The Northern Light http://www.thenorthernlight.org The student newspaper for University of Alaska-Anchorage. Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:03:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Movie Review: “3022 ft:” The story of Mt. Marathon http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/07/01/movie-review-3022-ft-the-story-of-mt-marathon/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/07/01/movie-review-3022-ft-the-story-of-mt-marathon/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:03:07 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55432 “3022 ft.” is the story of Mt. Marathon, Alaska’s legendary 4th of July mountain race that’s drawn racers to Seward for over a century…

No, that’s not quite right.

“3022 ft.” is the story of fiery passion and redemption; of people who, to outsiders, seem like maniacs who have sold their souls in an Ahab-like fervor to the mountain. This race has helped bring redemption to those who have hit rock bottom, drive to succeed in the face of incredibly taxing odds, and danger to those who seek it. It’s a race only for the bold, and not for the faint of heart. A competition truly worthy of the gigantic and wild state it takes place in.

That is the essence of “3022 ft,” a documentary from local independent filmmaker Max Romey. And it’s going to make you either want to explore the mountain, or avoid it at all costs, depending on how fit you are.

While the film does touch on the race’s history a bit, the real focus on the film is on last year’s race, and the struggles of several participants over the years. That, I feel, is the film’s only real fault, and it’s only a fault for some. While the film excels at capturing the drama of participating in the race (and winning, in a couple cases), it fails to capture Mt. Marathon’s rich history, and for those looking for something more comprehensive, that may be a letdown.

However, the rest of the film is very well put-together. The mountain is shot gloriously, as it deserves to be. Often, the camera follows the racers, and it always moves with either grueling sluggishness during the long, uphill climb, or with speedy exhilaration during the fast downhill run. And because of the oddly hot temperatures of last summer, you can really feel the exhaustion when you see a participant desperately running in the heated distance.

And that exhaustion is felt even more with the film’s gripping narratives. “3022” highlights several racers on their journeys; newcomers, veterans, parents and children are all featured. It explores the race and its features through the eyes of these racers, and it’s an enjoyable and dramatic perspective.

Of course, the best way to experience Mt. Marathon is to go there yourself, but if you’re lazy like I am, the film makes for a stellar substitute. And while it’s no longer showing at the Bear Tooth, watch it on a big screen if you can; the mountain deserves it in all her majesty. The marathon is rife with stories and characters, and if you somehow don’t know the story of Mt. Marathon, this is a great way to get hyped for it.

And go see the race on the fourth if you can; it’s a lot of fun.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/07/01/movie-review-3022-ft-the-story-of-mt-marathon/feed/ 0 The Northern Light
UAA hosts 42nd annual Mayor’s Marathon to a great response http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/30/uaa-hosts-42nd-annual-mayors-marathon-to-a-great-response/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/30/uaa-hosts-42nd-annual-mayors-marathon-to-a-great-response/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:56:18 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55427 The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hosted Alaska’s most popular marathon and half-marathon event June 20. Several thousand runners competed in the race. It seemed as if the only one who forgot to show up to the Mayor’s Marathon was the sun, which shines for a boastful 20 hours during summer solstice. Instead, overcast skies, a slight breeze, and 58-degree temperatures gave runners a cooler, and arguably more favorable, climate to run in.

One of UAA’s past cross-country and track athlete, Paul Rottich, won the men’s marathon with a time of 2:32:39, beating out Sam Tilly of Indian, Alaska, by less than 10 seconds.

It was redemptive performance for Rottich, who was in Tilly’s shoes the last time he ran the marathon in 2014, when he finished a close second to David Kiplagat.

UAA cross-country and track and field coach Matt Friese, who coached Rottich from 2006-2010, was proud of his former student-athlete.
“He came close to winning last year and he came close to losing this year,” said the longtime Seawolf coach. “I’m glad to see him win and hey, it’s tough to win a marathon. For him to do that is impressive.”

On the women’s side, Colleen Bolling was the fastest in the field, covering the 26.2-mile course in 3:14:37 and approximately two minutes ahead of second place finisher Alison Huppert.

Unlike the top 10 male finishers in the marathon, which was dominated by Alaskans, seven of the top 10 women’s finishers were from out-of-state, coming from locales as far out as Albuquerque and Toronto.

A couple from southern Utah stole the show in the half marathon of Saturday’s even. Hayden and Ashley Hawks, who registered as residents of Cedar City, Utah, both won their respective races. Ashley proved she is as good of training partner as anyone for her husband, after she finished the race in 1:20:25, only 13 minutes behind her husband.

Seawolves Henry Cheseto, Edwin Kangogo, Victor Samoei all looked in competitive form, finishing in the top 10 in the half marathon.
Another UAA cross-country and track and field alumna Christi Schmitz proved she still is an elite runner, finishing the half-marathon in 1:30:32.

There were many other great athletes in attendance in addition to those who placed or were UAA athletes, including international marathon enthusiast Doug Beagle.

Beagle arrived in Anchorage around midnight on race day, a couple of hours before sunrise, and less than nine hours before he would be staged at the starting line for the marathon in the parking lot of East Anchorage High School.

“It was a little tough today,” said the 65-year-old runner from Houston, Texas.

Beagle travels all over the world with his wife and never forgets to pack his running shoes.
When asked if this was his first marathon, Beagle replied nonchalantly he’s run in over 200 marathons, which includes some ultra marathons, which are races longer than 26.2 miles.

“We do a marathon every two weeks,” Beagle said. “We enjoy the travel.”

Beagle’s passion for exploration and exercise has led him to all over North America and the world. Beagle says he’s run in all but two continents: South America and Antarctica.

The 5’10” Texan doesn’t allow age to get in the way of his running.

“That’s the thing about getting older — you train just as hard, you put just as much effort into it, and you go slower,” Beagle said. “Every day, every race is different.”

That was certainly the case for Oregonian Theresa Crawford.

Crawford’s father, Larry, was chief-of-staff under several past Anchorage mayors, including Tom Fink, Rick Mystrom and most recently, Dan Sullivan. Crawford passed away two years in Sullivan’s term. The younger Crawford was glad to be close to her dad on Father’s Day weekend.

“I did this for him,” she said.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/30/uaa-hosts-42nd-annual-mayors-marathon-to-a-great-response/feed/ 0 The Northern Light Former UAA Cross Country runner Paul Rottich is interviewed by the media after winning the 42nd annual Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Photo by Adam Eberhardt/The Northern Light.
E3 2015: The after-report http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/e3-2015-the-after-report/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/e3-2015-the-after-report/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:49:08 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55421 Well… that was an E3.

I’ve got a lot to get through, but briefly, if you don’t know what E3 is, it’s a week-long expo where video game developers and publishers, in big press conferences, show off their latest creations. Some years in the past have been great, and some others… not so much.

This year was a big one.

The first day kicked off with Bethesda, the publisher of game franchises like “The Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout.” This was their first conference at E3, and they started with a bang; literally, with a demonstration of the upcoming “Doom.” They also went in-depth with the upcoming “Fallout 4,” and announced that it will be releasing in a mere five months.

Microsoft followed the next morning, and the general theme of their show seemed to be that the Xbox One is trying to become more like a PC. It’ll soon boast Windows 10 support, backwards compatibility, user-generated mods for the Xbox version of “Fallout 4,” and even early-access titles, where games are able to be bought and played before they’re finished. These are all features that PC gamers have been used to for years, and while some of them (like mods) are fantastic, the early-access games have me a bit miffed, since unfinished games will now undoubtedly plague Xbox’s digital storefront the same way they currently plague Steam.

EA and Ubisoft followed after that, and… well, there’s not a whole lot to report. EA’s “Star Wars: Battlefront” looks quite good, as did Ubisoft’s “For Honor,” an upcoming medieval slash-em-up. However, they also made some strange announcements that don’t exactly cater to the gaming crowd, such as a “Minions” mobile game, or an interview with football legend Pele. They had other entertaining games to show, but it wasn’t as interesting as the brutal, raw gameplay that Bethesda had to offer in their conference.

Sony didn’t have any raw gameplay footage to show either, but they did drop three gigantic bombshells that have seemingly convinced the gaming community that the PlayStation 4 “won” E3. Specifically, those three games are “The Last Guardian,” the latest game from the legendary Team Ico, “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” which is exactly what it says on the tin, and “Shenmue III,” which would have been a great announcement if it didn’t unveil a Kickstarter campaign.

The “Shenmue” franchise has long been funded by its publisher Sega, and the Kickstarter campaign was announced at a gigantic, expensive event with tons of effects thrown into it. Do not tell me that “Shenmue III” would have a hard time getting funded by anyone but the fans. And if you way that the Kickstarter was created to gauge fan feedback, I rebuke by saying that fans have been vocally begging for a new “Shenmue” for years. The announcement felt very disgusting.

Anyway, Nintendo started the following morning with a… strange show, to put it charitably. There were Muppets, lots of figurines, a “Metroid” game that doesn’t star Samus, and little else to speak of aside from strange new “Zelda” and “Mario” spinoffs that stray from the usual, comfortable path. Not a bad conference, but definitely strange.

Square Enix followed with a conference filled with impressive announcements, surrounded by a poor presentation. The translator for the Japanese executives seemingly fell asleep at the wheel, trailers were shown that were shown at conferences the previous day, and there was a guy in a weird mask that came out of nowhere, promptly left, and was never spoken of again. How odd.

Finally, in a possible new E3 tradition, independent developers for PC had their own conference, sponsored by graphics card manufacturer AMD. While some announcements were cool beyond a shadow of a doubt (a new “Pillars of Eternity” expansion? Sign me and George up!), the conference felt needlessly long with lots of weird content that isn’t for everyone. That’s normal for the PC market; there are many games on the platform that definitely serve a specific niche. But for a huge E3 show, they should have focused on the bigger games and kept it action packed and short.

Those are my thoughts on E3 this year. I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll remind you all: don’t take what you see here for granted. There may have been a lot of very exciting announcements, but the game you get could be very different than the game you see, for better or worse. Oh, and one other thing to say:

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. EMBRACE THE SEAWOLF SLUG.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/e3-2015-the-after-report/feed/ 0 The Northern Light
Movie Review: “Jurassic World” is brain-dead fun http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/movie-review-jurassic-world-is-brain-dead-fun/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/movie-review-jurassic-world-is-brain-dead-fun/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:45:07 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55418 The first “Jurassic Park” film was a landmark in cinema. While it didn’t have the most captivating story, the special effects were groundbreaking, combining traditional puppetry and animatronics with then-mindblowing computer-generated effects to create a believable, dinosaur-filled world. With memorable characters and quotes, it made for a movie that some would argue still stands up today.

That sentiment rings true of “Jurassic World” as well. While the plot has many, many holes, the characters are likable, and the dinosaurs are still amazing to watch.

Having not learned the important lesson from the other three “Jurassic Park” films – that being that making genetic monsters for people’s amusement is a bad idea – the higher-ups at the new “Jurassic World” theme park have decided to create a brand new dinosaur. This new creature inevitably breaks loose, and it’s up to famed Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”) to track down this new dino and make sure nobody gets hurt.

Naturally, a plot like this opens a lot of holes. What nation on Earth would let a gigantic corporation build a death monster on a secretive island? Is this corporation really so profit-hungry that it would build a death monster in the first place, after the disasters that they acknowledge happened in the previous movies? There’s a man (admittedly played quite well by Vincent D’Onofrio) who wants to weaponize the dinosaurs at the park, failing to realize that trained men with guns seem to do the job well already.

The custom dinosaur, creatively named the Indominus rex, is able to adapt to whatever the humans or the plot demands, making it feel like a contrived effort to make a consistently scary villain. And while the movie doesn’t fully reveal it until a ways in, its reveal is ultimately underwhelming, as aside from a color change, it doesn’t look that different from the other dinos in the film.

Plus, the product placement is off the hook. There doesn’t seem to be a single spot on the island where there isn’t some big logo. It gets to the point where a character brings the product placement up, but it doesn’t change the feeling that “Jurassic World” feels like a corporate shill.

That being said, though, it is a very entertaining corporate shill. As mentioned before, the characters are likable, and the effects are believable. That, and the finale is the most fun finale of any summer movie since maybe the first “Avengers.” Chris Pratt is as entertaining as he always is, and he has great chemistry with the other characters. And while the film’s dinosaurs aren’t as convincing as the first film (the first film used a combination of practical and digital effects, which helped fool the eyes, while “World” uses digital entirely), they still look really cool.

“Jurassic World” is a mixed bag. The corporate influence is obvious, the plot is filled with more holes than an average mile of Alaskan highway, and the dinosaurs, while cool, don’t look as cool as they used to. But it’s still an incredibly fun ride. Just remember to check your brain in at the door.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/movie-review-jurassic-world-is-brain-dead-fun/feed/ 0 The Northern Light
Game Review: “Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” is great, but not “New Order” great http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/game-review-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-is-great-but-not-new-order-great/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/game-review-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-is-great-but-not-new-order-great/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:41:22 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55415 Early in 2014, developer Machine Games made their debut with the shockingly brilliant “Wolfenstein: The New Order,” a shooter that wasn’t afraid to stray from the roots of its franchise, or tell a great story, or depict an interesting Nazi-dominated alternate universe.

A year later, Machine Games has returned to their world of Nazis and ultra-violence with the stand-alone expansion to “The New Order,” “The Old Blood.” And while the fantastic action of “The New Order” remains intact, the game’s story sadly needed a little more time in the oven.

“The Old Blood” is a prequel, taking place in 1946 right before “The New Order” picked back up. In this alternate universe, the Third Reich has developed strange new technologies that have allowed them to win the war by the events of “The New Order,” but they haven’t won just yet in “The Old Blood.” Protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz has plans to locate the man behind this technology, Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse, with hopes of turning the tide of World War II. He must venture into the forboding Castle Wolfenstein to learn his location. Naturally, as is the case with any “Wolfenstein” game, things go downhill from there.

The gunplay in “The Old Blood” is as tight as ever, with new enemies and weapons for veterans of “The New Order” to master. Players can be just as sneaky or loud as they were in “The New Order,” and they’ll be rewarded with the same unique perk system from “The New Order” that powered up abilities by completing challenges. Combined with the frenetic action of the game itself, this makes the main gameplay feel as great as it did in “The New Order.”

However, the story just isn’t up to snuff. This is a huge letdown, as “The New Order” had an incredible story with great character and atmosphere. The atmosphere is still there, as the halls of Castle Wolfenstein moan and creak with the player’s every step. And the characters are still likable, with B.J. delivering funny quips as he listens in on bumbling Nazi conversations. But the narrative doesn’t flow like it did in “The New Order.” The shooty action is never broken up with the careful character development or exposition that broke up the action in “The New Order;” the levels just flow from one into the other, like the older “Wolfenstein” or “Doom” titles. While some may see this as a positive, as it allows the gameplay itself to flow more freely, it comes as a true shame after “The New Order’s” awesome narrative.

But nitpicks are nitpicks; this is a $20 downloadable game, after all. And for that price, players get an expansive campaign with lots of varied levels. It is sad that the story had to suffer, but for twenty bucks and some great new ideas, weapons, and maps, who can complain?

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/25/game-review-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-is-great-but-not-new-order-great/feed/ 0 The Northern Light
Unexpected turn: Accounts of the Sockeye Fire http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/unexpected-turn-accounts-of-the-sockeye-fire/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/unexpected-turn-accounts-of-the-sockeye-fire/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:15:48 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55226 My mom came inside from mowing the lawn at around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday because she thought she smelled smoke. I ignored her remark and continued to watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix because she’s the type of lady who sweats the small stuff. My dad was in Ninilchik enjoying his free time being off from work as he’s an elementary school teacher.

I had just gotten back from hanging with my best friend in Talkeetna. My plans for the day were to completely veg out and binge watch anything and everything.

As my show continued, sounds from dozens of cop cars, fire trucks and medics zipped past our house. Helicopters and airplanes flew above us. The phone began to ring endlessly. I started to realize that this was bigger than mom’s overreaction.

The people who called had a myriad of questions.

“It started up Sockeye, they have it contained, though, right?”

“Some kids were up until 4 am shooting off fireworks, who was it?”

“They started evacuating Sharon Drive, don’t you live close to there?”

“Is the Red Cross at the community center?”

How am I supposed to know these things?

I could start to smell the smoke in the house. Mom and I went outside where you could see the sky colored grey and red. Everything in the yard had a bright orange tint to it.

Well, that’s not good.

We decided to be better safe than sorry and pack up a few memorable belongings. All of the pictures and photo albums were the first to be packed.

“Put everything that you want in a bag and throw it in the car,” my mom said.

It was weird. I walked into my room and stood there for a minute. I looked around to see what I wanted. I wasn’t emotionally attached to anything except the house. Everything in my room was just material items that could be replaced. I grabbed a heap of clothes and some from my hamper. That’s what you wear the most, right?

By this point, the dogs were freaking out. Ever since I saw “Paranormal Activity,” I was convinced that babies and dogs had a sixth sense for bad auras.

After around 30 minutes of packing up valuables and memories, we had both Subaru’s packed with all our stuff.

So far:
Two dogs
Three guns
One mammoth tusk and several mammoth bones (my dad’s babies, don’t ask)
Heaps of clothes
A hard-drive for a 20-year-old computer
Boxes of pictures
Grandpa’s guitar
A 1950’s Betty Crocker cookbook
One paddleboard
Grandma’s ashes
One Jack White concert ticket

When the cars were packed up and ready to go, we headed out to Uncle Bruce’s who lives close to Crystal Lake. Driving down our neighborhood, Gratiot, we felt the heat of the fire. We could see the fire and we could hear it crackling and taking down trees as it went. Apparently, it was right across the highway.

The plan was to stay the night at my uncle Bruce’s and after the fire blew over we’d go home.

Ha.

As if.

After letting the dogs run around at Bruce’s for a bit, we decided that we could zip over to the community center and see who all was there. We took one car and left the pups at the house. The community center had billowing, black clouds surrounding the building. It didn’t look good.

We were there for around ten minutes and decided we should head back to Bruce’s.

Nope.

The police had closed the road.

So we booked it over to Willow Creek Parkway, the other entrance to Bruce’s house, to see if they had barricaded it, which they had.

Apparently, they were evacuating all of the Crystal Lake area because they expected the fire to head that way. Unfortunately, we were one car short which had half of our belongings in it and were short two dogs.

This was chaos.

The entire sky was a dark orange and it was extremely hot. Everyone was driving like maniacs and confused on where they could go. At this time, we were informed that our neighbor Dee Dee Jonrowe’s house had burned to the ground and that our house was gone as well.

We called Bruce who had already packed the dogs and his belongings up and it was decided that all of us would meet at Newman’s Hilltop, the gas station where my mom and I work.

We pulled up in my Subaru where the station was in a manic state. The power had shut off and people were trying to get gas so they could make it into town without breaking down. I began crying. I just wanted to go home and the worst of it was I had no home to go to.

Mom and I were coming up with a game plan to get her car back when I saw a yellow Volkswagen bug pull into the station. My ex-boyfriend of two years drives a yellow beetle and as far as I know, it’s the only one in Willow.

Well, lo and behold, out steps Chet (yes, that’s his real name) who I have not seen in months. We stare at each other for a moment and he hugs me. He asks what we know about the fire.

“My car is down at Bruce’s and they won’t let me in,” my mom said.

All he said was, “Come on, get in.”

My mom looks at me with a “Is this really happening?” face and jumps in the car anyways. I watched them speed away into smoke.

I waited at the station for twenty minutes and they finally got back. I told him thank you and he left. Apparently, he convinced two cops to let him pass through and sped like crazy to get to my mom’s car.

As if this day couldn’t get weirder.

We had the cars, we had the stuff and we had the dogs. Bruce pulled into the station with his truck and little trailer. His plan was to go to Houston and camp there for the night until he could get home. Mom and I were heading to Anchorage to a family friend’s house where we could crash for a few nights.

After getting comfortable for a second time, just this time in Anchorage and not at Bruce’s, we finally passed out at around 2:00 a.m.

“There’s someone at the door,” I awoke to my mom saying at 2:45 a.m.

It was my dad. My dad had drove like crazy to get home. He stopped at Judy’s (the family friend) to check in on us and try to sleep for a few hours. We all dozed in and out of sleep until about 6:00 a.m. when I got a text from my neighbor.

“Your house is ok. Call me.”

We had been mourning the loss of the house all evening. Mom called our neighbor. Many of the houses in the neighborhood burned, but ours didn’t somehow.

My dad talked to one of the firemen that he knew personally and he told us why we lucked out.

In our yard, there is a tree house around 25 feet away from the house. The tree house sits between three trees, one of which is a gigantic spruce. The fire caught onto the spruce and exploded. The firefighters assumed that the house was inevitably doomed. Suddenly, two planes dropped water and fire retardant right onto the tree house and made the fire turn paths.

Talk about a blessing.

So, we had a house. Some of our neighbors had lost their houses and we lost a lot of trees, but we had a house.

Photo sent to Sam Davenport by neighbor Wendy Morgan Monday morning showing that Sam's house still stood.
Photo sent to Sam Davenport by neighbor Wendy Morgan Monday morning showing that Sam’s house still stood.

 

My dad decided to head home and see if he could help the house at all. As soon as he got there, a handful of hot spots were noticeable in the yard, which he hosed down. For several hours, he ran around the neighborhood, putting out hot spots and patches of smolder, even extinguishing a sizzling garage.

Mom and I were still in Anchorage. There wasn’t a whole lot we could do, since we had the dogs and they wouldn’t be able to breathe through the smoke we decided to stay put. We waited around all day, constantly checking the news, dispatches and fire reports.

Later that afternoon we caught word that the fire had rolled around Willow, going up near Hatchers Pass and back again. Unfortunately, the fire made its way back to Gratiot, our neighborhood. They had evacuated my dad to Houston because they expected the fire to rip its way through.

All we could do was wait. Again.

And we did.

The worst thing about any situation like this is waiting. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do. You can pray and cross your fingers, but you can’t do much more than that for the good of your house.

We kept getting speculation on if our house had survived round two of the fire. Around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, a neighbor notified us that another neighbor’s house had exploded.

When I got word of this, the tears started up again. The uncertainty of whether your house is still a house and not a heap of ashes is absolutely and utterly miserable.

I was heartbroken. The house that had exploded wasn’t even 50 feet away from my neighbor and one of my oldest childhood friends Brittney’s house. Again, all I could do was to hope and wait on the outcome of our homes.

Mom and I dozed off for a couple hours, hoping to get some much-needed sleep. At around 2:30 a.m., I got a text from Brittney. Her house was gone.

This can’t be real.

I went to the bathroom and washed my face, I sat on side of the bath and cried. There are so many memories in our houses.

When we were 10 or 11, we got hooked on this stupid movie called “Be Kind Rewind,” with Jack Black in it. For some reason, we were obsessed. Basically, Jack Black owns a video store where he accidentally erases all of the movies. Instead of buying new ones, he recreates each one.

That’s what Britt and I did. We made Jurassic Park, James Bond, Harry Potter and plenty of others.

I remembered then that I didn’t grab any home videos. I had left all of those movies we made in my parents’ bedroom on the bottom shelf. If our house was still there, I knew that was the first thing I would grab. I knew Brittney would want to hold onto those memories as much as I did.

Then dad called at around 5:30 a.m. The cops and traffic had finally allowed him to get to our house.

It was, by a second miracle, still standing.

The second round had taken Brittney’s house along with a handful of others. This fire has ripped dozens of homes apart, many of which I know. It is so difficult to sit in Anchorage, not able to do anything. All we can do is keep praying and crossing our fingers.

Mom decided that Grandma Barb was grateful we grabbed her ashes before we left. I couldn’t agree more.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/unexpected-turn-accounts-of-the-sockeye-fire/feed/ 1 The Northern Light
USUAA lends hand to depressed Green and Gold Bike Share http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/asuaa-lends-hand-to-depressed-green-and-gold-bike-share/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/asuaa-lends-hand-to-depressed-green-and-gold-bike-share/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 21:42:37 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55221 It was the one of the first proposals set before the newly formed Green Fee Board several years ago: a seasonal bike check-out for students, staff and faculty to cart themselves to and from class through the spruce and aspen-flanked UAA trails.

It was the type of student proposal that the Green Fee Board welcomed. It was environmentally friendly, economically feasible and socially responsible. And while the bikes would sustain the environment to a degree, perhaps the board failed to ask enough questions regarding the sustainability of the program itself. Who would facilitate the checkouts? Assemble the bikes once they arrive? Provide regular maintenance?

After the proposal was given the go-ahead in 2012, it took approximately two years before the bikes were unveiled before the student body in April 2014.

As the yellow cruisers began vacating the shelves — or in this case, the Central Parking Garage’s outside railing, where they were temporarily locked up like a centipede of yellow cruisers — other problems began to arise. One problem was the ease of which the seat could be raised and lowered. Another was the safety of riding the bike at night without any light fixtures. That required the board to purchase extra equipment for the bikes.

Fast forward to this summer and, despite new quick-release seats and bike lights, many of the bikes are in need of maintenance. As a result, in only its second year of operation, the bike-share program has stalled — that is, until two weeks ago.

That’s when USUAA President Jonathon Taylor and Vice President Matthieu Ostrander decided enough was enough. Tuition dollars had gone toward an idle program, and that isn’t fair to students.

“I took over management of the program a week and a half ago,” said Ostrander last Friday. “I pretty much revamped the entire thing to make it more functional. … We replaced the system that was confusing for users — that are students, the library staff who manage the checkout process and the Green Fee Board who was responsible for maintaining and ensuring the assets are being tracked.”

Rasmuson Library circulation clerk O.J. Carino sometimes helped students with the checkout. She said since the bike share program halted after only one summer of operation, fewer and fewer students have asked about it.

“I know when the program started it was pretty popular. It was hard to keep track of which bikes were going in and out half of the time,” Carino said.

To remedy this confusion on behalf of the library staff, Taylor and Ostrander plan to assign each bike a single number, which corresponds to the last two digits of the library’s barcode number. Previously, three numbers could identify a bike: the ‘Green Fee’ sticker below the seat, the bike’s serial number and the barcode from the library all contained numbers.

Beginning this week, student government will look for volunteers to provide basic maintenance to the bikes. The Green Fee Board, has recently undergone significant turnover and is looking for faculty advisers and students to join as well.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/16/asuaa-lends-hand-to-depressed-green-and-gold-bike-share/feed/ 0
UAA nursing students to host community fair, “Swear to Care,” tomorrow http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/12/uaa-nursing-students-to-host-community-fair-swear-to-care-tomorrow/ http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/12/uaa-nursing-students-to-host-community-fair-swear-to-care-tomorrow/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 19:05:32 +0000 http://www.thenorthernlight.org/?p=55213 Senior nursing students from UAA’s School of Nursing are culminating a seven-week intensive capstone project this Saturday from noon-6 p.m. at Town Square Park in downtown Anchorage.

Twenty-eight soon-to-be graduates are set to host “Swear to Care,” a community fair aimed to shed light of on four forms of interpersonal violence in the Anchorage community: child abuse, sexual abuse, elder abuse and domestic violence.

One message the seniors hope to get across is the shared responsibility a community has in dealing with these issues, according to Chelsea Burg, who looked into child abuse.

“We’re going to focus on bystander prevention … so that it’s not just on the victims of abuse or the abusers, but what can you do as a citizen in our community to help prevent and spread the awareness of this problem,” Burg said. “People want to stop this, they have the desire, but they just don’t know how to.”

The students set up surveys last month at several locations around town, including the Anchorage Market, and social media, to see if the public understood what roles they can play when they suspect an incident of abuse.

Senior Jessica Buchanan focused her attention on elder abuse and said she found many of the people surveyed about the topic were puzzled on even the most basic kinds of intervention.

“A lot of people didn’t know who to report abuse to — like, some didn’t even list the police. … These are really hard topics to talk about. They are even difficult topics to talk about in our groups, so talking to a total stranger, even doing our surveys can be uncomfortable,” said Buchanan.

To help ease some of the tension surrounding these topics, the nursing students tapped into their creativity and came up with games and activities that provide a lighter mode of relaying information to the public. Also included will be a child-friendly booth with games, hourly drawings for prizes, and snacks.

Several organizations in the Anchorage community aided the students’ work, including: Standing Together Against Rape, Abused Women’s Aid in Crises, Adult Protective Services, Office of Children’s Services, Alaska Cares, Forensic Nursing Services of Providence, and Anchorage Police Department. Many business groups supported the endeavor by donating gift cards and other prizes that will be given away.

The event is free for all visitors.

]]>
http://www.thenorthernlight.org/2015/06/12/uaa-nursing-students-to-host-community-fair-swear-to-care-tomorrow/feed/ 0 The Northern Light Senior nursing students pose for a picture while conducting a survey on child abuse awareness in the Anchorage community last month (Top left) Amanda Burton, Anna Kim, Elizabeth Erickson, Gerald Abito (Bottom left) Kate Peronto, Loretta Zakrzewski, Chelsea Berg, Greg Lavarias