Author Archives: Rachel Waldholz, KCAW

Coast Guard rescues hiker on Chichagof Island

A map identifying Gull Cove, on the north end of Chichagof Island, as shown on the Gull Cove Lodge website.A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a hiker early Saturday morning (4-11-15) after she went missing from a lodge on Chichagof Island.

Assembly to consider additional $1-million for schools

The Sitka School Board and Assembly met for a budget work session on April 9, 2015. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)The Sitka School Board's budget assumes the city will increase its funding by $1-million this year. Now, the Assembly is considering where that money might come from. Options range from eliminating sales tax exemptions to cutting library hours to putting a tax increase on the October ballot.

Visioning session to ask: What does healthy Sitka mean to you?

Melissa Marconi Wentzel discusses the Sitka Health Summit's upcoming Visioning Session. Participants will imagine where they'd like to see Sitka in five years, taking into account everything from public health to arts and culture, housing and transportation, access to healthy food and health behaviors. The event will be Thursday, April 16, from 5:30-7:30 at Kettleson Memorial Library (in the Stratton Building). Organizers will provide a light dinner, and childcare and activities for kids. You can find more information at sitkahealthsummitak.org. Downloadable audio

DOT considers cutting Sitka Airport hours

An Alaska Airlines jet touches down in Sitka. Both runway approaches are over ocean. (Flickr photo/Pat Groves)The state Department of Transportation has told city officials that budget cuts may mean shorter hours for Sitka’s Rocky Gutierrez Airport. The airport is currently staffed 24 hours a day. DOT is considering cutting one staff member, perhaps reducing operating hours to 18 or 20 hours a day.

Strong dollar and oversupply meant slow herring season in Sitka

Crew members on the Star Shadow make repairs after the second day of herring fishing in 2015. From left: Brandon Ihde, Billy Nestle, and Devin Jones. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)This year's low herring prices changed Sitka's sac roe herring fishery from a free-for-all to a cooperative effort. The reason? Low prices for roe, for starters. And a strong US dollar that makes all American exports more expensive. KCAW looks at how global economic trends translated into a quiet spring in Sitka.

Walker: “Concerned how far we’re cutting”

Governor Bill Walker addresses the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, April 3, 2015. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)Governor Bill Walker told the Sitka Chamber of Commerce that he’s “a little concerned” about the depth of cuts being proposed by state lawmakers. "My concern now is that with the stroke of a pen we can end programs that have taken decades to create," Walker said.

First two VPSOs graduate from firearm training

Governor Bill Walker (left) and VPSO Michael Gagliano after the governor signed his first bill, establishing Law Enforcement Officer Day. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)Two Village Public Safety Officers graduated from firearm training today (Friday, 4-3-15), becoming the first officers in the 40-year history of the program to be armed.

Sitkans protest cuts to education and public radio

Jennifer Robinson, of the Sitka Chamber of Commerce and School Board, testified before the Senate Finance Committee along with School Board President Lon Garrison. (Photo courtesy of Gavel to Gavel)During budget testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, residents urged legislators to roll back proposed cuts to K-12 education, the Alaska Marine Highway System, domestic violence prevention, and public broadcasting.

Sac roe fishery closes after slow and steady week

The Sequel makes a set during the fifth opening of the 2015 sac roe herring fishery, on March 22. (Photo courtesy of Big Dog Fish Company)The 2015 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is over. The fleet reached its quota of about 8700 tons of herring on Wednesday evening (3-25-15), after a full week of slow and steady cooperative fishing.

Despite voting down rate hike, Assembly says rates will rise

Workers pouring cement at the Blue Lake dam in June, 2014 (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)The Sitka Assembly voted down a proposed electric rate increase at its meeting Tuesday night. But that doesn’t mean rates aren’t going up. The real question isn’t whether rates will rise, but by how much. And city staff have found some creative ways to soften the impact.