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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 16, 2010

Front Page Photo by Peaches Wallin

Sea Lions
Ketchikan waterfront...
Front Page Photo by PEACHES WALLIN

Ketchikan: Reactions vary for legislators who left majority caucus By LISA DEMER Anchorage Daily News - Two Republican legislators who lost a power struggle and walked out on the House majority caucus earlier this month are facing much different reactions from constituents at home. - Read this Anchorage Daily News article...


Murkowski leads 1,706 in vote count; Vote count continues – According to Murkowski's campaign manager, Senator Lisa Murkowski took the vote count lead Monday in the race for U.S Senate. Murkowski now has been credited by the Division of Elections with 91,517 votes after some absentee ballots were hand-counted Monday. That vote count includes 7,601 write-in votes that have been challenged by the Miller campaign. Joe Miller’s total vote count after the state tallied more than 8,000 absentees Monday stands at 90,458 votes including 10 write in votes he has received. That total also includes contested votes.

According to information provided by Murkowski's campaign manager Kevin Sweeney, Murkowski currently leads Miller by 1,706 votes. A lead that will only grow says Sweeney. With the last large batch of absentees counted Monday, Miller received 2,931 votes, and “Write-In” received 3,463 votes. This is the last significant vote count in this election.

According to the outstanding write-in ballots yet to counted, it now appears Murkowski will cross the 100,000 vote mark said Sweeney in a press release.

“Joe will receive very few more votes, with the exception of a couple hundred overseas ballots to come in,” said Murkowski's campaign manager Kevin Sweeney. “However, it looks like Lisa will be credited with about 10,000 more write-in votes once they have been reviewed in Juneau. If the unchallenged rate proceeds as it has for the past five days, Lisa stands to win the race, even accounting for Joe Miller’s challenges,” Sweeney said. “And when that happens,” he added, “we expect him to concede this race as he has indicated he would.”

However, Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto reports Miller in the lead with uncontested votes. In a press release DeSoto said that after 5 days of write-in ballot counting, Republican nominee Joe Miller still leads incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the uncontested write-in ballot count. As of Sunday night, 88,076 of the total 98,565 write-in votes have been counted and Miller has 87,517 uncontested votes and Murkowski only has 78,697 uncontested votes. If current trends hold, Miller and Murkowski will likely end up in a dead heat in the uncontested ballot count says DeSoto.

Tuesday, approximately 8,800 absentee ballots are due to be counted as well as 1,000 overseas (mostly military) ballots. Miller has had a very strong showing in the absentee ballots and particularly among the military community. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, "If previous trends hold for the absentee ballot count, it is possible for Joe to gain as many as 1,000 votes against Lisa Murkowski [Tuesday]." - More...
Tuesday AM - November 16, 2010

Fish Factor: 2010 salmon season best in 18 years By LAINE WELCH - The 2010 salmon season tallied nearly $534 million at the Alaska docks, the best showing in 18 years.  But the big payday was not spread around evenly. Just two areas, Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound, accounted for 55 percent of the value of the total Alaska catch.

For the Bay, a catch of nearly 29 million sockeye salmon rang in at almost $149 million, an increase of $4.5 million over 2009. (That doesn’t include bonuses or other post-season adjustments.)

Prince William Sound set a record with a total salmon catch of 75.4 million –nearly 45% of all salmon harvested in Alaska this year! And the PWS harvest of 69 million humpies accounted for 66% of Alaska’s total pink salmon catch.

The statewide chum catch of 18.2 million is the 8th best since statehood; the value of nearly $93 million is the second highest since 1975.

Here’s a look at average 2010  salmon prices paid to fishermen (per pound) with comparisons to last year -  Chinook salmon: $3.44/ $2.76;  sockeye: $1.11/90 cents;  coho: $1.05/$.93; pinks $.35/$.26;    chum salmon: $.66/$.49.

All Alaska regions except for Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula  saw nice increases in values for their salmon catches this year. Here are the 2010 dockside values per region (in millions of dollars), compared to 2009 – Southeast Alaska: $131.2/$111.5; Prince William Sound:   $143/$54.3; Cook Inlet: $35/ $22.3;  Bristol Bay: $153/$146.2  Kodiak  $28/$39  Chignik $14.3/$9.8;AK Peninsula $22.7/$3; Kuskokwim $2.9/ $1.9;  Norton Sound: $1.2/ $1  Kotzebue: $860,000/ $376,000. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 16, 2010

Saxman - Ketchikan: Saxman Receives New Fitness Equipment for Community Center - Residents of Saxman and Ketchikan will be melting away the pounds this winter with the help of new fitness equipment that is now available at the Saxman Community Center! Two treadmills, two elliptical machines, and three exercise bikes are now available for use by the public. The commercial quality equipment features electronic controls which allow users to customize workout style to their personal needs, measure their heart rate, and track the number of calories burned.

The new equipment was purchased using grant funding provided by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. Trust beneficiaries are allowed to use the equipment for free. Equipment is available to Saxman and Ketchikan residents for a small fee, which helps cover the cost of lighting and heat at the facility.



City of Saxman employee Sara Skan, who works at the community center, expressed her thanks. “I am excited to have the new cardio equipment here at the SCC. There are growing needs here, and I believe that this will help generate a positive outlet to the community members that choose to take advantage of it!”

“We expect that this equipment will empower people to exercise and lead healthier lives,” said Saxman’s Grant Coordinator, Jason Custer. “In particular, we hope the fitness equipment will make a difference in the lives of people recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse.” - More...
Tuesday AM - November 16, 2010

Southeast Alaska: Southeast Senior Services Drivers Training By Marianne Mills - Over four days beginning October 19th, 2010, senior service drivers who serve 14 Southeast Alaskan communities participated in an intensive, professional training workshop at the Catholic Community Service (CCS) Training Center in Juneau.  Included in the event were drivers from the Aangoon Shu Senior Center, Craig/ Klawock Senior Center, Haines/ Klukwan Senior Center, Hoonah Senior Center, Juneau Care-A-Van, Kake Senior Center, Ketchikan/ Saxman Senior Center, Swan Lake Senior Center/ Sitka Care-A-Van, Skagway Senior Center, Wrangell Senior Center, and Yakutat Senior Center.

The Southeast Senior Services (SESS) Drivers Workshop was kicked off by Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOTPF) Transit Coordinator Debbi Howard, as she explained the importance of the drivers in the lives of senior citizens and their role in helping seniors stay healthy and connected to their communities. SESS Program Director Marianne Mills distributed transportation policies and procedures binders to each driver and reviewed the most essential parts. 

Certified Trainers Doug Bridges and Robert Milton provided the vast majority of the professional training.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, they used various methods, including video, classroom and hands-on instruction, to teach about Passenger Assistance, Service, and Safety (PASS).  PASS, a course recommended by the Community Transportation Association of America, includes disability awareness and sensitivity, an overview of assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.), and the proper ways to use wheelchair lifts and to tie down wheelchairs.  The importance of offering door-to-door assistance to ensure passenger safety was emphasized. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 16, 2010



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letter Don't Be Swayed By “Scare Tactics” By Joseph J. “Jay” Chadwell - I would like to address a few of the concerns about Mr. Hopen’s proposed project at Ward Cove. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 16, 2010

letterPerils of a privatized trash collection By Geord Kleinschmidt - The public library has a movie called "TRASH" which will educate anybody about the perils of a privatized trash collection company moving into the area, destroying the environment. The movie details the consequences of trash processing in the Great Lakes area. - More...
Saturday AM - November 13, 2010

letter Johanson burned all our political capital By David G. Hanger - It certainly seems appropriate, does it not, that they formed their own caucus, a party and caucus of two. Nor is it difficult to discern their positions on the various issues of the day; love is inordinate, as they say. - More...
Saturday AM - November 13, 2010

letter RE: Obvious differences By Paul Jarvi - Mr. Johnson, I enjoy reading your letters and value your opinion. Joe Miller had great ideals, however he became a cliche' or poster boy for our parent's old saying of "Don't do what I do, do as I say!" - More...
Saturday AM - November 13, 2010

letter Raw Fish Tax By Mary Ida Henrikson - Instead of using Raw Fish Tax which the local fishers give up for their collective economic benefit, why not use the cruise ship head tax, IF in fact we need more city police.  FYI Ketchikan has 27 police officers and 6 dispatchers (according to their web page)... maybe 29 now, for 9,000 city folk.   Fairbanks, with a population of 98,000 has 47 which includes support staff. - More...
Saturday AM - November 13, 2010

letterAttention all Ketchikan Physicians and the Ketchikan Scientific Community By Van & Linda Abbott - A large regional garbage and trash incinerator may be built at Ward Cove.  This project creates a facility that will process garbage and trash from all communities in South East Alaska.  We believe that garbage and trash will be accepted at Ward Cove from any municipality willing to send us their garbage which may represent a much greater volume of garbage then what South East Alaska has to offer.  In short, this project could morph in to a giant incineration facility.  - More...
Thursday AM - November 11, 2010

letterOur Representative Did What? By Robert Thompson - What a great way to start the legislative year? Just a week after we in Ketchikan elected our representative to the state legislature, he finally tells us what his priority is. And it is not Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday AM - November 11, 2010

letterCompensation inadequacy By Ken Arriola - Jim Mark's opinion of unfairness by KIC is misdirected. The more accurate focus/blame of Mr. Mark's financial demise should be directed at his source of income, namely his employer. How many of you out there, in your right mind, believes that anyone can make it, in this inflated economy, on $11.50 an hour? - More...
Tuesday AM - November 09, 2010

letterRaw fish tax diverted to the wrong department By Kevin Kristovich - I am writing this in agreement to Mr. Tom Fisher's letter in regards to the Ketchikan City Council members who voted to use raw fish tax funds to hire 2 police ofiicers. After inquiring about this and having it confirmed the $220,000.00 that was taken away from the small harbors fund for 2 police officer positions, that makes an annual salary of $110,000.00 per officer? - More...
Tuesday AM - November 09, 2010

letterIranian Nuclear Weapons Threat By Donald A. Moskowitz - Although Iran continues to claim its nuclear development program is designed for peaceful purposes, U.S. intelligence services believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 09, 2010

letterAttention all Ketchikan Residents Who Care About Their Children’s Health And Their Property Values By Van & Linda Abbott - On November 1, 2010, the Borough Assembly voted to sell the publicly owned Ward Cove Pulp Mill property. The Assembly took this action without apparently having any formal research undertaken on the proposed use of the land and feasibility of the project being presented by Ken Hopen and Ass.  There was no actual evaluation of the significant issues surrounding such a monumental decision; A decision we may have to live with for the rest of our lives.  (The re-run of the dismal Hopen presentation can be seen on KPU CommVision) - More...
Sunday PM - November 07, 2010

letter Lap tops provided By Charles Edwardson - Until my kid came home with a lap top provided by the school (Schoenbar) I never realized or paid any attention to what a stupid idea this was. It was trashed when she got it and it's going to be trashed even more when she gives it to the next kid. - More...
Sunday PM - November 07, 2010

letter Obvious differences By A. M. Johnson - No matter your candidate choice for Senator it is relative easy to view why each was supported and the reasons. In my opinion, if your supported Mr. Miller it was from a philosophical agreement of a simple straight forward program of smaller government, States Rights highlighting the development of our vast natural resources, balanced budgets, no earmarks, and paying down the debt. His supporters agreed with that and asked for no special favors or consideration for their vote and support. - More...
Sunday PM - November 07, 2010

letterUnfair View at KIC? By Jim Marks - My girlfriend went to KIC today and applied for rental assistance because we are having a hard time making ends meet and the lady that my girlfriend met with, denied her saying I make too much money. To put into perspective our financial situation, we recently had our car repossessed because we could not make the payments. I have a full time job making $11.50 an hour and at the moment I am the only one working because my girlfriend recently had to close her business due to the fact that her clients would not pay her. She is trying to find a job but because she owned a business she cannot apply for unemployment benefits. - More...
Sunday PM - November 07, 2010

letter Dog Abandoned at Animal Protection By Margaret Hepler - On Wednesday, November 3 a classified ad was posted about a Golden Retriever needing a new home that was at Animal Protection. On Thursday, November 4 another classified ad was posted about the dog, stating that Animal Protection had euthanized the dog without permission. It is unfortunate that the person posting the ads was extremely dishonest as to why and how the dog was at Animal Protection and why the dog was ultimately euthanized - she left out a few details. - More...
Sunday PM - November 07, 2010

letterRaw fish tax: Shame on the City Council By Tom Fisher - I read with complete dismay that the City Council raided the Raw Fish Tax to fund two police officers. I am not opposed to the two officers however I wonder how can the council pass the red face test. The tourism industry has received all the infrastructure improvements that this industry needs and yet the fishing industry is tying up to worn out floats, and there is obviously no need for basic items like a restroom in Thomas Basin. The Head tax can only be used for tourism related infrastructure yet the fish tax can be used for general government, forget that there are a lot of resident commercial fishermen, that pay sales tax, property tax and contribute dollars to the local economy. - More...
Friday AM - November 05, 2010

letterDenied School By Mekkena Love - I would like to share with you an experience and a point of view about the Ketchikan High School. I was a student at Kayhi in my 9th grade year. Due to a trip that I took, I lost credit for all my classes because I took too much time off. I decided to go to Revilla and try to catch up there but that didn't work for me so I got more behind and tried Fast Track and finally decided I worked best in a normal high school setting with people rather then trying to focus by myself. So I went to Kayhi and I got all the packets filled out and talked to the counselor, met my teachers individually and they told me everything I need for that class. The counselor was awesome and got me pumped for going to school even though I had to go an extra year and I was ready. - More...
Friday AM - November 05, 2010

letterHalloween Events By Rhonda Ball - I just wanted to take the time to write a letter to thank everyone involved in any or all of the fun events that I attended this past weekend with my family.  - More...
Monday PM - November 01, 2010

letter Redistribute the wealth By Patti Fay Hickox - I'm Irish, it's cultural. I agree with Bob McLaughin II. The changes that (THE PEOPLE) made in the presidential election 2 years ago are the first changes to help the poor and middle class in many years. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 2010

letter Cutting Public Safety By Darlene Guzman - Every year Public Safety is on the chopping block for positions. I understand the hard times this community is going through but without police officers and firefighters it could be harder times for the citizens who need them. Public Safety is partially funded by sales tax in the amount of $3 million dollars a year split between police and fire. Excluding the proposed fire station, that is nearly half of the fire department's budget. - More...
Saturday AM - October 30, 201

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