A Zune MP3 Player may have been left somewhere in the Chilkat Center. It has a gray cover and...
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 email@example.com. 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
Thanks to our Generous Underwriters, Sponsors and Grantors
Southeast Alaska News
Listen to iFriendly audio.
Bob Love is the outreach specialist for health care; Owen Kindig is the communication media specialist. Fall classes begin September 3, in Art, Math, Government, Psychology and many more. Both on-campus and distance teaching is offered. For more information visit UAS online.
Listen to iFriendly audio.
Following executive session, assembly adds interim administrator Jay Sweeney to finalist’s list. Write-in candidate files for assembly seat; now a three-way race. USFS executive management team — but not the chief — drops in on Sitka. Coast Guard medevacks fishing boat crew member with abdominal pains.
Listen to iFriendly audio.
Assembly could decide tonight on choice for new municipal administrator. State enforces new rules for onboard shopping guides on cruise ships. Galena working on alternate local housing plan during delays in flood repairs.
City of Ketchikan Fire Chief Frank Share provides information about the Community Emergency Response Team – a group of volunteer citizens trained in disaster preparedness. Members are needed and training coming up. EmergGroups
ANCHORAGE — A federal grand jury has indicted two former executives for embezzling from the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, which advocates for tribal governments in Alaska.
The grand jury returned the indictment Friday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage against Steven D. Osborne and Thomas R. Purcell. The two are accused of stealing nearly $236,000 from the nonprofit agency, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.
ANCHORAGE — A commercial pilot was at the controls of a single-engine airplane that crashed Saturday at Anchorage’s Merrill Field, killing him and his girlfriend.
Robert Lilly, 31, of Big Lake and Jessi Nelsen, 27, of Seward and Anchorage, died in the crash, Anchorage police said.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The body of an Arizona teenager missing since last week was found Monday evening near the spot where his SUV was abandoned in a wooded area, a southern Oregon sheriff’s office said.
The body of 18-year-old Johnathan Croom was discovered about 1,000 feet from his vehicle, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson said in a statement. The death was being investigated as a suicide.
Hutson didn’t immediately return a call for additional comment.
Sitka’s interim municipal administrator is now on the list of candidates to hold the city’s top job permanently.
The Sitka Assembly was expected to offer the job last night to one of the four finalists they interviewed late last week. Instead, they added Jay Sweeney’s name to the list and put off further conversation until Tuesday night.
The Assembly walked into a closed meeting at 6:10 p.m. Monday, along with Sweeney and Municipal Attorney Robin Koutchak. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. About 90 minutes later, Sweeney and Koutchak were excused from the executive session. Again, not that unusual.
The plot twist came about 15 minutes later, when the seven Assembly members walked back into the public meeting room and took their seats at the table.
Mayor Mim McConnell read a statement: “The Assembly has strong opinions on all the candidates, and after a lengthy discussion, Jay Sweeney’s name was mentioned, at which time he was excused from the room. The Assembly will take this up again tomorrow after the regular Assembly meeting, adding Jay Sweeney to the list of candidates.”
Sweeney has been city finance director since 2011, and has been interim administrator since Jim Dinley’s resignation this past April. He did not apply for the permanent administrator job.
In an interview after Monday night’s special meeting, McConnell said the Assembly did not discuss Sweeney at length in the executive session, apart from asking him whether he’d be interested in being considered.
“Well, we needed to know whether it was even worth talking about or not,” McConnell said. “So, ‘Jay, are you interested?’ and when he said yeah, he probably would be, it was like, ‘OK, out (of the discussion).’ So we had to stop talking about it at that point, but we didn’t know whether he was (interested) or not. So we had to get that clear.”
The parameters of what the Assembly can discuss behind closed doors are narrow. In this case, they were limited to the four finalists who interviewed on Thursday and Friday: Pam Caskie, Mark Gorman, Cynna Gubatayo and Jim Pascale. To discuss Sweeney at length, they need to make another motion and include his name. That’s expected to happen at the end of Tuesday’s regular meeting.
“We had spent quite a lot of time — a pretty exhaustive discussion about the four candidates,” McConnell said. “One of the Assembly members mentioned Jay’s interest in the past, as being a possibility. We felt it was time to stop the dialogue and before we go any further, do this legally and get his name added in there, and continue the discussion.”
Sweeney said he was surprised his name was brought up in executive session. When he signed on as interim administrator, he says it was simply out of a desire to help the city get through the transition.
“But I felt over the last five months that I’ve very much enjoyed the job, and felt I’ve done a reasonable job at it,” he said. “At least in my perspective. Others may believe differently. … If at this point in time the Assembly feels that my leadership style and my management style is right for Sitka, then I would be honored and flattered to be given an opportunity to be considered for the role.”
Of the other candidates who have applied, 53 submitted resumes and other material to the Assembly. Ten of them went through a video interview in public. Four of them went through an in-person interview in public.
Will Sweeney go through the same process?
“I don’t know yet,” McConnell said. “We didn’t talk about it, because his name was not given as the subject for the executive session, so we couldn’t iron out all that kind of stuff.”
McConnell says if the Assembly needs more time to reach a decision, it will take it. Sweeney says he’s happy to go through any process the Assembly wishes.
What’s next could be more discussion, or it could be a job offer for one of the now five finalists. The Assembly is expected to resume its conversation at the end of Tuesday’s regular meeting, most likely in executive session.
This story has been corrected to reflect the fact that the sale is not scheduled to be finalized, but rather advanced, at Tuesday’s meeting.
A relatively light agenda awaits the Sitka Assembly at its regular meeting Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean it’s minor. Among the five items on the agenda is the sale of some Benchlands property to a local developer.
The city plans to sell four parcels along Kramer Avenue to Sound Development LLC. The parcels would each be sold for more than $344,000.
This latest vote comes after a long debate on the issue at the Assembly’s Aug. 13 meeting. The Tuesday vote is on first reading, which means the measure will have another hearing before becoming official.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday inside Harrigan Centennial Hall. Raven Radio will provide live coverage.
The Tlingit-Haida Central Council’s Head Start program serves more than 250 Southeast Alaska preschoolers. But they’ll have less time in the classroom this year due to budget cuts tied to sequestration. We took a this look at the program and the impacts of lower funding.
Savann Guthrie, her husband Alex and their three kids have all been part of Petersburg’s Head Start program, run by Tlingit-Haida Central Council, for years.
“My first little girl craved socialization. We couldn’t give her enough of it and so for her I thought it would be a real good place to get to socialize,” she says.
Guthrie started taking her daughter just two days a week. Soon, both of them, and later, the other Guthrie kids, became regulars.
“You were encouraged to come in and sit down and hang out if you wanted to all day, encouraged to come to lunch, and bring your other younger kids, and sit and have lunch and socialize and hang out. So I really liked that aspect,” Guthrie says.
Family contact is a key part of Head Start, a federal preschool education and screening program that began in the mid-‘60s. Along with working with kids, it helps parents learn more about caring for young children, and preparing them for school.
But there will be less of that this year.
Sequestration’s across-the-board, 5.3 percent cut means Tlingit-Haida’s Head Start programs will begin three weeks late.
That affects about 260 children at 15 centers in nine cities: Angoon, Craig, Klawock, Saxman, Hoonah, Petersburg, Wrangell, Juneau and Sitka.
Haines, Kake, Hydaburg and Ketchikan also have Head Start classrooms. They’re run by the Anchorage-based Rural Alaska Community Action Program. Officials could not be reached by our deadline for comment on how they’re handling the budget cuts.
Former Tlingit-Haida Head Start teacher Karen McCullough of Petersburg supervises the council’s program in southern Southeast.
“All the research has shown that socializing children, getting them used to routines, getting them used to playing with other children, and relating with other adults … increases their language base, (which) really helps children when they enter into the public school system,” McCullough says.
Head Start also provides preschoolers with breakfast and lunch, and teaches them basic hygiene, such as brushing their teeth.
Some don’t get that at home.
Tlingit-Haida Regional Program Director Albert Rinehart says staffers are also trained to spot physical or behavioral problems best addressed at an early age.
“We help identify any potential issues that might hold them up later on with their schooling – hearing tests, eye tests and other, more severe types of disabilities,” Rinehart says.
The budget cuts will reduce classroom days by close to 10 percent. It will also lower hours – and pay – for Tlingit-Haida 55 staffers.
Tlingit-Haida Head Start usually begins classes in early September, about the same time older children head to school. McCullough says the three-week delay could force some parents to choose another place.
“There are also other preschool programs and parents who are looking for places for children start to worry when school starts up in the fall. And so, Head Start may not be their first consideration because of that,” McCullough says.
As a tribal program, Tlingit-Haida Head Start gives a preference for Native preschoolers. It also favors low-income children, though others, such as the Guthries, still get in.
Rinehart says he polled staff about the best way to address the budget cut.
“We provided options from a shorter work week to ending the school year earlier or starting the next school year later. And our survey overwhelmingly showed support for a later start-up,” Rinehart says.
Officials say flat funding doesn’t keep up with inflation. A number of grants are no longer available, and that’s hurt the program too.
Back at the Guthrie house, Savann is thinking about sequestration’s impacts.
“Any time you’re cutting the money, who you’re really hurting are the people and the families and the kids who need it the most,” she says.
Her husband and children are Tlingit and Tsimshian and she says her family has enjoyed the cultural aspects of the program.
And she encourages other parents to think about joining too.
“It doesn’t matter what your race is and where you come from, it’s a great place for kids. And it’s a great place for them to learn basic skills from brushing their teeth to how to say please and thank you. It’s a great experience and the staff does a really good job,” she says.
Tlingit-Haida Head Start classrooms open for students on Sept. 23.
Volunteers from Petersburg were not able to free a humpback whale tangled up in a gillnet near Petersburg on Friday and Saturday.
Members of Petersburg’s whale entanglement team Friday morning responded to the call of a whale caught in a gillnet in Frederick Sound. Petersburg Marine Mammal Center president and team member Barry Bracken said he and other volunteers boated out to the tangled whale, caught in gear still connected to the fishing boat around 11 a.m. Friday just north of Sukoi Island. That’s more than five miles north of Petersburg.
“We worked with the whale attached to the boat for a couple of hours,” Bracken said. “We were not making much headway with it. The whale at one point had swept under the boat and so we had the gillnet gear wrapped around the prop shaft so the boat was immobilized. We decided at that point it probably would be better to cut the whale free and try to work at it on it as a free swimming whale and allow the vessel with escort to return to Petersburg.”
The entanglement team kept trying to cut the gear loose for several more hours Friday but were unable to free the animal. Instead they attached a buoy and tracking device, allowing them to find the whale again Saturday morning. By that point, the humpback had passed by Cape Fanshaw headed north in Frederick Sound.
Bracken described it as a large adult humpback with what looks like two wraps of lead-line from the gillnet. “It looks like those go back underneath the pectoral fins to a large mass of gear below the fluke,” he said. “The fluke is relatively clear, the blowhole itself is clear, there’s not much netting on the back of the animal, but it appears that there’s a very large mass of combined corkline, leadline and web that is just below the fluke so he can’t even raise his tail up out of the water and really can’t raise it close enough for us to get any kind of purchase on that.”
The North Pacific Large Whale Disentanglement Network, which includes the local team members, is tracking the whale. Local volunteers may try again to free the whale Wednesday if weather conditions are better and the animal has not travelled too far away from Petersburg. Otherwise it could be up to a disentanglement team from elsewhere in Southeast to try.
Frederick Sound has seen expanded fishing area for gillnetters this year due to strong returns of salmon, although the entanglement did not happen in the expanded fishing area near Mitkof Island. Boaters have also been reporting an unusually large number of humpbacks in local waters.
Bracken said this is the first response for the local entanglement team this year. “We were a little bit nervous when the expanded area was opened in Frederick Sound and we’d had more whales in the in the area than we’ve had for a number of years and so we’ve been kinda been keeping our fingers crossed that we’d make it though the season, not only for the sake of the whales but also the sake of the fishermen because it’s certainly no fun for them to have that level of involvement and the loss of fishing time and the destruction of gear and everything that goes with it. So we were really keeping our fingers crossed that it was gonna work out but unfortunately these things happen.”
Bracken notes the entanglement was documented by the National Marine Fisheries Service observer program. That program is in its second year of cataloging the gillnet fleet and interactions with marine mammals around Petersburg and Wrangell.
A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Sitka medevacked a 44-year-old woman from a fishing tender near Sitka on Monday.
The woman, whose name was not released, was hoisted from the 109-foot fishing tender Tuxedni, which was in Tebenkof Bay on Kuiu Island. She had been complaining of severe abdominal distress, and was transported to Sitka where she was transferred to local EMS.
Weather at the time of the incident was overcast, with calm winds and periods of rain.
The Seattle-based Tuxedni is well-known to the Coast Guard, but for good reasons. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers says its crew received a gold lifesaving medal earlier this summer, for responding to a 2012 emergency.
The Tuxedni helped evacuate crew from the fishing vessel Heritage, when it sank near Kodiak on Jan. 25, 2012.
A 23-year-old Ketchikan man was arrested and charged for allegedly breaking into Tongass Trading Marine Company last Thursday, and taking five handguns.
Corey C.E. Thompson faces 12 felony charges, including burglary and theft, as well as criminal mischief and weapons misconduct.
According to the Ketchikan Police Department, officers were sent to Tongass Trading after an alarm went off a little after 1 a.m. Thursday. Police noted a broken door and later determined that five guns had been taken. Police were able to recover one handgun quickly, and in that recovery received information that led to a search warrant served at Thompson’s home.
According to police, the four remaining handguns were found during the search.
Thompson had his first court appearance Monday in Ketchikan District Court. Judge Kevin Miller set bail at $5,000, plus a court-approved third-party custodian. Thompson’s next scheduled hearing is Sept. 4.
Monday was the last day for candidates to file for local office, and a flurry of last-minute filers means there will be competition for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and School Board, the Ketchikan City Council, and the Saxman City Council.
There are two three-year seats open on each the Assembly, School Board and Ketchikan City Council. Candidates for Borough Assembly are incumbents Alan Bailey and Bill Rotecki, and former Assembly Member John Harrington, who filed on the last day.
Harrington, who also has served on the School Board, is a member of the borough’s Planning Commission, but would have to give up that position if elected. He said he wanted to make sure there was competition in the face of what he predicts will be a tough budget year.
“This is the year, I think, that the budget crunch gets bloody,” he said. “We have been using reserves, having our mill rate at a fairly low level and the crunch is about to hit. So either we’re going to have to raise the mill rate or we’re going to have to cut services or we’re going to have to get creative.”
Harrington said that with a competitive race, the public will pay more attention to issues. He said that if elected, he will look closely at the budget, and would like to see evaluations of borough expenses to see what might be streamlined.
During his most recent School Board tenure, Harrington resigned from his seat without finishing his term, but said that shouldn’t affect his ability to work with the School Board when it comes time to fund the district.
“I did have some interesting relationship problems with certain members of the School Board, not obviously with all of them. But it had to do with internal School Board stuff,” he said.
Harrington said he is an advocate of school funding, and of improving the School Board-Assembly relationship.
For the School Board, high school senior Trevor Shaw was the first candidate to file, and he threw his name into the hat late last week. He was joined Monday by incumbent Dave Timmerman and newcomer Camille Booth.
Booth, who works for the Southern Southeast Technology Education Center, said she wanted to get involved when she saw how few people were signing up to run. She also has a background in education.
“I was in public education for 17 years: about eight years as a teacher in Metlakatla and eight years as principal/administrator in Craig for the Craig City School District,” she said. “Now I’m working for Ketchikan Indian Community as the SSEATEC director.”
Booth also runs Creative Resourcing, which offers tutoring for students, particularly those with reading disabilities. She said she’s especially interested in Native education, educational technology and special education.
Timmerman, port operations manager for the city Port and Harbors Department, said he wants to continue work on some of the issues he’s focused on, including the Indian Policies and Procedures committee. He went on to name a few more important issues.
“Activities is a big thing for me, (along with) the dropout rate, and all those things that we all talk about when we’re trying to work for better for the kids,” he said. “But mostly to keep an eye on the Assembly and make sure the school district is getting funded at a level that we think, or at least that I think is fair, and just keep up the fight, basically.”
For Ketchikan City Council, the two incumbents, Dick Coose and Matt Olsen, filed for re-election. They will be joined on the ballot by Judy Zenge.
The Saxman City Council has three three-year seats open, held by Joe Williams Jr., Richard Makua and Woodrow Watson.
Makua and Watson have filed for re-election, and will be joined on the ballot by Woodrow Anderson Jr. and Trudi Swink.
One two-year seat also is on the Saxman ballot, and that seat now is held by Sylvia Banie. Banie filed for re-election, and is the only candidate for that seat.
The local election is Oct. 1.
CHICAGO — A sea otter found abandoned in Alaska at less than 6 weeks old in 1990 was considered the oldest sea otter living in any North American zoo or aquarium when she was euthanized over the weekend, Shedd Aquarium officials said Monday.
Kachemak was 23 years and 6 months, much older than the 12- to 15-year expected life span for sea otters in the wild. She was able to provide scientists with information about geriatric sea otters, including diet, immune systems and blood test results.
Mushroom enthusiast Kara Lunde shares her experience and knowledge during a call-in show on gathering wild mushrooms. This is a continuation of our series on locally grown, sustainable foods. Mushrooms0826
JUNEAU — The administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that her first trip to Alaska in the post is about learning and listening.
Gina McCarthy plans to discuss issues involving climate change, air quality and a proposed mine near the headwaters of a premier salmon fishery during this week’s visit to communities across the state.
FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks family on a blueberry picking camping trip was stalked by a large grizzly bear, which came within several feet of one of the campers before it was shot at and ran off.
Chris and Alina Wyatt and their two children had just set up camp near the top of the Table Top Mountain Trail in the White Mountains National Recreation Area north of Fairbanks when they first saw the bear Aug. 17, the Fairbanks Daily-News Miner reported. The family’s two dogs chased the bear away.
Petersburg’s public safety advisory board is recommending the speed limit on Sandy Beach road remain at 25 miles per hour. It’s a recurring issue for the advisory board. The board also discussed adding stop signs on Ira II Street on the request of residents of that road.
For iFriendly audio, click here:
The public safety board recently sought public input on the two issues following requests from local residents to make the speed limit and stop sign changes.
Board chair Sid Bacom said he heard from 56 people in favor of increasing the speed limit to 35 miles an hour on Sandy Beach. There were another 54 people against the change and 30 others who wanted to see it boosted but only to 30 miles per hour. Bacom said the input would be given to Police chief Kelly Swihart. “With us seeking public input, we’re trying to give the chief information from the public on their wishes on this,” Bacom said. “The more data we can give him, the better decision he can make. This is an issue that does go to the chief of police. He is in control of city roads.” Bacom said the ongoing issue was raised again by local residents who requested the speed limit increase.
Petersburg’s city council voted to reduce the speed limit on North Nordic Drive and Sandy Beach in 2007, a year after the city took over the roads from the state. The issue came before the city council in 2008, but elected officials made no change that year in the face of strong opposition to an increase.
A number of Sandy Beach road residents told the board Wednesday to leave the speed limit at 25. Bev Siercks walks on that road and was concerned with drivers. “I purposely move myself and the dog off, even off that little area where I can walk because I don’t feel it’s safe when they’re exceeding the speed limit right now. So if you raise that speed limit by another 10 miles an hour and we don’t have sidewalks on either side on that road with all that foot traffic, we’re just asking for trouble,” Siercks said.
Opponents of the speed limit increase asked to hear the argument for a higher limit. Board member Jim Engel summed up some of the sentiment but was not in favor of the move. “The repetitive theme was inconvenience and too slow. That’s it, that was the argument. If it was up to me tonight my advice to the chief was let’s take it off the table,” Engel said, adding, “Let’s be done with it.”
The board made a recommendation to keep the limit at 25 – that passed with only Sally Dwyer voting against it.
Another issue before the board was a request for more stops signs to slow traffic on Ira II street. Mary Midkiff said her concern was the traffic using Ira II to go up the hill to the post office. “Not that we’ve had a lot of accidents but just realizing there’s a lot of traffic using this little unpaved road that doesn’t need to,” Midkiff said. I think if they had to stop at least once they would just go out onto Haugen which is where they should be because it’s the highway.”
The board also discussed safety concerns with children playing on streets in the residential area and at a nearby public park. Board chair Bacom says he also heard from people who did not want stops signs added to that street.
But board member Sally Dwyer thought new stops signs would not be a big hardship.“I just don’t think putting stop signs at fourth and sixth are going to be that much of a hardship. I mean we do it on lots of streets, stop, stop, stop. You have the choice to go around or go main street and then up or go up Haugen and then up. I mean you have choice. But if you don’t mind stopping every 200 feet, go on one of the side streets. I mean, it just doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me.”
The board unanimously approved a motion to have board chair Bacom work with public works director and police chief to make the decision on new stop signs.