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MAR. 2016



www. MAKEASCENEAK .com MAR. 2016


LIVE music

MAR. 2016


Contributed by Jeanette Gardiner

When cabin fever started getting the best of Palmer in 2010, a small cadre of business owners and managers came together with a combination of trepidation and curiosity to flesh out the concept of a spring fling for women Who Let the Girls Out. Could it be done? Would the temperamental spring weather allow folks to get around comfortably? Would it be a draw to the winter weary community?

Now in its sixth year, this multi-faceted annual event involves most of the downtown Palmer businesses and many community leaders and supporters. There aren’t enough chairs at any of the local gathering places to seat the number of people around the planning table! Over 50 businesses collaborate to create the most exciting and entertaining combination of art, music, retail, food, education and community they possibly can. There are players you expect to see: restaurateurs, retailers, the art and news community, musicians and community volunteers. But what may surprise you is the presence of local leaders and businesses – insurance brokers, city

This diverse and engaged community of planners and doers has something wonderful in store for you ladies this spring, so pull out your phone and mark your calendar for the weekend of April 22nd and 23rd and join us right here in downtown Palmer for Who Let the Girls Out! Jeanette Gardiner lives in Palmer, Alaska, and is the Owner of SeaStar Strategies LLC - Learn more at

Palmer Museum of History & Art: Live, Nurture & Share Art Live, nurture, and share art. For the next two months, the Palmer Museum is all about immersing, supporting and exchanging art with our community. To help us achieve this goal, we have created several opportunities for our local residents to learn more through art.

In April, the Museum will be supporting and shining a spotlight on our younger artist community through its temporary exhibit, Beyond the Classroom, a high school juried art show. This will be the second year that the Museum will be hosting the exhibit. Beyond the Classroom is open to all high school students, grades 9-12 that are enrolled in a high school program (public, home school or alternative). The exhibit is designed to showcase and inspire high

school students to continue making art a part of their lives. Applications for Beyond the Classroom are currently available on the museum web-site at or forms can be picked up at the Museum located in downtown Palmer at 723 S. Valley Way.  The Museum has also recently extended the application deadline to Thursday, March 31st.  Beyond the Classroom will be on display at the Museum for the entire month of April with a special artist reception to be held during the Palmer Art Walk on Saturday, April 9 from 2:00 – 6:00PM. 

If you call it art, then it’s art! The month of April is not just about nurturing artists but also about exchanging it with others. Do you have some art at home or in the office that once held a shiny appeal that captivated you but has since lost its luster?  Then this is the event for you! The museum will be hosting its first FREE Art Swap on Saturday, April 23rd from 12:00 – 4:00PM as part of the 2016 Who Let the Girls Out festivities.  The museum will even be pulling out some of its surplus art from over the years to help start off the event by filling some

of the shelves of our Art Swap tent. To participate,  all you have to do is select one to three pieces of art that you own that you no longer want and bring them to the Swap where you will exchange it for a new piece of art.  There is no cost involved.  When you arrive, you will be asked to take a picture with the art you are swapping out and then another with the art you are leaving with.  You are merely recirculating your art and helping someone else to do the same.  In fact, you may even want to visit the Art Swap tent several times throughout the day since the art selection will vary depending on what is dropped off and what is taken.  We are also leaving the definition of “art” open for interpretation.  So that means, no restrictions.  Each individual has their own idea of what art is so there may be paintings, sculptures, photographs, clothing, jewelry or even furniture.  Be sure to stop on by the Museum during the months of March and April to join us in living, nurturing and sharing art within our community.

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First, for the month of March, the Museum will be hosting the interactive exhibit Bringing Art to Life. In an effort to bring art closer to the viewer, the Palmer Museum wanted to create a kinesthetic learning experience for our visitors. The result, are six tableaux vivants recreating famous portraits where the visitor becomes the main figure. Tableaux vivant is often referred to as a playful pastime, but is has also provided a great amount of purpose in the cultural history of the United States. Translated from French, tableaux vivant means ‘living pictures.’ The genre peaked in popularity between 1830 and 1920. During a performance of tableaux vivant, a cast of characters represented scenes from literature, art, history, or everyday life on a stage. After the curtain went up, the models

remained silent and frozen for roughly thirty seconds. Particular emphasis was placed on staging, pose, costume, makeup, lighting, and the facial expression of the models. Sometimes a poem or music accompanied the scene, and often a large wooden frame outlined the perimeter of the stage, so as to reference the frame of a painted canvas. Using painted backdrops and props provided by the Museum, visitors can step into the paintings to gain a better understanding of the artists’ purpose and meaning. By attempting to recreate the painting, visitors will be taking a closer examination of the work which will help them to further analyze it.


The prospect of creating a new event in a community renown for a rich history of extraordinary events is a little daunting. Colony Christmas, Colony Days, the Midsummer Garden and Art Faire, Valley Arts Alliance’s Wearable Art Show, the blow-out Small Business Saturday in November and the granddaddy of all, the Alaska State Fair, all take shape and come off in spectacular fashion right here in Palmer. These annual events draw crowds of family, friends and neighbors who gather to create tradition, celebrate wholesome fun and enjoy good food. And all of these

events take place thanks to the skill, dedication and magic of a diverse and talented group of people.

council representatives, and business property owners that have every inch of space they own filled to the brim with long term tenants – who continue to support this amazing event year after year.




Non-Profit Directory ARTS:

Families & Children:

Valley Arts Alliance

March of Dimes Alaska Chapter Valley Arts Alliance, bringing the community together through the arts... We are a place for both new and established artists of all types—painters, sculptors, musicians, and those involved in the performing arts—to network and to experiment with new ideas and media. We work with local libraries, schools, museums, art councils, and music and art groups to create more venues for the arts, and to help promote art related events. Join us at our informal weekly meetings, every Thursday @ 11 at Sophia’s Cafe, 9191 E Frontage Road, Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. Check out our archives (907) 276-4111 The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. About 4 million babies were born in the United States last year, and the March of Dimes helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. The March of Dimes: working together for stronger, healthier babies.


CONSERVATION: Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (907) 745-5544 It’s not just for hippies anymore! Everyone in the Mat-Su valley can recycle. Drop your stuff off Tues – Fri 10:30 to 6 and Sat 10:30 to 3:30. Recycle cardboard, magazines, this newspaper and more at your community recycling center. Remember to REDUCE, REUSE, and then RECYCLE! We are located at 9465 E Chanlyut Circle, next to the MSB Animal Shelter at the MSB Central Landfill. Volunteer opportunities available. Make a difference in your community! Check out our website for details - Call us at 907.745.5544 with questions or comments. (907) 373-4357 MY House is a homeless youth drop in center with two for-profit businesses that train and employ homeless youth. Gathering Grounds Cafe is a coffee shop with homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Steamdriven is a trendy thrift shop featuring Steampunk items made from repurposed donations by our youth designers. Fiend2Clean and Young People in Recovery offer support for substance abuse recovery with activities and events. We offer transitional housing for qualified 18-24 year olds, Outreach services to connect homeless youth, organizations and groups to services, and access to Public Health and NineStar job/education services on site.

SOCIAL ADVOCACY: Wasilla Homeless-Committee


MAR. 2016

Mat-Su Regional Adult Basic Education (Nine Star) (907) 373-7833 Mat-Su ABE provides basic education in math, language arts and English as a second language (ESL), aiming to raise student skills beyond the high-school level in order to pass tests like the GED, enter training programs or college, and advance on the job. Enrollment is open to all adult residents of Alaska, yearround. Youth Employment for ages 16-24 not in school -- get a job, keep a job, advance on the job. Nine Star 300 N Willow 373-3006 (in the MYHouse building) (907) 521-2949 Wasilla Homeless-Committee is a 100% volunteer organization funded by private donations and regular fundraising events. Our sole purpose is to assist the homeless, those at risk of homelessness, and others who do not meet the criteria for help that is required by other advocacy agencies in the valley. Wasilla Homeless-Committee provides case management, housing search assistance, move in assistance, job search assistance, clothing, furniture, help with transportation, and resource guidance for homeless and disenfranchised in the Mat-Su Valley. Visit our website for application, or call 907521-2949. Find us on Facebook wasillahomelesscommitteepage


Art & Business

ARTISTS UNCORKED: THE BUSY-NESS OF BUSINESS Contributed by Diana Bland Artists Uncorked With a large plate of steamer clams and a harbor view of the Oregon coast before me, I get into the ‘pondering’ mode. My husband is relaxing on the couch with a large beer and a view of the TV! It’s football season. I wondered about the seemingly human motivation for such busy lives. Mine included. Jobs, gyms, meetings, deadlines, errands and children going in every which direction. As a young mother of 3 boys, I remember this very well.

Breathing the fresh salty air and watching the harbor boats sway ever so slightly on the current. There is a lighthouse in the background. These are vivid memories.

In some cases it is need, but I suspect a lot less often than one might think. Bigger homes, faster cars, 15 coats, 32 pairs of shoes, a kitchen gadget for everything except digesting your recent meal. Success? Or Distraction? Skipping work this morning to help with my 2 youngest grandsons, I feel the nag of responsibility to ‘get busy’, get something done, to be ‘at work’. But sitting next to me is a 3 year old with big blue eyes holding up his favorite book for me to read. I remind myself of the few and intermittent memories that I have of these times with my own children.


I relax and I let it go. Submitted by Diana Bland, owner operator of Artists Uncorked, A Creative Entertainment Studio and ‘PAINT AND SIP Company in Downtown Palmer.

SANDRA COOK: An Art Full Life Contributed by Sandra Cook Over the years I’ve heard many friends and clients say, “I have no talent at all, I can’t do art. My mother, aunt, cousin, daughter got all the talent.” And I would beg to differ. Consider the word art, a noun: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.


You better believe that artist put their heart and soul into their art work. It is what brings art alive, just as you put your heart and soul into cooking a great meal for family or friends; think creatively about an outing you are planning. It is about appreciating what is good in life, and there is always something good. We all live an art full life, whether it is appreciating a particular piece of art or artist’s work, or going about your daily life in a thoughtful and caring way. Sandra is a ceramic and fiber artist living in Palmer. She will be doing Raku Firing for the upcoming Who Let the Girls Out in Palmer on April 23rd.


MAR. 2016

We can all live an art full life. That artist might not be reflected in painting the Mona Lisa or sculpting a David and yet there is art within all of us. Anytime you create a beautiful garden or arrange flowers in a Mason jar, you are calling on the inner aesthetic within you. You create a beautiful room, picking out just the right wall color or add pillows in a certain way, arrange family photos above the fireplace again that is

the aesthetic within you. When doing any creative activity, you are caring, mindful and drawing on that inner aesthetic. Whether it is a painting by a famous artist or pottery from a local potter, they are drawing on that same aesthetic to create their works of art. When you touch or look at a piece of art the artist is in the work.


Memories of those days are blurred and jumbled, and in some cases missing altogether. Thank goodness for photographs. Sitting in this quaint coastal town in Oregon, I have but one agenda. To finish off 2 lbs. of buttery steamer clams and enjoy the view.

I’ve worked hard at my jobs and responsibilities over the years. At times way too hard, but not as hard as some. It’s competition, it’s money, it’s pride and ego, it’s the American way.


Community Events Art Mat-Su College Tundra Talks Book and Seminar Series 03-03-2016 - 6:00 PM Mat-Su College 8295 East College Drive (907) 745-9753 Mat-Su Friends of NRA Banquet 03-12-2016, 4:30 PM Raven Hall, Alaska State Fairgrounds Mat-Su Friends of NRA (907) 315-6456 Wasilla Community Health Fair 03-12-2016 - 8:00 AM Alaska Health Fair Wasilla Senior Center Alaska Health Fair (907) 278-0234 St. Patricks Day Potluck 03-18-2016 - 5:30 PM Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. 1301 S Century Circle (907) 376-3104

MAR. 2016

Governor’s Prayer Breakfast March 19, 2016 7-7:30 AM: Breakfast 8 AM: Breakfast Anchorage Mat-Su Republican Women Meeting 3-19-2016 – 10 AM Mat-Su Republican Women MTA Downstairs, 480 Commercial Dr. Palmer

Quilts of Valor Sewing Group 03-24-2016 - 10:00 AM Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. (907) 376-3104 Mat-Su College Tundra Talks Book and Seminar Series 03-24-2016 - 6:00 PM Mat-Su College 8295 East College Drive (907) 745-9753 Ham Radio General Meeting 03-25-2016 - 7:00 PM Matanuska Amateur Radio Association Fire Station 61, Wasilla Ak Good Friday Service 03-25-2016, 7:00 PM First Baptist Church of Palmer 1150 E. Helen Drive, Palmer First Baptist Church of Palmer (907) 745-4483 Equinox Women’s Film Festival March 25-26, 2016 - 10 AM Mat-Su NOW and Mat-Su College Glenn Massay Theater, 8295 East College Dr, Palmer, AK 99645 (907) 373-6977 Breakfast with the Easter Bunny 3-26-2016 - 9:00 AM CCS Early Learning Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (907) 373-7000

DINO-LIGHT: A Glow-in-the-Dark Adventure! 03-26-2016 - 2:00 PM Alaska Junior Theater Discovery Theatre (907) 272-7546 ASC Pop Warner Cheer Clinic March 26, April 9th, April 23rd and May 28th - 5:30 PM Mat-Su Borough Gym (830) 2858260 Easter Sunday Service 03-27-2016, 10:30 AM First Baptist Church of Palmer 1150 E. Helen Drive, Palmer First Baptist Church of Palmer (907) 745-4483 Grow Your Pantry on a Dime Great Meals for Less 03-30-2016 - 5:30 PM Mat-Su Health Services 1363 West Spruce Ave. Wasilla, AK (907) 376-2411 Mat-Su College Tundra Talks Book and Seminar Series 04-07-2016 - 6:00 PM Mat-Su College 8295 East College Drive, Palmer, AK (907) 745-9753

Submit Events Online

Nourished: Health Coaching Services - Friends Cooking Class April 7, 2016 - 6 PM $60 for 1 person/$80 for 2 Butte, Alaska (907) 982-9933

No, You’re Not Crazy-Your Plants Are Talking to You 04-19-2016 - 7:00 PM Alaska Center for Acupuncture Palmer, Koslosky Bldg (907) 745 8688 6th Annual Who Let the Girls Out 04-22-2016 & 04-23-2016 Downtown Palmer Fun! Music, Games, Vendors & More Find Us On Facebook

Acutonics Sound Healing Class Offered Levels I & II April 22, 23 & 24 and 29, 30 & May 1 - 9:00 AM Carmen Cicotti LMT, CAcP Senior Spirit Path Yoga Center in Anchorage (360) 928-6498

Nourished: Health Coach ServicesAdult Cooking Class May 19, 2016 - 6 PM $60 for 1 person/$80 for 2 Butte, Alaska 907-982-9933

Greg Gusse & the Feral Cats Concert 4-26-2016 - 1 PM The Gallery, Palmer 907-745-1420

Nourished: Health Coach Services - Hot Mess Mama May 27, 2016 - 6 PM $60 for 1 person/$80 for 2 Butte, Alaska 907-982-9933

Alaska Trauma Center: 2nd Annual Sucide Awareness Symposium June 7, 8, & 10, 2016 - 8 AM FREE, Palmer Train Depot (907) 775-8701

Valley Garden Club Annual Plant Sale 05-28-2016 - 9:00 AM Valley Garden Club Boys & Girls Club 3700 Bogard Rd Wasilla

Nourished: Health Coach ServicesMother’s Day Cooking Class Event May 5, 2016 - 6 PM $60 for 1 person/$80 for 2 Butte, Alaska 907-982-9933 MAR. 2016

Women of Science & Technology Day 04-23-2016 - 9:00 AM Girl Scouts of Alaska Mat-Su College (907) 248-2250

Roller Derby House Cup 05-07-2016 - 4:00 PM BOOM TOWN DERBY DAMES Curtis Menard Sports Center, Wasilla, AK


Building Resilient Systems: Sustaining Your Community and Family April 15-17, 2016 - 7:00 PM Alaska Folk School, a Program of Northern Susitna Institute Northern Susitna Institute (907) 733-7111

Valley Arts & Crafts Guild Craft Bazaar April 23-24, 2016 - 10:00 AM Valley Arts & Craft Guild Palmer Senior Center, 1132 S. Chugach St., Palmer, AK. 99645


Community Events

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Your Journey Towards Health


Contributed by Winona Benson Nourished Health Coaching Our health is shaped by many factors; our relationships; our ability and willingness to take time to relax, be creative, and to experience joy; our home environment; our finances; our career; our social life; and our physical activity and nutrition.

a powerful tool that can positively alter your thinking. Include a small goal for the day, something achievable that also is fun, relaxing or inspiring. Accomplishing bite size goals builds our confidence and encourages us to keep moving forward. Take time to reflect back on your day too.

With so many variables that can put us at risk for stress and disease, it is important to reflect, regroup and set personal goals to get us on track for a healthy lifestyle.

What choices did I make that took me toward my goal? What choices did I make that did not serve me well? What did I do that fed my body, my mind, my relationships, my spiritual growth? End with a positive – a thought of thankfulness, a positive word or a prayer.

One effective method of becoming aware of your life intricacies is to journal. Start the morning by writing down your thoughts, feelings and even your intentions for the day. Then record what you are thankful for. This can be difficult when times are tough, but it is

Our career and finances can be extremely fulfilling or stressful. Stress builds up cortisol in the body and cortisol causes inflammation. Inflammation causes stress on our immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness and disease. That


Your saving? Your income? There are many wonderful and free resources that can help you get on track. Check out or www. for ideas. Your relationships are vital and interweave into your whole life. Communication, creating boundaries, creating opportunities to spend time together, being generous, thoughtful, and being dependable are just some aspects for healthy relationships. Who in your circle is important to you? Think of ways to nurture your relationships, act on it, and not only will it affect your happiness but it will have a positive effect on your health as well. Our eating and exercise habits have a tremendous effect on our health. Sometimes we just need to reboot and

get back on track. Other times, we might need some help. There is so much conflicting information about what is healthy, how much to eat, what to cook, what diet is best, and so on. Perhaps you could benefit from seeking help from a Health Coach. A Health Coach can provide support, guidance, and information to motivate you to make positive changes in your lifestyle. Our health is shaped by many things, but ultimately by our choices. Are you ready to make some changes? Would you like to have more balance in your life? What choices will you make to move you in that direction? Your health, your growth, your journey. You are worth it! Winona Benson, Health Coach and owner of Nourished Health Coaching Services, LLC.

Big Lake Recycling Fair

All Recyclers are invited to come, display and sell your products.Â

Saturday April 2, 2-4 p.m. at Turkey Red in Palmer. All are welcome.

Crafters show what can be done with recycled materials!

Our featured speaker, APRN News Director Lori Townsend, will talk about bias in the media.

Contributed by Patty Fisher Mid-Valley Recycling

This is a chance for commercial companies and personal crafters to show what can be done with recyclable materials.

Get an update on the station, elect board members, and enjoy Turkey Red appetizers. Oh, and renew your membership or join.

April 23, from 11:00am to 3:00pm, East Lake Mall, 3261 Big Lake Rd.

Radio Free Palmer Annual Meeting

MAR. 2016

being said, take a look at your finances, honestly. Do you need to make some changes with your spending?

Saturday April 2, 2-4 p.m. at Turkey Red in Palmer.

April 23rd

Sponsored by Mid-Valley Recycling: an organization encouraging recycling in the Valley.

There is no charge to participate or attend. Contact Jo Walch at 892-2400 for additional information and to reserve a space.

The Machetanz Arts Festival (MAF), hosted by Mat-Su College, will present its 6th annual festival May 31st -June 5th in Palmer, Alaska.

One of the most unique workshops, and sure to sell out, is the Build Your Own 3-D Printer workshop.

Check Machetanz Arts Festival on Facebook for frequent updates as the date draws nearer. For more information please contact Felicia Desimini at 907-745-9755, or email

MAR. 2016

This year promises to be the biggest, most diverse, and inclusive offering of workshops to date with 32 workshops: Russian-Born Sculptor Simon Kogan, local favorite Pat Garley, the 2016 Governor’s Award Winner; and the 5-day Machetanz Film Festival are among this year’s features.

A favorite at last year’s festival, the writers’ workshops, will expand to 6 workshops along with the addition of 2 writers’ panel discussions.


Contributed by The Machetanz Art Festival





By Carmen Summerfield


Pat Garley has been designing and producing statues, plaques and trophies at his Palmer studio, Arctic Fires Bronze, since 2000. He works mainly with bronze, but has cast a variety of items in iron and aluminum. And recently, the Iditarod Trail Committee selected Pat to create the Iditarod Winner’s Trophy. The Iditarod Trail, as originally planned in 1908, started in Seward and ended in Nome. In the first decade of the 20th Century, thousands of gold-seekers traveled this route to the Iditarod goldfields, and gold-carrying sled dog teams became a regular sight on the trail. But by the 1920’s the stampede for gold was over, and the construction of new rail lines resulted in the Iditarod Trail falling into disuse. In 1967, during the 100th anniversary of America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia, Joe Redington Sr. and Dorothy Page decided to help revive and reenergize the sport of mushing in Alaska. The Iditarod trail seemed ideal for a spectacular dog race to wake Alaskans up to what mushers and their dogs had done for Alaska. In the years since that first 50-mile centennial race, the Iditarod has grown into Alaska’s greatest sporting spectacle—the 1049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome known around the world as “The Last Great Race on Earth”. Pat’s Iditarod Winner’s Trophy, a 97-pound bronze masterpiece, features Redington and his lead dog Feets under the Burled Arch in Nome. Pat’s design is based on sketches from Bill Devine, and recreates Redington’s signature from one of his race bibs. “It’s an honor to be able to make this trophy,” said Pat. “I don’t mush, so this is my way to get to be a part of the Iditarod.”

MAR. 2016

In recognition of his skill and accomplishments, Pat received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Individual Artist. Congratulations, Pat! To see more of Pat’s work, or to see Pat actually casting metal, come to Art on Fire, an outdoor iron casting event at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry on Saturday, June 25. More info can be found at

“A few years ago, Pat was commissioned by the Seward-Iditarod Trailblazers Association to create a life-sized bronze statue of a gold prospector and his dog, which is permanently on display outside the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward.”

Contributed by Town Square Art Gallery Town Square Art Gallery in the Carrs Wasilla Mall will be featuring Wasilla artist, Cheryl Lacy, at the Second Saturday Art Show, April 9th from 1-4. Refreshments will be served. Vibrant, whimsical creatures escape from reality and spring into your heart with the painting techniques Cheryl uses. Beaded jewelry and murals sparkle with her artistic endeavors in an unusual twist to traditional beading.

Cheryl was also awarded a commission in the Alaska 1% for the Arts Program for the Mat Su Career and Technical School. Cheryl’s enthusiasm is evident as she explains, “I have been drawing and painting all my life – I live, breathe and NEED to draw every day. My art reflects the journey to learn more about myself, where I came from, and introduce people to Alaska Native culture.  I love to create stories with personified animals.  My animals can get away with a lot of mischief and usually make people chuckle.  My favorite mediums are pencil, pen, charcoal, watercolors and acrylics.  I also use non-traditional material to make pictures – beads and found objects.” 

Town Square Art Gallery in the Carrs Wasilla Mall will be featuring Wasilla artist, Cheryl Lacy, at the Second Saturday Art Show, April 9th from 1-4.


Cheryl Lacy is an acclaimed Alaska Native Silver-Hand artist producing and selling her artwork in Alaska since 2001. Cheryl’s artwork is Native and Alaskan inspired. Her creations have been published in magazines and bead catalogs, have traveled the United States in various art exhibits and been featured in select galleries throughout the state.

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“I am one of the luckiest people because my work is something that I love to do. To be able to tell stories through artwork, whether it’s my cultural history, fun things to do, or places I’ve been, brings me great joy.  I can’t wait to see where this road takes me….” Please join Town Square Art Gallery as we proudly premier Cheryl and her talents. Her exhibit will be on display for the month of April.

MAR. 2016

For more information, please contact Town Square Art Gallery 907-376-0123, or stop by during gallery hours, Monday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-5.



that handles sheep or fiber goat fleece. (There IS a qiviut mill in North Pole)


Here at AK Frayed Knot we are able to skirt, wash, pick, card or comb and even spin your fiber for you. Wait! What do all of those words mean? For those of you who are interested in seeing what this is all about, there is a short video on my facebook page https:// alaska/videos/10205530925940991/ Meanwhile, skirting is pulling off all of the nasty bits that drag on the ground and get covered with feces, an inevitable (and unenviable) part of farming. Contributed by Becky Oviatt Owner, AK Frayed Knot Shearing Season is nearly upon us. After shearing, you will have several fleeces, but maybe not enough to send out to a mill in the lower 48. Shipping has become prohibitive and Alaska does not currently have a fiber mill

Washing, is just that, washing the fleece. You do this by soaking the fiber in hot water and special soap. Many people just use Dawn dishwashing liquid. Then you rinse it in the same temperature water and wash it again. NEVER agitate it, as that will felt the fiber.

A Birthday Party – Italian Style By Marian Romano

MAR. 2016

In 2011 I had the amazing good fortune to spend 6 months studying the culinary arts in Italy. This took place at the restaurant where I was doing my internship, while in Calabria, the owners were from Naples. Last night was a family birthday party, just aunts, uncles, and cousins-about 60. A simple dinner, it took only two days to prepare.

Antipasto was a trio of crostini. Bread is purchased daily from a bakery on the next block, sliced by hand (usually mine), and toasted in the Neapolitan stone pizza oven at the end of a long handled peel. No oil, no garlic, just bread. The first was topped with an eggplant condiment. We started with light purple eggplants, pure white on the inside, nary a seed- no trace of bitterness. Cubed, it was tossed into a huge skillet to fry in at least an inch of

After washing, you press the water out of the fiber with your hands, and roll it in a towel to get as much moisture out as possible, or spin the water out with a spin dryer or salad spinner. Then let it finish drying on a wire or other rack where air can get around it. Once it is dry, you have the choice of what you want to do with the fiber. At AK Frayed Knot, we have classes on how to do processing (skirting and washing); picking, carding and combing; spinning (spindle and wheel); dying your wool; knitting; crochet; beginning weaving; nuno felting; making stitch markers and qiviut earrings plus lots more. Or just stop by and take a short tour! See our offerings on our website Don’t forget to check out all the fun activities Palmer Merchants have planned for Who Let The Girls Out! April 22nd and 23rd.

EVOO with a few garlic cloves, followed by a liter of tomatoes passed through a food mill, sprinkled with a bit of basil, then simmered for an hour. Another was topped with diced tomato, EVOO, salt, and oregano. The tomatoes were large and small, but always lumpy with blemishes galore and they tasted wonderful.  The last was a tonno.  Chef took the oilpoached tuna, some mayonnaise and a little water and blender-ized it into a sauce! 

By Karen Harris It’s kind of like “launching into” or “jumping into” but it’s even better because it includes both breakfast and lunch foods! It’s what I call brunching into spring! Just in time for springing ahead, if you want to brunch into spring, here are easy ways to throw together a stylish and fun menu to enjoy with your friends.

In the same vein, a tropical theme is easy to pull off, and the fresh, light flavors are perfect for spring. Fresh fruit boats, with diced tropical fruits nestled into papayas that are cut horizontally into boats, are showy and will make it look like you’ve worked hard to create the brunch. Jerked chicken kabobs and slow-cooker gumbos or stews can round out your menu. Or, going with a classic Italian menu is never wrong: ante pasto including Italian pickled vegetables, platters of salame varieties and cheese

boards make perfect finger food and conversation starters. Go old school with numerous courses of simple, fresh pasta with a cream or tomato sauce, followed by a sausage and pasta dish, and then a chicken piccata or lasagna course. Mini portions of each course keeps the brunch light without becoming overwhelming. You can use muffin tins to create small, individual portions for lasagna or ziti. Loaves of quality artisan bread make terrific dippers for high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or add in the other flavors you enjoy such as pesto, marinara sauce, or even an Italian gorgonzola dip (1 cup crumbled gorgonzola, ½ c. mayonnaise, ½ c. cream cheese, dash of garlic salt). Be sure to warn guests to leave room for dessert: individual tiramisu portions in short jelly jars or juice glasses are fun, or make the traditional dessert in a beautiful footed, clear glass bowl. If you’ve got guests who want to bring an item, they can’t go wrong with chocolate—almost any will fit in with an Italian menu. Feeling the yearning for fresh greens and flowers poking through the soil? Go with a baby vegetable theme and decorate your tablescape with pots of emerging bulbs and flowers such as daffodils or crocuses. Crudité of baby carrots (with the greenery still

attached), radishes and early spring veggies are fun. For sautéed vegetables, choose baby pattypan squash, baby red potatoes, and baby zucchinis. Fred Meyer has a great selection of all of these. And the sky’s the limit for salads with baby greens—add in blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and sweet dressings such as Poppyseed or Catalina for fresh, springy flavors. Want to step up your game a notch? Look for micro greens, and garnish with shoots and young herbs. No brunch is complete without signature drinks. Capture the essence of your theme with a drink from that country or area, or make up your own. Just about everyone loves a Bellini or variation of it: use a light, sparkling prosecco or moscato. Place a raspberry or small strawberry in the bottom of your champagne flutes (they are about $4 for 4 at Walmart or mix and match with thrift store crystal), fill the glass 2/3 full with your sparkling white wine and add a sweet juice of choice. While peach juice makes the classic Italian Bellini, you can also favor apricot, white grape, or cran-raspberry to fit in with the flavor profiles of your other menu items. If you’re having an intimate party of a couple girlfriends, just getting a couple cans of Jumex peach or apricot juice from the Mexican area of the grocery store can work out well.

Any of these ideas pair well with traditional brunch items such as baked egg casseroles, sausage links, baked stuffed French toast, sweet breads, and pastries. Many people enjoy a sandwich board with make-your-own turkey or ham sandwiches with spreads, cheeses and vegetables to build the perfect sandwich, either on breads or specialty rolls. At Alaska Garden Gate B&B, for groups holding retreats or meetings, I’ve been playing with Caribbean flavors for spring. My killer banana bread that many guests remember is now amped up with crushed pineapple and chopped macadamia nuts. With a few easy twists, you can change up the dishes that you’re known for and give them a whole new taste for spring. Take the occasion of having over dear friends for brunch to try out a few new ideas! Here’s to brunching our way into spring! Karen Harris is the owner of Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages on Trunk Road. She has been a caterer to many groups in Palmer and the Valley, as well as cooking for her Bed and Breakfast. New this year, the B&B has a gift shop and bakery, selling fresh baked sweets and treats, as well as quality Alaska gifts by local artists.


For your menu, pull together all your favorite items to munch on, and add a couple items that tie the flavors together. Want an homage to newly restablished ties with Cuba? Cuban toasted pork sandwiches, seasoned black beans, and Cuba Libre drinks are delicious and a cubano flair lends to interesting conversation!

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Food, Community

MAR. 2016



Jesus Triumphs Over the Forces of Evil Contributed by Tom Stearns Wasilla Area Seniors Inc. The book of Colossians is divided into 2 sections. Chapters 1-2 are doctrinal and Chapters 3-4 are practical. Paul is writing to correct 5 heresies that have invaded the Colossian church.


Chapter 1 Paul explains the person of Christ and what He did. Colossians 1:15-19 states.”15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:

The Power of Prayer Contributed by Scott Laney My family’s life is a portrait of God’s healing love and the power of prayer. Two years ago, as I walked to a gas station early on a dark winter morning, I was struck by a passing vehicle going 60 mph.

MAR. 2016

I immediately died and was dead for at least 30 minutes. I found myself at Heaven’s gates and then returning to a broken body with only Jesus at my side. He carried me into the ambulance and stayed with me while I witnessed His


all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell;” Firstborn indicates His priority before all creation. Verse 16 provides the reason Christ is called the firstborn in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this. Since by Him were all things created, the (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Ephesians 1:21, 3:10). “Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers, “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these

healing power and love, resurrecting me back from the dead. My body was broken. I had broken legs, a broken skull and a broken arm. My first physical therapist informed me I wouldn’t walk for 2-5 years. Because of Gods love and mercy, the prayers for my recovery were answered and I walked in less than 1 year. Because of God’s love and healing power, I am alive and well today and can spread His word and witness to others who may not know Him. My grandmother had a heart that was dying and unable to beat for itself. Every step was difficult, every breath was a struggle.  With the wisdom God has given to our doctors, she would survive with a pacemaker. Our family’s prayers were again answered and she is now

heavenly beings reign, “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who yield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them Colossians 1:20-22, tells how Christ reconciled all things to Himself. “20 And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled 22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight: ”

who are at odds with Him back into a peaceful, proper relationship with Himself. Having laid this groundwork, Paul states is Chapter 2:14-15, “14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Jesus triumphed over Satan and his demonic forces. Jesus paid our sin debt. If we repent of our sin, believe on Him, we will spend eternity with Jesus our Savior.

Reconciliation is the act whereby God, through Christ’s atonement, brings men

How wonderful is that? Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001

living a healthy life, able to walk and breathe. Thank you Father.

as this. A true testament to the power of prayer.

My mother has suffered her entire life with asthma. After I started praying for her eyesight and her asthma to improve, they both showed a marked improvement. I can only say, prayers are answered but we do need to ask our Father in Heaven and pray for those in need.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. It can come in the form of a dream. My mother had such an experience. She awoke from a prophetic dream that my sister was going to have a baby girl. One week later, my sister had confirmed that she indeed was having a baby girl.

Addiction was a futile battle for my father. It raged through his life destroying his marriage to my mother and any other relationship that was in its way, including ours. By the grace of God and through the power of prayer, he overcame that 35-year demon in his life. He has been sober for 5 months now. Only God can perform a miracle such

Whether it is resurrection, spiritual gifts such as prophesy or healing, God is there for us all the time, every minute, every second. Just remember to pray and keep yourself close to Him. Do not lean on your own understanding but trust in Him with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5.

Triumph Over Adversity on myself to excel and win the coveted championship. Anything less would be a failure.   

Contributed by Vic Kohring

One that comes to mind occurred a long time ago in high school when I was obsessed with winning a state basketball championship. I loved the sport which I practically lived and breathed. It was far more important to me than school. It shouldn’t have been my first priority, especially over education, but it was. It became so important that I placed enormous, almost unrealistic, pressure

We got off to a blazing start, but fell into a downward spiral after going undefeated our first dozen games and ended the regular season with a crushing one-point loss. To make matters worse, I injured my back two days before the playoffs and was considered done for the year. I had difficulty walking, let alone running.

The semi-final game in the state tournament featured the two best teams, Dimond and Monroe of Fairbanks. Many considered it the championship, even though it was still technically the semis. We were getting blown out by Monroe and at the end of the first quarter were down 27-11. It was grim. By the end of the third, our coach took a chance and put me in the game for the first time, knowing how chronic my injury was. Operating on pure adrenaline and pent up frustration mixed with high emotion, I went crazy on the court, blocking seven shots and scoring a burst of ten points on 5 for 5 shooting all in one quick eight minute quarter, despite hobbling up and down the floor in pain. 

poured in half the contents, but then I saw the label and it was wine. Whew!  

perhaps because they are basted in garlic and very good, very fresh, local olive oil.

To this mélange, two bags of frozen peas were unceremoniously dumped. Vegetables receive interesting treatment here, they are cooked-to-death.  Pasta is toothsome, shrimp might be served raw, but vegetables, vegetables are cooked into olive drab mush, always.  Remarkably, they still taste good,

These poor little peas cooked for probably 30 minutes in the boiling pot when the chef’s wife tasted them for doneness. She covered the pot and let it go for another hour.  Apparently, they were still raw. About a half a case of bottled strained

The only explanation was divine intervention and that I was being used as an instrument of God as a testimony to my faith. God’s presence through me on the court was powerful and touched the hearts of a couple thousand people who witnessed what amounted to a spiritual event. I write these words on March 4, 2016 on the 40th anniversary of our state title. That evening in the West High gym, we defeated Ketchikan in the finals by over 25 points in one of the most lopsided championship victories in state history. Our season nearly ended in disaster, but we staged a comeback and emerged on top when it counted most. Arriving home after the game ecstatic and with a gold medal around my neck was surreal and the achievement of a major life goal that nearly alluded me. But thanks to God’s help, perseverance and gutting out a serious injury that I live with to this day, we reached the pinnacle of success.

tomatoes went into the pot followed by some fried eggplant and then covered and left to cook for “trenta minuti”(30 minutes), Rosanna said, however, it actually cooked for 2 more hours. It will be better the next day she told me. Just before serving the big bowls of pasta, chef topped each plate with diced salami, chopped hard boiled eggs and then finished each dish with a small

continues on page 18

MAR. 2016

The primo, or first dish, was pasta. We prepared the Neapolitan sauce yesterday.  It started with a TON of olive oil, a few onions floating in there, followed by the minced ends of the pork loin that had been sliced thinly for the secondo, or second course.  They cooked for a while, then ground pork was added, a few kilos, then Chef grabbed a very large plastic jug that looked like a gallon of generic vegetable oil. I nearly fainted since he

I even studied the psychology of maintaining a positive mental attitude. Nothing but winning it all would suffice as I refused to accept second best. By the time the season began, I was in prime condition physically and mentally. I was ready to rumble.

I sought prayers from my family and church pastor that a miracle be performed. I prayed, meditated and focused like a laser on getting well enough to play again. Playing was something I had to do. I would not be held back.  


Have you ever wanted something so bad you couldn’t imagine life without it? I’m sure many have and I’m no exception.

It was 1976, our country’s bicentennial and a special time in history. I was a 17year old senior at Anchorage’s Dimond High School and member of the boys’ varsity basketball team. With great anticipation for a successful season I hoped would culminate in a state title and pave the way for a college career, I worked extra hard to prepare. I ran several miles a day for conditioning, did sprint work, lifted weights and played lots of full court pick-up games as part of my preseason regimen.

But I wouldn’t concede and was determined to play through my injury and against my doctor’s advice, knowing I risked permanent damage.

When the final buzzer sounded, we escaped with a two-point win and advanced to the title game the next day which we won easily as expected. I’m convinced my performance against Monroe was supernatural and not of my doing as I was simply too crippled to lead a team to victory on my own.

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Faith, Hearfelt

page 18

Hearfelt, Community

Birth of the Suicide Awareness Symposium


In the fall of 2014, sadly the Mat Su Valley saw several suicides in a matter of a few short weeks. After that a local news outlet on social media decide to report every time an attempt came across the police scanner, the numbers were countless, and the most horrifying was when the call came in about a 9 year old boy who had attempted to take his life. Right then my heart broke. After having this weigh on my heart I prayed about it and was lead to do something, but what? I was a bit more aware than most about suicide having grown up with Chaplain McQueen for a father, but I still wanted and needed to learn more and I wanted everyone around me to know more. I had no idea where to begin other than that I needed to connect the dots, I knew and had access to an expert trainer in the field of suicide awareness as well as pre, inter and postvention, now I needed the general population to have that access. I spoke with Chaplain McQueen who agreed that this is a community problem and we needed to get the community educated. I had been praying for something that everyone could easily use to identify someone who was suicidal. At that time Chaplain McQueen was introduced

MAR. 2016

handful of FRESH buffalo mozzarella. They treat mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and olive oil like we treat snow, there will always be more, just go outside and get some. Which, by the way, was exactly what

to a new tool that was showing great strides in assessing an individual’s risk and through that preventing suicides. After doing some research Chaplain McQueen could see the value in the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and decided to reach out to the originator of this tool Dr. Kelly Posner.

After reaching out to Dr. Posner and learning more about this scientifically proven assessment tool it was decided this would become a part of Chaplain McQueen’s training. The statistics showed that this tool had proven results in suicide prevention and was a tool that anyone could use. From there it was decided we would have a 4 day symposium to teach awareness as well as pre, inter and postvention and introduce this new life saving tool to the state of Alaska. The goal of the symposium was to get as many people educated, taking a different approach and putting prevention into the hands of every member of the community rather than leaving it to the “experts”. A different approach, grass roots, through much work we were able to pull things together and set out to make some changes and hopefully save some lives. One of the things that struck me in

Pepe did when someone requested pepperoncini for their pasta. He ran out, grabbed a handful of tiny hot Calabrese peppers growing somewhere in the yard, brought them in and wiped them of the day’s dust, picking out the few weeds that came with them, put them on a plate and brought them out.

preparing for the symposium was how the state in the past had paid upwards of $40,000 to “experts” from outside Alaska to come speak to suicide in Alaska. This was disturbing to me on several levels.

The first being that only someone who has lived in Alaska understands our unique challenges. The second was that amount of money being taken out of our state when it could be kept in the State of Alaska and spent to help stimulate our economy. But, it really hit me that we have qualified people here in Alaska who have been working across the state with over 30 years’ experience as well as an acceptance and rapport with communities in rural areas that so desperately need to be reached. That is the reason we chose to go with the trainer we use for the symposium. Chaplain Bert McQueen has over 35 years working with communities across the state in areas of suicide awareness, pre, inter and postvention of suicide as well as crisis intervention. He is well known throughout the state as well as recognized nationally as a leader in these areas. He is a lifelong Alaskan who understands the difficulties we as Alaskans face that are unique to our state. So we set out on our venture to hold a symposium that would reach

This is a food paradise. After pasta there was a respite, called The Party, including karaoke, balloon popping, a video collage, and presents. The thin fillets of pork, floured and fried, crowned with white wine sauce,

all people of any vocation. We had a desire for all our community to become involved in reducing suicide rates in the Mat Su Valley and across the state. We had wanted a huge turn out so we could really see an immediate impact, but sometimes it is not about the numbers, though the symposium did not draw huge numbers it definitely made a huge impact, since the symposium we have had the honor of partnering with The Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University to bring the C-SSRS to the state of Alaska. We have hosted trainings not only in the Mat Su Valley but throughout the State of Alaska in places such as Barrow and Nome as well as Anchorage. The goals we set out to attain during the 2015 Symposium have been met and exceeded our expectations. We look forward to the 2nd annual Suicide Awareness Symposium and having an even greater impact on the state of Alaska as we move forward. For information on how to donate or become involved please call CynDee Jenkins P: 907-775-8701 E:

along with tiny white potatoes with oil and rosemary were warming up when I was relieved of duty.  It was 11:45 PM.  They still had salad, fruit and dolce (sweets) courses coming but I was home in bed before the last plate of pork was served.

By Brenda L. Stinnett

My journey winds through twists and turns. There are dark tunnels with no light in sight... Then cloudless days, brilliant with sunshine. Snowcapped mountains crystal clear. With a slight cool breeze and an eagle soaring near. Some say life is the paths you decide to take. Roads of decisions and choices to make. The highest mountains and low dark valleys. I take it in and breathe in and sigh. When I’m low in the valley I have streams to sit by. And breathe in peace. I call it my journey.

By Nan Potts

Sam Blom

The dog of the North, hale-hardy hound, With large, loyal heart and ardor abound, Hears, “call to duty” as the master’s strings sound. A spurring voice, bidding, jubilant hearts pound.

from Tanalian School in Port Alsworth Savannah Bowery from North Pole High School in North Pole

The lure of the chase and swift-speeds doth longed, Through fair-fickled weather, ne’er grudging nor wronged, Tails wag and tongues loll ‘mongst cheering crowds, thronged, Persist on their quest, haunting-howls, their jargon’d. These curs of the North, slight, svelte and brawn’d Cruise across sea-ice and frozen lake-pond, O’er flow and deep powder to places beyond, Through night until day and a new morning, dawned.

Shannon Croft from West Anchorage High School in Anchorage Kaye Gumera from Unalaska City School in Unalaska Briannah Letter from Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau

Age-old narrations portray their travails Of survival and courage, their blood-line prevails. This dog of the North, with no trivial tales, Delights in the risks, runs the Iditarod trails.

Then my path back to the road was not very far. As I looked up to the trees I saw the eagle that once soared. His wise old eyes caught mines in an understanding look. Later on as I looked to the ground beneath the tree branches, I saw the eagle. He was caught in a snare by the foot. Oh how confusing life can be... Just to be at peace.. And just to be free.

Matter Smatter By Ann Lyons Webster says: Matter: Is something That is being done,

Something talked about Or something thought about.

Health matters, Cooking matters Media matters, Housing matters

Ashelyn Rude from Glenallen School in Glenallen Juliana Smit from Colony High School in Palmer Kylie Wallace from Petersburg High School in Petersburg Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In the 2015‐2016 school year, Poetry Out Loud celebrates its eleventh anniversary, reaching millions of students from more than 7,300 schools.

Commercials, say even your car. It seems it matters

My generation didn’t own slaves Shouldn’t that matter?

Hands over our heart Should not that matter?

Every race in the rainbow They all matter

Time should heal wounds That should matter

Prayer in the school That should’ve mattered.

Hands up, Fist up, Flags up, Flags down Peaceful protest should matter

First responders and veterans They should matter

The Golden rule, That too should matter.

My generation honored the flag Shouldn’t that matter? We pledged to that flag Shouldn’t that matter?

Do well unto others, Surely should matter.

History repeats itself Surely that should matter Protest, is a right that we have Shouldn’t that matter? Right to own guns Constitution says it matters

We had God in that pledge Shouldn’t that matter?

Our rights can be taken away Shouldn’t that matter? Hands up to God That IS what matters.

MAR. 2016

One look on the internet For the subject matter states

Rachel Moore from Paul F. Asicksik School in Shaktoolik


As a field of daisies caught my eye that summer day. I was so in awe by the splendor, That I lay in the grass to rest and pray. As I gazed up to the sky The eagle flew by. He glanced my way and soared as to say, it’s all good for me too. This glorious summer day. As I stood to find my path I stumble upon a rock. And pain tore through my leg. I fell down at last. An angry woodsman came up to me. He began to scold me for not wearing proper shoes. My ankle, Like my heart in my chest, was broken. As I look in his face. It held coldness and vile contempt. I no longer saw the daisies in the grass full of beauty. Instead I felt a cloud cover my spirit with sadness from his cruelty.

Alaska State Poetry Out Loud Finalists for 2016:

Dog of the North


Spirit of the Eagle

page 20 www. MAKEASCENEAK .com

Community Contributed by Fireside Books

Or future. It’s the gamut of life.

Fireside Books is the nearly fifteen year old child of Palmer’s husband and wife team, Melissa Behnke and David Cheezem. It’s a pleasant and welcoming place with an inviting aroma wafting from the shelves.

Bookstores are always run by people who love books. Owner to part-time clerks, Fireside workers are enamored with the written word. Well-fed literary predilections become genres-specialties which become keen advice on what is found on the shelves.

Only those with a deep-seated love of the printed word understand that smell. Neither musty nor moldy, one whiff catches complex multi-layers imbued with the treasure from which it emanates. It hints at undiscovered mysteries and adventures, heretofore unknown experiences and characters, and insights yet to be gleaned. Every person entering is extended a smile and a welcome. New or old hand, we share the same passion, the same boundless respect for books. We swim in a sea of infinite wisdom, filled with every conceivable emotion, lofty venture, and probing peek into the past. Or present,

Contribute by Lynnette Ortolano

MAR. 2016

Wasilla, AK - A new, non-partisan, non-profit has launched here under the name Kids Kupboard. Lynette Ortolano, former Program Director of Food4Kids, will serve as Executive Director. We NEED your help! In my experiences, I have worked in multi mission programs that addressed Senior, Adult and Child feeding programs as well as soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters. Because of the blending of Programs and funds it became very clear that regulatory and risks exist as it relates to fiscal controls necessary to manage, obligate and report the legal and ethical use

America is experiencing a resurgence of independent bookstores. Readers are rediscovering that eclectic spirt imbued with friendliness, service and dedication to life-long learning. Fireside Books is community. Its outreach includes providing books for teachers, school book fairs, and homeschoolers, as well as the casual browser or reader-on-a-mission. It serves as a gathering place for creative and social events. It showcases new and established authors. It maintains a virtual presence with technology fully integrated into the store. But its

of funding and assets. Additionally, and most important to me, donor intent assurances of a mixed mission organization are not guaranteed and create confusion and concern within the community. Individuals, families, corporations and funders want to be assured that their donations are restricted to a specific segment of services. Fulfilling donor intent is central to Kids Kupboards’ mission to make healthy meals available to children struggling with food insecurity in our community. We are genuinely interested in solving the challenges caused by food insecurity in children, and we will never compromise our ethics or integrity.

devotion is to providing service with the warmness that bonds us to our customers. Spring 2016 has flowered at Fireside Books. Our cherry blossom bedecked windows represent the range of presentations, book-signings, and special events. March brought children’s authors, Carol Estby Dagg, Sweet Home Alaska, a new novel grown from our New Deal Matanuska Colony history, and Jen Funk Weber who teaches us how to read our outdoor environment in her new Been There Done That: Reading Animal Tracks. Pudge Kleinkauf came in March and again in April to share her new book, Rookie No More: The Flyfishing Novice Gets Guidance from a Pro. In mid-April, Kim Heacox (Jimmy Bluefeather, National Geographic the National Parks: An Illustrated History) and biographer Kaylene Johnson (Our

Alaska has never had a single mission; stand-alone nonprofit committed solely to combating childhood hunger. We do now! Kids Kupboard staff, board members and hundreds of amazing volunteers have been and will continue to be devoted solely to making healthy meals available to children in our communities who have been identified as “at-risk” of not having enough to eat. Kids Kupboard will be supported almost entirely by philanthropy and will provide the meals it produces, free of charge, through onsite feeding at established community centers, through our mobile feeding programs at parks and playgrounds as well as our delivery of meals to more than 17 safe community site partners (libraries, afterschool programs, fire stations, etc.).

Perfect Wild: Ray & Barbara Bane’s Journeys and the Fate of the Far North ) expand on their new Alaskan naturalist works. Adult coloring claims a venue with COLOR-INN gatherings where relaxation, creativity, and focus are key. Another pathway towards calm and creativeness thrives in Zentangle® 101 classes. Panel discussions have explored the underworlds from Alaska’s Good Time Girls and Murderers’ Row (authors of crime –fiction and non - in the Alaskan setting) to How-To’s (Get Writing, the Art of Audio Books, Home Gardening, etc.) our website awaits where you can verify exact dates, times, and places of our events, but also where you are welcome to order any of our books. Sign up for our regular newsletters to be consistently informed our events, programs, specials, and news.

There are hungry children in our own backyards. And we all have the power to feed them. Kids Kupboard is a true nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to feeding hungry children in the valley. We drive real change every day and that’s something we want the community to know and we want the community to engage with us as we do it! You can help us end childhood hunger in our community and give our children here in the MatSu a chance at a real future. We would love to visit with you on the phone, via email or in person to talk about how you can help us make sure no child goes hungry! Gratefully, Lynette Ortolano, Executive Director


Music Contributed by Percussion in the Valley

This summer the camp will be held from June 6-10 at Colony Middle School, in Palmer. Each day will be organized into three sessions. The first session of the day will be for students aged 7-12 who have little or no percussion experience. This is a wonderful chance for those students who are interested in trying percussion to explore the instruments for a week and see what they think. The second session will be for students going into 4th7th grade who have had at least one year of percussion study. This session is ideal for students who have finished a year of 5th or 6th grade band or have taken percussion lessons. Finally, the third session is for students going into 8th grade to those just graduated from 12th grade who have some musical background. Experience in percussion isn’t necessary as students will be grouped based on ability level.

Through bringing up a different guest percussionist each year, Alaskan students receive the value of learning from and developing relationships with top professionals from around the country. This is a great asset to all students, but especially to high school students who may be considering making music part of their college experience. During the camp, students will have the chance to work on their percussion technique, learn a variety of new percussion instruments and music styles, and make friends with other percussionists from around the valley, all while having a lot of fun! The camp will culminate with a concert on Friday, June 10, where students will share all they learned throughout the week. The camp will touch on a variety of percussion areas including: percussion ensemble, Taiko drumming, African drumming, mallet ensemble, drumset, snare drum, percussion accessories, improvisation and more! For more information on the camp, to see full bios on the faculty, and to register, visit: or contact Dr. Meggie Aube at: 907-631-8079 or

MAR. 2016

The camp faculty will include professional Alaskan percussionists Dr. Meggie Aube, who is the camp’s director and Anchoragebased percussion performers and teachers Erika Ninoyu and Kyle Drake. We are also pleased to be bringing up to Alaska, Dr. Dan Moore, a professional percussionist from Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Moore is the head of percussion studies at the University of Iowa.

He is an internationally renowned percussion performer and teacher. His extensive experience in all realms of percussion will be a huge asset to the percussion students of our community. All will benefit greatly from working with him.


This summer will mark the 4th year of excellent summer percussion camps right here in the Mat-Su Valley! Student percussionists from around the state of Alaska will have the opportunity to study with local percussion professionals as well as educators from the lower 48. Three sessions are offered to accommodate all age and ability levels. Participants must be between the ages of 7-18.

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THE ART OF THE DIAMOND Contributed by Charissa Hooyman


Did you ever wonder where the love of diamonds began? Who started the engagement ring? What makes diamonds valuable? People’s love for diamonds started in India where they were first discovered, where they were found in rivers and streams. According to GIA (Gemological Institute of America), some historians estimate that India was trading in diamonds as early as the fourth century BC. Later on, diamonds made their way to Western Europe and to Venice’s medieval markets. 1400s – Diamond jewelry became fashionable for Europe’s elite. 1700s – India’s diamond supply started declining. 1800s – Diamonds were found in South Africa 1888 – De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited was established by Cecil Rhodes. 1900 – De Beers controlled 90 percent of the diamond mining production in South Africa. 1940s & ‘50s – Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the diamond grading system.

MAR. 2016

Are you wondering how many diamond rough cut carats were produced? By the 1870s it was well under one million carats, by the 1920s, it was around three million carats, by the 1970s the annual production was around 50 million carats, and by the 1990s the annual production surpassed approximately 100 million carats. Wow! Now, about the first engagement ring.

Do you know who started it? It was Archduke Maximillian of Austria when he gave it to his love Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Then European women of aristocracy and nobility started receiving engagement rings. In the Victorian age, diamonds were combined with other gemstones, usually in a flower shape and were called “pose rings.” In the Edwardian age, diamonds were mixed with other gemstones, but they were mounted in filigree settings. Now, let’s move ahead to the modern era of diamonds when GIA instituted the diamond grading system, which determines the value of a diamond.

GIA grades diamonds based on the 4C’s (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight). Color Diamond color grading system is based on a scale from D to Z. This measurement scale starts from the degree of colorless compared to master stones under controlled lighting. D represents colorless, with the closer to Z the more color is present. Fancy diamonds are available in colors of the rainbow, blue, green, orange, and red being the rarest, and yellow and brown being more common. These diamonds will be discussed in a later issue. Clarity GIA looks at the clarity of a diamond consisting of the number, size, relief, nature, and the position of internal inclusions and external blemishes and how these will affect the overall appearance. “The GIA Diamond Clarity Scale has six

categories, some of which are divided for a total of eleven specific grades.” ( Cut According to GIA, the diamond’s cut is the most crucial to the stone’s final beauty and value; it is the most complex and technically difficult to analyze. The brightness, fire (scattering of white light into colors of the rainbow), and scintillation (sparkle, pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections inside the diamond).

I guess luck is relative because after she acquired it her son died in a car accident, her husband divorced her and died insane, and her daughter committed suicide. It is now at the Smithsonian Institute.

The Uncle Sam Diamond (pictured above) was found in Arkansas at The Crater of Diamonds State park in 1924, while panning for diamonds. It is the largest diamond found in U.S.

Diamond cuts come in several different shapes, such as emerald, heart, and oval. Carat Weight Carat weight is how much a diamond weighs. Subdividing it into 100 ‘points’ will give a more precise weight of the diamond to the hundredth decimal place, for example 0.25 diamond. A few famous large carat diamonds are the Hope Diamond 45.52ct, Uncle Sam Diamond 40.23ct, and the Cullinan Diamond 3,106ct. The Hope Diamond is from India and was said to be cursed. Evalyn McLean said that it brought her luck.

The Cullinan Diamond (replica of rough diamond pictured above) was found in South Africa in 1905 and was cut into 105 diamonds. “In the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny stated: ‘Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” Do you agree? Next month I will talk about emeralds.



I have spent 54 years at my craft and am now making HALF of what I was worth in 1970? Most of them providing services did not spend 54 years to get there, probably 4 to 8 years for a master’s degree or a doctorate. This picture for me is quite upside down, making absolutely no sense at all. “We pay $100.00 per man no matter what.” WTF?

I had to do was ask for it. And incidentally, travel expense, rooms, meals, even bonuses were graciously paid in addition to the agreed wage.

By David Ion - Sterling Silver Band 907-892-7082 Yes, for a change, even the government agrees with me on this one:

I easily made $200.00 as a single act per performance night in 1970. Consistently, all

All other professionals providing services in our walk of life charge us all equally the same at 510.6% inflation to cover their cost of living.

In closing I feel this entire nation-wide epidemic of attitudes and disrespect towards musicians will become the entertainment industry’s self-inflicted demise, fed by their own greed. Personally I for one am quite totally insulted. Think about it, we all pay the same price for that loaf of bread, that gallon of gas, that mixed drink, and yes the tools of our trade. Not liking this at all, David Lee Ion - one professional musician under financial duress.

MAR. 2016

What $200.00 bought the consumer in 1970 would cost $1,221.22 in the current year of 2016. That is an inflation rate of 510.6%.

Now all I see everywhere, even on prime weekend nights, is “Open Mic Nights” and “Jams” whereby the club pays one person usually $100.00 to attract others, both amateurs and professionals alike. The club pays one person a sub-par rate of $100.00 to host these events. The musicians who support this farce make absolutely nothing. And resultantly the club has a full house and MAKES MONEY . . . (same as if they had fairly paid a whole band.)

I have to ask myself who is the greedy bastard in this scenario? Yes I am talking to club owners and managers. I also remind musicians, “We deserve exactly that which we tolerate.”


“I easily made $200.00 as a single act per performance night in 1970.”

Make A Scene Magazine March 2016  

Mid March - Mid April

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