Monthly Archives: June 2010

Postcard: Mime performance is more than meets the eye

For the past two weeks middle-school students from around Alaska and the country have been dancing, clowning, filming, sculpting, and doing just about every other kind of performance art in Sitka. The middle school session of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp culminates this week with a series of evening performances. The free shows start at 7 PM through Friday at the Sitka Performing Arts Center. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey dropped by rehearsals on Wednesday afternoon. He talked with students in the Mime class as they prepared for their eight minutes in the limelight, and sent this audio postcard.

Finland’s ambassador visits Sitka

Finland’s ambassador to the United States, Pekka Lintu, arrived in Sitka on Tuesday as part of a five day visit to Alaska.

'Paid agent' proposal defeated at Assembly table

Sitka’s Historic Preservation Commission needs assistance, according to some members of the Assembly. But that assistance didn’t come on Tuesday, when Assembly members voted down a proposal that would have created a "paid agent" to help streamline the review process for historic properties.

Coastal Footprint mission cleans up Pacific coastline

Sitka’s waters are cleaner thanks to the Jolly Roger and its Coastal Footprint Crew. So far the crew and its captain, Luis Hoock, have ventured out to Brent’s beach and the Apple Islands where they collected over five hundred pounds of human made debris, and one hot tub. The ship, which set sail from Juneau, is headed to the southern tip of Chile on a quest to collect and track plastics polluting the western coastline.

Lodge, restaurant destroyed in Elfin Cove blaze

A fire swept through Elfin Cove’s waterfront early Saturday morning (6-19-10), destroying a lodge and a restaurant. No one was injured in the blaze. Fire officials credit a hastily-organized bucket brigade and a swift response from neighboring communities with saving the town from a total disaster.

Dobler out as Sheldon Jackson president

David Dobler has been removed as president of Sheldon Jackson College. That decision comes about a week after the University of Dubuque backed out of a deal to manage the campus. He'll be replaced by John Holst, who will act as "manager," says the board's chairwoman.

Invasives make headway in Alaska

On June 13th scientists from up and down the West Coast flooded Sitka’s tidal zones looking for species from a foreign land. Volunteers toting buckets and laminated pictures followed close behind, keeping a keen eye for Japanese kelp, Green crab and two species of invasive tunicates. The search was part of a larger effort, called a Bio Blitz to document the presence of foreign species along Sitka’s coastline and moorages. Scientists involved in the Blitz say it will act as a baseline to see just how many invasives make their home in Sitka’s waters.

Halibut, groundfish observer restructuring advances

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council wrapped up its June meeting in Sitka on Tuesday (6-15-10). During the meeting, which began June 7, the council advanced a measure to restructure a program that puts human observers on fishing vessels.

Profile: Career in education comes from own time in school

The new principal of Sitka High School brings with her decades of experience as a teacher and administrator across the country and around the world, including in Alaska. But she tells KCAW that her career in education was touched off after an event during her senior year of high school.

Salmon a growing factor in forest restoration policy

Pt. 2 of 2. Although forest restoration is officially the priority of the Forest Service, transforming policy goals into action can be hard. The Tongass in the summer of 2010 looks much like the Tongass in the summer of 2009, when US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a bold new strategy for protecting the nation’s forests, preserving clean air and watersheds, exploring biomass and carbon markets, and all the while maintaining elements of a traditional forest products industry. Senators from predominantly western states, including Alaska, have opposed increasing funding for forest restoration, saying the recommended changes “go too far, too fast.” They’ve urged the Obama administration to maintain or increase funding for timber output in 2011. It’s a formula for political stalemate. But on the Tongass, salmon have changed the way people – including senators -- talk about forest restoration. In the final part of our series on forest restoration policy, KCAW’s Robert Woolsey examines the role fish have started to play in the rhetoric of restoration.