Author Archives: KCAW News

Lynne Brandon: I’m a “die-hard recreation believer”

12198037After thirteen years as the City's Parks and Recreation Manager, Lynne Brandon will assume a new role as Executive Director of Sitka Trail Works next month. She will be taking over for longtime director Deborah Lyons. Brandon talked about her passion for recreation and creating accessible walking opportunities that provide benefit for the greatest number of Sitkans. Downloadable audio.

Fight or flight? “Stress Less” class will find its inner zebra

When threatened, zebras' fight-or-flight response kicks in quickly -- and kicks off just as quickly. (Flickr photo/.imelda)Stress in humans is similar to the fight-or-flight response in animals, like zebras. But, unlike zebras, we don't let it go. Doug Osborne, director of health promotion at Sitka Community Hospital, will be leading a 21-day "Stress Less" Challenge (4 Monday nights, beginning August 17) at the Hames Center, to help students understand stress and learn to reduce it. To learn more about the class, visit the Hames Center online. Downloadable audio.

Swarm of small quakes hit Yakutat Bay area

Two glaciers flow into Yakutat Bay. Glacial calving causes regular, but small, earthquakes. The Hubbard Glacier, right, sometimes surges, blocking off an arm of the bay. (Photo courtesy Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve)About 30 earthquakes have hit the Yakutat area this week. The swarm is caused by calving glaciers in a nearby bay, not movement of the Earth’s crust.

Postcard: Anthropology students explore Sitka’s culture of fish

USF Anthropology student Elizabeth Arnold scoops a load of pink salmon at the Sheldon Jackson Hatchery. (KCAW photo/Rich McClear)There are two things that Sitka has a lot of in the summertime: fish and students. Recently, an Anthropology class from the University of San Francisco mixed it up with salmon at Sitka's downtown hatchery.

Assembly wrap: How much debt can Sitka bear?

How much debt can a community of 9,000 people bear? The assembly this week (8-11-15) spent some time on this issue, dissolved the hospital board, and listened to citizen concerns about the future of visitor marketing.

Heckendorn: On branding a post-partisan Alaska

johnhenryheckendornJohn-Henry Heckendorn is a political thinker, manager of a communications consulting firm, and one of the six Sitka Fellows in residence at the Island Institute this summer. Through his work on political campaigns, he wants to shift Alaska’s place in the national conversation from the land of "reality TV, Sarah Palin style politics" to a post-partisan "role model for Washington D.C." He talks about the relationship between politics and sports, and what makes campaigns in the state of Alaska especially unique. Tomorrow (08-13-15), he will be leading a discussion about how voters relate to political advertising at 7 p.m. in Fraser Hall. Downloadable audio.

Sitka assembly says no to non-profit sales taxes

A proposal to tax some fundraising activities of Sitka’s non-profits was voted down by the assembly Tuesday night (8-11-15). But the city will be looking for ways to shore up compliance for non-profits who should be paying taxes -- but don’t.

With interest in water on the rise, Sitka looks to expand industrial park

Although the entire park is just over 71 acres, there are less than 10 acres remaining in the so-called "core area."There will be no bulk water shipments from Sitka this summer. The company that owns the rights to market Sitka’s Blue Lake water will likely ask to extend its deadline. Meanwhile, Sitka is fielding inquiries from other companies interested in bottling Blue Lake water, but the city is running out of land at its industrial park and is looking to expand.

Postcard: SeafoodFest about more than fish

The Caber Toss may have a picturesque name, but the event is still mostly about picking up something heavy and throwing it. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Despite its name, Sitka’s 6th Annual Seafood Festival was not all about fish. The third-and-final day of the festival was held outdoors on the Sheldon Jackson Fine Arts Campus, and featured tote races, fish head bobbing, sumo wrestling, and yes -- Highland Games. But for many, it was simply a nice way to spend an afternoon in the sun.

Damaged hull forces ferry Aurora out of service

The ferry Aurora docks in Gustavus in 2010. It's now in Ketchikan for hull repairs and its annual overhaul. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation)The ferry Aurora is in the shipyard a week earlier than scheduled after a crack was found in its hull.