Fairweather Friends and Funny Old Stories

This story began with that phone call nobody who lives in a coastal Alaska community ever wants to receive late at night. It was from my supervisor’s wife who was asking if her husband, with the prescient first name of “Fate,” had told me he was taking my boat out to go fishing. He hadn’t, but it was alright if he did take it out. It happened occasionally and that’s just the kind of friend I was. Fate’s wife had already called the Coast Guard because he was missing and Fate’s vehicle with my boat trailer connected to it was parked at the North Douglas launch ramp. It was dark, nobody had heard from him, and she was worried.

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Good People Doing Great Things

Alaska Massage Clinic and the ECHO News are teaming up during the months of December, January, and February to give back to some good people doing great things. We need your help, dear readers, to help us find people that could use a little recognition and a little extra thanks for all they do. Our December winner is Traci Glidden. Traci Glidden is a good person who does great things. When I met her, she had just received a check for $500.00, and while she wasn’t sure what she had done to deserve it, I’m pretty sure she was already thinking about how to spend it.

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Making Christmas Memories at Christmas Towne Alaska

During the summer months, Camp Gorsuch in Chugiak is a hub of activity when Cub and Boy Scout camps are in session. In winter, the camp is home to an entirely new activity. The lodge, cabins and recreation areas are transformed with lights, decorations and a generous helping of holiday cheer into Christmas Towne Alaska.

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Dreams, Determination and Coming Home

Four-year-old Sarah Devereaux had big dreams when she walked through the doors of the Harry J. McDonald Center. As she laced up her skates for the first time, she had no idea that she would still be lacing her boots on the same benches 32 years later. Sarah’s family like many others was brought to Alaska by the oil business. They settled in Eagle River, and in looking for things to do, Sarah’s mother found the Mac Center’s Learn To Skate program. Sarah’s love, commitment, and ability to skate was immediately apparent. She started competing just a year later at age five.

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Safe & Sound: Don’t become another holiday statistic

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but without a few safety precautions, they can turn into the most tragic time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that during the holiday season of 2010, 13,000 Americans visited the emergency room for injuries related to holiday decorations. Preventable falls, burns, property loss, permanent disability and even death can be the end result of neglecting to keep an eye on safety when celebrating the season.

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Resolve: A lesson in following your passion

Finding a professional who is passionate about the field of dentistry may not be your primary concern when looking for a dentist, but if it is, be sure to look up Kelly Allen in a few years. Allen is a senior at UAA with a pre-dental focus, but she was once an engineering major - despite having a long-time interest in dentistry. She grew up in Valdez, where there was no permanent dentist. A traveling dentist would visit, but her family chose to go to Dr. Lerner in Anchorage. Allen always looked forward to her dental visits and expressed interested in the profession. When Dr. Lerner heard this, he took her under his wing. He would explain procedures and tools and allowed her to shadow in the office during high school.

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Merry Merchant Munch & Winter Wonderland 2017

As is annual tradition, the holiday season officially kicked off in Eagle River this past weekend with activities for the whole family. The two-day event began Friday afternoon across town, resumed Saturday morning and concluded Saturday afternoon. Festivities included contests, shows, local business open houses and lots and lots of treats.

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Three Certainties Define the Good Life

I have long imagined what the perfect world would look like and have concluded that it would contain three certainties until the end of time. The first two are easy enough to understand: comradery and comfort.

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Voicing the Need for Preserving Veteran Oral Histories

Nearly 100 people attended a workshop hosted by the Alaska Veterans Museum (AVM) and led by the Veterans History Project (VHP) and the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian. Attendees learned techniques for collecting oral histories from Alaska’s veterans and how to submit them to VHP, within the Library of Congress, to ensure the stories are preserved for future generations. Col. (ret) Suellyn Novak serves as the president and director for AVM, which is headquartered in Anchorage. AVM’s mission is to educate, honor and inspire by preserving artifacts and stories from Alaskan veterans. AVM has spearheaded numerous oral history efforts for this reason. The workshop fine-tuned those efforts and provided a clear avenue for those stories to be preserved at the Library of Congress.  

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The Man Who Lived the National Anthem

Right about now, it would serve Americans well to remember the story of the attorney, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the poem, “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” that quickly became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” By knowing its origin, we may better handle our present-day ruckus. The words of our national anthem describe real-life events that were observed that fateful night in September of 1814 when the British were trying to bomb Fort McHenry off the map.

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