Local stories syndicated regionally to all CoastAlaska stations.

Strong dollar and oversupply meant slow herring season in Sitka

Crew members on the Star Shadow make repairs after the second day of herring fishing in 2015. From left: Brandon Ihde, Billy Nestle, and Devin Jones. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)This year's low herring prices changed Sitka's sac roe herring fishery from a free-for-all to a cooperative effort. The reason? Low prices for roe, for starters. And a strong US dollar that makes all American exports more expensive. KCAW looks at how global economic trends translated into a quiet spring in Sitka.

Walker: “Concerned how far we’re cutting”

Governor Bill Walker addresses the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, April 3, 2015. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)Governor Bill Walker told the Sitka Chamber of Commerce that he’s “a little concerned” about the depth of cuts being proposed by state lawmakers. "My concern now is that with the stroke of a pen we can end programs that have taken decades to create," Walker said.

Sealaska dividends between $129 and $887

Sealaska Plaza is the regional Native corporation's Juneau headquarters. Officials say winter dividends will be paid around Dec. 5. (Heather Bryant/KTOO)Alaska’s largest regional Native corporation will distribute $12.9 million this month.

Bill seeks to legalize fish and game donations

F2S_Elementary2-500x375Last Wednesday (4-1-15), eight legislators introduced a bill that would allow Alaskans to donate sport- and subsistence-harvested fish and game to non-profit meal programs. Under House Bill 179, schools, senior centers, and other non-profits could legally serve donated fish and game, such as moose, venison, caribou, and salmon. Alaska law presently bars the sale of such foods.

King of the mountain

Bears have been active since emerging from their dens in March. Several people have encountered this adult on Harbor Mt. (John Fulton)A caller to the Sitka police department Saturday evening reported a bear encounter on Harbor Mt. Road. A woman said that she and a couple of other hikers had been chased by a bear on the road.

Former police officer fined for wildlife violation

Sitka black-tailed deer in DeGroff Bay. Successful or not, attempting to shoot deer from a boat is a misdemeanor in Game Management Unit 4. (ADF&G photo)A former Sitka police officer has pleaded guilty to taking big game from a boat, and will pay a $2,000 fine. 49-year old Daryl Rice admitted to the misdemeanor in court last Friday. Rice was fined $2,000 and placed on probation for two years.

First two VPSOs graduate from firearm training

Governor Bill Walker (left) and VPSO Michael Gagliano after the governor signed his first bill, establishing Law Enforcement Officer Day. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)Two Village Public Safety Officers graduated from firearm training today (Friday, 4-3-15), becoming the first officers in the 40-year history of the program to be armed.

New hospital CEO hopes to steer from red to black ink

Rob Allen told Chamber members that he's been working on getting up to speed on hospital administration. "I've learned enough to be dangerous," he said. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Sitka Community Hospital is on track to lose just as much money this year as last year, but its new CEO believes this may be rock bottom. Rob Allen spoke to a full house at the Sitka Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday (4-1-15).

Sitka’s fish-to-schools a ‘success story’ at foods conference

Farm&FishSitka’s Fish-to-Schools program will be one of the featured presentations this week at a regional meeting on sustainable food systems.

Map: Herring spawn now at 60 miles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe active herring spawn continues to bloom in Sitka Sound. Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Dave Gordon recorded 24 nautical miles today (04-02-15). That makes 60 miles of observed spawn since spawning began a week ago on March 25th.