Steve Landerd Studio

Re/Max - Ketchikan, Alaska

Madison Lumber & Hardware - Ketchikan, Alaska

Creekside Family Health Clinic

Tongass Business Center

Davies-Barry Insurance

Ward Creek Industrial - Ketchikan, Alaska

Hometown Furnishings - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Car Rental - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan General Hospital

arrow Contact
arrow Webmail Lettersletter
arrow News Tips
Search Sitnews
arrow Copyright Info

Today's News
arrow Alaska

arrow Top Stories
U.S. News
arrow U.S. Politics
Stock Watch
arrow Personal Finance
arrow Science News
arrow US Education News
arrow Parenting News
arrow Seniors News
arrow Medical News
arrow Health News
arrow Fitness
Offbeat News
arrow Online Auction News
arrow Today In History
arrow Product Recalls
arrow Obituaries

Quick News Search
arrow Alaska
arrow Ketchikan
SE Alaska
arrow Alaska News Links

Columns - Articles
arrow Dave Kiffer
arrow Fish Factor
arrow Career Success Stories

arrow Parnassus Reviews
arrow Chemical Eye On...
arrow George Pasley
More Columnists

arrow Our Troops

Historical Ketchikan
arrow June Allen
arrow Dave Kiffer
arrow Louise B. Harrington

arrow Match of the Month
arrow Asset Builders

Ketchikan Arts & Events
arrow Ketchikan Museums
KTN Public Library
arrow Parks & Recreation
arrow Chamber

arrow Home & Garden
arrow Food & Drink
arrow Arts & Culture
arrow Book Reviews
arrow Movie Reviews
Celebrity Gossip

On the Web
arrow Cool Sites
arrow Webmaster Tips
arrow Virus Warnings

arrow Ketchikan Links  
arrow Top Sports News

Public Records
arrow FAA Accident Reports
arrow NTSB Accident Reports
arrow Court Calendar
arrow Court Records Search
Wanted: Absconders
arrow Sex Offender Reg.
arrow Public Notices

Weather, Webcams
arrow Today's Forecast
arrow KTN Weather Data

arrow AK Weather Map
arrow Ketchikan Webcam

arrow SE AK Webcams
arrow Alaska Webcams

arrow AK Earthquakes

TV Guide
arrow Ketchikan

Ketchikan Phone Book
arrow Yellow Pages
arrow White Pages

arrow Employment

Government Links
arrow Local Government
arrow State & National

KFMJ - Ketchikan, Alaska

Parnassus Books Ketchikan, Alaska

McPherson Music - Ketchikan, Alaska

Water Tap - Ketchikan, Alaska

Carl Thompson's Photographs - Ketchikan, Alaska


SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 26, 2008

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Wilson's Snipe
This photograph was taken in downtown Ketchikan recently.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS



Ketchikan: When 'The Great Influenza' Shut Down Ketchikan; More than a dozen residents died, but Ketchikan had a milder strain than other communities in 1918... A Feature Story by DAVE KIFFER - Ninety years ago on November 23rd, the city of Ketchikan let out a collective sigh of relief.

For nearly a month, theaters, restaurants, schools and most stores had been closed. City Health officer Harry Ayers had forbidden gatherings larger than a handful of people. The reason: An attempt to stop the spread of the "Great Influenza" in Ketchikan.

On November 23, 1918, the public ban on gatherings would be lifted and life would return somewhat to normal but many residents would still be affected and some local residents were suffering lingering affects as late as the summer of 1920.

The influenza had arrived in Ketchikan in October, on ships coming from Seattle and Vancouver where it had quickly spread. Although it would "only" claim around 16 lives in Ketchikan, public health officials would later estimate that nearly a third of the more than 2,000 residents of the community would come down with influenza that would claim more than 50 million lives world-wide in a matter of months.

Modern scientists estimate that more than 20 percent of the people on earth had at least some symptoms of the "Great Influenza."

The exact cause of the Great Influenza has never been precisely pinpointed, although most researchers agree that it first appeared in the United States in the spring of 1918.

Within months it was spread world wide, primarily because of the massive troop movements taking place in the latter stages of World War I.

John Barry, author of the 2004 book, "The Great Influenza:The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History" believes the first signs of the new virulent form of the flu appeared in Haskell, County Kansas in February of 1918. By early March it had spread to large military encampments at Fort Riley and Fort Dodge.

Barry writes that plague was different from most of the known flus at the time because it tended to strike down young healthy people at a greater rate than the traditional targets of the flu: the young, the elderly and the already sick.

It was later determined that the great influenza inflicted its greatest damage by causing the immune systems of people to go into a form of overdrive that literally killed them.

Because healthy people had stronger immune systems they were more susceptible to the 1918 influenza. Many died within hours of showing the first symptoms ­ usually an inability to walk, followed by a blueish tint to the face and finally the coughing of blood from the lungs.

"Headlines Announced The Flu Was Coming"

Although the first cases of the influenza didn't appear in Ketchikan until late in October of 1918, residents had had a warning it was coming. Headlines in the September 17, 1918 Ketchikan Daily Progressive Miner noted that the epidemic was raging in Boston and New York.

By Oct. 12, Seattle officials were reporting dozens of deaths.

In mid October, Ketchikan resident Author Moa ­ the adopted god-son of Forest Hunt ­ wrote to his family in Ketchikan from Fort Dodge, Kansas, where he had been training for service in Europe since early September.

"There are many cases of Spanish influenza in camp and several deaths have occurred from it," he wrote, in the letter that was printed in the Oct. 18 edition of the Daily Progressive Miner. "The camp is under quarantine now."

By then most of the coastal communities in Alaska were also under quarantine. Territorial Governor Thomas Riggs had placed a marine quarantine in place, but it was impossible enforce because of the need for supplies in the isolated communities.

On October 19, it was reported that theaters in San Francisco and Seattle were closed and that public gatherings were banned. In the same issue of the Progressive Miner, it was reported that the captain of a local fishing vessel had just arrived from Prince Rupert and reported that more than 800 cases of the influenza and eight deaths had occurred there.

Also on the 19th, it was reported that pianist at the Dream Theater, Mrs. F.J. Woods, had left for Seattle the day before to go to Camp Dodge to take care of her husband, who had been stricken with the flu.

On Oct. 22, six cases of the influenza were reported in Loring and Ketchikan city council held an emergency meeting to decide what to do. The Loring cases were limited to crew members on the cannery ship Star of England, but local officials were concerned that others traveling from Loring would spread the disease here.

"Officials ordered Ketchikan 'Closed'"

The city council chambers were packed by citizens worried over the spread of the influenza. The council immediately approved the closure of most public operations in the city including the "schools, churches, theaters, and prohibiting of all public and social gatherings, pool rooms and all."

Children were warned to stay inside their homes and "special officers have been appointed to see that none enter the city without a physician's certificate of health." - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008


Alaska: FIRE SAFETY FOR THE HOLIDAYS - Cooking and heating-related incidents are the leading cause of residential structure fires in Alaska, accounting for almost 60% of the state's total reported structure fires. With the holidays approaching, warm, cozy homes and holiday feasts play a major role in our preparations for family gatherings. It also increases the risks for fire. These fires can be prevented and losses reduced by simply following a few simple safety precautions. .

Pay particular attention while cooking, especially when using oils and grease. Cooking appliances should be kept clean of grease build-up, which can easily ignite. Applying a lid to a small grease fire is usually the most effective and safest method of controlling it. Never carry a pan that's on fire as it may ignite clothes, or spill, causing severe burns. If the fire is inside your oven, turn off the heat and leave the door closed to cut off the fire's air supply. Young children should be kept away from cooking appliances to prevent any mishaps. It's always a good idea to use back burners when possible and keep pot handles turned to the inside so they won't be pulled or knocked over. Check stoves and other appliances before going to bed or leaving your home to make sure that the units are left in the "off" position.

Many people choose to use natural cut trees to decorate their homes. Beautiful decorations are traditional in the lives of Alaskans, but it is important to know that these decorations lead to added fire risks if safety precautions are not followed. When decorating for the holidays, guard against blocking exit doors with Christmas trees or decorations that could interfere with being able to escape in the event of a fire. Natural cut trees should be secured in a sturdy tree-stand to prevent falling or being knocked over. Only use "cool lamp" holiday lights for inside decorations that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Before stringing lights, check for loose connections, broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or places where bare wire is exposed. Damaged sets of lights should be discarded. Always remember to turn off decorative lights when you leave your home or retire for the evening. Christmas trees should be freshly cut and placed in water the entire time the tree is inside your home. Dispose of your tree when the needles begin to brown or fall in large quantities. This is a sign that the tree is dangerously dry.

"Candles are a growing cause of home fires, especially during the holiday season" warns Dave Tyler, Alaska State Fire Marshal. Open flames can easily ignite nearby materials, spreading fire throughout your home in a matter of minutes. Fire is fast - that's why every home should have a working smoke alarm and a planned and practiced exit plan. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008



arrow Police Report
arrow AK Troopers Daily Dispatch
arrow Today's Forecast
arrow Satellite

arrow Today's Weather Images
arrow Marine Forecasts
arrow Ketchikan Weather Data
arrow Current AK Weather Map


arrow Publish ad
Please select the proper category before posting.


arrow Announcements and
      Help Wanted
arrow For Sale / Free Stuff
arrow Garage Sales
arrow Homes / Apts/ Property
arrow Pets
arrow Wanted
arrow Lost & Found
arrow Local Services
arrow Publish your ad


Sept. - Oct. - Nov. 2008
31 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 01 02 03 04
05 06 07  08 09 10  11
12 13 14 15 16 17  18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26      

arrow More Front Page Archives


Basic Rules

letterRespose to "Almost Famous" by Dave Kiffer By Marshall H. Massengale - Ketchikan watching via Internet has become for me something of an engaging hobby over the last more than a year and a half as the direct offshoot of having gotten to know, online at least, some truly wonderful people who happen to live there and who own and operate one of the borough's well-known float plane services. Of course, aside from exchanging e-mail regularly with my friends, I enthusiastically count Dave Kiffer's column in SitNews, together with the rest of the online journal's content including the various commercial Website links advertised along its margins, amongst my favorite windows into the K-Town world. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter At what point do we hold the line on new taxes? By Rodney Dial - In three locations in my previous letter 12 was listed when it should have read 1/2 % (one-half percent) this is due to a formatting error when my MS Word document is converted into a SitNews letter. The proposed tax increase to build the new pool will take the sales tax rate to 6.25 to 6.50 %. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter It was never about the 'facts By Robert Thompson - Well Mr. Hanger is expressing his opinions again without regard to information or facts. In a Sitnews' letter he says: - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letterGas Price Gouging By Jerilyn Lester - This is the first time in my 25 year history in Southern Southeast that I have been ashamed. The people that own the gas storage and the stations are keeping the price up so that we go broke just trying to get to work two jobs just to pay for the gas to do so and the oil to heat our homes. The price of oil has gone down to between $40 and $50 a barrel and we are still paying $3.75 a gallon for gas and more than that to heat the house. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter New Library = New Taxes By Dan McQueen - With the falling oil prices it's going to be pretty tough for Ketchikan to get the money from the State. A recession seems to be unavoidable at this time. Now is not the time to try and get the taxpayers of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough to accept any new taxes! - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter The future of Ketchikan By Rodney Dial - The country is going through the worst economic disaster since the great depression, with most thinking that it will get worse before it gets better. During times like these consumer spending on non essential items all but stops. This presents the real likelihood that Ketchikan will take a severe economic hit next tourist season. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Hoonah Community Forest Project By Chris Erickson - On October 1, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game implemented the first early closure of the doe hunting season in the history of Northeast Chichagof Island. It was an unsettling announcement for those of us living in Hoonah and Tenakee, two communities which rely heavily upon subsistence hunting. More unsettling is the drop in the deer population which prompted the early closure. To those of us who make our living as hunting and fishing guides operating on the northeastern tip of Chichagof Island, this drop is all too apparent. During trips in the field, deer sightings during peak activity times of early morning and late evening, once numbering a dozen or more, are so rare as to be worthy of mention. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Ketchikan Fire Stoppers By Jim Hill - The Ketchikan, North Tongass, and South Tongass Fire Departments; with assistance from the State of Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety, presented the Juvenile Fire-setter Intervention Specialist-I class November 17th and 18th at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letterGas Prices By David Hanger - Gas prices continue to fall, $1.69 a gallon now, everywhere but Southeast. The gougers are despicable; more despicable are the gutless politicians who lack both the fortitude and the concern to do anything about it. Another example of Sarah Palin's "reform" standards? - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Vocational Education Important By Amy L. Schroeder - Thank you to Charles Edwardson for broaching the voc-ed situation at K-High. I am a subscriber to the "every job is important and it takes a special person to do it" theory. I find that not only in Ketchikan, but all around is still the myth that if a child entertains higher academic schooling that his/her life will be rewarded somehow more richly. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Library cost clarification By Heidi Ekstrand - I was thrilled to see Ms. Jones' letter here with her thoughts, ideas and concerns on funding issues for local construction projects. The more people creatively involved in our community issues the better the outcomes will be. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Thank You Senator Stevens By Dan McQueen - Senator Stevens, thanks for all you have done for our Great State! I am proud to know ya! - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter More Letters/Viewpoints
letter Webmail your letter or
letter Email Your Letter To:

E-mail your news tips, news
releases & photos to:


Stories in the News
©1999 - 2008
Ketchikan, Alaska

M.C. Kauffman, Webmaster/Editor, &
Graphic Designer
907 254 1948

In Memory of SitNews' first editor,
Richard (Dick) Kauffman


Locally owned & operated.
Online since 1999

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted or redistributed without written permission from and payment of required fees to the proper sources.

Tongass Federal Credit Union - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan H2)

Lighthouse Services - Ketchikan, Alaska

Vicki's Place - Exclusive Salon - Ketchikan, Alaska

Gateway City Realty, Inc.

Skinner Sales & Service - Ketchikan, Alaska

Christmas House Gift Shop

Tatsuda's IGA - Ketchikan, Alaska

Talbot's Building Supply

Black Bear Inn

Saltery Lodge

Tongass Forest Enterprises

Gateway City Realty, Inc. - Ketchikan, Alaska

The Local Paper & The Home Office - Ketchikan, Alaska

North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department

Visit our new
website at