TIME WAS: Coronado gets an upgrade and local students protest censorship

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 11:50
  • Eagle River resident Chuck Cloud smooths ruts and holes along Coronado Road on Sept. 30, 1972. (Star file photo)
  • Eagle River resident Chuck Cloud smooths ruts and holes along Coronado Road on Sept. 30, 1972. (Star file photo)
  • Ravenwood Elementary School students display posters made to protest the banning of books in October, 1992. From left to right (top) are Hans Bernard, Paul Hackenmueller, Logan Tucker, Frank Weiss, Lauren Smith, (bottom) Daniel Lee, Alexandra Vanderhof and Michelle Foss. (Star file photo)

Coronado gets an upgrade

45 years ago in the Star…

After reading a newspaper article about unsafe conditions on Coronado Road, Eagle River resident Chuck Cloud took matters into his own hands, rolling out his grader to smooth ruts and fill holes along the dirt road through the heart of town.

Cloud, owner of Cloud’s Welding Service, hoped to remain anonymous at the time. The use of his name “wouldn’t add anything,” he said. But his work didn’t go unnoticed.

“Man has no red tape bindings, fixes bumps,” read an Oct. 5, 1972 headline in the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

The stretch of road in question passed in front of the Eagle River post office and fire station, and some residents worried about deteriorating access to and from the public facilities.

While the Saturday morning road work took Cloud several hours, it earned him “the thanks of hundreds of post office patrons and perhaps of a resident in need of an ambulance or fire truck which might not have been able to get there had the road not been fixed,” the Star reported.

Ravenwood kids protest banned books

25 years ago in the Star…

Ravenwood Elementary School students took a stand for First Amendment, establishing the Banned Book Committee to advocate for authors’ rights, according to a front-page story in the Oct. 15, 1992 Star.

Ravenwood fourth-grader Hans Bernard formed the committee after bringing to school a Dr. Seuss book that had been banned in other states. The concept of banning books immediately made waves in his classroom.

“To quote Paul (Hackenmueller), ‘I felt like blowing my top when I heard about it,’” Bernard said.

Thus the Banned Book Committee was formed. Bernard recruited more than half-a-dozen of his classmates, he said, and together they made plans to make a change, meeting during recess to form their plan of attack. They talked about writing letters to newspapers and politicians, and making posters to spread the word around their community.

“Think for yourself, read a banned book,” read one poster.

“Celebrate freedom, read a banned book!” read another.

The ideas of free speech, free thought and free expression generated plenty of discussion among the Ravenwood students.

“If people don’t like the books, then they just shouldn’t have them and should tell their kids not to read them,” said Alexandra Vanderhof.

“Why should one person be able to ban a book?” Bernard said. “It’s banning ideas. I mean if I had a book that’s about some philosophy and it got banned, I would just break down in tears.”

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