FEBRUARY 6 - FEBRUARY 12, 2018
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE
Swirbul earns silver and bronze at World Juniors
Should celebrities run for president?
Arguing academically By Malia Barto
Over 50 students occupied one of the Social Science Building’s lecture halls for the Cabin Fever Debates’ informational session on Jan. 30. The night held time for presentations and an exhibition debate by the Seawolf Debate team, who were in attendance with students taking COMM A360, competitive debate, and other students who were interested in learning what it takes to be a successful debater. The Cabin Fever Debates is an intramural debate tournament in its 13th year. UAA’s Seawolf Debate is the only intercollegiate debate program in Alaska, therefore making all of their tournaments out of state. The purpose of the Cabin Fever Debates was to bring back debate tournaments to Alaska, while introducing other UAA students to debate. “I look forward to people coming to understand that debate can be fun; that
civil, critical discourse can be intellectually stimulating and very satisfying,” Steve Johnson, director of the Seawolf Debate Program, said. Not only does participating in Cabin Fever Debates give students the opportunity to brush up on their critical thinking and argumentative skills, but the tournament also awards prize money. The semifinalist team will win and split $100, the finalist team $200 and the championship team $1,000. The Quianna Clay Prize for Excellence in Debating will be given to the top speaker of the series, as well as $100. Half of last year’s winning team, Joey Sweet has returned to Cabin Fever Debates with the hopes of winning the championship again. He called the tournament a “one of a kind” event and looks forward to debating with his new partner this year. “I’m feeling optimistic about our chances and, of course, looking at that sweet prize money,” Sweet said. For others, the tournament is a good
PHOTO BY JAY GUZMAN
Robert Hockema speaks as other members of the Seawolf Debate team stand for questions during a demonstration debate for the participants in the upcoming Cabin Fever Debates.
way to branch out of their comfort zone. Health sciences student Justine Soller looks at the event as an opportunity to help her get over her dislike of public speaking. This is her first time debating as well as public speaking.
“I want to get over it, so might as well rip the Band-Aid off,” Soller said. “I’m nervous but more excited than so.”
Anchorage to hold first vote-by-mail election in April
PHOTO COURTESY OF DIVISION OF ELECTIONS
The Municipality of Anchorage offers tours for the public to view the sorting and verification process.
By Mariah DeJesus-Remaklus firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time, the April 2018 Anchorage Municipal election will be held through a vote-by-mail process. Ballots will be sent out about three weeks beforehand, giving voters time to fill them out and send them in. This new procedure will replace the old one in which voters had to travel to their designated polling places. They will no longer be required to vote at a certain location. “That gives people a chance to take a look at it and maybe sit down with their family to discuss the issues and so forth,” Joyce Anderson, president of the League of Women Voters, said. Anderson has been working with the Municipality of Anchorage on education and outreach for vote-by-mail. She says that some of the reasons the Municipality decided to turn to vote-by-mail were to increase voter turnout and convenience.
The equipment was also getting old, requiring replacement parts that the manufacturer no longer made. Now, the election headquarters downtown contain brand new equipment that is specialized for the vote-by-mail process. Registered voters will receive their ballots in the mail. When they are filled out, they can return a ballot in one of three ways: drop them off in one of the 12 secure drop boxes that will be stationed throughout Anchorage, mail it with USPS first class postage or take it to an accessible vote center, like the Municipality election center. Carolyn Hall, an education and outreach coordinator with the Municipal Clerk’s Office, says that voters are encouraged to save money and use the drop boxes or visit an accessible vote center. Hall also recognizes the concerns about fraud and security that some voters may have and says the entire process that a ballot goes through after leaving the voters’ hands is intended to protect the voter. All of their policies and procedures should run “as efficiently and responsibly facebook.com/northernlightuaa
as possible.” “No matter what, there’s always at least two people handling ballots,” Hall said. After ballots are dropped off at the election headquarters, they will be fed through a machine that inspects the voter signature along with other details, such as the thickness of the envelope and the printed barcode. There will be a trained team verifying signatures and any discrepancies will be handled by a resolution team. One part of the building has access to the local intranet for computers assigned to their call center, but the rest of the equipment intended to handle election ballots are air-gapped. This is to decrease the risk of tampering or hacking. Additional security measures are as detailed as keeping an audit log of any employee who takes a look at election results before polls are closed as well as running a mock election in December 2017. Fake ballots were sent out to employees who were invited to present challenges for the vote-by-mail process, such as destroying the ballots. Hall says this allowed them to consider new disparities and come up with ways to resolve them. The public is invited to see this process at the election headquarters. “We really welcome people to come in because nobody really knows what’s going on in here,” Hall said. Compared to Anchorage City Hall where previous elections were held, the new headquarters is a renovated warehouse that is more open and accessible. Schawna Thoma from Northern Compass Group, a consulting firm, says voteby-mail may also affect campaigning strategies. It is traditional for candidates to campaign and market closer to election day, but now that voters will have more time, that could change.
“Now, it’s a little bit of a moving target,” Thoma said. “When is ‘get out the vote?’ Is it three weeks long? Is it the beginning, the middle, the end?” There could be an uptick in campaign efforts during the first week and last, Thoma said. Hall looks forward to seeing what voter turnout will be. For the 2015 mayoral election, it was at 35 percent, and for last year’s municipal election, it was about 23 percent. “We are very excited about the potential voter turnout,” Hall said. “We want more people to be involved.” Anderson also says that she is excited about vote-by-mail, seeing that Washington, Oregon and Colorado have already implemented this process. The deadline for voter registration is March 4. Ballots will not be forwarded, so voters must ensure their mailing address is correct. Hall says that voters can also sign up for informed delivery through USPS to keep track of their ballot to prevent mail theft. More information, including an interactive map of vote centers and drop boxes, can be found online at muni.org/ elections.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
Legislative session starts, UA officials advocate budget increase
PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNETH J. GILL
Government relations officials from the University of Alaska are ramping up advocacy efforts for an increased budget during the second legistlative session in Juneau.
“That is the goal and we’ll go after it ... and that’ll be a success email@example.com because — not because we’ve achieved the goal — but because The 30th Alaska State Legis- we are now able to invest in the lature began its second session real goals which are workforce Jan. 16. Government relations development and research and employees from the University economic development and atof Alaska are ramping up ad- tainment,” Johnsen said. vocacy efforts this semester in The university received $377 hopes of securing more funding million in general funds in for the university. FY14, and has received smaller University officials are advo- allocations each following year, cating for a $341 million operat- according to the University of ing budget appropriation and a Alaska FY18 operating budget $50 million capital budget allo- support. cation for deferred maintenance. Increasing the capital budget University of Alaska Presi- is another priority for advocates dent, Jim Johnsen, said success- this legislative session. The capful advocacy will be achieved ital budget focuses on deferred by receiving a general fund allo- maintenance, and the university cation of $341 million from the is asking for $50 million. state. “We had a similar ask of $50 “It’s going to be a hard goal, million dollars last year… We there’s no question,” Johnsen were able to get $5 million out said. “But I don’t see a choice of the process last year,” Miles but to go after that. It’s critical... Baker, Associate Vice President $341 [million] that’s still 10 per- of Government Relations, said. cent below our [fiscal year 2014] The university manages over budget for the state. It’s still a 400 buildings statewide, and the long-term cut from where we deferred maintenance budget were, so it’s not an increase over would go towards upkeep and our high, it’s actually just sort of repairs. Baker has been worka step up but it’s definitely still a ing in Juneau since the session step way down from where we opened, and he said he is adwere.” vocating to increase Gov. Bill The Board of Regents has set Walker’s budget proposal. out five strategic goals to use “This year, if we can mainrevenue for, including economic tain or increase the Governor’s development, workforce devel- budget for the university, that opment, research, educational will be extremely successful,” attainment and increased cost Baker said. “...I think maineffectiveness. taining and improving the uniBy Cheyenne Mathews
versity’s relationships with the legislature and ...making a good impression and communicating the value of the importance of investing in higher education, if we get those messages out then I think we’ve done a good job.” House Bill 282 and Senate Bill 140 both fund the capital budget for the state by instating a tax, according to the senate bill. “The 15 appropriations made in this Act are contingent on passage by the Thirtieth Alaska State 16 Legislature and enactment into law of a bill, to take effect not later than January 1, 2019, 17 establishing a payroll, income, or other broad-based tax projected by the Department of 18 Revenue to generate not less than $800,000,000 during fiscal years 2019 - 2021,” the senate bill reads. Baker said advocacy efforts by the university are bolstered by student and industry testimony. This article is the first in a series of three pieces The Northern Light is writing to preview legislative efforts in Juneau this semester. Pick up a paper next week to read about government relation’s officials goals for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, the Alaska Education Grant and the education tax credit.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
First Vice Chancellor candidate presents at open forum
PHOTO BY JAY GUZMAN
Sandra Culver presents at the first open forum on Jan. 29 in a series of forums held by candidates for the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services.
By Cheyenne Mathews firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidates for Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services will be presenting at open forums to the UAA community throughout this month. The first candidate to present was UAA employee, Sandra Culver on Jan. 29. The administrative services position is one of the highest ranking and paying positions at UAA. The vice chancellor oversees Facilities and Campus Services, Athletics, Human Re-
source Services, University Police Department, Information Technology Services and Administrative Services at UAA. Culver has been an employee at UAA since 2011 and has been serving in her current role as associate vice chancellor for Administrative Services since 2015. Culver presented at open forums held for the community last Monday and Tuesday. Culver has held multiple roles at the university, including one as an adjunct professor for the College of Business and Public Policy and as a Seawolf parent. “I am a proud alumni mom. [I
have] personal experience with the pain points for students and parents as [my daughter] and I navigated her successful journey at UAA,” Culver said. “My leadership style is both democratic and transformational, maintaining a team focus through collaboration and empowerment provides a deep sense of shared purpose.” Culver spoke about reforming the financial management system, and she advocated for culture change. “I yearn to be able to say, with confidence that UAA is on the cutting edge. To get there
we must empower a new culture to develop,” Culver said. “As a team we can create the environment to facilitate this cultural shift.” Four UAA employees attended the first forum, including Glenna Muncy, director of Parking Services. “I want to disclose that Sandi [Culver] is my direct supervisor... I have a question because currently in your role you perform very different functions, I think, than you would as the vice chancellor role,” Muncy said. “What are some strategies that you feel you could use to effectively bring together the diverse teams that you would manage including facilities and all the auxiliary services and the Alaska Airlines Center and their athletic staff. What are some ways that you could unify with our current... operations?” Culver said she would focus on the things that unify diverse and distinct operations to form a cohesive unit. “For us, if we didn’t have students who were focusing on obtaining degrees, we wouldn’t be here. So that needs to be prime in what we do,” Culver said. Steve Rollins, chair of the search committee, asked Culver how she would prioritize the UAA 2020 goal of student affordability.
“In the position that you are applying for, you would have more say in the budget and tuition determinations I suspect with Statewide, so I was just wondering about your thoughts in terms of the role of tuition at the university?” Rollins said. “Anything is a part of this picture about how we try to make it a more affordable higher education experience for students.” Culver said she wanted to implement an organizational system that would allow anyone to pull a budget or report when they needed. “I’m excited about the opportunity to not be flying under the radar anymore and to actually be at the vice-chancellor level where I can have an impact and where I can drive change and be more intentional and more impactful about initiating and leading the charge on the changes that I think would be very productive,” Culver said. The second candidate forum will be held Feb. 6-7. Mark Denny, associate vice president at Southern Oregon University, will be presenting. There are a total of six candidates for Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, including Interim Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Pat Shier.
Trita Parsi discusses US-Iranian tensions, nuclear deal By Marie Ries
The Alaska World Affairs Council will be hosting a talk on Feb. 9 about U.S.-Iranian relations. Under the title “Iran: Trump’s gift to the hard-liners,” returning guest speaker Trita Parsi will discuss issues of Middle East politics at the 49th State Brewing Company. Parsi is an expert on Iranian foreign politics, as well as U.S.-Iranian relations. He has won several prizes for his books on these subjects and regularly appears on TV to comment on the Middle East and Iran. The native Iranian left his home country with his family as a child to escape political repression. He grew up in Sweden, later working for the Security Council of the United Nations in New York. Today, he holds dual Iranian-Swedish citizenship and lives in the U.S. In 2002, he founded the National Iranian American Council. This non-profit organization is aiming to promote “greater understanding between the American and Iranian people,” according to the NIAC mission statement. Camilla Hussein, public adminis-
tration major, is looking forward to the event. She has Syrian roots and spent part of her teenage years in Damascus. Aware of the complex tensions in the Middle East, she is interested in hearing the award-winning author’s opinions. “People need to be aware that this presidency is clueless about the minutiae of Middle Eastern diplomacy,” Hussein said. Parsi’s latest book reveals the behind the scenes story to the historic nuclear deal with Iran. This arrangement will also be the focus of his program on Friday. The 2015 nuclear deal is a preliminary agreement between Iran and the members of the United Nations Security Council as well as the European Union. In return for granted limitations on the Iranian nuclear energy program, the U.N. and EU lifted their strict economic sanctions on Iran. The sanctions were placed due to the fear that Iran might use their energy program to develop nuclear weapons. Easing tensions between Iran and the other parties, the agreement was internationally welcomed. President Donald Trump announced that he is considering discontinuing the deal. In a speech from Oct. 13, 2017, he
accused Iran of “sponsorship of terrorism” and issued a warning towards Teheran. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Trump said. “[The agreement] is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, at any time.” In his program, Trita Parsi will answer the question “Will killing the Nuclear Deal bring the U.S. and Iran towards war?” and provide different views on the complex topic. UAA student Ben Edwards is interested in the Iranian perspective of the issue. He is involved with the Model United Nations of Alaska, a simulation of the U.N. Participators represent different countries and discuss issues of international importance. This year, Edwards is going to represent the Islamic Republic of Iran. He hopes the event will help him to develop a further understanding of the U.S.-Iranian relations and issues the country might be facing. “We Americans are well aware of how our country regards Iran. But few of us
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALASKA WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL
Trita Parsi spoke on peace between Israel and Iran at TEDGlobal 2013.
know how Iran regards the U.S.,” Edwards said. “I think this event will help me better roleplay Iran in the Model U.N. conference.” The one-hour program starts at noon. College and high school students who register in advance will receive complimentary admission and a voucher for lunch at the 49th State Brewing Company. For more information about the event, go to alaskaworldaffairs.org.
04 | NEWS
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
Department of Transportation seeks public feedback on Midtown Congestion Relief plan
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES
By Mariah DeJesus-Remaklus email@example.com
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is implementing a project to address traffic accidents, delays and other issues in midtown Anchorage. The Midtown Congestion Relief project will focus on the area stretching from 20th Avenue to Tudor Road on the
Seward Highway corridor. It’s still in its early stages and the DOT is looking to receive input and suggestions from the general public. “At some of those intersections we have some of the longest traffic delays in the state. We see a higher than average accident rate at a lot of those signals,” Sean Holland, project manager with DOT, said. The Seward highway is a “barrier” be-
tween commercial and residential areas, Holland said. There isn’t a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic since the intersections are not ideal or safe. These delays have led people to seek routes around intersections by cutting through neighborhoods. Chantal Belle has lived in Anchorage for about 27 years. She doesn’t travel the Seward corridor often, but when she does, the traffic is interrupted. “What I notice is that everybody is just roaring along going northbound from south Anchorage and then it screeches to a stop at Tudor,” Belle said. “And it’s the most traveled highway that gets you from the south — you know, the panhandle, Kenai, Soldotna — to the valley.” Belle supports efforts to ease traffic. “It forces you to go through all these intersections but I feel like it could be easily bypassed with some sort of offramp created to access those other streets, like Tudor [Road], 36th [Avenue], Spenard [Road]... and then maybe bypass downtown altogether,” Belle said. “That would be ideal but I realize that would be a huge infrastructure plan that might not be feasible given the budget cuts and all of that.” A public meeting was held on Jan. 30 as an open house for the project. Holland says that it is important to evaluate what people think about the corridor and how it can be improved before moving on to the design stage. “We have a lot of data and public comments that we’re going to be able to use to put our new concepts together but we’re going to start with a fresh look,” Holland said. Thomas Dougherty, central region construction engineer with the department, says that the MCR is also part of Alaska’s “highway-to-highway” project, which is intended to connect the Glenn and Seward highways. “This is just a very small segment of highway-to-highway. The issue is there’s been a need in identifying plans to some-
how connect Seward highway and the Glenn highway,” Dougherty said. “Now this is a smaller increment.” The highway-to-highway project has been under consideration for several years. “It proved to be too big as far as a massive scope and a massive cost. We went from that big project and we tried to focus on a smaller project that has [worse] traffic and the worst of those problems,” Holland said. The project is estimated to take about 10 years, and since it will take time for it to move through public opinion, planning and design, it may be years before it reaches Dougherty’s desk. Depending on funding and other factors, it is still possible the entire project may not progress. “It may not move forward. It just may be determined that it’s not something we need to do ‘cause we’re just in the information-gathering stage,” Dougherty said. “And there’s a lot of different things that people want in that area.” Holland says that there is enough funding for design but not for construction. The MCR project will likely be broken down into smaller projects for logistic and funding purposes. “We have more money than we need to get through design but we don’t have enough money to build one of those big projects,” Holland said. “We’re saying that we’re looking at getting this whole thing built out in 10 years but that’s probably optimistic. There’s a lot of other needs in the state and we have to compete with all those needs to get funding.” The DOT will be hosting more public discussions to give Alaskans the chance to provide input. There is also an interactive map on midtowncongestionrelief. com where people can leave comments. A transportation fair is also being held on Feb. 8 at the Alaska Airlines Center where Holland and other DOT employees will have a table set up for the MCR project.
FEATURES 300 meals later
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
College Cookbook: Overnight oats
Day in the life of Bean’s Café volunteer
By Victoria Petersen firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO BY CRISTIAN CIELO
Bean’s Café volunteers serve food during the lunch shift on Jan. 30.
eridge said that she’s volunteered at other places with her daughter, but this was her email@example.com first time at Beans Café. “[We’re] expecting to help and get a “Volunteering” can be a vague term, feel for it,” Beveridge said. Her daughter and it can be hard to figure out where to nodded, adding that they expected it to be start. Beyond that, many people aren’t fun as well. sure what their volunteer experience will Cole says that weekday shifts are curlook like. How many hours are they ex- rently the most needed ones, as weekend pected to put in? What sort of skill sets shifts are often easy to fill. Lasiter adds will they need? Who will they be help- that Friday morning shifts at the Chiling? dren’s Lunchbox, Beans Café’s partFor someone in this position, Beans ner kitchen that serves children in Title Café offers short and frequent shifts I schools around the Anchorage School throughout the day with an organized District, are always in need of volunteers. staff and ample parking. The on-site aids According to him, they deliver between are accustomed to quickly training new- 2,500 to 4,000 meals on these days. comers before the shift starts. If a student can’t volunteer with their “Anyone and everyone [can volun- time due to scheduling conflicts, Beans teer],” Zachary Lasiter, the café’s volun- Café accepts donations. teer coordinator and UAA alumnus, said. “Toilet paper, coffee, canned fruit, He adds that the only requirement for canned veggies, fresh fruit, fresh vegBean’s Café is being 18 years old. Though gies,” Cole says, listing off the items that the café accepts special skillsets, they do they are typically in need of. not expect them of volunteers. Lasiter says that both kitchens operDuring the Tuesday lunch shift, vol- ate on a seven-day rule, in which donated unteers who served food stood in front foods are used within seven days of being of a buffet line, with each volunteer giv- dropped off. en only one or two items to scoop at a Cole adds that donators would be wise time. Once serving started, things moved to avoid food items that they may only requickly. First, the volunteers from earlier ceive in small amounts, such as pumpkin shifts received their trays, followed by or squash. They cannot use non-perishthe elderly and disabled, followed by all able food items until they have enough of the other patrons. it to feed a full round of patrons, which With Daren Cole, staff member, at the he says can reach up to 350 people in the helm, over 250 patrons received a tray colder parts of winter. of rice, turkey, green beans and bread. Lasiter believes that there are inherent Many were able to come back for sec- rewards for students volunteering. onds, the steam rising off of their plates “It’s real easy to go through that poras they head for their tables in the dining tion of your life without really being exroom. posed to all facets of society,” Lasiter “Happy Thanksgiving to us,” a man in said. “By volunteering at Beans Café, you line called out as he grabbed his tray. get to meet a portion of your community Cole also knew many of the patrons, that you might not necessarily get to see either by face or by name. [otherwise].” “You might catch somebody who Beans Café is at 1101 E. Third Ave. in hasn’t been around in a while, and they downtown Anchorage. Shift sign-ups can come back,” Cole said. be found online at beanscafe.org. MornThen, he geared up for the next round ing shifts typically start at 7 a.m. In early of volunteers, a mother-daughter team May, they accept volunteers for the Beans who arrived just before the building ex- Café community garden. perienced a power outage. Beth BevBy Abigail Slater
I’m sure I am not alone in that I always forget to eat breakfast. For busy students, overnight oats could be the answer to not making enough time in the morning to eat a full-on breakfast. Overnight oats don’t
require a precise recipe, but instead a ratio, 1:1. However many oats you use, balance that with the same amount of liquid. The more liquid you put, the runnier the oats will be, and the less liquid you put in the thicker the oatmeal will be. Then, you’ll need a sweetener of some sort; add as much as you like. Stir all that together, and put in the refrigerator. In the morning you can top with granola, fresh fruit, peanut butter or whatever your heart desires. Start with a mason jar, fill the jar with as many oats as you’d like. After this step you get to be creative. Here’s some ideas to get you started on your overnight oats adventure. Possible liquids include coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, whole milk, cream, orange juice, lemonade and yogurt. Possible sweeteners could consist of agave, honey, jam, jelly, dried fruit, maple syrup, simple syrup, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla extract, citrus zest, macadamia nuts, shredded coconut or nut butters.
06 | FEATURES
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
The old boat: A piece of history from the Old Glenn Highway erty of Clem Tillion. Then, another wave of firstname.lastname@example.org fortune; according to LeProwse, the rumor was that it had “hit an It spans 80 feet from bow iceberg in Yakutat somewhere to stern, though its structure and was brought to Homer.” has begun to crumble in recent It was here that Wallace, a years. The windows are busted young aspiring boat collector at out of it, with sections over- the time, discovered the Chacon. grown with moss. At some point It had been beached there for the propellers disappeared, too. years, with parts of it in grave “The whole stern is falling disrepair. Wallace would go on off,” Stephanie LeProwse, the to collect other boats, including daughter of Thillman “Til” Wal- one previously owned by Howlace, said. ard Hughes. But in spite of its Wallace, the boat’s last owner lack of prestige, the Chacon was during its sailing years, turned special. the Chacon into his passion proj“The reason my father took ect until it eventually deteriorat- on the monumental task of saled. Even so, it stands proud on vaging the Chacon was not for the side of the Old Glenn High- the love of boats but for the chalway, its flags and décor as prom- lenge,” LeProwse, who inherited inent as ever. the boat from Wallace, said. “He In 2016, the Chacon was lived his life like that. Always listed on the Alaska Associa- looking for a new one.” tion for Historic Preservation’s In the preface of his book “A “Ten Most Endangered Historic Monkey’s Tale,” Wallace writes Properties” list, alongside well- about his many travels to and known locations such as the from Alaska, including some Fourth Avenue Theatre in down- of the challenges that LeProwse town Anchorage and the Buck- mentioned. ner building in Whittier, Alaska. It took many long hours of laThe Chacon (“shack on”), bor that would eventually get the was completed by the Johnson Chacon back up and running in Brothers and Blanchard in Se- 1983. During this time, it called attle in 1912, the same year that Anchorage its home. LeProwse the Titanic sank. Originally de- remembers watching her father signed for the Fidalgo Island row out each day in a small boat Packing Co., it departed Seat- to the Chacon, which was too tle’s ports and made the trip up big to be anchored near shore. to Ketchikan, where it operated With the state’s economic as a trap fishing and tender boat crash in the late 80’s, the monover the years. LeProwse says ey dried up and Wallace could that the name comes from Cape no longer maintain the boat. He Chacon, Alaska, near Wrangell. dry-docked it in Chugiak, where The Chacon operated faith- it remains to this day. fully for the Fidalgo Island Mikhail Siskoff, a board Packing Co., but it also partici- member for the Alaska Associapated in some shining moments tion for Historic Preservation, of Alaskan history. In 1930, it recalls seeing the boat in its curwas featured in the Port Gra- rent spot often as a kid. He even ham Independence Day Parade helped create a Wikipedia page in Seldovia, Alaska. In 1964, for the boat. the Chacon assisted with the “Thillman Wallace was a loevacuation of Kodiak after the cal business owner, he owned infamous ’64 earthquake and its Klondike Concrete. He had big devastating aftermath. dreams but not enough time,” In 1978, the Chacon went Siskoff said. out of service, 66 years after its In the end, the Chacon might maiden voyage. It transferred never be more than an old membetween the hands of several ory. As of now, its future remen after this, the recreational mains unclear. It can be seen sitboat of a half dozen Alaskan ting along the Old Glenn Highfamilies before it became prop- way in Chugiak, AK. By Abigail Slater
PHOTOS BY ABIGAIL SLATER
The Chacon was built in 1912, and went out of service in 1978. The boat has been dry-docked in Chugiak, and can be seen sitting along the Old Glenn Highway.
PHOTOS BY ABIGAIL SLATER
In 2016, the Chacon was listed as one of the “Top Most Endangered Historic Properties” according to the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
Confucius Institute hosts Lunar New Year celebration By Marie Ries
The UAA Confucius Institute is hosting an authentic Chinese New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, for the Anchorage community. A traditional lunar calendar determines the beginning of the new year which falls on the new moon between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. Annie Ping Zeng, associate professor of Chinese, serves as director of the Confucius Institute at UAA. She described the Chinese New Year as the most important holiday in China as well as in some of its neighboring countries. Celebrations typically start on the evening preceding the first day of the new year and end after 15 days with the traditional Lantern Festival. Chinese people living abroad are keeping these traditions alive. “A lot of overseas Chinese [people] celebrate that same evening by hosting different types of performances and celebrations,” Zeng said. The significance of the holiday has a historical reason. “China was a farming country a long, long time ago. People just depended on the moon
PHOTO COURTESY CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE
The TianJin Performing Arts Troupe from China will perform at the Lunar New Year celebrations hosted by the Confucius Institute.
because of the tide,” Zeng said. “That is why we follow the lunar calendar.” As director of the institute, Zeng has designed programs to expand Chinese language programs in the UA system and Alaska schools. In addition, she is planning a variety of events bringing the Chinese culture closer to the Anchorage community. The Confucius Institute has
been hosting Chinese New Year celebrations for several years at the university. All students and the public are invited to attend. Yunqing Wang, nursing major, will experience the celebration for the second time at UAA. Originally from China, she moved to Alaska about five years ago. Even though she is not directly involved with the institute, she often takes part in the events hosted by it.
“I would say Chinese New Year is just like American Christmas. In China, we would always gather with families and have… dinner together,” Wang said. “Because of the pollution, we don’t do fireworks anymore, but… it is really nice.” For the festival, the Confucius Institute has prepared a varied program. In addition to games and acrobats, there will also be musical performances
and dances. “We have invited a professional performer group from China called the TianJin Performing Arts Troupe. TianJin is [a city] very close to Beijing,” Zeng said. “The Confucius Institute will also contribute a few performances, so it is kind of a joined effort.” Although the UAA festival differs from the celebrations she knows from her home country, Wang still thinks that it is a good opportunity for both Chinese and American students to experience the traditional holiday. “I feel like in America some people probably don’t even know it,” Wang said. “I just hope more people will learn about Chinese culture.” Yuan Tian, guest instructor at the UAA Confucius Institute, thinks that familiarity with the Chinese culture could be particularly beneficial for Alaskans. “China is becoming Alaska’s biggest commercial partner right now,” Tian said. “[Knowing more about Chinese culture] could provide people with more job opportunities.” The celebrations take place on Feb. 13 from 7 - 9 p.m. in the UAA Recital Hall. For more information, visit the website of the Confucius Institute under uaa.alaska.edu/ci.
DEBATE: Cabin Fever Debates start Feb. 6 The tournament will start their preliminary rounds on Tuesday, Feb. 6 with debates on if “U.S. immigration policy should prioritize merit over family reunification” and if “the United States’ national security would benefit from the development of low-yield nuclear weapons.” More preliminary rounds on different topics will take place until the semifinals on March 6. The champions will be named after the final round
on March 8. Seawolf Debate averages around 15-20 students, depending on the year. It is an “open door” program, not requiring previous debating experience or other prerequisites. The program welcomes students to take a hold of the resources the debate program offers and if they are willing to put in the time and effort, they could join the team and represent UAA at intercollegiate tournaments.
The team has been doing “very well” this year, according to Johnson. They came out with a win at the Seattle IV tournament hosted by Seattle University in early December 2017. Prior to Seattle IV, the team of Sam Erickson and Jacob Shercliffe advanced to a final round at the Hong Kong Open in late October. World Universities Debating Championships in late December 2017 did not go as preferred
for the Seawolves, but the their top team was ranked the 39th and 40th speakers out of about 650 speakers. Johnson said he and the team are looking forward to the Western Regional Championships in late March and the United States University Debating Championships in mid-April. “We’re also excited that the U.S. Championships are held at Stanford this year, so [it’ll] be on the west coast,” Johnson said.
“We’re pretty familiar with the judging pool on the west coast and are pretty well-known there, too, so I think it’ll be a good tournament for us and a great opportunity.” Seawolf Debate will also be hosting a scrimmage against Cornell University at UAA in April. For more information on Seawolf Debate, visit their website at seawolfdebate.com.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
Swirbul competes in Junior World Championships UAA sophomore traveled to Switzerland to compete with top junior skiers from around the world By Lauren Cuddihy
After only one year of collegiate racing, UAA Nordic skier Hailey Swirbul traveled to Switzerland in January to partake in the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1. The Colorado local came to Alaska in 2016 to begin her degree in civil engineering and join the UAA ski team. Swirbul fit into the skiing community in Anchorage and used it to her advantage to earn all but one top20 finishes in the six meets she competed in during the 2016-17 season. “I have been skiing competitively since fifth grade. I began skiing as cross-training for mountain bike racing, which I have done my whole life,” Swirbul said. Swirbul also competed last year in the World Junior Championships as part of a relay. “That was the first time in history that the U.S. has earned a relay medal at WJ’s, and it was so awesome to be a part of that,” Swirbul said. “I’ve been fortunate to have some international racing experience under my belt, so I knew what I was
PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIP HICKEY
Hailey Swirbul, UAA sophomore and Nordic skier, earned silver in the 5K classic and bronze in the skiathon at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Switzerland.
getting into and the level of racing to be expected at World Juniors.” Initially, there were 41 females in the Juniors and U23 groups who qualified and competed. Swirbul did not expect to do as well as she did in the beginning, even during her race and right after she was unsure of her overall standing. “The excitement from the result didn’t really hit me until
later in the day. The interesting thing about interval start races is that you can never be sure what your result is until everyone has finished,” Swirbul said, “and I definitely did not expect to earn second.” With a final time of 14 minutes and 13 seconds in the 5-kilometer race, Swirbul managed to pick up her first medal for the competition with a second place finish. She was only 15 seconds
behind the first place finisher, Polina Nekrasova from Russia. Swirbul kept a solid place in second with the third place finisher 11 seconds behind. In addition to the 5-kilometer individual classic, Swirbul competed three days later in the skiathlon. This race consisted of two separate 2.5-kilometer courses, one classic and one freestyle. Along with 44 other women
in the group, Swirbul took off in good spirits; halfway through the race she sat in twelfth place until pulling up to sixth when switching into the freestyle race. Swirbul battled through the other competitors to finish third, only being out-sprinted and beat by 0.70 seconds. Swirbul finished the skiathlon with a time of 33 minutes and 31.9 seconds. Swirbul owes her success in Switzerland to her long-term commitment to skiing. “Ultimately, the ski training I’ve done for the past nine years has played into preparation for these races. All training builds on previous training, and all race experience helps you learn things to improve in future races,” Swirbul said. After the finish of World Junior Championships, Swirbul will be on her way back to the U.S. to continue her season at UAA. “I hope to return to the U.S. healthy and feeling ready to race at NCAA championships. I’d like to earn all American there, and contribute to a good overall team score at the championships,” Swirbul said. The NCAA Championships will take place March 7-10.
Seawolf gymnasts hosts multi-team meet By Lauren Cuddihy
On Feb. 3, Sacramento State and Air Force joined the Seawolves for their first time hosting a regular season meet in the main gym of the Alaska Airlines Center. The Seawolf Invitational took place over the course of four rotations, each team switching back and forth to perform routines on bars, beam, vault and floor. “I really like competing at home, it’s really nice to have the home-court advantage and it’s really exciting to be able to compete in the big arena. I haven’t been able to compete there yet,” sophomore Mackenzie Miller said. This meet was unique for the teams in several ways. “This meet was exciting because it was our senior night and we were able to recognize seniors from Air Force and Sac State as well,” Head Coach Tanya Ho said. Since the last meet, where the
Seawolves were plagued with illness and injury, Ho said they came into this tri-meet more prepared. “I am seeing a lot of depth from the team recently and we had three more healthy athletes back in this meet,” Ho said. “We were at 11 athletes, even though full strength would still be 13, 11 [athletes] is still a lot better than seven.” Both away teams came to the meet with similar season averages: Air Force with 192.625 and Sacramento State averaging 192.356. In the past, UAA has had mixed results against each team. Last year, the Air Force visited UAA in early March, only to lose with a score discrepancy of nearly three points (194.125191.975). However, Air Force has 10 wins over the Seawolves in all-time history (30-20). As for Sacramento State, the Seawolves have only beat the Hornets nine times in meet history. “It was our first time going against conference competitors
so that was nice, but also it was lot of fun to see [Sacramento] State come up here, because I came from that program,” Ho said. “It was definitely nice to [compete against] Air Force too, they have been doing pretty well this year.” Sacramento State last competed against UAA when the Seawolves traveled down to California in early February 2017. Sacramento State won their last encounter at 194.400 to 190.900. Despite the excitement around the home event, the Seawolves ended up with a third place finish with a score of 190.125. The Seawolves made two first place finishes, by freshman Isabelle Fox and senior Kendra Daniels. Fox posted a 9.875 in floor, while Daniels posted the same score in beam. Fox earned third place in vault (9.700), 12th in bars (9.375), and sixth in beam to finish the all-around in third with a final score of 38.700. Fox’s third place finish in
PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIP HICKEY
Kendra Daniels holds a pose during the floor exercise on Feb. 3. Daniels, a senior specializing in uneven bars, vault and floor, scored a 9.6 on the floor during her last home meet of her collegiate career.
vault helped the team to their season best score in that event (48.025). Kennedy Green and Isabella Scalapino also placed high in vault, with a tie at seventh (9.600). Freshman Hope Nelson also placed as the top UAA finisher in bars, with a final score of 9.675. Despite the loss, the high level of competition helped the Seawolves each excel on a individual level.
“It was really exciting that we get to compete with these two really great schools,” Miller said. “We have a lot of experience competing with schools like this, but I was just excited to go out there and gain more experience against better schools.” The gymnasts have competed in their final home meet of the season, but will be back in action again in Louisiana on Feb. 9 against Centenary.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
Celebrities should The US should withold not run for president aid from Pakistan
By Caleb Berry
The election of former television personality Donald Trump to the office of president has led to the general public entertaining the possibility of other celebrities seeking the White House. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has recently claimed to be interested in running for commander-in-chief. Oprah Winfrey has been asked by thousands on social media to begin a campaign despite the fact that Oprah has said she is not interested. Even Kanye West is throwing his hat into the ring. As entertaining as it would be to watch Kanye West dabble in politics, it is rarely positive and largely negative for celebrities to run for president. The argument that celebrities should not run for president is based on a very simple thesis: politics is not supposed to be a circus. Presidential elections are very serious and solemn affairs where we as a nation of free men and women come together to pick a person to lead our society. A presidential election is not about
being entertained. It is not about who has a popular TV show or who has the most triple-platinum albums. Many people treated the 2016 presidential election as a joke and honestly they should not be blamed for doing so. The 2016 election was something the country has never seen before and will hopefully never see again. A celebrity launching a presidential campaign turns the election into a circus. When Trump announced his candidacy he turned the 2016 election into a novelty. People stopped looking at the presidential election as a serious contest between qualified public servants to attain the highest office in society and started treating it like a reality TV show. Granted, some celebrities are more qualified than others. Oprah is definitely more qualified than Kanye West to run the country. That does not change the fact that we have set the dangerous precedent of simply electing popular people known for being on TV to public office. There is an important distinction to be made between someone who is a household name and someone who is a celebrity. Any congressperson, governor or holder of a high office is most likely going to be a household name. Most citizens who paid attention to politics knew who Sen. Bernie Sanders was before he announced his candidacy for the presidency. That does not make Sanders a celebrity. The difference between Sanders, Barak Obama and George W. Bush is that they gained their fame prior to their presidential campaigns by serving in public office while Trump has not. The president is our highest public servant. Those who seek the office should have a long record of public service to demonstrate they have the ability to perform the duties of president.
By Caleb Berry
There are times where I wish that the White House would block Twitter from its Wi-Fi service. I have never observed anyone as talented at picking a fight in 280 characters as President Donald Trump. However, just because a message is delivered in a tactless manner does not make the statement incorrect. In January 2018, the Trump administration considered withholding federal aid to the nation of Pakistan for their believed offenses. The New York Times reports that the amount that is being withheld is approximately $255 million. It is wise for the Trump administration to withhold all or part of the aid until the friendliness of the Pakistan government can be fully verified. Many people have experienced the misfortune of having a problematic friend. Most groups of friends have that one member who everyone tries to like but whose conduct just makes it difficult to trust them. Most people would not write a check to a friend they did not fully trust. Pakistan is this troublesome friend to the United States. The U.S. wants to be allies with Pakistan. When Pakistan cooperates with the U.S. and international sanctions they are usually decent allies but the times when they seem to act against the best interest of the U.S. calls their friendship into question. The United States should call Pakistan to answer for suspicious circumstances surrounding them that suggest they act against America’s interest before America sends more aid. For instance, I would like an answer for why Pakistan continues to hold Dr. Shakil Afridi. Afridi is a Pakistani physician who in 2011 helped the Central Intelligence Agency confirm the presence of Osama Bin Laden in the city Abbottabad, Pakistan. Afridi facilitated a fake hepatitis
vaccine program in the city that was used by the CIA to confirm that the mass murderer had secretly taken refuge inside of the city. Afridi has faced legal trouble ever since his decision was made to assist the CIA in bringing, arguably, the most dangerous man in modern history to justice. After a parade of accusations and inquiries for various supposed offenses the Pakistani government finally managed to have Afridi convicted on trumped up charges murder related to the death of a patient he had treated eight years prior. This is not a partisan issue. Leaders in both political parties have fought for Afridi’s release. The U.S. government has even reprimanded Pakistan for Afridi’s imprisonment in the past. According to NBC News, in 2012, the U.S. Senate Panel removed $33 million from Pakistan’s aid as a consequence of Afridi’s imprisonment. Afridi is a hero who is being punished for helping our country bring justice to a criminal mastermind, it could not be simpler. Pakistan should not receive one more penny of American aid until he is released from the detestable conditions he is being held in. What Pakistan is doing is wrong and if our country continues to provide aid to this government then we should be considered accomplices in Afridi’s imprisonment.
10 | OPINION
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
February 2018 from Student Body President Alec Burris Dear Seawolves, Because USUAA is dedicated to open and transparent dialogues, we have found it necessary to respond to concerns brought forward by several former student leaders. The discussions we have must come from a place of informed understanding. The individuals who issued concerns seem to misunderstand the nuance of our ongoing work. In November of 2017, a draft resolution was brought to the Legislative Affairs Committee, and after discussion, was not brought to a vote of the Assembly. The Legislative Affairs committee recognized USUAA’s commitment to effective and strategic advocacy, and realized it would be more impactful to pass a resolution during the Spring Semester. We have had several productive conversations with current UAA students regarding this issue, and we look forward future discussion and review. I would further encourage any current or former student leaders to attend USUAA Assembly Meetings to engage in a direct discussion with the USUAA Assembly. While this topic has been a portion of our advocacy this semester, we have also
“The Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage unequivocally supports the continuation of the APS and AEG being funded through the Alaska Higher Education Fund.” In the coming months, USUAA will do everything in its power to defend these programs on behalf of UAA students. We recognize the importance they play in ensuring the ability for our students to able to attend UAA and will not allow them to be trivialized by state politics. Defending the APS and AEG is something we cannot do alone. We need you. If you are a recipient of the APS or AEG, please either contact me at email@example.com or contact your legislators directly, whose information can be found at akleg.gov. If we truly believe in the ability for all Alaskans to have access to high-quality and affordable education, we must speak up. focused on several key areas of student concern. On Friday, Feb. 2, the USUAA Assembly passed Resolution #18-06: Regarding the Alaska Performance Scholarship and the Alaska Education Grant by a unanimous vote. In the past two years,
the Alaska State Legislature has considered cutting these programs which provide valuable financial aid to our students. While I encourage you to read our resolution at usuaa.org, it can be summarized by one clause:
Defend Your APS and AEG! Regards, Alec Burris
Save a child’s heart Open letter to USUAA With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, everyone’s mind is on finding creative ways to express their love for family, friends, and significant others. Meanwhile, there are those who strive to do so year-round. Save a Child’s Heart is a nonprofit organization based out of Israel which works to provide pediatric cardiac care to children from developing countries. The organization delivers care regardless of nationality, religion, race or financial situation. Started in 1995 by Dr. Ami Cohen, an American Pediatric Cardiovascular doctor, Save a Child’s Heart has evolved into a multi-country organization aimed to provide humanitarian aid. A Jewish proverb states “whoever saves a life, saves the world” which provides the base foundation for Save a Child’s Heart. Although they cannot help the entire world, the doctors and nurses who volunteer their abilities understand that helping one child can change the world for that child. So far, Save a Child’s Heart has been able to offer surgery to children from 50 different countries, ranging from Israel to the Middle East, to both Asia and Africa. Not only does Israel provide humanitarian aid to the rest of the world, but they are also a leading country in medical and technological breakthroughs. Contradictory to the size of the tiny country found in the Middle East, Israel is considered to
be the ninth most influential country in the world. They possess the fourth largest air force in the world, leading closely behind the U.S., Russia, and China. Many of the medical advances we use currently in the United States were developed in Israel. Stem-cell technology, which uses a patient’s own stem cells to regrow or magnify the speed of healing, was developed in Israel and is currently beginning use in the U.S. Technological advances from Israel are continually used in our country, such as the surveillance system used to protect John F. Kennedy International Airport. Israel is ranked number one in reducing human trafficking, showing that Israel greatly values mankind. Contrary to prior belief, Israel is inclusive of all people, holding the biggest pride festival in the Middle East (they are the only country in the Middle East that does not condemn the LGBTQ community). Students United for Israel is a UAA club that supports the relationship between the United States and Israel. Look out for our table in the student union during the month of February as we support Save a Child’s Heart in honor of Valentine’s Day, and throughout the rest of the semester as we continue to support and raise awareness for Israel. Dana Gergilevich, UAA Student
Members of USUAA – As former Student Body Presidents and leaders of your organization, we write to express our concern and disappointment over the Assembly’s decision to not even bring Resolution 18-04 to a vote on the floor last semester – much less vote to approve it. The resolution states USUAA’s opposition to a ballot initiative going before Anchorage voters this spring (Proposition 1) that needlessly attacks members of the trans community, endangering their safety and invading their privacy for dubious reasons. This anti-trans bathroom initiative is not an “external political issue” as some have argued, but in fact has the potential to impact the lives and safety of UAA Students. Anyone who attends classes at the University should be able to do so without fear for their safety and well-being. The initiative is discriminatory, condemns the fundamental identity of our trans friends and neighbors, and sends the message that they are not welcome; we firmly believe that your body has a duty to stand up for the rights and safety of all students, and should oppose the initiative. Besides that moral obligation, there are plenty of other reasons why USUAA ought vote on and pass Resolution 18-04, or similar legislation: • Current municipality code regarding non-discrimination is consistent with existing University of Alaska policy. Contrary to statements made by some, current UA policy and regulation explicitly enshrine equal protection for all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. In fact, UA Policy contained these protections prior to the Municipality of Anchorage adopting them into Code. Passage of Resolution 18-04 would be completely consistent with University policy, and sends the message to students that their governance organization can be trusted to defend the rights and protections of all. • Opposition to Proposition 1 is consis-
tent with UAA’s 2017-2022 Diversity Action and Inclusion Plan. The plan affirms UAA’s commitment to an inclusive and safe campus learning environment, as well as equal rights, tolerance, and diversity. Proposition 1’s practical outcomes would be antithetical to those stated aims and goals. • The proposed anti-trans bathroom initiative is both unnecessary and unenforceable. As a simple practical matter, supporters of the ordinance argue it is necessary to protect women and girls from being assaulted in public restrooms. In fact, since gender identity and sexual orientation were included in Anchorage’s non-discrimination code, there have been no instances of assault in public restrooms or other facilities perpetrated by members of the trans community. On the contrary: members of the trans community are more likely to be victims of such abhorrent behavior. Moreover, supporters of the initiative have yet to explain how the policy would be enforced. Requiring “verification” of one’s gender by forcing people to produce their birth certificate or expose their genitals to simply use the restroom would be invasive, inappropriate, and absolutely ridiculous. USUAA exists to advocate for students, and defend their interests. Resolution 18-04 is a prime opportunity for the body to fulfill that mission. As student leaders, you have a chance to defend the inherent equality of all students, and their rights to safety and security in Anchorage and on the UAA Campus. We urge you to bring Resolution 18-04 or similar legislation to the floor for debate and consideration. We encourage you to pass it. Sincerely, Ryan Buchholdt, USUAA President Academic Year 2012 Stacey R. Lucason, USUAA President Academic Year 2015 Sam Erickson, USUAA President Academic Year 2017
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018
A note from the editors By Kathryn DuFresne firstname.lastname@example.org
In the age of fake news and a strained trust of the media, it is important to be transparent when errors have occurred surrounding publications. The Northern Light regrets the inaccurately published version of the Jan. 30 article regarding UAA’s Generation Action club’s protests regarding Municipal Proposition 1. The article in print appears to be heavily sided against the issue, rath-
er than functioning as a feature to inform both UAA and the Anchorage community about an issue that has the possibility to be polarizing. Our online version of the story contains language from the ballot proposition, as well as eliminating statistics that could not be verified from the language of the article. The Northern Light strives to be an accurate and trustworthy source for news, features, arts and entertainment, sports and opinions, and we deeply regret the error.
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