Monthly Archives: February 2009

NDBC to recover grounded Edgecumbe buoy

The National Data Buoy Center is making plans to recover the Cape Edgecumbe weather buoy. The buoy went adrift in December gales, and has gone ashore in the northern gulf, near Kayak Island -- 350 miles off station.

City, school district to split federal schools funding

The Secure Rural Schools Act or Timber Receipt funds were re-allocated this year, and the city is slated to receive about 1.8 million dollars—thanks in large part to members of the school board lobbying congress on behalf of the act. Last night (2-10-09) the Sitka assembly voted to approve an amendment that would give the school district half of the 85% of the funding left after 15% of it is paid to the Forest Service. But Some Sitka parents and educators wanted to see that percentage increased.

Pacific High students help make history at Smithsonian

Students from Pacific High school recently traveled to Washington DC and got first-hand experience archiving artifacts from the Smithsonian at the National Museum of the American Indian. The project they worked on is part of the cultural resource center’s virtual museum, which allows anyone, anywhere with access to the internet, a 360 degree view of museum artifacts.

Technician gives Steinway a human touch

A week before the Sitka Jazz Festival opened this month (2-6-09), a heavy crate arrived at the new Sitka Performing Arts Center. As festival co-director Terry Lovett told audiences, his reaction at the time was “Now what?” KCAW’s Robert Woolsey recently spent some time talking with the man who transformed the crate of parts into a Steinway concert grand piano:

Cargill salt spot captures Sitka's charm

The town of Sitka has a starring role in a television commercial now airing nationwide. Cargill Incorporated, of Minneapolis, sells a myriad of products and services, including salt for seafood processing. But most television viewers around the US don’t process seafood. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey recently spoke with Cargill management to find out what message a sixty-second slice of life in Sitka sends to the national marketplace. To view the commercial online, click on

Interview: Moving drums beyond rhythm to melody

Drummer Jeff Hamilton has moved percussion into the realm of melody with his expressive technique. He wowed audiences at the Sitka JazzFest Friday night (2-7-09) with a solo performance of "Caravan." Interview with KCAW's Robert Woolsey.

Interview: SF vocalist warms to Alaskan festival

It took a couple of years for San Francisco-based singer Jackie Ryan to warm to the idea of a winter jazz festival in Alaska. But her adventurous spirit and warm contralto have found a home onstage at the Sitka JazzFest. Interview with KCAW's Robert Woolsey.

State passes on Takatz hydro — for now

A feasibility study for major new hydroelectric project in Sitka has been put on hold. The Alaska Energy Authority has denied the city’s request for $2-million dollars to study the prospects for hydro power at Takatz Lake, on the east side of Baranof Island.

AHFC puts Sitka affordable housing project on hold

An affordable housing project in Sitka has been put off for at least a year. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation last month (Jan 09) failed to award tax credits for the Dana Bay Homes project, an affordable apartment complex proposed for the old city shops site on Halibut Point Road.

Sitka school board says Native hire a priority

Alaska Natives represent less than 5% of educators in the state, yet 25% of the population is Alaska Native. Across the state school districts are struggling to increase the number of Native teachers, but qualified candidates can be difficult to find, especially when budgets are decreasing for hiring ANY teachers at all. As KCAW’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock reports, Sitka faces the same challenges regarding Native hire that other districts face, but the school board would like to see that change.