Monthly Archives: June 2011

Veteran Sitka lawmaker Grussendorf dies at 69

Ben Grussendorf, a former speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives and a former mayor of Sitka, died Friday morning. He was 69.

Video: Sitka turns on 'red light' for power

Sitkans are being urged to cut back on electricity usage because of low water levels at Blue and Green lakes, where the city’s hydro power is generated.

Chichagof residents divided over geothermal prospect

As communities brace to see which of this year’s state capital projects survive the governor’s veto pen, a proposed energy development on Chichagof Island is already generating controversy. Pegmatite Mountain is a geothermal site on the island. While it’s not yet known how much hot water there is, and how much electricity it could produce, proponents believe Pegmatite is ideally situated to serve three villages with this new, renewable, and relatively inexpensive form of power. The trouble is, Pegmatite – though green – is still development, and Chichagof Island residents are divided over whether the benefits are worth the risks to their remote lifestyle.

Arts camp in session on Sheldon Jackson campus

Sitka Fine Arts Camp is underway on the campus of the former Sheldon Jackson College. The opening of camp earlier this month is just the latest step in the transformation of a campus that, just four years ago, faced an uncertain future.

Debate over non-profit funding will go on

The Assembly put off a proposal last night to change the way the city distributes money to nonprofit organizations. It’s a topic that’s been at the center of an ongoing debate at the Assembly table.

Assembly advances water, sewer rate hikes

Sitkans could soon be paying slightly more for water and sewer services, after the Sitka Assembly advanced a proposal last night to raise rates.

Investigation looms as park, center part ways

The Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center is parting ways with the National Park Service. The cultural center has been located in a wing of the visitor center at Sitka National Historical Park for 42 years. But the center’s agreement with the park will not be renewed when it expires next week. And both cultural center and park officials have confirmed an investigation into mismanagement of funds at the center.

ANCSA at 40: Leaders seek return to tribal control

Rethinking the relationship between the federal government and Alaska’s Tribes may muddy the waters for Sealaska lands legislation pending now in congress. Tribal leaders statewide met last month in Anchorage to assess what the state’s indigenous population may have gained -- and may have given up -- with the passage of Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. To begin a statewide conversation about ANSCA on its fortienth anniversary, two of those leaders appeared Tuesday morning (6-14-11) on Talk of Alaska: Larry Merculieff, a former commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, and David Harrison, the executive director of the Alaska Intertribal Council.

Camp kids reassemble orca skeleton

You might’ve seen a reconstructed animal skeleton on display at a museum. A group of students in Sitka is working on an orca skeleton that was recovered near Sitka in March. They’re learning about the work that goes into preparing those remains for display.

British ambassador visits Sitka

During his Tuesday visit, Sir Nigel Sheinwald attended a Rotary Club lunch and toured popular attractions, including Castle Hill and Sitka National Historical Park. But the bulk of Sheinwald’s Alaska trip on the United Kingdom’s connections to Alaska – political and commercial. That includes the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska.