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From Our Listeners

Southeast Alaska News

Polish engineer sets sail for Northwest Passage

Mon, 2014-06-30 00:04

KETCHIKAN — Ryszard Wojnowski slid his finger along the perimeter of the polar ice cap, pausing on the village of Dikson on Russia’s north coast.

“In Dikson we stayed two and a half weeks,” Wojnowski said, still pointing to the map. “Here was the most difficult part.”

The Kara Sea, on the edge of the northern cap, catches and holds sea ice, which last year was thickest in the area since 2006.

read more

Anchorage club closure displaces Latin dancers

Mon, 2014-06-30 00:04

ANCHORAGE — The recent shuttering of downtown Anchorage nightclub Platinum Jaxx had at least one unintended consequence: it displaced members of Anchorage’s small but spirited Latin dance community, a longtime fixture of the nightclub’s dance floor on Friday and Sunday nights.

read more

Sitka campers sound it out with beatboxing

Mon, 2014-06-30 00:03

SITKA — Kids taking the beatbox class at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp say you can start building your skills in this art form with “boots and cats.”

Those are the first words they learned when they signed up for Austin Willacy’s course at the middle school camp.

Beatboxing and vocal percussion are two related ways of making drum-like sounds with your mouth. It’s not as easy as it looks, and the students are spending a lot of time on fundamentals, Willacy said.

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Begich talks climate change, veterans in Sitka

Sun, 2014-06-29 21:06

Alaska Senator Mark Begich, with his wife Deborah Bonito, visited Sitka on June 26, 2014. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

Senator Mark Begich is criss-crossing the state during Congress’s 4th of July recess. He arrived in Sitka last week (Thurs 6-26-14) having just escaped the swampy weather in Washington D.C.

Begich: It was 80 degrees and 85% humidity, so I was like, get me out of here!

But a big part of his job right now is getting Alaskans to send him back into the heated politics of the nation’s capital.

http://www.kcaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/27BEGICH.mp3

Begich is running for a second term in November, and the race has taken on national dimensions. Republicans needs to pick up six seats to take control of the US Senate, and Begich is one of their top targets.

But Begich doesn’t sound like a man afraid of his Republican opponents. One of the first issues he touched on was ocean acidification, raising the hot-button topic of climate change.

“I’m not afraid to talk about climate change,” he said. “I live in a state that I see it, whenever I travel. Doesn’t matter if it’s western Alaska or down to Southeast where acidification is affecting our fisheries, or you go up the interior and the permafrost is melting, impacting infrastructure: I see it. Even though we have a strong, important part of our economy, oil and gas, it doesn’t mean that we only are one side of the equation.”

Begich argues that Alaska is well-placed to meet goals set under new regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Those regulations, if adopted, will require states to significantly cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Many election-watchers expect them to dent the chances of Democrats, like Begich, from energy-producing states.

But he says that renewable energy projects around the state mean that Alaska is already on the right track.

“The national debate on this is, ‘If you’re for oil and gas you’re over here. If you’re for renewable energy you’re over here,’” he said. “In reality, in Alaska, we’ve figured out how to meld these things the right way, and I think that’s the goal that we have to have on a national level.”

That said, Begich isn’t willing to contemplate a slow-down in Alaska’s major industry.

“We will always be producing,” he said. “As long as we can find oil and gas we’ll produce it.”

Begich also addressed another hot-button issue: veterans’ care. He sits on the Veterans’ Affairs committee, and outside groups have attacked him over recent revelations of long wait times at V.A. hospitals.

Begich said he’s been aware of these issues ever since he was elected — and he says that one solution to the problem is a program being piloted in Alaska. A new policy allows veterans to receive care locally, from the state’s network of tribal health care organizations, instead of requiring them to travel to V.A. hospitals in Seattle or Anchorage.

“Access is the issue,” He said. “You have to think out of the box. We forced it here, and we probably could because Alaska, we can kind of do things a little differently, because they forget sometimes we exist. We made our case, we changed the system here, we get better access. I think this is something we need to do around the country.”

Begich says that the biggest issue facing veterans’ care is the sheer number of new veterans who have entered the system in the last decade, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And he says the US should not re-open its war in Iraq, despite the increasing chaos there.

“I’m not for it, I’ve made it very clear, no ground troops. I think even these advisors are risky, because it leads to other things,” he said. “And we’ve got a lot of work here to take care of, a lot of issues back home.”

Begich touted his ability to work across party lines with Alaska’s senior senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, and says Alaskans benefit from his seniority and seats on crucial committees.

Being on the appropriations committee, both Senator Murkowski and I, this is like the holy grail,” he said. “That is a powerful role that we have.”

The appropriations committee controls most funding bills.

As for his opponent, he won’t know who he’s running against until after the Republican primary on August 19. Recent polls have shown former attorney general Dan Sullivan ahead of Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. But Begich says he’s making no assumptions.

“Alaska politics are very different,” he said. “I know outside pundits like to predict what’s gonna happen here and I wish them all the best, but they never get it right. And at the end of the day, voters will make these decisions and the primary is two months away.”

“That’s a long time in politics.”

Boiler room fire delays Alaska-bound cruise ship

Sun, 2014-06-29 12:25

Holland America’s Westerdam anchors up in Juneau about two years ago. (KTOO)

An Alaska-bound cruise ship had to return to Seattle late Saturday after a small fire broke out on board. But it was able to restart its voyage.

No one was injured in the incident.

According to the Coast Guard, the crew of the Holland America cruise ship Westerdam reported a fire in a boiler room around 5 p.m. Saturday. That was about an hour after the cruise ship left its summertime homeport of Seattle for a seven-night Alaska cruise.

Coast Guard petty officer George Degener says tugboats escorted the Westerdam back to its pier with no injuries reported.

“Thankfully, the crew members on board the vessel were able to safely extinguish the fire and they were able to make it back to port on their own,” he says.

Degener says Coast Guard investigators boarded the cruise ship to assess the damage. It resumed sailing after inspection and repairs.

The scheduled route called for stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka and Ketchikan.

Holland America said in the statement that the Westerdam was fully booked with more than 2,800 passengers and crew.

Farmers’ market season opens in Sitka

Sun, 2014-06-29 12:08

The ANB Hall was packed with shoppers during the first 2014 farmers’ market. Photo by Greta Mart.

The Sitka Farmers’ Market is back. Now in its seventh year, the summer market is held every other Saturday morning – rain or shine – until the beginning of September. 400 or so shoppers walked through the entrance to the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall during the market’s first hour on June 28, according to a volunteer stationed at the door. Other shoppers took advantage of the party sunny weather to grab a bite at one of the food booths set up in the ANB parking lot.

“If you asked me what’s the most important thing to say about the Sitka Farmers’ Market is that it’s locally harvested food, that is our main drive is to get locally-grown food and locally-made items from our great artists and our wonderful farmers,” said Debbie Brincefield, co-manager of the Sitka Farmers Market.

“And the number two thing you need to know is to get there early! It’s from ten to one…by eleven o’clock the produce is gone.”

The market is a project of the Sitka Local Foods Network and this year, for the first time, the Network’s board decided to hire two people to share the job of running the market. Brincefield is in charge of public relations and Ellexis Howey works with the vendors.

Brincefield said she was introduced to the market – and to the co-manager’s job – by Sitka Local Food Network members Maybelle Filler and Lisa Sadleir-Hart. And for her, the job is very personal.

“I just wanted to be associated with these two very strong, successful, healthy women. I have surrounded myself by people who are eating healthy and I’ve lost 77 pounds. I’m working on a daily effort to eat better, live better so I can be around for my grandchildren,” said Brincefield.

Much of the produce sold at the market is grown in the communal garden and greenhouse at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, behind St. Peter’s By the Sea Episcopal Church. This week, Lisa Sadleir-Hart explained the market’s beginnings.

“It came together out of a health summit – we have an annual health summit and set priorities for our community – and in 2008, there were several priorities focused on food.”

Local backyard farmers bring in their harvests to sell too. Lori Adams is among the vendors at this year’s market. She owns Down to Earth U Pick It on Sawmill Creek Road, a spacious garden open to the public during the summer. She said she uses the market as a way to advertise her u pick it operation, and the book she wrote about growing vegetables in Sitka.

“I take a little bit of produce. I also make a value added product called a gift basket so I always take one to the farmer’s market so people can see what we’re producing out here. And then everybody can sign up to win the basket, and at the end of the day, one person gets it.”

Sitka’s Farmers Market is about more than locally-grown produce. It’s got seafood, arts and crafts, black cod tips you can eat right then and there, and even…

“…barley cereal, barley flour, we’ve got some roasted barley tea, barley cous-cous as well as some pancake mix,” said Sadleir-Hart.

Thanks to a farmer in Delta Junction.

For more information about the summer schedule of the Sitka Farmers’ Markets, visit the Sitka Local Foods Network online.

Community volunteers search for missing family

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:17

A month has passed since Brandon Jividen, Rebecca Adams and her two daughters, Michelle Hundley and Jaracca Hundley, vanished from their home in Kenai.

While the Kenai Police Department has devoted all the resources at its disposal toward finding the family, to this point, the search efforts have not revealed their whereabouts. Lead investigator Lt. David Ross said without any leads to point police to a particular area, the department couldn’t continue to coordinate searches.

read more

Voting officials knew of poor translation

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:17

ANCHORAGE — The official who coordinated the Division of Election’s Yup’ik language program knew the translation for a radio announcement was off but suggested ignoring it anyway.

Emails entered as exhibits during a federal voting-rights trial include a 2009 back-and-forth between the division’s then-language coordinator in Bethel, Dorie Wassilie, and her boss, Shelly Growden. The emails came in the midst of a prior lawsuit, settled in 2010.

read more

New ad buys in Senate race

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:16

JUNEAU — Two third-party spending groups this week announced dropping more than $900,000 for ads in the Alaska U.S. Senate race.

The buys — in addition to the millions that groups have already spent or are expected to spend on the election — underscore the intense interest in the race, which could help determine which party controls the Senate.

read more

Fukushima radiation not found in Alaska seafood

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:16

ANCHORAGE — Alaska health officials say testing of Alaska seafood revealed no radiation contamination from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, which was damaged by a tsunami in 2011.

Officials from the Alaska departments of Environmental Conservation and Health and Social Services on Friday announced results of U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests.

The FDA monitors radiation in both domestic and imported food. Alaska officials called for specific Alaska samples, including fish that migrate from western Pacific waters off Japan.

read more

4 big hospitals face penalties for infection rates

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:09

ANCHORAGE — A federal program aimed at improving safety at the nation’s hospitals could mean financial penalties for Alaska’s four largest hospitals.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Anchorage’s Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center are in the lowest-performing 25 percent of hospitals for rates of infections and complications during in-patient stays, according to preliminary data analyzed by Kaiser Health News.

read more

Judge requires CIFF to reimburse state for lawsuit costs

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:09

ANCHORAGE — A judge ruled Wednesday that a commercial fishing group should pay part of the state’s cost for the lawsuit regarding management of the Cook Inlet salmon fisheries in 2013.

Alaska Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi issued an order asking Cook Inlet Fisherman’s Fund to pay the state Department of Law $12,924. That amount was 20 percent of what the state spent defending itself in the fisheries management lawsuit, according to a Department of Law memo filed with the court June 18.

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Fairbanks dealing with plethora of potholes

Sun, 2014-06-29 00:09

FAIRBANKS — Interior Alaska has endured one of its rainiest Junes, and that has opened a plethora of potholes in Fairbanks.

State and city road crews are working overtime to patch them, but have had a difficult time keeping up because anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rain has fallen in the past week.

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Soboleff wins Sealaska board seat, Nelson becomes chairman

Sat, 2014-06-28 23:30

New Sealaska board member Ross Soboleff. (Courtesy 4 Shareholders for Sealaska)

The Sealaska regional Native corporation has a new board member and a new board chairman.

Shareholders elected Juneau businessman Ross Soboleff to an open seat.

They also re-elected incumbents Rosita Worl, Sidney Edenshaw and Ed Thomas. A resolution limiting discretionary voting failed.

Joseph Nelson was named by the board as chairman. He replaces Albert Kookesh, who remains on the panel but stepped down from the post.

Results were announced at the end of the corporation’s annual meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel near the Seattle-Tacoma airport. About 6,000 of Sealaska’s 21,600 shareholders live in the Pacific Northwest.

New board member Soboleff was part of an independent slate called 4 Shareholders for Sealaska. Fellow members Carlton Smith, Margaret Nelson and Karen Taug were not elected.

Though he was the only one to win, Soboleff says the slate’s message was powerful.

“Most of the board members I’ve spoken to know shareholders are interested in very positive changes in the company. They and me are in the leadership and we have to figure it out together,” he says.

The slate, and most of the six other independent candidates, criticized the board for allowing corporate operations to run into the red by about $57 million last year.

“I would say central to what we came forward with was a turnaround plan for the company,” Soboleff says.

The slate’s Smith was enthusiastic about the results, even if he and two other members lost.

“It’s a powerful victory for shareholders today and it’s a change that’s been wanting to be implemented,” Smith says. “What we’ve got is the beginnings of a brand new board.”

He says the slate cast all its discretionary votes for Soboleff to make sure one member won.

Sealaska’s new CEO, Anthony Mallott, also says the results are a turning point.

“If today’s meeting isn’t proof of change, I don’t know what is,” he said in a press release. “We’ve heard from many people about what is expected of Sealaska, and the great news is that these are the things we’re already working on.”

It’s unusual for Sealaska to have an open board seat. Retiring members usually resign before an election and the board appoints a replacement who then runs as an incumbent.

This year, board member Byron Mallott announced he would not seek re-election so he could pursue his Democratic run for governor. But he completed his term rather than resigning. That guaranteed someone new would fill the seat.

A resolution changing discretionary voting to weaken the board’s hold on ballot counts failed.

Board candidate Mick Beasley, who authored the measure, says he’s frustrated, but would likely try again. He said he may also pursue a term-limits measure, as he has done before.

He was not optimistic about the election’s results.

“I see very little change,” he says.

In all, 13 candidates ran for four board seats this year.

Longtime incumbent Thomas was the top vote-getter, followed by incumbents Edenshaw and Worl. Challenger Soboleff won the fourth seat with the next-highest count.

The board runner-ups, in order of votes received, were Beasley, Myrna Gardner, Ralph Wolfe, Smith, Nelson, Taug, Michelle McConkey, Will Micklin and Edward Sarabia Jr.

The voting share counts are below. Each shareholder casts a vote per share and most own at least 100 shares.

• Edward Thomas 677,440
• Sidney Edenshaw 674,874
• Rosita Worl 674,447
• Ross Soboleff 508,216
• Michael Beasley 472,611
• Myrna Gardner 390,509
• Ralph Wolfe 244,425
• Carlton Smith 206,829
• Margaret Nelson 156,551
• Karen Taug 151,966
• Michelle McConkey 137,691
• Will Micklin 112,261
• Edward Sarabia Jr. 102,166

World Cup 2014: Sitkans wake up to soccer

Sat, 2014-06-28 09:30

World Cup action in 2010 did not seem to grip Alaskans the way the 2014 contest has. (Flickr photo/Damien Sachs-Dromsen)

Every four years most of the world grinds to a halt to watch the World Cup of Men’s Football — and the game finally may have caught on in Sitka.

Local watering holes opened for breakfast last Thursday (6-26-14), and tuned their flat-panel televisions to soccer, as the US met Germany for a pivotal game that would send the winner into the final stage of the tournament.

KCAW’s Rich McClear has lived in Europe for most of the last 20 years. But this past Thursday, he was in his hometown watching Sitkans react to their newest favorite sport.

http://www.kcaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/27Worldcup.mp3

The US men will meet Belgium in their first Group of 16 game, noon Alaska time, on Tuesday July 1, 2014.

The first problem is I don’t have a television, which makes watching the World Cup matches a challenge. I can watch them on my iPhone in Spanish, there is an app for that, but Football should be watched in a cheering group, not on a small screen. I opted for the Westmark, which was open for both breakfast and football, and I found myself at a convivial table — even though there was a bona fide German sitting there.

“Martina Kurzer, I am German and I am American. This is the best game EVER. I cannot lose. (Laughs) It’s true.”

This was not the way I am used to watching Football in Serbia, where I lived for several years. Looking around I realized I was the only man at the table. In Serbia, Football was a man’s sport. One female sport’s journalist I worked with told me she was often the only woman in the stands. I asked Martina if she had been a football fan in Germany.

“Of course, I’m German, it’s like being a baseball fan here.”

I told here that in Serbia, she would stand out as a female football fan.

“Oh, that’s interesting, I tell you a story. My Grandmother did not answer a telephone when there was football, or soccer on TV. So it goes back many generations.”

The US team would advance in the tournament if it tied or won. At the end of the first half the score was tied. However in the second half Germany scored. The crowd at the Westmark was NOT like a crowd in Serbia. There were no loud demonstrations of frustration or anger, but rather calm analysis, and even appreciation of the German goal.

(All Women’s voices.) Long Long Drive. it was a good kick. Can you believe that? It Went right through, wow.

Near the end of the game, it looked briefly like the US team would tie and assure itself a berth in the playoffs but…

Oh, no no no!

Close but no goal. In the end the US lost but still advanced to the next stage because Portugal beat Ghana by one goal in a game that ended seconds after the US-Germany match. Technically the US and Portugal were tied in their groups but the US advanced because Portugal had more goals scored against it than had the United States. Soccer playoffs are more confusing that US Baseball’s Wild Card.

Martina left the venue happy.

I think it’s great, both teams advance so it’s perfect.

In the next stage of the Cup, however, there are no second chances. The Round of 16 is a single-elimination format. Here’s hoping the US men — and our new love of international football — survive.

Sitka’s health: #2 and looking to improve

Fri, 2014-06-27 16:28

After eight months of suspense, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the six winners of the foundation’s nationwide Culture of Health prize. Sitka — unfortunately — didn’t make the list, but healthcare educators say that just being recognized as a finalist has been a shot in the arm.

Sitka was one of just 12 finalists for the prize, picked from over two hundred and fifty U.S. communities for a strong focus on healthy living.

“We were not selected, much to our chagrin,” said Doug Osborne, a health educator at the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. “One of the things they said was – and there is some truth to this – is that well, you get everyone together and that’s great, and you have people who come up with ideas, and the citizen-directed and the grassroots is awesome. They wondered if we might be even stronger if we can give them some data, if we can give them some information so we can make a little more data-driven goals, little more data-driven decisions. We’re six points higher than the state average when it comes to excessive drinking, when I look at these numbers that is our Achilles heel.”

Osborne was referring to results from the 2014 County Health Ranking and Roadmaps, an ongoing project of the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For the past five years, researchers looked at 29 areas that affect health in every county of the U.S. Sitka was near the top of the 2014 list. Last year, sixth place. Lisa Sadleir-Hart, board president of the Sitka Local Foods Network, said a yearly meeting of health care professionals and residents contributed to the change.

“We moved from sixth ranked in the state to number two, and I can’t help but think that part of it has to do with our annual health summit where the community members gather, they select specific goals to try to improve the health of our community,” said Sadleir-Hart.

But Sitka’s County Health Rankings need to get even better if the community hopes to win the Culture of Health award — the $25,000 cash prize — next time.

“So here we are, the second healthiest community in Alaska, however, we have these four areas where we could do some improvement on. And the areas were injury deaths, and we’re above the state average there…preventable hospital stays, and that has to do with clinical care, and then uninsured – we’re actually three points higher at 25 percent – so one in four of our adults didn’t have health insurance when they put these numbers out – the state average is 22 percent. Not having health insurance is not good for your health,” said Osborne.

Osborne and Sitka Community Hospital health educator Patrick Williams say the most troubling result was the rate at which some Sitkans binge drink or drink to excess, defined as three or more alcoholic drinks a day.

Osborne said it was worth it to go through the lengthy and complex application process for the Culture of Health award because it helped focus attention on how Sitka residents can become healthier.

“And see if we can take this idea of citizen-driven health promotion – not what someone in Washington DC wants to do or somebody in Juneau, but what people here want to do. And the thing that’s exciting for me, apart from the prize, is just what if we got to the point where every year, we would pick these two goals, and we would figure out a recipe that we could follow, that would help these two goals become reality?”

Osborne said he and his colleagues will reapply for the Culture of Health award in 2015.

Vandalism, shooting halts work at KYI paintball site

Fri, 2014-06-27 15:58

Vandalism and nearby gunshots prompted a local nonprofit to halt work on a summer work effort by a team of AmeriCorps volunteers, who came to Ketchikan specifically to build a new paintball field for local youth.

http://www.krbd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/27Paintball.mp3

Six young volunteers working for AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps program have been in Ketchikan for about three weeks. They’ve been working in the forest to clear brush, make safe pathways and build obstacles for Ketchikan Youth Initiatives’ new paintball field.

They have three weeks left to complete the project, but now, that might not happen. Here’s team leader Max Webster, describing how they recently found the paintball headquarters building when they arrived at the work site, just four miles down Revilla Road:

“Walking up there we found one of the protective boards that had been nailed up to protect the windows had been knocked off, and the door had been completely smashed in,” he said. “So it was some sort of heavy object – an ax or a crowbar or something like that – which left these really deep grooves in the door handle and bent the whole lock system down and around. So this double dead-bolted door had been completely smashed in and pushed in.”

Webster said it definitely was a tool that was used, and not the act of a determined bear seeking food. But, he said, it doesn’t appear that the person who did the damage was out to steal anything.

“It’s hard to account for because no item of value was taken from the facility, even though we had some tools that could be taken and swapped, and there was paintball paraphernalia that could have been sold as well, and none of that was taken,” he said.

Instead, Webster said some bottled water was taken out and cut open, along with some apple juice. And tools were strewn across the road.

“It’s not one of those things that you could easily say that somebody (was) just looking to find some profit, some quick money,” he said. “It was just a blatant act of vandalism.”

This isn’t the first time that Ketchikan Youth Initiatives paintball facility has been vandalized. But, KYI administrator Bobbie McCreary said this time is different.

“We’ve had lots of vandalism over the seven years that we’ve been out there, but never as violent as this,” she said. “It’s always been more mischievous vandalism, but unfortunately they’ve also shot up the building sometimes, and that’s always a concern because there might be someone in the building. But this was so aggressive that it was really a concern.”

Even more so, because there had been someone shooting a gun out in that area just the day before. And the shooter was too close.

Webster said a crew was working in the new paintball area, along with some local youth volunteers.

“A couple of members of the AmeriCorps team who were down working on the new paintball field could hear bullets passing through the trees around them,” he said. “Within 50 yards of where they were, they could hear bullets hitting wood, passing through branches and leaves. It was enough of a concern for them to take cover and vacate the area that they were working in.”

Webster said that’s definitely a problem, but it’ll be even more of a problem if people continue to shoot in that area once the site opens to kids for paintball games.

Getting people to stop, though, could be a challenge. Some people have been target shooting around there for a long time. McCreary said KYI has a lease agreement with Cape Fox Corp., which owns the site and the surrounding land.

“They have a full-time security person who has often run into people shooting out there, and had that day actually confronted someone telling him not to shoot,” she said. “They said, ‘Oh well, there’s lots of shells here; everybody’s shooting.’ So it’s really important for the community to step up and tell somebody to tell somebody to tell somebody that this is not OK.”

Because of the safety concerns, the AmeriCorps team has halted work at the paintball site, although Webster said he hopes they can get back to it soon.

“We do have a really great space picked down there, and we do have a lot of work into it,” he said. “The paintball field itself, once we resolve these issues, still will be a tremendous recreational resource for kids in this community. It’s just about doing the legwork now to make sure that it remains safe in the future.”

In the meantime, the AmeriCorps volunteers are working on other projects for KYI, and for other Ketchikan nonprofit agencies.

McCreary said the vandalism and the shooting have been reported to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers are asking anyone with information about the vandalism to call 225-5118. Callers can remain anonymous.

Post-Graduate Fellowship in Community Journalism

Fri, 2014-06-27 14:00

Application Deadline: July 22, 2014

I – Program Overview
Raven Radio’s post-graduate fellowship is a 30-week program intended to bridge the period between the completion of a journalism student’s education and the beginning of his or her career.
The Fellowship offers a recent graduate the opportunity to…
– Gain substantial expertise in a professional newsroom.
– Refine live broadcast and production skills.
– Experiment with and develop multi-media production skills.
– Explore complex news issues in a diverse community, region, and state.
– Write, edit, and produce sound-rich, in-depth stories for local, state, and national distribution.
– Establish professional connections to NPR, the Alaska Public Radio Network, National Native News, and other affiliates.

The Fellowship is modeled on Raven Radio’s summer internship program for journalism graduate students. Both programs take talented students from a demanding academic culture, drop them into a fertile news environment, and add mentoring and structure (deadlines!). The internship program is now in its second decade; seven of the last eight interns have all won state broadcasting awards. KCAW’s 2012 intern, Rachel Waldholz, won for this piece about the Tenakee Bath House.

We subsequently hired Rachel as our full-time reporter in January of this year.

Emily Forman delivers the evening news. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)

While the KCAW internship is about training, the Fellowship is about opportunity. Our 2013-14 Fellow, Emily Forman, produced this story about airport safety for NPR’s Morning Edition:

You can see more of Emily’s work here.

To learn more about the KCAW Fellowship directly from Emily, you can email her at emilylforman-at-gmail.com.

Our 2012-2013 Fellow, Anne Brice, also produced this spot for NPR News.

You can see more of Anne’s work here.

And you can email her at briceanne-at-gmail.com.

The Fellowship benefits more than just the successful applicant. The benefits to KCAW and to the community of Sitka are substantial. The Fellow contributes to…
– Expanded news coverage in the fall-winter-spring months.
A broader variety of stories, many of them more in-depth than typical daily news stories.
– A diversity of voices providing the news.
– An expanded website, and multi-media features that tell our stories in new, engaging ways
– More live coverage of community-based issues (public forums, town hall meetings, Tribal council, etc.)
– Improved coverage of our remote listening communities.
– Greater flexibility to work with NPR West on repackaging local and regional stories for national newscasts (See an example at http://www.npr.org/2013/03/14/174222954/as-his-home-melts-away-teenager-sues-alaska).

– An overall higher level of reporting due to the expanded network of news sources and relationships that the Fellow develops over time.

II – Criteria
A candidate for the Raven Radio Post-Graduate Fellowship has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree program in Journalism or a related field of study, and has acquired competency in news writing and broadcast journalism (or multi-media production) at the academic level. Someone with an M.A. in Journalism from UC Berkeley or Columbia looking to create a professional portfolio and to establish contacts within public broadcasting is a candidate; a college graduate with no prior experience who may be thinking about going into journalism is not. On the other hand, an established print reporter hoping to transition into broadcast would be considered for the Fellowship.

III – Work expectations
The Raven Radio Post-Graduate Fellow, after an initial training period, becomes our colleague in the news department. We work a 40-hour week, often in the evenings and sometimes in the early morning. We share news hosting duties on four 12-minute newscast each weekday. We file stories as often as we can, and post to our regional FTP site, the KCAW website, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The Fellow – like all members of the news department – observes the ethical standards of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). In a small community like Sitka, protecting the station’s reputation for objective, open-handed reporting is paramount.

IV – Stipend, Duration, and Lodging
The Fellow will receive a stipend of $4,500 for a thirty-week period:
– Mon Sep 23, 2012 – Fri Dec 13, 2013, 12 weeks
– Mon Jan 6, 2014 – Fri May 9, 2014, 18 weeks

The mid-winter break is optional. The Fellow may work any 30-weeks between the approximate start and end dates.

The Fellow will be covered by the station’s workman’s compensation policy, but no other insurance benefit is provided. The stipend is paid only for weeks worked – there is no paid leave.

Raven Radio will provide the Fellow with housing. Relocating during the Fellowship is likely.

Raven Radio will provide airfare, housing, and per diem for the Fellow to attend the annual meeting of the Alaska Press Club in April 2015.

V – Transportation
Sitka is located on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska, about 2 hours by air from Seattle. There is no road access. Alaska Airlines offers several flights a day, and there is regular ferry service aboard the Alaska Marine Highway. Although a personal car is not necessary for the Fellowship, the least expensive way to bring one to Sitka is to drive it to Prince Rupert, BC, and board an Alaska Marine Highway vessel there.

VI – Application deadline
Applicants must submit a letter of interest, resume with references, and audio samples by Tuesday July 22, 2014. E-mail submissions are welcomed. Submit applications to:

Robert Woolsey, News Director
KCAW-FM Raven Radio
2B Lincoln Street, Ste. B
Sitka Alaska 99835
robert@kcaw.org
907 747-5879

Steve Will.

The Raven Radio Post-Graduate Fellowship in Community Journalism was created to honor the memory of Steve Will. Steve worked in different capacities at Raven Radio over a period of about twenty-five years. Like many of us who have made careers in public broadcasting, he began as volunteer and, the story goes, he wasn’t all that good at first. Steve finally did find his groove in the news department, eventually becoming its director. His years in that job were marked by a major labor dispute at the town’s largest employer, the Alaska Pulp Corporation mill, and then the eventual shutdown of the mill itself. Despite the deep divisions in the community Steve’s reporting is still remembered as honest, even, and compelling. He went on to win one of the most prestigious national awards in broadcasting – the Ohio State – for a series he produced during that period on the sexual abuse of minors. Steve later was detailed voluntarily to serve as a regional reporter, in an experiment that shaped the present-day CoastAlaska Network. He left broadcasting for a while to write for the Daily Sitka Sentinel, but returned in 2006 as Raven Radio’s program director. Steve’s death in a bike accident in 2007 in no way canonized him. His reputation as committed journalist and passionate advocate for community broadcasting was well-established, well-deserved, and well-earned.

Raven Radio Celebrates the 4th of July with free Root Beer Floats!

Fri, 2014-06-27 13:34

Raven Radio invites you to enjoy free root beer floats, lawn games and live music at the Cable House after the parade on Friday, July 4th. We’re ready to serve more than 500 root beer floats… so come and get yours!Thanks to Harry Race Soda Shop, Baranof Island Brewing Company, Sitka Sound Seafoods and Northern Sales!

This is just a drill

Fri, 2014-06-27 12:19

The U.S. Federal Building on Ninth Street in downtown Juneau was evacuated at noon Friday, but fortunately there was no reason to freak out. It was only a drill.

The evacuation was part of the Federal Protective Service’s active shooter response drill, said FPS Chief of Public Affairs Jacqueline Yost.

FPS is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security and it runs the drill in Juneau twice a year to ensure tenants of the federal building know what to do in case of such an emergency.

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