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Southeast Alaska News
Here is an update on the regional basketball tournament taking place in Sitka.
Craig 38, Wrangell 31 (girls)
The first round of the 2A Region V basketball tournament opened Thursday with a win for the top-seeded Craig Lady Panthers over the Wrangell Lady Wolves, 38 – 31.
Wrangell took an early lead in the game, and was ahead at the end of the first period, 9-4, but dropped behind by a point at halftime.
The Lady Panthers outscored Wrangell 13 – 7 in the 4th period to clinch it.
Craig junior Maggie Dinon led the Lady Panthers with 12. Sophomore Marie Yates put up 10 points.
Darian Meissner, also a sophomore, led Wrangell with 12 points. None of the other Lady Wolves scored in double-digits.
Craig advances to the finals against the Haines Lady Glacier Bears 11:30 AM on Friday. Wrangell moves to the losers bracket, where they’ll meet Metlakatla and compete for the #2 berth at state.
Metlakatla 61, Haines 40 (boys)
The Metlakatla Chiefs reasserted their position as the top-seeded 2A boys in the region this
year, with a 61 – 40 win over the Haines Glacier Bears.
Metlakatla’s size and strong inside game stymied the Glacier Bears, who attempted to compensate with speed down the court.
The Chief’s 6’6” center, senior John Henderson, was top scorer for the game with 18. After missing his first two free throws, Henderson was 6-for-8 from the line the rest of the night.
Also in double-digits for the Chiefs were juniors Tristan Alexander with 12, and Drew Yliniemi with 11.
The Glacier Bears had two players in double figures. Junior Isaac Wing and senior Caullen Taylor had 12 each.
The Metlakatla boys now advance to the final in the winner’s bracket, and will meet Craig in the final.
Haines 54, Metlakatla 47 (girls)
After capturing the lead in a dazzling third period of their tournament opener, the Metlakatla Lady Chiefs lost to the hard charging Haines Lady Glacier Bears 54 – 47 in overtime play.
Haines controlled play early, and maintained a steady scoring pace, but Metlakatla always stayed within striking distance. The Lady Chiefs then outscored Haines 17 to 8 in the third period to pull ahead.
The Lady Glacier Bears regained their composure in the 4th. Two clutch freethrows by Haines senior Riley Erekson with 18 seconds on the clock tied game.
The teams matched baskets in the first half of overtime play, but then a crucial turnover at mid-court cost the Lady Chiefs the ball, and Haines pulled ahead and remained there.
Riley Ereksen was top scorer in the game, with 21 points, 11 of them free throws. Sophomore Celia Bower scored 10.
Junior Monica Hayward and senior Shante Hudson-Cook led scoring for Metlakatla, with 11 points each.
The Lady Glacier Bears now move into the final in the winners’ bracket, where they’ll meet Craig Friday morning at 11:30 AM for the number 1 seed at the state tournament in Anchorage.
Metlakatla will play Wrangell in the losers bracket on Saturday at 11:30. The winner of that game will have a shot at the second state berth in 2A.
Craig 73, Wrangell 46 (boys)
The Craig Panthers ran away from the Wrangell Wolves in their 2A tournament opener on Thursday, 73 – 46.
To their credit, the Panthers played hard basketball the entire game, never going into a delay offense.
The Wolves earned every one of their 46 points against a team that had the advantage in both height and heft.
Wrangell got the early jump in the contest, and led 11 – 8 at the end of the first period. But that lead evaporated as Craig senior Karl Benolken came to life in the second, scoring 9 of his overall 18 points.
Panther senior Tim Glore did most of the heavy lifting in the second half, scoring 18 of his 20 total points.
Wrangell senior Ryan Reeves also had a fine night, scoring 14. Wrangell freshman — and future standout — Blake Stokes also sank 14, and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Stokes had the most memorable shot of the tournament so far: A three-pointer launched from mid-court right at the halftime buzzer.
Wrangell drops into the losers bracket, and will play Haines at 9:45 AM Friday for a shot at the second 2A berth at the state tournament.
The Craig Panthers will meet the Metlakatla Chiefs at 1:15 PM to see who will have the top seed from 2A in Region V.
The 2A, 3A, 4A tournament for Region V is being held this year at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. It runs through Saturday.
The Parks and Recreation Report for March 8 with Victoria Merritt of the City of Craig.
This year’s Region V Basketball Tournament involves a lot more than just Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe. The newly-reorganized 2A classification is also settling state tournament berths. Here’s a look at Thursday’s 2A action featuring Wrangell, Haines, Craig, and Metlakatla. (All photos KCAW/Robert Woolsey)
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday that applications for grants from a worker training program are due April 19 this year.
The State Training and Employment Program, which the department says will competitively fund $4 million in worker training and employment projects from July 1 through June 30, 2014, is intended to give Alaskans the opportunity to expand their skill sets and compete for higher-paying jobs.
In 2006, Alaskans voted narrowly to cut down the 121-day legislative session provided for in the state Constitution by one-third, resulting in the 90-day regular session that is now the norm at the Alaska State Capitol.
But some current and former legislators said this week that they believe the longer length, most often referred to as a 120-day session, provided a better balance for Alaska’s “citizen legislators.”
Legislation proposing sea-otter bounties will get its first hearing next week. It’s already drawing opposition from environmental groups and the federal marine mammal protection agency.
Fishermen harvesting Dungeness crab, geoduck clams and some other ocean-floor species have been coming up empty in recent years.
The reason is the rapid expansion of the sea otter population. The marine mammals mostly eat clams. But as they bring their voracious appetites into new areas, they clear out many of the shellfish sought by commercial, subsistence and personal-use divers and fishermen.
“So what we’re trying to do is come up with some assistance for the folks in the area that want to go out and harvest them to afford to be able to do so,” says Sitka Republican Senator Bert Stedman. He represents Kake, Prince of Wales Island and other coastal Southeast communities where otters have moved in.
He’s authored a bill that would give Alaska Natives – the only people who can legally hunt marine mammals – a $100 reward for each pelt they take.
“You’ve got your costs of your fuel and other items you need. Also, there’s tanning cost issues. We’re just trying to assist in the harvest,” he says.
Otters were once widespread along the West Coast from California out to the Aleutians. Russian and American hunters virtually wiped them out, except for a few remote areas.
They were reintroduced to Southeast about 50 years ago. Recent studies say their numbers have grown by as much as 12 percent a year in southern Southeast and 4 percent in the north.
Federal legislation protects otters, only allowing Alaska Natives to harvest them for traditional purposes.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Bruce Woods says states can’t impose bounties.
“The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits any state from enforcing a law that affects the take of a marine mammal without first soliciting and receiving management authority for that species from the Secretary of the Interior,” Woods says.
The agency is working with Native hunters and craftspeople to better define the legal use of pelts. That could increase the overall harvest.
But Woods says Stedman’s legislation, and a similar bill in the House, are trumped by federal rules.
“We’ve got nothing to say about whether the law could be passed or not. But if the law were enforced, at least by an initial reading of the MMPA, that enforcement would be illegal,” he says.
Opposition to the bill is growing among some of the same organizations that campaigned against wolf control. They say otter population growth is a good thing.
“They’re a keystone species,” says Tina Brown, president of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.
She points out that otters eat sea urchins, which eat kelp, allowing coastal Southeast to return to its natural balance.
“When you have the kelp forest, you have nurseries for finfish and it’s thought that the kelp forest can increase herring populations and salmon populations. Another benefit is they reduce CO2 emissions and slow ocean acidification,” she says.
Brown says the alliance is talking with other groups, as well as legislators and attorneys, about the bounty bill’s impacts.
“I can’t say whether it makes a difference in the numbers of sea otters. I can say that it makes a difference on the way Alaska appears before the rest of the country and the world,” Brown says.
And what about the hunters?
Tlingit-Haida Central Council Economic Development Director Carrie Sykes has been working on the issue. She says tribal members have mixed feelings.
“Some people think that it would be a good idea, in that it could offset the cost of hunting and tanning,” she says. “The others are worried about what the perception will be from different organizations, like Defenders of Wildlife. And we’re not sure how it would really work.
Sykes says local tribes have more influence on the issue than the regional Central Council.
Stedman, the Senate bill’s author, says it should be considered a first draft. He expects changes as it’s considered by the Legislature.
“Maybe we end up having this just a Southeast program and we exclude areas where the sea otters are elsewhere, out in the Aleutians and other places,” he says. “We’re not trying to eradicate, but we’re trying to control the growth.”
He also expects organized opposition.
“And I recognize that there are a lot of citizens outside of Southeast Alaska that might just think this is a ghastly thing to do. But I can assure you we’re better prepared to take care of our own backyard than people in San Francisco and Florida are,” Stedman says.
His legislation comes before the Senate Resources Committee on March 13. The House version, introduced by Anchorage Republican Representative Charisse Millett, is not yet scheduled.
The Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe girls’ basketball teams will meet in a rematch for the Region V 3A championship Friday evening.
The Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves defeated the Petersburg Lady Vikings 54 – 33 in the third round of the regional tournament Thursday morning.
The Lady Vikings handled the top-seeded Lady Braves throughout the early part of the game. Thanks to three-pointers by freshman Ruby Brock and Kylie Wallace, the score was tied at 12 at the end of the first period, and the Lady Vikings led 24 – 18 at the half.
But the Mt. Edgecumbe girls regained their footing in the second half as junior Scarlett Beaver found the basket and scored 8 of the team’s 17 points in the third period, while holding Petersburg to only two points. The Lady Braves extended their lead to twenty in the fourth.
Beaver led all scorers in the game with 16. Sophomore Taryn White scored 13, the reliable senior Mariah Martin put up 11.
For the Lady Vikings, only Kylie Wallace made it into double digits, with 13.
Mt. Edgecumbe now moves into the final against the Sitka Lady Wolves Friday evening. Since this is a double-elimination tournament and Sitka has yet to lose, a win by Mt. Edgecumbe over Sitka on Friday would force a playoff game on Saturday.
The winner of that game will represent the region in the 3A state tournament in Anchorage.
The 3A boys will also see a rematch in the final. The Sitka Wolves will meet the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves in the championship game Friday evening. Like the girls, a win by Sitka — in this case — would force a playoff between the same two teams on Saturday night.
Sitka handed Petersburg its second loss Thursday afternoon, 67 – 48, in the losers bracket.
Sitka’s lone senior Jon De La Cruz led all scorers with 17 points in only three periods. Coach Andy Lee benched De La Cruz and his other top scorer, junior Brian Way, in the fourth period to rest them for the final. Way put up 12 points for the Wolves. Fellow junior Kendrick Payton scored 10.
Junior Tristan Welton was the top scorer for the Vikings, with 14. Junior Michael Brock also made it into double-digits with 12 points.
The second loss eliminates the Vikings from this year’s tournament.
The 3A Region V Basketball Tournament is being held simultaneously with the 2A and 4A regional tourneys — all at Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe High School. View tournament brackets, results, game times, and pictures.
A man in his mid-50s was seriously injured on Wednesday (3/6/2013) afternoon at the Blue Lake Hydro Expansion project.
Municipal Administrator Jim Dinley says the man was first taken to Sitka Community Hospital, and then medevacked to Seattle last night, between 8 and 9 pm, for further treatment.
Dinley says the man was working as a subcontractor on the project. He says people at the construction site reported that the man was in an excavator that rolled down the hillside. They say he tried to jump out, but it’s unclear if he made it out or not.
The accident is being investigated. More details may be pending.
The Blue Lake Hydro Expansion project began on Nov. 1, 2012. It’s the largest public infrastructure project in city history.
For more information on the project, you can read past stories reported by KCAW News:
KRBD is offering local photographers, professional and amateur, an opportunity to showcase their pictures, AND MAYBE WIN A BAG OF RAVEN’S BREW COFFEE! To submit recent photos of local scenery, people or events, just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the photographer’s full name, where and when the photo was taken. We will post the photo’s link on KRBD’s Facebook page each day; each week, the photo with the most likes wins a bag of coffee.
Customer service, volunteerism and other contributions to the community were rewarded at the recent Ketchikan Visitors Bureau awards banquet.
The Rainbird Award went to Danielle Adkins. It honors volunteers who have worked hard for KVB and the local visitor industry. According to KVB, Adkins chaired the planning committee for the bureau’s Heritage Tourism conference. She also has chaired the bureau’s marketing committee for the past three years.
The Spirit of Alaska Award went to Betty Gale of the Silver Thimble Quilt Shop. That award recognizes friendly service.
The Community Achievement Award went to the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad. The group was honored in particular for its Personal Locator Beacon program.
The Heart of the Community Award went to Jim Kosmos of Southeast Aviation. It’s presented in appreciation for contributions to the community.
The Chinook Award went to Willie Schulz, who introduced the annual Pennock Island Swim Challenge to Ketchikan in 2004. The award honors people who made a significant impact in bringing groups to Ketchikan.
The Golden Totem Award went to Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions. That award recognizes new ideas and cooperative efforts in working with Ketchikan’s visitor industry.
KVB Director Patti Mackey was awarded the Outstanding Service Award. It recognizes outstanding contributions to the community as a whole, including the visitor industry. Alaska Department of Commerce Commissioner Susan Bell presented the award to Mackey, who didn’t know about it until the KVB awards banquet.
Here is Borough Assembly Member Agnes Moran talking on Tuesday with KRBD’s Sean Carlson about Monday’s Assembly meeting.
Listen to iFriendly audio.
Melinda McAdams, Laura Turcott, and Emma Bruhl with the Fireweed Dance Theatre discuss this weekend’s performance (7 PM Sat Mar 9, Sitka Performing Arts Center, tickets $15/$10 at Old Harbor Books and at the door). This year, for the first time, Fireweed has also launched a junior company.
There were many things on the agenda for the Ketchikan Arts Report for March 7, 2013.
Here is an update on the regional basketball tournament, taking place in Sitka.
The top-seeded Juneau-Douglas Lady Crimson Bears were rested and rock-solid, as they took down the Ketchikan Lady Kings, 49-33, in the second round of the 3A regional tournament in Sitka this week.
The first-round bye for Juneau might have made the difference in Wednesday’s game. The Lady Kings traded baskets in the first quarter, which ended with Juneau ahead 13-12. But Ketchikan had trouble finding the basket in the next two periods.
Juneau senior Gabi Fenumiai led all scorers with 18 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Juneau had consistent scoring from its bench as well. Nine of the twelve players on the squad put up points for the Lady Crimson Bears.
Kayhi also had balanced scoring from seven players, but no one reached double-digits. After struggling through the second and third periods, the Lady Kings woke up in the fourth quarter, outscoring Juneau behind seven points by Junior Brooke Simmons, and three clutch free-throws from sophomore Alexis Biggerstaff. But the effort was not enough to break Juneau’s momentum.
The Lady Crimson Bears will play in the 4A final Friday at 3 PM. The Kayhi girls drop to the losers’ bracket, and will meet Thunder Mountain Thursday morning at 8 AM.
The top-seeded Thunder Mountain boys also used their first-round bye to advantage, beating the Ketchikan Kings 55 – 33 in the second round.
Like the Lady Kings, the Ketchikan boys also waited until the fourth period to make things interesting. Junior Isaiah Navales sprang to life and scored two field goals and a free throw. Sophomore Alex Pihl also scored four of his six total points in the fourth period.
In all, nine of the twelve players on the Ketchikan team scored, but no one was red-hot.
That was not the case with Thunder Mountain, which had two players in double digits. Junior Matt Seymour led all scorers with 19 points. Senior Sam Jahn put 10, dropping 6 of 10 free throws.
Thunder Mountain now advances to the final at 4:45 p.m. Friday. Ketchikan drops to the losers’ bracket and will play Juneau-Douglas at 9:45 a.m. Thursday morning.
A roof repair job for the downtown Centennial Building is on the Ketchikan City Council agenda for tonight, Thursday. The roof is leaking, and water is getting inside the space that, until the end of last year, had been the home of the Ketchikan Public Library.
The $65,000 estimate would be a quick fix to repair flashing on the flat roof. If the city wants to eventually replace the roof, it will cost significantly more.
The Council also will consider a request to declare a public emergency so that the Port and Harbors Department can quickly arrange for Pool Engineering to install a new double bollard at Berth III. Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska recently informed the city that the bollard would be needed for cruise ships visiting this season.
The new bollard would cost nearly $40,000.
The Council also will consider a request from O’Brien’s Pub for an outdoor St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 16 and 17. Willie O’Brien hopes to set up a tent in the parking lot next to his pub for live music; and to organize a short St. Patrick’s Day parade from Deermount to the new downtown fire station.
The city estimates that the parade would cost the city up to $1,500 in organizing costs and traffic control.
The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.
Participants and attendees lauded Wednesday a three-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Legislature held earlier this week in downtown Juneau.
A series of programs were staged at Rockwell, a restaurant that occupies the former Elks Lodge, starting Sunday morning and ending Tuesday night. That building was the site of the First Alaska Territorial Legislature’s opening session in 1913.
Legislators and Capitol staffers sprinting through the 90-day legislative session are taking their annual breather this week as the Energy Council meeting in Washington, D.C., begins Thursday.
On Wednesday, the “spring break” atmosphere was already in evidence, as the Senate gaveled in for a nine-minute technical session before adjourning without so much as a bill introduced or a floor speech made.
As part of an initiative to promote Alaska’s key industries and economic potential, senior Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development officials will meet with mining companies, travel media, national and international seafood leaders, and the cruise industry at a series of major East Coast conferences and events this month, the department announced.
JUNEAU — A project to archive records related to the Exxon Valdez oil spill is continuing after the state sought to address concerns raised by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland, in a written notice to attorneys last month, said he had become aware of the project and expressed concern it could inadvertently affect an ongoing dispute in the case.