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Contributed by Patricia Chesbro, Palmer Museum of History & Art & Visitor Center Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone November 2017 – February 2018 Palmer Museum of History & Art & Palmer Visitor Center 723 S Valley Way, Palmer FREE Event November 9th of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the first issue of the Rolling Stone Magazine. The Palmer Museum of History and Art is celebrating this diamond year by hosting Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone, a traveling exhibit from the ExhibitsUSA and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

DEC 2017

Immortalized by writers, filmmakers and musicians from Stephen King to Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show, the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine has embodied generations of popular culture. For artists, the cover is a coveted career achievement, and for many readers, it represents a fantasy realm of the rock-n-roll lifestyle. The exhibition explores how the lens of one artist’s camera captured and helped define one of the most important eras in rock-n-roll history. Wolman’s techniques resulted in photographs and eventually magazine covers that capture a

rawness and emotion of the artists and a generation. Together, Backstage Pass encourages our understanding of how images become iconic symbols of American history. Photographs in the exhibit chronicle Wolman’s work with artists such as Frank Zappa, Tina Turner, George Harrison and B.B.King. The exhibit includes contact sheets from which magazine photos were chosen as well as an interactive unit that allows the visitor to decide which of the photos would work best as the magazine’s cover. Backstage Pass is curated by Ben Ahlvers, gallery director at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kansas. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), which sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 communities across the country every year. M-AAA is the oldest non-profit regional arts organization in the United States. About Palmer Museum of History & Art & Visitor Center: The Palmer Museum and Visitor Center is located at 723 S. Valley Way in Palmer (the log building). It is open on Wednesdays through Fridays, 10:00AM to 5:00PM, in January and February. Please come by to see this extraordinary exhibit.




DEC 2017


Non-Profit Directory Families & Children: Family Promise Mat-Su (907) 357-6160 A community response for families without housing. Family Promise Mat-Su, “FPMS” uses area churches for shelter while providing meals and case management to help homeless families move back into housing and self-sustainability. In addition we provide state funds(BHAP) for homeless prevention.

Connect Palmer Inc. (907) 746-9675 Connect Palmer is a Christ Centered Training Center and Housing for Women located in downtown Palmer. Connect Palmer’s two primary programs are God’s Work Design, and LIFE Connect. We also have Sarah’s House, which a Safe and Caring place for ladies, without homes, to live while they participate in our back to work and life skills programs.   We also offer different community assistant programs, such as The Locker, to provide personal care and basic house hold cleaning items and Scarlet Tapestries which offers basic sewing skills instruction. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

OTHER Mat-Su Health Services, Inc. (907) 376-2411 Dedicated to improving the health of our community, one person at a time – through affordable medical, dental and behavioral health care.The clinic is a Federally qualified Health Care Center and we accept Medicare, Medicaid, and most other third-party insurances. For those who qualify, there is a sliding scale payment, based on household income. We offer early morning and evening appointments appointment. You can also contact our 24/7 behavioral crisis intervention line by calling the main number: 376-2411.

DEC 2017

Mat-Su Sertoma Club or 907-227-3486 “CAN YOU HEAR ME?” Sertoma stands for SERvice TO MAnkind. Mat-Su Sertoma is a 501(c )3 non-profit membership organization whose purpose is to support hearing health in the Mat-Su Valley through education, hearing testing and support of services that assist individuals with deafness and hearing loss. Mat-Su Sertoma membership is open to the public. Anyone can attend one of our membership meetings. Won’t you join us on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at the Windbreak (Trout House) 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sertoma’s Annual Scholarship Program … Apply: 907-227-3486.

Families & Children:


Denali Family Services

Valley Arts Alliance

291 East Swanson Ave. Wasilla, AK  907-222-2331 or Denali Family Services provides therapeutic foster care to Alaskan children with mental health needs. If you are committed to working with a team, receiving training and implementing positive interventions to schoolage children and teens, we need your talents and skills.  We are in search of professional, therapeutic foster parents who are willing to make a commitment to the children of Alaska by providing a stable home environment.  For more information, please call or email our Foster Care Recruiter, Ernestina D. Olivares, at 907-222-2331 or eolivares@ 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

Mat-Su Health Foundation

Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (907) 352-2863 The Mat-Su Health Foundation offers financial and strategic support to well-managed 501(c)(3) organizations that offer services and practical solutions to significant health-related problems impacting the citizens of the Mat-Su Borough. The foundation also offers academic and vocational scholarships to Mat-Su residents who wish to pursue health and wellness related careers.

Pets & Animals: Alaska Animal Advocates (907) 841-3173 Alaska Animal Advocates is a non-profit group of dedicated volunteers who are devoted to enriching the lives of companion animals in Alaska. In order to do this, we will place homeless pets in loving environments, address medical concerns, spay or neuter, microchip, vaccinate, and offer training as is needed. We believe that every animal deserves a loving home, for his/her entire life and Alaska Animal Advocates will provide the resources to make this happen. In order to make this mission possible, we need the help of volunteers and foster homes.

CONSERVATION: (907) 745-5544 RECYCLING – 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! Your community recycling center is 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, follow us on Facebook. - Call us at 907.745.5544 with questions or comments.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: 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, year-round. 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)

FAITH: Valley Interfaith Action (VIA) (907) 230-1006 
To address quality of life issues for all residents of the Mat-Su Borough, utilizing the faith values of our members, developing community-wide interest and mobilization around quality of life issues. Through training, leaders address community problems by providing forums for discussion, researching alternative solutions, and working as facilitators with residents and leaders for institutional change.

HOMELESS YOUTH: Mat-Su Youth Housing (MY HOUSE) (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 (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

Calendar of Events



Arts & Politics Local glassblowers finding their place in the industry. Contributed by Stephen Burnardt Glassblowing is an art form that is thousands of years old, but what happens when that ancient art form meets a taboo counterculture and now a burgeoning cannabis industry? Pot paraphernalia, that’s what!

DEC 2017

In a world where cannabis is legal in nearly 30 states, the people who provide your smoking utensils are slowly trying to eliminate the stigma that goes with their (admittedly shady) industry.

Local glass artisans like Cosmic Glass had to temporarily shut up shop until the chaos blew over. Cheap Chinese knock-offs and spendy pieces from out of state have flooded the market, and most consumers don’t even know they likely have a local blower. A local producer like Cosmic Glass has been making quality pipes right here in the Mat-Su Valley since 1999. You may have seen their stickers and iconic logo around town. In a business as controversial as making pipes for weed (or tobacco - wink wink), gorilla marketing and word of mouth was their only option. Word spread.

Things have changed a lot in the past 10 years. Cannabis acceptance is more mainstream than ever before, so why does the head-shop and paraphernalia industry still seem stuck in the past? Is it paraphernalia? Of course. Should any of this still be a taboo topic in 2017? Of course not.

They’ve handed out thousands of those stickers and sold even more pipes. You may have seen them all over the US, and even as far out as Australia!

Glass paraphernalia is a multibillion dollar business, and it was only a few years ago when someone could be billy-clubbed and locked in a cage simply for producing pipes or bongs. Most notably, there was Operation Pipe Dreams, the code name for a nationwide investigation in 2003, which targeted businesses selling or producing drug paraphernalia. They even arrested the likes of Tommy Chong for his involvement in “Chong’s Bongs”.

If you are utilizing legal cannabis here in Alaska, you need to be conscious of where your glass comes from. The quality of Alaskan-blown glass is obvious. If you want a reliable smoking device, you want it to be made in Alaska.

This over-regulation and SWATteam-style busts even hindered the industry up here in Alaska.

Their quality glass has spread around the world, all while being proudly Alaskan-made, right here in the Mat-Su.

It’s functional art, it’s paraphernalia for pot and you can buy it from a local, familyowned business. Spending your money locally isn’t just important for carrots and retail outlets, it’s also important for smoking your cannabis.

Music & Arts

Contributed by Jeffrey L Sponsler, Alaska Music and Arts The human body consists of 270 bones and 650 muscles. Exercising these muscles (and bones) makes them bigger and stronger. Over the course of human history, body movement has evolved into a number of art forms and sports. Running, soccer, basketball, baseball, karate, tae kwon do, ballet, dance and yoga are just a few of the many ways that these anatomical structures can be used. Using your muscles burns fat, lowers glucose and improves cardiovascular health. Exercise increases the levels of endorphins and enkephalins in the brain; these are chemicals that increase our sense of well-being and decrease levels of pain. Endorphins are natural opioids, but you don’t need a prescription for them except: Move! The Alaska Music and Arts (AMA) management team is very pleased to announce that Mat Valley Dance School will be residing in our dance/dojo facility in Palmer beginning January 2, 2018. Below we include information from the director, Lindsey Redmond-Garvey. About Mat Valley Dance: Mat Valley Dance gives the opportunity to anyone to be a performer. With ten years of experience serving the Mat-Su Valley as a premier dance studio, our program is ever expanding to offer a complete dance curriculum. Mat Valley Dance is dedicated to providing professional dance instruction, discipline, mentorship and building confident individuals through a creative outlet, as well as a strong emphasis on being a positive contributor to your community. We provide classes for ages, 2.5 to 50+, in a variety of styles at highly affordable rates to ensure an active lifestyle for any individual. Students are given three opportunities to perform annually, as well as competitive dance teams and participation in many community events. Contact us by phone, email, website, Facebook, or Instagram to get connected! The URL is The phone number is 907-745-1683. About Alaska Music and Arts (AMA): The AMA facility continues to host yoga, therapeutic yoga and Shotokan karate. Therapeutic yoga is free for active patients of the Alaska Brain Center. Visit our website for more details:


Entertainment Contributed by Tonya Moreno


Visit the Mistletoe Valley Christmas Village Dorothy G. Page Museum / Wasilla Museum 323 N Main Street “Oh Joe, you are such a grinch!” cried Sara. “It’s the Christmas season! How can you be so mean?” Sara had yelled at her husband, Joe, because he chased away a group of carolers on the front porch. Joe replied to her, “Why not? I don’t want to listen to their out-of-tune Christmas carols singing about a season that makes everyone crazy! No one cares anymore about what this season is about. Everyone is too busy worrying about what they are going to get instead of giving back to their neighbor or community. That is why I am the way I am. Why should I pretend to enjoy the season when everything is so commercialized?” With that, he turned away from her and went to sit in his recliner to finish watching the movie that was on before he was interrupted by the group of carolers. “You know, Joe, one day, someone is going to really surprise you and make you change your mind about Christmas. Not everyone is about giving or receiving gifts. There are people in our community that do go out and give back to the community during the holiday season. You choose not to see it because you are too caught up in being a scrooge!” Sara stormed off as mad as a wet hen at Joe. “He just doesn’t understand,” she thought to herself. “I need to make him remember the true meaning of Christmas. It might take a bit of convincing, but by the time I get done with him, he will be emitting the smell of peppermint from his body.” So Sara set out to remind Joe what Christmas was all about. When he woke up the next morning and went to pour him a cup of coffee, he saw a note that Sara had written him. Today you will be required to participate in the Christmas festivities that are part of our beautiful community. You may not believe it, but there is so much love and Christmas spirit in this town. You are missing it, and you will not be allowed to stifle it in this household any longer! Love you always despite your grinchiness.


As Joe made his way into the town square, he could see the hustle and bustle of everyone moving around and shopping. He saw families laughing, snow angels being made and impromptu snowball fights erupting. A group of carolers were stationed at the gazebo. In fact, they were the same ones he ran off just yesterday, singing Christmas carols in perfect harmony. He looked down and noticed a little girl standing at his side. “Well, hello there little girl? How are you?” asked Joe. “Are you Santa?” she asked. “Hahaha, no sweetie, I am not,” he replied. Far from him actually, he thought. “Well, you look like him with your snowy white beard and your rosy red cheeks,” she stated. “Are you sure? I wanted to let him know that he doesn’t need to bring me any toys this year. I just want to be able to spend time with my family.” This took Joe by surprise; she couldn’t have been more than 6 years old. Surely she wanted every toy imaginable in the toy store. “What do you mean little one? Is there not even one toy that you would like to receive this year from Santa?” he asked her. “Well of course, every kid wants a toy from Santa, but my mom works all the time and I hardly ever get to spend time with her. Her boss won’t let her off to spend time with me during the holidays, so I was hoping that if you were Santa, you could help me with my Christmas wish.” Joe stood there for a moment, astonished that a 6 year old child had more wisdom than he did about Christmas. Sara was right. There are still people out there that understood the true meaning of Christmas. He felt his body get warmer and a strange feeling came over him. He felt happy. He felt as if he needed to do something so spectacular that it might almost be seen as insane. Joe stood there looking at the little girl and immediately broke out into a Christmas song. He was singing as loud as he could! He couldn’t stop. His heart was so full of joy!

P.S. If this is not done, you can figure out how to make your own food and do your own laundry. So if you like ham sandwiches and pink underwear, please feel free to ignore my demands.

The little girl cried, “You are Santa! I knew it!” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a candy cane and a sprig of mistletoe. She held it out to Joe with a smile on her face. “Please Santa, have my candy cane. This way you can remember me on Christmas Eve and hopefully grant my wish.” Along with handing him the candy cane, she lifted her head up and planted a kiss on Joe’s rosy red cheek while holding the mistletoe sprig. He was so overcome with joy that he decided at that moment that he would forever be this town’s Christmas spirit!

Joe smiled. He could always count on Sara to make sure she got her way. So he grabbed his boots and his winter coat and out the door he went. “Well,” he said to himself, “Let’s do this.” He wasn’t sure what Sara thought she was accomplishing with this task at hand. He didn’t believe that just because he

He started a tradition from that very moment by playing the town’s Santa and handing out candy canes to every person he came across. His wife had taught him a very good lesson and he was forever grateful to her for making him see the true spirit of Christmas.

Joe laughed to himself. How did Sara think she was going to make him do anything that involved Christmas? Then he read the bottom of the note.

DEC 2017

spent the day in the town square, his attitude about Christmas was suddenly going to change. He almost turned around to go home and sit in his recliner, but the threat of ham sandwiches for the rest of his life made him decide otherwise.


Entertainment & Community Contributed by Carmen Summerfield Alaska Home Companion - Willow Style! 1/7/2018 – 2PM Valley Arts Alliance Willow Community Center Willow Community Center Cir. Willow $15 Suggested Donation Would you like to hear stories about the best, the worst and the silliest of everyday living in Alaska? Coming to you as a matinee on Sunday, January 7th, the Willow episode of The Alaska Home Companion - A Frontier Variety Show! The Alaska Home Companion - A Frontier Variety Show! is the Valley Arts Alliance rendition of a live radio broadcast from the golden age of radio, with skits, music and dance acts, similar to the popular Prairie Home Companion radio show on NPR. For those of you who haven’t seen or heard one of our episodes, The Alaska Home Companion - A Frontier Variety Show! features interesting stories by Alaskans about the best, the worst and the silliest of everyday living in Alaska. In previous episodes, we heard from the Roving Reporter, Guy d’North, and the Sommelier, as well as news from Lake Willowa and Mukluk Radio. The 2017-2018 season is our sixth year producing The Alaska Home Companion - A Frontier Variety Show!, and we will continue with new music and dance acts and occasional impersonations of local celebrities, and will be occasionally broadcast live by Radio Free Palmer on 89.5 FM. So mark your calendar! The Willow episode of the VAA Alaska Home Companion - A Frontier Variety Show! will be broadcast as a matinee at 2pm on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Willow Community Center in Willow. A donation of $15 is suggested.

DEC 2017

To see exciting scenes of these episodes, visit our archive pages at



Contributed by Michelle Overstreet, MY House The Spot: Under 21 Music Venue First Friday Every Month – 6PM 300 N Willow St. Wasilla FREE Event For years, the Valley has lacked a public place for youth and young adults to play live music.

DEC 2017

Once 21, those seeking “gigs” are immersed into the bar scene, where alcohol and drugs are readily available and sometimes offered in lieu of payment for performances. With the opiate epidemic being a concern across the country, local musicians and youthfocused organizations are working together and taking action. The Spot is a new music venue offering youth under the age of 21 a safe, sober and public place to play. Starting the first Friday in January from 6pm-9pm, a new music opportunity for the Valley’s under 21 set will be open for a clean and sober venue at Gathering Grounds Cafe, 300 North Willow Street in Wasilla.

With expert sound provided by Mountain Sound & Entertainment, support from some of the finest musicians in the Valley and drinks and pastries by Gathering Grounds Cafe, this promises to be an excellent opportunity for youth to perform live with an audience and network with other musicians. This event will be a regular affair on the first Friday of every month, where parents are welcome and spectators are asked to come clean and sober. Youth and young adults are invited to come and perform, bring instruments (piano provided), create groups, improvise and just have fun playing music. Volunteers will be screened and background checked, and youth 21 years old and under are encouraged to come and participate as spectators or performers. Please thank the sponsors of this event, and encourage young musicians to join the fun! MY House, The People’s Paper, Q 99.7, Valley Arts Alliance, Mountain Sound & Entertainment, Barrett & Associates Insurance

Art Is Happening With Valley Fine Arts Association Members! Contributed by Michelle Cornelius VFAA Art Show January 1-31, 2018 Valley Fine Arts Association Kaladi Brothers 591 George Parks Hwy. Wasilla FREE Event Espresso Café Art Display January 1-31, 2018 Valley Fine Arts Association Espresso Café 1265 S Seward Meridian Pkwy. Wasilla FREE Event VFAA Art Show at Kaladi Brothers in Wasilla: Come by in January to Kaladi Brothers in Wasilla, who will be featuring VFAA group member show. Great opportunity to see some of the area’s most talented artists.


Arts & Entertainment

We welcome beginners, students, part-time and professional artists who focus mainly on twodimensional art mediums and want to connect with other creative people and gain more exposure locally. Throughout the year, we inform our members about opportunities to show their work, participate in group events, view other local artists and enroll in workshops. During the school year, we organize regular sessions for painting together and host monthly artist demonstrations at Mat-Su College. Membership in the Valley Fine Arts Association provides many diverse opportunities for artists. Check our website calendar for upcoming events.

Featuring: Art from Jim Leach, Pat Jones, Glenda Field, Susan Sinclair, Terry Phillips, Kelly Leonard, Anna Folsom, Rusty Clark, Karen Mattson, Jule Peterson, Barbara Hunt, Diabne Paoletti, Roxan Kopischke, Eileen Johnson, Karen Crandall, Nancy AngeliniCrawford and Peggy Smith will be hung on the shops walls until February. Art at Espresso Café: VFAA President, Michelle Cornelius, will be sharing alcohol ink, acrylic and oil paintings at the Espresso Cafe for January. Art with Glenda Field: Glenda Field has paintings hanging for three months in the waiting room at the Mat-Su Women’s Health Specialists Clinic near the Mat Su Regional Hospital, Palmer. She is also teaching watercolor lessons at Artist’s Uncorked in Palmer. Information about lessons can be found at DEC 2017

About VFAA: The VFAA was formed in early 2005 to create art, teach techniques and encourage fellowship among visual artists in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. We strive to promote a supportive attitude toward visual arts in our Alaskan community.


Heartfelt Writing & Faith

DEC 2017


Contributed by Scott R. Laney Jr.

My name is Scott R. Laney Jr. I use to work on the drilling rigs, making over $100,000 a year, working two weeks on and one week off. On February 6, 2014, I got ready for work. When I was ready, I took a shower, prayed and went to bed. My mother was at work and felt the Holy Spirit telling her to pray for her son. So when she was off work, that’s what she did. She prayed that God would forgive her of her sins, and she as well prayed that God would send His Son down to hold and protect me from death. She was unsure if I was ready to meet the Lord. I woke up in the morning around 3:30am, and got dressed and went outside to my car. I packed all of my bags in and started my car. I noticed how low I was running on gas, so I started to drive down to the gas station on KGB Road. By the time I reached mile 8.4, I ran out of gas. I could see the gas station, so I called my neighbor, turned on my hazard lights, hopped out of my car and started to walk down towards the gas station. By the time I was seven car lengths ahead of my car,

I noticed some headlights coming. My neighbor and his girlfriend could both see me, and said I was standing off the road on the other side of the white line waving my arms. The driver was blind in his left eye and swerved around my car over the white line and hit me while going 60 mph. I broke both legs, my left shoulder and fractured my skull, and I started to bleed inside my head. I guess I called my girlfriend and my really good friend after I was hit and told them. My neighbor ran up beside me and said my mouth was full of blood, so he tipped me over and just held on to me and talked to me for 23 minutes until the ambulance arrived. I sustained multiple breaks in both legs, my left shoulder and skull, and I left my body for some time. I remember walking on clouds and seeing Heaven’s gates! I was so happy that I thought I was going to go in! Then I was back in my body. I hadn’t seen an ambulance there, but only Jesus Christ! He smiled at me and took me into the ambulance. I remember feeling something weird on my chest, so I looked down and could see Jesus’ hand above my chest and a gold crown circulating on my chest! Jesus was healing me and protecting me from death. My mom said that one day while I was in the hospital, I was trying to talk to her but I couldn’t speak. Then she went down to the cafeteria and all of a sudden, she felt like whenever I used to act like that, I really wanted to tell her something. So she left right away and came back to my room and said, “What is it, Scotty?” I was trying to talk, then my mom said, “Is it Jesus?” And I shook my head yes. Then I was trying to say something else and my mom said, “Can you still see Jesus?” And I shook my head yet

again! My mother was so sad that she never thought she would become a grandmother again. Until seven days later, my 36 year old sister conceived! And when she was in labor, she had a baby boy. By the time he was 1 years old, he said my name 10 times! I was so excited, that I was telling everyone! Until one day my good Christian friend said that I had probably just mistaken him. That he was probably just looking for some toilet paper. Sometime later, my physical therapist said that I could not walk for 3-5 years, and the doctors all said how I could never learn easy again because of my brain injury. But with the power of prayer, I was walking in 11 months and received my GED two years later. And seven months after, I graduated from college! My mother one day was wondering when the Sabbath was - the 4th Commandment of the Bible. So she asked me if I knew and I didn’t, so we youtubed it. On YouTube, we learned the history of the Sabbath and how the Roman Catholics changed it from Friday and Saturday sundown to sundown to Sunday. God never changes and in the Bible it says, “If ye love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) On September 22, 2016, my dad had been really sick for three months because he got cellulitis from his work. My dad once died in a surgery a long time ago, and told us all when he came back that he seen Jesus. So I asked my dad if Jesus looked the same way to him as He did to me. He said yes, but He was a lot brighter. In the Bible it says, “In the end, we will need no sun, moon or stars. That God will be our light.” And it also says, “In the End Days, there

will be many false Christs in the world, so to test the spirits.” One way I learned how you can do this is by asking them, “Who was Jesus God, and did He come to the Earth as a human being and die for our sins to defeat Satan and rise from the dead three days later?” And if they admit it, then they are of God; if not, then it is the Antichrist. (1 John 4:1-3) And on July 28, 2016, my dad passed away. My mother and I also found out in the Bible, Matthew 5:19: 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. And Genesis 2:2-3: 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. James 2:10: 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law,, and yet offend it in one point, he is guilty of all. If you would like to watch a couple of my videos on YouTube, just look up Scott Laney and Scott Laney 2! Email for many pictures!

Poetry & Creative Writing


Poetry & Creative Writing

Contributed by Nicholas Begich Sr. Standing in front of the window, looking out into the morning light, It’s after ten and the sun is still not seen. Resting in the slow rise of midwinter in the north, Thinking about nothing, just being here, now, in the early daylight. The sound of the night music soft in the background of this day, Listening to each note combine into melody and rise into the wind. Here I sit in fire’s heat, the glow of embers, the licks of flame. Here in the now of the morning this wintery day.

Winter awakens, the gloom of night lifts and the day emerges. From behind the mountain, the sun is trying to rise and will again In its brief appearance before descending back into the night. The warmth is remembered, the universe embraced, as the light touched my face.


She is starting to stir, my little one asleep in bliss, Dreaming morning dreams in and out of the morning mist. She drifts back as the song changes and the warmth keeps her there, Held in the early, cold morning air, the breath of a new day dawns.

DEC 2017




beautiful aurora borealis-inspired art.”

The Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Office of Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins are pleased to announce that one original design has been selected by public vote as Alaska’s new “Artistic License Plate”.

ASCA Chairman Benjamin Brown added, “As the State of Alaska launches the Artistic License Plate program, we are excited to see such a wide array of impressive submissions and a robust competition. It is great to see emerging Alaska artist, Anita Laulainen, create her classic and inspiring winning design. The Alaska Artistic License Plate process affirms the potential for Alaskans to pursue careers in artistic fields that are both economically and creatively rewarding.”

The winner is an aurora-inspired design by Anita Laulainen, a UAA graphic design student from Palmer, Alaska. Laulainen’s original design was one of 142 submissions from Alaskans of all ages and geographic locations around the state. Representative Kreiss-Tomkins expressed, “Congratulations to Ms. Laulainen and thank you to the celebrity jury and every Alaskan who voted. I’m excited that Alaska’s hundreds of thousands of license plates have the potential to transform into miniature 6 inch by 12 inch canvases of

The panel reviewed all entries based on quality of design submission, readability for law enforcement and imagery that celebrates aspects of

our unique Alaskan identity. The spirit of the “Artistic License Plate” competition encourages creativity, invites Alaskans to capture what we love about Alaska and highlights the importance of the arts in our daily lives. The winning design will be produced by DMV for the next four years, until the Alaska State

Council on the Arts holds the next competition. The plates will be available for Alaskans to purchase in early summer 2018. The proceeds will be reinvested into artistic and cultural programs by ASCA in a continuing effort to diversify revenue and advance Alaska’s creative industry.

Music Contributed by Sally Hitchcock, Hitchcock Piano Studio

DEC 2017

Over 17,000 Alaskans weighed in on their favorite of five designs that were narrowed down by a panel of celebrity judges.

Years ago, I was told to learn notes of my spring piano recital piece and then “we” could add the thing we have always called dynamics. We would learn the notes, and then struggle for an entire school year to clean up the blah, lifeless thing that our ears had learned to hear and our fingers learned to do. Since then, I have discovered how to more easily learn dozens of pieces of

important composers, to pick the styles we could fall in love with and really understand the differences of each style. I have a little card labeled, “Hands in lap, think time.” for each student learning pieces. This is a reminder to look at what a piece asks us to do besides reading notes. We find spots in the music for strong or quiet melody, with a balanced harmony that doesn’t drown it out. We find the scale and harmony that was used by the composer, and we are seeing patterns that repeat, usually a bit differently and with small changes. Once we begin playing the piece, we can be ready for all the composer wrote. The music’s rhythm needs to be found

and quite deliberately used in every measure. The bad habit of not counting the long lazy note at the end of a phrase and cutting it short happens often in church when the congregation is used to an accompanist who has not “installed” the rhythm over time. Today’s piano teaching books talk about how to create the sounds of each composer in his/her era. This allows a student to really learn a classic, romantic or ragtime group of pieces as it should be played, and decide what kind of music he/she wants to play. Without trying lots of styles, the student limits themselves. Actually, the older music books can be fine, once care has been taken to absorb the dynamic

needs of that composer or era with a newer, more detailed copy. By the time a new piece is played only once or twice, the real work should begin. I love to start with the crazy bridges between easier sections or the fancy runs that always slow the casual player down. Once learned “to speed”, they will fit as each section is pulled together, only when every dynamic order given has been learned. Make your own think card and go for it! Remember to be careful about letting the fingers do their own bad habits of “hunt and peck”, and really read how the notes are supposed to relate to each other.

closer, things seemed to pick up, at least a little. I was determined to make our goal!

On Dec 6th, over 40 people joined Artists Uncorked and Michele Snell of Jack White at Everett’s to have a little fun, paint a snowman and hopefully raise $1000 for a spunky, curly-headed 7 year old who was recently diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder, Giant Axonal Neuropathy.

Friends, family, colleagues and strangers signed up, and I instructed the class as planned. Christmas music played in the background and at one point I sang along, even ensued. Everyone donated in one way or another.

If you haven’t been to one of our paint and sip events, then it’s time you check out the new craze for evening entertainment at local venues in your area. We may not be making Picassos out of you, but we are having a lot of fun trying. Everett’s put us up in their lovely event room, Michele went to work collecting silent auction items and door prizes, and our studio agreed to donate 50% of the registration fee to Isabel’s fight against this devastating diagnosis. We worked quickly to make this happen before everyone was knee-deep in Christmas, knowing that the next leg of Isabel’s journey was a trip to Maryland to see a specialist and her appointment was in January. Registration seemed slow at first and donations minimal. But as the time drew

When the evening ended and the numbers were in, we realized that we had more than doubled our goal! We were ecstatic! We, you, the community had made enough for Isabel and her family to travel to Maryland. Isabel’s Paint Night was the highlight of my week as I awaited a celebration of life for a dear and amazing human being that had passed away just days before. A young man that positively touched more lives in his 37 years than most of us can even hope to in a much longer lifetime. It’s hard for me to explain what these two things have in common for me, except to say that I believe that the qualities of kindness, compassion and grace are inherent in the human spirit. A quality of love and compassion that, shared freely, will bloom into a life well-lived. I am so grateful for everyone that contributed, that painted and that played with us for Isabel.

DEC 2017

tting ts of ow o

Contributed by Diana Bland, of Artists Uncorked in Palmer


only d y or the asual eed”, ed mic ke

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Arts & Entertainment

Make A Scene Magazine December 2017  
Make A Scene Magazine December 2017  

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