KYUK AM

Katie Basile

Multimedia Producer/Director

Katie Basile is a photographer and multimedia storyteller from Bethel, Alaska. 

After graduating with a degree in Photojournalism from the University of Montana, Katie lived in Prague and interned with Spectrum Pictures. Eventually she settled in Brooklyn, New York where she lived and worked for six-years.

Katie recently returned home to Bethel, Alaska where she continues to focus on documentary work and explores multimedia storytelling with rural Alaskan youth.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Dr. Al Gross

As of the June 1 filing deadline, there are five people running for the seat currently held by Dan Sullivan in the U.S. Senate, including Sullivan himself. On the phone and joining us for Coffee@KYUK is Dr. Al Gross. He is an Independent candidate who has been endorsed by the Alaska Democratic Party.

Gross grew up in the state, the son of the state attorney general under former governor Jay Hammond. He has been a commercial fisherman, a doctor, and now he’s running for one of Alaska’s U.S. Senate seats.


Windy Willow Hair and Nail Salon in Bethel, Alaska.
Courtesy of Tracey Wilbanks

Last Friday, May 22, Gov. Mike Dunleavy lifted many of the state's health mandates, allowing businesses around Alaska to open at full capacity. While Dunleavy recommends that people continue practicing social distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing and disinfecting, he left it up to business owners to decide how to enforce these recommendations within their own establishments. 

 

Here to talk with us about running a business throughout the pandemic is Tracey Wilbanks of Windy Willow Hair and Nail Salon in Bethel. Not only has she managed to keep her business afloat during the pandemic, but she also recently expanded it.

 


Courtesy of Aassanaaq Kairaiuak

Gabby Hiestand-Salgado, a Jesuit Volunteer working at KYUK, came up with the idea of making a film of people dancing to the same Yup’ik song from wherever they were hunkering down during the pandemic. The two Blanchett brothers, Phillip and Steven, and their band, Pamyua, were quick to help.


Earlier this month, KYUK produced a video in collaboration with the musical group Pamyua. We asked people to submit videos of themselves dancing to a specific song called "Tarvarnauramken," also known as the Blessing or Purification Song, while social distancing. We then edited the videos together into one cohesive dance. On this episode of Coffee@KYUK, we welcome one of the founders of Pamyua, Phillip Blanchett, and humanities professor, Yup’ik Tradition Bearer, and Phillip’s mother, Marie Meade. Both Phillip and Marie are featured in this video. 

YKHC Nurse Kerry Cobbledick hands out swabs at a station set up for coronavirus testing outside of the Alaska Airlines airport terminal in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Health officials sprang into action Friday when the second case of COVID-19 was discovered by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation through its airport testing, offered free to those flying into Bethel. This was the first case in a village.

 

 


Tatyana Avugiak of Chefornak and Kaylee King of Mekoryuk are KYUK interns, and will be high school seniors starting in the fall of 2020.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

Doing schoolwork at home is tough, especially in rural villages where internet is limited and access to teachers requires a phone call. But that that’s what many students have been forced to do during the coronavirus pandemic.


KYUK Interns Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King connect with friends, teachers, and KYUK virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

As spring arrives, people are beginning to relax on social distancing protocols as they prepare to fish and gather subsistence foods in some villages.


The pool at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center in Bethel.
Dean Swope/KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on May 9, with a set of new rules to protect the staff and patrons. About 50 people showed up the first weekend. Stacey Reardon is the center’s facility director. She and staff have developed rules that they hope will keep people safe while not being overly restrictive.


William McCarr watches the water rise near his home on Hangar Lake Road. "This isn't the highest it's been, it's come up since last night. I'm not worried because we've had this kind of flood occasion before," McCarr said. May 7, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Most Kuskokwim River communities have escaped heavy flooding so far, but not Kwethluk. Social media photos show water rising high and completely covering some roads. The IRA Council passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency on May 6. Phone calls to the council president and to the city manager were not returned by publication. 

Children float down a flooded street on a makeshift raft in Alligator Acres on May 6, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Four days after the Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod fell, Bethel residents are still seeing ice moving downriver, and experiencing flooding in low-lying neighborhoods. The coronavirus pandemic has limited breakup festivities, but community members are still finding ways to celebrate spring.

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