Tora Thynes, A Norwegian Immigrant’s Story

Tora Thynes was born in Norway and emigrated to the U.S. as a young girl, sponsored by her aunt. In this interview, she tells Heidi Lee about life in Norway during the German Occupation of WW II, and watching warships from both sides of the conflict come into the fjord near her village. She also tells about fishing in Petersburg with her husband Pete on the sailboat/troller he named after her and about her many trips to Norway with her family.

Twenty Weeks Through The Heart Of Alaska

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It is a very remarkable fact that a region under a civilized government for more than a century should remain so completely unknown as the vast territory drained by the Copper, Tanana and Koyukuk Rivers. Read more

Autumn in New York (Playing the Ponies at Belmont)

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When I was a little girl, my father promised me a trip to the racetrack when I turned twenty-one, which never occurred as he suddenly died. Fast forward forty years and I’ve been researching the lower East Side of the late nineteenth century and discovering that off-track betting was the poor man’s stock market. So, I finally made my trip to Belmont Park, named for a Rothschild cousin, who moved to America to manage family holdings. Read more.

Alaska Youth Volunteers Honored

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Teressa Baldwin, 18, of Sitka and Keefer Brown, 13, of Wasilla today were named Alaska's top two youth volunteers for 2012 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Teressa was nominated by Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, and Keefer was nominated by Teeland Middle School in Wasilla. Read more.

Angry Young and Poor Music Festival

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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.

Enduring Burning: Alaska Walks for Life

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Tele Aadsen recounts the recent Walk for Life in Sitka, an effort to bring awareness to the high rates of suicides in urban areas and Arctic villages. Read more.

Art and Politics are Not so Strange Bedfellows

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As art aficionados know, anything aesthetic is the first thing cut at school board meetings—art is considered a frill! This month’s line-up ought to send the naysayers rethinking. Read more

Chuck Hughes in Anchorage, Alaska: Food from Fourth Avenue

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On Tuesday, November 20, Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue stars in Chuck’s Eat the Street on The Cooking Channel. Here’s a behind the scenes look at why the show came to Alaska and what Chuck Hughes, the show’s host, thinks about Anchorage. Read more.

Faces in Winter at the Anchorage Museum

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Portraiture is a timeless art form and my favorite. It has never been super popular as a genre but none the less has lasted through time. Today’s social media has turned digital photography into a form of cheap and accessible portraiture. The human face is the foundation of portraiture which conveniently comes with built in narratives, often revealing ongoing dialogue between the artist, his material and the viewer. Read more.

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

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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. Read more.

A Graduation and Art around LA

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What do a giant rock, oversized china and the Queen Mary have in common? Well, they all reside in LA and I recently visited all three when attending my son Oliver’s Pepperdine Law School graduation. Read more.

Tsunami Survivor Shares Her Story

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On April 1, 1946, the sea floor ruptured just south of Unimak Island in the Aleutian Islands. Seawater displaced by the giant earthquake sent a 100-foot wave into the Scotch Cape lighthouse on Unimak, destroying the concrete structure and killing the five men inside. They never knew what hit them in the 2 a.m. darkness. Read more

Beverly Barker, Queen of the Bees

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“Do you get stung?” The question burst out of me, unbidden, with an edge of bee-phobic panic I tried to hide. I nervously approached Beverly Barker’s door. Bees were everywhere. Click for the story and recipes.

Stories On A Winter’s Day

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It was 1958 and twenty below outside. On Monday, Mom’s day off from her job at the library, 11AM was too early for television. I think it started around 2PM. TV was recent. We had three channels and, with wobbly rabbit ears on the roof, there was a lot of static. Read more.

A July Art Vacation

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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.