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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN

Noctilucent Clouds
This photo is looking north from the lookout on Brown mountain road about a half mile below the Dude Mountain trailhead in early August.
Front Page Feature Photo By DOUG BURKMAN ©2019


October 1, 2019
Ketchikan Local Election

Sample Ballots & Propositions


Ketchikan Borough Mayor
Candidates
3 Year Term, 1 Seat Open
jpg Rodney Dial Rodney Dial
Filed 08/05/19
Candidate's Statement 08/27/19
jpg Sidney Hartley Sidney Hartley
Filed 08/08/19
Candidate's Statement
08/31/19
jpg Michelle O'Brien Michelle O'Brien
Filed 08/23/19
Candidate's Statement 09/03/19

Borough Assembly
Candidates
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
jpg Austin Otos Austin Otos
Filed 08/01/19
Candidate's Statement 08/28/19
  David Landis
Filed 08/01/19
jpg Jeremy T. Bynum Jeremy T. Bynum
Filed 08/26/19
Candidate's Statement 09/08/19

Ketchikan School Board
Candidates
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
jpg Bridget Mattson Bridget Mattson
Filed 08/06/19
Candidate's Statement 09/05/19
  Jordan Tabb
Filed 08/20/19

Ketchikan School Board
Candidates
1 Year Term, 1 Seat Open
jpg Leslie Baker Leslie Becker
Filed 08/15/19
Candidate's Statement 08/29/19
jpg Hilary Kvasnikoff Hilary Kvasnikoff
Filed 08/16/19
Candidate's Statement 08/27/19
jpg Paul Robbins JR Paul Robbins, Jr.
Filed 08/16/19
Candidate's Statement 09/02/19
  Kathleen Yarr
Filed 08/23/19

Ketchikan City Council
3 Year Term, 2 Seats Open
  Lew Williams III
Filed 08/05/19
  Judy Zenge
Filed 08/05/19
  Spencer Strassburg
Filed 08/26/19

This is the 17th year, SitNews has provided FREE unfiltered web exposure to all local Ketchikan candidates to tell the voters why we should elect you.

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By: 09/15/19

The sooner the better; absentee voters may vote as early as 15 days prior to the Borough election - absentee voting begins Sept. 16th.

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Alaska

 

Southeast Alaska: Oct 1st May Not End AMHS Prince Rupert Route: Rep. Ortiz Travels to BC to Meet with Canadian Officials By MARY KAUFFMAN – The Alaska Marine Highway System announced on September 4th that it would be ending service to Prince Rupert on October 1st. And this week, Representative Ortiz (Ketchikan) visited Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada to meet with Canadian officials.

Oct 1st Ends AMHS Prince Rupert Route: Rep. Ortiz Travels to BC to Meet with Canadian Officials

Meeting with the Prince Rupert City Council and Mayor’s office. Pictured, left to right: Councillor Wade Niesh, Rep. Dan Ortiz. Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa; Councillor Nick Adey and Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven
Photo courtesy Rep. Dan Ortiz

Ortiz met with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Blake Ward Chief Financial Officer for Prince Rupert Corinne Bomben, Member of Legislative Assembly Jennifer Rice, City Councilors, and Mayor Lee Brain. Quoting a news release from Rep. Ortiz, the intent of these meetings was to find a solution to the current AMHS Prince Rupert port of entry requirements.

According to the Alaska Department of Transportation's announcement on Sept. 4th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is requiring the Alaska Marine Highway Sysem to secure a Canadian law enforcement presence to protect Customs and Border Protection’s personnel in Prince Rupert while inspection tasks are performed. According to ADOT, all avenues for local law enforcement were pursued, but AMHS was not able to secure the staff necessary to fulfill this requirement. The new requirement specifies a Canadian law enforcement presence with the ability to make arrests in Canada, which is not a duty that AMHS staff are able to perform.

Last spring, Customs and Border Protection began requiring a Canadian law enforcement presence in Prince Rupert. AMHS was granted a waiver through Sept. 30, 2019. Over the summer, AMHS worked with the City of Prince Rupert and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to meet this requirement, but according to the ADOT neither of these entities have staff available to perform the duties necessary to comply with the new requirement thus the announcement the Alaska Marine Highway System would be ending service to Prince Rupert on October 1st.

After conversations in Prince Rupert, Representative Ortiz said he has been reassured that fulfilling the requirement is feasible and possible solutions will be presented to the Department and the Administration next week during meetings in Juneau.

“I’m very heartened by the overwhelming sense of support from all of the government officials here in B.C. and their commitment to maintain AMHS access to Prince Rupert. I look forward to Mayor Brain’s visit to Juneau next week; it’s my expectation that he will come forward with very viable options for the State of Alaska to maintain year-round AMHS access to Prince Rupert,” said Representative Ortiz.

Earlier on September 5th, Mayor Brain released a prepared statement announcing that he would be heading up to Juneau the week of Sep 16 to meet with top Alaskan officials in the Department of Transportation and the Governor's office. According to Brain, a variety of solutions have been identified that could see a permanent resolution to this issue, and Prince Rupert officials have been collaborating with various different organizations and institutions that are involved with this matter.  - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019

Fish Factor: "Unpredictable" is the word for Alaska's 2019 salmon season By LAINE WELCH - “Unpredictable” is the way salmon managers describe Alaska’s 2019 salmon season, with “very, very interesting” as an aside.

The salmon fishery is near its end, and a statewide catch of nearly 200 million salmon is only six percent off what Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game number crunchers predicted, and it is on track to be the 8th largest since 1975. 

The brightest spot of the season was the strong returns of sockeye salmon which produced a catch of over 55 million fish, the largest since 1995 and the fifth consecutive year of harvests topping 50 million reds. The bulk of the sockeye catch – 43.2 million – came from Bristol Bay, the second largest on record. 

It was a roller coaster ride in many regions where unprecedented warm temperatures threw salmon runs off kilter and also killed large numbers of fish that were unable to swim upstream to their spawning grounds. Many salmon that made it to water faced temperatures of 75 degrees or more in some regions.

“The hot dry weather for most of the summer resulted in low and warm water conditions in many of the important spawning systems around the state. The salmon had to spend more time in saltwater than they normally would, in the terminal areas near the stream mouths,” said Forrest Bowers, deputy director of the ADF&G commercial fisheries division. 

Despite the heat stress, escapement goals were met in most Alaska regions.

“The runs returned in large enough numbers to make that happen. So that's a bright spot,” said Bowers, a nearly 30 year salmon management veteran. 

It’s been difficult to get a good census on how many salmon might have perished in the heat wave, Bowers said, but managers are assessing potential impacts on future fish.

“We've been taking reports from the public and we've had staff out in the field trying to collect information on the extent of those die offs,” Bowers said.  “We're looking at all the data, but from what we've seen, the magnitude is relatively small and we don't believe it has been significant enough to impact escapement.”

“Now, whether the warm water and low water conditions will result in reduced viability of offspring from the fish spawning this year or increase overwintering mortality, that remains to be seen. But those are possibilities,” he added.

The same environmental conditions are playing out favorably for salmon in westward regions, which adds to the unpredictability.  

“Particularly north of the Alaska Peninsula and the Bering Sea have been really favorable for salmon production at Bristol Bay, the Yukon, Norton Sound and Kotzebue,” Bowers said. “And we're starting to see salmon move even further into the Arctic. On the North Slope, we're seeing sockeye and pink salmon up there.”

It’s a sign of the times, Bowers added, and the unpredictability brings new challenges to salmon managers. 

“It's difficult to count on traditional run timings,” he explained. “We have so much run timing data for Pacific salmon and Alaska that go back over 100 years for some of the stocks that we rely on for in season management decisions. With a very compressed run such as at Bristol Bay, even a deviation of a few days creates a lot of uncertainty. Does that mean the run is late or not as large as forecast?

So that's what we're seeing in the last couple of years, this increased uncertainty in terms of run time and size.” - More....
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019

Alaska: UA Board of Regents clarifies stance on restructuring effort; Votes to consider options for single and multiple structures and establishes inter-university review teamsRecognizing the importance of the budget and academic issues facing the university, the UA Board of Regents voted Friday to clarify its earlier position on university structure to make clear it wants to consider both single and multiple university accreditations in the work to redefine UA’s structure as it works to strengthen programs and meet state funding reductions.

“We want to be sure that the message from the regents is clear,” said Regent Mary K. Hughes, who chairs the board’s subcommittee on restructuring, “we are open to all of the options or even a hybrid. We are open to the discussion of keeping the University of Alaska accredited and of maintaining all our 16 campuses, but understand that change is necessary.”

“Now I want to see Team UA out there going forward to try to make us better,” she said.

UA President Jim Johnsen supported the change in direction saying: “we will prepare a plan that includes consideration of multiple options.”

The stakes are high, Johnsen said, “… and while we strive to listen to all the voices, not everyone feels heard; while we use good data… we will not have all the data needed to satisfy everyone; while we communicate openly, not everyone will be satisfied with what has been shared; while we are taking time to evaluate the options, we will not have the time we would like to have; while we strive for perfection, none of us is perfect and there will be mistakes; and, while we focus on what’s possible, we hang on desperately to what we have.”

The board also voted to authorize Johnsen, working with the chancellors, to establish 13 inter-university teams to conduct expedited program reviews of eight academic programs and five other areas to determine how best to streamline or discontinue them. In addition, the board clarified its original motion to allow for a longer timeline to conclude the reviews.
- More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019


 

Ketchikan: Andrew Sanders MD receives teaching award for excellence in mentoring medical students – Andrew Sanders MD has received the 2019 WRITE Excellence in Teaching Award for Alaska from the Universtiy of Washington School of Medicine.

Andrew Sanders MD receives teaching award for excellence in mentoring medical students

Dr. Andrew Sanders
Photo Courtesy PH Ketchikan

Dr. Sanders, a Primary Care Physician at PeaceHealth Medical Group Ketchikan, was recognized for “his track record of excellence in teaching medical students as well as those that serve as a leader in their community", according to the award letter. The letter continues “You have clearly demonstrated the qualities we look for in outstanding preceptors and recipients of this award.”

“I act as a mentor,” said Dr. Sanders, “and a clinical instructor. I’ve really enjoyed my time with the students. They’ve all been exemplary, and I think they’ll make excellent physicians.”

Clearly, the high esteem in which he holds the students he mentors is returned in kind. His nominator writes, in part: Dr. Sanders leads by an incredible example. His patients open up to him due to his patient centered approach. His compassion carries across greatly during his home visits for end of life patients.

The WRITE Program, WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience, is a clinical medical education program at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The program integrates community involvement, continuity of experience, and a proven curriculum to expand primary care and rural training options for participants in the WWAMI program. - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019


Four U.S. Military Dogs Receive Nation's Top Honors for Valor; Alaska Home to One

Four U.S. Military Dogs Receive Nation's Top Honors for Valor; Alaska Home to One
Honoring our warriors’ best friends (left to right): American Humane President & CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, philanthropist Lois Pope,
USAF TSgt Robert Wilson and MWD Troll, USMC Colonel Scott Campbell (Ret.), Patrolman Eric Harris and MWD Emmie, Caroline Zuendel and Sgt. Yeager, Luchian Burke and K-9 Niko, Crown Media Family Networks President and CEO Bill Abbott, and USMC Brigadier General Robert C. Fulford.
Photo credit: Beth Caldwell for American Humane


 

Alaska - National: Four U.S. Military Dogs Receive Nation's Top Honors for Valor; Alaska Home to One K-9 Niko, a four-footed warrior who undertook 600 missions for the U.S. Department of State now living out the rest of his years on the Alaska frontier; an intrepid Dutch Shepherd (Troll) who helped safely evacuate a critically injured soldier; a brave black Lab (Sergeant Yeager) who was wounded in action while uncovering IEDs in Afghanistan; and an Improvised Explosive Device Detector dog (Emmie) who protected those who protect us at the Pentagon have all been chosen as the 2019 recipients of American Humane's Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage.

The awards, presented at a Capitol Hill ceremony on the eve of 911, are the nation's highest honor for military working dogs for extraordinary valor and service to America.  They were created under the aegis of American Humane, which has worked with the U.S. military for more than 100 years, and internationally renowned philanthropist and veterans advocate Lois Pope. 

The awards were conferred upon the courageous canines by some of the country's foremost military leaders and animal advocates, including American Humane President and CEO Robin Ganzert, PhD, United States Marine Corps Brigadier General Robert C. Fulford, United States Marine Corps Colonel Scott Campbell (Ret.)former Commanding Officer of the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Quantico, Va., Crown Media Family Networks President and CEO Bill Abbott, and philanthropist Lois Pope.

A dozen members of Congress and hundreds of congressional staffers attended the packed event. 

"I'd like to thank everyone for joining us as we honor some of our bravest, most courageous heroes," said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, co-chair of the Congressional Humane Bond Caucus, which hosted the event. "By helping locate enemy positions, engage the enemy, and sniff out deadly IEDs and hidden weapons, military dogs have saved countless lives in the fight for freedom. I consider it a moral responsibility to support America's veterans and military working dogs, both during their service and in retirement."

"Military working dogs are invaluable members of their units," said Rep. Henry Cuellar, co-chair of the Congressional Humane Bond Caucus. "Their deeds deserve recognition, their names deserve to be heard, and their service remembered."

"I cannot think of a better reason for all of us to come together – whether we are Democrats or Republicans or Independents....whether we are civilians or in the military or are veterans.... than to honor courageous canines who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard or National Guard," said internationally renowned philanthropist and veterans' advocate Lois Pope. "My thanks to all the members of Congress and leaders of the Armed Services branches who have taken time from their extremely busy schedules to join us."      

"Military dogs are vital to protecting those who protect our freedom," said American Humane President and CEO Robin Ganzert, PhD. "At American Humane, which has been supporting the U.S. military and military animals for over 100 years, we believe it is important to recognize and honor the extraordinary feats and acts of devotion these heroic animals perform every day."

Learn more about this year's medal winners - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019


 
Columns
Commentary

jpg TOM PURCELL

TOM PURCELL: Scholars to Hide Behind 'Fake Names' on Intolerant Campuses - When my retired professor friend told me about it, my alarm bells went off.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, three academics founded a cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal to encourage scholars to present contentious arguments.

Though anyone should welcome The Journal of Controversial Ideas, here's what alarms me: It will allow publication of controversial ideas under fake names (pseudonyms).

Why would academics choose to publish carefully pondered ideas under pseudonyms?

The Chronicle says "such a policy would allow an untenured academic to publish a controversial paper" without fear of consequences.

Translation: Pseudonyms would prevent academics from being fired for sharing ideas that might offend someone - which is all too easy to do in these touchy, highly intolerant times.

Take Bruce Gilley, a Princeton-educated political science professor at Portland State University (PSU). He had a long and distinguished career - until he published a scholarly article arguing that colonialism had certain social benefits. 

The Chronicle says "he wrote that colonialism had improved many lives, whereas 'a century of anticolonial regimes and policies' had taken 'a grave human toll.'"

Whatever you think of his premise, you'd expect that robust academic debate about it would be the proper response in a free and open society. But that isn't what happened.

Within days, a petition to retract his article gathered more than 10,000 signatures, 15 members resigned from the editorial board of the journal involved, and its editor received death threats. Gilley withdrew his article.

But his woes didn't stop there. Gilley told The Chronicle some students filed a claim against him for "engaging in prohibited harassment and discrimination" and his university's diversity office targeted him in a "wide-ranging investigation." - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019


jpg Political Cartoon: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Political Cartoon: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
By Jeff Koterba ©2019, Omaha World Herald, NE
Distributed to paid subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


      

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jpg Opinion

Opposed to development of the waters over the superfund MOU at Ward Cove By Betsey Burdett - I am writing to voice my opposition to the development of the waters over the superfund marine operating unit (MOU) at Ward Cove. I hope you will comment to the Army Corps of Engineers concerning the permit application by Power Systems and Supplies of Alaska, Godspeed, Inc., and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd. The comment period was extended until September 19, 2019 so that agencies (EPA, DEC, etc.) and the public (us!) would have time to respond. Information disseminated thus far has come from the above companies. You can search the cleanup at Ward Cove from the EPA website. The more I look into this, the more astounded I am that the Army Corps has received only two requests for a public hearing as of this writing. Do we care about our water? Do we have time to comment about this? If you want to comment you just have a few days.

Here are some of the things I have found out.

The EPA has oversite for the both the uplands and the MOU. There is a sand cap which covers certain areas of the cove. The July 2004 Covenant of the Record of Decision (ROD) Section IX states:

“The borough covenants and agrees that it shall not, through any activities or operations at or in the Ward Cove Area, materially damage any cap or capping materials that may be applied to sediments in the Ward Cove Area under the Ward Cove (CERLA) consent decree.”

Further, the Borough would have to immediately report any disruption to the cap. Termination of the restrictions and due diligence clauses would have to be approved by the EPA. - More...
Saturday AM - September 14, 2019

jpg Opinion

Unlocking Arctic Energy Is Vital for Alaska - and America By U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski & Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young - This week the House of Representatives is set to consider measures that would restrict America’s future energy supply, including one that would block responsible development in northeast Alaska. As the state’s congressional delegation, we are unified in strong opposition and believe passage would be a reckless strategic mistake.

The bill in question comes from a California representative and targets the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Congress set aside in 1980 for future exploration. After years of debate, Congress agreed in 2017 to allow careful development of just 2,000 acres of the 1.5-million-acre area, itself located within the ANWR’s 19.3 million acres. This developable fraction of a fraction amounts to one ten-thousandth of the refuge. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

"Traitor Teachers" By Kathleen Yarr - "Traitor Teachers" have been forwarding Ketchikan Education Association President email to me. (Emailed on school email. Huh. Wonder if that’s okay?) Regardless, this is evidence the KEA is not quite the rock-solid, union monolith KEA would like to think they are.

With a whiff of ..... displeasure, President Lundamo mentions I was a para (Implication: Who will run for school board next? A janitor? I hope so.) Lundamo then goes on to gently correct the record on the National Teachers Association-Alaska’s position on pregnancy, which they support providing the mother supports her pregnancy. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Trade War Hurting Farmers By Donald Moskowitz - President Trump is trying to attain trade equity with China, but his trade war is having a devastating impact on U.S. farmers, which could lead to long term losses of the Chinese market for our agricultural products since they are being replaced by competing countries. The $12 billion farmers subsidy is just a temporary reprieve for farmers.

China typically imports large quantities of U.S. fruit, pork, cotton, soybeans and other farm products. It imports 60% of U.S. soybean exports, about 30 million tons per year. Although the European Union agreed to import more soybeans, its 14 million tons falls far short of the 30 million tons to China. - More...
Wednesday PM - September 11, 2019

jpg Opinion

Why would you want to opt out of KEA? By Kathleen Yarr - Teachers: What could you do with an additional $1,123 dollars a year? And paraeducators, an additional $582 a year? You could save that money by 'not' opting into the Ketchikan Educational Association (KEA). For those of you who appreciated the Trump Tax Cuts, here’s a way to put some more money in your paycheck. - More...
Tuesday AM - September 03, 2019

jpg Opinion

Enthusiastic for Tourism By Chelsea Goucher - The primary mission of the Ketchikan Chamber is to advocate for a healthy business climate, sustainable economic growth, and a rich quality of life in Ketchikan. In accordance with this mission, the Chamber's Board has determined that now is the time to make crystal clear our enthusiasm for tourism. We applaud the Ward Cove Group's efforts to support this industry through the construction of new cruise ship berths north of town, and we are encouraged that this is being done through private sector investment in our community. In equal measure, we stand behind the efforts of our municipal governments to improve public infrastructure and ensure that locals and tourists alike experience Ketchikan at its very best. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Who is OURPORT? By Janalee L Minnich Gage - While I have been on the Ketchikan city council since 2015, in this statement I speak for myself as a member of this community. I do not speak for other members of the council or the council as a whole. 
 
Community Members are very busy, and expect their elected officials to do the job of planning and administering the City. I believe everyone on this council truly has the community’s best interest at the heart of their decisions. However; there are people and groups that would like to skew the facts, so that we don’t see the truth, or that what they get is more beneficial to their pocketbook not the community as a whole.  - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Defend Alaska Against Foreign Corporate Interests By Dr. Al Gross - The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay is the epicenter of crony capitalism, and the poster child for what’s wrong with politics. - More...
Tuesday PM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Funding Our School Budget to the Cap By Sidney Hartley - John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; it is life itself.” When we look at our Ketchikan School District, we need to be asking ourselves if we are breathing enough life into the future of our children. Last year, by no easy task, Ketchikan Education Association (KEA) successfully reached a negotiated agreement with the school board to provide Ketchikan educators with competitive pay and affordable health insurance. KEA’s effort to negotiate an agreement spanned three years, and required robust, committed meetings with an all too dismissive school board president and certain other board members. Amidst the advocacy and protest for the board to hear the concerns of our educators last summer, (then) school board president Shaw resigned in response to facing the recall petition I spearheaded, along with incredible support of eight other co-sponsors: Matt Hamilton, Austin Otos, Kevin Staples, Lindsey Johnson, Jackie Yates, Penny Johnson, Cassidy Patton, and Christine Furey. - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

jpg Opinion

Vote Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor By Lance Twitchell - I am writing to endorse Sid Hartley for Ketchikan Borough Mayor. I trust her leadership completely, and feel she is by far the greatest candidate for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. She brings with her great patience, genuine interest to listen to people, an ability to find the middle ground between groups with differing interests, and a mindset that is inclusive and holistic. In this era of American politics, where issues are decided by the intentions of large special interest groups and political alliances, Alaska is in need of leadership that will take a close look at the issues before making a decision. Ms. Hartley is exactly the candidate that our state needs, and will bring good things to Ketchikan, especially in terms of sustainable tourism decisions, embracing language revitalization at a community level, protecting the stability and safety of schools, and making stronger moves to ensure environmental protection without harming the economy.   - More...
Tuesday AM - August 27, 2019

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Northway Family Healthcare - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Schore Excursions - Explore Alaska - Ketchikan Shore Excursions - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska Travelers - Ketchikan, Alaska - Asisting travelers with lodging in Ketchikan since 1999.

Alaska Airlines - Pack More For Less

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Alaska Airlines - Travel Tuesday - Explore more with weekly fare sales.

The Local Paper - Ketchikan, Alaska The Local Paper - Ketchikan, Alaska The Home Office - The Local Paper; Ketchikan, Alaska

The Local Paper is
available online.
Click here for this week's printed edition (PDF)

KRBD - Ketchikan FM Community Radio for Southern Southeast Alaska

Shop Local & Advertise Local with SitNews - Ketchikan, Alaska

KGB Sales Taxes - Finance Dept. KGB Delinquent Sales Tax KGB Sales Taxes