Thank You to MEA, Operation Roundup Participants, and the Eagle River Elks!

Thank you to Matanuska Electric Association and MEA members! Using a community grant from MEA, the members of the Elks Lodge in Eagle River were not only able to personally hand 348 third grade students in our area a standard and a rhyming dictionary. This also gave us the time to speak to them about the importance of reading and staying away from drugs.

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Christmas Past

Even though this writer recognizes that not everyone is a believer in the One whose birth we celebrate this month he will never apologize for saying, “Merry Christmas.” Even a non-believer can enjoy the colored lights that brighten the darkest month of the year. The decorations are pretty and people are smiling despite their frantic shopping forays. The practice of giving and sharing love for our neighbors can be enjoyed by all—and well should be. He and the girl who became his bride 65 years ago have for many seasons celebrated the holiday by driving around to look at the decorated homes. We have noted the continuous growth of subdivisions and appreciate those who go all out to make their homes and yards festive. It’s not easy to forget the early years when the population was much smaller compared to today’s numbers. Even though smaller, the holiday spirit was evident throughout.

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Nativity celebrated here over 117 years

While Chugiak-Eagle River’s population is far more diverse today than a century ago, in the beginning only the Russian Orthodox faith was represented. Priests at St. Nicholas Church served the Native village, teaching of the birth of Jesus Christ. While most of us observe December 25 as the birthday of Jesus, Christmas for the Orthodox is celebrated each year on January 7. When Chugiak was founded in 1947 by a group of homesteaders who proved up on small tracts as well as larger parcels, those settlers primarily were Christian Protestants. Three houses of worship existing in 1953 were Chugiak Chapel, Chugiak Methodist Church and Immanuel Gospel Church. They soon were followed by others affiliated with various denominations, most faiths currently represented.

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Christmas day memories for post offices

When Delores (Dee) Steeby, former Birchwood resident and long-time Chugiak Postmaster, passed away earlier this year, a big part of our community’s history also was lost. She succeeded Paul Swanson, one of Chugiak’s pioneers. As did her mentor, she spent a great deal of time helping neighbors. What brings that to mind was the question of when we need to put our Christmas cards in the mail this year. In addition, we need to know how late we can send gifts to loved ones Outside and be sure they will arrive in time.

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MEA Intelligently Invests in Smart Meters

If you live between the weigh station south of Eagle River and the Princess Lodge above Talkeetna, chances are a representative from Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) will be visiting soon.

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Cooperatives Bring First Chugiak Utilities

With one exception, for several years Chugiak remained in the dark and telephone, a fragile utility continued subject to the whims of wandering moose.

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Ordinary Folks Take On Services

Last week we looked at a dozen or so families who moved to the wilderness area north of Ft. Richardson and took out Chugiak, home sites or business sites. The

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