Local News

Spencer: Volunteerism creates a lifelong ‘passion for service’

Wendy Spencer (l.) and Sitka mayor Mim McConnell. Alaska ranks 8th in the country in the number of national service volunteers located here - over 650. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)The nation’s chief service officer says volunteerism has broad public support, and programs like Americorps and Senior Corps will survive the transition to a new presidential administration.

Sitka cooperative extension office to close this fall

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) campus will be losing its cooperative extension office this October. Photo provided by UAS.The cooperative extension at University of Alaska Southeast is closing its doors. The news broke after state budget reductions forced the University of Alaska to cut nearly one million dollars from the program, which provides agricultural, health, and community development training.

Sitka man’s derby win worth the 57-year wait

1-160604_BobBernhardtThe winner of the 61st Sitka Salmon Derby has waited a long time for his fish. Bob Bernhardt has been trying for the top king salmon in the event since his brother Ernie beat him 57 years ago.

New Sitka biologist digs bears, baseball

591a8893-37ce-46df-87e8-427c60e262edStephen Bethune is the new area wildlife management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Sitka. He replaced longtime biologist Phil Mooney, who retired earlier this year. KCAW’s Katherine Rose spent some time with Bethune to see how he’s adjusting to life in Sitka.

Sitka budget lands with a floatplane dock, but fewer staff

Kevin Knox stands on "A-29," the FAA designation for Sitka's seaplane base. Knox is a recreational pilot, but his connections are professional. He's an advocate on behalf of the Southeast Alaska Aviation Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and he's the representative for Sitka's seaplane base in the Airport Support Network. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)To make ends meet, City Hall is consolidating or leaving unfilled 5 positions. A sixth city staffer was laid off. Critical repairs to Sitka's seaplane base -- at $170,000 -- passed just under the wire.

Sitka Summer Music Festival starts with Beethoven

Indonesia_1300_v1The Sitka Summer Music Festival began with gusto this week. For the first half of the month-long chamber music residency, the Cypress String Quartet will be performing all of Beethoven’s string quartets. These performances are extra special because they are among the last for the San Francisco-based group, which has been performing for two decades.

Party politics shape race for House 35 legislative seat

Sheila Finkenbinder (r.) will run as a Republican against two-term Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.There will be a race for the House District 35 seat in the legislature, but not until fall. Republican Sheila Finkenbinder will challenge 2-term Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins to represent Sitka-Petersburg-Hoonah and SE villages.

Jordans weigh in on three decades of Sitka Derby

Eric and Sara Jordan stand in front of their troller, the "I Gotta." Eric says the unusual name came with the boat which he bought from his mother.  (KCAW photo/Katherine Rose)Eric and Sarah Jordan participate in the Sitka Salmon derby on the other side of the scale. The couple has been running a derby weigh station from their salmon troller for the last 30 years.

Sitka derby leader says ‘anything can happen’

Charlie Skultka, Sr., with his leading king. He knows that with two days to go "anything can happen." (Facebook photo/Kendra Lee Skultka)This year’s Sitka Salmon Derby leader, Charlie Skultka, Sr., landed his fish -- which could be worth $7,500 -- about 5 minutes from the dock.

Assembly uses cuts, savings to close budget gap

7569786950_d487c36075_zTimes are tight in Sitka, but the Assembly has managed to balance the budget. How? Through combination of cuts, rate hikes, and money in reserve that may not be around next year.