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Vote yes on mill property

Wrangell should vote yes on Oct. 4, giving the borough permission to sell or lease the former 6-Mile sawmill property — if a private developer steps forward. This isn’t a final vote on a development plan, and any sale or lease would require...

 

Good move on ferry pricing

The Sentinel often criticizes state ferry system management for bad decisions. But now it’s time to praise them for a good decision. Dropping the “dynamic pricing” structure for ferry service this fall and winter, October through April, is the...

 

Big state payout depends on oil prices

Alaskans this week will start receiving their $3,284 payout from the state treasury, a combination of a large Permanent Fund dividend ($2,622) and a one-time bonus ($662) to help people pay higher energy costs. The payment is almost triple the size o...

 

Wrangell needs more than deepwater dock

The port commission last week declined to recommend that the borough lease a portion of its newly purchased property at the former 6-Mile sawmill site for use as a scrap metal recycling yard. It was nothing against the recycling business — Channel...

 

Property reassessment isn't about raising taxes

The borough assembly and staff spent a fair amount of time at last week’s assembly meeting, explaining the intent of a contract with an appraisal firm to reassess the value of all the property in town. Homes, businesses, industrial properties,...

 

Denying election results doesn't help the country

The 2020 presidential election is over. Multiple judges in multiple federal and state courts have ruled multiple times against frivolous claims of voter fraud, conspiracy, computer hacking and criminal intent. Courts, prosecutors, most members of...

 

Housing shortage will not fix itself

Wrangell residents, particularly new and would-be residents, are well familiar with the lack of housing options in town. Few homes for sale, few apartments for rent, and even fewer lots to build on. Sometimes, it feels like people would have better l...

 

Candidates needed for municipal offices

August is a time for fishing, the last of any gardening work and the enjoyment of harvesting the fruits (and vegetables) of that effort. It’s a time for home repairs, while there is still a plausible chance of dry weather to patch the roof,...

 

Petersburg assembly sets up task force to look at housing shortage

The Petersburg Borough Assembly voted 4-1 on Aug. 1 to establish a new task force to address the community’s housing crisis. Assemblymember Jeff Meucci said the task force would work with the assembly’s backing to look at housing needs in the...

 

Listen to the facts about building repairs

The process will stretch over the next couple of months, with a public hearing and a lot of public information, but it looks like the borough assembly will ask voters in the Oct. 4 municipal election to approve borrowing as much as $15 million for lo...

 

Financial help available for licensed child care providers

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, parents across Alaska are still struggling with long wait lists, high costs and limited capacity at child care centers. Federal grant funds administered by the state and a child care nonprofit are...

 

Borough should help with child care efforts

Few would dispute that Wrangell needs affordable, dependable child care services. The lack of child care keeps parents away from filling the long list of job vacancies around town and, when their kids are sick, can keep them away from the jobs they...

 

Property assessments worth a full review

Probably no one enjoys paying property taxes. It’s a big check, rather than a few dimes or dollars in sales taxes each time at the register. But it’s an essential part of the municipal budget, second only to sales taxes in bringing in revenue to...

 

Early voting opens Aug. 1 for special and primary elections

Early voting will open Aug. 1 for the Aug. 16 special election to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. Don Young and the primary election, also Aug. 16, for governor, Legislature, U.S. Senate, and to select the top candidates for a full...

 

Wrangell has recorded 20% of COVID cases in past 3 months

Of Wrangell’s 667 COVID-19 cases reported to state health authorities since the count started in March 2020, almost 20% — 128 infections — have been recorded in just the past three months. That is double the statewide average, which shows...

 

Take elections seriously and vote next month

Alaskans in less than five weeks will elect the state’s first new member of the U.S. House in almost 50 years. Literally, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to choose who will represent the state as its lone member in the chamber. Voters on...

 

Old hospital's best use is as land for housing

No surprise, but the borough received no bids for the former hospital property. No one was willing to pay the $830,000 minimum price for the building, much of which is 55 years old. It’s not like there’s a lot of value to the building, unless a...

 

Eric Halstead still on top of salmon derby leader board

Starting the final week of the Wrangell King Salmon Derby, Eric Halstead was holding his lead with a 43.4-pound catch. Almost four dozen fish had been weighed in as of Sunday evening, with no one coming close to Halstead in the second week of competi...

 

Let's not let politics ruin the nation's holiday

The colonies — later to become states — figured out that the new nation would be stronger as one, uniting behind a common cause and set of laws. Sure, there were intense debates around the meeting rooms, differing factions and multiple...

 

Cruise ship bumps into ice near Hubbard Glacier

The 848-foot-long Norwegian Sun cruise ship bumped into a chunk of ice last Saturday while traveling to Hubbard Glacier, which drains into Yakutat Bay. Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed on Monday that the ship canceled its port call in Skagway on...

 

Alaska ferry service returns to Prince Rupert this week

Alaska state ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, resumed on Monday afternoon. The last state ferry voyage to the Canadian port city was in late fall 2019. The Matanuska made a quick round trip Monday and is scheduled...

 

Borough is checking off long-standing to-do list

The borough is making progress on its long and expensive to-do list. The decisions are not easy and several are costly. Many have been around a long time. That’s not because anyone did anything wrong. Rather, it takes time to confront hard decision...

 

COVID testing company will shut down its last sites in Alaska

One of Alaska’s largest private COVID-19 testing providers plans to close its public testing sites in the state by the end of June. The decision by the private company will not affect SEARHC’s continuation of testing services in Wrangell. The dec...

 

If not more ferries, at least more information

The Alaska Department of Transportation works hard to serve the public that uses the state’s airports and roads, but it is running at half-speed with public information about the ferry system. Management needs to steer itself toward a more open cha...

 

Chamber needs volunteers for July 4th events

From log rolling to similarly shaped but much smaller and lighter wiener tossing — and everything in between, whether moving or not — the events over the long July 4th weekend are going to be plentiful. However, the chamber of commerce needs...

 

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