Important Local News Roundup [March 31st] - P.O.W. Report

Monday, March 30, 2020

Important Local News Roundup [March 31st]

Due to the need to practice social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, the following Ketchikan public spaces are CLOSED to the public:

- All school playgrounds including Houghtaling Elementary, Valley Park, Point Higgins Elementary, and Fawn Mountain Elementary
- Public playgrounds including Grant Street Park, Monroe Street Tot Lot, and Triangle Park
- Rotary Beach
- South Point Higgins Beach.
- Skate Park located on Schoenbar Avenue

The following public fields remain open to users following the State of Alaska social distancing guidance. Team sports and pickup games are prohibited. Groups of less than ten may only gather if those in the group are immediate family members.

- All school fields including Houghtaling Elementary, Valley Park, Point Higgins Elementary, and Fawn Mountain Elementary
- Dudley Fields
- Walker Fields
- Weiss Fields

For a complete list of Ketchikan facility closures go here

Job Posting

AC Thompson House is currently looking for some on call employees for the following areas; Stocking, Cashiers, Deli Clerk & Order Processing. If any of these sound interesting please stop by the store and fill out a application. Thanks

Also POW AC stores in Craig and Klawock will be closing on April 5th along with Easter Sunday April 12th to give staff some much needed rest days.

Totem to Totem Half Marathon Postponed

Totem to Totem Half Marathon — has been postponed to Sept. 12, 2020 due to concerns about the coronavirus, the race committee said. There is be virtual option available in late May if anyone wants to run the course alone.

This year’s race will be the 38th year; according to Gretchen Klein, “the unique nature” of the race elevates its health risk above other public outings.

The race draws as many as 300 runners including, 100 elementary age students who annually participate in a 6 week training program lead by Becca Doyle and Kevin Johnson from Houghlating Elementary School, Clint Schultz from Tongass School of Arts and Katie Coan Sivertsen from Point Higgins Elementary School. We give gratitude to all the volunteers, and sponsors who had already committed to 2020.

At the start of the race, which is at Rotary Beach, runners are tightly packed, waiting for the starting gun to be fired. This congestion of runners raises the risk of disease transmission; the same is true for spectators and emergency personnel along the 13.1-mile route that starts at Rotary Beach, and covers almost every part of the city of Ketchikan.

"We hope this change will allow people to get healthy, and opportunity to train longer,” Gretchen said. “It’s a day that the many come out to complete personal goals, and run in someone's remembrance at the race; the decision wasn’t made lightly."

Runners, though, are generally socially conscious and she said they will understand the reasons behind the decision. The Race Committee will continue to prepare for the September 12th 2020 date.

Runners who are pre registered, can request a refund if desired. Please contact Gretchen Klein,

According to Totem to Totem Half Marathon’s website. Participates are charged $60 before March 20th, 2020, and $68 after that date.

Historical Note:

Ketchikan Parks and Recreational started the race in the mid 80's, and in the 90's the Ketchikan Running Club was formed, and took over many of the annual races held. It originally started at Saxman Tribal Hall, and finished at the Totem Bight State Park. It has been rotated back and forth a few times over the years. Currently the race is started at Rotary Beach, with a Finish at the Potlatch Totem Park/Alaska Totem Trading.

Thank you,

Gretchen Klein
Race Director

From State Senator Bill Wielechowski

The legislature is constitutionally required to audit State departments every year. The 2019 audit was just released. It reveals stunning mismanagement and waste and a record number of material deficiencies and noncompliance. Here are a few statements from the State Auditor:

"We are unable to obtain appropriate audit evidence to provide assurances over tax revenues because Department of Revenue management denied auditors sufficient access to Department of Revenue oil and gas production tax-related settlement/appeal files."

"We were unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence due to the Department of Revenue Commissioner's refusal to provide written representations over the financial statement preparation and fair presentation of the tax revenue accounts and written representations for the completeness of the information provided to auditors."

The State Comprehensive Annual Financial Report draft (CAFR) "was materially misstated", and included a "revenue classification misstatement of $1.1 billion...and a $548 million understatement of [an] account."

"$69.2 million of FERC-related revenues which should have been deposited into the Constitutional Budget Reserve [CBR] were instead offset to [oil] tax credits"

After finding misuse of oil tax credits, the Auditors requested more information, but were "denied by the Department of Revenue management."

The Dept. of Revenue did not timely transfer oil tax revenue to the CBR, causing millions in lost revenue.

A random sampling of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF] cases found 27% contained errors.

The Division of Health Care Services created a "golden ticket" program where they "intentionally disregarded State and federal regulations and overrode internal controls designed to prevent unallowable costs, unallowable activities, and fraud"

"The audit identified one 19-year old recipient who received 26 [dental] crowns during one visit without prior authorization... and a three year old recipient received 14 stainless steel crowns for primary teeth in one visit"

"The audit also found a dental provider delivering permanent porcelain/ceramic crowns at a frequency significantly above other providers. This provider accounted for $778,000, or 24% of the $3.2 million expended during FY 19 for the procedure."

Four medical claims were overpaid $1,845,721. One recipient had 830 medical claims that were overprocessed, totaling $680,704.

275 Medicaid and 40 CHIP recipient files were randomly selected from a universe of 77,825 recipients. 17% of the files could not be located by the Department; 15% had income incorrectly counted; 13% lacked sufficient documentation to support the verification of financial eligibility
The Department of Natural Resources did not transfer $199 million of funds that were required to be transferred to the Permanent Fund

Job Posting

Share, like and subscribe to this site
Send a tip or a story or a classified or hatemail to
Support this site and make a small donation (and you'll receive the POW Court Report in an email)
Ads just 10$ a month

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.