Matt Tunseth

Calls were down slightly in 2018, but Chugiak’s volunteer fire department was still red hot.

Calls for service decreased by about eight percent last year even as the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department saw a surge in volunteer hours thanks to what chief Tim Benningfield says has been a concerted effort to draw in new recruits.

“We’ve had a great recruitment and retention effort,” Benningfield told the Chugiak Community Council recently.

A Tuesday night announcement by the Anchorage School District sent another aftershock through an already battered Chugiak-Eagle River.

Shaken to action by November’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake, some Chugiak residents believe it’s time to bring additional building safety measures to their community.

At its Thursday meeting, the Chugiak Community Council passed a resolution asking the Municipality of Anchorage to require that an engineer review plans for all residential structures requiring a municipal land-use permit.

“Somebody needs to look at these things,” said Bart Quimby, an engineer from Chugiak who spoke in favor of the resolution.

Sharon Jackson’s wait is over.

Jackson was officially sworn in as Rep. Sharon Jackson of District 13 on Thursday after the Alaska House of Representatives selected Neal Foster (D-Nome) as speaker pro tempore, relieving Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer of that task and allowing the House to conduct business.

The Chugiak Community Council will undergo a shake-up at Thursday’s meeting at the Elsie Oberg Center in Chugiak.

In addition to hosting a community discussion on building safety codes in the wake of the November earthquake, the council will also hold elections for four open seats at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

An agenda can be viewed online at

UPDATE (Jan. 17): The resolution in question has been postponed until the Feb. 12 Assembly meeting at the request of Anchorage Assembly chair Forrest Dunbar.


Birchwood residents are concerned about possible impacts to their neighborhood if a proposed infrastructure coordination agreement (ICA) between the Municipality of Anchorage and Eklutna, Inc. is approved by the Anchorage Assembly.

After a decade of warming Anchorage’s homeless, Sheri Boggs isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Each year, the Eagle River woman collects hats, gloves, mittens and scarves to donate at the annual Project Homeless Connect event in Anchorage. What first began as a small-scale project run out of Boggs’ living room has grown into a massive effort involving local school children, prisoners from Hiland Mountain and avid area knitters.

“The first two years I would count, but not it’s in the thousands,” of items Boggs said last week.

A Chugiak High student was arrested Friday after allegedly making threats via the message sharing platform Snapchat.

According to an Anchorage Police Department Nixle notification, police were notified at around 8 p.m. Thursday that a male student from the school had “posted a threat against the school, its students and its staff.”

Police said the student was located at his home, interviewed by police and arrested with unspecified charges forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

On the day after Christmas, I opened an email from Lee Jordan.

“Merry Christmas, Matt,” he wrote. “Keep up the good work.”

Less than a week later, Lee died suddenly during a New Year’s Eve party, surrounded by his family and friends.

During my three separate tours at the Star since 2010, Lee’s enduring presence has been a reminder why we continue fighting each week to put out a community newspaper in keeping with his vision, so knowing he still took pride in the paper he called “his baby” is by far the most satisfying accomplishment of my career.

A record number of women in Congress has drawn national headlines in recent days, but in Chugiak-Eagle River another historic delegation is about to take office.

When the Legislature convenes Jan. 15, the staunchly conservative district north of Anchorage will be represented by its first all-female delegation, with three female Republican State House representatives and a pair of GOP women in the State Senate.