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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 05, 2011

Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT

Trumpeter Swan & Beaver
For some unobserved reason this Ward Cove beaver wasn't happy with this trumpeter swan. Not only did the beaver chase the swan out of the lake, the much smaller critter continued the chase onshore -- with wings flapping, the swan managed to get away.
Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT

Ketchikan: Former Ketchikan Mayor Shay waives right to preliminary hearing on child pornography charges - The former mayor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on possession of child pornography charges. - Read this The Republic story...

Ketchikan: Wilson: Running against friend ‘rather awkward’ by Ed Ronco, KCAW - State Representative Peggy Wilson is in Sitka though Wednesday. It’s part of a three-day visit by the six-term legislator. - Read this KCAW story..


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Alaska: Agreement Clears Way for Potential NPR-A Production; USFWS,  EPA Agree in Principle to Road Access into NPR-A with Colville River Bridge - Two federal resource agencies have reached an agreement in principle with ConocoPhillips regarding the company’s proposed Alpine Satellite Development Plan (CD-5) in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA). The agreement fulfills a request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - the federal agency charged with permitting the project - that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate the environmental impacts associated with ConocoPhillips’ revised project. The Corps is expected to carry out the remaining steps associated with the permit review in the coming weeks.

The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is a 22.6 million acre area managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. The NPRA is an important resource for domestic oil development. Estimates indicate that the NPRA contains more than one billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.

If this project goes forward, it could add to what is poised to be the busiest exploration season in the past two decades, all occurring under the current ACES tax law, with exploration drilling announcements already made by Great Bear, Repsol, Ultra Star, Linc Energy, and Brooks Range Petroleum. 

The agreement in principle confirms that the construction of a pipeline and bridge over the Nigliq Channel of the Colville River is acceptable to the resource agencies so long as the permit application includes conditions that reflect agreements reached among the company, FWS, and the EPA. The conditions include engineering changes and substantial mitigation proposed by the company based on consultations with the resource agencies. The company has also agreed to allow other companies that develop leases in the NPRA to use the same crossing, rather than seek approval for additional channel crossings in the area. This approach will reduce the environmental impacts associated with development of existing and future leases in the NPRA west of the Colville River. - More...
Monday - December 05, 2011

Fish Factor: Less Pacific Halibut to Catch Next Year By LAINE WELCH - As expected, there will be less Pacific halibut to catch next year for fishermen from California to Alaska. Fishery scientists are recommending a 2012 coast wide halibut catch of 33 million pounds, a 19 percent decrease from the 41 million pound catch limit for this year.  

Several reasons were given for the cuts - Pacific halibut stocks continue a decade long decline, there appears to be little recruitment of younger fish entering the fishery, the halibut are smaller than they should be at age – and scientists believe they have overestimated the halibut biomass for years. 

Dr. Bruce Leaman, Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission said it has been “one of the toughest years ever” for stock assessments. He also put industry on notice that more severe cuts are likely possibly as soon as 2013.

“It is worth pointing out to you the reality that using our assessment models the way we are, we are consistently overestimating biomass given the performance of the fishery,” Leaman said, speaking at a meeting last week in Seattle. - More...
Monday - December 05, 2011

Ketchikan: The 30th Annual Singing Christmas Tree Hits Creek Street - Twenty-nine Ketchikan Christmases have come and gone since the very first year Clover Pass Community Church hosted the “The Singing Christmas Tree”. Since that time, the community at Clover Pass has worked to make each year’s presentation something the community looks forward to with anticipation. From the giant choir-filled Christmas tree to the starry sky, from a wintery wonderland to a life-sized nativity, each year’s set is painstakingly designed to bring the audience to special place in Christmas-time.

A Singing Christmas Tree from the past...
Photograph courtesy Rob Holston

According to information provided by Adult Choir Director Rob Holston Rob Holston, over the past 30 years nearly 1,000 community members have been involved with the production of the singing tree.  Holston said the tree usually contains 40 to 50 adult singers and the children’s choir adds another 15 to 20 voices. He said there is also a great deal of volunteer power that goes into the creation of the set design, construction, erection of the tree, table decorations, lighting, and sound -- and the delicious food and drinks.

This year’s 30th Annual Singing Christmas Tree presentation features a Creek Street set intended to capture Ketchikan’s unique Christmas spirit.

Totally new this year is a program that features traditional Christmas carols sung mostly a’ccapella in original four-part harmony.  Director Rob Holston will be conducting time tested classics such as, O Little Town of Bethlehem, written in 1868; the 1871 version of a much older carol, The Fist Nowell and the 1840 Felix Mendelssohn version of a 1739 carol known as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.  The Children’s Choir is under the direction of Jodi Albertson.  The narration is delivered by Tim Livingston and the set designer and technical director is Mike Cooke. - More...
Monday - December 05, 2011

Ken Hoyt will be managing the SEARHC WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Living program in Wrangell.
Photo courtesy SEARHC

Southeast Alaska: Hoyt joins SEARHC WISEFAMILIES in Wrangell - Ken O. Hoyt was recently hired by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) to manage the WISEFAMILIES Through Customary and Traditional Living program in the community. Hoyt’s office will be located in the SNO Building, 325 Front St., in Wrangell. His phone number is 874-2712 and fax number is 874-2713.

WISEFAMLIES program participants learn how to harvest and preserve traditional subsistence foods, learn Tlingít language, story-telling and other traditional activities such as carving and weaving. These traditional activities improve overall health and wellness, and research shows that a diet full of traditional foods can be a good way to prevent many chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. The WISEFAMILIES program in Wrangell is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. - More...
Monday - December 05, 2011

Science: Closer to Finding An Earth: First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star Confirmed - NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

Closer to Finding An Earth: First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star Confirmed

This artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets.

Previous research hinted at the existence of near-Earth-size planets in habitable zones, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Two other small planets orbiting stars smaller and cooler than our sun recently were confirmed on the very edges of the habitable zone, with orbits more closely resembling those of Venus and Mars.

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin," said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Kepler's results continue to demonstrate the importance of NASA's science missions, which aim to answer some of the biggest questions about our place in the universe." - More...
Monday - December 05, 2011


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letter Substance Abuse in Ketchikan Discussion By Lisa Scarborough - The Ketchikan Wellness Coalition (KWC) is currently surveying our community to reassess the needs and issues that were documented in the Compass II Survey performed by the United Way in 2006. We have sent around our survey over the last year and are now moving on to different forums for you to come and voice your opinion as well as participate in brainstorming solutions and needs in the area of Substance Abuse. We chose this topic for our first forum because it was the top issue and concern out of the 600+ surveys that were submitted by you the people of Ketchikan, Saxman and Ward Cove. - More...
Monday PM - December 05, 2011

Open Letter: "A letter to Lisa" By A. M. Johnson- I am submitting to you a sure fire way to save 1.5 trillion dollars from government waste. As stated, this took all of a few minutes to comprise and complete. And you wonder why Congress' approval rating is in single digits. - More...
Monday PM - December 05, 2011

letter Be seen, be safe By Cheryl Henley - This weekend there was an editorial about winter driving safety in town. Going North about 4:30 tonight, a school bus stopped, lights flashing, and 3 little children got off the bus at Densley Road. The walked across the street and up their road. Not one child had a reflective tape on their jackets, or a light source with them. - More...
Monday PM - December 05, 2011

letter NUTCRACKER 2011 By Kathy Flora - Ketchikan is in for a wonderful surprise. There's an alchemy that happens when you build something larger than yourself that measurably helps a community help itself. You feel different, because you made a difference you can see to people whose gratitude you can feel. - More...
Monday PM - December 05, 2011

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

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