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ALASKA’S occasionally maudlin NEWSPAPER • february 14 - february 20, 2013 • VOL. 22, ED. 7 • FREE

Feature, page 14

Anchorage Hotties 2013 featuring 10 total heartthrobs

News, page 8

Food, page 10

The mayor who kicked the hornet’s nest

Valentine’s foods to get your engine going


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February 14 - February 20, 2013


february 14 - february 20, 2013 • Vol. 22, Ed. 7

CONTENTS

Anchorage Press 540 East 5th Avenue Anchorage AK 99501

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Letters

21 Picks of the Week

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Opinion 2006’s cruise ship initiative should be rolled back. By Ivan Moore Union contracts need to be reined in. By Mike Dingman

22 Interrogation Don’t call Jesus LandinTorrez III an artist. By Jessi Marena Nelsen

(907) 561-7737 Fax: (907) 561-7777

www.anchoragepress.com Publisher Steve Abeln steve.abeln@anchoragepress.com Publisher Emeritus Nick Coltman Editor Victoria Barber editor@anchoragepress.com

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Staff Writer Scott Christiansen scott@anchoragepress.com Entertainment Editor Daniella Cortez Alvarez calendar@anchoragepress.com Art Director Diane Karalunas

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Circulation Manager Mike McCue circulation@anchoragepress.com Contributors Rob Brezsny, Mike Dingman, Jeri Kopet, Chuck Legge, Ivan Moore, Bob Grimm, Ted Rall, James ‘Dr. Fermento’ Roberts, Chuck Shepherd, Jessi Nelson, Jill Missal, Ash Adams, Rachel Drinkard Advertising Account Executives Bridget Mackey bridget@anchoragepress.com Karen Truitt Karen.Truitt@anchoragepress.com Pete Nolan arcticwarriorpete@gmail.com Sylvia Maiellaro sylviamaiellaro4@gmail.com The Anchorage Press in an Anchorage-wide news, features, arts, entertainment, and recreation paper. Established in 1992, the Press is printed weekly on Thursdays and distributed at over 400 locations. Mail subscriptions are available for $42 per year. Copyright: the Anchorage Press is published by Wick Communications Co. With the exception of syndicated features and cartoons, the contents of the Anchorage Press are copyright 2012 by Anchorage Press. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means including electronic retrieval systems without the express written permission of the publisher.

Book review Anchorage comes to life in Dolls Behaving Badly. By Kris Farmen News Mayor’s ordinance has unions gearing up for a fight. By Scott Christiansen

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Blotter

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Headlamp Dating tips for the outdoorsy set. By Jill Missal

23 Music Getting introspective with Celtic rock band The Young Dubliners. By Jeri Kopet 26 Opinion Valentine’s Day can take a hike. By Jeri Kopet 29 Film Identity Thief — McCarthy is the best part of an otherwise unlovable film. By Bob Grimm 32 Classifieds 35 Puzzles 36 Toons

10 Food Feast on aphrodisiacs. By Ash Adams

36 News of the Weird By Chuck Shepherd

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Anchorage Press Hotties 2013 10 locals who make this town look good.

37 Free Will Astrology By Rob Brezsny

11 Brew Review Beer is for lovers. By Dr. Fermento

ON THE COVER “Untitled,â€? by Christina Barber (oil painting on panel). This and other heart-themed works are part of “The Great Big HeARTâ€? show at Middle Way CafĂŠ this February. For more on the exhibit, see page 20.

20 Arts Middle Way shows its “Great Big HeART.� By Victoria Barber

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LETTERS

An awkward introduction Sequester sounds like
 bad name for a boy.
 Meet my
 Uncle Sequester. But I guess if your parents are “Fiscal Cliff”
 and “Abyss” it’s not surprising.

- Aileen Holthaus, Anchorage

Privatizing Alaska waters Legislation currently moving through the Alaska Legislature, which would eliminate existing rights of Tribal Governments and other Alaskans to apply for instream flow water rights, is the latest tactic in Governor Parnell’s ongoing campaign to quickly and quietly privatize Alaska’s water resources. In potential violation of the Alaska Water Use Code, for example, the state already routinely processes water use applications for mining, oil and gas uses, while placing on the back burner simultaneously or previously filed applications to keep water instream. Similarly, the Division often allows the energy industry to take water without even filing an application. Senate Bill 26 takes this already dysfunctional water right permitting process a giant step further. In addition to the prohibition on instream flow applications the bill contains numerous attacks on the rights of citizens to protect Alaska’s water rights. These include limits on public comment or appeals when the State issues water right permits, but only for the majority of individuals and entities that would be impacted by the water taken out of stream, and eliminating restrictions on transferring water rights and increasing the amount of water that can be obtained without applying for a permit. SB 26, which was introduced by Governor Parnell after he noticed that some of the recent instream flow applications were annoying the resource extraction industry, represents the failure of the state to recognize certain individual rights protected by the Alaska State Constitution. This includes Article VIII, which expressly states that water appropriations shall not have precedence over “general [public] uses for fish and wildlife.” The good news is that opposition to the bill has slowed its progress, and the Senate Resources Committee will likely hold more hearings on it this week. We still have a chance, therefore, to urge the legislature not to strip away the rights of citizens and tribes and to keep water in our streams for healthy for healthy fish and wildlife habitat. - Hal Shepherd, is the director of the Center for Water Advocacy in Seward

We Want You (to write for the Press) The Anchorage Press is looking for a few good freelancers to contribute stories on the topics of health, business, outdoor activities, the arts and local metal bands. Successful applicants should be witty, intelligent individuals who are easy to work with, always hit their deadline and can write broadly interesting stories free of grammatical and spelling errors. Freelancers interested in working with us should send story pitches on the topics mentioned above, a few writing clips and a resume to editor@ anchoragepress.com.

We love to get letters Wherever possible, we preserve “voices,” but letters may be edited for length, clarity, and taste. Submissions should be signed, along with the writer’s city or town and state, and a phone number (for confirmation only).

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opinion>>moore report

opinion>>mike dingman

Down the drain

Reasonable restraint

Legislature is right to revisit the cruise ship initiative

City’s union contracts must be reined in

By Ivan Moore

P

oop in the water! Poop in the water! The hand-wringing on the leftover House Bill 80, the “rollback” of the 2006 cruise ship initiative, is tortured, anguished and kicking up all sorts of hyperbole in the fight to oppose it. Let’s be clear here. Wastewater that is produced by cruise ships is thoroughly treated before being discharged. The treatment is tertiary—that is, divided into three phases: first, the biodegrading of the wastewater; second, the filtration of it; and last, treatment with UV light. What emerges at the end of this process is clear and in all appearances like water, to the point where John Binkley, the head of the Alaska Cruise Association, felt comfortable enough to drink a glass of it. Rather him than me, but he made a powerful point in doing so. The discharge is not, as Anchorage Daily News fisheries writer Laine Welch calls it, sewage. There are no turds bobbing around in the Inside Passage. So let’s stop trying to cloud the debate with stuff that just isn’t true. Instead, let’s state what is true. The 2006 voter initiative that created the current law mandated that cruise ships reduce the levels of certain contaminants in their wastewater, notably ammonia, copper, nickel and zinc, down to levels that the cruise industry has since struggled to achieve. It’s clear that the levels mandated are on or close to the cusp that is achievable by today’s “best available technology.” Some, including me, argue that the mandated levels set an unreasonably high standard. Unreasonably high, not only because they are very hard and costly to attain, but also because they go far beyond what’s necessary to protect Alaska’s environment. Yes, the government has gone too far. It’s the government’s job to regulate and ensure responsible practice by private industry, but not the government’s job to impose onerous regulations that harm a single industry’s ability to operate, especially when there isn’t a compelling need. The irony is that the “government” in this particular case was the people. It was a “citizen” initiative, crafted by the environmental lobby and passed into law by the voting public. But only after they’d seen enough 30-second TV ads to convince them that it was a good idea. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s undeniable that the right to petition is a cherished one. Sometimes, however, it is used to circumvent the legislature. Other times it is used to advance special interests. And oftentimes, as in this case, it results in lousy, un-thought-out and unfair laws. One of the sensible fixes that HB 80 proposes is allowing for a mixing zone after the discharge emerges from the pipe. The 2006 law specified that the contaminant levels be measured “at the point of discharge,” i.e. when the water emerges from the ship. However, the Science

Panel studying the issue concluded that even if the discharge doesn’t quite meet standards coming out of the pipe, within seconds in the ocean, it does. Everything disperses and dilutes very quickly. So no harm, reasonably enough, right? That’s obvious to just about everyone, it seems, except the Anchorage Daily News. Leading the charge on the enviro-wackjobbery front, they suggest in a recent editorial that “dilution is debatable.” Presumably, the laws of physics are suspended to prevent it from happening. And compounding the paranoia, our old friend Les Gara, in an editorial in these pages, is all worried about the fish he wants to catch not making it up his favorite stream because of copper levels in the wastewater. They negatively impact a salmon’s ability to navigate, don’t you know. Yet, Dr. Alan Mearns, armed with a Ph.D in Fisheries and a member of Governor Knowles 2001 Science Panel, has testified that even taking into account the cumulative effect of all cruise ship traffic in Alaska, copper levels are not raised above what occurs naturally. But enough about the required standards. Enough about dilution and mixing zones. Here’s what Gara and the eight other Democrats who voted against HB 80 should really consider. The next time they settle in on the throne for a good Sunday morning constitutional, no doubt reinforcing their righteousness with a good read of the Anchorage Daily News at the same time, they should consider their hypocrisy when they reach to flush. The editors of the Daily News can try this at home too. Because most municipal wastewater treatment systems aren’t tertiary. The treated wastewater from our Anchorage land-based toilets (250 fully-loaded, permanently-anchored cruise ships worth), piped day and night into Cook Inlet, doesn’t come close to meeting the same kinds of standards that are required of cruise ships. And you guessed it, municipal wastewater gets the benefit of mixing zones in the assessment of those lower standards. Indeed, if you took some of that municipal discharge and went and lobbed it off the side of a cruise ship, you’d be breaking the law, but our Democrats in the Legislature continue to flush with impunity, at the same time squawking hysterically and hypocritically about evil cruise ships and the harm they pose to the environment. So enough already, the 2006 law went too far. The voters had good intentions, but were sold a very green bill of goods that places an unreasonable burden on one industry. The legislature is right to amend it, they’re certainly well within their rights to do so six years after it was originally passed. Don’t gut it, don’t repeal it, just ratchet it back to a fairer and more equitable balance between demanding accountability from the industry, yet not restricting their ability to do business. And leave it to the Legislature to figure out where that balance is. It’s their job. Ivan Moore is a public opinion pollster who lives in Anchorage and works for a variety of clients—political, corporate, public sector, or just plain curious—around Alaska. His opinions are his own and we give him a long leash. He can be reached at ivan@ivanmooreresearch.com.

By Mike Dingman

M

ayor Dan Sullivan has hit it out of the park. In a move that would make Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proud, his office has created an ordinance to cripple unions within the Municipality and would put Anchorage on the path to controlling the budget. Mayor Sullivan introduced an ordinance at Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting that would strip local unions of many rights, including the right to strike and arbitration. It would eliminate longevity pay, performance pay increases and step increases. Additionally, firefighter and police officer unions would be strictly limited to firefighters and sworn police officers respectively. It would also make changes to the way people are paid. Holidays would be uniform throughout the Municipality’s unions, union representatives would no longer be paid by the Municipality to do union duties, and labor costs would no longer be allowed to rise more than the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase over the last five years. Contracts would also be limited to three years. This move is predicated on contracts that were pushed through the Assembly in the midnight hour of Mark Begich’s tenure as mayor. Widely criticized by conservatives, the new contracts were for five years rather than the standard three and were believed by many conservatives to have included almost everything the unions had asked for. We have all seen the yearly section in the Anchorage Daily News that shows the highest paid public employees. Every year, people comment on how so many police officers and firefighters make more in overtime than they do in regular salary and how many of them make more than double in overtime what the average Anchorage resident makes in their total pay for that year. However, most people probably don’t truly understand the effect that has on the municipal budget. Overtime is a major problem for the Anchorage Police Department’s budget. Police officers work four 10-hour shifts a week, which provides them ample opportunity for overtime. Their contract states that, “If the employee works overtime on the second day off, the employee shall be paid at two times the regular rate of pay.” So, in addition to receiving time and a half on their first day of overtime, if they work a second day, they receive double their pay in overtime. You can see how quickly this can add up. Compounding this problem is the fact that overtime in the APD is assigned by seniority.

Article Nine, Section Six of the APDEA contract states “All work performed outside the regularly scheduled workday shall be on position seniority basis.” This means that those at the top of the income scale in the APD can claim as much overtime as they like based on their seniority. Mayor Sullivan inherited these contracts and because they were five-year contracts, rather than three, he had no opportunity in his first term to do anything to change them. The rising cost of these contracts made balancing the budget within the constraints of the municipal tax cap problematic for the Sullivan administration over the last few years. This move by Mayor Sullivan is a breath of fresh air for those of us that understand how the union contracts pushed through by thenMayor Begich has throttled the necks of the municipal budget writers. Nobody except Mark Begich can tell you what his motivations were for the manner in which the contracts were passed—however, perhaps the axiom “follow the money” is telling in this instance. Mayor Begich was about to run for Senate against long-term incumbent and near-demigod Senator Ted Stevens, who was facing federal prosecution on corruption charges. The more union money he could bring in for this historic election, the better. (Senator Steven’s conviction was later dismissed when a Justice Department probe found evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.) Municipal employees are a hard-working group—don’t fall into the stereotype trap. The Municipality hires police officers, firefighters, electrical lineman and many other employees that work difficult and dangerous jobs. We all know how dangerous the jobs of firefighters, police officers and linemen can be. At the same time, we have no clue. Only the brave men and women that wake up every morning, put that badge on their chest and walk out into harm’s way truly understand the level of dedication and bravery that is required. These employees deserve to be paid well. However, when someone is making more in overtime than they are in their base salary, something is broken. These contracts cripple the municipal budget and do more harm than good. While I praise our public safety and other public employees for their hard work, this ordinance is necessary to keep Anchorage’s budget within reasonable restraints.

When someone is making more in overtime than they are in their base salary, something is broken.

Mike Dingman was born and raised in Anchorage. He is a former student body president at UAA and has studied, worked and volunteered in Alaska politics since the late 90s. His opinions are his own. He can be reached at michaeldingman@gmail.com.

WEEKLY REVIEWS ON LOCAL EATS THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE IN BETWEEN EVERY THURSDAY IN THE

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February 14 - February 20, 2013


book review

Misbehavioral issues Cinthia Ritchie’s Dolls Behaving Badly explores the sidestreets of Anchorage life. By Kris Farmen

I

’m an only child, which among other things means I didn’t grow up with any sisters to torment me. More than one woman has assured me I should count this among my blessings, but the upshot for a novelist is that without this sort of foundational experience it can be excruciatingly difficult to craft convincing female characters. One of my nostrums for this affliction has been to occasionally wade into the ocean of women’s literature in what is nothing less than a quest for illumination. Cinthia Ritchie’s (who, in the interest of full disclosure, I know from a writers group) debut novel Dolls Behaving Badly follows a winter in the life of Carla Richards, a divorced single mother in her late 30s living in a trailer park on the edge of Spenard. We first meet Carla in the fall, with the streets of Midtown Anchorage in all their gritty October bleakness. Autumn in Paris it ain’t. She’s broke and in debt up to her eyeballs as a result of some less than responsible credit card decisions. She works as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant, and she still sleeps with her ex-husband on a semiregular basis. Their son Jay-Jay, a precocious and gifted eight year old, is the only bright spot in her life. Carla is also an artist. In her younger days she harbored dreams of becoming a great painter, but the ambitions of her early 20s have long since been overwhelmed by the hard realities of life, a fairly common experience. Now she cuts up Barbie and Ken dolls to reshape them into anatomically correct X-rated art pieces that are sold online to collectors around the world. She makes a little extra money from this, but it’s not nearly what she needs to pull herself out of the financial hole she’s been living in, and in terms of artistic fulfillment the dirty doll trade leaves something to be desired. Carla’s future is as bleak as ever. Help arrives from two unlikely sources, the first being a blog written by “The Oprah Giant,” whose identity is never revealed.

Ritchie’s novel is by turns hilarious and moving, and among other things provides a raw and honest portrait of life in modern Alaska.

Among the pearls of wisdom she offers is the suggestion to keep a diary, and it is Carla’s scribblings that form the narrative of Dolls, broken up here and there to good effect by letters, emails and phone messages from debt collectors, as well as recipes for various forms of Polish comfort food. Then there’s a Swedish archaeologist named Francisco. He’s tall, ruggedly handsome, and has what most of the world thinks is a fascinating job. Girl likes boy, boy likes girl, but in the way of 30- and 40-somethings with chaotic lives they have a nightmarish time trying to line up their schedules. Despite a series of disastrous dates they manage to fall in love, and as the winter progresses we see Carla inspired to take up her paintbrush once again. This proves both an escape and palliative measure as her life spirals into a maelstrom of family, dead-end jobs, difficult romance, and a delightfully wise teenage girl from the next trailer over. Ritchie’s novel is by turns hilarious and moving, and among other things provides a raw and honest portrait of life in modern Alaska. “Not the wild parts,” Ritchie writes, “but smack in the middle of Anchorage, with the Walmart and Home Depot squatting over streets littered with moose poop.” This is not another wearisome tale of wannabe pioneers coming north to Alaska seeking a new start and redemption. The cast of characters come from the burnout end of the social spectrum. They’re the sort of folk who drink too much, like to smoke a joint after work, and save their meager wages for tattoos rather than retirement accounts. We know these people, and part of Ritchie’s genius is her ability to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. I particularly like the way Dolls gives an unflinching look at the struggle to make art, and more importantly to be recognized for one’s creativity. This can be difficult when you come from a background that offers no advantages in this realm. Art is not an easy row to hoe, as folks used to say, and Ritchie very obviously knows this because it comes through beautifully in her storytelling. She’s crafted a novel that crackles with life, and characters from right off the sidestreets of Anchorage. Good as it is, the book isn’t perfect. Ritchie seems a little too eager to drop local place names and restaurants into the text. There’s nothing wrong with this on a conceptual level, but she does it so often that it becomes a bit gratuitous. She tends to write overly long passages of dialogue that read like postmodern soliloquies of the “To be or not to be” variety. She also overemphasizes the poor grammar of some of her characters, Carla’s ex in particular. Bad locution is hardly uncommon, and once again there’s nothing wrong per se with writing the way people talk, but Ritchie stresses this character’s inarticulate nature to the point that he comes across as a cartoon hillbilly in a chef costume, or perhaps a cast member from the old Hee Haw show. I’d also be remiss not to point out that her male characters tend toward the tired old clichés about men: The hunter who kills things because he has masculinity issues, the ruggedly handsome scientist who’s always on the road, that sort of thing, though it’s probably worth mentioning that there is no shortage of fiction where male writers revert to timeworn stereotypes about women. Turnabout is fair play, if perhaps less than productive in the long run.

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All this being said, I really enjoyed Dolls Behaving Badly. Ritchie kept me turning the pages, and ultimately that’s what matters. She offers a vision not just of Alaska but of all humanity that is romantic, compelling, and poignant, and I for one am eager to see what she comes up with next. In the meantime I’ll be reading Bridget Jones’s diary, if I can just find where she hides the damnable thing.

Dolls Behaving Badly A novel by Cinthia Ritchie Grand Central Publishing Available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble in Anchorage

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<<BLOTTER>>

news

By Scott Christiansen In addition to driving drunk, the gate-crasher who plowed a GMC pickup through the Boniface gate at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson last month was also talking on the phone while driving. That’s according to charging documents filed in federal court by an investigator for the U.S. Air Force. The investigator, Special Agent Matthew C. Dallara, wrote that 25-year-old Kyle S. Hansen was also on felony probation due to previous state DUI charges. In other words, the crazy man who smashed through the base gate and led military cops on a chase across JBER, injuring a soldier and attracting gunfire, is someone the State of Alaska was supposed to be keeping track of. Hansen’s probation was for two felony DUIs and one case of felony eluding. He was not legally allowed to drive, and the GMC pickup, which lost a license plate during the chaotic chase, was registered to a friend but owned by Hansen, the friend told Air Force investigators. Dallara’s synopsis of the chaos that began the night of January 18 reveals more details about Hansen. (It doesn’t identify the woman on the other end of the phone call, calling her only an “unknown female.”) Hansen previously used heroin, one friend told investigators, but had taken to popping cold and flu pills in lieu of drugs. His preferred brand was Coricidin D and he would take up to 10 pills at a time. Sometime between 9 and 10 p.m., January 19, a man named Shawn McKenna called Hansen for a ride. McKenna is the man who allegedly registered the GMC pickup in his own name on Hansen’s behalf. He was waiting at the restaurant TGI Friday’s in midtown, so Blotter suspects Hansen and McKenna are not self-aware hipsters looking to impress anyone. Anyhow, according to Special Agent Dallara’s description, Hansen had already been drinking when he showed up at TGIF’s. “McKenna expressed concern regarding Hansen’s level of intoxication,” Dallara wrote. McKenna later told investigators the two men spent about one hour at TGIF’s—this despite McKenna’s concerns—and “McKenna did not think Hansen was acting normally.” When McKenna took Hansen’s keys away (the first of at least two attempts) Hansen refused to ride with him in his own pickup. The friendship was being tested, as is evident in the special agent’s description of events. McKenna refused to ride with Hansen to McKenna’s apartment in Eagle River, instead urging Hansen to go with him to a friend’s place in Anchorage. Later, when Hansen was “driving erratically” in a parking lot, McKenna got out of the truck. He again tried to take the keys, but his friend drove off with the passenger door still open. About 2 a.m. January 19, McKenna received a series of desperate text messages from Hansen—“pick up your phone,” “I need you now,” and “shit hit the fan.” The two men connected several hours later. At about 3:30 p.m. January 19, Hansen arrived at McKenna’s apartment in Eagle River. He brought some stuff from the GMC, a seat cover, some used syringes and an empty alcohol bottle. Hansen explained what happened. He crashed the gate, drove across base under fire and did not stop because he was afraid he’d be killed. He threatened to “go home, get his guns and go out with a bang” rather than go to jail, the court filing says. McKenna remained loyal, apparently talking his friend down from the suicide by cop idea. A tip was phoned in to Anchorage Police, and Hansen was found at McKenna’s apartment, hiding under a bed. He denied being involved in any of the chaos on base the previous night. He asked for an attorney and was taken into custody.

A list of assets Marti Lee Cox, whose husband Schaeffer Cox has been sentenced to 25 years and 10 months in federal prison for threatening to kill federal employees, including a judge, has filed for protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The wife of the founder of Alaska Peacemakers Militia is about $257,000 in debt and has only about $34,000 in assets. There is some cash, naturally, and Mrs. Cox listed some bank accounts that total less than $4,100. (Nothing overseas is listed.) Mrs. Cox listed a five-year-old flat screen TV for $200, which might indicate wishful thinking on her part. Her sofa was “stained” (aren’t they all?) and could fetch $500 if you throw in a chair and ottoman. Her wardrobe of clothing is a modest $700, but she has a handful of accessories: three strings of pearls, three diamond necklaces, two sets of pearl earrings and two diamond rings. (Jewelry is worth about $1,150.) Whatever Alaskans might think of Miniature Militia Boss Cox, he obviously wasn’t spending all his extra cash at gun shows. And no, Mrs. Cox did not list a single weapon among her assets. Her white enclosed trailer is worth $3,000, suitable for loading with ammo and foodstuff, or anything else you need to keep out of the weather or away from prying eyes. There’s a 20-foot car trailer ($2,500) a 1984 Ford pickup ($1,000) and a 1990 International garbage truck ($7,000) which is listed as “owned by husband” and has 118,000 miles. Lastly—and this item should come in handy during the coming economic collapse Mr. Cox warned us about—a 30foot sailboat moored in Sitka. It needs work, but is valued at $6,000. —Scott Christiansen

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Mayor goes nuclear on unions Labor bosses shocked by ordinance By Scott Christiansen

I

n front of blue banner with the word “Solidarity” in all caps, flanked by the U.S. and Alaska flags, bosses from eight unions took turns attacking Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s Ordinance 37 in a press conference Monday. The ordinance would strip bargaining rights from organized city employees. Ordinance 37 (called “AO no. 2013-0037” in city documents) would make sweeping changes to city labor law and could lead to more private-sector contractors doing the work of local government. Union leaders say their members were shocked by Sullivan’s proposal, which was introduced late in the afternoon Friday, February 8, and reported that afternoon and weekend. Those reports had little reaction—and absolutely zero informed reaction—from the union bosses, who were caught off guard. By the time of the press conference, it seemed they had studied all weekend. “Why are we putting something so drastic forward with no input from anybody else at the city? What political agenda is in play?” asked Rod Harris, president of Anchorage Firefighters Union (IAFF Local 1264). Harris and other union leaders gathered in a conference room of Operating Engineers Local 302 on Denali Street. They allege Sullivan’s proposal will trash collective bargaining rights that have been protected by city code for nearly 40 years. Union firefighters, Harris said, would lose their voice in decisions about staffing firehouses with people and equipment. “The mayor has specifically, in this proposal, written out any ability for employees that work for the community to have any say over how they deliver services, what equipment they use, [and] safety standards—all of that is taken out and has become a management right,” Harris said. Sullivan’s own department directors did not see the proposed legislation until 4:30 p.m. the previous Friday, the same time it was announced to the Anchorage Assembly and the general public. Union leaders said the Mayor has a political agenda, implying Sullivan could be trying to play to conservative money machines—Tea Party alert!— in preparation for a run at the U.S. Senate. “I have to wonder if this is a political ordinance,” said Rick Boyles, vice president of Teamsters Local 959, adding that the Mayor may be trying to align his name with Outside interests. Alaska’s next U.S. Senate race is in 2014 when Senator Mark Begich comes up for reelection. Sullivan remains in the undecided column for that race. Ordinance 37 landed on the Assembly agenda Tuesday as new business. The Assembly could pass it following a required public hearing on February 26. Union leaders say this is rushed. They could be proven correct, but only if the Assembly chooses to quickly pass the ordinance in two meetings. In the meantime, Sullivan has been making appearances on conservative talk radio to bolster support for his ideas. The Mayor told the KFQD audience Monday afternoon that the privatization of city services—he calls the strategy “managed competition” but unions call it “privatization”—would happen slowly and carefully. “We want the ability to try it, this is something we are going to approach very, very cautiously though,” Sullivan said. “Managed competition has to be done right. It has to truly generate savings and no loss of service.” Sullivan claimed there are “lots of examples” outside Alaska of success when local governments contract out jobs traditionally held by government employees. He mentioned Seattle and Indianapolis on the radio. He described Seattle as liberal and Indianapolis as more conservative, saying both cities have outsourced jobs. Sullivan didn’t give any specific examples. He has yet to say which services he would like to privatize, though one section of the ordinance would carve ambulance and medical emergency services out from the Anchorage Fire Department, allowing for a private ambulance contractor. The radio host didn’t ask him to give specifics, but to be fair, Ordinance 37 is a big ball of wax and there’s a lot to talk about. Just because Sullivan doesn’t have examples yet does not mean Anchorage voters have to look to the Lower 48. Several in-state school districts use private transportation contractors to provide school busses. Some use a combination of district-owned busses and private contractors. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District went further, outsourcing the jobs of about 115 janitors to a subsidiary of Nana Regional Corporation. The move led to a three-year court battle with Mat-Su Classified Employees Association, which wanted the custodians back in their fold. In 2009, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in the district’s favor. It also spawned a political movement, partly led by Mat-Su CEA, which over the course of about four years replaced school board members who favored outsourcing with union-friendly candidates. The Nana contract is called a “failed three-year experiment” on the website run by the statewide teachers’ union, NEA Alaska. So yes, outsourcing is legal. But it can get messy. Mayor Sullivan’s plan won’t privatize police or fire services or apply to the Anchorage School District. It eliminates the right to strike for other city employees. It leaves current contracts intact, but would limit future union contracts to three years. Boyles, of the Teamsters,

attacked that part specifically. He said Local 959 often negotiates fiveyear contracts in the private sector. The employers want long contracts, Boyles said, because they stabilize costs.

The ambulance with a meter Ordinance 37 will likely be most controversial in the area of public safety. This is where the stakes get high, as labor officials try to protect the jobs of paramedics and emergency medical technicians who work at the Anchorage Fire Department. In the coming weeks the Assembly can prepare to hear stories about grandmothers falling on the ice, husbands revived after heart attacks and children trapped inside the wreckage of crashed cars. That’s not hyperbole. Emergency calls, by their very nature, include real trauma. Ordinance 37 eliminates a city rule called the “EMS integration plan” or “Plan B-110,” which is at the heart of how the Anchorage Fire Department operates. Plan B-110 integrates fire fighting and emergency medical services. Plan B-110 is the bureaucratic glue that bonds the paramedics and ambulances to the fire department, and many AFD firefighters are cross-trained emergency responders. (Not all AFD firefighters are trained to the level of paramedics.) The plan also establishes a board to oversee the department according to international best practices. If the union and City Hall are in dispute over their contract, both sides will continue to follow Plan B-110. Harris, the president of IAFF Local 1264, said Plan B-110 is a model imitated in jurisdictions outside Alaska. He also said many cities that have privatized ambulances watched rates soar. He says the privatization trend of the 1990s has reversed course when it comes to ambulances. Plan B-110 also provides the job description, Harris said, for the fire department’s medical director, an ER doctor. “All of the work we do, when we respond for emergency medical calls, we do under his supervision,” Harris said late Tuesday. At the Monday press conference, Harris called the mayor’s plan “a back-door” to privatization. He said Anchorage has slim chances of finding qualified employees, or keeping them, if shorter contracts and weaker safety standards prevail. “Anchorage could become a training ground for the rest of the state and the country,” Harris said. One consistent complaint at the union press conference was that Mayor Sullivan and a handful of close advisors had worked on the proposal without employee input or input from department supervisors. It seems only a few people, in human resources and finance, knew of the ordinance in the works before it landed on the Assembly agenda, sponsored by Assembly Chairman Ernie Hall and South Anchorage Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston. “The process is just wrong,” Harris said. Sullivan has countered by saying the public process starts with the Assembly meeting and the administration has a right to form policy without telegraphing discussions of the ordinance beforehand. Arguments about political timing are sure to come and go as Ordinance 37 is debated. They might seem like a side issue, but they also shed light on the political zeitgeist of the city. What Harris wants is a mayor’s office with an open-door policy for union bosses, a mayor who contacts key employees during policy discussions. He also wants, as evident in his comments Monday, for union workers to have inside knowledge before the Assembly and the general public are informed of the policy debate. Those open doors closed in July 2009, when Dan Sullivan took office. They shut tighter last April, when Sullivan was re-elected. The Assembly also became more conservative in the April 2011 election, and has been cooperative with the Mayor ever since. The body tilted even further when Harriett Drummond, a liberal Democrat, was elected in November to the Alaska House of Representatives and left the Assembly in January. The Assembly appointed Sullivan’s budget director Cheryl Frasca to the seat vacated by Drummond. Sullivan, for better or for worse, is simply striking while the iron is hot. Union leaders who say they didn’t see Ordinance 37 coming might not be monitoring local politics closely enough. The story broke wider at the Assembly meeting Tuesday night when Ordinance 37 came up for a routine first reading. Union supporters packed the Assembly chamber at Z. J. Loussac Library and the crowd spilled into the adjacent lobby. A crowd gathered outside on the sidewalks and driveways. Vince Beltrami, president of Alaska AFLCIO was present with a bullhorn, updating the crowd on the action inside the meeting and leading pro-union chants. Beltrami told the crowd to keep track of Assembly votes on Ordinance 37. “Remember to reward our friends and punish our enemies,” Beltrami urged, referring to the April city elections. Ordinance 37 survived Tuesday night. The Assembly voted 7-4 to allow the proposal to proceed to a February 26 public hearing. Assembly members Dick Traini, Elvi Gray-Jackson, Paul Honeman and Patrick Flynn voted to table the ordinance indefinitely. Assembly members Bill Starr, Debbie Ossiander, Ernie Hall, Cheryl Frasca, Adam Trombley, Chris Birch and Jennifer Johnston voted to move the ordinance forward. Hall and Johnston had previously joined the mayor in sponsoring the ordinance. The Assembly has a work session scheduled to discuss the ordinance from 1-3 p.m. Friday, February 15, at City Hall. As of press deadline, it was scheduled for the Mayor’s conference room on the eighth floor. The Assembly calendar at www.muni.org should be updated if the location or time changes. —scott.christiansen@anchoragepress.com

February 14 - February 20, 2013


HEADLAMP

Love outdoors Dating advice for the backcountry set By Jill Missal

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h, Valentine’s Day. That midwinter social stumbling block that relentlessly swings through every February to bite you on the butt. If you’re coupled up, you have to take your VDay cues from your loved one just right, or you’ll either disappoint them by doing too little or scare them off by doing too much. If you’re single or just starting to date someone, you’re caught on the awkward cusp of a conundrum—do you tell your new love interest that you choo-choo-choose her, or play it cool? With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, thinking about one’s romantic status is unavoidable, even if you eschew Hallmark holidays. In Alaska, it’s a reminder that it’s freaking cold out and if you don’t have a winter sweetie by now, you better act fast or breakup will be upon us, and everyone knows it’s harder to hook up during the frenetic Alaska summer. Winter seems to be the hot time for starting a relationship, so I thought the outdoors set could use some beta on dating before entering the fray this V-Day.

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f you haven’t noticed, finding love is a challenge for outdoorsyminded people. It’s tough out there, finding your match in a sea of skiers and climbers and winter bikers. The active, social population of Anchorage is just seething with singles with whom one can mingle, but they’re awfully hard to pin down for dating purposes. They’re not a set that cooperatively hangs out in the bars so that you can find them easily; the cool kids are out doing cool stuff, so it’s hard to meet a like-minded person unless you happen to cross paths at the top of Ripple. Even if you do, chances are you’ll just make googly-eyes at each other and carry on doing what you’re doing, never to see each other again. You’ll likely end up meeting someone at work and trying to mold him or her into the outdoors activity partner you always wanted—and if you’ve ever tried to do that, you know it rarely works out well in the long run. Maybe they’ll be willing to learn new things, but if your idea of a “comfort item” is a ¾ length foam pad and his is a Bloody Mary bar, you may not be compatible no matter how much you try to share each others’ worlds. No, it’s much better to date someone who already shares some of your outdoor passions. If you’ve got your eye on someone, you are probably like any other outdoorsy person and plan to invite him/ her on an activity-based date, like a ski tour. It can’t fail! She likes to ski, and you like to ski! It’s the perfect setup, a great excuse to arrange an outing. But who amongst us hasn’t ended up on a ski trip gone wrong because one person had expectations that differed from their partner’s? She might just be stoked to get some turns with a partner who owns and actually knows how to turn on an avalanche transceiver (you do know how, right?) rather than be stuck with another resort day. You might be inwardly elated that your love interest accepted your invitation, but unless she also knows that she’s on

Date or joint outing? It’s sometimes hard to tell. a date, you might be in for an awkward time. I’ve been on more than one of those trips myself, the most memorable being a backcountry trip to Canada on which my partner waited until we were deep into the Monashees before mentioning that he was into more than just skiing with me. I’ve also been on a few on the flip side (a half dozen fat bike rides and me starting to think we had something good going, before he mentioned his wife—damn winter gear; how can a person spot a ring through puffy gloves and pogies?). Here’s some advice on how to make sure that your outdoors date really is a date. I’ll use skiing as an example. Backcountry skiing is a popular date choice; it usually can be set up as a one-on-one day, which seems perfect for a date. Conversely, it is a perfect setup for a major misunderstanding. If you want to use skiing as a way into your love interest’s heart, don’t leave the door open for any confusion; make sure she knows it’s a date before you pull out the summit beer and bag of candy hearts as you strip your skins (rowr). The easiest way to accomplish this is to just tell her straight out, but let’s face it, if people were inclined to go the up-front route, these articles would be a lot shorter. So here’s a script for indicating your intentions right out loud while giving you both a graceful way out: “Hey, I’d love to spend some time with you. But instead of a standard ‘dinner and a movie,’ how about we go look for some turns in Hatcher? I’ll buy the beer afterwards.” These simple sentences give her all the information she needs. She knows that you are asking her to ski as a date date. She knows that if she accepts, she’s in for a full day of togetherness; an outing bookended by two long drives, and a pre-planned beer stop—no easy way to bail. If she accepts, you know you’ve got the green light that you’re on a date. If she turns the outing down, she can soften the blow by saying she isn’t into skiing that day, that the snow conditions are crap, her binding is broken or her skis need to be tuned. It’s the

more believable version of “I have to wash my hair.” If you get the green light, you’re faced with a choice—a normal ski outing, or a ski date with ultra-romantic extras. If this is a first date, you’re probably better off keeping things low key, but when you’re ready to move to the next level, consider this: summit beverages are always appreciated, insisting on carrying/organizing her gear is not (we all have our way of dealing with our stuff, dammit, don’t mess with it). Romantic overtures in the backcountry aren’t easy—let’s face it, it’s hard to be romantic when everyone is bundled up, trying to stay warm and dry in the face of exertion and cold temperatures, you both probably have frozen snot on your faces, and there’s an objective (ski that line!) to accomplish. So how do you make this outing romantic? My advice is: you don’t, at least not outwardly. Concentrate on being a good ski partner and a fun companion. You can make some light comments about finding each other attractive, but now is not the time for big gestures. If you want to do something sweet and endearing, warm her cold hands with your breath (cute and helpful) and make sure you offer to share all your chocolate. At the end of the day, a hug is a good lead-in to the non-mountain-based portion of your date, the part where you can hold hands and open doors and talk about how much fun you had skiing with her. Of course I could be wrong about all this; a friend once called to complain about the awkward hike she’d just gone on with a guy who clearly had decided, of his own volition and without telling her, that they were on a date. He’d packed summit hot chocolate, and orchestrated a perfect afternoon enjoying a sunset from a peak on the front range. She came home full of dread. She didn’t want to date, she’d just wanted to go on a hike. Fast forward a few years and they’re now happily married. So, go by your instincts—but remember, success stories like the one above are few and far between. Proceed at your own risk.

SPORTS&RECLISTING>> Guided Hike: PROSPECT WANDER — Join volunteers Bob and Ann Fisher for a 6.5-mile round trip hike on the Prospect trails, starting from the Prospect Heights trailhead in Anchorage. The hike involves a 900-foot elevation gain over the course of the hike. Bring a daypack with snacks, water, wind/ snow clothing, snowshoes and/or ice cleats may be needed. The hike is limited to the first 12 people (at least 18 years old) who register by calling 694-2108. Hikers may be beginners, but should be in good shape. Free program. There is $5 parking fee at Prospect Heights trailhead (Alaska State Park dayuse passes honored). Saturday, February 16, at noon at the Eagle River Nature Center. (32750 Eagle River Rd., Eagle River)

non-members. Sunday, February 17, at 2 p.m. at the Eagle River Nature Center. (32750 Eagle River Rd., Eagle River)

prizes, including a one month unlimited zumba pass. Friday, February 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Alaska Club West. (1400 W. Northern Lights)

the second group begins at 6 p.m., ending the run at McGinley’s Pub. Many prizes to give away with a different vendor each week.

Ski/Snowboard Waxing Basics — Taking care of your skis/ board will help you have a great time on the slopes. This class will focus on a wide variety of subjects including base preparation: structure, major and minor repair and stone grinding. An REI expert technician will also go into an in-depth examination of how and why waxes work. You do not need to bring your personal skis or snowboard to this class. Saturday, February 9, at 11 a.m. in the Anchorage R.E.I store. (1200 Northern Lights Blvd.)

Change Your Age Workshop — Create a more youthful, intelligent body at any age with these easy-to-learn movement sequences that help you break away from physically limiting habits that can make you feel old. Update your muscle memory to reverse the signs of aging. Transform your balance, improve your posture, move away from pain, regain agility and coordination. Simple, powerful exercises train the brain to send correct signals to the body for greater ease and comfort. Moves are not stressful and do not demand muscular strength or flexibility. No repetitive routines. More information available at FeldenkraisJourneys.com. Event begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, at Motion Options. (3524 E. 15th Ave.)

Hapkido/TaeKwonDo — Learn to defend against attack using methods of combat Hapkido and TaeKwonDo. An emphasis is on continuing martial arts education and self defense. Classes designed for the new and continuing martial arts student wanting to improve self-defense skill. Seven-week sessions through November 1. Classes are held Thursdays at 7 p.m. at Fairview Recreation Center (1121 E. 10th Ave.)

Jr. Naturalist Program: LIFE UNDER THE SNOW — An insulating blanket of snow helps plants and animals survive the cold. Learn about animals that depend on snow and live in the subnivean zone. The class will look for animal tunnels and other signs of life beneath the snow, unless it’s below zero. Dress for going outdoors. Free program; $5 parking for non-members. Saturday, February 16, at 2 p.m. at the Eagle River Nature Center. (32750 Eagle River Rd., Eagle River)

Winter Landscape Photography — In this intensive two-day workshop, students will learn to capture Alaska’s fantastic winter light and scenery. A variety of techniques will be explored including using filters to create surreal long exposure images. Saturday will be spent in a local Anchorage park, Sunday will be a review of images and basic lightroom techniques. Class cost is $100 and is taught by Carl Battreall. Saturday and Sunday, February 16-17, at 12 p.m. in the Anchorage R.E.I store. (1200 Northern Lights Blvd.)

HOT ON THE TRAIL OF ANIMAL TRACKS — Crime scene tracking specialists Jim Wolfe and Chris Beheim (both retired from the Alaska State Crime Lab) will present techniques they use for preserving tracks outdoors, including in snow. Free program; $5 parking for

Go Red for Women Zumbathon — Wear red and join in the fight against heart disease and stroke. All proceeds from this event benefit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign. Entry is $10 per person. There will be giveaways and door

February 14 - February 20, 2013

ONGOING Alaska Outdoors Weekly Hiking — Alaska Outdoors hosts year-round outing events every Monday and Thursday throughout the Anchorage area. Monday outings are for beginners and families. Thursday outings are more challenging. Meeting location changes every week. Please check location often. Check locations online at www. alaska-outdoors.org McGinley’s 5K Pub Run — Held every Tuesday. Register for free at Skinny Raven starting at 5:15 p.m. First group begins at 5:30 p.m. and

Mindfulness Yoga — This Mindfulness Yoga class merges Buddhist Mindfulness meditation with classical yoga postures into a single practice of ‘meditation in motion’, that enlivens the body, liberates the spirit, and awakens compassion, equanimity and joy. During this 90-120 minutes class we will practice simple yoga postures with an emphasis that is less on the performance or form of the asanas and more on the exploration of sense-experience and its contents, quality and activity. Learn to observe the impermanent nature of sensations, emotions and mental states, which allows you to let go of unhealthy habit patterns of reactivity and guides you to the realization that freedom, clarity and happiness ultimately rest within ourselves. Suggested donation is $10.00 per person. Every Sunday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Snow Buddha Yoga (13910 Venus Way)

Moving from Surviving to Thriving: Yoga practice for cancer survivors — Yoga Practice is a life style intervention. Yoga can teach us self empowering ways to meet and live with the cancer reality; help us release tension so our bodies really “feel”, when we are stressed we can make decisions about our activities and our attitudes that can change our relationship to our cancer experience. Saturdays 11 a.m. at the Alaska Club East (5201 E. Tudor Rd.) Water Aerobics Class — Community water aerobics class with certified instructors in salt water pool every Monday, Wednesday, Friday all year round. 10-class punch card $45 or $5 for a single class. Class from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the APU Moseley Sports Center (4101 University Dr) Fencing Classes— Did you see fencing during the Olympics? Fencing Center of Alaska has a class for you. Learn how to move and think like a fencer and see how those skills apply through out your life. You will learn history, technique and strategy with an Olympic fencer. Join a class today. Classes are available for fencers age 6 years old and up (we really mean “and up”). If you think you are out of shape or too old, think again. Fencing is a life long sport you can start at any age. Phone: (907) 771-5963. Fencing Center of Alaska (2603 Barrow St.) Kripalu Yoga — Kripalu Yoga, for beginning to intermediate levels of practice, is a meditative style

of yoga which includes classical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation to open the heart and promote harmony, strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. Bring two blankets and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Tuesdays through October, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the Fairview Recreation Center (1121 E. 10th) Moving Meditation— Experience QiGong, Meditation & Tai Chi for health, healing and spiritual wellness. Beginners welcome. Saturdays and Sundays 9-10 a.m. More info at www.touchoftao.com. Oriental Healing Arts Center (2636 Spenard Rd.) OFF THE CHAIN OPEN SHOP HOURS— Open shop hours at Off the Chain bike collective are every week on Sundays and Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Come into the shop to work on your bike, learn about how to work on their bike, donate bikes/bike parts, and get involved with volunteering at OTC. Off The Chain Bike Collective (814 W Northern Lights Blvd.) Taichi for Seniors— Improves lower body and leg strength, helps with arthritis, dementia and senility, Improves balance, stability, and flexibility, Relieves physical effects of stress, Promotes a good nights rest, Low impact— minimal pressure on bones and joints. No experience needed, may start any time, beginners welcome. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Oriental Healing Arts Center (2636 Spenard Rd.) More information at www.touchoftao.com.

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food

Food for lovers It’s Valentine’s, so bust out the oyster, chocolate and… garlic?

that looked like male and female sex organs would be good for said parts. Paracleus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), observed that Hepatica acutiloba, an herb that resembles the liver in appearance, was used to treat the liver. William Coles (1626-1662) wrote in The Art of Simpling and Adam in Eden that walnuts were cures for head ailments because they resemble or “have the perfect signatures of” By Ash Adams the head. Today, of course, we need more proof of a food’s power beyond just the fact that it looks sexy. Do supposed aphrodisiacs work? According to many, aphrodisiacs will work if we believe they ou’ve heard that chocolate and wine will set the mood, will. According to Eugene Newton Anderson, author of Everythat spicy foods make for spicy love making. You’ve read that one Eats: Understanding Food and Culture, “all of these foods can oysters will send you and your significant other into each sometimes work if the eater believes strongly enough,” he says. other’s arms, writhing with desire. But is it true? Are there aphro- “Nothing is more responsive to the placebo effect than the sexual disiac foods that will make Valentine’s Day last all night? function.” There are differing opinions on the matter. Almost every culWell, if you’re optimist or simply want to boost your bedroom ture has foods that they, as a people, respect as aphrodisiacs, and confidence this V-Day, here are some of the aphrodisiacs that have some of these have nutritional properties that might make them been recommended through the ages and into the present day. so. Oysters, for instance, are high in zinc, which increases libido. Chocolate was revered by the Aztecs as a love food, and today we know that good quality chocolate contains phenylethylamine and Almonds Alexsandra Orlova, author of the Sex Diet: A Guidebook to a serotonin, which are both “feel good” chemicals in the brain. According to Kantha Shelke, a food scientist recently quoted in Healthy Libido, recommends eating this nut regularly, as it is a US News on the subject (“How to Serve Aphrodisiac Foods,” Feb. 8, good source of nutrients that are essential to the production of 2013) the problem with suggest- sex hormones. Orlova goes on to explain that the almond was a ing that foods are aphrodisiacs in symbol of beauty in ancient China, and that Romans believed that the U.S. is that we live in a Viagra almonds promised fertility and prosperity. How to add this to your V-Day: Add almonds to a salad, preculture where people want the romance turned on now. “People pare almond-crusted fish, or sprinkle almonds on a dessert. expect instant gratification,” she says, “and I don’t believe any Bananas food can give you that.” Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see Shelke does go on to say that there are foods that can enhance me? Could be either. A recent article in the Huffington Post lists sexuality—primarily by provid- this seductive food as a top-10 aphrodisiac due to its high amounts ing libido-enhancing nutrients of potassium and vitamin B, both of which are essential to the or improving circulation (to all healthy function of sex hormones. According to Orlova, banana’s of your parts). Ginger, for exam- bromelain and tryptophan content also contribute to its positive ple, increases circulation, which may be why it is mentioned in the impact on healthy libido function. How to add this to your V-Day: Whip up a banana flambé for Kama Sutra, a manual on the art of love. Shelke also suggests sticking to healthy foods, noting that ba- dessert with cinnamon (which is also warming), and top it with con is never recommended for enhancing your love life. “What some crumbled almonds or other nuts and chilled coconut cream. it comes down to is how you perform in bed,” she says, “so what you’re looking out for is your health.” This goes for drinking, too. If you drink too much, well, you know what happens. Nothing. Or Garlic According to The Aphrodisiac Encyclopedia: A Compendium of something close to nothing. So if you need a little champagne to loosen up, fine, just don’t drink so much that you fall asleep dur- Culinary Come-Ons, garlic is the “ringleader of a pretty pungent aphrodisiac gang” that includes chives, leeks, onions, and shallots. ing dinner. Foods that make us sweat or warm us up inside are often It gives bodily circulation a boost while stimulating the release of coined as aphrodisiacs, most likely because these foods generate nitric oxide, which, according to the The Aphrodisiac Encyclopesensations that are similar to those we experience during sex—in- dia is the “messenger boy of arousal.” Like its foul-mouthed comcreased heart rate and metabolic rate, sweating, and, again, im- panions, garlic is unkind to the breath, which is its major downer proved circulation. Garlic, chili peppers, and cayenne pepper all for V-Day celebrations. Just make sure you and your lover both can get your blood pumping. Bakhru, author of Foods that Heal, partake, so that neither party feels more pungent than the other. How to add this to your V-Day: Roasting an entire bulb drizwrites that garlic is quite possibly the most aphrodisiac food, with zled with olive oil is sensual from start to finish. It may make for a onion a close second. Other foods that are often associated with love-enhancing stinky evening, but hey, love stinks sometimes. Just drizzle a bulb properties are those that resemble the male and female organs in with olive oil, wrap the whole thing in foil and pop it in a 400 appearance, like bananas, plums, peaches, and one of the oldest F oven for an hour or so. Serve with crackers, cheese, and some known fruits, figs. (And yes, you guessed it, oysters.) Avocados good wine. were enjoyed by the Mayans to improve sexual desirability. The Aztecs referred to the avocado tree as the “testicle tree” because of its supposed sexual powers. During medieval times, according Onions Onions are cure-alls for pretty much everything, so it’s no wonto the Doctrine of Signatures, it was theorized that God created herbs and foods to resemble what they were supposed to do for der that they promote healthy sexual function. Onions stimulate us physically and medicinally, and so it was assumed that foods circulation, increase libido, and strengthen the reproductive or-

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Do the supposed aphrodisiacs work?

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gans according to Bakhru. It’s true that onion, along with garlic, can make your breath a little less than romantic, so be sure to add something minty to the end of your meal to clear the air. (Fun fact: Aristotle advised Alexander the Great to keep his warriors from mint because of its aphrodisiac properties.) How to add this to your V-Day: Onions are staple bases for sauces and soups, so they’re easily added to either of these. Caramelized pearl onions are a seductively sweet and flavorful side dish that are superbly simple to prepare.

Oysters I can’t get away from this one. Oysters are high in zinc, which is their key claim to fame in aphrodisiac territory. According to Tanushree Podder, author of You are What You Eat, oysters were documented as aphrodisiacs as early as the second century A.D. by the Romans. In a satire, Juevenal described “the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating giant oysters.” How to add this to your V-Day: Buying and preparing oysters yourself if you’ve never done so may be intimidating for a V-Day dinner. So, I recommend swinging by the Bubbly Mermaid in downtown Anchorage to get your fix along with some romantic ambience and a little bubbly.

Sexy Foods Foods that are sexy in appearance have often been associated with increasing sexual desire and improving sexual performance. The phallic asparagus has been lauded as an aphrodisiac for centuries, due either to its wang-like appearance or to the array of nutrients found in each stalk. Figs, which are thought to resemble the female sex organs, have been associated with the erotic for centuries as well. Peaches, plums, pears, you name it—these sexy foods have been thought at one time or another to spark arousal. Whether it’s the act of eating these foods or the food’s nutritional composition that’s sexy is still uncertain. How to add this to your V-Day: Asparagus can be steamed, roasted, grilled, or par-boiled and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, or it can be added to a pasta dish or risotto. Fruits can be baked into fancy tarts or eaten in their bold, bright, luscious natural form.

Spicy Foods Because they raise the metabolic rate and make your face glow warm, spicy foods have often been thought of as aphrodisiacs, which may or may not be entirely backed by science. What is known is that many of these foods, including chili peppers and ginger, increase the body’s circulation, which increases blood flow to your nether regions as well. Spanish fly, a powder that is made from a beetle in Southern Europe, can actually produce prolonged erections, according to The World of Human Sexuality, but numerous deaths have also been associated with its use. If I were you, I’d pass on the bugs and stick with the ginger. How to add this to your V-Day: Add fresh ginger to a stir-fry or Asian-inspired fish dish. Add cayenne, chilis, or other spicy foods to anything—tofu and veggies to meat. Share the sweat and spice things up!

Fresh Alaskan Seafood Daily Fresh Alaskan Seafood Every Day! Authentic Beef, Recipes forItalian Italian Beef, Veal and Chicken Veal & Chicken from Europe!

Handcrafted desserts, huge selection of quality wines. Mouth watering Hand Crafted Best Italian dining experience in all of Alaska! Desserts Every Day! All food prepared by Chef Giorgio

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10

www.middlewaycafe.com

Featuring Guitar Player Shawn Lyons

February 14 - February 20, 2013


Brew Review

Brews for your Valentine and you Skip the champagne, beer is the beverage of romance By James “Dr. Fermento” Roberts

L

ove is easy when it comes to beer, because beer is all about love in the first place. Unlike in many other industries, brewers follow their hearts and typically start out as homebrewers with a swelling passion for not only the substance itself, but the art, alchemy and passion that goes with producing it. It shows in all good beer, but at this time of year it’s especially apparent in products that pair good beer with romance and things from the heart. Valentine’s beer can be one of two things: flavor based or theme based. Both approaches have a lot to offerand I found lots to choose from this year. Dance into your favorite grog shop and you can easily walk away with more than you and your sweetie could consume in an evening and still be coherent enough to remember where the night took you.

It doesn’t get a lot more loving and intense than this.

W

hen it comes to flavor, incredibly popular during the season of love are the fruit lambics from Belgium. Lindemans’ line of lambics is well known and include a framboise (raspberry lambic), a kriek (cherry lambic), and peche (peach lambic). These sweet, intensely fruity beers, which reek and taste like their base fruits, are always pleasing, even if your sweetie doesn’t like beer. Most people agree that they don’t even taste like beer, with the big candy sweetness, overwhelming fruit flavors and typically lower alcohol content. In the craft beer world, these are often referred to as candy lambics because a more authentic, traditional fruit lambic imparts a stronger tartness and a little more balance on the malt side. Another example is Timmermans’ Kriek. It, too, comes across as candy sweet. Clear and ruby red in the glass, it’s sensuous in appearance, so it gets a good score in the visual department. In the flavor, it’s a bit drier than the Lindemans, and yields a cleansing essence across the palate. The beauty of this one is that it’s a twister: the nose is the bait, the flavor is sophistication. It’s a dichotomy. There’s just enough sweetness across the palate to follow the nose, but not that sappy sweetness that kills the true essence of the beer. If you want the best of both worlds (yours and your sweetheart’s) this is a good pick. If you’re used to the sweeter lambics and want to try something drier and significantly more tart, score a bottle of Birra Del Borgo’s Rubis, a raspberry ale produced in Italy. Right off the bat, you’ll notice a significant difference. The beer is not blood red like the others, but rather an orange/amber and not as brilliantly clear. A slight pink tone hints at the raspberries, but the nose is almost intensely sour and yet sweet at the same time. The raspberries in the flavor are evident and contributing, but they are in the background. The beer is quite sour as well, but like the aroma, comes with a sweet core. The finish is very dry. I remember the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates I’d always buy my mom on Valentine’s Day, and were she still alive, I’d probably share one of a number of chocolate-infused beers with her instead. Tie into Southern Tier’s Imperial Chocolate Stout, for example. Remember Cocoa Puffs? Dare your mom to put her

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nose in this beer and not come away with a freshly opened bag of those dark, delicious, round chocolate turds that made you jump up and down in anticipation. It doesn’t get a lot more loving and intense than this, and your sweetie is bound to feel the same way if you serve this at cellar temperature (just above cold).

I

n the theme-based lover-beer department, how about My Bloody Valentine from Portland’s Alameda Brewing Company? If nothing else, the label is cute, depicting a bleeding heart with a knife through it. The beer is hand-bottled and the tops are dipped in red wax for additional effect. The beer’s a farmhousestyle saison, and the name’s a nod to the blood orange juice used in its manufacture. Expect the beer to come across as a bit tangy, tart, dry, bubbly, and easy to drink at a mild 5.5 percent alcohol. What am I missing in the mix? It’s obvious! Why go so far for lovely goodness? Why not look at what’s right in front of you, here in Alaska? Gifts should come from the heart and the best can be found right here at home. On the themed-based side, get a bottle of Anchorage Brewing Company’s Love Buzz. This Belgian-style saison is soft on the palate, but features a healthy dose of bold and grape-fruity Simcoe and Amarillo hops, the spice of black peppercorns and orange peel and a kiss of fresh Alaska rose hips. The beer is dry hopped with Citra hops as it matures in French pinot noir barrels. Wine, roses and beer? It seems fitting to me. From Kassik’s Brewery in Nikiski, look for the Chocolate Cherry Stout. A blend of sweet and tart cherries dance sensuously with rich chocolate nibs and dark malts for the perfect

blend of flavors in this 8.5 percent beer that hits the glass sort of brown/black and opaque. Poke around for some roast malt, a good hit of chocolate and, of course, the cherries in the aroma, and watch how they follow through similarly across the palate. This is not nearly as intense as Southern Tier’s chocolate beer, but Kassik’s is different by design and excellent as a standalone for Valentine’s Day. On the suggestive side, bring home a bottle of Midnight Sun Brewing Company’s Panty Peeler. This long time favorite, a Belgian-style tripel, is light, but as spicy as the name suggests. Expect a slightly hazy orange pour with a bubbly white head. Curaco orange peel and coriander spice the bottle-conditioned beer that’s pretty lively at the pour and lends that nifty Belgian-esque aroma that comes across with a little funk and a bit of almost peppery spiciness. The 8.5 percent alcohol beer is definitely one to be shared out of the 22-ounce bomber bottle. Maybe more than one’s in order? This isn’t a complete list of love- and romance-themed beers, and you’re bound to make a few discoveries of your own, especially if you have cupid in tow during your visit to any liquor store that sells above-average beer. Go home with a number of samples and share the love. james.roberts@gci.net

Valentine’s Day BLACK AND BLUE PRIME RIB

Roasted baby red potatoes Fresh asparagus spears Spring green salad with raspberry vinaigrette Chocolate Cherry Mousse

$35

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February 14 - February 20, 2013

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Anchorage Press dining guide offers selective listings of recommendations, Press Picks winners and advertisers on a space available basis. Food events, festivals, and listing updates from diligent readers and restaurateurs are encouraged. Email editor@anchoragepress.com or fax 907-561-7777.

Alaska Bagel Restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Full breakfast and lunch menu offering a variety of bagel sandwiches, omelettes, soups and salads. We bake over 25 different varieties of fresh bagels everyday. All natural ingredients with no bleached flour and no trans-fats. Espresso bar and shakes available. Wi-fi hot spot. Dine-in, carry-out or delivery! 113 W. Northern Lights Blvd. #L 276-3900 alaskabagel.com Snow City Cafeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vegetarianfriendly offering a full breakfast menu all day, in addition to a variety of fresh baked goodies, gourmet soups, pastas, sandwiches and salads for lunch.1034 W. 4th Ave. and L St., 272-CITY (2489). Open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

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Leroyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Restaurant. Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Full breakfast served all day. Lunch & Dinner includes sandwiches, hamburgers, steak and daily specials. 2420 C St., Corner of C St. and Fireweed 277-6162.

BURGERS Arctic Roadrunnerâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Kodiak Islander Burger features all the usual toppings, plus green pepper, bologna, salami, ham, two kinds of cheese and an onion ring. They also have specialty sandwiches, onion rings and thick shakes. 2477 Arctic Blvd., 279-7311, Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; 5300 Old Seward Hwy., 561-1245 Mon.Sat., 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Straight Out Of Phillyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; With more varieties of Philly Steak sandwiches than you can imagine, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotta have the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bossâ&#x20AC;? Philly. Boasting the best chicken wings in town, try their different flavors. Also serving burgers and salads. Delivery available 210 E. Fireweed Lane, 569-1515; straightoutofphilly.com Tommyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Burger Stop â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Perfect burgers with toasted buns, juicy beef, freshly chopped lettuce and tomatoes, and just the right amount of mayo. Or opt for bacon, jalapenos, pepperoncinis, sweet bell peppers, or pepperjack cheese. Other sandwiches include the Hot Wing Philly and Philly Cheese Steak. 1106 W. 29th place, 561-5696. Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. noon-4 p.m.

CAFES, DINERS & DELIS Coffee Landâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Coffee Land is a great place to enjoy freshly baked pastries from scratch and indulging in mouthwatering homemade soups made with the freshest ingredients. Also serving crispy salads, grilled Paniniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or health wraps, gourmet ciabatta sandwiches. Waffles, crepes, quiche available all day. Full espresso bar. Free Wi-Fi. Sunday special is Russian cuisine at the Spenard location. Enjoy a loose-leaf special blend tea from a real old Russian Samovar to wash down a tasty meal. 4505 Spenard Rd. 2430303 510 L Street 243-0301 www. coffeelandak.com COSMIC CAFĂ&#x2030;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Charming neighborhood cafĂŠ serves health oriented

sandwiches, soups, salads and muffins. Smoothies like the Mango Tango or Cosmic Berry are sure to delight or you can make your own. Espresso bar, tea, and Acai berry bowls. 701 W. 36th. Mon-Fri 9a-8p, Sat & Sun 10-6. Dianneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t beat homemade bread, and Dianneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serves it up thick on sandwiches with soup, salads and lots of low-fat, healthy options. Delivery and business lunch catering available. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-4 p.m. 550 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 110, 279-7243 www.diannesrestaurant.com Middle Way Cafeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; This is the place to go if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeking healthy soup, sandwiches or salads. Swing in to grab a latte and pastry (vegan and â&#x20AC;&#x153;alternativeâ&#x20AC;? flavors are available) for the road, or take a seat at one of their bistro-style tables and enjoy a sophisticated sandwich amid their cozy, artsy dĂŠcor. 1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., 272-6433. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sat & Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Organic Oasis RESTAURANT and Juice Bar - Organic Oasis Celebrates 15 years in Spenard with all organic beef, chicken and lamb. Only full service juice bar in town. They make all bread, dressings and sauces daily. Open 7 days a week with music on some of the nights. Organicoasis.com for menu and event schedule. 2610 Spenard Rd., 277-7882 Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Spenard Roadhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; The roadhouse is a restaurant and bar, serving contemporary comfort food in a casual, eclectic setting. They welcome family and friends to a neighborhood gathering place to enjoy amazing food, local beers on draft, flights of small batch bourbons, among other delights! Mon. thru Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat & Sun. 9 a.m.11 p.m., 1049 W. Northern Lights 770-ROAD (7623) Table 6â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where friends and family meet.â&#x20AC;? Casual comfort food in an upbeat setting. Everything made in-house with a full liquor bar. Mon.Sun. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 3210 Denali St., #8, 562-6000 Terra Bella Bakery CafĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; offers organic, Alaska-roasted coffee by K Bay, as well as organic teas you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find anywhere else. Soups made from scratch, and gourmet sandwiches and salads made to order. Enjoy their upscale atmosphere, complete with gas fireplaces, leather couches, and a rotating art gallery, free wi-fi too. 601 E Dimond Blvd (next to Bed, Bath & Beyond), 562.2259 Breakfasts M-F 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily/Lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily/Breakfast Sat & Sun 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 562-2259. Pepperciniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Scrumptious deli poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys and sandwiches, salads and freshly prepared soups. 3901 Old Seward Hwy., 279-3354.University Center Mall hours.

CHINESE China Lightsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s #1 Best Buffet. The 2008 Award Winner of the Top 100 Asian Restaurantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the USA. Anchorage location serves award winning buffet 7 days a week: includes all you can eat sushi, salad bar, and dessert bar. Eagle River location serves lunch buffet 7 days a week. Both locations offer full menu ordering. Carry out and delivery service available. Anchorage: (522-5888) 9220 Old Seward Hwy 11a.m.-10 p.m. Eagle River: (694-8080) 12110 Business Blvd Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri and

Sat 11a.m.-10:30 p.m.

11:30 a.m.-midnight.

Fu-Doâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hello honey! This friendly, authentic-looking Chinese restaurant offers all your favorites in a warm atmosphere. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beer and wine, and a candy dish too. 2600 E. Tudor Rd., 561-6611. Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.10 p.m.; closed Mon.

Kincaid GrilLâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Offering dishes such as Kodiak scallops Nicoise, Alaskan seafood cioppino, roasted duck breast and pork chops, steaks and more. Or for a lighter fare, sample the gorgonzola fondue, forest mushroom soup or beet salad. Classic desserts and wines will top things off. 6700 Jewel Lake Rd., 243-0507. Tues.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.

Pandaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; A huge menu of authentic Mandarin, Cantonese and Szechwan cuisine. Lunch and dinner specials and free delivery. Try one of their fourteen soups or munch on an order of Fried Curry Wings. 605 E. Northern Lights blvd., 272-3308. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Imperial Palaceâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Under new ownership. Best Chinese Chef in town. Delicious Chinese cuisine served fresh and fast. Customers say,â&#x20AC;? We have the Best Mongolian Beef in town!â&#x20AC;? Dine in or take out. Delivery available with a $17 minimum order. Phone 274-9167 400 Sitka St. Anchorage, AK 99501 Hours: Mon thru Thu 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 12 a.m. - 11p.m.; Closed Sundays

COFFEEHOUSES & BAKERIES Indigo Tea Loungeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Offering a wide variety of loose leaf teas to enjoy in our cafe, on the go or in your own home. Also providing a full espresso bar, baked goods, soups and free wi-fi. 221 E. 5th Ave. 222-1619. Open 7 days a week. Mon.-Wed. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Thu.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Great Harvest Bread Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Famous for their whole grain bread, free slices, enormous cookies, cinnamon rolls, and muffins. Bread varieties change daily and range from Honey Whole Wheat to Wholegrain Rustic to High Five Fiber. Great Harvest Bread Company also offers sandwiches on their fresh bread. Located at 570 E. Benson Blvd 274-3331. Open Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sandwiches available Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Superstar Pastry Designâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Corner of Benson & Minnesota 336-STAR(7827). Fabulous scratchmade designer cakes, pastries and brownies, along with a fantastic cupcake bar. Drive thru espresso window open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Order early for specialty and wedding cakes.

FINE DINING Club Parisâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Housed in one of downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest buildings, this is old-school fine dining all the way. Try the four-inch-thick filet mignon or the special filet mignon burger for lunch. 417 W. 5th Ave., 277-6332. Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 5-11 p.m. Haute Quarter Grillâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;A dinner menu that features tons of seafood, including Alaska favorites and Ahi tuna, plus other American cuisine. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even got some meals especially for the kids that are easy on the wallet. Hours: Dinner, 5-9 p.m. 11221 Old Glenn Hwy., Eagle River 622-4745, www.hautequartergrill. com Jensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; The everchanging dinner menu features unique soups, salads and appetizers, plus classic Danish dishes and American favorites. The lunch menu also has a good mix, offering veal and pork meatballs with red cabbage or Copper River king salmon, among others. 701 W. 36th Ave., 561-5367, Mon., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Sat.,

Kinleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Barâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Casual fine dining at its best! The eclectic lunch and dinner menus are similar, with sandwiches offered mid-day only and entrees scaled up in the evenings. Sample their bacon wrapped dates, calamari steak, lobster ravioli, or almond crusted halibut. Draught beers and great wine. 3230 Seward Hwy, 644-8953. Hours: Dinner Mon-Sat 5-10p, Lunch TuesFri 11:30a-5p. Closed Sun. ORSOâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;the place to beâ&#x20AC;? - Happy Hour daily from 3 PM to 6 PM and 9 PM to close in the bar at ORSO featuring half priced appetizers, beer, wine and outstanding specialty cocktails. Enjoy our new lunch, bar and dinner menus featuring our wonderful flatbreads and a wide selection of â&#x20AC;&#x153;from our watersâ&#x20AC;?. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget about our weekend brunch from 11am to 3pm with favorites such as Blueberry Stuffed French Toast or our take on the Classic Eggs Benedict (we use crab cakes instead of English muffins). 222-3232 or orsoalaska.com - Lunch M-F 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM Weekend Brunch 11am - 3 PM - Dinner Sun-Thurs 5 PM - 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday 5 PM - 11 PM. PIZZA OLYMPIA For homemade Greek and Italian dinners, subs, gyros, mouthwatering Greek salads, plus much more. All sauces, dressings and pizza dough made fresh daily form their own Greek family recipes. For deliveries call 561-5264. Open 11a.m.11p.m. Mon. thru Fri. 3p.m. -11p.m. Sat. Closed Sunday. 2809 Spenard Rd. Across from REI. Sackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CafĂŠ- Upscale, chic with a sophisticated menu that is sure to delight. Fabulous tomato/gorgonzola cheese soup and mouthwatering gourmet desserts. Perfect for any occasion. 328 G Street 274-4022. Lunch Mon-Thurs 11-2:30p, Dinner Sun - Thurs 5-9:30pm, Fri & Sat 5-10pm, Brunch Sat 11a-3p, Sun 10a-3p. Villa Novaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; A laid-back, high-end, mostly European but specifically Italian restaurant. Very popular and busy, but with solid, friendly service. Pastas, chicken, beef, seafood & vegetarian dishes. Extensive wine list, hand-crafted desserts. 5121 Arctic Blvd., 561-1660. Tues.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.-ish.

ITALIAN Little Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Lots of appetizers await you including Calamarakia Sto Tigani (baby squid in olive oil) and shrimp & scallopes with fresh spinach. Palate cleanser-sized salads with homemade dressings the Italian-Greek influence prevades this great restaurant. 2300 E. 88th Ave., 561-0424. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Romanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Upscale atmosphere with a full Italian menu. Top-notch service, fancy dĂŠcor, and fresh food. 2415 C St., 276-0888. Sun.-Thurs., 4-10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 4-11 p.m.

JAPANESE Damiâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Come dine with us at the most popular sushi bar in town for the newest fusion rolls and specials

BLUPON

2 Person Meal: Chicken or Pork Chops Mashed Potato, Veggies, Soup or Salad, Dessert

EasyParkalaska.com

12

$50 value Exp. 5/15/13

0 $2 y l On -9pm 4

February 14 - February 20, 2013


DININGGUIDE>> of the day. We take pride in serving the best and freshest ingredients for our entire menu. Don’t let the competition fool you; we are the true sushi restaurant located in the heart of downtown. Take out and catering available. 605 E. 5th Ave, 274-5211. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Dish Sushi Bar– A contemporary and upbeat spin on the classic sushi bar and Japanese restaurant. Our sushi is served immediately from the sushi bar to ensure quality and freshness. Our menu also presents some of the most creative Asian inspired dishes by the most talented chefs in Alaska. Our sake house menu features infused sake cocktails, imported sakes from Japan, wines, imported and locally brewed beers. Delicious desserts such as Oreo Tempura and Banana Spring Rolls to complete your meal. Great atmosphere for any occasion. Voted best Sushi and Japanese in Press Picks 2009 and ADN “Best of Alaska” Platinum Award for Best Sushi! 639 W. International Airport Rd. (907) 562-1275 www.dishsushibar.com. Haru Sushi– A new addition to Anchorage, Haru welcomes you in like an old friend! Sushi made to order in the old Pizza Hut location on Dimond, monthly cash drawing to reward their loyal customers 729 E. Dimond 522-4444 Jimmy’s Sushi– One of Anchorage’s newest, convenient little spots to pick up a roll or stop in for a sitdown dinner. Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., noon-11 p.m.; Sun., 1-10 p.m. 301 E. Dimond Blvd., 344-0888 Kansha Japanese Restaurant– Bright, clean and offering all the standard Japanese fare – noodles, mixed grill, tempura, bento, sushi and sashimi. 209 E. Dimond Blvd., 272-8888 Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 4-10 p.m. Silk Sushi Bar — A chic restaurant offering a variety of cuisine. Come experience new flavors of Japanese, Korean, Thai, Chinese and Classic American dishes. Silk also offers a variety of wines, beers, ciders and sake to compliment your dish. Come Savor the Flavors at Silk. 907 274 5236 500 E Benson Blvd. Ste 114, www.silkak.com Sushi Garden– Boasting amazing ambiance and a comfortable atmosphere, Sushi Garden offers modern and traditional Asian cuisine, balanced with wine and spirits that defines culinary excellence. Serving Anchorage for over 14 years, our entire restaurant can be reserved to host your next company party or special event. Great place, Awesome food! Open Daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 1120 E. Huffman Rd. (907) 3454686 www.sushigardenak.com Tempura Kitchen- Korean, Japanese and Sushi. They have authentic Korean BBQ tables and many sushi combinations. Their food is naturally healthy. Open Lunch and dinner 7

days a week 3826 Spenard Road 646-1174

make you smile as well. Open 7 days a week. 640 W. 36th Ave 744-1555.

MEDITERRANEAN

OTHER ETHNIC

Antonios’ Greek Bakery and Café– Located at 3020 Minnesota (in Choi Plaza), Antonios has the best real Greek food in Alaska according to many customers, plus a plethora of just-baked Greek desserts like baklava, galaktoboureko, and various Greek cookies. Fresh bread is served with most entrées, Arni Fricassee (lamb and greens) is a specialty, as is moussaka, spanakopita and kid-friendly pastisio. A full menu of Greek food available. 6461090. M-Sat 11-9, Sun 1-7.

El Tango– South American, Latin and Carribean cuisine featuring a wide-ranging, 50-dish menu. Everything from traditional Puerto Rican roasted pork to paellas and salt cod stew, to more beef than you can shake a pig at. There’s also a full bar with an extensive wine list, too. 4300 Old Seward Hwy., Suite D1, 770-2888, Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.2:30, 5-10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 1-10 p.m.

The Greek Corner– has moved to 201 E. Northern Lights. They still offer a comfortable atmosphere, but now they can accommodate larger groups . Same friendly waiters serving authentic Greek and Italian food, lamb and vegetarian dishes. Beer and wine 276-2820 Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 4-10 p.m. www.thegreekcornerak

MEXICAN Carlos Fine Mexican Food– Try authentic Mexican fare in this cozy, warm restaurant with a full bar. Take out is also available. 11401 Old Seward Hwy., 349-4112 Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 4-10 p.m. Casa del Sol– Featuring all homemade dishes and sauces made from fresh ingredients inspired by the southwest. Seafood Ceviche and our “wet” burritos piled high with the extras. Carry out available. Girdwood, in the Girdwood Town Square 783-0088 Ernesto’s Grill– Lunch and dinner boast homemade recipes from Ernesto like the warm fajita salad or the ranchero plate. Served with pride, this neighborhood diner will delight you. 5121 Arctic Blvd 375-9161 11:00am - till about 9pm, they will serve late if the crowd is there. La Cabana– “BIENVENIDOS” This is your house. In the spirit of hospitality we welcome you to La Cabana, in a atmosphere reflecting all the color of Mexico. Buen Apetito! Hours: Sun., -Thurs., 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., noon-11 p.m. 312 E. 4th Ave., 2720135 www.alaskalacabana.com La Mex– One of Anchorage’s favorites, offering consistently good Mexican food with a few originals of their own in an elegant atmosphere. Two locations: 2550 Spenard Rd., 274-7511, 8330 King St., 3446399. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., noon-10:30 p.m. Serrano’s Mexican Grill— Cozy neighborhood atmosphere, Serrano’s offers fresh grilled meats and delicious house entrees that are made with your health in mind. For a treat, the fried ice cream is divine. They deliver and can accommodate large groups for catering. Prices will

Party Trays Available

Namaste Shangri-la– 2446 E. Tudor 569-3000. Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-8:30pm, Fri-Sat 5-9:30p. Healthy meals, large amount of vegan choices. Recipes from Burma, Nepal, India and Tibet. Quick and healthy box lunches for those in a hurry.

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Yak & Yeti Himalayan Restaurant– 3301 Spenard Rd. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Thurs-Sat 5pm-8:30pm. 743-8078 Cozy atmosphere featuring dishes from India, Nepal and Tibet. Family owned and operated

PIZZA

Coffee Land

Coast Pizza and Subs– A Girdwood tradition and tourist favorite, Coast offers freshly made pizza and subs in a little corner of the station at the Alyeska and Seward Highway intersection. Mile 90 Seward Hwy., Girdwood, 783-0122 Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.11 p.m.

41&/"3%3%tǕ

Family Restaurant

Moose’s Tooth– Get your chipotle steak or ranch chicken pizza to go or enjoy one in the casual dining area. They’ve got your usual toppings too, but these still aren’t your usual pizzas. Top ’em off with the Moose’s Tooth Brewery’s delicious brew. 3300 Old Seward Hwy.

Liquor License New Application Notice Anchorage Shrine Club, Incorporated is making application for a new Club AS 04.11.110 liquor license, d/b/a Anchorage Shrine Club located at 1930 E Northern Lights, Anchorage, AK 99508. Interested persons should submit written comment to their local governing body, the applicant, and to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at 5848 E Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507.

Since 1968

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK, 24 HOURS A DAY! Breakfast Served All Day!

Liquor License Transfer Notice Nura Abdul-Halim, d/b/a Office Cocktail Lounge located at 545 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99503 is applying for transfer of a beverage dispensary license (AS 04.11.090) liquor license to KDAJ Investment Group, Inc d/b/a Office Cocktail Lounge. Interested persons should submit written comment to their local governing body, the applicant and to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at 5848 E Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507.

We have children, seniors & military prices! 279.6162 • C STREET & FIREWEED • 2420 C ST., ANCHORAGE

CHEESE, SALAMI AND MORE! Stop by for lunch!

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Korean BBQ &Sushi Table Top Dining

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Tempura Kitchen

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646.1174 3826 Spenard Rd.

SUSHI

www.tempurakitchen.com February 14 - February 20, 2013

Modern Japanese Cuisine

8901 Jewel Lake Rd 929-3442 • fax: 929-3993 Friendly Staff • Delicious Cuisine www.RonnieSushi.com

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924 Muldoon Rd (A-frame building) • 338-00

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Kima Hamilton The Poet

Kima Hamilton is a cool guy. How else could you describe a passionate youth literacy advocate who moonlights as a DJ at adult entertainment venues and somehow pulls the dichotomy off with grace and common sense? The devoted father of three latched onto poetry in what he calls “the golden age of hip hop” in college, and he quickly found his comfort zone within the slam poetry culture. These days, he mentors teens through Brave New Alaskan Voices (BNAV), an Alaska chapter of the national slam poetry non-profit that promotes youth intellectual and artistic selfdevelopment. He’s also been recruited by the State Department as something of a hip hop ambassador in a project called Global Block Foundation and the GRO America Initiative, which both serve to unite and give voice to marginalized and under-represented groups in places like Nepal, Columbia and Mexico. Through these projects he’s working around the world and in Alaska, all while sharing his love of hip hop and music with an entirely new youth culture. Occupation: Radio programmer for 106.1 KONR at Out North, DJ at Crazy Horse and Fantasies on Fifth. Avocation: Youth literacy outreach through poetry and hip hop via Brave New Alaskan Voices and Global Block Project. Sign: Scorpio Chinese zodiac: Snake Proudest moment: Becoming a father. Most embarrassing moment: Missed an easy dunk against a rival high school basketball team. This one is still vibrating, 20 years later.

thing to see something that needs to be done and just do it. What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?: The strain saving the world puts on your personal life. Who inspires you?: My mother. There’s times I draw from her resilience, I’ve been so inspired by the things I’ve seen her grind through with a smile. What do you consider a perfect date?: Home cooked meal, Scrabble and a movie. Favorite romantic song?: “All I Need,” by Mary J. Blige and Method Man

Favorite item of clothing: Bow ties What are your passions in life?: Fixing things. It’s really easy to look at what needs to be fixed, but it’s a whole other

Book smarts This year’s Anchorage Press hotties were photographed in the Ann Stevens Room, a space graciously donated by the Loussac Library. The Municipality and the Anchorage Public Library are currently preparing to renovate the Loussac, and will present a Master Plan to the community this spring. The plan was created by architects, designers, technology and library experts, and the thoughtful and creative input of thousands of residents. For more on the library’s new look, visit www.LoussacFuture.org.

Lyndsey Kleppin The Scientist

Lyndsey Kleppin is a scientist, a geologist to be exact. When she’s not working in Anchorage, she’s out doing remote field work in rural Alaska, and when she’s not there, she works with Doctors Without Borders. When she’s not doing that, she’s being the the goofiest, most hilarious chick in the room (actually, there’s some cross over—we’re pretty sure she’s hilarious in the field as well). Lyndsey cracks wise about herself pretty much constantly (she has an extended joke about geological “drilling” that’s not exactly appropriate for the paper), but what she does is some serious stuff. In the summer she spends three months on St. Lawrence Island, making sure military waste doesn’t contaminate water and food supplies for the people there, who rely on subsistence harvesting to live. Last year, she started working with Doctors Without Borders and spent six weeks in Chad (central Africa) helping to run a vaccination campaign for 209,000 rural residents. She’s on call for another assignment now. It’s a line of work that recalls her experience in high school, when she spent years volunteering in the Providence Hospital ER. Even at that age she was drawn to help people in extreme situations. “It was really interesting to me to feel really useful and give people blanket and chat with them… it was a world I’d never been exposed to.”

Occupation: Geologist with Bristol Environmental Remediation Services, logistician for Doctors Without Borders Sign: Taurus Chinese zodiac: Dog, “the loyal one” Hobbies: Indoor soccer, cooking, backcountry skiing and skate skiing Eyes: Blue Elementary school mascot: Huffman Huskies (“that’s about as relevant as an astrological sign, I think.”)

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Favorite food: Noodles. All kinds. Favorite item of clothing: I have a pair of insulated Carhartt bibs I’ve grown to love because I associate them with the sensation of “not freezing.” Ideal date: I like awkward, something that’s slightly outside the comfort zone, but not in a scary way. Ideal person to date: Someone irreverent, clever… I like if they’re more ill-kempt than I am. I don’t want to be the gross one.

February 14 - February 20, 2013


John Norris

The Funny Man What a cut up, that John Norris. He walks into a room and instantly the wise cracks start. But ladies love a man who can make them laugh and Norris’s smart mouth definitely works to his advantage. He cuts quite an impressive figure when he shows up in a button down and suit jacket as well, though even a fancy photo shoot won’t get him to don anything but a pair of jeans. Norris’s ease at breaking the ice comes from his background in filmmaking and stand-up comedy. He owns From Scratch Productions, a video production company that Norris uses to produce short films and promotional videos. He’s also the man behind the 48 Film Challenge, which is a competition for local short filmmakers. He got a ringing endorsement in his Hottie’s nomination as well: “He is intelligent, informed, and is the first to lend a helping hand. One can’t help but love him and admire his tenacity. At the very least, he guarantees laughs,” his nominator remarked. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Occupation: Video producer Avocation: Comedy and film. Can I have two? Sign: Aquarius

Favorite food: I’ll just say nachos and then I’m done. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows my favorite food is nachos. Favorite color: I guess green. It kind of depends. Depends on my mood.

Chinese zodiac: “I believe I’m an ox. It means I’m wise. I eat a lot of Chinese food.” Eyes: Hazel John’s idea of a great date: Something simple. Dinner and a movie, then maybe go and commit a small crime. Steal a car? Something to connect with the person, if we both have a little jail time under our belt that’s nice. Favorite romantic movie: “Before Sunset or Notorious. Not the Notorious B.I.G. one, the one about Nazis. Sweet Home Alabama! Oh man, now I’m torn. Definitely Sweet Home Alabama.

Item of clothing: I have an orange vest I’ve been rocking a lot. I also have a lot of old ratty hoodies that I’ll wear until they disintegrate. Or I start dressing like a grown up. Whichever happens first. Most embarrassing moment: So many to choose from. I guess pretty much all of high school. The whole thing. Biggest inspiration: I am inspired by all of my extremely talented friends. By inspired by I mean insanely jealous of and will do anything to be better than them.

Favorite joke: “My favorite joke is super long, but my second favorite is ‘how many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb. Two, but I don’t know how they got in there.’

A

t the Anchorage Press, we have high standards. We are also familiar enough with this town to know there are some truly exceptional human beings out there—guys and gals who are funny, kind, accomplished and, moreover, easy on the eyes. Since Valentine’s is all about sharing the love, here are some locals we have major crushes on.

- By Daniella Cortez, Rachel Drinkard and Victoria Barber Photos by Kerry Tasker

Victoria Cortez

The Advocate

It’s the sly grin that pulls you in, followed by her infectious laugh. Not the combination you’d expect from a single mom and victim advocate, but Victoria Cortez manages to wear her many hats with grace and more than a fair dose of humor. As the direct services manager at the non-profit Standing Together Against Rape, Cortez (no relation to the Press’s own Daniella Cortez) oversees the team of advocates who help victims of sexual assault and their families. While studying criminal justice, she became interested in volunteering at STAR and started by answering calls on the crisis line. Now working full time and still attending classes, she likes to unwind from such tough work by practicing both yoga and a finely honed sense of sarcasm. Like most people with her brand of big personality, she talks with her hands so if you get her going about something she’s passionate about — watch out, her hands and elbows are all over the place. 

Occupation: Direct services manager/ victim advocate at STAR

Favorite romantic movie: The Notebook, I love that movie.

Sign: Libra

Favorite joke: Oh my goodness. Seriously? I don’t know.

Chinese zodiac: What? Am I supposed to know that?

Food: Spicy sushi.

Eyes: Brown

Item of clothing: Jeans

Hobby: I like to work out. Yoga, I’ve been super into yoga lately.

Most embarrassing moment: I was playing basketball and I scored on the wrong basket. I wasn’t paying attention.

Victoria’s ideal date: Dinner and dancing.

February 14 - February 20, 2013

Biggest inspiration: My kid.

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Maligiaq Padilla The Revivalist

Maligiaq Padilla is a soft-spoken man with and open face and a gentle demeanor. He is also “perhaps the greatest sea kayaker in the world” according to a 2011 article by Canoe and Kayak Magazine. Maligiaq doesn’t just paddle the kayaks, he makes them—hundreds of them. Maligiaq grew up in Sisimiut, Greenland, where his grandfather taught him Inuit traditions of hunting and kayaking. One year Maligiaq decided to build a kayak of his own. “It wasn’t super nice or anything, I was only 12,” he says. “I just wanted one of my own, that was no one else’s.”

Occupation: Framing and finish carpenter Avocation: Kayaking, kayak building and teaching traditional skills.

Today, Maligiaq has won multiple championships at the Greenland National Kayaking competition. But while he is something of a sports celebrity in the world of kayak, he doesn’t consider himself competitive. (“It just happened that I won, because I liked what I was doing,” he demurs). Maligiaq’s passion is to help revive traditional kayak skills—something that has all but disappeared in Alaska. He recently led kayak-building workshops in Kotzebue and Koyuk, and one at APU in Anchorage (another is planned at the college for this year, and in Barrow, Nome and other communities). His hope is that he can go into the school districts and start kayak clubs, like the ones that sprang up in Greenland 30 years ago.

Sign: Aquarius Eyes: Brown Favorite foods: Caribou and seal meat What’s your inspiration: I like to get know a lot of things from elders. Hopefully I can learn and teach things to the younger generation… That’s how things are not going to be lost. What else do you enjoy?: My family here is number one… We [Maligiaq, his wife and young daughter] like to stay away from town and be in nature and the wilderness.

“I want to see a revitalization of what’s been lost. That not only will [the kayaks] be in a museum. I’d rather see them on the water, being used.”

What’s your big goal?: In 15 years I’d like all these schools to have kayak clubs, and have events based on traditional races, Iditarod style.

Dan Nelson, Jr. The diva

Dan Nelson, Jr. is equally flawless dressed as a man as he is as his alter ego Deja Nouveau, an outrageous and fierce Gagaesque drag queen. He’s a sharp dresser, be it slacks and a skinny tie or fishnets and stilettos. We don’t even need to tell you about his stunning cheekbones or perfect pouty lips either, just look at him. Dan’s style is undeniable, and he’s whip smart and sassy as well. His day job working with home loans keeps the bills paid but performing as Deja with the Friday Night Divas at Mad Myrna’s is his real passion (the cheeky personality he works on stage is present in his everyday demeanor as well). When he’s not performing he’s practicing, planning dance numbers and putting together new outfits. Dan and Deja have both done some modeling work as well — you may recognize Deja from a recent cover of the Anchorage Press. Dan is a man who has his bases covered. He knows what he wants out of life and goes and gets it. Occupation: Home mortgage servicing and part time drag queen Avocation: Drag, definitely. Sign: Aries Chinese zodiac: I’m pretty sure I’m a horse? Pretty sure. Eyes: Blue Dan’s idea of a great date: Something outside. If you feed me, and we do something outside. We’re good. Favorite romantic movie: I don’t really like romantic movies. I like

movies that are anti-romantic. I like the movie Closer. Everyone just cheats on each other and it’s a big mess. Favorite joke: I don’t think I have one. Organized religion? Favorite food: Pho Item of clothing: Black skinny jeans. I wear that s--- all the time. Most embarrassing moment: I’m just flawless, so nothing. Biggest inspiration: RuPaul.

Solveig Pedersen

The professor

Solveig Pedersen is a ray of human sunshine. She is one of those people that you just want to spend more time around. She’s a hugger too, and a good one at that. She’s enthusiastic about whatever makes other people happy and wants to cultivate that happiness in any way she can. She is a vivacious, curvy blond, with Norwegian heritage and fluency in the Spanish language. She is, in a word, a catch. Pedersen recently left her job as the youth empowerment director at the YWCA to pursue teaching at the University of Alaska Anchorage full time and starting her own life-coaching business. She says she wants to work with creative people — artists, writers and musicians especially — to help them succeed and to contribute to the community at large. She believes in doing the most good, every day. So let’s recap: she’s smart, kind, and super adorable. Definitely a hottie in our book. Occupation: Life coach and professor of communication UAA. Sign: Cancer Chinese zodiac: I don’t know. I should know. Maybe a goat? Eyes: Green Hobby/passion: Seeking to create a more peaceful and loving world. Solveig’s ideal date: Good food and connected conversation, with somebody really rad.

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Favorite romantic movie: Does Love Actually count? It’s predictable. Bridget Jones Diary is my absolute favorite. Basically any sort of romantic comedy. Favorite joke: I don’t have a favorite joke. I’m not funny. I prefer to tell humorous stories. Favorite food: I love food in general. Raspberries. Asparagus. I think scallops are sensual.

Most embarrassing moment: Getting my hair stuck in a typewriter. Biggest inspiration: People who are committed to creating positive change in the world, on both grand levels like Mother Teresa and on the everyday level — people who are active in their communities and intentionally kind.

Favorite item of clothing: Scarves

February 14 - February 20, 2013


Jonathon Lack The magistrate

Judges have a certain image: critical, somber, and, well—judgmental. And while Jonathon Lack might be all those things on the bench, you’d hardly know it if you met him in his off hours. A tall, smartly dressed man with a wicked and uproarious sense of humor, Jonathon has practiced law for over a decade and is currently one of Alaska’s 11 magistrate judges (a kind a deputy judge of the superior court). Jonathon’s work involves some of the most vulnerable Alaskans: children. He presides over everything from cases of juvenile delinquency, to domestic abuse, to the placement of children into foster care. It’s a line of work that hints at his more sensitive side; in addition to being a judge, Jonathon keeps busy with plenty of volunteer work and, in his off hours, writes poetry (Jonathon is a winner of the Anchorage Press’s 2010 haiku contest and 2011 short fiction contest). Being a judge can be lonely—you usually can’t talk about your work, only a few people can relate—and expressing himself in poetry is “a kind of a release,” Jonathan says. It’s a bit different from his childhood dream of becoming a politician, but “I really enjoy what I’m doing. I think I’m really making a difference on the bench.” Occupation: Magistrate judge Sign: Aires Chinese zodiac: Dog Eyes: Brown Ideal date: A date always has to include good food. Ideal person to date: Someone who’s going to challenge me to do new things that I haven’t done before. Favorite romantic movie: I love Love Actually.

Favorite part of being a magistrate: Adoptions. “Particularly kids who have been in really bad situations and in the foster care system a long time, and then someone finally says—I know everything about you, and I love you and want you to be my child. It’s a really wonderful, remarkable thing.” If he wasn’t a magistrate: I think I’d be a flight attendant or something, I love to travel. Or if I could be the poet laureate of the United States I think that’d be a cool job too.

Favorite item of clothing: My Old Navy Superman T-shirt is getting lots of time in the rotation right now.

Occupation: Singer, dancer and actress. Avocation: Dance. One of my favorite parts of a gig is that I can dance around for four hours. Sign: Sagittarius Chinese zodiac: Dog Eyes: Brown Ideal date: It would definitely include an amusement park. I love pretty much anything an eight-year-old loves—rides and cotton candy and just laughing and acting like a kid. Favorite romantic movie: I’ve watched Fight Club on dates quite a few times… [laughs]. Maybe it’s the topless men, that’s romantic to me.

Favorite song: “Ain’t No Sunshine” (by Bill Withers) is my favorite to perform. I always think of my dad and how far I’ve come in my life. My dad died from the disease of addiction… a big part of my life today is breaking the cycle of addiction in my family. What inspires Blaze: I’m excited to be the healthiest I’ve ever been. So I’m really inspired by other people who are trying to be the best person they can be. You can follow Blaze at museblaze. blogspot.com or Blaze and Eric’s band at blazeanderic.com.

Blaze Bell Occupation: Vice president of client relations at SimplySocial, volunteer firefighter

Favorite item of clothing: I love shoes. Not any particular pair of shoes, just shoes.

Avocation: I love going on Mini Cooper rallies. I also own a Harley so I’ll be switching back and forth between the Harley and the Mini Cooper.

Most embarrassing moment: I’m not going to tell you that. I couldn’t even tell you, it’s too embarrassing.

Sign: Cancer Chinese zodiac: No idea Eye color: Hazel What’s a great date?: A movie at home on the couch with a glass of wine.

Chelsey Homan

Favorite romantic movie: Lady and the Tramp

Biggest inspiration: Scenery, when I work during the day I move around a lot. I don’t sit at a desk all day. The beauty of my job is that as long as I have my laptop and an internet connection I can work from anywhere. I like to switch it up.

The Adrenaline Junky Chelsey Homan might fool you with her button-down business professionalism at first, but this lady has a trick or two up her sleeve. She started her first business selling gourmet dog treats, Doggie Decadents, in 2007 when she was just a teenager. These days, she Skypes clients halfway around the world to talk about social media management in her role as VP of client relations for SimplySocial. Those things alone would make her pretty cool, but then she decided to join up as a volunteer fire fighter with the Chugiak Fire Department. She says the adrenaline she doesn’t get from her desk job she gets while on duty with the fire department. And if putting out actual fires doesn’t get her blood pumping, she’s added racing in Mini Cooper rallies and a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle to the mix as well. Saying she’s an adrenaline junkie is a bit of an understatement, but she is definitely a woman down for just about any adventure. February 14 - February 20, 2013

The chanteuse If you frequent the classier nightclubs of Anchorage, you may have seen Blaze Bell, the glamorous singer with the smoky-sounding voice that is one half of Blaze and Eric. The petite vocalist, who has a background in theater and dance, is the picture of poise and sophistication, which makes her backstory all the more impressive. Like many of the great female blues singers, Bell has had a generous portion of hardship. When she was 19 years old, just before her first performance with a band, she was sexually assaulted by a masked home invader. After her attack, she says, she struggled with self-destructive behaviors, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol and developing an eating disorder. It took years, but she was able to overcome the trauma and make a healthy and happy life for herself. It’s a story she shares, she says, because she wants people to know that it’s possible to get past trauma and addiction and live a life of recovery. Today, her life looks much different than before—she performs around Anchorage, blogs about healthy living, and is raising her two young children, Jazz and Lyric, with her “awesome” husband bandmate Eric Redding, “just one of the talented and intelligent guys I’ve ever met,” she says. The two have an album coming out this spring. “These last couple years have been really good, and it just keeps getting better,” Blaze says.

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A everybody has one. B

Get interesting opinions and unique pespectives, every Thursday on page 6.

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February 14 - February 20, 2013


TOP TEN

10 commandments of online dating By Rachel Drinkard

7. First contact

4. Own it.

N

ewsflash—Hollywood types can stop making terrible rom-coms about women moving to Alaska to meet men like it’s open season on the hairy, bearded, masculine type. It’s not that easy to meet Mr. Right. And the fact is that even though stereotypes persist, the gender gap is rapidly closing, especially in the Anchorage area. That being said, where is a single girl to go to meet a good man? Or, to keep it fair, where can a guy look for nice ladies without risking a drunken brawl with some Neanderthal copping an inflated sense of self? Get thee to the nearest Wi-Fi connection and peruse the Internet, my friend. You just might find your answer on the screen of your favorite web-capable device. Turns out, shopping for a date online is not unlike shopping for shoes online. You can get a good idea of what you might be in for (sans the user reviews). To help you get the most out of your online dating experience, I offer the following tips:

1. Get your act together Look, we’ve all been there—but the truth is that the postbreakup, puffy-faced sweatpants land of self-loathing is not a good place to write the resume you hope to submit to your future Prince Charming, CEO of Happily Ever After. The first rule of dating (ALL dating) is “be cool.” Get yourself as put together and dreamy as you expect your future mate to be. Languishing in recently jilted misery, it can be easy to spout off about things you consider must-haves in the man of your dreams. Say you want a confident, successful guy that takes pride in his physique, has zero emotional baggage and enjoys the outdoors. You think he’s really going to dig your Coco Puff binging, couch-lounging, spontaneously weeping sad-sack self? Uh, no. Get your act together, girlfriend. Get a hobby, hang with your friends, get over whatever is keeping you from positively glowing with happiness and self-confidence… and then proceed to the next step.

2. Express yourself As cheesy as it sounds, do some soul searching. Think seriously about what you’re looking for in a partner and what you can offer before you let your fingers do the walking on your keyboard. Talk frankly with friends that have known you for a while—especially the ones that have stuck with you through previous relationships—and can be honest about whether your written profile is as accurate and realistic a representation of you as it can possibly be.

3. Vogue Get your hair did, have a Cosmo and do a photo shoot. Statistically, outdoor or daytime close-ups of smiling faces (solo, no shots with exes or the wolfpack of girlfriends) get the best responses as your main picture with this type of thing. But feel free to mix it up beyond that. Photos of you doing things you love or (tastefully) showing off your best assets should provide a better picture of who you are and exponentially add to your appeal. In fact, the more good photos the better. Just be sure they accurately represent you and how you appear today. Pictures from 10 years ago are only acceptable if a proper caption accompanies them!

As someone who has used the guise of “research” to delve into all the sordid subcultures of online dating and human attraction, trust me—there IS someone out there that will like you just the way you are. Really, no matter what sort of anomaly you think could or should be a deal-breaker, there is someone out there actively fetishizing it. You really don’t need to pretend you’re something you’re not to rope someone into wanting to meet you. Love handles? So what. Have kids? That’s cool. Just the other day I actually overheard some dude say, “how do we know if she puts out if she doesn’t have kids?” No joke. Personally, I say keep a wrapper on it, but if you do have kids, welcome to the world of single parent online dating! You’re in great company. And that’s just the beginning. Tall, short, skinny, and fat and all combinations thereof—there is a place for you in someone’s fantasy. I’m serious. Just read the Craigslist personals if you don’t believe me.

5. To pay or not to pay Ok, getting down to the nitty gritty, which sites should you sign up for? Lucky for you, I’ve done a lot of a legwork. This author has dealt exclusively with online dating sources that offer user-friendly, free services. In the last eight months, I have been fairly satisfied with the results from okcupid.com and plentyoffish.com (POF). OkCupid has a large local following and something of a reputation for attracting the smart, witty single set. It also boasts well-developed search resources to help narrow down your options to the most promising matches, as well as a mobile app that can really broaden your sense of spontaneity by enabling you to meet up with other singles whenever they are in your area. (Ignore Crazy Blind Date, a recently added feature that hasn’t caught on enough here in Anchorage to be anything but cheesy.) POF also has useful and mostly free features and may in fact host an even more expansive catalogue of local singles. If you’re of the belief that people tend to place more value on things they pay for, there are sites that require users to purchase memberships. Match.com and its sub site, Anchoragesingles. com, are almost useless unless you spring for the subscription, but they both seem to be extremely user-friendly and have good membership numbers.

6. Specialize Hey, ladies. There are currently 421 men in the Anchorage area seeking the older woman of their dreams on CougarLife. com. However, it just so happens that there is not a single eligible farmer in all of Alaska seeking his soul mate on FarmersOnly.com. Aside from that, though, there is literally a niche dating website for any and every type out there. I’m convinced of it. Fancy yourself sailing the seven seas? Seacaptaindate.com might just help you set your sights on a first mate. Want to spend some quality time petting your very own furry? Try pounced. org. Have an inexplicable attraction to the crazy cat lady two doors down? Maybe she’s got a profile on purrsonals.com. And that’s just the beginning. Remember when I said there is someone, somewhere, that would love you just the way you are? If the conventional avenues fail, try more specialized dating services; there’s diapermates.com, singleswithfoodallergies.com, datingforhippies.com, stachepassions.com or (my favorite) boohiccup. com for some serious clown love.

Alright. You got your shit together, you took some sexy-butnot-too-sexy pictures and wrote a masterpiece of a profile. You tried a few different websites and found a good match—someone who sounds cool, interesting and looks good to you. Now what? Duh. Send them a message. Don’t be skurred. The worst that can happen is that they write you back and tell you you’re a hideous hag that should die immediately, in which case you roll with laughter, feel sorry for them and move on. More realistically, the worst that will happen is they don’t reply. You’ll live. Here are some hints on making sure they do reply, though. First, be sure it’s actually a match. You can’t stop talking about how you want to marry the man of your dreams and have five million babies and his profile clearly states that he’s “just looking for a good time”? Move along, I don’t care how chiseled his jaw is or how buff those biceps are in his profile pictures. When you do find a realistic-sounding good match, close the first contact by actually asking a question pertaining to something in his profile. Be bold and be specific. it’s empowering and will give you a major confidence boost for that first date—one that might just push you on through to a lasting and meaningful relationship.

8. First date Ok, she or he said yes. You’re in. So, call your mom or best friend or co-worker or whoever and let them know when you’re meeting and who and at what point they should send out a search party if you don’t reappear. Safety first and all that, but it’s also a nice opportunity to blow off some steam and gush. As for the time and place, pick a situation that will afford you ample opportunity to talk and get to know each other with minimal distractions and easy out opportunities should you not get along. Basically, I believe beverages are best. Coffee, beer, cocktails, or tea and crumpets. Whatever floats your boat. Movies are the lamest first date ever—just don’t do it.

9. Don’t be a creep Going back to “be cool,” take it easy. If you liked her but you don’t get a call back, feel free to follow up with one bold and sane effort at contact, but don’t blow her phone up with repeated texts or calls. We all know your Internet stalking skills are exceptionally fine tuned, but restrain yourself. Go for a run, re-watch every episode of Firefly, teach yourself charcuterie—whatever it takes to not be a creep. The good ones will call you, or at least call you back.

10. Steer clear of the sleaze Like the rest of the World Wide Web, the realm of online dating is chock full o’ sleaze. Unless you are actively seeking a onenight stand and an STD, adultfriendfinder.com isn’t really what we’re talking about here. Furthermore, chatroullette.com is not likely to land you a viable local date. (Go figure.) Whatsyourprice.com, it turns out, seems to be little more than a handy site for paid escorts to market themselves. Stick to the sites suggested above or something similar. Or go above and beyond and try Christianmingle.com (or one of the countless other religiously type-cast affiliate sites) or eharmoney.com or the POF affiliate focused on marriage-minded singles, evow.com. Why not? Happy hunting.

PERFORMINGARTS>> STAGE & THEATRE Sordid Lives — What happens when the matriarch of a white trash family trips over her lover’s wooden legs while having a tryst in a seedy motel room? Find out in this cult favorite. Featuring a pair of feuding sisters, the regulars of a local bar, a sex-crazed therapist, and a drag queen that’s been locked in an insane asylum for 23 years. To top it all off, Sissy just wants to quit smoking. Shows weekly Friday and Saturday, through March 2. Reserve seats by calling 276-9762. (530 E. Fifth Ave.) Scared Scriptless — Alaska’s premier improv comedy troupe (ir) regularly performing in Anchorage Alaska every second and fourth Saturday of the month since May 2000. Live improv has a heightened intensity, a voyeuristic glee that comes from watching comedy without a net. A close-contact brand of improv, as fast and furious as a video game, with words and movements thrown out in a continuous mix of voices, accents and energetic

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motions. This is a special show on Friday, February 15, to raise funds to send the troupe to the State Improv Festival. Show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 15, in the Snow Goose Banquet Room. Tickets are $10 and are available online at CenterTix.net or at the door. (717 W. Third Ave.) Honk! Jr. — HONK! Jr. is a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling with a charming and whimsical musical score that all are sure to love. The young actors of Alaska Theatre of Youth share this story of inner beauty, self-worth and friendship. Show begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 15, in the Sydney Laurence Theatre. Tickets available online at CenterTix.net. (625 Sixth Ave.) Raven Returns — The Story of the Human Beings is the second performance of the “Jack Dalton: retrospective 1999-2013” series. First premiered at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in October 1999, Raven Returns intertwines stories

within stories creating an epic that covers the entire history of the Yup’ik culture, from the creation legends, through historical facts, to today, and even a little ways into the future, instilling a sense of hope. Showing at Out North Contemporary Art House Thursday, February 14, through Sunday, February 17. Tickets available online at CenterTix.net. (3800 DeBarr Rd.) Sitka Summer Music Festival: Winter Classics — Presents the Alaska Airlines Winter Classics in Anchorage. Pianists Navah Perlman and Eduard Zilberkant will perform Schubert’s “Fantasy for Four Hand Piano,” and will be joined by cellist Zuill Bailey and violinist Philippe Quint for masterworks from Prokofiev, Brahms, and Shostakovich. Events daily beginning Friday, February 15, through Sunday, February 17, in APU’s Grant Hall. Single tickets and package rates available at CenterTix.net. (4101 University Dr.) The Good Lovelies — Not your run-of-the-mill “all girl” band, The

Good Lovelies mix folksy effortlessly with country and jazz tunes. Brimming with optimism and a sunny repertoire of feel-good songs delivered with tightly polished three-part harmonies, The Good Lovelies exchange spirited banter as easily as they swap instruments. Banjo, mandolin, guitar, glockenspiel, and just a pinch of sass, help deliver upbeat melodies that keep you smiling long after the final notes have faded. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Discovery Theatre, Friday, February 15. Tickets available online at CenterTix.net. (625 Sixth Ave.) The Wizard of Oz — Alaska Theatre of Youth presents L. Frank Baum’s famous children’s novel come to life on stage. Enjoy the antics of Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Wicked Witch, the munchkins, and more, as they take on their fantastical adventure through Oz. Showing Saturday, February 16, and Friday, February 22, in the Sydney Laurence Theatre. Tickets available online at CenterTix.net.

(625 Sixth Ave.) Clybourne Park — The house in Clybourne Park (still a segregated neighborhood in the late 1950s) is the very one that the Younger family was set to move into at the end of A Raisin in the Sun. The play’s first act is set in a recently sold middleclass house in Chicago in 1959; the second act takes play in the same house (which has recently resold) in 2009. This play is a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative piece about race, real estate and the volatile values of each. Play runs through March 10, at Cyrano’s Off Center Playhouse. Tickets are $18-20 and are available online at CenterTix.net (413 D St.) A Shayna Maidel — A powerful, moving, and deeply affecting portrait of a family. Set in New York City after World War II, two sisters from different worlds struggle to understand one another. The younger sister, Rose, grew up privileged in America, with their emotionally absent father. Lusia lived a harsh life in Poland, but with the warmth

of their mother to nourish her. Now the sisters must bridge the gap between them, ultimately creating a middle ground upon which the family can stand. An exploration of human strength and frailty, softened by moments of humor, this play will leave you with a sense of hope. Showing through Sunday, February 17, at Anchorage Community Theatre. (1133 E. 70th Ave.)

OTHER OPEN ART NIGHT— Abigail Raymundo brings a whole new dimension to “open mic night” with this new, live open art night showcasing all kinds of artistic expression. Josh Olsen and the Eternal Cowboys host musical guests. Audience participation encouraged for live art sculpture. Every Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. to close at the Anchor Pub (712 W. Fourth Ave.)

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ARTS

Love, and the battlefield ‘Great Big HeART’ exhibit shows joy, angst, and shades in between By Victoria Barber

V

alentine’s Day attracts a lot of ambivalence, if not downright bitterness. At its worst, no holiday comes across as more crass—as though it were designed purely so that corporate America could make a quick buck by cynically mining the marriage industrial complex and our personal insecurities. At the same time, love—in all its forms—is worth celebrating, regardless of whether Hallmark gets a fat payday on Feb. 15. Valentine’s Day can be a quandary, and perhaps that’s what makes “The Great Big HeART” show at the Middle Way Café so worthwhile. This is the second show on the theme (the first was at the Upstairs Studio, curated by Erin Osinkowsky and Dallas Wildeve). Curator and artist Enzina Marrari says the strength of the exhibit is that it “doesn’t only address the joyful part of love, but the struggles and the trials.” Keren Lowell’s piece, “The Heart’s Target” series, features petal-strewn canvas targets, pierced with hundreds of rose-stem arrows. Peter Graziano’s “Permutation / Obsession 1” isolates and repeats a feminine mouth in manner of a Warhol starlet—the effect is coldly erotized and glamorous. From Laura Avellaneda-Cruz’s observation and plea, “Relationships are hard / Help us along,” to Tiger Tasker’s plaintive, “My Heart was set on Snow,” to the dizzying, minute detail of Ted Kim’s ink drawings, the show has as much to say about love as the walls of this large, bustling café will contain. There’s even a delightful, large photograph of a girl with a fish (“Love,” by Don Mohr). “The fear is that it would be a show of totally traditional Valentine’s hearts… there’s was a potential to be cheesy, or corny, or uninteresting,” Marrari says. Instead, she says the show drew aesthetically beautiful pieces tackling big concepts. Marrari is a self-confessed former “anti-Valentine’s Day party” organizer (“I was lonely or taking a stand against commercialism,” she says), but has come around to the holiday. “I think it’s awesome, and you don’t have to be in a partnered relationship to have an excuse to send love out,” Marrari said. “I’d have Valentine’s Day be every day.”

“Shadow of Love,” by Rosanne Klouda (ink blot).

My Heart was Set On Snow,” by Tiger Tasker (acrylic on wood).

“Maybe I Will Let It Grow Again,” by Amy Devereux (mixed media).

“The Sacred Heart,” by Julia Stutzer (acrylic on wood).

“The Heart’s Target” series, by Keren’s Lowell (inkjet print, archery target, gouache, rose stems).

ARTSLISTING>> DOWNTOWN EVENTS ALASKA HUMANITIES FORUM — “Art Gone Viral: Exhibit,” is a multidisciplinary art exhibition by established, emerging and underrepresented Alaskan artists. The exhibit is the last component of the six-month “Art Gone Viral” project that leveraged Quick Response (QR) codes, social media, and the website www.artgoneviral.com to showcase 25 contemporary Alaska artists. Twenty-two of these participating artists are coming together at the Alaska Humanities Forum for a dynamic group show of painting, sculpture, photography, performance art and spoken word. The show is co-sponsored by Green Bee Studios and is curated by Christina A. Barber in collaboration with Indra Arriaga. (161 E. First Ave. Door 15) ANCHORAGE MUSEUM — Ketchikan artist Stron Softi employs

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video, kinetic sculpture and traditional media to explore how people minimize the violence associated with destroying a living being. Stron Softi is the pseudonym adopted by Stephen Paul Jackson, who learned traditional carving techniques from his father, renowned Tlingit carver Nathan Jackson. In 2008, Softi earned the Juror’s Choice Award at the Anchorage Museum’s “All Alaska Juried Art Exhibition,” and in 2009, he had a solo exhibition at the Alaska State Museum, Juneau. (625 C St.) ALASKA NATIVE ARTS FOUNDATION—Presents “Restoration,” an exhibit and reception featuring Joel Isaak (Athabascan). View his solo exhibit about the exploration between emotion and environment through the manipulation of traditional Dena’ina materials like roots, bark and skins. (500 W. 6th Ave.) ARCTIC ROSE GALLERY AND ART CENTER — “Unconditional Love— A K9 art show.” This is a collection

of canine art in a variety of mediums from gallery and community artists. Show benefits Straw for Dogs and Glacier Shakers Flyball Club. (423 W. 5th Ave.) ARTIQUE LTD.— Featuring jewelry by Lisa McCormick, Rick Potter, Liz Bowen and Kathy Goodell, paintings by Deborah Porter and Susan Lindsey, and the 2013 Valentine print by Barbara Lavallee. (314 G St.) CAKE STUDIO — Presents Robert Thompson and John Hume, two artists that reveal their love of aircraft and Alaska historic aviation in their stunningly realistic paintings. (608 W. 4th Ave. Ste. 102) FUR RONDY SHOP — Presents Rondy collector pin designer Harlan Legare and booster button designer Christina Best. (400 D St.) INTERNATIONAL GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART— Presents designs from Object Runway 4 held

January 24 at the Bear Tooth, which merged the worlds of fashion and contemporary art. (427 D St.) MIDNIGHT SUN CAFÉ — Presents paintings by Rebecca McVittie. (245 W. Fifth Ave. Ste. 106) SEVIGNY STUDIOS— Presents “Elaborate Expressions,” the graphite, pen and ink, oils, and scratchboard art of Nathan Perry. Nathan’s work is an enticing mix of impressionism and realism and includes portraiture, wildlife, and spiritual themes. (608 W. 4th Ave. Suite 101) SNOW CITY CAFÉ— Presents the copper wire multimedia art of local sculptor, Ben Masters. (1034 W. 4th Ave.) SNOW GOOSE — Presents work by Alaska Encaustic Artists. STEPHAN FINE ARTS — Artist Mark McDermott has preserved a snapshot of local buildings like the

Hotel Captain Cook, the CIRI building, ConocoPhillips and others, as well as what goes on inside those mirrored reflections. You love the land, you love the structures; now see them as one. (939 W. Fifth Ave.) ZOEZ WINDOW GALLERY — Featuring Alaskan carvers from King Island and their works in ivory, stone, and bone. (737 W. Fifth Ave. Ste. 150)

AROUND TOWN 2 Friends Gallery — Linda Smith, the “Mistress of Chaos,” will be showing her latest beadwork. (341 E. Benson) ALASKA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY GALLERIES— In the Peterson Gallery: Sara Tabbart presents a collection of forest-themed pieces. In the ConocoPhillips Gallery: Ward Hulbert presents “Shallow Pools Where Spirits Dwell.” (4101 University Dr.)

BUELL HOUSE OF HARLEY DAVIDSON—Presents art from local artists Dan Coe, Kevin Harden and Nora Gecan. (4334 Spenard Rd.) MIDDLE WAY CAFÉ— Presents “The Great Big HeART Show” featuring work from 30 local artists. Opening reception Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. featuring music by Michael Howard and live performance art by Keren Lowell. (1300 W. Northern Lights Blvd.) Modern Dwellers — “AKtmosphere” contrasts city living against the extreme climate of Alaska through fashion and fine art photography by Jill Elizabeth Photography. (751 E 36th Ave.) UAA Student Union Gallery — Presents the Claybody Ceramics Invitational, an exhibit highlighting outstanding works by potters and sculptors working in ceramics. Exhibit runs through February 14. (3211 Providence Dr.)

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