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MAY 29, 2012




Food Quest #1 place to get pad thai in Anchorage


Renasissance Fair Three Barons celebrates 20th anniversary




Student loan legislation stalls in senate, interest hike imminent

Without Congressional agreement on how to fund legislation, interest rates will double on July 1 By Evan Dodd

How to stay safe this summer

Astronomy organization holds meeting in Anchorage The American Astronomical Society holds its second gathering in Alaska after a 49-year gap

Staff Reporter

A recent decision by the U.S. Senate may spell bad news for struggling college students. On May 9 the Senate failed to pass the “Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike of 2012 Act,” an act that would have maintained the current interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans at 3.4 percent. As it stands, the rates will double to 6.8 percent after July 1 if a solution is not enacted. The legislation was supported by the Obama administration as well as Alaskan Senator Mark Begich. Following the failure of the bill, Begich expressed his concern for Alaskan students affected by the failed legislation. “As the economy continues to recover, now is not the time to burden students who rely on these loans to finance their education with an additional 1,000 dollars in payments,” explained Begich in a recent press release. The Senator isn’t the only one concerned with the looming interest rate hike. Eric Pedersen, UAA’s Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, has also voiced his opinion about the decision. “No one in Student Affairs is in favor of the interest hike,” said Pedersen. “Students should be very worried about this issue.” To illustrate the impact of the decision, Pedersen explained that a student that borrowed the maximum over a four-year period would pay an additional 5,200 dollars in interest on a ten-year repayment period. “You may not feel that cost today, but you’ll feel it after you graduate,” Pedersen said grimly. The student loan legislation has failed primarily due to a




By Heather Hamilton A&E Editor

Senator Begich expresses his support for the student loan legislation.

deadlock between the Democratic and Republican parties. Though each party has agreed to avoid an interest rate increase, the two sides disagree on how to fund it. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cost of


maintaining the current rates for an additional year to be nearly six billion dollars. Republicans seek to cover this expense by eliminating funding toward the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the new healthcare act,

while Democrats plan to fund the move by abolishing a tax loophole for small businesses. With the July 1 deadline looming ever closer, Pedersen remains hopeful that a solution will be found to avoid the hike. See LOANS PAGE 2

Landscaping and maintenance: UAA’s horticulture heroes By Kierra Hammons Copy Editor

Munkh-Erdene Tsend-Ochir and Tumenkhishig Goolio preparing snapdragon flowers for transplanting.


Summer is in the air, and the current view of UAA’s outdoor campus looks a lot like a beehive. The Landscape and Maintenance department workers are busy throughout the day with all sorts of groundskeeping jobs, and among those workers is a group of people specifically dedicated to landscape horticulture — that is, the specialty of growing flowers, trees and other plants. Landscape horticulture supervisor Catherine Shank, along with student worker Steffany Willhauck and nine

other employees put in hours all throughout the week in order to keep the campus beautiful. As each new year begins, the landscape workers have what seems like a simple job, but it turns out to be no walk in the park as the month progress. Every January, workers begin to plant seeds in the greenhouse until mid-May. Then the hard work picks up in order to prepare the campus’ 36 annual flowerbeds for transplanting by Rototilling the dirt and adding manure. “You get really buff during it. ... It’s so hard at first! The machine will just take off, and you’re, like, See HORTICULTURE PAGE 3

Anchorage is receiving a rare visit the week of Saturday, June 9 through Thursday, June 14: over 1,000 astronomers from around the country will be congregating in the city for the 220th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the organization for professional astronomers in the U.S. Founded in 1899, the society’s mission is to archive and circulate the results of astronomical research through the publications of its scientific journals, to support and mentor the next generation of astronomers, organize meetings to support and strengthen its members’ interactions with one another, help its members develop skills within their respective areas of expertise and work with other scientific organizations to promote the advancement of science. The organization’s journals include “The Astronomical Journal,” “Astronomy Education Review” and “The Astrophysical Journal.” The AAS also puts out the “BAAS” (Bulletin of the AAS). There are several qualifications that must be met for AAS membership. It is possible to become a member if one is still a student, however. “You can become a member as a student — either as an undergrad or graduate student — as a junior member, which has lower rates than a regular member,” said Rick Fienberg, AAS’s Press Officer. “Basically, as long as you can demonstrate that you are studying astronomy or astrophysics and can get a faculty member at you school to endorse your application, you can become a member of the society. See ASTRONOMY PAGE 3



News| May 29, 2012


Climber who died on McKinley was from Germany National park officials say a climber who died in a fatal fall on Alaska’s Mount McKinley was from Germany. The National Park Service on Monday identified the climber as 49-year-old Steffen Machulka of Halle, Germany. Machulka fell more than 1,000 feet Friday on a section of trail where most climbers choose to use fixed lines. Witnesses say he was trying to recover a backpack that had started to slide downhill when he fell. He was not roped to his two climbing partners. At the time of the fall, Machulka was at about 16,200 feet in elevation after ascending a section of the West Buttress route. Mount McKinley is North America’s highest mountain. The fall was the first serious incident on McKinley during the 2012 mountaineering season.

Marshals say kidnapping suspect attempted escape The man charged in the kidnapping and killing of an 18-yearold Anchorage barista attempted to dash out of a federal courtroom Wednesday but was tackled by U.S. marshals before he reached the door. Israel Keyes, indicted in the death of Samantha Koenig, was grabbed by a U.S. marshal near the defense table and other officers quickly piled on. “It was over instantly,” said Dave Long, supervisory deputy. Keyes, 34, is charged with kidnapping Koenig just before the teenager was scheduled to close the coffee stand where she worked Feb. 1. The FBI contends Keyes killed the young woman less than a day later. Her body was recovered April 2 from an ice-covered lake north of the city. Keyes, who operated a one-man construction business, was arrested March 11 in Texas. Prosecutors say he had made withdrawals of ransom money using a debit card he stole from Koenig. He was scheduled for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday before U.S. District Court Judge Tim Burgess to set a trial date. The hearing had just begun shortly before 2 p.m. when he took off. “He broke his leg irons and tried to bolt out of the courtroom, but he was stopped,” Long said. “He didn’t make it very far.”Keyes tried to jump the bar that separates the public from attorney and defendants. “He tried to,” Long said. “One of the deputies grabbed him and I think momentum carried him over.” A marshal used a stun gun to subdue Keyes. The escape attempt ended the hearing, Long said.

LOANS: Rate increase places financial strain upon students Continued From Cover “It is my opinion that ultimately, no senator or representative will want to be associated with the statement that ‘Congress failed to help college students.’ I would hope that something would be done to keep the rates at 3.4 percent,” said Pedersen. Senator Begich echoed this sentiment in reference to the impending hike and expressed his confidence in Congress to construct a solution. “I am optimistic we can still come up with a solution to help our young people before the July 1 deadline because it is the right thing to do,” Begich stated. The federal government isn’t the only organization concerned with the increase; Alaska State Representative Les Gara has also constructed a possible state solution with House Bill 272. Gara’s bill is designed limit student burden by reducing the cost of borrowing loans for students who stay in or return to Alaska. After two rewrites the bill is currently undergoing work in the House Education Committee. Though many are working on possible solutions, UAA students have cause to be

concerned. According to Pedersen approximately 51 percent of University of Alaska students graduate with some form of debt. This figure, though still under the

“It is my opinion that ultimately, no senator or representative will want to be associated with the statement that ‘Congress failed to help college students.’” - Eric Pedersen national average of 60 percent, is startling given the potential interest rate increase. “If we took the 251 graduate students with loans at UAA, as a group they would pay an additional 209,000 dollars after the interest hike,” stated Pedersen. Students affected by the hike are certainly worried about the

costs, and many are voicing their frustration toward the legistation. “If the government wants to everyone to pursue higher education, then this is an awful move. This only hurts students who already need help with their education costs,” said UAA sophomore Kyle Pealatere. For those worried about the possibility of the substantial increase, there are a few options available. Students can apply for private scholarships, look for other student loans and find other creative ways to cut costs. “The best thing for students would be to look at all the costs and try to find a way to reduce expenses to reduce the need to borrow” said Pedersen. “Students could shop around for other student loans but they must read the fine print.” Though options do exist to help students cope with the cost of rising interest rates, for many this is not enough. “We’re on student loans for a reason; we don’t have the money to cover the rate increase,” explained Pealatere. “I don’t want to be well into my thirties and still be paying off my student loans.”

cho ose your own


A U.S.-born drug cartel lieutenant who was arrested in Mexico was successfully extradited to the United States on Wednesday to face federal racketeering and drug charges, according to federal prosecutors. Armando Villareal Heredia is the lead defendant in a 43-defendant prosecution against the Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organization, a drug cartel, and is now in the custody of American officials, said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. Also known as Gordo Villareal, the top cartel lieutenant was arrested by Mexican law enforcement July 9, 2011, in the northern city of Hermosillo, at the request of U.S. officials. Mexican and U.S. authorities say Villareal takes orders directly from Fernando Sanchez Arellano, also known as “The Engineer,” a drug kingpin who is the leader of a younger but weaker Tijuana cartel. U.S. officials say Sanchez’s criminal organization is an offshoot of the defunct Arellano Felix cartel, whose domination of Tijuana was fictionally portrayed in the Hollywood movie “Traffic.” Sanchez, who is in his 30s, is a nephew of the four Arellano Felix brothers who have been either killed or arrested since 2006. To date, 38 defendants have pleaded guilty in the current case, admitting to murders, kidnappings, robberies, assaults, money launder and drug trafficking. Four defendants are fugitives and another is due for trial June 5. Heredia is expected in federal court on Thursday. Compiled by Evan Dodd


Drug cartel player extradited to US from Mexico

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City official consults Ouija board before vote A San Francisco supervisor says he consulted a Ouija board before city leaders voted on whether to recommend naming a Navy ship after slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk. Supervisor John Avalos tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he believes he made contact with Milk’s spirit and that Milk spelled out letters indicating: “Good riddance to don’t ask, don’t tell.” The Board of Supervisors approved the non-binding resolution Tuesday on a 9-2 vote. Milk was a city supervisor and former naval officer. He was fatally shot in 1978 by Dan White. Supporters say the naming would honor the repeal of the `don’t ask, don’t tell” law barring open homosexuality in the military. Opponents say Milk opposed war and it would be inappropriate to name a warship after him.

Iowa man with zebra, parrot in truck gets DUI An Iowa man stopped outside a Dubuque bar with a small zebra and a parrot in his truck has been charged with drunken driving. KCRG-TV reports officers arrested 56-year-old Jerald Reiter of Cascade on Sunday in the parking lot of the Dog House bar, where people had been taking photos of the animals. Reiter says the zebra and macaw parrot are pets and like riding in the truck. Reiter claims he sometimes takes the animals into the bar, but the owner says they’re not allowed inside. Officers gave Reiter a field sobriety test and charged him with drunken driving. Reiter disputes the arrest. He says he was about to let a passenger, a person, begin driving. He says he thinks someone who came to see the animals called police. A Silicon Valley software executive put fake bar codes on Lego sets at various Target stores, bought the toys at a steep discount, then sold them online for thousands of dollars, authorities said. Thomas Langenbach, 47, appeared in court Tuesday on four felony counts of burglary that could net him up to five years in prison if convicted. He did not enter a plea. Authorities say Langenbach bought Lego sets at Target stores but covered their original bar codes with his own bar-code stickers to get a cheaper price. When police obtained a search warrant for Langenbach’s posh home south of San Francisco, they said they found hundreds of sets of the colorful toy bricks, many of which he sold on eBay under the name “tomsbrickyard.” Eight baggies of bar code stickers were found in his car, police said. Langenbach works for German software giant SAP. His LinkedIn profile lists him as a vice president in a Northern California division. He was already under surveillance by Target security officers who suspected him of the scheme when they spotted him at the chain’s Mountain View store May 8. After he completed his purchases using the bogus bar codes, the store called police and Langenbach was arrested, authorities said. “This particular crime, the way it was done, the sophistication, the amount of expenditure in time and money to do it, suggests there’s something way beyond money that motivated him to do it,” Hendrickson said. Attempts to reach Langenbach, who is free on bail, were unsuccessful.

Mafia-style revolt on Obama mugs

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Australian officials wanted to get rid of some commemorative mugs that misspelled President Barack Obama’s name. And boy, did they ever. A Parliament House official told senators on Monday that 198 mugs were smashed and buried under wet concrete at a loading dock behind the building. Sen. John Faulkner called it a “mafia-style execution” for the mugs, which had an extra “r” printed in Obama’s first name. The government made 200 of the mugs to commemorate the president’s planned visit to Australia in 2010, which was later canceled. No mugs were created when the American president finally made it to Australia last year. Only two of the mugs were ever sold from the Parliament House gift shop, including one to the journalist who reported that Obama’s name had been misspelled. Compiled by Evan Dodd



HORTICULTURE: Doing all of the dirty work for us Continued From Cover

Tumenkhishig Goolio tending to the plants outside of UAA greenhouse.

running after it, but you get used to it,” said Willhauck about the tilling process when she was first learning. After tilling, flowers are weaned away from the greenhouses by slowing introducing them to outdoor temperatures in “cold frames,” special outdoor boxes to protect them from UV light and wind. Then they are transplanted into the prepared soil according to specific flowerbed layouts designed uniquely each autumn by the three permanent horticulture workers. “Our job is always changing; you get to do something different all the time,” said Shank

glowingly. “It’s not the same thing day in and day out.” The job doesn’t stop once the summer ends, however. When frost begins to set in, the same maintenance service workers who planted seeds in the spring suit up like snowed-in superheroes to prepare for their winter plowing duties — minus the cape. “We get called in at 4 a.m. when it snows. We have to be here at 5,” Shank commented. Considering Anchorage’s recent record-breaking winter, the crew’s early morning plowing is nothing short of an act of heroism, complete with a double identity for some: student by day,


snow pusher by night. Armed with the equipment, workers like Willhauck make it possible to get through the doors of the campus buildings. Very few people know about the hard work and dedication that the landscaping and maintenance employees put in all year round in the snow, rain and shine, even though the work of these unsung heroes is nearly impossible to ignore — or, at least for some. Others aren’t so mindful. Even though the flowerbed tilling began just recently, there are already footprints and tire tracks in some of the beds, despite the bright orange cones

ASTRONOMY: 1,000 astronomers descend upon Anchorage for society meeting Continued From Cover If you haven’t joined yet and you’re a professional astronomer, you have to have the endorsement of two other members to become a member.” The AAS meets twice a year in different parts of the country to present and discuss discoveries and progressing work in the various areas of astronomy, as well as to socialize with colleagues. “I know a lot of people through these meetings,” said UAA astronomy professor Travis Rector, who has been a member of the AAS for the past 20 years. Rector has attended nearly 30 meetings since becoming a member of the organization. Organization meetings are often planned up to six years ahead of time, and this summer marks the second time the AAS has met in Alaska — the first time being the 114th meeting in July of 1963. Rector, whose area of expertise is active galaxies, initiated the proposal for this meeting six years

ago; the meeting was finalized two years later. “There was initial concern about the higher airfares ... so we did a cost analysis to determine if it would still be worthwhile based on if the higher airfares would be offset by the lower hotel and conference center costs,” he said. “We then approached the AAS counsel, who approved it in 2008.” The Anchorage meeting is also special because there will be a series of free public talks and presentations for non-members to participate in. According to current AAS Vice President Lee Anne Willson, this doesn’t happen at every meeting. “We don’t always have public talks, but when something comes up that looks like it would make a good public talk, then we try to go ahead and do that,” she said. “Nobel Prizes tend to make good topics.” One of the two public talks in Anchorage will be given by

Brian P. Schmidt, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, regarding the expansion of the universe. Coincidentally, Schmidt, who currently works at the Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Australia, graduated high school from Bartlett High, right here in Anchorage. He was unable to be reached for comment. Rector is looking forward to Schmidt’s presentation, and urges anyone who is interested in astronomy to come to AAS’s public events and talk to the presenters. “I think that having 1,000 astronomers in Anchorage at one time is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. ... So if anyone’s interested in astronomy, they should definitely take advantage of this unique opportunity.” For a full list of public events during the AAS meeting, go to:

Top: Purple drumstick primroses. Bottom: Orange marigolds.Marigolhoto.

surrounding the in-progress areas. Willhauck begged the question to the anonymous perpetrators, “Really, you couldn’t go those extra two feet to go around it?” A suggested alternative to putting footprints in the flowers is instead a unique way to experience the campus in a handson fashion: fruit picking. There are numerous fruit-bearing trees all over campus — including crab apples, cherries, and pears, all of which is free for students to pick and eat. According to Willhauck, picking the campus fruit trees is actually encouraged, because the fruit that goes unpicked just falls on the ground and gets squashed

by people walking to and from classes. The Landscaping department has created a way for people to learn about the trees — including name, species, and even if the fruit is good — and the event is this week. The department is hosting a free public “tree tour,” which is led by Community Forestry Program coordinator Patricia Joyner and showcases more than fifty trees planted in the Cuddy Quad. The Landscaping tree tour begins in the West Parking Lot on May 30 and goes from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. But be sure not to step on any flowers on the way there!


FEATURES| May 29, 2012

By Masha Proskuryakova The Northern Light

While our regular Guru is taking break from writing this summer, I decided to put my research skills at use and try to provide you with some helpful material. Last night I read an anti-sun tanning article, one that makes you think that a brief exposure to the sun will inevitably result in melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. As an owner of pale skin, I secretly envy glamorous people with bronze skin color. Despite all the precautions, I am not ready to give up give tanning, so now I am challenging myself to discover the least damaging path to caramel skin. Why tanning is bad for us? Together with sunlight, our skin gets exposed to various kinds of radiation, one of which is UV radiation.

In search for the safest way of tanning UV rays are the ones that are responsible for quick skin aging, decreased immune system function and skin cancer. When UV rays reach the skin’s surface, some of them are bounced back by the unique protective ability of our skin. Others go through into the epidermis and activate melanocyte (pronounced MELan-no-SIGHT) cells that secrete brown pigment into our skin. This is what makes us look tanned. Dark skin protects us from UV rays, and this is why people with darker skin are at a lesser risk of skin cancer. However, having darker skin doesn’t provide complete protection. Many UV rays will still be able to reach the core of skin cells and damage DNA, which is a cause of cancer. Now, a DNA explanation is intimidating, but it is too scientific and confusing, which makes it not frightening enough ... at least for

College student searches for job, instead finds laughter By Evan Dodd News Editor

“Hi, my name is Evan Dodd. I’m a college student home for the summer, and I was wondering if you were —” SLAM! “— hiring.” This scenario, complete with slamming door action (batteries not included), has been repeated so many times that I’ve begun to develop a chronic fear of loud doors and scowling managers. Summer has barely just begun and already I have been rejected by almost every employer within a twenty-mile radius. And sure, maybe a college student doesn’t always seem appealing to local


businesses, but I’ve got plenty to offer! Like my ability to ... work and stuff. And my ... job skills. Okay, so I have minimal experience, constraining time constraints and the awkward habit of repeating words within a single sentence. Despite that, I still feel like I would be a valuable asset to any employer brave enough to hire me — but it appears that local employers feel differently. At least, that was the case at my town diner, at which I was told that I wasn’t pretty enough to collect tip money. (By the way, I resent that assessment; I can make

me. However, what did scare me is that almost every article I read clearly stated, DO NOT TAN! Not a single article of research showed a positive result of sunbathing. The same goes for indoor tanning. Apparently, tanning beds use lamps that produce UV radiation. Indoor tanning is very convenient, quick and beeeaaauuutiful. However, the same tanning principles and risks apply here. In fact, tanning bed exposure is considered to be more dangerous than natural sunlight, as there is no way you can avoid the merciless UV rays from the bulbs. Again, scientists are united in their opinion about indoor tanning and say, DO NOT TAN! Well, it looks like my options for tanning have run out. Although ... wait! I forgot about spray tans. Spray tan is the only tan that doesn’t require sun and, of course, doesn’t have UV radiation. If you

really think about it, a spray tan is actually not a tan at all. It is a chemical reaction between a spray and dead layer of your skin. Once the dead skin cells wear off, so does the tan. Spray tan has a bad reputation, as it can often result in an embarrassing, orange-looking color or can start peeling off instead of evenly fading away with time. Despite the negative aesthetic facts, dermatologists believe that spray tan is the least harmful way of tanning available right now. However, it contains many

chemicals — some of which are not well researched — and that alone kind of undermines its safety for me. So what do we have? Outside or indoor tanning that can result in skin damage and long-term health problems, or spray tan, which can give you weird orange look plus unknown chemicals. It looks like a healthy way of being bronze just does not exist right now. The safest option would be to avoid tanning and wait until bronze skin will go out of fashion.

a “pity me, I’m a starving waiter” face like a champ.) I had a similar experience at the sporting goods store down the street. Apparently skinny journalists are not seen as great salesmen of athletic equipment. Though in all honestly, this one might have been my fault, since the manager happened to see me struggling to lift a medicine ball. But in my defense, it felt like someone had glued it to the floor as a cruel joke to prospective employees. But the biggest disappointment came at the site of my dream job. See, Anchorage residents may not be aware of the exciting lifestyle that my hometown Wasilla has to offer, so let me clue you in. We have a Llama Farm. One more time for emphasis: We have a Llama Farm. Now I’m not saying that it’s always been my dream to farm llamas (llami?) but I will say that I have had a lasso and spurs in my room for a good portion of my life now. So you could understand how devastating it was to hear that not only was I not the right candidate for the job, but that the title of “llama farmer” didn’t even exist.

Unfortunately the owner of the llamas was neither impressed at the demonstration of my llama herding abilities, nor was he sympathetic to my job hunt. Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to be told, “Son, if you don’t stop trying to ride my llamas in cowboy boots and a plastic sheriff’s badge, I’m going to have to call the police”? Their loss, I guess. Now I’ll never realize my true potential as the Alaskan Clint Eastwood of llama herding. See, I don’t feel like I’m overly desperate for work; I could easily survive for another day or two before bankruptcy sets in. My friends however, seem to be worried by my never-ending job hunt, given that they keep reminding me, “Evan, those street corners are not as welcoming as you think. Maybe you should try fast food.” What they don’t understand is that I’m not ready to resort to fast food. I have dreams and aspirations and ... stuff. Ask a little kid what they want to be when they grow up, and they’ll tell you an astronaut or a pirate, maybe a ninja or firefighter. No

kid wants to flip burgers. And it’s not like I’m asking for too much. I realize I’m not the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t have some award-winning idea that will change everything. Really, my job aspirations are sensible and down to earth. I just want to be some sort of international spy who saves the world on a daily basis, is paid exorbitant amounts of money to an account in the Caymans and never has to work nights or weekends. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask. Unfortunately the spy game in Wasilla, Alaska, is fairly hard to get into, so for now I’ll continue stalking local employers and plastering the town with slightly embellished résumés. Next stop, Wasilla Police Department. Luckily I’ve still got my plastic sheriff’s badge, so this interview will be a piece of cake. Until next time, this is Evan Dodd, potential llama farmer/ international superspy, wishing you luck with the great summer job search of 2012.

May 29, 2012 | FEATURES

Anchorage Food Quest 2.0: finding best pad thai in town


By Heather Hamilton and Evan Dodd A&E Editor, News Editor

Last summer, The Northern Light sampled an array of local foods in search of Anchorage’s best of the best, and now we’re at it again. This year, we’ll be reviewing and all new foods in search for more our city’s best tasty treasures. In the first edition of “Anchorage Food Quest 2012,” we explored and rated five local offerings of Chicken Pad Thai based on service time, uniqueness, flavor, overall quality, presentation and quantity of food for the price. Thai Kitchen receives our lowest spicy at the same time, but not too score this time around. Service much of either. Unfortunately, time here was 32 minutes, the each bite of the subpar chicken longest by far, and the food didn’t with the sensational noodles show any signs of benefiting from decreased how enjoyable the meal this. The chicken was completely was. The meal was also notably flavorless; it wasn’t even tossed more oily than other locations, in sauce. Instead, the meat itself leaving your lips with a bit of a Thai Kitchen: Chicken Pad Thai was bland, dry and sat on top of grimy feeling after a few bites that While the closest Thai the dish as if an afterthought. The doesn’t fade. The presentation was restaurant to campus (located on noodles and sauce, however, were sloppy, and you don’t get much Tudor next to Uncle Joe’s Pizza), phenomenal; they were sweet and food for the dish, which is $10.


Thai Village: Pad Thai Service time at Thai Village (located on Muldoon near Old Harbor Ave.) was six minutes from when the order was placed, which was on par with the rest of the locations surveyed. And while the quantity was fairly good for the $11.95 bill (not only was the dish rather large, but the order also included a complimentary

bowl of Thai Village’s house soup), the quality was a bit disappointing. This version of Pad Thai included shrimp as well as chicken, but neither of these really supplemented the overall flavor of the dish; all you can taste is peanut. While peanut is a main staple of Pad Thai dishes, this particular restaurant doesn’t blend spices to make the dish unique or


Pho Lena: Chicken Pad Thai Pho Lena (located on Spenard near Benson) dishes up a huge plate of chicken and noodles for the $9.95 price tag, and service time from order to table-side delivery was roughly six minutes. The flavors blended together relatively well with spices adding

to the peanut flavor to make it unique, and the chicken actually stood out as a part of the dish (if only a little). Unfortunately, the noodles were a little overcooked in some places and a bit too oily for our liking. Despite this, Pho Lena’s dish is a very strong third place.

special; it’s like eating peanut butter and noodles. It also looked hastily prepped and plated.


Next issue, TNL will be scoping out Anchorage’s best burrito, and we want your input! When you’re craving a burrito, where do you go first? E-mail Heather Hamilton at or comment on our Facebook page telling which local burrito joints you want us to investigate.

2 Chiang Mai Thai: Chicken Pad Thai This is the cheapest Chicken Pad Thai TNL sampled by a landslide, at $9.50, and is probably the best deal as far as food-to-dollar ratio is concerned. In addition to a fairly generous helping of noodles, the Chiang Mai Thai’s (located on Old Seward near the corner of 36th) meal also includes a delicious sour soup as an appetizer. The main

1 Lahn-Pad Thai: Pad-Thai The landslide winner of this edition of Anchorage Food Quest is Lahn-Pad-Thai (located on Abbott between Vanguard and Independence). The presentation was beautiful, with the salt, crushed peanuts and chili powder off to the side in neat piles, adding both color and seasoning convenience to the dish. There was also a fair amount of green garnish, as well as some bright green onion chunks to help the neat and colorful presentation. The dish included both shrimp and egg in addition to the chicken, and all the different textures

dish included egg and fried tofu, which added uniqueness to the texture of the food. The chicken was nicely integrated into the dish as well, both tender and aptly covered in sauce to add to the flavor. The only real downsides to the dish were the mildness of the sauce (it was good, but didn’t wow us) and the preparation of the tofu, which was too spongy in the center to be enjoyable.


worked together to make the texture varied and enjoyable. The items in the dish itself were also flavorful and complementary to the whole, rather than relying on an overhead dumping of sauce to take care of the taste. The only turnoff to the dish is the quantity; at $11.95, the meal is artful but a little sparse in size, and it doesn’t come with a side or appetizer. The Pad Thai was so delicious and the service so speedy (five minutes, the quickest time), however, that TNL is pleased to give Lahn-PadThai’s dish the title of Best Pad Thai in town.



FEATURES| May 29, 2012

On the road to Juneau…


By Krystal Garrison TNL Photographer

Living in Alaska, there are certain oddities that tend to be considered normal to the sourdoughs amongst us — things like spotting short-wearers in 40-degree weather, the sun setting well past midnight during the summer months, the brilliant aurora borealis flaring in the sky and various Alaska-centric terms likes “Outside” and “the Lower 48.” Through time and exposure, we tend to take for granted the patchwork of curiosities that make Alaska so unique. Recently I was able to experience first-hand one of the more unusual aspects of Alaska. It is something that is not only unique to our great state, but also is a point of contention for many resident taxpayers — not to mention that that it’s a fun trivia fact. The fact? That you cannot actually drive to Alaska’s state capitol, Juneau. Departing from Anchorage, the most populated city in Alaska, you can either fly to Juneau, or you can drive two days, loop through another country, venture back into Alaska, load your vehicle on a ferry, take an 80-mile boat ride and finally arrive. Sounds like a fun adventure! Volunteering to help a friend relocate to Juneau, I was happy to take the long and scenic drive: Here are some things I learned along the way:

On the Road

Mat-Su Glacier

Getting from Anchorage to Juneau, it is 756 driving miles (roughly 15 hours if you drive straight through) followed by an 80-mile ferry ride (4.5 hours on the slow boat) via the Alaska Marine Highway. Plan your gas and sleeping spots carefully, because there is a whole lot of open road out there with little civilization in between.

Mat-Su Glacier

Located at Mile 101 of the Glenn Highway, the Matanuska Glacier creates the headwaters of the Mat-Su River. Just a short drive from Anchorage, this easily accessible area offers glacier viewing, hiking, rafting and camping opportunities for anyone who is interested in discovering the beauty of Alaska,

Caribou Canyon

Just past the Mat-Su Glacier State Recreation Site is an incredible view of Caribou Canyon. It’s a good place to stop and stretch your legs, have a picnic, take some pictures or embark on a day hike. Caribou Canyon also has an impressive roadside view of the back of MatSu glacier.

Tok Camping

On the long drive to Juneau, a logical place to stop for the night is Tok, which is six hours out of Anchorage. Originally home to Athabascan Indians, modern Tok began as a camp for the Alaska Road Commission in the 1940s. The 2010 census boasted a population of 1,258. From what I saw, there really isn’t much in Tok except for the all-important gas stations, a bar, a handful of restaurants and RV parks. It seemed like a decent place to call it a night. The ground was still frozen as I set up camp for my first night spent in a tent in 2012.

Yukon Bear

From Tok, it is a 90-mile drive to the Canadian border crossing. There I was asked for my US passport and a few basic questions: Where are you coming from? Where are you going? Do you have any weapons? Do you have more than $10,000 in cash? Luckily, I knew all the correct answers. Entering the land of Mounties and maple leaves, I thought to myself, “That was almost too easy.” A little bit down the highway, I stopped to take pictures of a black bear. As he slowly stalked my truck down the road, I couldn’t help feel a little intimidated by the fact that he seemed as interested in me as I was in him.

Haines Bear Bags

Bordering 20 million acres of protected wilderness area (the largest in the world!), Haines is home to black bears, brown bears and a large variety of other wildlife. With such an abundance of nature, bear bags are provided and utilized at campgrounds around Haines.

Haines Hike

Ten hours from Tok, through

the Yukon and British Columbia, past the US border check and back into Alaska, the next logical stopping point and necessary gasup was Haines. Rich in Tlingit culture and history, modern Haines is a popular destination for Alaska-bound cruise ships and is also home to the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush Alaska.”

Juneau Cemetery

Named after a nineteenth century Canadian gold prospector and city co-founder, Juneau has been Alaska’s state capitol since 1906. Buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Jo Juneau’s grave is among those of other early Alaskan pioneers and politicians. Today’s Juneau is home to more than 31,000 people.

Juneau Cruise

As the third-largest city in Alaska, the most significant contributors to the Juneau economy are government, tourism and fishing industries. With more than 1,000,000 visiting tourists per year, it is rumored that the Juneau population doubles any time five or more cruise ships are docked in the pier, making tourism a key ingredient to Juneau’s wellbeing and longevity.

Mendenhall Exterior

Located just twelve miles from downtown Juneau, the Mendenhall glacier can be explored and accessed via hike, professional tours, guided dogsled or flightseeing trips. On a continual retreat since monitoring began in 1942, the Mendenhall glacier is twelve miles long and stretches into the Juneau ice field.

Mendenhall Interior

While most professional tours start on the east side of the glacier, locals and knowledgeable Couchsurfers hike the west side of Mendenhall, where a network of ice caves await those willing to sweat for it. From the parking lot, a four-mile roundtrip hike takes adventurers through a section of the Tongass National Forest, scrambling over loose glacial till and to the base of Mendenhall glacier. The glacier’s western terminus finally ends at an aweinspiring example of true natural

May 29, 2012 | FEATURES



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beauty. Appearing as a frozen, electric blue, upside-down ocean, the ice caves of Mendenhall glacier are well worth the hike.

me. However, I encountered a lot of locked doors as I wandered around the capitol building.


A fifteen-hour drive and fourhour boat ride equates to an hour and a half flight in the air. With multiple flights from Juneau to Anchorage at all hours of the day, getting home was easy. For anyone interested in making the trek to Juneau via airplane, oneway tickets run approximately $250 or 7.5 thousand Alaska Airline miles. Although it is not an easy or inexpensive venture, a visit to the state

Having such an isolated political center, Alaskans have voted numerous times to relocate the capitol to a more accessible location. In the 1970s, voters approved a plan to move the capitol to Willow, although it later fell through due to relocation and construction costs. The building is open to visitors year round, with the option of a self-guided tour. The security guard on the first floor told me the entire building was open to

Plane Home


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Discover ‘The Bright Side’ of this summer with Meiko Meiko’s breezy sophomore album serves as excellent background music, but deserves a more in-depth listen as a standalone work of art By Heather Hamilton A&E Editor

“The Bright Side” is one of those little gems that make you smile whenever you listen to it. Meiko’s sophomore album (which is also her first with Fantasy Records) is a sweet breath of fresh air and feels like a summer breeze to the ear. Singer/songwriter Meiko is based out of LA, but was born in Georgia. She started singing when she was eight, and she started writing her own songs and playing the guitar before she was thirteen. She has always played one Gibson or another, and currently plays on a Gibson B-25. Meiko released her first album (self-titled “Meiko”) in 2008, with many of its songs later featured on various television shows, including “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Kyle XY,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “90210” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Meiko’s music has always been

chill, and “The Bright Side” is no different. Meiko does her art a favor, however, by making the songs in the tracklisting more cohesive than those on her first album. Instead of sounding like a group of randomly selected songs (good as they are), “The Bright Side” features a measure of unity and solidarity, with just enough variation in the lineup to keep you interested. Because of the laid-back nature of the music, it is a great background album. Hosting a barbecue? Going on a picnic? Want to listen to something while cleaning the house? “The Bright Side” is the perfect album to turn on and absently enjoy. Hit repeat, and the music will seamlessly serenade you for hours. And this is the only flaw of the album; it’s too passive. Unless you listen closely to it, you sometimes lose the opportunity to appreciate the lyrics and stories of each

song. “Good Looking Loser” is about getting hurt by a guy and, after wallowing for a bit, finding the inner strength to realize that you’re worth more than that. The album opener “Stuck On You” is fun, upbeat and all about being so in love with someone that you just know that you’ll have fun with them “not just for one night, but for the rest of my life.” “The Bright Side” is a beautiful and fun album—give it a chance. Play it at a mellow house party or a peaceful drive, but don’t give in to the temptation to let it fade completely into the background. Enjoy it; it’s worth it. Artist: Meiko Album: “The Bright Side” Release Date: May, 15, 2012 Genre: Indie pop Label: Fantasy Records/ Concrod Records

May 29, 2012 | A&E



Local renaissance fair celebrates 20 years of success

The Three Barons Fair remains an annual Anchorage staple after two decades of medeival entertainment, doesn’t look to be slowing down

By Heather Hamilton A&E Editor

Time changes things — new technologies are developed, businesses come and go, children grow up and trends shift. With everything that unavoidably changes as time progresses, it’s what stays the same that is often celebrated. Anchorage used to have multiple renaissance festivals in the summer, but as municipality and arts counsel-sponsored events fell to the wayside, one completely volunteer-run fair still remains: the Three Barons Fair. The general premise of the Three Barons Fair is that three barons from vastly different lands all meet in the town of Hillshire with their courts to trade with one another and settle disputes. The Blue Barony is ruled by Baron Ali Akbar Mohammet el Mut Amin (the Magnificent), who hails from the Far East with his harem; the Green Barony is ruled by Baron Victor Steele and his warrior court from Spain and the Red Barony is ruled by Baron Demarco Valentino, whose Italian court celebrates love, romance and honor. The town of Hillshire itself is home to a series of shops, pirate-infested taverns, games and several guilds. “It [the fair] has a cast of about 150, and that includes the folks that put together all the backstage things you don’t see,” said Mel Kalkowski, the Three Barons’ Vice President of Directors, as well as the in-character Director of the Alchemist Guild and magistrate of the village.


Despite being a fixture in Anchorage for the past 20 years, the fair has seen its own changes as well. When it was first organized, the fair was located at Hilltop Ski Resort, which is how the town of Hillshire received its name. It was later moved to the University Lake area near the UAA dorms and now resides at Tozier Track on Tudor Road, where it has resided for the past decade. Another aspect of the fair that changes from year to year is the actors and vendors. The Three Barons Fair holds auditions every year for each barony, as well as the Hillshire citizens and the guilds. Key members in the baronies don’t change often, but lesser roles are up for grabs to talented and interested



volunteers. “We try to control the cast size because we just as soon not have more people performing than attending; we don’t want to overwhelm the fairgoer with so many costumed characters that it becomes oppressive,” said Wayne Mitchell, events facilitator in UAA’s Wendy Williamson Auditorium and a volunteer actor for the Three Barons since its founding. “But we do have open auditions every year; we advertise them in the papers and online. So, if you feel like being a participant on that level, please come out and audition next year.” Children of all ages are even eligible to be involved with volunteering, so long as their

Something about the Amaretto Sour just sounds like a bad idea waiting to happen (it might be the fact that you’re combining sweet and sour mix with almondflavored alcohol), but it’s actually a fantastic and refreshing cocktail. To make this easy recipe, toss a few ice cubes into a shaker and combine a shot of the amaretto with three shots of the mixer, shake like crazy, and then strain into a short glass. Cherries and lemon slices make for excellent garnish options. The only thing you’ll really smell in the cocktail is a general lightness, not specific to a particular citrus fruit, but refreshing nonetheless. The tip is initially the same, but within half a second, you taste an interesting combination of sweet and bitterness, which is the “sweet” part of the sweet and sour mixing with the amaretto. As the sip travels along the tongue,

The Three Barons Fair runs on Saturdays and Sundays at 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. from June 2 -10. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children, seniors and military. There will be a special mid-fair feast on Friday, June 8 at 6 - 11 p.m. Admission is $20.

‘Men In Black’ returns for round three in the box office Agents J and K are back in the new installment of “MIB”

This odd but simple mixed drink is a tasty treat for a fun day in the Alaskan sun A&E Editor

the alcohol permit itself.” Volunteers celebrating the fair’s 20 successful years and are already looking to the next two decades and can be accomplished by then. Many dream of seeing a property owned by Blue Barons that would be a permanent home for the fair. “Long term, you’re always thinking, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it be good if we had a long-term site?’ I’m not so sure that’s really practical because the summer season isn’t long enough, but if you go outside and you see the fairs that are able to set on a permanent site, you can see it’s a lot easier than setting it up and tearing it down all the time,” said Kalkowski. Whether you enjoy dancing with peasants, listening to pirates sing, throwing tomatoes at bad actors or watching battles unfold on stage, the Three Barons has your fancy covered, and the volunteers love every moment of it. “Seeing the little kids’ eyes get really big when they see a pretty lady go by in a big dress, or the little boys seeing men in armor and the clashing of the swords and the kid with ice cream on his face ... that, to me, makes every minute of the work worth it,” said Lalone.


Amaretto Sour a summer must-have By Heather Hamilton

parents are volunteers and can watch over them. Volunteers must be 16 years or older to work by themselves. Mitchell’s 11-year-old stepdaughter, Grace Fahrney, has been a member of the Blue Court with her mother and Mitchell for the past six years. “I guess since I was five ... I went to it when I was one with my mom because she was involved, but I was just in a wagon. But I’ve been acting since I was five,” she said. “I love theater, so basically getting to do theater all day long is just like a perfect day for me.” Three Barons has been a notfor-profit organization since 1998, and is designed to financially break even every year; any money left over from vendor fees and admission goes right back into the fair for the next year. Considering how much work and money it takes to put on the event (roughly $60,000 annually), doing just that is an accomplishment. “First and foremost is having a site and having a good contract for that; insurance is huge, and we serve alcohol, so we need to have insurance that has liquor liability. [We need] a good security team, since we need round the clock security for our week in between [fair days] and the night after the fair,” said Carol Lalone, the Three Barons’ secretary and treasurer. “We also need an assembly permit, and we go through fire prevention for that ... the fire department comes out to the site, does an inspection, and lets you know what you need to do different ... oh, and

the sweetness turns to a light sourness, which compliments the bitterness of the amaretto instead of butting heads with it. There is no sting at the back of the throat afterwards either; it’s smooth, but with a slight tingle left by the sour flavor. The entire drink, no matter how many sips you take, is the same. Despite the odd combination of ingredients, it tastes light and fresh rather than overly bitter and sour. The only downside to this is how weighty it feels; the sweet and sour mixer is a little thick and syrupy, so it makes the overall drink the same due to the ingredient ratio. So, while the drink tastes light and breezy, it feels a little bogged down. Drink: Amaretto Sour Ingredients: amaretto liquor, sweet and sour mixer ABV: 28%

By Heather Hamilton A&E Editor

Movies franchises that take a 10 year hiatus before making a comeback don’t always charm the audiences the way the original movie does, and the third installment in a franchise (no matter how small the gap between each movie) has even more initial baggage attached. But, somehow, “Men in Black III” manages to ignore those unspoken rules and actually be a fun movie. Will Smith (“Seven Pounds”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) reprise their roles as Agents J and K, members of the secret organization monitoring alien activity on Earth called the Men in Black. An alien prisoner escapes and travels back in time to the day he was captured, and kills a young Agent K, sending a rippling effect forward through time, where only Agent J remembers the proper

timeline. He is forced to time jump (literally) into 1969 to try to prevent K from being killed, and then get back to the future before it’s to late. If the plot sounds lame because of the overused “time travel when we’re out of original ideas” aspect, that’s ok; it should. Don’t let it stop you from seeing the movie though; despite how overused it is, the cheesiness of time travel works well with the campy comedy characteristic of “MIB” movies. And seeing a young Agent K (Josh Brolin, “True Grit”) is hilarious. It’s actually one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie; Brolin does an incredible job portraying a young K, to the point that it’s actually uncanny. His stone-faced expression, his iconic eyebrow lift, right down to K’s face and body structure, the physical likeness of the two actors is so great that you almost believe that you’re looking at a younger Tommy Lee Jones. Brolin’s line delivery and attitude are spot on as well; his is so similar to Jones’s portrayal of the character that it helps smooth over the absurdity of being in the past. His chemistry with Smith is

also phenomenal; the two look so in sync with one another that you forget that they’ve never played these two characters together before as Smith and Jones have. Smith is as hilarious and witty with J’s character as always, but doesn’t push the boundaries in any new way; while he certainly doesn’t fall into the background, Agent J certainly doesn’t steal more than his fair share of the show either. The alien special effects were on par with standard “MIB” quality as well, if not slightly more impressive, and this adds to the overall nostalgic feel of the movie. That’s the best way to describe it, nostalgic; other than Brolin’s brilliant performance as young Agent K, the movie is just a fun and mildly exciting nod to the past. Go check it out in theaters; it’s worth the ticket price, but probably not in 3D.

Movie: “Men in Black 3” Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-fi Release Date: May 25, 2012 Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin Rating: 3



Chelimo claims West Region recognition UAA junior Micah Chelimo was named the 2012 NCAA Div. II West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association on May 17. Sixteen male student-athletes earned awards as a track or field Athlete of the Year, while 16 USTFCCCA members earned plaudits as a coach or assistant coach of a men's team. Chelimo recently earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Athlete of the Meet honors after winning the 1500 meters and 5,000 meters and finishing second in the steeplechase. Chelimo becomes just the third UAA athlete to receive the distinction, joining Alfred Kangogo (2011) and David Registe (2009). Head coach Michael Friess and assistant coach T.J Garlatz have also been honored by the USTFCCCA.

Orton gets head coaching job in Wyoming, Turner elevated to assistant at UAA Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball assistant coach Ryan Orton has been named the next head coach at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Head Coach Rusty Osborne’s top assistant since 2009, Orton helped UAA to a 64-27 record during his tenure, including consecutive NCAA Tournament Second Round berths in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He was also largely responsible for the recruitment of three Alaska high school playersof-the-year, 2012 Div. II Bulletin National Player of the Year Taylor Rohde and numerous top juniorcollege and other prep standouts. With Orton departing, Cameron Turner has been promoted to the role of assistant coach with the UAA men’s team. During his first season with UAA in 2011-12, Turner served as the graduate assistant coach for a Seawolf squad that went 23-7 and

UAA’s coaching carousel shouldn’t worry fans By Taylor Hall Sports Editor

Three Elite Eight appearances. Three West Region Championships. Six consecutive trips past the NCAA Tournament First Round. Four Great Alaska Shootout titles. An .838 winning percentage, which is best amongst all active Division II women’s basketball coaches. All of that was accomplished in Tim Moser’s six-year tenure at the helm of the UAA Women’s Basketball program. So it should come as no shock that a bigger program came knocking on Moser’s door looking to give him a chance at the next level up. Sure enough, that opportunity came when Moser accepted an assistant coaching gig with Division I Colorado State: CSU’s gain, UAA’s loss. But I’m here to tell you that not all is lost and the sky is still not falling. In no way, shape or form am I denying that I have asked the very question that has crossed just about every UAA women fan’s mind: How can we replace a Tim Moser? The answer, sad to say: you don’t. But who says you have to? One of the beautiful things about Moser’s tenure here at UAA is that he helped put the Seawolf Women’s program back on the map and when word got out that the team needs a new coach, the school was bound to get to some serious looks from other highly qualified coaches looking to leave their mark. Sure enough, the Seawolves and UAA Athletic Director Steve Cobb found a coach who not

only has solid credentials but has already proven he can carry on success in a program. In 2004, Nathan Altenhofen became the head coach at Odessa College. He helped the school reach the National Championship game in 2005, and in 2006, they returned and won it all. Over those two seasons, he went 66-3. Before he got to Odessa, the Wranglers were conference titlists. Witness his start-up at NAIA school Saint Ambrose in 2007: Altenhofen helped steer the program to the Sweet 16 and a 29-6 record. In three years, Altenhofen received a Midwest Collegiate Conference Coach of the year award and went 73-25 Before his arrival at Saint Ambrose; they, too, were conference titlists. Is anyone seeing the trend yet? Perhaps even more astounding that Altenhofen’s overall record of 153-40 as a head coach is the fact that he’s 19-4 in the postseason as a coach. Those are jaw-dropping numbers for the second season and show that this guy knows how to get it done when it matters most: in the month of March when titles and banners are at stake. So while we recognize and congratulate the departing Moser, who will surely go down in the books as one of the best coaches in any sport this school has seen, we turn the page and open a new chapter in the program’s history. And if Altenhofen and his reputation for wining carries over to UAA, expect that chapter to be another filled with similar success — just with a different author.

advanced to the NCAA Div. II Tournament 2nd Round. Turner came north after a successful 6-year run coaching the Willamette Reign AAU program in his home state. A 2004 graduate of Southern Oregon University, Turner is currently pursuing his master’s degree in human services at UAA.

Bronga back on Academic All-District team Alaska Anchorage senior AllAmerican skier Jaime Bronga was named May 18 to the Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-District women's ‘at-large’ team. A first-team all-district recipient for the second straight year, Bronga earned the honor with her 3.99 overall GPA in civil engineering. The East Anchorage High School product was the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association women’s Nordic MVP in 2012 and skied to her fourth career All-America finish at NCAAs.

Part of the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America program, the “at-large” teams consists of student-athletes in sports other than soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, cross-country or track and field. As an all-district selection, Bronga now advances to the national ballot for a chance to repeat her 2010-11 Academic AllAmerica status.

New Seawolves coming into the fold for multiple teams There continues to be no rest for the wicked, even for the various Seawolf teams who are in their offseason. Several coaches and teams have announced the addition of new student-athletes set to adorn the green and gold starting in the 2012-13 season. UAA Ski Team Head Coach Sparky Anderson announced May 17 the addition of three Nordic skiers to the 2013 roster. Joining the Seawolves are Marine Dusser, John Glen and Patricia Sprecher —

all of which bring solid credentials to Anchorage. On the court, Seawolves Men’s Basketball team added more experience and versatility to its 2012-13 roster May 17 as head coach Rusty Osborne announced that junior-college standout and former Oregon prep star Mike MacKelvie has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Seawolves. UAA Head Volleyball Coach Chris Green announced May 10 the signing of three frontrow players to National Letters of Intent, welcoming Western Nebraska Community College transfer Jodi Huddleston, South Anchorage High School star Sarah Johnson and Canadian prep standout Breanne Sytnyk to the Seawolves' 2012 roster. The UAA gymnastics roster will take on a European flavor in 2013 as Seawolves head coach Paul Stoklos announced May 10 that Marie-Sophie Boggasch and Simone Penker have signed National Letters of Intent. Compiled by Taylor Hall

Excellent tips to avoid wildlife confrontations By Ashley Smith Assistant Sports Editor

No matter how many safety tips are heard for wildlife viewing in Alaska, there will always be people who get too close, ignore warning signs or end up with a close encounter. Here are some important reminders for all Alaskan outdoor hikers, bikers, frolickers, photographers and enthusiasts, because no matter how much you think you know, a bear will still eat you if given the opportunity. Be Alert. With Alaska being the Last Frontier, no matter where you are outside, there is probably some kind of wildlife nearby. Walking the dog, walking to your car, driving, jogging or any other activity can be interrupted by Alaska’s wildlife. When you see a moose, bear, caribou or furry other, assess the situation and watch for the animal’s warning signs. Also look for signs or notices posted at the beginning of marked trails; Alaska’s Fish and Game wardens often post information on recent animal activities or encounters in that area. Carrying pepper spray or a firearm is also advised — but only if you know how to use them. Even then, only use a use theses tools as a last resort. A picture is worth a thousand words... That is, unless you get mauled, trampled or headbutted. That only earns a trip to the E.R. and a story about how you absolutely needed to get two steps closer to get the picture of a newborn moose calf. Remember, any animal, herbivore or not, will be protective of their young and personal space. Also keep in mind that wherever there are wild animals in close proximity to

Driving in Alaska can often be slowed down by people spotting wildlife, like this bear who was enjoying a stroll along the Resurrection Trail pull-off in Cooper Landing. This bear’s picture was taken from a safe distance using a telephoto lens.

where the general public travels, there will be people not paying attention. So when you step out to cross the Seward Highway in order to get a great shot of a Dall Sheep, do not expect traffic to slow down because the drivers are probably trying to figure out what everyone on the side of the highway is staring at rather than paying attention. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website states, “Remember, no photo is worth endangering the life or health of wildlife.” No photo is worth your own safety either. A little fishing never killed anybody… But it may get some wildlife a little too interested in what you are doing. Recreational fishers should remember to keep their catches within 12 feet of them, according to a press release May 23 from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR). Bears like free easy meals too, and when a pile of fish is just lying around they will most likely help themselves. The KNWR also advises leaving backpacks, coolers, and anything that smells like food in vehicles or keeping it within three feet of you in order to lessen bear temptation. The same advice goes with camping

out in Alaska’s wild: Be sure to keep foods in bear-safe containers and outside of your sleeping area. Hoisting coolers or food containers into nearby trees when not in use can also deter bears from eating your lunch (or at least they won’t be near you while they are snacking on your PB and J). There’s Safety in Numbers! The more people you have, the less likely you are to have a wildlife encounter. Groups of four or more will typically scare off any kind of big animal, unless they are protecting a kill or their young. If you do come across an animal with your group that does not retreat immediately, there is probably a reason for it, and you should reroute your adventure. Even though you may not see a calf, cub or kill, that does not mean you should proceed. Animals have certain distances they like to keep from humans, and it is ill advised to try and figure out what distance is too close. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s viewing ethics are as follows: give wildlife plenty of space, learn to recognize signs of alarm, leave “orphaned” or sick animals alone, restrain pets or leave them at home, let animals eat their natural foods, and tread lightly. Finally, Fish and Game notes, be respectful of nesting and denning areas, rookeries (bird colonies), and calving grounds. Following these tips will prevent encounters with Alaska’s wild animals and keep you from getting hurt or in serious trouble.



Obama’s support of samesex marriage won’t hurt him It has been roughly three weeks since President Barack Obama has publicly voiced his support of gay marriage, and both critics and supporters of his stance are still debating whether or not the announcement will ultimately help or hurt his reelection campaign. Given the recent announcement by the NAACP, the general ineffectiveness of One Million Moms and National Organization for Marriage campaigns against corporations openly supporting GLBT rights — and even the increasingly positive GLBT visibility in various well-known comic book universes, such as Marvel, Archie Comics and DC — the announcement appears to be a reflection of a shifting national sentiment, and may ultimately help President Obama’s reelection bid. The organization One Million Moms (OMM) has called for bans to JC Penney twice in recent months, once for employing talk show host and lesbian Ellen Degeneres as a spokesperson, and later for a catalogue ad featuring two lesbian mothers and their children. While JC Penney shares have gone down in the first quarter (an adjusted net loss of $55 million), it is unclear just how much their support of the LGBT community has caused this. The corporation is currently undergoing reorganization, which involves lowering inventory levels

and incurring restructuring and management transition charges. In addition, JC Penney has a new CEO, Ron Johnson, formerly of Apple. The instability of these changes and the loss of money due to restructuring costs can easily affect the organization’s profitability, and while OMM’s boycotts may have helped contribute to this, there is every indication that these losses would have occurred with or without their efforts. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), another group in opposition to same-sex marriage, has also initiated a boycott against coffee retailer Starbucks after the company openly voiced its favor for samesex marriage, an action which was ultimately squashed when their online petition only received roughly 36,000 signatures, while a similar petition serving as a thank you card for Starbucks’ support received approximately 228,000 signatures. Other American-based companies openly supporting same-sex marriage and/or gay rights include Nike, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Levi’s, The Gap, American Apparel, American Airlines, Google, Boeing and IBM. Let’s turn our attention to a different group of companies endorsing same-sex marriage: comic book companies. While not everyone reads comic books,

the fact is that these companies are reaching a particular group of people that other types of companies might not is important to take note of. Archie Comics recently featured a comic where a same-sex couple celebrated their wedding, with an illustration of the wedding on the comic’s cover (OMM tried to boycott Toys “R” Us for selling the comic, which had the reverse effect of causing the comics to fly off the shelves). Marvel Comics has announced that an openly gay member of the X-Men, Northstar, will propose to his partner in the comic “Astonishing X-Men #50,” effectively making him the company’s first married gay superhero. Likewise, DC Comics has recently announced that one of its many heroes will be reintroduced as gay in the near future, though which hero is still a secret. In addition to all of these companies and corporations supporting same-sex marriage, we have to note that states like New York and Washington have recently voted to legalize samesex marriages, even as North Carolina has (narrowly) voted to ban it. This means that same-sex couples can be legally married in New York, Washington, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa, while civil unions or domestic partnerships are recognized in Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, California

(previously performed marriages still recognized), Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine and Maryland (out-of-state marriages recognized). Samesex marriage is also legal in Washington D.C. After taking all of this information into consideration, the many (and diverse) companies openly endorsing same-sex marriage, the fact that boycotts on some of these highly influential companies have either failed or yielded inconclusive results, the fact that beloved niche companies (e.g., comic

book companies) are reaching difficult audiences with their support of same-sex marriage and the increasing amount of states either recognizing or legalizing same-sex marriage indicate that President Obama’s newly-outed support for same-sex marriage is more in line with shifting national values against them. And, despite the potentially bad timing of the announcement, it might end up helping his reelection campaign more than hurting it.

Obama and Romney: capitalism’s race downward While both candidates have their differences, both are bound by the same historical ideology By Cody Edwards Contributor

The presidential election is heating up, and the candidates are putting forward their best solutions to our country’s economic woes, complete with fake smiles and faux concern for common people. From a quick perusal of Mitt Romney’s campaign website, he prescribes more of the same, sick medicine economists and politicians have been shoving down our throats for the last 40 years: more trade, lower taxes, and fewer government regulations. Barack Obama, for his part, signed free-trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea last year; Bloomberg News reported last October that Obama approved 5 percent fewer government regulations than George W. Bush; and Obama’s campaign website notes that his administration wants to increase taxes on Americans with incomes over $250,000 a year. Like Romney, Obama wants more trade

and fewer government regulations but differs with him with regard to taxes. Their respective positions can be summed up as follows: Romney wants your children to work in the mines all day. Obama, on the other hand, being the generous man that he is, wants your children to work in the mines for only 12 hours a day and with a 30 minute lunch break. Yes, they’re different positions, like being hit by a bus or a car is different. Americans have a problem and they’re loath to admit it. That problem is the social and economic system in which they exist: capitalism. Unfortunately, Obama and Romney, with their similar platforms, can do nothing about our Big Problem because both candidates are products of the systems’ beneficence. Romney made millions by buying companies and firing its employees. Obama political career was bankrolled by people like Romney.

Americans are in a state of denial. Unfortunately, that state of denial has been enduring for decades. American values of industriousness and rugged individualism are inextricably bound with capitalist notions of private property and free enterprise. To say that capitalism is a problem is like saying there’s something wrong with America. Utter sacrilege. Capitalism is the most productive social system ever devised by humanity. Even Karl Marx could not help but laud its achievements in the Communist Manifesto while simultaneously condemning them. Productive though it may be, capitalism has also wrought tremendous environmental damage, fostered a poisonous work ethic, and trapped us in a neverending spiral of consumption and debt accumulation. Many college students are especially sensitive to this, seeing as how their new purpose in life is to pay off the

loans accumulated throughout their college career. Moreover, capitalism has condemned the laboring classes to a bitter struggle with employer class over basic needs, such as better pay and better health care. To give but one example of this bitter struggle, Mike Elk, labor journalist for “In These Times,” reported on May 17 that the industrial conglomerate Honeywell suspended operations on May 10 at its Metropolis, Illinois, uranium conversion plant and told all of its employees to leave the premises. In the days that followed, most of Honeywell’s nonunion workforce was allowed to return to work while its 168-member union workforce was not. Capitalism embraces vicious values that emphasize competition over cooperation, hierarchy over equality, and greed over sharing. Life is treated like a sport in which everyone must beat and dominate all others. With unemployment

currently at 8.1 percent, it’s no wonder that people are scrambling to climb over the backs of their fellow workers for the chance to work and make a living. How can you blame them? We are what we emulate. Capitalism has only existed for some 500 years, a mere blip in the course of human existence, which stretches back approximately 250,000 years. During that time, humanity proceeded through tribal, slave, and feudal societies, each embracing different kinds of social relationships. If we recognize that capitalism is a historical system with a historically conditioned set of social relationships and values like all the others, we can imagine a future in which equality and cooperation are the salient values. If we can imagine it, we can then fight for it. Obama and Romney do not seek to usher in those values. They seek to preserve the status quo and its Machiavellian values.

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May 29, 2012  

First summer issue of The northern Light UAA student newspaper.

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