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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 07, 2011

Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Clover Pass: Humpback Bubble Feeding
Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH


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Ketchikan: City Councilman Arrested & Charged with Possession of Child Pornography By MARY KAUFFMAN - In an investigation that is continuing, Ketchikan City Councilman John (Jack) W. Shay Jr., 80 years old, of Ketchikan was arrested Friday afternoon and initially charged with ten counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

City Councilman arrested & charged with Possession of Child Pornography

Jack Shay

The investigation began when detectives of the Ketchikan Police Department were called to a local computer repair shop due to a report that images of prepubescent children involved in sexual acts were found on a computer.

A  search warrant was obtained for the residence of the computer’s owner.  The Search Warrant was served on the residence at approximately 6:30 PM Friday and numerous printed images of prepubescent children involved in sexual acts were found and subsequently seized.

Shay has held numerous elected positions in Ketchikan and was currently serving on the Ketchikan City Council until he submitted his resignation today.

Shay has previously served as the Mayor of the Ketchikan Borough and Mayor of the City of Ketchikan. Shay was elected twice as city mayor in 1979 and 1982 at which time he cut his second term short to take a job with the state government in Juneau in 1983. He was also elected Ketchikan Borough mayor twice, in 1996 and 1999 and completed both terms. Shay served a total of 11 years as either city or borough mayor. He also has previously served as well as a Ketchikan Borough Assembly member. - More....
Monday - November 07, 2011

Alaska: Murkowski To Hold “Tele-Town Hall” on Economy; Senator to Hear from Alaskans on Debt, Deficit Impacts on State – Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced that she is holding an extra town hall this Thursday evening, via phone, on the economic challenges facing the nation and to hear from Alaskans who weren’t able to make it to her three town halls in late October.

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – 12 members of Congress are tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in savings over the next decade – are currently reviewing all federal programs with a November 23rd deadline.  This hold serious potential impacts for Alaska, given that 35% of the state’s economy comes from the federal government.

“There were a lot of positives that came out of my October town halls – from the ideas and suggestions to the attendance in all three locations,” said Murkowski.  “But the one negative is that I didn’t get to have more than three town halls to hear from more Alaskans.  This is crunch time in Washington, DC with the Super Committee deliberating and considering ideas, which is why I wanted to open up the conversation to all Alaskans, not just the people on the road system in Anchorage, Palmer and Fairbanks.” - More...
Monday - November 07, 2011

Ketchikan: Fire destroys Ketchikan home - South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department responded to a home fire at 6591 South Tongass Highway Thursday afternoon, November 03, 2011.

Fire destroys Ketchikan home

South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department's Fire Chief Scott Davis said initially the fire was located in the garage on the ground floor and quickly spread to the rest of the three stories and the attic overwhelming fire crews.

The entire structure was a total loss said Davis. - More...
Monday - November 07, 2011

Southeast Alaska: Charter Harvest is – At Last – Within its Limit - For the first time since the halibut charter Guideline Harvest Level (GHL) was implemented seven years ago, the Southeast charter fleet has stayed within their allocation, according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G).

In a letter to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, ADF&G reported a preliminary estimate for the 2011 charter catch in Southeast Alaska of 390,000 pounds or about half of the 790,000 pound allocation. The cumulative overage for the charter fleet in that area is 3.4 million pounds since 2004.

This year, the IPHC set a 37-inch maximum size rule for charter-caught halibut in Southeast Alaska, in a decisive move to control the chronic over harvest from that sector. Despite the fewer pounds, the number of fish caught in the charter sector in 2011 was 1% higher than the number caught in 2010, according to ADF&G’s preliminary estimates. Angler interest in the Southeast sportfish experience has remained steady despite the changes in management measures and the overall economy. - More....
Monday - November 07, 2011

Fish Factor: Alaska commercial fishermen's gross earnings up By LAINE WELCH - Over the past six years average employment for Alaska commercial fishermen dropped slightly, but gross earnings were up - and that is a better measure of industry health.

That’s the conclusion of the state Labor Department’s November Economic Trends edition, which provides a great snapshot of fishing jobs and earnings in seven Alaska regions: Aleutians and Pribilof Islands, Bristol Bay, Kodiak, Northern,  South central, Southeast and the Yukon Delta.  The analysis also updates information last gathered in 2002.  

It is hardly an exact science.  Because fishermen are self-employed and fall outside the various wage withholding and unemployment insurance laws, the Department uses surveys and industry research to estimate harvesting employment.  Most of the information comes from the state’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, which provides detailed data on gross estimated earnings, pounds caught and permits.

Some highlights:  There were 6,915 Alaska fishermen working each month on average in 2010, a decline of 2.4 percent from the previous year, and down 7.6 percent from 2005. 

Most of the fishing jobs were for salmon (50.2%); followed by halibut (20.1%),  groundfish (8.1%), sablefish (7.4%), crab (5.4%), herring (4.9 %), and miscellaneous shellfish (3.9%).

Southeast Alaska had the largest harvesting work force in 2010; it grew by 146 to 9,182 fishermen.  The region ranked third in gross earnings at $208 million, an all time high.

The South central region ranked second for fishing jobs with 2,200 active permit holders, and second for gross earnings. Fishermen there set a record in earnings last year at nearly $265 million.

The Aleutians/Prifilof Islands region was the leader in harvester earnings   at nearly $500 million last year.  The number of local fishermen has declined there over six years, with an estimated loss of 158 permit holders and 110 crew.

Kodiak fisheries are among the most stable in Alaska, with the number of active permit holders holding at around 800 and crewmembers at 2,500.  Earnings by Kodiak fishermen last year were $118 million, a 41 percent increase over 2005.

Alaska’s Northern region has the smallest fishing workforce, but it has grown from 177 to 217 active permit holders and doubled the number of crew members. The region’s gross earnings also doubled, nearing $4.2 million in 2010.

Bristol Bay’s earnings and fish harvesting employment grew the most over the last six years.  In 2010, the Bay’s gross earnings topped $169 million, a 72 percent increase from 2005. Harvesting employment in the same period rose by 381 workers to 7,225.

The report says Bristol Bay “is in many ways the cultural and ecological crossroads of Alaska. It is home to one of the state’s more diverse populations, a century-old commercial fishery, and a 6,000 year Yupik, Athabascan, Aleut, and Inupiat legacy. - More...
Monday - November 07, 2011


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letter Ketchikan Visitors Bureau building By Joseph Wharton - Recently there has been media coverage of the impending move and replacement of the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau building located on berth two. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the status of this project. - More...
Monday PM - November 07, 2011

letter Party Politics By James Guenther - The American taxpayer has once again been thrown under the proverbial bus. The unemployed will remain unemployed. The obstructionists have blocked, once again, a bill that is intended to put Americans back to work and to restore our aging infrastructure. - More...
Monday PM - November 07, 2011

letter The road ahead: Reflections on Native suicide summits By U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski - I took the opportunity of AFN this year to convene a field hearing through the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, with the intent of taking our dialogue on Native youth suicide to a next phase, one of informed national involvement. We in Alaska have been living with the harrowing reality for years, but I wanted to bring a Senate spotlight to our soil to fully bring about movement to fight this epidemic. And the focus lasted beyond that single event. Following the hearing, First Alaskans Institute helped facilitate a community visioning dialogue that focused on youth leadership development -- to empower the brothers, sisters and friends of our most vulnerable Alaskans. The following Tuesday, I spoke at the Alaska Area Action Summit for Suicide Prevention, a group that included many of the same dedicated people who participated in the field hearing. - More...
Monday PM - November 07, 2011

letter Arthur Yates Memorial Hospital Building By Doris Tobin Bordine - I, too, think the building should be preserved. I fully agree with Mary Henrikson that it could be used as a visitor center. If it is, I would be willing to donate a visitor's sign-in book that we had in the magazine office/store for signing since the 1940s. It has a copper tooled cover and is about 12' x 18' in size with maybe 50 pages. It now resides in our family cabin at Willard (near Stevenson) Washington. My daughter-in-law has laminated some of the pages. Comments made by the visitors are precious. - More...
Monday PM - November 07, 2011

letter Smokey Johnstone By Doris Tobin Bordine - Smokey Johnstone's granddaughter is looking for anyone who knew her when she and her husband Scotty lived on Square Island, Spacious Bay from 1959 for several years. Her granddaughter is writing a book about their experiences. Smokey was an artist as well as a writer. - More...
Monday PM - November 07, 2011

letter Ketchikan's Fishing Fleet By Angelo Martin - Just after I made a point about the fishing fleet, I read an article about how more space for the present boats are needed. This has been a problem for years. The cruise ship industry gets it all. - More...
Friday AM - November 04, 2011

letter Re: Yates Building By Alan R. McGillvray - I find that I agree with Mary Hendrickson about the Yates building. I too say, we need to preserve this building. - More...
Friday AM - November 04, 2011

letter Septic Tanks - How Often to Pump? By Shelley Stallings - Attached is a septic pumping schedule from Ohio State University Extension Service. It shows that the frequency of pumping septic tanks depends primarily on 2 criteria: 1. number of people in household & 2. size of tank. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

letter Yates building as Ketchikan visitors' bureau By Mary Ida Henrikson - The demolition of the Yates Building is abhorrent.  It is the center of how Ketchikan identified itself.  It is place where the Alaska Sportsman magazine was edited and published, establishing a creative core around which Ketchikan rotated and thrives to this day.  There were writers who shared frontier experiences and words of wisdom and survival, many of which have become legend.  Artists like Beth Eberhart from Pennock Island created covers and our many local photographers shared their idea of place.  Later the Morning Raven Gallery and the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce were quartered there; both promoting Ketchikan. In front of the Yates Building is the original location of the Ketchikan Rain Gauge. The Ketchikan King Salmon Derby sign was there and served as a backdrop for the winners and their prizes. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2011

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