Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sitka as played by Rockport

Filming for the Sitka-based Disney movie “The Proposal” almost began here in Sitka this spring, that is until Hollywood found Rockport …Sitka’s stand in. (Click on "More" once you open the news story for links to pictures and articles.)

Tax cuts, unions put '09 budget in the red?

Despite a substantial municipal revenue sharing package from the state, Sitka’s budget for next year is starting out in the hole. The Sitka Assembly heard a first reading of the 2009 municipal budget at a special meeting Thursday (4-24-08) in Harrigan Centennial Hall. The featured speaker of the evening was city finance director Dave Wolff, who gave a blow-by-blow of the anticipated general fund deficit, which stands now at just over $400-thousand dollars.

Sitkans recycle more plastics

Sitka’s recycling program logged another milestone this month. Just a couple of weeks before Earth Day the city test-ran a new bailer that will allow Sitkans to recycle more plastics than ever before.

State financial disclosure excessive for local officials?

Elected officials in Sitka are proposing a ballot question asking voters to exempt them from state financial disclosure requirements. The Sitka assembly Tuesday night (4-22-08) passed on first reading ballot language that would allow local officials to file the shorter disclosure forms used before the overhaul of state ethics laws last year. If it passes, the Alaska Public Offices Commission says Sitka would be the largest community so far to opt-out of the tougher rules.

Assembly passes on national climate action summit

The green movement in municipal government in Sitka lost a little momentum Tuesday (4-22-08) when the assembly declined to spend a thousand dollars to send a representative to an international environmental conference in Albuquerque next month. As a compromise, the mayor instead will go to a climate change meeting of the Alaska Municipal League in Anchorage.

Senator Stedman recaps legislative session

Sitka Republican Bert Stedman is calling this year’s legislative session a “success”. The Southeast Senator helped bring in close to $170-million dollars in capital funding for his district. He also counts among lawmakers’ biggest accomplishments the passage of legislation that will help school districts and municipalities. Still, he thinks the abbreviated session shortchanged the legislative process.

John Straley: On writing "The Big Both Ways"

Extended interview with author and Alaska Writer Laureate John Straley on the writing of "The Big Both Ways." With KCAW's Robert Woolsey.

Labor unrest, rowing voyage inspire "The Big Both Ways"

Sitka resident and Alaska Writer Laureate John Straley’s newest novel will be on store shelves in May. “The Big Both Ways” is Straley’s seventh book, and his first departure from contemporary crime fiction. Gone are down-and-out detective Cecil Younger and the rest of the cast who have populated Straley’s earlier stories set in modern Southeast Alaska. Instead Straley locates his noir thriller on the troubled streets of Everett and Seattle circa 1935, as the pre-World War II labor movement comes to a head. The protagonists make their getaway to Southeast Alaska in a rowing dory, inspired by Bob DeArmond's real life journey.

Mark Begich speaks to Sitkans before declaring his candidacy

Anchorage mayor Mark Begich stopped in Sitka earlier this month, on a pre-campaign circuit that took him around the state. He spoke before the Sitka Chamber of Commerce about his potential run for U.S. Senate, including his unorthodox "Senate Exploratory Committee". He has since declared his candidacy.

Neighbors share views on affordable housing plan

A proposed affordable housing development on the old city shops property in Sitka has gotten a little smaller, but has yet to win the unconditional support of the neighborhood. About twenty-five Sitkans attended last Wednesday’s (4-16-08) presentation by Trapline, the architectural firm developing preliminary plans for the site. Most seemed glad to see a revised concept for the site that involves only two-story duplexes, rather than the three story multi-unit buildings originally envisioned.