Monthly Archives: June 2009

Questions raised as Cathedral bell cleaning gets underway

The bells of the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel could ring again after more than 40 years of silence if the Sitka Historical Society can pull off a cleaning and restoration project this summer. Members of the church, the Historical Society and the Sitka National Historic Park climbed to the top of the bell tower to help assess the condition of the bells. KCAW’s Emily Schwing reports.

Young anglers set record at annual trout derby

The fish were biting at Swan Lake last Saturday. And that was a good thing for the young anglers competing in this year’s Junior Trout Derby. More than 100 kids ages 2-12 and their parents turned out for the event, now in its 68th year. In all, competitors caught 206 fish, a derby record.

Veterinary team makes quick work of grizzly neuter

A pair of orphaned brown bear cubs captured two years ago has settled into their new home at an exhibit in Sitka called “Fortress of the Bear.” With a steady year-round diet, the cubs have grown large for their age. Both are somewhere between three- and four-hundred pounds, and they could easily be mistaken for four-year-olds. This summer offered an opportunity to neuter the brothers, before they reach sexual maturity. And managers at the Fortress last Thursday (6-11-09) decided to seize it.

Kantner sorts fact from fiction in "Shopping for Porcupine"

Kotzebue author Seth Kantner published his first novel, Ordinary Wolves, in 2004. The story followed the lives of a non-Native family who had chosen to make their home in Northwestern Alaska, and to adopt the traditional lifestyle and subsistence practices of the area’s Yupik culture. Ordinary Wolves was an impressive literary debut for an author who grew up home-schooled in sod igloo on the Kobuk River. Kantner won the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award for the novel, and began work on a second book – this time non-fiction – called Shopping for Porcupine. Kantner will be in Sitka Tuesday (06-15-09), at Kettleson Memorial Library, to read from his new book. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey spoke recently with Kantner about the need to separate fact from fiction in Ordinary Wolves, by writing a memoir:

Postcard: Summer Band debuts new number

The Sitka Summer Band performed their annual concert at the O'Connell Bridge Visitor's Dock on June 12th. This year, the middle- and high school marching band debuted a concert version of the classic Saturday Night Live sketch, "More Cowbell."

Water rates rising, but still relatively low

Water rates in Sitka will go up starting in July. The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday passed the first increase in residential and commercial water rates since 2002 – and more increases could be on the way. The environmental department says it is playing catch-up to repair and maintain an antiquated system and facing new federal standards for water quality. Emily Schwing reports.

Phillies select Sitka pitcher in MLB draft

A former Sitka baseball standout has been drafted into the majors. 2005 Sitka High graduate Matt Way was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth round of the major league draft yesterday (06-09-09). Way is a left-handed pitcher who just finished his senior year at Washington State University.

Assembly raids non-profit fund for ballfields, books

The Sitka assembly last night (06-09-09) passed a $54-million dollar budget for next year, but not before tapping into its non-profit grants fund to pay for some ballfield maintenance and library books. The last-minute requests sparked a debate among assembly members about the proper timing for amending the budget.

Softball, baseball teams edged out in state tourney

Strong Southeast competition dominated at the 2009 softball and baseball state championships this past weekend. Sitka High’s women’s softball team and the men’s baseball team matched up against men’s and women’s teams from Ketchikan. KCAW’s Emily Schwing has the results.

Cu'pik weaver shares art and culture

If you visited the Sheldon Jackson Museum recently, you might have seen a woman in a floral-print kuspuk teaching a cruise ship visitor to play Eskimo yo-yo. Emily Johnston, a master weaver from Nunivak, is one of thirteen native artists participating in the museum’s demonstrator program this summer. KCAW’s Shaleece Haas spoke with Johnston about her art.