When it came time for Ben Talotta to select his Eagle Scout project, the former Eagle Academy Charter School student thought of his elementary alma mater.
The classroom at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center was serene and airy with silver-soft light filtering across the room. Bright nature murals sprawl across the walls and large windows overlook a tree-filled courtyard.
Monsters, action figures, princesses and pirates were out in full force at Fire Lake Elementary School’s Halloween Carnival on Oct. 24. The parking lot was packed and it was almost impossible to make it down the hallway without getting jabbed by someone’s elbow or hat or, in the case of one man’s costume choice, a very large nose.
Maraya Davis grew up around gift shops. Her mother opened Happiness is Handmade in Eagle River in 1986, and operated the shop until 1993. Davis, an Eagle River resident and Chugiak High School graduate of 1998, continued family tradition by opening Lemon Tree Gifts in the Sears Mall with her husband Roger Davis this year.
Newly-elected governor Bill Walker announced a slew of appointments Dec. 1, including that of long-time Eagle River resident and former politician Sam Cotten as acting commissioner of Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Students at Homestead Elementary learned a lesson in holiday giving when they collected and packaged items to donate to the Bean’s Café Beanie Boxes. Dana Johnson’s second grade students, along with help from fourth and fifth grade classes, collected donations and essential items such as toothpaste, shampoo, combs, soap, gloves and other necessities.
Ho, ho, ho. It’s almost time for Santa to squeeze himself down the chimneys of area homes and leave presents for all of the good little boys and girls. To get into the spirit of the holidays, Mrs. Vanagel’s kindergarten/first grade combined classmates over at Homestead Elementary School wrote letters to Santa to let him know what they hope to find under the tree. Enjoy.
Crafting enthusiasts in the Chugiak-Eagle River area have turned their artsy pursuits into much more than just fulfilling hobbies. From jewelry and soap-making to calendars featuring local scenes to a home-grown version of treats in a canning jar, area crafters fill a niche for gift givers seeking something unique. These are industrious side businesses showcasing local creativity as an alternative to the standard gift fare found at big box retailers or online.
The “uglier” the better. That is, at least when it comes to holiday sweaters. While the cliche is that Alaskans tend to lag behind on styles, the ugly sweater trend is fully embraced on the Last Frontier this season. After all, these sweaters are warm and Alaskans do know a thing or two about piling on warm clothing.
Rona Johnson has been named publisher of Morris Publishing Group Alaska, encompassing the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Alaskan Equipment Trader and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star weekly newspaper. The appointment was announced by Les Simpson, regional publisher for Morris Publishing Group LLC, and publisher of the Amarillo Globe-News.