Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    June 12, 2024 

Manager tells assembly it's time to reduce spending

Sales tax revenues came in under projections for the first three months of the year, an indication of a weakening economy and a worrisome sign for the community, Borough Manager Mason Villarma said last week. “We’re at that point we’re going to ha...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 12, 2024 

Draft budget calls for 2 layoffs at police department

The draft budget before the borough assembly includes eliminating two positions from Wrangell’s seven-member force of certified police officers. The spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Borough Manager Mason Villarma said, is c...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 12, 2024 

Pessimism shows up in survey of Wrangell businesses

Wrangell is among the more pessimistic towns in this year’s annual business survey conducted of Southeast communities. About half of the 35 Wrangell business leaders who responded to the survey had a negative view of the town’s economic outlook, and...

 

Presidential election campaign painfully long

There is nothing longer in America than a presidential election campaign. And that is not a good thing. A long vacation is enjoyable. Long summers are a treat. Reuniting with long-lost friends is special. But long campaigns are becoming...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 12, 2024 

Assembly may stop donations to radio, chamber, senior center

In addition to focusing on big-dollar issues, assembly members at last week’s budget work session discussed a collective $50,000 question: Whether the borough should contribute money to KSTK radio, the chamber of commerce and the senior center. T...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 12, 2024 

Granddaughter wins Fourth of July art contest

A Talkeetna high school student who comes to Wrangell for the Fourth of July most every year to visit family is the winner of this year's chamber of commerce competition to design an official logo for...

 

Developer plans for year-end construction start at former hospital property

Wayne Johnson, a Georgia-based real estate developer, came to town to finalize his $516,000 purchase of the former hospital property and six adjacent borough-owned lots. Johnson said in an interview Sunday, June 2, that he still needed to work out...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Assembly sets property tax rate at same as last year

As Wrangell’s population continues to age, the total value of senior citizen-owned homes exempt from property taxes continues to grow. About 27% of Wrangell’s population was 65 years or older last year (551 of 2,039 residents), according to Ala...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Chamber moves salmon derby to June 15-30

The chamber of commerce has moved the dates for this month’s salmon derby to June 15-30 to allow anglers more time to try their luck after popular areas near Wrangell open to sportfishing on June 15. The chamber had initially scheduled the derby f...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Borough holds open house Friday to meet police chief finalist

The borough has scheduled an open house for 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, at City Hall for the community to meet Gene Meek, finalist for the job of Wrangell police chief. Meek resigned as Soldotna police chief on May 17, effective immediately. He had been...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Borough pitches 6-Mile mill site to Huna Totem for cruise port

As part of the borough’s quest for a long-term, economic development opportunity at the 6-Mile mill property, officials met last month with officers of Huna Totem Corp., which operates a cruise port at Icy Strait Point near Hoonah and is d...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Assembly will take up mandatory boat insurance proposal

Assembly members have directed borough staff to come back with a revised ordinance setting requirements for boat owners to carry insurance on their vessels moored in Wrangell harbors. The assembly in March questioned several aspects of a proposed...

 

Sentinel will be free online for a month

The expression, the best things in life are free, applies to fresh air, the view out the window and a positive attitude. For the next five weeks, it will also apply to the Wrangell Sentinel. Starting this week, the Sentinel has turned off the paywall...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

New owner will allow salvage of usable items before hospital demolition

The borough plans to pull the standby electrical generator, fire extinguishers and other usable items from the former hospital building before the new owner of the property tears down the structure to make way for a residential development. Wayne...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 5, 2024

Public Safety Building could get new roof if federal money comes through

If Sen. Lisa Murkowski is successful in her request for a congressional appropriation for $2 million in federal grant money to help repair Wrangell’s Public Safety Building, the borough might be able to replace the roof and damaged siding next y...

 

Ironing out all the answers in life

A longtime friend who is just a couple of years younger than me called recently to ask some advice. I’m always flattered when someone seeks my opinion. It makes me feel wise and useful, which is more uplifting than my usual specialties of old and opi...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 29, 2024

Loan program could help residents who want to build on subdivision lots

It’ll be early fall before the borough offers for sale 20 lots at the new Alder Top Village (Keishangita.’aan) residential subdivision upland from Shoemaker Bay, but residents interested in buying and building a home on the property can start lin...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 22, 2024

Alisha Armstrong signs up for Fourth of July fundraising sales

The same day that she graduated from high school, Alisha Armstrong and her family decided to step up and help the community. Armstrong is the lone candidate for this year’s Fourth of July royalty contest, and will sell raffle tickets to help raise m...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 22, 2024

Columbia out of service until end of the year

By Larry Persily Sentinel writer The Alaska state ferry Columbia — which has been out of service since late November for its annual overhaul and repairs but was supposed to go back to work this summer — will be laid up until the end of the year. Ext...

 

Everyone helps pay the real cost of low prices

National news stories last week reported that a survey of almost 1,500 Amazon employees across 42 states found that one in three need government assistance, primarily food stamps or Medicaid. The news matches a Government Accountability Office...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 22, 2024

Murkowski includes Wrangell projects in 500-plus Alaska requests

Funding to repair and rebuild Wrangell’s Public Safety Building is her top priority for federal aid for the community, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. It’s among the more than 500 requests for federal mon...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 15, 2024

Legislature approves budget with money for Wrangell projects

Several of Wrangell’s requests are included in the state capital budget of public works projects that the Legislature approved last week, sending the spending plan to the governor for signature into law or veto. Unless the governor uses his veto p...

 

Imitation is not flattering, it's embarrassing

The Republican-controlled Alaska House of Representatives last Saturday did their best impersonation ever of the U.S. House, spending all day on legislation that will never make it into law. It was the same kind of political circus that the nation ha...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 15, 2024

Biggest cruise ship of the season to arrive Thursday

The town’s population could double for a day. Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam, with accommodations for just over 2,100 passengers plus a crew of more than 900, is scheduled to tie up at Wrangell at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 16, staying until 7 p.m...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 15, 2024

State says Petroglyph Beach user numbers would help with funding requests

As of last week, just one Wrangell business had obtained the required state permit to provide commercial tours at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site. The largest cruise ship of the summer is scheduled to tie up in town on Thursday, May 16,...

 

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