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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 09, 2017

Front Page Feature Photo By ED CUSHING

Sunrise In the Tongass
 A beautiful Tongass sunrise as photographed on November 03, 2017
Front Page Feature Photo By ED CUSHING ©2017

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:Presidents Trump and Xi Witness Signing of Alaska Energy Deal By MARY KAUFFMAN - It was an historic day for the State of Alaska and the United States as Governor Bill Walker signed the five-party joint development agreement (JDA) for the Alaska liquefied natural gas (Alaska LNG) project yesterday in Beijing, China. This signing is the most significant step toward finally monetizing Alaska’s vast resources of natural gas. President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping were present for the signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, underscoring the international importance of the agreement. 

“Because Alaskans need well-paying jobs and affordable energy to power our homes, schools and businesses, this Alaska LNG project is critical,” Governor Walker said.

The agreement was signed by representatives from the State of Alaska, the Alaska Gaseline Development Corporation (AGDC), the Bank of China, the China Investment Corporation, and the oil and gas company Sinopec. Under the agreement, the parties have agreed to work cooperatively on LNG marketing, financing, investment model and China content in Alaska LNG, and get a periodic result by 2018. 

“This agreement has all five necessary signatories - the buyer, the lender, the investor, the developer and the state,” Governor Walker said. “This is a big project with big players and big benefits. There are more steps before a final investment decision is reached, but having the largest LNG buyer in the world participating in this project means the Alaska LNG project has favorable market engagement at the highest level. This project will finally allow Alaska to reach its full potential as a state. As we move from having one of the highest unemployment rates in the country to the lowest, we will build a Stronger Alaska.”

Governor Walker said, “The gasline is key to building a Stronger Alaska. I thank President Trump for the full support he and his administration have shown for this project, as it brings the United States one step closer to energy dominance. When President Xi visited Anchorage six months ago, he shared with me his desire for deepening the mutually beneficial ties between China and Alaska. I thank him for expediting that vision to reality. I especially thank Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his team for their strong belief in the Alaska LNG project, and all of the hard work they put into making this day happen." 

Alaska LNG is designed as a 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) integrated LNG system comprised of a three train liquefaction plant in Southcentral Alaska at Nikiski; an approximately 800 mile, 1.1 meter diameter gas pipeline; a gas treatment plant on the North Slope of Alaska; and various interconnecting facilities to connect the Prudhoe Bay gas complex to the gas treatment plant.

“Today’s agreement brings the potential customer, lender, equity investor, and developer together with a common objective of crafting mutually beneficial agreements leading to increased LNG trade between Alaska and China,” said Keith Meyer, president, AGDC.   

“This is an agreement that will provide Alaska with an economic boom comparable to the development of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the 1970s,” said Alaska Governor Bill Walker.

The joint development agreement was signed by the State of Alaska, AGDC and three of the largest Chinese energy and finance companies - Sinopec, Bank of China and China Investment Corporation (CIC). - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017

Philanthropy Day honors Foundation Donors

Philanthropy Day honors Foundation Donors
Alec Brindle Jr, Alec Brindle Sr and Matt Eisenhower, Foundation Director
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Medical Center

Ketchikan: Philanthropy Day honors Foundation Donors - At the first Philanthropy Day Luncheon held Monday, November 6, Ketchikan Medical Center Foundation Director Matt Eisenhower said, "We are always looking for ways to say thank you.”

“There are so many giving people in our community we wanted to have an opportunity to thank them publicly for their generosity.”

The luncheon at the Sunny Point Conference Room was to thank donors and to especially highlight the recent gift from the Brindle family that honors Cornelia “Pinky” Brindle who died after a five-year struggle with cancer in 2008.

The Brindles, represented at the luncheon by Pinky’s husband Alec Brindle Sr and her son Alec Brindle Jr, unveiled a Legacy Panel that will be mounted near the main lobby at the Medical Center. The family donated $100,000 for a Cancer Resource Room to provide support and information to cancer patients and their families.

An oncology nurse will be a Cancer Care Coordinator for patients and family to help with travel coordination, infusion schedules, appointments, and supplies.

Dan and Karen Eichner also attended the luncheon. Their family are also Legacy donors. They funded the Ken Eichner Healing Garden adjacent to the Ketchikan Medical Center café. The nearly completed garden overlooks the Narrows and will provide a quiet, lovely outdoor area for patients, their families, and staff. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017

Southeast Alaska:
F. Leach Selected as UFA Exec Director effective Jan. 2018 - United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), Alaska’s statewide commercial fishing trade association, announced the hiring of Frances Leach as its Executive Director effective January 5, 2018.  Ms. Leach, a Juneau resident, was raised in a commercial fishing family in Ketchikan. 

F. Leach Selected as UFA Exec Director effective Jan. 2018

Frances Leach Selected as UFA Exec Director effective Jan. 2018
Photo courtesy UFA

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent UFA.  Having grown up in a commercial fishing family in a coastal community, I understand the importance of commercial fishing to Alaska’s economy and cultural heritage.  The commercial fishing industry faces many challenges at the state and federal level, and I look forward to addressing these challenges as UFA’s Executive Director,” said Leach. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017

Southeast Alaska: Settlement Agreement Reached in Cannery Creek Hatchery Oil Spill - The State of Alaska entered into a global civil settlement agreement with Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) and its employees, Dale Lords, David Reggiani, and Christine Mitchell, resolving criminal charges against the corporation and the individuals. The State charged PWSAC and the individuals for providing false information to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) regulators, failing to report a hazardous substance discharge, and oil pollution relating to a December 2013 discharge of diesel fuel underneath a housing unit at Cannery Creek Hatchery (CCH). 

The State originally filed criminal charges against David Reggiani, Christine Mitchell, and Dale Lords on September 26, 2016, amended on October 25, 2016, and against PWSAC on February 16, 2017. The State alleged that on December 10, 2013, between 350-400 gallons of oil were released from an aboveground fuel tank leading into the crawlspace under a staff housing unit at CCH.

An employee of PWSAC reported the spill to Christine Mitchell, Acting CCH Manager, and David Reggiani, PWSAC General Manager. The State alleged that Christine Mitchell and David Reggiani in their individual capacity and as agents of PWSAC failed to report the oil discharge. The State of Alaska further alleged that the spill resulted from negligence on the part of PWSAC through its agents, Christine Mitchell and David Reggiani, due to their failure to maintain fuel lines to prevent corrosion and leaks despite knowledge of past leaks. Finally, the State alleged that Christine Mitchell, David Reggiani, and Dale Lords provided false information to the State when they reported to the State they were unable to confirm the spill. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017



Alaska Science: Salmon complete 1,000-mile journey, and life By NED ROZELL - On a morning with biting air in the single digits Fahrenheit, this river smells like sulfur and is splashy and loud. Bald eagles and ravens swoop in the updraft of a nearby rock bluff in what looks like play.

Salmon complete 1,000-mile journey, and life

Dead chum salmon lie on the Delta River’s shallow gravel bottom. The salmon spawn each year just upstream from the bluff at the Delta’s confluence with the Tanana River.
Photo by Ned Rozell

In early November, a time when shadows lengthen and deep cold hardens the landscape, chum salmon have returned to spawn in the lower Delta River. In spots, the water is so shallow that dorsal fins wiggle in the frigid air. Some fish get frostbite on really cold days.

Now is the peak of one of Alaska’s last great animal migrations of the year. Thousands of “fall run” chum salmon are hanging a right from the Tanana River into a few crystal channels of the Delta River.

These fish are at the end of their four-year lives. The tiger-striped dog salmon began a 1,100-mile journey from the Bering Sea from mid-July through early September.

The Yukon River run of chum salmon is the largest in the world. Most years, three times as many fish than there are people in Alaska migrate up the Yukon. This year is an exceptional run, with 5 million chums jetting up the river, including 2.3 million fall chums returning to the Delta River and elsewhere.

These arm-length fish, larger than summer-run chums that returned in the warmth of solstice, are stacked at a deep aqua crescent where the Delta shoves into the Tanana River, right next to the Richardson Highway bridge.

Out of the pile, chums blast forward into the clean water of the Delta, just inches deep in spots. Males have wolfish jaws with overlong snouts. Females full of eggs sport the same pink and black stripes on torpedo bodies. None of the fish have eaten in more than a month, since they left salt water to nose back to their birth stream. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017


Columns - Commentary


jpg Peter Roff

PETER ROFF: Congress Looks at Russian Election Interference - Those who claim to have been shocked the Russians might have meddled in the 2016 election are either playing for the cameras or not paying attention. They, and the Soviets before them have employed "active measures"- a technical term that applies to all kinds of espionage - in the United States and the West practically from the moment the Czar was overthrown.

For those who came in late, this kind of stuff is not new. And the U.S. does it, too. We've spent money on everything from propaganda to keep the Communists from coming to power in Italy after World War II to trying to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from the top job in the Israeli government. 

Earlier this week, a congressional committee took a deep dive into the alleged Russian interference. The matter of foreign manipulation of the U.S. electorate is one on which Congress should tread carefully. It's a lot more complex than the Washington politicians and the media stars who travel the Acela between New York and the nation's capital want you to believe. 

The idea was first pushed by people looking for a reason Hillary Clinton lost an election she seemed destined by fate to win. It's true the Russians put ads on the web. It's true the Trump campaign met with some Russians and may, as charged, have sought a few of them out to see if they had dirt on Clinton not available through normal channels. 

Yet, it's also true the Democrats were up to much the same thing. The so-called dossier on Trump prepared by Christopher Steele, variously described as a former British intelligence operative, was produced through a private opposition research effort secretly financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

That aside, some members of Congress think social media companies are to blame. As the conduits through which information about both Clinton and Trump spread through the electorate, they are supposed to shoulder much of the responsibility for what occurred.

But look at the numbers. Facebook, one of several social media companies called this past week to testify at one point volunteered that ads with content attributable to the Russians in some way went into the newsfeeds of 29 million Americans over a two-year period.

When they finally got all the way downstream they'd been seen, the company estimates, by close to 126 million people, maybe more. That's at least a third of the country but, over the same period, Americans had more than 30 trillion items flow through their news feed. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017

jpg Political Cartoon: Great Wall

Political Cartoon: Great Wall
By Steve Sack ©2017, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Opinion - Letter

Emergency Room Medical Costs in Ketchikan By Mike Carney - Ketchikan Gateway Borough Residents: From time to time you hear of important issues in the town we live in, this is an issue you should all be aware of. If you have had the unfortunate occasion to visit our emergency room facility at PeaceHealth, it will add insult to injury when you get all the bills. I will tell you my story. I was out hunting and scraped my eye on an alder branch. I tried to wait it out until I could get to the eye doctor. That didn’t happen and I ended up in the emergency room early the next morning. I was dealt with in an orderly fashion and I saw a doctor that I had seen many times before. He is local and works for PeaceHealth. I was there about 40 minutes and I was thankful it was such a quick turnaround. - More...
Thursday PM - November 09, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Criminal Reform By Rep. Dan Ortiz - Earlier this week, the Alaska State House passed Senate Bill 54, “Crime and Sentencing,” with 32 yes votes and 8 nays. Broadly speaking, SB 54 is a partial repeal of SB 91, which was passed last year. Although I did not vote for SB91 at the time, there are some aspects of that criminal reform bill that are worth keeping, for example: programs like pre-trial services and tougher sentences on murder and rape. However, SB 54 makes some necessary changes to SB 91, which I’ve briefly outlined below: - More...
Tuesday PM - November 07, 2017

Opinion - Letter

THE PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY OF GOD By David G Hanger - Down the road here three dozen miles or so some moron walked into a Baptist church and killed 26 people including 14 children. About 18 hours after the event, i.e. in time for the Monday morning talk shows and news shows it had been labeled “the worst mass killing in a place of worship in the history of the United States.” Within four hours of the event the governor of the state of Texas arrived on the scene and politicized it, then introduced his entourage who each had their little speech to give, followed by first responders, who once again grandiosely performed janitorial services. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 07, 2017

Opinion - Letter

150 years of the Army in Alaska By Capt. Richard Packer - I recently attended the 150-year commemoration of the transfer of Alaska, previously known as Russian America, from tsarist Russia to the United States. The original ceremony occurred in Sitka (New Archangel while under Russian rule) on October 18, 1867, and just like the modern ceremony, the U.S. Army was present for the first ceremony. - More....
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Governor Walker’s Tax Proposal Would Create a Regressive Nightmare By Ghert Abbott - Governor Walker is right to champion a broad-based tax, as the only alternative to new revenue is the continued depletion of our state’s savings and further cuts to education, public health, law enforcement, and infrastructure. However, it is essential that any broad-based tax be fairly distributed and take into consideration the sacrifices that ordinary Alaskans have already made with the halving of the PFD. - More...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

TAX POLICY IN THE LAND OF OZ By David G Hanger - I realize that only you, the Christian ayatollahs and mullahs of Ketchikan, and your inordinate knowledge and profundity gleaned only in some instances from divinity or seminary school, are the true arbiters of speech, thought, association, and fact, on any subject under the sun, and that you and your spies will continue working in the dark to ensure no one regresses from your expected norm. - More...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Hunting Regulations By Chas Edwardson - Recently I asked on this forum if anyone has heard about stricter hunting regulations for non federally qualified hunters on Prince of Wales Island. - More...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

RE: It’s Past Time to Achieve Parity Regarding State Education Funding By Chris Elliott - Mr. Bockhorst hits the nail on the head. - Finis...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Lost fortunes and other dividend crimes By A. M. Johnson - Shocked,I am shocked to think our legislature realizing the results of action this article brings out, had no idea the projected action to extract funds from the Permanent Fund would result in this fiscal loss. - More...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

Opinion - Letter

Hunting on POW! By Frances C. Natkong - To you who come to our island to hunt to kill senselessly we have to live here no matter how much you spend coming here. You kill our deer and bear that we live off all year. I've seen deer and bear carcasses with the bear hides gone and the antlers gone all trophy hunters. - More...
Thursday PM - November 02, 2017

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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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