Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
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Theo Greenly

Reporter

Theo Greenly is a writer, reporter and Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio as an intern at KCRW in Santa Monica, California. Since then, he's produced radio stories for stations around the country, and has worked on podcasts at NPR. He studied journalism at Santa Monica College, creative writing at the University of Colorado Boulder, and radio production at the Transom Story Workshop. When not reporting, he’s probably looking for someone to go hiking with. Wanna go for a hike?

e. theo@kucb.org c. (907) 359-6033 o. (907) 581-6700

  • The city of Unalaska agreed to pay $765,000 to settle four separate lawsuits against its police department, all brought by former Unalaska Department of Public Safety employees who say they were either wrongfully fired or forced to quit due to harassment and bullying within the department, which the city and the accused officers deny.
  • The local Russian Orthodox community celebrated Slavi, or Russian Christmas, over the weekend, which follows the Julian calendar and takes place Jan. 7. It was the first time the church held in-person Christmas services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unalaska’s Church of the Holy Ascension is one of the oldest churches in Alaska, and arguably the oldest Russian Orthodox church in the state. On Russian Orthodox Christmas, congregants stood at the front of the church, spinning large, colorfully decorated stars in clockwise circles, while the choir sang traditional songs in Russian, Unangam Tunuu, English and the Eastern Orthodox Church’s liturgical language, Slavonic.
  • Atka, just east of Adak in the Aleutians, is in danger of losing electrical power because of problems with its hydro plant and backup generators; a collection of 50-year-old audio recordings from the Aleutians have been digitized and are now available online; and Alaska Army suicides decreased last year, reaching their lowest point since 2018.
  • Iliuliuk Family and Health Services has extended its weekday closing hours to 9 p.m. For years, the island’s largest healthcare provider has closed at 6 p.m., which limited service options for community members. Clinic staff say new hours will give community members greater access to services.
  • Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, the island’s primary health service provider, extended its weekday hours until 9 p.m.; along with the entire United States House of Representatives, Mary Peltola took the oath of office early Saturday morning; and the federal government wants to hear from Alaskans about climate change.
  • King crab and snow crab fishery closures, the Makushin Geothermal Project, and developing Dutch Harbor as an Arctic port: Unalaska has big things in the works, both in terms of opportunities and challenges. And the steps local leaders take in the next few years could change the community’s path for decades. Each year, representatives from Unalaska travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of the city’s interests. Unalaska City Councilmember Shari Coleman was on the latest lobbying trip in December. She sat down with KUCB to talk about Unalaska’s priorities.
  • Bering sea cod fishermen delay the start of the season in hopes of getting higher prices for fish; takeaways from the 2023 Unalaska Christmas bird count; and an outbreak of the avian flu in Washington state has drastically slowed egg shipments to Alaska.
  • Climate change and a warming Bering Sea a likely culprit for snow crab collapse; the Alaska Marine Highway System nears a draft schedule for Summer 2023; and three Unalaska 8th graders dive into the effects of a certain stereotype.
  • Unalaska City Councilmember Shari Coleman sits down to talk about Unalaska representatives' recent lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.; funding to buy a privately-owned icebreaker was removed from the spending bill signed by President Biden in December, delaying plans to dock an icebreaker in Alaska; and Unalaska has rescheduled the New Years Eve fireworks show for Saturday, Jan. 7, coinciding with Russian Christmas.
  • A typical December on the island brings about six inches of rain, but Unalaska has already received more than 10 inches this month; President Joe Biden is expected to sign into law a bill that renames a volcano on a small Aleutian Island after the late Congressman Don Young; and a movement to change place names with derogatory or otherwise offensive histories is gaining momentum across the nation.