Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage
Kick the Bucket: Lack of Funding Hampers Development of Modern Sanitation in Rural Alaska
Most of us have never lived with without running water at home. Today, we’ll learn about some people who are just getting used to it, and others who would like to get used to having running water. In the second segment of the series Kick the Bucket, we’ll also hear some of the reasons Alaska hasn’t made modern plumbing a simple fact of life for all Alaskans.
Kick the Bucket: Health implications of Third World conditions in Alaska
You don't have to go to a foreign country to find Third World conditions. You can find more than six percent of Alaskans living in those conditions - without modern running water or sewer systems. The so-called "honey bucket" situation has frequently been deplored and millions of federal and state dollars have been devoted to dealing with it. But the reality remains that people in 3,300 households in the state live without running water and flush toilets and have much higher rates of hospitalization for respiratory and skin infections. Are there solutions? Maybe? Are we getting closer to those solutions? Maybe not. Today we begin a five-part series entitled "Kick the Bucket," in which we'll get a closer look at the water and sewer situation in rural Alaska. In part one, we look at the public health implication of inadequate water supplies.
Athletes Prepare For Native Youth Olympics
About 500 athletes from elementary through high school will be at the Native Youth Olympics, which kicks off Thursday in Anchorage. Download Audio
Investigating historical trauma endured by Native Americans, Alaska Natives
An Ojibwe woman and independent journalist Mary Annette Pember recently visited Alaska for a series of stories on historical trauma and Native American mental health practices. Pember says the troubled lives of Native Americans reflect their troubled history. Download Audio
State Senators Question Need For Water, Sewer Construction Dollars
State Senate Finance Committee members are going over proposed agency budgets one by one, looking for funds or programs they can cut. Thursday they questioned Department of Environmental Conservation officials, asking just how bad it would be to turn down federal dollars for water and sewer systems. Download Audio
State Asks Court for More Time on Adoption Case
The state on Monday asked the Alaska Supreme Court for more time in a case involving the adoption of a Yup’ik child, a case that tribes say will determine how the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, will be implemented in Alaska, and show whether Governor Bill Walker is serious about campaign pledges he made to work cooperatively with tribes.
Native Nonprofits Want State to Change on Adoption Case
All the regional Native nonprofits in the state, which represent most of the tribes in Alaska, have issued a joint statement asking Governor Bill Walker to change his position in the court case Tununuk II vs. the state of Alaska. They say Walker’s position will make it very difficult for tribal members to adopt Native children. The state says it’s only arguing for compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The case involves a Native child called Baby Dawn; her Alaska Native grandmother Elise of the village of Tununuk; and Baby Dawn’s non-Native former foster and now adoptive parents the Smiths of Anchorage. An Alaska Supreme Court ruling in December allowed the Smith’s petition to adopt Baby Dawn to override Elise’s stated wish to adopt her granddaughter.
AFN Asks Walker to Change Position on Adoptions
The Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and a dozen regional Native non-profits are asking Governor Bill Walker to change his position in a case involving the adoption of Alaska Native children. They say the state’s position in the case Tununuk v. the state of Alaska erects barriers between tribal children and tribal homes.
Nearly $1 Billion Needed To Modernize Rural Sanitation Systems
Members of the Legislative Bush Caucus were told last week in a “Lunch and Learn” session on rural sanitation almost a billion dollars is needed to build, replace, and maintain rural sanitation systems. But, the gap between the level of need and funding is widening. Download Audio
Alaska Seeks Delay In Tribal Sovereignty Case
Governor Bill Walker’s administration is seeking a delay in a long-running tribal sovereignty case, saying it wants to form a working group to explore policy issues and potential alternatives to continued litigation. But the tribes’ attorney says the state’s request for a delay is just a ploy to get around its loss in court. Download Audio
State Transportation Commissioner Steps Down
State transportation commissioner Patrick Kemp has been ousted following his defense of the department's pursuit of the Juneau access road. Download Audio
Anchorage Sets New Temperature Record
The city of Anchorage can claim a new record. The city did not see a temperature drop below zero for the entire year of 2014. The last time Anchorage residents saw a below zero reading was December 26, 2013.
Regional Subsistence Advisory Councils Having Trouble Filling Seats
Subsistence harvests are managed by federal agencies with input from local residents through regional advisory councils. Local residents aren’t stepping up to be on the councils. Download Audio
Melting Permafrost Threatens Infrastructure, Homes
As we’ll see, the effects of warming temperatures on infrastructure can be costly and sometimes dramatic. In much of Alaska, bridges, roads, buildings, and runways have been built on permafrost. That’s soil that became frozen during ice ages from 400 to 10,000 years ago, and a few feet down is frozen rock-hard year around. Download Audio
Are Agencies Prepared for Effects of Climate Change?
As Alaskans grapple with the effects of a warming planet, they look to federal and state agencies to help with problems that are too big for an individual or even a community to tackle. But it’s not clear if statutes and regulations, and agency fundingare up to the task. Download Audio
Climate Change And Alaska Natives: Health
Alaskans have heard a lot about the effects climate change has had on land in the state, but new studies suggest it’s also having a big impact on the health of residents. Download Audio
Climate Change and Alaska Natives: Food
Wild foods are important to Alaskans, and especially to rural residents, but subsistence users and scientists say climate change is affecting wildlife populations, access to subsistence resources, and food preservation. Download Audio
Dementia Risk Increases With Age
Baby Boomers, like everyone else, know that avoiding tobacco use, watching their weight, exercising, and staying mentally active, contribute to longer life. However, researchers recently announced findings that show there may be a downside to living longer. Download Audio
Native Leaders Say Court Ruling Will Cut Off Native Children From Community, Culture
Native leaders say a Sept. 12th Alaska Supreme Court ruling in a case involving a Yup’ik child will cause higher numbers of Native children to be cut off from their families and culture. Download Audio
AK: Alaska Native Dancing Tradition
Over the past several decades, there’s been a renaissance in Alaska Native traditional dancing. KNBA’s Joaqlin Estus recently visited with one of the founders of an Inupiaq dance group in Anchorage, who told her about his personal journey toward tradition. Download Audio