The fast vehicle ferry Fairweather canceled its voyage to Sitka today (Wed 8-13-14) after a mechanical problem was discovered shortly after its departure from Juneau. Spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the Fairweather was not far along on its trip to Sitka when the crew detected trouble with the exhaust systems in the ship’s two starboard engines. AMHS engineers spent the day making repairs, and the ship will return to its scheduled run on Thursday (8-14-14).
The assembly voted to award a $5.5-million contract to Dawson Construction to build a new UV Disinfection Facility, which will bring Sitka’s primary source of drinking water into compliance with federal regulations.
Assembly members agreed that the Blue Lake hydro project is a top priority for state funding, along with the city’s road and harbor systems. Members also suggested focusing on a secondary drinking water source and improved ferry service.
A US District Court judge has ruled that a newly-implemented fisheries observer program in the Gulf of Alaska may have become unreliable, and is sending federal managers back to the drawing board to fix it. The decision by Judge H. Russel Holland is being hailed as a victory by Southeast Alaska’s longline fleet, who have chafed under the new system, which requires them to carry human observers on their relatively small vessels. But federal fisheries managers see it as a win as well.
A text message alert sent out from the city on Monday warned residents that they might see yellow water coming out of the tap -- but the water is safe to drink, and meeting all drinking water standards.
Four more candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for municipal office in Sitka. Steven Eisenbeisz, who ran last year as a write-in candidate, filed for assembly about 90 minutes before today’s deadline. He missed winning a seat in that election by only 56 votes. Two other candidates, Lillian Feldpausch and Thor Christianson also filed just under the wire. Orion Hughes-Knowles will challenge incumbent Mim McConnell for the mayor's seat.
The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, August 8 for candidates running for mayor, assembly and school board in Sitka. So far, four candidates have filed to run for assembly and two for school board. Mayor Mim McConnell is running for reelection. No other candidate has yet filed to challenge her.
When search and rescue responded to a call on Harbor Mountain last Friday, the mission marked the end of an era: it was the final outing for Don Kluting, who served as Sitka’s search captain for two decades. Kluting resigned last week, after the city decided to move SAR back into the Fire Department.