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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 02, 2009

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Black-headed Grosbeak
The Black-headed Grosbeak is an uncommon bird for this area. This one was photographed in the Mountain Point area.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS


Ketchikan: Governor Visits Ketchikan on Southeast Trip - During a multi-purpose trip in Southeast Alaska Tuesday, Governor Sean Parnell held a meeting with his Cabinet, spoke to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, and met with local community leaders and other constituents, including students.

As the guest speaker at the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, Parnell spoke about results that his administration is delivering for the area.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Tuesday morning, Parnell met with Ketchikan leadership (Mayors Dave Kiffer of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Lew Williams of the City of Ketchikan and Richard Makua of Saxman) and administration cabinet members to discuss issues of regional importance.

As the guest speaker at the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, Parnell spoke about results that his administration is delivering for the area. The Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce luncheon was held at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. (Listen to the Governor's remarks - click here)

Following the luncheon, the Governor sat down with Schoenbar Middle School students to learn how to podcast as part of a social studies class.

The governor also attended the delivery ceremony for the newly constructed Chevron Legacy. The ceremony was held at the Ketchikan Shipyard at 5:30 PM Tuesday. Governor Parnell delivered keynote remarks at the event held to celebrate the first steel marine vessel manufactured in Alaska for export in the international shipbuilding market, a notable achievement for any US shipyard. The new 116' Chevron Legacy marine fueling station will replace Chevron's existing Coal Harbour Marina in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will double the current facility's diesel fueling capacity.

Governor Parnell thanked Ketchikan's Alaska Ship and Drydock Inc. and Chevron for their great work on the new Chevron Legacy fueling barge that was near completion.

Ketchikan Shipyard is owned by AIDEA and operated by Alaska Ship & Drydock, Inc. (ASD). In recent years, AIDEA has expanded and improved the Shipyard, and the Chevron Legacy will be the first vessel delivered from the new facilities.

"The delivery of the Chevron Legacy is a milestone for the Ketchikan Shipyard and its role in expanding economic development opportunities for Alaska," said AIDEA Executive Director Ted Leonard. "Ketchikan has a viable shipyard business that attracts and retains clients, repairs vessels in service, constructs new vessels, all with positive and growing impact to the region's economy. AIDEA's partnership with ASD is a great example of a successful public and private sector endeavor." - More...
Wednesday - December 02, 2009

Alaska: Critical Habitat for Cook Inlet Beluga Whales Proposed; NOAA to hold public meeting & accepting comments - NOAA's Fisheries Service announced yesterday that it is seeking public comment today on a proposal that identifies more than a third of Cook Inlet in Alaska as critical habitat for the remaining approximately 300 endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales.

In October 2008, NOAA's Fisheries Service listed Cook Inlet beluga whales as endangered. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), NOAA's Fisheries Service must designate critical habitat for all listed species.

"We have used the best available science and the traditional knowledge of Alaska natives to identify areas essential to helping Cook Inlet beluga whales survive," said Doug Mecum, acting administrator of NOAA's Fisheries Service Alaska region. "Protecting these endangered whales is one of our top priorities."

The ESA requires designation of critical habitat whenever a species is listed for protection. Federal agencies must consult with NOAA's Fisheries Service to ensure that they do not fund, authorize, or carry out a project that will destroy or adversely modify the critical habitat. This requirement does not apply to activities on private land that do not involve a federal agency, permit or funding.

Managers expect to have a final designation of critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whales in the spring of 2010.

The NOAA's Fisheries Service proposal designates a total of 3,016 square miles, including the upper portions of Cook Inlet, where whales concentrate in summer months, mid-Cook Inlet, the western shore of lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay on the eastern side of the lower inlet.

NOAA's Fisheries Service experts believe Cook Inlet beluga whales once numbered more than 1,300, but only around 300 remain, according to the latest population estimates completed in June. NOAA's Fisheries Service biologists and scientists have surveyed the Cook Inlet beluga whale, estimated the species' abundance and reviewed the population's status. They have also collected tissue samples, carried out necropsies on whales found dead and responded to beluga whale strandings.

In their formal status review of Cook Inlet beluga whales, NOAA's Fisheries Service scientists estimated a 26 percent chance that these whales will become extinct in the next 100 years.

Cook Inlet belugas are one of five populations of belugas recognized within U.S. waters. The other beluga populations, which are not listed as threatened or endangered, summer in Bristol Bay, the eastern Bering Sea, the eastern Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. Of the five populations of beluga whales in Alaska, the Cook Inlet population is considered to be the most isolated based on the degree of genetic differentiation and geographic distance between the Cook Inlet population and the four other beluga populations. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 02, 2009


National: Ink-based journalists and bloggers face off over future of news By THOMAS HARGROVE - Ink-based journalists clashed and conferred with bloggers and electronic "news aggregators" in free-wheeling discussions before the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday on how watchdog journalism can survive the Internet age.

"Good journalism is not free," declared Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., which owns the Wall Street Journal and FOX News, referring to Web site editors who repackage investigative news stories first reported by traditional media outlets. "This is not fair use. It is theft. This is untenable. There is no such thing as a free news story. We are going to be sure that we get a fair price."

While many in the news industry want tighter standards on when their stories can be used by others online, others attending the FTC's conference on journalism's future warned against action that could threaten freedom of speech or ignore the public's new expectations on what news should cost.

"Get real, you guys. The world has changed," retorted Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Web site. "The digital superhighway is a busy place. There inevitably is going to be some roadkill along the way."- More...
Wednesday AM - December 02, 2009

National: Huffington versus Murdoch on future of journalism By JOSEPH D. SZYDLOWSKI - A renowned blogger and a media magnate's differing views on the future of journalism dominated the first day of the Federal Trade Commission's workshop on the subject.

Arianna Huffington and Rupert Murdoch's appearances Tuesday drew people to the conference and drew a variety of reactions from the crowd.

The pair spoke for about 20 minutes each to an audience of researchers, journalists and others in communication fields as part of the workshop "How will journalism survive the Internet age?" The workshop explored the problems besieging traditional media and tactics for adapting to the Internet. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 02, 2009

Health - Fitness: Bacteria outpaces new drugs By LEE BOWMAN - The medicine cabinet is running bare against some of the world's deadliest drug-resistant bacteria.

Experts say the pipeline for new drugs to meet the threat has slowed to a relative trickle in recent years.

A new report from the European Union says there are just 15 antibacterial drugs that have potential to offer a benefit over existing drugs, and only five of those are at the stage of advanced testing on humans.

That echoes the findings of an Infectious Diseases Society of America report released at the first of the year, which points out that only one new antibacterial drug has been approved in the United States since 2004 and fewer than 20 are in the late stages of clinical development. Only one or two are thought to use a new approach to destroying germs. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 02, 2009


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letterOBAMA'S CZARS By Al Johnson - We in the hither land do not have access to the background of many of the persons who have direct control over our daily lives who serve at the pleasure of the President. It is interesting to read of these Czars' varied backgrounds. I don't know about the rest of you, but to me their positions are contrary to what I understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights laid out as our National guidelines. You make the call. - More...
Monday PM - November 30, 2009

letterThanksgiving Away By Jeff Lund - Ten years and change ago, I made a decision I do not regret.

I left home to pursue a college degree and a career away from the sprawling metropolis that is Klawock, Alaska population 750. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letter Yes we need a Community Police Officer on site at our schools! By Bobbie McCreary - This is so obvious it is hard to imagine that anyone cannot see the value of a SRO (school resource officer) assigned to Ketchikan High School! Especially when that officer is well disposed to forming a trust relationship with, and really cares about working with, our youth to make our schools safe. - More...
Friday - Novembr 27, 2009

letter Alaska Oyster Cooperative By Eric R Wyatt - On Thursday, November 19th, the Alaska Oyster Cooperative was formed, in Naukati Bay on Prince of Wales Island.  A interim-board of directors approved the Articles of Incorporation.  The six member board consists of oyster and clam farmers, who plan to operate the local shellfish nursery and a new shellfish processing facility in Naukati. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letter Ward Cove By Carol Cairnes - I just read a Viewpoint on SitNews suggesting that a prison be built at Ward Cove. Because of the contamination on the site it can not be used for human habitation. The area has some serious restrictions on it that are known to anyone who reads the EPA reports. - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letterTea Party Slogans By Monica Gaita - You gotta be kidding with this NONSENSE... right??? - More...
Friday - November 27, 2009

letterRE: Ward Cove Comprehensive Plan By Marina Keirn - Why not take the approach that the city of Seward took? When they needed to create sustainable income and job opportunities, they floated a bond and built a prison that was then leased to the State of Alaska. A prison with between 300 - 500 beds would create many opportunities for jobs as Correctional Officers, Medical Providers (Mental Health, Dental, Medical, etc.), Administrative staff, Maintenance personnel, and would also create more jobs in the community through increased demand for Food supplies, Office supplies, Mechanical Materials, Clothing vendors, etc. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter Lesson three regarding Liberal vs Conservative By A. M. Johnson - Recently I read Vince Flynn's latest book "Pursuit of Honor". At one point during a Senate hearing between a Liberal Democrat Female Senator, who supports late term abortion and was berating the central character, undercover CIA agent, Conservative Mitch Rapp, for torturing a Muslim terrorist to gain information. In response the Mitch Rapp character stated the following. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter"Going Rogue" By Andy Rauwolf - In response to the letter by Susan Round regarding the various definitions of the word rogue and how they may best apply to Sarah Palin: Susan, in reading the dictionary definitions you posted and which one would best apply to Sarah Palin, since the elephant is the symbol of the republican party, and "to separate from the herd" is considered to be a rogue, you need not look further. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letter RE: TEA Party Slogans Cheap and Shallow By Cindi Davis - Mr. Bolling, you have made SOME valid points. Capitalism does have its problems. However, it sounds like you are advocating dumping our grand experiment in liberty in favor of a socialistic nation. Our last 200 years of history would be rendered meaningless and eventually be as forgotten as any utopia. Our founding fathers would roll in their graves. We would lose the personality and identity we have as a nation. Perhaps socialism could be beneficial. Personally, I doubt it would work. However, let's look it straight in the eye and tell the truth: 1) President Obama's stradegies ARE very socialistic. 2) We are being asked as a nation to take part in a socialistic experiment. 3) We are being lied to and led like a bunch of children by a government who claims this isn't happening. - More...
Monday PM - November 23, 2009

letterHealthcare Reform By Chris Elliott - Last December I woke up after surgery in a room at Virginia Mason with a homeless female heroin addict in the other bed. I know this because a nurse patiently gathered the woman's medical history and current circumstances before the poor woman slumped across her food tray fast sleep. I'm pretty sure she didn't have health insurance. I'm pretty sure those of us with insurance are covering her in our premiums. (The Uninsured) - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterCell Phones for Soldiers Program By Ed Vitorino - Every year millions of Americans throw their used/broken cell phones in the trash and we all know that it ends up on a landfill. I know we all have them sitting in a drawer somewhere taking up space. What if i told you that we can recycle them and in return the recycling company gives the military members calling cards? - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterOh Sarah Palin..... By Evan Bolling - The much anticipated controversial autobiography, "Going Rogue" written by our very own claim to shame, Frm. Gov. Sarah Palin is now on the bookshelves. A sad day for Alaska, the literary world, and all sentient life too. We should have done a better job keeping the lid on this total embarrassment, but now she's a national satire. And in 2008 the most mocked person on Saturday Night Live. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterGOING ROGUE By Susan Round - The following definitions of the word ROGUE are provided by Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterMillion Dollar Blunder at the Public Library? By Robert D. Warner - With the City Manager's plea to the City Council to increase properity taxes next year, it seems most urgent to end careless and wastefull spending. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterNot in my Backyard By Don Borders - Here in Alaska we are not so energy deprived that we need to go out on a limb to resolve the electrical power needs. We have not even started to explore the tidal influx as a power source where other nations in the world have done so and commissioned such systems to feed their power grids. We do have an abundance additional hydroelectric possibilites and thermal ones such as Chena Hot springs thermal system which has proven to be efficient and has won several awards in its design. So to embrace an "iffy" fringe technological concept just to generate power which would release all kinds of substances into our lean pristine air is just foolish. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterPebble Mine Views By Martha Jacobson - Regarding the Ketchikan Daily News editorial about eating your salmon in Seattle without the restaurant owner sharing views on the Pebble Mine - the issue is way more complicated than narrowing it down to some restaurant chef's political views. Way more! - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterTEA Party Slogans Cheap and Shallow By Evan Bolling - "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of everyone else's money" this becomingly trite slogan was at one point witty and creative. Witty because it employs an intelligent humor and creative because it cunningly neglects the obvious, making it a purely fantastic perspective. Fantastic, from the Latin phantasticius meaning imaginative, fantasy. The root definition has been included to avoid confusion in my intended meaning. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letterName calling By Tom Ferry - Mr. Warner, you say you would find it to be a privilege to vote for Obama's re-election. Hey that's fine , but if you did vote for him the first time and now the second time, you are not even close to being as I am "an independent conservative". - More...
Saturday PM - NOvember 21, 2009

letterLandless Issue By John Morris - I would like to respond to the folks who have this issue. I want you to realize that once you sign on with the ANCSA Corp, whether be regional or village, you are signing away all your aboriginal rights... that is what this Act has done. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

letter Socialism to classroom analogy By Evan Bolling - Al Johnson's socialism to classroom analogy is absolutely genius. Of course, however, if you think about it for even a second more it becomes totally ill conceived. - More...
Saturday PM - November 21, 2009

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Stories in the News
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