Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau
Jennifer Canfield is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
With fewer than 150 known fluent speakers, the Alutiiq language is just one of many indigenous languages worldwide that are in danger of extinction. However, with the concerted efforts from people like April Counceller, that won’t happen.
In Kodiak, several inches of heavy wet snow closed several roads, flooded intersections and shut down the airport. All the morning flights were canceled because of water on the runway. It also sank three boats in the harbor.
Last month, two Kodiak Island sisters were taking photos of humpback whales near their home in Uganik Bay. Beth and Amy Pingree are part of a whale observation and sighting network and they noticed something unusual.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last month finalized the federal definition of homelessness. The new definition reflects changing times.
A local beachcomber and a renowned oceanographer have found that Kodiak is already receiving some of the earliest arrivals of debris from the Japanese tsunami that resulted from a 9.0 earthquake last March. The tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people and devastated 400 miles of Japan’s coastline.
On average Kodiak residents kill 15-20 bears each year in defense of life or property. This year only one has been killed. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Larry Van Daele says the sharp decline in threatening bear encounters is probably a result of hunter education and a good berry season.
The city of Ouzinkie, near Kodiak is working quickly to prevent their 25-year-old wooden dam from collapsing. Extensive rot was discovered on the Mahoona Dam earlier this summer and further inspections have shown that it could collapse at any time.
A new reality show based in Alaska will debut next month. Commanding Officer of Kodiak Air Station Captain Bill Deal said people from the Weather Channel called him earlier this year with the idea for the aptly titled “Coast Guard Alaska.”
Alaska’s senators are making a last minute push against genetically engineered – or GE – fish. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Massachusetts-based AquaBounty’s application to commercialize GE fish. If that happens GE fish could be found in grocery stores across the country.
Air Force Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, the senior military officer responsible for all military activities in Alaska, is retiring soon. Atkins has been in charge of the Alaska Command for three years.
The State of Alaska has named Kodiak volunteer firefighter Jim Pickett as Alaska’s Firefighter of the Year.
Hundreds of boats are docked at downtown Kodiak’s St. Paul harbor. In one of them lives a 74-year-old Japanese man who left his recycling business in Osaka to travel across the Pacific Ocean.