Southeast News

UPDATED: Seiner sinks in Eastern Channel

122Yesterday evening (09-01-15), a wooden seiner ran aground in the vicinity of the Twins Island, roughly 0.5 to 0.75 nm off the mouth of Indian River. The F/V Pacific Venture later sunk. Marine Safety Detachment Sitka estimates 5 gallons of diesel fuel was released in that grounding.

Man pleads not guilty to fatal stabbing

0903151431 (1)The man accused of a fatal stabbing in Ketchikan on August 10th plead not guilty today in Ketchikan Superior Court.

Craig shop helps make music from fallen trees

Materials for musical instruments have some unique qualities, especially wood instruments.

State team helps Sitka apply for disaster aid

IMG_1341 Today (09-02-15) , a state team sat down with Sitkans affected by last month’s landslides. Now that Governor Bill Walker has declared a disaster, new lines of relief funds are available for the next 60 days. Six staff with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and one state geologist will be in Sitka for two days, to walk city officials and citizens through the process of procuring disaster aid.

Native groups plan to monitor water quality of transboundary rivers

stikine riverThe Bureau of Indian Affairs is partnering with the Tlingit-Haida Central Council to gather baseline water quality data from three Southeast Alaska rivers that could be affected by British Columbia mine development.

POW offers first all-young-growth timber sale

IMG_1855Prince of Wales is managing its first completely young-growth timber sale as part of a larger initiative to switch from old-growth to young-growth lumber. Meant to ease tensions with environmentalists and the public, it's proving more complex than it seems.

Hydro challenges: Permitting, money, terrain

Artist rendering of the Susitna-Watana project. (Alaska Energy Authority image)The Alaska Power Association met last week in Ketchikan, and among the topics covered was hydroelectric power projects in the state.

Governor declares disaster in Sitka, freeing up relief funds

150818_slides_Waldholz_01On Friday, Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration for Sitka, in response to seven landslides on August 18th. According to Gorman, the cost of emergency response alone is estimated to be over half a million dollars.

Source of large oil spill in ANB Harbor identified

IMG_2990The Coast Guard has determined the source of a large diesel spill that spread from Sitka Sound into ANB harbor yesterday morning (08-31-15). The source was a commercial vessel south of ANB Harbor.

California man found dead on boat in Wrangell

A California man was found dead Tuesday morning on a fishing vessel in Wrangell. Wrangell Police Chief Doug McCloskey said police were notified around 6 a.m. and recovered the body from Wrangell’s downtown harbor.

Rainforest Islands Ferry starts service in Southeast

ferryA new independent ferry connecting Wrangell, Petersburg and Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island started up Friday and transported its first passengers between the communities. But the launch of passenger service revealed some logistical problems.

Are tailings dams safe? B.C. mines chief says ‘yes’

B.C. Minister of Mines Bill Bennett, left, discusses his trip up the Taku River with Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott in the Walter Soboleff Center lobby Aug. 24 in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)British Columbia Mines Minister Bill Bennett says tailings dams can be a safe part of his province's mines.

Rep. Ortiz encouraged by BC mines minister visit

ortizHouse District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz gives an update on current activities, including transboundary mines talks, the Medicaid expansion lawsuit and the upcoming session's most pressing topic: The budget.

Wrangell’s tourism season winds down with last big cruise ship

cruise shipThe biggest cruise ship to dock in Wrangell this year marked the winding-down of the busy tourism season when it made its last stop of the summer Tuesday at City Dock.

Public comments on POW subsistence wolf harvest

Alaska Department of Fish and Game photo.The Office of Subsistence Management heard Thursday from the public – some from out of state – about whether to allow a subsistence wolf harvest on Prince of Wales Island and adjacent islands.

Sitka organizations offer free counseling in aftermath of slides

From left, John Raasch, of Youth Advocates of Sitka; Marita Bailey, Amy Zanuzoski and Carol Berge, of Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services; and Parcae Soule, of SEARHC, spoke about counseling resources available to Sitkans. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)As the city continues to cope with the aftermath of last week’s landslides, Sitka's emergency responders had one key message on Thursday: take care of yourself, and make sure to ask for help if you need it.

Nine days in, landslide response starts to scale back

City crews continued to focus Thursday on removing debris from the Kramer Avenue landslide site, working on a cleanup that officials estimate could take a month or more.

Cross Country to open school sports year this weekend

27 students are on the Sitka High 2015 Cross Country team. (KCAW photo/Charles Bingham)The Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe high school cross-country running teams will hit the trails this weekend when they host their only home meet of the season.

Veteran teachers to lead Sitka’s high schools

Mandy Summer (l.) and Lyle Sparrowgrove have decades of combined experience in the classroom. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Both of Sitka’s high schools have new principals -- and both are familiar faces with a lot of teaching experience.

BC mines minister talks transboundary issues

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, left, and BC Minister of Mines Bill Bennett address the Alaska Power Association Thursday morning in Ketchikan. They later talked to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)British Columbia’s Minister of Mines Bill Bennett was in Ketchikan on Thursday, part of a diplomatic and fact-finding trip to Southeast Alaska related to the issue of transboundary mines.

British Columbia more open to mine treaty talks

B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett discusses the week's mine meetings as Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and other state officials listen during a Wednesday press conference in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News).British Columbia’s mines minister says he’s open to involving Canada in resolving transboundary mine conflicts. That’s a change from earlier statements.

Chamber of Commerce likely to take over Sitka visitor services

A screenshot of the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau website. The assembly has voted to dissolve the bureau. (Screenshot June 24, 2015)The saga of Sitka’s Convention and Visitors Bureau continued Tuesday night, as the assembly moved one step closer to fully dissolving the bureau and hiring an outside contractor to do its work -- likely the Sitka Chamber of Commerce.

City still investigating cause of diesel spill

The diesel from the Jarvis Street Power Plant leaked into Sitka Sound through this storm water drain at Eagle Beach. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)The Sitka Assembly received an update on last week’s diesel spill at the city’s Jarvis Street Power Plant.

State ferry system raising cancellation fees

8-20-13 Fairweather drawing by Issac Taylor @ Petersburg Ferry TerminalThe state ferry system will soon charge more for canceling reservations. Fee increases begin Oct. 1, the same day the winter ferry schedule begins.

State pot official details cannabis regs timeline

(Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)The Alaska Municipal League met in Ketchikan last week to talk about issues of shared interest throughout the state. One of those issues is marijuana legalization, and one of the speakers was Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and the newly formed Marijuana Control Board.

USFS announces Navy Timber Sale south of Wrangell

A map showing the Navy Timber Sale. (Courtesy of fs.usda.gov)The U.S. Forest Service announced a timber sale last week that makes 13.1 million board feet of timber available on the Tongass National Forest 22 miles south of Wrangell.

WMC board hires new hospital CEO

Aaron McPherson, Jeffrey Lyle and Robert RangThe Wrangell Medical Center Board of Directors hired Robert Rang of Kodiak on Thursday as the new hospital CEO.

Dock planned for bear observatory raises concerns

bearIn an effort to increase safety at a popular bear observatory near Wrangell, the U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with plans to build a dock at the site for planes and boats to drop off tourists. But Wrangell-based tour guides say the costly dock will essentially be useless and could create more hazards than it prevents.

One year after mine disaster, Wrangellites protest BC mines

A protest in Wrangell on Sunday, August 2, 2015. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)A protest in Wrangell on Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of a mining disaster in Canada and sought to bring attention to mines being developed across the border from Southeast Alaska.

WCA celebrates cultural center’s grand opening

wca cultural centerThe Wrangell Cooperative Association cut the ribbon on its cultural center and carving shed Saturday, completing the second phase of the tribe’s three-part Native cultural revival plan. The center will serve as a place for recreating eight sacred totem poles and for teaching Native arts.