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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 13, 2012

Front Page Photograph by CINDY BALZER

November Bears
The hatchery at Herring Cove released fish parts that attracted numerous eagles and other birds as well as these three bears on Sunday.
Front Page Photograph by CINDY BALZER ©2012
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Ketchikan: Lack of Quorum for KIC Annual Meeting and Special Election - Ketchikan Indian Community held their annual meeting on Sunday November 11th at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.  In conjunction with the meeting a special election was held to vote on seven constitutional propositions and an eighth question which asked members to approve commensurate bylaw changes associated with the proposed constitution changes.

The KIC election ordinances stipulate that voter turnout must equal 30% or more of registered voters in order for any election to be valid.  This did not occur on Sunday.

Because of the lack of a quorum, the Ketchikan Indian Community will continue to function under the 1979 constitution.  A larger turnout was expected because the election was held at the same time as the annual meeting but this didn’t transpire. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

Alaska: Union Says More Than 400 Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Suffer Health Issues From Contaminated Uniforms - The Association of Flight Attendants Union is demanding the recall of uniforms issued by Alaska Airlines to its flight attendants and has filed a grievance alleging that Alaska Airline's management has failed to provide a safe and healthy work place.

More than 400 Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have reported significant health issues while or after wearing uniforms issued by Alaska Airlines management. Most reports describe skin symptoms – rash, hives, redness, or itching – while a growing number indicate abnormal thyroid functions, hair loss, eye irritation/inflammation, fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, and asthma.

Shortly after Alaska Airlines management issued new uniforms to their nearly 3,000 Flight Attendants in 2011, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) said they began receiving reports regarding health issues of crewmembers while on duty. According to a November 2012 news release, AFA said they quickly suspected that the uniforms were responsible and began extensive testing. Results from scientific analysis on the uniforms indicated that several pieces of the uniforms contained detectable levels of an allergenic dye.

"For the safety and health of Alaska Flight Attendants, we are demanding that management work with us to immediately recall these hazardous uniforms and issue new pieces that are safe alternatives and not harmful to crewmembers and our families," said Jeffrey Peterson, AFA Alaska President. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

Alaska: Unified Command continues investigation of oiled wildlife - The Unified Command - consisting of the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and communities of Gambell and Savoonga - continues to investigate the reports of oiled wildlife on the coast of St. Lawrence Island.

Unified Command continues investigation of oiled wildlife

The Coast Guard, ADEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deployed investigators to St. Lawrence on Friday to work with local guides to conduct shoreline assessments.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Kodiak with a pollution investigator aboard conducted an aerial survey of the waters around St. Lawrence Island last Thursday but reported no sightings of maritime pollution.

Thursday, November 7th, ADEC received a National Response Center (NRC) incident report regarding an unknown discharge which had effected birds and seals, and caused oil soaked debris to wash ashore. Reports of oiled wildlife were confirmed in Gambell and Savoonga, and initiated a joint investigation. The Coast Guard was initially notified of the oiled wildlife Wednesday from a representative of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

The initial report was of three Common Murres with oil on their bellies observed over a week ago near Gambell. One bird was harvested for testing, and oil samples have been collected and are currently being analyzed to narrow down a potential source. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

Alaska: House Democrats Announce Leadership for 28th Alaska Legislature - Alaska’s House Democratic Caucus announced on Friday its leadership for the 28th Alaska Legislature and its commitment to continue to work toward oil taxes that earn a fair return for Alaskans, lowering energy costs across the state, and ensuring Alaskans have access to top-quality education.

Representative Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) will be House Democratic Leader, and Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) will be the House Democratic Whip. The leadership will work as a team and share responsibilities. Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage) will remain House Democratic Floor Leader.

“Representative Tuck knows firsthand what it’s like to be a hard-working Alaskan trying to earn a living and build a future in this state,” said Kerttula. “I’m excited to have him join me in leading this caucus as we look to build a strong economy and expand opportunity for Alaskans, and he will be invaluable as we stand up against oil giveaways and affronts to our individual rights.” - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

Southeast Alaska: Great American Smokeout takes place Nov. 15 - Every third Thursday in November, tobacco users are encouraged to set a date to quit or pledge to be smoke-free for 24 hours as a part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. To promote this event in the region, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Tobacco Program will team up with local partners to offer a variety of events to help smokers quit tobacco.

The Great American Smokeout’s goal is to motivate smokers to quit using tobacco, while also raising awareness about effective quit techniques and programs. An estimated 46 million adults in the United States smoke and approximately half will die prematurely from smoking.

In Klawock, the SEARHC Tobacco Program will host an informational display at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center with information about the Great American Smokeout. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

Science: Spot The Space Station Over Your Backyard - On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA announced a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead. "Spot the Station" will send an email or text message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they will be able to see the space station.

"It's really remarkable to see the space station fly overhead and to realize humans built an orbital complex that can be spotted from Earth by almost anyone looking up at just the right moment," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations. "We're accomplishing science on the space station that is helping to improve life on Earth and paving the way for future exploration of deep space."

When the space station is visible -- typically at dawn and dusk -- it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. "Spot the Station" users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012


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letter Ketchikan Homeless Shelter Food Drive By Gary Boatwright - The Ketchikan Homeless Shelter (PATH) is conducting its annual food drive. Collection boxes will be at local grocery stores or donations can be dropped off at the Shelter at 628 Park Avenue (across from the American Legion). - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

letter RE: Issue of Abortion By Paul Jarvi - You have good points my good friend about the fetus, however Roe V. Wade is the law of the land. It is not a question of how to get across Ketchikan Creek. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

letter Fair Tax Needed By Roy T Newsom - The income tax creates a stagnant economy for the United States.  Companies have moved overseas to give their investors a tax advamtage.  They will not return to the U.S. until our system gives them an advantage in the world market. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

letter Col. Archie Van Winkle Is Missed By Stephen C. McGowan - On Veteran's Day we missed Col. Van Winkle, Alaska's favorite son. To his daughter for thanking me, for the Letter, you are most certainly welcome. The sad thing is that a lot of Americans only remember those who served, and those who are serving, on this Day. I asked a stranger when she mentioned the Marine Corp Patch on my sleeve if she had served our country in the military, she replied "no". I asked why not? She hesitated, and said, "That's why we have people like you". - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

letter RE: Gas price relief By Paul Jarvi - Ms Ramsey, I just sold my beloved Ford F150. Think about an electric car. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 13, 2012

letter Open Letter: KIC Language Program By Terrance H. Booth, Sr. - I am Tsimshian, formerly from Metlakatla, Alaska and heard through my son, Timothy R. Booth that (Ketchikan Indian Community) Language Program Services is facing cut back.  On the KIC website, you have a quote: "When you lose a language, a large part of the culture goes, too, because much of that culture is encoded in the language."  Kenneth L. Hale, linguist and activist on behalf of endangered languages. I truly believe the more we keep up on our languages we Natives have a clearer view of the world around us.  My immediate family particularly by grandchildren has been part of the Cultural Programs and has made a marked impression upon who they are as Tsimshian. - More...
Friday PM - November 09, 2012

letter Looking forward By Rep. Kyle Johansen - I would like to thank all the people who have helped me earn three terms in the Alaska State House of Representatives.  It has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2012

letter Tsunami Letters By Tom LeCompte - I think any discussion of Lituya Bay should clarify what really happened there. As eloquently written by Hizzoner Dave a few years back, the Lituya Bay waves were more of a splash, albeit 1700 feet high, caused by pretty much the whole face of a mountain and glacier, way up in the back of the bay falling off into the water. The gigantic splash sloshed around the bay like a youngster sending splashes around the bathtub. When it reached the mouth of the bay it washed over th spit and carried a couple boats across and into the open ocean. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2012

letter Gas price relief, please! By Karen Ramsey - Just wondering how long it will take again for Ketchikan to see any relief in our gas prices around town. We’ve been hearing for at least a few weeks now that gasoline prices nationally have been falling, and the average today is $3.49 a gallon for unleaded. I for one do not believe the local stations are still charging $4.27 - $4.31 a gallon based on any higher-priced inventory they still have to sell off. That, of course, is the song and dance we always get by way of explanation for our inflated pricing. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2012

letter Broadway quality production By Deborah Hayden - Now that the electoral slaughter of our sensibilities is over, may I suggest one of the finest cures for your election-battered spirits you could possibly find: My Fair Lady. The delights, fun, superb performances, soul-restoring music and ingenious sets will fully heal you. You will laugh, guffaw and continue humming these songs to yourself for weeks to come. This is a Broadway quality production. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2012

letter In the future... By Dave Kiffer - I don't usually respond to letters about my opinion pieces because I feel that I have already had my say and that any responses to it are just part of the process and a "good thing" even if they call me a complete buckbrained eegit. - More...
Monday PM - November 06, 2012

letter Issue of abortion By Rob Holston - In response to Eric Muench, I feel that the issue of abortion is all too often confined to a description of a few "religious" faiths forcing their antiquated beliefs upon the rest of us. This is unfortunate in that the truth of the matter has to do with the destruction of a fetus. It is ironic that the political party that strives to diminish Big Government is "pro-life", yet ALL political parties agree that government's largest responsibility is to protect the people of the nation. So the debate SHOULD focus on when does a fetus become that person who deserves protection? - More...
Monday PM - November 06, 2012

letter CHALLENGE DAY By Diane Gubatayao - Challenge Day is approaching and we are seeking adult volunteers who are willing to dedicate a day to supporting our students. There are three separate sessions:  Tuesday, November 13th and Wednesday, November 14th at Kayhi and Thursday, November 15th at Schoenbar. - More...
Friday PM - November 02, 2012

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