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Alaska Dispatch News
When 22-year-old Hailey Driver moved to Girdwood four years ago, she brought her snowboard, intending to sharpen her skills on frozen water. But this summer she discovered surfing on the Turnagain Arm bore tide, and her enthusiasm for riding liquid water has never waned.“At the beginning of last summer, I fell in love with paddleboarding on flat water -- something about there being no boat walls and you can look straight into the water. I brought my first paddleboard ... but flat water was getting a little boring.” Before long, “I spent pretty much all my money on getting the right gear, because the board I started out on was not meant to be a surfboard and I don’t own any neoprene,” Driver said. That wasn’t cheap. In addition to a top-of-the-line 10-foot-6-inch board, she needed a board bag, paddle, wetsuit, and a rack for her car. “I wanted it all,” she said.Come winter, the wetsuit didn’t feel quite warm or thick enough, so she got a thicker suit “because I knew I wasn’t about to stop surfing. I’m going to keep going until there is too much ice in the Arm.”Driver’s board comes from Hypr Nalu Surf and Stand Up Paddle Boards in Hawaii, and she was so happy with the company’s service that she made two videos for them. “I never thought it would blow up,” she said.Hailey's videos have been featured by numerous news outlets including CNN and Fox News online.  Her pastime has become her passion.  Since Driver caught her first wave, “I’ve been back nearly every tide since.” When Driver isn't surfing, she manages to stay near the water by working at The Hotel Alyeska's pool.Driver is one of many daring locals taking on the bore tide, be it by kayak or surfboard.
Alaska Dispatch News

Scientists Solve Mystery Of West Coast Starfish Die-Off

New evidence suggests that the wasting disease that has killed off millions of starfish from California to Alaska has been caused by a virus found in sea stars since the 1940s. It's unclear if the illness is part of a natural cycle or if other causes are to blame, but the disease is still spreading.Read more: Amid symptoms of starfish die-off, researchers look for a cause
Megan Edge


Three orphaned Galena black bears cubs spent their last day at Alaska Zoo freely frolicking around the bear cub exhibit in the public eye -- a place the triplets had previously been forbidden to go as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game determined their fate.Thursday, Fish and Game spokesperson Ken Marsh confirmed the triplets would be heading to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colo., Thursday night.A relieved Marsh skipped a "hello" in a phone call about the bears, instead going straight to the news: The first words out of his mouth were simply, "Those lucky little guys finally have a home."During an interview with Marsh at the beginning of November, he said it was still possible that the bears could be euthanized if the plans with the Outside facility fell through.The plans were not finalized until Thursday morning.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos.
Alaska Dispatch News

Barrow High School | Underdogs Season 3 Episode 1 | Sports Illustrated

The Barrow High School Whalers were featured recently in a Sports Illustrated production production of “Underdogs: Inspiring Stories in High School Football.”The 13-minute film showcases the obstacles the Barrow High School football overcomes to field the country’s only high school football team in the Arctic Circle and centers around the Whalers’ regular season finale against Eielson.Read more: Barrow football program featured in Sports Illustrated video
Alaska Dispatch News
Pulse Dance Company will host its annual season fundraiser in French this weekend with a theme of Moulin Rouge-inspired burlesque. Pulse is known for its innovative approach to modern dance in Anchorage.  The group's previous burlesque pieces have displayed its ability to push the genre and flex dancers' muscles.Pulse Dance Company will showcase "Moulin Rouge Burlesque" at Chilkoot Charlie’s on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8. Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets.
Bill Roth


Specialist Zachary Chvala of A/3-509th fires an M-4 rifle while competing in the U.S. Army Alaska Marksmanship Competition at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  Read more: U.S. Army Alaska Marksmanship Competition Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Bill Roth at broth(at)
Tara Young


It was naptime for Izzy and Oreo as the Alaska Zoo’s brown bears (approximately 700 pounds each) were sedated as part of a University of Alaska Anchorage study about the eating habits of bears.Alaska Zoo veterinarian Riley Wilson, his assistant and daughter Calista, curator Shannon Jenson, and UAA research scientist Matt Rogers gathered blood and hair samples from the two bears for the study.By getting a baseline of the bears in captivity, biologists can compare data with information gathering from the wild and learn more about the dietary habits of brown bears.Watch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Tara Young


In 2013, Covenant House Alaska held its annual candlelight vigil to acknowledge homeless youths in Anchorage and to show them they are not alone. Josh Louwerse, outreach program director for Covenant House, reminded people that the best thing you can do when encountering a homeless youth is "look somebody in the eye and remind them that they are a person ... that they are important."The Covenant House outreach team goes out on the streets of Anchorage five nights a week to interact with homeless youths and provide supplies, support and information about Covenant House's services.The 2014 candlelight vigil will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 20, at the Anchorage Museum.Watch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Tara Young,Michelle Theriault Boots


At night, and especially on weekends, Chilkoot Charlie’s is a raucous cauldron of Anchorage nightlife -- the kind of place that traveling salesmen tell stories about for years after they visit. Maybe no other single bar in Anchorage -- or Alaska -- carries quite such an outsized reputation. Koots, as some patrons call it, has attracted its share of controversy over the years. The club has been the site of high-profile incidents of violence and the subject of a few lawsuits.But in the light of day, an unexpected side of the place emerges. Look closely, and you’ll see Chilkoot Charlie’s is more like a museum, albeit one that smells of spilled beer.Read more: Chilkoot Charlie's: A museum disguised as a barWatch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Alaska Dispatch News
Celina Kalluk learned Inuit throat singing from her uncle’s wife in the village of Resolute Bay, Nunavut, in the high Canadian Arctic where she grew up. Her aunt taught her that Inuit throat singing started as a way for women to soothe their babies. "They imitate sounds from their environment -- animals, rivers and dog team, and even cooking and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes in throat-singing sounds beautiful,” Kalluk said in a 2007 interview with The Pure Drop.  “When you’re concentrated on keeping track and keeping on rhythm, even keeping on note with the other person, it’s like you’re sharing the same breath, because you’re overlapping and alternating individual sounds.”Kalluk relocated to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, where she works as a writer and illustrator. Through her children’s book "Sweetest Kulu" and her work on children's schoolbooks, Kalluk has been helping preserve the Inuktitut language.The throat-singing sisters Karin and Kathy Kettler, together known as Nukariik, are also doing their part to preserve the culture of their Nunavut ancestors.Read more: Inuit throat-singing sisters from Canada
Alaska Dispatch News
In the early morning hours of November 3, local photographer Kerry Tasker looked out the window to saw the aurora borealis in the sky. At 3 a.m. he headed out to the bluffs in South Anchorage to record this lovely time-lapse of the northern lights. (Music composed by Anchorage musician Ivan Night).
Tara Young


Being deaf brings isolation, says Randy Rutherford. Sometimes the isolation is self-imposed. “When I got the bad news, I pushed everybody away,” he said. “I locked myself in a trailer and felt very sorry for myself for about seven months.” Eventually he had to leave the trailer and return to the world, however difficult the step might be. “I was getting lonely. I had to get out and meet people.”Rutherford first came to Alaska in the 1960s. He was tending bar at the Gaslight Lounge and made friends with the folk singers who performed on Tuesday nights. They asked him to step on the little stage and sing a song from time to time. He discovered he liked it. “I was looking for any excuse to get on stage.”Then he discovered he was losing his hearing. But although it was hard to understand what people were saying, he continued to hear the call of the stage loud and clear. “I discovered that if an audience is quiet, I can still sing,” he said. He began to craft autobiographical one-man shows. “It’s a heartbreaking love story about when I was a folk singer in Anchorage,” he said. “But it’s also uplifting, inspirational, about coming out, facing the challenges and obstacles of life.”Randy Rutherford performs his latest musical memoir Singing at the Edge of the World at Tap Root November 15-16, 2014 at 7 p.m.Read more: Distant voices: Randy Rutherford's musical memoirWatch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)