ILWU members help public radio survive in Alaska

Young voices: Radio station KUCB provides essential news and information for a diverse community in a remote part of Alaska where natives, newcomers and Filipino immigrant families work in the maritime and fishing industry.

Young voices: Radio station KUCB provides essential news and information for a diverse community in a remote part of Alaska where natives, newcomers and Filipino immigrant families work in the maritime and fishing industry.

Radio station KUCB is a relatively small operation compared to her big-city sisters in the Lower 48, but she provides a vital lifeline of news and information for thousands of residents living around the small town of Unalaska and the Port of Dutch Harbor, located in the Aleutian Islands, hundreds miles from Alaska’s mainland on the edge of the fish-rich but notoriously deadly Bering Sea.

Falling oil prices have been hard on Alaska’s state and local budgets – resulting in 50 percent less state funding for KUCB. “We were really concerned about our budget this year because of the funding cuts, but the ILWU and other groups really came through for us,” said station manager Lauren Adams. The station held a one-day pledge drive on October 14 with a $20,000 goal – but ended up raising a record-breaking $30,000.

Over $3,000 of those dollars came from ILWU members who responded to a challenge from  longshore worker Juliet Vries, who volunteers each year during the pledge drive. A total of 25 ILWU members stepped forward to help the cause.

“The ILWU is strongly invested in our community here and they showed that during our pledge drive. We can’t thank them enough for contributing when our station needed it most,” said Adams who has managed the station for 12 years

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