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Joaquin Palomino, KSKA - Anchorage

A view of Thorne Bay from the ocean. (Photo from the City of Thorne Bay website)

300 Villages: Thorne Bay

This week we’re heading to Thorne Bay, on Prince of Wales Island. Rochelle Huddleston Lorton is the district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in Thorne Bay.

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July 25, 2014
Test results from samples at Cuddy Park pond. The blue dots are E. coli (photo courtesy of Anchorage Waterways Council)

Fecal Bacteria Contaminates Many Anchorage Waterways

Scores of rivers, creeks, and streams flow through Anchorage. People fish in them, play in them, and swim in them. But the city’s seemingly pristine watershed has a dirty secret: it’s largely contaminated with fecal bacteria.

July 25, 2014

State Releases New Guidelines for Mercury and Fish

The state epidemiology office has released a new mercury contamination risk determination for Alaska fish. The new guidelines basically increase the number of Alaskan fish that can be eaten safely and without restriction.

July 23, 2014
Little Brown Bat affected by White Nose Syndrome  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Alaska’s Bat Population Probed

Not much is known about the bat population that live in Alaska. And until recently, there was no pressing need to study the nocturnal mammal. But with bats being decimated across much of the country by the fungal disease White Nose Syndrome, state and federal researchers are working to learn as much as they can about the animal.

July 21, 2014
Elite cross country skiers from around the world train at Eagle Glacier near Anchorage (photo by Joaquin Palomino)

Skiing on Eagle Glacier Connects Alaska to the World

In most places, summer isn’t the best time to ski. But atop a mile-high glacier in Girdwood, elite skiers have converged from across the country—and the world—to train.

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July 17, 2014
Scientists Use Satellites to Track Polar Bears

Scientists Use Satellites to Track Polar Bears

With sea ice in the Arctic melting, polar bears are in peril. Researchers have monitored the threatened species for decades, but tracking bears in remote and harsh climates can be costly and dangerous. Which is why federal scientists have started using a new tool to study the animal: satellites.

July 14, 2014
A map showing all of the hydrokinetic and hydropower projects in Alaska (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alaska).

Alaska Harnesses Power of Tides, Rivers, and Waves

While Alaska is known for its oil, it’s also home to another energy source: Hydrokinetic power, which uses turbines to harness energy from tides, rivers, and waves. Four separate test projects are underway this summer, and many more could be just around the corner. Why does Alaska lead the way in hydrokinetic power? And what’s driving growth in the industry?

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July 10, 2014

“Honor Flag” Comes to Anchorage for 4th of July

The “honor flag,” an American flag that travels the country honoring those that lost their lives in the line of duty, arrived in Anchorage yesterday just in time for 4th of July weekend.

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July 3, 2014
The south terminal of the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage (photo courtesy of Ted Stevens International Airport).

Possible Growth at Ted Stevens Airport Has Some Concerned

Every five-to-seven years, the Ted Stevens International Airport releases a master plan detailing upcoming changes at Alaska’s busiest air hub. The latest variation of the plan was released Monday, allowing the airport to qualify for federal funding. While there are a lot of hypotheticals in the document, it makes one thing fairly clear: As Alaska grows and as more visitors come to the state, the airport will have to adapt to increased traffic.

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July 1, 2014
Carolyn Robinson, owner of the Anchorage production company Sprocketheads, has worked in some form on most major production in Alaska (Photo by Joaquin Palomino)

Behind the Scenes of Alaska’s Film Industry

Over the past few years Hollywood has taken a keen interest in Alaska. Big budget films are being shot here, and it seems like new Alaskan reality TV programs pop up every week. The bustling industry isn’t growing on its own. The state spends a lot of money courting out of state productions. While it’s a boon for the economy, some think the resources would be better spent elsewhere.

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June 26, 2014

Fishers Flock to Anchorage’s Slam’n Salm’n Derby

This weekend you can expect hundreds of local and tourists to crowd Ship Creek in Anchorage, trying to snag a monster king salmon. The fishing frenzy is part of the slamin salmon derby, a 10-day long competition and fundraiser

June 20, 2014

300 Villages: Bethel

This week we’re heading to the hub community of Bethel on the Kuskokwim River. John MacDonald lives in Bethel.

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June 20, 2014
Tim Ridle clears Elodea from Anchorage's Sand Lake (Photo by Joaquin Palomino)

Invasive species could increase as climate warms

For the past few years Alaska has tried to eradicate its only known invasive aquatic plant: Elodea. The sturdy weed has taken root in a handful of the state’s water bodies, threatening native birds, fish, and fauna. As ocean temperatures increase and icy days decrease, researchers worry it’s only a matter of time before Elodea-and other invasive plants and animals-spread throughout Alaska.

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June 16, 2014

Sitka wood carver Tommy Joseph comes to the Anchorage Museum

Tlingit wood carver Tommy Joseph was in Anchorage last week to repair a totem pole which will become part of the Anchorage Museum’s collection.

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June 10, 2014

Anchorage Museum Becomes Smithsonian Affiliate

This week the Anchorage Museum reached a new level of recognition when it became a Smithsonian Affiliate, making it the only institution in Alaska that’s part of the Smithsonian’s network of 160-museums.

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June 9, 2014