2 people in Haines are looking for ride to Anchorage on Monday or Tuesday May 27th or 28th...
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Southeast Alaska News
Saturday, May18th, is the Ketchikan Rain Boot Run – an attempt to break a Guinness world record for the most people running/walking in rubber boots. Plaza owner Rob Hill talks about that, and other events planned for the day. RainBoot
Library Director Linda Lyshol gives an update on events happening for the rest of May, including the beginning of the summer reading program with opportunities for all ages. Library051413
Unemployed Alaskans applying for new tiers of federal emergency unemploymenet benefits will receive reduced benefits due to the sweeping federal spending cuts known as sequestration, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development warned Monday.
Starting May 19, eligible unemployed individuals applying for benefits will see their benefit reduced by 23.9 percent due to the across-the-board cuts, which took effect automatically in March after President Barack Obama and Congress failed to agree on an alternative plan.
WASHINGTON — A new U.S. strategy for the Arctic region has gotten a lukewarm response from a think tank that says the plan amounts to a “lengthy wish list” with few specifics.
The tepid feedback from the Washington-based Arctic Institute comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads Monday to Sweden for a meeting of foreign ministers focused on Arctic issues.
Syria, Iran and Afghanistan also are on Kerry’s agenda for discussion with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, according to the State Department.
ANCHORAGE — Another volcano in Alaska is heating up, with seismic instruments signaling a possible eruption, scientists said Monday.
Tremors were detected at Pavlof Volcano, 625 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Satellite imagery showed the mountain was “very, very hot,” said John Power, the U.S. Geological Survey scientist in charge at the observatory.
The aviation alert level for Pavlof was raised from “yellow” to “orange.” A major ash emission could threaten international flights.
The pastor of Chapel by the Lake said Friday that the Presbyterian congregation’s recent decision to quit the mainline Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in favor of joining a new, more conservative offshoot was made because the new denomination is a “better fit” for its members’ beliefs.
Douglas Dye listed three main reasons why Chapel by the Lake fits better within ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, as the new group is known, than it did within the PC(USA) — including ECO’s emphasis on Christian mission, its smaller organization and its more conservative doctrine.
The first Icelandair flight into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is scheduled to arrive at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, officially beginning summer service between Alaska’s largest city and the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.
Icelandair will provide nonstop service between Ted Stevens and Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport twice per week, with flights to Anchorage on Wednesdays and Sundays and flights to Reykavjik on Mondays and Thursdays.
KENAI — The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is revising its fire management plan for the first time in five years, and the new proposal could let the refuge and communities cooperate on prescribed burns.
Officials at the refuge will take public comments on the environmental assessment until the end of the month.
FAIRBANKS — Olympic medalist Matt Emmons took the opportunity during his commencement address to provide University of Alaska Fairbanks graduates a lesson in the meaning of success and failure.
Emmons, a 2003 UAF graduate in business administration, addressed more than 600 students during graduation ceremonies Sunday at the Carlson Center, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
ANCHORAGE — An orphaned polar bear cub that arrived at the Alaska Zoo two months ago will soon depart for a new adventure: meeting another young cub at the Buffalo Zoo.
Kali (KUL’-ee) made his final Alaska zoo appearance Monday. He will be flown by UPS from Anchorage to the company hub in Louisville, Ky., and then New York, with arrival in Buffalo expected Wednesday. A play date with Luna, a nearly six-month old cub born to an adult female at the zoo, could follow in about two weeks.
The first small cruise ships of the year arrived in Petersburg last week. The local visitor industry is expecting about a 15 percent increase over last year in the number of port calls to town. Viking Travel President Dave Berg helps arrange services for those ships and their passengers, as well as independent travelers who visit town on their own.
According to Berg, the outlook continues to improve for the local visitor industry which lost a lot of business with the 2010 closure of Cruise West. That company once dominated local port calls. Berg spoke with Matt Lichtenstein about the 2013 season:
For mobile-friendly audio, click here.
The herring sac roe harvest in Seymour Canal off Southern Admiralty Island closed at 4pm Saturday and just a handful of gillnetters kept fishing until the very end. According to Alaska Fish and Game biologist Scott Forbes, the total catch was an estimated 727 tons. That’s roughly 70 percent of the guideline harvest level.
Forbes says there were only eight to ten boats still fishing by the closure on Saturday.
The fishery opened Wednesday night with 56 permit holders and four buyers on the grounds. By Friday morning, they had caught around 600 tons. Boats started leaving after that as catches declined significantly and it looked like the major spawning event was done.
The fish are targeted for their roe sacs and the department tries to open herring fisheries just before the major spawn, when the females are the ripest with eggs and large schools of fish mass near the beach.
Forbes thinks the state timed the opening right and he says it went smoothly. According to preliminary reports, this year’s roe content averaged 12 to 14 percent which is good. Forbes says the participants were happy with the quality of the fish.
Biologists saw a total of 8 miles of spawn after the fishery was over according to Forbes, who says that looks good for the next generation of herring. It’s more than last year’s 6 miles of spawn but below the ten year average of 12.5 miles. About two miles of the milky-colored water was inside Seymour itself and the rest was outside in Stephens Passage to the east of the Glass Peninsula.
Overall, this years participation was about average for the past decade, but much higher than the last few years when prices were low. Last year, Gillnetters never got to fish at Seymour. They waited on the grounds for a few weeks and there were herring, but biologists said the fish never schooled up enough to allow for an opening.
This year, the fleet went on notice and headed to the grounds just a couple days before the fishery opened.
Seymour was the only herring harvest for Southeast Gillnetters this year.
Eighth-graders from Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island will gather at Schoenbar Middle School and the UAS Tech Center all day Thursday for the fifth annual Career Fair.
The event will feature 10 stations, at which the kids can spend half an hour talking with a professional about their career. The students also can try an activity, such as mining for gold, running a TV camera or trying on a survival suit.
Some of the organizations that will offer presentations are the local police and fire departments, state troopers, Coast Guard, Vigor Industrial and the UAF Marine Advisory Program.
The event is cosponsored by the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus, Schoenbar Middle School and the Ketchikan Job Center.
Governor Sean Parnell was in Ketchikan Saturday, and came by the KRBD station for an interview. Parnell talked about what Alaska – and specifically Ketchikan – can expect from the rest of this term, and his potential second full term.
Officially, Parnell was in town to be inducted into the local Eagle Killer Whale clan, during a ceremony in the Native village of Saxman. But he made time to talk about everything from capital projects to school funding.
The governor indicated that $15 million approved by the Legislature for upgrades to the Ketchikan Medical Center would remain in the final capital budget.
“The legislature and I worked very hard on setting a spending limit, and they were aligned with me on that,” said Parnell. “It was about 1 billion dollars less than the current fiscal year we’re in. That was in large part to preserve more of our savings for the future — the oil markets are softening, it was time for us to reign in spending overall.”
“Because at this point the legislature met the spending limit I had set, really what I’m looking for is whether there are any projects that should not go forward,” Parnell said. “Certainly in Ketchikan with the hospital being a top priority I’ve been fully supportive of that issue, and don’t see that being an issue. But we’re going through a legal review of what the legislature did, and so the final decisions will be made just prior to about May 22 or so.”
State money for the Medical Center had been in question. The Legislature added it and other local projects to the capital budget after the governor proposed a budget without them. Parnell has line item veto power.
The governor also suggested that he would not support initiatives by borough governments to have the state fund more for schools. He cites the importance of local control.
“I don’t know why the people of Ketchikan would want to give up their management authority, their say, over Ketchikan schools,” Parnell said. “And when you take away that small portion of control of funding, you get what other people tell you you’re gonna have, in this case Juneau or beyond that in Washington. I really do believe the people of Ketchikan know best about what their schools should look like and how their kids should be educated.”
The issue of how schools are funded in Alaska has been a hot topic in Ketchikan this year. The potential loss of federal funds to the borough has drawn attention to how much the state gives to the school district here. Boroughs in Alaska must pay at least 20 percent of school costs, while the state foots the rest. The Borough Assembly passed a resolution earlier calling for the reduction or repeal of that mandate, which would lead the State of Alaska to pay more for schools.
Parnell also reaffirmed his commitment to not retroactively pay back federal funds for schools that the state received earlier this year. He says there is quote “no legal basis” for the federal government to ask for those funds.
The governor, whose first full term in office ends next year, also discussed what he would focus on if re-elected.
“It’s about jobs and families, it’s about creating economic opportunity, it’s about strengthening families, so Alaskans can expect that,” Parnell said.
Parnell, who recently announced his intention to run for re-election, says he is consistent both personally and politically, and that Alaskans can expect more of the same in the future.
The governor also says it is a quote “tremendous honor” to be inducted into the Eagle Killer Whale clan.
Listen to KRBD later this week for a story on Parnell’s induction ceremony into Eagle Killer Whale.
An air taxi pilot rescued the pair from a debris field estimated to be 20 feet deep. All their belongings were buried in the slide. Their dog remains missing.
Kevin Knox, 41, and his girlfriend Maggie Gallin, 28, were staying at Redoubt Lake, a popular Forest Service recreation cabin about 15 miles southeast of Sitka.
The cabin is located at the head of the valley, and is surrounded by steep mountain slopes and rocky cliffs that climb 4,000 feet above the surface of the lake.
Knox says the mountainside behind the cabin was showing signs of instability the previous evening.
“There’d been a lot of rock activity from this slide that was off back behind the cabin, all night on Saturday night. I was just kind of watching it. It was just small rocks kind of tumbling off and making a lot of racket.”
“We had just tied the boat up and Maggie was in the cabin, and it just let loose — a huge piece off of the side of the mountain. I yelled for Maggie to run, to get out of the cabin. We started running down the beach.”
Redoubt Lake is a glacier-carved fjord. It’s just a few feet above sea level. What passes for a beach there is a narrow strip of pebbles. Knox and Gallin did not have much room to make their escape as old growth timber, mud, and rock began to press down the valley.
“We were running along the lakeshore and got thrown into the water, trees kind of toppling on top of us. We both popped up three or four feet from each other. Then we got our wits about us and just tried to hunker down.”
They also spent time calling for Luna, Knox’s ten-year-old Border Collie.
“She was in between Maggie and I as we were running down the beach. I think she thought it was a little bit of a game because I was shouting, Run run!, Go! and she jumped up and nipped at my sleeve. So I know she was right there. I kept laying in bed last night thinking, How did we get through it, and she didn’t?”
The couple flew back to look for Luna on Monday morning, but there was no sign of her. Because of the instability of the slide area, the pilot chose not not to land the float plane. The slide originated 600 feet up the mountainside and is about 200 yards wide. The lake’s inlet stream — Knox says — is beginning to carve a new channel through the debris field.
Knox is grateful to Harris Air, and pilot Mark Hackett in particular, for putting his plane down and looking for them on Sunday in marginal conditions. Knox says he signalled Hackett by waving his bright yellow raincoat.
At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Ketchikan Troopers received a 911 call from a 35-year-old Georgia man, reporting that he and his 14-year-old son were stranded near the Harris River Drainage near Hollis on Prince of Wales Island.
The two were members of a five-person black bear hunting party, all from the Lower 48. The other three hunters had dropped them off, and then taken the skiff to the head of 12 Mile Arm to hunt, and were two hours overdue to pick up the man and his son. Weather conditions were deteriorating, and the man said nobody in the group had gear to spend the night outdoors.
Klawock Troopers went to Hollis and borrowed a boat for a hasty search. At about 12:15 a.m., the man and his son were found and picked up. Troopers continued toward the head of 12 Mile Arm, where they found the other three hunters.
Investigation shows that the outgoing tide had stranded the skiff on the beach, and by the time the tide had come up enough to refloat the vessel, it was too dark for the three hunters to navigate back.
All members of the hunting group were safely escorted to Hollis, and no injuries were reported.
Participants in Rotary’s Group Study Exchange speak on Morning Edition. The group from Brazil are in Alaska to learn and share knowledge about water research and sanitation. RotaryGSE
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Monday announced the lingcod sportfishing season for southern Southeast Alaska starts May 16 and lasts through November 30th.
According to Fish and Game, the bag limit for residents is one daily, two in possession, with no size limit.
Nonresidents can catch one daily, one in possession, and an annual limit of two fish.
There is a size limit for nonresidents of 30 inches or longer, but less than 45 inches; or 55 inches or longer. For the annual limit of two fish, one must be 30 to 45 inches long, and the other longer than 55 inches.
Nonresidents also must record all lingcod harvested on the back of their sportfishing license, or on a nontransferable harvest record.
For more information, contact the nearest ADF&G office or visit: www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.eonr