Jerry Marquardt is in immediate need of a washer. Call 766-3663.
Love Your Community?
Submit and View KHNS Postings
Please use the following links to submit or view on-air messages :
Submissions must be approved and may be edited for content before appearing on the website or read on-air. If you would like a confirmation, please email the station at firstname.lastname@example.org. LPs are processed as soon as possible, please allow 3-5 days for process of PSA's . If submitting after 5pm or over the weekend announcements will not be approved until the following weekday.
From Our Listeners
Southeast Alaska News
A statewide survey has found that most Alaskans don’t know what HB77 is — and that those who do, hate it.
HB77 is intended to make mining easier, but critics say it does so at the expense of the public’s ability to comment on mining permits.
The bill creates a faster permitting timeline in part by expanding the discretion of the Department of Natural Resources Commissioner and limiting who can challenge rulings by the commissioner.
That has fisheries advocates concerned.
The state’s project manager for Juneau Access — the proposed road north out of Juneau — is leaving the Department of Transportation, effective today.
An internal memo dated Feb. 10 stated that Gary Hogins, a 30-year veteran of the department, will be taking over the project from Mike Vigue, who accepted a position with the Federal Highway Administration in Juneau.
ANCHORAGE — An investigation of irregularities of the Alaska State Crime Lab led to the arrest of a former employee Thursday.
Stephen Palmer, 53, of Palmer, has been charged with scheme to defraud, drug misconduct and four counts of evidence tampering, state prosecutors said. He’s also charged with four misdemeanor counts of official misconduct.
Palmer was in the Anchorage Jail on Thursday night and online court documents did not indicate that he was represented by an attorney.
ANCHORAGE — Alaska State Troopers say a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old Homer man struck a patrol vehicle during a traffic stop on the Sterling Highway.
Troopers say Joseph Newton was pulled over in a Subaru Legacy in Homer Wednesday night. Troopers say the Subaru rolled back, striking the trooper’s Chevrolet Tahoe after Newton placed his vehicle in neutral without engaging the emergency brake.
No one was injured in the incident, although the Subaru sustained an estimated $500 in damages. Troopers say there is no apparent damage to the trooper’s SUV.
JUNEAU — A state senator says he doesn’t think access to contraception is a problem in Alaska.
In a floor speech, Republican Sen. Fred Dyson said he researched the issue after a colleague suggested the number of abortions could be reduced by improving access to contraception.
The issue of the state providing expanded family planning services has arisen during discussion on a bill that would further define when the state would pay for abortions under Medicaid.
FAIRBANKS — Scientists working with Poker Flat Research Range have successfully launched a NASA sounding rocket.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks says the rocket blasted off at 2:09 a.m. Monday and reached 200 miles above the village of Venetie (VEE’-neh-teye).
The rocket flew through an aurora and measured electrical particles and electrical fields changed by the aurora.
Lead scientist Marilia Samara of the San Antonio, Texas-based Southwest Research Institute says the rocket took four minutes to reach a spot above the aurora.
JUNEAU — The Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on a bill banning certain synthetic drugs even though the Wasilla City Council has rejected a similar ordinance.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Meyer, a Republican from Anchorage, would prohibit the sale of synthetic drugs which mimic certain stimulants and marijuana.
Meyer noted his bill mirrors closely an Anchorage municipal ordinance.
Abigail Fitzgibbon was the Sitka champion last year as a sixth-grader, but was unseated earlier this year in a dazzling spell-off with eighth-grader Kyle Vidad.
Fitzgibbon represented Sitka last weekend in Anchorage as a runner up, but nevertheless managed to run away with the state trophy.
Fitzgibbon learned only a few days before the state bee that Vidad wouldn’t be going. She thinks that might have been an advantage. The state bee moves off the published word list quickly, in order to make it a more challenging contest. Fitzgibbon relied more on her knowledge of words — rather than memorization — to pull out the win.
“I was somewhat nervous, but there wasn’t much time to be nervous. There was only one round off the list. So my first off-the-list word was heliciform, and I just guessed on that, because heli is a Greek root, and so many words have Latin and Greek roots.”
And just so we all don’t spend the rest of the day pondering that word. which refers to natural spiral, it is…
Fitzgibbon out-spelled about 30 students from around the state last weekend. At the national competition in Washington DC in May, she’ll face about 250 spellers.
Fitzgibbon worries sometimes about being overconfident, but she hasn’t won every bee she’s entered. There have been some tough losses along the way.
Her edge — if she’s got one — is that she perceives words especially well.
“I will never remember how something looked, but I can quote passages from books. Or maybe recite the order of words on spelling lists.”
Fitzgibbon also has one other bit of advice for spellers in high-stakes bees: It’s not breakfast that’s important, it’s h-y-d-r-a-t-i-o-n.
KCAW’s Emily Forman contributed to this story.
The budget picture for the Sitka School District next year is starting to look a little less dire. What started out as a projected $1.5-million deficit just a few weeks ago, has been teased down to $44,000 — but only by drawing on over half of the district’s savings account.
It was just a budget work session (3-5-14), but pretty much standing room only in the district office board room.
Sitka superintendent Steve Bradshaw and the district’s business manager, Cassee Olin, had nipped, trimmed, and tucked a budget worksheet that now was showing only $44,000 in red ink next year.
The savings come from several sources: The retirement of six teachers at the top of the pay scale is worth $150,000; the district is catching a break on its insurance rates next year, for a savings of $70,000. Some adjustments to the contract for new superintendent Mary Wegner — who won’t need moving expenses, for instance — amounted to $25,000.
The only proposed staffing cut is the director of Community Schools. Current director Scott McAdams already splits his time as high school Activity Director. Bradshaw said the district office had already absorbed most of the community schools responsibilities, but he said, “we absolutely can’t do without an activities director.”
But the biggest difference came on the revenue side: Bradshaw would like the board to transfer $900,000 out of savings into the operating fund — just like it did last year.
The idea did not sit well with the board, since it would leave the district with only a little over $700,000 in the bank. The district will be implementing new curriculum materials in Math and Language Arts next year — the so-called “Common Core” — and that’s expected to cost up to $300,000 for new books and teacher training, which would have to be paid out of reserves.
And unlike last year, there is little hope of a federal windfall in the form of the Secure Rural Schools Act.
Board members asked Bradshaw to contemplate some scenario that involved deeper cuts than the savings they had been shown so far, in order to protect the district’s reserves.
Bradshaw, with thirteen years under his belt, was reluctant to go there.
“We’ve gone through this every year, as some of our people have pointed out, and every year we come back and we’re okay. And so if we go out there and cry wolf again this year… If you mandate that I find $600,000, we’ll go out and work on $600,000. We’re sitting in a community that has a fairly decent reserve compared to most communities around this country. We’re sitting in a state that has fairly decent reserves. And I’ve always felt like: If we got to that point where we got back and we had 90 less kids than projected, we could still go to this community and get through that school year. Now they may not like it, but this community has always stepped forward when it comes to education.”
Bradshaw said there had been years when the district went fairly deep into its reserves — one year going as low as $180,000. Olin, asked for her opinion, said the optimum amount for Sitka to keep in the bank was $500,000, or about one payroll.
Still, board member Jennifer Robinson wanted to know what was really at stake if the district had fewer students than expected next year, or if the legislature — contrary to expectations — failed to pass any increase in per-pupil funding for schools.
She wanted real talking points for her next trip to Juneau.
“I would kind of like to know what are the things that we would be faced with cutting if we can’t come up with enough money to cover these things? I’m going to be sitting down in offices with legislators, and I’d like to be able to say, Look, we have to pay for this Math curriculum, we have to pay for these teacher evaluations. If we don’t get money from you, who have mandated us to make these changes, then this is what we’re looking at cutting from our district, and this is the impact that it’s going to have.”
Ultimately, Bradshaw agreed to find $44,000 in cuts which, he said, “won’t hurt anybody.”
The board has scheduled one more budget hearing for March 27, but president Lon Garrison said it was unlikely that it will be the last. With economic uncertainties remaining over the adoption of the new Common Core, teacher evaluations, and online testing — and a big question mark hovering over this year’s legislature — board members thought it wise to wait and see just a bit longer on the 2015 budget.
In what might have been one of most tightly-played games between cross-town rivals this season, the Sitka Wolves pulled out a one-point win over the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves, in the second round of the Region V tournament in Juneau today.
The final score was 43-42, Sitka.
Daily Sitka Sentinel sports editor Tom Hesse is covering the games. He says win came down to the last possession, and it was not Sitka’s size that paid off, as much as their depth.
See the full tournament schedule, and view the tournament livestream here.
“You know, their size was important, but Edgecumbe has dealt with size in the past. I asked Andy Lee that same question after the game, and the coach of the boys’ basketball team said, You know, we won this game in July. What he meant by that was what it came down to for Sitka was muscle memory, instinct, and all the hours this team has spent together. All the things they did right: making the extra pass when they had to, making the extra defensive rotation, and capitalizing on a couple of turnovers. It was a pretty even contest. Sitka just had nice, balanced scoring througout the game, and they were just able to hold it together for the win.”
Sitka will likely meet Mt. Edgecumbe again on Friday. The Braves play the Petersburg Vikings in the losers bracket — a team whom they beat on Wednesday by 22 points — and if they win that contest they’ll have another shot at Sitka.
Still, Sitka must lose twice to be eliminated from the tournament. If Edgecumbe won a rematch with the Wolves, they’d have to play one last game — known in the parlance of the double-elimination tournament as an “If” game.
On the girls’ side, the Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves defeated the Petersburg Lady Vikings 40-36 in the second round. The Lady Vikings defeated the Sitka girls in the opening round of the tournament. The Lady Wolves and Lady Vikings will have a rematch on Friday to determine who will meet Mt. Edgecumbe in the finals. As with the boy’s bracket, Mt. Edgecumbe must lose twice on the final day to be eliminated.
Eighteen people have applied to be Petersburg’s next school superintendent.
Current superintendent Rob Thomason is stepping down at the end of the school year and is coordinating the search for his replacement. “As with any search of this sort you’re gonna get a range but I really feel like we have some at the upper end that are intriguing to us and I think have some good skills that are worthy of strong consideration for Petersburg,” Thomason said.
The school district released a list of names of the applicants after it was requested by the Petersburg Pilot.
Several current and former Alaskans have applied.
Scott Butterfield is the superintendent of the Chatham school district and lives in Angoon. Another applicant from Southeast is Nancy Moon, an elementary principal from Ketchikan.
Lisa Stroh is superintendent in Valdez. There are also principals and administrators from Shageluk, Port Heiden, Unalakleet, Grayling and Soldotna. Other applicants are from around the U.S. and even Puerto Rico.
A team of current and former school board members, teachers and administrators will be trying to narrow down the list this Friday and hope to arrive on three applicants to bring to town for in-person interviews. Thomason is happy with the search process. “I think about the team who is reviewing this that everybody is just taking it very seriously. I just couldn’t be happier with the amount of effort and concern that’s going into the search. It’s going to be comprehensive.”
The district hopes to have onsite interviews with finalists at the end of this month or early April. Those would include a chance for parents and members of the public to meet the applicants and provide input.
Here’s the full list: David Albert of Plattewoods Missouri, William Bradshaw of Soldotna, Scott Butterfield of Angoon, Ralph Crosslin of Bellaite Michigan, Bernard Grieve of Shageluk, Michael Gullett of Grayling, Virginia Jewell of Monroe Georgia, Tariq Malik of Sugarland Texas, Sherry McKenzie of Port Heiden, Nancy Moon of Ketchikan, Angela Ritchie of Cedar Bluff Alabama, Paul Rockhold of Clarksville Tennessee, James Sines of Zanesville Ohio, Lisa Stroh of Valdez, Lowell Taylor of Lanark Illinois, Monte Thacker of Kerens Texas, Jay Thomas of Unalakleet and Ismael Villafane of Mercedita Puerto Rico.
(Editor’s note: this story has been corrected to show the request for list of applicants was an informal request by the Petersburg Pilot)
The Klawock High School Lady Chieftains faced the Skagway Lady Panthers Wednesday afternoon in the Southeast Regional 1A Basketball Tournament at Ketchikan High School.
When the Klawock girls played Skagway earlier this year, they lost by dozens of points. This time, the score was 37-32. Klawock lost, but by just a couple baskets.
Two of the Lady Chieftains starting players were benched earlier this seasons because of injuries, so the team has had a lot of adapting to do.
KRBD’s Emily Files talked after the game with team members Tiona Rudick, Keilani Stockton, Courtney Guthrie, Sierra Geibel, Jill Carl, and first-year coach Teresa Fairbanks.
Petersburg officials are waiting to hear an offer from the state of Alaska on the possible transfer of three state-owned docks in Petersburg’s new borough. The borough wants to secure state funding to repair the remote docks, if the local government agrees to take over those facilities from the state.
For mobile friendly audio, click here:
On a trip to Juneau late last month, Mayor Mark Jensen met with the Department of Transportation’s State Ports and Harbor Engineer Mike Lukshin, the Alaska Department of Transportation on the status of three state owned docks in the Petersburg borough. The docks are at Papke’s Landing, Kupreanof and Entrance Island in Hobart Bay.
Jensen told the borough assembly he expects the state to offer the dock facilities to Petersburg along with some money. “It sounds like it’s gonna be the type of deal where they offer all three to us to take ‘em and there will be some dollar value, dollar amount that comes with ‘em. We will be getting a letter from him. He’s thinking about waiting til after the decision is made on the northern boundary of our borough and we’ll go from there.”
The dock in Hobart Bay would be impacted by the appeal of Petersburg’s northern borough boundary. A superior court judge has ruled in favor of Petersburg in that case, however, that ruling could still be appealed.
The floats at Papke’s and Kupreanof were built in 1961 while the Entrance Island Float was built in 1956. The state did some repair work and maintenance on the facilities in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Assembly member John Havrilek wanted to find out about the condition of the three docks. “What I’d like to see if possible if we could get some just ball park figure of what those, I know Papke’s is in horrible shape, what those might cost to get into at least a safe condition. I don’t know on what the condition the other two are. But it’d be nice to know before they said you know we’d like to give you those and we’ll give you so much money for it, if that money would even come close to the repairs that are needed.”
The City of Kupreanof has expressed past interest in taking over the dock in that community and Petersburg officials have discussed a purchase or transfer of lands, the boat ramp and the dock at Papke’s Landing. That’s about 10 miles south of down.
DOT has been trying to transfer state-owned facilities to local governments. It did so with Petersburg’s North Harbor in 2005 after negotiating payment to the city of Petersburg for replacing the old docks and floats.
Harbor master Glorianne Wollen noted the difficulty for old city of Petersburg in securing enough funding for North Harbor. She said the DOT has mentioned some dollar amounts for the more remote docks. “I know that all of our discussion back and forth with DOT is we’ll never probably enter into that kind of an agreement again. That was just really unfair to the borough, or to the city at the time. So he’s been talking a little bit more reasonable numbers. And the numbers that he’s thrown at me is right around a million perhaps for each facility. So if you we’re to take that and then go through the municipal harbor grant which they would all be eligible for you could increase that to you know, two million.”
Petersburg’s assembly took no action on the dock issue.
In other assembly business, borough manager Steve Giesbrecht gave an update on plans to repair the wooden Rasmus Enge Bridge on Sing Lee Alley and said work is scheduled to start up this month. “The tentative plan for the project is for public works to start on the bridge in mid March kind of weather dependent. It’ll take approximately two months to complete. Some of the stringers will be replaced and all of the decking to try and get some more life out of that bridge.” Giesbrecht says the state DOT has de-rated the bridge until the work is complete, allowing a maximum weight limit of three tons per axle, 12,000 pounds for cars and trucks or 18,000 pounds for tandem rear axle trucks.
The assembly also approved the third and final reading of revised borough ordinances on elections and criminal code.
Dan Ortiz kicked off his campaign for state House with a presentation this week to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. He touched on why he’s running, why he chose to remain nonpartisan and his position on a variety of current topics.
Ortiz is a longtime high school teacher, which quickly became apparent during his presentation. Here’s how he ended many of his comments: “Does that make sense?”
Ortiz started with his background, and his connection to the community. He said he arrived in Ketchikan when he was 10 years old, later worked at the pulp mill and in the fishing industry, and has been a teacher at Ketchikan High School since 1982.
He’s also an independent candidate, which means he’s not affiliated with any political party. An audience member asked him why he chose that route, whether he’s always been independent and if not, what was his previous affiliation?
“That’s a good question,” Ortiz said. “The answer to your question: I’ve not always been an independent, but I have been for at least the last six or seven years. And I’m a nonpartisan. I’m registered as a nonpartisan.”
Before that, Ortiz was a member of the Republican Moderate Party, but that party disbanded. He said he doesn’t believe partisan politics is helpful, particularly at the national level, but also to some degree at the state level. Ortiz said it shouldn’t be about party, but about what’s best for southern Southeast Alaska.
Another audience member asked who Ortiz would caucus with, if elected. He said that would depend first on who invited him. After that, “I would also have to look very strongly at what would be the best interest of our region. And finally, I would have to look at the stipulations of caucusing with one group or another. I certainly wouldn’t let my values or my priorities be sacrificed just for the sake of political gain.”
Ortiz said his focus as a legislator would be on economic development through renewable energy projects, protecting and enhancing the commercial fishing industry, developing natural resources including timber, and – of course – making sure Alaska properly educates its future work force.
An audience member asked Ortiz about his position on SB21, the oil tax reform bill that passed last year but is subject to a repeal initiative. Ortiz is the high school debate coach, and SB21 was the topic of a recent debate competition. That means that, with his students, Ortiz spent a lot of time researching both sides of that complex issue.
“And it’s a tough topic, because I can certainly understand the need to create incentives for further exploration and the development of our oil resources here in the state of Alaska,” he said. “However, I do stand with Sen. Stedman on this particular issue.”
Sen. Bert Stedman, a Sitka Republican whose district includes Ketchikan, strongly opposes SB21, arguing that the state gave away too much with no guarantee of a benefit. Stedman recently introduced an alternative bill in the state Senate.
Ortiz said cutting taxes on existing wells was not necessary, and he supports Stedman’s proposal.
Ortiz said he doesn’t agree with the governor’s decision to not expand Medicaid, because he believes it will create hardships for senior citizens. On the topic of the Pebble Mine and a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision halting that project, Ortiz said he believes Alaskans should decide what happens on state land. However, he also believes that Pebble developers have not proven that the mine would not damage a nearby valuable salmon run.
Regarding the marijuana legalization initiative, Ortiz said he understands the argument in favor of making it legal.
“However, when it comes right down to it, when I go into that ballot box, I have to ask myself: ‘Is this going to help our society?’ And I don’t see that,” he said. “So, personally, I’m going to probably vote no against that.”
Ortiz is running for the state House seat now held by Wrangell Republican Peggy Wilson.
As seen in our sign on poster designed by Sitka artist Vern Culp, Raven Radio turns 32 years old today. Technically, KCAW went on the air with a limited broadcast schedule at an earlier date, but March 6th is the “official” birthday of Raven Radio. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing success of our community station since our sign on in 1982 and the years before~!
JUNEAU — A bill pending in the Alaska Senate would strip state ferry workers of their cost-of-living adjustment.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, said his goal is to get ferry workers in line with the rest of state, the Alaska Public Radio Network reported.
The bill comes as marine transportation unions are negotiating contracts for the next three years. If the bill passes before an agreement is reached, Alaska ferry employees could lose $8 million in wages, according to the bill’s fiscal note.
JT Nero of “Birds of Chicago” speaks about the band and the upcoming performance at the Saxman Tribal House. BirdsOfChicago
J. Torres, award winning Filipino-born Canadian comic book author, discusses how he made his passion for writing comics about heroes and monsters a career.
Sitka’s spring herring fishery will be about 1,000 tons less than originally estimated. Fresh bear cub tracks were found near the Indian River in Sitka. Boys and girls from Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe High are competing in the regional basketball tournament in Juneau. A superior court judge affirmed the northern boundary of the Petersburg borough.
Elizabeth Nelson of FCP talks about “Moonlight and Magnolias,” Kathleen Light and Marni Rickelmann of KAAHC provide info about the newest gallery opening and more. Arts030614