Monthly Archives: March 2008

ADF&G says no to Tribal subsistence herring area

The Department of Fish & Game says it will continue to test-fish for herring – and to hold commercial seine openings, if necessary -- in an area of Sitka Sound considered critical for subsistence. The decision was made over the objection of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. The herring sac-roe fishery is now on two-hour notice. At a meeting of permit holders, processors, and tribal officials this morning (Mon 3-24-08), ADF&G management biologist Dave Gordon said he had no plans to abandon test fishing, and no authority to close an area.

Troller damaged after being stolen, set adrift

A Sitka fisherman is facing a possible total loss after his boat was towed out of the harbor and set adrift over the weekend. The forty-one foot wooden troller Sonray was untied from its berth in Sitka’s ANB harbor sometime between 10PM and 11:30 last Friday night (3-21-08), and towed to sea. The Sonray was located about 12 hours later by state troopers at the Apple Islands, pounding against the beach in heavy swell. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey talked with the Sonray’s skipper, Eric Robinson, as he surveyed the splintered underside of his boat Monday morning at the Halibut Point Road haul-out:

Mary Emerick: Wilderness Stewardship Challenge (pt 1)

Mary Emerick runs the wilderness program in the Sitka Ranger District, and chairs the national Wilderness Advisory Group. Emerick is just back from Washington DC, where she briefed Forest Service chief Abigail Kimball on the Ten-Year Wilderness Stewardship challenge. In the first of a two-part interview, KCAWs Robert Woolsey spoke with Emerick about how the Forest Service’s recently-appointed top officer responded to the idea of measuring wilderness stewardship.

Tribe drops proposal to close Sitka Sound to herring fishing

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska is backing away from a board of fish proposal that would have closed most of Sitka Sound to commercial herring fishing. At its regular meeting Wednesday night (3-19-08), the Tribal council instead approved proposals that would cap the commercial sac roe fishery at 10-thousand tons, and include test fishing in the annual guideline harvest level.

Interview: Purim festival transforms darkness into light

Morning Edition interview with Rabbi Rony Greenberg and David Voluck.

Downtown totem pole headed for makeover

A popular totem pole in downtown Sitka's Totem Square is headed for a makeover. Known as a “shame” pole, it depicts a naked Alexander Baranof, a man who carries a lot of emotional weight in Sitka. Chief Manager of the Russian American Company in the early 19th century and the first Colonial Governor of Russian America, Baranof also presided over a pivotal battle between the Russians and the Sitka Tlingit. Decades after the Baranof pole was carved, some people want to give him back his clothes and turn the symbol of ridicule into one of healing.

VPSO Class 34 graduates

The Village Public Safety Officer Program graduated its 34th class Friday (3/14) in Sitka. It was the first class to graduate since a Senate task force released a list of recommendations for improving the program. Five new VPSOs were sworn in: Christopher Barnett from St. Mary’s, John Tobeluk (Tuh-BEE-luhk) from Chefornak (Cheh-FOUR-nahk), William Peifer (FIE-fuhr) of Brevig Mission and Jim Shavings of Mekoryuk (Meh-CORE-uhk).

"Sustainable Sitka" to organize climate change task force

The sheer magnitude of the problems presented by global climate change can have a chilling effect on action for small communities. But that hasn’t stopped places like Homer from developing a Climate Change action plan – and now Sitka may not be far behind. A group of about three dozen Sitkans met last night (Thu 3-13-08) to identify meaningful solutions to climate change that can happen within the community – and in the near term.

Climate change affects Southeast Alaska too

Climate change has been making the headlines lately, particularly in its effects on the arctic. But what about Southeast Alaska? Jeffrey Short, a chemist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Juneau, addressed that question for a group of concerned Sitkans Wednesday night (3/12), and the message was not pretty. Melissa Marconi Wentzel reports,

Preservation commission to have role in planning decisions

The city of Sitka is going to tighten up its review of building permit requests for projects involving historic properties. The Sitka assembly last night (2-11-08) affirmed the authority of the Sitka Historic Preservation Commission to play a significant role in the review of building permits for – or near to – the community’s inventoried historic resources.