Outdoor painting requires a special set of tools. A portable easel is a must, as is a box for paint and brushes; many artists also use an umbrella, which keeps direct sunlight off their canvas as they work silently to capture the pastoral scenes around them.

It doesn’t hurt to pack some heat, either.

“I carry a big firearm and mace with me all the time,” said Chugiak’s Greg Bombeck, whose travels in search of the perfect landscape often take him into prime Chugach State Park bear country.

There are some pieces of Alaska’s history that refuse to succumb to the ravages of time. I refer here to the Bird House, a popular Turnagain Arm watering hole that for more than three decades offered a unique Alaska experience that couldn’t be duplicated—not at the Malemute Saloon in Fairbanks, the Salty Dog in Homer or the rustic saloons at Skagway or Dawson City.

The Bird House burned down in 1996, but a few years later was resurrected at the site of Spenard’s popular night club, Chilkoot Charlies, where it is housed today.

Chugiak and Eagle River each took big losses on Saturday night. The Mustangs fell 42-6 to Service at Anchorage Football Stadium, while the Wolves dropped a 48-21 decision to Bartlett at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak.

Chugiak's loss dropped the Mustangs to 2-1 in the Cook Inlet Conference and overall. Eagle River fell to 0-2 in the CIC and 0-3 overall.

Now it’s getting serious.

Cross country runners were all business on Saturday, Aug. 20 when the Bartlett Invitational officially kicked off the season with one of the year’s largest meets.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen, and for some of them they’ve never run in a race with this many people,” said Eagle River coach Jacob Bera. “For some of them it was an eye-opener.”

Chugiak earned a 3-0 win over Eagle River on Aug. 25, sweeping the Wolves 25-21, 25-15, 25-8 at Chugiak High.

Eagle River opened the first game with a 12-7 run, but Chugiak rallied to take the first game. Eagle River never led again.

Chugiak improved to 2-0 in the Cook Inlet Conference, Eagle River fell to 1-1.

Both teams will play in the Chugiak Invitational tournament, which begins at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 and continues the following day at 9 a.m.

Six up, six down.

Chugiak continued its football dominance over Eagle River on Aug. 19, rallying for a 35-14 win at Chugiak.

“We knew we could come back and win it,” said Chugiak running back Justin Schneider, who finished with a game-high 175 rushing yards.

Schneider’s two-yard touchdown run with 4:42 left in the third quarter proved to be the game-winner. The big score came less than a minute after Eagle River grabbed its first second-half lead in the series on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Peter Kott to Kelechi Madubuko that made it 14-13 Wolves.

Carrs gets a facelift
A front-page story in the Aug. 22, 1991 edition of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star showed officials with Carr Gottstein Foods breaking ground on an expansion outside the company’s Eagle River store.

According to the story, the grocery store would grow from 40,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet, according to CEO John Cairns.

The original store was built in 1977 and first enlarged in 1983.

A class act such as “The Help” is rare enough in Hollywood. Coming at the tail end of summer blockbuster season, it’s almost unheard of.

“The Help” is the sort of film that studios typically save for the holiday prestige season in November or December, when Academy Awards voters start thinking ahead to the films they want to anoint.

Come awards time, many of them likely will be thinking of “The Help,” whose remarkable ensemble of women offers enough great performances to practically fill the actress categories at the Oscars.

Duke University freshman Kelly Cobb, a 2011 Chugiak High graduate, is already making a name for herself at the NCAA Division I level.

Cobb, the 2011 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year, has been named one of Soccer America’s top-10 influential freshman for 2011.

A 5-foot-9 forward from Peters Creek, Cobb scored 98 goals in just three seasons with the Mustangs before heading to Duke. She was a 2010 Parade All-American and is a member of the United States U-20 women’s national team.

Halloween is coming early to Chugiak-Eagle River.

Trick or Treat in the Heat, a fundraiser for the Hospice of Anchorage, Ronald McDonald House and Make-A-Wish Foundation, will be held in the Eaglewood subdivision of Eagle River on Sunday, Sept. 11. Blue wristbands, which serve as tickets for the event, can be purchased for $10 at House of Bounce, Picture This and The Crave.

All of the proceeds go to one of the three charities, said event creator Sean Robbins.

“We don’t take anything off the top,” he said.

Members of the winning football team walked off their home turf Friday night with sadness. Instead of the usual rush to meet adoring families and girlfriends and pals, the boys shuffled slow and quiet, some pausing in the shadows cast by empty bleachers to wipe their eyes and breathe.

There’s crying in football.

Thanks to an influx of first-year players, Chugiak High’s tennis team is growing by the day.

Thirty-eight were on the team as of last week, and third-year head coach Sally Jo Cook expected more to join.

“I imagine we my hit 50,” she said.

The Mustangs ended last season with 52 on the squad, Cook said.

Freshmen are joining the team in droves, she said.

“This is a stellar year for freshmen that has come out,” Cook said. “It’s kind of exciting.”

For children in military families, moving multiple times throughout their adolescence becomes commonplace. But that doesn’t make entering a school full of unfamiliar faces any easier.

However, athletics can help. Playing a sport is one way to form tight bonds quickly — a truth the Eagle River High tennis team knows well.

In a school full of military families like Eagle River, tennis is a great way to make friends, junior Jacob Klaameyer said at the Wolves’ Aug. 18 match against West High.

Sophomore Hannah Spainhour can attest to that.

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — Approximately 15 Alaska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, along with service members from Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, India, the United States and Canada were recognized during a dedication ceremony for their efforts during a medical civil assistance project as part of Khaan Quest 2011 held at school in the 9th Khoroo, Khaan-Uul District of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Aug. 11.

Distinguished leaders, observers and local community members gathered to celebrate the success of the medical civil assistance project.

I love our community! We have lived here since 1989, raising our three kids (Hillary, Ryan, and Abi) in Eagle River. They graduated from Chugiak High School. I teach Kindergarten at Homestead Elementary, and my husband John teaches band at Gruening Middle School. Our family is very invested in our amazing community.

It is my honor and privilege to have this opportunity to introduce Love INC of Eagle River to you with this Alaska Star article. I have so much to share that we are breaking it into two articles. This article will bethe first of a two-part series.

A standoff with an armed and suicidal man on Aug. 18 near the Ft. Richardson exit on the Glenn Highway ended peacefully with the man’s surrender.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, 23-year-old Joseph Hanifin was charged with reckless endangerment and lodged at the Anchorage Jail with a $5,000 cash-only bail and $1,500 assurity bond.

Imagine you bring your child to a routine eye appointment and the doctor turns to you and says there is a problem with your child’s eyesight. Not just any problem; they are going blind. Many of us can only imagine this scenario, but many more parents live it. We may not know these families, but they’re in our community. They are our neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and friends. Across Alaska, and the world, children, adults and seniors are battling preventable vision impairments and diseases.

The shale slide leading up to the mountain’s ridge was easy to climb, and grass for most of this stretch provided relatively good footing. After about 500 feet I finally reached the ridge, which I expected would be somewhat gradual. However, I was surprised to see that it became precipitously steep on both sides. I recalled my dad’s admonishment, when as a child I first showed an interest in climbing: “Stay off the cliffs.”

Elderly resident found with knife
Anchorage police said they were called to the Chugiak Senior Center around 2 p.m. on Aug. 11 in response to a combative resident. Officers were told by staffers that a resident pulled a 12-inch knife from her clothing and returned it to a kitchen drawer, police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said.

No one was injured, Lammers said. The woman “indicated she was angry at another male resident for teasing her,” she said. Staff at the center requested a mental evaluation so the woman was transported to a local hospital.



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