AK: Iditarod (Etc.)

It’s Iditarod time, so this week we’re jumping into the Last Great Race — and some other things, too. Like the Junior Olympics in Anchorage, Kenyan acrobats in Dillingham, and the snowy slopes at Hatcher Pass. Plus, an axe-throwing bartender in Juneau who’s throwing in the towel. All that and more this week on AK, heard statewide on local APRN stations statewide.

A First Look at the Last Great Race
For the 36th time, mushers are racing their dogs more than 1,150 miles across the Last Frontier. Last year’s Iditarod winner was Lance Mackey, with his lucky #13 bib. AK host Rebecca Sheir speaks with veteran musher and Iditarod reporter Jon Little for a rundown on this year’s race and racers.

Rookie to Watch: William Kleedehn
The Yukon Territory’s William Kleedehn has a long track record with the Yukon Quest. Though the musher may be a latecomer to the Iditarod, as AK’s Ellen Lockyer tells us, he’s bringing with him lots of trail savvy, and a scrappy team from his very own Limp Along Racing kennel.

  • Calendar of Events (“Black Dog” performed by The West 52nd Street Buddha Lounge Ensemble from Buddha Lounge: Renditions Of Led Zeppelin)
  • Break: “Black Dog” performed by The West 52nd Street Buddha Lounge Ensemble from Buddha Lounge: Renditions Of Led Zeppelin

Avalanche School
Avalanche experts estimate that with 90% of avalanche fatalities, it’s the victim, or a member of the victim’s party, who triggers the fatal slide. They say most deaths would be prevented if people knew the hazards and warning signs. Back-country skier Meg O’Mullane decided to prepare herself with that knowledge, by taking a three-day Level 1 course offered by the Alaska Avalanche School.

  • Music Button: “Landslide” performed by J.R. from AfriQueen Stare

Mom Makes a Move
Juneau’s Sandy Krook is known to many people as “Mom” — including AK’s Scott Burton. He spoke with the famed Triangle Club bartender – and champion axe thrower — about her decision to toss in the towel and try something new.

300 Villages
Dot Lake
Thom’s Place

Tumbling From Kenya to Alaska
Coming all the way from Kenya, the Jabal Acrobats are bringing their talents to Alaska. The six members — Paris Mumga, Baraka Ngala, Garama Kapana, Osman Mumga, Robert Juma Mwalewa and Bilari Ramad Han – kicked off their tour in Dillingham. Anne Hillman was there, and brings us this story.

  • Break: “Sogoni Coun” by Madou Djembé from Percussions D’Afrique – African Drums

Exchanging Land in the Yukon Flats
A land exchange between native corporation Doyon Limited and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is causing a stir in Interior Villages. Doyon says oil development from the trade could boost economic opportunities in the Yukon Flats, where unemployment can reach 80%. AK’s Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock spoke with Gwich’yaa Zhee Gwich’in First Chief Dacho Alexander, Doyon Limited’s Norm Phillips, Arctic Village’s Sarah James, and others.

  • Music Button: “This Land is Your Land” performed by Billy Strange & Don Parmley from 5 String Banjo

Junior Olympics
Alaska is home to some of the country’s best young nordic skiers – like Amy Glen and Jamie Bronga. Starting March 9th, they’ll test their skills against top competitors from other snowy states, when 400 athletes gather at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park for the Junior Olympics. APRN’s Annie Feidt has more.

Junior Iditarod
At the start of this year’s Iditarod, 17-year-old Jessica Klejka led the way down Fourth Avenue. Though she isn’t old enough to enter the Iditarod, she was old enough to enter – and win — the 2008 Junior Iditarod. Rex Gray spoke with Klejka, race organizer Joanne Potts, volunteer Ryan Redington and others, and brings us this story.

  • Closing: “Born To Run” performed by Pickin’ On Series from Pickin’ On Bruce Springsteen: A Bluegrass Tribute