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Southeast Alaska News
ANAKTUVUK PASS — Crews equipped with night-vision goggles and flares staged a middle-of-the-night rescue to reach a hunter more than 36 hours after he was mauled by a brown bear in northern Alaska’s remote Brooks Range, the Alaska Air National Guard said.
The man was part of a group on a guided hunting trip about 30 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass, a tiny Nunamiut Eskimo village in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Initial rescue efforts by local search teams and by the Alaska State Troopers were turned back because of dense fog.
ANCHORAGE — Alaska labor officials have dropped statewide preferential hiring of residents for public jobs, saying that including larger cities can no longer be justified because they have healthier economies than communities still eligible for employment preference.
Officials said 15 areas still qualify as “zones of underemployment” because their unemployment rates are at least 10 percent higher than the national rate.
Under state law implemented in mid-1980s, those zones qualify for at least 90 percent of state jobs in various trades.
KAKE — Gary Williams fears that the historic Keku Cannery in Kake might collapse at any time. An earthquake in January gave him cause for alarm. Fortunately, the dilapidated landmark survived. Two of the main cannery buildings have already come down because of natural events: one in 2007 because of heavy snow load and the other in 2011 because of high winds.
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.
• At 3:46 a.m. Saturday, JPD continued an investigation into a reported burglary in the 100 block of Franklin Street.
• At 3:58 p.m. Friday, JPD continued an investigation into the report of counterfeit money in the 200 block of Main Street.
Bradshaw turned in his letter to the Sitka School Board at their regular meeting Thursday evening (8-15-13). His resignation will be effective at the end of the coming school year, on June 30, 2014.
Bradshaw has been superintendent in Sitka for 13 years. The average length of a superintendency in Alaska is 2.7 years.
Prior to becoming superintendent, Bradshaw was principal of Sitka High School for three years. He’s also worked many years in both Metlakatla and his home state of Montana.
Bradshaw says the key to his longevity in Sitka has been his bosses. He says he couldn’t have asked for better people on the school boards he’s worked for.
“I’ve seen a lot of boards in my 38 years now that get on there because they’ve got kind of an axe to grind. I haven’t seen that here in Sitka. It’s been about kids. It’s not that there haven’t been some who have gotten on because they think, That needs to change. For the most part, they get on and they stay on for a while.”
During his tenure, Bradshaw’s seen the overall size of the district shrink by around 400 students, but he says he’s also fortunate that state funding has gradually ticked upwards. Nevertheless, he feels there’s some work he’s leaving unfinished in Sitka.
“The dropout rate still bothers me. I don’t like to lose kids. I kind of take it personally sometimes. That’s a big issue.”
And the dropout rate, according to Bradshaw, is not an isolated problem. It’s linked to how prepared for school kids are. And that, he believes, is linked to economics.
“The number one factor is poverty. We see on television, hear on radio, read in the newspapers that the gap is widening. And I don’t think people really understand — last year we had 30 homeless students kids in this school district — in Sitka! 30 homeless children. I believe that in this country we’re losing our middle class. I’m not blaming anybody. I’m saying that’s the reality we’re faced with.”
Bradshaw also says he’s surprised by the diversity in the district, by the number of languages spoken — but immigration, though an overall positive for the community, comes with a downside.
“Parents are working two and three and four jobs just to survive. And so the time spent with children — it’s not like it was when I was a kid where mom stayed home with kids all the time. It’s just not that way anymore.”
Bradshaw has a combined 19 years in education Alaska, and 19 years at teaching or administrative jobs in Montana. He says he’s not retiring, but a new plan has not taken shape. He recently was one of eight semi-finalists for the job of Sitka municipal administrator. He didn’t get that job, but that doesn’t mean he won’t stop thinking about a new direction.
“I’m fascinated by the future. As has been pointed out to me many times, I’m pretty passionate about education, I just may look at it in a different role. I just know that it was time for me to do something different. I really have no plan set forward. I have a grandchild now in Juneau, so that may impact my wife’s and my decision. I think that whatever I do I’m hoping that it has something to do with helping kids in some fashion.”
Bradshaw’s wife Sandy is a teacher at Keet Gooshi Heen elementary school in Sitka. He says she’ll retire when he leaves the district. One thing is for sure, Bradshaw is not going to become a commercial fisherman. He says, “I’m about the worst boatsman out there!”
The Ketchikan City Council now has two candidates for the two open seats.
Incumbent Dick Coose filed for re-election as soon as the filing period opened on Aug. 1, and political newcomer Judy Zenge filed on Friday.
Coose, who is completing his sixth year on the Council, said he wants to continue keeping city costs under control while improving operations.
“We need to watch raising rates on everything, especially property taxes and the possibility of sales taxes,” he said. “It’s a matter of looking after the city budget and keeping it lean.”
Zenge, who is the president of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce and a former First City Players board member, said she’s passionate about Ketchikan, and gaining a seat on the Council would be a way for her to participate.
“I enjoy living in our community, and I think that I have something to offer,” she said.
Both Coose and Zenge mentioned the planned Ketchikan Medical Center renovation as a priority project for the city in the coming year.
There are two three-year terms open on each the Assembly, School Board and City Council. On the Assembly, those seats are held by Alan Bailey, who has filed for re-election, and Bill Rotecki, who has not yet filed.
On the School Board, the open seats are held by Ginny Clay, who has said she will not seek re-election, and Dave Timmerman, who has not yet filed.
On the Council, the seats are held by Coose and Matt Olsen, who has not yet filed.
The filing period for candidates seeking those seats ends August 25. In Saxman, the filing period for that City Council ends at noon on Aug. 26. The Saxman Council has three three-year seats open, and one two-year seat.
The local election is October 1.