Author Archives: Rachel Waldholz, KCAW

Sitka organizations offer free counseling in aftermath of slides

From left, John Raasch, of Youth Advocates of Sitka; Marita Bailey, Amy Zanuzoski and Carol Berge, of Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services; and Parcae Soule, of SEARHC, spoke about counseling resources available to Sitkans. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)As the city continues to cope with the aftermath of last week’s landslides, Sitka's emergency responders had one key message on Thursday: take care of yourself, and make sure to ask for help if you need it.

Nine days in, landslide response starts to scale back

City crews continued to focus Thursday on removing debris from the Kramer Avenue landslide site, working on a cleanup that officials estimate could take a month or more.

Chamber of Commerce likely to take over Sitka visitor services

A screenshot of the Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau website. The assembly has voted to dissolve the bureau. (Screenshot June 24, 2015)The saga of Sitka’s Convention and Visitors Bureau continued Tuesday night, as the assembly moved one step closer to fully dissolving the bureau and hiring an outside contractor to do its work -- likely the Sitka Chamber of Commerce.

City still investigating cause of diesel spill

The diesel from the Jarvis Street Power Plant leaked into Sitka Sound through this storm water drain at Eagle Beach. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)The Sitka Assembly received an update on last week’s diesel spill at the city’s Jarvis Street Power Plant.

Speaking at Assembly, officials say: Thank you, Sitka

Sitka Police Lt. Lance Ewers speaks to volunteers and friends and family of the missing men at Grace Harbor Church on August 19, the day after Sitka was hit by a series of landslides. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)At the first meeting of the Sitka Assembly since last week’s landslides, city officials spoke emotionally about the loss of three local men -- and said they had been overwhelmed by the response of city staff, volunteers, and ordinary citizens.

Rioux withdraws from Assembly race

SCVB director Tonia Rioux. She said that Sitkans rolled out a "not just a red carpet -- but a magic carpet -- for last October's travel industry convention. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau director Tonia Rioux withdrew her name from the race Friday. She says a combination of events in the last week means she needs to focus on her family.

Coast Guard helicopter crew medevacs man from cruise ship

A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevacked a 45-year-old man from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice near Baranof Island on Monday (8-24-15).

Weather expected to halt landslide recovery effort

National Weather Service Meteorologist Joel Curtis (left) spoke with reporters Friday, along with DOT geologist Mitch McDonald and Deputy Fire Chief Al Stevens (right). (Robert Woolsey, KCAW)Search teams in Sitka were racing the clock today, as they worked to find the third victim of Tuesday’s landslide before a new storm arrives tonight. Heavy rain and wind is forecast this weekend, which officials worry will make it unsafe for crews to work.

Two bodies recovered in Sitka slide, search continues for third

Recovery crews halt work while a trained cadaver dog scents the site where the body of 62-year-old William Stortz is thought to be located. A previous dog alerted at the location of the green stake in the center of the image. (KCAW photo, Robert Woolsey)Search crews have recovered two bodies from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka. One man remains missing but crews are focused on an area identified by search dogs. Officials hope to recover all three bodies before heavy rain predicted Friday.

Walker visits Sitka as search continues for 3 missing men

Gov. Bill Walker (right) and Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell visited the site of the Kramer Avenue landslide on Wednesday, August 19. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)Gov. Bill Walker was in Sitka today to assess the damage from Tuesday's landslides. He also met with the families of three men who are missing and presumed dead. The search for those three men was proceeding slowly, hampered by fears of further landslides.