News

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

Food tastes better when it’s shared

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It’s crisp, crunchy, and salty — and you’ll never find it in a bag in the grocery store. Dipped in seal oil or eulachon oil (hooligan), it is a traditional Southeast Alaskan delicacy that signals spring as surely as a warm, sunny day. But, gathering herring eggs-on-hemlock branches is about a lot more than food. more

Ferry LeConte breaks down, Aurora fills in

The ferry LeConte docks in Skagway in 2009. The ship is in drydock to repair a broken bow thruster. (J Webber/Creative Commons)

The Alaska Marine Highway ferry Aurora is scheduled to take over LeConte sailings on Friday, April 4. more

A biologist’s view of herring season

ADF&G biologist Dave Gordon disembarks from a float plane after an aerial survey of Sitka Sound, headed for the state research vessel, the Kestrel. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Sitka’s commercial herring season ended on Saturday, after fishermen caught over 17,000 tons of herring in just nine days. As it does every year, the fishery brought a fleet of seiners to town, and drew residents to the waterfront to watch the high speed derby unfold in front of them. And at the center of all this action is a team of biologists, whose job is to strike a balance between protecting the resource, and providing access for fishermen. more

Pro-lifers oppose Planned Parenthood in Sitka’s middle school

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A pro-life group remains concerned over Planned Parenthood’s involvement in health instruction at Blatchley Middle School last fall, even though the curriculum is no longer being taught. The Sitka/Southeast Alaska Coalition for Life Tuesday night (4-1-14) presented the school board with a letter signed by 150 residents, expressing shock over the participation of Planned Parenthood. more

A timeless prank turns 40

Despite his reputation as a prankster, Porky Bickar was civic-minded. He alerted local authorities to the prank -- with the notable exception of the Coast Guard, which sent a plane from Juneau.

The Museum of Hoaxes puts it at number 16 on the list of Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes of All-Time. The Eruption of the Mt. Edgecumbe Volcano was staged in Sitka 40 years ago today, on April 1, 1974. The prank was orchestrated by Porky Bickar and a group of co-conspirators known as the “Dirty Dozen,” using a helicopter and two sling loads of old tires. This story is from our archives. It was originally produced in 2009 on the 35th anniversary of the prank. more