Author Archives: Joe Viechnicki, KFSK

Sitka Democrat prepares for bleak budget outlook

Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins addresses the Alaska House of Representatives, March 12, 2014. The Sitka Democrat is running for a second term. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins thinks the state’s financial situation will mean a new reality for the state legislature in the upcoming session. The Sitka democrat is starting up his second term in the legislature.

Sitka to hold marijuana town hall

Should marijuana be regulated like alcohol? Or like cigarettes? Or in some altogether new way? Those are some of the decisions facing the City of Sitka, and they have to be settled soon.

Assembly considers dissolving Visitors’ Bureau

The Sitka Assembly voted Tuesday night to dissolve the city’s Convention and Visitors' Bureau. The bureau plans to reconstitute itself as an independent nonprofit, one that could bid for city contracts to do much of the marketing and convention planning it does now.

Mt. Edgecumbe superintendent resigns

J Thayne turned in his resignation on Friday afternoon, after just six months as head of the state-run boarding school. He will be replaced for the rest of the school year by Bill Hutton, who held the post from 2008 to 2010.

Sitka man arrested after stand-off with police

The 34-year-old had barricaded himself and another man inside a boat parked on the 1300 block of Halibut Point Road early Sunday morning. Officers fired a canister of tear gas to force him out.

Sitka debates whether to sell GPIP land or keep it public

Selling off the park is within the GPIP board's mission: “Unlike other property owned by the 
municipality, the former Alaska Pulp Corporation mill site was acquired not for governmental 
purposes from the state or federal government, but for economic development and disposal."  (GPIP photo)Should Sitka sell off its remaining land at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park, or keep the land in public hands? That’s the question currently bedeviling the GPIP board. On Thursday night, board members brought the issue to the Sitka Assembly for guidance.

Humpbacks and the Endangered Species Act: A deep dive

A humpback whale shows its fluke. (Photo by Ellen Chenoweth, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122).The secret history of Soviet whaling in the North Pacific, the origins of the Endangered Species Act in the Nixon era, and how many humpback whales are out there, anyway?

Humpback whales: to de-list or not to de-list?

Humpback whales bubblenet feeding. (Photo by Blain and Monique Anderson, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122)As NOAA decides whether to remove humpback whales from the endangered species list, we take a look at the arguments for and against de-listing, and ask, what's at stake, for humpbacks and for us?

The secret history of Soviet whaling

Humpback whales lunge feeding. (Photo by Blain and Monique Anderson, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122)Data hidden in a potato cellar, an archive in eastern Russia -- and how scientists are finally solving the mystery of how many humpbacks there were in the North Pacific before commercial whaling.

Counting humpbacks, fluke by fluke

A page from a humpback whale fluke matching catalog. (Photos by Jan Straley, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122)After forty years of protection, federal officials are considering taking humpback whales off the endangered species list. So we ask, how many humpbacks are out there, anyway?