Local News

FEMA to fund landslide mapping for Sitka

An aerial image of the Kramer Avenue slide, from a stack in the Fire Hall where a state team is helping affected Sitkans apply for aid. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)FEMA will be stepping in to fund landslide mapping in Sitka. The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, who will be leading the research project, announced the news on Tuesday.

Bear sighting forces temporary park closure

A sow and her twin cubs scout a creek bed near Sitka for pink salmon. (Hugh Bevan photo)Sitka National Historical Park's trails were closed for about an hour while park staff and the police responded. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also tried to locate the bear.

Hoonah hunter mauled, medevacked to Juneau

The mauling in Neka Bay over the weekend is the fifth bear attack in the "ABC Islands" (Admiralty-Baranof-Chichagof) since August 7. (KCAW image)A helicopter from Air Station Sitka medevacked a Hoonah man to Juneau on Saturday afternoon (10-1-16), after he was mauled by a brown bear. It was the 5th brown bear attack since August in the area.

Kennicott ferry fills in while Columbia is repaired

The M/V Columbia, recently re-powered, is not one of the three ships which could possibly be retired soon. (Flickr/Gillfoto)Alaska’s largest ferry will be down for repairs longer than expected. Another ship will fill in, but it’s smaller and some travelers will have to make other arrangements.

Marijuana fees could fund student travel

Sitka High freshman David Wilcox blazes across the finish line Saturday morning (9-28-13). Faced with its largest projected budget deficit in recent memory, the Sitka School Board may consider dramatic cuts to sports and activities programs in 2016. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)During their regular meeting last Tuesday night (09-27-16), the Assembly approved - on first reading - a dedicated fund for student activity travel using marijuana fees. They also set aside money for landslide mitigation and received a half a million dollar check from Sitka Community Hospital.

Board appoints Brady-Howard to 1-year term

Dionne Brady-Howard in her classroom at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in 2015.The Sitka School Board has appointed a Mt. Edgecumbe Social Studies teacher Dionne Brady-Howard to a vacant seat after five rounds of deadlocked balloting.

How the Blue Lake Dam is costing Sitka

“One of the dangers there, as oil prices continue to go up, is that people will start to shift over to electricity, and all that additional capacity that you’ve gained by raising the dam will just go into existing inefficient buildings, or into new inefficient buildings," says Jon Heller. (Blue Lake Expansion photo/Desiree Brandis)The city of Sitka is struggling to pay off the Blue Lake Dam in a big way. The project was largely funded through bond proceeds. But due to a major decline in electric usage by Sitka customers, the city doesn’t have enough money to meet the bond payment.

Forest Service adds to Admiralty Island wilderness

Logged lands at the head of Lake Kathleen, on Admiralty Island, are among those Shee Atiká has sold to the Forest Service to add to its Kootznoowoo Wilderness Area. (Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.)About 4,500 acres of heavily-logged forest will return to wilderness under a deal involving the federal government and a Southeast Alaska Native corporation.

Consultant: Sitka hospital must unite with SEARHC to survive

Kennedy told the board that "comprehensive integration" would keep all current staff employed by both institutions, and mean an end to Native hiring preference at SEARHC. (ECG image)Sitka Community Hospital must integrate operations with the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or risk closing within three years.

September 27, 2016: What’s happening at tonight’s Assembly meeting?

160914_marinesubstation_kwongWhen the Sitka Assembly gathers tonight (09-27-16), they’ll hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. devoted entirely to the city’s electric utility: rate structures, revenue ideas, and how to keep up with repairs to the system while meeting bond obligations for the Blue Lake Dam.