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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 06, 2007

Rare Find, Green Sea Turtle Found in Alaska

Rare Find, Green Sea Turtle Found in Alaska
Front Page Photo By Drew Mathews

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Ketchikan: Rare Find, Green Sea Turtle Found in Alaska - A rare find in Alaska of a green sea turtle was discovered Sunday, December 2nd by Mary Hert, a resident of Gravina Island, on the beach near her residence. Hert contacted the NOAA Office for Enforcement in regards to this rare find.

NOAA Office for Enforcement Special Agent Drew Mathews recovered the deceased sea turtle Monday and transported it to Ketchikan to be held until it is shipped to Hawaii for a necropsy. - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007

Alaska: Permanent Fund Savings Plan Unveiled; Results of Voices Across Alaska survey released - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Wednesday proposed to deposit $2.4 billion from the Permanent Fund earnings reserve to the Permanent Fund principal.

"This would be the largest single year deposit into the Permanent Fund," Governor Palin said. "This will have a direct impact on every single Alaskan."

The proposal would increase the constitutionally established fund, now worth more than $41 billion, that distributes annual payments to qualified Alaskans. More than $2 billion would remain in the earnings reserve.

The announcement was included in the details of a two-year $7.1 billion savings plan that reaffirmed the governor's commitment to save for the future.

Governor Palin also released the results of the Voices Across Alaska survey, an online survey where Alaskans shared opinions on how the state surplus should be saved and invested. More than 10,000 participated in the web survey. - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007

Alaska: Widespread Warmth For Alaska in November; Temperatures in Ketchikan Close to Normal - November didn't quite feel like a typical November in Alaska, with widespread warmth and mean monthly temperatures of 15 degrees above normal in some places. For many locations, this November ranks in the top 10 warmest on record. Temperatures were given a boost around Thanksgiving, especially in the Interior, courtesy of a Chinook event that resulted in temperatures in the 40s, and some melting of the already meager seasonal snowpack. Precipitation conditions for the month were mixed with some places quite dry and others receiving more than normal for November.

Temperatures in Ketchikan were quite close to normal in November, with an average for the month of 38.1 degree Fahrenheit, less than a degree above normal. The average high and low temperatures were 42 degrees Fahrenheit and 34 degrees respectively. The absolute high and low temperatures were 48 degrees on Nov. 10, and 28 degrees on Nov. 19. Liquid water equivalent precipitation totaled 12.14 inches, a few inches below normal, and there were only five completely dry days during the month. No snow data were available for November. - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007

Alaska: State Files Suit Against Mercer Seeking $1.8 Billion in Damages - Alaska Governor Palin today announced the filing of a lawsuit by Attorney General Talis Colberg and the Department of Law against Mercer (US) Inc., the former actuary for Alaska's Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) pension plans. The lawsuit seeks more than $1.8 billion in damages from Mercer for mistakes in calculating the pension plans' expected liabilities, including mistaken actuarial assumptions and methods about future health care costs, and basic mathematical and technical errors.

"I am committed to aggressively pursuing the 'healing' of Alaska's retirement plans so the burden of the several-billion-dollar unfunded liability does not fall on the backs of ordinary citizens. Filing this lawsuit is an important step in that process," Governor Palin said.

Attorney General Colberg noted that the lawsuit comes after a lengthy and careful investigation by the Department of Law. - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007

Alaska: Fishermen collect Alaska red king crab for science; Researchers begin second year of studies aimed at understanding how to hatch and raise king crab in captivity - Fishermen last month harvested boatloads of giant red king crab from Bristol Bay, where stocks of the tasty crustacean have been increasing. Eighteen crabs harvested by fishermen aboard the FV Stormbird will end up not on the dinner table, but in research labs in Kodiak and Seward.

The crabs, all females, each bearing hundreds of thousands of eggs in clutches beneath a hard flap on their underside, will participate in the second year of research aimed at understanding the scientific and technical complexities of hatching and raising large numbers of red king crab in a hatchery. The knowledge scientists gain will help policymakers decide whether to use hatcheries to rebuild red king crab in waters elsewhere in the state, where natural events have not succeeded in rebuilding king crab populations. Key among those places are the waters around Kodiak Island, once the scene of the state's largest red king crab harvests. Fishermen there have not had a commercial red king crab harvest in the last 25 years.

"Six crabs were shipped alive from Bristol Bay to the NOAA Kodiak Laboratory, and 12 crabs were delivered to the University of Alaska's lab in Seward," said Ginny Eckert, a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist leading the studies. "Over the coming months we and our partners in Kodiak and the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward will learn more about how to keep adults alive and healthy as they progress toward hatching their eggs in the spring. Once the eggs hatch, we'll study the diet and environmental needs of crab growing from larval up through to the juvenile stages." - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007


International: Decade to avert climate catastrophe, experts say By MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT - The international community may have as little as a decade to bring greenhouse gases under control or risk catastrophic global warming that places millions of people at risk, warns a group of the world's leading climate scientists.

In a declaration released Thursday in Bali, Indonesia, where representatives from about 180 countries are attending a U.N. conference on climate change, the scientists say emissions need to peak and then start to decline within the next 10 to 15 years as a first step, and then be cut in half by 2050 from the level prevailing in 1990.

If releases aren't curbed soon, "millions of people will be at risk from extreme events, such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms; our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels; and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction," the scientists say in their declaration.- More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007

Arts & Entertainment

Ketchikan: AN EVENING OF JAZZ, ROCK AND BLUES; THE SAM PITCHER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP CONCERT - The "Discovery" Band is back! After nearly two years out of action, this high energy young band is back in full force and will be participating once again in the Sam Pitcher Concert. They join the Kayhi Jazz Ensemble, the Windjammers and Soundwaves in this annual concert full of jazz, rock, blues, Latin tunes and ballads.


Sam Pitcher (center) with Roy and Tina McPherson of McPherson's Music
following a Kayhi Wind Ensemble concert in April 2003.

The Sam Pitcher Concert is held each Fall, and its goal through donations, is to provide scholarships to help young people be able to attend summer music and arts camps and workshops. The first concert took place in the Fall of 2003. Recipients of grants provided by proceeds since then have assisted Amber and Courtney Kiffer, Jamie and Jeffery Karlson, Kim Stone, Lindy Parsons, Austin Hays, Matthew Perry and Jolene Pflaum in having these valuable experiences. Many of these young people have gone on to study music at the university level.

Sam Pitcher was a gifted and very popular young man who was active in all of the groups involved in this concert. He loved all types of music and the bands continue to perform a wide range of music in these concerts, in tribute to his memory. - More...
Thursday - December 06, 2007



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Basic Rules

letter FAWN MOUNTAIN FIELD By Wayne Kinunen - An important responsibility of any community is to provide safe, healthy recreational opportunities for its youth and adult citizens. Ketchikan provides a great variety of activities for people. One of the most popular youth programs is soccer. The Ketchikan Youth Soccer League has provided games, coaching, training, referees and equipment for nearly 30 years. One thing KYSL has not been able to provide is an adequate field of play (in soccer terms-a pitch). The new field at Fawn Mountain is an ideal location to install an artificial turf field. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2007

letter Drinking & School Sports By Jeff Currier - If a young man or woman chooses to play school sports, they are a representative of that school and the town it is in. If they choose to break rules, such as drinking or taking drugs, then they should expect to have to suffer the consequence. They are setting an example not only for the other students but also for the kids that are looking up at them as examples. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2007

letter Embarassment to all Alaskans By Robert K. Rice - If corruption and lack of integrity are not enough reason to vote out Don Young and Ted Stevens, then how about the points made in the Sitnews article on 12/5 "Alaska Corruption"? - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2007

letter Shoping local, planning committees... By Robert McRoberts - Shop local? Why do we feel like we are getting burned? Is it the way we are taxed? There is a tax for inventory for products left in our stores on January 1st. If something is not sold the year it's ordered it's taxed making it more expensive right off. Just what do the shops that close for the winter pay? Is this fair? Not in my book. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2007

letter Buy local & road maintenance... By Rodney Dial - I agree with Mr. Flom's letter and his plea to buy local. In the age of the internet, local business owners not only have to offer a competitive price, but superior service to survive. On a personal note, I have been involved in the renovation of an old house here for over a year and have spent tens of thousands of dollars locally. Madison and Talbot's have been excellent to work with. I have also been very happy with the work provided by local contractors, including the Duckworth's and Aurora Roofing -- good people. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter Conflict of interest By Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux - "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other." Matthew 6:24, New American Standard Bible. Unfortunately, most Alaskan Legislators can not seem to grasp this fundamental principal of conflict of interest. In the final days of the Special Session, I wrote Speaker John Harris a letter and made the point on the House floor that legislators with clear ties to the oil industry should be recused from voting on the oil tax bill. In light of the recent indictments and convictions and in order to restore the people's trust in the legislative process I believed this was critical. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letterKudos to Jerry Royster By Joey Tillson - I would have to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Royster. The minute we start allowing our children to participate in such school activities after an "honest mistake" or for "just being a kid" then when does it stop? Offenses get worse and worse. The excuse becomes "well you let so-and-so participate after being caught with tobacco, mine was just one beer". Who determines who plays and who doesn't? It's either all get punished when rules are broken or no one does. There is no level of rule/law breaking. Either you did or you didn't. Period. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter MCA & Sports By Nick Buchanan - In response to Mr. Royster letter, I find it a bit farfetched. Now growing up in Ketchikan and attending K-Hi myself I know how it is, every weekend kids are trying to start a party somewhere, it happens with the youth now days. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter Favorite Ketchikan Birds By Craig Moen - Since I was quite young I've had a fascination with how many different kinds of birds there are. My favorites growing up in Minnesota were the loon, pheasant, red-winged blackbird, and chickadee. The last several years here in Alaska have added the raven and eagle to the list. Most recently in Ketchikan it's the red-necked 4-wheeler. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter MCA's and Making the Varsity By Jon Hurley - I agree with Mr. Royster's letter. If you are caught drinking or doing drugs you should not be allowed to participate in school sports for that year. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter High School Sports By Franny Weihing - I do agree with Mr. Royster that drinking and still getting to play sports is a problem in this town with our youth today. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter Pioneers of Alaska- Jim Duncan By Bob Rehfeld - Another wonderful piece of Ketchikan history by Ms. Harrington. Nice job and keep up the good work. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2007

letter Varsity Athletes By Jerry Royster - I was disappointed last month when I checked the police report and saw that two Kayhi athletes were arrested for minor consuming alcohol. But I was even more disappointed to see the Kayhi varsity rosters today and read that both athletes had made their respective teams. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter 4-Wheel Awareness Month By Ken Lewis - The 4 Wheeler Awareness Month, was very enlightening and a delightful insight into problem solving! Rather than throwing some grass seed on the unsightly tracks left by a human and machine, finding out who done it and don't do it again moral to the story? It has turned into justified-beat-down of narrow minded Ketchikanites who would dare ride a 4-Wheeler for any other reason, other than to carry a bat and bludgeoned baby fur seal pups! - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter State prisons: Less and less means more and more By Sen. Kim Elton - Is a bad idea escaping from the state prison system?

There are rumblings that corrections administrators plan to ask for bags of loot to build new prison beds. Our prisons are bursting at the seams but we need to ask if adding new beds is the only answer to the problem. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter State action regarding VECO scandel. By Lynette Clark - I must first write that this perspective is my own. It does, however, adhere to my own political leanings as a long time Alaskan, and a leader of the AIP. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letterLet's Move! By Su Curtis - The cold weather, dark evenings, slick roads and frosty sidewalks are forcing us indoors. But that doesn't mean we should quit moving. There are plenty of indoor activities that are just as enjoyable and beneficial as a brisk walk. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter YOUTH EXPO 12/12- You're invited! Especially 4 wheelers... By Bobbie McCreary - FIRST: Mark your calendar, Wed Dec 12th at 5:30 at the Ted Ferry Center, Youth and Family EXPO and Potluck sponsored by Ketchikan Youth Initiatives. We welcome ANY organization serving Youth with healthy alternative activities to exhibit at this EXPO. Just email to: There are two meetings to work on the displays...Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (12/4 and 12/5) 5:30pm at Creekside Meeting Center, 640 Park Avenue, across from the American Legion Building. Stop by if you are interested. 247-8080 - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letterOff road vehicles and hikers By Penny Eubanks - I just read Mr. Moen's latest viewpoint on his original 4 wheeler post, and thought I would like to point out to him that there are a number of foot trails reaching into areas that are either off limits or not accessible by off road vehicles. There are really very few areas that are open or accessible for 4 wheelers or snowmobilers to enjoy their recreational past time. I do agree that I do not like the scars on terrain such as delicate muskeg eco systems left by tracks of off roaders. But I have noted that for the most part the same trails are used rather than new ugly scars being created. Most of these well used trails are far above the Ward Lake area instead of down in visible residential areas. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter Vacant downtown By Derek Flom - On a beautiful sunny fall / winter day in southeast Alaska I drove downtown. An empty downtown. Vacant buildings for rent and seasonal buildings closed for the season. I am used to the seasonal businesses, every town has them though not to our effect but they do have them of some sort. The most alarming aspect was the amount of "For Rent" signs in empty buildings. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter A MARVELOUS SUBJECT By Jo Shepherd Ripley - THIS IS A MARVELOUS SUBJECT. Every time I read something that keeps me interested enough to read more than two pages I feel that material is suitable for a novel or film. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter Snowmachines and 4-Wheelers By Jos Gus Govaars - OK, that's it! As I sit here biting my tongue, I can't help but feel the need to teach Mr. Moen about the trail system in Ketchikan. I don't know how long you have been in town, but I can think of at least TEN (10) different trails strictly for hikers. There are very few places for the snowmachiners and 4-wheelers to ride. It seems in Alaska when there is dispute over an area segregation is the option that is persued. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

letter Al Gore By Rick Seal - I think that we should look at the house(s) that Gore lives in and see just how much he lives what he preaches. - More...
Monday AM - December 03, 2007

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