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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 07, 2015

Front Page Photograph By SUSAN HOYT

People Watching
One of several seals just people watching in downtown Ketchikan.
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Ketchikan: Proposed Saddle Lakes project may support 186-224 jobs annually - The Tongass National Forest has completed the Saddle Lakes Timber Sale Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and draft Record of Decision (ROD). The project area is located on Revillagigedo Island about 14 miles northeast of Ketchikan, between George and Carroll Inlets and covers 38,459 acres of National Forest Service lands and 3,557 acres of non-National Forest Service lands.

Proposed Saddle Lakes project may support 186-224 jobs annually

The project area is located on Revillagigedo Island about 14 miles northeast of Ketchikan, between George and Carroll Inlets

The Saddle Lakes project may support between 186 and 224 annual jobs contributing to a reliable economic supply of sawtimber and wood products to support the wood products industry. The project also increases natural resource employment opportunities that contribute to the local and regional economies of Southeast Alaska and helps to keep timber operators and mills operating.

The Saddle Lakes Timber Sale project will harvest 47 million board feet of old-growth timber on 2,327 acres, and construct 17.2 miles of new and 9.8 miles of temporary National Forest System roads. About 10.5 miles of existing stored National Forest System road will be reconditioned. No harvest or road construction will occur in Inventoried Roadless Areas or Old Growth Reserves. - More....
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015

Alaska: U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Alaskan’s Case Opposing Federal Regulatory Overreach - The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear Sturgeon v. Masica, et al., a case in which Alaska filed an amicus brief asking the Court to take a stand against federal regulatory overreach. The highest court in the land will now consider whether Section 103(c) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA) prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over State, Native Corporation, and private Alaska land physically located within the boundaries of the National Park System.

“This case raises a question of exceptional importance to the State, Native Corporations, and the people of Alaska,” said Attorney General Craig Richards. “The right to regulate and manage Alaska’s resources is an essential component of Alaska’s sovereignty, and Alaska has a compelling interest in preserving our right to manage our state’s resources free from unchecked federal control.”

The case considers whether ANILCA permits the federal government to exercise broad regulation over nonfederal lands and waters in Alaska. In 2007, armed National Park Service officials barred John Sturgeon from using his hovercraft within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve while he was traveling on the Nation River to access moose hunting grounds outside the Preserve. The National Park Service claimed that it had extensive authority to regulate activities—even to prevent Alaskan citizens from freely traveling on state owned lands and navigable waters. Sturgeon sued, arguing that the Park Service’s actions violated the language and intent of ANILCA, which explicitly limits the scope of federal regulation inside Alaska’s National Parks. Last fall, in a decision giving the National Park Service unprecedented regulatory authority, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ANILCA gives the federal government broad ability to regulate non-federal lands and waters. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015



Alaska: Sen. Finance Meets with Walker Administration to Address Budget - The Walker administration answered questions this week from members of the Senate Finance Committee centered on the state’s $3.5 billion budget gap.

In a letter to the state’s budget director, Pat Pitney, State Senators submitted 12 questions to gauge the administration’s progress toward addressing the state’s fiscal crisis.

“Alaskans will be ready to support new revenue measures only after significant reductions are made to the budget,” said Senator Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks). “Finding efficiencies in government agencies isn’t going to be enough this time. The Senate Finance Committee is not looking for new taxes to pay for government. We’re looking for less government.”

The administration didn’t outline an overarching vision for the budget, but did confirm its plans to reduce funding for the Department of Health and Social Services, maintain current levels of education funding with increases to per-pupil spending, and its support for flat funding in state employee contracts, with overall budget reductions estimated to be around 3 percent. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015

Alaska: AMHS Seeks Public Review of Summer 2016 Schedule - The proposed Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) schedule for the summer 2016 season, which runs May through September, is now available for public review and comment.

All state agencies, including the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, are working with reduced budgets due to low oil prices. The proposed AMHS summer schedule aims to maximize ferry service to Alaskans within the available operating budget.

The comment period is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to review and comment on the proposed 2016 summer schedule. The comment period has been extended to allow for more opportunity to review the proposed summer schedule which is significantly different than previous years’ schedules.

AMHS will be transitioning to a new reservations system beginning with the summer 2016 schedule. The new system will be ready to accept advanced bookings through the AMHS call center starting in December 2015. The new online booking portal at will be made available shortly thereafter. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015


NEW MARINE MAMMAL CREATURE RECOVERED IN UNALASKA WATERS - The discovery of a new species of marine mammal has intensified the rare animal’s brief mysterious journey through prehistoric time. The new specimens — from at least four individuals — were recovered from Unalaska, an Aleutian island in the North Pacific.

The new species of desmo has a unique tooth and jaw structure that indicates it was not only a vegetarian, but also sucked vegetation from shorelines.
Art by Ray Troll, Courtesy SMU

SMU vertebrate paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs, Ph.D., and Perot Museum of Nature and Science paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo, Ph.D., are responsible for the discovery of the big, hippo-sized animal with a long snout and tusks, which is a new species of a marine mammal belonging to the order Desmostylia. But unlike other marine mammals alive today — such as whales, seals and sea cows — desmostylians went totally extinct. They survived only a geological blink – 23 million years, from 33 million years ago to 10 million years ago.

The new species, 23 million years old, has a unique tooth and jaw structure that indicates it was not only a vegetarian but literally sucked vegetation from shorelines like a vacuum cleaner. Its strange columnar teeth and odd style of eating don’t occur in any other mammal, said vertebrate paleontologist and study co-author Louis L. Jacobs, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

While alive, the creatures lived and swam in what is now Unalaska’s Dutch Harbor, where fishing boats depart on Discovery channel’s “Deadliest Catch” reality TV show.

“The new animal — when compared to one of a different species from Japan — made us realize that desmos do not chew like any other mammal,” said Jacobs, a professor of earth sciences. “They clench their teeth, root up plants and suck them in.”

To eat, the animals buttressed their lower jaw with their teeth against the upper jaw, and used the powerful muscles that attached there, along with the shape of the roof of their mouth, to suction-feed vegetation from coastal bottoms. Big muscles in the neck would help to power their tusks, and big muscles in the throat would help with suction.


“No other mammal eats like that,” Jacobs said. “The enamel rings on the teeth show wear and polish, but they don’t reveal consistent patterns related to habitual chewing motions.”

The new specimens also represent a new genus — meaning desmostylians in the same family diverged from one another in key physical characteristics, particularly the tooth and jaw structure, said Jacobs, who is one of 10 scientists collaborating on the research.

Discovery of a new genus and species indicates the desmostylian group was larger and more diverse than previously known, said paleontologist and co-author Anthony Fiorillo, vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, and an adjunct research assistant professor at SMU.

“Our new study shows that though this group of strange and extinct mammals was short-lived, it was a successful group with greater biodiversity than had been previously realized,” said Fiorillo. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015

Columns - Commentary

Tom Purcell: The Decline of American Greatness "I'm fed up with politics and the country is going down the drain."

"Ah, yes, you speak of a recent Bloomberg Politics poll that found, according to AP, that 75 percent of Americans are fed up with politics and 72 percent think their country isn't as great as it once was. No wonder more than a third of Americans prefer a presidential candidate without experience in public office."

"Hey, Donald Trump may be a braggart and a loudmouth, but there's a reason he's striking a chord. He's telling the truth about the mess the country is in. He appears to be genuine about his desire to fix it. And unlike our political class, which is ignoring our debt, deficit, messy tax system and a million other issues, he sounds like a guy who will actually do something."

"Your frustration is understandable. Americans on both sides of the political aisle are fed up with politics as usual. Republicans are favoring Trump and Ben Carson with Carly Fiorina coming in just behind Jeb Bush in the polls. Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, continues to grow in the polls against Hillary Clinton. Americans sure are tired of the same old same old." - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015

jpg Political Cartoon: Water on Mars

Political Cartoon: Water on Mars
By Nate Beeler ©2015, The Columbus Dispatch
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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letter Income Tax Records Vulnerable to Hackers By Wiley Brooks - The Internal Revenue Service said recently that hackers had gained access to the tax returns of more than 300,000 people, a far higher number than the agency had reported previously. The current income tax system continues to make all of us vulnerable to hackers stealing our identities and our tax refunds. Only the FairTax® can stop this invasion of our privacy. Here is a quote from Dan Pilla (founder and director of the Tax Freedom Institute) discussing IRS hacking: "This is just one more reason we have to consider fundamental changes to the tax system. Not even a flat tax will fix the problem of ID theft since a flat tax still requires both the filing of tax returns and the blizzard of information the IRS lusts after. Only a national retail sales tax can solve this massive problem because only that system can once and for all dam the river of data flowing to the federal government." The software used by the IRS is 14 years old. A politically devised bureaucratically controlled government agency cannot keep pace with today's fast-moving high-technology. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 07, 2015

letter RE: Scoring the Great Debate By David E Boone - Reagan's criticism of the FAIRtax is especially disappointing because not too many years ago he was a national spokesperson for it. To his point, if enough Americans want the FAIRtax, they will get the FAIRtax. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 30, 2015

letter State taxes? By John Suter - Unless you just came in from Saturn, every one everywhere knows that our state is heading toward a prolonged rescission. The state is looking for ways to raise revenue. We have recently see the Chinese Navy come up to our state. China has a clear desire to have their Navy here. They are willing to pay handsomely to lease some land so they can put in a port here in Alaska for their naval operations. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter A FEW THINGS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT GAS PRICES By David G Hanger - The following are excerpts from a SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS business section article dated September 6. The title of the article is “PRICE OF GAS ON THE SLIDE, EXPECTED TO REST BELOW $2,” By Vicki Vaughan. - More..
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter Gas Prices By Frances C. Natkon - Thank you to Rev. Penisten about correcting the cost of gas on POW. I've been wondering where they get their prices from and why do they charge so much when other companies charge less. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter Bill Egan By Lloyd Prouty- One night while I was on patrol Gov. Egan flagged me down and asked "How's business?" He asked if he could ride around with me for a spell and then asked me to take him downtown to buy the "boys" a round. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter RE: Scoring the Great Debate By Joe O'Hara - I agree with much of Michael Reagan's Sept. 17th assessment of the Sept. 13th GOP Presidential Hopefuls for 2016 debate on CNN, but have added the following exceptions: - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

letter When Politicians Call By Arnold Milton - When politicians ask for donations, I respond that they must first back school vouchers for children of all citizens, good as cash at any school, public or private. Also, they must back a simple consumption tax like the "Fair Tax". This response brings pause, because most want to first address their money problem. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 23, 2015

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Canvas Board
Election Results

(Click here to download)

The Canvas Board met Oct. 7th to count the questioned and absentee votes. The Assembly will convene Monday October 12 at 5:30 p.m. in a special meeting to certify the results of the election. Immediately following, the Assembly will hold its annual organizational meeting and the new Assembly members will be sworn in.

Voter Turnout: 22%

Borough Assembly
3 Year Term
2 Seats Open

jpg Scott (Sheen) Davis
jpg Trevor Shaw
jpg Stephen Bradford

Gabriel Duckworth


jpg Kim Hodne



jpg James Schenk
jpg Susan Pickrell






School Board
3 Year Term
3 Seats Open

jpg Conan Steele
jpg Matt Tibbles



jpg Matt Eisenhower



Manabat Parker


KTN City Council
3 Year Term
2 Seats Open








Spencer S.


jpg Janalee L. Gage

KTN City Council
1 Year Term
1 Seat Open





KTN City Mayor
3 Year Term
1 Seat Open


Williams III


jpg Ed Plute

Ketchikan H2O - Bulk Water Hauling

Ketchikan H20 Bottled Water Service - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Car Rental - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaskan & Proud

Creekside Family Health Clinic - Ketchikan, Alaska

Steelhead Electerical LLC - Ketchikan, Alaska

AAA Moving & Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Northway Family Healthcare - Ketchikan, Alaska

Sourdough Tactical - Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Great Western Service - Bear Valley Apartments - Ketchikan, Alaska

Rendezvous Senior Day Services, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

C&D Storage - Ketchikan, Alaska

Woodside Village Apartments - Ketchikan, Alaska

Kay's Gift Shop - Unique Gifts - Ketchikan, Alaksa

The Home Office - The Local Paper; Ketchikan, Alaska

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Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce - Ketchikan, Alaska


KPU - Salmon Landing webcam - Ketchikan, Alaska KPU Webcams - Ketchikan, Alaska Sample Ballots Official Election Pamphlet