The Northern Light The student newspaper for University of Alaska-Anchorage. Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:16:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Anchorage Is” provides a colorful portrait of Anchorage’s 100 years as a city Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:08:11 +0000 Over the past few weeks “Anchorage Is” has been playing weekend after weekend at The Bear Tooth Theatrepub. It was originally scheduled for just three showings, but played a total of eleven. The film was a part of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Centennial Celebration. According to the Anchorage Centennial website, “’Anchorage Is’… tells the story of Anchorage from its start as a ‘tent city’ in 1915 to the modern town we call home today.”
“I’ve seen it 10 times now,” said Mayor Dan Sullivan, last Saturday. The last showing was on Sunday. He used the words emotional, inspired, and informed to describe his response to the film.
Todd Hardesty and John Larson as one of the legacy projects to celebrate Anchorage’s hundredth year being a city produced “Anchorage Is”.
“Well we started planning the Centennial Celebration several years ago,” said Sullivan. Some of the other legacy projects that he mentioned was the book “Anchorage Stories: A Centennial History” by Charles Wohlforth, and the opportunity for locals to record their personal stories and photos on the centennial website.
“September 2013 was when I started doing research for it, even though I didn’t have a contract yet,” said Hardesty. He has been making documentaries for almost 30 years. His favorite part of this film was the “photo researching.” You could see his curiosity in the people and his hard work in identifying specific locations and events from the photos in his film introduction. Before each showing of the film, he flipped through a slideshow of old photos.
Most of Hardesty’s documentaries have been for tourists and outsiders to take home and see what Alaska is all about. “Anchorage Is” is different because it is specifically for locals to take home and celebrate.
“It’s also a legacy so that in another hundred years… they’ll have a snapshot” of Anchorage, said Hardesty.
When asked about his involvement in the film, Sullivan said, “The involvement was really getting the initial funding,” for the Anchorage Centennial as a whole, “which we did both through city appropriation and the Rasmuson Foundation.”
Hardesty said it was great that they, “were free to make choices. Nothing was requested and nothing was suggested.” The hardest part was editing the film down. “We got it to 88 minutes, and we had to make a show that was 60,” he said.
One piece of Anchorage’s history that obviously could not be left out, was the great 64’ earthquake. The producers managed to provide some comedic relief for such a dramatic event; the film mentioned that many kids were watching the cartoon Fireball XL5. This is because TV stations were limited back then. During the interview Hardesty asked Sullivan, “Were you watching Fireball XL5?”
“I was, yeah I was on crutches. I’d broken my leg skiing, so I’m standing in the doorway of our house trying to stay afloat!” said Sullivan.
The film told Anchorage’s story very well. It tied the past and present together smoothly and was entertaining throughout. After the showing many compliments filled the air. Audience members could be heard saying, “This is my second time seeing it; will there be more shows?”
“So far, I think that Todd and the work that he and John Larson did with this movie is clearly most significant event that we’ve had so far,” said Sullivan. “It amazed all of us at how good it is.” There are more Anchorage Centennial events going on that you can find online at You can also buy the movie there online, or stay tuned to see if they decide to do another round of showings at the Beartooth.
“If it was your 100th birthday, you’d wanna celebrate and blow out some candles and this is the city blowing out the candle,” said Hardesty.

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Glee Club says goodbye to powerhouse voices Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:52:42 +0000 The motto of UAA Glee Club is “Voice, Beat, Heart,” which is exactly what the Glee students brought to the UAA Fine Arts building over the weekend.
This club is a well-leveled group — every member brings something to the table in his or her special way. Whether through vocals, beat-boxing, spunk or laughs, every individual lights up the stage.
Several members of the club stood out during the performance. Molly Dieni, an alto in the group, sang several lead songs and surprised the crowd with her powerful vocals. She performed alongside Jean Sacdalan in “I Won’t Let You Go,” a personal favorite in the show.
Austin Rochon, a newer member of the group, sang “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, adding his own spunk to the song.
“What I love most about Glee is no matter what happens, at the end of the day I look around at everyone who is a part of it and I see more than just people I sing with. I see a family of people that I love,” said Austin Rochon, music education major.
For some students, Season 10 with Glee will be their last.
Bijan Welch and Hazel De Los Santos, two of the stars and long-time members of the club, are leaving to focus more on school and graduation.
“It was so hard not to tear up by the end of the concert. I’m tearing up now as we speak. Glee, for the past six seasons I’ve been in, will always be everything to me. My social life revolves around them, and this is where I made all my friends now. I’m definitely going to miss being at rehearsal, leading the dance portion at auditions, seeing new faces and making new memories with each season. I know that we all still keep in touch, even though I won’t be in it anymore, but just being at rehearsal is different from being elsewhere,” said Los Santos, early childhood development and music major.
Bijan Welch has been with the group for four seasons and continuously rocked the house with her powerhouse voice. “One thing that I will miss the most about Glee is the people. They are amazing individuals. They make me want to be a better performer. Their drive and passion have pushed me to excel, and I will always love them for that. It’s sad that I have to leave, but I know that I have gained many friends,” said Welch, who is an English major.
Welch and Los Santos leaving the group will definitely leave holes to be filled, but both are going on to further their educations. Nevertheless, “Voice, Beat, Heart” is a saying that will continue to fit bill for UAA Glee Club.

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Wells Fargo Sports Complex to Undergo Renovation Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:10:58 +0000 UAA students should get ready to see a little more foot traffic than normal in the corridor running through the center of the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. That’s because several significant upgrades are getting ready to take place for the sports facility.

Among the more visible upgrades to take place over the summer is the relocation and rejuvenation of the UAA hockey team’s training facilities and student fitness center. In addition, the space the hockey locker room currently occupies will be transformed into a heavy-lifting room. The intramural sports offices will also turn into a new student workout facility. Among the less visible, but equally, if not more, important upgrades, will be the installation of a new air conditioning and fire alarm systems.

“The ice rink is not the only reason it’s cold (in the Wells Fargo),” joked Kristin Reynolds, project manager with UAA Facilities and Campus Services. She says the complex has several outdated mechanical units.

It will be the most remodeling the building has seen in its 36-year history. And that means this job will cost some money.

Facilities and Campus Services is allotting $10 million in deferred maintenance funds on the project, which includes everything from the architectural design to the construction to the operating fees.

“This was a very high priority to continue to make this building functional and not ‘mothball’ it,” said Reynolds. “In order to do that — considering the value of the building, the value of building a replacement building somewhere else — $10 million is a good investment.”

The student recreation room, currently wedged  between the ice rink and gymnasium, will be moved to the second floor in the area currently used by intramurals. All but the hockey team’s offices were moved to the Alaska Airlines Center last fall.

“One of the main purposes of removing athletics as much as possible from the building was to give more back to the students,” said Reynolds.

If the old workout facility feels a bit like a dungeon, the new one should feel more akin to a hip workout room. Large glass panels on one side of the room will give students the ability to look inside from the spine. A dance studio will also be built in that area. However, the new workout area will be approximately 15 percent smaller than the current one.

Workout room user John Akers admitted he didn’t know much about the details of the renovation, but didn’t like the sound of losing space.

“Even if they fit the same amount of equipment in (the new room) … it seems like it would just be more packed,” he said.

And while the hockey team won’t be permitted to use this space, they shouldn’t need to.

The new hockey training facilities will be placed where the current student recreation center is downstairs. The members of the hockey program will be treated with a new locker room, player’s lounge and training room that will all be connected.

And while to some this may seem like an unnecessary indulgence for this institution to be taking, Athletics Director Keith Hackett couldn’t disagree more.

“I just have to be honest with the facilities that our previous (hockey) coaching staffs over the years had to recruit with. They were awful … probably the worst facilities in Div. I hockey,” said Hackett.

Seawolf Hockey head coach Matt Thomas sees the improvement in facilities as a step in the right direction.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to push the program forward. I want this place to be … a desirable place to play and young hockey players to come and develop and enjoy their experience,” said Thomas. “I think this renovation is going to help big time in that.”

Posters displaying the blueprint of the upgraded Wells Fargo Sports Complex will go up soon in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex spine and the Alaska Airlines Center.

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Anchorage Public Schools will suffer immensely in result of potential budget cuts Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:08:33 +0000 Editorial by Danielle Ackerman,

As a lifetime Alaskan who was educated only in public schools and married into a family full of educators, I feel an immense obligation to express my concern regarding the outrageous and acutely influential budget cuts that our public schools could face. Closing the potential $29.4 million budget gap will force the Anchorage School District to cut more than 100 teacher positions. While there would be cuts in most programs in the school district, I believe the elimination of teacher positions will be the most detrimental. By all means, I can recognize the necessity of a balanced budget, and I understand there are economic realities that our state is facing, but there is no exception for this drastic of a cut that will affect so many people.

The elimination of more than 100 educators in our public schools will not only affect the livelihood of educators and their families, but most of all, the students. There is an abundant number of students who are already not meeting their potential due to the shortage of employees and larger-than-normal classrooms.

I know of many new teachers who are very concerned for their positions, as they were recently hired and are not considered “tenured.” There are numerous graduates every year who have just earned their bachelor’s degree in education and will be subject to unemployment and or taking a job that they are overqualified for due to these cuts. Before any decision is made, I hope that there are changes made in order to strengthen our investment in public education and make sure that all students have an even playing field.

The formula that has been used is in need of reform. Obviously this will not be an easy task, nor will it happen overnight. Our public schools will need strong leadership and collective will power in order to prioritize education, as it should be. There is truly nothing more important than ensuring that our future leaders are educated.

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Apartheid Israel? Injustice for Palestine. Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:06:55 +0000 Editorial by Maria Lilly,

Students on campuses around the United States and around the world are finding themselves in the middle of a rhetorical struggle between two competing groups: anti-Israel groups and pro-Israel groups.  For our purposes I would like to focus on two particular groups from opposite sides of the issue: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

Students for Justice in Palestine’s name claims to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine. But in effect SJP is more a slander platform. On campuses SJP chapters criminalize the State of Israel with claims Israel is an apartheid state.

Christians United for Israel’s On Campus division combats such rhetoric with fact-based advocacy. They argue with legitimate sources, intellectually undeniable facts and first hand accounts that Israel is in fact not an apartheid state because fundamentally Israel does not meet any of the requirements set to define apartheid in South Africa.

Rather than being a state endorsing racism, in Israel citizens of every ethnicity, gender and religion are allowed to vote and hold office. Israel welcomes immigrants from all over the world. All people are afforded equal rights under a democratic government, including women, a rare occurrence in the Middle East. Rather than forbidding mixed racial marriages, Israel welcomes them and is one country in the Middle East where same-sex couples are not threatened with death for their sexual orientation.

Unlike in the case of apartheid South Africa, all Israelis are invited to freely participate in the economy; all people are free to own property. When it comes to land ownership the ones segregated against are actually Israeli citizens, their government forced them out of land which historically and legally is their own, in an attempt to both protect Israelis from those who wish to kill them as well as in hopes of achieving a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The argument that Israel is an apartheid state, emotionally arousing rhetoric, is simply empty.

Apartheid in South Africa was a globally recognized atrocity involving segregation, legal and economic inequality. It was blatant, unadulterated racism in its most purely evil form. Apartheid is a noun meant to make every man’s skin crawl. To associate apartheid with the state of Israel is an insult to all humanity and most especially to South Africans and the South Africans’ struggles for freedom.

Associating a free and democratic state with an institution which wronged and abused thousands because of racism ultimately results in the negation of what apartheid is and how it looks. It is the dissolution of justice in valid cases of racism and a discredit to every person who has ever faced racism. It is the equivalent of spitting in the face of Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr., giants who looked racism in the face challenged it and suffered for the cause of justice.

By contrast the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the groups governing the Palestinian territories, persecute, discriminate against, confiscate without just cause the property of and even kill Christians, homosexuals, and anyone who disagrees with regime policy. They murder those brave enough to defend their right to free speech and independent thought. Those who have the courage to speak out.

According to the Institute of Black Solidarity with Israel, Palestinian territories honor killings are up 300 percent just over the past year. The Palestinian government receives funding not only from countries like the United States but also the selling and trading of African refugees as slaves.  The Palestinian government surrounds her people, including young children, with anti-Jew propaganda. They call for the ethnic cleansing of all Jews, and socialize their children to believe such action would be just. They simultaneously deny the Holocaust and laud Adolf Hitler.

Students for Justice in Palestine claims to defend a victimized Palestine when in fact, as an organization it demonizes democracy, freedom and equality while tolerating and justifying the massacre of innocents by their government. SJP defends persecution and murder of minorities, the criminalization of free speech, modern slavery, interfamilial murder, as well as a corrupt judicial system.

Students for Justice in Palestine uses misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric to disguise their funding and support of human rights violations. Christians United for Israel endeavors to use truth as a catalyst for the promotion of critical thinking and a knowledge based point of view of Israel’s and the Palestinians’ situation in the world.

Apartheid in the Middle East is not in Israel, it is in Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Justice would be criminalizing the criminals not attacking democracy.

So why then is SJP finding wide support on the campuses of our nation? Our Universities, which of all the places in the world, ought to be the greatest defenders of intellectual integrity, truth and social justice are being hijacked and our students’ very human urge to fight injustice is being taken advantage of.

Our Universities should not be standing in solidarity with injustice for Palestine. Rather America and her Universities ought to be actively defending justice’s cause.

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Violence on campus trails sparks fear in community Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:04:20 +0000 In light of the recent violence on the trail systems near UAA, students who walk, bike or run these trails are becoming more cautious.

UAA international studies major Madeline Neel uses the trail daily to get to and from class.

“I love the trail system behind UAA … l walk there still, but not as frequently,” Neel said.

In the last few months, assaults and suspicious activity have reported on or near the university campus. A sexual assault near the Mosquito Lake trail on the Alaska Pacific University campus was reported April 7. Anchorage Police Department and the University Police department are jointly investigating the assault.

“Last year, when my friend was at the dorms, her and I would walk the trails almost every day at all hours of the day or night. We never ran into anyone else, and it became almost a meditative experience. We could easily go out and enjoy the nature to ourselves,” Neel said.

But last year Neel noticed more homeless camps and foot traffic on the trails, so her path through the woods has changed.

“There seem to be more tents hidden or in-use in the woods. Once we’re on the trail it seems ‘safe,’ but we’ve learned to stay away from the typical trail heads, or from Goose Lake where we’ve noticed a lot of questionable foot traffic comes through,” Neel said.

”I actually avoid the trails to get to class. That’s why I use my car all the time,” said UAA music student Joy Kil. “From all the incidents that have been happening lately, I’m not going to take my chances. Students should not even have to be worried about their safety when they go to class, but it’s a good thing that the campus police are notifying us when and where an incident happens.”

The University of Alaska Police Department is following the protocol for when violence erupts on or near campus and is contacting students and faculty via email. UPD is reminding students to walk in pairs and avoid anything one sees as suspicious.

Christie Grenier, a computer science major at UAA, has used the trails to get to class for two years now has noticed a pattern when it comes to the trails and this time of the year.

“I don’t think it’s actually getting worse. I just think it’s because of the time of year. Seems like crime usually has a bit of a surge when spring comes. … Last year was similar. Yes, I walk to school a lot, but I don’t usually worry about my safety during the day so it hasn’t stopped me from doing that, just got to make sure to steer clear of parks and trails once it starts getting dark, especially if I’m alone. Some areas are worse than others,” Grenier said.

The trails are available for not only all UAA students, but for the public as well.

When walking the trail systems, it is recommended to walk in pairs during the daytime, and to be aware of one’s surroundings. No one should have to worry about getting assaulted when utilizing the trails, but preventative measures are suggested.

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Final decision reached, Tanaina Center to leave UAA in May Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:02:18 +0000 The UAA Chancellor’s Cabinet has reiterated the decision to evict Tanaina Child Development Center. However, hope is not lost for Tanaina, which has announced a new partnership with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. The church is located a few blocks from UAA, on the corner of Tudor and Lake Otis Parkway.

“When we were invited by St. Mary’s to use their space, I was relieved. My staff and I feel stable and full of hope again,” said Tanaina director Stefanie O’Brien.

The Chancellor’s Cabinet issued Tanaina Child Development Center an eviction notice Jan. 27, terminating their 36-year partnership. Since then, Tanaina recommended they be allowed to return to UAA in the fall and remain on campus for two to three years while the center raised funds for renovating a new off-campus space.

However, according to a press release from the Tanaina Child Development Center issued April 9, the Chancellor’s Cabinet rejected their request, finalizing the decision to evict Tanaina.

After the Chancellor’s Cabinet informed Tanaina they wouldn’t be allowed to stay anytime after May they approached St. Mary’s about collaborating with them.

“We have a long history with Tanaina. Many of their families are our families. We share the same or similar philosophies of early childhood development and learning,” stated St. Mary’s Rector Michael Burke in the press release. “This is simply another way we live out our mission to make sure all are welcome at St. Mary’s.”

“Together, this partnership will allow Tanaina to keep its doors open and continue to offer Anchorage families early childhood education and childcare services,” the press release stated.

St. Mary’s says the Tanaina Center and St. Mary’s Creative Playschool program will not converge. They will simply share space.

“Each organization, which has a long history itself, is going to continue as their own fully functional organization,” Burke said in a phone interview.

“At this point, each group and each classroom will be scheduling their own time on the playground. Each classroom, and of course the Tanaina classrooms, will be different than the St. Mary’s Creative Playschool classrooms,” he said.

Correction: An original version of this story incorrectly states that a task force set up to help Tanaina has made recommendations to the Chancellor’s Cabinet. 

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Should you get an Apple Watch? Wed, 15 Apr 2015 01:57:27 +0000 By Klax Zlubzecon

Translated by George Hyde

I think I arrived at a really strange time for you humans. Over the span of the last century or two, communication went from radio, to telephones, to television, to computers, to the Internet, to smartphones… and now we come to watches.

Again, as I said in the Windows 10 article a while back, we slugs don’t need this kind of communication. If I want to communicate with another slug, I just think something, and they get it. Hive minds are kind of awesome like that.

But you humans still haven’t developed that yet. You think you’re so high and mighty, but the best you can muster is a mini-tablet worn around the wrist. Come on! Your brains still don’t have that capacity? Pathetic. That’s what you get for spending so much time on your phones.

But I digress. A lot of people speculate whether the Apple Watch will really catch on like the iPhone and other smartphones did. After all, for the past decade, Apple has been a trend-setter. Without the iPhone, smartphones would still be a minor niche product. Without the iPad, tablets wouldn’t have taken off. Without the iPod and iTunes, we’d still be stuck downloading songs on a lesser service, probably for a more obscene price.

Apple is a master of simple ingenuity. All of their products are foolproof. George uses Windows on his gaming machine, and plans to switch to Linux once Adobe’s Creative Suite inevitably moves there, but he wouldn’t trust his family with anything other than Apple. His parents both bought non-Apple laptops a few years ago, and then bought iPads not even a year later because they were easier to use. His grandparents use a Mac because they’d have malware up the hoo-hah if they were using anything else. His family uses an Apple TV, and… well, that’s actually a terrible option for video streaming, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies. But you get the point!

I doubt the Apple Watch will be any less intuitive. It’s essentially going to be a smaller iPhone. But early reviews suggest one issue that may ruin the whole thing: the size.

George has huge, fat fingers. When he plays games, he prefers an Xbox controller to a Playstation controller because his hands are too monstrous for the latter. And I fear that when George taps a tiny icon on the Watch, the Watch won’t be able to discern what icon he’s trying to tap. If you hate typing on a tiny smartphone keyboard, trying to do basic things on a smartwatch is going to be just as much of a nightmare, if not moreso.

But it’s not just ergonomics that’s the issue here. One early complaint that Apple claims to be fixing with a later update is load times. The Watch is so small that the components within can only be so strong, and that can bog the Watch down when it’s under a heavy workload.

And when the Watch slows down or can’t load something, what do you do? You pull your smartphone out and do stuff on that instead. And that completely destroys the point of owning a smartwatch, because once you have the phone out, you may as well just use that for everything.

This is an issue that I’m confident will be fixed in at least a year’s time. Moore’s Law dictates that technology becomes twice as potent every two years, so load times will likely be a moot point in a year or two, when the inevitable Apple Watch 2 comes out. But this means that the whole smartwatch idea might need some more time in the oven before it gets out to the public. Will the public still care by then? Who can say?

Really, I can’t tell when or if the smartwatch idea will take off. People are saying the same things about virtual reality and smart cars. People said the iPad was a dumb idea when that was first announced, but they lapped it up once it came out.

But I will say this. The iPhone killed flip phones. The iPad almost killed laptops. The Apple TV, as much as I loathe the thing, is killing cable. Apple kills old tech, and if they can’t kill anything with the Watch, I doubt it will succeed.

It won’t matter once psychic communication just kills everything, but I get the feeling you humans have a while to go before that’s a thing.



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