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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 29, 2010

A Steady 'Boom' in Tourism...

A Steady ‘Boom’ In Tourism Post World War II
First truck to go over the rough cordurouy road along the Alcan Highway (Now known as the Alaska Highway) route was an Army jeep. CREATED/PUBLISHED - 1942. Photograph courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Alaska: Court rejects Miller, lifts certification hold By LISA DEMER, Anchorage Daily News - A judge on Tuesday dismissed Republican Joe Miller's federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the Nov. 2 election, clearing the way for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski to be sworn in for another term.- Read this Anchorage Daily News article...

Ketchikan: HISTORY OF ALASKA TOURISM, PART  3: A Steady ‘Boom’ In Tourism Post World War II A Feature Article By DAVE KIFFER - World War II brought the growing Alaskan tourism industry to a complete halt as nearly all discretionary travel to the Last Frontier ended from 1940 to 1946.

But the war also did two things to ensure that Alaska’s tourism future would be very bright indeed.

First, more than 100,000 US and Canadian service members were stationed in Alaska. Large numbers of veterans and their families would return to Alaska in the next generation bringing thousands of visitors to Alaska who wanted to experience Alaska in a more peaceful way.

For the next generation, their returns would be the bulwark of the Alaska Tourism industry.

And the construction of the Alaska Highway during the War was a boon for the state just as Americans began to really experience the freedom of “personal” travel in their automobiles.

There had been talk about a highway to Alaska since the early 1920s. In 1928, Donald McDonald of Fairbanks formally proposed the United States and Canadian governments work together on a road. McDonald’s plan was to connect a road from Hazelton British Columbia to Fairbanks. He called it the International Pacific Highway.

McDonald saw the road in terms of boosting tourism. Initially, the Canadian government was very enthusiastic and US President Herbert Hoover - who had lived briefly in Metlakatla as a boy - appointed a commission to study the proposal. But by the time the commission released its findings – in 1933 – the continent was in the throes of the Great Depression. It didn’t help that the commission determined that Canada should foot the vast majority of the expected $14 million road cost. When World War II began, the International Pacific Highway was still on the drawing board.

But with the coming of War in the Pacific, Alaska became a critical part of the North American Defense Grid, especially after the Japanese attacked and occupied two islands in the Alaskan Aleutian chain in June of 1942.

The attacks on the Aleutians were generally a diversionary tactic by the Japanese, but many in Alaska expected the Japanese to continue to march across Alaska and it became of great military importance to improve the defensive supply chain to the state. Initially military supplies and troops were ferried to the state up the old steamship routes on the inside passage and several of the shipping lines had most of their vessels requisitioned to the war effort. But with the fear of Japanese submarine attacks increasing two other transportation corridors were planned.

First, the Army Corps of Engineers began expanding old and building new airports in the Territory. The airfield on Annette Island – which would serve as Ketchikan’s primary airport for three decades – was completed in 1942. The airfield had been in the “construction” stage for nearly a decade, starting in the early  1930s, but the outbreak of war pushed it to completion. Along with airports in Yakutat, Kodiak and Anchorage it became an important cog in the war effort.

The other prong was the completion of the Alaska/Canada Highway in 1943. The nearly 1,400 mile long ALCAN Highway was built in a stunning quick 8 months in 1942 at a cost – borne entirely by the US – of approximately $138 million. Although the road remained very rudimentary for the next several years it proved to be a vital link in the defense of Alaska. It was also the first land connection between Alaska and the rest of the United States.

After the war, both the United States and Canadian governments poured money into improving the highway, eventually turning it into a significant access point for the north. By the 1990s, several hundred thousand visitors were arriving in Alaska via the ALCAN each year. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

Southeast Alaska: Klawock Man Indicted by Federal Grand Jury For the Possession of Child Pornography – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler, District of Alaska, announced that a Klawock man was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for the possession of child pornography.

William Benson Woods, Jr., a/k/a “Ben Woods,” 48, of Klawock, Alaska, was arraigned on December 22, 2010, before United States Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh on the charge of possession of child pornography, contained in a one-count indictment. Mr. Woods pled not guilty to the charge.

According to the indictment, from November 16, 2005, to February 3, 2009, Woods possessed numerous visual depictions of a minors engaged in sexually-explicit conduct on his computer and other electronic media.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle French, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, a lifetime on supervised release, and that the government would be seeking forfeiture of the items used in the offense. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Magistrate Judge Longenbaugh set a trial date of February 28 , 2011. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010



Personal Finance: Medicare changes and costs outlined By KATHLEEN PENDER - Big changes are coming to Medicare next year, most a result of health care reform.

Among the changes that take effect in 2011:

-- Higher-income people will pay a premium surcharge for Medicare Part D, the voluntary prescription drug program.

-- Part D participants will get a discount on drugs if they are in the so-called doughnut hole.

-- Everyone in Part B will get a free wellness exam once a year, and it won't be subject to the part B deductible. Today, they get only one free exam, subject to the deductible, when they first enroll.

-- Medicare Part B participants will pay nothing out-of-pocket for a range of preventive services.

-- The income limits over which people pay a surcharge for Part B -- and starting next year Part D -- will no longer be indexed for inflation. Instead, they will be frozen at 2010 levels from 2011 through 2019. As incomes rise over time, more people will be hit with surcharges.

-- Some Medicare Advantage plans are being eliminated. Those affected have until Dec. 31 to choose a new one.

Here's a closer look at the changes. Be aware that there are exceptions to almost every rule. For more information, call (800) 633-4227 or download the Medicare and You 2011 Handbook at

Part B premiums

Medicare Part B is a voluntary insurance program that covers doctor's visits and outpatient services. Thanks to low inflation, most people who have Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks will pay $96.40 a month in 2011 for a fourth straight year.

People who enrolled in 2010 or will enroll next year will pay $110.50 or $115.40 per month, respectively. - More...
Wednesday A.M. - December 29, 2010



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

letter DITO TO TROOPERS FOR NOT HELPING By Diane Szurleys - On Sunday, Dec. 26th my daughter and her son took the dog to Ward Lake for some exercise. 30 min. after they left, she called me to say they went off the road and were in a ditch. She told me not to come down the Ward Lake road, just wait for them at the top. I drove to the top and saw the three girls flagging people and telling them not to go down the road. I explained that I was waiting for my daughter and sat in my car watching the girls do their job. I parked across the street and saw the trooper car coming, I got out and tried to flag him down. He drove right past me and the girls, then turned around and talked to the girls. He never came to see me. I kept thinking 'what if I was hurt he didn't even ask me if I was OK.' After he left I talked to the girls and they were very upset, as I was because he showed no concern. My daughter came up the road and we went home to try to get a tow. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter Ward Lake Road By Cara Nygard - It would be advantageous to us all if the State would take back the upkeep and plowing of the Ward Lake Road. It is a great place to enjoy nature, walk around the lake and even have a mid-winter picnic. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter The winner of the Nice and Naughty title is... By Robert Thompson - I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. But now back to the political shenanigans of our elected representative Kyle Johansen. Were you all watching the last few Borough Assembly meetings? (It is not the most exciting of night time soaps but well worth an occasional surfing stop.) - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010

letter Say it ain't so Joe By Charles Edwardson - I was at first interested in what this guy Joe said, even considered voting for this very articulate new guy, then I went to several town hall type meetings, and was not convinced enough to make a decision to change my vote from MERKUSKI, MURKOWSKI, MURCOWSKI, MIRKOWESKI, LISA. I bet yall figured out who I meant. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29,2010

letter RE: The -isms By Lesley Kempsell - Thank you for posting David Hanger's message about 'isms.  He did a wonderful job of summarizing government genesis. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 29, 2010 

letter Keeping Us Safe -- NOT! By Diana Chaudhary - I would like to thank the Alaska State Troopers for fearlessly and selflessly doing their duty - NOT!!  On Sunday afternoon, like many other Ketchikan locals, my daughters and I decided to take a drive out to Ward Lake and get some fresh air while taking the dog for a walk around the lake.  It was a bit drizzly and the temperature was 42 degrees in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - December 27, 2010

letter The –isms By David G. Hanger - Were Abraham Lincoln alive today he would be a Democrat. Nor is that primarily because of his attitude on civil rights; he was somewhat ambivalent about that; but in combination with the issue of “states rights” it is unquestionable which direction old Abe would fall. “To preserve the Union” against a reactionary, conservative revolution was the mission Lincoln set for himself. In 1860 the Democrats were the conservatives, the Republicans, in effect, the radicals. One hundred fifty years later the roles have been completely reversed. - More...
Monday - December 27, 2010

letterNEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS By Dale O'Neal - Time once again for your annual new year's resolutions. Typical resolutions include weight loss, quitting tobacco, or maybe more time with family. Honorable goals all, but why not aim a bit higher for this next year? - More...
Monday - December 27, 2010

letterRE: 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

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