EDITORIAL: Alaskans take a lot of pride in our toughness



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We were reminded of that the other day when a longtime area resident remarked that it had finally warmed up enough outside for her to enjoy coffee on her front porch for the first time in a month.

It was 10 degrees outside.

Yes, 10 above sure felt warm this week when the recent cold snap finally broke, leaving a month of subzero temperatures behind. According to weatherunderground.com, January’s readings at the Birchwood station featured at least 23 days of low temperatures below 0, including two days when it got down to minus-20. 

Forecasters with the National Weather Service are predicting that things will warm up in February, and just in time.

As you may be aware, today is Groundhog Day. According to the old legend, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow, we’re in for six more weeks of winter. Down in the Lower 48, this is usually taken as a sign that spring will be late in coming. But up here, six more weeks of winter seems like pretty wishful thinking.

Either way, the beginning of February is a nice time to reflect on a winter season already half gone. Though we’re currently buried in snow and still suffering through some icy conditions, this is the month when you first start to notice that the sun is beginning to return. By March, the salmon will almost be in sight.

So tough it out — winter’ll be over before you know it…depending on what Mr. Groundhog has to say about it, of course.

 

Get out and get involved

 

That’s the message being spread by the presidents of our six area community councils lately. In recent years the councils — whose job it is to advise the Anchorage Assembly on local issues — have seen their attendance and membership numbers wane.

This is a shame.

As opinionated as folks around here seem to be, you’d think it would be natural for people to want to get their two cents in at the local level. But that’s far from the case. At most community council meetings, only a smattering of audience members takes the time to lend their voice to the process.

These councils are the best and easiest way for us to have a real say in what goes on in our communities. When the councils are able to send a strong, united message to the assembly, our elected officials get a much clearer understanding of how their constituents feel on the issues.

A list of meeting times can be found on page 3 of this week’s Star. Check out the dates, find the council nearest you and make some time to get involved in your community.

Monthly meetings typically last only an hour or two. Even if there aren’t any pressing issues you’d like to discuss, the councils are one of the best ways we know of to learn who your neighbors are and get to know their concerns.

And it’s not a bad cure for cabin fever, either.

 

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