Articles from the October 18, 2023 edition

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Borough approves final funding and contract to start work at water treatment plant

After seven years of planning, the borough has accumulated the funds it needs to upgrade its water treatment plant and is preparing to move forward with the work. At its Oct. 10 meeting, the assembly approved a $1.961 million loan from the U.S. Depar...

 

WCA seal processing workshop teaches traditional knowledge

A seal-processing workshop hosted by the Wrangell Cooperative Association brought knowledge about traditional subsistence practices to the community. During a series of classes on Oct. 6, 7 and 8, stu...

 

Nearly $1 million contract awarded for marine anode installation

The borough assembly approved a $880,294 contract with Juneau-based Global Diving and Salvage to install corrosion-inhibiting anodes at Heritage Harbor and in two locations at the Marine Service Center. The project is funded through Port and Harbors...

 
 By James Brooks    News    October 18, 2023

Spending on dividend and public services squeezes Permanent Fund

The Alaska Permanent Fund isn’t running out of money, but it may be running out of money that can be spent. After years of earning less than it needed to beat inflation and the demands of the state treasury, the Permanent Fund’s spendable res... Full story

 

The Way We Were

Oct. 18, 1923 The PTA held a well attended meeting at the school house last Thursday evening. A geological cabinet has been purchased for the school by the PTA at the suggestion of the Rev. Corser, and a collection of specimens will be started at onc...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 18, 2023

Building mariculture industry means growing production and market at same time

A statewide effort to build up Alaska’s mariculture industry is looking to expand production at the same time it grows the market, particularly for kelp. “Everyone talks of the chicken-and-the-egg situation,” Juliana Leggitt, mariculture program mana...

 

Villarma named interim borough manager; Lane interim deputy

After Jeff Good’s resignation, Finance Director Mason Villarma was named interim borough manager and Borough Clerk Kim Lane was named deputy interim borough manager while the assembly seeks a permanent replacement for the role. Mayor Patty Gilbert a...

 

Expensive, yes, but it's necessary

It looks like it’s going to cost a little more than $23 million to improve and ensure Wrangell’s drinking water quality for years to come. The work will include construction of a new water treatment building, new filtration and disinfection sys...

 

Remembering a moment of sharing religions

Jews in Israel and Palestinians in Gaza are embroiled in the deadliest fighting in decades, prompted by an organized assault by Hamas soldiers who murdered innocent people in Israel on Oct. 7, while also taking hostages. Israel has followed the...

 

Democrats also deserve blame for removing speaker of the U.S. House

I find Larry Persily`s opinion piece in the Oct. 11 Sentinel, “Congressional Republicans too selfish to govern,” to be a misleading half-truth customized to fit his anti-Republican propaganda. He blames the Republican “mini-majority of eight membe...

 

Don't let cruise visitors overrun the community

I cannot agree more with John Bania’s letter to the editor in the Oct. 11 Sentinel. I live in Juneau and have been fighting the impact of cruise ship tourism on my neighborhood for over 30 years. Three years ago, we finally had a borough assembly t...

 

Resuming regular state ferry service to Rupert a priority

On Friday, Sept. 15, I and other stakeholders and community leaders participated in a ferry system focus group workshop for the southern Southeast service area. As state ferry service is one of the very essential elements of Southeast culture and...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 18, 2023

Ordinance allowing more rentals goes to the assembly

The borough assembly will be the next for a proposed ordinance intended to make it easier for some homeowners to add a small rental unit to their property. The planning and zoning commission voted Thursday, Oct. 12, to recommend assembly approval of...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 18, 2023

Historian assembles 40 years of stories from Wrangell Institute

Award-winning historian Ronan Rooney’s latest project is filling up a new webpage with interviews, photos, government and university reports — even the student newspaper and yearbooks — remembering the Wrangell Institute Bureau of Indian Affai...

 

Assembly approves funds for new vacuum truck

The borough is about to purchase a new vacuum truck — a piece of equipment with a tank and suction pump that can clear sewer lines and assist with work on underground utilities. The truck is essential to the operation of Wrangell’s water and sew...

 

Salvation Army cuts food pantry to every other week

The Salvation Army has reduced the days of operation at its community food pantry because of a reduction in the flow of donated goods and funding. It is also allowing clients to choose their own food items, rather than picking up pre-selected boxes....

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 18, 2023

Municipal burn pit back in operation

After being shut down for less than a week, the borough-operated burn pit at the solid waste transfer station is back in operation. Crews salvaged enough material to rebuild the burn pit a little farther away from the cliff that dumped a rockslide...

 

Playing above the net

The hit over the net by Abree Powers (No. 5) is blocked by alumni player Kaeleen Harrison in action at the Oct. 9 game between the high school girls volleyball team and alumni players at the high...

 

Wrestling team starts season strong in Craig

The Wrangell Wolves high school wrestling team competed at a meet at Craig this past weekend, winning 61 of their 87 matches. “We competed against pretty much everybody in the region, except Sitka,” said wrestling coach Jack Carney. With a rou...

 

New school fundraising group elects Villarma as president

The Wrangell Athletic Club, created to raise money for school sports activities, has elected high school cross-country coach Mason Villarma as its first president. The group held its second organizational meeting Sept. 27, with its next meeting...

 

Wilson will serve as school board president

In its first meeting after the Oct. 3 municipal election, the school board voted in David Wilson to serve another year as board president. The board at its Oct. 9 meeting also selected Brittani Robbins to serve as vice president and Angela Allen to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 18, 2023

Southeast gillnet catch came in far below 10-year average

The Southeast salmon drift gillnet season officially closed Thursday, Oct. 12, with the state reporting the harvest came in below the 10-year average of 2013-2022 for all species other than chum salmon. Though overall run strengths for all species...

 

State reopens Bering Sea red king crab fishery after 2-year closure

Alaska fishermen will be able to harvest red king crab, the largest and most lucrative of all the Bering Sea crab species, for the first time in two years, offering a slight reprieve to the beleaguered fishery beset by low numbers likely exacerbated...

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    October 18, 2023

Bering Sea snow crab population continues steep decline

A year after state officials imposed unprecedented shutdowns on crab fishing in the Bering Sea, the snow crab population is in even worse shape than it was last year, when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game canceled the 2022-23 harvest. Survey... Full story

 

Sitka voters approve seasonal sales tax to help fund schools

More than 63% of Sitka voters cast ballots Oct. 3 to approve a 1% seasonal sales tax increase to provide more funding for school repairs and construction. The ballot measure will raise the sales tax from 5% to 6% from April 1 through Sept. 30,...

 

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