THENORTHERNLIGHT May 31, 2011
University of Alaska Anchorage
Fairbanks celebrates first Rainbow Prom See B5
Last call for Mountain View gallery Practice Garden Sustainability Club gets greener Practice garden See A2
vs. TNL writers face off over meaning of bin Laden’s death See A9
Rhymes With Orange "Bill Tsurnos" by Erin Pollock, was on display at the closing celebration of the MTS Gallery on May 21. See B6 for more photos.
COE challenges accusation of negligence
New humor column looks at the stages of relationships
Officials in the College of Education said they have offered help to bullies, despite conflicting claims poet, Dylan Thomas. This environment that bred success but also isolation encouraged the bullying that encouraged the violence. “It’s in the school that the murderer is created,” Twemlow said.
By Matt Caprioli
The Northern Light
Summer of Heroes Summer heroes movies First on deck: Thor, the Norse god of thunder See B2
Best Burgers in town TNL ranks the top five burgers in Anchorage See B4
Track & Field See B1
Track Team wraps up season
The UAA College of Education (COE) was accused of not responding to an invitation for an anti-bullying forum in a guest editorial published in The Press on May 19. The guest editorial by Dennis Maloney, an Anchorage lawyer and founder of the nonprofit Bye Bye Bullies, appeared on page seven under the title “It’s time to stop bullying in Anchorage.” Maloney listed COE as one of several offices that “have failed to responded our invitations to support or participate is our upcoming presentations May 20 and 21.” Maloney said he left several voice mails and sent several e-mails to the Dean of Education, Mary Snyder. In a phone interview, Maloney said he had received no reply from Snyder. When asked about the issue, Snyder forwarded TNL the e-mail she sent to Maloney. She commented “I did reply rather late.” The e-mail commended Maloney for his efforts, and outlined what COE is doing to increase awareness of the damages that bullying can cause, specifically a course in suicide prevention. Snyder concluded the e-mail, with “I will send out your announcement about Friday’s meeting to COE faculty. Do you still need a laptop and/or projector? The College could loan you these items.” Snyder said that she did receive a response. James Powell, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, said that he did receive Snyder’s e-mail and sent it to all of the department’s faculty and students. “For two years running we’ve provided space and opportunity for (Bye Bye Bullies) to speak with students in our department. The problem is that they scheduled it once most of the students graduated,” Powell said. His comment echoed ASD superintendent Carol Comeau’s e-mail, which Maloney cited
in his guest editorial for the Press. “I will let staff know of these opportunities. As I said before, May 20 is the last work day for teachers and support staff,” Comeau wrote. Anti-bullying presentation One of the events Maloney referred to in his editorial to the press took place at Romano’s. Stuart W. Twemlow, a professor of psychiatry at Baylor University and a consultant for the Columbine shootings, presented ”Creating a peaceful community in anchorage” Twemlow opened by comparing his findings on the situation of Columbine to the current situation of South Anchorage High School. The shock of Columbine was not only the number of victims, but also the neighborhood it occurred in. Good neighborhoods are not immune to violence, Twemlow said. In fact, research shows that schools that focus more on academics—without increased parental or social involvement—have higher problems of bullying. Before the shooting, Columbine ranked number 2 in the nation for public high schools. It had the most graduates attending ivy leagues in the country, the best sports teams, and the most daily attendance. The parents of both shooters were hippies with advanced degrees and advocates for gun control. Dylan Klebold, one of the two perpetrators, was named after the famous Irish
How to decrease bullying in Anchorage school district •Encourage teachers to attend PTA meetings. •Acknowledge that zerotolerance policies do not work •Let children play more (less homework) •School, family, and community should never be thought as separate. •Improve perceived safety at schools.
*As suggested by Stuart Twemlow, professor of psychology at Baylor Univeristy
News| May 31, 2011
Elma, Washington, dairy princess is lactose intolerant ELMA, Wash. (AP) -- Laurel Gordon of Washington state has been putting on a tiara to promote milk products the past two years as Grays Harbor County’s dairy ambassador. The funny thing is, the 18-year-old from Elma is a lactose intolerant dairy princess. The Daily World of Aberdeen reports that unless Gordon takes special pills, her body is unable to digest milk, so she drinks soy milk. But her family operates a dairy farm that has been in the family for 150 years, and she believes in the product. She’s competing for the Washington state dairy ambassador title in June.
Toy tiger causes UK police alert LONDON (AP) -- Police scrambled helicopters and ordered tranquilizers to hunt what they feared was an escaped wild animal in southern England - but found that the tiger was a toy. Hampshire Police say they responded after several residents called in to say they’d seen a white tiger in a field near a golf course in Hedge End, near the English coastal city of Southampton. A tongue-in-cheek recorded message posted to the force’s media line said that after “a brief stalk through the Hedge End savannah ... it became obvious that the tiger was a stuffed, life-sized toy.” A second message posted on Sunday emphasized police had a duty to take such sightings seriously. As for the renegade tiger, “it’s being treated as lost property.”
Pennsylvania woman to stand trial for potlaced margarine NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania woman will stand trial on charges she fed marijuana-laced margarine to a 12-year-old girl she was baby-sitting, as well as two other children at her home. The 12-year-old’s mother called Upper Burrell Township police after discovering the drugs in a tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in 22-year-old Stevie Hickey’s freezer. The woman tells police Hickey spread the substance on two pieces of toast that Hickey gave to the girl. Police say Hickey told the girl it was “parsley butter” but later acknowledged to police that it was marijuana. The Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum reports Hickey remains free after waiving her right to a preliminary hearing on marijuana possession and child endangerment charges
May 10. Her home phone is disconnected.
Compressed air turns New Zealand trucker into human balloon
Practice garden planted by sustainability club Club plants vegetables, hopes to grow interest in local gardens
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A New Zealand truck driver said he blew up like a balloon when he fell onto the fitting of a compressed air hose that pierced his buttock and forced air into his body at 100 pounds a square inch. Steven McCormack was standing on his truck’s foot plate Saturday when he slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the truck’s brakes. He fell hard onto the brass fitting, which pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into his body. “I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot,” he told local media from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane, on North Island’s east coast. “I was blowing up like a football,” he said. “I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon.” McCormack’s workmates heard his screams and ran to him, quickly releasing a safety valve to stop the air flow, said Robbie Petersen, co-owner of the trucking company. He was rushed to the hospital with terrible swelling and fluid in one lung. Doctors said the air had separated fat from muscle in McCormack’s body, but had not entered his bloodstream. McCormack, 48, said his skin felt “like a pork roast” - crackling on the outside but soft underneath.
Ohio judge gives defendants homework assignments TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A judge in Ohio gives defendants what sounds like homework assignments as a part of probation sentences. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook in Toledo has ordered offenders to write five-page reports on topics including teen violence, drug use and head injuries. The judge tells The Blade newspaper her goal is to get defendants thinking about why what they did was wrong and how it hurt others. The Blade reports Cook has told as many as 30 people to write papers since she took the bench in 2007. She reads all of them and says it seems that the number of writers who’ve later returned to her court for serious probation violations has been low. Lawyer Richard Hasbrook agrees with that assessment. He’s the public defender in Cook’s courtroom. -Complied by Matt Caprioli
midtown duplex is known as an almost surreal example of sustainable living. One of the volunteers, Kimberley Hewitt, The Sustainability Club is planting a garden said the information was very useful, though some of it was over her head. behind the BMH. “I’m here for the summer and I’ve never “(Our goal is) to raise awareness for the importance and potential for local food; as done gardening before. I thought it would be well as to provide a place for all members of fun,” Hewitt said. Hewitt is very active in the Heifer the UAA community (students AND faculty/ staff) to learn about and practice gardening. International Club at UAA, the group The food will be shared with the whole UAA that first suggested a garden on campus. community through picnics and banquets Heifer International lacked the resources to implement a garden, and organized throughout the many members already season by the club,” the volunteered in the club’s president, Aleks Sustainability Club, so the Pfaffe, said of the studentmatch was perfect, Hewitt run vegetable garden. said. Bed construction began Both groups wanted to on May 14, and planting/ start a garden last spring, gardening continued May but were not able to settle 15 and 18. Behind the BMH things in time. When is a favorable location Sustainability Club became for growing because the more active this spring, they sunshine, proximity were able to get funds from to people, and easy access to water. -Kimberley Hewitt USUAA and the Office of Sustainability. They The group had continue to donate some of Saskia Esslinger, a permaculture designer and practitioner their own money, Pfaffe said. The group has many plans for the future. in town, speak to the club at their planting session. Esslinger has made In particular, once the garden produces food, an impression on the gardening Pfaffe said that they hope to partner with the community in Anchorage with her Culinary Arts Department to get the food Williams Street Farmhouse. The cooked by students.
By Matt Caprioli The Northern Light
‘I’m here for the summer, and I’ve never done gardening before. I thought it would be fun.’
May 31, 2011 | News
Two climbers who recently completed a successful summit of 20,320-foot Mount McKinley died in an avalanche on nearby Mount Frances while attempting a new route on the much smaller mountain, the National Park Service said Wednesday. Park rangers at Denali National Park said the two climbers, one from Canada and the other from Japan, died in the avalanche on the 10,450foot peak, which sits just behind McKinley’s base camp. The dead have been identified as Jiro Kurihara, 33, of Canmore, Alberta, and Junya Shiraishi, 28, of Sapporo, Japan. They were attempting a new route on the west face of Mount Frances when they were killed in the avalanche, National Park Service spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin said. A search for the climbers began Monday when they did not return to base camp. Rangers aboard a helicopter spotted a body lying in avalanche debris at the base of the mountain. Both bodies were recovered Wednesday. Park officials said records indicate these are the first two fatalities on Mount Frances. The two climbers arrived in the Alaska Range on April 27. They had successfully climbed Mount McKinley and had a couple of other objectives in mind, McLaughlin said. One of those was to attempt a new route on Mount Frances. The mountain is about half as tall as McKinley, but offers some technical climbs for mountaineers, she said. The two were last seen at basecamp on McKinley last Saturday. When they hadn’t arrived back from what should have been a day trip, rangers used a spotting scope in hopes of locating them. When that failed, a helicopter search was launched Tuesday morning.
2011/2012 Season Passes On Sale Now College Unlimited Pass $990 College Midweek Pass $700 Ten X Powder Pass $500
what goes up
must come down © Simon Evans
Avalanche on Alaska mountain kills two climbers
Federal judge reinstates roadless rule A federal judge has issued a final decision in a court battle over roadless areas in the nation’s largest national forest in Alaska. In March, U.S. District Court Judge John W. Sedwick in Anchorage sided with the village of Kake and reinstated the Clinton-era Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska. The judge found that the Bush administration decision to exempt the Tongass was arbitrary and capricious. The rule protects roadless areas in national forests from commercial logging and road building. On Tuesday, Sedwick issued his final judgment. It reinstates the roadless rule in the Tongass while making clear that certain projects and activities can proceed. Those projects include roads and timber removal for energy projects and selling dead or downed wood for firewood.
Missing yaks come home Two missing yaks from a farm in Two Rivers outside Fairbanks are home. Ben and Bart escaped their pen more than a week ago. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner said Wednesday they were picked up three days later when someone mistook them for a friend’s yaks. The person loaded the yaks onto a truck and took them to her friend’s house, only to discover they weren’t hers. The yak owner, meanwhile, had heard about Ben and Bart and called their owner at Turning Light Farm to say she had them.
Palmer to pay penalty to settle airport complaint The city of Palmer has agreed to pay a large penalty in order to avoid a legal fight with the federal government over how it used grant money for the city-owned airport. The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday the city will pay $857,000 to settle the complaint that it repeatedly made false statements when it accepted the money to improve and expand the airport. The city denies any wrongdoing. The money represents about 9 percent of the city’s annual operating budget. According to the charges, the city’s statements on grant applications included wrongful assurances that it met two requirements to get federal airport grants. The requirements were that airport revenue would only be used for the airport and that airport land leased for non-airport uses would be rented at fair market value. The complaint states, for example, that the city used airport money to buy a city road grader. It says the city also used revenues from the 18-hole golf course on airport property to make payments for unrelated city bond debt. And the complaint charges that the city didn’t collect enough rent for airport space put to non-airport uses. City officials believe some airport property described in the complaint as being used for non-airport purposes is actually being used to benefit the airport. For example, a snow storage area and fire department training area are “vital to airport safety,” the city said. Mayor DeLena Johnson said cities around Alaska divert airport revenue to other purposes. The Department of Justice is making an example of Palmer, she said. “Every small airport is going to be looking at these issues,” Johnson said.
Man develops symptoms of shellfish poisoning State health officials say a man who ate clams from a beach near Ketchikan on Sunday developed symptoms characteristic of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Samples from the clam harvest have come back positive for a toxin that causes the potentially life-threatening illness in people who have eaten contaminated shellfish. Health officials say the man ate steamed clams harvested from the South Point Higgins Beach, about 11 miles north of Ketchikan. Within an hour of eating them, officials say he began to feel tingling in his lips, fingers and toes. He was also dizzy, weak and had decreased coordination. He was taken to a local hospital and later discharged Public health officials say locally harvested shellfish, including clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks and scallops, can contain paralytic shellfish poison.
FIDDLEHEAD MUSIC FESTIVAL: JUNE 10 & 11 feat. Peter Rowan & Whiskey Richards Daylodge Lawn | 7 pm to midnight $10 advance | $15 day of show
NEW! LIFT-ASSISTED MOUNTAIN BIKING GRAND OPENING: JUNE 24 Ride Friday to Sunday - 11 am to 6 pm Tickets, Rentals & Repair @ The Daylodge
Anchorage Bike to Work Day reaches new high Bacon station support and healthy lifestyle choices encouraged a mass of bicycle commuters By Matt Caprioli The Northern Light
Warning: to understand the first paragraph may require perusing the first paragraph of Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels. Alaska, a May weekend….very early, light killing fog in the streets, bicyclists wearing helmets, red shades, neon yellow jackets, white bike pants, roll out from damp garages holding Hondas in Midtown, Downtown, Abbott, and Muldoon, heading for the Chester Creek park, north of Off the Chain…Ponderosa Novaras flash along sidewalks as traffic moves slower, nervous at the number of bikes passing like a burst of civilized thunder. All right, riding a bike as part of Bike to Work Day does not qualify one for the Hell’s Angel. But those who did ride their bike to work on May 20 rebelled in some sense: some against poor health, some against high gas prices, some against a planet absorbing too many toxins. For newbies, many of those reasons overlap, though some do stand out. For me, it was the urge to reduce my carbon footprint even more by riding a bike every day to work. For Rebecca Huerta, an agency clerk at the University Center, it was the urge to get involved with her community. Whatever the reason, UAA’s Office of Sustainability has encouraged new people to ride their bikes since Bike to Work existed in Anchorage. They succeed in the 7th annual BTWD, when 189 from UAA participated; 147 people had participated in 2010. 451 riders participated this year, an increase of 75 people, according to municipality records. They came from all over the city. Huerta rode 6 miles from East Anchorage. Kent Spiers and Paula Williams, co-organizers for the Cycling Seawolves, rode nine and eight miles respectively.
My ride Bikers may have passed one of five replenishing stations throughout the city. The most popular was the Bacon Station on Chester Creek, near C street. Riding under the C street tunnel I overheard a pair of woman say, “Yeah I saw him playing bag pipes earlier. Wasn’t expecting him here.” I peddle toward where they left. Indeed, there was an older gentleman
playing the bag pipes. Along with a moose, a man juggling what resembled wine bottles, and a very slim bear, ironically wearing a sign that read “Don’t feed the bears.” Reflectosaurs was the most energetic, waving to everyone that passed, and taking pictures with kids in bicycle trailers. The coffee was already out by 7:45, so I settled for a gluten free chocolate chip cookie. A couple apron-clad men from Spenard Roadhouse gave me two strips. They cooked over 800 strips of bacon this year, setting a new limit. In the first fifteen minutes of my first time with BTWD, I noticed two things: people tend to pant more than smile while passing, and virtually everyone wears helmets. Of course some people say hey, and some attempt a smile, but I saw many riders use panting as a reason
not to acknowledge another cyclist. It was endearing. I didn’t wear a helmet, and I quickly realized that for BTWD, that is the equivalent of forgetting your pants. Last year, 95 percent of participants in the area I rode in—A street and Chester Creek—wore helmets. The looks my naked head received ranged from disgust to concern. I imagine it’s the same looks smokers get. Riding on, I noticed lacking a helmet was not my only style faux-pas. Few people wore shorts or left their business socks exposed. I did both, and I only counted four other people in shorts. I also wore a loose-fitting UAA sweatshirt. Most cyclists wore tight neon jackets, and even those without REI attire chose tight-fitting clothes. I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, and forgot the great sights one can see only a bike riding along Chester Creek. An older gentleman in white Dockers and a World Cup t-shirt walked with two poodles, one on each side. They looked like white pom-poms.
‘Those who did ride their bike to work on May 20 rebelled in some sense: some against poor health, some against high gas prices, some against a planet absorbing too many toxins.‘
From Valley of the Moon Park you can see bikers haul their way toward downtown. This group wore red reflecting jackets, and looked more like trolleys pulled from some force atop the hill. The bridges near C street had loose boards that rippled bikes passed. Coupled with the stream below, the sensation is serene. By the time I reached the student union, I realized that each biker has a personal speed limit. Families often ride slower. Some bikers sit back and let the bike do the work. Others lean forward, Tron-style, and go for it. One man in particular was kicking his knees to his chest, like he was hopping rather than riding. I plan to ride my bike past May 20. I keep seeing the strangest things…. If you missed BTWD, there are riding events over the summer. The American Institute of Architects and Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage are holding a competition to see which business can get the highest percentage of their employees riding to work. The challenge concludes September 19.
Photos by Daniel Jackson/TNL
Above: Bikes painted in green dotted the city's bike trails, indicating to bikers various stops for Bike to Work Day on May 20th. There were five stations across town that provided early morning treats, including bacon, coffee, and cookies.
Top: Giving a big smile, Yolanda Meza sits near her bike on her first Bike to Work Day. Meza was compelled to participate because of high gas prices, as well as trying to be environmentally conscious. Above: Beating a drum, Buz Daney of the Southcentral Foundation sings in a 'blessing of the bikes', held on the bike path outside of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Daney has participated in the Bike to Work event for the past five years.
May 31, 2011 | Features
The numerous stages of a relationship
The Northern Light
In the jam-packed, confusing, hectic world in which we live, crammed full of deadlines, responsibilities, and Celebrity Apprentice, we too often insist on complicating our lives even further- with that lovely little thing known as relationships. We covet interaction with the opposite sex (or same sex, however your boat floats), to the point of getting down on our knees and begging for it—even though more often than not, it is the bane of our existence. This longing for companionship has been an ongoing and timeless process, ever since the first caveman hit his cavewoman over the head with a club and said, “You. Me. Cave. Now.” Alternately sweet and sour, relationships either shape and define us, providing us with a path toward maturity; or break us down and send us completely bat-shit crazy. Sometimes both. Whether it be playground love, fledging OMG high school romance, bold moving-in-together endeavors or matrimonial harmony, every relationship has its stages. Some are delightful, others frustrate the hell out of us and require a lot of confidence boosting from friends. Through the ups and the downs, the flowers and the cards, the fights and the makeup sex, they all center around one mysterious and crazy thing no one can ever get enough of. Love. Here, to make your life a little simpler and less cluttered (and to make more time for Celebrity Apprentice), are the different relationship stages to be had with your significant other, broken down and labeled for ease of understanding. Not all may occur in the course of one relationship—pray that they don’t—but are universally accepted as the basis for every interaction between prowling individuals.
Not interested A total downer, but that’s life sometimes. Egos were meant to suffer. Usually accompanied by the I’ve never seen you before in my life look, and lots of “thanks, but no thanks.” Hardly
any progress can be made at this stage; rejection is imminent. Usually the best play to make here is to stop trying.
Playing hardto-get Also a frustrating stage, but perseverance can be rewarded. The challenge to prove your worth is on, with the vague hint of a payoff at the end of the rainbow.
a humor column by Alden Lee However, there’s a fine line between being stubbornly persistent and being a complete idiot. Don’t cross it, creep.
Long distance relationship You’ve got something started here, but now you have to play the commitment battle. It’s all about trust and faith, buddy. Prepare to endure long absences from your significant other, and lots and lots of Skype. It can be a tough and lonely stage, but whenever the two of you finally meet up—woof. Think “Going the Distance” for inspiration. But also, prepare to lose.
Utter, heavenly bliss You’ve reached Cloud Nine. Everything is perfect and how it should be; exactly what you always dreamed of. You may look like lovesick dips to everyone else, but for the pair of you—welcome to Nirvana.
Clingy Things get really touchy-kissy here. Constant handholding and lots of mushy baby talk become the norm, and you’re suddenly attached at the hip. A good stage if you love huge amounts of affection heaped upon you—and a fair share of guess-who, snoogums—but a bad one if you appreciate having even an ounce of personal space.
Needy They have to know what you’re doing, every hour of every day. This includes notification of bathroom visits. If not, prepare for pages-long angry text rants and extended periods of poutiness. It’s like PMS— but nonstop.
Total stalker They’re outside your window, at your every turn, leaving little notes everywhere— compulsively waiting. At this stage, it’s best to check under your bed before going to sleep.
Oh God, they’ve got a knife! This one’s pretty self-explanatory; you’re now in a Hitchcock movie. Never take a shower.
May 31, 2011
Geocaching: A sport that uses multi-billion dollar sate
A fun adventure using GPS to find hidden treasures in By Ashley Snyder The Northern Light
Adventurous. Exciting. Fulfilling. Timeflying. These are all words to describe the fast-growing activity of Geocaching . For those who are unfamiliar with the term, Geocaching is an outdoor adventure that involves getting a set of coordinates, using GPS to travel to those coordinates, and then searching around the area to find a cache that someone has hidden there. It is a great way to get outdoors and it is even more fun to partake in with friends and family. Geocaching can be a daunting task for the beginner. Where should a novice begin? First, figuring out where you would
like to Geocache. Geocaching.com is the authoritative voice on all things Geocaching. You can sign up with a free account, type in your zip code, and it will show you a map full of areas around your location where you can Geocache. Geocaching is very popular veering off trails and hidden deep in the woods, but if you arenâ€™t too big on getting down and dirty among the spider webs, dead leaves, and abrasive tree branches, you might want to start out in an easily accessible area like a park. All of the Geocaching entries have ratings for how difficult they are to find, how difficult the terrain around them is, and how big the container is. For your first few caches, it is advisable to go with a larger item in the easy to moderate find category to get
Above Left: It is required to completely hide the Geocache box again after you found it, so that the next person to come can have the same fun finding it as you did. Above Right: UAA student Richard Graves opens an official CITO Geocache box which contained a log book and several large garbage bags which are there for people to take so that they can do their part to help clean up the park a bit while Geocaching.
GCI has a history of firsts in Alaska. The first to bring competition to Alaska telecommunication. The first digital and HD cable TV. The first truly statewide wireless provider.
And now GCI is in the process of bringing Alaskans 4G wireless, with data speeds that eclipse anything youâ€™ve seen before.
May 31, 2011 | features
ellites to find beat up containers hidden in the woods
n places you would never have thought to look used to how to search for a cache so as not to get too frustrated. If you do not want to shell out $200 for a GPS device, most Android and iPhones have downloadable GPS apps available for free. While it is more convenient, these apps are not as accurate as a fully-fledged GPS device and usually have a plus or minus 3-4 meter accuracy. This means that you will have to do a bit more digging around because your phone will only get you so close, especially in dense woods where GPS barely works at all. A list of items essential for a fulfilled day of Geocaching in Alaska are as follows: A completely charged electronic device that
and then you put those numbers together to get the coordinates. Almost all Geocaches contain a log book or even a scroll of paper for people to write down their name and the date they found the cache. It is incredible to see the vast list of names dating back years ago, so don’t forget to put your own name on the cache so that in the future someone can look back and see your name and your accomplishment. Most caches contain a pen, but for some of the smaller ones that can hold nothing more than a scroll of paper, it is a good idea to bring a pen or pencil so that you can sign it. After you find the cache, it is essential that
Above Left: Geocaches will contain a notebook or a scroll of paper to record your name and date that you found the Geocache. Most logs will have names of people that found it years ago. It is always good to bring a pen to sign the log just in case one is not included with the cache. Above Right: Anyone who is interested in creating their own Geocache can get an official box from Geocache.com or use any type of water-tight container that can survive the harsh winter elements. An army surplus sale is a great place to find some boxes. Below right: UAA student Richard Graves holds up a log that was found inside a Geocache filled with names of those that had previously found the cache that dated back to early 2007. Bottom Right: Graphic by Shana Roberson.
supports GPS, a bottle of water, bug spray, fully functional shoes, a pen or pencil to sign the log, and optional trinkets to leave behind for the ‘take one leave one’ caches. There are many different kinds of caches to search for, and most of the Geocaching sites will have a description of what kind it is so that it makes it easier for you to know what to look for. A few of the most popular caches are: Log caches which are caches that are usually small metal canisters that contain a roll of paper for people to sign. These are harder to find because of their size which can be as small as a Fourth of July confetti popper. Some people like to hide the smaller object into a larger object like a piece of wood to give it a little more challenge and to stop people from accidentally kicking it out of location. Take one leave one caches are just as they sound: a small box or container filled with trinkets from dice to VHS tapes to medallions. You can take an item while leaving one of your own behind, add an item to the collection, or just look through the items to see what people have left in the past but not take or leave anything. Multi-Caches are caches that give you one set of coordinates which usually leads to a tag or a small box with another set of coordinates, which will lead you to the next set of coordinate, and so on until you find the final item. These can be a little trickier because they are micro-caches, which are small items in meticulous places. Mystery caches take a little more work because in order to figure out the coordinates, you have to first answer riddles or questions that will give you numbers,
you put it back and camouflage it so that the next person that comes can have as much fun as you did trying to find it. There are some people who will disable the cache if others do not hide it properly so that the random passerby doesn’t just happen to see it and take it not knowing what it is. Heading on a road trip to Homer or Seward? Or even up to Fairbanks? There are plenty of Geocaches hidden along the way, allowing you to take pit stops and stretch your legs while having fun searching for hidden caches. Just because we live in Alaska doesn’t mean that the Geocaching fun has to stop when the snow starts. Many Geocaches are located in places that are reachable in winter, just look for the ‘winter accessible’ tag on the Geocache post. It also is a good hint because you know that the item has to be off the ground so that the snow does not cover it up in the winter. Creating your own Geocache is extremely simple; all you need is a watertight container that will stand up to the harsh winter and all of the other elements that will be inflicted upon it. Decide if you want to include anything in your cache besides a log book. Some people even put a small prize for the ‘FTF’ or first to find. Scout out a good location where the cache can be well hidden and write down the coordinates. Go online and post them up for all avid Geocachers to find.
‘If you do not want to shell out $200 for a GPS device, most Android and iPhones have downloadable GPS apps available for free. ‘
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The Northern Light
The artists have not left Anchorage
The MTS Gallery is closing its doors after five years of operation. The gallery was the stomping ground of many local artists. A spot where creative minds could mingle, contemplate both art and current issues, as well as entertain. In other words, it was a community fixture, and it is now being demolished. Located in one of Anchorage’s oldest neighborhoods, the Mountain View gallery’s closing party aptly titled “The Artists Have Left the Building,” showcased that the artistic space was capable of bringing people together. MTS Gallery was not unsuccessful. Photo stories featured on the Anchorage Daily News’ website, this week’s Northern Light, and a fan-created blog showcasing the gallery’s events display the final show and party. In the pictures, entertainers dance or twirl fire hoops for Anchorage residents; cyclists enjoy a game of bike polo; and artists happily converse before sculptures, paintings and mixed media pieces. The pictures display a simple fact: many people enjoy the arts. Despite the smiling faces in the photographs, the gallery is closing, and many artists will have to find an alternative collaborative site of operation. Artists who found a home at the MTS Gallery are being dispersed unevenly throughout
Anchorage; a blow to the art community. The art community, however, has grown in Anchorage over the past decade. More people than ever are enjoying the city’s First Friday events. Think of it like joining a book club. Every month, people with similar interests gather to discuss what they like and didn’t like about a book. But instead of seeing the same familiar faces after each read novel, community members may mingle before a painting, sipping wine and nibbling cheese, with a complete stranger. A wonderful aspect of this mingling is that people are sharing contrasting ideas with a decent level civility. So, you may not like the same pieces of art that another attendee found fascinating, but at least there is interaction. Art helps people break out of their comfort zones. Both for the artist and the viewer, it encourages a departure from one’s normal roles and perspectives through communication in loosely or unregulated mediums. Creative works can help foster dialogue in an increasingly segmented society. Delivering to a niche community is not art at its best, rather bringing people of different creeds together for discussion and contemplation is what makes a healthy art community. And in that sense,
If we, the dedicated, sustain our promotion of the arts and continue to spread the word about this growing collective then there is still hope.
MTS was a terrific success. Thus, because an important neighborhood gallery is closing residents should now more than ever attend and support other art galleries around town. If we, the dedicated, sustain our promotion of the arts and continue to spread the word about this growing collective then there is still hope. The endorsement of art is proof to local artists—who come from all walks of life—that their dedication to their chosen craft is appreciated and needed. Notable galleries located around Anchorage (most being in the proximity of downtown) that will likely be passed the baton include the International Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sevigny Studio, Cyrano’s Off Center Playhouse and Anchorage Museum among others. These entities have long participated in the monthly First Friday, but it is safe to say that MTS went above and beyond its fellow galleries.
MTS was a space for theater, music, film and various forms of fine art. The gallery housed numerous types of “artists” for its five years of operation. The reason MTS Gallery is closing is because the Community Land Trust decided to break their partnership with the Arts Center and sell the land to the Special Olympics. Unfortunately for the gallery, it is hard to generate much of a public outcry against land being used for a meaningful cause like the Special Olympics. Why they chose to evict an entire arts community, however, remains unclear, as it wasn’t the only available land for the Special Olympics in Mountain View. Hopefully, the art community will continue to grow, and Mountain View can find space for a future arts center. If MTS Gallery’s closing party was any indication, a large number of Anchorage residents would appreciate continued growth in the arts.
The Northern Light
A common critique of American society is the extent to which inequality runs rampant. It’s all been said before; how all those lovely Scandinavian countries and many of their Western European neighbors have achieved a much greater level of egalitarianism than we have. America is a land of cutthroat capitalism, where the rich exploit the poor for their labor, and only the few elite enjoy the fruits of American industry. Let’s grant for a moment this cartoonish characterization. There is another half of the puzzle that is rarely spoken of (that is until recently perhaps) which is the great difference between America and Europe in social equality. I am referring to the recent case against France’s Dominique StraussKahn, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be precise. On 14 May 2011, a maid working at the Sofitel Hotel in New York made the allegation that Kahn sexually assaulted her
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At the closing party for the MTS Gallery, assorted clothing and art was being sold to help benefit the artists.
French snobbery exposes elitist mentality when she was cleaning his suite. Everyone deserves a fair trial and the assumption of innocence, but the reaction to Mr. Kahn’s alleged rape is illuminating to say the least. In the land of liberté, égalité, and fraternity, many don’t seem to enjoy watching one of their elites being treated like an ordinary citizen. The French intellectual BernardHenri Lévy recently opined that he was appalled by the “American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.” A subject of justice like any other? Of what more importance is equality than before the law? Perhaps some in France do not approve of the way accused criminals become subject to media scrutiny, but certainly Kahn ought to be treated like anyone else. As flawed as the American judicial system may be, at least an attempt at equal protection under the law is made. Lévy, and many of his fellow Frenchmen have come right out and declared that not only do the elite receive preferential treatment in court, but they ought to! In a stereotypically snooty fashion, Jean Daniel of Le Nouvel Observateur writes, “We and the
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Americans do not belong to the same civilization,” and is baffled by the fact that authorities didn’t realize Kahn was “not like other men.” I suppose he wanted Kahn to be treated with special care that only a pampered Frenchman of the ruling class deserved. Well, it’s quite a relief that this was not the case. The ever so wonderful Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as much apparent good as he’s done for so many ordinary folk out in the world, was treated like any other man would be if accused of rape in America. It may be the case that this outrage in France is an aberration from the rest of continental Europe, that the vast majority of Europeans don’t have promote such a socially stratified society, but I am willing to bet not. The reason for this is the strong connection between a powerful state, and a growing sense of elitism among the ruling class. This sort of disconnect from the rabble can be seen by examining the lives of people like Al Gore, who has been going on and on about the threat of climate change, but sees little reason to adjust his own lifestyle. Like many of his compatriots, Gore continues to fly around on his jet of hypocrisy. While he lectures middle-income
Americans about conserving fuel, he uses more in a day than they likely will in a decade. Because statism is so prevalent throughout Europe, and appears to be creeping into America, one can expect the enlightened political class to increasingly see themselves as above the law. Thankfully however this arrogance the French seem to revel in so heavily is still in its infant form at home, which the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case is testament to. But in order to keep this sort of elitist arrogance out of the political discourse in America, it has to be continuously fought back. Every time hypocrites like Al Gore refuse to practice what they preach, they need to be called out. Whenever someone makes a remark about the low-brow state of the “average America,” remind them that they are included in that demographic. I am glad we live in a society where even the most powerful man in the world can be brought before a court of his peers and judged like anyone else. Perhaps, Jean Daniel is right, we don’t belong in the same civilization, but we are better off for it.
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May 31, 2011 | opinion
US Navy SEALs kill bin Laden: The death of an impotent has-been or a vital blow to terror? Assassination may win battle, but not the war By Sean Talbot The Northern Light
“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort.” President Obama prompted a brief wave of unified patriotism across the U.S. with this comment on May 2, not long after a SEAL team raided Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound and killed him. But there’s a lot to unpack in the president’s statement. America’s war against Al Qaeda started in 2001 with the prime objective of bringing bin Laden “to justice.” America has had a whole decade to dig deeper, to develop more intelligence, allies and enemies, and Al Qaeda has had a whole decade to train zealous new recruits. George W. Bush heralded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as wars against singular evils in the world: Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. He wanted to go after those with weapons of mass destruction and the will to use them. The media helped to depict those ideas as if those two men had no supporters who believed as they did, or would go as far as they would to make a statement. America went to war with figureheads - symbols in and of themselves - and now they are both dead. Now what? The war in Afghanistan will persist because it is not always the case that if you kill the leader, the people under him will suddenly start running around like beheaded chickens. Is bin Laden’s death important to the purpose of the war? Sure. The history books will say that in 2001, America went to war with Al Qaeda, and in 2011, America killed the faction’s leader. And they’ll call it progress. If America’s troubles are expounded by bin Laden’s fall, the U.S. has a lot more to deal with in the future than one man on the FBI’s most wanted list. An entire generation of Al Qaeda has been coached with bin Laden’s ideology, some of them Americans. They are not happy
bin Laden is dead, and have vowed retaliation. In the grand scheme of the war against Al Qaeda, however, it’s possible that we may be just beginning the fight. Americans who pay attention to the news know that terrorist plots are uncovered with alarming regularity – as of 2010, nearly 50 were foiled since 9/11. For others, terrorism is the unspoken fear whenever they board an airplane, but equally unspeakable regulations restrict passengers from discussing such topics on the airliner - indeed, even in the airport itself - for fear of causing panic and anxiety in those who may misinterpret an out-of-context comment. Or they may be hearing a legitimate threat. Americans take foreign threats rather personally after all, and we have interesting ways of expressing our anger. In the two months following the World Trade Center attacks, hundreds of violent crimes targeting Arab Americans erupted, leading to a quadrupling of U.S. Employment discrimination cases against Arab Americans. Immigration policies tightened to include monitoring of international students and selective deportation of Middle Eastern “absconders.” Al Qaeda has worked to corrupt the image of America in the Middle East, inspiring a generation of passionate young men to walk into coffee shops with bombs strapped to their chests. Likewise, much of America has a corrupted view of Islam, giving precedence to those examples of fanaticism instead of the much more widely accepted doctrine of peace. Certainly, sitting down for peace talks with groups bent on destroying us is probably off the table, but improving the image of the America they want to obliterate is our responsibility. Understanding the enemy – and perhaps more importantly, understanding who the enemy is not – is essential to moving past the constant fear of another September 11.
‘An entire generation of Al Qaeda has been coached with bin Laden’s ideology, some of them Americans. They are not happy bin Laden is dead, and have vowed retaliation.’
Death brings justice to 9-11 victims By Megan Edge The Northern Light
“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United Sates has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and the terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women and children,” said president Obama in a press conference on May 1st. He took a deep breath then continued with powerful statements, addressing specifically the real victims of 9/11. We will forever remember the men and women lost on what started as a beautiful September day, but we often forget the ones forced to live with this tragedy day after day. The innocent family members, who as Obama puts it, “have an empty seat at the dinner table.” The children, who will graduate high school, and get married with out their mother or father their to witness it. The parents, who were forced to bury their children, or worse; the parents who never could bury their children. Nearly 3,000 citizens were taken in the prime of their lives on one, devastating day. These are the people that the men and women of our United States military are fighting for. The killing of Osama Bin Laden is proof that our brothers, our sisters, our mothers and fathers, our husbands and wives are fighting for something real. They are fighting to bring the victims of September 11th justice. This does not mean that our
troops will come home tomorrow, but it does mean they have made progress. We have finally brought justice to the people of the United States of America. September 11th will always be a day on which we lower our heads in a moment of silence to remember our fallen Americans, but May 1st will always be a day on which we rejoice, knowing that we live in a country where justice is served fought for. The war against terrorism is not over however, and there will be more people fighting in support of Bin Laden’s twisted worldview. But for the first time in ten years the real victims of 9/11 can lay their heads at night and sleep knowing that we, the people of America, do not give up. They will know that their loved ones were not forgotten. They can have piece of mind knowing that this murderer will no longer terrorize the lives of what would surely be many more. The death of one individual should not be celebrated, and since the death of Bin Laden there has been criticism from people who think that we are celebrating the murder of another. By eliminating Bin Laden from the equation we have helped to stop future attacks against the worlds innocent people. Our soldiers have risked, and given, their lives for a reason. As President Obama said, “His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”
‘This does not mean that our troops will come home tomorrow, but it does mean they have made progress. We have finally brought justice to the people of the United States of America.’
opinion| May 31, 2011
letters to the editor
Reply: “Abortion clash at heart of shutdown debate”
Reply: “Islamic Violence Justifies Islamophobia” To the Editor,
It’s articles like this that exacerbate existing tensions between Muslims and the Western world. There are three claims made in the article. First, that Federal Funds for Preventative Health Services the Obama Administration has handled the Arid In response to the April 12 opinion piece, “Abortion clash at Uka incident inappropriately. Second, that moderate heart of shutdown debate,” VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood Muslims are somehow complicit in acts of terror carried out by Islamic extremists (this is a very would like to correct some factual errors. While the media surrounding the federal budget debates bizarre claim to make, given that most of the victims centered on abortion, the fact is that the federal funding in question of terrorism have been moderate Muslims living is what allows Planned Parenthood to provide high-quality, low- in the Middle East and Pakistan). And third, that cost, preventative health care to women, men, and teens. These “Violent Jihadism” defines mainstream Islam, and federal dollars go to annual PAP exams, contraceptives, breast and thus Islam in the 21st century is a “sadomasochistic cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. Federal religion of the vicious.” First, if you’re merely using the Arid Uka incident law already prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortion services via the Hyde Amendment. Thankfully, 58 US senators saw past the as an opportunity to castigate Obama, I offer a word rhetoric behind this amendment; eliminating Planned Parenthood of caution; Islamaphobia is not a joke. It is prudent from federal grant money is not only fiscally irresponsible and of Obama, as a President engaged in two (arguably bad public health policy, but it would also leave several hundreds three) military operations in the Muslim world, to of people in Alaska without access to basic preventative health avoid language that stereotypes entire groups of services. Primarily, the people to bear the burden of that legislation people. This is especially true when we want our would have been low-income and uninsured women. Thankfully, military to have the support of those very people. both Alaska senators, Senator Mark Begich and Senator Lisa Clearly, the McDonald dislikes Obama and it seems Murkowski, saw the danger in this kind of legislation, and voted in like he would capitalize on any opportunity to criticize him, but I ask honestly: would you write favor of women’s health. Planned Parenthood does more than any other organization in the this same article if it was John McCain or Mike nation to decrease the rate of abortion in our country. Nationwide, Huckabee that was in the oval office and refused to over 90 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are use the word “terrorist” in reference to Arid Uka? It’s right to say that most of the terrorist attacks in preventative. And preventing unplanned pregnancies is the only way to lower the rate of abortion in the US. This means giving the United States have been perpetrated by Islamic women, men, and teens access to the information and resources that Extremists. It’s wrong the say that this justifies will keep them healthy and help them plan whether and when to Islamaphobia. It’s also wrong to claim that terrorist attacks undermine claims that Islam is a “peaceful have a child. April happens[ed] to be Get Yourself Tested (GYT) month, an religion.” Christian militants were responsible for the effort put on by MTV and Planned Parenthood. Alaska often leads the nation with high rates of Chlamydia and gonorrhea—not to slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians during mention the high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence that the Lebanese Civil War in the early 80′s. The Lord’s our state reports every year. It seems we have very serious issues to Resistance Army (LRA) is a Christian rebel group face as a state. Arguing over the less than 1 percent of the federal in Uganda that uses rape as a weapon of war and employs child soldiers. The 2002 Soweto Bombings budget that pays for annual exams is not helping anyone. in South Africa were the work of a Christian whitesupremacist group. Pastor Phelps of the Westboro --VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood, UAA student club Baptist Church has gained international notoriety for claiming that “God Hates Fags” at military funerals. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center has claimed that burning the Quran is the “wish of God.” Individuals associated with of The Army of God, a radical Christian group that believes “God wishes” abortion doctors to die, have murdered medical professionals working at abortion clinics. Most recently, George Tiller, an abortion doctor in Kansas, was shot in the head while serving as an usher at his Lutheran Church. When the police found the murderer, Scott Roeder, he was mumbling bible verses. He expressed no remorse for the killing, claiming it was the “Will of God.” Randall Terry and Wiley Drake, both militant pro-lifers, celebrated the death of Tiller with their respective followers. They called him a “hero.” By the author’s logic, moderate Christians cannot claim their religion to be one of peace and tolerance. Indeed, by his measure, Christianity would be a “a sadomasochistic religion of *Letters should be no longer than 300 homophobia and violence.” Is he willing to accuse words. They may be edited for content and moderate Christians of grammer failing to stand up against extremists who use the “word of God” to justify unspeakable acts of terror? Many Christians claim that the best way to protect the sanctity of Christ’s message is to distance it as much as possible from acts of To the Editor,
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violence committed in Christ’s name. Will he write an article telling them they’re wrong to think such things? If some Christians seem ambivalent about the deaths of abortion doctors, will he write an article condemning them for not doing enough to stop speak out against cold-blooded murder? Living in a nation with a Christian majority, led by a Christian President, we are unwilling to apply the term “terrorist” to Christians. We understand that extremists who use Christianity to justify acts of wanton violence are misguided and inappropriately employing religious texts. Even when groups like the LRA use quotes from the New Testament, such as “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34] to justify violence against unarmed civilians, we understand these quotes to be taken out of context, and we accuse the LRA of ignoring other passages from scripture that promote brotherhood and tranquility. Why would we not extend the same courtesy to Muslims? The article acknowledges that an extremely small minority of Muslims is responsible for acts of terrorism, yet simultaneously claims, “the lie that Islam is a religion of peace crumbles every time the Arab world hits the streets and celebrates the murder of innocents.” First, to claim that the “Arab world” takes to the streets every time a Muslim kills a westerner is untrue. In fact, following the Arid Uka incident, most Muslims denounced his actions and expressed sympathy for the families of the victims. The article accuses Obama of being too “politically correct,” in discussing the Uka incident, yet resorts to conservative platitudes when talking about the “Arab world.” That seems a bit inconsistent. Moreover, his example of Yusuf Qaradawi as a violent Muslim theologian who is supported by the Islamic “mainstream” was extremely misleading. Qaradawi was loudly denounced in 2004 by 2,500 Muslim academics from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, who accused him in a letter of “giving Islam a bad name.” Second, and more importantly, when Christian white supremacists took to the streets after the lynching of African Americans in the 20′s and 30′s, we didn’t understand this to mean that all Christians were racists. Only racist Christians were racists. This isn’t some fantastic intellectual leap — it is common sense. To claim that “violent Jihadism is not a fringe element of Islam, it is the mainstream” demonstrates flagrant ignorance about Islam. “Jihad,” roughly translated, means “struggle.” Jihad can (and does) mean giving up your income to help build a school. It can mean going hungry for a day so that others may eat. The definition of Jihad changes based on what flavor of Islam you adhere to. Most Muslims adhere to the “non-violent” flavor. “Violent” Jihad is indeed a fringe element of Islam. In regards to the discussion about Palestinians — Abu Zuhri doesn’t speak for all of Palestine. Look at the statements of condemnation for Hamas militants from Salaam Fayyad, president of the Palestinian Authority, then tell me that all Palestinians “take to the streets” every time a Jewish settler is killed in the West Bank. Furthermore, there are tens of thousands of armed Jews that build outposts well outside the established settlements in the West Bank. Even the Israeli government acknowledges that the construction of outposts is illegal. Yet we don’t see moderate Jews standing up and taking a firm stance against outpost building. Does this justify anti-Semitism? Are we to hold everyone in Israel responsible for the racist remarks made by individuals like Avigdor Lieberman? If I believe that settlement activity is a flagrant violation of International Law, am I justified in applying my feelings to the Jewish population writ large? I think not. I understand that there are a large number of peace-loving Israelis who despise settlement expansion just as much as I do. They use peaceful and legal avenues to express their grievances and work towards peace in the Middle East. In the same way, I understand that Islamic extremists don’t speak for all of Islam. I am willing to listen to, and work with, moderate Muslims who want to work with the West in stopping future acts of terrorism. Maybe it’s time for the author of this article to start listening as well. -Brett Frazer
May 31, 2011 | opinion
TNL Lefty on the left
The Tea Party’s unofficial leader, zion of ignorance Michele Bachmann is challenged to a debate by a high school girl about the US Constitution
By Eli Johnson The Northern Light
Recently, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Mn) was issued a challenge by high school sophomore Amy Myers, to a debate on the United States’ Constitution, history, and civics. Myers was met promptly with silence from the Congresswoman and her staff, and for good reason too- Bachmann wouldn’t stand a chance again the well-informed teen. In a letter to Bachmann, Myers had some brave and critical words for the Representative, which hit the mark brilliantly. “The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only to the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere,” she wrote in a letter to Bachmann. She was appalled at Bachmann’s “grossly distorted” and “factually incorrect” view of history, the Constitution and public education in our country- but was eager to give the Congresswoman a chance to reply. After the challenge was issued it reverberated across the blogosphere and the media. But before discussing that, it is best to get a good idea of where Myers is coming from with her view of Bachmann. Not much was known about Minnesota’s first female representative before the growth of the Tea Party movement. She was not really much to speak of. Her most admirable accomplishment however, still remains just the fact that she was elected. Of course, since being elected, she has worked hard to undo any of the good that she might have done young women by limiting their reproductive rights and access to preventative care. The bill that passed the House this
month, H.R.3, was something she was completely behind. It was called the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.” This, of course, is nothing but a complete farce because there already is no taxpayer funding for abortions except in the cases of rape and incest. And in general, Bachmann is against a woman’s right to choose. An interesting and sad irony of her political career, is that she attributes her being a Republican to reading Gore Vidal’s novel, Burr. “He was kind of mocking the Founding Fathers and I just thought, ‘what a snot.’ I just remember reading the book, putting it in my lap, looking out the window and thinking, ‘you know what? I don’t think I am a Democrat. I must be a Republican,” she said during an interview with the Star Tribune. After the birth of the Tea Party movement, Bachmann quickly came into the fold of the modern conservative movement in this country. Still, she has distinguished herself with an impressively strong brand of ignorance- no easy task in the circles in which she runs. Since her time as the Representative of Minnesota, she has been involved in several really dumb pieces of legislation. One such piece was the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which was designed to repeal the phasing out of conventional light bulbs with florescent bulbs, arguing that the mercury in the light bulbs is more harmful for the environment than the benefits the bulbs hold by conserving energy. Another example of poor foresight is that Bachmann was very vocal in her opposition of the bailouts that occurred after the recession began in 2008, which saved the country from depression. She also was against the Census, stating that taking a census is unconstitutional.
“I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home, we won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that,” she said on back in June, 2009 in a press release. It’s a pity that she is dead wrong, but no point splitting hairs. The Congresswoman is on Fox News all the time, talking about what she believes “traditional values” to be. Some of these statements are rather hysterical. She made a statement on Huckabee on May 21, 2011 about her beliefs of what America stands for. “I’m talking about traditional American values – Standing up for the unborn, standing up for marriage, standing up for family, standing up Israel,” she said. Apparently, she is also into standing up for scattershot and for random words. If one listens to Michele Bachmann talk for an extended period of time, it sounds less and less like a politician making valid arguments and more like somebody playing Mad Lib with their friends. Yes, I stand up for dominos, stand up for pizza, stand up for cardboard, and stand up for Timbuktu, that’s how it sounds, and makes about as much sense. Bill Maher said it best on Joy Behar’s show on May 3, 2011 about Bachmann.
“Michele Bachman: for people who find Sarah Palin too intellectual,” he said, and is absolutely right. Behar herself had had a great opening to that line, comparing Palin and Bachmann. “One doesn’t read, the other doesn’t read history,” she said. No matter how wrong she is proven, Bachmann never can stop herself from saying something else which is equally ridiculous. 16-year old Myers never got a response from Bachmann herself. She did get a lot of vitriol from conservatives and Tea Party supporters. She got threats, called words that aren’t newspaper appropriate, called a lesbian repeatedly. According to her father, she just laughed this off. Good for you, Myers. Michele Bachmann is nothing more than an act that is starting to lose its place in the American culture. The way-too-far-to-the-right conservatives are nothing more than a breed of people who were started by two guys, Ron and Rand Paul, who had a good idea, but brought out bigotry from the crowd they attracted. People like her and Sarah Palin are gradually going away because their train that they ran on, once upon a time, is running out of steam and these people are being called out for the ignorant people that they are. If only Bachmann would accept Myers’ challenge. Watching a high school girl school a US Representative would make great television.
‘If one listens to Michele Bachmann talk for an extended period of time, it sounds less and less like a politician making valid arguments and more like somebody playing Mad Lib with their friends. ‘
“With the announcement of Olive Garden coming to Alaska, what other restaurant would you like to see in Anchorage?” “Buffalo Wild Wings”
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22 - Psycholog
Kurtis Freeman 27 - Sociology
“In & Out Burger”
Grek Walz 21- Culinary Arts
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“Alberto’s authentic mexican drive through, open 24 hours. Perfect hang over food!”
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May 31, 2011
Summer of hero movies begins with Thor Retro movie review of Tron
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Employee art featured at First Friday Two fun locations to celebrate June’s First By Heather Hamilton The Northern Light
Tap Root will also be featuring food specials, but what the specials will be has yet to be decided. Another location to keep an eye out for is Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge in Midtown on the corner of 36th and Old Seward. Modern Dwellers, known for their handcrafted truffles, also sells jewelry, accessories and modern-style furnishings from around the world. They also feature the work of local artists. The artist featured in June is 18 year-old Birgitta Mikkelson. Mikkelson has only been painting for two years, but has quickly developed what she claims is an obsession with her work. She also has a deep love of using vivid colors.
The first Friday of every month is a celebration of all things artistic in Anchorage. Galleries and locally owned shops host special receptions revealing their newest art and products, often offering deals as well. In the past, restaurants have even gotten in on the festivities by making special dishes for the occasion. Most of the art action happens downtown, but some locations in other parts of Anchorage partake in the monthly event as well. Tap Root Restaurant and Bar is celebrating the one year anniversary of their move from South Anchorage to Spenard, and will be featuring the art and craftwork of their entire staff. The idea came to Tap Root’s Entertainment Director, Ellie Stephano, a few months ago. “The idea to feature our staff as the artists came to me because we have so many talented folks working here, whether they be visual artists, craftsman, potters, jewelry makers, singers, guitar players, etc,” Stephano said, “I just really wanted to do something that would showcase all of that amazing talent.” Stephano herself will be featuring some of her photography pieces in their June show. Tap Root will be hosting an opening reception on Friday, June 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. where patrons can purchase jewelry by Faith Woolsey and pottery by Marta Zegzdryn. See FRIDAY page B3
photo courtesy of taproot
Art by Ellie Stephano.
Track season wraps up a record setting season Though only graduating eight seniors, track team loses key athletes from this year’s GNAC
By Megan Edge The Northern Light
This past season, the University of Alaska Anchorage had what most people would consider a relatively young track team, retiring only eight athletes from the program. Despite the low number of graduating seniors, the shoes these men and women walk in will be big ones to fill, and finding replacements won’t happen overnight, though hopefully will in the future. David Registe, of Palmer, is a prime example of an athlete who replacing will seem almost impossible. “No one right now could do it,” Registe said, “If someone could fill my shoes now, I would definitely know about it.” In the two days of GNAC competition, Registe took home five individual titles at competition, a first for any Seawolf in history. Registe won the long jump title in both 2007 and 2008 and took home the title again this year with a jump of 24 feet and 6.25 inches, over jumping his nearest competitor by almost two feet. He also is the holder of the second best long jump this season. Registe was named the 2011 GNAC Most Outstanding Male Performer at the end of GNAC competition as well as he led the ‘Wolves with four all region honors. Teammates joining him with two accolades were junior Alfred Kangogo, junior Shaun Ward and sophomores Micah Chelimo and Ethan Hewitt. One accolade each also went to senior Levi Sutton and freshman Gabe Holland.
For the women, seniors Emma Bohman and Adrienna Everett each received one. Receiving two awards each were junior Miriam Kipng’eno, sophomore Ruth Keino, and freshman Ivy O’Guinn. Overall, the ‘Wolves posted nine GNAC titles, a number in which is equal to how many titles the team produced from 20082010. Also the Seawolves claimed 13 allconference certificates. The UAA men -David Registe ended the competition in fourth place with 103 points. Western Oregon took home the GNAC title with 203 points. For the women, the season ended with them in sixth place at 86 points, losing to
‘UAA doesn’t win meets. They win titles. And I say it as a joke but its true.’
Seattle Pacific University, who ended in first place with 206 points. “I always joke, I say UAA doesn’t win meets they win titles, and I say it as a joke, but it’s true.” Registe said with a smile on his face. “ We win first and second place but our team isn’t big enough to have finishers in six, seven and eighth place and those points add up.” Registe, who is not typically a runner, was thrown into sprinting this season, but surprised everyone by sweeping both the 100 and 200 meters, with times of 10.76 and 21.69. In addition to that, he was also part of the 4x100 and 4x400 meter teams, which both won first place in their events. “A special moment for the team was the 4x4 at conference, we actually threw in a new kid Billy (Kiefer), and then it was Levi (Sutton), me (Registe) and Shaun (Ward). Levi kind of messed up his hamstring in the last 100 meters and still ran it and gave
it to me then I ran my leg, and I gave it to Sean and Sean at one point was in third and made up like 20 meters to get first. That was incredible to watch,” Registe said. This was the third straight season UAA has brought home the GNAC title in the 4x400 meter relay. Sophomore Micah Chelimo, of Kapkoi Kenya, won the title in the 5,000-meter with a time of 14:29:41. Chelimo also won for the second year in a row, the 3,000-meter. Ward, of Eagle River, took home his first individual title at GNAC in the 400-meter hurdle (52.23). It was a tight run to the finish for the women running the 5K. Keino was able to come out on top finishing the race in 17:23:81, just seconds before teammate and second place finisher Kipng’eno, who finished with a time of 17:29:78. Everett took home second in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. The UAA women set a UAA record at the meet in the 4x100 meter relay. Juniors Dianne Chong, Kelsea Johnson, freshman Sasha Halfyard and Haleigh Lloyd made up the team that finished the race in 48.54. Only nine athletes will compete at nationals this year, for the rest of the team this is the end of the season. “When I look back, I am going to always remember GNAC,” Registe said. “All year, the schools we see are just random and it has always been random kids. GNAC is meaningful because we get to compete against the kids we have been reading about all year long.” For the team that will continue the legacy of UAA track and field, Registe only had a few simple words of wisdom. “Have fun, this ride is going to fly by.”
‘Thor’ moves superhero scene into realm of magic By Shana Roberson The Northern Light
In yet another rebooted story line, Hollywood has continued the buildup to “The Avengers” (May 2012) by introducing Thor, the God of Thunder, to the box office this summer. “Thor” stars a well-chiseled Chris Hemsworth, who you might not recognize except for his brief appearance as James Kirk’s father in the most recent installment of Star Trek. The leading lady Natalie Portman is easily recognized, making a sharp turn from a tortured ballerina to a physicist weak-in-theknees for Thor. The movie borrows from the comics, which borrow from Norse (Viking) legends about Thor, the hammer-wielding god. In the movie, Thor is ready to ascend the thrown in magical Arsgard until his pride and (typical) ‘act-beforeyou-think’ actions land him banished to Earth by his father Odin. Once there, without his magical
away, CG can imagine to its hearts content. And the audience is treated to images and scenery of what they might expect divine, magical kingdoms in the sky to look like, such as the great Golden Hall and throne room that Thor’s failed ascendance takes place. For diehard fans, both delights and gripes abound. They will instantly notice the cameo that Hawkeye, another Marvel Avenger hero, makes. They will also be well aware
that Jane was actually a nurse in the comics, not a physicist. Although the plot turns are thinly veiled, it is partially excusable because the characters themselves remain believable. And Marvel used powers, a combination of Norse legend, both Thor falls in versions of the original Thor comic, love with Jane, and good ol’ fashioned Hollywood a physicist who creative license to keep some things happens to be there new. when he lands. The romance between Thor and Jane is important, both But Thor and his in the comic books and the movie, as it is what ties Thor to hammer are needed Earth. And while Natalie Portman’s act of fawning over at home to help his a hot, shirtless guy seems as natural as it probably was, people fight off his there are scenes in which the romance detracts from the evil brother Loki. The question is, can he become the man film, and tips the scales from slightly cliche to downright his father hoped him to be? cheesy. The CG in Thor is particularly convincing, considering Either way, the entire cast is charming. The scene in that Thor is a comic book that mixes in magic. The which Thor gets tazed had the audience laughing, along celestial storms and landscape scenes fall somewhere with another in which Thor smashes his coffee cup on the between reality and miracle. Add in realms light years restaurant floor, loudly requesting another in true barbaric
‘Thor is a special kind of superhero because he does not just have super powers or “mutations,” he has magic.’
tradition. But we can forgive him because he’s just not from this realm. The mix of magic into the story takes away some of the grittier acting seen in other recent adaptations such as “The Dark Knight” or even “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Thor is a special kind of superhero because he does not just have super powers or “mutations,” he has magic. But that’s okay, because the movie is still aesthetically pleasing and enchanting, much like the character himself.
photo courtesy of paramount pictures
And don’t forget to stay after the credits for another Marvel post-credits special scene. DIRECTED BY: : Kenneth Branagh STARRING: Chris Hensworth Natalie Portman RUN TIME: 115 min GENRE: Action, Fantasy
Retro Movie review
Retro Rewind: Taking a look at movies of old With the recent release of “Tron: Legacy,” how does the original compare?
By Heather Hamilton The Northern Light
In an age where computer graphics sometimes seem more real than reality, it can be difficult for movie viewers to watch older movies and appreciate them in the same way that they were appreciated when first released. Sci-fi movies, which deal heavily in technology and extra-terrestrials, are often the most difficult to admire even a scant few years later. Disney’s “Tron,” released in 1982, is a movie about a hacker named Kevin Flynn, (Jeff Bridges, “TRON: Legacy”) trying to access information proving that he designed the money-making arcade game that his former co-worker took credit for. When he sneaks into the company to access the thief’s computer files, he is digitized and turned into a computer program by the powerful Master Control Program (MCP for short). The MCP sends his program minions to capture Flynn, and force him to participate in gladiatorial games on the Game Grid, where he will eventually die. Flynn meets Tron and Ram, two other programs forced to participate in the games, and together they hatch a plan to escape and take down the MCP. With the recent release of “TRON: Legacy,” a direct sequel set roughly 20 years in the future, the technological advancements of the past decade are a glaring contrast to the state-of-the-art technology of 1982. The bright and colorful realm of the computer interface is blocky and plain. It is riddled with vectors and grids and structures that, while impressive at the time, resemble what would
now be the most basic layer in the computer graphic design process. Viewers who thrive on stunning graphics are often put off by what they consider to be sub par, thinking it cheesy. The same can be said for the setting, clothing and film quality of the time period. Although cinematic technology has certainly changed, what viewers who immediately dismiss older movies often forget about is the talented acting. Most of the main actors of “Tron” played at least two roles; a human role, and the role of at least one program that the human character uses. Jeff Bridges played both Flynn and Clu, (who played only a minor role in this movie,) Bruce Boxleitner (“51”) played both programmer Alan Bradley and program Tron while David Warner (“Black Death”) played ENCOM CEO Ed Dillinger, computer program Sark and the MCP. Other actors played similar dual roles as well. While certain personality traits are shared between user and program, the environments and lives of both are so different that they are easily viewed as different personalities (the funny light-up outfits of the programs aren’t the only difference). To be able to portray two completely different characters in one movie is talent, and it’s talent that we often don’t see in the movies of today. Too often we find actors who can’t change their personalities from one movie to the next, much less within a single motion picture. In addition to having better acting than many recent movies, it is also- wait for it- original. That’s right, original. A man is digitized and transported to a world of programs and must fight his way out while trying to liberate the other programs in the system and prove that he is the rightful
‘Although cinematic technology has certainly changed, what viewers who immediately dismiss older movies often forget about is the talented acting. ‘
creator of a hotticket arcade game. “Tron” is about as original as a band of four teenage ninja brothers that happen to be giant turtles trained by a giant rat living in the sewers of New York City. You can’t get much DIRECTED BY: Steven Lisberger more unique (or 80s) STARRING: Jeff Briges, David than that. Warner RUN TIME: 96 minutes Disney’s “Tron” is GENRE: Sci Fi, Action an oldie, but given how technologically superior it is for its time, how fantastic ★ ★★★ the acting is compared to many of the movies of today and how deliciously unique the plot is, this movie is definitely worth hunting down.
May 31, 2011 | a&e
The Whiskey Richards California bluegrass quintet The Whiskey Richards will be performing at Humpy’s on Thursday, June 2. There is no additional cover for this 21 and over event. For more information, go to www. humpys.com.
Music in the Park
Three Barons The annual Three Barons Renaissance Fair kicks off on Saturday, June 4 at 12 p.m. at Tozier Memorial Track. The fair runs both Saturday and Sunday for the first two weeks of June. Partake in peasant dancing, questing, peasant checkers, living chess and court shows from the Red, Blue and Green Baronies. For a complete schedule of events, and more information about the fair, go to www.3barons.org.
Starting Wednesday, June 1 through Wednesday, August 31, there will be a free concert in Peratrovich Park (4th and E St.) every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This free family-friendly event is presented by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. For a schedule of performers, go to www.anchoragedowntown.org.
Canadian alternative rock group Barenaked Ladies will be performing in concert at Chilkoot Charlie’s on Saturday, June 4 at 6 p.m. This concert will be held outside rain or shine, and is all-ages friendly. Tickets to the show are $35, and can be purchased online at www. koots.com. Loud and Proud Out North is hosting an all-ages dance presented by A Dose of Know-How on Friday, June 10 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. The dance will feature a Dj, musical performances and a surprise guest. Cover at the door is $10. For more information, got to www.facebook.com and search for “Loud & Proud.”
Compiled by Heather Hamilton e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to submit an event!
FRIDAY: Celebrating art around Anchorage Continued from Motion Cover “Ever since I started I’ve been overly enthusiastic about color, I can’t get enough,” said Mikkelson, “Putting even more color
into the world... what more could a girl like me ask for?” Modern Dwellers also has a downtown location
Artwork to be featured at Taproot’s June First Friday event.
on G St., but as of the completion of this article, their First Friday artist was unknown.
photos courtesy of taproot
a&e| May 31, 2011
Anchorage Food Quest: Part 1: the best burger By Heather Hamilton and Wiley Cason The Northern Light
Food. It is necessary for survival, a representation of culture and often a focal point in gatherings of friends and family. It is a central part of life. And The Northern Light wants to know where the best college-friendly food in town is. In this six part series, TNL will explore some of the best food from locallyowned restaurants that we can find, and rate it based on price, quality and distance from campus.
Part 1: Best Burger TNL staff members compared past experiences and came up with five stellar burger joints in Anchorage to sample and rank. Beef flavor, overall burger flavor, how filling the burger is, price v.s. quality and accessibility of the restaurant were all put to the test, and here are the results.
1. Hawaiian Burger (Max’s Beefy Burgers) This burger stands out as both unique and simple. The beef’s texture and presentation is akin to what you’ll find in an Asian dish, (which makes sense, since Max’s is also a Chinese restaurant). The beef’s flavor is also the most noticeable, and it stands its own against the powerful taste of the pineapple
slice the burger includes. The burger is moderately filling, ranking a six out of 10, but is more than worth the $4.95 bill. Max’s is located on Northern Lights Blvd near Boniface Pkwy.
2. Kenai Whopper (Arctic Roadrunner) The Kenai Whopper, which features mozzarella cheese a pile of onions and green peppers, possesses the best blend of flavors of all the burgers sampled, but while the blend is better, the overall flavor isn’t as vivid as expected. Located on Arctic near 25th Ave, and priced at only $6.50, this burger is a very close second.
3. Cache Burger (Burger Cache) While the Cache Burger is tasty with its fun combination of pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, the beef patty itself is relatively bland, and the burger isn’t very filling. However, at $4.95 a burger, an opportunity to win $1000 in the restaurant’s bi-monthly drawing, an old-school Tekken arcade game on site, and being located right
Below: Max’s Beefy Burgers, off of Northern Lights Blvd and Boniface Pkwy, is home of Anchorage’s best burger.
around the corner from UAA on Northern Lights, this burger and restaurant emerge as a worthy third.
5. Aloha Burger (Tommy’s Burger Stop)
4. Roadhouse Burger (Spenard Roadhouse)
Unlike the 1st place burger, this Aloha Burger sports a slice of pineapple so thick that it completely overpowers the weak beef flavor, and is in fact larger than the burger patty. At $9.50 a burger, and with a relatively remote location on W. 29th Pl. near Cope St., this burger, while good, falls to number five.
Unfortunately for Spenard Roadhouse, while their burgers are usually very good, they are also very highly priced. The Roadhouse Burger, their least expensive burger option, cost $9.95 without cheese and $11.45 with. And while the burger is very good, nothing characterizes it as unique other than the use of thousand island dressing. However, since the burger price includes a side of either tater tots or french fries, the Roadhouse takes a graceful fourth place.
Be sure to check out TNL’s next issue, where we will be hunting down the perfect pepperoni pizza.
May 31, 2011 | A&E
Fairbanks Rainbow Prom: Born this way
By Heather Hamilton The Northern Light
Earlier this month, a promthemed drag show and dance was held at the Blue Loon Bar in Fairbanks. This show featured several Anchorage performers in addition to the Fairbanks lineup, and the proceeds went to the Imperial Court of All Alaska. Didn’t know Alaska had an Imperial Court? Not many do; the ICOAA is a non-profit organization that represents and serves the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning and ally (GLBTQA) community in Alaska, and is part of a nationwide Imperial Court system. Rainbow Prom was sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Fairbanks Lynnette Baugher and Kara Carlson and hosted by 38th Imperial Court Empress Paige Langit. The $15 door cover ($10 if decked out in rainbows or prom attire) will be used by the Court to help fund other events, with the leftover money being donated to charitable organizations at the end of the current Imperial Reign. One of the most important things the Court does is award yearly scholarships to qualifying Alaska residents based on economic need, scholastic achievement, leadership and contributions to the GLBTQA community. The deadline for scholarship applications is July 31; for information, or to apply, check out the ICOAA website at www.imperialcourtalaska.org.
Top Left: Imperial Crown Princess XIX Alexis Kellie performs at the Blue Loon in Fairbanks. Top Right: Fairbanks Grand Duke Lynnette Baugher and Sarah Beaton perform Taio Cruz’s “Dirty Picture” before a nearly full crowd. Bottom Right: Sarah Beaton dances solo to “Trip to Your Heart” by Britney Spears. Bottom Left: Imperial Empress XXXVIII sings Katy Perry’s “E.T.” while diva dancer Kristofer Palmatier accompanies.
Seether jumps on bandwagon “Better Left to Fray” an interesting mix of musical styles By Heather Hamilton The Northern Light
Seether’s gone soft. And it’s ok. All the artists are doing it these days; it’s a sort of trend. Kid Rock lost his vicious wit, Linkin Park did a complete 180 after their fantastically raw “Minutes to Midnight” by releasing the over-processed and tame “A Thousand Suns,” Godsmack took a massive chill pill and now Seether has jumped onto the bandwagon. The only difference is, Seether somehow takes the “refined” trend and blends it with harder-style tracks in a way that makes it their own, but more importantly, that makes it work. “Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray” is an album that sounds like it contradicts itself. It starts out in true Seether form with track “Fur Cue,” which is loud and angry. It is sarcastic and accusing; an audio attack on the audience that is a combination of blame and anger. “No Resolution” is another angry track that is mostly hard and similar to older releases, but after giving fans these two heavy tracks of audio-candy (jawbreakers though they may be), the album slows down with “Here and Now,” which sports a chorus with vocals very similar to those in Shinedown songs. The musical composition is also strikingly similar to Shinedown releases. The “Shinedown trend” continues with tracks “Master of Disaster” and “Fade Out.” Seether surprised fans with their first single from the album, “Country Song.” While not actually a country song, the song was named for its countrystyle guitar riffs and use of tambourines. It’s a fun and gritty fusion of hard rock and country elements that almost shouldn’t work together, but somehow do. All things considered, Seether was brave by
ALBUM: “Holding Onto String Better Left to Fray” ARTIST: Seether RECORD LABEL: Wind-up RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2011
‘The musical composition is also strikingly similar to Shinedown releases.’
releasing “Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray.” The music on the album doesn’t fit together as far as musical style is concerned, they seemingly imitate another band for multiple tracks and they jumped on the potentially careerbreaking bandwagon of refining their sound and slowing it down. Not to mention selling out. Fortunately, despite all that, the band sounds amazing, and it’s clear that they transformed themselves for the album while trying to stick to their roots. How long that will last, however, is anyone’s guess. 4x7.375_SYK_Affordable2k.indd 2
5/17/11 12:55 PM
A&E| May 31, 2011
Rockstar Games capitalizes on new graphics technology With gameplay spanning over 35 hours, players will have their hands full with this Rockstar release By Bryan Dunagan The Northern Light
There’s something special about a game that makes you think, without it being a puzzle game. Enter “L.A. Noire”, a cerebral detective action game that makes the player use the power of deduction more than his or her gun. It’s one of those games that you tell your parents about to prove that video games are actually a worthwhile investment of money. The game’s protagonist is Cole Phelps, a low level cop fresh from the Pacific front of WWII who’s trying to make a name for himself. Cole’s adventure will take the player all over a 1940’s Los Angeles with true-to-period cars and characters. As they solve cases, the player moves through the ranks of the LAPD from arson, to vice, eventually to the homicide division. A cool feature of the game is that it unfolds case by case, with street crimes that happen while you are on your way to the
‘The game also is the first of its kind to have fully rendered facial animation.’
next destination. There is an overarching plot that doesn’t become entirely clear until later in the game, and there are several subplots that are woven into the broader narrative. The first major story thread is the Black Dahlia murders, which leads into a mafia infused explosive finale, and involves a medical student selling morphine. The game also is the first of its kind to have fully rendered facial animation. It is impressive to look at, but it comes off as being a little odd since the bodies that they are attached are extremely stiff. It’s not too much of a game breaker though; the extremely detailed faces are how the player tells whether or not another character is lying.
GAME: “L.A. Noire” MAKER: Rockstar Games RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2011
This brings critical thinking into dilemmas that most games would encourage the player to solve by shooting first and asking questions later (probably even without any question-asking later). where most games are just shoot first and think later. Most of “Noire” involves crossexamining evidence and watching people’s faces to see if they are telling tales out of school. If you misread someone though, there’s really no way for the game to forgive the player. This is a bit rough, but eventually the player will be reading faces like a pro. Most of the game also deals with investigating crime scenes, which is a blast because the player can really feel like they are at the scene. Every little stitch and piece of printing is rendered on the world, allowing for a deep sense of immersion. While the game has rather lackluster shooting sequences, these only make up a small part of the overall experience. Car chases and on foot pursuits are the name of the game in the action department. All told, Phelps’ tale will take a good chunk of time to play through, clocking in at around 35 hours. Seeking out all the street crimes, which vary from domestic disputes to murder, will add on even more hours to this already long game.
MTS Gallery gallery offers more than just art at last show continued from cover
Top Left: People dance and celebrate as the group Pamyua sings the night away. Top Right: "MTS EMPTIES." looms over two curious children. The word 'empties' was cut out of the wall, with some of the remaining letters used above to spell out 'MTS'. Bottom right: Two contestants of the tall-bike jousting event smash each other in the face with cream pies, topping splattering on either side of their heads as the audience laughs and cheers them on. Off the Chain Bike Co-Op sponsored the jousting event. Bottom left: Local artist Arielo Taylor contributes some of his own work to an old garage door being used as a canvas for graffiti artists.
To see more photos log on to thenorthernlight.org
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Turnagain Arm run earns $4,000 for UAA ski team By Megan Edge The Northern Light
A total of 200 local runners lined up on May 25 to race your UAA Seawolf ski team. No more than 200 people were allowed to race, a rule set by the State Park. Running veterans Matias Saari and Najeeby Quinn won the 8-mile battle for the 13th annual Turnagain Arm Trailhead race. Former UAA skier Erik Strabel still holds the race record, beating Matias time this year by 12 seconds. Strabel did not compete this year. The race started at the Potter Trailhead and ended at the Rainbow Valley Trailhead, where Saari, a Mount Marathon winner, hit the finish line in just 52:32. For the women, Quinn completed the
race in 1:03:01, with UAA’s own All- runners paid will go toward scholarships, American skier Jaime Bronga on her heels new uniforms and banquets. In total the UAA ski team legacy fund will earn 4,000 with a time of 1:09:25. Bronga was not the only ski team dollars from this year’s proceeds. athlete racing to “The biggest benefit is support her program. good health from being She was joined by outside running,” Said Kelsey Coolidge and Trond Flagstad, UAA’s Davis Dunlap, as well former head Ski Coach, as others who chose to who resigned at the end of volunteer rather than the past season. race. The event was started Quinn, who has in 1999 by Nordic -Trond Flagstad coaches Bill Spencer and also won the Mayors Marathon, became the Gregg Cress. This trail new women’s record was chosen because the holder. snow melts than most other trails around This race however, is not about the Anchorage. Originally, the race went from prize at the other side of the tape, but Potter to Rainbow, then reversed direction rather is about supporting the UAA Ski in 2006 due to Rainbow to Potter, due to team. The 20-dollar registration fee all 200 a request from runners. Now, the race
‘The biggest benefit is good health from being outside running.’
alternates direction every other year. This year the race ran in its original direction. “It’s always the first trail race and mountain race of the season, so a lot of people come out to see how they are doing in their training and to get started with the trail running season,” Flagstad said. This is the 13th year the race was scheduled, despite it only being the 12th year that it was run. “In 2004 we had to cancel the race because there was a bear feeding on a moose carcass right next to the trail,” said Flagstad Often the racers spot moose or bears, either in training or during the race, but it is just something race officials have to monitor, according to Flagstad. “It is calving season for the moose so the activity is pretty high,” he said.
sports briefs By Megan Edge The Northern Light
Sparky Anderson becomes head ski coach Assistant coach Sparky Anderson has been promoted as the next head coach of the Seawolf ski team, athletic director Steve Cobb announced Tuesday. Anderson wrapped up his fifth season as the leader of the Seawolves’ Alpine program in 2011. In his tenure, Anderson coached two NCAA individual champions – Andreas Adde in 2010 and Aurore de Maulmont in 2002 – while producing nine AllAmerica certificates. Under Anderson’s guidance on the Alpine side, the Seawolves have finished no worse than 10th at the NCAA Championships, including a program-best 4th-place team result in 2009. The Seawolves have also landed 54 student-athletes on the allacademic team during his tutelage. Anderson becomes the fifth head coach in UAA skiing history, taking the reins after Trond Flagstad resigned at the conclusion of the 2011 slate. The search for an assistant Nordic coach is still under way.
Kangogo is Athlete of the Year Junior Alfred Kangogo was named the 2011 NCAA Div. II West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Friday. 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. Kangogo, who ranks third nationally in the 1500 meters, holds the school record in the same event with a time of 3:44.67. A local of Eldoret, Kenya, Kangogo finished runner-up in the
1500 meters at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships for his fourth all-conference honor. He also finished seventh in the 800 meters, and ran on the school’s conference champion 4x400-meter relay. Kangogo joins head coach Michael Friess, assistant coach T.J Garlatz and then-junior David Registe, who have each received West Region honors.
Alli Madison of Seattle Prep signs with the ‘Wolves Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball coach Tim Moser added another talented prep star to his roster Wednesday as he announced that Seattle native Alli Madison has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Seawolves. Madison, a 5-8 guard, was a four-year letterwinner at Washington Class 3A power Kennedy Catholic High School, where she helped the Lancers to a 100-12 overall record and four straight WIAA State Tournament appearances. As a sophomore in 2008-09, she played for Kennedy’s undefeated, state-title squad. Last season, Madison averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 1.9 assists per game in captaining the Lancers to a 25-4 overall record (14-0 in the Seamont League) and a 4th-place finish at the WIAA State Tournament. She was a First Team All-Seamont League selection, and played in both the WIBCA and Queens of the Hardwood senior all-star games this spring. Madison is the sixth signee for the Seawolves’ 2011-12 recruiting class, joining JC transfers Bruna Deichmann (G, 5-9, Balneario-Camboriu, Brazil/ Coll. of Eastern Utah) and Haley Holmstead (G, 5-8, American Fork, Utah/Salt Lake CC), and fellow incoming freshmen Jessica Madison (G, 5-8, Port Angeles, Wash.), Katie Richens (G, 5-8, Roosevelt, Utah/ Union HS) and Gritt Ryder (G, 5-10, Rungsted Kyst, Denmark). The Seawolves are coming off a 27-7 season in which they advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament 2nd Round and won the inaugural Great Northwest Athletic Tournament title.
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May 31, 2011 | sports
Variety makes Anchorage indoor climbing paradise Rock Ready: Three different rock gyms around town offer lots of opportunity from bouldering to lead climbing By Alden Lee
The Northern Light
You enter, step around the front desk, and your eyes are immediately confronted with the sight of towering walls covered in brightly colored, boulder-shaped holds and dangling ropes. There’re all sorts of different angles and planes to behold: vertical, inclined, even curving into the ceiling and wrapping around corners. The smell of chalk fills the air, and the sound of music mingles with the hum of activity. All sorts of people cling to these plastic rocks, oftentimes more than twenty feet off the ground, attached to safety ropes with their limbs extended and muscles straining. There’s an obvious let’s do this, man vibe coursing through the place.
Alaska Rock Gym Welcome to the Alaska Rock Gym, one of the three indoor rock gyms in Anchorage. ARG is located in midtown, just off Fairbanks Street. Featuring a large top roping section with multiple lines, a freehand bouldering area including caves and overhangs, and an upstairs weight room, ARG also offers shoe and harness rental, as well as climbing and technique lessons. Day passes generally cost $15, or $60 for a month. “I like ARG because it’s student friendly, fairly inexpensive to climb, and a great place to be at!” UAA student Halvor Norris said with enthusiasm. Norris comes to ARG to climb every other week, developing his form and strength. And despite his cheesiness, he’s right— ARG is student friendly, offering every Friday night past 7 as College Night, with a reduced rate of $10 for students. “We have lots of college students who come here,” said employee and UAA alumni Alison Ford. “It’s mostly college kids and military who are our main crowd, so yeah, we work to make it accommodating as possible.” Ford and Angie Gastaldi, who is a UAA student, both work at ARG behind the desk and as instructors. They teach kids’ classes and climbing lessons on Mondays and Fridays, and Gastaldi is a self-proclaimed “DJ extraordinaire,” controlling the music pumping throughout the gym. “The thing that’s great about this place is that it’s a really chill environment, with great vibes,” said Gastaldi. “Plus we’ve got great top routes—a bit more than anybody else, actually—and lots of bouldering routes too.” It seems many people agree; ARG is quite popular, and most evenings are packed with climbers. A large amount of these patrons come regularly, and have great remarks about the gym. “I really like this one,” said Hannah Coe, a student at UAA. “They have higher routes and they do top roping. I kind of like the adrenaline thing with the heights, so I really like it here.” “It’s the cleanest facility, and they offer great top rope climbs and bouldering problems,” said Ryan Moyer, another UAA student. “The staff are super friendly, and they’re more than happy to show you how to approach a problem or offer general climbing tips.” ARG also holds large climbing
competitions throughout the year. The biggest include the Frigid Flash, held every February, the Pumpkin Pump in October, and No Strings Attached, a bouldering competition every December. But while ARG may be popular, it’s by no means the only rock gym in town.
Cassel Rock Found at the back end of the Anchorage Gymnastics Association facility, Cassel Rock is a bouldering extravaganza, featuring wall after wall of dizzyingly high boulder routes and curving overhangs. Top roping is an option, but free-body bouldering is undoubtedly the main venue, with the staff constantly working to set the “best and most unique boulder problems available.” “It’s boulder heaven, if you’re into that sort of thing,” said Moyer. “They’re limited in their top roping availability, but there are so many routes.” Clocking in at a cheaper price of -Angie Gastaldi $25 for a month or $6 for a day ($8.50 with shoes), Cassel Rock isn’t nearly as packed as ARG, with large expanses of climbing wall usually open. The groovy climbing vibe is found here as well, with energetic music and friendly and helpful employees who are just as likely to be found climbing alongside the visitors. Cassel Rock’s spirit is embodied by one of its regulars, 11-year-old Tony Marke. Known as the “wonder boy of Cassel,” Marke has been climbing for four years, every day except for the weekends—“cause I just don’t climb on the weekends”—and parts of the summer—“cause that’s for fishing and hiking and vacations and stuff.” The spunky kid can almost always be found at the rock gym once school is out. He’ll most likely challenge you to a climbing race, or scamper up and down the walls with the grace of a spider monkey. “My favorite part about rock climbing is the overhangs, cause they’re a challenge,” said Marke. “Climbing is something you can always get better at.” “Everyone should try rock climbing,” he
‘[ARG is] a really chill environment, with great vibes.’
proclaims. “It’s fun!”
APU Rock Wall Not everything is fancy. Located in the basement level of APU’s Atwood Center, down tucked-away staircases and narrow hallways, is the university’s weight room area and rock wall. Occupying three corners of an area that includes free weights, machines, and a ping pong table, the bouldering-only rock wall features several routes of varying difficulty and a sprawling traverse course. “It’s not a bad place to go if you want to get some bouldering in,” said Coe. “It’s really cheap.” Indeed, the small rock gym is only $4 for students including shoes, and $40 for a semester pass. The summer hours are limited from 11am to 2pm, but during the semester it is open much later in the
evening. “During the school year I boulder at APU at least twice a week because it’s within walking distance of the dorms,” said Norris. “It’s an easy fix.” “Although the walls and padding are the sketchiest of the three locations, you almost always have the place to yourself,” Moyer added. “The bottom line is you get what you pay for.” -Ryan Moyer And that’s just how it works with indoor rock climbing—the more you fork over, the greater the options you’re going to be presented with. But no matter where the climbing is done, one thing is certain for the dedicated climber: challenges abound; tenacity is rewarded; and healthy, energetic fun will be had.
‘[Cassel Rock is] boulder heaven, if you’re into that sort of thing.’
sports| May 31, 2011
Thompson serves up crow for his critics
Alaska Aces Head Coach Brent Thompson made fools out of all his critics, now it’s time to admit we were wrong
By Taylor Hall The Northern Light
Alright. I’m here today to take my spot at the table with the many other diehard Alaskan hockey fans to eat the crow that was served to us when the Alaska Aces lifted the Kelly Cup on May 21 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The reason for this meal is not courtesy of the Aces themselves, but rather their second year bench boss Brent Thompson. Thompson, who became the head coach of the Aces last season after being an assistant coach for the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League (AHL), came under some serious fire after he lead the Aces to a 36-28-8 record and first round playoff exit to the Stockton Thunder last season. This was the first time in the Aces’ then seven-year ECHL tenure that they did not advance out of the first round of the playoffs. It was also an absolute outrage that an Aces team one year removed from being beat in game seven of the 2009 Kelly Cup Championship could have such a disappointing season. But let’s pump the brakes and get some facts straight. Thompson came into the job merely weeks before the season would begin due to Keith McCambridge getting a late job offer for an assistant coach vacancy in the AHL. Before his departure, McCambridge had already pieced a lot of the Aces team
together and suited it to his coaching style. Thompson suddenly came in and inherited not only a team filled with players expecting to play for McCambridge, but also the pressures of winning immediately from the fan base in Anchorage. We can’t absolutely be sure of what took place day-in and day-out with that team, but there are certainly rumors that Thompson had to deal with many internal issues ranging from players not wanting Thompson as a coach to players with egos the size of the 49th state we live in. It all was topped off by a disappointing 3-1 series loss in the first round of the postseason in which the Aces were suddenly in a place they had never been: watching the playoffs unfold from the comfort of their homes. Now if you follow the Aces or are even remotely familiar with the Alaskan hockey scene, tell me if this statement wasn’t discussed throughout the rinks: Brent Thompson is a poor coach and doesn’t deserve to have this job. For those of you won’t admit to throwing some flack in the direction of Thompson: Either you need to own up and come take your place at the table as well, or you can be dismissed from the conversation. This season started way back in the summer of 2009 for Thompson. He began his recruiting almost immediately after the Aces were out of the ECHL Playoffs. He cleaned almost complete house, gutted the roster from 2009 and gave Aces fans an entirely different team with an entirely different mentality and identity. The Aces would be a fast, fearless, and defense-oriented team. Their concept all year would be to limit mistakes in all parts
of the rink and be accountable in their own zone first and foremost. Their relentless pressure on the puck would frustrate opponents all year long and their discipline led them to the fewest penalty minutes in the league. The 2010-11 Aces roster was filled with rookies to the pro ranks, some straight out of college and some straight out of juniors. Thompson was able to sign a few veterans though, to help the newcomers along the way as well as make plenty of contributions themselves. Players like Wes Goldie, Brian Swanson, Bryan Miller, Gerald Coleman, Scott Burt, Curtis Fraser, and Chad Anderson all brought excellent rink resumes to the team and all were looking for one thing in common: a chance to play for the championship ring. They would be called upon to help restore the Aces to their rightful perch atop the rest of the league. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, or just got back from being marooned on an island, the Aces went on to win just about every award possible this year. As a team, they won the Mountain Division, Western Conference, and Brabham Cup (awarded to the team with the best regularseason record). All they did in the playoffs is go a jawdropping 12-1 in route to the club’s second Kelly Cup, in one of the most dominant team playoff performances in the history of the ECHL. Individually, they nearly swept the awards as well, as they took the league MVP (Goldie), Goaltender of the Year (Coleman), All-star selection (Chris Langkow), ALL-ECHL team awards (First Team - Coleman and Goldie, Second Team
- Miller) and ALL-ECHL Rookie team award (Mark Isherwood). Behind it all was the 2011 Coach of the Year in Thompson. The coach people said couldn’t handle it, couldn’t coach at this level, and didn’t deserve to coach for an organization like the Aces. He took a team from basically scratch and delivered on of the most historic teams the league will ever know. Well, I know I can admit it when I make a mistake. I will gladly eat my words and give a stick tap to the man they call “Thomer.” Thompson is nothing short of a tremendous coach and I hope Anchorage and the Aces organization enjoys the time he spends here. Something tells me he will be called upon sooner than later for bigger jobs in the AHL and NHL soon enough.
May 31, 2011 | comics
TNL TUNDRA l Chad Carpenter
BROKECOMICS | Alec Fritz