Alaska

Jeff Seifert / KBRW

It’s no secret that many residents of Alaska are fans of the Seattle Seahawks. Some residents of Barrow got a surprise when Seahawks Kevin Pierre-Louis and defensive tackle Jimmy Staten showed up to thank fans for their support.

“A lot of us Seahawks fans knew the team was doing their tour throughout the state, but none of us expected them to come up here,” said Jeff Seifert, general manager of Barrow radio station KBRW.

Barrow is 1,976 miles north of Seattle.

Bellamy Pailthorp

Royal Dutch Shell's huge oil-drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, was towed out of Seattle early Monday despite a blockade by a kayak flotilla that attempted to keep it from leaving for the Arctic.

According to the the U.S Coast Guard,  24 protesters were detained after they violated the established "safety zone" around the giant, Alaska-bound oil drilling rig.

The two-dozen detainees, who were only a portion of the large contingent of protesters, were released after receiving civil "notices of violation" that can include a $500 fine but don't carry criminal penalties.

It’s the latest front in the growing global movement to stop fossil fuel extraction. The Port of Seattle, a longtime staging point for expeditions to cash in on Alaska’s natural resources, has been home this spring to a standoff between oil giant Shell and legions of protesting “kayaktivists” and others hoping to foil the company’s plans to send a massive drilling rig to the Arctic Ocean next month.

Mark Reed

It does seem like a lot of effort simply to find a good camping spot. 

KPLU’s Ashley Gross takes flight in a home-built airplane and hears from a Seattle family that would rather be on an air-bound adventure than be too comfortable at home.  Read and listen to the story on Quirksee.org

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

 The City of Seattle has determined that some of the oil drilling equipment parked on the edge of Elliott Bay does not have the right kind of permit. This includes the large yellow platform called the Polar Pioneer.

The Port has appealed the decision. The City’s Hearing Examiner is scheduled to  take up the issue on June 3rd.

AP Images

After hearing testimony in favor of Arctic oil drilling, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to join Mayor Ed Murray in opposing the Port of Seattle’s lease with Royal Dutch Shell.  

The resolution doesn’t carry the legal authority to block the port's decision to host Royal Dutch Shell's drilling fleet. But it was enough of a statement that several Alaska Native leaders traveled from remote areas in the Arctic to lobby in favor of the lease with the city council. 

The jobs drilling would bring are vital, the Alaska representatives said.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

A maritime festival taking place in Seattle this week is a good reminder of our city’s strong ties to the ocean. Thursday evening, an event called Stories of the Sea takes place at a pub at Fishermen’s Terminal. It’s like a story slam for fishermen, ferry captains and other mariners. 

For a taste of the event, I tracked down emcee John van Amerongen, who pulled out his guitar and sang his song, "Trip to the Bering Sea," a wry tale about a guy on a crabbing boat for the first time. The young man has an unfortunate encounter with the bait chopper, a machine that grinds up fish.

toddraden Photo / Flickr

Though it’s thousands of miles away, a proposed mine for gold and copper in Alaska’s Bristol Bay threatens to destroy the livelihood of thousands of people in the Puget Sound area. 

Seattle’s fleet of commercial fishermen and seafood processors have been a big part of the opposition to the so-called Pebble Mine.

A new economic report puts the value of Bristol Bay’s salmon at $1.5 billion per year, and says more than a quarter of the jobs it generates are located in Washington state.

AP Photo

On the reality TV show “The Deadliest Catch,” you see the crew of the Northwestern enduring storms and other dangers while crab fishing in the Bering Sea in the middle of winter.

You might be surprised to learn that the Northwestern and the hundreds of other boats that make up the North Pacific Fishing Fleet are not based in Alaska. Rather, they travel thousands of miles south each year to tie up in Seattle.

So, why is the fleet based here? There certainly are more convenient ports closer to the fishing grounds. The reasons have to do with water, weather and people. Oh, and tradition plays a part.

Read more on I Wonder Why ...?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Crews have laid a hose along a half mile stretch of Bering Sea ice and hope to soon begin transferring 1.3 million gallons of fuel from a Russian fuel tanker to the iced-in western Alaska city of Nome.

The powerful storm thrashing Alaska is losing strength as it moves inland from the northwestern part of the state. The National Weather Service warns coastal flooding is now the main concern, although hurricane strength winds are dying down.

Air Line Pilots Association / Flickr

Two Washington pilots are getting recognition for safely handling a jet that collided with an eagle last year. One of the plane's engines exploded when the bird flew into it.

Alaska Airlines Captain Steve Cleary of Federal Way and First Officer Michael Hendrix of Seattle won the Superior Airmanship Award from the Airline Pilots Association.

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Scientists say an orange-colored goo that streaked the shore of a remote Alaska village turned out to be fungal spores, not millions of microscopic eggs as indicated by preliminary analysis.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The first planeload of fresh Copper River salmon from Alaska arrived Tuesday morning at Sea-Tac Airport where chefs were waiting eagerly.

The Alaska Airlines pilot carried the first 45-pound fish off the plane and handed it to Frank Ragusa of Ocean Beauty Seafoods who gave it a kiss.