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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Ketchikan's Night Lights
Front Page Photo by JIM LEWIS

Ketchikan: Johansen fails to alleviate concerns of constituens By Maria Dudzak, KRBD - Ketchikan Republicans wanted answers from Representative Kyle Johansen about his reasons for stepping down from a House leadership position. At a private meeting Monday night between Johansen and District One Republicans, reactions varied from hope to outrage. - Listen to this KRBD news...


Alaska: Murkowski's lead grows to more than 10,000 - Tuesday the State of Alaska finished the hand count of write-in ballots cast in the race for U.S. Senate. The results show Senator Lisa Murkowski with 100,868 votes compared to 90,468 for Joe Miller, which includes 20 write-in votes for Miller. That represents a 10,400-vote lead over Miller.

Miller’s observers have “challenged” 8,153 of Murkowski’s votes, but not enough to change the outcome of the election. As the campaign has predicted over the past several days, Murkowski’s “unchallenged” votes surpassed Miller by 2,247 votes according to a news release from Kevin Sweeney, Murkowski's campaign manager.

According to Sweeney, Senator Murkowski will not declare victory until all the overseas ballots are counted. The Alaska Division of Elections says it will likely count those ballots Wednesday, of which there are likely to be about 300-500. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010

Alaska: Medicare drug plan enrollment opens; many changes in 2011; Companies are offering fewer plans; some Alaskans will need to choose new ones - The yearly window to review and join new Medicare prescription drug plans starts today. The annual open enrollment period runs through Dec. 31.

Alaskans who have a plan through Medicare’s prescription insurance program, Part D, can change to a new plan for 2011 during this time. People who have not enrolled can join.

Insurance companies are offering fewer plans in Alaska next year: 26, down from 41 - so Medicare recipients and any family or friends who help them are encouraged to carefully review their Part D Annual Notice of Change letters, which were mailed in October. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010

Health: Health costs rise and 50 million Americans have no insurance By LEE BOWMAN - Hard to believe that, 17 years ago, the Clintons were talking about a health security card for every American.

Today, health care is looking anything but secure.

A report released this week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that 50 million Americans ages 18 to 64 and surveyed between January and March went without health insurance for at least part of the past year. More than half of them had no usual source of medical care.

Among adults with at least one disability and no insurance, 61 percent said they had skipped or delayed recommended medical care in the past year due to concern about cost. But so did 16 percent of disabled adults with health coverage.

For those who have insurance, particularly through an employer, the costs are going up, either through a bigger share of higher premiums or bigger deductibles, co-payments and other cost-sharing, and usually both. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010

Southeast Alaska: Lung cancer makes Barbara Fields regret smoking - Barbara Fields underwent her first chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer in July and she felt terrible, bad enough to wish she’d never started smoking.

Lung cancer makes Barbara Fields regret smoking

Barbara Fields, a former tribal administrator from Craig, holds her granddaughter Victoria Fields. This summer, Barbara was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer after smoking for 40 years. She is telling her story in hopes that it may help someone else quit smoking or keep them from starting.
Photo courtesy SEARHC

“Oh, my God, no, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Barbara said. “It’s not so much what I’m going through, but it’s what my kids and family are going through. It’s not fair for my family.”

Barbara, 57, is a Haida from Craig, though she was born and raised in Klawock. She was a tribal administrator in Craig and before that worked for tribal programs in Ketchikan. Barbara even spent several years as a drug and alcohol counselor. She started smoking when she was 17 or 18, after a schoolmate named Sue dared her to smoke. Most of her family smoked, including her parents, so cigarettes were everywhere.

Barbara tried to quit smoking several times, but nothing worked. It wasn’t until 40 years later, on June 17, when Barbara finally quit. That was the day she found out she had Stage 4 lung cancer (her cancer had spread to other organs). “I quit kinda late,” Barbara said.

Doctors were looking for something else when they found her cancer. Barbara was in Sitka at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital having a CT scan of her stomach due to a bad case of anemia, and the image caught part of her lung and showed a spot. Since then, Barbara has been at the Anchorage Native Medical Center receiving cancer treatments. An allergic reaction to one of the drugs made her sick non-stop for three days following her first treatment.

“It’s horrible,” Barbara said. “All those moments where I said the cigarettes were relaxing me, I wish I could give them back. This (chemo) is another poison, and hopefully it will make me feel better.” - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010



Columns - Commentary

MARTIN SCHRAM: New airport screening technology lies there waiting - Attention, all air passengers who feel irked and even enraged at the notion that every time you fly, you now face a choice of being virtually stripped and anonymously ogled, or semi-privately fondled.

It's a privacy price we all must pay in the name of homeland security. But a highly sensible high-tech solution exists that can protect your privacy and still protect our homeland. It is already in use in Europe in Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport. And it may be coming to an airport near you. Someday.

But not yet. This week, TV news has been gushing about passengers being upset because at 68 U.S. airports, the Department of Homeland Security now requires each passenger to stand in a refrigerator-sized machine that scans their bodies and produces X-ray type images of each passenger's body -- authentic bulges of avoirdupois and authentic outlines of his or her genitalia.

The imaging machines also reproduce outlines of any concealed guns, knives, powdered or liquid explosives. And a security guard in a separate room views your body and, upon spotting a concealed item, requires a hand search. (Passengers who don't want images of their privates viewed can opt for a TSA pat down that includes touching crotches and chests.)

But I began thinking that, since ours is now a world of photo-shopped, digitally altered snapshots, can't someone develop software solution -- one that reveals images of concealed items but not people's private parts? Just a generic body outline on which would appear anything a screened person was concealing?

Turns out, some whiz has done just that. It is called Automatic Target Recognition (ATR), software for detecting contraband items on a person that can be used with the Advanced Imaging Technology. That's the X-ray that is now virtually strip-searching you because your airport doesn't use the ATR software. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010



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letter Special interest? By A.M. Johnson - Well! an interesting first out of the box challenge for the apparent successful Senator Murkowski. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat. Missouri, is filing a bill this week to remove Native corporations handicap of having advantages in government bids. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 17, 2010

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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