Monthly Archives: January 2008
Third-grader Jack Weaver from Sitka is one of two grand prize winners of the 2008 Subsistence Student Art Contest, a statewide competition intended to encourage young people to share their subsistence way of life with others. Weaver’s watercolor depicting spawning salmon will grace the cover of the 2008-09 subsistence fishing regulations book. Melissa Marconi Wentzel caught up with the young artist at his home and filed this report,
Debate over a roundabout in Sikta concluded Tuesday night (1-22-08) and the answer is no. Despite an in-person appeal from the Southeast region director of the Department of Transportation, the Sitka assembly failed to approve granting the easements that would have allowed the DOT to build a roundabout at Swan Lake.
And then, there were two... At a special meeting last Thursday evening (1-17-08), the Sitka assembly acted quickly to narrow down its choice of administrator candidates to two: Greg LaFond, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and James Dinley, of Newnan, Georgia. The speedy session was not without dissent; at least two assembly members want current administrator John Stein to stay in his job.
In what might be described as a contest of acute mentality, nineteen Sitka junior high class champs – and two elementary standouts -- competed this past Tuesday night (1-15-08) in the local round of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. In a tense inter-grade showdown, sixth-grader Chaya Pike overtook three-time finalist and eighth-grader Richard Bekeris, winning the right to represent Sitka at the Anchorage Daily News Spelling Bee this February in Anchorage. An audio postcard from student reporter Sam Woolsey.
Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) co-chairs the senate finance committee and oversees the drafting of the state’s capital budget. Before heading to Juneau to begin the legislative session, Stedman took a few minutes to talk with KCAW’s Robert Woolsey about his strategy for advancing this year’s capital project list for Sitka, and for restoring the capital items removed by veto from the district last year
Four candidates for the job of city administrator offered their views on their qualifications during telephone interviews with the Sitka assembly Sunday afternoon (1-13-08).
Southeast Alaskans commented on the Alaska Marine Highway's proposed operating plan and summer schedule during a regionwide teleconference Thursday (1/10). About ten Sitkans lined up at the Legislative Information Office Thursday to have their say about the summer schedule, and for the first time in many years, their comments were mostly positive. They were pleased with the proposed five fast ferry runs a week between Sitka and Juneau, saying the frequency of service would fix many of the community’s transportation woes. But Sitkans also renewed their call for direct ferry connections to the villages, a request echoed by other communities.
A proposal for an affordable housing apartment complex at the old city shops site provoked strong reactions from the public at a special assembly meeting Thursday night (1-10-08). Questions about the proposal's suitability for the site, its impact on traffic volume and land values, and its proximity to a known slide area dominated the evening. But, there was also strong support for allowing the developers to revise their plans to address the major concerns.
The Sitka assembly on first reading narrowly passed an ordinance granting the state a right-of-way to construct a roundabout at the Swan Lake intersection. Newly-appointed member Heide Raffaele held the swing vote. She chose to pass the issue on to second reading, and buy time to study the issue.
The Sitka assembly wasted little time acting on the electric department's recommendation to pursue significant expansion of the Blue Lake hydro project. During their regular meeting Tuesday night (1-8-08) they authorized the restructuring of the electric fund's debt, and the creation of a capital fund to begin preparatory work on the project.