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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 09, 2008

Front Page Photo JIM LEWIS

Scenic South Tongass
Front Page Photo JIM LEWIS



Ketchikan: Firefighters Receive "Medals of Valor" - Six Ketchikan Firefighters received the "Medal of Valor" at the Ketchikan Fire Department's annual awards banquet last Saturday evening at the Redman Hall in Ketchikan.

Firefighter/Medic Greg Karlik, Captain James Kleinschmidt, Training & Safety Officer Terry Roberts, Firefighter/EMT Warren Lee, Firefighter/EMT Brian Short, and Captain John Goucher all received the Medal of Valor for their heroic actions, in the early morning hours of December 15, 2007, at a house fire that claimed the lives of four Ketchikan children.

Two Ketchikan Police Officers were also recognized by members of the Fire Department for their actions at that same fire. Officers Mark Sivertsen and Derek McGarrigan received Certificates of Appreciation for their successful efforts to rescue an adult occupant from a window of the residence and for the information they gave to incident commanders that enabled the firefighters to rapidly enter the burning residence. Officer McGarrigan was injured during the rescue attempt.

Also recognized for contributions were Roger and Cindy Arriola. They received the Dispatch and Support award for their efforts during 2008. The husband and wife volunteer duo bring a combined 38 years of service to the Ketchikan Fire Department and also encourage volunteer efforts by their children.

Volunteer Firefighter/EMT Brian Short, who is also a full-time dispatcher for the City of Ketchikan, received the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year award for his outstanding service to the community during 2008.

Volunteer Firefighter Mike Kurth received the Firefighter of the Year award for his contributions to the fireboat crew, dive team and selfless participation in numerous incidents and events during the last year.

Volunteer Firefighter Mike Greenup received a Special Commendation for his active participation in the fire department and °always being there°± for fund-raisers and other events. Mike also filled a temporary firefighter spot with the career staff for the past six months and did an outstanding job.

Former KFD member Ken "Raggs" Holmes was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation for all his assistance, "even after he retired," on several fire and EMS calls during late 2007 and 2008.

Captain Dave Breitkreutz was thanked for accepting the Acting Assistant Fire Chief position for the past six months and providing his assistance during the transition period. Dave "kept the operations division functioning" while the department went through some changes. - More...
Tuesday - December 09, 2008

Alaska: Adoption of Scientists' Recommendation for Pollock Catch Urged by MCA ; Asks Council to Adopt SSC Decision to Reduce Pollock Catch during Cyclic Downturn - The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) today recommended the catch level of pollock be set at 815,000 tons, a 18% reduction from this year's catch limit of 1 million tons. The reduction is seen as a precautionary measure to protect the stock during a predicted downward trend.

The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance (MCA), a coalition of harvesters, processors and communities involved in the Alaska Groundfish and crab fisheries, also announced today that the coalition has urged the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to adopt the recommendation of its scientific advisors in setting the total allowable catch of Bering Sea pollock in 2009.

"MCA supports the Council's long tradition of following the recommendations of its scientists, which is why we have a 30-year record of conserving fish stocks," said MCA executive director David Benton. "It's unfortunate that some interest groups can't accept the role of science in fishery management but we're confident the Council will act responsibly."

The final decision on the total allowable catch level for 2009 will be made by the Council during its meeting this week in Anchorage. In its history, the Council has never exceeded catch limits recommended by its scientists. The SSC's recommendation was based on stock surveys that showed a decline in the available pollock biomass but also found indications that the stock may soon be rebuilding.

"We've known this downturn was coming because a large age class of fish that dominated the population was getting older but a large, younger age class was also reported that will recruit into the fishery in the next few years," Benton said. "With it, scientists are projecting that pollock biomass may increase by as much as 50 percent in 2010."

Bering Sea pollock is one of the world's largest fisheries and accounts for a third of all fish harvested in the U.S. Fluctuations in the allowable catch limit are not unusual. The pollock catch was held below 1 million tons from 1977 to 1983. More recently, the catch limit dropped to 980,000 tons in 1999 after which the stocks rebounded and produced record catches of almost 1.5 million tons from 2002 to 2006.

"Bering Sea pollock is one of the world's most abundant and dynamic fishery resources," Benton said. "Despite the current trend, the pollock resource is still healthy and it will remain so as long as we continue to follow our scientists' recommendations. That approach is why Alaska is respected around the globe as a model of fishery management."

Based in Juneau, the Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, fishermen, coastal communities and support industries involved in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska groundfish and crab fisheries. The MCA promotes science-based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska.

In November, new scientific information was also released by NOAA Fisheries showing a decline in the walleye pollock biomass that prompted the agency in recommending a cut to the pollock catch for 2009 in the eastern Bering Sea. - More...
Tuesday - December 09, 2008


Basic Rules

letterGas prices By Pam Kemble - I would like to know how many barges have come in to deliver fuel in the past month. I have reason to believe that it is at least two. That would be two while the price of fuel has stayed at the $3.75 mark. That would be two when the price of fuel has been under $3.00 down south. - More...
Tuesday - December 09, 2008

letter Bridge to Nowhere By Diane Guzman - The bridge to nowhere has been built. - More...
Tuesday - December 09, 2008

letter Please! Your help is needed this Holiday season By Rita Carro - Two Ketchikan people are fighting for their lives and need your help. Many of you may already know that both John and Brenda Murphy (Owners of Ketchikan Welding and Murphy's Custom Metal Art) are both battling Cancer. These two people have helped many and have lived in Ketchikan for many years. - More...
Tuesday - December 09, 2008

letter HMO: 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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The Board of Education of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District will meet in regular session beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, in the Ketchikan City Council chambers.
Dec. 10, 2008 Agenda & Information Packet pdf


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December 2008
Front Page Archives
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07 08 09 10 11 12 13
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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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