Emily Forman, KCAW - Sitka
Emily Forman is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.
Two of greatest living scholars on Sitka’s Russian and Tlingit past were in town last week to train National Park rangers on the historic battles that took place here. Park rangers give programs, of course, but sometimes they’ll interact with visitors for only a few minutes at a time. So the challenge is: How do you teach visitors about the culture in a way that will have impact – when the most commonly-asked question is “Where’s the bathroom?”
Before statehood and the advent of scientific management, Southeast Alaska’s herring populations were harvested – and depleted – without much thought for the future. Many believe the herring population in Sitka Sound now is a fraction of what it was in those days, and wonder if herring stocks – like salmon – can be restored.
At most major airports someone is paid to chase birds off the runway, but at Sitka’s airport that job is especially challenging. That’s because three-fourths of Sitka’s runway is surrounded by water. Fish spawn along its banks, attracting hungry birds. That problem was highlighted four years ago when two Alaska Airlines jets collided with eagles on takeoff. KCAW’s Emily Forman spoke with the expert who came in afterward to make sure the runway is safe.
It’s crisp, crunchy, and salty – and you’ll never find it in a bag in the grocery store. Dipped in seal oil or eulachon oil (hooligan), it is a traditional Southeast Alaskan delicacy that signals spring as surely as a warm, sunny day. But, gathering herring eggs-on-hemlock branches is about a lot more than food.
March 27th marks the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s Good Friday Earthquake – the largest recorded in North America. Many Sitkans have stories from the epicenter.
Bob Allen is known around Southeast now for his family shipbuilding and cruise business, Allen Marine. But five decades ago, he was fishing south of Kodiak Island far from his family when disaster struck. Allen says when you can’t take care of your own, you take care of what you can.
Sitka’s District Court has sentenced two men linked to a September shooting at Sitka’s Pioneer Bar.
Last Sunday, the Orthodox Dioceses of Sitka and Alaska installed David Mahaffey as its 16th Bishop. A historic and ornate ceremony ensued in Sitka, attracting Orthodox Bishops from New York to Quebec. On the steps of St. Michael’s Cathedral, Native elders welcomed Metropolitan Tikhon, the head of the Orthodox Church in America with traditional bread and salt.
A study to help establish goat hunting guidelines on Baranof Island has revealed much more than how to manage the goat population. It has sparked a mystery. And it’s offered clues to what the island looked like before there were hunters.
A 19-year-old Sitka man had a run-in with a sea lion at Seafood Producers Cooperative on Saturday. Alaska State Troopers say the man was sitting on the railing of a fishing vessel when a large bull pounced. The sea lion jumped out of the water and attempted to bite him — on the behind, causing the man to fall forward into the vessel.
Sitka’s Pacific High School students returned from winter break yesterday, to find one last holiday gift: a new school. For the past two years, Pacific High has been housed in the Southeast Alaska Career Center, while the Lincoln Street building was remodeled from the ground up. KCAW’s Emily Forman visited the all-new Pacific High the day before students arrived and learned how this state-of-the-art facility has been over a century in the making.
Sitka Community Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Hallgren, will retire in June after more than four years of service in Sitka. The hospital’s Board of Directors announced Hallgren’s retirement on Monday.
What do the Space Needle, Sitka Sound Science Center, and Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington have in common? They all carry artisanal salt made by Alaska Pure. The Sitka company’s sea salts are designed around flavors reminiscent of Southeast Alaska. In 2013 their wild blueberry sea salt captured a national taste-test award.
A Sitka man was indicted last Friday for receiving a package containing over $30,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamine.
Wildlife troopers say they’ve charged the Sea Mountain Golf Course groundskeeper for attempting to poison brown bears. The poison could be what killed two dogs that died after visiting the area.