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AK: At a Lonely Lighthouse, Tourists Bring A Welcome Dose of Noise, And Cash

AK: At a Lonely Lighthouse, Tourists Bring A Welcome Dose of Noise, And Cash

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.

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July 31, 2015
AK: An 80-Year Love Affair With Wildflowers Still Blossoms

AK: An 80-Year Love Affair With Wildflowers Still Blossoms

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.

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July 24, 2015
Sculptor Robert Murray (second from left) directs construction workers on the placement of Nimbus at the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum on Saturday. The sculpture was lifted off the trailer and lowered into place by the excavator behind it. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

AK: Juneau’s Nimbus Sculpture – An Ugly Duckling Reclaims Its Throne

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.

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July 17, 2015
AK: Adventure-bound Juneau couple moves into $8,600 tiny house on wheels

AK: Adventure-bound Juneau couple moves into $8,600 tiny house on wheels

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.

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July 10, 2015
AK: Mount Marathon

AK: Mount Marathon

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.

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July 3, 2015
AK: The journey to Bristol Bay’s fishing grounds

AK: The journey to Bristol Bay’s fishing grounds

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.

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June 26, 2015
AK: Citizen Scientists Deploy ‘Bat Mobiles’ in Southeast

AK: Citizen Scientists Deploy ‘Bat Mobiles’ in Southeast

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.

June 19, 2015
AK: Tundra Love

AK: Tundra Love

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.”

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June 5, 2015
AK: A teenager and his past

AK: A teenager and his past

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.

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May 29, 2015
AK: A 12-Year-Old Ambassador

AK: A 12-Year-Old Ambassador

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.

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May 22, 2015
AK: Biking a Century

AK: Biking a Century

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.

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May 15, 2015
(Photo via http://www.thesamuraimusher.com)

AK: Samurai Musher

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.

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May 8, 2015
AK: A Forgotten Boat

AK: A Forgotten Boat

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.

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May 1, 2015
AK: The Sitka Sentinel Remains A Family Affair

AK: The Sitka Sentinel Remains A Family Affair

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.

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April 24, 2015
AK: An Artist On A Quest To Bring Otter To The Runway

AK: An Artist On A Quest To Bring Otter To The Runway

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.

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April 17, 2015
AK: Exploring Identity

AK: Exploring Identity

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.

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April 10, 2015
AK: Resetting The Stage

AK: Resetting The Stage

Ricci Adan is a performing artist in Juneau. Locals know her as an actor, dance teacher and choreographer, most recently of Perseverance Theatre’s “Chicago.”

What people may not know is that in 1981, her husband Richard Adan was killed – stabbed on the streets of New York City by a released convict who was a protégé of Pulitzer Prize winning writer Norman Mailer.

The murder trial was highly publicized. But, Adan is just beginning to tell her side of the story.

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April 3, 2015
AK: The Middle Ages

AK: The Middle Ages

Feasts, jousting, and medieval dress are just your average afternoon for members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Participants are dedicated to researching and recreating the arts and culture of pre-17th century Europe. KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver joined the Alaska contingent for its annual Bi-Baronial Collegium in Wasilla and reports it’s about values, family, and finding a place to fit in.

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March 27, 2015
(Courtesy Samuel Johns)

AK: Hip-Hop Message Encouraging Drug-Free Lifestyle Resonating With Dillingham Youth

Samuel Johns grew up in the community of Copper Center surrounded by drugs and alcohol. After years of struggling with alcoholism, he is now sober and trying to make it as a musician who blends Athabascan culture with modern hip hop. Johns is traveling to villages across the state to perform and talk about living a drug free life. And it’s a message that seems to be resonating with kids in Dillingham.

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March 20, 2015
Libby Bakalar, aka “One Hot Mess,” striking her rap pose. (Photo courtesy Libby Bakalar)

“One Hot Mess” Gets National Attention

There are a bazillion blogs these days but what does it take to write one people will actually read? Juneau writer Libby Bakalar has figured out the formula with her blog “One Hot Mess.” Bakalar mixes it up when she writes- using humor, self-deprecation, social media and even a Stephen Colbert-like character to connect with her audience. Her most-read post, titled “Alaska Airlines-to-English Dictionary,” received more than 8,000 hits, and the blog is getting national attention too. Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival has asked Bakalar to submit to their blog.

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March 13, 2015