Emily Kwong, KCAW - Sitka


Sitkans gather for edible celebration at Wild Foods Potluck

Every year, the Sitka Conservation Society hosts a Wild Foods Potluck. It’s an edible celebration of all that can be picked, plucked, hunted, fished, grown, and gathered in Sitka. This year, over 150 people attended and brought dishes. Download Audio

FBI to investigate controversial Sitka arrest, tasing event

The Anchorage FBI office will be taking a leadership role in the investigation of the 2014 tasing of a teenager in a Sitka jail cell. Download Audio:

City of Sitka seeks legal counsel in wake of landslides

The Sitka Assembly convened in executive session Wednesday night to discuss legal matters affecting the municipality, as a result of the August 18th landslide. Download Audio

Troopers to review controversial Sitka arrest

The Alaska State Troopers have agreed to perform an outside review of an arrest last year in Sitka, in which officers used a taser on a high school student. Download Audio

Sitka skate park lures young asphalt surfers alongside older delinquents

Turnaround Skate Park in Sitka is a playground for adrenaline-seekers of all skill levels, from kids on scooters to young adults on long boards. In recent years, however, the reputation of the space has been shaken by steady reports of alcohol and drug use by non-skating adults. Download Audio

Sitka keeps Alaska Bulk Water afloat with 6th contract extension

For nearly a decade, Alaska Bulk Water Incorporated has been setting up shop in Sitka – at the site of the city’s once pulp mill. The former bottling company is trying to send raw water to customers around the world, from drought stricken California to beer manufacturers in Mexico. Not a single drop has been exported so far, but the Sitka Assembly is offering the company another chance to deliver on their promises

Police identify cemetery vandals as group of juveniles

Sitka Police caught the culprits behind a series of vandalisms in a 200-year-old cemetery. The police acted on a handful of tips from citizens, after knocking on doors for information and offering a $200 reward.

Repeated vandalism in historic Sitka cemetery

In Sitka, a 200-year old cemetery was severely vandalized by an unknown party this weekend. This is the third time the Russian Orthodox Cemetery was targeted in the past two months. In this most recent incident, one or more individuals knocked over 25 headstones.

Sitka rolls out welcome wagon for Russian diplomat

A band of Russian performers, with their sights set on Sitka, are reportedly still in Moscow awaiting visas. As the mystery of their travel plans deepens, one Russian did make it to the Alaska Day festivities this past weekend. Download Audio

NAACP asks Sitka to rename Alaska Day event

On Sunday, Oct. 18, the Anchorage chapter of the NAACP wrote to Sitka committee of the Alaska Day festival, criticizing the name of one of the events on the program: the slave auction. Organized by a local bar, the annual fundraiser took place last night. Download Audio

Sunken seiner leaks oil near Sitka

A 58-foot seiner that sank Wednesday is now estimated to have spilled 10-30 gallons of oil in Sitka waters. The incident took place half a mile from the mouth of Indian River. Download Audio

Governor declares disaster in Sitka, opening new lines of relief funds

On Friday, Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration for Sitka, in response to seven landslides on August 18th. The slides killed three men and caused extensive damage to private and public property, including city roads and utilities. Listen now:

AK: A 12-Year-Old Ambassador

Imagine you arrive in a world where it rains all year round, and daylight swings from 17 hours in summertime to a paltry six in winter. And you’re only seven years old. That’s the situation Jasmine Molina found herself when she first got to Sitka, over 5,000 miles from her native city of Manila in the Philippines. Sitka’s Filipino population has grown substantially in the past five years, but there remains no formal system to help new students transition to school. That is, until Jasmine came to town. Listen now:
Delta landed it’s first flight in Sitka for the 2015 summer season. Daily flights will operate directly from Seattle and provide direct competition to Alaska Airlines. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)

Delta touches down in Sitka

Look out Alaska Airlines. Delta announced last fall it would begin operating non-stop flights from Seattle to Sitka for the summer season. And at 7:25 last Friday (05-15-15), KCAW’s Emily Kwong was on the runway.

Thirsty California: A Potential Market for Alaska Water?

In Sitka, raising the hydroelectric dam at Blue Lake has created not only a source of renewable energy, but an even larger reserve of fresh water. The bulk water presents a business opportunity. With a contract deadline looming that could terminate its exclusive rights, Alaska Bulk Water hopes to deliver on long awaited promises to ship tankers of water and to make California its first customer. Download Audio:
Garry White came to Sitka in 2008 and has ridden the wave of the bulk water venture. But new developments in infrastructure and capital are giving him hope that bulk water shipments to California will happen this year. (Emily Kwong/KCAW)

Thirsty California a potential market for bulk water

In Sitka, raising the hydroelectric dam at Blue Lake has created not only a source of renewable energy, but an even larger reserve of fresh water. The bulk water presents a business opportunity.

Sitka Parks Feel the Strain of Fiscal Belt Tightening

State officials have rolled out their plan to terminate direct management of state parks in Sitka, including two of the most historic sites in Alaska. Download Audio:

Education Department funding for Mt. Edgecumbe preserved

With education a hot button issue in the ongoing budget debate, one school in Sitka is definitely safe this fiscal year. The state-run Mt. Edgecumbe High School will continue to receive $4.6 million from the Department of Education and Early Development (EED). That money goes directly towards boarding over 400 students from around the state. Listen now:

AK: The Sitka Sentinel Remains A Family Affair

The Sitka Sentinel celebrated its 75th anniversary last year without much fanfare. As many newspapers in big cities have folded or turned into online only operations, the Sentinel steadily churns out five issues a week. The paper is owned and edited by Thad and Sandy Poulson, reporters who arrived in 1969 and are determined to keep the press running. Download Audio
AmeriCorps volunteer Esther Kennedy is helping STA launch an early warning system for beaches in Southeast, so harvesters can know when it’s safe to dig and when to steer clear. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

PSP: With New Lab, STA Takes A Gamble On Shellfish Testing

Despite the risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning — or PSP — Southeast Alaska has a robust dive fishery that includes geoduck clams. The entire industry hinges on weekly testing results from the Department of Environmental Conservation laboratory in Anchorage. This scenario could change in the not-too-distant future. In part 1 of our 2-part series, KCAW’s Emily Kwong reported on efforts by Sitka Tribe of Alaska to monitor the waters of Southeast for PSP. In part 2 today, she tracks their plans to launch a commercial testing lab. Download Audio