Monthly Archives: August 2009

School board incumbents to push for district funding

Two incumbents are running unopposed to re-claim their seats on the Sitka School Board this October. Cass Pook and Tom Conley are both multiple-term veterans on the board. They hope to engage the community the coming year in a conversation about the importance of school funding in a difficult economy. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey sat down recently with both candidates to discuss the issues:

USDA's Jensen, Vasquez to hear Sitkans' views

A pair of top officials from the US Department of Agriculture will be in Sitka this weekend. They’ll be gathering information on what the USDA’s Rural Development Agency and the Forest Service can do for Sitkans. The goal of the meeting, which takes place Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM at the Community House, is to explore "new ways for the Tongass National Forest and for the USDA as a whole to support a diversified economy in Southeast Alaska."

Cold-water swimmer braves Sitka Sound crossing

Whether you call it “marathon,” “cold water,” or even “naked” swimming, immersing ourselves without any dry- or wet-suit in the frigid Pacific ocean water is something most Alaskans generally try to avoid. Not the case, though, for visiting cold water swimmer Claudia Rose, who completed a challenging swim across Sitka Sound last weekend (8-22-09). KCAW’s Chris Todd reports:

Edward Kennedy: "A time to talk to all men"

The late Senator Edward Kennedy toured Alaska in 1968. He addressed the state democratic party convention in Sitka on April 7th, just three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Rare video footage of Kennedy’s speech was made available to the public for the first time in January of this year, with the debut of the state library’s digital archival collection. KCAW’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock covered the release of the historic video. The following is an encore presentation of her story. To watch the video, click on this story's title, then on the link "Watch the video here."

School board delays action on religious promotions

The Sitka School board Monday night (8-24-09) postponed final action on a policy that would give the district administration the discretion to permit the promotion of religious activities in schools. Board policy 1325 “Advertising and Promotion” was tabled until November. In addition, the board announced that it would push for continued state and local funding despite the down economy, and welcomed new student member, Berett Wilber.

Celebrating Sitka's "culture of baseball"

Sitka celebrated its “culture of baseball” last night (Tue 8-25-09). The Sitka assembly recognized the achievements of both the Little League’s major league all-star team, and the senior league all-star team, in winning their respective Alaska State championships. And while they won’t be going to the Little League World Series, the Sitka teams still have plenty to brag about.

Westover braced for tougher times in second term

Assembly member Cheryl Westover believes Sitka is headed for one of its toughest budget years ever. Westover earlier this month filed to run for a second term on the assembly. Barring a write-in campaign, her seat will be uncontested. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey met with Westover to discuss her decision to throw her hat in the ring for another term.

State, city officials cut ribbon on roundabout

Four years after the state Department of Transportation began planning to improve traffic flow at Sitka’s busiest intersection, state and local officials gathered to cut the ribbon on the Swan Lake roundabout. The $1-point-8 million dollar project is one of 600 roundabouts constructed in the United States since 1990. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey sent this audio postcard:

Uncertain over SJ's future, assembly kills Hames ballot

The Hames Wellness Center will not be on the ballot this October. In a special meeting Wednesday night (8-19-09), the Sitka assembly killed the proposed Hames bond initiative, along with two related ballot questions designed to raise property taxes to pay for the bonds.

Presbyterian mission "not bottom line" for some SJC alums

The University of Dubuque's expression of interest in Sheldon Jackson came as a surprise to many who were expecting something more tentative. KCAW news has spoken informally with people who are concerned that the University of Dubuque will spend the next five weeks possibly deciding the fate of Sheldon Jackson. Others consider Dubuque’s support the best hope for resurrecting the college. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey asked two prominent Sheldon Jackson Alumni who spent time with the Dubuque delegation for their views on the prospective relationship: