Maddy’s Run Participants Share in Joy as Fundraiser Continues to Help Alaska’s Kids

Brisk air and frosty trails greeted runners on Saturday, November 4th as they gathered for the 3rd annual Maddy’s Run at Eagle River High School. Athletes chose either a timed 5k run or 2.5k untimed run/walk in honor of Maddy “Strong” Brandl, an Eagle River fifth grader who lost her fight with cancer in April 2016.

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Thanks are in Order: ECHO Fall Festival a Huge Success!

Wow. What an amazing day! The ECHO News would like to thank a few people for their support of the First Ever ECHO Fall Festival. These folks are community do-gooders, and it seems there is really nothing that will stop them. Some of them belong to organizations that are known for this doing-good thing, but some of them are just people who like to help in their community. There is no particular order, but there is kind of a story.

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Fun For All at the Fall Festival

Unseasonably warm and pleasant weather greeted the many visitors to the inaugural ECHO News Fall Festival on Saturday, October 28th at Lion’s Park in Eagle River. The temperatures in the high 30’s and absent precipitation were not the only surprises in store for guests - contests, games, live music and plenty of tricks and treats were also on the menu.

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Safe & Sound: Gun Safety

Firearms are a highly controversial subject, especially within the context of current events. One thing everyone should be able to agree on is that they are indeed in our community and will continue to be so for some time. With that fact in mind, it is essential for individuals and families to take steps towards creating safer communities. One strategy for accomplishing a higher level of security is through firearm safety education. Many programs exist, but all have the same aim of educating the public on proper firearm handling and use.

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Open letter in support of Gold Star Peak

Commissioner Mack, I am grateful to have an opportunity to lend my support for U.S. Army First Sergeant (retired) Kirk Alkire’s proposal to name Gold Star Peak in the Chugach Mountains, as outlined in his application to the Alaska Historical Commission. I am a lifetime resident of Alaska, having arrived in Seward in 1946. I am a member of the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, a member of the Chugach State Park Citizen’s Advisory Board; as well as an avid hiker, climber and outdoorsman. My brother-in-law (deceased) Clyde “Skeet” Munn, was a decorated serviceman of the U.S. Navy...

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The Secret to Freedom

A French dude with a long name – let’s just call him Max, for now – espoused a secret that got him killed during the French Revolution. It is ironic that it caused him so much difficulty since in America whose revolution preceded his we embraced his secret. We will talk about the difference between the two revolutions in a minute, but first his secret. Max spoke eloquently and often about this secret at every opportunity he could, which eventually forced him to place his head in a guillotine because the political leadership in his country thought it too dangerous. During the 1790’s in France, this secret exposed a radical idea to the French populous on how to ensure their nascent freedom.

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Warning Signs

It has been said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Like a lot of Alaska superlatives, the high rate of Alaska suicides was impressed upon some of us growing up in high-risk social circumstances. We were told by teachers and counselors that many people in Alaska have “issues” that could be so profound as to cause them to want to harm themselves. It wasn’t as much of a concern when I was in elementary and junior high school in Anchorage, but when my family moved to the bush, we found the reality of suicide in Alaska was not being exaggerated. It is a longstanding serious problem for small communities. Today Alaska maintains one of the highest rates of suicide in the country.

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Safe & Sound: Awareness

Do you feel safe? You do not need to carry a weapon or know Kung Fu to take charge of your personal safety. There are some simple behaviors you can adopt that will increase how safe you actually are. Justin Saucier of Denali Security recommends being constantly aware of your surroundings while you are walking to and from your car as one such opportunity to improve your personal safety. This type of awareness is particularly important in Alaska where we have so many dark hours.

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Disaster Preparedness Month Falls in September for a Reason

Why do you think the Federal Government made September National Disaster Preparedness Month? Just look around you! This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been a wake-up call, during late August,

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Why Move Mountains for Gold Star Families?

Gold stars start as blue. The service flag, or blue star banner, is displayed by families of service members. When you see this banner or flag, know that each blue star represents an immediate family member who is serving in the Armed Forces. The blue stars represent hope and pride.

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