The clock is ticking.

That’s good news in Eagle River’s Chief Alex Park, where the town clock tower has been running smooth since repairs over the summer.

“It’s been functioning correctly now and we’re happy for that,” Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce executive director Dana Thorp-Patterson wrote in a Nov. 6 email.

A family of bears in the Eagle River Valley may have avoided a brush with death.

In early November, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said complaints about the bruins roaming the area were causing a major concern.

“We’ve been getting complaints the last week and a half to two weeks that a sow brown bear has been getting into trash,” Ken Marsh, a public information officer with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

A flurry of public meetings will keep community rooms in the area busy in the coming weeks, with topics of discussion ranging from roads to parks to neighborhood densities.

The monthly community council meeting cycle is in full swing, with the South Fork council meeting Nov. 2. the Birchwood and Eagle River Valley councils are set to meet on Wednesday, Nov. 8, with Birchwood meeting at 7 p.m. at the Beach Lake Chalet and Eagle River Valley residents meeting at Gruening Middle School at 7 p.m.

Chugiak’s Alyssa Saylor was fourth in the all-around competition at the Cook Inlet Conference Championships gymnastics meet Saturday, Nov. 4 at Dimond High.

Saylor excelled on the beam, where she placed third behind South’s Molly Scoggin and Olivia Gorder. Saylor was seventh in the floor exercise, fifth on the bars and ninth on the vault.

Gorder won the all-around title and Scoggin was second for the Wolverines, who finished second to Dimond in the team standings. West was third, followed by Chugiak, Eagle River and Service.

Mike Wallace, the last of three well-known brothers who helped shape early Chugiak, died on Oct. 24, 2017 at his home. He was 82.

The Wallace brothers — Mike, Art and Til — arrived in 1950s Chugiak-Eagle River and quickly established themselves among the town’s foremost characters. Art and Til started a brick business that helped build several of the area’s early buildings. According to his obituary, Mike Wallace and his parents came to Alaska to join Art and Til after Mike got out of the Army.

It’s party time for one class of seventh-graders at Gruening Middle School.

Brad Kirr’s third-period class at the Eagle River middle school was the Mat-Su/Eagle River regional winner in Chugach Electric’s recent Power Pledge Challenge, an energy saving education program designed to educate kids about energy use. The class will receive a pizza party and a tour of the Matanuska Electric Eklutna Generation Station.

According to a Chugach press release, students completed an activity to learn how to calculate their own energy usage and learned ways to reduce usage.

Despite some late-season reports of activity — including a family of brown bears spotted getting into trash at Eagle River High earlier this week — bears in the Eagle River Valley have been deemed drowsy enough for the Albert Loop Trail to be reopened to hikers.

The trail’s annual fall closure ended Friday, Nov. 3 — though park rangers warned users should always remain alert in an area known for healthy populations of black and brown bears.

Subfreezing temperatures both day and night have caused local lakes to begin to ice up rapidly, but it’s still too soon to venture out onto frozen surfaces.

Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation parks superintendent Josh Durand said the department will begin to issue online ice thickness reports once several inches have formed.

“It first happens when we’re identifying the ice is safe for us to maintain,” Durand said on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Last year, that date was Nov. 29, while in 2015 it was Nov. 17.

15 years ago this week in the Star…

59-room motel on way

A local group led by John Emmi planned to break ground in the coming week on a new 59-room Microtel Inn and Suites, according to a front-page story in the Nov. 7, 2002 edition of the Alaska Star.

According to the story, the new motel would be four times the size of the town’s only other motel, the Eagle River Motel.

“We conducted feasibility studies and we see a need for another motel here,” Emmi told the paper.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Despite not being quite 100 percent, the Chugiak girls swimming and diving team still managed to grab fourth place on Saturday at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High.

“We did a good job of working together and helping each other out,” said CHS coach Anne Williams, whose girls team scored 37 points to finish tied with South.

Eagle River teen Nick Carl held off Anchorage marathoner Jerry Ross on Saturday, Nov. 4 in the third annual Maddy’s Run 5-kilometer cross-country running race at Eagle River High.

A junior at Eagle River High, Carl finished in 16 minutes, 46.9 seconds to hold off the 42-year-old Ross by less than two seconds. Hyrum Nelson, a sophomore at Chugiak High, was third in 16:55.2.

Ross is a well-known Alaska runner who was 154th men’s finisher at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Chugiak was knocked out of the Cook Inlet Conference volleyball tournament by the top-seeded Dimond Lynx on Friday, Nov. 3 at Service High.

The Lynx came out hot and stayed that way, winning 25-18, 25-21, 25-15 to secure a spot in the third-place match against South for a spot in the state tournament.

The sixth-seeded Mustangs reached the consolation round semifinals with a four-set win over Service on Thursday, pulling away from the host Cougars 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 25-13.

Eagle River, Wasilla skate to tie

Wasilla played its second overtime draw in less than a week Friday night, skating to a 2-2 tie with Eagle River at the McDonald Center.

The Warriors also tied Chugiak last Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Mac.

Friday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair, with the Warriors taking the lead on an Alex Engan power play goal with six minutes to play in the period, and the Wolves tying things up on a shorthanded strike from Ty McEnaney on a Tucker Lien assist just before the first intermission.

Theater seats at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy will get a new home while the Eagle River nonprofit looks for one of its own.

A wooded corner of the Municipality of Anchorage is growing a crop of the Anchorage School District’s top students.

Firefighters returned to the scene of an early-morning Oct. 31 house fire in the Eagle River Valley that sent two people to the hospital with minor injuries after flames reappeared from the structure.

According to Anchorage Fire Department chief Denis LeBlanc, crews were called back to a home located off Eagle River Road at around 9:18 a.m. Tuesday after the fire — which was declared out at around 7:30 a.m. — reappeared at the location.

A student at Alpenglow Elementary was charged with assault after allegedly brandishing a knife at another student while they were walking home from school.

On Oct. 18, Anchorage School District officials notified police that a student had pulled a knife on another student two days before while both were walking home from the school on Driftwood Bay Drive. Police arrived at the school and charged the boy with third-degree assault. He was released to his parents.

Plans to improve Eagle River’s most notorious intersection continue to creep forward, with project leaders holding their seventh public meeting on the Eagle River Traffic Mitigation project Monday, Oct. 30 in Eagle River.

“We’re here to tell you where we’re at,” said Aaron Christie, a project engineer with Dowl.

Your local Lions Clubs are four of over 45,700 Lions Clubs actively serving their communities in 210 countries and geographical areas of the world. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization. Its 1.4 million members are dedicated to bettering the quality of life for the handicapped, the poor, the sick and the aged. The motto of Lions Clubs International is “We Serve,” “Where there is a need there is a Lion,” and Lions live these mottos with enthusiasm.

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