Sam Cotten wanted answers.

The former Eagle River legislator showed up to Tuesday night’s legislative town hall meeting with pointed questions about the state budget for the area’s current crop of legislators.

“Where are you going to go? What are you going to do?” asked Cotten, a lifelong Alaskan whose political career began in 1964-65 as Chugiak High’s first student body president and included a 16-year stint in the Alaska House and Senate.

Chugiak clamped down on defense Monday night to earn a 49-47 Cook Inlet Conference boys basketball win over West Monday night at West High.

The Mustangs allowed just 13 second-half points to rally from a five-point halftime deficit.

Zach Cole led a balanced Chugiak offense with 10 points, with Josh Cardon, Austin Harr and Owen Lewis adding eight points each.

The Mustangs improved to 1-0 in the CIC while West fell to 0-1.

Old business was the order of the day as the Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Board of Supervisors breezed through a light agenda Monday night that featured mostly talk about long-term planning issues.

Among the weightier issues was a decision to tiptoe toward new dog park discussions as well as word that a potential windfall conservation easement could be worth less than previously anticipated.

Negotiations between the Anchorage School District and the federal government over funding for damage sustained by Anchorage schools in the November 2018 earthquake could take months or years and may result in the district turning down millions in disaster relief funds.

The biggest sticking point is insurance. According to ASD Chief Operating Officer Tom Roth, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to require the district to carry earthquake insurance “in perpetuity” if it accepts federal reimbursement for certain repairs.

There will be a legislative town hall meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle River Town Center building (12001 Business Boulevard) in Eagle River.

Sen. Lora Reinbold (District G) and Reps. Sharon Jackson (District 13) and Kelly Merrick (District 14) will meet with constituents in advance of the upcoming legislative session in Juneau.

The Chugiak boys basketball team ended the Dimond Prep Shootout boys basketball tournament with a 61-41 win over Kodiak Saturday to claim seventh place.

Chugiak had the lead after the first quarter for the third staight game and this time the lead stood up. The Mustangs were never seriously threatened, leading 33-21 at halftime and pushing their lead to as many as 22 points down the stretch.

Emily Walsh used a dominant freestyle leg to edge teammate Claire Nelson and win the girls title at the A/B Skiathlon cross-country ski races Saturday at a chilly Kincaid Park in Anchorage.

The duo’s 1-2 finish helped lift the Eagle River girls to a girls team victory over second-place West at the annual dual-technique races.

It’ll be Friday night lights hockey style this Friday, Jan. 17 as rivals Chugiak and Eagle River face off for the second time this season and the Chugiak/Eagle River girls hockey team (finally) plays in the Alaska Girls Winter Classic.

The Mustangs knocked off the Wolves 5-3 in their first meeting last month. The 7:15 p.m. contest at the Harry J. McDonald Center in Eagle River is crucial for both teams in the Cook Inlet Conference standings, where the third-place Mustangs are 5-4-0 — just ahead of the 4-4-1 Wolves.

Chugiak will play in the consolation round of the Dimond Prep Shootout boys basketball tournament Friday after dropping a tight decision to Wasilla Thursday afternoon at Dimond High.

The Mustangs led by as many as six points in the first half but cooled off down the stretch to drop a 43-36 decision to the Warriors. They’ll face Juneau-Douglas at 4 p.m. Friday for a chance to play in Saturday’s fourth-place game.

Eagle River and Chugiak swept through a quartet of home bowling matches Thursday at the Eagle River Bowl.

Kendric Siders had the highest game of the day to lead the Eagle River boys to a 33-2 win over Bartlett. Siders fired a 258 for the undefeated Wolves.

Allison Szewcyk had a team-high 190 game to lead the Eagle River girls to an identical 33-2 win over the Golden Bears. Both Eagle River teams are the defending Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League champions, with the Eagle River girls winning the last three and five of the last six ASBL titles.

Presents are unwrapped, the turkey’s all been eaten and it’s time for local squads to settle in for a new year of high school sports.

Temperatures were below zero Wednesday night outside the Steve Primis Auditorium in Chugiak, where public reaction to a trio of new tax proposals presented by Anchorage Assembly members wasn’t much warmer.

“I’m for no taxes,” Chugiak’s Jo Al Hintz told assembly members in what would prove to be a common theme among those who testified. “I don’t want any taxes — you spend the money you’ve got and then it’s over.”

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.

A 24-year-old Palmer man was arrested on New Year’s Day after he allegedly failed to tell police he was armed with one firearm and sitting on another when they contacted him following a citizen’s report.

Plagued by low-water pressure and questions about water quality, residents of the Forest Park trailer court in Chugiak have been struggling with a boil-water alert issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for more than a year.

The notice was issued in May of 2018 after several complaints from residents, said Heather Newman, with DEC’s water testing and drinking water program.

Local skiers Michael Earnhart, Adrianna Proffitt and Max Beiergrohslein mixed it up with some of the country’s top athletes over the weekend at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Houghton, Michigan.

Earnhart was the fifth-fastest junior during freestyle sprint qualifying on Jan. 2 but failed to advance past the quarterfinals. Proffitt and Beiergrohslein did not advance past qualifying in their sprint races.

It’s meeting time.

A flurry of public meetings are planned in the first half of January as groups return to regular schedules following the holiday break and planning begins for the municipal budget process.

On Wednesday at 6 p.m., the Anchorage Assembly will hold a special public forum at Chugiak High to discuss Anchorage’s fiscal situation. The meeting was called in order to gauge public opinion on the upcoming budget, according to Assembly Chair Felix Rivera.

While 2019 was a year of rebuilding in Eagle River, 2020 promises to be one of renewal as several businesses plan to open or reopen their doors downtown in the first months of the year.

Planet Fitness franchisee Dan Afrasiabi hopes his new business on the Old Glenn Highway can help energize the main drag through town.

“Hopefully we’ll kick-start that,” said Afrasiabi, whose gym is set to open in early February.

Editor’s note: The year 2019 was an eventful one in Chugiak-Eagle River, where efforts to rebuild following the 2018 earthquake dominated the headlines. Other big news included continued hot weather in Southcentral Alaska and the emergence of a renewed effort to separate Chugiak-Eagle River from the Municipality of Anchorage. Here’s a look back at the headlines from the past 12 months (or click on the headline to read more):


Helen Wilson used a precision performance in Vermont to punch her ticket to Switzerland.

The Eagle River biathlete dominated the U.S. Biathlon Association Junior Trials Dec. 28-31, winning two of her three races to qualify for her fourth IBU Youth & Junior World Biathlon Championships to be held later this month in Switzerland.


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