Local News

Care-A-Van rolls on HPR, driver injured

The Care-A-Van had no passengers at the time of the accident. (Center for Community photo)A Sitka man is recovering after the bus he was driving rolled into a ditch on Halibut Point Road Thursday afternoon (8-28-14). Tom Conley was driving the Southeast Senior Services’ Care-A-Van outbound along the 3300 block of HPR when he swerved to avoid construction personnel and put the van in the ditch just past Sollar’s Trailer Court at about 12:30 PM. There were no passengers in the van at the time.

Taking one for the (ALS) team

Sitka School Board members Jen Robinson, Tim Fulton, Lon Garrison, Cass Pook, Tonia Rioux, and superintendent Mary Wegner take a dunking for ALS. In turn, the board challenged the Kodiak school board, former Sitka superintendent Steve Bradshaw, and the Sitka Native Education Program. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)In case you missed all the commotion outside of Pacific High School Thursday at lunchtime (8-28-14), it was the Sitka School Board doing its part for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Unlike the Assembly and its fire truck, the School Board opted for ordinary 5-gallon buckets filled with icy water, served up by some Pacific High staff and students.

Trashed recycling points to flaws in Sitka’s system?

This load of mixed paper recycling was dumped in June -- one of three loads dumped this year due to food contamination. (KCAW photo)Sitkans who saw a truck hauling one of the city’s large, green recycling bins up Jarvis Street to the waste transfer station earlier this summer were not imagining things. The contractor responsible for managing Sitka’s recycling dumped a total of three loads of mixed paper after discovering they had been contaminated by food waste.

Sitka Assembly accepts #IceBucketChallenge

The Sitka Assembly prepares to be doused in the Ice Bucket Challenge (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)After adjourning on Tuesday evening, the Sitka Assembly lined up in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall and took a serious soaking from the Sitka Fire Department’s Engine #2, under the gleeful direction of Fire Chief Dave Miller.

Sitka Assembly asks for input on proposed car tax

The assembly voted 4-3 on Tuesday night in favor of a proposal that would increase vehicle registration fees. But the ordinance will come before the assembly at least two more times, and it’s not at all clear whether it will make it into law.

Sitka schools look to state to fund new standards

As it develops its list of legislative priorities, the Sitka School Board may back a plan to upgrade the Vilandre Field to equal Moller Park, in order to resolve a Title IX complaint. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)The Sitka School Board will consider asking the state legislature for almost $2-million in the coming year, in order to help the district meet newly-adopted standards. The board convened in its first regular session of the new school year Monday night (8-25-14). Meeting state education standards is the first of several costly priorities in Sitka’s schools this year. Also a possibility: A $1.5-million upgrade of Vilandre Field.

Transportation planners look to road-and-ferry solution in SE

The M/V Columbia, recently re-powered, is not one of the three ships which could possibly be retired soon. (Flickr/Gillfoto)State planners still see a road across Baranof Island as an important part of transportation infrastructure -- though it may take decades to become reality. The Department of Transportation held an open house and informational meeting in Sitka this week (8-20-14) on the latest draft of the Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan. And while maintaining and refurbishing the ferry system is high on the list of priorities for the region, major road construction -- both in Juneau and in Sitka -- remains on the books.

Dry weather to bring relief for HPR drivers?

Contractors roll out the CABC, or "Crushed Asphalt Base Course," in preparation for paving HPR outbound from SeaMart. The DOT says the road will be finished -- or have a temporary surface -- by the end of the paving season mid-September. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Sitka drivers frustrated by poor road conditions on Halibut Point Road during this summer’s paving project can take heart: It’s going to get better. Al Clough, the Southeast Regional director for the Department of Transportation says that while heavy rains have been a setback, the road will be done -- or a driveable temporary surface in place -- by the end of the paving season a month from now.

Heat pumps tap ocean’s thermal energy to warm buildings, neighborhoods

Engineering consultant Andy Baker says the thermal energy in the ocean is clean, efficient, unlimited. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Using seawater to heat large buildings in Alaska is no longer a pipe dream. Andy Baker, an engineer with YourCleanEnergy LLC, helped design an ocean-sourced heat pump system for the Seward Sealife Center which will pay back the community’s investment in less than nine years -- just in fuel savings. Baker spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce this week (8-20-14) about practical applications for a technology that has quickly moved from theory into reality.

Sitka backs oil tax repeal

Sitkans vote in the August 19, 2014 Primary Election (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)Ballot Measure 1 may be failing statewide, but in Sitka and the rest of central Southeast Alaska, it was a clear winner on Tuesday. Seventy-five percent of Sitka voters backed the measure, with 1315 “yes” votes to just 448 “no” votes.