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Citizen Voices

Anchorage Snapshots

Growing Up Anchorage Bob Reeve Excerpt

In the winter, in the late fifties and early sixties, when construction season in Anchorage was dead and Dad grew bored with painting landscapes, he got out his tripod and the black Graphlex he’d bought at Stewart’s Photo on Fourth Avenue.

The large box-like camera looked like those used by professional photographers, maybe for Life Magazine.

Read more.

September 5, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Art of James Gurney: Part 1

Dinotopia Book Cover

The Portrait Society of America held its annual conference in Atlanta and featured illustrator James Gurney. As a parent, I was familiar with his book Dinotopia but had never looked beyond the bedtime story scenario.

I chose a Gurney break-out session and began to learn how approachable he was.

Read more.

September 3, 2013 - 7:00 am

Destemming Currants (and other Berries)

I went out with the boys and picked 10 lbs of red currants the other day to make my annual batch of currant-raspberry mead.

I was dreading cleaning all those berries, then a simply idea dawned on me.

Click for more.

August 27, 2013 - 4:00 pm

How to filet a Halibut

A nice demonstration of how to filet a Halibut by long-time Alaska resident Don Sheets. The fish was caught on Kachemak Bay near Bear Cove, Alaska on June 30th, 2013.

Warning: video contains fish guts.


August 13, 2013 - 7:00 am

Crow Pass Crossing Race Documentary

On July 27, 2013 Alaskans celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fabled Crow Pass Crossing. It is a 24 mile race in the backcountry of the Chugach State Park between Girdwood and Eagle River. It is completely unsupported – all you have are 8 required items and your fellow competitors to keep you alive.

A group of mountain runners want to document this race through a feature film for the 2014 race.

Read more.

August 8, 2013 - 7:00 am

A July Art Vacation

Barry McGee Installation (Exterior, 2013)

While some relax rafting or playing 18 holes of golf, I spent a portion of my summer on campus. When not writing essays for Town Square 49, or painting with acrylics, I attend low-residency PhD classes at The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

This program allows students to absorb classical philosophy while never getting out of their pajamas.

Read more.

August 6, 2013 - 7:00 am

Powered Paragliding Above the Clouds

Chris Reynolds has spent most of his life chasing the ever elusive “hang time,” sports like snowboarding provide. Recently, he found a new love and a new adrenaline high: Paramotoring.

In this new video, Reynolds shows us what Alaska mountaintops look like during the summer months.

Click for more.

July 18, 2013 - 7:00 am

Remembering North Star Elementary School

A few months ago a classmate’s mother celebrated her 100th birthday with a card party. That is, we were invited to create and send cards to commemorate her milestone.

Several of us remembered and shared stories of her late husband, Mr. Norton, the beloved principal of North Star Elementary School in Anchorage.

Click for the full story.

July 16, 2013 - 7:00 am
Veteran Highlight: Ron Travis

Veteran Highlight: Ron Travis

After getting out of the Navy, Ron Travis used the GI Bill to go to college in Washington state where he recalls his professors, during the height of the Vietnam War, organized protests to the war.

In this interview, Travis recalls that difficult time.

See more.

July 9, 2013 - 7:00 am

Angry Young and Poor Music Festival

Angry Young and Poor is a music festival held every second weekend in July in the beautiful Ester Community Park, just five miles outside of Fairbanks.

We have live music for 12 hours, interspersed with dancing, art and community.

Learn more.

July 5, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Day Alaska Became a State

Statehood Moose, June 30, 1958.  Jana Ariane Nelson

Does the date June 30, 1958 mean anything to you? For most of us it is utterly insignificant.

But to a select few the date stands out as a landmark in history. On that date, the Alaska Statehood bill passed the US Senate with a vote of 64-20.

Read more.

July 4, 2013 - 7:00 am

Art Comes as a Refuge for June’s End of School Puzzles

John Singer Sargent - In a Levantine Port (1906)

The Brooklyn Museum of Art is a short subway ride from Midtown and although it competes with Manhattan’s museum trifecta: Metropolitan, Guggenheim, and MoMA, lately it’s been packing a mean punch.

John Singer Sargent could paint anything, as noted in his seafaring compositions where canvas sails soften wooden boats which lap up reflections from the water.

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July 2, 2013 - 7:00 am

Perfect Skillet Chicken

heidi drygas skillet chicken

There is something in your kitchen that you’ve been neglecting. Perhaps you received it as a wedding present. Or its been passed down to you from your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother. Or maybe you’ve been living without one all this time.

The cast iron skillet.

See the recipe.

June 25, 2013 - 7:00 am

Grilled Halibut with Puréed Olive and Garlic Filling


The opportunity to grill and serve a halibut in the whole doesn’t come along every day, particularly in waters where 50-pound fish are more commonly caught than five-pounders.

But, I could feel the characteristic thumping of a halibut 130 feet below, and I knew the metal jig I was fishing might have found just the fish we were looking for.

Read more.

June 18, 2013 - 7:00 am

Homemade Caribou Summer Sausage


My brother and I had a terrific hunt last fall where we were both lucky enough to harvest a caribou.

Because we harvested big bulls, and it was after the rut, we decided to make most of the meat into sausage.

See the recipes.

June 7, 2013 - 7:00 am

Memories of Making Cranberry Hooch

Bog Cranberries (High Bush Variety) Turn Bright Red in Autumn.  (National Archives, 1973.)

In 1968, my handsome, newbie husband Dick spotted an article in the Anchorage Daily News that told how to make different things out of high bush cranberries: jelly, juice, ketchup and hooch.

We decided to try and make some.

Read more.

June 6, 2013 - 7:00 am

Carrying a Piano Up Chilkoot Pass

In February, 1898 Mike Mahoney aka “Klondike Mike” made a deal with Hal Henry. He would escort the Sunny Samson Sister Sextette and their luggage over the Chilkoot Pass and down to Dawson city.

There was just one problem – the sisters insisted on bringing their accompaniment piano.

Learn more.

June 5, 2013 - 7:00 am

Discover Yourself at Clark James Mishler’s Portrait Alaska Exhibition

On a May afternoon while our spring blizzard was slowly melting, I sat in the atrium of the Anchorage Museum eating my sandwich and looking.

I was looking up and around at Clark James Mishler’s portraits of Alaskans. Old, young, tattooed, the local famous and infamous, were all staring down at me and I returned their piercing glances.


May 31, 2013 - 7:00 am

Veteran Spotlight: Jim VanOss

Jim VanOss is a U.S. Army Veteran, drafted during the Vietnam War who served as a military police officer and an embassy guard in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.

During his Veteran Spotlight interview, VanOss recalls being 20-years-old when he was drafted into the Army after failing a college class.

Learn more.

May 29, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Bird House: A Bar History

Mike Gordon Bird House Excerpt

Although Fairbanks had the Malemute Saloon, Juneau had the Red Dog Saloon and even little Homer had the Salty Dawg Saloon, Anchorage had no bar with an authentic Alaskan theme.

In 1967, some high school friends and I bought the Bird House Bar, a funky Alaskan themed bar on the Seward Highway.

Read more.

May 20, 2013 - 9:52 pm