Month: May 2011

Rear in front of salmon derby

After three days of fishing, Ken Rear holds the lead in the 56th annual Sitka Salmon Derby. Rear caught a 42 pound fish the first morning of the derby.

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Weekend plankton bloom raises concerns over "red tide"

A bloom of red tide over the weekend alarmed many Sitkans, but the plankton that caused it is different than the one responsible for deadly paralytic shellfish poisoning. And while this particular kind of plankton may not present a threat to humans, conditions are ripe for other more toxic blooms to occur.

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Air Station Sitka's first CO pays a visit

On Thursday, a man named David Irons was among the hundreds of cruise ship passengers in Sitka. But instead of heading for the National Park, or the downtown stores, or other popular attractions, Irons went straight to the Coast Guard air station. Thirty four years ago, he was in charge of the place, as its first-ever commanding officer.

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Assembly 'has concerns' about Sealaska legislation

The Sitka Assembly has gone on record as having concerns about Sealaska’s lands selection legislation. Two bills working their way through Congressional subcommittees this week will allow the regional Native corporation to select acreage in the Tongass National Forest. Sealaska is owed land under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

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As diesel use subsides, strong words on hydro regs

Sitka could return to full hydro power generation as of Thursday. The City of Sitka’s massive Number Four diesel generator, has been running from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day since Friday, in order to compensate for low lake levels at Blue Lake and Green Lake, where the city generates hydro power.

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Water quality trumps roadless issue at Blue Lake

Being one of the twelve projects identified in the proposed Roadless settlement is not an automatic green light. All developments in the inventoried roadless areas of the Tongass still have to be vetted by the Forest Service, and then sent to the Secretary of Agriculture for a signature – before they can be built. But that – to the relief of Sitka’s electrical department – is exactly what’s happened to the proposed Blue Lake hydro expansion. And while the Roadless issue is not on the table, some other important forest issues remain.

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Murkowski asks USFS to defend Roadless settlement

Sen. Lisa Murkowski took the head of the US Forest Service to task on Thursday (5-19-11) for his agency’s role in agreeing to limit development in the Tongass that may require road building. The US District Court in March vacated the Tongass’s exemption from national roadless policy. Earlier this month the same court released proposed a settlement between the Forest Service and the plaintiffs allowing a dozen various projects to move forward, including Sitka’s Blue Lake hydro expansion.

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