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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 17, 2012

Front Page Photograph By Danny Hoggard

Mysterious Deaths of Trumpter Swans Under Investigation
In this recent photograph dated Dec. 15, 2012, this adult Trumpeter Swan appears to be suffering from a neck injury.
Front Page Photograph By Danny Hoggard ©2012

(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)

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Ketchikan: Firsthand Account of Ketchikan's Early Days A Feature Article By DAVE KIFFER - It has been more than a century since Ketchikan was carved out of the Revillagigedo hillside and the mudflats of what was then called Fish Creek. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 12, 2012


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Mysterious Deaths of Trumpter Swans Under Investigation By MARY KAUFFMAN - Trumpeter swans are being found dead and injured in the Ward Lake area and concerned citizens are asking why -- and now so is the Law Enforcement Division of the U.S. Forest Service.

Death of Trumpter Swans Under Investigation

Ward Lake: There were two adult Trumpeter Swans and four juveniles in this flock at the time of this photograph - Dec. 05, 2012. Only one adult however is visible in this picture.
Photograph By Susan Hoyt ©2012

Following up reports about the Trumpeter Swans from community members, Erin Uloth a spokesperson for the United States Forest Service, told SitNews Monday afternoon that an investigation is in progress and that Trumpeter Swans are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Uloth said the Forest Service has alerted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), the Alaska State Troopers, and Fish and Wildlife Services that the Trumpeter Swans are protected by the Migratory Bird Act -- an act that makes it unlawful to take, kill or possess migratory birds. Uloth said the Troopers, ADFG and Wildlife Services have also been notified of what appears to be an "incident" on Forest Service land. The investigation is ongoing; however, currently investigators have no "tangibles at the moment" said Uloth. She said the U.S. Forest Service is working in conjunction with the Troopers and Wildlife Services; however, the Forest Service has full lead in the investigation because the incident reports are coming from Forest Service land.

Uloth said if anyone has information to report concerning this investigation, the Forest Service would appreciate a call to their local law enforcement officer. This is an ongoing investigation and we would welcome more information said Uloth. Information and/or reports should be made to Forest Service Officer Bryan Scaggs at 228-6235, said Uloth.

Ketchikan resident Steve Hoffman told SitNews he had discovered two dead Trumpeter Swans approximately a month ago in the Ward Lake area during an outing. Hoffman said from his observations, the two Trumpeter Swans appeared to have been shot. Hoffman said he followed up by reporting the dead swans to the Forest Service. Hoffman said the Trumpeter Swans like to stay in the lake area closest to the access road which would make them easily vulnerable if someone did shoot at them. Hoffman, recently retired, previously worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Ward Lake Nature Trail, which surrounds the lake, is popular among local Ketchikan residents. One such person who frequents the area is Ketchikan avid birder Jim Lewis. As recently as last week, Lewis said he discovered a Trumpeter Swan in the Ward Lake area with a neck injury which Lewis thought, from his observations of the bird, to be caused by a gunshot. Lewis said he had heard about the earlier deaths of two swans and was disturbed that someone might possibly be shooting the birds.

Lewis said he would like these beautiful birds protected and very interested in finding out what might be happening to them. He said he attempted to make a report to the Alaska State Troopers after observing the injured swan last week and was told by the dispatch/receptionist that the Troopers didn't take such reports. Lewis said he later spoke with a Forest Service law enforcement officer about the injured swan. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

Ketchikan: Three Ketchikan Men Sentenced To Federal Prison For Money Laundering Conspiracy - Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis announced Friday that three Ketchikan residents were sentenced in Juneau to federal prison on money laundering conspiracy charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess sentenced Ketchikan residents Francisco Arca Seludo to 87 months in prison, Herman Arca Seludo Jr. to 46 months in prison, and Jeremiah Miguel Perez to 50 months in prison for their roles in a money laundering conspiracy.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Burgess stated the serious of the offense, deterrence of the defendant and others, the protection of the public, and rehabilitation of the defendants related to their criminal histories as reasons that supported the imposition of the above sentences.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, the charges arose from State of Alaska drug investigations that resulted in the defendants being charged with distributing methamphetamine.

Francisco Seludo, 42, was contacted by the Ketchikan Police Department on November 1, 2011, after receiving a package containing approximately eight ounces of methamphetamine.

Herman Seludo, 34, was stopped by Ketchikan Police on December 21, 2010, and police found 20 baggies of methamphetamine inside a jacket owned by Seludo. A search warrant executed at Seludo’s residence revealed three handguns, one of which was stolen, as well as, ammunition, drug ledgers, and drug proceeds. While on release, Herman Seludo was arrested again on February 8, 2012, after a search warrant of his residence resulted in the recovery of 26.2 grams of methamphetamine, packaging materials, drug ledgers, drug paraphernalia, digital scale, and over $1,100 in cash.

Jeremiah Perez, 35, was stopped by Ketchikan Police on Feburary 7, 2012, and a search of his person resulted in the seizure of 3 grams of methamphetamine, along with $980 in cash. All defendants were charged by the State of Alaska for drug distribution. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

Fish Factor: New ergonomics program to adapt fleet's workplace By LAINE WELCH -  Making some easy changes to a boat’s deck lay out, or simply modifying knives and scrapers can reduce the strains, sprains and pains of fishing.  Doing so is applying the science of ergonomics.

“Ergonomics is the science of adapting your workplace, your tools, equipment and work methods to be more efficient and comfortable and error free by humans. It’s basically how a human body interacts with their work environment,”explained  Jerry Dzugan, director of the Sitka-based the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA).  AMSEA is using a $100,000 OSHA grant to design an ergonomics  program that “fits the work to the user instead of forcing the user to fit the work.”  

The goal is to reduce the muscular and skeletal disorders that are pervasive in the fishing jobs,” Dzugan said. “When I used to fish, and everyone I know who fishes,    can all tell me about their   carpal tunnel, their tendonitis, their shoulder problems or their lower back problems.”

Data from the Alaska Fishermen’s Fund show that 40% of all claims are due to strains and sprains, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. 

The AMSEA program will show how those injuries happen, proper lifting and moving techniques,  and how simple stretching exercises before going out on deck can  minimize the  impact of repetitive motions and hard work.  It also will show how to make deck space more ergonomically friendly, and how modifying tools of the trade can help.

“Having a tool that fits your hand instead of making your hand fit the tool,” Dzugan explained. “Things like knives with angles so you can keep your wrist in a neutral position, or fish scrapers that have the bend in the scraper, not in your wrist. All those things make a big difference on tendonitis and carpal tunnel.”

The ergonomics program will be tacked on to safety drills  and  training by AMSEA instructors, who also will work with local physical therapists to include the techniques. The new ergonomics program will launch early next year.

“We’re looking forward to getting it out to the fleet,”Dzugan said,  “and getting feedback and fishermen’s ideas.” - More...
Monday - December 17, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Teacher Evaluations By Mike Hanley - No one describes a teacher as great without talking about how well their students are learning. It just doesn’t happen, because you can’t have one without the other. Teachers teach kids -- both in areas of academic knowledge as well as other important skills like critical thinking, problem solving, working independently, working in groups, and citizenship. I would argue that these latter skills are foundational to academic success. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Thank you By Heather Muench - The Board of Directors of the Ketchikan Humane Society would like to thank all the caring community members and businesses who donated time, money, and auction items to our 2012 Silent Auction and Fundraiser on November 16th. We were so pleased that so many of you turned out in support of our efforts to help Ketchikan's abused and abandoned animals. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Gun Laws By Rodney Dial - Something worth considering regarding the national debate about firearm / ammo restrictions: The one commonality present in most mass killings is the mental illness of the shooter. The number one way to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining firearms/ammo would be the creation of a national database that would be accessed by the dealer at the point of sale. Meaning, that if a person was treated in the past for mental illness, or flagged as unstable by the health community, the sale would be denied. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Leash Law By Dawna L. Hull - I have been living in Saxman for 3 years. I've talked to Animal Control on a number of occasions about the many dogs I see that wander around without leashes. I've come into contact with a number of these animals and for the most part they are friendly. But I've also come across some who will "challenge" me. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Repost of the "Potential hydro power from B. C. Canada" By A. M. Johnson - Greetings Sitnews readers, I would apologize for the transmittal error that had the body of the letter submitted excluded for unknown computer glitch. - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Gas Prices By Justin Capps - Why are we paying a lot for gas when the lower 48’s paying under $3.75 gallon? - More...
Monday PM - December 17, 2012

letter Price of Gas: What's going on? By Karen Ramsey - Good people of Ketchikan, we are still getting squeezed for $4.31 a gallon for Safeway’s gasoline and $4.33 out at Ward Cove Market. What gives? It’s ridiculous!!! I just spent a week in Hawaii, and nowhere did I see the price for regular higher than $4.00 a gallon. We need to make some noise. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012

letter Ketchikan's gas prices & taxes By John Goucher - I recently visited Ketchikan for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Ketchikan was where I hung my hat for over 30 years and both of my daughters and my fiancee still call Ketchikan home. Living in Oregon this past year and visiting Ketchikan as often as possible has made me cogitate on many things in Ketchikan that folks have come to expect. Large utility bills, high food prices, multitudes of "Fees" and taxes by both the City and Borough and of course outrageous gasoline prices. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012

letter Potential hydro power from B.C.Canada By A.M.Johnson - With the announcement, regarding the City of Ketchikan bringing the diesel power on to the system to counteract the lack of near future water supply for hydro generation, the following may be timely to ask you to print in your valuable community news paper. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012

letter JUDGMENT, A COMMODITY OUR 4-STAR TYPES CLEARLY LACK By David G. Hanger - The most disturbing aspect of this Petraeus mess is the incredible lack of judgment demonstrated by these four-star generals in their association with Jill Kelley, her husband and Jill’s twin sister. Party animals and grifters in all but name, these are not the kind of people with whom we should ever expect close association from generals controlling the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniform. Purportedly educated in the most rigid of honor systems to inculcate in these future commanders the discipline, the dignity and the integrity requisite to expending American lives in pursuit of a purpose, their most personal associations are corrupted by the freaks they are hanging out with, all for the glitz of sex or party favors. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012

letter Freezing water By Alan R.McGillvray - Well the cold has begun to snap again, and I thought it would be an opportune moment to remind people that it's time to turn on the cold water on your faucets to keep the water line from freezing up. If you use a cistern to supply the house with water, it can be problematic. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012

letter Budget Cuts By A.M. Johnson - President Obama  ordered the cabinet to cut $100,000,000.00 ($100 million) from the  $3,500,000,000,000.00 ($3.5 trillion) federal budget.   I'm so  impressed by this sacrifice that I have decided to do the same thing with my  personal budget. I spend about $2,000 a month on groceries, household  expenses, medicine, utilities, etc., but it's time to get out the budget  cutting axe, go through my expenses, and cut back. - More...
Monday PM - December 10, 2012 

letter Deposit for services By Gladys Natkong - I have been in Alaska since 1989, I came back to Alaska to be with my mother who was sick, I decided to stay after she passed. So I am from Alaska and don't have any plans to move. I am wondering if what happened to me has ever happened to anyone else. I can't remember even getting my lights hooked up, it was so long ago, but I remember that I did put up a deposit. I think I eventually got it back. I usually pay my bills before I do anything, but I was caught up in a family matter and when I checked my bank account I saw that I hadn't paid my light bill. Then a man from the Ketchikan light company came to the door and said that he was there to shut off the lights and that I better call the office. I called the office and the lady in charge of credit said that I had to pay my bill in full and pay a $395.00 deposit by Friday (It was Tuesday) to keep my lights on. I tried to explain that I forgot because of family emergencies and she asked if I got energy assistance and I said yes. She said get them to pay it. The total amount that the light company wanted was $695.00. I told her that my disability check couldn't even pay that. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2012

letter Lisa Murkowski and the United Nations By Marvin Seibert - Recently the Senate voted to reject the UN treaty for disabled rights in a 61-38 vote, 5 shy of passing. On the surface this sounds like a very Callous vote by the Senate Republicans. The truth however lies in the details! If this vote would have passed then the U.N. would create new abortion rights and impede the ability of people to home-school disabled children just to start with. The treaty would infringe on U.S. sovereignty, an argument echoed by other opponents. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2012

letter Filipino Community of Ketchikan's New President By Joey Garcia - The Filipino Community of Ketchikan recently has turned the gavel to a newly elected President Alex Millendez. His prowess in getting the group together will enhance a plan for the 2013 agenda that will entail lots of camaraderie within the membership group. - More...
Thursday PM - December 06, 2012

letter Re: Property Taxes By John Harrington - Mike Fay was stunned last year when he got his tax bill for a waterfront home valued at over $170,000. Why? He had to pay almost $1000. He complains that there are no schools, way up there. That is true, also there are no students; but nonetheless the State of Alaska requires the Borough to pay almost $500 toward funding schools for his property. And the Borough pays every cent of his taxes to support schools, and then some. - More...
Monday PM - December 03, 2012

letter Re: The girl who gave up By Kathy Stack - I want to thank you for your story Jordan. I have a hole in my heart due to a brother commiting suicide in 1990. I think your story will help others and I want you to know I appreciate you for writing and publishing it. - More...
Monday PM - December 03, 2012

letter King Island Christmas By Jacquie O'Sullivan - I just returned from the Ketchikan Community Choir's performance of King Island Christmas. It was outstanding. They all did a terrific job putting it on. Singing was terrific, settings and artwork were great and the story is uplifting and fun for all ages. - More...
Monday PM - December 03, 2012

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