Ed Ronco, KPLU - Seattle
Ed Ronco is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.
On a winter night in 1994, a newborn baby was found lying in a sink at Sitka’s Thomsen Harbor. Eighteen years later, that girl is now a young woman named Karissa Amrhein. She graduated from high school this spring and last week, she returned to Sitka.
The U.S. Coast Guard air station in Sitka is abandoning oil as a heat source. Work will start in the next week on a new heating system that uses wood pellets instead of oil. It’s part of an effort to make the Coast Guard more energy efficient.
Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution visited Sitka recently. The group works at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. The collection includes countless items from Alaska. Staff members at the museum are well acquainted with those items. But they don’t often get to see where the items began. To do that, they turned to Sitka resident and renowned Tlingit weaver Teri Rofkar.
Cmdr. Ward Sandlin took over as commanding officer of Air Station Sitka on Wednesday. The top job changes over every two years. Sandlin replaces Cmdr. Doug Cameron, who will serve as Chief of Incident Management for a region stretching from New Jersey to North Carolina. Cameron’s time at the 120-person station was marked by a tragedy, but also by a strengthening of ties with the larger community.
This year’s lower-than-expected herring harvest has renewed calls from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska to change the fishery.
If you were trying to get to Japonski Island near Sitka on Monday night, you probably found the bridge closed by police. It was part of a community-wide disaster drill. The exercise involved emergency responders, the Coast Guard, and even students from Mt. Edgecumbe High School.
A former Sitka resident will spend three years on probation and pay back money he embezzled from the nonprofit organization he once led.
Big changes are in the works at Southeast Alaska’s largest private employer. The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, has a hospital in Sitka, doctors in Juneau, a variety of clinics, and roughly 1,000 employees. The organization is working to recover from a $4 million loss in the last year. That has meant changes to benefits, and a hiring slow-down, among other things.
What was poised to be the largest Sitka herring fishery in recent history has closed with less than half the quota caught. Managers made the announcement Thursday morning to shut down the fishery for the year after just three openings.
A program in Sitka allows high school students to work side-by-side with scientists on their research. The Science Mentors Program, run through the Sitka Conservation Society and the Sitka Sound Science Center, puts three high school students in the field and in the lab.
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The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will stand down until Thursday, in order to give processors time to catch up with the incoming catch. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates fishermen cought roughly 5,600 tons of fish during the second opening on… Read More
The nets went into the water for the first opening of the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery Saturday afternoon for two and a half hours and brought in about 47 hundred tons. The quota is 29 thousand. The opening was located in the northwest… Read More
The Coast Guard’s commander in Alaska took a side door out of Sitka’s airport on Wednesday, avoiding protestors who oppose his decision about the future of a Sitka-based aviator. Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo came to Sitka to meet with Coast Guardsmen from around the state about the aftermath of a 2010 helicopter crash. Three people from Air Station Sitka died in that crash.
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is on two hour notice. Two-hour notice means when a fishery is called, officials will give the fleet a minimum of two hours to get into position.
The bones of a killer whale recovered from Kruzof Island last year will soon be on display at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Volunteers and scientists spent last week rearticulating the orca skeleton.
Shifting Sitka to more renewable sources of energy will keep millions of dollars from leaving the community over the next 20 years.
The Coast Guard’s commander in Alaska officially admonished a Sitka-based aviator over the weekend for his actions in a fatal helicopter crash.
The U.S. Coast Guard dropped its charges against Lt. Lance Leone. The Sitka-based Coast Guard aviator was facing charges of negligent homicide and destruction of government property in connection with a 2010 helicopter crash.
When most of us think back to gym class in middle school, we might think of dodgeball, or running laps, or even a few games of basketball. But students *in* coastal Alaska communities will also think of fire extinguishers, flares, life jackets and damage control.