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Master carver shares knowledge of totem poles' history and art

When Steve Brown, researcher and master carver, looks at totem poles, he sees details: the quality of the formline design, the subtle curves around a jaw, lip or eyelid, the amount and placement of any weathering or decay, the tiny, intricate...

 

Boarding school panelists talk of maintaining cultural strengths

Last Saturday at the Sharing Our Knowledge Conference, a “Break the Silence” panel discussion highlighted a wide range of perspectives on and experiences with Alaska Native boarding schools. Some panelists identified with the term “boarding...

 

Ferry system will stop charging more when ships are full

Three years after adopting a pricing plan that adds a surcharge for passenger, vehicle and stateroom fares on popular sailings, the Alaska Marine Highway System has decided to suspend the program for its fall/winter schedule. The ferry system’s...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 14, 2022

Harbor Department takes apart and sends 5 derelict boats to landfill

It only took one week in mid-August to demolish five vessels that were impounded by the harbormaster over the course of 10 years. Typically, the number of impounded vessels to be destroyed and shipped out isn’t so high, but the demolition funds...

 

Interior Department removes derogatory name from 26 places in Alaska

Twenty-six places in Alaska received a new name Sept. 8 as part of the Interior Department’s initiative to remove a derogatory word for Indigenous women — a change that affects more than 650 sites and geographic features across the country. Of...

 
 By Lisa Phu    News    September 14, 2022

Dunleavy vetoes bill to impose tax on electronic smoking products

Gov. Mike Dunleavy last Friday vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum age to purchase and legally possess tobacco products from 19 to 21 years old. The bill also included a tax on electronic smoking products that contain nicotine, which is...

 

Community auditions next week for 'Sound of Music'

It’s been more than 60 years since “The Sound of Music” debuted on Broadway and more than 20 years since Wrangell staged a community play, and organizers hope that the years have not diminished the appeal of either. Auditions for a community...

 

Not all candidates for governor are showing up at debates

Democratic candidate for governor Les Gara and independent candidate former governor Bill Walker said that the best candidate is the one who shows up for public forums. The two had the stage to themselves at a Sept. 7 event sponsored by the Kenai...

 

Federal program awards additional $12.4 million for Southeast projects

Grants totaling $12.4 million for Southeast Alaska projects ranging from a greenhouse in Yakutat to workforce development in forestry-related fields in Hydaburg were announced Sept. 6 by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the...

 

Gubernatorial candidate was asked to resign as Kenai borough mayor over harassment complaint

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, one of four candidates for Alaska governor, was asked to resign as mayor after an investigation determined a harassment complaint against him was credible. Pierce, a Republican, announced on Aug. 26 that...

 

Alaska mariculture effort wins $49 million federal grant

A statewide coalition of fisheries and economic development organizations, led by the Southeast Conference, has won a $49 million federal grant to help build up Alaska’s mariculture industry. “This is a moon shot,” Robert Venables, executive...

 

Steep drop in ferry travelers hurts Wrangell's tourism business

Less frequent service and the loss of about 6,000 ferry travelers a year over the past decade has cut deeply into Wrangell’s visitor industry. “People view Wrangell as hard to get to,” and the significant cuts to state ferry service perpetuate...

 

Mayor, 3-year assembly seats draw contested races

Two of the races on the Oct. 4 municipal election ballot are contested: There are two candidates for mayor and three candidates to fill two three-year terms on the borough assembly. The other three races on the ballot — for port commission, a...

 

Artifacts returned by Portland museum belong to the entire clan

Twenty years ago, the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska asked the Portland Art Museum to return nine objects that were taken from the Naanya.aayí clan in Wrangell almost...

 

Portland Museum repatriates nine Tlingit items

Items 1-3: X’átgu S’aaxw/mudshark hat; X’átgu Koodás’/mudshark shirt; Ditlein X’oow/killer whale stranded on a rock robe. According to Portland Art Museum records, former Schools Superintendent Axel Rasmussen obtained the hat and shirt...

 

Borough considers timber sale, other uses for Sunny Bay property

The borough’s Sunny Bay property, a parcel of land on the Cleveland Peninsula about 37 miles southeast of Wrangell, is a potential candidate for a helicopter logging sale someday, though no definitive plans have been made to harvest timber at the...

 

Keynote speaker will talk about healing from boarding school

Jim LaBelle entered the Wrangell Institute in 1955 at the age of 8. Over the next 10 years, he would lose his hair, large portions of his memory, and the ability to speak Inupiaq. He has spent his life trying to understand what happened, and he will...

 

Port commission not ready to recommend scrapyard lease at 6-Mile

Last Thursday, the port commission unanimously voted down a motion that would have recommended the borough lease a portion of the 6-Mile mill property to Channel Construction. Commissioners said they need more information before forwarding a...

 

Supporters cheer Peltola's victory for 'opening doors' for Alaska Natives

As a young teenager growing up in Bethel, Nikki Corbett got her first paid gig from Mary Peltola. "I babysat her oldest," said Corbett, who took care of Peltola's eldest son. Corbett, who lives on...

 

Challenger has gap to overcome in race to unseat Ortiz

Incumbent Ketchikan Rep. Dan Ortiz, who also represents Wrangell, grew his lead over Republican challenger Jeremy Bynum, also of Ketchikan, with the final batch of state primary results released Aug. 31. Ortiz leads Bynum 2,174 to 1,812. The latest...

 

Historian tells story of 1908 shipwreck in 5-part podcast series

The story of a 1908 shipwreck near Wrangell that killed 111 of the 138 men on board – mostly Asian cannery workers returning home after the salmon season had ended – is narrated by current and...

 

Library builds up offerings with construction kit for kids

Ever wanted to bend light? Build a wall-climbing gecko robot with air-suction toes? Control a bipedal, ultrasonic droid using your smartphone? These activities may sound like the work of a mad...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 7, 2022

Shop Groundswell to close down after five years in business

Vibrant laughter and fresh scents emanating from the shop on Lynch Street let visitors know this wasn't just a place for cookie-cutter souvenirs and run-of-the-mill art prints. For five and a half...

 

Murkowski, Tshibaka appear in first debate of U.S. Senate race

In their first time sharing a debate stage, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and her Trump-backed challenger Kelly Tshibaka presented their visions for representing Alaska as Republicans. And the differences were just as pronounced in style as they were in...

 
 By James Brooks    News    September 7, 2022

Libertarian candidate makes the final four for U.S. House Nov. 8 election

In Chris Bye’s preferred campaign photo, the Libertarian U.S. House candidate is ripping open his dress shirt to reveal a T-shirt that says, “Do Good Recklessly.” After fourth-place finisher Republican Tara Sweeney abruptly withdrew from...

 

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