Monthly Archives: April 2008

UAS facing challenges in accreditation review

The University of Alaska Southeast is up for an accreditation review – for the first time in a decade. It’s also the first time all three campuses in the regional university will be under the gun. Dr. James Everett, Vice Provost of UAS, updated the Sitka Chamber of Commerce Wednesday on the hurdles facing the University as it moves into the self-study phase of the process. UAS has defined itself as a regional university since 1999. Everett said the challenge will be to prove those claims.

Aleut Othello visits Yakutat

An Aleut adaptation of Othello will visit Yakutat this weekend. The play has been touring the state for the past month and a half, with performances in Seward, Cordova, Kodiak, Valdez and Palmer. At left, Allan Hayes and Tamara Rothman Miller as Othello and Desdemona.

Sitka schools: low enrollment offsets state funding gains

The Sitka school district budget will remain more or less flat next year -- despite a boost in per-pupil funding from the state. Declining enrollment continues to be the major strain on the district's finances. The district is planning on around 1320 students next year, about 35 fewer than are currently enrolled in the system. The Sitka school board presented its '09 budget to the assembly on Tuesday (4-8-08). Following the meeting, KCAWs Robert Woolsey spoke with board member Mollie Kabler about some of the assumptions in next year's budget.

New ordinance takes on garbage bear problem

Sitka residents will have to take better care of their garbage beginning at the end of the month – or risk getting a ticket and a fine. The Sitka assembly last night (Tue 4-8-08) passed a “bear attraction nuisance” ordinance that will allow local authorities to enforce what until now has been only an education campaign about the problems created by poor garbage handling.

SE Chinook quota halved for '08 season

Commercial king salmon fishermen in Southeast will see their lowest harvest quota in a decade this season. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game has announced that it is slashing the all-gear quota in Southeast by nearly half -- or a decrease of 159-thousand fish.

Candles lit for the Abbotts and Charles Tate

The Sitka Community gathered together over the weekend to mourn the loss and share memories of Alice and John Abbott, their daughter Elizabeth Abbott and Elizabeth’s fiancé Charles Tate. The four were murdered March 25th at Alice and John’s Sitka home.

Southeast Alaska: The new Geotourism hotspot?

Tourism is up around the globe, and according to the National Geographic Society, it’s a double-edged sword. While tourism brings economic gains, the Society says it can also harm communities and ecosystems. A representative of National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations was the keynote speaker at Sitka’s second-annual Cultural Tourism Conference. He introduced the idea of “Geotourism” – a new community-centered approach to the visitor industry. As Melissa Marconi Wentzel reports, the concept may have sparked a movement among conference participants, who were looking for innovative approaches to balancing the state’s burgeoning cruise industry with cultural and environmental stewardship,

Edgecumbe science students take fungi to nationals

Mt. Edgecumbe High School students Josh Vo and Caleb McGraw took first place in the team competition in the SE Science Fair for a genetic study of muskeg fungi. Now, they're headed to the Intel International Science Fair.

Interview: Abbott's "not guilty" plea a common defense move

Jason Abbott pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder in the first degree, and to one count of attempted murder in the first degree, during his arraigment in Sitka Superior Court this morning (4-4-08). KCAW's Robert Woolsey speaks with former public defender Don Surgeon about why "not guilty" is a preferred tactic, and why the insanity defense is risky in Alaska.

Aftermath of violence: Moving to recovery (pt 2)

Mental health professionals believe the homicides in Sitka last month affect people in many ways -- even those who didn't personally know the victims. Our sense of invulnerability -- that crimes like this only happen elsewhere -- was shattered. KCAWs Robert Woolsey speaks with Dr. Cindy Westergaard about how we manage the symptoms of trauma (pt 2 of 2).