The CorvidEYE

Make the dragon fly

The Mayo family performs a traditional dragon dance for Chinese New Year. (KCAW photo/Emily Forman)What does it take to bring a Chinese New Year celebration to Sitka? A trip to Beijing to learn Tai Chi and fall in love with Summer. Or, at least that was Michael Mayo's route. Michael and Summer met in Beijing in 2001. Summer has been a Sitka resident for the past four years, and is now a member of the Mayo family. She says she typically travels home to Beijing for the Chinese New Year, but this year she wanted to share the tradition with the community that she has grown to love.

Fire and ice

Swan Lake skatingIt was a weekend of freezing temperatures, but sunny skies, and the weather brought crowds out to Swan Lake, where the Fire Department reported the ice was three to five inches thick.

Walk the taco

Pacific High School students Tatyanna Isaacs and Jenny Jeter mail proceeds from an Indian taco fundraiser to the Friends of Edna Adan University Hospital in Somaliland. (PHS photo)It's one thing to study an international crisis in high school, and another thing to do something about it. Pacific High School students Tatyanna Isaacs and Jenny Jeter learned about high rates of maternal mortality in Somaliland in Hillary Seeland's Global Issues class. The pair independently organized and held an Indian Taco sale last fall (that's taco fixings served on classic Southeast Alaskan fry bread) and raised over $500.

Poetry in motion, five days a week

Sentinel_250Our colleague Dan Olbrych made this short film about the press run at The Daily Sitka Sentinel, a family-owned newspaper celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. While the film has a nostalgic vibe, we're pretty sure that -- like fresh-baked bread or well-crafted construction -- this kind of dedicated, thoughtful newspapering will never go out of style.


Kyle_Vidad_250In what was one of the most tightly-contested spelling bees in recent memory, 27 grade-level finalists at Blatchley Middle School in Sitka spelled their way to word no. 208 on the official Scripps National Spelling Bee list Wednesday night (1-15-14). In the end it boiled down to eighth-grader Kyle Vidad and defending champion Abigail Fitzgibbon. The two went head-to-head for eight rounds, until Fitzgibbon tripped on "matriculation" and Vidad successfully spelled "smithereens" to win the round, and then "aerodynamic" to win the championship. Test a friend on these words Abby and Kyle spelled with nearly one-hundred fans looking on:

Trail makeover

This picturesque waterfall is actually the trail. Note the stepping stones at right. (Bill Foster photo)Three days of heavy rainfall has generated serious runoff problems, even in areas outside of Sitka. The Herring Cove Trail was first damaged by runoff during an unusual rain/snowmelt situation about five weeks ago, when water carved a new channel in the trail just below the log bridge at the upper falls. Now, water has filled that channel again, as local naturalist Bill Foster discovered this morning (Tue 1-14-14).

Starring: A Russian Orthodox Christmas tradition

Carolers gather at the home of Fr Michael Boyle on Russian Christmas for starring - the Orthodox practice of caroling. (KCAW photo/Emily Forman)It's Christmas today(1-7-14) in Russia, and for many Orthodox Sitkans. Russian Christmas is celebrated according to the old Julian calendar on January 7th, and in Sitka that tradition is audible. The week-long Feast of the Nativity celebration features a nativity "starring" - the Orthodox practice of caroling. Traditionally, revelers would stay out singing until dawn, sometimes for several days in a row.

Fish and Game butts in to protect the goats

Phil Mooney holds a sedated mountain goat. He will give the goat an injection to reverse the tranquilizing drug.  It takes 5-7 minutes for the goat to wake up and walk away, no worse for wear. (photo by Kevin White, Juneau goat researcher)The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced an emergency closure for mountain goat hunting in the North Fork Katlian River area in Sitka. Biologists have set a maximum guideline harvest objective of four male mountain goats, or one female mountain goat for the area.

A familiar carol, with a Southeast twist

131214_SJxmas_feature250At the lighting of the tree on the Sheldon Jackson campus, students from the Sitka Fine Arts Camp After School Carol Choir performed "The Twelve Days of Christmas" -- but with a Southeast Alaska twist: twelve raindrops falling, eleven boats a-floating, ten fish a-leaping, nine Russian dancers, eight deer a-prancing, sevens swans a-swimming, six eagles flying, five humpback whales, four totem poles, three brown bears, two XtraTufs...and one what? Listen to find out:

Near and deer

NEAR_and_DEER_feaFew things warm the hearts of Sitka's hunters like coming across a nice, fat buck in peak condition. Few things cool their enthusiasm like discovering a big brownie got there first! Hugh Bevan set up this trailcam "a couple of miles" from the beach on Kruzof Is. near Sitka. These two images (buck, then bear) were captured on October 18 and November 5 respectively. While the bear doesn't look like she could hold another bite after the summer's record salmon run, there's no doubt that she's interested!