What Makes an Alaskan?

Most of those I met who live in Alaska first went there for a week, or a month, or the summer — and never left.

Alaskans are individualists. And sometimes they're second-chancers.

They don't like to be bothered with rules and other people's restrictions. But in Alaska, among these loners, there's a real sense of community.

"We go our own ways; we come together," Smith said. "And there's a sense of — I think maybe of building something. So each of our talents will be pooled with another independent person's talents, and we grow something we couldn't have as individuals."

The state of Alaska, population still listed at fewer than 700,000 hardy souls, will be a half-century old come January. It'll be cold, then. And that seems fitting.


Read or listen to the NPR story here.
I came up for the summer 30 years ago, it's been a long wild summer...

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June 30, 2008 in alaska | Permalink | Comments (0)

Governor's jet to be sold on eBay

Jet_1With an eBay account and about $2.5 million, you too can fly in the state jet that cost former Gov. Frank Murkowski so much political pain in his failed re-election campaign.

Read here.

It doesn't appear to be posted to eBay yet.

Buy here.

December 13, 2006 in alaska, we don't care how they do it outside! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Of late, death has seized too many of Alaska's remaining giants

The unique nature of Alaska comes not from the beauty of it's land but from the independant nature of it's people. Traveling in Botswana, Africa I met a British couple that had spent two weeks in Alaska and met one 'local'. That's like visiting an art musum with your eyes closed.

I meet Herbie in 1980 after one of his legendary Iditarod sprints. Susan's daughter is in dance with my daughter, we worked stage crew on the Nutcracker just two Decembers ago. Most Alaskan's could probably tell you a story or two about these folks, they will be greatly missed.

"Statistics don't exist for this kind of thing, but Alaska must lead the nation when it comes to living legends. The state is young enough that some of its first leaders and explorers are still around. Its vastness and mystique act like a magnet for the kind of people who become legends. Its remoteness and hostile climate inspire the resourcefulness and resiliency that produce legends.

We walk with giants because they walk with us."

Read more here. (registration required)

December 8, 2006 in alaska, people, the north, we don't care how they do it outside! | Permalink | Comments (0)

Butcher says she will conquer leukemia

With the single-minded focus she once applied to winning 1,100-mile sled dog races, four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher has launched a seven-month campaign to beat her leukemia and an associated blood disease.

"My whole life has been about challenges -- I love challenges," she said Friday.

More here.

December 10, 2005 in alaska, people | Permalink | Comments (0)

4-time Iditarod champ diagnosed with leukemia

Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champ Susan Butcher, who battled ferocious Bering Sea storms to dominate dog-mushing in the 1980s and become one of the nation's most celebrated sportswomen, is now fighting for her life in a Seattle hospital.

Link here.

December 9, 2005 in alaska | Permalink | Comments (0)

JuneauEmpire.com: Local: Rush is on as dividend deadline drops 03/31/05

Today is the last day to file for the 2005 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

The Permanent Fund Dividend Division is expecting 70,000 Alaskans to file today - 60,000 by paper and 10,000 online.

"Every year, we see a big spike in the last week, with the biggest one on March 31," said Paul Dick, chief of operations of the division. "The deadline is the motivator for some people."

The division projects about 631,000 people will have applied for the 2005 dividend. The state will announce the amount of the 2005 dividend Sept. 21.

Last year the division denied 1,300 dividend applications because of late filing.

The dividend program, which was enacted in 1982, distributes a share of fund investment earnings to every qualified Alaska resident every year. Last year, about 600,760 Alaskans received $919.84 each.

Rush here.

March 31, 2005 in alaska | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Swift Report: White House Exploring 'Rapture' Contingency Plans

The White House is reportedly exploring contingency plans in the event that President Bush and other prominent Christians are 'raptured.' But succession plans are complicated by Vice President Dick Cheney's poor health and the fact that Representative Tom DeLay, like President Bush, will be summoned to heaven along with millions of other Christians.

Rise here.

Move to Alaska quick, Uncle Ted may soon be President Ted.

January 5, 2005 in alaska, humor, politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wunago -- Your guide to Wheelchair Accessible Travel -- www.wunago.com

Contrary to rumor, Wunago is not an ancient tribe of wheelchair warriors. The name "Wunago" comes from a desire many people with disabilities have. They "want to go" places and see new things and experience everything life has to offer. Based on his personal travel experiences,l LorenlWorthingtonlrecognized that travel is far less stressful if you have a clear understanding of what type of accessibility lies ahead. More over, when you hear about a great place to visit that offers a wheelchair-friendly environment, you have a tendency to go explore.

Travel here.

September 20, 2004 in accessability, africa, alaska, ecuador, symptom management, Travel, treatment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Religious legacy lives on in Alaska

The Russian Orthodox church in Alaska is claiming a resurgence in a faith that most people predicted would die out. When Russia sold Alaska to America for $7.2m in 1867 it left little trace on the state - except its religion.

More here,

September 12, 2004 in alaska, spirituality | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senate candidates slow to take a stand

Alaska is home to more than 70,000 disabled adults, but those voters have no obvious champion among the leading contenders in the U.S. Senate race.

Neither do the homeless or their advocates. And gay voters have only a long-shot candidate to voice support of same-sex civil marriages.

For the most part, candidates are treading lightly around unpopular or divisive issues, focusing their official Web sites on catchphrases like energy development, veterans affairs and gun rights. They talk about their commitment to health care and social issues, without directly addressing disabled or homeless constituents.

"Alaskans with disabilities are a significant voting bloc, and they're not getting adequate attention from the U.S. Senate candidates," said Kelly Donnelly with the Center for Human Development at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "It reflects our society at large, which still looks at the disabled as a segregated population."

More here.

September 12, 2004 in advocacy, alaska, politics | Permalink | Comments (0)