Articles from the March 8, 2023 edition

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 By Caroleine James    News    March 8, 2023

Total assessed property values up 56% from last year as borough corrects inequities

A comprehensive review of assessments on every piece of property in the borough has resulted in total taxable values 56% higher than last year. That doesn’t necessarily mean this year’s tax bills will increase. The actual tax rate multiplied...

 
 By Caroleine James    News    March 8, 2023

Cruise ship schedule shows substantial gain over 2019 numbers

The past three summers have been lean for Alaska cruise ship tourism, but Wrangell’s 2023 draft cruise schedule shows a substantial gain in traffic compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic season. There are 132 scheduled stops this summer, with a...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    March 8, 2023

Cheer squad rallies fundraising to compete at regionals

Who cheers on the cheer squad? A weekend that began with disappointment turned into determination and the will to beat defeat. As the Wrangell High School boys and girls varsity basketball teams were...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 8, 2023

Ferry system management says state is working to fix slow, ineffective hiring

The Alaska Marine Highway System is working faster to hire more crew, trying to fix problems that slowed the process so much the past four years that the state failed to keep up with retirements and resignations. The hiring process was so cumbersome...

 

The Way We Were

March 1, 1923 The annual convention of the Grand Pioneers of Alaska will be held at Nenana the latter part of this month. At the meeting of the Wrangell Pioneers Igloo Monday night, a resolution was adopted calling upon the Grand Igloo to ask the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 8, 2023

House committee starts work on PFD legislation

A state House committee last week held its first hearing on a bill intended to settle the Legislature’s biggest annual political battle: The amount of the Permanent Fund dividend. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, who represents Ketchikan,...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    March 8, 2023

School district encourages public to push for more state funding

A school budget presentation meant to engage the public in the decision-making process on Feb. 27 drew a scant few to ask questions and offer suggestions. Outgoing district business manager Tammy Stromberg, whose last day was Feb. 28, went over the...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    March 8, 2023

WCA records highest voter turnout for tribal council election

A record number of Wrangell Cooperative Association members came out to vote for four members of the tribal council, the governing body of the Native organization. Esther Aaltséen Reese, the tribal administrator for WCA, said 168 members, or 41.6%...

 

State helps feed Alaskans, but it took too long

State officials have known for months that delays in processing applications for food stamp benefits were denying financial assistance to thousands of eligible households — including children — who needed help to afford three meals a day. There...

 

Selling something is better than nothing

The state wasn’t concerned as much about future profits as it was asserting and protecting Alaska’s rights to see oil flow from lands within its borders when it paid millions of dollars for federal leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I...

 
 By Caroleine James    News    March 8, 2023

International human rights advocate to share message with community

Canadian educator, nonprofit director and human rights advocate Catherine Morris is visiting Wrangell this week to share a message about human rights challenges that are playing out on the...

 
 By Clarise Larson    News    March 8, 2023

Email scam costs Juneau School District nearly $270,000

A scammer stole nearly $270,000 from the Juneau School District this fall — and it’s unlikely the district will recover the money. In a memo shared with the City and Borough of Juneau Finance Committee at its March 1 meeting, Finance Director...

 
 By James Brooks    News    March 8, 2023

Alaska Airlines salmon 737 will make final run to Wrangell

Alaska Airlines will paint over "Salmon Thirty Salmon," the custom Boeing 737 that looks like a 129-foot-long Alaska king salmon, the company confirmed Feb. 27. Tim Thompson, director of public... Full story

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    March 8, 2023

Teen tackles tech trend to aid tourists - and residents - in Wrangell

For many years now, Google Maps street view allowed travel planners to tour cities in a realistic, 360-degree-view platform. But not people planning to visit or those living in Wrangell. One teen...

 
 By James Brooks    News    March 8, 2023

Moving magna prompts observers to install monitors on Mount Edgecumbe

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is planning to install a series of seismic instruments on Mount Edgecumbe near Sitka after preliminary measurements showed magma moving deep below the Mount Fuji-shaped... Full story

 
 By Caroleine James    News    March 8, 2023

Assembly opposes listing Alexander Archipelago wolf as endangered species

The borough assembly has issued a unanimous statement of opposition to a petition by conservation groups to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as an endangered species. Earlier last month, the assembly considered signing a petition against listing...

 

State commits $1.7 million to help feed Alaskans hurt by delays in food stamps

State funding is being directed to help stock Alaska food pantries — including those serving rural communities — as part of a broader effort to address a monthslong state backlog in processing food stamp benefit applications. Major delays in...

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    March 8, 2023

State senator tries again for e-cigarette tax and raising age to 21

Nearly six months after Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed a bill aimed at reducing youth use of electronic cigarettes, its primary sponsor is trying again to pass similar legislation. Senate President Gary Stevens on March 1 introduced Senate Bill 89, which... Full story

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    March 8, 2023

State wants to take over wetlands permitting from federal government

State regulators say that taking over what are known as Clean Water Act Section 404 permits will allow more flexibility to benefit businesses and the environment in “Alaska’s unique conditions.” Most construction, resource and community develop...

 
 By Riley Rogerson    News    March 8, 2023

Tlingit totem pole dedicated in Murkowski's D.C. office

WASHINGTON - Tlingit leaders dedicated a storied totem pole in Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office on Feb. 28. The 10-foot tall, 900-pound totem pole, which is on loan from the Sealaska Heritage Insti...

 
 By Shannon Haugland    News    March 8, 2023

Northern Southeast hatchery group donates to trollers fight against lawsuit

The Sitka-based Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association board voted March 1 to provide up to $75,000 toward legal expenses to help fight a lawsuit that threatens to shut down the Southeast commercial troll fisheries. The 22 members at...

 
 By Riley Rogerson    News    March 8, 2023

Murkowski testifies in support of Equal Rights Amendment for women

WASHINGTON — Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski testified in support of the Equal Rights Amendment at a Senate hearing this week, opposite a fellow Republican senator who opposes it. The Equal Rights Amendment, which was proposed in Congress in...

 

Police report

Monday, Feb. 27 Citizen assist: Vehicle unlock. Traffic stop: Citations issued for failure to provide proof of insurance and operating in violation of provisional license. Traffic stop: Citation issued for expired registration. Welfare check....

 
 By Sam Stockbridge    News    March 8, 2023

Ferry system advisory board unhappy with flow of information from state

At its two meetings last month, members of the Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board expressed frustration over the state Department of Transportation’s communication with the board on significant decisions, including the state ferry system’s...

 

Classified ads

BOAT FOR SALE 2013 inspected 14-passenger Bentz boat with twin LP-6 Yanmar diesel engines (2,400 hours) and 241 Hamilton pumps with turbo impeller. Like new condition. Captain/owner is retiring. $319,000. Recent survey puts the value at $325,000....

 

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