PETERSBURG, AK The Friends of Petersburg’s Libraries are marking the centennial of the city of Petersburg with a program called Read Across Petersburg, encouraging everyone to read, or re-read the book “The Cheechakoes.” The collection of stories was published in 1964 by local author Wayne Short. Born in 1926, in Arizona, Short came to Alaska in 1946 after serving in Pacific in the U.S. Navy and seeing action at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The author says he thought about writing while he was in the war and got his start writing short stories for men's magazines before his agent convinced him to write a book about some of his experiences in Alaska. One story that helped kick-start his writing career was of an exciting bear encounter with his brother Duke, near Murder Cove on southern Admiralty Island. Short sat down recently with Friends of the Library’s Sue Paulsen and KFSK's Joe Viechnicki and told about the bear encounter and his first forays into writing.