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Town Square 49

Reaching My Family After the 1964 Earthquake

Connie O Earthquake Grandma

It was very hard to stay calm and collected when I was calling home to Anchorage at 5:00 pm on Good Friday 1964, only to hear the chronic phone message, “Unable to complete your call due to transmission interruption in southeastern Alaska,” or something on that order.

I had never heard anything like that before, but then I didn’t make too many calls home from Oregon while I was in college.

Read more.

April 18, 2014 - 7:00 am

Confessions of a Book Addict & Moose The Movie


Popular “Tundra” cartoonist Chad Carpenter is going to be at the Loussac Library to talk about cartooning and about his latest project: “Moose,” a creepy and funny, family film.

And, oh yeah, it’s important to know this film is NOT animated – it is live action.

Read more.

April 15, 2014 - 7:00 am

The Armory Show: Art Fair Meets Avant-garde

Running Shoes

After my romp through the 2014 Whitney Biennial this past March, I took a crosstown bus from Fifth Avenue to the Armory Show on display on the remodeled Hudson River Piers 92 & 94 .

With two hundred and five exhibitors, the Armory Show is the largest art fair in New York and really Disneyland for art lovers.

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April 11, 2014 - 7:00 am

Community Food Security: Angoon Garden Assistance Program

angoon 4

The only permanent settlement on Admiralty Island, 55 miles Southwest of Juneau and 41 miles North of Sitka, Angoon is a small community of about 570 residents.

Because of the community’s remote location, produce available in town is very expensive and has often traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles before reaching the consumer.

April 9, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Reflections from the Trapline

Erik Johnson Trapline 1

The woods after the first snowfall have a distinctive sound. The world becomes quieter, and any remaining sound is muffled, as though filtered through cotton.

It’s in this new silence that I find myself snowshoeing through the trees.

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April 8, 2014 - 7:00 am

Chilaquiles: A Hearty Mexican Breakfast

heidi drygas chilaquiles 1

There is no limit to my love of the food and flavors of Mexico.

All the spicy, fragrant chiles, simmering sauces, creamy refried beans, fresh lime and cilantro…Mexican is my ultimate comfort food.

See the recipe.

March 26, 2014 - 7:00 am

Knitting A Simple Striped Baby Blanket

natasha price blanket2

Knitting a blanket isn’t difficult. It’s pretty mindless. Monotonous. Endless. I much prefer knitting hats where there’s a definite start and end and it can be completed in an afternoon.

That being said, there is something special about giving someone a hand-knitted blanket.

See the pattern.

March 26, 2014 - 7:00 am

Geese in an organic Alaskan garden


The weather has been warm and beautiful, the days are getting noticeably longer, and the snow is slowly melting. These are all wonderful things, but this year the sure sign of spring at Woodside Gardens is goose eggs!

Gerdie has laid 3 eggs so far this season, and it has me excited for the year to come.

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March 25, 2014 - 7:00 am

Trails Bring Communities Out and Together

Photo by Steve Cleary.

It’s been a tough year for snow, with warm temperatures across the state making trails conditions less than ideal. No one knows that better than the 1,300 skiers that hit the trails for the Tour of Anchorage.

But trails, even in this not-so-wintery winter, bring people together to get outside and have some fun.

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March 20, 2014 - 7:00 am

Seafood Kebabs on Forbidden Rice

cutterlight salmon kebab

The early Persians were onto something.

Skewered meats, seafoods and vegetables deftly seasoned and grilled or broiled to perfection are easy to whip up and always a hit. The variations on these Alaskan seafood kebabs are endless.

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March 19, 2014 - 7:00 am

An Alaskan Goes to the 2014 Whitney Biennial

Dona Owen, "Okie Dokie", (2008)

About a year ago, I received an email that professor Michelle Grabner would be one of the three curators of the 2014 Whitney Biennial Show. I asked Grabner if I could shadow her on her year long adventure of artist selection.

The Whitney press office dismissed my project.

Read more.

March 18, 2014 - 12:20 pm

The Sand Lake Boys

Vintage Enduro photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stan_b/

It was 1978 and the summer between my 10th and 11th grades. We were living in the Sand Lake area of Anchorage, just off of Raspberry Road.

A bunch of us guys who went to Dimond High School had taken to calling ourselves the “Sand Lake Boys.”

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February 27, 2014 - 7:00 am

Quick Craft — Lace Curtains to Pillowcases

Natasha Price Pillows 1

Our living room throw pillows needed an upgrade. At $20-30 a pop, I wasn’t about to buy two new ones, so I dug through my fabric stash and found an old lace curtain panel.

Two cuts and four seams later I had a couple of gorgeous throw pillows.

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February 26, 2014 - 7:00 am

40 Tons of Dog Waste A Day


Anchorage citizens – breaking news! There is no “Poop Fairy”.

Anchorage has some caring people who not only clean up after their own pets, but they actually pick up other dog’s poop. Unfortunately they are few and far between, yet I applaud them.

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February 25, 2014 - 10:27 am

Breath of Fresh Air


Thanks to the Lower 48 taking on our Polar Vortex – winter here in Fairbanks has been perfect: mostly warm, with plenty of snow for skiing and other winter recreating. It’s been good for chickens too.

Maybe not for outside frolicking, but they haven’t reached that level of coop-fever that drives them out into the snowy yard.

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February 20, 2014 - 7:00 am

Slow Down Like a Spaniard: with Cake

anchorage food mosaic cake 2

The hardest thing to get used while studying abroad in Spain was the timing of Spanish meals. Spaniards eat a light breakfast, their largest meal of the day at 2 in the afternoon and a light dinner around 9 at night.

Inevitably, I would find myself with my stomach grumbling around 6.

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February 19, 2014 - 10:08 am

Remembering Ruby Rokeberg

Mike Gordon Ruby Rokeberg Excerpt

Looking out the living room window of our duplex on Iliamna Drive I couldn’t have missed Ruby on her hands and knees furiously yanking from the flower bed my newly transplanted flowers.

We were new to Alaska, having lived our first year on Government Hill and new to the neighborhood, Susitna View Park, just west of Turnagain-By-the-Sea subdivision, where Mel and Ruby lived. Their son, Norman, and I had become friends. The year was 1954.

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February 12, 2014 - 7:00 am

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Parmesan & Walnuts

heidi drygas sprouts 1

My love for Brussels sprouts extends far and deep, years before they became a fad at hip eateries in Chicago and San Francisco. It all goes back to a time when the idea finding a fresh Brussels sprouts at the grocery store in Fairbanks was unthinkable, and so ours came to the dinner table via frozen baggies from the super market.

It all goes back to a time when Holly and I were obsessed with Barbies.

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February 11, 2014 - 7:00 am

2013 Aurora Highlights Short

Here’s a highlight reel of my best aurora nights in 2013, including THE best St. Patrick’s Day aurora display. That was an epic night in Alaska with an EPIC FLIGHT to the stars!

2014 has great potential. We are still in the peak phase of the solar cycle and on any given night, predicted or not predicted, there can be a light show that will set you free.

February 6, 2014 - 7:00 am

In The Dark of Winter Don’t “Kiss It All Goodbye”


Artists love to exchange their wares with fellow craftsmen. I still have chimes my older daughter, Jenn, made in kindergarten almost forty years ago.

So when my friend Lawrence Vescera mailed me his sci-fi tome, Kiss It All Goodbye, I was thrilled to turn off reruns of The Borgias, pour some tea and begin the enchantment while forgetting icy roads outside my cozy nook.

Read more.

February 5, 2014 - 7:00 am