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Food has been a crucial part of the Unangan culture for centuries. But in the Aleutian and Pribilof islands, people are relying less on the land and sea and more on their local store. KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports on a new effort to promote subsistence living — in print.
Folks may have noticed a number of online videos popping up regarding the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.” The online awareness campaign challenges people to dump a bucket of ice water over their head and nominate other folks to do the same. The goal is to spread awareness about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and raise money for finding a cure. A number of celebrities, sports teams and politicians have accepted the challenge, including Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski posted a video online last week that shows her jumping into the fish hold of a tender in Southeast. The video includes a damp Murkowski talking about the ALS challenge after her plunge.
“When we take on a challenge we take it head on. So I’m going to challenge every single member of the United States Senate – do something, do it right. Demonstrate your commitment to getting rid of ALS. Go dunk your head in a bucket of ice, go jump in a fish hold in a tender in Southeast Alaska in Alaskan waters.” Continue reading
While many folks are still clinging on to summer, some people are already gearing up for the season of giving. Last week representatives from Operation Christmas Child were in town promoting the project, which sends shoe boxes full of gifts to children all around the world. It’s part of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.
Susan Bretz is the regional area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Alaska and said majority of the boxes collected in the state last year went to the Philippines following the typhoon. She said anyone can send a shoebox, and typically they ask folks to include anything a child might need or want.
“School supplies are in high demand. Many of the children can’t go to school without school supplies. Right now is a great time to be getting deals on that. Hygiene items, pieces of clothing and of course toys and candy.” Continue reading
Coming up this week, federal disaster funds are starting to come available for those affected by the king salmon collapse; a third cannery worker has been charged with pollution in Unalaska, and did you know that there’s a Siberian freshwater salmon that can reach seven-feet long? Yeah. We’re going to need a bigger boat. All that and more amazing facts coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska and KCAW’s Robert Woolsey in Sitka.
Now that the dust has settled in the primary election, District 32 Democrat Jerry McCune finally knows who he’ll be facing in November’s general.
McCune, a third generation Cordova commercial fisherman, was in Kodiak last week on a campaign swing, as Cordova, Kodiak Island, Yakutat and south Kachemak Bay are all in Alaska House District 32 under this year’s redistricting plan.
“When the redistricting changed and Mr. Austerman retired, I felt it was a wide-open seat and I wanted to give people a choice since I’m running as a Democrat and there’s three Republicans in Kodiak…. So I wanted to give people a choice. I wanted to get out and talk about the issues in this district, ‘cause I know this district pretty well.”
McCune is the current president of the United Fishermen of Alaska and as such, has spent a lot of years in the halls of the capital pushing for commercial fishing legislation.
“I have real ties to the fishing industry. My grandfather came to Cordova in 1908, ran a claim, cannery, fished, worked on the railroad, for the Copper Northwestern Railroad, ran the first hydro. And then I’m pretty tied to the two villages in the sound and then I know a little bit about Seldovia. So our district is pretty much commercial fishing, but there’s charter boats and there’s other industries running there too that need their fair share, too.”
McCune says he knows a lot of fishermen in Kodiak, and got “an ear-full” about fishing while walking the docks last week, but he says there are many other issues important to District 32 as well.
“I’ve heard a lot about roads and particularly in Yakutat they’re looking to build a hatchery to supplement the small fishery they have there – it’s mostly setnet and sportsfishing that share that fishery. But they need cheaper power. Now everybody you talk to needs cheaper power. In the villages, in Tyonek, they haven’t really receiv3ed a lot of state funding over there. Those kind of villages are really tough – you’ve got to be invited to talk to the elders and try to make some inroads about what their needs are. But sometimes they’re tough, but you’ve got to keep talking in those particular places.”
McCune, who raised five kids in Cordova, thinks the legislature should better fund schools.
“I think our BSA is too low. I think there’s talk of accountability of schools and how they do that. But when I talk to teachers, classrooms are being overloaded and it’s getting to be hard to keep good teachers, especially in remote areas. I think we need to get the communities involved, too, quite a bit, with the teachers and see what we can do to help out to make it palatable to keep good teachers and keep the system moving.”
McCune will face Louise Stutes in the November 4th general election.
The Coast Guard medevac’d an injured fisherman from near the Islands of the Four Mountains in the central Aleutians yesterday.
The 27-year-old man was aboard the fishing vessel Patricia Lee at the time. The boat was near Chuginadak Island, home of Cleveland Volcano, when the man hurt his foot and needed medical attention.
Coast Guard public affairs officer Diana Honings says the cutter Alex Haley was nearby, with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aboard.
“The Alex Haley was on a patrol through the Bering Sea,” she said, “and they happened to be in the neighborhood when the man needed a medevac.”
The Alex Haley sent its helicopter to hoist the injured fisherman from the 116-foot vessel Patricia Lee. The man was flown to Unalaska for emergency treatment. Weather conditions were reportedly calm at the time.
It’s the first Coast Guard medevac in several months from near Unalaska. But Honings says this summer has been busy for rescues elsewhere in the state.