Syndicated

Local stories syndicated regionally to all CoastAlaska stations.

Teacher evaluations pit student scores against ‘dream building’?

The Sitka School District will pilot the iObservation teacher evaluation tool next year. Board members wondered if it will change the management model in buildings. "You can not be both an evaluator and a mentor," said incoming superintendent Mary Wegner.

A new, state-mandated evaluation system will hold everyone — teachers and administrators — accountable for student performance, beginning next fall. The Sitka School Board Tuesday night (4-15-14) got its first look at web-based software that will follow the progress of teachers over the course of the school year. But how far poor student outcomes can drag down a teacher’s evaluation remains a big question mark. more

Senate candidate Sullivan talks health care — and dolphins

OUTTRO: DaRepublican Dan Sullivan, with his wife Julie Fate Sullivan. Sullivan hopes to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Begich. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz) n Sullivan is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The primary will be held on August 19. The General Election will be November 4.

Sullivan, the former Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, is hoping to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, who is up for reelection this fall. He talked about his role in challenging the President’s healthcare law, the perils of over-regulation – and that time he swam against the Navy’s military dolphins. more

Is there more important funding than schools?

As board member Tonia Rioux looks on, Superintendent Steve Bradshaw told assembly members to "love every kid who walks down our streets." (Image courtesy KSCT-TV

Should the state do more for schools when local governments — like Sitka’s — are not doing all they can? That was the question hanging over a joint work session between the Sitka School Board and Sitka Assembly Thursday night (4-10-14). The board presented a draft budget to the assembly with a modest increase in local support to schools — less than $200,000 — but also delivered a clear message that more was needed. more

Sitka bear task force tackles ‘trash caches’

ADF&G has identified 10 locations around Sitka where bears are taking garbage bags to sort their "loot." This bear was caught in the act in a Sitka neighborhood last summer. (ADF&G photo/Phil Mooney)

The Sitka Bear Task Force has organized work parties to tackle several bear caches — the places around town where brown bears have been dragging garbage bags over the years, to sort through their loot undisturbed. Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Phil Mooney says cleaning up these so-called “trash caches” is no small job. “Over the years you’ll get some places where you’ll have 2 and 3 pickup loads of material that’s piled back in there,” he says.
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Artist explores secret-keeping

MacNaughton's portraits will be displayed at Rio's Wine Bar in Sitka through the end of May. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Juneau artist MK MacNaughton asks people about secrets — and then uses their stories to guide her in drawing giant charcoal portraits that express those feelings. About ten of those portraits are now hanging at Rio’s Wine Bar in Sitka. more

Sitka Tribe names new general manager

SpottedBird-001 Lawrence SpottedBird will start work on Monday. SpottedBird, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, told KCAW he has spent the last 34 years working with tribes and Native American entrepreneurs on business and economic development. more

Assembly hears Benchlands plan, keeps Picnic Cove floathouses

The Assembly voted on Tuesday night to continue allowing float houses at Picnic Cove, south of Sitka, and heard an update on a proposed subdivision in the Benchlands from local contractor Sound Development. more

Assembly passes anti-smoking law

The Sitka Assembly passed a controversial amendment Tuesday night, tightening the city’s anti-smoking laws. The question before the assembly was whether children should be prohibited from entering any business that allows smoking — even for a non-smoking event. In the end, the decision came down to different interpretations of what voters intended nearly a decade ago. more

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