Monthly Archives: May 2008

Sitka ZENN driver paves way for state medium-speed law

A Sitka resident’s efforts to register her electric car may lead to a change in state law. About three months ago KCAW’s Robert Woolsey took a spin with Megan Pasternak in her new ZENN car when it arrived in Sitka. Although the ZENN, or Zero Emmission No Noise vehicle, was equipped to travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, Pasternak has had to settle for a much less convenient 25 miles per hour in order to get the ZENN registered. Pasternak believes Alaska should join two other states in paving the way for medium-speed cars.

Acrimony high as assembly balances '09 budget

The '09 budget for the City of Sitka is balanced – after some determined cutting on the part of both the assembly and the city administrator. The assembly entered the budget process with a deficit in the general fund of about $4-hundred thousand dollars. Over the course of three special meetings in May, the assembly worked to close that gap, but ended up divided over their role in the process.

Celebrity chef, editor wild about salmon

The Food Network's Alton Brown, and Bon Appetit food editor Kristine Kidd spent an afternoon (5-22-08) trolling for kings in Sitka Sound, and touring the Seafood Producer's Coop. Both say they plan to promote Alaskan salmon to their audiences.

Alaska Outdoor Council calls for reconsideration of Sitka's rural subsistence priority

Sitka’s rural status may be in jeopardy, again. Under federal law, rural communities in Alaska have a subsistence priority in the management of wild resources. But for communities or areas that straddle the eligibility requirements, that priority is up for review every ten years. The Federal Subsistence Board held its last decennial review in 2006. At that time, Sitka narrowly retained its rural designation. The Alaska Outdoor Council is calling that decision into question. The Council last year appealed the Board’s ruling. That appeal is now up for review.

Postcard: Blatchley scientists work on stream restoration

With the help of seventh-grade science students in Brenda Papoi’s class at Blatchley middle school, resource specialists in the Sitka Ranger District are beginning to study ways to rebuild the Starrigavan watershed, to once again allow fish and other species to thrive. The students spent a morning last week (Wed 5-14-08) gathering baseline data on the insects, stream bed, water quality, and forest in the valley – information that will benefit resource managers for decades to come. An audio postcard by student reporter Sage Saunders.

Takatz hydro key to Sitka's energy future?

The Takatz Lake hydro project is back on the table for Sitka. The Sitka assembly met Wednesday evening (5-21-08) to discuss next year’s budget for the electrical department, but it may as well have been the first meeting of a local, sustainable energy task force. The discussion of the day-to-day costs of operating the electric utility took a back seat to planning for the day when Sitka is almost completely powered by electricity.

House candidates outline views in Petersburg

The declared candidates for the House District 2 seat currently held by Peggy Wilson met for the first time together in an on-air forum last week in Petersburg. The forum, hosted by public radio station KFSK, was part of the community’s Little Norway Festival. Robert Woolsey prepared this look at some of the issues the candidates addressed during the program.

New book adds Tlingit perspective to historic Sitka battles

Two of Southeast Alaska’s leading cultural historians, Richard and Nora Marks Dauenhauer, have published a new book about the battle for Sitka. The book documents the events leading up to the battles of 1802 and 1804, which took place at sites now known as “Old Sitka” (in Starrigavan Bay) and Sitka National Historical Park. The little-understood episode was last major conflict between North American Natives and a colonizing European power.

New technique may save released rockfish

Scientists in the lower 48 say they’ve found a way to help increase the survival of released rockfish. It’s called re-compression, and it could mean the difference between life and death for innumerable fish. Two researchers recently presented their findings to sport and charter fishermen in Sitka. They, and at least one Sitka scientist, hope the technique will catch on in Alaska. The presentation was co-sponsored by the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Sitka Conservation Society, and the Sitka Marine Stewardship Roundtable.

Sitkans press AMHS officials for improved winter schedule

Representatives from Sitka went into a full-court press to try and win better ferry service for the community next winter, but received little in the way of assurances from state marine transportation officials. The department of transportation held a one-and-a-half hour teleconference this morning (Thu 5-15-08) on the proposed 2008 fall/winter schedule for Southeast Alaska. Testimony from Sitka dominated the proceedings.