Local News

Sitkans asked to conserve water, power during hydro changeover

After 53 years of continuous service, the turbines at Sitka’s Blue Lake Hydro plant are quiet. Walt Dangel, one of the original powerhouse operators at Blue Lake, threw the switches turning off the plant in a small decommissioning ceremony Monday morning (8-18-14). Dangel was assisted by Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior plant operator. The two old turbines produce a combined 6 megawatts of power. They’re being replaced by three new turbines that will produce 16 megawatts.
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Primary to decide candidates, oil taxes

Poll worker Kathleen Brandt greets voters at primary day in Sitka's Harrigan Centennial Hall. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Tuesday, August 19th, is primary day in Alaska. Sitka voters will be choosing candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. House and Senate, and State Representative, and deciding the fate of the state's oil tax structure.
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King salmon trolling ends on slow note

A troller in Sitka's ANB Harbor. The annual troll closure starts at midnight on Saturday. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

After an unprecedented two extensions, the summer king salmon season for trollers in Southeast is over. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game closed the fishery at 11:59 PM Monday, August 18 -- two days later than planned. The target for the three-day opener was 36,000 kings. But on day one it looked like trollers were bringing in about 12 fish per day. During the first opener of the season -- the first week of July -- trollers were landing about 50 kings per day.
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Southeast News

Transportation planners face skeptical crowd in Petersburg

Planners with the Alaska Department of Transportation fielded questions from a packed house of skeptical residents from Petersburg and Kupreanof last week. The DOT officials were vetting a draft of the state’s latest plan for transportation for Southeast. Local residents were concerned with a loss of ferry service. They also faulted the plan’s focus on construction of new roads while existing pavement goes unmaintained. more

Stream restoration on Kuiu Island nears completion

On a remote corner of the Tongass National Forest, a six-year-long stream restoration project is wrapping up. The cost: an estimated 1.2 million dollars, funded largely from grants obtained by the Nature Conservancy. The project is intended to restore salmon streams damaged over 40 years ago on Kuiu Island. more

Bluegrass Camp for Kids goes busking

Kids hit the streets of Petersburg recently to showcase their music skills and raise money for Bluegrass Camp. It’s a program that runs throughout the United States, taught by a group of traveling folk musicians. more

State News

In Tight Race, Oil Tax Referendum Behind

With some ballots yet to be counted, a referendum to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell's signature oil tax law is trailing by nearly 7,000 votes. When the first returns came in, the referendum was up by exactly five votes. The Vote Yes Repeal the Giveaway team marched into Anchorage's Election Central cheering enthusiastically and believing momentum was on their side. But as the night wore on, the numbers began to turn against the ballot measure. Wednesday morning, 48 percent of voters had voted yes on the referendum and 52 percent had voted no.

Feige Losing, Stoltze Wins Mat-Su Legislative Races

Unofficial results of Tuesday's primary election are in, and it looks like there may be one upset in the Valley. Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Jim Colver could upset incumbent Eric Feige for the Republican nomination for the House District 9 race. Former state representative Bill Stoltze won the Republican nod for the Senate District F.

Dubey, Hadley, Vazquez Win GOP House Bids

Tuesday's Republican primary pushed three Anchorage candidates a little closer to Juneau. Anand Dubey had a clear lead over challenger Mark Fagnani for the Republican candidacy for House District 21. Don Hadley bested challenger Kevin Kastner for the Republican nomination in House District 16. Liz Vazquez won the Republican nod for House District 22 with more than 52 percent of the vote. Challenger Sherri Jackson finished with 47 percent.

The CorvidEYE

Young voters

Maggie Gallin brought her son, Theo, to the polls on Tuesday, to vote in Alaska's primary election (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

August 19th is primary day in Alaska, and several hard-fought races will come to a head. But in Sitka's Harrigan Centennial Hall, the election came down to this: neighbors chatting, ballots marked with blue ink, kids introduced to the polls for the first time. At not yet six weeks old, Theo Gallin (pictured with his mother, Maggie) took the prize for perhaps the youngest Sitkan to make it into a voting booth today.
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Station Highlights

Keep on buzzin’

KCAW summer news intern Greta "Buzzsaw" Mart hard at work on her last day. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

This week KCAW says goodbye to Greta Mart, our 2014 summer news intern, Greta Mart. Greta worked for 8 years as a professional print reporter in the Bay Area before applying to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and making the leap into broadcasting. Greta filed stories for the KCAW News Department on her first AND last days of work (and many in between). A letter-writer to her newspaper in Martinez, CA, once wrote that "Greta covers the county like a buzzsaw." We made that nickname stick: Thanks for the hard work, Buzz! Good luck in your career, whether it leads you back to the Bay, or to Infinity and Beyond!
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NPR News

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Long summer days in Alaska help cabbages, turnips and other vegetables grow to gargantuan sizes. These "giants" are celebrated at the annual state fair, which kicks off on Thursday.

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How – Or Whether — To Portray It

A shocking video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

The Ice Bucket Challenge And Other Good Causes: Do Stars Really Help?

When Tom Hiddleston and Lady Gaga take the Ice Bucket Challenge, it makes a big splash. But do stars really make a difference in fund-raising and public awareness when they endorse a charity?