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Citizen Voices

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

Protect Early Starts with Recycled Milk Jugs

Jamie Woodside Hot Caps 2

I started Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower seedlings the second week of April.

To get them started outside early, I decided to use all those milk jugs I’ve been saving and make some hot caps.

Learn more.

May 16, 2013 - 7:00 am

Birding Gear 101

Zac Clark Birding 101

Enjoying the world of birds doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a fun hobby for the entire family without spending a dollar.

However, if you would like to invest in birding tools, here are a few that will help putting those puzzles together.

Learn more.

May 15, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Civil War as Surreal

Our country is celebrating the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865).

On a recent trip East, husband Dave and I tried to remove the surreal when imagining neighbors killing neighbors or our non-white relatives as slaves.

Read more.

May 8, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Illusive Portage Glacier

In the early 1950s, many people thought Alaska was remote, practically inaccessible.

I was seven years old the summer of 1951 when my father quit his job as a Northwest Airlines pilot and moved our family from Seattle to Anchorage to begin flying for Pacific Northern Airlines.

Read more.

May 7, 2013 - 7:00 am

Squash Mac & Cheese

Heidi Drygas Squash Mac 1

I love this dish. But I seriously fretted about what to call it.

Because it’s a lighter mac & cheese, but calling it “light mac & cheese” is such a culinary turnoff. Might as well tell folks to chew on some saw dust, eh?

See the recipe.

May 4, 2013 - 5:51 pm

Making of a Refuge: Jute Bay to Amber Bay

After passage of the Alaska Lands Act in 1980, biologist Edgar Bailey and volunteer Nina Faust surveyed a 200-mile section of the Alaska Peninsula coast from Jute Bay to Amber Bay, checking almost all the bays and nearly all of the islands along the way.

Today, USFWS does not let personnel do surveys in this fashion as it is considered too dangerous.

Learn more.

April 30, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Klondike Letters Project: Sourdough Zombies

Back in 1898, thousands of men and women arrived in Skagway with gold fever. They were headed for the Klondike goldfields over the Chilkoot Pass.

Around their necks, they carried packets of fermented dough to make bread on their long, cold journey.

Learn more.

April 29, 2013 - 7:00 am

2013 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic

I joined Josh Mumm, Eben Sargent, and John Sykes for the ~170 mile route from McCarthy to Tok-Cutoff via President’s Chair. We slimmed our packs to 30 lbs each, which included minimal glacier gear.

Read more.

April 26, 2013 - 7:00 am

Last Week in My Yard

This time of year in Alaska is all about transitions. Transitioning from winter to spring, from white to green, from dark to light. The weather has warmed slightly, but the air still contains the hard smack of winter.

Click for more.

April 25, 2013 - 7:00 am

Veteran Spotlight: Jim Vance

Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her tenth Veteran Spotlight installment, showcasing Jim Vance, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in Vietnam.

Full Interview.

April 11, 2013 - 7:00 am

Running with the Big Dogs

Jeanne Follette River

Thirty-some years ago my friend Ramona had the use of her friend’s team of Malemute-McKenzie River huskies. These were working dogs, used by her friend Steve to haul freight and gear on Mt. McKinley for mountain climbing teams. During his off-season, Ramona ran them to keep them in shape.

Ramona and I decided to take on challenge one winter—we wanted to mush to the old copper mining town of McCarthy, deep in the Wrangell-St. Elias.

Read more.

April 9, 2013 - 7:00 am

Finding Realism Coast to Coast


Rodd Ambroson and Mickalene Thomas portray women in different ways on opposite sides of the country.

Both show women as independent beings while pushing and pulling beneath surfaces of their chosen media to proclaim inner strengths and to express beauty.

Read more.

April 5, 2013 - 9:00 am

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Salad With Honey Vinaigrette


Here’s what I think. When you make something this healthy that tastes this good, it is your responsibility as a human being to share it with the world.

And by world, I really mean with all my girlfriends. Because who needs a tofu popscicle or dairy-free/wheat-free/vegan/bilingual/yoga-enthusiast green smoothie when you can eat something that tastes DELICIOUS and probably cures cancer at the same time?!

See the recipe.

March 29, 2013 - 7:00 am

Guerilla Gardeners and Bragaw-Glenn Community Garden


In 2010, at the community’s request, the State of Alaska installed four large garden beds at the corner of Bragaw and the Glenn Highway.

But when management disagreements between the city and state halted the project, a few guerrilla gardeners took it upon themselves to make use of the fertile land.

Read more.

March 28, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Making Your Own Cottage Bacon


A couple years ago I wrote a blog entry on how to make your own bacon. For a while now, I’ve had the itch to make more. The problem with making bacon is it can be prohibitively expensive.

Then I found out about cottage bacon.

Learn more.

March 27, 2013 - 7:00 am

Indie Rock Inspired by “Alone in the Wilderness”

Most Alaskans know and love the films of Dick Proenneke – especially Alone in the Wilderness.

But, you might be surprised to know that a Brooklyn-based indie rock band also draws inspiration from Proenneke’s work.

Read more.

March 25, 2013 - 7:00 am

Whole Sheefish (or any fish) Poached in Foil

Cutterlight Sheefish 1

A large fish poached and served whole makes for a dramatic presentation and a first-class dining experience. You don’t need a fancy fish poacher to pull this off.

Poaching and steaming recipes need not be complicated.

See the recipe.

March 22, 2013 - 7:00 am