Southeast News

Alaska Day dilemma: celebrating history without colonialism

Paulette Moreno on Castle Hill (Emily Russell/KCAW Photo)Planning for the holiday started months ago, but a holiday centered around colonialism has some people rethinking one of Sitka’s longest standing traditions. Downloadable audio.

Mental Health committee recommends reconsideration

A springtime view of Deer Mountain. (KRBD file photo by Leila Kheiry)The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s resource management committee approved two motions Wednesday to recommend that the Board of Trustees reconsider its controversial August decision to log portions of Deer Mountain and a parcel in Petersburg.

Three Southeast ports land some of the largest volumes for 2015


Three Southeast ports landed some of last year’s largest volumes of seafood in the U.S. according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released Wednesday.

Petersburg, Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau were among the list of several major U.S. ports. … more

33 Alaska judges up for retention on Nov. 8

Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens. (KRBD file photo)In the First Judicial District, which comprises the southern Southeast region, voters will decide whether to retain four of the district’s judges.

Morgan Enright talks about recovery after Angoon plane crash

Morgan Enright as pictured on Caring Bridge website.

Morgan Enright survived a plane crash in Angoon this spring that left three dead. After months of recovery at three facilities across the country, she is back in Alaska and getting back to work. KSTK’s Aaron Bolton sat down with … more

Fall Dungeness season off to a slow start


The first month of the fall Dungeness crab season is off to a slow start in the Wrangell and Petersburg area. Adam Messmer is a shellfish biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“Yea, the catch is slightly … more

SE legislators seek inclusion in pink salmon disaster request

Idle seiners in Juneau, in 2013. Although this year's harvest of 18 million pinks fell below the 34 million predicted, it wasn't the lowest in recent memory. In 2006, seiners landed only 11 million humpies. (Flickr photo/Gillfoto)A pair of Southeast legislators is asking the governor to include Southeast fishermen in Alaska’s request for federal disaster relief under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Mental Health committee to vote on reconsideration

Deer Mountain (KRBD file photo)The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s resource management committee meets Wednesday starting at 1 p.m., and will vote on whether to recommend reconsideration of the Trust Board’s decision to start the process of logging parts of Deer Mountain and a parcel in Petersburg.

Charter election to be in-person after all

Borough SealDuring a four-minute special meeting Monday night, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted unanimously to change the by-mail special Charter Commission election to an in-person election.

Constitution Party’s Ken Shaw runs for HD36

Constitution Party logo

Three people are running for the House District 36 seat. We had earlier reports on incumbent Dan Ortiz and his Republican challenger Bob Sivertsen. And on Friday, KRBD’s Leila Kheiry sat down with Constitution Party candidate Ken Shaw.

Here’s a … more

Applicants file for Council, School Board seats

birdFive people filed for a vacancy on the Ketchikan City Council; four want to fill an empty Ketchikan School Board seat.

Three bears shot and killed in Sitka neighborhood

A tranquilized bear and cub. (Alaska Department of Fish & Game photo.Wildlife troopers shot and killed a brown bear sow and her two cubs in a Sitka neighborhood late this week (10/20/16). While it’s not the first report of an aggressive bear near downtown, the three were the first animals destroyed this year for public safety. Downloadable audio.

Logging emails: ‘Helpful’ or just informational?

A springtime view of Deer Mountain. (KRBD file photo by Leila Kheiry)Deer Mountain was the topic of a series of borough emails this week, with some claiming the Ketchikan Gateway Borough manager had been too helpful toward the Alaska Mental Health Trust.

Potential Wrangell pot business applies for licenses


The Wrangell Assembly passed a zoning ordinance last week that made way for marijuana businesses in Wrangell. Now, Wrangell’s only proposed pot business, Happy Cannabis, is initiating its applications with the state, beginning the final push for construction to be … more

GPIP board identifies contractor for multi-purpose dock

Selling off the park is within the GPIP board's mission: “Unlike other property owned by the 
municipality, the former Alaska Pulp Corporation mill site was acquired not for governmental 
purposes from the state or federal government, but for economic development and disposal."  (GPIP photo)In Sitka, the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board has chosen a contractor to build a multi-purpose dock at the facility, to be completed by January 2018. The dock would primarily support the freight and fishing industries.

Dan Ortiz calls for Republican candidate Bob Sivertsen to denounce “dark money”

dan ortiz

House District 36 incumbent Dan Ortiz called for Republican candidate Bob Sivertsen to denounce so-called “dark money” in this year’s campaign on Monday.

He was referring to the independent expenditure group known as Southeast Voters for Bob Sivertsen, which has … more

Assembly OKs charter election brochure

Borough SealThe Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted Monday evening in favor of a voter information brochure, in case there is a charter commission election in December; discussed selective logging in the Blank Inlet area; and talked about the search for a new borough manager.

Joe Miller brings Senate campaign to Ketchikan

Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Joe Miller meets supporters during a campaign trip to Ketchikan. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Prompting a feeling of deja-vu, Joe Miller is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Lisa Murkowski. This time, though, Murkowski won her primary and has the Republican Party backing, and Miller is running as the Libertarian Party candidate.

Miller: “Clinton would be disastrous for Alaska”

161017_joemiller_kwongTwo-time U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller made a pit-stop in Sitka last week (10-12-16). The libertarian nominee is voting for Donald Trump for president and hoping to unseat incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R).

Gov. Walker starting new budget process

Gov. Bill Walker speaks Thursday to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Gov. Bill Walker has money on his mind. Still.

U.S. producers push for tariffs on Canadian timber

A fire left its mark on this Tongass National Forest tree trunk, as seen in 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Xa’at)

The deadline to strike a deal on Canadian softwood lumber imports into the U.S. came and went Wednesday. The past agreement controlled Canadian lumber import prices which allowed Alaskan lumber to compete in the market. The U.S. Lumber Coalition said … more

As electric rates rise 7%, Sitka Assembly explores other options

161014_assemblyelectric_kwongThe Sitka Assembly is raising electric rates for the second time this year, by an average of 7% across the customer base. That will close the gap in the electric fund for FY17. But the relief is short-lived. To address future shortfalls, the Assembly wants to dip into other pockets in the city’s wallet before raising rates again.

SEARHC acquires Wrangell based AICS


The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announced Wednesday that it would be acquiring Wrangell based Alaska Island Community Services.

AICS CEO Mark Walker said the Wrangell operation will retain its name and continue operating out of its existing locations.

“All … more

Wrangell Assembly passes pot zoning codes


The Wrangell Borough Assembly unanimously passed modifications to zoning ordinances to make way for marijuana businesses Tuesday. The ordinance lays out rules for all four types of marijuana licenses, growing, manufacturing, retail and testing.

Wrangell Economic Development Director, Carol Rushmore, … more

Aggressive bears concern Sitka Police

bearsIt’s not uncommon for bears roam neighborhoods in search of trash, especially in the months leading up to hibernation, but all the usual tricks for keeping Sitka’s bears at bay haven’t been working. Downloadable audio.

Ferry system’s proposed Summer 2017 schedule released

The fast ferry Fairweather sails in Chatham Strait in 2010. It and the Chenega will be tied up for most of the fall, winter and spring. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

The Alaska Marine Highway System Tuesday released a proposed schedule for next summer.

Ferry system spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said it doesn’t show much of a decline compared to summer 2016. But he said the system will see about 10 fewer … more

Scholarship in name of Wrangell historian awarded for first time

Patricia Roppel ( Photo courtesy of Roppel family)

A scholarship in the name of a deceased Wrangell historian, Patricia Roppel, was awarded to its first recipient this summer.

The Tongass Historical Society announced the recipient of the THS Patricia Roppel Memorial Scholarship Fund last week. The scholarship is … more

How should Sitka solve the housing crunch?

IMG_8209Housing was the big theme for Wednesday night’s (10-06-16) meeting of the Sitka Planning Commision.

Yakutat ANB leader calls for more youth involvement

Yakutat ANB Camp President Devlin Anderstrom delivers the keynote speech Wednesday at the Alaska State Brotherhood and Sisterhood Grand Camp Convention in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The ANB-ANS convention's 19-year-old keynote speaker praised efforts to support and expand Native rights and culture. But he said they need to grow.

FEMA to fund landslide mapping for Sitka

An aerial image of the Kramer Avenue slide, from a stack in the Fire Hall where a state team is helping affected Sitkans apply for aid. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)FEMA will be stepping in to fund landslide mapping in Sitka. The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, who will be leading the research project, announced the news on Tuesday.