Monthly Archives: June 2010

Xtratuf production leaving Illinois plant; mayor says jobs to China

Xtratufs are as common in Alaska as the Stetson is in Texas. The brown neoprene boots are the last rubber footwear made in the United States. But production of the boots is moving out of its plant, and officials in the city where Xtratufs are made say the jobs are going overseas.

Cameron takes command at Air Station Sitka

Cmdr. Doug Cameron has taken command at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka. The change of command ceremony took place in the air station’s Japonski Island hangar on Monday (6-28-10). Cameron comes to Sitka from his last assignment as executive officer of Air Station Astoria. He served in the US Marine Corps for four years prior to attending officer candidate school in the Coast Guard. District 17 commander Rear Admiral Christopher Colvin oversaw the change of command. Cameron relieves Capt. David Walker at the post. Air Station Sitka operates three Jayhawk helicopters, covering 12,000 miles of coastline and parts of interior Alaska. The air station averages 150 rescue missions per year.

Wilderness surveys shed light on human impact

This summer, as part of an ongoing project to document and preserve wilderness, the Forest Service is sending staff, scientists, and volunteers into the field to collect data. In the first of a two-part series, KCAW’s Lily Mihalik accompanied one such crew into the West Chicagof-Yakobi Wilderness. As it turns out, wilderness is as much about what isn't there, as it is what is.

Conservation "conscientiousness" key to lower rates?

Whether or not Sitkans have to pay diesel surcharges for electricity in the near future may depend on conservation choices residents make now. The Sitka Electric Department and the Sitka Conservation Society are collaborating this summer on making electricity conservation part of the town’s culture.

After fire, Sitkan organizes relief for Elfin Cove

In Elfin Cove, residents continue to clean up after a fire two weeks ago that destroyed a lodge and restaurant. In Sitka, meanwhile, relief efforts are being organized by the restaurant owner’s daughter, who says help is still needed in the community’s rebuilding effort.

SEDA report shows an aging Sitka

Sitka’s unemployment rate in March 2010 was 7.6 percent – lower than the state average but still on the rise compared to the same months in years past. That’s according to a quarterly report from the Sitka Economic Development Association. The report also shows that the community’s population is aging. In 2010, seniors over the age of 65 make up approximately 12 percent of Sitka’s population. That number is expected to be around 21 percent in the next 20 years.

Murre colony to be focus of St. Lazaria birdcam

The St. Lazaria birdcam is back. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has reinstalled what it hopes is a hardier system on the island refuge in the mouth of Sitka Sound.

Bears vs. trash trial program nixed

A proposal to set up bear-resistant trash cans along part of Cascade Creek Road, as a trial program, was voted down by Sitka's Assembly at its regular meeting on Tuesday (6-22-10).

Open-water clinic to prep swimmers for adventure race

Local adventure racers will have a chance to get their feet – and the rest of their bodies -- wet this weekend during an open-water swim clinic. The clinic is designed to help residents prepare for the first-ever Sitka Sound Adventure Swim, scheduled for August 8. Open-water swimmer Claudia Rose has done the 21-mile Catalina swim and the 12-mile crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel in southern California. She’s also swum 12 miles across Lake Tahoe.

Mediation offers resolutions (and solutions) without court

There is an alternative to going to court when individuals or businesses are in conflict. Mediation can be not only less expensive and divisive than traditional lawsuits, but also carry the weight of a court ruling. Two attorneys in Sitka are among the many statewide who are involved in mediation. They met with the Sitka Bar Association and local service providers this week (6-23-10).