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From Our Listeners

Southeast Alaska News

Sitka herring fleet stands down, will resume search on Saturday

Fri, 2014-03-28 16:18

The Sitka sac roe herring fleet stood down at 3:50 PM today (Fri 3-28-14) after a long, frustrating search for a marketable volume of fish — and will try again tomorrow.

State biologist Dave Gordon, who oversees the fishery, did not seem too discouraged by the fleet’s inability to locate sufficient herring to open seining.

Volunteer boats and aircraft made test sets between Kruzof and Crow islands, but the largest schools of herring identified were estimated to be no larger than several hundred tons.

This year’s sac roe fishery has 2,950 tons remaining on its harvest target of over 16,000 tons. Gordon hopes to harvest that amount in a fourth and final opening.

Gordon told the fleet via VHF radio that he thought there might be another good opportunity developing to the north of town tomorrow. He was also going to ask boats to continue test fishing to the south.

He said the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s research vessel Kestrel would sail at 6:30 AM, and report on early sampling by 7 AM.

The 48 permit holders in the sac roe fleet target masses of herring that are at least 10-percent mature roe by weight. The fish are harvested prior to spawning.

So far, spawning activity remains isolated to a relatively small area on the south side of Middle Island. The length of shoreline covered by herring spawn has expanded to 3.8 miles.

Let’s get lost!

Fri, 2014-03-28 16:05

Our Spring Drive total is over $23,000. Thanks if you have already renewed you membership! If not, you can take care of it right now, it’s quick, easy and secure! If you’d prefer to call, we’re holding our One Day Drive on Friday, April 4th. Afterwords you can help us celebrate with live music at the Cable House! Regal Cheese from 7-8 and The Lost Boys from 8-10pm. We’ll be broadcasting the performances live so you  can come down, or listen right at home! Either way, thanks for your support!

Jazz in the sun~

Fri, 2014-03-28 15:56

Jazz live on Raven Radio this Friday afternoon. Mike and Iko Sullivan are playing saxophone and piano with Peter Apathy on bass! Tune in now, or later on stream it “On Demand” by clicking on Straight No Chaser on the online program schedule.

Rainforest Rollergirls skate to second bout

Fri, 2014-03-28 15:34

Lyrissa Hammer and Tara Miller at a recent Rollergirls practice.

Sledgehammer, Geeking Havoc, Glitter Grenade, Kamikaze, Mafreaka, Kimmie the Kannibal. These are some of the derby names of the Ketchikan Rainforest Rollergirls.

“Your derby name is you alter ego or power persona – when we’re on the track, we get to be who we want to be,” said Tiffany Pickrell, aka Geeking Havoc.

The Rollergirls, like other derby teams in Southeast Alaska, have been building their team’s size and strength for about a year and half. On Sunday, they have their second local bout.

Like most of the other derby girls, Tiffany was not a rollerskating pro when she joined the team.

“I hadn’t roller-skated since I was in the single digits,” she said.

Now she spins laps around the Saxman Community Center gym in a Wonder Woman outfit. They say it is not as easy as it looks.

“I mean it is hard work,” said Dawn Rauwolf, aka Sea Wolf. “Your heart gets pumping really hard. Your legs get tired. It is physically difficult.”

Rollergirls skate around the Saxman Community Center gym.

You can tell how intense the game can be by all of the protective gear the women wear: neon mouth guards, sticker-covered helmets, elbow and knee pads.

The Rollergirls are at all different skill levels. For example, it’s Jamie King’s second practice.

“I was like, “Man, I’m falling a lot!” And they’re like, “Oh you’ll get better and you’ll be great!” she said as she took a break to the side of the gym.

Lyrissa Hammer, or Sledgehammer, has been on the team for almost a year. Here’s what it was like for her starting out.

“You just show up every day, and you suck at it. You suck at what you’re doing, and you just keep doing it anyway.”

“It’s definitely a challenging sport in that very few people can come out and be good at it right away,” said Malika Brunette, aka  Mafreaka. “There’s a lot of falling. There’s a lot of physical challenges. But it’s great to see the mental toughness in the women who are coming out.”

Malika is one of the founding members of the Ketchikan Rollergirls. She, Jill Walker and Stephanie Sanguinetti decided to start a roller derby team in late 2012.

Malika Brunette and Lyrissa Hammer take a break at Rollergirls practice.

“Stephanie had played roller derby and we thought, well I think Ketchikan is gritty and tough, and it’s got a lot of women who are into something like this. So we thought we’d give it a go,” Malika said.

She said there’s a limited amount of athletic opportunities for adult women in Ketchikan, especially teams for just women. “And I think there’s a camaraderie you get with being on an all-female team.”

“You have no idea what kind of kinship you grow with these girls, when you’re playing a sport where you know you can potentially get hurt, and you’re sore all the time,” said Tara Miller aka Vaganna Freud. “All our friends I’m sure are sick of hearing us talk about derby, but because it’s become so important to us, it’s all we generally talk about anymore.”

In the year and a half that the Rainforest Rollergirls have been skating, they’ve grown to about 15 members. A few of the women have traveled to Wrangell and Petersburg to compete with the derby teams there.

But the big events in Ketchikan are the bouts the team plays against each other. They had one in January, and the next is this Sunday.

“The first time you actually play you’re terrified,” said Tara. “We work so hard on doing drills to prepare us for the madness, but  you’re never quite ready until the day it happens.”

The upcoming bout will help raise money for team members to travel to compete. Malika says the financial side of running the team has been challenging.

“We’re learning how to manage our budgets and stay afloat as a small business,” she said.

A few of the Ketchikan women will join with derby girls from Petersburg and Wrangell and head to Palmer to compete in the statewide roller derby tournament. The team will call itself the “Southeast Sirens.”

The next Ketchikan bout is this Sunday, 5 p.m. at the Ketchikan Rec Center.

 

Have an idea for improving the community? SpeakUp Sitka!

Fri, 2014-03-28 14:50


Listen to iFriendly audio.
Municipal clerk Colleen Ingman, and her deputy, Sara Peterson, discuss their new online initiative for community idea-sharing, SpeakUp Sitka! available on the city’s website.

Fish and Wildlife to review Southeast Alaska wolves

Fri, 2014-03-28 13:44

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review whether or not Southeast Alaska wolves should be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The federal agency this month announced what’s called a “positive 90-day finding” on a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

For mobile-friendly audio, click here:

Steve Brockmann is Southeast Alaska coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We determined that there was substantial information presented, enough to make us think we probably should do a real status review,” Brockmann said Friday. He said the status review will look at the best available information on wolf populations.

The timing of when the review happens also depends on funding granted by Congress which limits the number of petitions the agency can review each year. “Recently that has been several years before we get that funding so we do have an opportunity here to well really take advantage of the time lag to get some conservation in place so we don’t have to list the wolf,” Brockmann said. “Honestly the Fish and Wildlife Service would prefer to leave management of the wolf with the state of Alaska where it belongs. We do have a responsibility to list it if it needs to be listed. We intend to work with our partners with the state and the Forest Service to make sure we don’t have to do that when the time comes.”

The petition to list the wolves was submitted in August of 2011 by two groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace. “Well we’re thrilled to finally have the finding. It’s come over two years late but we knew there was a strong case for pursuing a listing and we’re glad to see that the agency’s decided that our petition had merit,” said Larry Edwards, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace in Sitka.

Photo courtesy of ADF&G


The groups argue that the region’s wolf populations are declining and are vulnerable to hunting and trapping pressure along with loss of habitat from logging on the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest. In particular, they cite past and future logging on Prince of Wales Island and say wolves on POW are in danger of extinction. State and federal managers closed hunting and trapping seasons in late March on Prince of Wales Island because hunters and trappers had reached a target number of wolves on the island.

That’s a concern for Edwards. “We have some great concerns with how the harvest cap was set for that. We think it was set way too high and the illegal take of wolves wasn’t adequately taken into account. So there’s some significant management problems both in terms of logging and I think how Fish and Game has been managing as well.”

The groups also say two intensive management programs authorized by the state’s Board of Game last year for areas near Ketchikan and Petersburg will put further pressure on wolf numbers.

Doug Vincent-Lang is director for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation. He said Fish and Game believes the department has sustainably managed wolves in the region. “We’re confident that any potential conservation concerns can be adequately addressed through existing mechanisms, including state regulatory mechanisms that are out there. Given that we don’t believe that wolves in Alaska are at risk now or threatened with the risk of extinction in the foreseeable future and as such we don’t believe that there’s a justification for a 90-day positive finding for wolves in Southeast Alaska and we’re disappointed with the service’s decision.”

The intensive management programs could mean state sponsored trapping of wolves in the two areas of Southeast, designed to improve the numbers of wolves’ main prey, deer. Vincent-Lang noted the two intensive management programs have not been implemented yet. “Part of the reason is that we’re collecting additional information, both on deer and wolf in those two small areas where the board had approved intensive management programs for the Department to conduct once we had that baseline information. We’ve invested a significant amount of money in the next 3-4 years to inform the development of a status review, which this 90-day finding kicks off in terms of looking at wolf abundance, wolf distribution and wolf genetic structure in Southeast Alaska.”

The finding kicks off a 60-day public comment period beginning March 31st. Fish and Wildlife will seek input and information on Southeast wolves. At a later date, the federal agency then begins a 12-month status review which leading to a decision on whether the animals should be listed as threatened or endangered. The agency determined a listing was not warranted for a prior petition submitted during the 1990s.

Senators: NOAA trip to China productive, positive

Fri, 2014-03-28 13:44

A March 21 trip to China resulted in potentially positive news for Southeast Alaska’s geoduck clam fishery. During that trip, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials met with counterparts in Beijing, and talked about toxin testing methods.

In a conference call Friday with staff from Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich’s offices, a NOAA administrator said that the U.S. officials came away from the March 21 meeting optimistic about resolving the dispute, and eventually lifting the ban.

China is the primary market for geoduck clams, but halted imports of the shellfish in December. Chinese officials claimed they found high PSP and arsenic levels in geoducks from Washington State and from dive areas around Ketchikan, although the clams had been tested in the United States and deemed safe.

PSP, or paralytic shellfish poisoning, is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with certain kinds of algae that produce toxins.

According to Begich’s office, Chinese officials told the NOAA representatives that they were satisfied with Alaska’s PSP testing methods. But, more work is needed to satisfy Chinese concerns about arsenic.

Both of Alaska’s senators say they’re pleased with the results of the meeting. Murkowski’s office added that the “likely resolution timeline is some point in June.”

In the meantime, geoduck dive fishing in Southeast resumed a couple of weeks ago after processors found additional, smaller markets for the clams.

Hummingbird Festival coming in April

Fri, 2014-03-28 13:42

Leslie Swada of the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, and bird enthusiast Andy Piston speak about bird migration and festival events.  HBFest032814

Fri Mar 28, 2014

Fri, 2014-03-28 12:37


Listen to iFriendly audio.
No fishing yesterday in Sitka Sac Roe fishery; an opener today should wrap things up. Thursday’s Tsunami Warning Test a little too real? Rioux to Chamber: Good relationships are the best advertising. Charter catch-sharing plan (GAF) with commercial harvest to go into effect this summer.

Lisa Stroh named Petersburg School Superintendent

Fri, 2014-03-28 11:50

Dr. Lisa Stroh addresses student council members in the high school library, March 28. Photo/Angela Denning

Petersburg School District has a new superintendent. The school board offered Lisa Stroh of Valdez the job Thursday night and she accepted. Her first day will be July 1.Stroh was hired on a three year contract. Her starting salary is $122,750 for the first school year and after that it’s negotiable.

Board President, Jean Ellis, said the search for a new superintendent was a lengthy process and they got a lot of input from the public in making their decision.

“I think we felt that she was the best fit for our district and part of her Alaska experience that she has and familiarity with the things going on in Alaska,” Ellis said.

Stroh will be leaving her job as Valdez Superintendent for the Petersburg position. She has been in education for three decades in Alaska and Montana, where she is originally from. Ellis said Stroh will continue the good things Petersburg has going.

“She did a lot of research into the Petersburg school system, was very familiar with us and is very excited to be coming to a place that is functioning so well,” Ellis said. “I feel like we’re…I’m so proud of our district, I just think we’re doing fantastic and so it’s great to have somebody that’s excited to carry this on for us.”

Friday morning Stroh met with the middle and high school student councils in the high school library.

“I am very honored to be your next superintendent,” Stroh told the students. “Anything I can do to support you, I will do that. You’ve got a great school already but if there’s anything that I can help you with, you let me know, ok?”

Stroh said she will be asking the councils for their opinions from time to time. She asked the students what they thought the greatest thing was about their school.

Senior Brett Martensen responded, “Everybody knows everybody which is super cool in a school district. You know, I know all these kids, maybe not any of the younger ones but all the ones in the high school, I know everybody. When we need to work together in group projects it’s really easy because you already have an understanding of these other kids and you can work together which I think is really important.”

Stroh said she could relate to that because her youngest son, who is now in college, went to a small high school of 109 students.

“That togetherness, that’s what gets you when you graduate and you go out and you succeed because you’ve got that good sense of yourself,” Stroh said.

Stroh acknowledged the big shoes she has to fill of out-going Superintendent Rob Thomason. She said she plans to work with him in the transition.

“I know him from before because we have superintendent meetings and I know that he just really cares about students and I think this is a good fit for me to be here too,” Stroh said.

Stroh left Petersburg on the Friday morning jet. She says she hopes to make it back to visit before she starts work in July. Thomason’s last day is June 30.

Former school maintenance director to change plea

Fri, 2014-03-28 09:44

The former maintenance director for Petersburg schools plans to plead guilty to charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. An attorney for Tye Leif Petersen and prosecutors have signed a plea agreement for the charges in federal court.

For mobile-friendly audio, click here:
Petersen worked for the school district from 2002 until October of last year. He resigned his job as maintenance director for the school district after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched his home. He was arrested in Juneau shortly after as he tried to leave for Seattle.

Petersen was scheduled to go to trial this year on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. The plea agreement signed by Petersen’s attorney and federal prosecutors this month means he will not go to trial. Instead he plans to enter guilty pleas to the three charges.

The case stems from an FBI investigation of a Yahoo email account in eastern Tennessee, identified in court documents only as “Tennessee Joe 1.” The FBI found Petersen exchanged sexually explicit images and video via email leading to his questioning and search of his home in Petersburg. There authorities found 11 CDs, five thumb drives, three hard drives and an apple desktop all holding images of children. In total, the FBI found over 12-hundred images and more than three dozen videos depicting prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, the federal government will not prosecute Petersen further for any other known offense stemming from the investigation.

Petersen faces a minimum of five years in jail for the three counts, or up to 20 years. He could also be fined up to 250-thousand for each count and could be under supervision after jail time for five years or longer. The federal probation office will prepare a sentencing recommendation for the judge to consider. Petersen has another status hearing in his case scheduled for June 23rd.

We’re waitin’ on you!

Fri, 2014-03-28 07:00


The Beach Boys might have recorded ‘Cannery Girl’ if only the awesome Ray Troll had not gotten there first. Art this amazing doesn’t happen by chance; neither does good community radio. Your support will keep us dancing! Yes you can, can, can contribute now to Raven Radio’s Spring Online Drive.

Chamber eyes national economic issues

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:15

As the nation nears the 2014 midterm election, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is concerned and excited about America’s economy at the same time.

Chris Eyler, executive director of the congressional and public affairs division of the U.S. Chamber’s northwest region, spoke to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during Thursday’s luncheon.

While the national advocacy organization for business is concerned with entitlement spending on the federal level — expected to double in the next decade — “not everything is doom and gloom,” Eyler said.

read more

Pentagon to investigate alleged Guard misconduct

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:14

ANCHORAGE — Pentagon officials will conduct a federal investigation of allegations of sexual abuse by Alaska National Guard members, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday.

Parnell’s office this week released a Feb. 28 letter to National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Frank Grass that asks for an investigator to be appointed to examine open and closed investigations of alleged sexual assault, KTUU reported.

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UA Fairbanks priest charged with drunken driving

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:13

FAIRBANKS — A Roman Catholic priest who serves the University of Alaska Fairbanks was spotted driving into the oncoming lane of the Parks Highway and charged with driving under the influence, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Father Sean P. Thomson, 52, is also charged with misdemeanor weapons and drug counts, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

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Questions raised over Alaska Native language bill

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:13

JUNEAU — A bill that would symbolically make 20 Alaska Native languages as official languages of the state got some real-world pushback Thursday.

House Bill 216’s co-sponsor, Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, was questioned about the ramifications of such designations during a House State Affairs committee.

Currently, English is the only official language for official business in Alaska.

Rep. Doug Isaacson, R-North Pole, said he worried others will read an intent in the bill that’s not there.

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Suspect detained in Anchorage liquor store robbery

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:12

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say a 28-year-old man is suspected of robbing a liquor store.

The Anchorage Daily News reported the man was arrested a few block away within minutes after the robbery.

Police at 9:49 p.m. Wednesday took a report of a robbery at the Brown Jug store on Abbott Road in south Anchorage.

Witnesses say a man picked out a bottle of alcohol, carried it to the register, pulled out a gun and demanded cash from the register.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says the man fled on foot with the bottle and money.

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Proposal to elect attorney general advances

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:12

JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would make the state attorney general an elected, rather than appointed, position.

Proposed constitutional changes require a two-thirds vote in each the House and Senate before qualifying for the ballot. That means HJR18 would need at least 27 votes in the House.

Under the proposal, a person would not be eligible to serve as attorney general unless that person is an active member of the state bar association. The proposal also lays out terms for filling a vacancy.

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Grizzly bear may be vehicle plate option

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:12

JUNEAU — The House State Affairs Committee Thursday moved a bill adding the grizzly bear to the list of options people can choose for an Alaska license plate.

House Bill 293, sponsored by Republican Rep. Peggy Wilson of Wrangell, gives Alaska residents the option of having the bear on their license plates. The bill calls for a repeat of the bear design used on the 1976 Alaska vehicle tag.

Rep. Wes Keller of Wasilla said Alaska vehicle plates are seen as a symbol of state pride and promote the state when vehicles are driven in other parts of the country.

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3 arrested in Anchorage vandalism spree

Fri, 2014-03-28 00:11

ANCHORAGE — Three young men have been arrested in connection with a car vandalism spree in Anchorage.

The Anchorage Daily News said 19-year-old Elijah Dutton, 20-year-old Evan Young and a 17-year-old boy were arrested Wednesday on criminal mischief charges.

Authorities say at least 50 vehicles that were randomly targeted in five neighborhoods early Wednesday.

Police say additional charges could come and more people could have been involved.

The three were arrested after they were found with a pickup truck described by a person who called police.

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