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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 07, 2011

Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Ketchikan Waterfront: Ferry Columbia
Front Page Photo By MIKE SMITH

Ketchikan: AARP recognizes Ed Zastrow with its most prestigious volunteer award for community service - Ed Zastrow of Ketchikan has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit membership organization for people 50 and older, to receive Alaska’s 2011 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award. The award symbolizes an individual’s power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Ketchikan: Shay pleads not guilty by Deanna Garrison, KRBD - Former Ketchikan Mayor Jack Shay was arraigned Tuesday in Ketchikan Superior Court on 91 counts of possession of child pornography. Shay pled not guilty to all charges. A trial is set for February 28th. - Read this KRBD news...


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Ketchikan: Sincerely, Igloo…” Letter, yearbooks, former shipmate recall the life of Ketchikan man who died 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor By DAVE KIFFER - For Ketchikan residents, the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 came very close to home even though it happened more than 2700 miles away.

Sincerely, Igloo…” Letter, yearbooks, former shipmate recall the life of Ketchikan man who died 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor

Senior yearbook photograph showing Irvin Andrew Rubin Thompson of Ketchikan sailing on a Naval Academy's “knockabout sloop”
Photo courtesy 1940 Naval Academy's Lucky Bag

A Ketchikan man, Irvin Andrew Rubin Thompson, 24, was serving on the battleship USS Oklahoma and died when the ship capsized and flooded.  He was the first Alaskan to be killed in World War II.

Initially, Thompson’s body was not identified when it was removed from the partially submerged ship several months after the attack and was buried with other “unknowns” in mass graves in Hawaii, but eventually, thanks to dogged work by 87-year old researcher Ray Emory – himself a Pearl Harbor veteran – Thompson’s remains were identified in 2008 and reinterred at the Sacramento National Cemetery in Dixon, California. The Department of Defense chose that site because it was near the home of Thompson’s only known living relative, a distant cousin who requested anonymity.

Thompson had been born in Weehawken, New Jersey in 1917, but his family moved to Ketchikan in 1922, when he was five years old, according to a Ketchikan Chronicle story on December 16, 1941.

The Chronicle also reported that Thompson had graduated from Kayhi in 1935 and then spent a year at the University of Washington in Seattle before being appointed to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Merta (Smith) Kiffer , my mother, lived across First Avenue from the Thompson family. She remembers Irvin who was tall, handsome and dark haired and three years ahead of her at Kayhi.

Irvin’s father, Andrew Thompson, worked for the city highway department. Kiffer also said that Mrs. Thompson was related the Schlais family which also lived on First Avenue. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Alaska: Governor Orders Flags Lowered for Pearl Harbor Day - Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day, and to honor Americans who fought in World War II.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor serves as a reminder of our nation’s need for vigilance and preparedness which our nation must maintain in the face of adversity,” Governor Parnell said. “Our liberty is sustained by the courage of the American people, and every generation of Americans has answered the call to protect our democracy, freedoms, and way of life. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Alaska: Additional Norwegian Cruise Ship Welcomed; Additional ship estimated to bring 40,000 more visitors for the 2013 season - Governor Sean Parnell welcomed the news that Norwegian Cruise Line will add a ship to Alaska for the 2013 season. The Norwegian Sun will sail between Vancouver, British Columbia and Whittier, Alaska in the summer of 2013. The Sun will be a third Norwegian Cruise Line ship to ply Alaska’s waterways.

The Sun will embark on weekly southbound and northbound trips beginning May 20, 2013. The northbound trip leaves Vancouver and travels along the Inside Passage past Glacier Bay and Hubbard Bay, also making stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. The southbound trip leaves Whittier and travels along the Inside Passage, Sawyer Glacier and Hubbard Glacier, stopping in Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Alaska: State Certifies Alaska Sea Party Initiative; Group Launches Statewide Effort To Restore Coastal Management - Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell on Tuesday certified the grassroots Alaska Sea Party’s application to begin collecting signatures for a statewide ballot initiative to restore Alaska’s coastal management program.  The group seeks to ensure Alaskans have a meaningful voice in coastal development decisions.  The Alaska Sea Party intends to gather 26,000 signatures by the start of the legislative session on January 17, 2012 in order to place the initiative on the 2012 election ballot.

“Alaskans now have the opportunity to make their voices heard to bring back an important program that gives the state and local communities a meaningful say in decisions that affect coastal development and resources,” Bruce Botelho, a lead sponsor of the initiative, said.  “Our goal is to gather the necessary signatures before the start of next year’s legislative session to encourage legislators to pass a substantially similar law.”  If the legislature fails to act, the initiative would appear on next year’s statewide election ballot. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Alaska: HDR Awarded Contract to Complete Supplemental EIS for Juneau Access - The professional services contract to complete the court-ordered supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Juneau Access project has been awarded to HDR, Inc., a firm with experience in preparing Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) EISs in Alaska. The FHWA is the lead agency on the project, with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) working as a partner.

Federal District Court Judge John Sedgwick, in his February 13, 2009 decision, directed the FHWA to evaluate in more detail an alternative of providing additional ferry service in Lynn Canal using existing ferries and terminals. “The court outlined what we need to perform additional work on” said Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Marc Luiken, “which will help keep the discussion fairly concentrated. In addition to the environmental review, DOT will be analyzing the five other legal claims made by SEACC to stop the project so that when the SEIS work is complete, we can move the project forward.” - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Alaska: Governor’s Budget Proposal to Focus on Resource Development; Provides access to resources and jobs for Alaskans - Governor Sean Parnell announced Tuesday that his Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal will contain funding for increased access to Alaska’s resources to grow economic opportunities for all Alaskans.

“Better transportation corridors will open up petroleum and mining opportunities,” Governor Parnell said. “Mineral exploration expenditures are up, and with our efforts to streamline the permitting process, we are working to secure Alaska’s resources for Alaskans’ benefit.” - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

Ketchikan: KIC and SEAPRO Bring Back Christmas Boat Parade of Lights - Ketchikan Indian Community and SEAPRO are spearheading the return of Ketchikan's annual Christmas Boat Parade of Lights.  For 24 years the community enjoyed Christmas lights on vessels from small to large on Tongass Narrows.  Then in 2010 the event didn’t happen.  It’s back for 2011!

Bouy Tender USCGC Anthony Petit
Photograph by Carl Thompson 2005

Residents will see large vessels from SEAPRO, U.S. Coast Guard, AMAK Towing and more.  Recreational boat owners are encouraged to participate.  The event is scheduled for Sunday December 18th around 5pm.  Parade line-up will get underway at Ward Cove starting at 4:30pm. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 05, 2011

Alaska: New report shows significant cost savings on energy for Alaska communities -  Low cost space heating, lower electricity prices and cleaner air;  all are possible for Fairbanks and many rural Alaska communities according to research compiled by PDC Harris Group for the Alaska Gasline Port Authority.  The report, which was released Tuesday, predicts that the average Fairbanks household would save almost $3,000 annually on home space heating costs after converting to natural gas supplied from the voter mandated, All Alaska Gasline.  This represents an 80% reduction in the cost of energy in the Fairbanks area.

AGPA Project Manager Bill Walker said, "This report shows the clear cost savings for Interior residents with gas from a large gasline due to the enormous economy of scale our project brings, and also, because the voters' gasline runs directly though the Fairbanks North Star Borough.  Having proximate access to the gasline allows additional cost savings.  It also secures a low cost source of gas for North Pole, our military bases, and GVEA's North Pole electrical power generating turbines."

AGPA was created by voters in 1999 and charged with building the All Alaska Gasline from the North Slope to Valdez.  The AGPA line would parallel the oil pipeline.  At Valdez the natural gas would be chilled until it converts to liquefied natural gas- or LNG for short.   Walker said, "The export component is what makes the cost of gas so affordable for Alaska's consumers.  Alaskans will enjoy the economy of scale a large export project brings.  It also has the enormous benefit of bringing Alaska new revenue.  The work we recently released by Wood Mackenzie shows up to 419 billion dollars of new, diversified revenue to Alaska over the first 30 years of operation.  That is ten times what sits in our Permanent Fund." - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011


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letter 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor By U.S. Sen. Mark Begich - Today, 70 years later the ‘date that will live in infamy’ continues to remind each of us of the great sacrifices that our men and women in the military make for our country. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

letter The regulation invasion stifles job creation By Rep. Don Young - Our nation’s unemployment rate is hovering at a staggering 9 percent. After countless promises and pledges by Washington, out-of-work Americans across the nation are growing sick and tired of sound bites and handouts. They are tired of unemployment benefits instead of gainful employment. They are skeptical that the government actually knows how to get Americans back to work. They should be. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

letter Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan By A.M.Johnson - I know, I know, I've submitted several items for publication this month. Just so much crud and political corruption involved to not want to scream at the deterioration of this great nation at the hands of what must be a compromised Senator. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 07, 2011

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

letter 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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