Kirsten Swann

As termination dust continues to appear on Chugiak-Eagle River mountaintops, local street maintenance crews are preparing for winter at lower elevations.

This year, that involves spending approximately $62,000 to rent a privately owned snow dump just north of Powder Ridge.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Eagle River Street Maintenance general foreman Mark Littlefield. “We’ve been actively looking for a snow disposal site for many, many years.”

A new business is bubbling up in Eagle River.

Earlier this fall, contractors began groundwork at the future site of the Sudzy Salmon – a joint car and pet wash facility under construction near the intersection of the Old Glenn Highway and Snowmobile Lane. It will be the first new business on the lot since the old Duck Pond Car Wash was razed in April 2016.

A pack of Eagle River Wolves are taking the news into their own paws.

The newly formed school newspaper – the ERHS Howl – began publishing online this semester, with plans to expand into print later this year. In the weeks since school began, the Howl’s young journalists have covered everything from sporting events to school art projects to profiles of students and staff.

“We’ve got a pretty awesome team of students — man, they kind of hit the ground running,” said ERHS English teacher Erik Johnson, sitting on a desk in his classroom one Thursday at lunch.

Chugiak-Eagle River residents were among a crowd of people who stood up to speak out about crime and criminal justice concerns during a packed Anchorage Assembly public safety committee meeting Sept. 29.

The Chugiak Community Council reconvened Sept. 21 following a summer hiatus, drawing nearly three dozen locals to a basement room at the Elsie Oberg Community Center.

In the beginning, the room was filled with high school students, representatives from the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, lawmakers and other residents. For the first hour-and-a-half, the Chugiak council meeting followed a routine agenda filled with updates on everything from public safety to local roads and legislative affairs.

On a rainy, overcast Monday morning in mid-September, two tour busloads of local high school students pulled into the Port of Anchorage to spend the day in a different kind of classroom.

On Oct. 1, the care and keeping of Chugiak’s Aurora Borealis Road will return to the hands of the few residents who live there.

The decision to end municipal maintenance on the petite local side street followed more than a year’s worth of meetings and a Sept. 25 vote by the Chugiak Birchwood Eagle River Rural Road Service Area Board of Supervisors. In the end, road supervisors agreed, it was an issue of risk.

Fall is in the air, which means the Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Department is preparing for its most popular Halloween tradition – Beach Lake Park’s third annual Boo at the Beach.

The community event features a haunted trail, games and plenty of candy. Parks manager Karen Richards said she expects this year’s festivities to attract some 700 kids. All those trick-or-treaters require about 21,000 pieces of candy, Richards said, and the parks department is currently seeking donations.

An Eagle River woman is making waves for her work educating Alaskans about boating safety.

Kelli Toth, a program assistant with the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Boating Safety, recently received a 2017 Boating Safety Educator of the Year award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Since she joined the Alaska office in 2011, more than 75,000 have participated in Kids Don’t Float water safety classes, according to DNR. That number continues to grow.

“I see a great increase in demand for classes,” Toth said.

Fifty-four Alaskans became American citizens in the Eagle River High School gym Friday, surrounded by proud family and friends and more than 200 cheering ERHS government students.

Many waited years for the occasion, they said.

“We are a nation mostly of immigrants,” retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sen Tan said to those gathered in the school gym Friday. “I want to say in clearest terms: You are welcome.”