This is a story about living the life you want after having a kid. Buying a sailboat is one way to keep things exciting. That’s what Anchorage couple Devon and Melissa Bradley did. Here’s a spoiler: their family is happier than ever. We send an audio recorder on board one weekend while they cruised around Kachemak Bay.
It’s been a year since Juneau resident Jennifer Fletcher started to publicly present herself as a woman, less than two years since she first started to shed her male identity and rebuild herself as female. But the inner journey to get to that point started long before then.
The circus is coming to Sitka, Alaska, but the performers aren’t from out of town. They are ordinary citizens, who in the past two years, have learned to climb, swing, and soar. Led by an aerialist with roots in Alaska, Sitka Cirque is dreaming up a new kind of circus that provides as much thrill to the participants as it does to the audience.
Like many rural areas, the south side of Kachemak Bay doesn’t get traditional mail service. Instead, its communities rely on a mail boat to deliver to small postal drop offs. It’s the kind of job that attracts a special type of person who’s willing to make the trek across the bay, rain or shine, snow or ice, twice a week, every week, year-round. There the mailman takes the shape of a 60-something ex-fisherman who’s been on the job for nearly 30 years.
For most of the summer the three people who live in Five Finger Lighthouse only have each other and the local wildlife for company. They’re there to look after the lighthouse and do research on the humpback whales who surround the island. But that costs money. So for the first time this year they invited a cruise ship, laden with yoga loving tourists, to ferry its passengers onto their rocky shores.
Eighty years ago Verna Pratt was more comfortable with the violets and buttercups of rural Massachusetts than with people. But her early affection for flowers led her on an unexpected path to notoriety more than 3,000 miles away.
What’s big and green, weighs 8 tons, and is shaped like a Kleenex half-pulled from the box? Nimbus, of course. The polarizing and controversial sculpture recently returned to the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum that’s under construction in downtown Juneau, after a 38-year history that included the piece’s provocation, banishment and eventual resurrection.
A 1,200-square-foot house is considered small by today’s standards. But one Juneau couple is leaving their home for something with less than 100 square feet of livable space. They’re hitting the road, but that doesn’t come without sacrifice.
All eyes are on the nation’s July 4 birthday, but the date also marks the anniversary of an Alaska tradition. Seward’s Mt. Marathon race, which takes place July 4 turns 100 years old this year. The race is a one of a kind, grueling, uphill run, and now it is the subject of a documentary film aimed at putting a face on the men and women who take the challenge.
Every year dozens of boats travel back to Bristol Bay. Some ride on tenders or cargo ships, and some steam themselves around False Pass, a journey of more than 1000 miles that can be treacherous. But about 60 boats, most from Homer and Kodiak, take a different route across the Chigmit Mountains on the Alaska Peninsula. KDLG’s Molly Dischner tagged along with a captain and crew bringing their 32-foot drift boat back to the Bay after a winter of maintenance in Homer.
Alaska Fish and Game is stepping up its research on bats in Southeast. The nocturnal, bug-eating animal is being threatened in the Lower 48 by a disease called White-Nose Syndrome. That’s prompting Alaska researchers to find out which bats live here and where they roost. But they can’t do all the work by themselves, so they’re enlisting the public’s help.
Right now the tundra and forests of Bristol Bay are exploding with flora. While many foragers have already supped on fiddlehead ferns and are looking forward to wild berry picking, some may overlook the traditional medicinal uses of many Alaskan plants. Two Dillingham women set out to capture the benefits of these native plants in a line of homemade bath products – they call it “Tundra Love.”
It’s graduation season for Alaska’s high school seniors. Earning a diploma marks a milestone in a person’s life. And for one Juneau student, that milestone is especially sweet after his high school experience was interrupted with several trips to juvenile detention.
Imagine you arrive in a world where it rains all year round, and daylight swings from 17 hours in summertime to a paltry six in winter. And you’re only seven years old. That’s the situation Jasmine Molina found herself when she first got to Sitka, over 5,000 miles from her native city of Manila in the Philippines. Sitka’s Filipino population has grown substantially in the past five years, but there remains no formal system to help new students transition to school. That is, until Jasmine came to town.
Have you ever thought about biking one hundred miles in one go? KSKA’s Anne Hillman did, so she signed up for the Clean Air Challenge. It’s a bike ride the American Lung Association hosts every year to raise money for education and research on lung disease. At first Anne was in it more for the challenge of the ride than for the cause. But then something happened along the way.
If you didn’t hear the rendition of the Alaska Flag Song by a Japanese choral ensemble last week at Anchorage’s Alaska Performing Arts Center, you missed something special. The finale of the musical play, “Samurai Musher” brought the audience to its feet to sing along with the cast. The play told the story of Japanese musher Jujiro Wada, and although the curtain has come down on the play, Wada’s story is still unfolding.
A group in Kodiak recently completed an Alutiiq boat that was last seen in the mid-19th century. Alutiiq people once used the angyaq to travel over long distances and through rough seas. It’s an open boat, like a dory, with a flat bottom and bulbous bow.
The artist leading the effort says the boat builders aren’t just recreating the past. They’re reviving a piece of Alutiiq history for use now and in the future.
The Sitka Sentinel celebrated its 75th anniversary last year without much fanfare. As many newspapers in big cities have folded or turned into online only operations, the Sentinel steadily churns out five issues a week. The paper is owned and edited by Thad and Sandy Poulson, reporters who arrived in 1969 and are determined to keep the press running.
This spring, Sitka artist Peter Williams took a trip to New York City, to show his work during fashion week. A designer and marine mammal hunter, Williams makes everything from hats to earrings from sea otter and sealskin. He’s been trying to break into the lucrative fashion world for years, and he’s got a larger goal in mind – bringing Alaska Native designs to luxury buyers worldwide. Williams says that one way to save a traditional art form, is to create a market for it.
More than 90 languages are spoken in Anchorage. And one resident is trying to learn – and teach – about every single one as part of a new podcast. KSKA’s Anne Hillman found out the project comes from his desire to discover the diversity of his own background.