Author Archives: Vanessa Walker, KCAW

Peanut is a “hoot” at Raptor Center

Peanut is a 13-year-old Western Screech Owl currently living at the Alaska Raptor Center. KCAW photo/Vanessa WalkerThere’s a new bird in town, and she’s a little shy. After a long career in education, she doesn’t have a lot of patience for the classroom. But for the right student, she still has plenty to teach. These days, she’s settling into a comfortable retirement, just off Sawmill Creek Road-- at the Alaska Raptor Center.

SEASWAP: How to stop a whale of a thief

homet2Linda 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.

Sitkans face heroin related charges

A Sitka grand jury has indicted three people for tampering with physical evidence related to a police investigation into heroin trafficking.

Should Sitka change the name of Kettleson Memorial Library?

140829_Stratton2_woolsey-e1410299430919Curt Ledford, chair of the Library Commission, was joined by library supporter Bill Foster to discuss an upcoming decision by the Commission to rename Kettleson Memorial Library. Foster suggested renaming it, simply, Sitka Public Library. The commission is conducting an informal survey, which can be found here on the library's website and should be completed by this Friday (07-31-15). Downloadable audio.

Feds ask cruise ships, boats to stay far away from seals

Harbor seals rest on ice near South Sawyer Glacier in 2007. New federal guidelines suggest, but don't require, vessels to stay about 500 yards away from the marine mammals to lessen disturbances. (Photo courtesy NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center)Federal officials want cruise ships, tour boats and kayaks to stay far away from harbor seals in Alaska’s glacial fjords.

KCAW News is hiring a reporter

MIC1KCAW is hiring a full-time reporter. This individual's duties include almost everything under the sun (or under the clouds!): Schools, politics, fisheries, tourism, forests, and culture. Find a full job description here.. This job closes on Monday, August 24.

The line in the slime: Alaska makes stand against D.vex in Sitka

Alaska is going to war against an invasive species in Sitka, and its weapon is science. With help from the Smithsonian, the state is hoping to eradicate an invasive sea squirt in Sitka’s Whiting Harbor.

From human pitch pipe, to choral music composer

natebarnettNate Barnett is a composer, singer, and music director from Rochester, NY. He is one of six Sitka Fellows in residency at the Island Institute this summer. While in Sitka, Nate is composing a cantata for choir and chamber music inspired by spiritual, non-religious texts. He seeks to create new worship music accessible to all, that brings people together in song regardless of religion or race. Barnett is leading a workshop on music foundations tomorrow (07-30-15) in Fraser Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus at 7 p.m. Downloadable audio.

Fire department gearing up new volunteers this August

IMG_0139Dave Miller, Chief of the Sitka Fire Department, was joined by Fire Captain Dani Snyder to discuss their upcoming firefighter training. The department is actively recruiting more volunteer firefighters to be trained and IFSAC certified, which authorizes the volunteer to fight fires in Alaska and throughout the United States. The Firefighter I class begins on September 15, 2015 and will run through December. The training is designed for volunteer firefighters, but can also be a launch pad for career firefighters. Downloadable audio.

Rural doctors use video conferencing to keep practice fresh

Capture2Dr. Brian Wood is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the medical director for a telehealth project called ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes). Dr. Wood was joined by Dr. Irbert Vega, who has participated in ECHO's session for HIV medicine for the past six months. Dr. Vega is a family medicine doctor at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and talks about how joining ECHO has helped him treat HIV patients in Sitka. Downloadable audio.