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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 22, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse Wows Sky Watchers Total Lunar Eclipse Wows Sky Watchers
Total Lunar Eclipse Wows Sky Watchers Total Lunar Eclipse Wows Sky Watchers

Total Lunar Eclipse Wows Sky Watchers
Monday evening, Ketchikan sky watchers had the pleasure of seeing a lunar eclipse -- an extremely rare celestial event called a “Christmas eclipse,” meaning it coincided with the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. The eclipse was shot in multiple images.
Front Page Photos By BILL HOLLYWOOD

Ketchikan: Ketchikan Federal Building Switching to Sustainable Biomass Boiler - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on Tuesday announced a contract award to install a biomass boiler system in the Ketchikan, Alaska federal building.

Ketchikan Federal Building Switching to Sustainable Biomass Boiler

Entrance of the Ketchikan Federal Building
File Photograph by Dick Kauffman, 2006

A $4.5 million investment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will allow GSA to replace the outdated, inefficient boiler which has been has served the building since it was constructed in 1951.  The old boiler has reached the end of its useful life and GSA will install a new sustainable biomass boiler.

Biomass boilers produce heat with wood pellets or chips instead of oil, reducing heating costs and a building’s carbon footprint. GSA estimates that it will save 4,000 gallons of heating oil by switching to the biomass boiler.  

The Ketchikan project is General Services Administration’s first pilot of a commercial biomass boiler, and the agency will study the project closely to learn about other federal applications. As is standard policy in GSA-owned and operated buildings, the Ketchikan boiler will be paired with a secondary oil boiler, to ensure a back-up heating source in the event of unexpected maintenance or repair problems.

“Anytime we can create jobs, improve energy efficiency, and save taxpayer money by bringing down fuel costs, it’s all good news,” said Sen. Mark Begich. “I am pleased to see GSA using an alternative energy source for the Ketchikan federal building. This and similar projects will increase the demand for wood pellets and the likelihood the pellets will be manufactured in Southeast Alaska.”

Across Alaska, the GSA is investing more than $18 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to modernize outdated and energy inefficient systems in federal buildings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, and at the Alcan Land Port of Entry near Tok. The agency seeks to be a green proving-ground for energy efficient products and services that will save money for the taxpayer, reduce the government’s carbon footprint, and support jobs in the clean energy economy. - More...
Wednesday A.M. - December 22, 2010


Ketchikan: Ketchikan RN named MOD Nurse of the Year for Advanced Practice - Ketchikan General Hospital nurse Linda Gilson was named the Alaska Nurse of the Year in the Advanced Practice category at the annual March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Event November 19 in Anchorage.

Ketchikan RN named MOD Nurse of the Year for Advanced Practice

Linda Gilson
Photo courtesy KGH

Gilson came to Alaska on a whim after answering an employment ad in a Registered Nursing magazine. Several years ago she wrote in an essay on her career, “I boarded my first plane and flew here, landing on the water in a PBY which the bubble filled each time with water. Expression I believe was “What have I done?” She decided to stay a year.

The year has turned into more that 40 years. What she had done was begin a long, successful career first at KGH and then at the Wilson Clinic, returning to Ketchikan General Hospital when the Wilson Clinic affiliated with the hospital. She presently is an Advanced Nurse Practicioner at PeaceHealth Primary Care. - More...
Wednesday A. M. - December 22, 2010

PhotoKetchikan: Recycling Project Raises Funds for Babies - A Ketchikan General Hospital fundraising project has raised just under $900 and has saved almost a ton of aluminum from ending up in a landfill.

The New Beginnings Birthing Center began Recycle Sunday, the monthly aluminum recycling program, just over a year ago. “We’ve raised monies that we’ve used to buy comfort measures for moms- to-be like massage tools, birthing balls, and kneeling pads. We’ve also bought teaching videos for the Childbirth classes and mannequins for the child CPR classes,” said Lauralynn Williams.

Williams, manager of New Beginnings reports that two bales of aluminum have been sent south. “We average over a hundred pounds a month. The City has been a great partner in the project. Holding the aluminum until we reach a bale weight and notifying our maintenance department when it is ready for shipping south, which is instrumental in our success. Not only have we raised money but we’ve also followed the PeaceHealth core values of respect for the environment and the stewardship of resources. - More...
Wednesday A.M. - December 22, 2010



National: Loud TV ads banned after volumes of complaints By JOHN E. MULLIGAN - Those annoying, screaming TV ads that have jolted viewers far too long will soon disappear from the tube.

America is turning down the volume. And the man behind the breakthrough legislation -- Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse - is thrilled. It may be, as Whitehouse put it, "far from the most serious issue we face," but he'll probably get lots of fan mail.

Whitehouse was at the big White House in Washington, standing by as President Obama signed the bill this week to crack down on TV ads. It's called the CALM Act for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation.

"Most Americans experience the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials, with advertisers grabbing for our attention by ramping up the volume," Whitehouse said. "Quieting these commercials to normal volume will mean one less annoyance in our daily lives." - More...
Wednesday A.M. - December 22, 2010

National: Data mining by governments, others stirs up critics By CASSIE STONE - It sounds like something from a Hollywood conspiracy movie: Huge databases of private citizens' personal data -- from parking tickets to Facebook status updates -- are being searched by government analysts.

A pattern emerges. An investigation begins.

Typically, people being investigated have no idea this is going on. They have no right to find out what information is about them is in the databases.

Supporters of data mining say that compiling and analyzing individuals' public and private records is often necessary to maintain national safety.

But opponents say it violates Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure, and it is not effective enough to justify the cost of maintaining the databases. - More...
Wednesday A.M. - December 22, 2010



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

letter RE: Cape Fox Corp bidding troubles By Cara Wallace - Many people confuse ANCSA Corporations, both regional and village, with Tribes (and this is further complicated when regional corporations like Sealaska refer to their own shareholders as "tribal member shareholders"). Cape Fox Corporation is a village CORPORATION and its members are SHAREHOLDERS. Tribes, or more specifically federally-recognized tribes, have a unique trust relationship with the federal government based on their inherent sovereignty. Its members are considered Tribal Citizens. Cape Fox Corporation is not a Tribe and does not possess sovereignty, nor does it engage in government-to-government consultation with the federal government. The federally-recognized Tribe in Saxman is the Organized Village of Saxman which is governed by the Saxman I.R.A. Council. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 22, 2010

letter Response to Dream Act letter By Nicole Arias - Byron Whitesides wrote a derogatory letter that disgusted me. He claims that it would be a threat to the country if the Dream Act was passed. That's not true. It would only be a threat to you, Byron, if you didn't do what you had to when you were in school to ensure that your job was secure. We are always going to be competing for jobs in this world. Will you blame the illegal immigrants on the poor status of the economy? - More...
Wednesday AM - December 22, 2010

letterDREAM Act By Gloria Torres - I think this is a horrible letter. It's a shame that Mr. Whitesides wrote this without any sort of correct information. It is extremely bias. No where near good or okay. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 22, 2010

letterOpen Letter: DREAM Act By Byron Whitesides - It is reprehensible that the Senate leadership wants to force the DREAM Act amnesty on the American people during a jobs depression.  Not only is Sen. Reid ignoring the 9.8 percent unemployment rate, he is asking you to risk your own political neck in the process! - More...
Monday - December 20, 2010

letter TSA pat-down, security & health-risk By Virginia (Ginny) E. Atkinson - TSA is going a bit overboard with security at airports. Is America getting that paranoid that passengers need to be embarrassed in front of total strangers? How much further will TSA go before they draw the line on people's privacy, or what's left of privacy in this country. Pilots get a free pass just because they operate the plane, a real genius idea. A pilot would be a terrorist's prime target when it comes to disguising themselves. How else can airlines make it easier for terrorist to board a plane when pilots can go pass security without a pat-down, and certain passengers are being singled-out and treated like criminals. What's the point of pat-downs and screening passengers when pilots get by Scott-free, is that being fair to everyone else that have to go through the process? - More...
Monday - December 20, 2010

letter Correction: Cape Fox Corp bidding troubles By A. M. Johnson - I have been advised that Scott Bowling did indeed make note of the Cape Fox bidding situation in the weekend edition of the Ketchikan Daily News of October 2/3, 2010. - Page...
Monday - December 20, 2010

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. - 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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