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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.