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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 08, 2008

Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON

Tongass Narrows Fog
Front Page Photo By LISA THOMPSON



Fish Factor: Findings Revealed for Alaska fishing industry By LAINE WELCH - On any given month in Alaska 7,260 fishermen are out on the water plying their trade. That number jumps to 20,137 per month at the peak of salmon season each summer. Add in jobs in seafood processing, transportation, management and other support services and it brings the number of fishing industry related jobs to at least 54,000 a month.

Those are just a few of the findings revealed by the state Labor Dept in the November issue of Alaska Economic Trends, which tracks employment in the fishing industry from 1988 through 2007.

Fish harvesting jobs have proven tough to track because they don't generate payroll records and other documents used to calculate employment in other industries. The state has projects underway to compile more information on the working profiles of the 'boots on deck' fishermen, and their economic importance to coastal communities.

A sketch of the findings shows that Alaska's fish harvesting employment decreased slightly in 2007, losing 54 jobs, a 0.7 percent drop. Fish harvesting jobs decreased by 17 percent, or 1,446 jobs, since 2000. The biggest drop occurred between 2001 and 2002 when employment fell by 791 jobs, mostly due to depressed salmon markets.

Salmon provided more than half of all fishing jobs, and 30% of those workers were on the job at Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay draws more fishermen than any other fishery in the state - 2,303 permits fished in 2007.

Groundfish landings in Alaska waters topped 4 billion pounds and generated 1,182 jobs in 2007; the halibut fishery put another 1,246 fishermen to work. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

Ketchikan: Governor Appoints William B. Carey to Ketchikan Superior Court - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin yesterday appointed William B. Carey of Anchorage to fill a vacancy on the Ketchikan Superior Court created by the retirement of Judge Michael A. Thompson.

Carey, 54, is an attorney in private practice in Anchorage, with an emphasis on criminal defense in Southeast Alaska. Before entering solo practice in 1990, he worked as a partner in two Anchorage law firms from 1982-90. He moved to Alaska in 1980 to work as a legal intern with Cook Inlet Native Association, then as a clerk with two Anchorage law firms. Carey earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Brown University in 1976, and a law degree from the University of Denver's College of Law in 1980.

"With his broad experience in both criminal and civil law, and a strong reputation earned over long years of service in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska, William Carey will make an outstanding Superior Court judge," said Governor Palin. "I'm proud to appoint him to serve the people of Ketchikan in this important position."

The Ketchikan Superior Court is a state court of general jurisdiction. It has the authority to conduct criminal and civil trials, hear appeals from district courts, and try cases involving abused children, domestic relations, involuntary commitment, and property of deceased or incompetent persons. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

Alaska: Surfers ride Hawaiian-style waves in Alaska By GEORGE BRYSON - It was the last Saturday in November, and snow was falling in Anchorage. In Nome it was minus 20. In Southeast Alaska, however, the sun was shining, a rainbow arced the sky, the air temperature hugged the freezing mark, and some of the best surfers in the world were frolicking in the waves off Yakutat.

Not just any waves either. These were gnarly 15-foot to 20-foot Aleutian swells, quite possibly the biggest waves ever surfed in Alaska. So says Australia-born adventure surfer and moviemaker Tony Harrington, who captured the moment on film.

Behind Harrington on the beach at Point Carrew -- which overlooks Yakutat Bay and the wild Gulf of Alaska beyond -- a celebratory crowd of locals hugged the rim of a bonfire, reveling in the sight.

"Guys on four-wheelers. Hunters with their guns. Children and parents. Everyone was just blown away," Harrington said. "The whole town was talking about it. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

Consumer Issues - 'Tis the season for making mischief on the Web By CLAUDIA BUCK - 'Tis the season for making merry. Or in some cases making mischief, especially on the Web.

Whether you're shopping online or just checking your personal e-mail, don't get financially fooled this holiday season.

"In this economy, when we're all trying to get the most bang for our buck, we're letting down our guard," said Parry Aftab, a privacy attorney and the new family Internet safety adviser for McAfee Inc., a computer security firm.

The hectic holidays, when people are hurrying and hunting for bargains, are especially ripe for online ripoffs, experts say.

How do the scamsters do it? Let us count the ways.

There are the phony FedEx and UPS e-mails, describing a package delivery waiting for you. The fake bank e-mail, warning that your account is overdrawn. The heartfelt appeal -- seemingly from a favorite charity -- asking you to donate as little as $5 by clicking online. Not to mention all the pseudo-shopping sites masquerading as the real thing.

It's what's known as "phishing," posing as a legitimate Web site in order to entice you into entering your credit card, Social Security or bank account numbers. Or they'll lure you into clicking on an e-mailed link, which then unleashes all sorts of nasty spyware and malicious gremlins into your computer.

"It always increases around the holidays, when more people are shopping online," said David Jevans, the San Francisco Bay area-based chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a consortium of business and law enforcement entities that tracks Internet fraud and scams globally.

Phishing attacks cost U.S. consumers $3.2 billion last year, according to a survey by technology research firm Gartner Inc., which said 3.6 million adults were bilked out of money online, compared with 2.3 million in 2006. The average loss: $886. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008


Basic Rules

letterHMO: prescription management By David Jancauskas - I am truly saddened by the deplorable service of the "big box" prescription service and their homage to something called Merck-Medco. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

letterBudget Reality By Charles Edwardson - The budget process has started for Ketchikan and we have to shave off a half-million dollars. One of the suggestions from staff is that possible positions need to be cut at the city level, - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

letterWater rates being raised for local processors By Kevin Kristovich - I read a recent article in the Friday issue of the Ketchikan Daily News in regards to the city considering raising the water usage rates on local processors. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

letterThanksgiving Storms By Jan Cadero - I love David Kiffer's stories. Yes, I remember well the storms we had on several Thanksgivings. I lived on Second Avenue and David lived on First Avenue. It wasn't any big deal to have shingles flying by your windows, or the bricks off the neighbor's chimney landing on your roof or in your yard, scary stuff, but we all survived it. I think those storms would be classified as hurricanes today. - More...
Monday - December 08, 2008

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



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December 2008
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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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