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Mayor, 3-year assembly seats draw contested races

Two of the races on the Oct. 4 municipal election ballot are contested: There are two candidates for mayor and three candidates to fill two three-year terms on the borough assembly. The other three races on the ballot — for port commission, a...

 

Just this one time for anonymous questions

Normally, I do not respond to anonymous questions. Most all newspapers, the Sentinel included, will not print anonymous letters. To do otherwise would allow people to take free shots at anyone they want, hiding from view and protecting their own...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 31, 2022

Borough contracts for reassessment of all property in town

The borough followed through on discussions from earlier this summer and the assembly last week approved a contract for reassessment of the value of all commercial and residential properties in the community. The intent is not to raise revenue ...

 

Wrangell needs to think about its future

Given my aversion to long planning sessions, whiteboards with erasable markers and consensus building exercises, I can’t believe I am saying this: The town needs a plan for its economic future. A forum to start making that plan is a good...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 31, 2022

Huna Totem expands its cruise ship terminal business

After opening its successful Icy Strait Point development to cruise ships 18 years ago, the village corporation for Hoonah is expanding its interests in tourism, particularly new cruise ship terminals. Huna Totem Corp. last week said it will work to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 24, 2022

Fall/winter ferry schedule shows one stop each direction per week

Wrangell would get pretty much the same service it has in recent years under the draft fall/winter state ferry schedule released last week — one stop in each direction per week, October through April. Fortunately, unlike the past two years, when...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 24, 2022

School district cuts spending to cope with reduced state funding

Faced with a $474,000 reduction in state funding from last year, the Wrangell School District found several ways to cut the budget for the 2022-2023 school year. State funding is based on enrollment, and Wrangell’s count is down about 50 students ...

 

Ferries should mean more to voters than PFD

People vote their pocketbook, or so the old adage says. And certainly more so in this year of high inflation, painful gas prices at the pump and fears of a global recession. It’s understandable that Wrangell voters will think about their household...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 17, 2022

Borough will seek voter approval for sale or lease of 6 Mile mill property

Hopeful that the borough will be able to strike a deal for private development of the former sawmill property at 6 Mile Zimovia Highway, the assembly will hold a public hearing Aug. 23 on an ordinance that would ask voter approval to sell or lease th...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 17, 2022

Borough scales back building repairs to reduce bond issue cost

The borough assembly has set a public hearing for its Aug. 23 meeting to consider two ordinances that would seek voter approval to borrow $3.5 million for repairs to school buildings and $8.5 million for rebuild and repairs to the Public Safety...

 

Wrong reasons to rewrite the constitution

Lust for a supersize Alaska Permanent Fund dividend and giving the government a larger role in dictating personal choices are about as miserable a pair of reasons for rewriting the state constitution as imaginable. Problem is, they are not imagined,...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 17, 2022

State will not receive as much federal money for ferry system as expected

The state will receive about $36 million less in federal funding than expected for this year’s Alaska Marine Highway System operating budget, requiring the use of state dollars to cover the gap. No reduction in service is expected because of the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 10, 2022

State ferry traffic into Wrangell down 90% from a decade ago

More than 6,700 passengers a year boarded a state ferry in Wrangell 2010 through 2015, and more than 6,900 a year walked or drove off the ships during that six-year period. In calendar 2021, those numbers were down to 690 passengers boarding a ferry...

 

We're here to help tell everyone's stories

Of course the Sentinel wants to tell stories about what’s going on in town, what’s happened, what’s coming up, what government and businesses are doing that interests or may affect people. The staff depends on the community to share...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 10, 2022

Alaska voters will select new member of Congress next Tuesday

Alaska voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to mark their ballots in a couple of firsts: The first election under the state’s new ranked-choice voting system, and the election of Alaska’s first new member of the U.S. House in 49 years. The...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 3, 2022

Assembly moves toward putting building repairs bond issues on ballot

The borough assembly has taken the first step toward seeking voter approval for borrowing up to $15 million to pay for long-needed repairs at the Public Safety Building and school buildings. The assembly last week voted to hold a special meeting...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 3, 2022

Borough hopes to start clearing land at former Institute property next year

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving ahead with its review of the borough’s wetlands fill permit application to develop the former Wrangell Institute property for residential lots. The borough hopes to start ground-clearing work next year,...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 3, 2022

Borough will use surplus property website to try selling former hospital

The borough will list Wrangell’s former hospital building on a nationwide surplus public property website, hoping for better results than efforts the past two months which resulted in not a single bid. “We’ve got to get rid of this,” Mayor...

 

Political blame game doesn't do any good

As American households strain under the weight of high gasoline prices, as cities and school districts look for extra money in their budgets to cover the cost of heating fuel, and as everyone is paying more to get everything delivered by...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 27, 2022

Borough considers whether to borrow money for building repairs

The borough assembly is considering whether to seek voter approval to sell $10.5 million in bonds for the first phase of rehab work at the rot-damaged 35-year-old Public Safety Building, and $4.5 million in bonds to help pay for roof, siding and boil...

 

Checks get bigger with unlimited campaign donations

Inflation smacks drivers in the wallet when they fill up the tank, punches shoppers in the stomach when they load up a grocery cart, and brings travelers down to Earth when they want to buy an airline ticket. The public complains loudly about rising...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 27, 2022

No surprise, rain brings up water levels at reservoir

After mostly dry weather in June and early July, the more typical rain of late has helped refill the community’s water reservoirs. The lower reservoir was looking pretty low around the Fourth of July and the borough was looking to start siphoning w...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 27, 2022

COVID cases among non-residents aboard ships highest all summer

The COVID-19 case count in Wrangell dropped last week to less than half the number of the previous week, but the infection numbers for cruise ship travelers to Alaska was double the rate of the previous four weeks. A highly infectious variant of the...

 

Congress should extend health insurance subsidies

Some argue that the federal government paid out far too much money to too many people under the headline of “pandemic relief aid.” The list includes up to $3,200 per person in cash, expanded and extended unemployment and food stamp benefits, chil...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 20, 2022

Wrangell seeks 50% state funding for $2.3 million Meyers Chuck float replacement

The borough is applying for a $1.166 million state grant to go toward replacing the harbor float at Meyers Chuck. The 400-foot-long float is 57 years old, supported by steel pilings almost 40 years old, according to information presented at the July...

 

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