Southeast News

Reconsideration opposed

Alaska State SealAbout a week after the Ketchikan Gateway Borough asked the Alaska Supreme Court to reconsider its order for a stay pending appeal of the borough’s education funding lawsuit, state attorneys filed their expected opposition.

2nd set of groups appeals Big Thorne ruling

A second coalition of conservation groups that opposes the Big Thorne Timber Sale on Prince of Wales Island has filed its own appeal and motion for an injunction following a U.S. District Court ruling against them.

SEAPA moves forward with plans for Swan Lake expansion

seapa boardA power agency that supplies electricity to three Southeast communities is moving forward with plans to expand its hydro storage capacity by selling bonds.

Conservation groups appeal Big Thorne ruling

Big Thorne mapLess than a week after losing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, a coalition of conservation groups seeking to stop the Big Thorne Timber Sale has filed a Notice of Appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and asked for an injunction pending the outcome.

Strong king catch means early closure for Southeast trollers

Troll caught winter king salmon (Photo courtesy of Matt Lichtenstein)Southeast Alaska’s commercial salmon trollers are heading back into port after the winter season closed this week. Thanks to strong catches of king salmon on the outer coast near Sitka, it’s the earliest closure on record for the winter fishery.

Ketchikan experiencing Random Acts of Art

DaveRubinCloseupKetchikan residents have been encountering art in unusual places. It’s part of an experiment that the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council has launched, to see whether unexpected art is welcome in Alaska’s First City.

Petersburg sole bidder on three Mental Health Trust parcels

Petersburg is the sole bidder on the three uppermost parcels toward the top of this image. (Image from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office).It looks like the Petersburg borough will be purchasing some land at Papke’s Landing, about 10 miles south of town.

Nevada man dies at Zarembo Island logging site

A Nevada man was found dead this week at a logging site 12 miles west of Wrangell. Alaska State Troopers say the cause of death is unknown.

Wrangell Assembly adopts pot ordinance

marijuanaThe Wrangell Borough Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance banning the public consumption of marijuana in the borough.

Federal commission cancels permit for Thomas Bay hydro plant

cascadecanyon1The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is cancelling a permit for a Bellingham company to study potential for a hydro-electric power plant in Thomas Bay near Petersburg. It’s a site that has drawn interest from other companies in the past.

Three-day paddle making workshop opens in Petersburg

Doug Chilton and Jim Zeller (Photo courtesy of the One People Canoe Society)A three-day paddle making workshop gets started Friday at the Petersburg High School shop. Jim Zeller and Doug Chilton from the One People Canoe Society are teaching the class to make canoe journey paddles. The non-profit organization helped with 12 similar workshops in nine Southeast communities last year.

Saxman focus of two subsistence hearings

The Saxman Clan House.Many Saxman residents packed a meeting held at that village’s community center. That was expected. Somewhat less expected was the number of Saxman residents and their supporters who also spoke during the subsistence meeting in Sitka the very next day.

Mount Polley disaster prompts new requirements for B.C. tailings dams

mount polleyThe British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office announced Thursday it's adding information requirements for mines undergoing environmental review to ensure the safety of new tailings facilities. The changes were prompted by last year’s tailings dam collapse at the Mount Polley mine, which spilled millions of gallons of mine waste into creeks and lakes.

Update: Conservation groups lose Big Thorne ruling

Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island's Big Thorne area.Alaska U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline granted summary judgment Friday in favor of the defendants, and quite decidedly rejected every argument brought forward by the plaintiffs.

Jean Ellis resigns as Petersburg School Board President

Jean Ellis sits serves her last meeting as President of the Petersburg School Board. Photo/Angela DenningJean Ellis has officially resigned from the Petersburg School Board. March 17 marked her last meeting as board president. While she enthusiastically led the meeting that night other board members were reluctant to see her leave.

Geoduck season in Southeast nearly over

geoduck1Southeast Alaska dive fishermen are nearly done with their harvest of geoduck clams.

Hawking ordinances pass in first reading

Mission Street in downtown Ketchikan is busy during the summer tour season, with many shops lining the street.The Ketchikan City Council spent a lot of time on hawking Thursday night. Almost a full hour of public comment kicked off the meeting, with most of the comments devoted to that topic.

USCG crews getting certified on machine guns

Petty Office Matthew Degnon trains with the M240 machine gun at the Ketchikan Rod and Gun Club.

Petty Office Matthew Degnon trains with the M240 machine gun at the Ketchikan Rod and Gun Club.

People who live in the D-1 Loop area of North Tongass Highway are used to hearing gunshots from the Ketchikan Rod and Gun … more

Petersburg School District plans for state cuts

dollar bills closeupPetersburg’s School District is in better fiscal shape than many other schools in the state. That’s the message the superintendent brought to the school board at its last meeting.

Fiddle and step-dancing trio performs in Petersburg

Photo courtesy www.rockpaperscissors.bizThe Petersburg Arts Council is bringing the April Verch Band to town for one performance Thursday. March 19. The band is a trio featuring fiddle, guitar, base and banjo.

UAS presence in Wrangell aims to expand Tech Prep Program

university of alaska southeastThe University of Alaska Southeast will have a full-time presence in Wrangell starting this spring. UAS will base a tech prep regional coordinator in the Wrangell Public School District, and officials hope the new arrangement will expand opportunities for students and adults.

Borough asks high court to reconsider stay

Ketchikan's state courthouse in downtown.The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has filed a motion with the Alaska Supreme Court asking for reconsideration of the high court’s stay of the lower court’s ruling in the education funding lawsuit.

Prince Rupert pushes for ferry system help

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain addresses the Southeast Conference Tuesday in Juneau. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Prince Rupert leaders are in Juneau this week to lobby for continued ferry connections with Southeast Alaska.

Petersburg assembly approves purchases for recycling program

recyclebluePetersburg’s borough assembly Monday approved the purchase of a collection truck and new containers for the community’s curbside recycling program. Those purchases will allow the borough to take over the service from a private company and they were not too popular with residents testifying to the assembly this week.

Ward details shipyard workforce plans at Petersburg chamber dinner

dougwardketchAn official with the Ketchikan shipyard made his pitch for more technical training for the future workers in a maritime industry in Southeast Alaska. Director of shipyard development Doug Ward spoke at Saturday’s annual banquet for the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and outlined ways to train young people for new jobs in shipbuilding and other industries.

Southeast summit looks at food security, development

Business, government and other regional leaders will meet in Juneau March 17-18 for the Southeast Conference’s Mid-Session Summit.

Wrangell assembly gives first-round approval for pot ordinance

marijuanaThe Wrangell Borough Assembly gave first-round approval Tuesday to an ordinance banning the public consumption of marijuana. But assembly members disagreed on the timing and language of the measure.

Salard trial delayed until May

Salard102814bThe jury trial of Wrangell doctor Greg Salard, accused of possessing and distributing child pornography, has been delayed another three months. Assistant Federal Defender Cara McNamara requested more time to prepare her defense.

Feds turning Tongass acreage over to Sealaska

sealaska plaza, 12-09The federal Bureau of Land Management will sign paperwork Friday turning over 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corp.

Otter hide sewing is first class held in Wrangell’s carving facility

sewing otter skinWrangell’s new carving facility hosted its first Alaska Native craft class last weekend, and about 20 residents signed up to learn the basics of sewing otter skins.