AK: Best of Summer

This week on AK we look back at the best of the summer, or what there was of it. From a series of volcanic eruptions in the Aleutians to a new-found interest in local farmers markets. Plus, making your living off Alaska’s summer festivals, a totem pole dedicated to a Japanese photographer and a visit with a “superpod” of whales.

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

Download Audio (MP3, 60min)

Host: Scott Burton

Volcano Summer
Anne Hillman, KIAL – story
The Aleutian Islands experienced an explosive summer this year, when three volcanoes erupted within a month, causing air traffic snafus and evacuations in some places. Reporter Anne Hillman speaks with rancher and pilot Lonny Kennedy and fisherman Duane Freeman about rescues in the teeth of the eruption.

  • Music Button: “The Volcano” by Jimmy Buffet from Songs You Know By Heart

Whale Superpod
Emily Schwing, KBBI – story
Researchers and tourists love to spot a whale, but visitors on a Ktchemak Bay cruise encountered a lot more – a superpod of killer whales that biologist and whale expert Craig Matkin called a “whale extravaganza.”

  • Break: “Money for Nothing” by Johnny “Guitar” King from Pop Master Vol. 2 — Johnny “Guitar” King

Scott Burton, AK
It’s that time of year again, and Alaskans are looking forward to receiving Permanent Fund checks, with the added $1200 “energy rebate” attached. Some folks have definite ideas where the money is going to go this year — to pay for fuel and electricity.

300 Villages
Scott Burton & Jessica Cochran – AK
Edna Bay

  • Calendar of Events (“Summertime Blues” by Sandy Nelson from The Very Best of Sandy Nelson)

Kantishna Music Fest
Scott Burton, AK – story
The old mining community of Kantishna is within Denali National Park, and even by Alaska standards, it’s remote. But a summertime music festival draws visitors, like musician Tim Easton, and our own Scott Burton.

Vagabond Vendors
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – story
Come the end of summer, the tents of Anchorage’s outdoor market are taken down, and vendors who have sold hand-made items there all summer are looking ahead to travel, relaxation, or winter markets. Ellen Lockyer speaks with ceramic artist Arlene Hayward, woodcarver Walter Bennet, Suzanne the Bead Lady, and Les the Salmon Quesadilla Guy. [Package 4:40, 5:09 with intro.]

  • Break: Theme from “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith and His Orchestra from Percy Faith’s Greatest Hits

Sitka Farmer’s Market
Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – story
A growing interest in fresh produce has spurred farmers’ markets to spring up around Alaska. Sitka’s Linda Williams is organizing a market designed to cut travel time off the fruits and veggies local folks eat, and gardener Laurie Adams is an enthusiastic supporter of the effort.

  • Music Button: live performance by the Tomadachi Taiko drummers, August 2008

Taiko Drummers
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – story
Anchorage’s Japanese-style ensemble taiko drum group started in an elementary school, but it’s so much fun that adults want to give it a try. So adult beginner taiko drum classes are gaining popularity. Ellen Lockyer speaks with taiko instructors Toshi and Sachiko Kono and drummer Mary Hasbrook.

Michio Hoshino Totem
Ann Kaiser, free lance contributor – story
Japanese photographer Michio Hoshino was renowned for his photos of nature. He spent years photographing Alaska, until he was killed by a bear in Kamchatka. This summer in Sitka, a totem pole was dedicated in his honor: friends from Japan and Alaskans like Lynn Schooler, and Tlingit Bob Sam remembered their old friend.

  • Closing: “Atlin” by Hungry Hill from Hungry Hill album