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.


Monday, Aug. 15
7:04 a.m. - Warrant arrest - Hilltop Drive
7:18 a.m. - Vandalism - Lee Street
9:42 a.m. - Vandalism - Eagle River Road
9:59 a.m. - Mental health check - Highland Ridge Drive
10:04 a.m. - Burglary - Birchwood Loop Road
10:30 a.m. - Registration - Voyles Boulevard
1:31 p.m. - Accident - Mercy Drive
2:45 p.m. - Theft - Old Glenn Highway
3:20 p.m. - Missing person - Birchwood Loop Road
4:14 p.m. - Vandalism - Genora Street
7:50 p.m. - Theft - Genora Street

THIS ISSUE marks the debut of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

Elsewhere in these columns are descriptions of the firm, people, and hardware involved in publication of this new effort. This space will be devoted to a few introductory remarks by the editor in hopes of making known some of our aims and policies.

Army National Guard Pvt. Jacob M. Bookbinder, of Chugiak, has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, Bookbinder received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.

Air Force Reserve Airman Sarah A. Dirkes, of Eagle River, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Dirkes completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Carson Lerch, 19, of Eagle River, graduated from basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, Calif. on Aug. 12, 2011. Lerch, a 2010 graduate of Eagle River High School, will initially be stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. He is the son of John and Lennett Lerch of Eagle River.

Holly Thomas, of Chicago, Ill., will marry Matt Cerney of Chicago on Oct. 1, 2011 at Willow Harbor Vineyards in Three Oaks, Michigan.

The bride is the daughter of Sharon and Larry Thomas, past owners of the Eagle River Car Wash/Duck Pond. The family now lives in Wasilla.

Tabitha McCain, of Birchwood, will marryVyacheslav (Slava) Kalashnikov in September. The couple met on Slava’s birthday four years ago. They enjoy snowmachinging, four-wheeling, camping, fishing, dogs, travel and very big Dodge pick-ups.

The bride is the daughter of Randy and Gail McCain of Birchwood. The groom is the son of Alexandr Georgevich Kalashnikov and Tatyana Wert.

The couple lives in Anchorage.

Kairi K. Berg and Alexander V. Matson, of Eagle River, were each named to the Dean’s list at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus for the 2011 spring semester. In order to make the list, students must have completed at least 12 credits with a minumum 3.66 grade point average.

John E. Smelcer, of Chugiak, graduated from the Harpur College of Arts and Scicnes at Binghamton University in New York with a PHD in English. Binghamton is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York system.

Longtime Eagle River resident Patricia Opheen Redmond, 55, died unexpectedly Aug. 18, 2011, at Alaska Regional Hospital.

Known as “Trish” by her friends and co-workers and “Patti” by her family, she was born in 1955 in Sunnyvale, California and raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1978. Trish earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska in 1990, and was a registered professional civil engineer.

Matanuska Electric Association has announced a base rate decrease of 0.44 percent for the fourth quarter of 2011. If approved by the Regulatory Comission of Alaska, the decrease will take effect during the first week of October, according to a press release sent out by MEA.

According to MEA spokesperson Cheryll Heinze, the average MEA consumer uses more than 700 kilowatt hours of electricity per months.

“These consumers can expect to see a monthly decrease of about $.31 as a result of the base rate decrease,” Heinze said.

Soon after Kyle Frost was walking, he knew what his life’s passion was — aviation. On Saturday, Aug. 13, Frost took a major step toward turning that passion into a career by earning his private pilot’s license at age 17.

“I’ve known I’ve wanted to fly since before I was four years old,” said the Eagle River High junior. “Now that I’m old enough to do it, I just went out and did it.”

Few people Frost’s age get their pilot’s license, said Patrick O’Hare, who’s been an instructor since 1975.

“He should be proud of what he accomplished,” O’Hare said.

Palmer may be home to the Alaska State Fair, but the fun comes from Chugiak.

It’s been that way since 1967, when Paige Morton founded Golden Wheel Amusements after traveling to Anchorage from Washington state one winter to purchase a carnival ride. Morton’s daughter, Jacqueline Leavitt, said her mom bought the ride (“The Octopus”), but was persuaded by locals to stick around for the upcoming Fur Rendezvous.

“She thought they were crazy,” Leavitt said.

All Life Is Yoga owner and instructor Mary McCormick still remembers her first yoga class 15 years ago.

“It was 6 a.m. on a Tuesday. I loved it and I’ve never looked back,” she said last week standing inside of her studio’s new location in the rear of the Parkgate Building in Eagle River. Sharing the space will be the recently-created Eagle River Ballet.

McCormick and her husband, Bill, have spent the past six weeks renovating a former doctors office — which they acquired in June — into a yoga studio.

Out of bear necessity, the Eagle River Nature Center’s Albert Loop Trail has once again been closed for the duration of the fall.

Chugach Sate Parks chief ranger Matt Wedeking said rangers have made the decision to close the trail annually every year since the last person was attacked there in 1998.

“As soon as we start seeing the salmon make it that far up we pretty much close it down at that time,” he said.

It’s a tale of two turnouts in flag football, where Chugiak is awash in players while Eagle River doesn’t have enough to field three full teams.

Neither team’s coach has a good explanation for the phenomenon.

“Honestly, I have no idea,” said Chugiak’s Jon Schroeder, who had 88 girls come out for the girls-only sport.

Eagle River’s Matt Turner said he can’t explain why just 30 kids showed up at Eagle River, just a few miles down the road.

“I really don’t know,” he said.


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