Southeast News

Senate candidate Sullivan talks health care — and dolphins

Sullivan, the former Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, is hoping to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, who is up for reelection this fall. He talked about his role in challenging the President’s healthcare law, the perils of over-regulation – and that time he swam against the Navy’s military dolphins. more

Petersburg begins 2nd annual Pedometer Challenge

At least a hundred people in Petersburg should be wearing pedometers today to count the steps they are taking. They are participating in the Pedometer Challenge. It’s the second year the program has happened here in town. Last year, the Petersburg Indian Association ran the event through their tobacco prevention grant. Two-hundred seventy people participated. more

School board to consider vacancies at meeting

Petersburg’s school board Tuesday night will be considering the official resignation letters of two members: John Bringhurst and Dawn Ware. The board will decide how to approach filling those vacancies. more

Is there more important funding than schools?

Should the state do more for schools when local governments -- like Sitka’s -- are not doing all they can? That was the question hanging over a joint work session between the Sitka School Board and Sitka Assembly Thursday night (4-10-14). The board presented a draft budget to the assembly with a modest increase in local support to schools -- less than $200,000 -- but also delivered a clear message that more was needed. more

Local blood draws give window into your health

Advances in technology have made knowing your health a lot easier. Medical equipment at the Petersburg Medical Center allows local lab workers to read fine details of a person’s blood, to find out how their sugar and cholesterol levels are doing and much more. Every other year, Petersburg residents get a chance to check their blood through blood draws associated with the Petersburg Health Fair. more

Last week to apply for Petersburg community grants

The Petersburg Community Foundation is trying to give away thousands of dollars. The charitable foundation awards annual grants and this year, the pot is $10,000. The money will be divvied up to local non-profits that apply and are found to have legitimate causes. more

Sitka bear task force tackles ‘trash caches’

The Sitka Bear Task Force has organized work parties to tackle several bear caches -- the places around town where brown bears have been dragging garbage bags over the years, to sort through their loot undisturbed. Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney says cleaning up these so-called “trash caches” is no small job. “Over the years you’ll get some places where you’ll have 2 and 3 pickup loads of material that’s piled back in there,” he says. more

Sitka Tribe names new general manager

SpottedBird-001 Lawrence SpottedBird will start work on Monday. SpottedBird, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, told KCAW he has spent the last 34 years working with tribes and Native American entrepreneurs on business and economic development. more

Artist explores secret-keeping

Juneau artist MK MacNaughton asks people about secrets -- and then uses their stories to guide her in drawing giant charcoal portraits that express those feelings. About ten of those portraits are now hanging at Rio’s Wine Bar in Sitka. more

Nitty, gritty Betties skate to victory

Wrangell’s roller derby team, the Garnet Grit Betties, held their first home bout last weekend. They skated against a team called Southeast Shakedown-- composed of derby girls from around the state. Some skaters traveled thousands of miles just to help give the Betties a bout. more

Assembly passes anti-smoking law

The Sitka Assembly passed a controversial amendment Tuesday night, tightening the city’s anti-smoking laws. The question before the assembly was whether children should be prohibited from entering any business that allows smoking -- even for a non-smoking event. In the end, the decision came down to different interpretations of what voters intended nearly a decade ago. more

Assembly hears Benchlands plan, keeps Picnic Cove floathouses

The Assembly voted on Tuesday night to continue allowing float houses at Picnic Cove, south of Sitka, and heard an update on a proposed subdivision in the Benchlands from local contractor Sound Development. more

State Senate boosts Southeast project funding

Southeast Alaska could get another $27 million from this year’s capital budget. more

Letter calls on SEAPA, assemblies to “cease and desist”

The borough assembly last night voted to postpone discussion of a controversial letter until the next regular meeting. The letter calls for the Southeast Alaska Power Agency and the borough assemblies of Wrangell and Petersburg to “cease and desist” negotiations until Thomas Bay can play a more active role. more

Big change in tribal leadership coming

Four people are running for president of the Tlingit-Haida Central Council. more

Heat, hydration, and the ‘occupational athlete’

Brent Ruby, PhD, a noted exercise physiologist from the lower 48 has been in Alaska this week updating health professionals on the latest research on hydration and heat stress. He’s also been taking a look at what he calls “occupational athletes,” like commercial fishermen, and trying to find ways his research can apply to their work. more

Where no shop class has gone before

This is not your grandfather’s shop class. Late last month a group of high school and college shop teachers and a few of their students gathered for a three-day workshop in Sitka’s state-of-the-art Design and Fabrication Lab. The use of 3D printers and other computer-controlled equipment has revolutionized shop, and turned one of the most remote classrooms in the building into the coolest place in school. more

Juneau mayor says contested lands important

Juneau’s mayor says his community wants a fair hearing of its claims to land on the mainland between Petersburg and the capital city. The city and borough of Juneau in late March appealed a decision to the state’s Supreme court over the northern boundary of the new Petersburg borough. more

Exit exam bill could bring diplomas to more students

Graduation time is just around the corner and for most seniors that means walking a stage and accepting a diploma. But a few students a year in Petersburg do not receive a diploma because they didn’t pass a test. A bill making its way through the Alaska Legislature would change that. House bill 220 would repeal the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam. Angela Denning stopped into the Petersburg High School last week during test taking time. more

Update: Sealaska dividends include no earnings

The Sealaska regional Native corporation does not appear to be making much – if any – money. more

Petersburg musicians gear up for Alaska Folk Festival

Three groups of Petersburg musicians will be performing at the 40th annual Alaska Folk Festival that’s happening next week, April 7-13. Some are new to the big event and some are veterans. Angela Denning stopped into Kito’s Bar in Petersburg where a few of them were practicing up. more

Juneau appeals Petersburg boundary to state Supreme Court

The court challenge of Petersburg’s borough boundaries is not over yet. The city and borough of Juneau has appealed to the state’s Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Local Boundary Commission on the northern boundary of the Petersburg borough. more

Double Rock Band to perform at Alaska Folk Festival

The Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau brings together hundreds of musicians and fans every year to celebrate live music. The musicians come from all over Southeast Alaska and beyond and are of all ages. One of the very youngest groups is from Petersburg--the Double Rock Band--but as Angela Denning reports, although they’re young, they’re not new to the stage. more

Commission moves forward with memorial design

The Port Commission is moving forward with the second of three design concepts for the proposed Mariner’s Memorial. Concept two is a hybrid that focuses on the visitor’s journey through the memorial. more

Sealaska dividends include no corporate earnings

The spring dividend for most Sealaska shareholders will be $721, but some will receive less than a tenth of that amount. more

Commission seeks input on Mariner’s Memorial designs

The Port Commission is seeking feedback on three tentative designs for the proposed Mariner’s Memorial. Juneau-based Corvus Design's Chris Mertl created three tentative design concepts. more

Spring live music event showcases local artists

Dan Trail is looking for local musicians to showcase their talent in this year’s Spring Live Music Show. It will be the last event at Bird Fest, Saturday, April 27 starting at 2:30pm at the Nolan Center. more

New SEACC director targets transboundary mines

An environmental activist from Oregon is the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's new executive director. more

Next winter’s marine highway schedule out

Alaska Marine Highway officials want your comments on next fall and winter’s ferry sailings. more

Bill would help fund two Southeast mines

Two Southeast Alaska mines could get close to $300 million in state support under a bill moving through the Legislature. more

Southeast tribes meet in Craig about Canadian mines

Southeast Alaska tribal leaders meet March 25th and 26th to discuss Canadian mines that could impact regional fisheries. more

Suicide prevention through paddle-making

Alaskan communities can be very tight-knit. And suicide rates in Alaskan communities are some of the highest in the country. Last weekend, the One People Canoe Society held a two-day paddle-making workshop in Wrangell to bring communities together to both learn a traditional art and talk about a contemporary problem. more

School board names two superintendent candidates

The school board and hiring committee opened the position to applications earlier this year. They’ve narrowed down the candidates to two finalists. They are Patrick Mayer and Jay Thomas. more

Jensen to stay as elementary principal

The school board unanimously approved offering Deidre Jensen, of Thorne Bay, a contract for elementary principal for the 2014-2015 school year. more

Cupcakes sweet for endangered species

The Girl Scouts will be selling endangered species cupcakes this Saturday at City Market starting at 9am. The Scouts will also have Irish soda bread for sale for people not craving sweets. more

Ketchikan-POW ferry aids seafood, retail, tourism

A small southern Southeast Alaska ferry line is of large value to the region’s economy. That’s according to a new report studying the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. more

Senate OKs medevac memberships

Legislation allowing a popular air-ambulance service’s membership program to continue serving Alaskans passed the state Senate today. more

Panel will target Tongass plan, timber transition

The Forest Service is setting up an advisory board to help rewrite the Tongass National Forest’s management plan. It’s somewhat similar to another panel that shut down last year without completing its work. more

Grant advances Kasaan longhouse repairs

A nearly-half-million-dollar grant will speed restoration of Alaska’s oldest Haida longhouse. The structure was first built 130 years ago in Kasaan. more

Scholarships offered to Sealaska shareholders

The Sealaska Heritage Institute is once again offering scholarships to students attending college, graduate school or vocational-technical programs. more