Bob Sivertsen for Alaska State House, District 26

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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 02, 2016

Front Page Feature Photo By KAREN HORN

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Front Page Feature Photo By KAREN HORN


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Ketchikan: Interviews Friday With Finalists for KGB Manager Position - The Ketchikan Borough Assembly will hold a special meeting on Friday, November 4th, to conduct interviews with three finalists for the Borough Manager position. The finalists are Ruben Duran from California, Robert Grumbach from Washington, and Scott Albert from Texas. The special meeting will be held in the Assembly Chambers, 1900 First Avenue, Suite 144 (White Cliff Building)

Interviews Friday With Finalists for KGB Manager Position

Ketchikan Borough Offices, 1900 First Avenue (White Cliff Building).
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Gateway Borough

There is also a community event scheduled to allow residents to meet and greet the candidate. The event is scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd at the Fish Pirate's Saloon from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. The Fish Pirate's Saloon is located at 76 Front Street.

Assembly Members and the current Borough Mayor have been provided paper packets with complete application materials submitted by the three candidates. Redacted Borough Manager applications as well as redacted cover letters and resumes provided by the candidates are also being made available to the public for download. This material will provide the public detailed professional history and background information on each candidate.

A Manager Search Committee was previously appointed by the Assembly. The Committee has approved a salary range of between $100,000 and $140,000, which does not include the cost of benefits, for the new manager. Members of the search committee are Assembly members Glen Thompson, Stephen Bradford and Mike Painter. Staff members are: Assistant KBG Manager Diana Garrison, Attorney Scott Brandt-Erichsen and Human Resources Dept. Karolyn Hallmann, and Borough Clerk Kacie L. Paxton. Current Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst is paid $144,200 a year, excluding benefits. (All the Ad Hoc Manager Search Committee minutes are available to read here.)

Friday's interviews will be conducted in public and will be televised. The interviews can also be viewed on online at KGB's Live Webstream site. All candidates will be asked to report to White Cliff at 9 a.m. In an attempt to maintain the integrity of the process, candidates awaiting their interviews will be asked to turn off their phones and will be taken on a staff-led tour of Ward Lake and the Saxman Carving Center.

Following the assembly's interviews with the finalists for the Borough Manager's position, the Assembly will consider selection of a Borough Manager. The method of selection will be up to the Assembly. The discussion of candidates leading up to the selection may be held in public or a motion may made to move to executive session.

The executive session agenda item is included on the agenda in order to allow the Assembly to discuss proposed contract terms for employment of a new Borough Manager. The expectation is that the proposed contract terms would then be used by the negotiating committee to negotiate a proposed contract with the selected applicant, and bring the final proposed contract back to the Assembly for approval.

A negotiating team will be selected Friday by the assembly members and it is anticipated that following the selection of the negotiating team, the meeting will recess in order to allow the negotiating team time to meet with the successful candidate for the negotiation process.

The three finalists will be asked to again report to White Cliff at 2:30 p.m. to allow for face-to-face negotiations with the selected candidate. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Telecom Manager Wins National Award - The Rural Broadband Association/NTCA announced yesterday that Kim Simpson has been awarded the NTCA's annual Outstanding Marketing Achievement Award. Simpson is KPU Telecommunications' Division Manager of Sales, Marketing & Customer Service.

jpg Ketchikan Telecom Manager Wins National Award

Kim Simpson

NTCA, a nationwide organization representing over 900 independent rural telephone companies, selected Simpson based upon her efforts to ensure KPU's industry-leading success in launching and growing KPU's local IP soft-switch "Hosted IP" Centrex business. NTCA also recognized Simpson for her efforts and leadership in integrating and successfully launching Verizon Wireless within the KPU existing retail environment.

Kary Amylon, KPU's General Manager, noted that the award was well-deserved. "Over the past 6 years Kim's efforts have resulted in KPU selling and installing over 100 Hosted IP systems serving over 2,000 Hosted IP Business telephones throughout the community. This is a remarkable achievement. Due to Kim's efforts KPU leads most of the nation in the introduction and growth of this product. I am very pleased that Kim received this award, and I am very proud of Kim and her team." - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016


Can you hear me now? Artificially increased noise has profound effect on gray whale calling behavior By MARJORIE MOONEY-SEUS - Gray whales alter their calling behavior to compensate for increasing levels of noise to improve their chances of being heard by other gray whales. Hearing each other is key to whale survival. NOAA scientists Marilyn Dahlheim and Manuel Castellote found that the number of times a gray whale calls is adjusted depending on the type of noise heard and its loudness.

Gray whale breaching
Photo By Merrill Gosho, NOAA Fisheries

“We used underwater hydrophones to both collect and project natural and man-made noise into the waters of San Ignacio Lagoon to see how the whales would react, said Dahlheim. “When we projected a variety of different sound sources into the environment, whales were documented to alter the timing and structure of their calls. Acoustic response varied depending on the type of the noise played back. Calling behavior also was documented to change depending upon the duration of the noise (i.e., short versus long-term playback periods)."

Keeping Quiet

However, when noises such as oil drilling or test tones were played back, the whales were silent. Whales also remained silent when the sounds of transient killer whales, a predator, were projected. According to Dahlheim, it’s possible that the whales are staying quiet when confronted with unfamiliar sounds, as it could pose a potential threat.

Limits to Adaptability

Gray whales have a limited call repertoire -- just six distinct calls. They produce low frequency calls -- generally ranging between 100 Hz – 2000 Hz. Interestingly, gray whales did not change the frequency range of their calls or length of their calls under any of the noise conditions included in this study. In contrast, Castellote and other scientists have found that baleen whales such as fin and North Atlantic right whales do alter their vocalization frequency range to a certain extent during elevated noise conditions. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016


Columns - Commentary

PETER FUNT: Campaigns Hit Sour Notes - Win or lose, after Election Day it's safe to assume that one or both of the presidential candidates will be singing a different tune. Thank goodness for that.

Hillary Clinton's campaign anthem, the inane pop tune "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, has some staffers covering their ears and many supporters tweeting disapproval. Why a potential president would choose to bound across the stage accompanied by the blaring lyric "wrecking balls inside my brain" is hard to figure.

Adapting popular songs for use on the stump goes back to the start of the 19th Century, but at least in John Adams' case ("Adams and Liberty") and James Madison's ("Huzzah for Madison, Huzzah") the ditties were literally about the campaigns. Nowadays, do candidates even take note of the lyrics they're promoting?

Clinton's "Fight Song" says, "I don't really care if nobody else believes," which is antithetical to the entire purpose of a political campaign.

Donald Trump is frequently played on with the 1969 Rolling Stones tune "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which, if nothing else, seems to confirm Trump's poll numbers. And the lyrics are reminiscent of what Trump and Billy Bush might sing on bus trips: - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

jpg Arthur Martin

ARTHUR MARTIN: Book Review (Part II): The Essential Marcus Aurelius - 3.13. "Just as doctors always keep their implements and scalpels ready at hand in case of an emergency treatment, so should you have your guiding principles ready in order to understand things human and divine, and for the doing of everything, even the smallest deed, being aware at all times of the bond that unites these two realms."

4.3. "People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, and near the mountains; and you too are especially prone to desire such things. But this is a sign of ignorance, since you have the power to retire within yourself whenever you wish...Continually give yourself this kind of retreat and regenerate yourself, but keep your rules of living brief and basic so that, when consulted, they will immediately wash away all distress and send you back to your work without resentment."

4.47. "If some god told you that you would die tomorrow, or the next day at the latest, you would not consider death on the third day to be anything better than death on the second day. And so just the same, do not think that living many years is any better than dying tomorrow." - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

jpg Editorial Cartoon: Oil Overlords

Editorial Cartoon: Standing Rock
By Pat Bagley ©2016, Salt Lake Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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letter Vote Bob Sivertsen for Alaska House By Glen Thompson - Once again Ketchikan has two fine individuals seeking to represent us in Juneau. After their recent debate, it is clear they agree on many issues but there’s a major difference. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Dan Ortiz for Alaska House By Peter Stanton - About 40% of Americans do not identify as either Republicans or Democrats. In Alaska, where we pride ourselves on our independence, a full 58% of us are not registered to either party. That's one of the highest rates of political independence of any state in the country. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Sivertsen for House District 36 By Larissa Sivertsen - I am supporting Bob Sivertsen, for House District 36, because of who he is, not because of the party he is affiliated with or any political names or tags that might be applied. I have watched Bob's involvement and dedication to our community; he does not take his responsibilities lightly. Bob puts in endless hours with his obligations, yet takes opportunities to help others without sacrificing the important time with his family. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Response to Trevor Shaw By Dan Ortiz - After teaching and coaching in the Ketchikan public school system for 32 years, I was astounded to read a public letter by our school board president and local Republican Party Chairman, Trevor Shaw, claiming I don't support education. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Dan Ortiz By Peter Bolling - When I look at a candidate's qualifications I no longer consider whether he or she is an R or a D. I am much more interested in I, H, W.E. and S. With respect to Dan Ortiz he meets all of the important criteria: Integrity, Honor, Work Ethic, and Smarts. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Worst Candidate Ever By Donald Moskowitz - I have voted for Democrats and Republicans for President of the U.S. in every election since 1960, but this year I cannot vote for Donald Trump. He has to be the most unqualified and worst candidate for President we have ever put forth in this country. He lacks knowledge of domestic and world affairs and matters of national security. I am ashamed of the Republican Party for giving us Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate when any one of the other Republican candidate;'/[s in the primary could have beaten Hillary Clinton. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 02, 2016

letter Matters of Trust By David Beebe - On December 12th 2005, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, accompanied by a principal of Alcan Forest Products declared in the council chambers of Petersburg, their Best Interest Decision to log several miles of the steep, landslide-prone mountain slopes above Mitkof Highway. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Ortiz Loyal to Outside Special Interests; Republican Bob Sivertsen committed to the citizens of District 36 By Trevor A. Shaw - Incumbent State Representative Dan Ortiz has been working hard to recruit outside special interest groups and individuals to support his vulnerable re-election campaign. So far, Rep. Ortiz has raised $34,206.00 from these outside special interest groups and individuals; a whopping 59% of his total campaign funds. These special interests include: big-labor organizations, Anchorage lawyers and union bosses, the Democratic Party, and liberal politicians. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Response to Peggy Wilson's 'Factual Fair' By Dan Ortiz - In response to the 'Factual Fair' op-ed published int he Ketchikan Daily News and the Wrangell Sentinel by former Representative Peggy Wilson, I would like to address the real facts. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Vote Dan Ortiz By Anne Lucas - I've known Dan Ortiz for over 30 years - as a colleague and friend; as a loving husband to Lori; as a caring and involved father to their three children; and as an exemplary high school teacher and coach. During my long teaching career in Ketchikan, I've witnessed his skill at negotiating through compromise. His integrity and willingness to listen to all sides of an issue are attributes that are much needed in our state legislature today. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Vote for Trump By Joe O'Hara - The important question in the upcoming Presidential election is not who is the least disliked candidate but which candidate offers the best plan to strengthen America? - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Dan Ortiz: The Candidate for Southeast Alaska By Emma Scott - In the midst of this presidential election cycle, the nation has witnessed how partisan politics can fail the needs of its citizens. Personal attacks have become the norm, the issues facing our country are rarely discussed in depth, and it feels that we have come to focus on what divides us rather than what can bring us together. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter Vote for Dan Ortiz By Mike Cruise - I recently read that over 50% of Alaska voters are NOT registered with a political party. They are either “non-affiliated or undeclared”. It seems that almost 40% of registered voters nationwide are of the same mind. - More...
Monday PM - October 31, 2016

letter VOTE FOR RAY METCALFE FOR U.S. SENATE By David G Hanger - Six billion barrels of new oil reserves have been discovered off the coast of Alaska according to a recent and conveniently timed announcement from the oil industry, all of it paid for with your Permanent Fund Dividend and the massive increases in taxes and user fees all of us are about to experience. The costs of extracting that oil are currently scheduled to be paid for exclusively with your dimes, by giveaway credits to the oil companies sponsored by “Oil Company” Walker and the insanely corrupt bought and paid for Republican majority in the state legislature. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Vote Trump By A.M. Johnson - Have you noticed? There are no Trump/Pence signs among the many displays of Murkowski, Young, Stedman, Sivertsen settings along the highway and byways of Ketchikan. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Donald Trump By Hallie Engel - I recently read a letter on Sitnews comparing Donald Trump to a rowboat that will save America. Personally, I'd say he's more like the Titanic -- a giant behemoth racing toward certain doom, threatening to take everyone down with him in an epic disaster. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter The People's Representative: Dan Ortiz By Evan Wick - I have known Representative Ortiz for twelve years. He is a dedicated teacher, coach, mentor and state representative. - More...
Thursday PM - October 27, 2016

letter Stop the Negative Campaigning By Kyle Johansen - Like many of you I’ve been disturbed by the influx of negative advertising in the race for House District 36. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Watersheds By Rep. Dan Ortiz - The Stikine, Taku and Unuk watersheds are a major factor in the reliability of our seafood and tourism industries. Our fisheries, mariculture, and tourism industries rely on healthy watersheds, which replenish these resources and maintain our scenic reputation and seafood quality. If these rivers are not maintained for quality, our resources will diminish, as vital nutrients and safety conditions will lapse. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Alaska’s Write-In Candidate for Congress By Stephen Wright - My name is Stephen Wright, and I was born in Anchorage, AK on Elmendorf AFB in 1969. I was only five years old when Don Young became Alaska’s 4th Congressman after campaigning twice. I would love to be the 5th Alaska Congressman to represent this great state. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter RE: PAC's Negative Campaigning By Jan Jorgensen - I would like to thank Bob Sivertsen for stating "I don't support and do not agree with the negative ads" sent out by The Accountability Project(TAP) regarding Dan Ortiz. - More...
Wednesday AM - October 26, 2016

letter Negative PAC Mailer By Bob Sivertsen - I would like to correct the statement that the mailer was from one candidate to the other. I, Bob Sivertsen, did not and would not produce such a mailer. It was not sent from my campaign and I don't support it. - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Response to Sivertsen By Dan Ortiz - In a recent letter to the editor, my opponent, Bob Sivertsen, wanted to 'clear the air' about negative advertising. He stated that he has non connection to PACs or any control over what an outside PAC may do. In fact, Bob does have the ability to denounce their misleading and negative attacks, but he has chosen not to do this. His argument for keeping silent is 'this is politics as usual' and uses the current presidential campaign as an example. I would hope that Southeast Alaska can set the bar higher than this year's presidential race! - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Why I Support Dan Ortiz By Eric Muench - I support Dan Ortiz as District 36 representative for three good reasons. First and foremost, he has been doing a good job representing local interests. He responds to local needs and to his constituents, and is reported to have good relations with other legislators of both parties. As an Independent, he is not bound to the bigwigs of either party and can make the best choices for his district. We need more independent politicians. - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter Clinton calls Trump a "sore loser" By Jim Dornblaser - I think this the most dirty, mud slinging campaign I can remember in my 75 years. I wish our media in general was as interested in facts as they are: 1) name calling, 2) mud slinging and, 3) trying to get so much press from a loaded question (the reason for 'sore loser'). - More...
Monday PM - October 24, 2016

letter PACs' Negative Campaigning By Bob Sivertsen - I have read and heard a number of concerning comments regarding the negative advertising that is being used in this race for State House. I don’t personally believe in negative campaigning and I do not engage in negative campaigning. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Donald Trump By Betty Constuble - I would like to proclaim my full support of Donald Trump. I believe he is the warrior president this country needs now. He will stand up for us. He will make the decisions that our country so much must have. The current politicians have put us in the mess we are in. We need someone who will stand up and get us out of this and make America great again. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Very Little Style over Even Less Substance By Rod Landis - Dan Ortiz's opponent in the State House race this fall missed an opportunity to distance himself from the miserable (yet laughable) antics of those involved with the Accountability Project. This big-money political action committee is behind a series of smear ads that have recently flooded Ketchikan residents mail and P.O. boxes. Some significant cash seems to have been spent designing, producing, and distributing these ads, yet the result cannot be taken seriously. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Vote Stedman & Finkenbinder By Gary Paxton - Bert Stedman, not unlike Dick Eliason and Ben Grussendorf for Sitka, has been a statesman for our great state. He has always put the state, SE Regoin, and Ketchikan ahead of any political concerns. At this time, when our state has such complex and difficult decisions to make, Bert is exactly the kind of legislator we need and he needs all the help he can get. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter What I learned from the Democrats By A. M. Johnson - I first wish to thank you and your publication for using Reuters and FOX news as your online National/ World news source over the Associated Press (AP). In part your publication, in conjunction with reliable online sources, presents news and opinions based on the more reliable news stories allowing me to express what the Democrats have taught me about politics and life particularly in this election: - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter House District 36 By Jan Jorgensen - I am not someone who is outspoken about anything political, in fact lately I have been less than eager to read, talk or listen to what politicians have to say but I do because I will be voting on November 8th. Recently I received a flyer where one Ketchikan candidate chose to speak negatively about another candidate. No where on this flyer did he tell me anything about himself, just two sides of negative words about someone else. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Thank You By Susan Coady - Thank you to the many people and businesses for supporting my friend Wendy Goyette and her son Johnathon Washburn. It's truly amazing how the people of this community come together in times of need. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Re: Two Untrustworthy Candidates By Joe O'Hara - In reference to Mr. Moskowitz' October 18th letter, I certainly agree with him that one must verify those facts before committing to them. - More...
Sunday PM - October 23, 2016

letter Dan Ortiz and The Accountability Project By Paul Seaton - I am the District 31 State House Representative for the lower Kenai Peninsula and have served in the legislature for 14 years. This year I was targeted by The Accountability Project(TAP) in the Republican Primary election with distortion ads and robocalls. Although 'independent expenditure groups' are legal - they are definitely not accountable. In fact, one of their chief donors wrote me an apology and sent a campaign contribution because the industry supported distortions were so unaccountable. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter No to Sivertsen By Douglas Thompson - If I got it wrong I would sure like to hear Bob Sivertsen tell me how he is going to protect the Permanent Fund Dividend. In his previous Sitnews announcement he stated that he wanted to join the Republicans in Juneau. The Republicans are headed by Governor Walker. They want to take our PFD and have already grabbed half of this year's. The plan as it stands is to take it all and give it to the oil companies. In short to pay them back every cent they have paid in taxes since the sixties and then some. You will get to pay taxes to make this happen. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter Disappointed - again By A. M. Johnson - With the continued barrage of Wikileaks data flooding the landscape via creditable blog sites it is becoming obvious why Establishment Republicans are struggling with Donald Trump's candidacy. Were he elected, then the Establishment members, who in my opinion include our own Senator Murkowski, personal friend with Senator Mitch McConnell, leader of the Establishment, and others will find their political terf at risk of exposures as the quite majority address RINO voting. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter I support Dan Ortiz By Janice Jackson - I support Dan Ortiz in his bid for re-election as our legislative representative for District 36. Representative Ortiz has demonstrated to me his willingness to meet with and listen to our concerns on important issues in our state. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter RE: THANK YOU By Judith Green - Kolby Elliot's THANK YOU note deserves in return a thank you. is a great place for the positive happenings in, on and about our Island Community and you have added a bright spot. - More...
Wednesday PM - October 19, 2016

letter Thank you, Ketchikan! By Michelle O'Brien - Once again, Ketchikan never ceases to amaze as a vibrant and welcoming community. The recent Open World Program delegation from Russia was greeted with open arms; from informative visits with local organizations, to a generosity that is unique to cemented the fact that Ketchikan is far and away a community unlike others. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Bob Sivertson for State House By Tuckerman Babcock - The Alaska Republican Party stands in support of the positive change offered by Bob Sivertson for State House.- More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Vote Dan Ortiz By Susan Bachant - I am writing to share my reasons why I support Dan Ortiz. Throughout the years there have been many people representing us in various political avenues. Only one has ever asked me how I wanted him to represent my voice and that is Dan Ortiz. I have seen him go from door to door, talked with him in the mall, and even filled out an online survey from him wanting to know what I and all of the other folks that he represents think on a particular subject. I find this absolutely refreshing. Ask yourself, how any of our representatives actually do this? How many want to know what the people they represent want? Usually they get in there and pitch their own personal agendas. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Two Untrustworthy Candidates By Donald Moskowitz - We know that many politicians make promises they cannot keep and they typically use manipulative and ambiguous language to hide their true ideas and feelings. They hope the public will forget their false statements. - More...
Tuesday AM - October 18, 2016

letter Response to Political Attack Ads By Rep. Dan Ortiz - It has come to my attention in recent days that groups from outside our district and outside Alaska have started to send out negative ads against me. Judging from where this effort is coming from, I take it in stride. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

letter Thank You By Kolby Elliot - On behalf of my teammates and myself, I would like to thank my family, coaches, community, and peers for all of their support contributing to a successful Schoenbar Middle School Cross Country season. Please publish this thank you as a token of gratitude to all those who participated. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

letter School Board Replacement Pre-selected? By Carl Webb - I am embarrassed that we voters have failed to ask why School Board President Michelle O’Brien, who announced a long time ago that she would resign from the Board, chose to do it one week after the official election. She even announced the date. Because of that decision, the voters of Ketchikan were denied the right to select the new board member and the current Board will be making the choice. - More...
Sunday PM - October 16, 2016

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Re-Elect Dan Ortiz House District 36

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“Hundreds of Alaskans have reached out to my administration saying health care costs are increasingly unaffordable,” Governor Walker said. “This law will provide relief from large premium hikes for

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