Five candidates are running for a seat on the Sitka Assembly this year. Their experience runs from lifelong resident and former assembly member to relative newbie. The candidates met this week (9-22-14) in a forum held at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce. A fairly large crowd attended to hear the candidates answer questions and share their views on a range of issues.
Silver Bay Seafoods has tendered an offer to buy out the City of Sitka’s industrial park. The processor got its start in Sitka and has since grown into one of the state’s largest seafood operations. Park board members heard details of the sale in a special meeting this week (9-25-14), but took no action. Instead, they decided to hold off a month in order to weigh the offer against a competing proposal from a different company.
High rainfall this month is being blamed for a major landslide near Sitka. The US Forest Service reports that a 100-acre slide came down in the Starrigavan Valley, about ten miles from town. The slide, and water damage to an ATV trail in the valley and other hiking trails elsewhere in Sitka -- all add up to a tough month for the agency.
Sitka will be sales tax-free on November 28 and 29, the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. The assembly also waded into a pair of disputes among neighbors -- and said farewell to one of its own.
Sitka’s public library and centennial building will both be undergoing major renovations over the next couple of years, each growing in size by roughly one-half. But the energy costs to run both buildings will stay the same, thanks to a suite of new technologies that keep heat indoors. The consultant who’s designing the systems says engineers now consider conservation to be a major energy resource in new construction.
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.
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.
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.