Monthly Archives: May 2010

Black bear cub will stay at Fortress, for now

A five-month-old black bear cub arrived in Sitka by plane yesterday (Wednesday). It was found near Excursion Inlet, just east of Gustavus. For the moment, the cub is being looked after by the staff at Fortress of the Bear in Sitka, while state officials work to find him a permanent home at an out-of-state zoo. But the story of how the cub ended up in Sitka is a little more complicated.

Interview: Ralph Samuels, Republican candidate for governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ralph Samuels was in Sitka this week. He’s vying for the G-O-P nomination along with incumbent Governor Sean Parnell and Anchorage attorney Bill Walker. During a talk to the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Samuels said whoever is the next governor of Alaska will need to engage the state in tough conversations about the issues Alaska will face in the years ahead. He spoke with KCAW’s Ed Ronco about those issues, including education.

Blatchley "Stream Team" helps monitor, restore watershed

Each year for the past three years, seventh-grade science students have assisted National Park Service biologists and Forest Service scientists in monitoring the health of two watersheds in the Sitka area. Students pull on boots and rain gear, and wade into streams to count common macro-invertebrates, like stone flies and mayflies, and to measure pH and oxygen levels in the water. It’s both fun, and real science. The data will become part of the permanent baseline record of the two partner agencies. But – as KCAW student reporters Summer Robbins and Sidney Riggs learned – scientists sometimes use graph paper, and sometimes, shovels. They sent this audio postcard from Sitka’s Starrigavan Valley:

Report looks at Sitka's challenges, assets

After recording more than 70 hours of interviews with 83 Sitkans, Island Institute Humanist in Residence Gary Holthaus has presented his report on Sitka. The interviewees were asked about their viewpoints on Sitka’s successes, failures and challenges.

Adult Spelling Bee raises money for Haiti libraries

Kettleson Memorial Library held its annual Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday afternoon. The words ranged in difficulty from “carnage” and “vulgar” to “ennui” and “macaque." As Ed Ronco reports, winner Paul Norwood might have had a unique advantage.

5K run culmination of program for girls

Some 30 girls in grades 3 through 5 ran a 5-K race through the Sitka National Historical Park on Sunday (5-16-10). It’s dubbed “Girls on the Run,” and is the culmination of weeks of training. The program, which is sponsored by Sitkans Against Family Violence, is meant to teach girls empowerment and self-esteem.

2 bear cubs shot, killed after being found near dead sow

Two brown bear cubs were shot and killed by authorities Thursday (5-13-10) after they were discovered near their already dead mother. The incident happened in the 39-hundred block of Halibut Point Road. The death of the sow, who officials estimate was shot sometime Wednesday, has been deemed an illegal kill.

Begich on OCS policy, Sealaska lands bill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has focused the attention of lawmakers on updating the country’s energy policy, but has not dramatically altered the government’s approach toward oil and gas development. At a press conference in Sitka last weekend (5-8-10), Sen. Mark Begich commented on the effects the spill may have on development in the Outer Continental Shelf. He also addressed the Sealaska Lands selection bill.

New Allen catamarans bound for seismic research

Sitka boatbuilder Allen Marine on Wednesday (5-12-10) launched three new vessels constructed for seismic exploration of the ocean floor. The 64-foot catamarans were ordered by Houston-based Geokinetics, Inc., which does contract work for the major oil producers. The boats are not the prettiest craft afloat, but (as KCAW’s Robert Woolsey reports) they can travel literally anywhere in the world:

Begich: Gulf disaster will spur clean energy

Alaska senator Mark Begich says the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has changed the dynamics of US energy legislation. Begich was in Sitka over the weekend along with fellow democrats at the state convention. He took time outside his convention duties to meet with civic organizations, hold a public town hall meeting, and talk shop with local government. He discussed US energy policy with the Sitka assembly on Saturday afternoon.