Southeast News

Roads, ferries, airports: Meetings spotlight SE transportation plan

Sitkans will have a chance to learn more about proposed local and regional transportation projects at a meeting the evening of Aug. 20 at Centennial Hall. more

B.C. gives KSM mine environmental OK

A controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan just won environmental approval from the British Columbia government. more

As dam rises, Sitka moves to temporary water supply

Sometime in August crews working on the Blue Lake hydro project in Sitka will shut off the old penstock from the dam and connect a new one -- work that will leave the town without its drinking water supply for up to four months. In the meantime, the city is returning to its former water plant on the Indian River, but it’s not a matter of turning a few valves. Because of higher drinking water standards, Sitka has rented a temporary filtration plant -- at a cost of about $1-million per month. more

New roads? Old ferries? A wilderness airport?

Southeast Alaskans can learn more about regional transportation projects at a series of meetings starting Aug. 6. more

Southeast commercial troll fleet gets second shot at king salmon

Southeast Alaska’s commercial troll fishing fleet will have another crack at king salmon in August even with a big haul from the first Chinook opening in July more

Is the Tongass key to slowing climate change?

The Tongass National Forest is in the crosshairs of environmental organizations again. Two large coalitions are pressuring the Obama administration to stop all old-growth logging, in part to fight climate change. more

30-year-old buried TNT on Lance Drive

Explosives found last week at the end of Lance Drive in Sitka turned out to be no longer dangerous -- in fact, bomb experts believe that they had already detonated underground years ago. more

Southeast Alaska hydro facility transfer nearly done

The transfer of operations of a hydro electric power plant in central Southeast Alaska is progressing this summer and could be completed sometime in August. The owner of the plant, the Ketchikan-based Southeast Alaska Power Agency will take over running the facility. That will mean a different future role for the joint Wrangell and Petersburg organization that has been overseeing operations. more

Couple arrives in Petersburg in unconventional vessel

Many people travel to Alaska in the summer to experience wild, untapped adventure. One couple arrived in Petersburg recently by unconventional means. They’ve spent nearly 70 days on the water, all the way from Victoria British Columbia. more

Sturges finds music in life’s final verses

Composer and artistic director Molly Sturges is one of this year’s faculty at the Sitka Symposium. KCAW interviewed Sturges to learn more about one of her specialities, “sound poetry events.” more

Denied promotion, Leone thanks rescuers and moves on

On July 7, 2014, KCAW News broadcast a special report from the Center for Investigative Reporting on the aftermath of the crash of Coast Guard helicopter 6017, and its impact on the culture of accountability in the Coast Guard. On the same day, the co-pilot and lone survivor, Lt. Lance Leone, revisited the crash site to talk with the Quileute Tribe fishermen who pulled him from the ocean. Former KCAW reporter Ed Ronco accompanied Leone on his return to La Push, Washington -- his last as an officer in the Coast Guard. more

Southeast crabbers hauling in big Dungeness catch

It’s been a big summer season for commercial Dungeness crabbing in Southeast Alaska with a big harvest, a high price and a bump in crab boat numbers in the Panhandle. more

Habituation allows bears and people to coexist at Anan Creek

The fifth annual Bearfest started Wednesday, bringing researchers to Wrangell to discuss the symposium theme, “Bears and People.” At the Anan WIldlife Observatory, a careful relationship is maintained between bears and the people who come to watch them fish. more

Happy campers ride out quake at Shelikov beach

Most Southeast Alaskans slept through Friday morning’s (7-25-14) magnitude 5.9 earthquake, but there were plenty who didn’t. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey spoke with a few people around the region who were jolted awake in the wee hours by the quake and its many aftershocks -- including some very happy campers. more

Bomb team investigates Lance Drive cache

After a Sitka homeowner unearths suspicious wires, local officials call in a military explosives squad to investigate. more

Petersburg municipal employees have new contract

Borough employees in Petersburg have a new contract this month. Following a closed door executive session Monday, Petersburg’s borough assembly voted to ratify a collective bargaining agreement with the Petersburg Municipal Employees Association. That union represents 79 workers in most municipal departments and also voted to approved the pact this month. more

Electric rate hike on the way in Petersburg

It looks like the cost of electricity in Petersburg will be going up four percent over the next two years. Petersburg’s borough assembly Monday gave the first of three approvals needed for an electrical rate increase. more

How many people can the planet hold?

What would the world look like if every human on the planet suddenly vanished? Alan Weisman set out to answer that question, traveling the globe to find out what would happen if nature were suddenly left to its own devices. more

Luis Urrea opens his heart to Sitka

Luis Alberto Urrea’s writing was rejected for 10 years before a New York publisher took his first book in 1993. Since then Urrea - currently in town for the Sitka Symposium - has won a slew of prestigious awards, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. more

Wrangell assembly approves Tyee transfer agreement

The Wrangell Borough Assembly Tuesday unanimously approved a contract to transfer the operation and management of the Tyee Lake electrical power plant to the Southeast Alaska Power Agency. more

Gillnet fishery mixed bag around Petersburg

Commercial salmon gillnet fishing around Petersburg and Wrangell has been somewhat of a mixed bag in the early season with some strong runs of sockeye and coho boosting catches. more

Petersburg sales tax, tobacco tax ballot questions advance

A raft of sales tax exemption changes and a new tobacco excise tax took another step toward making this October’s borough ballot Monday. Petersburg’s borough assembly voted to advance the tax questions and they’ll need just one more meeting’s approval before going to local voters. more

BC’s KSM mine nears environmental approval

Canadian environmental officials have given provisional approval to a controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan. more

Petersburg museum’s WWII era photo project needs help with identifications

A museum in Petersburg is reaching out to try and identify hundreds of World War Two era photos of people from central Southeast Alaska. The images are being archived at Petersburg’s Clausen Museum and may include photos of people from Wrangell, Kake and other remote communities. more

Canadians transport salmon around Stikine tributary slide

Fishery managers in Canada this summer are moving salmon by helicopter around a landslide that’s partially blocked a major tributary of the Stikine River across the border from Southeast Alaska. The May slide created a barrier for Chinook and sockeye salmon returning to the Tahltan River to spawn. more

B.C. mines get financial boost, one to open soon

Canadian investors are putting millions of new dollars into mining projects near the Southeast Alaska border. more

Wrangell’s new carving facility nearing completion

Wrangell’s new carving facility is approaching completion, and the Wrangell Cooperative Association is hoping to have a dedication event this winter. more

TBPC fires general manager

The Thomas Bay Power Commission voted Wednesday to fire the general manager of the Thomas Bay Power Authority. The unanimous decision comes after TBPA General Manager Michael Nicholls missed TBPC meetings in June and failed to turn over documents requested by the commission. more

New Sealaska leaders promise growth, changes

Sealaska’s new board chairman and CEO say the regional Native corporation is gearing up for growth. more

Soboleff wins Sealaska board seat, Nelson becomes chairman

The Sealaska regional Native corporation has a new board member and a new board chairman. more

SEAPA moves forward with transfer of Tyee hydroelectric facility

The Southeast Alaska Power Agency is moving forward with plans to take over the Tyee Lake hydroelectric facility. SEAPA board chairman Bob Sivertsen said the board Thursday resolved to terminate its contract with TBPA, leaving a year for negotiations. more

How will Sealaska solve its money problems?

Sealaska's new CEO, new board chairman and at least one new board member face the challenges of a new economic reality. more

Stough gives up TBPC presidency, assembly seat

James Stough has resigned as president of the Thomas Bay Power Commission and given up his seat on the Wrangell Borough Assembly. The resignation came after Stough missed two TBPC meetings earlier this month. more

B.C. developers defend near-border mines

We’ve heard a lot about environmental damage from mines planned for northwest British Columbia, just across Alaska’s border. But we haven’t heard a lot from mine advocates. Now, we have. more

Yacht rally cancellation disappoints Wrangell businesses

The Salty Dog Rally was expected to bring 40 yachts and a lot of business to Wrangell this week. The rally was canceled after the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce and local businesses put time, effort and money into planning for the influx of tourists. more

Wrangell dancers take Celebration 2014 stage

The Old Willow Town Dancers, with students in the community’s Johnson-O'Malley Program, performed at Celebration 2014 in Juneau. more

State turns over Meyers Chuck dock ownership

Wrangell officials have agreed to take over the Meyers Chuck dock. The state will provide funds for a replacement. more

Celebration canoes safely reach Juneau

Dozens of paddlers from Yakutat to Metlakatla and places in between landed their canoes on a Juneau beach on their way to the Southeast Native cultural festival Celebration 2014. more

Wrangell utility rates to increase about 5 percent

Borough Manager Jeff Jabusch says electric rates will go up 5 percent across the board next month. Water, sewer and garbage fees will increase between 4 and 6 percent. more

Fifteen to review Tongass forest management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named 15 people to a committee providing advice on changes in Tongass National Forest management. more