Monthly Archives: August 2008

Sitka's first farmer's market opens Saturday

While many Sitka residents have long known the value of eating local seafood or wild edible plants, organizers of the town’s first farmer's market hope to increase the community’s ability to “eat locally” even more. The Farmer’s market is slated to run for three consecutive Saturdays, beginning this weekend (8-16-08) at the ANB Hall. KCAW’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock reports:

Court orders city to produce petition booklets

A superior court judge has ordered the city of Sitka to prepare petition booklets for a voter initiative about large land disposals. Representatives of Sitkans for Responsible Government are calling Judge David George’s decision Monday morning (8-13-08) “good news.”

Roundabout back on track

Sitka voters are not going to weigh in on the much-debated roundabout question after all. The Sitka assembly last night (8-12-08) struck down a proposed advisory question for the October election, and granted the Department of Transportation the right-of-way to proceed with the project.

Two die in plane crash north of Sitka

The victims of Sunday night’s plane crash in Peril Straits have been identified, and with the help of Sitka Mountain Rescue the bodies have been recovered and sent to Anchorage as part of the ongoing investigation into the crash. But as KCAW’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock reports, it’s a big week for missing aircraft in other parts of the state as well:

City establishes fund for passenger fees

The city of Sitka banked $1-point-2 million dollars from the statewide cruise ship head tax last year, but the money has some major strings attached. The Sitka assembly Tuesday night created a mechanism for dealing with revenues from the Marine Passenger Fee Fund. The intent was to establish clear guidelines for distributing the fees, in order to stay far from legal entanglements.

Totem raising celebrates Japanese photographer

A crowd of about 350 people gathered last Friday, August 8th under rainy skies for a dedication and Totem Raising in honor of Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino, who spent almost three decades photographing Alaska’s wildlife. Hoshino was killed by a brown bear, more than a decade ago. KCAW’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has more:

Young people stick to basics with coffee

Starbucks may be downsizing, but Americans are not losing their taste for coffee. In fact, a new generation may be embracing the old beverage in large numbers – but leaving off the whip cream and sprinkles. KCAW’s Leah Mann believes that her peers – whether for economy or style – have adopted the basic cup of coffee as their drink of choice. She toured the local coffee scene in Sitka, and filed this report:

Screenings identify delayed health issues in returning troops

Long after their deployments have ended, National Guardsmen at Ft. Richardson are being screened for physical and emotional health problems that may have developed as a result of their service in Afghanistan. Kari Lundgren, a physician’s assistant at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in Sitka, is among a number of mid-level practioners recruited to conduct detailed interviews with soldiers returning to the state. Lundgren spent last week at Ft. Richardson performing screenings for Logistics Health Incorporated, a government contractor responsible for monitoring the health of troops. The guardsmen Lundgren interviewed had been home about four months from their deployment in Afghanistan. She talked with KCAW’s Robert Woolsey about how the men and women in the military in Alaska are faring under the strain of our country’s extended engagement in the Middle East:

Shells provide clues to ancient shorelines, cultures

Researchers looking for evidence of early human migration along Alaska’s Southeastern coast probably have been looking in the wrong place. Recent geological studies suggest that the islands, coves, and beaches that later became home to contemporary Native cultures, likely did not exist when the forebears of those cultures first moved into North America from Asia, around 30-thousand years ago. At the annual Paths Across the Pacific Conference held last month in Sitka, scholars considered how deposits of seashells – sometimes found high in the mountains of Southeast – provide clues to an ancient shoreline that may have been the home of the first Americans.

Switzer: Pebble mine poses threat to Bristol Bay salmon

Proponents of statewide ballot proposition 4 – the Clean Water Initiative – have enlisted an unusual ally in their efforts to block the Pebble mine project. Bruce Switzer has worked in the mining industry for about thirty years, as a consultant and reclamation contractor, and for the last ten years as a senior executive in charge of environmental permitting and compliance. His most recent post was as director of environmental affairs for Cominco , the Candian firm which operates Alaska’s Red Dog mine. While Switzer is unapologetic about his long involvement in mining, he’s become one of the most ardent critics of the Pebble project. He stopped by KCAW on a recent trip through Southeast to explain why he’s throwing his weight behind the Clean Water Initiative: