Petersburg Pilot -


Yesterday's News


August 16, 1913 – From Bellingham comes the news that a few days ago when the run of sockeyes was on, cannery tenders had a great deal of trouble in passing through Rosario straits, as the hulls slid over the slippery mass of fish which would get entangled in the propeller in such a quantity as to impede their progress.

The crew of the tender Vermont returned with the decks covered with fish which they speared while on their way to the cannery. It is four years since such a run was on.

“Grass-widowers” had better be careful and wash their own dishes.

August 24, 1983 – Petersburg received $129,738 less in raw fish tax monies than city officials expected this year, according to Patty Curtiss, city clerk.

The shortage has impacted city finances, Curtiss said. City officials expected about $450,000 in fish tax revenue collected from July 1982 to June 1983. They received $330,265. The council had appropriated $200,000 for the harbor master's new building. The rest was allotted for the general fund.

To compensate for the money shortage, the city is asking the Alaska State Department of Transportation for more funds to build the harbor master's building, Curtiss said.

Each year canneries report the amount and value of fish they process to the state Department of Revenue, which then taxes them accordingly. A percentage of taxes paid for raw fish revenue is returned to boroughs and municipalities. The state legislature sets percentage rates each year.

In 1982, the city received $387,004, or 30 percent of the tax revenue collected from local canneries. This year it received 50 percent of the tax revenue and expected more money, Curtiss said.

She speculated that lack of processing at Whitney Fidalgo may have affected the raw fish tax allotment.

August 19, 1993 – The Summer Reading Program at the Public Library attracted 67 children who read a total of 1,260 books during the six week program. The program ended the last day of July. Programs twice a week drew enthusiastic groups of kids for music, reading, and storytelling.

Every child who had read at least one book during the previous week was eligible for a prize of a $5 gift certificate donated by Sing Lee Alley Books. Winners of the weekly drawing were: Eric Lee, Matthew Hubbard, Susan Henderson, Ron Hall, Rande Cenis, and Samantha Medalen. For every ten books each child read, the child earned one chance for the drawing for the Grand Prize. Paul Canik won the $20 gift certificate contributed by Kinder Komfort. Skyler Flora read the most books – 80 during six weeks.

August 28, 2003 – The Empress of the North made its second pass through Petersburg on Monday and you could almost hear the dance hall girls on stage, the calliope music in the parlor, and the gun fire from a disheartened five-card-stud loser...almost.

“We want to show some history of Alaska,” Empress of the North captain Bob Wengel said. “Not just its beauty. This truly is the best way to see Alaska.”

After a brief speech, Wengel was presented with a Rosmaled plaque from Chamber of Commerce president Joseph Lanham and in exchange presented a Brenda Schwartz artwork showing the Empress of the North on an Alaskan nautical chart.


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