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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 17, 2011

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Bohemian Waxwing
Christmas Bird count week has started and locally the count is up to 61 species as of Thursday & Saturday is count day.
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS


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Fish Factor: Impacts of ocean acidification By LAINE WELCH - West Coast shellfish growers have learned to work around upwellings of corrosive waters and save the lives of their bivalve stocks.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are changing the chemistry of the oceans, making it more acid. The CO2 surge stems mostly from coal and to a lesser degree, oil –fired  power plants.    The resulting off kilter acidity reduces carbonate, the mineral building block of shells, skeletons and corals.

 In 2005, oystermen first noticed failures in natural sets in Willipa Bay in southern Puget Sound, followed by failures at two of four of the region’s major shellfish hatcheries.    

“In 2008 our oyster larvae production was off 60% and  80% in 2009,” said Bill Dewey, director of Public Policy and Communications for Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, Washington, the nation’s largest producer of farmed oysters, clams, mussels and geoducks.

At first, the growers believed the killer was a lethal, naturally occurring bacterium, but expensive filtration did nothing to stop the larval die offs. Then ocean acidification blipped onto the radar screen, Dewey said, and new testing equipment proved that was the culprit.

“It became very telling very quickly that when the oyster larvae were dying enmasse, it was because we were bringing in very corrosive water. The oyster is still growing a shell; it’s just that it is dissolving from the outside faster than they can grow it. So eventually they lose that race and they die,” he explained. - More...
Saturday AM - December 17, 2011

Alaska: Interior Appropriations a Boon for Alaskan Causes - Senator Lisa Murkowski announced on Friday a number of funding priorities for Alaska reflected in the 2012 Interior Appropriations Bill working its way through the House and Senate – on areas ranging from resources to public health to recreation. Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which, with her role on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, gives her authorizing and appropriating power over the Interior Department.

“Alaskans are a bottom line people, and this appropriations bill shows results where it counts: the bottom line,” said Murkowski.  “Since the Interior Department owns about two-thirds of our lands, we have larger and wider needs: our First People, natural resources – and job opportunities for Alaskans.”

Some key Alaskan provisions in the Interior Appropriations Bill include:

Alaska’s Forests:

• Alaska Red Cedar –Language in the appropriations bill requires the U.S. Forest Service to offer profitable tracts of red cedar timber to Alaska mill operators for sale, and requires that Alaska and West Coast sawmills be given the first right to process the timber, to keep jobs in the United States.

• Timber Harvest and Forest Roads – Keeps EPA from regulating water runoff from forest road construction projects, and keeps in place a 30-year practice of allowing forest road maintenance to be exempt from the Clean Water Act. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

Ketchikan: Tech Center to Host EPA Certified Lead Abatement Class - Ketchikan Indian Community’s Southern Southeast Alaska Technical Education Center (SSEATeC) announced an eight hour lead based paint renovation and repair class will be held on Friday January 13th. Those successfully passing the course will earn a certificate which is acknowledged nationwide by the Environmental Protection Agency.

KIC is only the second Tribe in the nation to receive a certificate from the EPA allowing this certificated course to be taught.  EPA has expressed an interest in utilizing the SSEATeC facility for future federally required classes and continuing education for the building industry.

Ketchikan Indian Community's technical center is the 2nd education facility in Southeast Alaska certified by the EPA.  Chas Edwardson, KIC’s Workforce Development Director, will teach the course.  

A complete list of upcoming classes in early 2012 can be found on the Ketchikan Indian Community's website.  Residents are also invited to take a very short survey designed to measure their interest in existing class offerings as well as offer their suggestions for other class ideas. - More...
Saturday AM - December 17, 2011

Alaska: Former Cooper Landing Fishing Guide Charged with Stealing from Clients - A former Cooper Landing fishing guide was charged last week with stealing from nearly 70 clients by failing to provide trips booked with his guiding business in 2010 and 2011. The investigation began after the Alaska Wildlife Troopers' Wildlife Investigations Unit received a complaint on Sept. 6, 2010 regarding 35-year-old Thomas W. Murray. Murray, the owner of Wise Guide Outfitters of Cooper Landing, was alleged to have failed to provide "all inclusive" fishing vacations that included transportation to and from Anchorage and Cooper Landing, five full days of guided fishing trips, all meals, six nights lodging as well as camp fires and sightseeing tours.

The Wildlife Investigations Unit, with assistance from the Alaska Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Unit and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, opened an investigation into Murray and Wise Guide Outfitters. - More...
Saturday AM - December 17, 2011

Alaska Science: The State of the State, 1906 By NED ROZELL - Alfred Brooks was a geologist who traveled thousands of miles in Alaska and left his name on the state’s northernmost mountain range. Twenty years before his death in 1924, he also left behind a summary of what Alaska was like over a century ago, when “large areas (were) still practically unexplored.”

The State of the State, 1906

Alfred Brooks in Alaska around 1899.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey archives.

To see what Brooks had to say about the Alaska of 1906, I pulled a copy of his Geography and Geology of Alaska: A Summary of Existing Knowledge from a shelf of rare books in a Fairbanks library.

In his government report, Brooks pointed out misconceptions about Alaska that endure today. He wrote in his introduction:

“If facts are presented which may seem elementary, it is because even well-informed people have been known to harbor misconceptions in regard to the orographic features, climate, and general character of Alaska. Those who read about the perils and privations of winter travel and explorations are apt to picture a region of ice and snow; others, again, who have personal knowledge of the tourist route of southeastern Alaska, regard the whole district as one of rugged mountains and glaciers.” - More...
Saturday AM - December 17, 2011


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letter The Gravina Island Cleanup By Jerry Cegelske - The Gravina Island Cleanup began on July 1, 2006 after the Borough was notified that the grant request for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grant for Coastal Marine Habitat Restoration had been approved.  The cleanup activities ended on October 31, of this year with a last load of marine debris placed in the dumpster near the Harbormaster’s office. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letter Biometric Scanning By Charlanne Thomas - First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I am in no way criticizing the staff of Point Higgins School. I realize they have a difficult job and I appreciate their dedication to our children. My complaint is with technology that is implemented without my consent. Biometric scanning has been implemented at Point Higgins school in an attempt to alleviate manual input of student lunch records and supposedly the library. While I understand that we live in an age where technology is expected, this process was completed on my child without my approval. When I discovered that his finger had been scanned and stored as a "10-digit binary code", it was too late. His unique code has been stored and is available, whether it is deleted or not. I'm sure the School District backs up their systems on a nightly basis, and once something is in a system, it's there for years. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letter RESPONSIBLITY By Pamela Graff - Just before noon today [Thursday] I received a phone call from Houghtaling the school my daughter attends 2nd grade, stated that while waiting for the bus at Ketchikan Lakes Road and Deer Mount around 8am a dog had jumped up on her and broken her front tooth. She was in pain after eating lunch when the food hit her nerve. - More...
Saturday - December 17, 2011

letter Young people step forward By Cecelia Johnson - This year I willt not run for re-election to Tribal Council.  I would like to put my energy toward the Advisory Health Board.   - More...
Friday AM - December 09, 2011

letter Proposed Tonka Timber Sale Comment Deadline By Paul Olson & Carol Cairnes - The Tongass Conservation Society (TCS) and the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC) have several concerns about the Forest Service’s proposed Tonka Timber Sale (Tonka).  The project would cut 25 to 53 million board feet of old growth forest from the Lindenberg Peninsula near Petersburg.  This area is heavily used by the public and past logging has already removed too much winter deer habitat.  The Forest Service then proposes towing log rafts for storage in an important Dungeness crab fishing spot - the “Pothole” – despite significant risks to shellfish populations and habitat.  Proceeding with another sale here is unfair to deer hunters and crab fishermen as well as the taxpaying general public that must fund yet another deficit timber sale. - More...
Friday AM - December 09, 2011

letter A National Security Threat? By Donald A. Moskowitz - This letter liberally references Brig. Gen. Jim Cash’s article entitled “Another Government Cover-up” in the January 2011 edition of Military.  I agree with his assessment that the contrail observed off the coast of California in November 2010 resembled a missile launch contrail, not an aircraft contrail. - More...
Friday AM - December 09, 2011

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