Local News

Sitka Tribe names new general manager

SpottedBird-001 Lawrence SpottedBird will start work on Monday. SpottedBird, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, told KCAW he has spent the last 34 years working with tribes and Native American entrepreneurs on business and economic development. more

21 artists open Sitka museum gala (but not Warhol!)

Andy Warhol, who died in 1987, was a little too late for tonight's opening. (AP Photo)

The Sitka Historical Museum opens its first exhibit at 6 PM this evening (4-10-14), under the leadership of new director, Hal Spackman. The Past Inspires the Present will run through May 31st. The show features the work of 21 contemporary Sitka artists alongside historic pieces in the museum collection which served as inspiration. The late Andy Warhol, however, didn’t make the cut. more

Conservation can ease Thursday night’s planned outage

Rocket or diesel turbine? With added hydro capacity comes the need for added backup power. This Titan 130 diesel turbine will help keep Sitka powered in emergencies. (City of Sitka/Chris Brewton)

Large parts of Sitka will be without power for most of the night Thursday (4-10-14) — or not, depending on what actions residents take to conserve electricity. The Sitka Electric Department is installing the switches and transformers needed to operate a new backup generator. But, as KCAW’s Robert Woolsey reports, the Department has a trick up its sleeve that will keep the electricity on at most homes, as long as we power off our big appliances. more

Assembly hears Benchlands plan, keeps Picnic Cove floathouses

The Assembly voted on Tuesday night to continue allowing float houses at Picnic Cove, south of Sitka, and heard an update on a proposed subdivision in the Benchlands from local contractor Sound Development. more

Assembly passes anti-smoking law

The Sitka Assembly passed a controversial amendment Tuesday night, tightening the city’s anti-smoking laws. The question before the assembly was whether children should be prohibited from entering any business that allows smoking — even for a non-smoking event. In the end, the decision came down to different interpretations of what voters intended nearly a decade ago. more

Heat, hydration, and the ‘occupational athlete’

Brent Ruby, PhD, believes strategies developed in his lab for endurance athletes could benefit "occupational athletes" like commercial fishermen. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

Brent Ruby, PhD, a noted exercise physiologist from the lower 48 has been in Alaska this week updating health professionals on the latest research on hydration and heat stress. He’s also been taking a look at what he calls “occupational athletes,” like commercial fishermen, and trying to find ways his research can apply to their work. more

Where no shop class has gone before

Metlakatla Science teacher Jason Pipkin watches as the printer creates metric screws for a quadcopter his students are building. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

This is not your grandfather’s shop class. Late last month a group of high school and college shop teachers and a few of their students gathered for a three-day workshop in Sitka’s state-of-the-art Design and Fabrication Lab. The use of 3D printers and other computer-controlled equipment has revolutionized shop, and turned one of the most remote classrooms in the building into the coolest place in school. more

Update: Sealaska dividends include no earnings

Sealaska CEO Chris McNeil Jr. addresses Juneau's Native Issues Forum April 2, 2014. The corporation's spring distribution includes no operating revenue. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

The Sealaska regional Native corporation does not appear to be making much – if any – money. more

‘Trends’ report shows economic upswing in Sitka

SEDA director Garry White is most concerned about "leakage": the money that leaves Sitka through internet sales or industrial activity that could occur locally. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

Sitka’s economy is continuing to tick upwards, based on statistical data. The latest issue of “Sitka Trends” shows a rebound in retail sales, unemployment, and personal income, paired with a decrease in the price of housing rentals. In looking for a “barometer” of Sitka’s health, SEDA director Garry White balances what he sees people spending on entertainment venues, versus shuttered downtown stores. more

Archaeologist: Herring once far more abundant, widespread

Herring caught during the 2014 Sitka Sound sac roe fishery. A recent study suggests that managers should take a longer view when managing fisheries like this one. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

A recent study suggests that current herring populations in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia may be just a remnant of what once existed. Archaeologist Madonna Moss has studied sites in and around Southeast Alaska for decades. She says that evidence indicates that herring were once far more widespread than they are today. And, she says, fishery managers should look to the past when making decisions about the present. more