Best of show: Pumpkin Saison, Ryan Lindsay
Division 1: Scot Free, Justin Carson
Division 2: Large, Michael Kulachkosky
Division 3: Change of Command, Rob Baysden
Division 4: Pumpkin Saison, Ryan Lindsay
T he impact of the Southeast Alaskan environment on residents and visitors can't be measured, but it can be appreciated, particularly in the work and words of the region's scientists, writers, artists and culture bearers. A handful of well-known Southeast Alaskans offered such an opportunity Saturday during an eight-hour catamaran trip to Admiralty Island, organized by KJ Metcalf and the nonprofit group Friends of Admiralty Island. Among them were Sitka whale biologist Jan Straley, Sitka writer John Straley, naturalist and author Richard Carstensen, naturalist and author Bob Armstrong, marine mammal specialist Kate Wynne, and Tlingit culture bearer Ben Coronell of the Yanyeidi (wolf) clan of the Taku River region. Joining this prestigious group from outside the boat's windows were the island's "charismatic megafauna" -- humpback whales and brown bears (the former in abundance).
YAKUTAT - In the past five years, Yakutat has lost a quarter of its 800 residents, its economy has shrunk, and its school funding has been drastically cut. But a group of organizations and concerned community members have been working to revitalize it with wide-ranging efforts. They're trying to bring better internet to town; they're volunteering their services to repair literal holes in school buildings; they're starting museums, recruiting cruise ships, cutting brush, pursuing grants, encouraging entrepreneurship, looking at ways to lessen utility bills, and holding town meetings.
Award-winning stand-up comic, counselor and author David Granirer will be the featured performer during this weekend's Comedy for a Cause event, scheduled for Sunday, May 31, at the JACC. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
Yakutat has one of the largest and southernmost known breeding colonies of Aleutian Terns, a fact that is particularly important given the suspected decline of this avian population worldwide. The Yakutat Tern Festival, first held in 2011, highlights this community's role as a front-runner in the field of Aleutian Tern research, including studies on population trends, nesting ecology, and migration patterns -- about which little is known. The festival, which also highlights Yakutat's cultural resources, includes birding activities, natural history field trips, art exhibits, educational events for kids and adults, a photo contest, Native cultural presentations and more.
As a kid growing up, I was taught to treat others the way you want to be treated and respect our elders. So being by my grandparents most of my life, they had showed love and respect to the family. I knew then I wanted to be like them. My grandparents enjoyed the outdoors. They would go hunting, fishing, and picnicking as a family. My grandpa showed me what hard work was. He told me when you work hard for your money, it'll be the greatest feeling you will ever get, so go look for odd jobs and earn your first dollar. I did my first odd job by cleaning around my other grandma's house. It took around two hours to finish the job. She gave me $25. She said thanks for helping us out. I went back to my grandpa and showed him my hard earned money. He asked me, "So how does it feel to work hard for your money?" I said it felt good especially helping others when they need it. He said, "That's good. That is what being a Duncan is about. I'm proud of you."
I've often wondered just how many locally produced beers there are in the state of Alaska. It's got to be a lot. We have 23 licensed brewing companies at this point, with more on the way. Just mentally tinkering, if each of those 23 produced an average of 10 beers, that means that at any given time, we should have 230 local beers to choose from, right?
JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service has reopened the East Glacier trail near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, however, Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials are cautioning trail users to remain aware of an assertive female black bear with three yearling cubs that have been active in this area and around the Dredge Lakes portion of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.
Internationally acclaimed musicians from around the world will gather in Sitka to perform classical chamber music for the entire month of June during the annual Sitka Summer Music Festival, beginning June 2.