Articles from the June 1, 2022 edition


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  • Wrangell dancers will lead at Celebration next week

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    For the first time in four years, Celebration, one of the largest gatherings of Southeast Alaska Native peoples to celebrate their culture, will be held in person in Juneau from June 8-11. The gathering, sponsored by Sealaska Heritage, drew about 5,000 people pre-COVID, including more than 2,000 dancers. The Wrangell tribe will lead the way next week. Every Celebration features a lead dance group and this year it will be Shx'at Kwáan (People Near the Mainland) of Wrangell, Sealaska Heritage...

  • Borough approves higher rates for trash collection, landfill fees

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Residents will see higher fees for trash pickup on their June bill. The rate for a typical 48-gallon trash can will go up from $28.60 to $43.20 a month, with rate increases for trash containers of all sizes. Landfill fees also increased. The borough assembly approved the higher rates May 24, which took effect immediately. Public Works Director Tom Wetor last Wednesday said the rate increase has been long overdue. “Our sanitation department has broken even for the last number of years,” Wetor said. “We’re not putting any money in the bank fo...

  • Classes teach traditional to modern food preservation techniques

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Pickling and fermenting, pressure-canning and freezing were among the topics covered over three days of courses last week as members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service taught food preservation classes in Wrangell. Wrangell Extension Days were held from May 24 to 26 and offered nine workshops and a Certified Food Protection Manager exam. Attendees at each workshop varied in skill level, with some just beginning their preserving journey to others who have been...

  • Alaska historian takes up work finishing Joel Wing's memoir on Cassiar mining days

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    It's a story more than 100 years in the telling. Finally, a book that started being written last century is finding new progress at the hands of an Anchorage author. Patricia Neal is undertaking the publishing of a book that the late Joel Wing began writing about his family's adventures at the Cassiar Mining District before he retired as the Wrangell magistrate in 1973. Neal, who's written books about Wrangell history, met Wing in 1981 when she was the curator for the museum. As they got to...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    June 1, 1922 Five dollars will be paid to any person who furnishes information leading to conviction of anyone fishing in the city dam or the waters above the dam. Fishing or taking fish from the city dam has been prohibited and the parents of minor children will be held responsible for the acts of their children in the violation of this municipal law. Evidence given will be held strictly confidential and unless absolutely necessary the informant need not be present at the trial. “The city council desires to protect the health of every p...

  • Senate Finance co-chair says state needs more in savings

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    If oil prices stay above $100 a barrel for the next 12 months, the state could end the fiscal year in June 2023 with about $2.3 billion in its savings accounts, not counting the Permanent Fund. It hasn’t had that much in savings since 2018. “That’s not enough cash,” Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said last Friday. The state treasury needs a healthier shock absorber to cushion against the inevitable periods of low oil prices, he said. It all depends on oil markets and prices. Alaska North Slope crude has ave...

  • Election to fill Young's seat first chance to try new voting system

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    This is the first year for ranked-choice voting in Alaska, and the changeover will start next week. Voting in the primary election to choose from among 48 candidates to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. Don Young will close June 11. The top four vote-getters in the primary will advance to the Aug. 16 election, though voters need to remember they can cast a ballot for only one candidate in the primary. The general election is when voters will have the option to rank their top choices among the final four as 1, 2, 3 and 4, or just 1...

  • Borough will auction former Byford junkyard for residential development

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    About 1.75 acres of a former junkyard will be put up for auction for residential development by the borough this summer. The borough-owned lots at Mile 4 Zimovia Highway will be listed on publicsurplus.com, a privately owned online auction service that handles government property sales nationwide. The entire 2.5-acre property was valued at $205,000, according to an April 27 appraisal report from Roger Ramsey at Ramsey Appraisal Resource, of Juneau. However, a portion was carved out to be sold to an adjoining property owner. The appraised value...

  • It's only stolen if you don't vote

    Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Despite repeated claims and allegations conjured up from the thin air of political dishonesty, there has never been any proof, no charges and convictions, no indictments for voter fraud that cost Donald Trump his reelection dream in the 2020 voting. And yet, the former president and his followers continue to spew out and stir up claims that thieves will do it again in 2022. It’s called “preemptive excuses.” If they lose in this fall’s elections, it must have been stolen. Can’t be that voters picked someone else. Best to start now with the...

  • Age limit a good start for response to school killings

    Larry Persily Publisher, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Former President Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other elected so-called leaders say the answer to protecting innocent students and teachers from attack is to turn schools into fortresses. High perimeter fencing, every entrance door locked but one, metal detectors, cameras, hardened doors to classrooms, armed security guards. Sounds like a prison, not a school for young children to learn, play and enjoy. And after speakers at last week’s National Rifle Association annual convention in Houston condemned the evil of the Uvalde school s...

  • Empty shelves and inflation a reminder of the past

    Ivan Simonek|Jun 1, 2022

    Kudos to former U.S. senator and governor Frank Murkowski for his opinion piece about the nation’s energy crisis in the May 18 Sentinel. It is refreshing to see somebody qualified to state clearly where the problems are and how they can be fixed. Meanwhile, the U.S. stock market has been losing ground or stagnating and inflation is soaring. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s advice to anybody who does not like the high price of fuel is to buy an electric vehicle. To think of it, we are all kind of driving electric vehicles alr...

  • Unity hold us together, despite differences

    Pastor Sue Bahleda, Island of Faith Lutheran Church|Jun 1, 2022

    One of the abiding understandings of our Lutheran church is “unity, not uniformity.” It is a practice that allows each congregation flexibility within a particular framework. We celebrate a pattern of church seasons; we mark those seasons with particular colors for banners and altar cloths; we have a recommended three-year cycle of scripture readings for Sundays and a collection of hymns and an order for worship. On June 5, we celebrate Pentecost, the day God gave the whole Church the Holy Spirit. While the banners and altar cloths will all...

  • Legislature succeeds at protecting ferry system, scholarship funds

    Rep. Dan Ortiz|Jun 1, 2022

    There were multiple positive outcomes for our ferry system this past legislative session, including a bill protecting Alaska Marine Highway System funds, the restart of the Prince Rupert route, and more ferries sailing. House Bill 322, which I had the honor of carrying on the House floor and I am particularly pleased passed, protects multiple important funds: the Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), and the AMHS Fund and Vessel Replacement Fund. The HIEF pays for our student state scholarships. The AMHS Fund is where revenue generated from...

  • Alaska Seaplanes begins operations in Wrangell

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Alaska Seaplanes landed on the idea of offering service to Wrangell about two years ago, and its inaugural flight touched down last Thursday. "One of our anchor (clients) is SEARHC," said Andy Kline, marketing manager for Juneau-based Alaska Seaplanes. "They've been wanting to have more connectivity between Wrangell and Sitka, especially with the new (medical) facility here." The airline will run an afternoon flight from Sitka to Wrangell and back, seven days a week. Kline said the airline...

  • Cruise ship workers with COVID quarantined at Stikine Inn

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Three crew members aboard the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird operated by Lindblad Expeditions were quarantined with COVID-19 at the Stikine Inn. The three were brought to Wrangell from Petersburg after the ship docked there on May 15, due to a lack of accommodations in Petersburg during the Little Norway Festival May 19-22. “Three asymptomatic crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during routine screening,” spokesperson Patty Disken‐Cahill at Lindblad Expeditions, said Sunday via email. “Due to space constraints onboard, they we...

  • 'Mushroom Lady' to teach fungi fanatics which are safe to eat and which are not

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Wondering if that cluster of mushrooms found on the roadside are safe to pick and eat? Odds are they're OK, and so are others. To that end, the Friends of the Library is holding an event Sept. 9 to 11 at the Irene Ingle Public Library to inform foragers what mushrooms can be eaten again and again, and which ones should not be eaten even once. Kitty LaBounty, a Sitka-based professor with the University of Alaska Southeast, is scheduled to share her knowledge on safe versus unsafe mushrooms when...

  • Work to begin this month on Roosevelt Harbor parking area project

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday awarded a parking area restoration project at Roosevelt Harbor on Zarembo Island to Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry, with work expected to begin in early June. About 70 vehicles in various stages of decay going back a couple of decades at the site about 12 miles southwest of the Wrangell City Dock has made Roosevelt Harbor vulnerable to pollutants and sediment from runoff. District Ranger Clint Kolarich of the Wrangell Ranger District on Friday said work will begin by June 8 — and it’s now the last call for peo...

  • Property tax rate unchanged from last year

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    At the assembly’s May 24 meeting, members unanimously approved a resolution setting the property tax levy for this year at 12.75 mills, which is $1,275 on every $100,000 in assessed value, the same rate as last year. The tax rate is 4 mills for property outside the borough’s service area, such as Thoms Place toward the southern end of Wrangell Island and Meyers Chuck. Property tax payments are due by Oct. 15. The borough estimates it will collect almost $1.8 million in property taxes in the fiscal year that starts July 1, with more than 96%...

  • Alaska Airlines pilots authorize if contract talks fail

    The Associated Press|Jun 1, 2022

    SEATTLE (AP) — Alaska Airlines pilots have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a future strike if current contract negotiations with management and federal mediation efforts fail. The Air Line Pilots Association said May 25 that almost 96% of its members cast mail-in votes and that 99% of those authorized the union’s leaders to call a strike if necessary and when permitted after a prolonged process managed by the National Mediation Board, The Seattle Times reported. Following by two months an informational picket in April by off-duty pilots, the...

  • Arrival of credit card readers for dock hoists delayed

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    An order for cashless machines for the public to pay for use of the four dock hoists at the Port and Harbors Department is delayed — the manufacturer is still waiting on parts. Port Director Steve Miller said they ordered four credit card readers for $11,000 from El Dorado, Arkansas-based manufacturer IDX this winter and were going to work with electricians in Wrangell for installation before the start of the summer season, but it’s looking like the order won’t arrive until June. And there could be further delays because local electricians are...

  • Native corporations plan cruise ship terminal for Klawock

    Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Na-Dena`, a joint venture between two Alaska Native corporations, is working with Klawock Heenya, the village corporation for the Prince of Wales Island community of about 800 people, to make Klawock a cruise ship destination. Juneau radio station KINY reported last week of the development plan between Huna Totem Corp., the village corporation for Hoonah, about 200 miles north of Klawock, and Doyon, the Fairbanks-based regional corporation for Alaska’s Interior. Klawock is on the west side of Prince of Wales, about 70 miles southwest of W...

  • Legislature fails to adopt limits on campaign donations

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Jun 1, 2022

    The Alaska Legislature failed to pass new restrictions on financial donations to candidates for state office. Because a federal court threw out Alaska’s old limits, the Legislature’s failure means candidates may accept unlimited amounts of money from donors inside and outside the state. “It was probably one of the most disappointing nights of my time in the Legislature to not get to see that happen, because it should have happened,” said Anchorage Sen. Bill Wielechowski. Legislative drafters finished work on a critical amendment in the closing...

  • Coast Guard to patrol around Wrangell, Petersburg through August

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    The U.S. Coast Guard will conduct operations with a couple of smaller boats for a few months between Wrangell and Petersburg, with an emphasis on safety checks. From June until August, two 29-foot Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security boats will patrol the region for search-and-rescue missions, vessel inspections and protecting marine life. The two smaller vessels will be handling operations since Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa, which usually patrols the area, is being relocated to Washington state. There will be a gap in coverage until...

  • Glenda Gillen dies at 79; helped bring Head Start to town

    Jun 1, 2022

    Glenda L. Gillen, 79, passed away in her home surrounded by her husband and children "and lots of love" on May 18 in Wrangell. Glenda's family will hold a private church service for her. Glenda was born to Harriet and Alton McAllister in Ketchikan on Nov. 6, 1942. She lived several years in Kasaan with her family and loved spending as much time as she could with her grandfather James Peele. She is the granddaughter of Chief Son-I-Hat of the Whale house of the Yaada tribe. She is Haida eagle of... Full story

  • At least 25% of Legislature not seeking reelection or running for other office

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Jun 1, 2022

    Months before Alaska’s state elections, the Legislature is set for major turnover. At least 17 of the Legislature’s 60 members will be in a new position or out of office entirely by next January — and that doesn’t count anyone who loses their seat in this fall’s elections. The deadline to file for this year’s legislative elections is June 1, but many candidates have already made up their minds. Because a steep learning curve awaits new legislators, several departing incumbents said the turnover will slow the progress of complicated legislation,...

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