Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
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  • Aleutian Airways has been cleared to begin flying in Alaska, but Dutch Harbor will have to wait; The City of Unalaska has a candidate for city manager; and Alaska voters tried out ranked choice voting for the very first time this week.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Aleutian Airways to begin flying in Alaska, according to a statement from the airline Thursday morning. They are cleared for flights to Cold Bay, King Salmon and Dillingham, but say they are still awaiting FAA approval to land in Dutch Harbor.
  • Mack Rutherford is on a quest to be the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world. The 17-year-old landed Monday in Unalaska in his Shark ultralight plane.
  • Work has started to lay 800 miles of subsea cable that project engineers say will bring high speed internet to Unalaska and Akutan by the end of the year.
  • In a historically late push, almost 3,000 sockeye salmon came through the weir at McLees Lake on Sunday. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the salmon run in Unalaska is now at a sustainable level and fishing restrictions have been lifted.
  • The region is recovering after a massive storm dumped more than 9 inches of rain. People and animals are staying in makeshift shelters while the flash flooding recedes.
  • Unalaska may be getting its first fishermen’s memorial sometime next year. Across the island plaques and statues commemorate the Aleutians’ World War II history, but there’s nothing to honor the legacy of fishermen lost at sea.Local sculpture artist Karel Machálek wants to change that.
  • The M/V Tustumena returns to service this week. That’s the only Alaska Marine Highway System ferry that sails between all 13 ports of call out the Aleutian Chain.The Kennicott has been the only ferry sailing to the Aleutians since the nearly 60-year-old Tusty went into the shipyard for repairs back in December.
  • How cold is the water in the Bering Sea? That’s what a group of researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to know. NOAA is currently out in the Aleutian Islands running their annual Eastern Bering Sea Bottom Trawl Survey. They've been running annual surveys since the 1970s, mainly to collect data on the distribution and abundance of bottom-dwelling species like crab and groundfish. But this year they’re paying special attention to the cold pool—a section of bottom water that stays cold through the summer. It affects everything from when fish spawn to what part of the ocean they live in.
  • The M/V Tustumena returns to service in the Aleutians this week; Alaskans have less than a week to register to vote in the August 16 special general election and primary; and two Alaska Native girls who died at a boarding school more than 100 years ago will return home.
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