Alaska Dispatch News
The saying "the odds are good but the goods are odd" about Alaska bachelors may never have been so true as it is in this throwback promo for Alaska Men magazine. In the video, outdoorsy hunks sporting tight dad jeans, mustaches and mullets ride horses, paraglide, shoot guns and lift weights while pining away for their dream frontier women.Brought to you by the website Everything is Terrible.
Alaska Public Media

Matzo Balls and the $75 Challenge | INDIE ALASKA

Indie Alaska is an original video series produced by Alaska Public Media in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. The weekly series captures the diverse and colorful lifestyles of everyday Alaskans at work and at play. Together, these videos present a fresh and authentic look at living in Alaska.In this episode, we meet the crafty Natasha Price. From knit hats to family dinners, homemade is kind of her thing.One reason for Price's DIY attitude, she says, is because living in Alaska is expensive enough without going out to eat every night. So after realizing that her family's monthly grocery bill was topping $600, she went on a quest to feed her family on $75 a week -- not an easy task in a state where nearly all food is shipped thousands of miles before reaching consumers.
Tara Young


The Nerds of the North robotics team has a saying: “'Nerd' is a four-letter word with a six-figure salary." Alaska's only FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, number 568, is in its 15th year.FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was started by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and the portable insulin pump, back in 1992. Dimond High School Engineering Academy teacher Wade Roach says that Kamen thought “one of the big problems was that our young people didn’t worship scientists and technicians; they were excited about athletes and movie stars.” So Kamen came up with the idea of a sports-type competition that used engineering skills. FRC was born.Over the years FRC grew and other levels of the robotics club were established: FIRST Lego League (FLL) for younger students and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for middle schoolers, with FRC being the pinnacle of competition. The event is a spectacle, with a basketball court-sized playing field and giant robots. The teams compete but also work together to gain points, in something FIRST calls "Co-Opertition." Each year FIRST picks a different theme for its competition and the teams get 6 weeks to build their robots before they compete. This year's theme is Recycling Rush, where robots stack containers and collect trash (pool noodles) to gain points for recycling.Team 568 is comprised of students from Dimond, Bartlett and East high schools. It’s a chance for young people to gain skills in engineering, programing and building, but it also lets them work on their social skills. Part of the FIRST ethos is "Gracious Professionalism"; students are encouraged to share their ideas, be outgoing, and compete with respect and grace. The skills they gain not only prepare them for their future professions but for life.Electrical engineer for 568 Fred Chun talked about helping a student at Dimond High School with her electric wheelchair recently. “Her control box was broken so a friend and I went over to help her. We couldn’t have done that three years ago; we would have been confused.” But with the electrical skills he learned through the engineering program at Dimond he had the knowledge to fix her wheelchair. “It felt pretty nice too.”Team 568 is competing in the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis April 22-25. “The scope of the competition is an order of magnitude larger than anything we have experienced," says Roach. "The entire Edward-Jones Dome is filled with robots. Eight fields of 70+ teams each. Massive pit areas. It is incredible!!!”Watch this video on Vimeo and YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of our videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Tara Young


BETHEL -- A city council member beckoned kids to a Native American hip-hop workshop, and then to one on belly dancing. People waited in line 45 minutes to buy $10 cups of Eskimo ice cream, or akutaq, with tundra berries, halibut and Crisco. On stage, one group of Bethel dancers reached deep to perform, only a year after their leader was killed in a house fire.The cultural explosion that is Bethel’s Cama-i Dance Festival is drawing thousands this weekend for dance and song, Native foods and family, dramatic regalia and live performances by a Yup’ik YouTube sensation.Read more: Bethel's Cama-i Dance Festival melds past and present, performers and audience
Loren Holmes


The idea of friendly competition isn’t just something Native Youth Olympians talk about. It’s all they talk about.“It’s weird how competing against someone else will bring you together, but it really does,” explained Madeline Ko, who won the two-foot high kick during Friday’s competition at the Alaska Airlines Center.As is custom at the annual cultural and Native games competition, which concludes Saturday, athletes seemingly spent more time making friends with opposing teams and urging on fellow competitors than they did worrying about their own performances. In the final event of Friday’s competition, two-foot high kick participants invariably gathered in small groups of athletes from different teams, discussing strategy or giving last-minute hints to their opponents.The unusual collaboration between athletes is part of what makes the event special, explained Tim Blum, communications director for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), which organizes the games with the help of more than 50 corporate sponsors and partners.“They really help each other out,” Blum said.Read more: Friendly competition the essence of NYO
Ron Wilmot


The historic Motherlode Lodge in Hatcher Pass was engulfed in flames Friday evening, and firefighters were letting the building burn because it was outside any fire service area. The Motherlode is "probably a total loss," said Norm McDonald, fire management officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry in Palmer. Two forestry engines responded, but only to make sure no surrounding areas burned. There's still enough snow in the area that fire spreading to nearby grass or trees wasn't an issue, McDonald said. Forestry crews were concentrating on traffic control Friday night as they watched flames consume the beloved local institution, home to events like weekly jazz nights and weddings. "There's a lot of memories in that place," he said. Read more: Motherlode Lodge in Hatcher Pass burns
Marc Lester


With just days left in the 2015 session of the Alaska Legislature, lawmakers are busy discussing and voting on dozens of bills. Four legislators from the Alaska House of Representatives explain bills that they’ve sponsored.
Tara Young


The 30th Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic was called off Saturday after a second day of poor conditions forced organizers to nix the annual race in the Hoodoo Mountains.The event, which began Friday, combines skiing (or snowboarding) with snowmachine racing over a 5.5-mile course. The race starts with a skier or snowboarder racing downhill to link up with a tow rope attached to a snowmachine, which then tows the racer to the top of a second hill. From there the racer skis to a finish line at the bottom.According to founder Howard Thies, Arctic Man campgrounds in the Hoodoo Mountains at Summit Lake becomes the third-largest city in Alaska overnight. The event has grown in the past 30 years from 100 attendees to approximately 15,000. The grounds are overrun by RVs, snowmachines, and bonfires. Arctic Man artist Sandy Jamieson likens sno-going adrenaline junkies to the motorcycle crowd: "The people are pretty rough looking, and a lot of them are working people that this is their thing. "But there's no one here who wouldn't stop to help anyone else."Read more: Arctic Man canceled due to stormWatch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Marc Lester


In this video, check out some of the most impressive flips and biggest fails of Slush Cup 2015 at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.About 40 costumed contestants participated in the Slush Cup at Alyeska Resort on Saturday afternoon, April 11, 2015. Skiers and snowboarders took an alpine run, hit a ramp and tried to skim across a pond at the base of the hill for the chance to win a season pass for 2015-16. It’s one of the most popular events of Alyeska’s Spring Carnival and draws a large crowd of spectators hoping to see some impressive tricks and spectacular wipeouts. Colin Gordon took first place in the event, followed by Desi Sherwood and Joey Aist. Jack Stahla won the prize for best crash. This was the 38th annual Slush Cup. Spring Carnival continues Sunday with events including a downhill mountain bike race and an Xtratuf tug-o-war.For more from the Slush Cup, check out our photo gallery.
Tara Young


The second season of the Pupil + Paper design and scholarship competition kicked off at the Anchorage Museum Saturday April 4, 2015. Eighteen teams of students from seven Anchorage and Chugiak high schools created garments made completely from recycled paper. The entries ranged from fantastical to retro with pieces inspired by books on dragons, childhood imagery, Greek mythology, nature and personal experiences.Competing students attend mentoring workshops at KPB Architects office, which hosts the competition. It’s an opportunity for young artists to challenge themselves creatively, build a portfolio piece and work with professionals in the community.Annie Thorndike a junior at Stellar Secondary says Pupil + Paper, “gives kids a platform to make something, to design something. It’s great for portfolios; if you win it’s amazing for your resume for going to design or art school”.The finished garments will be on display at the Anchorage School District Education Center on Northern Lights throughout the month of April.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Alaska Dispatch News
For the first time in over 100 years, Alaska has a wild population of wood bison. On Friday, 100 bison were set free in Shageluk, Alaska by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The species was thought to be extinct until a small herd was discovered in in Canada in 1957. The release last week represented years of work to bring the animals back to Alaska.Read more: First wood bison head for release in Southwest Alaska
Alaska Public Media

Herring Eggs and Seal Grease Off-the-Grid | INDIE ALASKA

INDIE ALASKA is an original video series produced by Alaska Public Media in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. The weekly series captures the diverse and colorful lifestyles of everyday Alaskans at work and at play. Together, these videos present a fresh and authentic look at living in Alaska.In part two of a four-part series looking at the connections that modern Alaskans have with their food, we meet the Scleifmans. Fifteen minutes outside Wasilla, the Little Su River calmly rushes by the small, off-the-grid cabin of Ben Schleifman and Meda DeWitt-Schleifman. The Schleifman family has lived in the cabin for two years and despite the endless list of chores (splitting firewood, hauling fuel, etc.), they have become adept at preparing feasts for friends and family who make the short trek out to their land.The Schleifmans travel extensively throughout Alaska, but both hail from Southeast Alaska and try to eat the food they’ve grown up with as often as possible. On the menu tonight: herring egg salad and fried rice with seal oil.