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Sunday, May 16, 2010


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

And the winners are ... Surprises highlight Readers Choice categories

CONTENTS Services List of winners ......................................................................... 4-5 Best veterinarian ......................................................................... 3

The first thing people want to know when visiting a new

Best sporting goods store ............................................................ 7

city is “what’s good around here,” whether it’s the best place

Best physical therapist ................................................................. 9

to grab a bit to eat, grab a cocktail, take in a sports game, get

Best hardware store .................................................................... 8

their hair cut or get the oil in their RV changed.

Best nonprofit organization ......................................................... 11

Making a “best of” list for Fairbanks is no easy task. Readers sent in stacks of ballots giving us their choices, and we tal-


lied them up — one by one — to give you a guide to the best of the best.

List of winners ...........................................................................12

Thanks to all who took time to vote. From naming the

Best sports team/events .............................................................12

area’s best waiter to salad bar to dentist and doctor, none of it could have been done without you. If your favorite didn’t

Food & Drink

make the list, don’t worry. There’s always next year and plenty of time to debate about who offers or has the best of what. In the meantime, go out and try something new from the list.

List of winners .......................................................................... 15


Best ice cream ......................................................................... 17 Best Mexican food .................................................................... 18 Best overall restaurant ............................................................... 16

THANKS to all my Fans!

F , a u i o r y b a k nks! n a h T

You’ve made my year!

For voting Fairhill Christian School as your third favorite school in the area!

It’s been my honor to serve you & I look forward to helping more folks in Interior Alaska find their way home in 2010-2011!

Helen Holland (and Tippy, the dog)

Re/Max Associates of Fairbanks

452-6387 590-5152

Fairhill Christian School

101 City Lights Blvd. • 457-2167

18366664 5-16-10RC

57365736 5-16-10RC

Now accepting applications for the 2010/2011School Year for all grades, K–12.


Readers Choice 2010

Pets and people both dig veterinarian Jeanne Olson

Please see OLSON, Page 7


Thank you, Fairbanks, for voting Hot Licks your favorite ice cream!

St or e

Sp s o rt ing Good

3480 College Rd. • 479-2494 • Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Locally ow ned and operated for over 35 years C onvenient C entral Location • K now ledgeable E xperienced S taff



3433 College Road & Chena Pump Plaza (907) 479-7813 Open Daily 12–10 p.m.

t Bes

Jeanne Olson doesn’t know exactly why News-Miner readers voted her the best vet in the Fairbanks area, but she’s honored by the recognition. “I was very happy when I heard that. I said, ‘Wow, that’s interesting,’” she said. If anything, Olson said she would have voted for Aurora Animal Clinic, where she directs patients if she’s unavailable. But there’s something about Olson’s North Pole clinic, Raven Veterinary Services, that keeps people and dogs and cats coming back. When contacted May 7, Olson said that she was booked solid with patients for the next two weeks. Olson, who has been practicing in North Pole since 1988, said she could never understand why veterinarians were taught in school that owners Sam Harrel/News-Miner shouldn’t be with their pets. Veterinarian Jeanne Olson, She gives owners complete seen with her dog, mrs. access to their animals at her peabody, was selected best







Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

SERVICES Auto Mechanic/repair shop 1 — Kendall Auto of Fairbanks 2 — Simard Automotive 3 — Lithia Motors Banking facility/financial institution 1 — Mt. Mckinley Bank 2 — Alaska USA Federal Credit Union 3 — Denali State Bank Barbershop/barber 1 — Alaska Barber Shop 2 — Team Cutters 3 — Just Haircuts Bartender 1 — Rae Ann, Red Fox Bar & Grill 2 — Sheri Rother, Ivory Jacks 3 — Angela Foster, Club Alaskan

Cashier/retail clerk 1 — Patricia McCarty, Fred Meyer West

Sam Harrel/News-Miner

Daily News-Miner readers voted University Fire Department their favorite battalion of Alaska firefighters for 2010. 2 — Vickie Baker, Red Couch 3 — Cindy Whitmer, Safeway University

Daycare 1 — Open Arms 2 — Fairbanks Montessori 3 — Room to Grow

Dentist 1 — Dr. Dirk Menard, Nanook Dental 2 — Dr. James Cerney 3 — Dr. Ryle Radke Doctor 1 — Dr. Jean Tsigonis, Tanana Valley Clinic 2 — Dr. Marvin Bergeson, Tanana Valley Clinic

3 — Dr. Don Ives, Laser Vein Center of Fairbanks Fire department 1 — University Fire Department 2 — Fairbanks Fire Department 3 — Steese Volunteer Fire Department

Thanks for Your Vote 5 Years in a Row!

Boating and Drinking

North Star Ballet



Photo by J. Alan MacFarlane

Carwash 1 — Splash & Dash 2 — Bentley Car Wash 3 — University Truck & Auto Car Wash

Please be responsible; don’t operate any motorized vehicle if you’ve been drinking.

21367139 5-16-10RC

A public service message from the Alaska State Troopers and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

The Holiday Tradition that’s Always the Best Show in Town

A Top 3 Best Theatre Production: 2006-2010 Featuring more than 70 dancers from local schools Performances made possible in part by the Alaska State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and City of Fairbanks Bed Tax funds.


Readers Choice 2010

SERVICES Florist 1 — College Floral 2 — Santinas Flowers and Gifts 3 — Safeway Bentley Mall Gift shop 1 — Riverboat Discovery Gifts 2 — If Only ... a fine store 3 — The Knotty Shop Hair salon/stylist 1 — Charlotte Rouge Hair Spa, Charlotte Rouge 2 — Chris & Company Hair Design Team, Michelle Wilber 3 — Hair Palace, Dawn Miller Insurance agency/agent 1 — Allstate Insurance, Jim Ozimkoski 2 — Kenneth A. Murray Insurance, Inc. 3 — State Farm, Jack Randolph Jewelry store 1 — Bishop’s Jewelry Gallery

2 — Taylor’s Gold N Stones 3 — Larson’s Fine Jewelers

2 — Risse’s Greenhouse 3 — The Plant Kingdom

Massage/physical therapist 1 — Wendy Bratt, Willow Physical Therapy 2 — Jim Pasek, Advanced Physical Therapy 3 — Edith Desmond, Red Couch

Optometrist 1 — Dr. Chad Personnette, Clear Vision 2 — Dr. John Lounsbury, Sam’s Club 3 — Dr. Damien Delzer, Eye Clinic of Fairbanks

Nonprofit agency 1 — Love INC 2 — Fairbanks Community Food Bank 3 — United Way of the Tanana Valley

Optician 1 — West Valley Vision Center 2 — Golden North Optics 3 — Image Optical

Nurse 1 — Colleen Kowalcheck, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital 2 — Katie Sanders; Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Women’s Center 3 — Tie: Connie Williams; Tanana Valley Clinic Pediatrics; and Laurie Muth, Bassett Army Community Hospital Nursery/garden center 1 — Holm Town Nursery

Pharmacy/pharmacist 1 — Safeway Bentley Mall 2 — Fred Meyer East 3 — Fred Meyer West Principal 1 — Shaun Kraska, West Valley High School 2 — Tim Doran, Denali Elementary School 3 — Tie: Jeffrey Mann, Woodriver Elementary School; and Jeanette Hayden, Hutchison High School

Real estate agency/agent 1 — Russo Realty, Joe & Jane Russo 2 — Tie: Re/max, Helen Holland; Riverview Realty, Susan Rainey 3 — Madden Real Estate, Wes Madden School 1 — Nordale Elementary School 2 — Woodriver Elementary School 3 — Fairhill Christian School Server/waiter 1 — Jon Bradish, UAF Wood Center Pub 2 — Bonnie Port, Sam’s Sourdough Café 3 — Jessie Desmond, Red Couch Sporting goods store 1 — Beaver Sports 2 — Sportsman’s Warehouse 3 — Sports Authority

Teacher 1 — Jenny DeGeorge, FNSBSD substitute teacher 2 — Don Kardash, Hunter Elementary 3 — Tie: Suzanne Richards Woodriver Elementary Schoo; and Sean McKenzie, Hutchison High School Teller 1 — Suncha Dutton, Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union 2 — Autumn Musgrove, Northrim Bank 3 — Marsha Villalva, Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union Tools/hardware store 1 — Sentry Hardware 2 — Samson True Value Hardware 3 — Lowe’s Veterinary care 1 — Dr. Jeanne Olsen, Raven Veterinary Services 2 — Mt. McKinley Animal Hospital 3 — Aurora Animal Clinic


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Binkley

Family and the Riverboat Discovery would like to

thank you, Fairbanks, for voting us the

Best Place to Bring Tourists and for voting the

Discovery Trading Post the

Best Alaska Gift Shop.

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Fairbanks' Premier Attractions

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Readers Choice 2010

Beaver Sports is a family affair beyond just his team. Greg remembers watching from the window of his Beaver Sports is unique house on Wolf Run, and to Fairbanks and can answer when a car would pull up just about any local advento check out some canoes, turing needs. there was much excitement. Located on College Road “Somebody’s out in the just down the street from driveway!” they would call. the University of Alaska They sold the lightweight Fairbanks, it is the grown-up boats from a huge trailer product of a family’s love for that fit about 30 inside. sports. It was driven up from the Beaver Sports sells tents, states by some relatives and clothing, camping gear, bicy- it took up much of the drivecles and nearly every sportway. ing need under the sun. When canoes were not It wasn’t always that way, enough, and the family though. wanted to expand a bit, they When current owner moved to a little shed down Greg Whisenhant was just a the street from their current boy in 1972, the family sold location. canoes and skis to locals. In the early days there His dad, Jim Whisenhant, were just three or four cuswas a running and skiing tomers a day that would team coach. come in to buy just a paddle As a way for his athletes or lifejacket. to stay fit in the summer, Greg found himself mowhe had some canoes shipped ing the lawn quite often. up to him to sell. The interEventually, after about five est in the canoes extended additions to the little shed, By REBA LEAN For the News-Miner



“There’s always experiences to share, stories to tell,” he said. For him, one of the best things about the store is learning from his customers’ experiences. Another quality of Beaver Sports is its staff. “Customer service is one of the big things,” he explained. “Everybody’s involved in the sport itself,” the store needed a bigger and they know how to use location. the equipment they sell, he In 1987, the current store said. opened. Its uniqueness to FairNow, the store sells top-ofbanks is not only imbedded the-line brands in just about in its origins, but also in its every sporting category. effort to involve the comHistoric sports photographs munity. from Fairbanks and other In the past, Beaver Sports Alaska towns line the walls, used to host running, biking while the newest bicycles and canoeing races. line the racks. Greg regrets it, but has It has always been a famhad trouble recently with ily affair, and even today, Greg’s three siblings all take their insurance company allowing them to sponsor part in running the store. these races. Greg is now the owner, but He hopes this summer to sometimes misses being down on the sales floor. start canoeing races again.

OLSON Continued from Page 3

small clinic, which she shares with six dogs, a cat and a pig. And she keeps owners as informed as possible about how their pets are doing after a procedure. “I think people come here and they realize that’s the way it should be,” she said. In addition to the usual veterinary services, Olson offers a variety of alternative treatments, including homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and chiropractic services for dogs. Next month she hopes to have an underwater treadmill for dogs installed. The whirlpool-like device allows dogs of all sizes to walk in the tank while the treadmill increases resistance at a steady rate The treatment is great for older dogs, Olson said. With such innovative treatments only available at Olson’s clinic, it’s likely she’ll remain the reader’s choice for some time to come. Contact staff writer Chris Freiberg at 459-7545.

BIRD OBSERVATORY Joy School McKinley Animal Hosp.

418 Wedgewood Dr. • 451-7159

Margaret Ave.

Advancing the appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research and education.


Thank you, Fairbanks!

Wedgewood Dr. Bear Lodge

Visitor Center

College Road

The readers of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner have named Northrim Bank Assistant Branch Manager, Autumn Musgrove, as one of the best tellers in the city. Join us in congratulating Autumn on her award in the 2010 Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

Please visit us at

Our gift shop carries unique items for the nature lover in your life. Your purchase helps fund the Alaska Bird Observatory's educational and research programs.

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for making us a favorite. We are your local Dealership Alternative! 5200 Aeronca (near Fbks Int’l Airport)



CLICK | CALL 455-1111 | COME IN 360 Merhar Avenue


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sentry Hardware bags top spot for readers’ needs By TIM MOWRY Sentry Hardware may not boast the biggest or cheapest selection of tools or hardware in Fairbanks, but it has the best. For the second year in a row, Sentry Hardware was voted the top hardware store in Fairbanks, according to the News-Miner Readers Choice Awards. Sentry Hardware beat out runner-up Samson True Value Hardware and third-ranked Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.

General manager Mike Lund, who also is part owner, said the store’s customer-first service is what sets it apart from the competition. “We’re independently owned and operated,” Lund

A Special Thank You for once again recognizing us as one of the top jewelry stores in Fairbanks!


Teddy Bear Plaza

Corner of Airport Way & University Ave. Fairbanks, Alaska 99709

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“For Jewelry as fine as she is”

Eric Engman/News-Miner

Sentry Hardware was named the favorite hardware spot in Fairbanks for 2010. said. “We don’t carry as large of an inventory as a lot of places, but we can get stuff pretty fast. We had UAF here last week, and they needed 30 sticks of aluminum and we had it for them in a week.” Fairbanks’ hardware aficionados know where to find Sentry Hardware. The store has been in the same underground location in the Gavora Mall at the corner of Third Street and the Old Steese Highway for all of its 17 years. “People know we’re here,”

Thank you for voting

Lund said. Sentry Hardware carries the largest selection of nuts and bolts in town, he said. “We’re known for our nuts and bolts and fasteners,” he said. “That’s a big category for us.” The store increased its inventory five years ago with the addition of Frontier Outfitters in the space above the hardware store. The move allowed the store to move its sporting goods department upstairs, which meant more

space for hardware. “We were getting cramped with sporting goods downstairs,” Lund said. “(The addition of Frontier Outfitters) allowed us to expand in a lot of areas.” Frontier Outfitters complements Sentry Hardware and vice-versa, Lund said. The two stores are separate entities but they each complement the other, which has brought more customers into each, he said. Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

Thank You! We're thrilled to be voted one of your favorite greenhouses in Fairbanks! Thanks for supporting our business and buying Alaska Grown! We're happy to assist you in any way we can with your greenhouse or gardens.

us the best opticians in the interior! Not pictured: Jim Rothmeyer

New Hours: Beginning May 19 Monday- Saturday 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sunday 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

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570 Riverstone Way, Suite 3 • 479-4700

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(off 6.4 mi. Chena Hot Spring Rd, first left after Nordale)


Readers Choice 2010

Wendy Braat is boss when it comes to physical therapy By REBA LEAN For the News-Miner In an all-female clinic, Wendy Braat is recognized as the matriarch and an exceptional physical therapist. Her business, Willow Physical Therapy, is located in the Medical Dental Arts Building, next to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Braat has been in the physical therapy business since 1983. Before then, she was working as a home health aide with a paraplegic who had tuberculosis. She spent a lot of time helping with household chores and the home health nurse. Braat was interested in what the nurse did and asked a lot of questions. Soon enough, she found

herself convinced into going back to college for a physical therapy degree. Since 1983, she has spent all but two years in Fairbanks, treating those in need. In 1988, she opened Willow Physical Therapy. Today, she has a devoted staff, many of which have been with her for more than 10 years. “Wendy is a wonder-

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her patients. Physical therapists at her practice work on injuries like whiplash of the neck, multiple sclerosis and even migraines. They have exercise areas and private examination rooms to cater individual problems. Richards is very confident in her boss’s ability to treat patients. She says that her patients always have good outcomes, and that is why she won the Best Physical Therapist Award. Braat said she might be getting old, but retirement is not on her horizon yet. She still has time left yet, and will continue to help her employees improve and treat her patients for many years to come.

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Therapy and improve her own education. Braat finds it very important that she and her staff “continue to learn and continue to grow” in their profession. She is a huge advocate of continuing education courses, and has taken many herself. “Seeing people actually get better” is Braat’s favorite part of her job. People’s visits to her vary on injury, and could be anywhere from twice to several months’ worth of visits. For the most part, she always sees improvement. “That part is really enjoyable,” she said. “Our goal is always to help them be independent.” Braat strives to create specific programs to treat

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ful boss,” Cathy Cady said. Braat worked on Cady at one point, so Cady knows from personal experience that Braat is good at what she does. Sharon Richards is one of five physical therapists at Willow and has gotten to know Braat pretty well. “Wendy is a kind person,” she said, “she’s very concerned about giving her patients good care.” Richards has been with Braat the longest of all the employees and agrees that she is a great boss. “You can tell that because I’ve worked here 17 years.” “I don’t know if you’d call her a workaholic, but she’s very devoted to her business,” Richards said. She is always making plans to improve Willow Physical

455-8226 • 3401 AIRPORT WAY in Washington Plaza • 455-6292

Thank you, fairbanks! Steaks

for voting us #1 Best Steaks in Fairbanks #1 Best Hamburgers in Fairbanks

“great food, great alaskan spirits”

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010 Sam Harrel/News-Miner

The Riverboat Discovery I, left, leads the Riverboat Discovery II, right, and Riverboat Discovery III down the Chena River during an anniversary cruise celebrating the business. The Riverboat Discovery was named the best place to take visitors to Fairbanks and also recognized by News-Miner readers for having the best gift shop.


thank s

Fairbank s !

I am honored to have been chosen "Best Physical Therapist" Wendy Braat and Staff

Dr. Menard and his staff at

Nanook Dental would like to thank you for voting us

#1 Dentist.

New patients always welcome!

3706 Swenson Ave. (off S. University)

452-NOOK (6665)

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Thank you, for your votes! “Favorite Steaks”

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Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. 10% discount to Military, Pilots, UAF Students & Seniors Reservation recommended • Restaurant available for private parties


Readers Choice 2010

Love INC is Fairbanks’ favorite nonprofit By AMANDA BOHMAN As Love INC marks its 25th year in Fairbanks, the faith-based clearing house for the needy celebrates another milestone: best nonprofit agency for 2010. Love INC stands for Love In the Name of Christ. Incorporated in 1985, the agency links people in need to a local human service agency or a network of 52 churches with volunteers willing to help. Love INC helps fill needs great and small, such as counseling, paying utility bills, providing a ride, snow shoveling or purchasing a package of diapers. “It’s wonderful to see

Interior Alaska Green Star urges you to

churches really connecting with people in need,” Executive Director Judy Dellinger said. Love INC is modeled after a nationwide organization founded by Dr. Virgil Gulker in Holland, Mich., in 1977, Dellinger said. Gulker visited Fairbanks in the spring of 1985 and

involved a delivery of some kind, usually a food delivery. BJ Lehmann, a retired waitress and cashier, became a Love INC client after suffering a stroke in late 2008. Lehmann said she qualified for a monthly box of food from the Fairbanks Community Food Bank but she had no way of picking up the food. In stepped Love INC. “I went by Love INC and told them that I needed help,” Lehmann said. “They’ve been picking up my food boxes ever since every month. They bring it right to my house.” Lehmann looks forward to the visits from church volunteers, who have become her friends. One day, a volunteer


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I am honored to have been selected as your favorite Optometrist!


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Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7544.

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For information:; E-mail: or Phone: 452-4152

arrived with Lehmann’s food box along with a compact disc player. Inside the player was a disc by The Everly Brothers, whose song “Kentucky” is Lehmann’s favorite song. “I just boo-hooed,” Lehmann said. “I just couldn’t believe it.” Love INC is located at 818 26th Ave., and the agency has three paid staff. To volunteer or express a need, call 4523876. “Sometimes it’s hard to discern who is the most in need,” Dellinger said, “those referred to Love INC for help or those who have the need to give help. We’re all in need. We all depend on each other.”

ou, y k n Tha nks! a Fairb eciate pr We ap upport! s your

– Dr. Chad Personett

You can make a difference!


helped church members here start a branch of the organization. Dellinger said a typical day at Love INC starts with prayer and then the phones start ringing. “Everything is done over the phone,” she said. “Volunteer receptionists set up the client’s file and do the initial intake.” Volunteer caseworkers call clients back to screen their request for the extent of need and legitimacy.” The requests are then referred to another community agency that specializes in the need or to a local church. In 2009, Love INC fielded 1,700 requests for help, Dellinger said. Most of the requests


701 College Rd. • 452-2299

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Thank you, Fairbanks, for voting us among the Best Restaurants in the Interior!


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

SPORTS/ENTERTAINMENT Local band 1 — Girls with Guitars, Theresa Bauer 2 — Searching for the Real 3 — Gangly Moose

2 — Pioneer Park 3 — Ice Alaska/Ice Park Theatre/performance company 1 — Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre 2 — Fairbanks Drama Association 3 — UAF Arts/Theatre

Local sporting event 1 — Fairbanks Grizzlies 2 — Fairbanks Curling Club Bonspiel 3 — Alaska Nanook Hockey

Theatre/performance production 1 — Sweeney Todd, Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre 2 — The Nutcracker, North Star Ballet 3 — High School Musical, Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre

Local Sports Team 1 — Alaska Nanooks 2 — Fairbanks Grizzlies 3 — Alaska Goldpanners Place to bring tourists 1 — Riverboat Discovery

John Wagner/News-Miner

Fairbanks Grizzlies fans attempt to catch an errant pass during an Indoor Football League game in April against the Alaska Wild at the Carlson Center.

Thank You, Fairbanks

Grizzlies, Nanooks lead the picks for favorite sporting events, teams



is pleased to serve you Excellent Steaks, Seafood, Italian Dishes & New York Style Pizzas!

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By DANNY MARTIN Two teams who inhabit the Carlson Center on a seasonal basis are the recipients of the fan favorites awards for sports. The Fairbanks Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League were voted the Favorite Sports Event, and Daily News-Miner readers gave the Favorite Sports Team nod to the

Alaska Nanooks of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Grizzlies, the northernmost professional sports franchise in the nation, are as popular for their promotions and contests during timeouts and halftimes as they are for the action on the 50-yard artificial turf field. Please see SPORTS, Page 13

Serving the Community for Over 50 Years

Congratulations Dr. Jean Tsigonis & Dr. Marvin Bergeson Voted Fairbanks’ Favorite Doctors Your Medical Home

Marvin Bergeson, MD

Thank you, Fairbanks  Â…/PCMF4USFFU 'BJSCBOLT

-Chief Curry and Staff-

12365358 5-16-10RC

Jean Tsigonis, MD

Thanks to all of the readers who voted our department #1. We are proud to serve you .

UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.


Readers Choice 2010


John Wagner/News-Miner

Members of the Alaska Nanooks hockey team huddle together prior to taking on the Western Michigan Broncos during Central Collegiate Hockey Association postseason action in March at the Carlson Center. News-Miner readers voted the Nanooks the favorite sporting team this year.

Continued from Page 12

The activities can include field-goal kicking competitions or dance contests involving fans and a halftime skills competition among area high school football players. This year, some fans have watched games while sitting in a jacuzzi that sets near the north end of the field. Ricky Bertz, co-owner of the 3-year-old franchise, said a little thought is put into each promotion and contest. “It’s about entertainment with football being the basis of that entertainment,’’ Bertz said at the Carlson Center on April 24, when the Grizzlies played the Alaska Wild of Anchorage in the season finale of their intrastate series. The same night was Breast Cancer Awareness Night, and Grizzlies fans donated about $1,900 to the Breast Cancer Please see SPORTS, Page 14

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

SPORTS Continued from Page 13

national champion Eagles during the NCAA tournament. “I was real proud of how our guys competed for our first time in the tournament and how they handled themselves being in this environment,” said Alaska head

Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.

11365151 5-16-10RC

“Thanks for 10 years of support for exemplary early childhood education in a decidedly Christian Environment!”

John Wagner/News-Miner

Give. Advocate.Volunteer.

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Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre’s presentation of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” was named the best production in Fairbanks for 2010.

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Detection Center of Fairbanks. The team also raised money for the BCDC with a postgame jersey auction. The Nanooks are coming off an historical 2009-10 season, as they played in the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time. The Nanooks received an at-large berth into the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. Alaska lost 3-1 to Boston College in a regional semifinal on March 27, but it was the fewest goals scored by the eventual

coach Dallas Ferguson said after the regional semifinal. The Nanooks finished 1812-9 overall in Ferguson’s second season as head coach. Andy Taranto scored on a power play in the regional semifinal, and a few weeks earlier, the Nanooks right wing was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year during the conference’s awards show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Taranto finished as Alaska’s second-leading scorer and third among Division I rookies with 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 39 games. On the same night in Detroit, senior center and team-leading scorer Dion Knelsen (19-24-43 totals in 39 games) received the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor and Mike and Marion Illitch Humanitarian Award. He was also a finalist for the national Hockey Humanitarian Award.


Readers Choice 2010


FOOD & DRINK 3 — Lavelle’s Bistro Fast food 1 — Carl’s Jr. 2 — McDonalds 3 — Subway & Wendy’s

Asian food 1 — Thai House 2 — Pagoda 3 — Thai Cuisine Restaurant

Hamburgers 1 — Brewsters 2 — Carl’s Jr. 3 — Chilis Hot dogs 1 — Sam’s Club 2 — Red Couch 3 — Chris’ Hot Dog Cart

BBQ/ribs 1 — Big Daddy’s Bar B —Q 2 — Tubby’s BBQ 3 — Chilis Breakfast 1 — Sam’s Sourdough Café 2 — Cookie Jar 3 — HilltopTruck Stop Brunch 1 — Pike’s Landing 2 — Pump House 3 — Red Couch Chicken wings 1 — Food Factory/Jaybird’s Wingworld 2 — Chilis 3 — Big Daddy’s Bar-B-Q Cocktail lounge 1 — Lavelle’s Bistro 2 — Red Fox Bar & Grill 3 — Los Amigos Cup of coffee 1 — Sunrise Bagel &


Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream, a Fairbanks favorite, was again named the best place in town to get a scoop or three of your favorite flavor.

Ice Cream/milkshakes 1 — Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream 2 — Cold Stone Creamery 3 — Red Couch Italian food 1 — Geraldo’s 2 — Gambardella’s Pasta Bella 3 — Vallata

Espresso 2 — Lulu’s Bread & Bagels 3 — Starbucks Coffee

Margarita 1 — Los Amigos 2 — Gallo’s 3 — Chilis

Desserts 1 — Wolf Run 2 — Turtle Club 3 — Hilltop Truck Stop

Mexican food 1 — Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca 2 — Gallo’s 3 — Los Amigos

Fine dining 1 — Turtle Club 2 — Vallata

Omelet 1 — Sam’s Sourdough

Café 2 — Cookie Jar 3 — Hilltop Truck Stop Pizza 1 — College Town Pizzeria 2 — Papa Murphy’s 3 — Geraldo’s Prime rib 1 — Turtle Club 2 — Pump House 3 — Aviators Steak House


“Wow ... a 4-peat of # 1 Best Pizza!”

Sandwiches 1 — Subway 2 — Chowder House 3 — Speedy Subs Seafood 1 — Turtle Club 2 — Pump House 3 — Lavelle’s Bistro

Our customers and employees are the greatest!

Sourdough pancakes 1 — Sam’s Sourdough Café 2 — Hilltop Truck Stop 3 — The Bakery Restaurant

Cuore d’ Oro Gelato

Steaks 1 — Brewsters 2 — Aviator Steak House 3 — Roundup Steakhouse

Gratefully celebrating 27 years serving the real estate needs of my wonderful clients! I am thankful to live, work & have raised my family in this wonderful community!



13365703 5-16-10RC


For great Italian ice cream, try Vince’s always fresh, creamy, low fat, high taste Gelato Summer Hours Beginning June 1: Open Mon-Sat. 2:00 p.m.– 9:00 p.m. CLOSED on Sundays & Holidays 457-2200 3549 College Rd. inside 3535 College Rd. Mall.

57365740 5-16-10RC



we thank you!

Salad bar 1 — Turtle Club 2 — Safeway 3 — Fred Meyer

Thank You Fairbanks & North Pole ! SUSAN RAINEY


Restaurant 1 — Turtle Club 2 — Geraldo’s 3 — Lavelle’s Bistro


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Turtle Club sticks its neck out to serve By CHRISTOPHER ESHLEMAN

Eric Engman/News-Miner

The Turtle Club swept many categories this year, including best salad bar, best restaurant, best fine dining, best prime rib, best seafood and second place for best desserts.

Folks have for years said the best beer is brewed in Fox. And some are, again, also pointing to the tiny town north of Fairbanks for the best fine dining around.

The Turtle Club, down the road from the Silver Gulch Brewery, has been operating for a little bit more than two decades. It advertises a deep menu — one that includes king crab legs and Australian lobster tail — a wine list and a salad bar. Perhaps only in Fox can one find coconut

shrimp, escargot and cheese sticks on the same appetizer list.

But ask anyone about the restaurant, started in a log cabin that has since grown to

house a bar, lounge and three dining sections, and you’ll likely hear first about the

Congratulations Angela for being voted Foster one of Fairbanks

Best Bartenders. . .

Steese & Trainor Gate • 456-6777



Girls with Guitars would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to all of you that voted for us in the Readers’ Choice Awards — What an honor in this awesome field of talent!


It’s been a wonderful 11 years playing for (and celebrating with) you!! Thanks so much for your support and friendship. We hope you continue to get out there and enjoy all of Fairbanks’ fantastic local music and arts!

For Voting Us Your Favorite Barbershop


Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m. 23rd & S. Cushman

1 8 3 6 6 6 6 7 5 -1 6 -1 0 R C


Sincerely, Theresa Bauer & Lisa Marquez “Girls with Guitars”



Girls with Guitars

prime rib. The Turtle Club’s specialty dish, prime rib comes in three cuts — a “miner’s” serving for those often dissatisfied with just a pound of meat, the “turtle cut” for the classic 14-16 ounce cut, and “foxy” for those with smaller stomachs. The club’s menu and service drew it Reader’s Choice awards in 2003 and 2004 and again this year. It’s among a short list of destinations in Fox, a Steese Highway spot 10 miles north of Fairbanks that falls on the eastern edge of the Goldstream Valley and Fox also houses the brewery and bar and serves as host to a popular viewing station for the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.


Readers Choice 2010

Hot Licks has cool treats and a huge fan base By REBA LEAN For the News-Miner

cream at their current College Road location. Adam left the business in Geoff’s hands when he opened The Blue Loon. Over the years, Geoff has had a couple franchises in Anchorage and at Denali Park, but neither really worked. Ice cream wholesale does seem to work, though. He sells wholesale ice cream to local restaurants including Lavelle’s Bistro,

When compared to Hot Licks, everything else is just fluff — literally. Geoff said his ice cream is thicker, and three gallons of his can often weigh 16 pounds, whereas cheaper ice cream might weigh 12. Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream flavors are endless. “I could easily list 150 we’ve made recently,” he said. Using a small-batch system, Hot Licks is able to create any flavor the owners want, clean out the machine and start a new batch up. Right now they are working on a fourth-grader’s

“Dare Devil Heaven” idea. Although Geoff says its ingredients are not something he would normally put together, he may try it out on the public anyway. Some new flavors they’ve tried out are Silver Gulch beer flavor, ginger and green tea. Since last April, Hot Licks in Fairbanks has two locations. While the quaint salmon-colored one on College Road is the moneymaker, it is only seasonal. They opened a new place at the Chena Pump Plaza to accommodate yearlong cravings.

THANK YOU for voting

Dr. James A. Cerney "Our patients make us a better practice."

305 Eagle Ave.


#1 Barbershop

Open 7 Days a Week

We would like to thank our valued customers for their continued patronage.

4001 Geist Road • 479-3326

12366518 5-16-10RC

one of your favorite dentists in Fairbanks!


Thank You, Fairbanks for once again voting us #1

NURSERY and GARDEN CENTER We have EVERYTHING for this year's gardening season!

• 7 Easy-to-browse greenhouses • Beautiful hanging baskets • Garden Accessories • Organic gardening supplies • Vegetable & herb starts

OPEN 7 DAYS 1301 30th Ave 451-8733

24361918 5-16-10RC

A “majestic purple” and “peach” (not just purple and pink) building sitting on College Road is an attractant by itself. Add ice cream to the equation, and an irresistible force guides one to check out Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream. Not even a mile from the university, its location is the perfect walking distance for students’ favorite spring ritual. The seasonal location opens each April and lines extend beyond Hot Licks’ borders many times per week. Students are definitely not the ice cream shop’s only customers, though. Since 1986, owner Geoff Wool has been selling his fantastic flavors to locals and tourists alike. He and his brother, Adam, entered the venture together in 1984, when Adam was between years at school. It was the height of the ice cream renaissance, according to Wool, and “we just thought we’d try ice cream.” While Fairbanks had some ice cream places, Wool was not impressed. He wanted to try new flavors with quality ingredients, rather than the fluff that major businesses tend to produce. They opened up shop in the College Town Pizza location, and sold coffee, pastries, soup and ice cream — the four major food groups — for the first 10 years. They then added calzones and pizza to the menu, but got burnt out on food after just two years. They sold their lease and focused on ice

Silver Gulch, River Boat Discovery and West Mark Hotel. Hot Licks wholesale makes it to Anchorage restaurants, and at one point traveled to each five of the Princess Hotels. It reaches much of Fairbanks’ tourist industry. It is easy to see why so many want it. Using only fresh cream and milk from a dairy in Oregon and natural ingredients, Hot Licks ice cream can get a little spendy. When quality is taken into account though, it is well worth it, according to Geoff. The cows in Oregon are not treated with any growth hormones or steroids, and the ingredients (like pure bourbon vanilla; solid, pure chocolate melted down or pecans they sauté themselves) are never artificial.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca scores fan favorite win Claiming the title of best Mexican restaurant in Fairbanks has become something of a family rivalry. This year’s winner in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Readers’ Choice Awards is the Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca restaurant on Airport Way, edging out Gallo’s Mexican Restaurant. The title-holder in 2009 was Taco King. What do all of those restaurants have in common? The Gallo family, which is

he warned the owner — his uncle, Abraham Gallo — that he’d be departing soon to run his own restaurant. After three years of tinkering and remodeling, that enterprise was honored by News-Miner survey-takers as the most popular Mexican eatery in town. Taco Azteca offers a fast-food experience, while the adjoining Mayan building a small Mexican res- Palace provides sit-down dintaurant empire in Fairbanks. ner service with the option of Willy Gallo, the owner of beers and margaritas. Mayan Palace/Taco Azteca, Gallo said he’s humbled by moved to Fairbanks four the recognition. years ago to manage the “I tell you one thing — for newly opened Taco King. But me personally, that means a

ks! n a b ir a F , u o Y Thank


Michelle Wilber ndwich

We are pleased to have been voted your #1 Preferred Sandwich Destination!

1800 Airport Way 452-5415

3574 Airport Way 479-8688

Eielson AFB 451 Broadway 372-1166 University of Alaska 732 Yukon Drive 458-1012


Walmart Location 374-7817 514 Old Steese 456-8686 227 N. Santa Claus Lane (North Pole) 488-7444

11365153 5-16-10RC

2301 South Cushman 452-6000

Fort Wainwright 3703 Neeley Road 356-1481

lot,” he said of the Readers’ Choice award. Gallo said he has a good relationship with his uncle, Abraham, the owner of Gallo’s and Taco King restaurants in Fairbanks and Anchorage. He said the location of Taco Azteca-Mayan Palace in West Fairbanks is part of an effort to avoid direct competition with Abraham’s businesses on the east side of town. “I kind of look at him like my role model,” Willy Gallo said. “We’re family. I respect him a lot.” Gallo said his menu of

HEARTFELT THANKS to my clients, Chris & Company, my family and my husband for all of your support in my creative ideas.


13365700 5-16-10RC


456-2888 • River Mall • 29 College Rd.

Thank You Interior Alaska!

mostly traditional Mexican food is similar to many of the dishes at Taco King, with a few twists. He’s added a bit of TexMex influence to some dishes, and included corn dogs and chicken strips on the kids’ menu, but Gallo said he won’t stray far from authentic food. The restaurant’s carne asada — a grilled beef dish — is the most popular item. “I wanted to accommodate everyone, but I don’t serve burgers, for sure,” he said. Gallo admits that one of his other well-known menu items is a gimmick, but it’s a fun one. The Burrito Azteca Grande is an intimidating four-pound mixture of chicken, beef, pork, beans, rice, cheese, pico de gallo sauce, guacamole and sour cream. If someone can polish off the $14.25 burrito alone, they get a free dessert — most likely in a to-go box. Gallo said many have tried to finish a Burrito Azteca Grande in one sitting, but only about 15 percent have succeeded. “I’m not sure if it’s the biggest in Alaska, but it’s the biggest in Fairbanks, for sure,” Gallo said. The third-place winner in the 2010 Readers’ Choice awards belongs to Los Amigos, a mainstay for southof-the-border food in South Fairbanks.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518.

Locally Owned & Operated

Joe & Jane Russo Joe and NorthPointe Properties, Inc. dba Russo Realty – Joe Russo, Broker/Owner • Jane Russo, Salesperson/Owner


Member: National Association of Realtors, Alaska Association of Realtors, Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors, Local Multiple Listing Service

57365737 5-16-10RC


515 7th Ave. Ste. 320


Readers Choice 2010 Eric Engman/News-Miner

Owner Edith Desmond, left, serves up a cup of soup as customers browse the selections at the Red Couch Trading Post The grocery, deli and bakery is located on the corner of Second Avenue and Dunkel Street in downtown. The Red Couch scored Readers Choice nods for its brunch, hot dogs, ice cream and milkshakes, and outstanding cashier/clerk, Vicki Baker.


BEST SANDWICHES Thank you for your business and votes; it's a pleasure serving you! Val, Jim & crew at—

Speedy Submarine Sandwich 3532 International St. 457-1655 18366666 5-16-10RC

Thanks to everyone CAR


who participated in the Reader’s Choice poll, for voting us the best car wash in Fairbanks for the 7th year in a row!

(Car Wash Express) 12366575 5-16-10RC

Corner of University & Airport • & Our New Location 720 Old Steese


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank You, Fairbanks! for voting me #2 Optometrist Four time #1 winner! Optometrist




Jay Titus Manager








Both s location are Tr i - C a r er s provide

Dr. John Lounsbury, Optometrist



I would also like to thank my staff at Sam’s Club Optical and Wal-Mart Optical for helping make this honor happen.

2010 Readers Choice  

Fairbanks readers voted on the best of the best businesses in Fairbanks.

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