Southeast News

Bird banding

A student in the Sitka Conservation Society's 4H program holds a junco. (Photo by Bethany Goodrich, Sitka Conservation Society)Forest Service technician Gwen Baluss visited Sitka this month to band and measure juncos and other songbirds -- with some help from local students.

SPD offer $1000 reward for info on burglaries

The Sitka Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward for information related to the recent string of burglaries. So far, no arrests have been made.

POW moves ahead with borough charter, but…

POW Borough BoundariesThat doesn’t mean the island communities will send in an application to the state Local Boundary Commission anytime soon – and maybe not ever.

Tracing the 2,500 turkey supply chain

Sea Mart and AC Lakeside both carry fresh and frozen turkeys, including a few dozen organic. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)On Thanksgiving, one bird rules them all. But how do they get to Baranof Island in the first place?

Movember brings mustaches to Petersburg

Four Movember supporters in Petersburg (from left): Stephen Lombard, Eric Castro, Heath Whitacre, and Lee Wilson. Photo courtesy of Heath WhitacreIf you think mustaches are out of fashion....well, you could be right. But that hasn't stopped several men in Petersburg from donning them to bring awareness to men's health issues.

Wrangell hospital project closes contracts, starts fresh

The City and Borough of Wrangell and the Wrangell Medical Center closed a settlement this month with a company formerly contracted to help finance a new hospital building. After the hospital project stalled in 2012 with more than a million dollars spent on contracts, city and hospital officials are hoping for a fresh start.

Petersburg considers saving money for project needs

Petersburg's proposed $10 million renovation of the downtown police station and borough office building has about half of the funding needed for construction. (File photo courtesy borough of Petersburg)Petersburg may put aside some money for its top capital project priorities in hopes of attracting some state grant money. Local elected officials are still hopeful for capital project grant money this winter despite a gloomy budget outlook for the state government.

Assembly votes to let garden stands sprout in Sitka

Soil for the taking at Blatchley Community Garden. (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)The Sitka Assembly voted Tuesday night to make it easier for residents to sell produce they’ve grown at home. The change is part of an effort to make locally grown food more easily accessible.

Rescued hunter: “I made a couple of mistakes and it cost me.”

John Delong stands with Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendan Dent, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Vaughn and Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Ransom from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka after his rescue. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. Pete Melnick)John DeLong, the Sitka hunter rescued by the Coast Guard last Wednesday (11-19-14) spent a long, cold night under a tree before the helicopter came to hoist him to safety.

Petersburg honors retiring municipal clerk

Photo courtesy of Borough of Petersburg.Petersburg’s borough clerk is retiring next spring and she is being recognized for decades of work in local governments in Alaska and Michigan.

Grants take classes, medical care to villages

The Naukati School, on eastern Prince of Wales Island, is one of several to benefit from a USDA grant. (Courtesy Emily Chaudhury Design)A federal grant will help expand class options for some Prince of Wales Island students.

Assembly responds to education lawsuit ruling

Ketchikan Gateway Borough offices are in the White Cliff building.A Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough in its lawsuit against the State of Alaska over the state’s education funding mandate. The Borough Assembly talked about Friday’s ruling during Monday night’s regular meeting, and Borough Manager Dan Bockhorst calls it a “big win” for Ketchikan.

Salard’s jury trial set for February

The jury trial of a Wrangell doctor accused of possessing and distributing child pornography has been bumped nearly two months. Doctor Greg Salard’s defense attorney asked for delay until Feb. 23, 2015.

Petersburg assembly to redo herbicide spraying law

mitkofhighwayPetersburg’s borough assembly will go back to the drawing board to come up with an ordinance on the use of herbicides and pesticides within the borough. An early draft Monday night raised too many concerns for assembly members. Instead they formed a committee to come up with new language.

Ferry Taku out of service for repairs Dec. 8-15

The ferry Taku sails into the Wrangell Narrows on its way south in August of 2013. The ferry will be out of service for repairs in December.  (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The Alaska Marine Highway ferry Taku will go into drydock for repairs the second week of December.

Sitka herring forecast lowest in a decade

A seiner purses up as a tender pulls alongside to start pumping herring, during the fourth and final opening in the 2014 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)The Alaska Department of Fish & Game, which released its preliminary harvest level for the 2015 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. The preliminary harvest level is just over 8,700 tons. That would be the lowest level since 2003. And it’s about half of last year’s target.

Police report spate of home burglaries

Burglaries were reported on Biorka, Etolin, and Charteris Streets, Petersen and Moller Avenues and Tlingit Way. (Map by Multiplottr)Sitka police are investigating a spate of home burglaries since Monday. Police received reports of four home burglaries between midnight and 3AM today (11-20-14), all within walking distance of downtown.

Mental Health land office looks to sell land south of Petersburg

The three parcels are at the right side of this file photo of the boat ramp at Papke's Landing from the summer of 2013.The Alaska Mental Health Trust land office is proposing to put land at Papke’s Landing south of Petersburg up for sale this winter. That includes several parcels near the public road and boat ramp that have drawn the interest of Petersburg borough officials this year. Representatives with the trust say, if the parcels are put up for sale, the borough can bid for them along with everyone else.

Petersburg assembly to discuss draft herbicide ordinance

votecount2Petersburg’s borough assembly will start a discussion tonight about a new ordinance intended to limit herbicide and pesticide spraying in the borough.

Work wraps up on $2.5M school renovation in Petersburg

Student artwork adorns the new metal siding on the Rae C. Stedman elementary school. (KFSK file photo)Work is mostly finished on a two and half million dollar renovation project at Petersburg’s Rae C. Stedman Elementary School. Petersburg’s school board discussed that work and other capital project needs at a meeting this week.

With four more burglaries, week’s total is ten

Callers reported possible burglaries on Observatory Street, Kincaid Street, Edgecumbe Drive and Halibut Point Road. That brings the total number of burglaries reported this week to ten.

USFS: Transition means fewer unmilled logs

Robert Bonnie, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s undersecretary for natural resources and the environment, talks about the Tongass transition during a press conference Nov. 19, 2014. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)A top Forest Service official says fewer unprocessed logs will be sold overseas under a transition to harvesting younger trees.

Review of Red Chris Mine finds tailings dam concerns

red chris tailingsAs Southeast Alaskans become more concerned about mine development in British Columbia, a copper and gold mine in the Stikine River watershed is expected to start full operations next month. But an independent review of its tailings facility found issues with the design.

Petersburg Arts Council seeks volunteers

These are some of donated art pieces that are in the gift baskets. Photo/Ashley LohrWhen concerts come to Petersburg, when there’s an art show or poetry reading, chances are the Petersburg Arts Council has its hands in the event.

Obama highlights Sitka Schools on technology

Obama ConnectED SpeechThe Sitka School District got a major shout-out from President Barack Obama on Wednesday. Sitka Schools Superintendent Mary Wegner was in Washington D.C. for a White House summit on technology and education.

Report: Subsidized logging costs feds millions

Beached logs pile up in Shoal Cove on Revilla Island in the Tongass National Forest. A new report challenges old-growth logging spending in the forest. (Jim Baichtal/USFS)A new report says the Forest Service is wasting millions of dollars by propping up a failing Southeast Alaska timber industry.

Mitkof Mummers bring toys to life in children’s musical

Actors with the Mitkof Mummers talk on stage before rehearsal. Photo/Angela DenningThis week, the Mitkof Mummers acting group in Petersburg is putting on a children’s musical called “Toy Camp”.

Ferry system delays youth travel restrictions

8-13-2013 The ferry Taku sails into the Wrangell Narrows on its way south. croppedThe Alaska Marine Highway System won’t ban solo ferry travel by children and teen-agers, at least for now.

Repatriated Wrangell clan hat arrives in Juneau

frog clan hatA clan hat from an Alaska Native tribe in Wrangell returned to Alaska Thursday. The Khaach.ádi or frog clan of Wrangell signed a repatriation claim in 2008 to get the hat back from a museum in California.

KSM mine critics target investors, B.C. officials

The KSM project's operational phase mine site layout includes pits to access ore, rock storage, a dam and a water treatment plant. (Courtesy KSM environmental assessment certificate application)Transboundary mine critics are trying a new tactic in their opposition to the KSM mine. They’re telling investors it's a bad place to put their money.

BC says mine concerns heard, critics disagree

Oxidized rock colors a valley where one of Seabridge Gold's open pit mines will be dug. (Ed Schoenfeld/ CoastAlaska News)British Columbia officials say they understand why Alaskans are concerned about new mines planned for transboundary rivers. But critics on this side of the border say they’re not doing anything about it.

Ferry system limits solo travel by kids, teenagers

A marine highway staffer watches as passengers and dogs reboard the ferry Matanuska before departing Wrangell Jan. 16, 2013. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The Alaska Marine Highway System will no longer allow children and teenagers under 18 to travel solo. The current rules place no restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds.

SE candidates stake out ballot measure positions

i_voted_cropped-300x266Most Southeast legislative candidates oppose the marijuana and Bristol Bay ballot initiatives. But they support the minimum wage measure.

Wrangell assembly to intervene in timber sale lawsuit

bigthorneThe Wrangell Borough Assembly voted Tuesday to intervene in a lawsuit supporting the Big Thorne timber sale on Prince of Wales Island. Assembly members said they want to support this timber sale because of its potential to affect future sales.

Report: Second-growth logging can start now

Remains of a Tongass clear-cut and logging road north of Ketchikan. New growth in parts of the forest could be cut to jump-start a modern timber industry, a report says. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)Two Oregon researchers, one an industry consultant and the other an environmental activist, say the transition to harvesting younger Tongass trees can happen within five years, a half to a third of what the Forest Service expects.

Wrangell doctor pleads ‘not guilty’ to child porn charges

greg salardA jury trial is set for January for a Wrangell doctor accused of distributing and viewing child pornography. A not guilty plea was entered for Dr. Greg Salard during his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Juneau on Tuesday.

Wrangell doctor indicted on child porn charges

A federal grand jury indicted Wrangell doctor Greg Salard Wednesday, charging him with distribution and possession of child pornography.

Hunters take near-record number of moose near Wrangell, Petersburg

IMG_1321The Wrangell-Petersburg area’s month-long moose hunt ended last week with an almost-record harvest. The harvest from the Stikine River is also the highest going back to 1990.

More Big Thorne timber sales announced

Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island's Big Thorne area.The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area.

Update: KSM mine project wins more key permits

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. The British Columbia mine project, northeast of Ketchikan, was just granted permits for roads and construction camps.A controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.