Matt Tunseth

Mass closures hit Alaska Friday as swirling fears over the new coronavirus erupted into a hurricane of concern as Alaska saw its first case of COVID-19.

Chugiak-Eagle River was not immune from the closures. Virutally all public facilities in the area are now temporarily closed to the public, including the Eagle River Town Center and the McDonald Center, two of the Chugiak-Eagle River area’s most visible public facilities.

Note to readers: During the coronavirus emergency the Anchorage Daily News has made its coverage of the situation free to all readers. To read the ADN’s coverage, click here.

UPDATE (Sunday, March 15): Life in Chugiak-Eagle River remained slow but relatively normal Sunday as the area prepared for the first work week following emergency declarations at the state and national level over the new coronavirus that’s begun to strain health care systems around the world.

It’s never a bad idea to do some spring cleaning.

Every school in Anchorage School District this week is going through a complete disinfection over spring break as district officials plan for what they’ll do if the new coronavirus shows up in Alaska.

“We’re going to superclean it and every surface and toy that can be in there,” said superintendent Deena Bishop.

UPDATE: Lanier scratched from the Iditarod on Tuesday, March 10 after getting bogged down on the trail between Rainy Pass and Rohn. Read more here.


This year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race field includes two brothers, two sisters and two guys who aren’t related at all — but might as well be.

A financial report that will be used to guide a group that wants to detach Chugiak-Eagle River from the Municipality of Anchorage is now complete.

The Eaglexit group announced the completion of the 18-page, $27,000 report compiled by Northern Economics in a March 4 video posted to its Facebook page. In the video, director Gordy Banfield thanks those who helped fund the “phase one” report.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s first “Conversations With Alaskans” town hall meeting Monday drew nearly 200 generally supportive constituents to the Chugiak High School auditorium.

Most in attendance shared the opinions that Dunleavy should hold the line on state spending, ensure the government pays a “full” Permanent Fund dividend, and continue working to restrict abortion and protect gun rights.

A summertime sequel nobody is looking forward to is coming soon to a commute near you.

“It’s going to be ‘Carzilla,’” said Alaska Department of Transportation Chief of Highway Design Jim Amundsen on Saturday during a town hall meeting in Chugiak.

People need to be prepared for big disruptions to their daily lives but it’s really the little things that make a difference when it comes to controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus, the state’s chief medical officer said this weekend.

“Hand washing is incredibly important,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska.

Washing hands and keeping fingers away from faces is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, Zink told about 50 people gathered for a previously scheduled legislative town hall meeting in Chugiak on Saturday.

After a big snowfall, roads in Chugiak-Eagle River are cleared faster and cheaper than those in Anchorage.

So what’s the catch?

“When we get an additional snowfall, everybody’s going to get a berm,” said Eagle River Street Foreman Mark Littlefield.

The driveway berms left by passing snow plows are a bit of a nuisance for folks living in the Chugiak-Eagle River-Birchwood Rural Road Service Area (CBERRRSA), on whose shoulders and snowblowers falls the burden of clearing the berms.

Don Young has no intention of slowing down.

After tearing through a rapid-fire speech at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce last week, the nation’s longest-serving congressman shook a dozen hands or more before barreling out of the Matanuska Brewing Company before a staffer could even finish collecting business cards.

“I wouldn’t run if I didn’t like it,” Young said a few minutes later after hopping in a car and driving to Jitters Coffee House for his next appointment.