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Citizen Voices

Summer Flying Around the West for Art and Kids

Send your kids outside to college and well, you know, they often don’t return. As empty nesters, husband Dave’s and my art travel includes regular visits to our kids who reside on both coasts. So we stole a week of Alaska’s fleeting June to catch up with LA son Oliver and gf-Kate Vescera, and take in some summer art of the West. With our pets at Rabbit Creek Kennels and the lawn mowed, we packed lightly for three cities in a week.

Arctic Ambiance

John Webber’s A Human Sacrifice, c 1780-84

The other day, husband Dave and I couldn’t get our SUV tail light unscrewed. After trying to drill out what we thought were chewed threads, we headed to Anchorage T-Tops and Automotive to see Butch Barney, owner and professor extraordinaire of all things auto body. Turned out, what we thought was a worn phillips-head was some kind of hexagonal/octagonal screw which Barney says is only used to confuse customers.

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Jean Bundy

Springtime Art in New York City Comes in all Shapes

Art blockbusters don’t jump out in New York City the way they did several decades ago. That’s not all bad, as smaller venues don’t sport long lines.  In spite of a blustery mid-April week, husband Dave and I found good hunting, discovering a variety of art spaces. We also caught an ‘off-off’ and a ‘Times Square’ Broadway show and found a new place for dinner. So hop on public transportation with us as we explore springtime art in Gotham.

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Jean Bundy

Artist Mariano Gonzales, Paradoxically not in Shadows

Oh Say, Can't You See (2014)

The Anchorage Museum exhibition Mariano Gonzales A Man in the Shadows (thru April 19) is as complicated and complex as it is formally beautiful and entertaining. The show is predominately made of metal murals about the size of full plywood sheets. When Gonzales bangs out sheets of aluminum, geometric ‘-agons’ emerge. These metal skins become large dimpled-esque tessellations resembling stacked ice cube trays. Digital printing somehow neatly appears on these dented skins.

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Jean Bundy

Yes, there is Color to a New York City February

Am I crazy? It’s a sunless winter in Anchorage, made darker by minimal snow clinging to roadways, all icy and gritty. Forget sun and sand, I’m off to New York City to hunt down some color. Everyone knows unless you are headed into the woods for a true Alaskan winter, you don’t need boots and mittens for driving to Costco. Last night, while eating pizza at Moose’s Tooth, husband Dave and I sat near a guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt—yes, flip flops are replacing sorels in the far North. Ok, I need lots of polar fleece up here and when we landed at Newark Airport, we were glad to dig out gore-tex and mittens.

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Natasha Price

Tapered Flower Headband

This simple crocheted headband is my best-selling product. I sell out of it at Bella Boutique every holiday season. You can’t go wrong — it’s colorful and has a huge flower on it. I also love embellishing the back of the headband with a vintage button.

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Heidi Drygas

Dispatch from Juneau: Smoked Alaska Black Cod Dip

One thing Juneau does well is seafood. In my opinion, Alaska’s ocean bounty is second to none. As I was browsing the offerings at a fantastic local shop, Jerry’s Meats and Seafoods, I came across a package of smoked Alaska black cod. While wild Alaska salmon hogs most of the spotlight (and justifiably so), black cod is the unsung hero of Alaskan seafood. Rich, meaty, and incredibly tasty, it might actually be my favorite Alaskan fish.

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Community Voices

Alaska Community Foundation

Recognizing Alaskan Leadership

We’ve all heard it before – Alaska is one-fifth the size of the Lower-48, larger than Texas, California and Montana combined! Our state’s immense size means that Alaskans face unique challenges given the landscape and distances between communities. This is particularly true for rural communities, where feelings of isolation are all too common. Additionally, Alaska’s climate is not for the faint-at-heart. Below-zero temperatures, gale force winds, torrential rains and minimal daylight hours can all contribute to the “winter blues.”

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The Nature Conservancy

Can Cutting Trees Save Wolves?

On Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, Conservancy scientists are researching whether the harvest of young growth forests could actually benefit wolves – potentially helping to keep them off the Endangered Species list.

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The Salmon Project

“Salmon Memories”

My brother Lee and I were excited about the new big boat. Dad said “Let’s get going,” yet somehow we understood “I’ll meet you there.” Fifteen minutes later, a mile and a half from shore, Dad was so small waving his arms in his dark coat. I pointed and Lee looked, then we turned around.

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The Salmon Project

“Good Luck Charms” by Leah C.

My cousin Sandra and her husband took their newly purchased boat and we headed south out of Ketchikan to try and catch some coho. We started late in the day, but we stopped the motor to drift and tried our luck at casting. Lance, Sandra’s husband, got the first fish bite, but it got away. Sandra asked me if I had any nibbles, but I didn’t yet. We moved toward Mountain Point and started to catch small rockfish and bullheads, but they weren’t coho so we released them all. We started to lose hope of catching anything to keep.

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Congregation Beth Sholom

The Mitzvah Mall Returns to Anchorage

Congregation Beth Sholom is again hosting Anchorage’s annual “Mitzvah Mall.” (Mitzvah is Hebrew for commandment and we are commanded to do good deeds) Think of this as a “bizarre bazaar.” There is a room filled with booths, but the “vendors” are nonprofit organizations. Instead of buying more material gifts, shoppers can donate to non-profit organizations on behalf of friends, family or others on their holiday gift list. They give a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.

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Ned Rozell

Northern Lab Cranked Out The Quirky And Creative

Scientists who worked for the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory from the late 1940s to the 1960s cranked out dozens of quirky and sometimes controversial publications in its two decades of existence. Developed during the Cold War to “solve the severe environmental problems of men living and working in the Arctic.”

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Shauna Hegna

Alaska Native Medical Center launches new health campaign through photos

The Alaska Native Community represents long traditions related to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. For many years, men, women and children had to be strong and agile to hunt, fish, gather, build and travel in extreme conditions. Relationships were necessary and prioritized, as we often depended on each other to survive.

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Town Square 49 Radio

Urban Gardening In Anchorage

Urban Gardening In Anchorage

Today, we’re urban gardening. The time to garden is now, and Anchorage resident Tikaan Galbreath can’t wait to dig into his soil.

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Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day

Andrew Schmitt. (Photo By Dave Waldron, APRN-Anchorage)

Tuesday is Saint Patrick’s Day, and despite its rich history it’s known by most Americans as a day to drink lots of Irish whiskey and beer. To be fair, Saint Patrick got that reputation by giving Catholics a drinking pass during Lent. “And it provided a sort of nice mid-point break in lent where everyone could go crazy, and I think that’s probably the reason it’s turned into the colossal drinking holiday it is today.” That’s Andrew Schmitt, and he loves all things beer, including beer history. It so happens he also went to Catholic school. Schmitt says it’s odd that Saint Patrick is deemed the drinking Saint, especially since there is literally a patron Saint of beer.