Bristol Bay and Beyond, May 1 2015

May 8, 2015

Herring harvests in Togiak, a Bethel city councilman threatened for speaking up on heroin, it's Wonka weekend, and who was Wade Hampton?

Ahh, spring ... the first barge eased into Dillingham's port this week.
Credit Clark Fair

Mr. and Mrs. Bucket (August Shade and Juliah Barnett) comfort Charlie (Angelica Marx).
Credit Eric Hanson

Do you have ideas or feedback for us? Maybe you've written a poem, song, essay, taken a photo, or have someone in mind we should interview for Bristol Bay and Beyond.

Send an email with your comments and suggestions to, or reach the host at

The KDLG News line # is 907.842.2200

A Manokotak resident tests out a new packraft on the Igushik River.
Credit JoAnne Knight

Alaska’s largest herring fishery opened Monday at 8:00 p.m., and the first catches were delivered and reported by Wednesday morning. Managing this fishery is biologist Tim Sands at the Dillingham Fish and Game office, and I spoke with him a little bit ago for a quick update.

Well, herring it seems is not all that folks in Southwest Alaska are catching. The Department of Health and Social Services released numbers this week that show that Southwest Alaska saw a 13 percent jump in the number of reported cases of chlamydia. Per capita, only the Interior region had a higher overall number of cases. It’s not a good trend. To talk more about this, we have Dillingham Public Health nurse Gina Carpenter with us:

New Bethel city councilman Byron Maczynski says he received a threatening note on account of his speaking out against the rising use of heroin in the area.
Credit City of Bethel

We’re going to turn now to Bethel, where citizens, similar to many communities around Bristol Bay, are struggling to find solutions to combat the growing use of heroin and opioids. Newly elected Bethel city councilman Byron Macinzki has been outspoken on the issue, and on account of that, says he received a threatening note telling him to drop it.  He joins me now.

Early morning on the Wood River, where the bird count is on.
Credit Matt Martin, KDLG

Migratory birds are making their way up north and many are looking for a nice pond or lake to rest their wing. But they won’t find a warm welcome at the Dillingham Airport. Birds can disrupt air travel and compromise air safety. KDLG’ Matt Martin reports that state and federal officials are working to keep these uninvited guests away.

Wade Hampton was a Confederate General, Governor of South Carolina, and a Senator from South Carolina. Why is one of Alaska's census areas named after the man who never set in the territory? Alaska Dispatch reporter Lisa Demer figured out the backstory for an article last week.
Credit Matthew Brady

If we mention the name Wade Hampton, what’s the first thing to comes to mind?

That’s former KDLG News Director Mike Mason, who always included the Wade Hampton census area in his rundown of the monthly unemployment numbers.  As Mike repeatedly pointed out, Wade Hampton has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and is per capita one of the poorest places in the United States. Sandwiched between the Nome and Bethel census areas, Wade Hampton is an unorganized borough encompassing some 15 communities including Hooper Bay, St Mary’s, Kotlik, and Emmonak. But who exactly is, or was, Wade Hampton, and why is this area named after him? Lisa Demer, a reporter for Alaska Dispatch News based in Bethel knows. She wrote an article about him last week, and joins me now from Bethel.

Cast, crew, supporters, fans, and a few reporters stopped by the dress rehearsal of this year's Dillingham community production of Willy Wonka.
Credit Eric Hanson
The spotlight is on Logan Ito here, who ran the spotlight for this year's musical Willy Wonka.
Credit Eric Hanson

That's it for this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond, our weekly newsmagazine on KDLG. We hope you join us each Friday at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m. on AM670, and at 8:30pm on 89.9 FM.

Send comments, suggestions, and other feedback to or

Have you taken a stellar photo this week that be our cover photo? Send it to us!

Photograph taken above Clark's Point.
Credit JoAnne Knight