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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 20, 2010

Front Page Photo By THANE PETERSON

Deer Mountain
This photo of Deer Mountain was taken just north of Judy Hill on Gravina Island. Not visible in the photo and below Deer Mountain is Ketchikan.
The photo was taken with an iPhone.
Front Page Photo By THANE PETERSON


Saxman: Rampant Fraud, Self-Dealing Alleged in Alaska Native Corporation by MICHAEL GRABELL, ProPublica - When the oil boom came to Alaska, Congress promised new economic opportunities for native peoples like the Cape Fox Tlingit. - Read this ProPublica story... - First Published - Wednesday - December 15, 2010
Updated December 17, 2010

Ketchikan: The Patriot Flag Coming to Ketchikan December 23rd - In cooperation with The World Memorial, a non-profit charity, the Ketchikan Fire Department announced that it is proud to have been selected to help in honoring those who perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The Patriot Flag Coming to Ketchikan

The Patriot Flag
Photo courtesy World Memorial

As the Patriot Flag tours our country, it will send a message to the world and the families who lost loved ones on 9/11/01 as “UNITED WE STAND and WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN” is the Flag’s theme and message to all.

On December 23rd, between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, The Patriot Flag will fly near Ketchikan Fire Station #2 (3352 Tongass Avenue), weather permitting.

This 30 x 58 foot commemorative, 60-pound commemorative flag’s journey began on September 10th, 2010 in San Diego, California. It will fly in all 50 states in 50 weeks before it flies over Manhattan, New York; Washington, DC; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on the Tenth Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010

Alaska: Knik Arm Bridge Gets Fed Approval - The Federal Highway Administration has signed a Record of Decision to allow the building of 19 miles of access roads and the construction of a toll bridge across nearly three miles of Alaska’s Knik Arm, connecting the Ports of Anchorage and MacKenzie.

The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) announced Wednesday that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Knik Arm Crossing project. The approval of the Record of Decision by FHWA allows the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority to move forward with the permitting, right-of-way acquisition, final design, financing and construction of the project. During the final design, the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority will continue efforts to minimize any impacts that adversely affect social, economic, cultural and natural resources. "This is great news for Alaskans," said KABATA executive director, Andrew Niemiec. “The project has reached a major milestone with the signing of the ROD. We are now able to proceed forward with a project that is a reality rather than the dream it has been for decades.”


Congressman Don Young (R-AK) said in a prepared statement, "This has been a long time coming.  It has been five years since SAFETEA-LU was signed into law, and at last we are realizing a vision.  This project has endured environmental reviews, negotiations, and years of development but now we are finally ready to put the shovel to the ground and start developing Alaska for the betterment of our residents and the future of the state.  When I wrote the highway bill, I included $230 million for the Knik Arm Bridge because it had been a transportation priority for our state for decades and I was in a position to make it happen."

Young said,  “We have encountered many bumps along the way, but with this Record of Decision, we are ready to start a project that will provide jobs to Alaskans and economic growth for our future.  I’m realistic, and I know that extremists will again file lawsuits to stop construction because there are some people in this world who don’t want to see our country advance and do great things.  We need to ensure that this process is efficient and expedited and not allow these groups to stand in the way of what is good for Alaskans.  Enough with the politicking, it’s time to get to work!”  

Because the project is a toll facility, the revenues collected fund the construction, operations, maintenance and financing of the project. The toll platform also has the unique advantage of potentially contributing to a transportation fund for Alaska’s critical infrastructure needs. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010

Alaska: States Announce $13.25 million settlement with DIRECTV - Acting Attorney General Richard Svobodny announced Thursday that Alaska and 48 other states and the District of Columbia have reached a settlement with DIRECTV to resolve claims of deceptive and unfair sales practices against the satellite television provider.

DIRECTV will pay $13.25 million to the states to settle the consumer protection complaints. Alaska will receive $185,000. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010

Alaska: Alaska Joins in Settlement In Dannon Advertising Case – The State of Alaska is among more than three dozen states that have jointly filed settlements with The Dannon Company, Inc., regarding deceptive advertising for its Activia and DanActive products.

The company will make a $21 million payment, the largest ever in a multistate settlement with a food producer related to consumer protection. Alaska’s share will be $425,000. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010



Alaska Science: Gaseous dinosaurs and surging glaciers By NED ROZELL - The emissions of northern dinosaurs may have led to a warmer planet 70 million years ago, said a scientist attending the 2010 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in mid-December.

Gaseous dinosaurs and surging glaciers

The cracked-up back of surging Bering Glacier, taken in early fall 2009 about 10 glacier miles upstream from where it ends at Vitus Lake. The whitish mountain in the far background is Mount Saint Elias.
Photo by Chris Larsen.

Dinosaur hunters have found preserved footprints of hadrosaurs in rocks all over Alaska, including: Denali National Park, near the Colville River north of the Brooks Range, at Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve on the Alaska Peninsula, and in Yukon-Charley National Park and Preserve.

Tony Fiorillo of the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas started thinking about all those hadrosaurs being plant-eating dinosaurs as large as elephants and their nickname, bestowed by paleontologists: cows of the Cretaceous.

At AGU, Fiorillo presented his idea that hadrosaurs were spread across the landscape at numbers comparable to today’s caribou, a calculated “standing crop” of 500,000 hadrosaurs in Alaska 70 million years ago.

He figured the output of one hadrosaur equaled that of about 10 cows, and then he extrapolated. Because there are published reports on how much methane wafts from the average cow pie, Fiorillo figured that the Alaska hadrosaurs might have contributed an impressive amount of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. In short, “hadrosaurs may have contributed to a warmer Arctic,” he said. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010



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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Cape Fox Corp bidding troubles By A. M. Johnson - Congratulations to ProPublica! This is the quality of investigative journalism the "Old" journalism schools taught.

My first observation was the exposure of the outright fraud corruption in the Federal Government bidding policies. Those of us who follow the happenings in our Government are aware of these situations, however unlike this exposing article, do not have access to confirm this corruption. Your article is a bright light focused on the subject of Government graft. - More...
Friday - December 17, 2010

letter RE: Coast Guard Beach By Glen Thompson - Mr. Arriola is incorrect on a couple of points in his letter regarding Coast Guard Beach. First, Coast Guard Beach is NOT publicly owned. It is owned by the Mental Health Trust, they simply allow the public to use it without objection. - More...
Wednesday - December 15, 2010

letter Coast Guard Beach By Ken Arriola - Not quite sure what Eric Muench's point is, but a few points should be brought to light. First, Mental Health Trust owns and legally has every right to develop the land adjacent to Coast Guard beach. - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter We are about to lose Coast Guard Beach. By Sonja Alvarez - The Alaska Mental Health Trust applied for a rezone from  Public Land & Institutions (“PLI”) to Low-Density Residential (“RL”) at the October 12  Planning Commission meeting; MHT did not appear; the issue was deferred to Tuesday, December 14.  Initially only the neighborhood was notified, but due to an article in the Ketchikan Daily News, dozens of citizens appeared and testified.  This provided MHT with a window into the reaction of this community.  At a November 16 Work Session, Mr. Greg Jones, Executive Director, MHT Land Office, stated the purpose of MHT lands is to provide funds to its beneficiaries; and that they are intent to do this with CGB, either with sale or being its own developer.  A rezone to RL will “up zone” the parcel and increase its cost.  To immediately approve the rezone will therefore increase the valuation should the Borough want to purchase or trade for it later. - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter Coast Guard Beach By Ken Leland - So they want to turn the Coast Guard Beach into another housing development, eh? The first question that enters my mind is, who stands to gain from this boondogle? Certainly not the majority of residents of Ketchikan. There are some hidden powerful forces at work here, looking after THEIR interests, not OUR interests. Speak up before it's too late! - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter Student organization By Jenessa Albertson and Selena Barajas - HOSA, Health Occupation Students of America, is a student organization which is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE, whose mission is to promote career opportunities in health care and to enhance the delivery of quality healt care to all people. Through HOSA, students learn how to care for patients in multiple settings. - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter Clover Pass Community Church's 'A Singing Christmas Tree' By Shirley McDonald - I just wanted to thank Clover Pass for putting on yet another spectacular performance. Even tho last year was my first year of getting to see it .... I keep telling myself I will never miss another and thank goodness they do it for 3 days so I have a good running chance at it! - More..
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter Gone but not forgotten By Kim Hannah-Darvell - You would never know looking at the small entry way by the emergency door of Ketchikan General Hospital that miracles happen there. I entered just a few short months ago, clutching my proverbial 10 ft. pole with my good arm, my left arm guarded by my side after a severe break and weeks of immobility. - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter KCCB concert By Judith Green - The concert today given by the Ketchikan Community Concert Band was once again a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. - More..
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letter Ketchikan Borough Assembly: Gullible or Defiant By Charles Edwardson - I have not written in a while to this publication, sometimes my letters border on sarcastic and are edited, I don't mind the editing. I do mind not being put into the conversation. I wrote a rather pointed letter a while back about "The magical world of Oz" meaning the Ward Cove property and the borough assembly leading us down the "yellow brick road" once again. So here goes -- if it makes it in Sitnews, I'll see this coming week. - More...
Monday PM _ December 13, 2010

letter Open Letter: Gravina Access By Peter Ellis - IS IT NOT ABOUT TIME FOR AN UPDATE OF THE 3-8-2010 WEBSITE MATERIAL BY THE GRAVINA ACCESS PROJECT? - More...
Monday PM - December 13, 2010

letterSave Coast Guard Beach By Eric Muench - Coast Guard Beach is a 70 acre parcel near Point Higgins with open forest, the longest stretch of sandy beach along the Ketchikan road system, and ≤ mile of natural waterfront. It has been used for school camping trips, nature education and public recreation for generations. It is now under threat of being chopped up. - More...
Thursday AM - December 09, 2010

letter A PROSPECTIVE WINDFALL By David G. Hanger - I found Merrill Stulkin’s reasons for supporting Joe Miller somewhat curious, and I think it suggests the prospect for an unexpected windfall. Mr. Stulkin believes in limited government, so he claims, the kind that Joe Miller espouses, i.e. no social security, no unemployment benefits, no food stamps, no government assistance of any kind, basically. - More...
Thursday AM - December 09, 2010

letter Joe Miller By Charlotte Poirier - It seems to me if it's not Joe Miller's way, it's no way. - More...
Thursday AM - December 09, 2010

letter Security Requires A Strong Military By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Obama administration is contemplating major reductions in the Defense Department budget to help cut into the huge deficits incurred by the President and his Washington cronies.  They plan on reducing our conventional military forces, and increase special operations units to combat the terrorist threats around the world. - More...
Thursday AM - December 09, 2010

letter Ward Cove again! By A. M. Johnson - It is not my intent to be a fault finder, however, December 3'd has come and passed. Hopen and Associates have missed the extended deadline for earnest money payment. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter Keep KPU Telecommunications Public; Contract Out Ketchikan Public Library By Robert Warner - With the coming holiday season it is pathetic to note that Ketchikan city management continues its scheme to sell KPU Telecommunications, an organization that actually serves citizens well and earns a profit for the city.  If sold, will we face sharp rate increases?  Will we have to speak with an operator in India when we have a telecommunications problem?  With telecommunications rapidly overtaking traditional books and libraries as the prime source for research and learning, Ketchikan still has the opportunity to develop and shape its own service to fit the needs of our citizens.  This is a rare opportunity, especially for a small community like Ketchikan.  To date KPU Telecommunications has a excellent record of meeting this challenge.  Why can't the city manager start serving the public and answer these important questions before any attempt to sell this division takes place? - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter Kudos to KGH By Jackie Brozena Herter - Our mother Coralee Brozena, who recently passed away, was in Ketchikan General Hospital's long-term care facility for three years. I would publicly like to thank ALL the staff for their wonderful care. We're not always easy to be around as we age and have health/pain issues, but everyone was very kind and caring. Ketchikan should be proud of their fine hospital staff. Dr. Liljgren was very giving of her time and communicated well with the three of us daughters long distance. The peace of mind being able to ask questions and get clarification was invaluable. Our family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter Why Sell Ward Cove??? By Kimberly Peters - Why does the Ketchikan Borough want to sell Ward Cove? It seems the deals always fall through. I think the borough should put in a new harbor and try to make some money instead of trying to get rid of such a great piece of property. - More...
Tuesday - December 07, 2010

letter Part 1: Lowering taxes didn't increase oil output By Sen. Hollis French & Rep. Les Gara - Alaskans deserve a fair share for the oil produced in this state.  Alaska’s Constitution says all Alaskans own our oil in common, and it should be developed for our "maximum benefit."  We also need to encourage production, and jobs. That’s something the Army Corps of Engineers didn't help with when it blocked needed oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve this year.  The truth is that achieving both goals is complex, and if we want strong production and a fair share of oil profits so we can fund our schools, roads, public safety and savings, we need to put aside the sound bites of campaign season. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter Part 2: Lowering oil taxes doesn't guarantee investment By Sen. Hollis French & Rep. Les Gara - Few subjects provoke more controversy than oil taxes.  If oil is taxed at too high a rate there’s a risk that crucial investments don’t get made in the state’s most important industry.  If oil is taxed at too low a rate then we fail in our constitutional duty to ensure that our oil resources are developed and used for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter Herring fisheries By Robert McRoberts - Over the years some very good letters have been written on this site -- such as why we should oppose this type of fishery, or some about certain areas. When Kah Shakes fishery first started I was a young boy working for my brother in-law Frank Jaynes. he was trying to keep diversification in his fishing to keep money coming in throughout the year. We would also pack herring on his boat the Patty Lynn. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 07, 2010

letter2010 Alaska U.S. Senate election By Trapper Bishop - I am writing this piece to offer some advice for Joe Miller: accept and concede. Although I personally supported Joe Miller, the time has come, I believe, in which Joe needs to realize the people of Alaska have spoken and Senator Murkowski deserves to be sworn in next month. - More...
Thursday AM - December 02, 2010

letter Unique learning opportunity By Robert Warner - Perhaps the last election provided most Alaskans with a unique learning opportunity.  It was a good spelling lesson that we can all benefit.  Let's see! - More...
Thursday Am - December 02, 2010

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