Hello Chugiak-Eagle River!
Wow, is there so much to talk about this week: Hockey, journalistic mistakes and politics: Oh, my!
Let’s start with the hockey congratulations: Way to go Chugiak High School Mustangs boys’ varsity hockey! Must admit, that was pure fun to watch last Saturday night up in Wasilla. The crowd was enthusiastic – I enjoyed a few moments at the start of the game cheering with the CHS student section led by Paul Straub. I quickly lost my voice – apparently I was well on my way to some sort of head cold something. As I write this, I am just finally not sneezing every ten minutes, lol. I got to visit with so many folks during the game and its intermissions. It truly did my heart good to see all the happiness. The coolest thing: our terrific photographer Dan Shepard texted me during the second period “insisting” I come down where he was stationed near the CHS bench. How cool is that? Well, pretty cool – especially when you just get to the boards and couple of high school hockey players slam into that right in front of you. Plexiglas is an amazing product. Yep, that is cool.
But alas, it wasn’t all joy. Many of you know that I dared to dream, I dared to hope that the Mustangs’ opponent in the final game would be the Eagle River High School Wolves. This did not happen. My dreams often break my heart and brain. Perhaps next year. Worse yet for my community-loving heart and for the boys wearing navy and silver, they were defeated in their final game of the season. It was a tough loss. No doubt about it. Yet, those guys showed enormous class accepting fifth place. They should be proud. I haven’t heard anything but good vibes from the local community for the Wolves. Good job!
So, speaking of fifth place. The observant reader will notice that our back cover for this week – Feb. 16 – has the Wolves listed as fourth place. Yes, apparently, my desire to see them higher up ended up making it into print. This mistake is completely on me. I could excuse it by saying that I am a bit new to the coverage of sports considering my years of doing the school page at the Chugiak-Eagle River Star during a time when Dave Morse had sports well in hand. The reality is that I am human and I made the mistake of assuming that the four final teams on the winning side of the bracket received first through fourth place. Yes, I know, a super good journalist would never do this. We know what happens when we assume something: it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”
In this case, it also gives the ECHO News the fantastic opportunity to write its first official correction. Hot dog, folks, this enterprise is growing up! Darn straight I am going to celebrate this mistake. One isn’t living if they don’t make a few mistakes and I think that applies to publishing as well. Do I welcome regular mistakes: Um, NO! But I do like that this shows those of us producing the news are human, too.
A dear friend of mine – a former editor – is known to say, “Live to publish another day.” Right on. I have adapted that mantra.
And um, I’ve been told that newspapers with mistakes in them are more valuable. I know this isn’t the “Dewey Beats Truman” headline from the Chicago Daily Tribune on Nov. 3, 1948 – a newspaper that collectors lose their minds trying to secure. Yet, just possibly one or more of those high school hockey players might just make it all the way to National Hockey League. So hang on to this week’s edition, put it in a sealed baggie for ten years and just maybe it can be used at Pawn Stars in Las Vegas to get you some additional cash.
I wish I had some fun transition in to this next topic, but it is about politics, so ya know. The reality is that our current political landscape just isn’t getting any prettier to look at. There is a lot at stake for our local area; for the entire state. Not sure fun is going to happen here. No offense to my friends immersed in politics.
It sure is interesting though.
For a bit of time, it seemed that John Brassell of Eagle River would go unopposed in the election to replace Bill Starr, who is terming out this spring on the Anchorage Assembly. With his accounting background, John has some terrific ideas and a committed desire to take a fine tooth comb through the Municipality’s finances. He is adamant about taking care of public safety. I like that.
Then came along Gretchen Wehmhoff. Improving public transportation – certainly another issue of great importance around these parts particularly if the Carol Creek housing project goes through with the suggested density levels – is a big concern for Wehmhoff. She has serious name recognition around these parts – shucks, she has taught many of your children, my oldest included – during her tenure at CHS. It is no secret that I like Gretchen. Gosh, she got Josh to not only do his homework, but also turn it in on time. Lol, how could I not like her? Yes, she is still writing for the ECHO News in a limited and continually monitored capacity. LJ won’t let me let Gretchen write about Assembly specific topics, so don’t anybody get their knickers in a bunch over this one.
Ah, but the ante in the local political arena spiked significantly on Feb. 10 when former state Sen. Fred Dyson opted to put his name in for the Assembly race. He is doing so because he believes his experience and well-honed political skills are necessary during these tough economic times. He well may be correct. My respect for Dyson is also well-known. He is a straight shooter. He has never given me half-truths or bullshit answers when I have asked him questions. He has always pointed me in the right direction. More than anything, I know from having watched him for more than a decade that he truly does care about this local area and is highly vested in its well-being.
On Feb. 10, Patrick Donnelly of Eagle River also filed for Starr’s seat. The media doesn’t know much about Donnelly. I found an online resume with an Eagle River address that matched up with the address he has publicly on file for his candidacy. Reading it was like going through a Who’s Who in the statewide construction industry. According to the resume, over the past 35 plus years, Donnelly has worked in a variety of highly responsible positions with major players. The experience he has documented on that resume demonstrates someone who knows how to build infrastructure, develop materials and get the job done. That might not be political training, but it seems pretty handy experience and information at a time when budgets are getting ugly tight but the needs for infrastructure continue to increase.
Honestly, I have no idea how voters are going to select from amongst these four candidates.
Being the silly girl that I am, I pose this question: Is it possible to elect them all as a team?
Maybe that isn’t so silly after all.
Seems that each has skills the Municipality of Anchorage needs. I hope that whoever is the victor on April 4 will be humble enough to consult with and weigh the knowledge of the other three in making decisions going forward as an Assembly representative for the Chug-ER area.
As always, dear reader, thanks for your support of this exciting enterprise called The ECHO News. Talk to us, call us, text us, send an email or just drop by the Eagle River Printing offices. We value hearing from you.
And … enjoy the read!