Articles written by Garland Kennedy

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 By Garland Kennedy    News    May 22, 2024

Coast Guard says deck flooding likely caused deadly 2023 capsize near Sitka

A U.S. Coast Guard marine casualty investigation into the capsizing of a charter fishing boat and the death of all five aboard on May 28, 2023, near Sitka has determined that the Awakin likely capsized after its well deck flooded in rough seas. The...

 

Sitka teens sentenced for illegally killing, dumping bears

A couple of Sitka teens have pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the illegal killing of bears on a road north of town last fall and will forfeit their hunting rights temporarily, pay fines and lose the firearms and gear used in the...

 

Southeast economy continues to recover but housing and child care in short supply

Wages rose and job opportunities increased across much of Southeast through 2022, but problems such as the lack of affordable housing and child care remain persistent throughout the region, an economic consultant told the annual gathering of the Sout...

 

Sitka on track for record half-million cruise passengers this summer

More than half-a-million cruise ship tourists will have visited Sitka this summer — a record number — and slightly more are expected next year, Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal owner Chris McGraw told an audience at the online chamber of commerce mee...

 

State grants limited opening for kings; nine per troller

The Southeast king salmon troll fishery opened Friday, Sept. 1, for the third time this summer, though relatively few fish remain in this year’s allocation, the Department of Fish and Game announced. With only about 3,200 kings remaining in the s...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    July 5, 2023

State sets commercial troll harvest limit at 74,800 kings

The Department of Fish and Game has announced that 74,800 “treaty” king salmon (non-hatchery fish) will be available for taking in the summer commercial troll season’s first opening, which started Saturday. The department released summer king salmo...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    May 17, 2023

Alaska's chief medical officer points to unmet health care needs

Alaska's top health official discussed the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons learned and the need for Alaska to be ready for future public health emergencies. Dr. Anne Zink, chief med...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    April 5, 2023

Thousands of Alaskans at risk of losing Medicaid coverage

A federal rule that prevented states from removing people from Medicaid rolls during the pandemic ended last week and some may lose health coverage if they no longer meet low-income guidelines, an official at SEARHC offices in Sitka said. However,...

 

Boaters may have found mud volcano in waters north of Sitka

A couple of Sitkans on a fishing trip in October got a surprise as they got ready to lay a skate of halibut gear in Nakwasina Sound. Their depth sounder revealed a sizable steep-sided cone on the ocean bottom at a depth of about 200 feet, and it was...

 

Census official wants to improve accuracy of count in Alaska

The top official in the U.S. Census Bureau, Robert Santos, was in Sitka last month to talk with city and Sitka Tribe of Alaska officials about ways to improve the accuracy of Alaska’s population numbers in the national census held every 10 years. T...

 

Seismic data collection continues at Sitka's Mt. Edgecumbe

Seven months after an earthquake swarm beneath Mt. Edgecumbe led volcanologists to determine that the Sitka-area volcano is active, data collection and research are continuing. Since August 2018, magma has risen beneath the formerly dormant volcano...

 

Grant helps pay to turn Sitka troller into hybrid electric vessel

As part of an effort to push Sitka’s fishing fleet away from carbon-emitting propulsion, a Sitka troller has received a $40,000 grant to add electric power to augment the diesel power of his classic wooden boat. The award came through the S...

 

Otter attacks Sitka swimmer, biting at his feet

As he neared the end of an ocean swim just south of Sitka earlier this month, Dean Orbison felt a pain in his foot and thought he’d kicked a rock. But when the pain recurred, he stopped to look around and was startled by what he saw. A river otter w...

 

Consultant advises Sitka how to boost tourism experience and spending

With Sitka’s largest-ever tourist season underway – with as many as 400,000 cruise ship passengers this summer – a consultant visited town last month and suggested possible improvements to visitor experiences. A crosswalk at a busy downtown stree...

 

Mt. Edgecumbe school short of housing for new teachers

With the start of the school year just around the corner, staff members at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka are scrambling to find housing for new teachers. The search has consumed much of the summer for Miranda Bacha, who took over as principal...

 

Sitka 9-year-old reels in 45-pound king

For many Southeast residents, fishing is a way to fill the freezer or earn a living. But for Sitka’s 9-year-old Miles Lawrie, fishing is a chance to spend time with his grandparents on the water. It was a bonus for Miles when, while fishing with h...

 

Sitka starts site prep for small cabins to house homeless

After years of work and planning, site preparation is underway for the cabins to house Sitka’s homeless people. The plan is to build a dozen small cabins at the end of Jarvis Street, about a mile east of the downtown waterfront. The Sitka Homeless C...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    August 3, 2022

State closes troll fishery for 3 days for coho preservation

After the longest summer king salmon troll opening in nearly 20 years, the Southeast Alaska commercial troll fishery closed to the taking of all salmon for three days as a coho conservation measure, the Department of Fish and Game announced July 25....

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    July 20, 2022

Humpback whale carcass washes up in Sitka Sound

A dead humpback whale that had been seen floating in northeastern Sitka Sound is probably the same one that washed ashore a few miles away in May, a marine mammal expert said July 12. Lauren Wild, applied fisheries assistant professor at the...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    June 29, 2022

State ups catch limit for summer chinook troll fishery

Southeast trollers will be able to target about 23,000 more chinook salmon than last year in the upcoming summer troll opener, the Department of Fish and Game announced last week. All told, 106,900 treaty kings are allotted to the initial summer...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    June 22, 2022

Sitka direct-to-consumer seafood seller closes processing plant

Though sales boomed for Sitka Salmon Shares during the pandemic, the direct-to-consumer fish seller and processor has been unable to continue that success into 2022 and shut down its Sitka processing plant on June 6, laying off 40 workers. Company...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    June 15, 2022

Scientists install seismic sensors on Mount Edgecumbe

After a swarm of small earthquakes beneath Mount Edgecumbe caught the attention of the Alaska Volcano Observatory in April, a crew of scientists has installed seismic and GPS sensors on the mountain to monitor any further activity. While the Alaska...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    May 4, 2022

Small quakes at Mount Edgecumbe likely due to magma movement

While earthquake activity around Mount Edgecumbe has declined following a series of small quakes last month, further investigation by the Alaska Volcano Observatory shows that the area around the mountain has been steadily deforming since 2018,...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    April 6, 2022

State reopens Outer Coast to king salmon trollers

The winter troll king salmon fishery reopened in outside waters around Southeast Alaska last Sunday. Trollers will be able to target up to 28,000 Chinook salmon remaining in the fleet’s original winter guideline harvest level of 45,000 fish. The o...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    March 23, 2022

National Geographic outdoors show features Sitka father and son

For years, Robert Miller and his son RJ have hunted, fished and enjoyed the outdoors around Sitka together. And now they have a wide audience through National Geographic's "Life Below Zero: Next Gener...

 

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