Southeast News

Youth climate lawsuit dismissed

Katherine Dolma answers a question following a Supreme Court LIVE hearing at Barrow High School. Dolma and Nelson Kanuk, seated, are two of the six young plaintiffs in the case. (Photo by Jeff Seifert/ KBRW)The lawsuit was brought by six young Alaskans, demanding the state take action on climate change. In dismissing the case, the Court said that climate policy isn’t an issue for the judiciary can decide. But for the young plaintiffs and the nonprofit supporting them, the ruling included some silver linings.

Drive down dock should be ready for February crabbers

Construction continues at Petersburg's drive down dock this fall. (Photo/Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska)Construction of the $9.4 million drive down dock in Petersburg will continue through the end of the year. The public dock will allow everyone an alternative way to reach their boats.

Permanent Fund up $30 Billion in five years

Photo/Elizabeth Jenkins$1,884. That’s the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend. Governor Sean Parnell made the announcement this morning in Anchorage.

Another deer found with wire snare near Sitka

ADF&G tech Holley Dennison loads the doe into a truck at the Hames Center, for a trip back to the woods to recover. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)A second deer is on the mend, after being caught in a wire snare in downtown Sitka. State Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney shot the doe with a tranquilizer dart Tuesday (9-16-14) near the Hames Center. Like a deer captured last Friday, this animal also had a smooth wire around its neck.

Pinks come in better than expected in Southeast

A seine fishermen closes up his net.The summer purse seine season for pink salmon has wrapped up and the harvest is better than expected.

Despite embargo, salmon caviar grows on everyone — but us!

140915_RachelWaldholz_mcclearWhen Alaskans fish for salmon, most are hoping to bring home those gorgeous -- not to mention delicious -- red fillets for the barbecue, freezer, or canning jar. When the fish are cleaned, the long skeins of pink or red eggs often go overboard with everything else. Not so in the commercial fishing industry, where salmon eggs -- or roe -- have become big business. Russia’s embargo of American seafood has been a setback to Alaska’s caviar industry, but demand for the product is growing elsewhere.

Ensnared doe recovering after wire loop removed

The doe suffered only minor injuries from the wire. The GPS collar will release on its own next summer. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)A deer found with a wire around its neck near Sitka has was safely released by wildlife authorities late last week. But another deer may be suffering from the same -- possibly malicious -- predicament. Phil Mooney, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, successfully darted and tranquilized the adult doe near the Indian River Road on Friday (9-12-14).

Southeast cross-country teams race in Petersburg

Members of boys' cross-country teams from around Southeast Alaska begin their race Saturday, Sept. 13, near Petersburg's Sandy Beach. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Petersburg girls won a regional cross-country meet Saturday in their home town. They topped teams from nine other Southeast cities.

Wamsley wants an economy “made in Sitka”

Aaron Wamsley is running for a seat on the Sitka Assembly. If he wins, he says, the economy would be his top priority. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW News)Aaron Wamsley is one of five candidates for Sitka Assembly. Wamsley is a residential advisor at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, which draws students from across the state. And he says that his students’ dedication to their hometowns inspired him to run for office in his.

Crane dock construction begins this week

Fishermen move crab pots at Petersburg's crane dock. Photo/Angela DenningThe crane dock widening project at Petersburg’s harbor is set to begin Tuesday. Glorianne Wollen, Petersburg Harbor Master, says the project should be complete in less than two months.

Cheaper turboprops lower some AK jet fares

A southbound Alaska Airlines jet takes off from Petersburg's airport Sept. 13, 2014. Some of the airlines fares have been reduced and other price cuts may be coming. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Cost-cutting on an Alaska Airlines Railbelt route is lowering fares in Southeast. And more discounts may show up in the future.

240 runners prepare for Petersburg meet

Petersburg High School Cross Country team is hosting a regional meet this weekend. Photo courtesy of Tommy ThompsonMore than 200 runners are descending on Petersburg today for a cross country meet tomorrow. Petersburg High School is hosting a regional meet that includes 15 teams.

Fish and Game gives trollers more time to fish

A troller fishes near Sitka. The troll season has been extended 10 days through the end of September. (Supafly/Flickr Creative Commons)The Southeast Alaska summer troll fishery is being extended by 10 days. But many fishermen won't take advantage of the extension.

Southeast Conference will bring 200 people to Wrangell for annual meeting

seconfThe Southeast Conference annual membership meeting will bring about 200 people to Wrangell next week. The organization advocates for economic development in Southeast Alaska.

Power commission seeks input from its boroughs

The Tyee Lake Power Plant used to be  managed by the Thomas Bay Power Authority. The authority is considering its role, since the Southeast Alaska Power Authority took over management. (Courtesy TBPA)The Thomas Bay Power Commission is asking Wrangell and Petersburg how it can contribute to the communities, after a management transfer removed its original responsibilities.

Petersburg boys swim to victory at home meet

Seniors swimmers are recognized at the home meet. (L-R): Nico Larson, Aaron Murph, Nels Evens, Evan Marsh, Skipper Erickson, Ian Fleming, Abel Aulbach, and Shalie Dahl (Manager).  Most of the senior swimmers have been swimming for Viking Swim Club for 12 years. Photo/Ginger EvensThe Petersburg boys' swim team beat out Sitka and Juneau’s Thunder Mountain to win the home meet last weekend. The boys took the top spots in several events. 17-year-old Abel Aulbach won four of them.

Thomas Bay commission tries to find its place after SEAPA transfer

The Thomas Bay Power Commission Tuesday resolved to ask the borough assemblies of Wrangell and Petersburg how it can contribute to the communities after a management transfer removed its original responsibilities.

Assembly postpones vote on vehicle tax

The Sitka Assembly postponed a vote on a controversial vehicle tax Tuesday night. The increase in the motor vehicle registration fee would fund road maintenance. But assembly members decided to look into other options, first.

Assembly awards grants to Sitka nonprofits

Seventeen local organizations submitted requests to the assembly amounting to more than $164,000. The city has budgeted $90,000 for nonprofit grants this year.

Kettleson move brings ‘soul’ back to former campus library

Kettleson's collection of Alaskana, and the C.L. Andrews collection, are right at home in Stratton. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Without much fanfare, Sitka’s entire public library was relocated to temporary quarters last month. Thousands of books, the shelving to hold them, computers, and furniture were packed across Crescent Harbor to the Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson Campus, to make way for contractors preparing to enlarge Kettleson Memorial Library.

On the issues: Begich vs. Sullivan in Sitka

U.S. Senator Mark Begich and his challenger, Republican Dan Sullivan, each spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce last week. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW News)Sitka got back-to-back visits from the two major-party candidates for U.S. Senate last week. Senator Mark Begich and his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, offered very different takes on everything from health care to Iraq to climate change.

Russian embargo drives Alaskan caviar to new markets

Pink salmon gather at the mouth of Starrigavan Creek in Sitka. in some markets, the roe of this species can be more valuable than the flesh. (KCAW photo/Rich McClear)Russia’s ongoing embargo of American agricultural and seafood products has produced some sharp rhetoric from political leaders -- including Alaska’s senators. But the true impact of embargo on the Alaska seafood industry remains unclear. Because of robust markets elsewhere for some of the products favored by Russians -- like salmon caviar -- the showdown may be more about politics than economics.

Tribal groups disagree about BC mine projects

The Nisga'a Lisims Government Building is the home of the Canadian First Nation's government. Leaders say their environmental concerns have been answered by the developer of the KSM Mine. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Some Alaska tribal organizations say Aug. 4’s dam break at a British Columbia mine shows what could happen at proposed near-border mines. But some B.C. tribal governments strongly support development.

Early tests show B.C. tailings spill water ‘safe’

Muddy water from the breached Mount Polley Mine tailings pond dam floods a downstream creek and road Monday. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)The British Columbia Environment Ministry says water that poured out of a massive mine-tailings pond Aug. 4 appears to be safe

Is B.C. mine tailings dam break a warning for Alaska?

This aerial image shows Monday's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam break and some of the damage downstream. Fishing and environmental groups say the same could happen at new B.C. mines near the Southeast border. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)Monday’s tailings-dam break at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could threaten Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries. Critics also say similar dams closer to the border could suffer the same fate.

State issues Alaska Class ferry RFP to Vigor

(Image courtesy ADOT)The Alaska Department of Transportation has released a Request for Proposals to the Ketchikan shipyard for construction of the Alaska Class dayboat.

Saxman files lawsuit over nonrural status

The Saxman Clan House.The Organized Village of Saxman has filed a lawsuit in federal court over the Federal Subsistence Board’s 2007 decision to designate the Tlingit Native village as non-rural.

Wrangell’s new boat lift tests upper limit

A boat lift hauls a 300-ton tug boat at the Wrangell Marine Service Center Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)Wrangell’s new, 300-ton boat lift is the second biggest in Alaska. It hauled a 300-ton tug boat Tuesday after a week of delays.

B.C. gives KSM mine environmental OK

A glacier reflects in a naturally occurring pool of rusty, acidic water at the site of one of the KSM Prospect's planned open-pit mines. B.C. officials just approved the mine's environmental plans. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)A controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan just won environmental approval from the British Columbia government.

New roads? Old ferries? A wilderness airport?

The ferry Malaspina makes a rare visit to waters off downtown Sitka during the 2010 Alaska Day celebration. A state transportation plan would route ferries to a new terminal across Baranof Island at the end of a new road. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Southeast Alaskans can learn more about regional transportation projects at a series of meetings starting Aug. 6.

Habituation allows bears and people to coexist at Anan Creek

bearThe 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.

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.

BC’s KSM mine nears environmental approval

Oxidized rock colors a valley where one of Seabridge Gold's KSM Project's open pit mines will be dug. Canadian officials have opened their final comment period before environmental approval. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)Canadian environmental officials have given provisional approval to a controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan.

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

BC mines map CROPPED - SEACCCanadian investors are putting millions of new dollars into mining projects near the Southeast Alaska border.

Wrangell’s new carving facility nearing completion

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

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.

New Sealaska leaders promise growth, changes

New Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott addresses shareholders June 28 at the regional Native corporation's annual meeting near the SeaTac Airport. (Photo Courtesy Sealaska)Sealaska’s new board chairman and CEO say the regional Native corporation is gearing up for growth.

SEAPA moves forward with transfer of Tyee hydroelectric facility

seapa board meetingThe 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.

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.

Yacht rally cancellation disappoints Wrangell businesses

salty dog rally logoThe 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.