Totem pole marks end of Sitka park's centennial year
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The pole was supposed to go up in early April, but the near-shutdown of the federal government that weekend postponed it until this month. As it turned out, organizers called the delay a blessing in disguise, comparing the snow from April to yesterday’s blue skies and warm temperatures. The pole, designed by Sitka carver Tommy Joseph, now stands looking out at the water next to the park’s visitors center. KCAW’s Ed Ronco attended Sunday’s festivities and sent back this audio postcard. It begins with Kenny Grant explaining the name of the pole.
The park is built around the site of a Kiks.adi fort site. A separate ceremony on Sunday included the installation of a plaque commemorating the Kiksadi Survival March across Baranof Island after the fort was lost to the Russians in 1804.
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Linda Behnken, the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fisherman's Association was joined by Tori O'Connell, the Research Director of the Sitka Sound Science Center, to provide an update on SEASWAP (The Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project). As O'Connell explains, the project just secured $311,000 in funding to continue research on a sperm whale avoidance network this fall. The avoidance network will tag whales in the Chatham Strait black cod fishery and give fisherman devices to communicate where the whales are located. Downloadable audio. more