Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wolff’s departure comes up as city leaders evaluated

The Sitka Assembly says it looks forward to working with both Municipal Administrator Jim Dinley and Municipal Attorney Theresa Hillhouse into the foreseeable future. That’s after both were evaluated last night during a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly four hours. But it was the fate of former city finance director Dave Wolff that generated the most curiosity among members of the public on Tuesday night.

New SCVB director offers insight into social media

The biggest investment in using social media to market a business may be your time. So says Tonia Rioux, the executive director of the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau. Rioux introduced her staff, and gave a quick refresher course on the SCVB’s marketing and convention services to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (4-20-11). But the SCVB’s new thirty-something director also spent some time teaching a generally older chamber crowd about the world of social media – platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Science center grant to aid longliners, sperm whales

Sperm whales in Alaska have learned how to seek out longline fishing gear as a source for easy meals. Now, a $350,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration given to the Sitka Sound Science Center will let scientists and commercial longliners work together to figure out how to discourage the behavior.

Sitka coaches ask ASAA for parity in travel costs

Mike Kimber was one of several Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka High personnel to bring issues before the governing body for activities in the state. The ASAA board took comments from the public beginning at 9:30 Monday morning (4-18-11). The core issue was the cost of travel. Sitka High football coach Jeff Feldpausch said his team had to pay the full travel expenses of conference opponents from South Central Alaska. One game alone this season cost his organization almost $9,000 in airfare for 22 players.

ASAA hears pitch for girls-only wrestling post-season

The Alaska School Activities Association heard a pitch for regional and state wrestling tournaments for girls during its regular meeting in Sitka this week (4-18-11). Mt. Edgecumbe High School wrestling coach Mike Kimber told the ASAA board that more girls would participate in the sport if they knew that there would be a girls-only competition at the end of the season.

Totem Square to be pole-less for time being

Restoration work is proceeding on schedule in Sitka’s downtown Totem Square, but the state has not announced whether a historic-but-controversial totem pole will be reinstalled on the site. Jennifer Klein is the Facilities Section Chief for the Department of Health and Social Services. She was in Sitka on Thursday and Friday (Apr 14, 15, 2011) for meetings about the project.

Wolff abruptly leaves top city finance post

Long-time finance director Dave Wolff resigned suddenly last Friday (4-15-11), leading to speculation that there may be serious disagreements in Sitka’s city hall. Wolff’s letter was effective the day it was submitted – April 15, 2011. The letter does not elaborate on Wolff’s reasons for leaving. KCAW news reached Wolff at home today (4-18-11), but he was unwilling to comment on the matter.

Herring spawn in full swing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that herring spawn as of today (Friday 4-15-11) covered a total of 65 nautical miles of shoreline in Sitka Sound. On Thursday alone, aerial surveys located over 23 nautical miles of new spawn in the Crow Pass area as well as along the north side of Middle Island. That spawn was contracting by Friday, but new spawn was starting just west of Big Gavanski Island.

Hamilton: Legislature will cut oil taxes next session

Mark Hamilton thinks lowering taxes on oil companies in Alaska is inevitable. The former University of Alaska president now represents the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, an organization of businesses hoping to reverse the decline in Alaskan oil production. Hamilton was in Sitka today (Wednesday 4-13-11) to give presentations to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Sitka Economic Development Association.

Hospital banking on technology, recruitment

Technological advancements in health care are nothing new. But in small communities like Sitka, technology plays not only a medical role, but a business one, too. The head of Sitka Community Hospital says new technology is making a big difference at the city’s 12-bed facility.