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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Thursday PM
December 01, 2011

Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA

Recent view of the west-end of Ketchikan from
the Third Avenue by-pass Rainbird Trail.
Front Page Photo By KEN ARRIOLA

Ketchikan: Fine, penalty recommended for Ketchikan candidate By Pat Forgey, JUNEAU EMPIRE- The Alaska Public Offices Commission is recommending more than $2,000 in penalties against a former, or possibly current, legislative candidate. - Read this Juneau Empire story...


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Ketchikan: PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center Ranks in Top 1% - PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center is in the top 1% of all Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. The 2011-2012 Hospital Strength Index™ ranks PeaceHealth Ketchikan sixth out of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals. When you compare all 4,500 acute care hospitals, PeaceHealth Ketchikan places in the top 25% nationwide.

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center Ranks in Top 1%

Melissa Leary Hanis, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center's Patient and Family Services Coordinator, holds the HealthStrong award.
Photo courtesy PKMC

When asked about the rankings CEO Patrick Branco said, “We’re proud of the care we provide here. To be placed so favorably in this independent, comprehensive analysis is rewarding. It inspires our dedicated team of caregivers to carry on in the spirit of healing. It is through their strong commitment to our mission that PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center will continue to be HealthStrong both now and in the future.”

As healthcare reform sweeps the country it is more important than ever for hospitals to consistently provide high quality care at a reasonable price. The Hospital Strength Index™ was developed by iVantage Health Analytics as a strategic planning tool to provide hospitals a balanced scorecard and comparable rating of their performance as they begin implementing mandates of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. This Index is the most comprehensive performance evaluation tool on the market and offers hospital executives, trustees and boards of directors an objective way to measure their relative performance across 56 different performance criteria. - More...
Thursday PM - December 01, 2011

Alaska: Delegation Wants Equal Treatment for Alaska’s Fisheries; Lawmakers Seek Commitment for Transition Funds As Others Receive Ongoing Support - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young, Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to Dr. Jane Lubchenco – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator – making the case that Alaska’s waters should receive the funds necessary to improve operations, while similar endeavors are being funded on an ongoing basis in New England and on the West Coast.

“You have made commitments to fund observers in other regions while they transition to catch share programs,” wrote the delegation.  “We are concerned funding observers in these regions might jeopardize your ability to provide start up funds for the restructured North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program.  Meanwhile, the burden imposed on fishermen in Alaska’s small boats and 60 –foot to 125-foot vessel fleets would be unwarranted.” - More...
Thursday PM - December 01, 2011

Alaska: Survey: Abrupt permafrost thaw increases climate threat - As the Arctic warms, greenhouse gases will be released from thawing permafrost faster and at significantly higher levels than previous estimates, according to survey results from 41 international scientists published in the Nov. 30 issue of the journal Nature.

Permafrost thaw will release approximately the same amount of carbon as deforestation, authors write. However, the effect of thawing permafrost on climate will be 2.5 times greater because emissions include methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The survey, led by University of Florida researcher Edward Schuur and University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Benjamin Abbott, asked climate experts what percentage of the surface permafrost is likely to thaw, how much carbon will be released and how much of that carbon will be methane. The authors estimate that the amount of carbon released by 2100 will be 1.7 to 5.2 times larger than reported in recent modeling studies, which used a similar warming scenario.

“The larger estimate is due to the inclusion of processes missing from current models and new estimates of the amount of organic carbon stored deep in frozen soils,” Abbott said. “There’s more organic carbon in northern soils than there is in all living things combined; it’s kind of mind boggling.”

Northern soils hold around 1,700 billion gigatons of organic carbon, around four times more than all the carbon ever emitted by modern human activity and twice as much as is now in the atmosphere, according to the latest estimate. When permafrost thaws, organic material in the soil decomposes and releases gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.

“In most ecosystems organic matter is concentrated only in the top meter of soils, but when arctic soils freeze and thaw the carbon can work its way many meters down, said Abbott, who studies how carbon is released from collapsed landscapes called thermokarsts – a process not accounted for in current models. Until recently that deep carbon was not included in soil inventories and it still is not accounted for in most climate models. - More...
Thursday PM - December 01, 2011

Alaska Science: Flying machines for the dirty, dull and dangerous By NED ROZELL - Some places in this world are just too dirty, dull or dangerous for human pilots to fly. An airspace in the latter category is anywhere near gas flares in Alaska’s oilfields. With only a few seconds of warning, flames blast high in the air from a network of pipes, releasing the stress of sucking oil from deep in the ground.

A shot from the 5-megapixel camera installed in an Aeryon Scout recently used to help oilfield workers determine the condition of the business end of gas flares.
Photo by Greg Walker

Greg Walker recently found himself taking a look these fire-breathing nozzles near Prudhoe Bay, but he was barely close enough to see them from where he stood. He instead watched a “flying king crab” that buzzed around flaming flare heads 50 feet above the ground. The 2.5-pound flying machine captured video and five-megapixel images of the flares and their support pipes, some of them jacked by frost and needing repair.

Walker’s mission was to help oil-company workers for BP order expensive parts they need to replace during scheduled maintenance next summer. He used one of BP’s Aeryon Scouts, a four-propeller flying machine BP had purchased for use on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP collaborated with Walker and his team because they are experts on operating unmanned aerial vehicles.

As the manager of Poker Flat Research Range, part of University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute, Walker is assembling a fleet of these tools in an enterprise that makes he and his team very busy.

After visiting Prudhoe Bay to inspect BP’s flares, Walker was off to Kodiak to fly the Scout over the shoreline. He wants to use the flyers to see how harbor seals react to launches from a rocket facility on Kodiak Island. This is after a summer in which he and his crew traveled to Prince William Sound to test the Scout’s ability to buzz over beaches to help crews plan oil spill cleanups, and out to Dutch Harbor to see how effective a larger, fixed-wing flying machine was for mapping gatherings of Steller sea lions. - More...
Thursday PM - December 01, 2011

Tastiest Catch: Alaskan Fisherwoman’s New Salmon Cookbook Will Get You Hooked

Salmon, Desserts & Friends: A fantastic collection of scrumptious recipes, fishing stories and captivating images depicting the magic of Alaska's commercial fishing lifestyle.

Ketchikan: Tastiest Catch: Alaskan Fisherwoman’s New Salmon Cookbook Will Get You Hooked - For LaDonna Gundersen, author of Salmon Desserts & Friends (paperback, 135 pages, $18.95), catching, cooking and eating salmon is her passion. A California girl, she got hooked on Alaska, fishing and husband Ole (not necessarily in that order!) more than twenty years ago and has never looked back. As chief deck hand and galley cook on the LaDonna Rose, their 32-foot commercial fishing vessel based in Ketchikan, Alaska, she’s responsible for all their meals. These are often prepared on the fly, on a rocking and rolling boat, in a tiny 4x7 foot galley (kitchen). Yet she refuses to stock the galley with ‘heat and eat’ pre-prepared foods and instead has become adept at serving up scrumptious, inventive, quick and easy-to-prepare salmon dishes. During the summer season, Ole and LaDonna eat salmon five times a week, sometimes twice a day. These meals form the basis for the newly released Salmon, Desserts & Friends. The pages of the cookbook are filled with creative yet simple recipes fit for land and sea. The book is accompanied by gorgeous photos taken by Ole of the dishes, Alaskan scenery and the commercial fishing lifestyle.

There are no supermarkets at sea, nor gourmet grocery stores in Ketchikan. So LaDonna’s recipes focus on simple and easy-to-find ingredients. However that doesn’t mean giving up on taste or that the recipes are all mayonnaise or cream cheese. Hazelnut-Encrusted Wild Salmon Fillets, Seared Salmon with Wild Blueberry Salsa, Cranberry-Almond Salmon Sandwich or Sesame Roasted Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rhubarb Sauce will delight the foodies in any crowd. - More...
Thursday PM - December 01, 2011


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Questions, please contact the editor at editor@sitnews.us or call 617-9696
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letter Good news, Good news!! By A. M. Johnson - Good news!! The announcement that BCHydro is under construction with a power line distribution system from Terrace B.C to an interior of B.C. point 100 miles East of Petersburg is confirmation to the long discussed option of connecting to lower energy cost through development of a commercial access point from the Bradfield Canal South of Wrangell. As understand , the potential of electrical cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $.04 per KW may be possible. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 29, 2011

letter Sexual Abuse Recovery By Sharron Huffman and Erica Schafer DeNorscia - Sexual abuse of children is disturbingly prevalent in our society. According to Briere and Eliot in the 2003 journal article, "Prevalence and Psychological Sequence of Self-Reported Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in General Population," as many as one in three girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 29, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Sandra Rusin McCray - I have just finished reading the letters regarding Jack Shay and I agree with all but one. I'm addressing the letter written by Kelly Ludwig-Johnson. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 29, 2011

letter Alleged Charges By Dawn Luna - I myself have followed the news about this, listened to people talk about it, and so forth, this has hit our community hard. Jack Shay is a man we all knew and trusted. He was involved with so much in our community, there are not many who did not know him, which makes all of this even harder to swallow. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 29, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Elena James - In regards to the shame letter to the press: It is not the reporters who are to blame for bad news. Regardless of Shay's actions, there is freedom of the press and the public has the right to be informed. The shame is to be shouldered by guilty parties, not by the curious public or publishers. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 22, 2011

letter Honor not deserved By Bobbie McCreary- I for one, am very uncomfortable with Mr. Shay's photo appearing on the wall of our Borough Assembly room- when I looked at it I saw the same picture I viewed on an online news site when the story broke. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 22, 2011

letter Alleged Charges By Jacquie O'Sullivan - If you read the comments in the Anchorage [online] newspaper you will see diverse opinions on the article in their paper. There were over 250 comments. One of the comments was [said to be] from a grandmother in Juneau that had reported Mr. Shay of abuse of her grandchild in Juneau many years ago. Nothing was done. That is really a shame since his [alleged] actions continued for many more years. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 22, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Marcia Hilley - George Hancock expressed my opinion completely, except for one thing. - More...
Tuesday AM - November 22, 2011

letter PARNELL'S GASLINE SHIFT IS A GOOD START By Bill Walker - Governor Parnell recently acknowledged that due to shale gas developments Alaska must change course and export its gas to the premium Asian markets. Owners of Lower 48 and West Coast Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals are likewise accepting market realities and converting their LNG receiving facilities into export terminals.  Consequently Parnell now agrees that it is time for Alaska to build a gasline to tidewater to export LNG to Asia. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter Obama's Oil Abdication By U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year's Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By George Hancock - After reading Kelly Ludwig-Johnson's letter to SitNews, I have to say a few words regarding her letter. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Lynn Cochran - To error is Human? In my opinion, this man is not human. I would consider him to be a monster in disguise. If he is convicted of these allegations in the end, then my only hope will be that he is recongnized for who and what he's done to these children, NOT what he's done for the community of Ketchikan. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Renee Tacker - I respect Ms. Johnson's dismay at hearing about the horrible things that have alleged to have been done by Ketchikan resident, Mr. Shay. I have been struggling for days with a way to put into words my own point of view without somehow disrespecting hers. So, please, Ms. Johnson, please know that I respect what you're saying and I see what you mean, but at the same time I would like to express my own. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter RE: Allegations & Shame on the Press By Marty West - I appreciate Kelly Ludwig-Johnson's compassion. It is commendable but I have none for Jack Shay. - More...
Saturday - November 19, 2011

letter Allegations & Shame on the Press By Kelly Ludwig-Johnson - I have to say that I am shocked to hear of the recent allegations against Jack Shay. I have known this man most of my life, working on my first play with him when I was 17. He has given many years of service to this community and brought Community Theater to life in a small town where distractions from the weather and isolation were welcome. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 15, 2011

letter Time Running Out For Iran By Donald A. Moskowitz - Recently the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, who thoroughly investigated the Iranian nuclear development program, concluded Iran is developing nuclear weapons.  The evidence, including satellite images, overwhelmingly points to the manufacture of nuclear weapons within the short term, probably on the order of a number of months to a year.  U.S. intelligence information corroborates this assessment. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 15, 2011

letter Yates Building By Matthew Elberson - Although it might seem like a good idea to re-purpose this historic structure, be very careful as there could be a number of reasons why this is a bad idea. - More...
Tuesday PM - November 15, 2011

letter APOC runs amok! By John Harrington - David Scott violated the rules when he sent an email before he filed ‘an intent to run for office’ with APOC. At least so says the Alaska Public Office Commission! - More...
Thursday - November 10, 2011

letter State Commission’s Rejection of S. 730 Merits Praise By Myla Poelstra - On October 28, 2011, the State of Alaska Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Federal Areas held a public meeting where testimony was taken on S. 730 and HR. 1408, the Sealaska Land Bills, now before Congress. - More...
Thursday - November 10, 2011

letter Schoenbar Lego Robotics Club By Frankie Urquhart - I want to publicly thank all of the people who helped out with the Schoenbar Lego Robotics Club Indian Taco Fundraiser two weeks ago. I would like to thank A&P who was so generous and donated almost all of our food; Ketchikan Daily News for running our advertisement for the event; Carrie James-Dodson and Dan Dodson for organizing and cooking at the actual event, and all the parent and student volunteers who donated their time to help. I also wanted to thank all of the community members who turned out to support this program. - More...
Thursday - November 10, 2011

letter Obama Jobs Bill By A.M.Johnson - If Lisa's continued reign were up for a vote today I suppose we both would vote in opposition to her, however for different reasons. - More...
Thursday - November 10, 2011

letter Party Politics By Chris Elliott - Wow! The wealthiest Americans have a responsibility to invigorate infrastructure? As for the Jobs Bill, how has that worked out for us taxpayers in the past? The only thing shovel ready in the last few years has been the rhetoric. - More...
Thursday - November 10, 2011

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