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Whalers in Alaska’s northernmost town of Utqiaġvik have finally landed their first bowhead of the season, after what some veterans said was an unprecedented absence of the marine mammals amid record-setting air and water temperatures.
Mark Begich, frustrated by rural Alaska’s exorbitant prices, is opening a grocery store in Utqiagvik
Begich said his company, Stuaqpak Inc., will offer lower prices and better products, and be more accountable to residents than the North West Company, the publicly traded Canadian corporation that ran the store previously. But Begich’s business is launching an untested model, and it will still face competition.
Some residents say this is unprecedented for the whale-dependent village that last fall captured nearly 20. Also unprecedented are this year’s temperatures: It was the warmest May through September on record in Utqiagvik.
Early results show voters in the city of Utqiagvik rejecting a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Remove your rings and get out your card blanket: A table-side view of one of Utqiaġvik’s most animated card games
In Utqiaġvik, snerts is one of the most popular games in town. Die-hard enthusiasts play on a regular basis, and there’s even an annual spring tournament.
In Alaska’s northernmost town, eighth grade students study climate change in a way that encompasses the global picture, but pays particular attention to what’s going on in their own backyard.
“I think it was a little more stable, and there was a little bit more assurance that the ice you were on was not going to disintegrate on you that easy,” said whaling captain Gordon Brower.
In Utqiaġvik, there’s still one dog team left, and their musher has been getting around the tundra by dogsled for more than 30 years.
“Life is going to spring back to us,” said Robin Mongoyak. “Spring is coming, summer is around the corner. Birds when they come in big flocks, it’s like thousands of people coming to greet us.”
This year, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the U.S. government put forward a new proposal that would change how the International Whaling Commission renews its quota. It passed.
Billy Adams, a hunter in his 50s, says that when he was growing up in Utqiagvik, there was almost always ice attached to the shore by now. Listen now
Whaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong. Listen now
North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower Jr. said that the Borough is not releasing details about the incident until all the facts are gathered and all family members have been notified. Listen now
"We know that the berm isn’t the long-term solution," Scott Evans with the North Slope Borough said. "But that’s what we have the ability to do right now. So that’s what we’re continuing to do because we know it’s slowing everything down." Listen now
A science presentation may seem like a hard sell on a Saturday night… but less so if you turn it into a chance to eat and see friends. Listen now
This week, indigenous people from all over the Arctic are gathered in Utqiaġvik for the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s 2018 General Assembly. Listen now
"I feel like me carrying his name is a big deal for me because he did things for our people during his time. And I feel I need to do something for our people during this time," Hopson said about his grandfather. Listen now
This November in Utqiaġvik was the hottest on record, averaging 17.2°F. It was so warm that NOAA's quality control algorithms flagged the data. Listen now
Residents of Utqiagvik have experienced above normal temperatures for the last 17 months. But a cooler-than-normal June will end that streak.