The U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Wainwright, Department of Public Works is holding a meeting of the...
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Alaska and Yukon Headlines
For the next Outdoor Explorer we’re in Fairbanks for a kind of adventure that is uniquely arctic and Fairbanks hard-core: long range expeditions by snow machine. We’ll be joined by UAF scientist Matthew Sturm, whose studies of snow led to a career of traveling the breadth of North America on snowmachines with a team of very tough motorheads. We’ll learn about those trips, and how to prepare for motorized travel in some of the most remote spots on the globe.
- Matthew Sturm, University of Alaska Fairbanks
HOST: Charles Wohlforth
PARTICIPATE: Facebook: Outdoor Explorer (comments may be read on-air)
BROADCAST: Thursday December 5, 2013. 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm AKT
REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday December 5, 2013. 9:00 – 10:00 pm AKT
SUBSCRIBE: Receive Outdoor Explorer automatically every week via
Go to OUTDOOREXPLORER.ORG
Audio will be posted following radio broadcast
- Dec. 6-15, Anchorage International Film Festival
- Jan. 17-18, Indigenous World Film Festival
The Anchorage Film Fest is 12 years old this year and happily anchored at eight venues around town, including Bear Tooth Theatrepub and Alaska Experience Theater, but also the Anchorage Museum and Mad Myrna’s among others. Tickets range from $8 a show to $100 for an all-films pass. The fest uses the “festivalgenius” app for on-the-go convenience.
This is year 10 for the Indigenous World Film Festival hosted at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. This two-day, Friday-Saturday fest is free and includes opportunities to meet guest film directors.
We’ll give you highlights and don’t miss notes, based on interviews with the program directors of each festival. Your winter dance card will be full!
- Jim Parker, program director, Anchorage International Film Festival
- Steven Alvarez, program director, Indigenous World Film Festival
- Anchorage International Film Festival, website
- festivalgenius, Anchorage International Film Festival app
- Quick Freeze Short Film Competition
- Indigenous World Film Festival, events listing
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
- Send e-mail to email@example.com before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
- Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, December 4, 2013. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, December 4, 2013. 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)
Since it was published in 2012, The Snow Child by Alaska’s own Eowyn Ivey from Chickaloon has been published in many different languages and nominated for the Pulitzer prize. Following a international book tour, Eowyn returned home and met with the Anchorage Friends of the Library. This week on Addressing Alaskans, listen to her talk about how books and libraries shaped her life as a writer.
- Hometown, Alaska: Anchorage Reads The Snow Child with Eowyn Ivey
- Addressing Alaskans Fantastic, Historic, Unconventional: Crossing Literary Fiction Boundaries with Eowyn Ivey and Andromeda Romano-Lax
- Chickaloon Author Releases ‘The Snow Child’
BROADCAST ON KSKA: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Tuesday, December 3,, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
RECORDED: October 9, 2013 at the Loussac Library
Addressing Alaskans features local lectures and forums recorded at public events taking place in Southcentral, Alaska. A variety of local organizations host speakers addressing topics that matter to Alaskans. To let us know about an upcoming community event that you would like to hear onAddressing Alaskans, please Contact Us with details.
Audio will be posted following radio broadcast
The new motion picture “Icebound,” about the Alaska serum run to Nome, is just one of many films coming to the Anchorage International Film Festival in early December. Also, “The Frozen Ground,” which only had limited theatrical release in Alaska.
HOST: Steve Heimel, Alaska Public Radio Network
- Tony Shepard, founder
- Jim Parker, volunteer program organizer
- Callers Statewide
- Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).
- Send e-mail to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)
- Call 550-8422 in Anchorage or 1-800-478-8255 if you’re outside Anchorage during the live broadcast
LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
Can early childhood adversity and stress determine the lifelong risk for mental and physical health? On the next Line One, Dr. Woodard and his guest Josh Arvidson of Anchorage Community Mental Health Services discuss the evidence for, and mechanisms of how, the environment from conception until about age 3 years can interact with biology to affect health over a lifetime.
- CDC: Averse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study
- American Academy of Pediatrics: The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress
- Harvard University: Center on the Developing Child
- Anchorage Community Health Services: Child Trauma Center
- YouTube: HarvardPublicHealth: The Toxic Stress of Early Childhood Adversity
- BBC Radio: The First 100 Days: A Legacy for Life, In the Womb
HOST : Dr. Thad Woodard, Anchorage pediatrician
GUEST: Joshua Arvidson, MSS., LCSW Director Alaska Child Trauma Center at Anchorage Community Health Service
REPEAT BROADCAST: December 2, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
DR. WOODARD’S FAVORITE HEALTH AND SCIENCE LINKS:
- Cleveland Clinic
- Mayo Clinic
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI)
- Science Based Medicine
- Super Smart Health
SUBSCRIBE: Get Line One: Your Health Connection updates automatically by:
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus and he will be coming to Valley Performing Arts this November 29th and staying until December 22nd (leaving just in time to visit all the boys and girls all over the world!) Bryan Nelson and Mathew Fimin from the Andrew J. Fenady stage adaptation of this famous true story of a young girl who doubted the existence of the jolly elf visit Stage Talk to tell us about Santa’s visit.
- Bryan Nelson, Actor VPA’s Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
- Mathew Firmin, Actor VPA’s Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
ORIGINAL BROADCAST: Friday November 29th, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.
SUBSCRIBE: Get Stage Talk updates automatically — via:
Alaska has its share of big science projects, to be sure. But to get results, science doesn’t always have to be huge.
In Sitka, a project in its second year is studying the seasonal movement of juncoes and some other sparrows. It started as a way to involve kids in science, and to answer some basic questions about a species so common that we haven’t taken the trouble to study it.
Robert – “I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed somebody at a whisper.”
Gwen – “Sorry, I hope it comes out.”
I find Gwen Baluss a couple of blocks up the street from where I live. She’s sitting just inside a downstairs window in the home of Scott Harris, who works for the Sitka Conservation Society.
She’s poised by the window, which is slightly ajar, holding a thread. When she releases it, a device known as a “hall trap” unfurls, ideally right on top of some unsuspecting juncoes.
“Yeah. It’s not looking good out there,” she said.
Juncoes tend to arrive at backyard feeders in waves, and the latest flock took flight after a cat stopped by.
Harris’s 7-year old son, Tomy, has been kneeling by the window all morning. He understands the hall trap, and what it’s like to be a few inches away from a creature that most of us only ever see at a distance.
“And when it’s in the middle, you let go of this,” Tommy said. “You let go of the string, and then the trap comes down on the bird, and then you just go out and get them. It doesn’t hurt them.”
The cat’s visit has pretty much ended trapping this morning. This is a setback, but only a small one. Baluss’s project has a very limited scope.
“I’m not color-banding any other birds in Southeast Alaska, so Sitka’s actually getting a lot of colors,” Baluss said. “If you see a color-banded bird in Southeast chances are that it came from Sitka, if it’s a junco, chickadee, or song sparrow. Those are the three species that I have the color bands for.”
Baluss is attaching tiny, colored bands to the legs of juncoes – only in Sitka. Anywhere from 1-4 bands per bird – like color-coding with various combinations of white, green, red, blue, and light blue. It’s an inspired strategy.
“That’s the nice thing about color-banding,” Baluss said. “A bird-watcher, or anyone, who happens to see a color-tagged bird could report those, and we would know which bird that was with a fair level of confidence.”
Baluss is a wildlife technician for the Forest Service in Juneau. Her agency, the Sitka Conservation Society, and the University of Alaska Southeast co-sponsor her research.
After lunch it’s time to change venues. We’re in the potting shed of the community garden, behind Blatchley Middle School. The noise that sounds like hail is actually from the marble-sized raindrops Southeast is famous for.
As I arrive, Baluss and Harris have just bagged a bird – literally. They’ve released the trap, and Baluss reaches in, grabs the junco, and stuffs it into a little cloth sack.
After she attaches the bands, she measures the length of its primary feathers, and checks its fat content. Earlier, she told me you can see right through the skin of small birds. She holds up the junco and starts to gently blow apart the downy feathers on its breast.
Gwen – “So, looking at his fat, I’m kind of doing the see-through skin trick again. The kind of yellowish stuff you see there is fat. Well, actually some of it is corn that he just ate. Stuff in his crop that you can see.”
Robert – “I’ve been interested in birds since I moved to Sitka but I never knew that they were see-through. That you could actually see their last meal heading down the pipe.”
Gwen – “Yeah, if they’ve eaten a lot.”
Baluss has banded 44 juncoes in two days, despite the weather. One ruby-crowned kinglet, one white-crowned sparrow, one fox sparrow, and one song sparrow. Last year she did almost one-hundred birds.
And these few birds have already taught us something important. Except for a few slate-colored juncoes that move in each winter from Canada, our local juncoes were always thought to be year-round residents.
One-hundred-forty-four banded birds say otherwise.
Gwen – “In that last year, of all the birds that we color-banded, none were seen in Sitka in the summertime at all. So they moved somewhere. Perhaps just out of town where people weren’t hiking. Perhaps much farther than that.”
Robert – “From what you’ve learned so far, it’s likely that people will be seeing these banded birds, not necessarily in Sitka, they might be seeing them up to the north, seeing them up in Whitehorse?”
Gwen – “Yeah. Hopefully most of them will survive the winter and breed somewhere, and communities in Southeast and in Canada will keep an eye out for them.”
So does this mean an entire population of songbirds moves out of Sitka in winter, only to be replaced by an identical population moving in? That’s a pretty big conclusion, even for small science.
This week we’re headed 77 miles southwest of Bethel to the village of Kwigillingok. Andrew Beaver is the tribal administrator for the Native Village of Kwigillingok.
“My name is Andrew Beaver, I’m the tribal administrator for governing body, Native Village of Kwigillingok. I’m also a church elder.
I’m only ninety year young, I don’t feel that old, and I have 13 grandchildren. And I’m married and I have my own, my own children, that are grown adults now, supporting themselves.
I feel I’m still in my mid-age. Like in 40, 45, 40 year old. Because I’m very active; I go out to tundra and enjoy the nature. I don’t stay put in once place.
Personally, I enjoyed going out doing subsistence [for fun]; it’s part of our recreation, like a we enjoy the natural environment, um, and that’s natural. Like when I’m stressed out at work, I work for my tribe in the office, and I can go out into nature, nature environment, and be out there. And many times my stress feelings are [done with] out there, and by the time I come back I’m no longer stressed out. I’m ready to go back to a stressful work.
We’re pretty much done with our summer subsistence fishing. We dried salmon and we eat some of them…. and right now we’re in the process of drying smaller fish, and right up to freezing, when the ice is thickened up on the river we dipnet for tom-cots and that’s part of our winter food supply.
Unusually it’s warm. By this time it should be frozen. The river still is pretty open. There’s a thin ice on lakes, and this is not normal. Last year it was frozen by this time of the year.
I think we’re pretty much adapted to any season, unusual season like this. We’re, right now, we’re still doing our subsistence activities, like before freeze-up, we continue with that.
We don’t have any restaurants or hotels, but we have places where people can sleep — like families open their doors, bringing strangers in. The school also opens their doors to have somebody stay there at minimum cost. But we have a general store with mostly canned foods and limited food or refrigerated. It’s not like in city. But, uh, the necessary basic needs for community.
I think our community is keeping their language, Yup’ik language; that’s our first language and 99 percent of our population speaks our language fluently. And our second language is English, not that much.”
The Bethel City Council once again declined a hard look at raising water and sewer rates. Mayor Joe Klejka was behind a memorandum to have staff write up ordinances that would make the water and sewer operation cover its costs. Eric Whitney made the motion to enter the memorandum, but that’s as far as it got.
The city currently has to transfer money earned by the port to cover costs. Vice Mayor Rick Robb in his comments said the timing might not be right.
“There is a lot of concern about raising people’s bills at a difficult time, we have some problems with that, especially as the city currently has a surplus of money due to excise tax and other things and to turn around and bring up raising bills, maybe we can use some of that excise tax in a different way. I just throw that out there as an idea,” Robb said.
Bethel resident Sherry Neth receives piped water. She expressed interest in being metered, and only paying for what her household uses. She spoke to the idea of reducing the steep costs of water delivery.
“Trucks [will] get more expensive and the more miles they have to travel, the greater the wear and tear,” she said. “I want to encourage looking at the infrastructure and and if as rates go up if some of that could be an investment toward improving infrastructure, that will in the end decrease the long term cost to the city,” Neth said.
Major Joe Klejka is urging the council to be proactive on getting control over the precarious sewage lagoon. He said agencies won’t give the city grants until the water and sewer rates cover their costs. Meanwhile, the lagoon needs protection from erosion as it generates large waves in the second cell. The port, which has been subsidizing the water sewage system, needs dock work done.
“To just wait for catastrophic failure makes me really nervous’ Kleika said. “I don’t think that’s the right way to go, maybe someone will bail us out, but it won’t be pretty when it happens, whether it’s the dock or the sewer lagoon. I think we need to go forward. I was hoping that this action memorandum would get the conversation going, because it is important. It is cost increases and it is difficult times.”
The city is about a half million dollars short on an annual basis.
The council approved a record keeping master plan that allows for electronic records. The previously approved system required all paper records.
The state disaster office has pushed back the start date for those affected by the October Kenai flooding to register for individual grant assistance.
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said this week they now plan to open disaster assistance centers, as well and online and telephone registration during the week of Dec. 8, the Peninsula Clarion reported. Officials had initially planned to do so the week of Dec. 2.
Officials say the delay would allow out-of-state contractors to arrive and be properly trained on procedures.
On Nov. 18, Gov. Sean Parnell declared the Oct. 28 flooding on the Kenai Peninsula a disaster.
Kenai Peninsula Borough officials estimated that 120 homes were affected by the flooding and that $2.1 million in damages occurred to private.
The chairman of the Marine Transportation Advisory Board says replacing the troubled Tustumena ferry is the board’s top priority.
Chairman Bob Venables of Sitka said at a recent board meeting that the Tustumena is important to the transportation infrastructure of Western Alaska. The Tustumena was out of commission for nearly a year. It returned to service last month, six months later than expected.
The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that the Alaska Marine Highway System has contracted with a Seattle marine engineering firm to help with the process of replacing the vessel.
The system’s general manager, Capt. John Falvey, said the cost will likely be several hundred million dollars. He said the state’s Vessel Replacement Fund has enough money to complete pre-construction work.