Local News

Closing after 65 years, Brenner women look to the future

IMG_7918The doors of one of the oldest family-owned stores in Sitka closed last month. Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts has been a staple on Lincoln Street for the past 65 years.

Harrigan Centennial Hall renovation will go out to bid

A rendering of what the new lobby would look like after the renovation of Harrigan Centennial Hall. (Image courtesy of McCool Carlson Green)The Assembly voted Tuesday night to put the Centennial Hall renewal project out to bid. The renovation will expand the building’s meeting and convention spaces and create a new, second entrance on the waterfront. Assembly members stressed that the project is being paid for entirely with state grants -- not with city money.

Assembly postpones discussion of electric rates

The Assembly put off a discussion of whether to raise electric rates until a special meeting on April 23. And while assembly members expressed support for finding an additional $1-million for Sitka schools, they couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for any of the specific proposals before them.

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.

PSP: With new lab, STA takes a gamble on shellfish testing

Geoducks-for-sale.-Alaska-Department-of-Fish-and-Game-photo.Despite the risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning -- or PSP -- Southeast Alaska has a robust dive fishery that includes geoduck clams. The entire industry hinges on weekly testing results from the Department of Environmental Conservation laboratory in Anchorage. This scenario could change in the not-too-distant future, as Sitka Tribe of Alaska seeks to open an independent testing lab for Southeast.

Capital budget cuts spare Southeast projects

140708_Crescent_Harbor-KCAW 300x225The state Senate’s capital budget for fiscal year 2016 includes new harbor and energy projects for Southeast Alaska. But there are no funds for Petersburg or Wrangell.

On first reading: Board vote keeps pool, but drops 3 teachers

Former pool manager Jane Eidler looks out over the Blatchley Pool in 2013, the last time aquatics was on the district's chopping block (KCAW photo by Ed Ronco)A deeply-divided school board passed a preliminary budget for next year that keeps both the Blatchley swimming pool and the Community Schools program functioning.

Sitka’s first land trust home attracts a buyer — finally

The 3-bedroom home will sell for around $250,000, far below the average sale price for homes in Sitka. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)It may be the cheapest route into a brand new family home in Sitka. It will have two-stories, three bedrooms, a yard, and off--street parking. It has just about everything, in fact, except a long list of people eager to buy it.

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.