Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB - Unalaska
Lauren Rosenthal is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.
Today was the official opening of Alaska’s king crab season. About a half a dozen boats catching community development quota, issued by the state, got to head out and start fishing. But as KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, hundreds of other fishermen were stuck in port, waiting for the federal government to reopen and issue their crab permits.
As it stands, the Bering Sea crab harvest is on hold until fishermen receive their permits from federal government. But three Pacific Northwest congressional leaders have an idea to get the season back on schedule.
Unalaska mayor Shirley Marquardt ran unopposed and secured a fourth term in office. That was the first time in over 20 years that a mayoral election has been uncontested in Unalaska.
High winds and rough seas drove the F/V Chaos onto the rocks outside Unalaska Friday night — and delayed a Coast Guard air rescue of the ship’s crew. Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Mooers says the Chaos’ four crew members had to spend the night on the beach. They weren’t airlifted to town until 9 a.m. on Saturday, after the winds died down.
For more than 30 years, Dan Magone has run around Alaska bailing out vessels in distress. In the process, he’s developed a multimillion-dollar marine salvage business – and a reputation. Magone is a daredevil to some, and a savior to others. But now, he’s the one being saved. Facing rising debt, Magone is selling his shop in Unalaska to a larger company. It’s enough to keep the lights on, but it’s going to be a big adjustment for the man at the center of Alaska’s salvage industry.
Shell will pay the Environmental Protection Agency $1.1 million in fines for allegedly violating air permits during their 2012 drilling season in Alaska.
A lot more scientific research is needed if the United States wants to beef up its presence in the Arctic. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission met in Unalaska this week to figure out what work takes priority. But as KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, locals were mostly concerned with how the government plans to pay for it all.
Legislators, scientists, and industry stakeholders are flocking to Unalaska this week to work out a plan for exploring the Arctic and they want input from locals. The United States Arctic Research Commission convened at Unalaska’s Grand Aleutian Hotel today. The independent agency is made up of eight commissioners with diverse backgrounds in fisheries, science, and education.
Executives at Alaska Airlines and Peninsula Airways admit that their service to Unalaska isn’t perfect. Lopsided demand for flights and rough Aleutian weather already make it tough for them to serve the community. But huge demand from Arctic oil employees might make it even tougher. As KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports in a follow up to yesterday’s story, Unalaska faces an uphill battle to get better air service before growth picks up in the Arctic.
For the past nine years, Alaska Airlines and Peninsula Airways have partnered to provide regular passenger air service to Unalaska. That service has been plagued by delays, and has also suffered from the airlines’ failure to communicate – with passengers, and even internally, with each other.
Coast Guard helicopter dropped an elite team of explosives experts near Chignik last week. Their mission: to detonate a suspicious bomb that washed up on a remote beach. On paper, it was a standard assignment for the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal team. But, the case still managed to turn up some surprises.
An open call for vessels that could fill in for the Tustumena ferry has ended, and the state came up empty-handed.
The Pribilof Island of St. Paul lost an important elder this month. Mary Nicolai Bourdukofsky passed away at age 90. As KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, Bourdukofsky was devoted to preserving Unangan culture and history.
Peninsula communities still aren’t reporting any ashfall from Pavlof Volcano’s newest eruption, which started on Tuesday.
In less than six weeks, the Tustumena ferry is supposed to wrap up repairs and set sail to Southwest Alaska. But the shipyard says that delivery date isn’t looking realistic. As the state faces yet another blown deadline for getting the Tustumena back in service, they’ve started looking for other ships to pick up the ferry’s route. And it doesn’t have to be a perfect fit.
There’s still some rumbling beneath the surface, and a few small explosions here and there. But for the most part, Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula has quieted down.