Local News

Assembly postpones vote on vehicle tax

The Sitka Assembly postponed a vote on a controversial vehicle tax Tuesday night. The increase in the motor vehicle registration fee would fund road maintenance. But assembly members decided to look into other options, first.

Kettleson move brings ‘soul’ back to former campus library

Kettleson's collection of Alaskana, and the C.L. Andrews collection, are right at home in Stratton. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Without much fanfare, Sitka’s entire public library was relocated to temporary quarters last month. Thousands of books, the shelving to hold them, computers, and furniture were packed across Crescent Harbor to the Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson Campus, to make way for contractors preparing to enlarge Kettleson Memorial Library.

Russian embargo drives Alaskan caviar to new markets

Pink salmon gather at the mouth of Starrigavan Creek in Sitka. in some markets, the roe of this species can be more valuable than the flesh. (KCAW photo/Rich McClear)Russia’s ongoing embargo of American agricultural and seafood products has produced some sharp rhetoric from political leaders -- including Alaska’s senators. But the true impact of embargo on the Alaska seafood industry remains unclear. Because of robust markets elsewhere for some of the products favored by Russians -- like salmon caviar -- the showdown may be more about politics than economics.

On the issues: Begich vs. Sullivan in Sitka

U.S. Senator Mark Begich and his challenger, Republican Dan Sullivan, each spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce last week. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW News)Sitka got back-to-back visits from the two major-party candidates for U.S. Senate last week. Senator Mark Begich and his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, offered very different takes on everything from health care to Iraq to climate change.

Yuck! Despite odor (and color) Sitka’s temporary water is safe

Sitka environmental superintendent Mark Buggins looks over the temporary filtration  plant at the Indian River. Buggins says August is "not the best time" to drink from the Indian River, but "it is what it is." (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Sitka’s tap water smells bad at times, and it turns yellow at others -- but it’s safe to drink. And it’s also temporary. In about 40 days, the community should be back on its primary water source at Blue Lake. Sitka’s environmental superintendent, in the meantime, has been assuring residents that they are not imagining things. Sitka’s water has a stronger odor than usual -- but it's safe.

Sullivan calls for more assertive foreign policy

Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan spoke at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on a campaign swing through town on September 5, 2014. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce this morning. Sullivan decried the "avalanche" of federal regulations, discussed when he might support "boots on the ground" in Iraq -- and said it’s his goal to win Southeast in November.

In Sitka, Begich talks campaign, climate change, unity ticket

U.S. Senator Mark Begich speaks to Sitka resident Dirk White at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)U.S. Senator Mark Begich spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. In an interview afterward, Begich discussed his campaign, climate change, and the new unity ticket shaking up the governor’s race.

Not my town! ‘Grizzly Trade’ ambles through places, personalities of SE

Grizzly_Trade_250 It’s got a Vietnam vet with a big heart and anger management problems, a small-town newspaper reporter, and a hippie radio station. Throw in some meth-fuelled wildlife crime and a few cruise ships and you have the makings of an adventure mystery set in Southeast Alaska.

Mallott: Alaskans have “clear choice”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott greets supporter Eric Jordan in Sitka on primary day, August 19, 2014. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)News broke over the weekend that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott may be combining his campaign with that of Independent Bill Walker. In Sitka recently, Mallott argued the key issue in November is whether Alaskans' voices will be heard in state government, and said Walker remains, on social issues, a "conservative Republican."

Industrial park to consider offers on remaining property

According to park director Garry White, the sale of the remaining GPIP properties will not affect the city's plans to build a $7.5-million bulkhead dock.Sitka’s industrial park has attracted the interest of a couple of potential buyers -- who may be interested in offering to purchase outright all remaining property at the site. The Gary Paxton Industrial Park board of directors was hoping to see a pair of proposals Thursday afternoon (8-28-14) at its regular monthly meeting, but park director Garry White said the busy fishing season had caused a delay.