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AK

AK: The Aurora

It’s been an especially good winter for aurora viewing in Alaska, and that’s great news for the man known as the aurora hunter. Todd Salat discovered his passion for aurora viewing two decades ago. Since then, he’s slowly built up a successful business capturing incredible aurora images in photos and video.

March 15, 2013
14.	Jackie Keizer’s piece, “Come to Your Senses,” is made of plastic bags from various retailers. It’s worn here by Emily Reilly. Photo by Ed Ronco, KCAW - Sitka

AK: A Fashion Show

Right now, as you’re listening to this, a group of Sitka residents are preparing to walk the runway. But they’ve traded in the usual fabrics for more eccentric media. Maybe it’s a dress that’s all zippers. Or a suit made out of nautical charts. Or a purse composed of bicycle valve stems. In the fashion world, this might be called madness. In Sitka, it’s called wearable art.

March 8, 2013
Elaine Andrews. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

AK: Judge Jamming

What do Alaska’s judges do when they are not sitting on the bench? Do they ponder weighty tomes, or engage in deep discussion about the legal issues of the day? Maybe some of them do that, but KSKA’s Ellen Lockyer found that quite a number of Anchorage judges get together and play ukulele’s for after hours fun.

February 22, 2013

AK: The Tiniest Catch

They are often overshadowed by the larger Bering Sea fleets, but Unalaska has a handful of small boat commercial fishermen who make their living in the waters around the Aleutian Islands. During the recent tanner crab fishery, KUCB’s Stephanie Joyce headed out to see what it’s like to be a small boat in big boat territory.

February 15, 2013
Photo from KSTK - Wrangell.

AK: Repair

There are thousands of miles of fiberoptic cables snaking along the ocean floor. They bring telephone service, television, and the Internet to much of world. When an earthquake struck off the coast of Southeast Alaska in January, the cables that provide Internet to Wrangell were damaged. And a cable repair ship, called the Wave Venture, was called in to help. KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver went onboard the unique ship to get a closer look at cable repair.

February 8, 2013
Dr. Joanie Hope talks with Galena Fechik during a clinic appointment on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Fechik, 30, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just days before. Anchorage's Joanie Hope is the lead singer of N.E.D., a rock band made up of six gynecologic oncology surgeons from across the country. Hope is the only gynecologic oncologist based in Alaska. Photo by Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

AK: Hope

If you’re in the habit of running East Anchorage trails in the winter in the dark, then you might have run by a compact, dark-haired doctor named Joanie Hope, jogging slowly with her headphones on, singing. She is the state’s only gynecologic oncologist. But she’s also in a rock band, that tours nationally to raise awareness for gynecological cancers. Their first Alaska concert is tomorrow.

February 1, 2013
Volunteers Bill Nelson (left) and Bud Crawford unload logs in front of the Watchmen's Cabin, which is being restored at the Kasilof Regional Historical Association's museum. Photo courtesy Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter.

AK: Restoration

For the past three years, a small group of dedicated volunteers has been putting in countless hours restoring a Watchmen’s cabin for the Kasilof Regional Historical Association. Each Friday they get together and make a few small steps toward bringing the once-ailing cabin back to life.

January 25, 2013

AK: Growing

Alaska’s summer months may be limited, but the growing season has no bounds. That is, as long as you grow indoors. AK’s Anne Hillman found out that indoor gardens in Anchorage are blossoming even in unexpected spaces.

January 18, 2013
Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks

AK: Recovering

It’s been almost four years since the largest flood in the history of the city of Eagle and Eagle Village devastated both communities. In the spring of 2009, a series of extremely warm days melted a higher than normal snowpack. When a massive ice jam broke free, a deluge of water surged toward the city and the nearby native village. KUAC’s Emily Schwing visited both communities last summer to find out how locals have fared since the flood.

January 11, 2013
AK: Going to Extremes

AK: Going to Extremes

It’s hard to imagine a person crazy enough to want to climb Denali alone in the depth of winter. But Minnesota adventurer Lonnie Dupre has tried – and failed – twice in the last two years. Earlier this month, heavy winds forced him to abandon his latest attempt and retreat back to base camp.

January 4, 2013
Donna Parkes and Roger Schmidt are among the trombonists in Sitka's annual Holiday Brass Concert. (Photo by Ed Ronco/KCAW)

AK: Holiday Brass

Some of the nation’s top brass musicians appeared in Sitka this week. The trumpeters, trombonists and more performed Monday night at the community’s performing arts center. All 6xx seats regularly sell out for the concert which has become something of a holiday tradition in the southeast community.

December 21, 2012
Necropsy

Necropsy

When dead marine mammals wash up in Unalaska, a team of local scientists springs into action to reconstruct what went wrong. These forensic investigators come from the fish and wildlife office, from a university program and, as was the case this month, Unalaska’s high school.

December 14, 2012
Photo by Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

AK: Bingo

Every other week, a bright pink sign pops up along Unalaska’s main road advertising a makeshift gambling parlor. In hand-painted black lettering, it lays out the stakes and discourages any young whippersnappers under 19 from even trying to participate. This game is very much for grownups. For two years, KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez has driven by it and wondered what exactly went on there. Now, she takes us into the ­­­­­seedy underbelly of Unalaska’s senior center.

December 7, 2012
A humpback whale begins arching its back and showing its tail just before diving for herring Nov. 3 in Sitka Sound. Photo by Ed Schoenfeld.

AK: Humpback Whales

There’s a baby boom going on with Alaska’s humpback whales. Slow-but-steady population growth is good news for the species, as well as whale-watchers. But it could be bad news for boaters, hatcheries and the herring fleet.

November 30, 2012

AK: The Dark

In Barrow, the sun has set until January. In Fairbanks, residents have five hours and 22 minutes of sunlight right now. So in comparison, Anchorage’s six and a half hours of sun each day sounds generous. Still, that leaves quite a bit of time for dark in the state’s largest city.

November 23, 2012
Amber O'Neill, president of the Alaska Bird Club, and Twiggie, an African Grey parrot. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

AK: Parrots

Although the sale of wild caught exotic birds has been banned in the US for decades, commercial breeders in the country make a variety of parrots and parakeets available for pet lovers. But they are challenging pets. And because some owners give them up, there are more parrots in Alaska than there are homes for them.

November 16, 2012

AK: Bees

Surviving winter in Alaska is not easy for us humans, and for honeybees, it’s even harder. Honeybees don’t naturally exist in North America. And in northern climates the flowering season is too short and the winter is too long. But a few dedicated beekeepers in the state are working on ways to keep their hives alive, despite the obstacles.

November 9, 2012

AK: Breathe

Elections, stormy weather, the impending winter darkness, we all need to take a deep breath this time of year. Luckily, our bodies can’t forget to breathe. But we have all forgotten when and how breathing originated. But scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks may have discovered the origins of the process. And they have found the answer in a primitive fish that still swims Alaska’s rivers.

November 2, 2012
AK: Ghosts

AK: Ghosts

Haunted buildings and ghost stories are popular around Halloween, but a newer tradition that combines the two has made its way to Anchorage. For the past two years one man has undertaken the chilly task of leading ghost tours of Anchorage.

October 26, 2012

AK: Puppy Love

Dogs are an important part of life in Alaska. They are revered as great athletes and celebrated as trusty companions. And when Bethel reporter Mark Arehart moved to the state recently, he had no trouble jumping on the dog loving bandwagon. He eagerly anticipated owning his first dog, and a few months ago, he brought home an adorable sled dog puppy. We’ll let him take the story from there.

October 19, 2012