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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
November 07, 2018

Front Page Feature Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS

Connell Lake Sunset
Front Page Feature Photo By RACHELLE SPEIGHTS ©2018

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Alaska Historical: Historic plane to be NY hotel lounge; 60 year old Constellation flew in Alaska, made drug runs elsewhere By DAVE KIFFER - A Lockheed Constellation prop plane with a lengthy history in Alaska in the 1960s and 70s including at the Annette Island Airfield, is getting a second life. As a lounge at a new hotel at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Constellation - N8083H - has been out of service for more than 30 years and had spent the last three decades at an airport in Maine being cannibalized for the restoration of another old "Connie."

But recently, N8083H made the 300-mile trip to New York, on the road. It is now being restored adjacent to the soon to open TWA Hotel at JFK, which itself is a repurposing of the legendary "space age" TWA Terminal. The Constellation will become a lounge and "passenger event" space next to the hotel.

Many airline enthusiasts consider the Lockheed Constellation to be one of the high points of the romantic propeller airline age, even as it was being overtaken by the jet age in the late 1950s.

The Constellation looked unlike any thing else in the air.  The four-engine plane had a distinct triple "tail" with three vertical stabilizers rather than one. The three smaller stabilizers cut down on the height of the aircraft significantly. allowing it to fit inside many existing airport hangers. The fuselage was not straight, but actually rose with a slight hump between the front and the back of the plane. Some likened its "line" to that of a dolphin. The "humped" fuselage was more expensive to build that the tube shapes of the other airlines, even though it was purported to help the plane's aerodynamics.

The Constellation was developed in the late 1930s when American airlines were looking to expand their cross-country flights and wanted planes that would either need fewer stops or eliminate them altogether.  Howard Hughes at Trans-World Airlines (TWA) specifically asked Lockheed to develop an airliner that could carry 40 passengers with a range of 3,500 miles. According to common legend Hughes designed the Constellation but that was not true, he only provided Lockheed with the parameters of 40 passengers and 3,500 miles, according to aviation historians.

The Constellation was the source of many legends over the years. But it was not the first plane with a pressurized cabin and it was not the fastest four engine plane of its time. Perhaps most unfair was that humorists dubbed it the best "tri--motor" airliner ever developed because at least one the four 18-cylinder Wright Cyclone engines was always "cutting out." Overall, the engines on the Connie were no less reliable than those on other airliners of the time.

One "legend" about the Connie was true, though.

Apparently, a passenger did become stuck to a toilet seat once by cabin pressurization.

"Stories of this happening on modern jets are urban legends, but Connies had far more primitive potties," Stephan Wilkinson wrote in the June, 2016 edition of Aviation History Magazine. "When the valve that emptied the toilet into the unpressurized reservoir failed on one airline flight, the poor lady who happened to be in the blue room at the time became the cork that maintained cabin pressure. She was freed when the crew depressurized the airplane."

The Constellation was based on the design of another distinctive plane with multiple horizontal stabilizers, Lockheed's own World War II fighter, the P-38 Lightning.  During WWII, the Constellations were used primarily for cargo transportation in the war effort.

After the war, the Connie's cruising speed of 340 mph put it at the forefront of planes on transcontinental routes. It also proved valuable on opening up the trans-Atlantic routes because its 3,500 mile range meant that it could easily fly from New York to Gander, Newfoundland and from Gander to Shannon in Ireland and then on to Europe. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2018


Fish Factor: Permit prices stalled except for two regions By LAINE WELCH - Values for Alaska salmon permits have remained stagnant all year, except for two regions, and costs for halibut quota shares have plummeted. 

For salmon permits, an off kilter fishery that came in 30 percent below an already grim harvest forecast kept a downward press on permit values. The preseason projection called for a salmon catch of 147 million this year; the total take was closer to 114 million.

“All of these salmon fisheries in the Gulf, both gillnet and seine permits, had a lousy year. And we see that in the lackluster permit market,” said  Doug Bowen of Alaska Boats and Permits  in Homer. 

Further west, Bristol Bay with its back to back record breakers is an exception and permit prices there reflect increased buying interest. A scan of multiple broker listings show Bay drift gillnet permits at $165,000 compared to the $145,000 range before the fishing season. 

Salmon fishermen at Bristol Bay pocketed a record $280 million at the docks, not including post season bonuses, on a catch of 35 million sockeyes.

Bowen said more fishermen from regions of repeated poor salmon runs are eyeing Bristol Bay. His company has nearly 30 listings of Cook Inlet drift permit holders who want to exit that fishery.    

“Folks are wanting to move out of the Inlet, which had another terrible year and go to Bristol Bay and people want to move from Southeast to the Bay,” he said.     

Drift permits for False Pass (Area M) on the Alaska Peninsula also are increasing in value after several years of good fishing.  

“We recently sold one for $175,000 which is $10,000 more than what the Bay permits are selling for,” Bowen said.  

Elsewhere permit prices remain stalled. Prince William Sound seines have stayed at $165,000 and drift gillnet permits at around $150,000. At Cook Inlet, drift permits are in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. Kodiak seine permits have ticked up a bit to $28,000. For Southeast, seine permits are in the $210,000 to $250,000 range and drift gillnets at or slightly above $85,000.

Further north, Norton Sound and Kotzebue again set records in their salmon fisheries, but permit transactions in those regions operate differently.

“There aren’t very many of them and not many change hands. When they do, a lot of those folks know each other and it’s word of mouth. So we’re not that involved in those permit markets,” Bowen said.

Higher salmon prices should show a big boost in the value of this year’s catch but it won’t make up for the shortfall in fish.

“It’s a matter of price and production,” Bowen said. “If you’re limited on how much you can harvest, that great price is not going to save the day.”  - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2018

Alaska: Weather reroutes golden eagle migration in Alaska By SONNARY CAMPBELL - Weather strongly influences the route golden eagles take while migrating out of Alaska each fall and back into the state each spring, a University of Alaska Fairbanks doctoral student and collaborators have discovered.

Their study sheds light on how eagles choose migration routes and how that might affect eagles’ use of routes in the future as climate changes.

UAF Ph.D. student Joe Eisaguirre, the study’s lead author, collaborated with researchers at UAF, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

They spent many years tracking eagles tagged with radio transmitters. The data revealed that weather plays a major role in whether migrating eagles navigate north or south of the Wrangell Mountains, one of the tallest ranges in North America.

The collaborators began the project to understand the movement of adult migratory golden eagles that breed in Alaska and how they might interact with wind energy developments, primarily outside of Alaska.

“We knew very little, not even where they go after leaving Alaska in the fall,” Eisaguirre said. Adult golden eagles had never been tagged with transmitters in Alaska.

During migrations, animals make countless decisions as they move across the landscape. As weather and climates change, animal choices at numerous points along migration routes would be expected to create different overall migration patterns.

“We might be able foresee some of those changes if we can figure out how to predict changes in animal decision-making processes, as we did with this study,” Eisaguirre said. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2018



RICH MANIERI: Another Election Has Come and Gone. Now What? - That's over with. And not a moment too soon. 

It's usually at this point when I start reviewing what I've seen and heard over the past several months and try to make some sense of it, not unlike what a psychologist might do with a particularly vivid and disturbing nightmare.

The problem with political campaigns in general, and TV ads in particular, is that there really are no rules anymore. It's Thunderdome. Mischaracterizations, misrepresentations, quotes out of context - anything goes. You can say anything about anyone. And yet, they keep coming. Negative political ads are up 60 percent since 2014, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising.

As much as we complain about the process, the main reason candidates go negative is because it works. An Emory University study released in May revealed that a 1 percent increase in negative advertising by a candidate significantly boosts the candidate's chance of winning.

Yes, that means it's our fault. We're evidently buying a good bit of what's being sold, no matter how misleading or outrageous it might be.

By now we've seen just about everything short of someone photoshopping devil horns on his opponent. And that's probably not far off.

This year's campaign season featured a new wrinkle in a candidate inflicting punishment on himself.

Far-left progressive, Levi Tilleman, of Colorado, who ran his campaign for Congress on the "Everything-is-Free-Forever" platform, was voluntarily pepper sprayed in an ad. He was attempting to demonstrate his support for non-lethal weapons in schools as an alternative to arming school employees.

Tilleman was rendered helpless. Apparently, so was his campaign because he lost in the primary. - More...
Wednesday PM - November 07, 2018

jpg Political Cartoon: Blue Wave Win

Political Cartoon: Blue Wave Win
By RJ Matson ©2018, CQ Roll Call
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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jpg Letter / Opinion

Open Letter: To Alaska's Next Governor By Gov. Bill Walker - I want to congratulate you. You have earned a role that comes with more responsibility, meaning and joy than you can yet imagine. There are very few who will ever have so large an opportunity to shape the future of this beloved place we call home.

Along with a smooth and supportive transition from our team, I want to offer four non-partisan principles that helped us through some of the most challenging times in Alaska's history. It's my hope that your tenure begins, and is remembered, as a resounding success, for you and for the people of Alaska. - More...
Monday PM - November 05, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

VOTING FOR COMMON SENSE By Alan Bailey - The following statement is a personal opinion and does not represent other persons or organizations. Having worked in the Criminal Justice System for 30 plus years and now serving a third term as an elected official, I have come to the conclusion there are three basic questions to government spending: How much does it cost?; Who is paying for it?; and, How much does it cost to maintain? Senator Dunleavy is restoring public trust in controlling government spending. Expanding government is not growing Alaska s economy or developing industries that create jobs for our children s future. The tax and spend policies of the past is simply not sustainable or affordable. Someone pays the bill and that is usually you and me. Senator Dunleavy understands the importance of responsible spending and is advocating for efficiencies. About time! Personally I am not in favor of an income tax to pay for more government jobs, Senator Dunleavy is advocating responsible development of our vast timber, mining, fisheries, and mariculture resources, actually creating industries. This kind of leadership is long overdue and instills confidence in Alaska s ability to compete in private business. - More...
Monday PM - November 05, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Public comment period ending today By Shelley Stallings - Under President Trump, the Department of the Interior, lead by Ryan Zinke (currently under investigation by the Justice Department for ethics violations) is proposing a roll back of protection of wildlife in Alaska’s national parks and reserves. - More..
Monday PM - November 05, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote for Mark Begich By Don Mitchel - Mike Dunleavy seems to have one priority, cutting the State Budget. The problem is he’s been trying that strategy and it’s failed. He already led that charge and cut our State services about 30%, and cut Capital projects (that provide infrastructure for the future) 78% without agreeing to any comprehensive budget solutions. What did this strategy lead to?...... - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote for Dan Ortiz to Protect the Permanent Fund Dividend By Ghert Abbott - On November 6th I will be casting my vote for Representative Dan Ortiz, as I believe he will work to protect the Permanent Fund Dividend and contribute to its future restoration. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote No on Ballot Measure No. 1 By Andy Rauwolf - Please be advised that funding for Ballot Measure 1 is designed to be hidden from public view and comes from large outside environmental groups on the East Coast, the same groups that fought successfully for years to block any development in ANWAR among other things. . - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

HOLD YOUR NOSE AND VOTE FOR BEGICH By David G Hanger - Hold your nose, if indeed you find it necessary, and vote for Begich. Mark Begich is a bore, an incredibly unimaginative individual who throughout his life has coat-tailed on his father’s limited and tragic career. I have heard and seen nothing from him in the way of original thought. So far as I can tell he is a toad inclined to do as little as possible.

Mike “Days of Misery” Dunleavy by contrast is a real piece of work. He will slash everything government does, or jack the price sky high, the instant he takes office. “Days of Misery” Dunleavy will not bring you just days of misery; he will bring you decades of misery with the damage he proposes to do. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Vote Dunleavy for Governor By Rob Holston - The arguments on the issue of abortion are always clouded with misleading terminology and incomplete acceptance of science. Begich is 100% in favor of a woman's reproductive rights and 0% in favor of men's reproductive rights, 0% in favor of a pre-born human life's rights.  Begich hides behind the phrase "woman's health" when claiming that all women have the right to kill their pre-born babies. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Support Dan Ortiz By Peter Stanton - They say politics changes people, but as far as I can tell, politics hasn t changed Dan Ortiz. Dan is still the same hard worker, considerate thinker, careful listener, and compassionate human being that many of us have known for decades. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

The People’s Representative: Dan Ortiz By Evan Wick - I have known Representative Ortiz for fourteen years. He is a dedicated teacher, coach, mentor and state representative. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

Ortiz: The People’s Representative By Austin Otos - I have known Dan Ortiz for 10 years as a devoted debate teacher, local representative, and most importantly, a personal friend. These past two elected terms I have keenly followed representative Ortiz and his ascension as a staunch advocate for local issues within our state congress. His record clearly shows legislation that has directly benefited our local community. From supporting our burgeoning mariculture industry, to defending funding for the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System, Ortiz has dedicated his civic life to representing all of District thirty-six. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

jpg Letter / Opinion

A CARAVAN OF FOOLS By David G Hanger - No, I am not referring to the caravan of Hondurans wandering across southern Mexico at this moment in time, but rather the gooney birds who are sopping up the fascistic propaganda of Fox News and Donnie “Two Scoops” that somehow we are threatened by what is now reported to be as many as 7000 Hondurans in a group heading for the U.S. border. - More...
Friday AM - November 02, 2018

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