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It's Official, Alaska's Newest Ferries Will Be Built in Ketchikan By MARY KAUFFMAN - Hundreds of Ketchikan residents cheered when Governor Sean Parnell announced the State of Alaska and Vigor Industrial had reached a final agreement to construct two Alaska Class Ferries at Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan.

It's Official, Alaska's Newest Ferries Will Be Built in Ketchikan

Today's historic announcement that Alaska's new ferries will be built in Southeast Alaska. Adam Beck, President of Vigor Alaska and Alaska Governor Parnell sign the agreement.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

The vessels will be the first Alaska Marine Highway System ferries built in Alaska. Governor Parnell made the announcement at a community event & barbecue held by Vigor Alaska at the Ketchikan Shipyard today.

Employing the Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC) process, the State worked with Vigor Industrial to negotiate a guaranteed maximum price to construct both vessels. The construction contract and costs to build both ferries in Ketchikan will be at the $120 million budgeted amount.

“These vessels will be the largest ships ever built in Alaska,’ Governor Parnell said. “Building these ferries in state will be a major boost for Alaska’s economy. This has been our intent during the entire process and will help create hundreds of new year-round jobs at the Ketchikan shipyard, while helping Ketchikan develop a highly capable workforce, not only for the growing marine economy of Southeast Alaska, but with skills that can translate into work across the state.”

“This project represents far more than a contract,” said Adam Beck, President of Vigor Alaska. “It is a dramatic step forward in realizing the shared goal of the people of Alaska, its elected officials and the shipyard to keep taxpayer dollars in the state and support family-wage jobs. The Vigor Alaska team represents the best shipbuilders in the state with the expertise to build complex vessels and the dedication to do it to the highest quality standards.”

According to information provided by Vigor Alaska, the two day ferries will cost $101 million to construct, which is a reduction in the original price. Because of the importance of keeping Alaskan dollars in the state, Vigor Alaska said they made significant cuts to the initial estimates for the project and, in fact, delivered a price that was below the independent government price estimate available in the lower 48 states.

Strengthening Alaska’s maritime sector has been a significant focus for the state. In the last decade, investments through AIDEA have transformed the Ketchikan shipyard into a state-of-the-art, world-class shipbuilding facility.

“Here we are today to launch this shipyard to a new level, a new level of good jobs, a new level of growth for Ketchikan businesses that are going to supply the shipyard and its workers,” said Governor Parnell. “Today we effectively put Ketchikan and this shipyard on the map as a major maritime industry competitor.” - More...
Saturday PM - September 20, 2014


Alaska: Governor Meets with King Cove and Cold Bay Residents, Signs Resolution for King Cove Road - Governor Sean Parnell traveled to the Aleutians East Borough communities Friday to sign a resolution urging the Secretary of the Interior to reconsider her decision against a life-saving road.

“We are here because we want to make it clear: We will not stop fighting for you. We will never stop. There will be a road to the Cold Bay Airport,” Governor Parnell said. “Today we make a formal request to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell to reverse her decision. She must not deny the people of King Cove their right of access.

“I do not think the secretary realizes what she has done: She has put people in peril. My respect for her leads me to believe that she simply doesn’t understand. I do believe she is capable of changing her mind.”

In front of dozens gathered at the King Cove School, Governor Parnell signed House Joint Resolution 30 (HJR 30). Sponsored by Representative Bob Herron, HJR 30 urges Interior Secretary Jewell to reconsider the Izembek land exchange proposed by the Parnell Administration, and allow King Cove residents to have a single-lane road to the Cold Bay airport, which is a critical lifeline for the health and safety of rural Alaskans. Governor Parnell was joined by King Cove Mayor Henry Mack, and Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack at the community event.

King Cove residents praised Governor Sean Parnell after he signed a legislative resolution Friday requesting that the U.S. Interior Secretary reconsider her decision to reject a life-saving road corridor to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport.

“We are so grateful to Governor Parnell for his unwavering support,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. “The governor understands that this road is absolutely necessary to safely medevac seriously ill or injured patients when severe weather won’t allow travel by plane or boat. Without a road, patients must wait hours or even days for the weather to clear. That can mean the difference between life and death.”

Earlier this year, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 30, sponsored by Representative Bob Herron. The resolution asks the federal government and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to reverse her decision denying the Izembek land exchange and instead allow King Cove residents to have road access to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport for critical health and safety reasons.

“This resolution gives Secretary Jewell the opportunity to rethink her decision and instead demonstrate her compassion for the people of King Cove,” said Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack. “We appreciate the staunch support of the legislature and the governor for the health and safety of our people. This is about protecting the lives of our elders and our children – our future generations.” - More...
Saturday PM - September 20, 2014


Alaska Science: Minto earthquakes then, now and tomorrow By NED ROZELL - Sarah Silas, 89, smiled as she remembered an earthquake that shook her village more than 60 years ago. The floor of her cabin swayed so that her young son staggered away from her.

At her kitchen table in Minto, Alaska, 89-year-old Sarah Silas remembers a 1947 earthquake.
Photo by Ned Rozell.

"My three-year old boy was laughing," she said inside her log cabin, its front door open to warm air on a golden day. "The ground was moving so much I couldn't even reach my little son."

Silas, with her husband Bergman a gracious host to a visiting seismologist, was one of a few people in this village of about 200 who remembered an earthquake in October 1947. The earthquake scientist, Carl Tape, was in Minto to interview elders and check on the installation of a super-sensitive instrument that detects ground motion.

A few blocks away at the Minto airport, two contractors were drilling a nine-foot hole that would soon be the home to a seismometer. That sophisticated earthquake detector is part of a plan to carpet Alaska with like instruments about every 50 miles, from the Alaska Peninsula to Barrow.

The EarthScope Project is a traveling band of seismometers that has blanketed the continental states in past years. This summer, technicians and scientists have installed 20 stations in Alaska, including the one in Minto. Next year, workers with the National Science Foundation-funded project will try to install 40 more seismometers in some of the loneliest spots in Alaska and the Yukon. If that goes well, 80 more installations will follow in 2016. - More...
Saturday PM - September 20, 2014


Columns - Commentary

PHIL KERPEN: Opponents of Internet Regulation Flip the Script By PHIL KERPEN - An incredible thing happened in the recent reply-comment period regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to regulate the Internet like old-fashioned monopoly telephone service: the side telling the agency not to regulate carried the day.

The radical left, demanding federal regulatory control of the building blocks of Internet, brought all the usual hype and hoopla and had free-spending corporate backers in Google and Netflix, who want regulators to force you to pay the costs of their downstream bandwidth.

This campaign by liberal special interests like MoveOn and the Sierra Club converted forty thousand websites into campaign advertisements urging visitors to support Internet regulation.

The websites participated in a stunt called "Internet Slowdown Day." These sites lied to visitors, claiming that without unprecedented new government regulation, broadband providers would start slowing down and degrading service.

Of course, such a thing has never happened, even without politicians in charge of the Internet. If a broadband provider ever tried such a stupid move, they'd lose customers in droves, and the board of directors would fire the CEO. The very fact these sites had to fake a slowdown should serve as proof that liberals are engaging in pure fantasy.

My organization, American Commitment, refused to let these rent-seekers and ideologues claim to speak for the American people.

For years, these groups had played a double game, acting as if they only wanted reasonable, "light-touch" regulation when talking to the general public, but boasting among their fellow travelers that, in the words of the founder of "slowdown" organizer Free Press: "the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control." - More...
Saturday - September 20, 2014

jpg Political Cartoon: Fight To The Last American

Political Cartoon: Fight To The Last American
By John Darkow ©2014, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
Distributed to s
ubscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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letter Lawsuit challenging the Walker - Mallott ticket without foundation By Stephen McAlpine and Bruce Botelho - On September 17, attorney and Republican Party activist Ken Jacobus went to court on behalf of the Republican Party's district chair, Steve Strait, in an attempt to remove Parnell's only significant opposition from the ballot.   Mr. Jacobus' theory is that Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell could not adopt emergency regulations to permit Bill Walker to substitute Byron Mallott as his running mate.   Jacobus has demanded that the court bar Mr. Walker and Mr. Mallott from appearing "as a combined non-party ticket".  In our judgment, this lawsuit has no merit. - More...
Sunday AM - September 21, 2014

letter Why I Stood Up for Alaskans in Point Thomson Litigation By Bill Walker - In a recent fund raising email that made its way to a cover story in the Alaska Dispatch News, Gov. Parnell claimed my challenge of his Point Thomson settlement was intended to stop development. “Bill and his law firm are still fighting the state in court to stop the Pt. Thomson project, where over 700 people were working this summer. Alaskans cannot afford the job loss and lost economic momentum a Walker-Mallott ticket will bring.” - More...
Sunday AM - September 21, 2014

letter Dan Sullivan Has Shown He Won't Protect Our Lands and Waters By Nick Moe - There are only a few issues that get me fired up enough to write a letter to the editor, and HB 77 (also known as the Silencing Alaskans Act ) is one of them. What's worse is the thought that the person who spearheaded the awful bill might be our next US Senator. - More...
Sunday AM - September 21, 2014

letter Vote for Begich? I don't think so. By Alan R. McGillvray - Vote for Mark Begich, I don't think so. I think that any one who would vote to put my health care in to the hands of a beaucrat needs to be unelected period. Never mind that when we sent the idiot to Washington D.C. he left Anchorage, with approx. $17,000,000.00 in unpaid debt. And the deal he gave the Unions representing the city workers did not work out too well for that city either. - More...
Sunday AM - September 21, 2014

letter Citizenship By Tom Alciere - On the White House website, you can find president Obama's birth certificate. Sure enough, he was born in Hawaii. His father, Barack Hussein Obama I, was born in Kenya, it says. - More...
Sunday AM - September 21, 2014

letter Forest Service's Young-growth Timber Transition Plan is Flawed By George Woodbury - The Forest Service wants to compel a rapid transition to harvesting only young-growth timber, but political aspirations don’t necessarily make good economic sense. - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter "NO" on Ballot Measure 2: Legalization of Marijuana in AK By Glenn J. Brown - I write regarding the upcoming Ballot Measure 2 proposing the legalization (decriminalization) of marijuana in Alaska. As a citizen of a free country, I have little interest in telling people what they ‘can and can’t do’ to themselves. Freedom includes the right to choose to make your own decisions, even bad ones. - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter Proud of Senator Begich By Margaret Duggan - It’s come to my attention that attacks about Senator Mark Begich’s record as Anchorage’s mayor are running in ads across the state. I’m writing to set the record straight and share my personal experience of working with Senator Mark Begich when he was Mayor. - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter Pro Begich By Ann Stephenson - How can a candidate say he is an Alaskan and wants to support Alaskans, when he won’t even meet with Alaskans to debate/discuss the bread and butter issues that affect them every working day? Did Dan Sullivan decide to attend the fishing debate only after he got wide-spread criticism? Did he have to be told just how important the fishing industry is to Alaska? From the get-go this debate should have been a priority, not an afterthought. Whether it’s Dan Sullivan or Don Young or Gov. Parnell, skipping debates is an arrogant affront to our election process in the state and a slap in the face to voters. Do they think they can buy our votes and trust without explaining their positions, without listening to Alaskans’ concerns for today and the future? - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter Senator Begich Cares By Harold B. Sager - In June, 2013, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My cancer doctor wrote a prescription for a portable wheelchair to use during my 48 days of radiation treatments. A detached hamstring didn't help any trying to walk down the long hallway. When I presented the prescription to a local supplier that I normally use, a lady said that Medicare would not accept it because there wasn't enough "verbage" - a word that confused me... - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter Rules by which congress operates must be changed By Glen E Terrell - I wanted to write today highlighting the most impressive aspects of the FairTax, urge you to learn more about it and then become an active supporter of adoption of the FairTax. It's a national sales tax that would REPLACE the current income tax and abolish the IRS within three years. Its adoption would usher in a period of economic growth and individual prosperity that no living American has ever experienced. But frankly, it doesn't have the proverbial "snow balls' chance in hell" of being adopted. Our thoroughly corrupt congress, both republicans and democrats, are drunk on the power they have through the income tax and IRS. Yes, the income tax and IRS are dearly beloved by Ds and Rs alike. They WILL NEVER VOTE to replace the income tax or abolish the IRS. - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter RE: Fair Tax By Stephen C. Eldridge - Bless his heart, Mr. Comino has lived over 90 years and is in good physical health, and we thank him for his service as a veteran. He won’t disclose how (or what) his training or expertise is relevant to taxation and finance, but from his comments, these are obviously NOT his strengths. - More...
Thursday AM - September 18, 2014

letter Obamacare: The “Unaffordable” Care Act’s Impact On Alaskans And Small Businesses By DeAnn E. Karlson and Terie Hicks - We are now seeing how detrimental the "Affordable Care Act", (also called "Obamacare") is to small businesses and individuals throughout Alaska. The intent was admirable - provide access to affordable health insurance. However, that was not accomplished. Premiums have skyrocketed. Deductibles and out of pocket maximums are higher than ever. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Alaska's Fisheries By U.S. Senator Mark Begich - Alaska’s U.S. Senator has to understand the unique needs of our coastal communities and the vital role commercial, subsistence and recreational fishing play in our economy and our culture. As chair of the Senate Fisheries and the Coast Guard Subcommittee, I work to listen to and represent the needs of Alaska fishermen. I am honored to have the endorsement of United Fishermen of Alaska because of this work. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Water / Sewer Bond Vote By Rodney Dial - Ketchikan City Residents; On October 7th, you will be asked to vote on approving 10 million in bonds to repair city water and sewer infrastructure. A few things you should consider: - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter US Fish & Wildlife Service Building By Chris Elliott - 624 Mill Street. Have you taken a good look at it? The home of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, it crouches like a filthy rodent behind the new fire station and fronts on Thomas Basin. Thousands of tourists stroll by it every day during the cruise season. You can see it clearly from the dining room of Cape Fox, and it's not a pretty sight. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter WARNING ALERT!!! BEWARE OF THE 1099K IRS AUDIT, COUNT YOUR INVENTORY PRECISELY By David G Hanger - Some of you have already experienced a 1099K, or Form 14420, audit. In two years my firm has dealt with more 1099K audits than field audits since 1989. Form 1099K is the IRS form invented only about four years ago that informs merchants how much their credit card sales have been annually. For a year or two there was a line on IRS forms for posting the 1099K amounts that was not even used; then a posting was expected, and in relatively short order we all discovered how this new tidbit of information was going to be used by the IRS. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Pro Walker & Mallott By Ann Graham Radford - I have lived in Alaska for 58 years and have seen many changes. I have always been a staunch, rather conservative Republican so it is no surprise that people are asking me if I still support Bill Walker for governor with the change of his running mate. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Re-elect Senator Begich By Michael Baines - As a lifelong Alaskan with experience in many Alaskan fisheries - including personal and charter sport fishing, hand and power trolling, seining, gill netting, subsistence salmon and halibut fishing, commercial halibut fishing, factory long lining, and crabbing, I am appalled by GOP senate candidate Dan Sullivan's complete lack of respect for Alaska's largest industry. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Kudos to Captain Zero By John Suter - Now that the primary election is over, the oil companies change their mind and decide not to increase oil production. Kudos to Captain Zero for not asking the oil companies to give back the state's money. The dividend checks were set up to help Alaskans pay their bills. Captain Zero knows that the millionaires and billionaires of the lower 48 who own oil stocks in the oil companies here that are getting the state's free billions of dollars have bills to pay as well. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Time to debate By Jody Serrano - Dan Sullivan claims to be a fighter in several of his ads, and even says he’ll be warrior for Alaska in one. Last time I checked, being a warrior meant having the courage to show up to a fight and look your opponent square in the eye. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Ohio Sullivan By Linda Sharp - Ohio Sullivan is under investigation for tax breaks he got on his million dollar home in Maryland. Sullivan is dishonest. He claims to have been an Alaskan resident since '97. Ohio Dan was getting tax breaks for a "primary residence" in Maryland in 2007 and 2008. Alaskans: Check facts and see through Ohio Sullivan' lies. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter KPU PROBLEM.... By Joey Garcia - I think our local Ketchikan Public Utility actions and interactions have a lot of oversights that needs to be known and seen from the inside out. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter KPU Tech? By Marlene Steiner - I want to know why when someone calls local KPU Tech about a problem with TV (I had a problem last weekend about a channel I could not get) I had to go through the whole weekend getting either Montana or North Carolina for this problem. I don't want to talk to someone in those states when I have a local Tech in Ketchikan. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Convention of States By Kathryn Jacobsen Meng - It is exciting to see the interest the Convention of States has garnished. It has been in the Constitution since its inception but has since been forgotten. The Convention of States was put in place by our Founding Fathers because they came from a place similar to what The United States of America has become. They saw the destructive nature of a government such as ours, and supplied us with this wonderful provision, a provision we can and should use to protect ourselves and our future generations. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter Fair Tax By Amerigo M Cimino - Taxes; one item in my life that infuriates me! I have read many articles about taxes in general. I have read the books about the Fair Tax, and was impressed! Particulary about the simplicity. I believe the "simple" part, is the problem with Politicians and those people I call "Taxperts"! - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

letter FairTax propagandist By Stephen C. Eldridge - Ms. Martin, a long time FairTax propagandist posts this same drivel in every publication she can find. - More...
Monday PM - September 15, 2014

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Regular Election
October 07, 2014

Candidates 2014

Borough Mayor
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