AK: Best in Show

This week on AK, we listen again to some of our best stories from the past year.

Tune in this weekend on most APRN stations statewide (check our usually-accurate listings here), or subscribe to our podcast.

The Perfect Berry
In this story, originally aired on our “Hunting and Gathering” show (8/12/06), Len Anderson tells us about the lengths he and his family will go to pick the perfect berry.

  • Music Button: “Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries” by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn from The Very Best of Loretta & Conway

A Bear Necessity
On our “Bears” show (1/27/07), AK’s Rebecca Sheir spoke with Tom Smith, who’s spent fifteen years researching Alaska’s bears. He found that guns were 66% effective in deterring bear attacks, but a different tool was even better: bear spray.

  • Break: “The Bare Necessities” performed by Toucans Steel Drum Band from The Best of the Toucans

Serial (Foster) Mom
In our August 2006 “Hunting and Gathering” show (8/12/06), we met a woman who gathers kids – foster kids, that is. Karen Storey has raised nearly 200 children, and AK reporter Ashley Gross paid her a visit.

David Baines, Native MD
When David Baines became a doctor in 1982, he was the third Native doctor in the state – the first of Tlingit and Tsimshian descent. Today, seventeen Native doctors practice in Alaska, including Baines, who works at the Iliuliuk Health Clinic in Unalaska. From our “Health” show (1/20/07), Charles Homans brings us his story.

Goodbye, Combi
For more than 30 years, Rex Gray’s office has been the cockpit of a 200 Combi: a major player in jet service to bush Alaska for nearly four decades. On our “Office” show (3/24/07), Rex told us that the few remaining 200 Combis would soon be retired. Here’s how he said goodbye.

  • Break: “Fly Like an Eagle” from Karaoke – Sing Lost Classics, Vol. 15

Bald Eagle Love
Bald eagles are well-known for their monogamy, but if a pair can’t produce young, they may split up. Or sometimes, a seemingly happily-mated individual will simply fly the coop. As Melissa Marconi-Wentzel told us on our “Love and Marriage” show (7/29/06), she isn’t sure if the eagle she fell in love with has another love, but she does know he changed her life.

Astronaut Love
Bill Oefelein made history by being the first Alaskan to pilot the space shuttle. Shortly after that, he made headlines again, thanks to his involvement in a bizarre love triangle. AK’s Ellen Lockyer focuses on the former in this story from our “North to the Future” show (1/6/07). After that, we hear a poetic tribute to the latter, care of some 2007 “You Haiku” contest winners. (Music: “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M. from Karaoke Classics: R.E.M.)

Food & Love
Frieda and Anatoley grew up 5000 miles apart: she in western Alaska, he in central Russia. When they met, they didn’t even speak the same language. But they both loved Russian food. On our “From Russia With Love” show (8/26/06), Valerie Waldrop brought us into the couple’s kitchen.

  • Music Button: “Dikiy Muzchina” by Leningrad from Pulya (Disc 2)
  • Closing: “Thanks for the Memories” performed by Ray Conniff Singers from The Best of Ray Conniff