Syndicated

Local stories syndicated regionally to all CoastAlaska stations.

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

Juneau healthier than Sitka? Don’t make us laugh!

During a break in the legislature, Juneau residents take the air in Cope Park.

A study released last week by the University of Wisconsin concluded that Sitka is the second-healthiest community in the state of Alaska — behind Juneau.The results of the study were a shot in the arm to Juneau which, frankly, seems a little more sedentary and bureaucratic than Sitka. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey spoke with Cindy Edwards, director of the Hames Center, to learn what can be done to put Sitka on top. more

Learning about herring, inside and out

Sixth graders Abby Saiz and Cora Dow dissect their specimen during Knowledge of Herring Camp, on March 21. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

This year, the Sitka Tribe, Sitka School District and Sitka National Historical Park launched what they hope become a new March tradition: herring camp. During spring break, about fifteen students, in 5th grade through high school, participated in a week of research into herring biology and ecology, along the way learning a little something about what goes on inside this iconic spring fish. more

Sitka herring fleet stands down, will resume search on Saturday

The Sitka sac roe herring fleet stood down at 3:50 PM today (Fri 3-28-14) after a long, frustrating search for a marketable volume of fish — and will try again tomorrow. State biologist Dave Gordon, who oversees the fishery, did not seem too discouraged by the fleet’s inability to locate sufficient herring to open seining. more

Tsunami warning test too real?

Thursday morning’s (3-27-14) live test of the state’s Tsunami Warning System went pretty well — except many people didn’t realize it was a test. Most of us are accustomed to hearing the words “This is a test” with the routine monthly broadcasts. This message however, was triggered using so-called “live codes” which broadcast a different message. more

Ceremony at Herring Rock honors seasonal renewal

Andrew Roberts pours water on the Herring Rock, during a ceremony in Sitka Tuesday morning. (KCAW photo/Emily Forman)

Beginning in mid-March in Sitka, there is no escaping the excitement surrounding the commercial sac roe herring fishery. Big seiners from around Southeast raft up in the harbors, waiting for the large masses of herring to school up near shore. But the annual arrival of the herring marks the opening of another important — and just as exciting — season: subsistence. more

Herring Update: Third opening lasts one hour, ten minutes

The seiner Infinite Grace pursing up during the third opening in the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery, on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery had its third opening today (Wed 3-26-14), concentrated in the waters just south of downtown. The opening lasted one hour and ten minutes, starting at 2:30 p.m. and closing at 3:40 p.m. more

Court: Reinstate Tongass roadless rule exemption

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A federal appeals court issued an opinion saying the roadless rule should not apply to Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. more