July 2015

“May you live in interesting times” is a saying, some say a curse, thought by many to have originated in ancient China.  During a brief Internet search, however, I discovered that it’s actually neither Chinese nor ancient. Regardless of its origins and age, the phrase certainly describes the current times here in Alaska. From the most devastating wild fire season in decades to the continued decline of King salmon runs to the drop in oil prices that precipitated historic losses in State revenue we Alaskans are indeed living in very “interesting times”.

These are also very “interesting times” for Alaska’s public media stations. The rapid fire pace of technological change has brought about an incredible array of new devices and new pathways for public stations to connect with their communities, to become the electronic town square connecting communities with each other and providing a host of services that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

The challenge facing public media in these “interesting times” is to use this technology to create and distribute meaningful content in new ways that will satisfy the demands and needs of our fellow Alaskans for reliable, up to date and vital information and entertainment that they will find of value. To achieve that goal requires innovation that moves us beyond the tried and true, some would say “tired”, programming formats and delivery methods that have been the foundation of public media here for decades. We must push ourselves out of our comfort zones if we are to stay relevant to our communities and our state.

We can’t continue to do business as usual. The current bleak State revenue situation is stark evidence of that new reality. While some may see this as an obstacle to the reinvention of Alaska public media, others, including myself, see an opportunity for real systemic change to occur.

For that to happen will take real leadership, a broad, courageous vision and a willingness among all public media outlets across Alaska to cooperate, consolidate, coordinate and take risks.

We do indeed live in “interesting times.” Stay tuned.

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Talk Line hosts Joe Moses, Jr. and Diane McEachern. Photo by G. Brink / KYUK

This edition of the weekly caller-driven show held tight to one topic in particular: Alcohol.

You can hear Talk Line live every Friday morning starting at 10am, and the encore edition- Talk Line Replay- airs on Friday evenings starting at 7pm.

 

 

Part One:

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Bethel can create a 12-percent sales tax on marijuana and a local advisory board. Photo by Flickr user BoQuanbo.

Photo by Flickr user BoQuanbo.

Now that marijuana is legal in Alaska many communities will be dealing with a new legal landscape.  Join staff from Bethel’s Public Health Nursing for a discussion on the health and safety of the drug. Bethel City Council Member Mark Springer, who was recently appointed to the State’s new Marijuana Control Board, provides the latest on how the State regulations are forming as Alaska prepares for legal commercialization.

Tune in to hear the program this Thursday, August 6, at 7:00 PM.

Part 1:

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Artist Sarah Davies leads the 100 Stone project. Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK.

Artist Sarah Davies leads the 100 Stone project. Photo by Dean Swope/KYUK.

An artist is creating life-sized sculptures of Alaskans to tell the story of those who struggle with mental health. Sarah Davies travelled to one of the state’s most vulnerable regions, recently for a project called, ‘100 Stone’. She’s attempting to highlight the toll that depression takes and what people can do to help those in need.

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KUC Faces Budget Cuts

by Ben Matheson on July 30, 2015

The Kuskokwim Campus of University of Alaska Fairbanks in Bethel will face budget cuts in FY 16.

The Kuskokwim Campus of University of Alaska Fairbanks in Bethel will face budget cuts in FY 16.

The Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be hit with newly-announced budget cuts.

One unfilled Yup’ik language faculty position will stay empty. A developmental studies faculty job will not be filled nor will one for an administrative support position.
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Coho salmon are picking up at the Bethel Test Fishery. Graphic courtesy ADF&G.

Coho salmon are picking up at the Bethel Test Fishery. Graphic courtesy ADF&G.

Silver salmon are running up the Kuskokwim River and managers say the coho at the Bethel Test Fishery will soon be more abundant than chums.

They say it’s too soon to predict the run strength, but they note that the very early data indicate the run is shaping up to be average. But the fishing effort on the silvers may be above average. Read more →

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