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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
October 27, 2016

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Southeast Alaska: Governor adds Southeast region to pink salmon fishery disaster relief request - Governor Bill Walker has decided that poor pink salmon returns in Southeast Alaska warrants inclusion of these fisheries in his original request for federal disaster relief. Walker announced in a letter dated October 26, 2016 that he will be amending the State of Alaska's request for a disaster declaration for the pink salmon fishery of 2016 to include the Southeast Alaska region.

Governor adds Southeast region to pink salmon fishery disaster relief request

Pink Salmon
Graphic courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

In late September Governor Bill Walker officially requested the federal government to declare a disaster for four Alaska regions hurt by one of the poorest pink salmon returns in decades. Fishery failures that occurred this summer at the Kodiak, Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Lower Cook Inlet and Chignik management areas had a “significant impact on those who depend on the fishery for their livelihood” and the Governor asked for the “soonest possible review” of his request for relief due to the economic importance of these fisheries.

Representatives Dan Ortiz and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins in an October 21st letter to the Governor requested that he include the Southeast region in the state's request to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for disaster relief funding under the Magnuson-Stevens Act as a result of the poor returns in the pink salmon fisheries.

The Governor stated in his decision letter to Ortiz and Kreiss-Tomkins, "Like you, the Lt. Governor and I care deeply about the fishermen and their families in the communities of Southeast Alaska, and we greatly appreciate your advocacy on their behalf." The Governor said that Ortiz and Kreiss-Tomkins' request to include Southeast Alaska in the request for a federal disaster declaration was a compelling one. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

Alaska: New Law Raises Alaska Fishing- and Hunting-Related Fees Beginning in 2017 - Fees for Alaska sport fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses and tags will increase beginning January 1, 2017. The Alaska State Legislature raised the fees last session through the passage of House Bill 137, which received broad support from user groups. The new rates mark the first time in 24 years that hunting license and tag fees have increased, while sport fishing licenses last increased about 10 years ago.

"Alaska's new prices are in line with other states," said Commissioner Sam Cotten, and in fact, "are significantly less expensive for resident hunters because Alaskans don't pay resident hunting tag fees."

Changes under the new law are not limited to fee increases. Alaska residents under the age of 18 will not be required to purchase hunting or fishing licenses or state waterfowl or king salmon stamps. The requirements for nonresident anglers over the age of 16 remain unchanged, and those individuals must purchase fishing licenses and stamps. Nonresident hunters and trappers of all ages must purchase appropriate licenses, tags, and stamps.

Revenue from license, stamp, and tag fees for sport fishing, hunting, and trapping are used to directly fund state fish and wildlife management and conservation. The fee increases will enable the state to leverage tens of millions of Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal aid dollars, which provide core management and conservation funding. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

Alaska Science: The state of the state, 110 years ago By NED ROZELL - Alfred Brooks was a geologist who traveled thousands of miles in Alaska and left his name on the state’s northernmost mountain range. Twenty years before his death in 1924, he also left behind a summary of what Alaska was like more than one century ago, when “large areas (were) still practically unexplored.”

The state of the state, 110 years ago

Alfred Brooks

In his 1906 government report, “Geography and Geology of Alaska. A Summary of Existing Knowledge” Brooks pointed out misconceptions about Alaska that endure. He wrote in his introduction:

“If facts are presented which may seem elementary, it is because even well-informed people have been known to harbor misconceptions in regard to the orographic features, climate, and general character of Alaska. Those who read about the perils and privations of winter travel and explorations are apt to picture a region of ice and snow; others, again, who have personal knowledge of the tourist route of southeastern Alaska, regard the whole district as one of rugged mountains and glaciers.”

In Brooks’ day, about 60,000 people lived in Alaska. They were scattered wider than people are today. The Klondike gold rush and the stampedes that followed had driven determined souls to the far corners of Alaska.

“The more venturous prospector found no risk too hazardous, no difficulty too great, and now there is hardly a stream which has not been panned by him, and hardly a forest which has not resounded to the blows of his ax,” Brooks wrote. “Evidences of his presence are to be found from the almost tropical jungles of southeastern Alaska to the barren grounds of the north which skirt the Arctic Ocean.”

While today’s scientists sometimes use satellites and other remote-sensing tools to gain information about Alaska without leaving their offices, Brooks and his contemporaries at the U.S. Geological Survey spent their entire summers on traverses of Alaska. They performed their work without the help of the airplane, which had not yet been invented, nor the internal combustion engine. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016


Columns - Commentary

jpg John L. Micek

JOHN L. MICEK: Hillary Clinton's Problem - Hillary Clinton is probably going to win - and win big - on Election Night. But then she'll have to wake up on Nov. 9 and come to terms with the fact that an unfriendly Congress is going to spend the next four years tormenting her over her email scandal and the tangled web of relationships at the Clinton Foundation.

And as they amass the pile of weaponized evidence so courteously handed to them by would-be Ecuadorian Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Clinton's Inquisitors-in-Waiting are sitting on a doozy.

A memo made public Wednesday by WikiLeaks lays out, in excruciating detail, how Clinton consigliere and former White House aide Douglas Band built up what he called "Bill Clinton Inc.," which added tens of millions of dollars the Clintons' personal fortune, even as Hillary Clinton winged it around the world as President Barack Obama's secretary of state.

As The Washington Post reports, Band, through his company, Teneo, obtained "in-kind services for [Bill Clinton] and his family for personal travel, hospitality and the like," as part of an "aggressive" strategy of lining up both consulting contracts and personal speaking fees for the nation's 42nd president.

Band and company co-founder, the former Hillary Clinton fund-raiser, Declan Kelly, declined to comment for The Post.

But in a statement, the company said that as the leaked memo "demonstrates, Teneo worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world. It also clearly shows that Teneo never received any financial benefit or benefit of any kind from doing so."

But that hardly matters.

Because the memo will do exactly zero to dispel the suspicions of the Clinton-haters who view the once (and likely future) First Family as little more than grasping greed-heads who treated their charitable foundation like a personal ATM, even as they installed a revolving door on the State Department for donors seeking access.

The Clinton campaign didn't authenticate the memo - but it didn't exactly dispute it either. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016


jpg Joseph Cotto

JOSEPH COTTO: Clinton's Tangled Webs in Manhattan and Morocco - Ever hear the stereotype that Wall Street establishmentarians support Republican candidates come hell or high water?

Ever wonder if this is actually true?

"Seems like we are headed for a Sec Clinton v D Trump showdown but it feels like the Secretary's path seems more certain to me...I am not sure how Wall Street feels about Trump since the past week has created a bit of havoc in GOP party with SCarolina & NV now behind us," Hillary Clinton ally Robert Wolf -- a key Obama fundraiser and veteran investment banker who once headed UBS Americas -- wrote during this year's primary season.

He continued: "I think the business community will show their full support behind the Secretary as most will align with her policies on immigration, education, infrastructure, climate change and the future of the Supreme Court. I am not sure the business community has yet to figure out how to view Trump as the GOP nominee since he hasn't really shown any granularity to his policiy vision and it has been more rhetoric."

Less than half an hour earlier, Wolf was contacted by Vanity Fair contributing editor - and, interestingly enough, ex-investment banker - William David Cohan.

The latter presumed that "with HRC looking better these days, Wall Street is pretty happy with that and with Trump, Wall Street must be in despair, especially all those people who were supporting Bush, or walker or the others who have dropped out".

Fast forward to the present, in which the Manhattan sugar daddies of many a GOP politico are well-distanced from Trump or outright supporting Clinton.

Why would they take a chance on the Democratic nominee? Simple: Against Trump, Clinton is no bet, but a sure avenue for them to secure or gain power on Capitol Hill. After all, she has been taking Wall Street money both politically and personally for years on end. Hillary knows where her bread is buttered. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

JGP Editorial Cartoon: MUDSLINGERS
By JiM GUNTHER ©2016

Editorial Cartoon: MUDSLINGERS
By JiM GUNTHER ©2016 - Ketchikan, Alaska


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letter VOTE FOR RAY METCALFE FOR U.S. SENATE By David G Hanger - Six billion barrels of new oil reserves have been discovered off the coast of Alaska according to a recent and conveniently timed announcement from the oil industry, all of it paid for with your Permanent Fund Dividend and the massive increases in taxes and user fees all of us are about to experience. The costs of extracting that oil are currently scheduled to be paid for exclusively with your dimes, by giveaway credits to the oil companies sponsored by “Oil Company” Walker and the insanely corrupt bought and paid for Republican majority in the state legislature. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Vote Trump By A.M. Johnson - Have you noticed? There are no Trump/Pence signs among the many displays of Murkowski, Young, Stedman, Sivertsen settings along the highway and byways of Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Donald Trump By Hallie Engel - I recently read a letter on Sitnews comparing Donald Trump to a rowboat that will save America. Personally, I'd say he's more like the Titanic -- a giant behemoth racing toward certain doom, threatening to take everyone down with him in an epic disaster. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter The People's Representative: Dan Ortiz By Evan Wick - I have known Representative Ortiz for twelve years. He is a dedicated teacher, coach, mentor and state representative. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Stop the Negative Campaigning By Kyle Johansen - Like many of you I’ve been disturbed by the influx of negative advertising in the race for House District 36. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Watersheds By Rep. Dan Ortiz - The Stikine, Taku and Unuk watersheds are a major factor in the reliability of our seafood and tourism industries. Our fisheries, mariculture, and tourism industries rely on healthy watersheds, which replenish these resources and maintain our scenic reputation and seafood quality. If these rivers are not maintained for quality, our resources will diminish, as vital nutrients and safety conditions will lapse. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Alaska’s Write-In Candidate for Congress By Stephen Wright - My name is Stephen Wright, and I was born in Anchorage, AK on Elmendorf AFB in 1969. I was only five years old when Don Young became Alaska’s 4th Congressman after campaigning twice. I would love to be the 5th Alaska Congressman to represent this great state. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter RE: PAC's Negative Campaigning By Jan Jorgensen - I would like to thank Bob Sivertsen for stating "I don't support and do not agree with the negative ads" sent out by The Accountability Project(TAP) regarding Dan Ortiz. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Negative PAC Mailer By Bob Sivertsen - I would like to correct the statement that the mailer was from one candidate to the other. I, Bob Sivertsen, did not and would not produce such a mailer. It was not sent from my campaign and I don't support it. - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Response to Sivertsen By Dan Ortiz - In a recent letter to the editor, my opponent, Bob Sivertsen, wanted to 'clear the air' about negative advertising. He stated that he has non connection to PACs or any control over what an outside PAC may do. In fact, Bob does have the ability to denounce their misleading and negative attacks, but he has chosen not to do this. His argument for keeping silent is 'this is politics as usual' and uses the current presidential campaign as an example. I would hope that Southeast Alaska can set the bar higher than this year's presidential race! - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Why I Support Dan Ortiz By Eric Muench - I support Dan Ortiz as District 36 representative for three good reasons. First and foremost, he has been doing a good job representing local interests. He responds to local needs and to his constituents, and is reported to have good relations with other legislators of both parties. As an Independent, he is not bound to the bigwigs of either party and can make the best choices for his district. We need more independent politicians. - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Clinton calls Trump a "sore loser" By Jim Dornblaser - I think this the most dirty, mud slinging campaign I can remember in my 75 years. I wish our media in general was as interested in facts as they are: 1) name calling, 2) mud slinging and, 3) trying to get so much press from a loaded question (the reason for 'sore loser'). - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter PACs' Negative Campaigning By Bob Sivertsen - I have read and heard a number of concerning comments regarding the negative advertising that is being used in this race for State House. I don’t personally believe in negative campaigning and I do not engage in negative campaigning. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Donald Trump By Betty Constuble - I would like to proclaim my full support of Donald Trump. I believe he is the warrior president this country needs now. He will stand up for us. He will make the decisions that our country so much must have. The current politicians have put us in the mess we are in. We need someone who will stand up and get us out of this and make America great again. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Very Little Style over Even Less Substance By Rod Landis - Dan Ortiz's opponent in the State House race this fall missed an opportunity to distance himself from the miserable (yet laughable) antics of those involved with the Accountability Project. This big-money political action committee is behind a series of smear ads that have recently flooded Ketchikan residents mail and P.O. boxes. Some significant cash seems to have been spent designing, producing, and distributing these ads, yet the result cannot be taken seriously. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Vote Stedman & Finkenbinder By Gary Paxton - Bert Stedman, not unlike Dick Eliason and Ben Grussendorf for Sitka, has been a statesman for our great state. He has always put the state, SE Regoin, and Ketchikan ahead of any political concerns. At this time, when our state has such complex and difficult decisions to make, Bert is exactly the kind of legislator we need and he needs all the help he can get. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter What I learned from the Democrats By A. M. Johnson - I first wish to thank you and your publication for using Reuters and FOX news as your online National/ World news source over the Associated Press (AP). In part your publication, in conjunction with reliable online sources, presents news and opinions based on the more reliable news stories allowing me to express what the Democrats have taught me about politics and life particularly in this election: - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter House District 36 By Jan Jorgensen - I am not someone who is outspoken about anything political, in fact lately I have been less than eager to read, talk or listen to what politicians have to say but I do because I will be voting on November 8th. Recently I received a flyer where one Ketchikan candidate chose to speak negatively about another candidate. No where on this flyer did he tell me anything about himself, just two sides of negative words about someone else. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Thank You By Susan Coady - Thank you to the many people and businesses for supporting my friend Wendy Goyette and her son Johnathon Washburn. It's truly amazing how the people of this community come together in times of need. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Re: Two Untrustworthy Candidates By Joe O'Hara - In reference to Mr. Moskowitz' October 18th letter, I certainly agree with him that one must verify those facts before committing to them. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Dan Ortiz and The Accountability Project By Paul Seaton - I am the District 31 State House Representative for the lower Kenai Peninsula and have served in the legislature for 14 years. This year I was targeted by The Accountability Project(TAP) in the Republican Primary election with distortion ads and robocalls. Although 'independent expenditure groups' are legal - they are definitely not accountable. In fact, one of their chief donors wrote me an apology and sent a campaign contribution because the industry supported distortions were so unaccountable. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter No to Sivertsen By Douglas Thompson - If I got it wrong I would sure like to hear Bob Sivertsen tell me how he is going to protect the Permanent Fund Dividend. In his previous Sitnews announcement he stated that he wanted to join the Republicans in Juneau. The Republicans are headed by Governor Walker. They want to take our PFD and have already grabbed half of this year's. The plan as it stands is to take it all and give it to the oil companies. In short to pay them back every cent they have paid in taxes since the sixties and then some. You will get to pay taxes to make this happen. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter Disappointed - again By A. M. Johnson - With the continued barrage of Wikileaks data flooding the landscape via creditable blog sites it is becoming obvious why Establishment Republicans are struggling with Donald Trump's candidacy. Were he elected, then the Establishment members, who in my opinion include our own Senator Murkowski, personal friend with Senator Mitch McConnell, leader of the Establishment, and others will find their political terf at risk of exposures as the quite majority address RINO voting. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter I support Dan Ortiz By Janice Jackson - I support Dan Ortiz in his bid for re-election as our legislative representative for District 36. Representative Ortiz has demonstrated to me his willingness to meet with and listen to our concerns on important issues in our state. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter RE: THANK YOU By Judith Green - Kolby Elliot's THANK YOU note deserves in return a thank you. is a great place for the positive happenings in, on and about our Island Community and you have added a bright spot. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter Thank you, Ketchikan! By Michelle O'Brien - Once again, Ketchikan never ceases to amaze as a vibrant and welcoming community. The recent Open World Program delegation from Russia was greeted with open arms; from informative visits with local organizations, to a generosity that is unique to cemented the fact that Ketchikan is far and away a community unlike others. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Bob Sivertson for State House By Tuckerman Babcock - The Alaska Republican Party stands in support of the positive change offered by Bob Sivertson for State House.- More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Vote Dan Ortiz By Susan Bachant - I am writing to share my reasons why I support Dan Ortiz. Throughout the years there have been many people representing us in various political avenues. Only one has ever asked me how I wanted him to represent my voice and that is Dan Ortiz. I have seen him go from door to door, talked with him in the mall, and even filled out an online survey from him wanting to know what I and all of the other folks that he represents think on a particular subject. I find this absolutely refreshing. Ask yourself, how any of our representatives actually do this? How many want to know what the people they represent want? Usually they get in there and pitch their own personal agendas. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Two Untrustworthy Candidates By Donald Moskowitz - We know that many politicians make promises they cannot keep and they typically use manipulative and ambiguous language to hide their true ideas and feelings. They hope the public will forget their false statements. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Response to Political Attack Ads By Rep. Dan Ortiz - It has come to my attention in recent days that groups from outside our district and outside Alaska have started to send out negative ads against me. Judging from where this effort is coming from, I take it in stride. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

letter Thank You By Kolby Elliot - On behalf of my teammates and myself, I would like to thank my family, coaches, community, and peers for all of their support contributing to a successful Schoenbar Middle School Cross Country season. Please publish this thank you as a token of gratitude to all those who participated. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

letter School Board Replacement Pre-selected? By Carl Webb - I am embarrassed that we voters have failed to ask why School Board President Michelle O’Brien, who announced a long time ago that she would resign from the Board, chose to do it one week after the official election. She even announced the date. Because of that decision, the voters of Ketchikan were denied the right to select the new board member and the current Board will be making the choice. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for

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