Alaska News Nightly: July 4, 2008

Hopes for a strong chum salmon season on the Yukon are fading.  Also, NOAA begins the process of updating Kachemak Bay nautical charts. Alaso Sitka goes green…literally. And summer softball leagues once popular in Kodiak are in danger of disappearing. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Hopes for a strong Yukon chum salmon season fade
Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena
The first commercial fishery of the year on the Yukon River took place Wednesday night near the mouth.  The fishery targeted summer chum salmon, which unlike king salmon, are returning to the Yukon in near average numbers this year.  But the Department of Fish and Game did not open commercial fishing until late in the season, to prevent the incidental harvest of king salmon in the chum fishery.   The king run didn’t take a big hit…but fishermen didn’t catch very many
chum either.

NOAA begins process of updating Kachemak Bay nautical charts

Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The first phase of a project to update the nautical charts of Kachemak Bay is underway.  The NOAA ship Fairweather is tied up in the deepwater dock in Homer this weekend in preparation for a joint, two-year hydrographic survey  with its sister ship Rainier.

Sealaska re-elects 4 board members

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Sealaska shareholders re-elected four members of the corporation’s board of directors this years annual meeting in San Francisco. The board is looking at increasing investments in Southeast to help economically-strapped villages.

Tlingit weavers reconnect with goat hair

Ann Kaiser – Glacier Bay
For Tlingits, the art of weaving goat wool into their ceremonial blankets, robes, and tunics have long been a way to connect to spirit and to each other. But when Glacier Bay National Monument expanded in 1939, it ended up engulfing about two thirds of their traditional territory and added to an already strained relationship between the making of Tlingit regalia and the mountain goat. But there is a reconnection in the works.

Unalaska residents participate in climate change research
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team is inviting Unalaska residents to contribute to climate change research by walking the beach to look for dead birds and bird parts. The program surveys beaches in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska to monitor changes in climates and ecosystems.

Sitka goes green – literally

Leah Mann, KCAW – Sitka
Bicycle-friendly Sitka is gearing up to become garden friendly. The 2008 Sitka Health Summit – which last year made bicycle-friendliness a priority – has placed food security and a local fish market at the top of the list of this year’s priorities. While an all-community greenhouse is the long-range goal, summit organizers could not let the summer growing season pass by without getting started. Last week an ambitious group of volunteers turned out to till donated topsoil and sand into a sunny plot of ground behind St. Peters Episcopal Church.

Softball in Kodiak hits a rough patch

Mary Donaldson, KMXT – Kodiak
Every Sunday, softball enthusiasts meet up at Baranof Field in Kodiak for a pick-up game. But with interest waning, the future of the sport in the town is uncertain.