Tara Young


Meghan Holtan has been walking the Chester Creek Trail on stilts this week to interview strangers and create audio recordings of their favorite experiences along the popular Anchorage trail.Her "Tall Tales" are part of the Seeking the Source project, a community art mapping endeavor that began May 17 and will conclude this Saturday, May 23.The project is curated by artist Jimmy Riordan, who grew up in Anchorage and has lived near the Chester Creek Trail for many years. “For me it’s one of the most diverse landscapes in the parks system in Anchorage, in that it bumps up against a lot of different communities and also has a variety of different natural landscapes,” said Riordan. “You’ve got wetlands, you’ve got the bird habitat at Westchester Lagoon, you’ve got these forested areas, so it was that diversity that we were intrigued by.”The intention of Seeking the Source is to collect a history of the trail and the neighborhoods that surround it. Eight artists have converged to contribute in their own ways to mapping the trail, while also working with community groups that use the trail and people who have historic or scientific knowledge about it.In addition to Holtan, tattoo artist Sara Frary is making drawings of the trail, amateur cartographer Colin Allen is creating a hand-drawn map and Ayden LeRoux is writing a collection of work inspired by the trail.Alaska’s elder statesman Vic Fischer and community activist Lanie Fleischer participated in a talk about the creation of the Chester Creek Trail at Valley of the Moon Park. Fischer told Riordan that he was happy to be part of the conversation, “but I have no idea what you’re doing.”Riordan acknowledges that some people are perplexed by the project, which includes a special smartphone app and an "augmented reality" guidebook. The booklet reveals information gathered by the artists when users scan QR codes into the Junaio app, available for iOS and Android. It’s an ambitious and conceptual project but one that Riordan says he hopes will give value to trailgoers for years to come.Anchorage residents can join the conversation by participating in a community walk along the trail starting at 12 p.m. Saturday in Russian Jack Park and ending in Valley of the Moon Park.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Alaska Dispatch News

Walrus Cam - Main Beach

Thanks to a grant from Explore.org as well as other private donations, the once-popular Round Island “walrus cam” is back online after losing funding nearly a decade ago.The island is part of the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary, located about 65 miles southwest of Dillingham in Bristol Bay. Thousands of tusked Pacific male walruses haul themselves out to the island while the females are off raising their pups. It’s an incredible sight, and Round Island is one of the few places in the world where humans can catch an in-person glimpse of a walrus in the wild, with one of limited permits given out annually by Alaska Department of Fish and Game.Read more: After 10 years away, Alaska walrus cam streams again
Alaska Dispatch News
The Alaska Senate on Thursday, May 21, 2015, moved its business to Anchorage, voted to conclude a Juneau special session ordered by Gov. Bill Walker and declared a new one of its own. 
Alaska Dispatch News
When archaeologists were excavating a 200-year-old Iñupiaq village near Kiana in Alaska's Arctic they uncovered human remains.National Park Service policy dictated that they stop the dig because of the discovery. But the ancient village is situated on the banks for the Kobuk River, which threatens to wash it away before they are able to resume their work.The village of Kiana must decide whether to honor their ancestors or petition the Park Service to resume the dig in hopes of learning more of their history.The film Igliqtiqsiuġvigruaq [Swift Water Place], which documents the dig and Kiana's decision, is scheduled play at the Anchorage Museum at 7 p.m. on May 22, 2015, as part of the Alaska Native Culture series.
Bill Roth
The Anchorage Fire Department held a graduation ceremony in the AFD Training Center on Thursday, May 21, 2015, for 14 new firefighters who recently completed a rigorous training program. The probationary firefighters were sworn in and received their badges and are now ready to start their new careers.
Loren Holmes
The Dalton Highway near the Deadhorse airport is overrun with water on Thursday, May 21, 2015. Crews from the Alaska Department of Transportation made a break in the highway the day before to release trapped water that was threatening the runway.
Alaska Dispatch News
Anchorage filmmaker Kris Swanson headed to Byron Glacier with a friend looking for exposed ice to climb. Since they couldn't find any safe areas for ice climbing, Swanson decided to document the surroundings with his drone.Located in Chugach National Forest, Byron Glacier is prone to avalanche slides, and Swanson notes it “is probably pretty dangerous (to climb) until later in the summer.” Byron Glacier is fifty miles south of Anchorage and is accessible from the 1.4-mile Byron Glacier Trail.To submit your videos to Alaska Dispatch News, contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Erik Hill
Alex Bajoon, 14, reacted in disbelief as a video from Jagex Games Studio in England delivered an invitation to visit the home of his favorite game, Runescape, as a Make-A-Wish trip on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at Central Middle School of Science.
Mike Dunham
The fossil of a bizarre shark with a "buzz saw" bite, found in the Brooks Range and lost for 29 years in the Smithsonian archives, is back in Alaska for an exhibit in Seward, thanks in part to the intervention of artist Ray Troll. 
Marc Lester
Dipnetters lined the shores near the mouth of the Twentymile River and for a few miles north along the Seward Highway as they scooped up hooligan on Tuesday evening, May 20, 2015.
U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Settlers Bay Golf Course near Wasilla on Wednesday.
Chris Bieri