Local News

Sitka building official, two construction workers, missing in Sitka slide

A new home under construction on Sitka's Kramer Avenue was totally obliterated in the slide. A neighboring new home stands unscathed. Four people remain missing . (NOAA/NWS photo, Joel Curtis)The City and Borough of Sitka has declared a state of emergency after heavy rain triggered at least three different mudslides this morning, including one on Kramer Avenue that has damaged at least one house. Four people are confirmed missing in the incident.

Sitka ‘landslide cluster': Too soon to blame on changing weather?

A blowdown at Beaver Lake in 2011 was the first in a recent series of weather-related slides in Sitka. (KCAW photo, Robert Woolsey)The landslides that struck Sitka early Tuesday morning (8-18-15) are the latest in a series of similar events that started in 2011. Forecasters are not ready to say -- yet -- that changing weather patterns are to blame.

Sitka diesel spill now estimated at 2500 gallons

Fire Chief Dave Miller on Eagle Beach at 7 a.m. on Monday, August 17. Diesel from the Jarvis Street Power Plant spilled onto the beach from the storm water drainage system. (Photo courtesy of Mark Gorman, City of Sitka)That’s significantly less than the 7,000 gallons feared on Sunday. By Monday evening (8-17-15), much of the spill had been cleaned up or dispersed, and officials were hoping that a storm would help finish it off.

Up to 7,000 gallons of diesel spilled from Sitka power plant

An estimated 4,000 to 7,000 gallons of diesel leaked from the Jarvis Street Diesel Plant, with some portion of it reaching Sitka Sound, though it's not yet clear how much. (KCAW graphic)A storage tank at Sitka’s Jarvis Street Diesel Plant failed over the weekend, spilling an estimated 4,000 to 7,000 gallons of diesel into Sitka Sound near the mouth of Indian River.

Swarm of small quakes hit Yakutat Bay area

Two glaciers flow into Yakutat Bay. Glacial calving causes regular, but small, earthquakes. The Hubbard Glacier, right, sometimes surges, blocking off an arm of the bay. (Photo courtesy Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve)About 30 earthquakes have hit the Yakutat area this week. The swarm is caused by calving glaciers in a nearby bay, not movement of the Earth’s crust.

Postcard: Anthropology students explore Sitka’s culture of fish

USF Anthropology student Elizabeth Arnold scoops a load of pink salmon at the Sheldon Jackson Hatchery. (KCAW photo/Rich McClear)There are two things that Sitka has a lot of in the summertime: fish and students. Recently, an Anthropology class from the University of San Francisco mixed it up with salmon at Sitka's downtown hatchery.

Assembly wrap: How much debt can Sitka bear?

How much debt can a community of 9,000 people bear? The assembly this week (8-11-15) spent some time on this issue, dissolved the hospital board, and listened to citizen concerns about the future of visitor marketing.

Sitka assembly says no to non-profit sales taxes

A proposal to tax some fundraising activities of Sitka’s non-profits was voted down by the assembly Tuesday night (8-11-15). But the city will be looking for ways to shore up compliance for non-profits who should be paying taxes -- but don’t.

With interest in water on the rise, Sitka looks to expand industrial park

Although the entire park is just over 71 acres, there are less than 10 acres remaining in the so-called "core area."There will be no bulk water shipments from Sitka this summer. The company that owns the rights to market Sitka’s Blue Lake water will likely ask to extend its deadline. Meanwhile, Sitka is fielding inquiries from other companies interested in bottling Blue Lake water, but the city is running out of land at its industrial park and is looking to expand.

Postcard: SeafoodFest about more than fish

The Caber Toss may have a picturesque name, but the event is still mostly about picking up something heavy and throwing it. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Despite its name, Sitka’s 6th Annual Seafood Festival was not all about fish. The third-and-final day of the festival was held outdoors on the Sheldon Jackson Fine Arts Campus, and featured tote races, fish head bobbing, sumo wrestling, and yes -- Highland Games. But for many, it was simply a nice way to spend an afternoon in the sun.