Local News

Begich: Alaska will be ‘aggressive’ on MSA stock protections

Sen. Mark Begich speaking to the Sitka Chamber recently. He says Sen. Rubio has to "put down a scorecard" on Magnuson-Stevens," but the final bill will support Alaska's fisheries.Sen. Mark Begich says the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act will not be moving forward without Alaska’s input. He says Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s bill (introduced on September 16) was intended to lay out language important to the Republican’s home state. It won’t necessarily be the final language in the bill.

Art is big business in Southeast Alaska

The Sitka Summer Music Festival is part of Southeast Alaska's arts economy, which generated about $60 million in spending in 2013. Here, Artistic Director Zuill Bailey explains some musical backstories at 2014's final concert. (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)What are the arts worth to Southeast Alaska? A new economic study says at least $60 million a year in business.

Conley, Fulton offer united front in school board forum

Candidates Tom Conley (l.) and Tim Fulton are familiar company. They served three years together previously on the school board. Funding pressures have kept the board focused -- and united -- in recent years. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Beginning next month, Sitka will have a school board solidly aligned in its opposition to vouchers, its opposition to amending the state constitution to allow public funding for private and parochial schools, and in its support of teachers. Two long-time board members participated in a candidate forum at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce.

Groups hope MSA update won’t move fish conservation ‘backwards’

Magnuson-Stevens created 8 separate regional councils to manage fisheries in federal waters. According ALFA's Linda Behnken, not all regions have placed as much emphasis on resource protection as the North Pacific. (NOAA Fisheries image)A number of regional fishing associations are joining forces to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association announced last week (9-9-14) that the new organization wants to ensure that Congress makes protecting fish stocks a priority as it prepares to reauthorize the nation’s most important law governing the harvest of seafood in federal waters.

Youth climate lawsuit dismissed

Katherine Dolma answers a question following a Supreme Court LIVE hearing at Barrow High School. Dolma and Nelson Kanuk, seated, are two of the six young plaintiffs in the case. (Photo by Jeff Seifert/ KBRW)The lawsuit was brought by six young Alaskans, demanding the state take action on climate change. In dismissing the case, the Court said that climate policy isn’t an issue for the judiciary can decide. But for the young plaintiffs and the nonprofit supporting them, the ruling included some silver linings.

Another deer found with wire snare near Sitka

ADF&G tech Holley Dennison loads the doe into a truck at the Hames Center, for a trip back to the woods to recover. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)A second deer is on the mend, after being caught in a wire snare in downtown Sitka. State Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney shot the doe with a tranquilizer dart Tuesday (9-16-14) near the Hames Center. Like a deer captured last Friday, this animal also had a smooth wire around its neck.

Ensnared doe recovering after wire loop removed

The doe suffered only minor injuries from the wire. The GPS collar will release on its own next summer. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)A deer found with a wire around its neck near Sitka has was safely released by wildlife authorities late last week. But another deer may be suffering from the same -- possibly malicious -- predicament. Phil Mooney, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, successfully darted and tranquilized the adult doe near the Indian River Road on Friday (9-12-14).

Despite embargo, salmon caviar grows on everyone — but us!

140915_RachelWaldholz_mcclearWhen Alaskans fish for salmon, most are hoping to bring home those gorgeous -- not to mention delicious -- red fillets for the barbecue, freezer, or canning jar. When the fish are cleaned, the long skeins of pink or red eggs often go overboard with everything else. Not so in the commercial fishing industry, where salmon eggs -- or roe -- have become big business. Russia’s embargo of American seafood has been a setback to Alaska’s caviar industry, but demand for the product is growing elsewhere.

New school board member jumps in

Senior Kaya Duguay replaces JD Murphy as the Sitka School Board's student member. Duguay  demonstrated early acumen for the job. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Even though municipal elections are a few weeks away, the Sitka School Board seated its newest member Wednesday night (9-11-14). Sitka senior Kaya Duguay has already attended several board meetings and activities. She participated in an all-day goal-setting session with the full board last month. She also did not hesitate to contribute meaningfully to her first full meeting.

Assembly awards grants to Sitka nonprofits

Seventeen local organizations submitted requests to the assembly amounting to more than $164,000. The city has budgeted $90,000 for nonprofit grants this year.