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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 30, 2009


Misty Thistle Pipes & Drums
Members of the Misty Thistle Pipes & Drums performed a "Thank You" concert for the student body at Fawn Mountain Elementary last Wednesday in recognition of their canned food drive. Fawn Mountain classes collected over 2,500 cans which were delivered to Love, Inc.


Fish Factor: Global recession takes a bite out of wild salmon prices By LAINE WELCH - The global recession took a bite out of wild salmon prices this summer for both fishermen and processors. Although the coast wide supply increased by 16.8% over last year, the average dock price of $.51/lb. was a drop of 20.3% - but still an improvement over the $.44/lb. average in 2007.

According to Seafood Trend's Ken Talley all but sockeye salmon prices had double-digit declines at the docks this year. King salmon took the biggest hit - the average price of $2.62/lb was a drop of 42.3%. Coho prices averaged $.86/lb, a drop of 32.8%. For chums, the average dock price dropped to $.44/lb, down from $.59/lb. Unfortunately, the huge drop in the pink salmon catch couldn't offset the bad economy - pink prices fell to $.22/lb. this year, down from $.35/lb. in 2008.

Alaska's most valuable salmon -sockeye - accounted for about 56% of the total value of this year's catch. The average dock price (before any post season adjustments was $.80/lb down only 4.8% from last year and exactly the same as 2007.

On the bright side, Talley said the lower prices kept wild salmon in front of consumers all summer, when farmed salmon were short and high-priced. Talley predicts that helped prime the pump for a market that could be ready to boom as the economic recession tapers off next year.

Alaska's 2009 salmon haul is valued so far at just over $370 million at the docks, compared to $452 million last year, for a smaller catch. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

Alaska: Governor's Coordinated Transportation Task Force Releases Draft Report - The Governor's Coordinated Transportation Task Force (CTTF) has released its draft recommendations report for public review and comment.

The 39-page draft report describes the state of special needs transportation in Alaska, challenges to coordinating funding and services, and recommendations for meeting those challenges.

Members of the task force are asking agencies, individuals, organizations, tribes and communities to submit comments on the draft report to the task force. These comments will be considered in preparing the final report to the governor in January 2010.

The CTTF held meetings and teleconferences to facilitate a better understanding of the impact of state programs at local levels, to discuss barriers to effective coordination and to hear public input. The state programs are designed to support Alaskans with special needs including those with physical or developmental disabilities, mental illness, brain injuries, dementia or substance abuse problems, senior citizens, Medicaid recipients, low income individuals, public school students, preschoolers in a Head Start program and others with special needs. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

Ketchikan: Youth-Driven DIY Heavy Metal Concert Combats Breast Cancer - Bras were flying, long-haired guitarists were shredding, and corpse-paint was everywhere to be seen at Halloween 2009's BreastFest -- a youth organized heavy metal show. Six youth bands united to raise over $400 for the First City Council on Cancer. Funding will be used to assist local residents undergoing breast cancer treatment. The bands performed at the stARTled Salmon -- a Ketchikan-based recording studio / record label / community arts space.

 Youth-Driven DIY Heavy Metal Concert Combats Breast Cancer

Youth-Driven DIY Heavy Metal Concert Combats Breast Cancer

Pariah, Buck Up Little Kamper, Damaged Justice, Pink Cloud Project, Demophat, and Peter Jacob were all in top form, delivering everything from Slayer covers to original songs dealing with challenging issues such as child abuse and smoking cessation. The teen-dominated audience ate it up, and also ate up the delicious BRA-ts (bratwurst) offered for sale. Brandon Hoyt, drummer for Buck Up Little Kamper, summed the event up, saying: "This was the best time we've ever had at a concert. Ever."

Pariah's Christian Jorgensen worked with friends, and the stARTled Salmon, to conceptualize, organize, and promote the event, taking a simple grassroots approach. The majority of funds raised came from youth attending the event. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

Southeast Alaska: 'Timely Snapshot' of Second-Growth Timber - A project designed to give Southeast Alaska communities a better understanding of the timber value in the region's second-growth forests has received a contribution of $2,500 from The Nature Conservancy.

The $2,500 grant helps the Southeast Conference, a regional economic development non-profit, pay for a "young-growth timber cruise" on the southern portion of the Tongass National Forest. The timber cruise is expected to provide a timely snapshot of the current value of the young-growth forest in the region.

This grant is one way for The Nature Conservancy to help Southeast Alaska communities have better information at hand as they plan second-growth timber management in the future.

"For local businesses and local governments to plan for the future, they need to understand the timber resource of Southeast Alaska. This timber cruise in the southern Tongass will help answer important questions about the region's second-growth timber supply. The transition from old-growth forest to second-growth forest depends on efforts like these led by the Southeast Conference," said Norm Cohen of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009


Alaska Science: Quiet time on the sun stalls aurora viewing By NED ROZELL - It's a slow season for aurora watchers, due to an extra-long quiet period on the great aurora generator-and all-around giver of life-the sun.

Quiet time on the sun stalls aurora viewing

Poul Jensen of Fairbanks took this photo near Old Murphy Dome Road on an exceptional aurora night from Oct. 29-30, 2009.
Photograph by Poul Jensen

"For two years we've been in an unusual, very low, extended solar minimum," said Dirk Lummerzheim, an aurora forecaster at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "That has an effect on aurora because aurora activity follows solar activity. The aurora hasn't been too exciting lately."

Like the booms and busts of snowshoe hares, the numbers of both solar flares and sunspots (dark splotches on the sun) peak about every 11 years. On the other side of that peak is a crash, and the sun has bottomed out in sporadic activity since early 2008. The sun has gone more than two years without spewing a significant solar flare, and sunspot counts have also been very low. And sunspots are not great aurora indicators anyway.

"There's a statistical connection, but the appearance of a sunspot doesn't guarantee aurora," said Roger Smith, a space physicist and director of the Geophysical Institute. "It isn't the sunspots that cause aurora; it's irregularities in the solar wind that liberate energy for these beautiful optical displays." - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

Alaska: FIRE SAFETY FOR THE HOLIDAYS - Cooking and heating-related incidents are the leading cause of residential structure fires in Alaska, accounting for almost 75% of the state's total reported residential 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. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009


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letterOBAMA'S CZARS By Al Johnson - We in the hither land do not have access to the background of many of the persons who have direct control over our daily lives who serve at the pleasure of the President. It is interesting to read of these Czars' varied backgrounds. I don't know about the rest of you, but to me their positions are contrary to what I understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights laid out as our National guidelines. You make the call. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

letterThanksgiving Away By Jeff Lund - Ten years and change ago, I made a decision I do not regret.

I left home to pursue a college degree and a career away from the sprawling metropolis that is Klawock, Alaska population 750. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letter Yes we need a Community Police Officer on site at our schools! By Bobbie McCreary - This is so obvious it is hard to imagine that anyone cannot see the value of a SRO (school resource officer) assigned to Ketchikan High School! Especially when that officer is well disposed to forming a trust relationship with, and really cares about working with, our youth to make our schools safe. - More...
Friday - Novembr 27, 2009

letter Alaska Oyster Cooperative By Eric R Wyatt - On Thursday, November 19th, the Alaska Oyster Cooperative was formed, in Naukati Bay on Prince of Wales Island.  A interim-board of directors approved the Articles of Incorporation.  The six member board consists of oyster and clam farmers, who plan to operate the local shellfish nursery and a new shellfish processing facility in Naukati. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letter Ward Cove By Carol Cairnes - I just read a Viewpoint on SitNews suggesting that a prison be built at Ward Cove. Because of the contamination on the site it can not be used for human habitation. The area has some serious restrictions on it that are known to anyone who reads the EPA reports. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letterTea Party Slogans By Monica Gaita - You gotta be kidding with this NONSENSE... right??? - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letterRE: Ward Cove Comprehensive Plan By Marina Keirn - Why not take the approach that the city of Seward took? When they needed to create sustainable income and job opportunities, they floated a bond and built a prison that was then leased to the State of Alaska. A prison with between 300 - 500 beds would create many opportunities for jobs as Correctional Officers, Medical Providers (Mental Health, Dental, Medical, etc.), Administrative staff, Maintenance personnel, and would also create more jobs in the community through increased demand for Food supplies, Office supplies, Mechanical Materials, Clothing vendors, etc. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter Lesson three regarding Liberal vs Conservative By A. M. Johnson - Recently I read Vince Flynn's latest book "Pursuit of Honor". At one point during a Senate hearing between a Liberal Democrat Female Senator, who supports late term abortion and was berating the central character, undercover CIA agent, Conservative Mitch Rapp, for torturing a Muslim terrorist to gain information. In response the Mitch Rapp character stated the following. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter"Going Rogue" By Andy Rauwolf - In response to the letter by Susan Round regarding the various definitions of the word rogue and how they may best apply to Sarah Palin: Susan, in reading the dictionary definitions you posted and which one would best apply to Sarah Palin, since the elephant is the symbol of the republican party, and "to separate from the herd" is considered to be a rogue, you need not look further. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter RE: TEA Party Slogans Cheap and Shallow By Cindi Davis - Mr. Bolling, you have made SOME valid points. Capitalism does have its problems. However, it sounds like you are advocating dumping our grand experiment in liberty in favor of a socialistic nation. Our last 200 years of history would be rendered meaningless and eventually be as forgotten as any utopia. Our founding fathers would roll in their graves. We would lose the personality and identity we have as a nation. Perhaps socialism could be beneficial. Personally, I doubt it would work. However, let's look it straight in the eye and tell the truth: 1) President Obama's stradegies ARE very socialistic. 2) We are being asked as a nation to take part in a socialistic experiment. 3) We are being lied to and led like a bunch of children by a government who claims this isn't happening. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letterHealthcare Reform By Chris Elliott - Last December I woke up after surgery in a room at Virginia Mason with a homeless female heroin addict in the other bed. I know this because a nurse patiently gathered the woman's medical history and current circumstances before the poor woman slumped across her food tray fast sleep. I'm pretty sure she didn't have health insurance. I'm pretty sure those of us with insurance are covering her in our premiums. (The Uninsured) - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterCell Phones for Soldiers Program By Ed Vitorino - Every year millions of Americans throw their used/broken cell phones in the trash and we all know that it ends up on a landfill. I know we all have them sitting in a drawer somewhere taking up space. What if i told you that we can recycle them and in return the recycling company gives the military members calling cards? - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterOh Sarah Palin..... By Evan Bolling - The much anticipated controversial autobiography, "Going Rogue" written by our very own claim to shame, Frm. Gov. Sarah Palin is now on the bookshelves. A sad day for Alaska, the literary world, and all sentient life too. We should have done a better job keeping the lid on this total embarrassment, but now she's a national satire. And in 2008 the most mocked person on Saturday Night Live. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterGOING ROGUE By Susan Round - The following definitions of the word ROGUE are provided by Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterMillion Dollar Blunder at the Public Library? By Robert D. Warner - With the City Manager's plea to the City Council to increase properity taxes next year, it seems most urgent to end careless and wastefull spending. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterNot in my Backyard By Don Borders - Here in Alaska we are not so energy deprived that we need to go out on a limb to resolve the electrical power needs. We have not even started to explore the tidal influx as a power source where other nations in the world have done so and commissioned such systems to feed their power grids. We do have an abundance additional hydroelectric possibilites and thermal ones such as Chena Hot springs thermal system which has proven to be efficient and has won several awards in its design. So to embrace an "iffy" fringe technological concept just to generate power which would release all kinds of substances into our lean pristine air is just foolish. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterPebble Mine Views By Martha Jacobson - Regarding the Ketchikan Daily News editorial about eating your salmon in Seattle without the restaurant owner sharing views on the Pebble Mine - the issue is way more complicated than narrowing it down to some restaurant chef's political views. Way more! - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterTEA Party Slogans Cheap and Shallow By Evan Bolling - "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of everyone else's money" this becomingly trite slogan was at one point witty and creative. Witty because it employs an intelligent humor and creative because it cunningly neglects the obvious, making it a purely fantastic perspective. Fantastic, from the Latin phantasticius meaning imaginative, fantasy. The root definition has been included to avoid confusion in my intended meaning. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterName calling By Tom Ferry - Mr. Warner, you say you would find it to be a privilege to vote for Obama's re-election. Hey that's fine , but if you did vote for him the first time and now the second time, you are not even close to being as I am "an independent conservative". - More...
Saturday PM - NOvember 21, 2009

letterLandless Issue By John Morris - I would like to respond to the folks who have this issue. I want you to realize that once you sign on with the ANCSA Corp, whether be regional or village, you are signing away all your aboriginal rights... that is what this Act has done. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letter Socialism to classroom analogy By Evan Bolling - Al Johnson's socialism to classroom analogy is absolutely genius. Of course, however, if you think about it for even a second more it becomes totally ill conceived. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

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