Articles from the October 19, 2023 edition


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  • Trust Land parcel at Blind River Rapids up for auction

    Olivia Rose|Oct 19, 2023

    On the north end of Blind River Rapids, a large boulder stands amidst the rushing water - long used by the public for a popular spot to sport fish for hatchery salmon. The fishing rock is located on the banks of a parcel of land owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office, which the state created to fund mental health care in Alaska through selling the trust's property. On Sept. 13, the 4.46 acre parcel was put up for sale at a minimum bid of over $102 thousand. During the Borough...

  • Salmon art installation swimming into library garden

    Olivia Rose|Oct 19, 2023

    The garden in front of the Petersburg Public Library has the first stage of a new art installation in the works - blending into the background, awaiting the focal pieces. Josef Quitslund welded an intricate fence last month, just "putting up the framework" for what will soon become a school of salmon swimming up Haugen drive. Around a hundred salmon-shaped pieces of colorfully painted plywood will hang from the rebar structure - moving with the wind and swimming through the garden midair....

  • Yesterday's News News from 25-50-75-100 years ago

    Oct 19, 2023

    October 19, 1923 – The Wrangell Commercial Club voted unanimously in favor of the division of a new territory out of Southeastern Alaska and voted unanimously in favor of holding a convention at Juneau to consider the question and to make arrangements to inaugurate a campaign to bring about the division. The action of the Wrangell Commercial Club was based upon the request of the Ketchikan City Council that the people of Southeastern Alaska give serious attention to the matter of Territorial division. The Wrangell Commercial Club, acting u...

  • Skylark ordinance amended to define manufactured home

    Olivia Rose|Oct 19, 2023

    The ordinance to rezone Skylark Park property Lot GL 14 from Public Use to Single-Family Mobile Home (SFMH) was unanimously approved by the Borough Assembly once again in its second reading of three on Oct. 16. However, before the roll call, the assembly agreed to amend the ordinance. Assembly Member Thomas Fine-Walsh proposed the amendment that added a condition to the rezoning and dictates a definition for manufactured homes. This does not codify an official definition or alter any rezoning...

  • Bike Park project enters next phase

    Oct 19, 2023

    Brian Stoody is a bike park consultant for the Petersburg Bike Park project. He was flown in from Juneau last weekend to ensure the project continues safely on track. Stoody has past experience working on the Under Thunder city bike park in Juneau, and also as the lead designer and builder for the construction of the Eagle Crest bike trails project in Juneau....

  • To the Editor

    Oct 19, 2023

    What is wrong with the PMC buildings? To the Editor: After reviewing the 50-page 2015 architectural report and visiting with the current Petersburg Medical Center employees, I am sharing my understanding of this issue in two letters. The hospital consists of three separate constructions: the long-term care, built in 1959 is cement. The acute care building in 1983-84 is steel and wood. The clinic consists of 5 modular sections. They are wood and connected in 1994. The architectural design is amazing with the available space. Renovations include...

  • Guest Editorial: Remembering a moment of sharing religions

    Larry Persily|Oct 19, 2023

    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 Hamas raid with deadly retaliatory attacks on Gaza — military targets but also more innocent civilians caught in the war. I am losing hope for a lasting peace in the Middle East, even though I was always told it was possible and always wanted that to be true. I am Jewish — culturally, not rel...

  • Bear cub captured inside grocery store, euthanized

    Olivia Rose|Oct 19, 2023

    Bystanders in downtown Petersburg watched through the windows of Petersburg IGA as wildlife troopers and police captured a young bear inside the grocery store on Tuesday afternoon. Alaska State Wildlife Trooper Sgt. Cody Litster told the Pilot that he received an urgent call from staff at the downtown grocery store and left promptly, notifying the Alaska Department of Fish and Game along the way, with the Petersburg Police Department following close behind. Trooper Josh Spann and Sgt. Litster...

  • Police report

    Oct 19, 2023

    October 11 – Petersburg Police Department (PPD) received a report of a bear trying to access a chicken enclosure on North 4th Street. The complainant ran the bear off the property. PPD received a report of an injured deer, believed to have been hit by a vehicle at Mitkof Highway and Hungerford Hill Road, leaving the area. It was not located. An officer assisted a citizen on South 2nd Street. PPD received a report of a runaway dog on Mitkof Highway. An officer conducted additional patrols on Lumber Street in response to reported bear s...

  • Mitkof Mummers muster for upcoming play

    Jake Clemens|Oct 19, 2023

    The Mitkof Mummers are setting the stage for their upcoming play, "McQuadle: A Dragon's Tale." With performance dates of November 9, 10, and 11 just weeks away, director Tiffany Glass aims to be off-book soon, meaning everyone should have their lines memorized. Three performances, instead of the usual two, is part of a new Mummer's fundraising goal: to replace the worn-out seats in the auditorium. The Mummers' costume sale in the Elk's Ballroom earlier this month was also for that long term goal...

  • Building mariculture industry means growing production and market at same time

    Larry Persily|Oct 19, 2023

    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 manager at the Southeast Conference, said of what comes first: More kelp or more buyers. “There are definitely challenges in both.” The Alaska Mariculture Cluster, a consortium led by the Southeast Conference, has $49 million in federal money and $15 million in cash and in-kind matching funds to use ove...

  • PHS volleyball adapt and overcome in Anchorage

    Liam Demko|Oct 19, 2023

    Petersburg High School's varsity volleyball had a huge performance last weekend up in Anchorage, going undefeated up until the final match and taking second place in the entire tournament. With only one loss on their record as of now, the team proved that there's a lot of valuable learning to be had in defeat. They showed remarkable versatility in their matches along with fantastic teamwork and unity, hinting that they have a lot of success in store for them across the rest of the season. "They...

  • PHS swim duo competes at home

    Liam Demko|Oct 19, 2023

    Petersburg High School's swim team made sure to finish their regular season off with a bang at their home meet last weekend. With the road to regionals coming to a close, the duo of Logan Tow and Brooklyn Whitethorn are working through their final preparations, with this last performance proving they have a great chance of qualifying for state at their next competition. "[We're feeling] pretty good. They look pretty good, pretty strong in the races they're going to be doing at regionals," said...

  • Wrestlers returning to form in first meet

    Liam Demko|Oct 19, 2023

    Petersburg High School's wrestling team competed in their first tournament of the season in Craig last weekend. With a loose round robin format, the meet gave students as many chances as possible to gain some experience on the mats, helping them shake off some of their first tournament jitters. "This competition was ironing the kinks, there's no doubt about it," said head coach James Valentine. "You take a year off and you go to your first tournament, you're not going to be your best self."...

  • Seal processing workshop teaches traditional knowledge

    Oct 19, 2023

    WRANGELL - 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, students helped harvest the meat, fat, skin, oil and intestines from two seals and learned how each byproduct could be prepared or stored. Instructor Paul Marks II learned how to harvest and process seals from his family in Kake, particularly his grandmother. "I would bring in fish, crab,...

  • Alaska fishermen will be allowed to harvest lucrative red king crab in the Bering Sea

    MARK THIESSEN AND JOSHUA A. BICKEL, Associated Press|Oct 19, 2023

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska fishermen will be able to harvest red king crab for the first time in two years, offering a slight reprieve to the beleaguered fishery beset by low numbers likely exacerbated by climate change. There was no such rebound for snow crab, however, and that fishery will remain closed for a second straight year, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced earlier this month. “The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery for the prior two seasons were closed based on low abundance and particularly low abundance of mat...

  • Millions worth of downtown Haines retail property goes up for sale

    Lex Treinen, CVN writer|Oct 19, 2023

    HAINES - More than $3.5 million worth of Haines real estate - most of it in the downtown area - went up for sale last week, surprising business owners and public officials who worried about what the sale might mean for the vibrancy of the city center. The properties include Alpenglow Pizza, Thor's Gym and Eagles Nest Apartments, and are owned by Chris Thorgesen, who purchased most of them about 10 years ago. "It's obviously a concern," said mayor-elect Tom Morphet. "Chris single-handedly kind...

  • Alaska flu cases increased last year, spiking in early winter, while vaccine rates lagged

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|Oct 19, 2023

    After a period when COVID-19 restrictions halted the spread of other respiratory diseases, Alaska had a big increase in influenza cases, state data shows. The overall influenza case load during the 2022-23 season was much higher than in prior years, reports a new bulletin issued by the epidemiology section of the Alaska Division of Public Health. Most notably, cases spiked much earlier in the season, in November and December, before dropping. There were five influenza deaths over the season, all among adults, according to the bulletin, the late... Full story

  • Lack of investment in school guidance programs linked to Alaska's lagging workforce

    Claire Stremple, Alaska Beacon|Oct 19, 2023

    Jobs are available in Alaska, but the workforce to fill them isn’t there. A report from the Association of Alaska School Boards linked it to underfunding public schools — especially guidance counselors and guidance programs. The report noted that one in five young adults in Alaska isn’t connected to school or work. Emily Ferry, a coordinator for the Association of Alaska Schools Boards, said schools and Tribes need support for these programs. “It’s not surprising when you invest less, your return on investment is not there, it’s not the sam... Full story

  • Alaska redistricting board agrees to pay $400,000 after losing Eagle River Senate lawsuit

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Oct 19, 2023

    The five-person board in charge of drawing Alaska’s legislative districts will pay $400,000 to settle financial claims brought by a group of East Anchorage plaintiffs who successfully challenged the boundaries of Eagle River’s state Senate district last year. In total, the state will have paid more than $600,000 to settle financial claims resulting from what the Alaska Supreme Court called “an unconstitutional political gerrymander.” Two smaller financial claims by other plaintiffs remain unresolved, but Friday’s decision by the redistric... Full story

  • Artifact Archive

    Oct 19, 2023

    Chouinard Mountaineer's Ax In 1966 Yvon Chouinard revolutionized the curved ice ax for climbing. He developed a longer shaft with a dramatically curved pick. He said, "A curve compatible with the arc of the ax's swing would allow the pic to stay better in the ice." His idea worked and began a revolution in ice ax design known as the "curve-a-lution." This mountaineer's ax was used and donated by Zac Hoyt and is currently on display in the special exhibit, "Devil's Thumb," at the Clausen Museum...

  • Stanton Gregor swearing in

    Oct 19, 2023

    Jeigh Stanton Gregor takes the oath of office on October 16 to serve on Petersburg Borough Assembly. Clerk Debbie Thompson conducted the swearing in, then Stanton Gregor took his seat at the dais for Monday evening's assembly meeting....

  • Tranquil Respite

    Oct 19, 2023

    Local painter Beth Flor's oil painting "Tranquil Respite" was selected from over 625 entries for the International Guild of Realism's Fall Online Exhibition. The juried show will feature works representing twenty countries. The paintings will be displayed on the guild's website from October 20 through December 20, 2023. Many more of Flor's oil paintings are being featured during the month of October at Firelight Gallery and Framing in downtown Petersburg....

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