alaska salmon sales had lots of ups and downs this summer, but held their own overall in a tough market awash with farmed fish.

The wild salmon catch goes to market in many forms such as canned, fresh or frozen, fillets and roe.  The state Revenue Department/Tax Division provides quartile reports on first wholesale prices for all of Alaska’s salmon forms by species and region. Its report covering May – August shows lots of wild salmon fillets were tossed on the grill this summer, and people were willing to pay more for them.

Alaska processors produced more than 13 million pounds of salmon fillets during the summer season. Prices for king fillets averaged $11.45 per pound, a 70 cent increase over last year.    Fresh sockeye salmon fillets averaged $7.60/lb, and $7.24/lb for coho fillets – an increase of 66 cents for both.   Only chum fillets fell at wholesale to $3.25 a pound, down 52 cents from last summer.

Salmon roe prices, especially for pinks and chums, showed big jumps this summer. Pink salmon roe at $9.28/lb was a 53% increase over last season; chum roe increased from $12.17 to $15 per pound.

Nearly two million pounds of sockeye roe ($6.31/lb compared to $5.31/lb ) came from Bristol Bay, valued at over $12 million. Prince William Sound led the pack for pink salmon roe at one million pounds worth more than $11 million.  Southeast Alaska scooped the most chum roe – 1.2 million pounds valued at nearly $21 million. - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012    

Alaska: U.S. Treasury Urges Alaska's Federal Benefit Recipients to Act Now in Response to Electronic Payment Rule; All paper check recipients must switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express® card by March 1, 2013 - With just five months remaining until the March 1, 2013, transition to all-electronic federal benefit payments, the U.S. Department of the Treasury reports that Alaska seniors and other federal benefit recipients are still receiving nearly 8,000 paper checks each month and have yet to switch to direct deposit or the Treasury-recommended Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card.

"If you or a loved one haven't yet made the switch, please take note of this new law and sign up for electronic payments today," said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service. "Our friendly, courteous call center agents are available to answer questions and assist seniors and others with the switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express® card." - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012

Alaska: 12-Year-Old Fairbanks, Alaska Boy Finally Breathes Easier After Phrenic Nerve Surgery - Imagine a 12-year-old boy’s greatest joy is to take deep breaths for the first time in nearly half his life. That’s the case with Tristan Loitz, from Fairbanks, Alaska, who made the trip to New Jersey for groundbreaking phrenic nerve surgery with Dr. Matthew Kaufman of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in Shrewsbury.

Dr. Kaufman with Phrenic Nerve Patient, Tristan Loitz
Photo courtesy Institute for Advanced Reconstruction

For Kaufman, reconstructive plastic specialist and the only known surgeon to perform phrenic nerve surgery, young Tristan represented roughly the 65th such surgery since undertaking this procedure in 2007.

The phrenic nerve controls function of the diaphragm muscle – the primary muscle involved in breathing. Contraction of the diaphragm muscle permits expansion of the chest cavity and inhalation of air into the lungs. In Tristan’s case, the paralysis had caused the right side of his diaphragm to essentially be pushed up to the top of his chest, preventing the lung from expanding with inspiration of breath. - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012

Ketchikan: Governor Appoints Alaska Native Language Council - Governor Sean Parnell appointed Delores Churchill, Stephen Walkie Charles, April Gale Laktonen Counceller, Bernadette Yaayuk Alvanna-Stimpfle, and Annette Evans-Smith to the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. The council advises both the governor and Legislature on programs, policies, and projects to provide for the preservation, restoration, and revitalization of Alaska Native languages in the state. All of the appointments to the council represent professional language experts.

Churchill, of Ketchikan, is a renowned weaver who teaches basketry at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), a second career she took on after retiring from work at Ketchikan General Hospital. She is one of the few remaining speakers of the Haida language and is active as a board member, teacher, and cultural leader with Ketchikan Indian Community. Churchill holds an honorary doctorate of humanities from UAS. - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012

Ketchikan: Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth Seminar - On Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th, the Ketchikan Office of the Alaska Small Business Development Center will sponsor “Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth,” an internationally-acclaimed seminar for owners, managers, and advisors of small business. It will be held from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day, at the Alaska Small Business Development Center office at 1900 1st Avenue, Suite 223 (in the Historic White Cliff Building).

The program is designed to help owners and managers of small business better understand financial management and increase their chances of success in todays’ difficult economic times.

“Statistics show that over half of all businesses that fail each year do so despite reporting profits and record sales. The most successful businesses have found that the key to long-term success revolves around effective financial management. The Small Business Development Center is committed to the long-term success of the small business community in Ketchikan by providing this kind of education,” said Linda Koons Auger, Certified Profit Mastery Facilitator, and Director, Alaska Small Business Development Center, Southern Southeast Region Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012

Alaska Science: Dipper swims throughout Alaska winters By NED ROZELL - On the upper Chena River in the heart of a cold winter, a songbird appeared on a gravel bar next to gurgling water that somehow remained unfrozen in 20-below zero air. Then the bird jumped in, disappeared underwater, and popped up a few feet upstream.

The bird continued snorkeling and diving against the current of the stream, which is so far north that in December direct sunlight never touches it, instead bathing only the tops of spruce trees with a ruby light.

Soon, two other dark birds with bodies the size of tennis balls landed near the other. Bending from their knees, they bobbed up and down and then all three jumped into the stream. It seemed crazy behavior for a cold winter day, but swimming is how American dippers make their living, even here in Alaska, where they range as far north as the Brooks Range.

Mary Willson, a biologist, ecologist and consultant from Juneau, might be the only Alaska researcher who has studied the American dipper. She has pulled on her chest waders to follow dippers on waterways near Juneau’s road system, and she’s gotten to know a bit of the character of what she calls “a very cool bird.” - More...
Monday - October 22, 2012


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letter This election is about freedom By A. M. Johnson - Headline: Chavez, Castro, Putin: Four More Years! (Washington Times - October 2, 2012)... Yep, the three amigos of socialism and communism have endorsed our dear leader. What a tribute to the Democrat Party. How telling this is. I mean, the rot of socialism has not only hit the leader proven by these endorsements, has by party association, trickled down to the State and local level just being a Democrat. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter Matt Olsen for State House District 33 By Joni Koerner - It is becoming increasingly unpopular to support fairness. If you believe in fairness and integrity, please vote for MATT OLSEN, candidate for State House District 33. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter Vote Matt Olsen on Nov. 6 By Joann Flora - We need direct representation in the State House. Matt Olsen from Ketchikan is running in this election and is our only chance for Ketchikan's presence in the legislature. As one of the largest cities in Alaska, Ketchikan must have a seat in the 2013-2014 State Legislature. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter MATT OLSEN on Nov. 6 By Lois Munch - To get the best out of your vote for District 33 Representative, vote for MATT OLSEN on Nov. 6. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter Political humor By A.M. Johnson - The political season is really becoming hot,hot,hot. There is no doubt that both sides are heavily invested in the bid for a favorable outcome. As a part of this contest are the debates. Both sides offer their spin on who did what and who won. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter Adopt The FairTax By Glen E. Terrell - During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney pointed out that Canada’s tax on businesses is only 15% while that of the US is 25%.  Then he raised the question: “If you wanted to start a new business, would you rather start it in the US or Canada?”  Both Romney and the president agreed that the income tax on businesses should be lower but they differ on HOW TO TWEAK THE INCOME TAX CODE to achieve this.  Forget the income tax code; replace it with the FairTax!  There’s been a FairTax proposal before congress for more than a decade; it’s not been voted on yet. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter No, no, no By Wieslaw Czajkowski - No Bridge to Nowhere, no Commercial Cultural Complex, both for Ketchikan, and no for the New Alaska Capitol in Juneau because my project for a Capitol 12 miles West of Juneau imbedded into a hill, resembling a glacier with a Shopping Center beneath, was a project by an outsider with no money, even for presenting drawings of the Capitol. - More...
Monday PM - October 22, 2012

letter Formula for Disaster: Governor’s Timber Task Force By Lindsey Ketchel - The report of the Governor’s Timber Task Force, released this week, is a formula for disaster. The grandiose and unrealistic plan would remove over 2 million acres from the Tongass National Forest and remove federal protections for salmon streams and other vital habitat. The recommendations are based in confrontational politics and a misguided nostalgia for times past. The small group that made these tired and familiar recommendations was not representative in any way of the diverse stakeholders of the Tongass. The extreme overreach of this report will exacerbate the conflict over land management in Southeast Alaska, leading to a dangerous stalemate that will hurt the people who are actively working on the public land of the Tongass today and diminish their chances for a prosperous future. - More...
Saturday - October 20, 2012

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

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