AK: Russians in Alaska

This week we dig into Alaska’s ties with Russia — both new and old. Celebrate the 200th anniversary of an early Russian Orthodox Mission, and in Sitka, Lord Baranof gets a makeover. Plus, the ins and outs of visiting Chukotka today and protesting off-shore drilling on both sides of the north Pacific.

All that and more this week on AK, heard statewide on local APRN stations statewide.

Guest Host: Lori Townsend

Travel in Chukotka is an arduous business. KNOM’s Amy Flaherty spoke to people like Tandy Wallack of Circumpolar Expeditions and John Kreilkamp of Cruise West, who are already doing business there.

Old St. Nick’s
Juneau’s St. Nickolas Church is a reminder of the Russian heritage in Alaska. AK’s Scott Burton speaks with Father Michael Spainhoward and member Andy Ebona about the church’s history in Southeast Alaska.

  • Break: “Russia…” by Rahul Sharma from White (The Science of Consciousness)

Unalaska Mission
Unalaska’s famed Church of the Holy Ascension is the focal point of the Russian Orthodox community there. Reporter Anne Hillman has more about the bicentennial of the beginnings of the Russian community.

  • Music Button: “Faith – Instrumental Only Version” from Karaoke: Sing Like George Michael

Aleutian Invasion
Two non-native species, first foxes and now rats, have invaded the Aleutian Islands, much to the detriment of local and migrating birds. The foxes have been eradicated, and now extermination efforts are turning toward rats. AK’s Ellen Lockyer has this update on latest efforts to rid Rat Island of its namesake.

Oil Development
Alaskans and Russians are protesting oil development plans in both the North Aleutian Basin and in the Kamchatka region. KMXT’s Casey Kelly brings us the story.

Russian Elders
Athabascan Peter John lived to be 102. Here his recorded voice tells us of how he heard stories about the first Russians on the Yukon River.

  • Break: “From Russia With Love – Instrumental Version” from A Tribute to James Bond

Lord Baranof
A “shame” totem pole in downtown Sitka depicts a naked Alexander Baranof. Now, some people want to change the pole to give Baranof some clothes to promote healing. KCAW’s Melissa Marconi-Wentzel explains it all.

  • Music Button: “Naked Eye” by Luscious Jackson from Fever In Fever Out

300 Villages

Russian Memories
Lori Townsend speaks with Dave Heatwole and Kathleen Tarr about their many trips to Russia during the late 1980s and 1990s. Heatwole was on one of the first Alaska Airlines jets to break the ice curtain.

The Russians are Coming!
AK’s Ellen Lockyer remembers the three day party in Cordova, when a shipload of Russian tourists came ashore and the whole town rocked.

  • Closing: “National Anthem of Russia” by Swarovski Orchestra from National Anthems of the World