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Town Square 49

Counting Salmon for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Nuyakuk Cabin, 1962. © Jean McLane

It was June, 1962, and I was in Anchorage, living temporarily at Terry D’s, waiting for July. Then I would fly to Dillingham to begin a temporary summer life as a salmon counter for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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September 9, 2014 - 11:53 am
Adventure Within Range

Adventure Within Range

Adventure within Range from ATMI on Vimeo.

Alaska Teen Media producers Barae and Aviva Hirsch explored Hope with U.S. Olympic Skier Holly Brooks. Brooks explains why she loves to train in the Chugach National Forest.

September 4, 2014 - 8:00 am
Bounty, Pilfered, by Pam Longobardi.

Taking Granddaughter, Averyl, to the Anchorage Museum was beyond Priceless

Bounty, Pilfered, by Pam Longobardi.

My daughter Jenn’s 20th wedding anniversary coincided with Labor Day. So my husband, Dave, and I adopted Averyl for the weekend which included an afternoon at the Anchorage Museum. The three of us headed for the exhibition Gyre–The Plastic Ocean.

September 3, 2014 - 11:19 am
Forager’s Delight: Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

Forager’s Delight: Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

wild-alaska-blueberry-cornm

I have a massive issue when it comes to foraging. Some would call it my gift. Others (like my berry-picking friends) would call it my curse. You see, deep in the incomprehensible double-helix thingy of my DNA structure, I have an unmistakable gene for hunting and gathering. I love it.

August 28, 2014 - 5:28 pm
Friendly’s Fried Clams Go Down Nicely With Art

Friendly’s Fried Clams Go Down Nicely With Art

jean-august-1

As Jerry Seinfeld says, buying fruit is a gamble—so are some art trips. In mid-July I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to take my art-philosophy Ph.D. orals. My husband, Dave, came along so he could eat tons of lobster and give me hugs. Happily, I passed – though going before academics is scary, even if you’ve studied hours and hours. Stay tuned as it’s going to be fun to report on my project: The Art of Winston Churchill.

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August 15, 2014 - 10:02 am

Barrow Youth Study Lemmings And Endangered Species

Young Barrow scientists study lemmings and endangered species. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There is an increasing effort in Alaska to engage youth in hands-on scientific activities.

One group of teens is collecting data way up in Barrow.

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July 17, 2014 - 7:00 am

Lesser Sandhill Cranes: Feeding the Colt

Feeding a colt (that’s a baby crane) is a full time job. These Lesser Sandhill Cranes are finding leeches, worms, snails, fish, and other invertebrates in the mud.

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July 16, 2014 - 7:00 am

Three Great Summer Shows (Back East)

Alex Katz, Ada and Vincent in the Car (1972).

Alex Katz’s “Ada and Vincent in the Car”, portrays the stay-at-home mom driving her son–note the ubiquitous post-war American Chevy/Ford steering wheel.

Typical when routinely transporting teens, Ada and Vincent don’t converse.

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July 15, 2014 - 7:00 am

Volunteer Opportunities with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska

Boys and Girls Club Logo

Every day, an average of 2,975 youth attend a Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska Clubhouse in one of 32 communities across the state.

One of the most important components in allowing these organizations to run smoothly and effectively is participation from community volunteers.

Learn more.

July 11, 2014 - 7:00 am

Salmon: The Hidden Migration

Juvenile salmon spend important parts of their lives in stream habitat, but this part of their lives is often hidden from our eyes.

Go into the forest with Richard Nelson to discover the amazing terrestrial lifecycle of Alaska’s salmon species.

July 2, 2014 - 7:00 am

Herb-crusted Alaskan Salmon with Roasted Lemons

Heidi Drygas Herb Salmon8

Deciding what to make for Solstice dinner was easy.

During spring and early summer, us Alaskans engage in a traditional pastime known generally as “Cleaning Out the Freezer”.

See the recipe.

July 1, 2014 - 7:00 am

Alaska Guide to Boletus Mushrooms

Natasha Mushroom 1

I was raised an Anchorage forager. From fiddleheads to blueberries, some of my fondest childhood memories are of gathering food from local parks and forests and preparing our edible treasures to be enjoyed throughout the year.

One of my favorite foods to collect is boletus mushrooms — a.k.a. wild porcini. My mouth waters just at the thought of the dense, earthy fungi sizzling in a pan with butter and garlic.

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June 27, 2014 - 7:00 am

Working for the Gov.

William-Egan-Excerpt

In January of 1966, I returned to Anchorage after a semester of graduate school at Oklahoma State University.

According to OSU’s catalog, their department of Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising had courses in design, but when I arrived design had been eliminated.

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June 26, 2014 - 7:00 am

Preserving Our Homestead on Dandy Lake

1013-MTSU-AK-1423_credit_Carl_Johnson

We found the property by accident in 1971. An ad in the paper offered a plane ride to view a 120-acre parcel of land outside Palmer.

We’d been in Alaska five weeks to teach at a local elementary school and had just begun exploring the area.

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June 20, 2014 - 7:00 am

Sweet and Sustainable: Alaska Prawns and Shrimp

alaska-shrimp-scallops-excerpt

The windshield has a crack running through it, there’s a little rust and a dent or two on the body, and some of the paint is chipping off the hand-lettered sign affixed to the vehicle’s side, but we look for Patrick Johnson’s little black truck every summer when we’re cruising around Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.

If we don’t happen across his truck, we go find him at his Shrimp Guys Seafoods shop in Soldotna.

See the recipe.

June 19, 2014 - 7:00 am

New York in Late Spring, an Aesthetic Bonus

The High Line, Brooklyn.

It’s June and I’m studying for PhD art-philosophy orals coming up mid-July. I’ve told everyone in my life to scram/skedaddle until August.

I’m at my desk, five hours daily, yellow highlighter on textbooks, in front of my wide screen computer, pounding keys, and looking things up on Wikipedia.

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June 18, 2014 - 12:30 pm

The Story of the Spenard Windmill

mike-gordon-windmill-excerpt

In the early 1980s, when money was no problem and anything was possible, I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse by none other than Mafia Mike, thus becoming the custodian of an important historical icon.

Had I known at the time what a maintenance nightmare it would become, I’m not sure I would have been willing to accept the responsibility, regardless of the possibilities—or consequences.

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May 28, 2014 - 7:00 am

Quick Craft: Coffee Filter Flower

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I stayed home sick today and I hate wasting my time in bed, so I decided to mildly craft out.

I really love tissue paper flowers but I don’t like spending a ton of time cutting out paper.

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May 27, 2014 - 7:00 am

Wild Alaska Devil’s Club Buds

heidi drygas devils club 6

We all have our quirks. Some wear an apron while they cook. Some still drink Shirley Temples when they’re 36.

One quirk I embrace: I’m a forager, and I embrace my inner hunter & gatherer.

See the recipe.

May 25, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Frost protection in the garden

jamie-woodside-raised-bed-excerpt

Spring has arrived early this year, and although most of us have experienced snowfall in May, we all seem to be having a difficult time refraining from planting the entire garden now!

Now is a great time to start your garden, with a few simple precautions.

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May 23, 2014 - 7:00 am