What tourists need to learn about Alaska

With summer comes the tourists. A question as to what tourists would like to hear about the place they have come to see is an interesting one.

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Road trips take you from ancient to modern spots

The Crow Creek Mine mess hall and St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church arebut two of the places that can easily be reached through Alaska roads.

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Summer activities bring schedule-juggling woes

We all welcome summertime and the chance to get outdoors. At the same time, the variety of activities being offered bring with it the stress of fitting everything into our busy schedules. Salmon are running, the wilderness bids us to venture out and explore, the backyard hammock beckons on a sunny evening, and summer sports are in full sway.

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Summer cruises provide amazing views

Several cruise ships will dock this year in Anchorage, disgorging thousands of passengers onto the streets for a quick glimpse of the 49th State. Others tie up at Seward or Whittier, where passengers are taken by bus or train to the big city. Some Alaska tours are limited to Southeast, round-tripping from Vancouver or Seattle.

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Bingle Camp at Harding Lake popular youth spot

A number of summer camps can be found in Alaska. Kings Lake Camp at Wasilla is operated by the Salvation Army and has been in operation since about 1940. Information can be found at www.kingslakecamp.salvationarmy.org.

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Alaska vs. Texas bragging rights review

Since time immemorial—well, since 1867 anyway—Alaskans have boasted that their home is bigger than Texas. It was a feather our neighbors in the Lower 48 did not like having plucked from their Stetsons. Texans did live under six flags while Alaskans flew but four. That, of course, presumes that our indigenous forebears did not raise national banners. Neither the Aztecs nor the Alaska Natives were asked permission for the invading foreigners to cross their borders, but that’s not part of this discussion.

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Honor, Educate & Inspire: Alaska Veterans Museum

Even with the highest veteran population (per capita) in the country, Alaska was the last state in the union to have a museum dedicated to honoring veterans and Alaska's contributions to military history. It was only through ten years of blood, sweat, and many tears of passionate volunteers that the Alaska Veterans Museum opened its doors on April 17th, 2011. Still operating as a 100% volunteer organization, their mission is simple; honor Alaska’s veterans' by recording and sharing their stories; educate visitors about Alaska’s military history through exhibits and displays; and inspire our community to support our Active Duty, Guard and Reserve, and our veterans.

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The Battle of Attu

From June 3 to 7, 1942, Japanese forces attacked Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, bombing Dutch Harbor on the island of Unalaska and invading the islands of Attu and Kiska. Attu’s radio operator, Charles Foster Jones, died during the invasion and his wife Etta, the island’s schoolteacher, taken prisoner. The Aleut (Unangan) residents of Attu were taken to Japan for the duration of the war. Of the 40 captives, 16 (40%) died from disease and starvation.

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Preserving Alaska’s military history a good thing

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to create a military museum is potentially a good idea. Several museums now in place attest to the widespread interest in preserving the history of the military’s vital part in developing and protecting this American spot at the “Top of the World.” How to go about creating a major museum, however, is yet to be determined. Whether and in what manner the existing museums will be included is of concern to these all-volunteer organizations.

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Knik Little League opens season this weekend

Fifty-four years ago, four teams played Knik Little League’s first games ever. On Saturday, May 6, local fans will hear the call of “Play Ball!” Players, officials, coaches and fans from dozens of teams will gather at Eagle River Lions Park at 6:30 p.m. on Friday for opening ceremonies.

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