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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 05, 2008

Front Page Photo By JULIE STEINER

Prince of Wales Island Sunrise
Front Page Photo By JULIE STEINER



Ketchikan: Ketchikan Behavioral Health Meetings Scheduled - Members of the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Alaska Mental Health Board, Alaska Mental Health Trust staff, State Division of Behavioral Health and Prevention and Early Intervention services will be holding a series of meetings December 15th and 16th in Ketchikan. The group is seeking input from Ketchikan community members to better understand how behavioral health needs are being met in the community of Ketchikan.

Two meetings will be held to hear specifically from community members accessing mental health or substance abuse services. Youth, families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend. Meetings will be held December 15, 2008 from 1:30-3:30 and 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Best Western Landing Banquet room.

A Public Town Hall Meeting for all community members, behavioral health consumers, providers and stakeholders will be held on December 16, 2008, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Ketchikan City Council Chambers.

Community member are invited to share information, opinions, ideas, suggestions and concerns asbout mental health and substance abuse programs and services offered by the State of Alaska. The group wants to hear about what is working, what needs attention and what you would like for these services to advise legislators in Juneau about Ketchikan's behavioral health needs. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

Southeast Alaska: Central Kupreanof Timber Harvest Draft EIS Released - The Tongass National Forest Supervisor has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Central Kupreanof Timber Harvest.

The Tongass is the largest of the Forest Service's national forests at almost 17 million acres, encompassing most of southeast Alaska.

The Central Kupreanof Timber Harvest project area is located on central Kupreanof Island on the Petersburg Ranger District approximately nine miles southeast of the city of Kake. The project area is about 152,517 acres in size and located in Phase 1 lands identified in the 2008 Forest Plan Timber Program Adaptive Management Strategy. The Central Kupreanof Timber Harvest DEIS presents a No Action Alternative and three action alternatives to harvest timber. The three action alternatives propose to harvest timber ranging from approximately 28 to 70 million board feet and building from zero to about 25 miles of new National Forest System (NFS) roads. All new and reconstructed NFS roads would be closed within ten years of timber sale activity completion. All action alternatives propose use of the Little Hamilton log transfer facility. Alternative 3 has been identified as the preferred alternative.

In addition to the proposed timber harvest, the Central Kupreanof project has also identified potential stewardship contracting opportunities. Funding for stewardship contracting projects may come from a combination of timber receipts and other appropriated dollars. These project opportunities, common to all action alternatives, include trail and recreation facility maintenance, road maintenance, fisheries and hydrology projects, wildlife/silviculture thinning, and invasive plant control. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

Ketchikan: Warm November for Southeast Alaska; 20.53 inches of rain in Ketchikan - Temperatures were primarily cooler than normal for Alaska's Interior and western coast, though relative warmth prevailed in the north and southeast this November. Particularly strong negative temperature anomalies were seen for locations along the Bering Sea coast, from Cold Bay up to Nome. Precipitation amounts were correspondingly below average for those same areas that experienced a cool November (Interior and west) and above average for areas that had a warm November (north and southeast).

20.53 inches of rain in Ketchikan in November

Ketchikan had only two dry days during the month. Ten days had more than 1 inch of precipitation-almost twice the normal amount for November. The total precipitation was 20.53 inches, a positive departure of 4.8 inches. Temperatures averaged 3.4 degrees warmer than normal for a monthly mean of 42.2 degrees Fahrenheit. High and low temperatures averaged 46 and 38 degrees, respectively. The high for the month was 54 degrees and occurred Nov. 1, while the low for the month was 31 degrees on Nov. 9 and 19. Winds were close to normal, with an average speed of 8.4 mph.

Around the state, temperatures averaged 3.3 degrees above normal in Juneau this November, with a mean monthly temperature of 35.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Incidentally, this is the first time that a month has averaged above normal in Juneau since May. High and low temperatures averaged 40 and 31 degrees, respectively. The high temperature was 44 degrees Nov. 7 and 28. The month's low temperature occurred Nov. 9 and 18. It was 20 degrees. Snowfall was a meager 3.8 inches, which is only 30 percent of normal for November. The liquid water equivalent precipitation was 5.89 inches, almost half an inch above average. Due to the relative warmth, heating degree-days totaled about 70 units less than normal with 882 for the month. Winds averaged 5.5 mph at the airport.

In Anchorage, November temperatures were very close to the climatological normal­a rarity for wintertime in the Far North. The mean temperature of the month was 20.9 degrees Fahrenheit, just 0.9 degrees cooler than normal for November. High and low temperatures were 26 degrees and 16 degrees, respectively. The monthly high and low temperatures were 34 degrees Nov. 10 and 12, and 6 degrees Nov. 18 and 21. Heating degree-days were just slightly more than normal, with 1,314 units for the month. Snowfall was an abundant 21.7 inches, almost twice the normal amount for November. A foot of snow was on the ground at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport by December. This amount of snow was six inches above average. Liquid equivalent precipitation was 1.11 inches, slightly more than normal. Winds at the airport averaged about 5 mph for the month. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008


Columns - Commentary

DAVE KIFFER: Thankful We Survived Again - Well, we made it.

We survived "Thanksgiving."

No, not the Kiffer Clan.

Although - with our far flung political and religious beliefs - at our family get-togethers it's always "touch and go" which will get carved up more, the avian turkey or one of the human ones!

But, as usual, I digress.

To be honest growing in Ketchikan has accustomed me to expect the worst on Thanksgiving.

A lot of people have wonderful "homey" memories of Thanksgivings past.

All the relatives huddled around the table, lobbing the mashed potatoes and jellied cranberries back and forth. And arguing the relative merits of "white" and "dark."

I - on the other hand - was raised in Ketchikan, so my Turkey Day memories are a little different. I wistfully recall hurricanes and power outages.

There was a period in the 1960s - my formative years - when just about every Thanksgiving was accompanied by disasters, natural and otherwise.

Actually, there was a period of about five years in the mid to late 1960s in which every Thanksgiving featured near or above hurricane winds. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

PRESTON MACDOUGALL: Chemical Eye on RAGS Redux for Breakfast - 1957 wasn't a Leap Year, and it wasn't the Year of the Frog (there is no Year of the Frog in the Chinese calendar). But you might call it the Year of the Leap Frog, since 1957 was the year that the Soviet Union responded to a streak of 20th century American technological successes, which culminated powerfully in the weaponization of nuclear forces - in 1945 with plutonium, and in 1952 with hydrogen. How did the Russians respond? By conquering the force of gravity with the launch of Sputnik.

We leapt back in front with Apollo in 1969, but since we currently rely on the Russians for a ride back home from the International Space Station in an emergency, you could argue that they're back in front again. A manned mission to Mars would be impressive, but it would be a foolish endeavor while taxpayers are busy bailing-out large sinking sectors of our economy.

It's time for a change - a big change. Instead of racing Russia to the red planet, we should focus on Finland. Why Finland? Because while we were busy playing leap frog with the Russians - and let's admit it, it wasn't about astro-physics, it was mostly about geo-politics - the Finns became the most economically competitive country in the world in 2004, and retained that title in 2005. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008



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December 2008
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Basic Rules

letterSoutheast Alaska Herring Stocks By Andy Rauwolf - The National Marine Fisheries Service recently posted a request for comments in regard to the listing of Southeast Alaska Herring Stocks as threatened or endangered. The deadline for comments is this coming Monday, December 8th. Your voices need to be heard. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letterDrop out rate By Jacquie O'Sullivan - My husband and I recently returned from Spain. While there I read an article about drop out rates there. They have a program identifying those that may drop out of school early. They identify these kids and get them into vocational programs in their early teen years while they are still interested in finding a job they may be interested in. I agree we need to offer more vocational training and stop concentrating on college to many of our kids. We also need to do more to encourage these kids to stay in school. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letter Opportunists By Jason Johnson - Mr. Hanger has a valid point, but why just go after the Gas Peddlers in good old Ketchikan when there are other opportunists doing business in the First City as well. Although it has been several years since I lived along the Narrows I hear from reliable sources that some purveyors of Tax Return preparation are up to their old tricks! - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letter Landing's Community Chrismas Largess By Al and Carol Johnson - Every year for the past several, Kay and Terry of the Landing have by far, exceeded the norm for giving. It is so hearting to review the front page of The Local Paper to read of the schedule of giving these two successful business people present to our community. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letter Gas Prices By Cathy Geer - I have three points: (1) Sarah Palin can stop the price gouging! She can make it state law to stop or prevent price gouging. Florida's Governor did so after all the price gouging of Hurricane Andrew in 1989. We have not had a natural disaster, but the law would prevent gouging. There is a price gouging law in Louisiana and Texas after checking state gas prices. Why not in Alaska? - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letterGas prices By Melissa Kwasney - I thought I would share with all of you the price of gas down in Wyoming, Casper actually. Today it is $1.36 a gallon -- that's right folks, $1.36 a gallon at a gas station there.I guess we still need to get more barges here in Ketchikan to even get closer to$ 3.00 a gallon for gas. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letter You are invited Ketchikan! Come to the 2nd Annual KYI Activity EXPO, Potluck and . . . By Bobbie McCreary - On Thursday, December 18th from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the Ted Ferry Civic Center there will be a Youth Art Auction. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letterPrice Gouging By Jerilyn Lester - Mr. Young, yes I am bringing up Palin because if she and her cohorts in Anchorage wanted to bring down the hammer on the prices down here she could, but since she has washed her hands of anything in Southeast Alaska that isn't going to happen. It is up to the Governor who was supposed to looking into the price gouging in Alaska, but I gather that since the price came down on the mainland that is all there is going to be of that. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letterHard Times Ahead By Robert McRoberts - I worked so hard all summer, I missed summer. How we forget. I did force myself to take some R&R. My daughter and I went south to get some parts rebuilt. But it was worth it -- the vacation part. This has been the year of change for all of us. As we change, we are being lead by the old timers who grew up thinking the old stubborn way. Now my generation is moving in and making change. Look around at the age of people running their own businesses. Sure a few are hand-me-downers. My generation is ready to take charge and break a few old rules to get things working better. - More...
Friday - December 05, 2008

letterGHOST TOWN KETCHIKAN By David G. Hanger - A brief aside to Robert Thompson; the price of gasoline in Southeast is still $3.70 or better, and the price is still dropping everyday down here. I am quite aware of the actions of the state government respective gas price gouging; I read their report, and my response to that is it is so much blather and whitewash. The price of gasoline is still way too high. Nor do I expect the state government to do anything about this problem at all until some time possibly in March or April during the time the legislature is in session, at which point I expect them to bandy platitudes while doing absolutely nothing about this very serious problem. If you possessed the tax returns of your local gas jockeys, you would have some idea how much they are ripping us off; they are getting rich at the expense of the well-being of the overall economy. A century or so ago they hanged people for stuff like that. - More...
Sunday - November 30, 2008

letter Library, pool, fire station...??? By Charles Edwardson - I read Rodney Dial's assessments on the taxes we pay and I learn more from his articles (assuming that they are accurate) than I do from listening to the Borough Assembly or the Ketchikan City Council.when they discuss their dreams on how to stabilize our economy in Ketchikan. (How a new library will assist in doing that I have yet to make the connection. - More...
Sunday - November 30, 2008

letterJust Say No to Higher Taxes By Dustin Hofeling - Now is not the time to be building a larger library and pool. Real wages are decreasing as the cost of living is increasing. A simple understanding of economics teaches that you don't spend more money when less is coming in. - More...
Sunday - November 30, 2008

letter Gas Price Questions By Phil McElroy - In my teens, I worked for a gas station in Idaho when the price of gas was 35 cents per gallon. I moved to Ketchikan (1969) and got a job at City Center gas station and was taken back by the increase in price, roughly 30 cents more per gallon. - More...
Sunday - November 30, 2008

letter RE: Gas Price Gouging By Zak Young - Are we still stuck on the fact that Palin is the whipping girl?? Are we still bringing her up as the cause of everything negative that we do not agree with??  For You.. .Ms. Lester, it seems so!! - More...
Sunday - November 30, 2008

letter Respose to "Almost Famous" By Marshall H. Massengale - Ketchikan watching via Internet has become for me something of an engaging hobby over the last more than a year and a half as the direct offshoot of having gotten to know, online at least, some truly wonderful people who happen to live there and who own and operate one of the borough's well-known float plane services. Of course, aside from exchanging e-mail regularly with my friends, I enthusiastically count Dave Kiffer's column in SitNews, together with the rest of the online journal's content including the various commercial Website links advertised along its margins, amongst my favorite windows into the K-Town world. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter At what point do we hold the line on new taxes? By Rodney Dial - In three locations in my previous letter 12 was listed when it should have read 1/2 % (one-half percent) this is due to a formatting error when my MS Word document is converted into a SitNews letter. The proposed tax increase to build the new pool will take the sales tax rate to 6.25 to 6.50 %. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter It was never about the 'facts By Robert Thompson - Well Mr. Hanger is expressing his opinions again without regard to information or facts. In a Sitnews' letter he says: - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letterGas Price Gouging By Jerilyn Lester - This is the first time in my 25 year history in Southern Southeast that I have been ashamed. The people that own the gas storage and the stations are keeping the price up so that we go broke just trying to get to work two jobs just to pay for the gas to do so and the oil to heat our homes. The price of oil has gone down to between $40 and $50 a barrel and we are still paying $3.75 a gallon for gas and more than that to heat the house. - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter New Library = New Taxes By Dan McQueen - With the falling oil prices it's going to be pretty tough for Ketchikan to get the money from the State. A recession seems to be unavoidable at this time. Now is not the time to try and get the taxpayers of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough to accept any new taxes! - More...
Wednesday AM - November 26, 2008

letter The future of Ketchikan By Rodney Dial - The country is going through the worst economic disaster since the great depression, with most thinking that it will get worse before it gets better. During times like these consumer spending on non essential items all but stops. This presents the real likelihood that Ketchikan will take a severe economic hit next tourist season. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Hoonah Community Forest Project By Chris Erickson - On October 1, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game implemented the first early closure of the doe hunting season in the history of Northeast Chichagof Island. It was an unsettling announcement for those of us living in Hoonah and Tenakee, two communities which rely heavily upon subsistence hunting. More unsettling is the drop in the deer population which prompted the early closure. To those of us who make our living as hunting and fishing guides operating on the northeastern tip of Chichagof Island, this drop is all too apparent. During trips in the field, deer sightings during peak activity times of early morning and late evening, once numbering a dozen or more, are so rare as to be worthy of mention. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Ketchikan Fire Stoppers By Jim Hill - The Ketchikan, North Tongass, and South Tongass Fire Departments; with assistance from the State of Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety, presented the Juvenile Fire-setter Intervention Specialist-I class November 17th and 18th at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letterGas Prices By David Hanger - Gas prices continue to fall, $1.69 a gallon now, everywhere but Southeast. The gougers are despicable; more despicable are the gutless politicians who lack both the fortitude and the concern to do anything about it. Another example of Sarah Palin's "reform" standards? - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Vocational Education Important By Amy L. Schroeder - Thank you to Charles Edwardson for broaching the voc-ed situation at K-High. I am a subscriber to the "every job is important and it takes a special person to do it" theory. I find that not only in Ketchikan, but all around is still the myth that if a child entertains higher academic schooling that his/her life will be rewarded somehow more richly. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Library cost clarification By Heidi Ekstrand - I was thrilled to see Ms. Jones' letter here with her thoughts, ideas and concerns on funding issues for local construction projects. The more people creatively involved in our community issues the better the outcomes will be. - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

letter Thank You Senator Stevens By Dan McQueen - Senator Stevens, thanks for all you have done for our Great State! I am proud to know ya! - More...
Monday PM - November 24, 2008

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