Rachel Waldholz, KCAW - Sitka
The Tongass Advisory Committee is meeting for the fifth time in Juneau this week. The committee is tasked with hammering out how the Forest Service should handle the Obama Administration’s transition away from old-growth logging and to a new focus on younger trees. But, for some people the most important questions are the ones the committee isn’t supposed to address.
Four people were rescued from the F/V Eyak early Monday morning after the boat went aground near Calligan Island, just north of the Goddard hot springs.
Like nearly all the great whales, humpbacks were heavily hunted. And one question researchers have grappled with is how many animals there were before the whaling fleets took their toll. To solve this mystery, it turns out, you have to take a trip back in time, and into the secret history of Soviet whaling.
Humpback whales may be coming off the endangered species list soon – federal officials are expected to announce a decision within the next few weeks.
Regardless of what they decide, one thing is clear: without whales and other marine mammals, there might not even be an endangered species list.
In the first of a series exploring humpback whales and the Endangered Species Act, KCAW reporter Rachel Waldholz and biologist Ellen Chenoweth explain how one of the nation’s most enduring environmental laws emerged from the office of one of its least revered presidents.
When David Mahaffey was installed as the Orthodox Bishop of Alaska in a ceremony in Sitka this past February, he became the 16th leader of America’s oldest Orthodox diocese.
Bishop David has now been on the job for nine months. He returned to Sitka this fall.
Sitka’s commercial herring fleet should expect to catch significantly fewer fish this spring. That’s the news from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which released its preliminary harvest level for the 2015 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery on Friday.
The Sitka School District has a big fan: President Barack Obama.
Sitka Schools Superintendent Mary Wegner was in Washington D.C. on Wednesday for a White House summit on technology and education.
The first time Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins ran for State House, in 2012 at the tender age of 23, he squeaked through, beating Haines Republican Bill Thomas by just 32 votes. The candidates had to wait weeks for the final results. Not this time. On Tuesday night, Kreiss-Tomkins, now 25, won convincingly.
The Alaska Supreme Court last week dismissed a case brought by six young Alaskans, demanding the state take action on climate change. The suit was one of several filed nationwide, and the first to take its argument to a state supreme court. In dismissing the case, the Court said that climate policy isn’t an issue the judiciary can decide – it must go through the political process.
But, for the young plaintiffs and the nonprofit supporting them, the ruling included some silver linings.
Southeast Alaska’s commercial troll fishing fleet will have to stand down for a few days, starting this weekend.
While much of the state is experiencing low king salmon runs, it’s an entirely different story in Southeast, where fishermen are looking at a record high target harvest.
The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has hired a new general manager. Lawrence SpottedBird, currently of Washington State, will start work on Monday.
The Sitka Assembly passed a controversial amendment Tuesday night, tightening the city’s anti-smoking laws. The question before the assembly was whether children should be prohibited from entering any business that allows smoking — even for a non-smoking event. The decision came down to different interpretations of what voters intended nearly a decade ago.
The Sitka herring fishery had its first opening yesterday afternoon. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game declared the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery open at 1:45 p.m. The fishing area covered much of Starrigavan and Katlian bays, north of Sitka.
The Department of Fish & Game has announced that the first opening of the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will be at approximately 1:45 PM today (Thu 3-20-14) in the area of Starrigavan and Katlian bays.
The multi-million dollar Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery could open as early as the end of this week. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced Monday evening (3-17-14) that as of 8 a.m. Thursday (3-20-14), the fishery will be placed on two-hour notice. That means seiners could have their nets in the water as soon as Thursday morning, if the department’s test samples find a high enough percentage of mature roe, or eggs, in the fish by then.
The Affordable Care Act is a big law with plenty of ripple effects, but at its heart is a pretty simple premise: Americans who lack health insurance should be able to go online and pick a plan, and if their income falls beneath a certain threshold, then the federal government will cover part of the cost. That is, unless you live in Alaska, or one of the other states that has opted out of the federal Medicaid expansion. Then, you can actually make too little money to qualify for help. This is what some are calling the “Medicaid donut hole.” And falling into the donut hole can be a frustrating experience.
New figures from the Obama administration show more than 6500 Alaskans have enrolled in insurance plans on healthcare.gov. The deadline to sign up is March 31st. And that has prompted many Alaskans to bite the bullet and figure out what the Affordable Care Act means for them. For some commercial fishermen and others who are self-employed, what they’ve found has been a pleasant surprise.