Author: kstkadmin

Ortiz pushes for transboundary river monitoring

House District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz introduced a resolution Monday pushing for water monitoring on several transboundary rivers in Southeast Alaska. House Joint Resolution Nine is different from a similar measure Ortiz pushed for in 2015, asking for involvement from the International Joint Commission. That’s a U.S.-Canada panel that addresses transboundary water issues. Ortiz’s current resolution only asks that the two federal governments work together. “That was done for a couple of reasons. One is that the federal delegation has already made that request of the State Department,” Ortiz explained. “Also, by stating directly the IJC, we felt like we were eliminating potential other avenues where we could pursue cooperation, other agreements through the state of Alaska [and] the B.C. province on the issue.” Ortiz added monitoring efforts could also take shape within the state’s recent memorandum of understanding with British Columbia. The agreement, signed in October, does include water monitoring efforts, but it’s not clear what those will look like. Ortiz cited pollution leaking from the Tulsequah Chief Mine into the Taku River near Juneau as one of the many reasons to stay on top of water quality. Minister of Mines Bill Bennett announced the province will work to clean up the Tulsequah in January. Southeast representatives Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkis, Stika, and Justin Parish, Juneau, are cosponsoring the resolution. House Majority leader Chris Tuck and Rep. Geran Tarr are...

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Port Commission approves first step in Stikine expansion

Wrangell’s Port Commission approved the first step in the sale of city property and tidelands near the Stikine Inn. Owners of the hotel and restaurant, Bill and Cheryl Goodale, have been working to expand the hotel for a couple of years. “The purpose of this is to expand our operation. We’re hoping for 30 rooms plus retail space on the lower floor where the visitor shed sits now,” said bill Goodale. The hotel currently has 34 rooms.  The Goodales offered about $64,500 for the property, significantly less than the appraised value of $101,200. They plan to fill about 55...

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Wrangell may see uptick in cruise ship passengers this year

Wrangell is set to see an increase in calls from larger cruise ships this coming tourism season. More passengers are likely to come off those ships, potentially giving a boost to tour operators and retail stores. For the 2017 season, Wrangell’s cruise ship dock is scheduled to see 61 calls total, only five more than 2016. But, the number of vessels with 100 or more passengers will jump by eight. Eleven of those ships have a lower-berth capacity of 400 or more and 10 can accommodate more than 600 passengers. If those ships are filled to capacity, about 2,700...

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Women’s March continues with 10 actions in 100 days

Organizers of the recent Women’s March on Washington are now asking the millions of people who participated in the U.S. to follow them in 10 actions over the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Millions of women and men marched worldwide the day after Trump’s inauguration in support of women’s rights. The first action, listed on the march’s website, is for people to write to their senator about an issue that matters to them. After an impromptu and unofficial Women’s March in Wrangell, one local woman was spreading the word Tuesday. “We are currently sitting here at the Nolan...

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Southeast Alaska winter troll season slow

Commercial troll fishing for king salmon in Southeast Alaska this winter is not like it has been the last few years. The troll fleet catch and the number of boats out fishing are both well down from last year and also below the five and ten-year averages. By late January, the catch had neared 8,000 Chinook, with more than half of those kings landed in the waters around Sitka Sound. Eight thousand is just one quarter of what the catch was at this time last year. “I would say that the past three years have been phenomenal for the...

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