News

$1-million loan to buy Sitka hospital ‘breathing room’

Hospital staffers participate in the Alaska Day Parade. (SCH photo)Sitka Community Hospital will get a $1-million infusion of cash from the Sitka assembly, in order to meet short-term expenses. A long-term solution for the hospital’s cash woes is still on the horizon.

Counting humpbacks, fluke by fluke

A page from a humpback whale fluke matching catalog. (Photos by Jan Straley, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122)After forty years of protection, federal officials are considering taking humpback whales off the endangered species list. So we ask, how many humpbacks are out there, anyway?

Hackett hands in assembly resignation

HackettThe Sitka Assembly last night (12-23-14) formally accepted the resignation of fellow member Phyllis Hackett. Hackett submitted a letter to the municipal clerk on December 19, citing personal matters that left her “unable to devote the attention and dedication my position on the Assembly deserves.”

As Sitka’s hospital stumbles, officials look to new ‘healthcare landscape’

Sitka Community Hospital. (Photo courtesy of the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation)Sitka’s local hospital is in trouble. Deep financial losses that have only just become apparent have shaken the institution, and have cost the chief financial officer his job. Sitka Community Hospital will ask the Sitka assembly for a $1-million loan this week, but city officials are not calling the emergency infusion of cash a fix.

The origins of the Endangered Species Act

A humpback whale shows its fluke. (Photo by Ellen Chenoweth, NOAA Fisheries permit #14122).Humpback whales may come off the endangered species list soon: federal officials are expected to announce a decision soon. But regardless of the decision, one thing is clear: without whales and other marine mammals, there might not even be an endangered species list.

Silver Bay wins board approval for waterfront purchase

In just eight years, Silver Bay has already acquired a substantial portion of the park, including the plant and dock at lower left, and nearby bunkhouses.A Sitka-based seafood processor has cleared the first hurdle toward a major expansion -- in its hometown. The board of Sitka’s Gary Paxton Industrial Park on Wednesday (12-17-14) approved the sale of a significant portion of park waterfront to Silver Bay Seafoods. Plans for a joint venture in a marine services center remain on hold for the time being.

Sitka High activities budget: A ‘perfect storm’

fea_soccerThe activities budget for Sitka High School may have reached a tipping point -- and it could force the end of some programs. The Sitka School Board heard a report from activities director LieuDell Goldsberry earlier this month. Between the recent addition of several new activities and a reduction in district spending, most programs have seen a cut of at least 40-percent over two years.

Coastline search leads to first residents’ camps

A computer-generated map of Southeast Alaska shows additional land (in brown) beyond today's shoreline. (Courtesy Jim Baichtal)Understanding the rise and fall of Southeast Alaska's landscape is helping scientists learn more about the area’s early human settlements.

Capital budget has few Southeast projects

The ferry Malaspina is in drydock and the Columbia is tied up at the Ketchikan Shipyard in this 2012 photo.Southeast projects in Gov. Bill Walker’s pared-down capital budget are mostly road, ferry and bridge work that could be funded by the federal government.

Sealaska land-selection bill passes Congress

Sealaska Plaza is the regional Native corporation's Juneau headquarters. Officials say winter dividends will be paid around Dec. 5. (Heather Bryant/KTOO)A bill transferring 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to Sealaska has passed Congress. It's attached to a defense-spending act, which is on its way to the President’s desk.