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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 27, 2011

Front Page Photo Courtesy HILARY VINCENT

Seven Graduate From UAA Nursing Program
A formal pinning ceremony for Ketchikan graduates of the University of Alaska Anchorage Associate Degree Nursing Program was recently at the North Tongass Community Club. Seven registered nursing students received their pins.
Graduates: Maia Aspinwall, Charlene Burns, Anastasia Connolly, Lauren Ernst, Kirsten Henrickson, Janelle Hyatt and Hilary Vincent - More...
Front Page Photo Courtesy HILARY VINCENT


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Fish Factor: Harvest management top budget item for fisheries By LAINE WELCH - Alaska’s commercial fisheries programs could get a slight boost if the Governor’s budget for the next fiscal year gets a nod from legislators.  

The proposed  FY2013 operating budget for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, including all state and federal funds, is just over $209 million, a 5.1 percent increase.  For commercial fisheries, the department's most expensive unit, a budget of $70.5 million is a 4.4 percent increase.  

Governor Parnell also is proposing a bond package that includes $10 million to help Seward prepare to homeport large at-sea processing boats owned by communities in the Kuskokwim region.  The vessels now are based in Seattle, and it could begin a transfer of other big boats to remain in Alaska year round.

 In the ADF&G budget, Commissioner Cora Campbell listed harvest management as a top budget item for fisheries. The report highlighted Yukon River salmon fisheries as a management priority due to its continued low productivity of Chinook.  Another is managing Southcentral region Chinook salmon fisheries in the face of low numbers of returning adults.  The state Board of Fish has designated seven king salmon “stocks of concern”, six in Northern Cook Inlet and one in Kodiak.  

The ADF&G budget report cites several fishery successes in the past year.   Managers achieved a huge milestone in rebuilding Alaska snow crab stocks to sustainable levels within a federally mandated 10 year time frame, while still providing a viable harvest.  Also mentioned:  Alaska’s 2011 salmon harvest was the 3rd best since 1975; and the second best for groundfish in a decade.    Click to the Fish and Game budget here.  

Prison trumps people

Fish and Game will lose 59 staff positions under Governor Parnell’s proposed budget.  The commercial fisheries division will lose 13 full-time positions, and 46 part-time positions.

Of the 288 vacant, permanent state government positions to be cut, most are in three agencies. Health and Social Services at 65; ADF&G at 59; and the Dept. of Transportation would lose 58 jobs.

Deleted positions in other agencies range from 22 to zero within the university system, according to an Associated Press report. The AP said:   “Parnell's spokeswoman said most of the positions were vacant at least 11 months. The deleted posts are intended to help the state better absorb positions needed for a new prison.” - More....
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

Alaska: DEATHS OF RINGED SEALS IN ALASKA DECLARED AN UNUSUAL MORTALITY EVENT; WALRUS PENDING;Cause not yet identified; public encouraged to report sightings of diseased or dead animals - NOAA has declared the recent deaths of ringed seals in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause. A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on making such a declaration for Pacific walrus in Alaska is pending.

DEATHS OF RINGED SEALS IN ALASKA DECLARED AN UNUSUAL MORTALITY EVENT; WALRUS PENDING;Cause not yet identified; public encouraged to report sightings of diseased or dead animals

Seal with sores on eyes
Photo: North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management

Since mid-July, more than 60 dead and 75 diseased seals, most of them ringed seals, have been reported in Alaska, with reports continuing to come in. During their fall survey, scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also identified diseased and dead walruses at the annual mass haul-out at Point Lay.

Seals and walruses suffering from this disease have skin sores, usually on the hind flippers or face, and patchy hair loss. Some of the diseased mammals have exhibited labored breathing and appear lethargic. Scientists have not yet identified a single cause for this disease, though tests indicate a virus is not the cause.

Hunters continue to see numerous healthy animals, and despite considerable contact with seals by hunters and field research personnel throughout this event, no similar illnesses in humans have been reported. Still, it is not known whether the disease can be transmitted to humans, pets, or other animals. Native subsistence hunters should use traditional and customary safe handling practices, and the Alaska Division of Public Health recommends fully cooking all meat and thoroughly washing hands and equipment with a water/bleach solution. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

Ketchikan BBBS: Lashawn & Gregg Harrison by Susan M. Jaqua - Gregg Harrison, the owner the operator of Diversified Diving, is a rugged individual, a quintessential Alaskan and the Big Brother of Little Brother Lashawn.

Ketchikan BBBS: Lashawn & Gregg Harrison

Little Brother LaShawn & Big Brother Gregg Harrison
Photo courtesy BBBS Ketchikan

He, and LaShawn have been fast friends for 2 years, and bonded over enjoying the great outdoors, movies, and cooking too.  "We go check out the girls as well", adds Gregg just to add balance to things.

LaShawn is like a character out of a Jack London novel, he's interested in trapping, fishing, hunting, the wilds, and surviving in the outdoors.  He's an avid reader, and likes spending time with Gregg. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011


Columns - Commentary

jpg Tom PurcellTOM PURCELL: Why We Need Better BS - Here's something we can do with less of in 2012: BS.

It's all over television, in magazines and in newspapers -- and even in our serious papers, such as The New York Times. It is spouted by politicians and pitched by product spokesmen.

Modern life is manufacturing an unprecedented amount of it.

BS "is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about," writes Harry Frankfurt, philosopher emeritus at Princeton University, who authored "On Bull (expletive)."

Thanks to cable television there are numerous opportunities for people to yap about all kinds of things they know nothing about.

Nowadays, our news folks are almost as bad. It used to be that the press existed to catch folks in the act of BS-ing. But our press has been shoveling out a fair share of its own.

Didn't the run-up to the last presidential election show that some of our "objective journalists" were in the tank for Obama all along?

Republicans have produced a lot of BS, too. During the Bush years, they used words such as "fiscal responsibility" and "limited government," while they wasted more dough and expanded government faster than you can say "we're broke." - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011


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letter Wreck of the Ancon By John McDermott - In the summer of 1995 I was living in Ketchikan (I was born and raised in Alaska, and lived most of my life in Ketchikan). For no particular reason, I went to the local library. While there, I happened upon a few 'art' books that caught my eye, and so I took a couple of them home. In one of them I spotted a small image of a painting entitled 'Wreck of the Ancon,' which really got my attention when I realized that it was painted by Albert Bierstadt (one of the most talented and legendary painters of the late 19th century), and that it was also a 'local' scene (Loring Bay, near Ketchikan). Somehow, I got the urge to obtain a copy of that painting. But since I couldn't easily find a way to obtain a copy (no internet access in those days), I decided to paint a copy of it myself, in oil paint (I'd been an artist for many years, and had won the 'First Place' blue ribbon in the Professional Painting division at the then-famous annual Ketchikan Arts & Crafts Guild Art Show). - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter Two lessons for Lisa, Mark and Don By A. M. Johnson - In the interest of sharing how the National debt sizes up with our personal house hold budget, the following is submitted for public consumption. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter Help Us Fire Congress By Roy T Newsom - The US Congress has continued to bargain away our future with the constant error of logic that compromise is necessary to get along with their political adversaries.  Ninety percent of the incumbents are re-elected every two years.  The same politicians that have caused all our problems are put back in office to continue the same mistakes over and over. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 27, 2011

letter "Over the Top Route Minimizes Natural Gas Benefits to Alaskans" By Bill Walker - Article VIII, Sections 1 and 2 of Alaska's Constitution mandate that "Alaska's resources are to be developed to the maximum use and benefit of its people." - More...
Tuesday - December 20, 2011

letter Re: Tonka timber sale By Alan R. McGillvray - Well folks the eco-communists are at it again, doing every thing they are able to keep people from gainful employment. To make us import our building supplies at greater expense than otherwise needed. Thereby increasing our "carbon footprint" on the planet, but that's probably OK with them, they drive around in their fancy cars, write big checks from money that doesn't come from local sources, just so they can have a pristine playground. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letter RE: Biometric Scanning By Ken Leland - Why does this not surprise me? We already have "Big Brother" looking over our shoulder and examining our private lives. George Orwell was a true visionary, way ahead of his time.I have always said that 1984 authored by him should be mandatory reading for our students at least by middle school. - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

letter RE: Biometric scanning By April Harper - I totally agree with Charlanne Thomas. I was also appalled when I received a letter from my child's school stating that they had their fingers scanned!! What makes them think they have the right to do something of that nature and level of privacy of a minor without the consent of their parents? - More...
Tuesday AM - December 20, 2011

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

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