Articles from the June 15, 2022 edition


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  • Wrangell dancers lead the way at Celebration

    Lisa Phu, Alaska Beacon|Jun 15, 2022

    Wrangell's 10-year-old Quinn Davies was "super nervous" to dance for the first time at Celebration - a biennial dance-and-culture festival of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures, held in Juneau last week. "I'm using my dad's regalia that he used when he was in Celebration, and I'm using his hat that he also used," Davies said June 8, opening day of the four-day event. His sister Madelyn Davies, 12, said being at Celebration is "kind of mind-blowing." "It's a lot of people. We're all together....

  • Portland museum returns Tlingit artifacts to Wrangell clan

    Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch|Jun 15, 2022

    Culturally significant objects formerly in collections of the Portland Art Museum arrived in Juneau on June 8 on their way back to Wrangell, whose Tlingit artisans had fashioned them. After years of negotiations following a claim originally filed in 2002 and accepted by the museum in 2019, the objects, including a Killerwhale Hat, have been repatriated to the Naanya.aayí clan in Wrangell, where they had originated. COVID-19 complications delayed the transfer until now, according to a museum...

  • Borough considers $1 million in pool, rec center work

    Elwood Brehmer, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    The borough is proposing almost $1 million worth of repair, rehab and upgrades to the community pool and recreation center building in next year’s budget. State grant funds would cover the costs. The projects include upgrading the heating and ventilation, or HVAC, system in the building as well as the digital temperature controls for the pool, new cedar siding on the building, repairing the brick-clad exterior columns and replacing the brick with cedar, and repairing and rebuilding the gutters and downspout system. The work is estimated at n...

  • Beach Explorers program turns outdoors into summer classroom

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    A group of 6-, 7- and 8-year-old kids poured over the rocky beach near City Park on June 8 like a bunch of young Indiana Joneses, looking for artifacts. But this group, unlike Dr. Jones, was looking for shells as part of a Beach Explorers program to use in a science experiment. During last week's exploration, children were given a cup, guided to the beach, and instructed to find two intact seashells. "It's fun," said Bo Ritchie, 6. "We find stuff like glass. That's what my sister does. She...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    June 15, 1922 One of the oldest totems in Alaska has been erected on the dock near the bonded warehouse. This rare totem was originally erected by the Natives in the old town of Howkan which was deserted years ago. This totem was transferred by the Natives to John K. Smith, of Craig who in turn sold it to the late Chas. A. Sulzer. Recently, Walter Waters purchased the totem from Attorney A. H. Zigler, who is the administrator of the Sulzer estate. The totem has been erected on the dock jointly owned by Walter Waters and the McCormack Dock Co....

  • Talent show to combine with wearable art in showcase of creativity

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    Imagine clothes made of plastic bags, playing cards or crab shells. Now imagine pulling a rabbit out of a tinfoil hat or yodeling while wearing a shirt of decoupage or any of the materials mentioned. Such whimsy is the basis for Express Yourself! a talent show combined with wearable art planned for 6 p.m. on July 3 at the Nolan Center. Organizers Cyni Crary and Bonnie Ritchie said it's been five years since they held the first combo event, and they feel it's time to bring it back, reintroducing...

  • Palin top vote-getter in special primary election to fill Young's seat

    Nat Herz and Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    If early results hold up in Alaska’s 48-candidate special primary election for U.S. House, the August general election to fill the last months of the late Rep. Don Young’s term will provide voters the choice between two Republicans, an independent and a Democrat. Former Gov. Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III, both Republicans, were the top two vote-getters in the primary, which closed to voting last Saturday. Independent Al Gross came in third, and former state Rep. Mary Peltola, a Bethel Democrat running in her first statewide campaign, was in f...

  • If not more ferries, at least more information

    Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    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 channel of communication. Almost a year ago, the Alaska Marine Highway System reported the Columbia could return to work this summer after being held out of service since 2019 for repairs and to save money. “Could return” as in “would return” if the state could hire enough crew to restaff the vessel. The...

  • Alaska cannot afford its expensive dreams

    Larry Persily Publisher, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    The weekend headline in Anchorage said an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline project “could be closer than ever, Alaska politicians say.” The first clue was “Alaska politicians say.” No offense, but pinning your hopes on what politicians say in an election year is like believing your kid really cleaned up his room like you asked. The kid will tell you what you want to hear to avoid punishment, just like a candidate will tell tall tales and exaggerate to avoid losing an election. The only difference being the politician should know better....

  • Endurance races run through Wrangell at start and end of July

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    Fitness buffs looking to challenge themselves in Wrangell don't have far to go to go far. Two different events in July will test the mettle of endurance athletes seeking to swim, bike, run and run some more. The Tongass Toughman Triathlon on July 2 pits people against sea, pavement and dirt in a combined 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 15-mile run. The Bearfest marathon on July 31 gives racers the option of running a full marathon (26.2 miles), a half (13.1 miles) or a 5k (3.1 miles)....

  • Chamber needs volunteers for July 4th events

    The Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    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 help. At least 15 volunteers are needed to help pull apart raffle tickets for the annual prize drawing, set up and take down booths, direct people and generally help out wherever needed over the several days of community festivities. Brittani Robbins, the chamber’s executive director, said there are about...

  • Alaska's unemployment rate continues downward trend, stressing employers

    Anchorage Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    Alaska’s unemployment rate reached its lowest level ever for April, two years after it hit a record high during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% in April — the latest data available from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In April 2020, the unemployment rate shot to an unprecedented 11.9% a month after the pandemic was declared, levels that exceeded even the mid-1980s downturn in the state, according to Labor Department data dating back to 1976. Toda...

  • Hospital conducts casualty drill to test itself and learn

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    A mass casualty exercise June 7 was the first one held at the Wrangell Medical Center in its 16-month-old facility. The drill, which simulated a plane crash, was used to see where improvements could be made in the emergency operations plan. It involved about 70 staff members from the hospital, EMTs and volunteer firefighters. Eleven community volunteers of various ages were made up to resemble victims with head wounds, lacerations and other traumas requiring stabilization, medevac or blood...

  • Boaters start 750-mile race Port Townsend to Ketchikan

    Danelle Kelly, Ketchikan Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    The Race to Alaska launched a flotilla north to Ketchikan from Port Townsend, Washington, on Monday. The 750-mile wind- and human-powered race has two starts: 5 a.m. Monday for the first leg, which organizers call the “The Proving Ground,” and noon Thursday for the second leg, which organizers call “To the Bitter End.” R2AK advertising is notoriously humorous and full of hyperbole. One description of the race on its website explains the event as: “It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat, with a chance of drowning, being run down by a freighter,...

  • Court considers whether Alaska lawmakers can ban people from their Facebook page

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Jun 15, 2022

    An Anchorage Superior Court judge is considering when and if it is legal for a state legislator to ban a constituent from the lawmaker’s legislative Facebook page. On June 8, Judge Thomas Matthews heard oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by an Eagle River woman against Sen. Lora Reinbold, an Eagle River Republican. After hearing arguments, Matthews took the case under advisement, with a decision to be issued soon. Bobbie McDow, the plaintiff, is asking for an injunction against Reinbold, plus financial damages and attorney fees. The verdict co...

  • State will end COVID-19 health emergency order

    Associated Press and Ketchikan Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    The state’s COVID-19 public health emergency order put in place 15 months ago will be rescinded on July 1, announced Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum. “The COVID situation has mellowed out to where our systems are in place, our hospitals know how to deal with this, our health care providers have tools they need, because a lot of the treatments are actually commercially available or they’re able to order themselves directly,” Crum said at a press conference on June 6. “And so, because of that, I am going to...

  • Repairs to Sitka cruise ship terminal now estimated at $2 million

    Shannon Haugland, Sitka Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    Repairs to damaged mooring dolphins at the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal will take longer and cost more than originally expected, now estimated at over $2 million, dock officials said. Until repairs are made, only one ship, not two, can use the dock at a time. The dolphin off the north end of the Sitka Sound dock was damaged May 9 when it was struck by the Radiance of the Seas as it was maneuvering nearby. The damage reduced the number of available docking spaces from two to one, said Chris McGraw, manager of the privately owned cruise terminal....

  • Another legislative leader drops reelection bid

    The Associated Press|Jun 15, 2022

    JUNEAU (AP) — Alaska House Majority Leader Chris Tuck said he will not seek reelection this year, citing a redistricting map that put him in House and Senate districts where he would have had to run against friends and fellow Democratic lawmakers. Tuck joins Senate President Peter Micciche, a Soldotna Republican, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, an Anchorage Democrat, in deciding not to seek reelection. Tuck had filed to run for an Anchorage House seat for which Rep. Andy Josephson also filed. Tuck withdrew on June 8. If Tuck had run f...

  • Princess Cruises closes Alaska lodge due to staffing shortage

    Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    Just as Alaska’s tourism season heats up, Princess Cruises said it will close one of its five lodges in the state this summer because of staffing shortages. The Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge will close this Friday, according to a statement provided June 6 by Negin Kamali, a spokeswoman with Princess Cruises. The lodge had opened on May 19 for the first time in more than two years, after the COVID-19 pandemic halted major cruise sailings to Southcentral Alaska until this summer. Located a 3½-hour drive northeast of Anchorage in Co...

  • Ketchikan assembly rejects mayor's veto of LGBTQ+ grant

    The Associated Press|Jun 15, 2022

    KETCHIKAN (AP) — The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has overwhelmingly reversed the mayor’s veto of grant funding to a group that provides support to the LGBTQ+ community. The assembly voted 6-1 on June 6 to override Mayor Rodney Dial’s veto of $1,638 in grant funding to the Ketchikan Pride Alliance, the Ketchikan Daily News reported. Dial defended his veto during a presentation in attempts to persuade the assembly to let the veto stand. He said the group was an advocacy organization promoting activism. Assembly Member Judith McQue...

  • Police report

    Jun 15, 2022

    Monday, June 6 Found property. Agency assist: Harbor Department. Threats. Dog complaint. Harassment. Violations of conditions of release. Tuesday, June 7 Dog at large. Subpoena service. Wednesday, June 8 Illegal parking. Agency assist: Ambulance. Thursday, June 9 Agency assist: Ambulance. Welfare check. Summons service. Agency assist: Hoonah Police Department. Friday, June 10 Burglar alarm. Agency assist: Harbor Department. Subpoena service. Trespass. Alarm. Saturday, June 11 Subpoena service. Agency assist: Ambulance. Sunday, June 12 Nothing...

  • Classified ads

    Jun 15, 2022

    HELP WANTED Wrangell Public Schools is accepting applications for the following positions: Custodian: This is a full-time, year-round classified position with benefits, 7.5 hours per day. Salary placement is on Column B of the Classified Salary Schedule. Job duties include but are not limited to keeping our school complex clean and assisting with setting up rooms for classes, large presentations, and business meetings as needed; and assisting with minor repairs. A High School Diploma or equivalent is desired. The successful applicant will...

  • Malaspina leaves behind a lot of stories in the wake of its retirement

    Dave Kiffer, Ketchikan Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    The recent news that the longtime Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Malaspina will be officially retired and will remain in Ketchikan's Ward Cove as a privately owned and operated museum and a training vessel is good news to its fans who had feared that the "Mal" would suffer the same fate as its sistership, the Taku, which was sold in 2018 and scrapped in India. The Malaspina, along with the Taku and the Matanuska, were the first mainline ferries in the fleet, all going online in 1963. They...

  • Scientists install seismic sensors on Mount Edgecumbe

    Garland Kennedy, Sitka Sentinel|Jun 15, 2022

    After a swarm of small earthquakes beneath Mount Edgecumbe caught the attention of the Alaska Volcano Observatory in April, a crew of scientists has installed seismic and GPS sensors on the mountain to monitor any further activity. While the Alaska Volcano Observatory determined in early May that Mount Edgecumbe is now an active volcano, geophysicist Max Kaufman and research technician Max Enders both have reaffirmed that there is no imminent threat of eruption. The two were in Sitka for three days late last month and installed the sensory...

  • Navy F-18s stop in Ketchikan to refuel

    Ketchikan Daily News|Jun 15, 2022

    On a sunny afternoon, Ketchikan International Airport got a surprise visit from some unusual guests. At about noon on June 7, five U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornets touched down at the airport for about two hours to refuel on their way north to Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks. Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Hempler, one of the Hornet pilots, spoke with the Daily News by phone after the jets touched down at Eielson, where they will participate in RED FLAG-Alaska, a joint training exercise that takes place over the course of about 10 days. They’ll remain a...

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