Hometown, Alaska

Local guests discuss community issues and take listener calls during this LIVE call-in show. Hometown, Alaska features conversations with leaders and decision-makers in local and statewide government, social service agencies, educational institutions and cultural groups. Hosted by Kathleen McCoy and Dr. E.J. David. If you have a topic that could be discussed on Hometown, Alaska send your suggestion to: hometown@alaskapublic.org

Hometown Alaska: 907 Pro Wrestling Academy

There’s only one place you will find JT West on Monday nights—in the ring. Or, more specifically, in a warehouse, turned pro wrestling gym that represents two decades worth of dreams. Once a pro himself, the Arkansas-born West fell in love with the flamboyant sport as a child. But he wasn’t alone. Pro wrestling, the perfect anecdote to the blue-collar lifestyle of its fan base, exploded in popularity in the 70s. 50 years later, the 907 Pro Wrestling Academy emerged in Alaska and amid bruises and broken bones, the school is changing lives for the better.

Hometown Alaska: Behind the scenes at the Fur Rondy Melodrama

Fur Rondy is upon us again and the Anchorage festival will have plenty of events for Alaskans to choose from. One of the longstanding traditions of the celebration is the Fur Rondy Melodrama. On this week's Hometown Alaska we'll take a look behind the scenes of this year's performance and what it means to be melodramatic.
A panel of people wearing business clothes.

Hometown Alaska: Discussing the Anchorage School District Budget

The Anchorage School Board needs to pass a balanced budget by March 1. With nearly flat funding from the state, the district is facing a $48 million dollar shortfall. That could mean cutting jobs, increasing the student to teacher ratio, and closing an elementary school. But the budget process isn’t over yet. On this episode of Hometown, Alaska we’re talking about the school district budget, how it’s determined, how the school board works and more.

Hometown Alaska: Discussing death and dying

Death is inevitable, yet it can still be very hard to talk about and to plan for. Facing death can be both emotionally and logistically challenging. On this episode of Hometown, Alaska we’re exploring death with a group of practitioners who have made it a centerpiece of their lives. The discussion includes preparing for death, grief, and end-of-life rituals.

Hometown Alaska: Playing with sound at the Anchorage Museum’s Pass the Mic exhibit

We experience sound in different ways every day. But how often do we get to play with sound? The Anchorage Museum's new exhibit Pass the Mic is encouraging its visitors to do just that. On this episode of Hometown Alaska we’ll uncover how the Pass the Mic exhibit was created and take you on a tour of sound exploration.
“Shin-chi’s Canoe” by Nicola Campbell, “Not My Girl” and “When I Was Eight” both by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and “My Name is SEEPEETZA” by Shirley Sterling will be available in fourth grade classrooms and elementary school libraries. (KTOO file photo)

Hometown Alaska: Alaska Center for the Book is working to increase awareness of Native authors

Alaska Native authors have written hundreds of books ranging from children’s stories to novels to memoirs and history books. Have you read any? Do you want to? This week on Hometown Alaska we’re exploring a new project created by the Alaska Center for the Book focusing on increasing awareness and readership of Alaska Native authors and talking about why sharing these works is so important.

Hometown Alaska: Making housing accessible to everyone

Alaska’s statewide affordable housing crisis has many causes and many solutions. This week on hometown Alaska hear from housing experts who are working to make housing accessible for everyone and from one new homeowner who helps use understand why it matters so much.

Hometown Alaska: Touring the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature

Mountain View is known for its diverse community and neighborhood values. It is not just the people that make the community what it is, but the institutions they run, many of whom have been around for a significant amount of time: Clark Middle School, Hula Hands, the Boys & Girls Club, the Red Apple, etc. One less-spoken-of institution that has been a gem in Mountain View is the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature. This week on Hometown Alaska host Justin Williams steps inside and takes a tour to see what it's all about.

Hometown Alaska: Answering your questions about this year’s election

With Election Day coming up fast on November 8 and early voting already underway, we want to answer any of your last minute questions about this year's election. Gail Fenumiai, the state's head of the Division of Elections will be able to answer any of your questions about ranked choice voting, ballot security, when and where to vote, and more. Jeannette Lee, a researcher with the nonpartisan think tank Sightline Institute, can field questions about voter strategy and things to consider when voting.

Hometown Alaska: Staying active in recovery as winter approaches

This week on Hometown Alaska Tiffany Hall, executive director of Recover Alaska, and Dr. Vivian Gonzales, professor of psychology at UAA, join host Justin Williams to discuss the realities of Alaskan sobriety, and what it looks like to face recovery in the harsher months of the cold, dark winter.

Hometown Alaska: Telling Alaska’s story

This week Hometown Alaska hosts three writers telling significant parts of Alaska’s story. We're joined by Alaska's writer laureate Heather Lende and authors Leigh Newman and Laureli Ivanoff.

Hometown Alaska: The Alaska Beer Broads

Alaska Beer Broads is an all-female, Alaska-based group consisting of beer enthusiasts from all over the state who connect and meet up at beer events to support local businesses and talk beer. D’Lany Nichols is their creator, and between podcasting, event coordination, taste tasting and leading the group, she always has her toes dipped into the local scene, expanding her expertise and celebrating the established culture.
Man taking picture of himself with the "Visitor Information Center"

Hometown Alaska: Alaskan Footprints food tours and Anchorage Independent Worker Alliance

This week on Hometown Alaska host Justin Williams is joined by two local entrepreneurs who are dedicated to changing the business landscape. We have the owner of Alaskan Footprints, “Sourdough” Dan Morris offering humor and treats in his food tours and we have the founder of Anchorage Independent Worker Alliance, Atlas Katari, committed to helping develop like minded entrepreneurs.
Alaska Quilt

Hometown Alaska: Meet the Log Cabin Quilters and find out what they do with all the quilts they create

With winter coming on, maybe you need a cozy, creative activity you can do with friends that adds up to something beautiful? Today's Hometown...

Hometown Alaska: What’s new 7 years after voters said yes to legal marijuana

So, here’s one new thing: This fall, UAA, our hometown university campus, is offering its first marijuana information class, open to students and community...

Hometown Alaska: Tiny museum in Chugiak honors Lithuania’s fierce independence

Svaja Worthington was only five years old in 1944 when her family walked away from their Lithuanian home in the face of Russian brutality....

Spenard Jazz Fest 2022

The Spenard area of Alaska is known for its eclecticism and diversity amongst its people, its businesses, and its artistic sensibilities. Long has it been the host of Tommy's Burger Stop, Chilkoot Charlies, Center Bowl, and more currently The Drip, the city's first black-owned coffee hut. It's no wonder that this area specifically also openly celebrates American jazz culture, and has instituted an event to partake in its music.

Hometown Alaska: Kick start your growing season with free mentors from Anchor Gardens

On today's Hometown Alaska, we'll introduce you to a free garden mentoring service with high ambitions.

Hometown Alaska: How can we push back against youth homelessness?

On this episode of Hometown, Alaska, Zoryna Lealai, a youth advocate for the Anchorage Youth Task Force, and Julia Terry, co-director of the organization Choosing Our Roots, will be joining the discussion on exposing and combating youth homelessness, while providing a very personal perspective on the issue. What organizations are out there shedding light on, and actively engaging in, the fighting against youth homelessness? 

Hometown Alaska: How to flatten the disinformation curve

Here's a new word for you: infodemic. The World Health Organization coined the term and centered a recent global conference around coming to terms...