Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska
Annie Ropeik is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.
A legendary Western Alaska salvage vessel has reached the end of its life. Salvager Dan Magone is getting ready to sink his old tugboat, the Redeemer. And it means he’s also getting ready for the next phase of his own storied career.
In the next few weeks, thousands of seafood processors will return to Unalaska for pollock B season. They’ll be earning more money, thanks to the state’s minimum wage hike — but they’ll also be paying more to live.
Shell has gotten another green light for its oil exploration season in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
Final approvals for Shell Oil’s exploration season in the Chukchi Sea are expected in the coming days. The Coast Guard in Alaska is proposing a set of navigational buffer zones for when fleet arrives. The buffer zones would keep people and ships 100 yards away from Shell’s vessels while they’re underway, and 25 yards away while they’re at anchor.
Unalaska’s biggest seafood processor is getting ready to start a $100 million renovation for its docks and factories. In late April, UniSea got the green light and the first of that funding from its Japanese parent company, Nissui. They’ve earmarked $21 million for a new cod and crab dock in Unalaska.
The state ferry Tustumena has already missed its first sailings in May as it undergoes repairs in shipyard. Now, it’s delayed again — but its first trip to the Aleutians isn’t set to change.
Unalaska is preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the aging Port of Dutch Harbor. The hope is to serve bigger ships and more of them — but the companies that use the dock right now aren’t so sure that big changes are needed.
Unalaska will get a big population boost this weekend, with the first cruise ship of what’s shaping up to be a busy summer.
A mysterious virus that’s been wiping out sea stars on the West Coast since 2013 has spread all the way to Southeast Alaska — but it hasn’t made it to Southwest. That’s what a group of researchers found last month in Unalaska and Kodiak. Now, they hope the islands’ healthy sea stars will give them new clues about how the virus works.
A years-long effort to bring geothermal power to Unalaska may be on its last legs. The city government is draining its accounts for exploring Makushin Volcano, saying the project is too expensive and risky to pursue any further.
The Aleutians East Borough is closing its second school in three years. The school board voted this week to shut down the Cold Bay School, with state budget cuts looming and enrollment on the decline. Locals are worried the closure could put the tiny community in jeopardy.
A volcanic island in the Western Aleutians is stirring again, after several months of quiet. Semisopochnoi was put on an advisory alert level on Wednesday morning. It’s the first alert at the volcano since a seismic flare-up last June, which was its first activity in almost 30 years.
Bering Sea crab fishermen are trying to get through as much Bairdi tanner quota as they can before the season ends next week. This year’s huge allocation put the fleet in a time crunch — and future seasons could bring more of the same, thanks in part to a new preferred size for the species.
The Arctic’s summer ice melt has begun — earlier than ever. The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Friday that Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent on Feb. 25.
Public radio and TV in Alaska could lose $2.5 million next year if a proposed state budget cut goes through. It would be a small reduction compared to the overall deficit legislators need to close — but it would eliminate more than half of the fundingpublic media gets from the state.
The state is once again looking to move the Wildlife Trooper patrol vessel Stimson from Unalaska to Kodiak. And this year, the change seems poised to go through.
Local officials say Shell Oil has agreed to keep their drill rigs tied up in just one location each in Unalaska, as the company looks to return to the Arctic this summer.
A cargo ship under investigation in a possible oil pollution case will be able to leave Unalaska, after its owner posted bond on Thursday.
An unmanned fuel barge that got stuck in Arctic sea ice last fall has now made it almost as far as the northern coast of Russia. It sounds like the makings of a children’s book: the long, unexpected journey of a little barge called the NTAL-2.
The Lindavia arrived in port from China a couple of weeks ago. Kevin Feldis, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, says the 600-foot ship was loading up with seafood to take back to Asia. But was detained before it could leave port.