Ed Ronco, KPLU - Seattle
Ed Ronco is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring season is over. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced the closure Thursday morning.
The herring fleet gathered about 2,100 tons of fish during Wednesday’s first opening of the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. Those are the preliminary numbers from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Wednesday’s opening lasted just over three hours, from 3 p.m. to 6:05 p.m.
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is scheduled for a 3 p.m. opening Wednesday. It is the first opening of the season as fishermen try to catch more than 11,500 tons of the small silverfish. Herring eggs are valued on the Japenese market.
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, is closing down its residential drug and alcohol treatment program. The closure was announced Tuesday and comes after massive reductions in federal funding, also known as sequestration.
Federal spending cuts known as sequestration will have less of an impact on the Coast Guard in Alaska than elsewhere in the country. That’s the word from Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo, who is in charge of the Coast Guard’s District 17, which encompasses the entire state.
A healthcare organization with thousands of patients in Southeast Alaska expects a massive hit to its budget. The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC for short, says it’s the result of federal spending cuts known as “sequestration.”
Right now, as you’re listening to this, a group of Sitka residents are preparing to walk the runway. But they’ve traded in the usual fabrics for more eccentric media. Maybe it’s a dress that’s all zippers. Or a suit made out of nautical charts. Or a purse composed of bicycle valve stems. In the fashion world, this might be called madness. In Sitka, it’s called wearable art.
The former principal of Blatchley Middle School in Sitka has been indicted on charges of sexual assault. A Sitka grand jury on Friday charged 54-year-old Joseph Robidou on six counts of felony sexual assault. He also faces an additional five misdemeanor charges for incidents that allegedly happened beginning last May and as recently as January. All of them involve other adults, and prosecutors say students at the school were not involved.
When he ran for the Alaska House last year, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins visited each community in his district, knocking on almost every door. The strategy paid off. The 24-year-old Democrat won a seat in the Legislature by just 32 votes.
About a hundred officials from cities and towns across the state met in Juneau last week for the Alaska Municipal League conference. Part of the conference involved lobbying state lawmakers for funding for local projects. In Sitka, officials are hoping for more than $40 million to fund an important hydro electric expansion project. That might be more money than state is willing to fund in lean budget year. But as the Sitka leaders found out, it’s always worth a try.
As the investigation into her death continues, candlelight vigils are planned across Alaska tonight (Friday) in memory of Mackenzie Howard. The 13-year-old Kake girl is believed to be a victim of murder in the small, Southeast village on Kupreanof Island.
Many Sitka residents felt an earthquake just before 1 a.m. Thursday. The quake did not set off any tsunami alerts, and the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer reported shortly afterward that there is NO tsunami danger.
Two donors have sent hundreds of thousands of dollars – each – to improve a couple of buildings in Sitka.
Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting included a topic no one could have foreseen when the agenda was released Friday. Fire Department officials briefed Assembly members on the Saturday morning evacuation that followed a 7.5 earthquake just before midnight Friday.
At 12:13 early Saturday morning in Sitka, the tsunami siren blew. Warnings were broadcast throughout Sitka after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck right before midnight. And the siren caught many city residents unprepared.
A young Sitka man crashed his car into an other vehicle and was killed in the crash Sunday night. Police say Lane Marlin Robinson, 22, took off on Halibut Point Road after failing to stop for an officer’s lights and siren. He crossed the center-line at high speed and hit a sports utility vehicle driven by an 18-year-old woman. Robinson was declared dead at the scene.
Some of the nation’s top brass musicians appeared in Sitka this week. The trumpeters, trombonists and more performed Monday night at the community’s performing arts center. All 6xx seats regularly sell out for the concert which has become something of a holiday tradition in the southeast community.
Friday’s shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has raised questions for teachers and parents across the country: How do you help children understand what happened, and how do you make them feel safe at their own school?