February 20, 2017 Max Jungreis

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The Edge Update can be heard every weekday on KRUA 88.1 FM The Edge, UAA’s college radio station.

Local:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution, sponsored by Alaska Rep. Don Young, to repeal regulations limiting hunting practices on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska. The measure is a Congressional Review Act, an obscure legislative tool that allows Congress to repeal federal regulations finalized in the last 60 days with a simple majority. Young has stated that he sees this as a battle over federal control, not over wildlife management. Those who oppose repealing the current rules say that doing so would allow unfair and environmentally harmful practices. Representatives have expressed concerned that the new legislation would simply make it easier to kill wolf pups and bear cubs. The bill passed 225-193 after debate. Currently, the legislation stands a fair chance of making it to the president’s desk.

National:

Despite being explicitly warned not to do so by the foreign ministry of China, a U.S. aircraft carrier has begun patrolling the hotly contested South China Sea region. Under international law, nations have sovereignty over waters extending 200 miles of their coast. China, however, claims to have sovereignty over a vast swath of ocean that descends thousands of miles south of the Chinese coast and borders several countries. To strengthen its claim, China has spent the last few years building artificial islands in the region and stocking them with troops, leading to heightened tensions with the countries that wish to share the area. The U.S. has responded by sending military ships and planes near disputed islands, calling them “freedom of navigation operations” to ensure access to shipping routes. Observers worry that the brewing conflict has the potential to become a global crisis.

Global:

Russian president Vladimir Putin declared Saturday that his country would begin recognizing passports and other identity documents issued by the separatist rebel pocket territories of eastern Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, characterized the decision as humanitarian. Over the last few weeks, tensions between the separatist and pro-government forces have boiled over into violent clashes with a mounting death toll. Ten of thousands have sought refuge in Russia since the conflict began in 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Pro-Russian rebels later began uprisings in the East. Since then, 9,700 people have died.

February 20, 2017 Jacob Holley-Kline

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It’s hard to add to an artistic legacy like Edgar Allen Poe’s. The first adaptation of his work was released over 100 years ago, and more have come out steadily since then. Master of the cinematic macabre Roger Corman secured his place in horror history with adaptations of Poe’s work, the best of them starring Vincent Price.

That’s one end of the spectrum. On the other, you have giallo master Dario Argento and George Romero’s “Two Evil Eyes” and the 2013 reimagining of a Poe masterpiece “The Mask of the Red Death.” The Luxembourger animated anthology “Extraordinary Tales” lands squarely in the middle. Some stories are better told than others, but none achieve greatness. Weirdly enough, the most inspired parts happen in the frame narrative.

Poe, in the form of a raven, lands in a graveyard and argues with Death about his obsession (or inspiration, as he calls it) with her. Each of the five stories told, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Masque of the Red Death,” are points in their debate, and the result is a humanizing look at Poe’s life. The stories themselves are (mostly) beautifully animated, but some are just boring.

“The Pit and the Pendulum” looks like a PlayStation 2 cinematic and moves just as stiffly. Guillermo del Toro as the narrator doesn’t help much. He’s a director, not an actor, and it shows. The final segment “The Masque of the Red Death” is wonderful thanks to its sharp visual style and near-absence of dialogue. At the end, though, two characters speak and it just takes the mystery of the adaptation away. Why include those three lines at all? They add nothing to the telling.

The opening story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” fares better. Christopher Lee’s aged narration adds serious poignancy, especially considering he died just four months before the movie’s release. At points, it sounds like he’s struggling to deliver a line, and that’s all-too-perfect for a tragedy like “Usher.”

The movie’s peak comes early, though. “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar,” acted and narrated by Julian Sands, is a vigorous callback to the heyday of horror comics. The art is just the right shade of sickly and warm with stark color contrasts built into every scene. It’s just an excellent piece of animation enlivened even more by Sands’ eclectic delivery.

But in the end, “Extraordinary Tales” doesn’t rise above its flaws. The point of an anthology like this is the stories, and the movie misses that point. Instead, it glues each segment together with a far more fascinating meditation on Poe’s work and identity. That alone is a worthy contribution to Poe’s legacy in cinema, but “Extraordinary Tales” adds little else.

February 20, 2017 Alexis Abbott
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Many people would benefit from the availability of Uber in Alaska, but before they can legally come back to Alaska, certain legislation must pass. Photo credit: Young Kim

A potential renew of Uber pushed by assemblyman Bill Evans has left local cab companies concerned how business will keep up. Evans filed an ordinance last week that contracts regulations for local ride-booking companies including Uber, Lyft and Anchorage taxi-cab services.

Uber briefly operated in Anchorage in 2014 but the State of Alaska ceased operations of the ride-sharing service for failing to comply with the law. Local taxi services do not follow the same regulations as Uber and similar ride-booking companies, leaving Anchorage cab companies worried how competition will affect future business.

Michael Thompson, president of checker cab in Anchorage, says the uneven regulations between local companies and Uber create an unfair environment for ride-booking in the city.

“If Uber had to follow the same exact rules that we do, I would be fine with them coming back up here…Or if we were allowed to follow the same rules as Uber does, I would be fine with it. We’re both taxi companies but they get a pretty big advantage with the way the rules are set up,” Thompson said.

Thompson mentioned some of the regulations that vary between Uber and local companies including mandatory inspections every three to six months, federal background checks and having a camera in the vehicle at all times. These are all rules that local taxi services are required to follow, while Uber is not.

Those that are employed by Anchorage cab companies feel uncertain about Uber coming back without having to operate by the same guidelines.

“It’s going to take business away. The economy is kind of on the downhill right now, the way the city and state has been losing jobs like crazy, we’ve been seeing a decline in business. Adding another transportation company to share the same amount of business is going to hurt,” Thompson said.

A comparison of Uber versus local ride-booking companies is a topic of conversation among supporters of the renew. The convenience of Uber’s smartphone app, ride costs and modernized cruising are just some of the benefits of choosing to ride with Uber instead of calling a taxi.

Fatir Dhillon, a mechanical engineering major at UAA, is a big fan of Uber and is in full support of the push to bring the ride-booking company back to Anchorage.

“I really like the idea of Uber coming back. I feel like it is going to help a lot of people save money, especially college students like myself,” Dhillon said.

Dhillon stressed that using Uber would save him time and money, but it would also provide a more enjoyable experience than riding in a local cab.

Mia Sison, an English major at UAA, also supports the renew of Uber in Anchorage.

“I think having Uber up here would be a great idea. I honestly don’t even know why it didn’t last long before. I definitely prefer Uber to regular cabs and taxis,” Sison said.

Although many Anchorage residents are in favor of the return of Uber, Evans’ ordinance must first be passed by the Anchorage Assembly. If passed, a change in state law is required before Uber or Lyft companies can operate in the municipality.

February 20, 2017 Madison Mcenaney

With the isolation of Alaska from the rest of the country, it can be hard to get anything instantly for most that reside here. Packages take a few extra days in the mail, plane rides are always a day long venture and that can leave most Alaskans feeling like the rest of the country is a little too far away and a little too inconvenient. This is easily applied to concerts as well.

Most Alaskans feel that they don’t truly get the experience that most get when it comes to attending shows, for multiple reasons. Whether it be the smaller venue or the less popular artist, many feel forgotten about up here when their favorite artist releases a tour list and Alaska isn’t on the list again.

“I’ve never really gotten why Alaska gets so overlooked by artists. I think that our concerts have gotten better over the past couple years but I would still really enjoy seeing some bigger musicians paying a visit,” Hunter Meyer, a frequent concert goer in Anchorage, said.

Since the opening of their business in summer of 2013, Showdown Productions has proven to be one of the primary event companies that brings new artists to Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks. Helen Payares, one of the owners of Showdown Productions, manages events and marketing for the company. Payares and the rest of the agents at Showdown Productions work hard to bring up as many artists as they can and have many things they must take into consideration when deciding who to host next.

“We have an entire budget sheet that outlines general costs and break even points among different venues. We take the artist’s fee plus overall production budget and then look at ticket costs. For us, ticket cost to our audience is huge. We’re not here to be millionaires and we don’t want to take advantage of Alaska. However, we also have to break even and generate some income to keep us going, so it’s a healthy compromise of taking all the costs and figuring out the ticket prices in each venue. Wherever it makes sense and makes sense to the consumer is what we go with,” Payares said.

Once Showdown Productions figures out what artists they want to reach out to, it becomes a matter of figuring out which of those artists are most willing to make time for Alaska. Since the state is so out of the way, artists have to be willing to carve a little extra time out of their schedule to make their appearance here.

“Because Alaska is not a regular tour stop for tours, most of the shows that we produce in Alaska are considered ‘One-Offs.’ The process we use is to reach out to management and agencies and try and route the band [or] act when they are going to start or finish a West Coast tour,” Payares said.

Once an artist has made the decision to come to Alaska is when the production companies’ real work begins. Venues such as Williwaw, the Alaska Airlines Center, and the Sullivan Arena are a few of Anchorage’s top spots for bigger artists, and tickets go on sale for those venues as soon as the artist books a date for a show. From there, advertising comes into play, and anyone who is involved in the show gets word out about the artist’s upcoming visit. Anchorage has been known to have some of the greatest and loudest audiences, but those audiences wouldn’t be there if they had no way of finding out about the concert.

In order to keep concerts happening in Alaska, all of these aspects must work hard together to make the show a success. While there are factors that make it difficult to bring artists to our state, they are not impossible, as companies such as Showdown Productions have made apparent. Concerts in Alaska will only get bigger and better so long as the cities have an audience that wants the artists here.

February 20, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Photo credit: Levi Brown

A bill seeking to raise the per-tire user fee from $5 to $50 on winter tires is sparking emotion for Anchorage commuters. The user fee has been in place since 2004 at $5.

Alaska Senate Resources Committee chair Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, proposed senate bill 50 in an effort to help fix Alaska’s rutted roads.

“Every week when I’m home I drive from Anchorage from my home on hillside to Eagle River to pick up my five grandchildren. My husband and I play with the kids every Saturday. So we drive to Eagle River pick them up and then take them back home in the evening,” Giessel said. “The Glenn Highway between Anchorage and Eagle River is dangerously rutted.”

Giessel looked into factors contributing to ruts on Alaska’s highways.

“The major contributing factor that I found in research is studded tires. This is a high velocity, high volume strip of asphalt, and all these factors create ruts,” Giessel said.

Ruts create a danger for commuters all year-round.

“You have difficulty maintaining control. It’s not just in the winter, in the summer when it’s raining and the ruts fill up with water then hydroplaning becomes an issue,” Giessel said.

Not everyone is convinced that an exponential raise in the per-tire user fee is the answer to Alaska’s road problems.

“I gather that the reasoning behind the increase is to help fix the bad and rutty roads that are caused by the studs. I would be accepting of a slight increase by maybe $5, $10. With the original proposed amount, the amount of studded tires in circulation will drop significantly, so only the richer folks could afford them,” Matthew Newkirk, UAA logistics student and studded tire user, said. “In that case, banning studded tires altogether would be preferable over the significant increase, so that no one is contributing to the ruts.”

Others are worried that, while a user fee increase may decrease ruts, low-income families will hurt from the legislation.

“A tax on the tires is really just hurting poor families. For most people, and I think it’s hard for the wealthy elite of this state to understand, getting into a serious car accident is a huge financial burden. Even coming up with the money for a deductible can be a financial nightmare. For low-income families even dealing with tire change season is a financial burden… We need these low-income families to have access to transportation during the winter,” Kieth Greinier, Anchorage resident, said.

While some Anchoragites use all-season tires or summer tires year-round, some residents think studded tires are essential for winter driving safety and should not be taxed so heavily.

“I have studded tires which I’ll be replacing this year and seeing this tax hike makes me upset, especially since I feel studded tires are essential, especially with the type of road conditions we have in Alaska,” Harrison Jennings, UAA music student, said. “They’ve saved me in situations where if I didn’t have my studs, I would’ve easily gotten into an accident, or worse.”

All the money from the user fee goes specifically towards Alaska’s Department of Transportation to fix rutted roads.

A hearing for senate bill 50 will be held on Feb. 23.

February 20, 2017 Brenda Craig
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Photo credit: Jules Hannah

To some, roller skating around in circles and hitting people is not their idea of fun. For Nicole Sola, better known as ‘Supernova’ on the track, wouldn’t have it any other way. Sola is an electrical engineering major at UAA and member of the Rage City Rollergirls derby team on her off time. Although there is a lot of skating and hitting involved in roller derby, there is much more to this underground sport than meets the eye.

Being a fan of competitive sports and not having many options after high school influenced Sola to try something new. She had an interest in roller derby in the past, which sparked her interest and being participating in the fall of 2014.

“I was scared because I don’t like meeting new people either, I was just at a time in my life that I really want to make new friends, meet new people and wanted to try something new. I literally just bought my gear and showed up,” Sola said.

Sola has been a part of the roller derby community since then and attends practice at least three times a week. Shen has played in many tournaments in Alaska. Being in the roller derby scene has fulfilled Sola in her playful competitive needs while creating new friendships.

“Being a part of this team means that I can be competitive, play a sport that I really love with people who have become like a family, and continually learn new strategies,” Sola said. “I have people that rely on me but I also rely on them, on and off the track, it is always so much fun.”

While roller derby is a contact sport, there are many rules and strategies to the game. Besides the skating and hitting, the actual point in roller derby is to score points by passing the opposite team. Sola explains that there are five members of the team at a time that consists of four ‘blockers’ and a ‘jammer.’ The jammer is the person who scores the points by making her way through the other team’s blockers, which are known as a ‘pack.’ On the other hand, the blocker’s job is to block the other team’s jammer to keep her from scoring any points by not letting her past.

However, one of the blockers is also known as a ‘pivot’ and she has the power of becoming the jammer if the jammer is too tired or needs help. There are many other rules that come with roller derby but the basic idea is to score points by passing the other team a numerous amount of times. Sola plays the blocker position that is able to become the jammer when needed.

One major point that pops up when roller derby is mentioned are the safety concerns. Like many other contact sports such as football, hockey and soccer, injuries can happen at any time.

“A lot of people are like, ‘O

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h, well, can’t you get hurt?’ and I say, ‘Well yeah, but you can get hurt in any sport,’” Sola said.

Aware of the safety concerns, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) provides specific regulations to prevent hazards from happening. According to the Rage City Rollergirls website, “Each skater in our league must meet the WFTDA minimum skill requirements, including basic skating skills, falls, balance/agility, skating with others, blocking and knowledge of rules.” Safety gear such as helmets, elbow pads, kneepads, wrist guards and mouth guards are required.

Even though Sola has only been in the roller derby league for three years, it has become a part of who she and exposes her to new people every day.

“Roller derby has become a big part of my life I have met so many amazing people and friends through roller derby,” Sola said. “It is such a great sport. It has become worldwide and it brings people together from so many different walks of life.”

Sola is working towards her electrical engineering major and plans to go to grad school for astrophysics or astro-engineering and hopes to work for NASA in the future while continuing to participate in roller derby in the mean time.

“If that fails, I will just become a pro derby girl, kind of joking. I will play derby until it no longer fits into my schedule or life,” Sola said.

Starting a new hobby or sport can be nerve-wracking when you’ve never done it before. In roller derby, everyone is very supportive in helping individuals looking to join.

“It is super empowering because you’re playing with this group of women who are very supportive and encouraging to you,” Sola said. “I would definitely encourage other people to join derby, or any sport really. So many people think that you have to be a certain shape or size to play a sport, but in derby literally any and all sizes have an advantage. A lot of people on the team had never even played a sport before joining derby.”

Over the last couple of years, roller derby has been impacting Alaska forming over 20 roller derby teams all over the state. The growing amount of individuals intrigued by the sport has lead to bigger derby meets and even greater friendships. If skating around in circles and hitting people is your cup of tea, along with intense strategic plays, team bonding, and most importantly fun, then roller derby might be the sport for you. Learn more about it on the Rage City Rollergirls website at www.racecityrollergirls.org.

February 20, 2017 Madison Mcenaney

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Few places outside of Alaska can say they have the weather conditions and capability for snow sculpting, let alone the talent and hard work that is necessary for the art.

Jesse Mellor serves as a prime example of someone who has taken on this way of creating art, as he has been snow sculpting for eight years now. He has lived in Anchorage since he was a teenager and found his career in welding once he graduated. Mellor’s knack for manipulation of metal is easily applicable to snow sculpting, which is something he did not consider when he first began.

“I had a buddy of mine call me one weekend saying that he signed us up for the Fur Rondy snow sculptures, and I was going to be helping him out all weekend with that. At that point I had never even thought into this had no idea what snow sculpting really was. This was eight years ago so I’ve learned a lot since then,” Mellor said.

Nearly all of Mellor’s sculpting time happens during Fur Rondy season in Anchorage, when the festival holds a competition for the sculptors. Here, they have one week to carve something out of a huge block of snow to be judged and also paid visits by crowds during Fur Rondy. People can enter as singles or in teams of three, and the winner gets sent to the national snow-sculpting competition in Wisconsin. The ones who enter in this competition take it very seriously, and they put in extremely long hours and effort into their sculptures.

“During the week of sculpting, my team and I put in between 150 and 200 hours of work on the sculpture. It depends a lot on how the weather cooperates but we all are willing to put in as much time as we need to finish at the end of the week,” Mellor said.

There is no specific theme that the Fur Rondy snow sculptures must oblige to, which gives the artists freedom to create whatever they want. In the past, Mellor has taken a more mythical route with his sculptures, creating minotaurs, phoenixes, krakens and other creatures. This year, the team has decided to take a different route and create a more Alaskan piece.

“This year, we’re doing a Native American themed piece that centers around the raven and its importance to so many different cultures in Native Alaskan history. There will be someone performing a traditional Native Alaskan dance about the raven also, we thought a sculpture themed similarly would tie in well,” Mellor said.

It can be difficult for the sculptors to create when the weather does not cooperate, but this year’s snowfall and temperatures seem to leave the sculptors feeling positive about how the sculpting will go. The most challenging part of snow sculpting is often the weather because no one can truly change or alter it to benefit them, so this year’s conditions should only help to create even an even better outcome.

“The most challenging part of snow sculpting is hoping the weather is on your side. As for everything else, it goes pretty smoothly. The people down there are awesome. Everyone is willing to share information, tools, and anything really that would help someone out. I learn something new from these people every year,” Mellor said.

Once Fur Rondy begins, Mellor’s sculpture plus many others will be displayed for anyone to walk through and experience.

February 20, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews
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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

For most people, choosing a college means looking at variables like acceptance or cost. For Toby Widdicombe, a UAA English professor, choosing Cambridge University was part of being the rebellious child.

“I went to Cambridge University for my BA and an MA, and I did that for what I think is a funny reason looking back on it,” said Widdicombe. “I come from a very academic family, and so my father was an academic, my mother was an academic, my two brothers were academics, and they went to Oxford University. I was the rebel in the family, so when it came to university… it was rebellious [to chose Cambridge] even though it’s only ninety miles down the road from Oxford. But the real reason I did it is the funny reason, that one of my brothers failed to get into Cambridge. I thought I would show him who’s the smarter member of the family, and he’s sort of forgiven me for that.”

For Widdicombe, coming from an academic family had its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage was that his parents would take him to exciting locations, like Shakespeare’s birthplace to see his plays, but having academic parents meant Widdicombe was very particular in choosing his field.

“I studied English because I didn’t want my father to tell me how to do science, and I didn’t want my mother to tell me how to do history. My mother, in particular, would have absolutely told me how to do history,” Widdicombe said.

At the time, Widdicombe says his father was one of the half-dozen best known respiratory physiologists in Europe, as well as a professor at Oxford University. He believes his mother would have taught at Oxford as well if she hadn’t had three kids to look after.

Widdicombe does have a great deal of passion for English, and his plan is to write a good example of every book an academic in his field could write. So far, Widdicombe has authored and coauthored numerous books on Shakespeare, he’s worked on several distinct projects about Utopianism, and he is in the process of getting a contract to write a book about Tolkien.

Widdicombe has a very noticeable English accent, but he’s been in the United States since he attended the University of California for his Ph.D.

“I had always read a lot of American Literature, and I thought it was wonderful, and I thought, so I’ll come to the United States and learn about American Literature, from the Americans, and then go back and teach the English all about American literature. Didn’t quite happen that way, and there’s lots of reasons for that. One of them is, I was so naive. I thought that the American Ph.D. was the same as the British Ph.D. —that it took as long — the British Ph.D. took three years, an American Ph.D. takes six. By the time I kind of realized this little detail, I was like, okay well, I’m kind of enjoying California. I fell in love, and I got married, so it was kind of like, well, why do I want to go back to England?”

Widdicombe went on to teach at the University of Santa Barbara for six years before realizing he wanted to find a professorship position where he could rise through the ranks. To act on this ambition, Widdicombe moved to New York to teach at the New York Institute of Technology.

“I didn’t like it there, and you can tell one of the reasons I might not like it was because of what the students said the acronym meant. The acronym is NYIT. It stands for Next Year I Transfer. Isn’t that sad?”

Like those students, Widdicombe did find a way to transfer, but as a professor and to UAA. At the time, UAA had advertised for a generalist in literature, and Widdicombe was hired for the job.

Widdicombe said he loves his job as a professor, and he counts his dedication to the occupation as his greatest achievement in life, but outside of academia, one of his greatest passions is running long distance.

“I went through something of a midlife crisis, for whatever reason, and I started to put on a little weight, and I wasn’t totally happy with turning 50,” Widdicombe said. “I thought, well, I’ve got to find a way out of this, and so I started running. I sort of haven’t stopped since.”

Widdicombe, who is almost 62, has run around 30 marathons in 20 different states. He has run the Boston Marathon twice and has qualified for the marathon six times, he’s run numerous ultra-marathons, and he even was a part of putting together a 49K in Anchorage for the 49th state. Running is an enjoyable experience for Widdicombe now, but as a boy he hated running distance.

“I started out saying, I want to run just because that’s a good way to lose weight,” Widdicombe said of the beginning of his running journey at age 50. “The first time I ran was in my neighborhood, and I got halfway through it, and there’s a hill. I’m not totally enjoying myself, because I’m not fit, so I get halfway up the hill and I start walking. Of course, there is an opportunity to say, I’m just going to carry on walking the rest of this, or I am going to start running. So I vividly remember telling myself, and I’m English so there’s this sort of vulgar expression that I use. I said, ‘Bugger this for a lark, I’m going to start running again.'”

Widdicombe translated the phrase to mean, this is stupid, and as a man in an academic profession, stupid things are not things he likes to deal with. So he kept running. He ran his first marathon in 2006, and Widdicombe said he was not prepared for it. Before the marathon, the most he had ever run in one session was eight miles, but he remembers telling friends that, “I’m going to get by on raw talent.”

Widdicombe’s talent might not have been athleticism, but perseverance instead, because ten miles into the marathon, he pulled a muscle behind his knee. With 16 miles to go, he decided to continue, even if he had to walk the rest of the race.

“I get to the end of the race, and I am really happy that I finish, and I say, “That’s the last bloody race I run,”’ Widdicombe said. “Anybody who likes these long distance races is an amnesiac, because five minutes after that I say, ‘OK, I’m going to have to run another one of these. This was too much fun.'”

Widdicombe has a lot to look forward to in the future; he has a book on Shakespeare that’s scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2018, and Widdicombe hopes to run in all 50 states. Sometimes the rebellious child in the family learns to run the distance, and for Widdicombe, that journey has brought him to a tenured position as a professor, the position of author and even as an editor for Utopian Studies.

February 20, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Although the cost rent is rising, current management of Title Wave has decided to remain in the same location. The space will undergo renovations soon. Photo credit: Young Kim

Title Wave Bookstore’s lease is up in April and the soon-to-be new owners were unsure if they should stay or if they should go. After weeks of mulling it over, current manager and longtime employee Angela Libal decided to keep the used bookstore in the Spenard Northern Light’s Center strip mall where’s been since 2002.

“Title Wave is an iconic store of Spenard and I think it’s great that they are staying there and staying true to that neighborhood,” Matthew Palmer, a Title Wave customer said.

Libal will be remodeling the store’s 33,000 square feet to utilize space.

“We’ll be remodeling and reworking the space to fit us even better,” Libal said in an email.

Customers are looking forward to the new and improved Title Wave.

“I think that Title Wave made a good choice to stay and preserve a spenardian jewel. I think remodeling is always a good idea for a business and it will probably draw in more customers,” Jacob Reausaw, a frequent shopper at Title Wave books, said.

Store credit and gift certificates will expire on March 15 and the buy-back counter will be temporarily closed for the months of March and April while remodeling takes place. The buy-back counter and store credit will return as soon as the remodel is finished.

February 20, 2017 Brenda Craig
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The painting that will be instructed at Paint Night

Student Activities and Commuter Programs have collaborated with Arctic Crown Canvas to host Paint Night to start off Winterfest. Arctic Crown Canvas has been instructing paint nights all over town and Anchorage residents have been loving it. This will be the third paint night hosted at UAA and seats always fill up quickly. This event is free for UAA students taking six or more credits with a valid ID and $25 for the general public.

“We decided to host Paint Night again because we have had great feedback from students that they enjoyed the past events and would like to see it more often,” Kris Morse, applied technologies leadership major and Commuter Programs manager, said.

Paint Night is an event where individuals can come in and bond with friends while following an instructor’s step-by-step painting methods.

“It’s a night where you come and learn how to paint an awesome picture, there is a painting teacher who walks you through all the steps,” Madison Gregory, communications and advertising major and Paint Night lead, said. “It’s a social painting night, come out with all your friends.”

The last paint night at UAA had a huge turnout and many students had a fun experience painting with friends and enjoying the refreshments.

“At the UAA paint night, I enjoyed getting together with my friends and messing around with paint. The food was delicious and it was a very family friendly environment,” Melissa Kapelari, fine arts major, said. “The only thing I could suggest is that this class was definitely a beginner class so it was way too simple for what I was looking for in a paint night.”

For this upcoming Paint Night, an instructor will teach attendees how to paint the northern lights and sled dogs inspired by the Iditarod. It may sound complicated but with the help from the instructors, it will be an easy and fun experience for all.

“Paint Night is a fantastic way to get people to come together and have fun. Making art to create anything whether it be a painting or a cardboard tree or a beaded necklaces can be very meditative and rewarding,” Kapelari said. “Painting can easily be done by anyone, and this is a great way to show people just how exciting and easy it can be to make a simple painting look good.”

If you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house and express your creativity, Paint Night is a great way to start. Even with little to no experience, Paint Night will guide you through and teach you techniques that you can use for future personal paintings.

“I enjoyed my experience and suggest other UAA students to go have fun and paint whether it be through UAA, or the Muse or Hard Rock Cafe and depending on what environment you’re looking for, there’s a paint night out there that will suit you,” Kapelari said. “Paint Night is a great creative way to have fun. I’d say they are more geared to beginners who have little to no experience painting but can still be a great way to hang out with friends.”

Seats fill up quickly at Paint Night events, so make sure to show up early and bring your friends. It is always exciting to take something home that you created with your own hands. Also, the painting makes a great home decoration. Channel your inner Bob Ross at Paint Night at UAA’s Student Union cafeteria on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

February 20, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
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Madeline Arbuckle preforms her floor routine in a meet against UC Davis at the Alaska Airlines Center. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

Already five meets into the season before the UC Davis meet, the Seawolves have received variable results from week to week, but the gymnasts, including junior Kendra Daniels, can barely keep up with the quick season.

“It has flown by. Pre-season felt like it was dragging on and the team was ready to compete, it’s hard to think we only have a couple more meets and then it’s over,” Daniels said.

The began with a rocky start in the Northeast in early January with two back to back losses in the Virginia opener and Maryland quad meet, neither time breaking a score of 188 when their goal is always 190.

However, soon after, things started looking positive in the mid-season for the Seawolves. Although neither meet produced a score of 190, the gymnasts secured two wins with their home field advantage. Wisconsin-Stout joined the Seawolves at the Alaska Airlines Center for two separate meets that allowed the gymnasts to score the previous season high score of 189.350.

Not long after, the team performed the current season high score of 190.900, finally bypassing the 190 barrier — In Sacramento against the Hornets. Although it was a season high, the meet still resulted in a loss behind Sacramento’s 194.900.

Although they pulled off what they wanted, head coach Paul Stoklos reflected that it wasn’t under the best circumstances.

“We had our season high score and we walked away from that really quite happy because we had two of our competitors out of our lineup, one go out with an injury during the event, and one out with the flu right before… but we still pulled it off,” Stoklos said.

These meets lead the Seawolves to the weekend of Feb. 17-19 in Davis, California with a record of two wins and three losses.

Only five meets in and five meets left, the team realized how important these upcoming meets were.

“We are at the halfway point of the season, both time wise and competition wise… but everyone is really stepping up and doing a great job,” said head coach Stoklos.

The meet proved to be rather successful for individual gymnasts but lacked with the overall team score.

Standout junior Madeleine Arbuckle, a Winnipeg local, secured her career-best score of 38.000 all-around with an impressive 9.625 in floor being the highest of all her events.

Arbuckle also boasted a score of 9.500 in uneven bars, just barely edging past her previous season record of 9.425. In addition, her beam score of 9.575 lead her to a three-way tie with senior Brice Mizell and sophomore Kaylin Mancari who shared fifth place in beam.

The only other all-arounder on UAA’s side was junior Morgan Ross. The Reno, NV local just barely fell behind Arbuckle with a final score of 37.625. Securing top UAA performances in vault with a score of 9.625 and in floor with 9.800, putting her at second place in the floor exercise.

Ross wasn’t the only one able to succeed in floor, Daniels — who only began floor in college — was able to pull through for a tie for third with a score of 9.750.

“I had always wanted to do floor, and turned out it was one of my better events in college so being able to help out with that is amazing,” Daniels said.

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Kendra Daniels leaping up in her beam routine during a home meet at the Alaska Airlines Center. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

In addition, the Seawolves produced a season-best team total on uneven bars resulting in a score of 46.975. The uneven bars was led by senior Nicole Larkin, although scoring an impressive 9.700, it only put her at sixth overall, followed by freshman Mackenzie Miller (9.525) and Arbuckle, in eighth and ninth respectively.

Overall, the gymnasts performed exceptionally well as individuals, but it wasn’t enough to surpass UC Davis’ score of 194.900 while the Seawolves fell behind 189.350.

With a second chance to redeem themselves, the Seawolves rematched the Aggies on Sunday, Feb. 19. After returning to Alaska, the gymnasts will have several weeks off before returning to competition at home joined by Centenary College of Louisiana at the Alaska Airlines Center on Mar. 3-5.

“With so many meets in such a short amount of time… we cram it all into a 10-11 period week of time, but i know it every year and warn the athletes every year it’ll be over before [we] know it,” Stoklos said.

Quickly afterwards, the gymnasts head to the Conference Championships when it seemed to be just the beginning of their season.

February 20, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
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Junior defenseman Tanner Johnson blocks a pass in the Fairbanks games for the Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup in December. Photo credit: Sam Wasson/UAA Athletics

A tradition that has been upheld by the University of Alaska, Anchorage vs. Fairbanks hockey teams will continue for the second time this season, in addition to the first duel the teams had in Fairbanks.

The players and head coach Matt Thomas are looking forward to being back.

“It’s been a while since we have been home… it allowed the players to focus on their academics, but we’re excited to be back,” Thomas said.

The Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup had been played for years to prove the dominant collegiate Alaska hockey team. Each season, the cup comes down to a total of four games: Two of them played on UAF’s home field and the other two played on UAA’s home at the Sullivan Arena. Their home games have always been some of the best.

“We know it’s about wins right now, but we have to find a way to get them.. they’re coming into our arena and we’re going to make it difficult for anyone who comes in here,” Thomas said.

For the current season, the initial two games were already played in Fairbanks on Dec. 9 and 10. Splitting the current cup standings, one win went to each of the teams.

Dec. 9 was the kick-off of the 2017 Governor’s cup, game one of two gave UAA the beginning advantage with a lead early in the first period, credited to sophomore defensemen Eric Roberts.

The addition of two more points in the second period to give the Seawolves a comfortable lead was secured by senior forward Brad Duwe, assisted by the Renouf twins, Nathan and Jonah, followed by a come-up by senior defensemen Chase Van Allen.

The game was steadily over after that, UAF only managing one point before time ran out.

The cup continued on Dec. 10 with a win to UAF. The Nanooks proved to be a lot more aggressive than the previous night, knocking out 3 points before the Seawolves even came close to the net.

Nearing the end of the third period, the Seawolves didn’t look like they were coming back with a miracle, but junior defensemen Tanner Johnson dropped in for 1 point, that gave the Seawolves a little redemption but not enough to win.

With a current 2016-17 standing of 1-1, the Seawolves and Nanooks get another chance to battle it out. However, over the years, UAF is far into the lead over the Seawolves. During the 2015-16 season, UAA wasn’t able to win a single game over the course of four games. While UAF took three of the wins and the fourth game resulted in a tie.

A year earlier, in the 2014-15 season, the cup was again split. Both the Seawolves and the Nanooks took the win twice each. For a total running score, the Seawolves only have a meager three wins against the six wins that the Nanooks were able to accomplish.

In contrast, the Seawolves have done noticeably better this season compared to others, therefore having a better chance at redeeming themselves. Every since the beginning of the season with budget constraints, the Seawolves have had many obstacles to get over and get to this point.

“This whole season more than any other seasons we have felt a lot more pressure, honestly than any other season,” Thomas said.

With already seven wins on the season this year with several games to go compared to the 11 total all season in 2015-16 and seven total in the 2014-15 season. The Seawolves are on track to win as many, if not more, this year that last year.

Coming into the Governor’s Cup will be the last regular season games for the team, junior Tad Kozun knows how important these games are to the post-season success.

“We really want to make playoffs because we know we can beat the top teams, we have had successful games against them, which has been a huge confidence booster for us,” Kozun said.

The team faces off against UAF for Governor’s Cup glory on Feb. 24 and 25 in the Sullivan Arena at 7:07 pm.

February 20, 2017 Sarah Tangog
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The Care Team Book Club holding their weekly Thursday meetings in the Den with a sign behind them that reads "Connecting. Caring. Community." Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Thursdays at the Student Union Den highlights the weekly meeting of The Care Team Book Club, an organization that allows students and staff to be themselves, and to think outside of the box. Run by Care Team coordinator Lisa Terwilliger, the Care Team Book Club is open to everyone and anyone and encourages an atmosphere of comfort and reality.

Terwilliger started the club in 2016, after wanting to create a safe environment in which both students and staff could mingle and meet. Terwilliger, experienced in working as a mental health provider, was hired at UAA in 2013 as a Care Team coordinator. She realized that many students weren’t asking for help when they needed it and wanted to bridge that disconnect of communication.

“Mostly people that were being referred to me mostly were lonely and didn’t have a lot of social systems. They didn’t have friends, and they didn’t have the form to make friends,” Terwilliger said, when asked why she started the club in the first place. “Some of these people are Care Team referrals, some of them are just people who see or are invited by others.”

The book club brings in readers from different ages and backgrounds. The club is open to discussions about the subject material, as well as the members’ opinions and whether or not they disagree with the author.

“It just brings people together, and you can get to know new people, you get to have insights about what other people feel about the books, and — I love to read,” Makenzie Johnson, English major, said.

This semester, the book club is focusing on “The Fighter’s Mind” by Sam Sheridan. It’s a nonfiction collection about the psychological and physical aspects of professional fighting.

“The subject material is also very interesting, particularly this book is something I am especially interested in,” Chris Hoch, a business major, said. “I’ve not just learned stuff out of it, but I’m excited by it.”

Though “The Fighter’s Mind” isn’t greeted with as much enthusiasm by everyone in the club, it still sparks many opinions and evokes many thoughts during the club’s discussions.

“I really wanted students to understand about resiliency and vulnerability,” Terwilliger said. This book, in particular, was referred to Terwilliger by a former book club member.

The Care Team Book Club – though still small compared to many organizations at UAA – packs a big punch. Not only is it an organization that allows others to think and speak up, but it encourages a support system that should be scattered onward throughout the campus.

“If we take the book club and we spread it throughout UAA, we’ll have more of a supportive environment,” Johnson said.

“It has a good atmosphere here, and [it’s] a good place,” Joel Stitt, a UAA guest, said.

Overall, though the book club is a place to read, reflect and discuss, it is also a place to meet, mingle and befriend others – students and staff alike. First and foremost, the club is part of the Care Team.

“Everybody on campus is part of the Care Team, you know? Anybody can refer anybody to get help. We all need to care for each other.” Terwilliger said.

This book club is certainly a good place to start.

February 20, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Photo credit: Victoria Petersen

Maria Camila, Daniela and Ana De La Torre celebrate their Colombian heritage through food.

Maria Camila, a management and finance student at UAA, Daniela, a management and marketing student at UAA, both went through UAA’s culinary program where their interest in the food of their homeland grew.

Born and raised in Colombia, the De La Torre sisters moved to Alaska nearly seven years ago when their father’s job placed their family in Anchorage.

For a tasty and easy snack, Maria Camila walks us through the making of pan de yuca (yuca bread).

Traditionally yuca flour is used to make this dish, but tapioca starch works just as well. Locally tapioca starch can be at Red Apple Market in Mountain View.

If you can’t find queso fresco, the De La Torre’s recommended mozzarella as a good substitute.

This bread can be eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Enjoy on its own or serve with honey: a De La Torre recommendation.

Ingredients:

1 cup yuca flour/tapioca starch

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 large eggs

10 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

1 and a half cups of milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a stand-up mixer or immersion blender mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk and cheese).

3. In a separate bowl, mix together starch or flour and baking powder.

4. Slowly incorporate the flour or starch mixture into the wet ingredients, blending or mixing at the same time.

5. Mix until the batter is liquid and pour into muffin tins, filling each about halfway.

6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

February 20, 2017 Brenda Craig
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Photo credit: Levi Brown

Controversy has sparked in the marijuana community. On Feb. 9, Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office raided all marijuana retailers in Alaska of CBD oils. Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive substance that gives the medicinal properties of cannabis without being high. CBD is extremely low in tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that causes a euphoric high, which allows consumers to get the medical purposes of marijuana without the effects.

According to the Alaska Marijuana Regulation, the CDB products were from out of state and were not packaged and labeled correctly, which violates the state’s law. Sara Chambers, director of AMCO, wrote in a press release that marijuana retailers selling the CDB products did not go through the states testing and packaging requirements. This led to AMCO confiscating all the unapproved CBD oils from licensed marijuana retailers.

The removal of CBD oils has left many Anchorage residents confused on the situation when federal law allows oils with low THC concentrations.

“Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office are majorly suspect for taking away the vape kids means of getting high, especially when CBD oils are federally legal,” Jeremy Locke, Anchorage resident, said. “They should have worked toward getting the amendments to the law, or at least reimbursed the retailers.”

Many individuals rely on CBD oil to self-medicate and because there is no protection on the oils, they are left without it.

“CBD oil provides many wonderful medicinal effects associated with it and AMCO is denying patients medication that, in many cases, affects their quality of life significantly,” Zach Lestenkof, civil engineering major, said. “I think the AMCO seizing CBD oils is ridiculous and I believe there should be legislation to protect the sale of CBD. I believe that current legislation should protect marijuana concentrates as well as industrial hemp oils.”

Before the raid, Sam Ingram, lead register at Alaska Fireweed, was selling CBD oils to customers looking to ease their pain.

“I’m not trying to sound like a doctor or give medical advice because we aren’t allowed to do that, but it really helps people and it’s a shame they took it off the shelves,” Ingram said.

CBD oils come in various forms and have numerous medical advantages that can replace over the counter and prescription medicine.

“These products can vary from lotions, salves, edibles, sprays, or tinctures. People use these products for a variety of medical conditions, CBD helps those suffering from anxiety, seizures, arthritis, diabetes, depression, PTSD, and a plethora of other common conditions,” Lestenkof said.

Along with the salves, lotions, edibles and other topical consumption methods there is also CBD oils, which rely on extraction using solvents, pressure and low heat. CBD oil can be taken directly via “dabbing” inside of a pill, mixed into foods, Lestenkof mentions.

Other methods that are more discreet are using CBD tinctures that are alcohol based extracts that can be dropped onto the tongue. However, one of the most common methods for consuming CBD is vaporizing that can help an individual get the medical benefits faster than the other methods.

A lot of people believe that AMCO could have handled the situation differently without leaving marijuana retailers and residents confused. Without warning, marijuana retailers were not aware that CBD were not illegal in Alaska and were not given the chance to take the oils off the shelves.

“I think AMCO should have attempted to contact shop owners rather than raid shops and give little to no explanation. I understand that current legislation doesn’t protect the regulation of industrial hemp oils but I don’t believe AMCO handled the situation the right way,” Lestenkof said. “Rather than raiding shops, they should have notified them that CBD oils were not yet legal for sale in Alaska and instead should have pushed for the current legislation to be altered allowing the sales of CBD oils.”

It is unsure when and if CBD oils will return to marijuana retailers. Before it is decided whether or not CBDs will be legal to sell, there will be a board hearing determining the decision.

“Retail establishments cited by AMCO will appear before the Alaska Marijuana Control Board to determine the disposition of the products inventories by the state,” according to AMCO’s press release on Feb. 10. “The board hearing will be closed to the public, but a record of the board’s decision will be made public.”

Although CBD oils are not for sale in local cannabis retailers, the raid did not affect health food stores because of the lack of resources. Until the board hearing, the fate of CBD oils is unknown in Alaska. AMCO will be providing further information on the agency website about the sale of CBD oil.

February 20, 2017 Alexis Abbott

The transcript study recently conducted by the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), researched college readiness at the University of Alaska. The study examined the number of students in need of developmental coursework arriving at all UA campuses in the past ten years.

Since the results were released, the University of Alaska and State Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) issued an official statement stating that they are stepping up to strengthen alignment between their two education systems. Their goal is to dramatically improve educational attainment in Alaska in hopes of improving economic ambition.

In September, the UA Board of Regents and the State Board of Education committed to work together on building a better education culture in the state. The transcript study found that 60 percent of students from Alaska’s largest high schools arrive at the University of Alaska needing remedial classes.

As many as 70 percent of students from Alaska with honor roll GPAs need remedial coursework when beginning college. That means those high percentage of students are paying for high-school-level classes.

Herb Schroeder, professor of engineering at UAA, vice provost for ANSEP, says that curriculum needs to be realigned between the university and K-12.

“We knew that this was a problem, particularly from students coming in from rural schools, but we were shocked to find out that it was a statewide problem for students of all ethnicities,” Schroeder said. “What is happening is that high schools are giving students diplomas and telling them that they are ready for college and they are not.”

The data taken from students for the survey totals 15,016, where just over 60 percent require developmental coursework.

The UA transcript study stated the importance of the results – students are passing college-level courses in high school only to retake them when they come to the university, the state is paying for students to take these courses more than once and students and their families continue to pay for the college courses after the students previously passed the classes in high school.

A link is needed between the university and the transition students make after high school.

“Mentally and physically, I think I was on the fence. I was excited and intrigued about being a college student but at the same time, I was nervous and unsure. That was probably due to the fact that I wasn’t academically prepared and felt rushed to become an adult…I ended up switching majors twice and figuring out what I wanted to do after three years of wasted money and effort,” Mariah DeJesus-Remaklus, a UAA journalism student, said.

Many students feel pressured to go to college immediately after high school, even when they are not scholastically ready.

“College hit me like a truck, breaking me mentally and crushing me emotionally. I wasn’t prepared for the feeling of not being good enough academically. Previous schooling came easily and good grades were handed out freely with minimal effort in work, whereas college is plain hard,” McKenna Smith, an undeclared freshman at UAA, said.

Better college preparation will soon be instilled in Alaska’s 54 school districts around the state. The goal of the UA and DEED is to implement a quality control system that provides improved qualification for furthering Alaskan student’s future education.

“You have to have some kind of quality control, so students are actually learning what you think they’re learning. You can’t just give them a grade because they show up for class,” Schroeder said.

Learn more about the UA transcript study at ansep.net.

February 14, 2017 Jacob Holley-Kline

There’s a moment in “The Last King,” a Norwegian historical action flick, where farmers turned royal bodyguards Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro, “Masteren”) and Torstein (Kristofer Hivju, “The Fate of the Furious”) improvise a story for the baby they’re tasked with protecting, and heir to Norway’s throne, Hakon Hakonson (Jonathan Oskar Dahlgren). They’re taking shelter in an abandoned barn while a snow storm rages outside.

It’s a sweet sequence, if a bit on the nose, with a rare kind of heart not usually found in action movies. Oftebro as Skjervald and Hivju as Torstein both have a fierce physical presence, but they’re skilled enough actors to soften those edges. When they do, “The Last King” slows down and lets the tension break. There’s no threat and no conflict: just two men trying to calm an upset kid.

Even then, the movie has remarkable momentum. The numerous ski chase sequences have a hypnotic speed that carries through even in the quiet moments. They’re made even cooler knowing they likely happened in medieval Norway. “The Last King” is based on the exploits of the Birkebeinar, a rebel party formed in 1174 around a pretender to Norway’s kingship.

When the movie starts, it’s 1206 and Norway is ravaged by civil war. Gisle (Pal Sverre Hagen, “What Happened to Monday”), the king’s opportunistic stepbrother, poisons the king. As he dies, the king declares his illegitimate son, Hakon, heir to his throne. Little does Gisle know, the boy is guarded by Skjervald and Torstein, two stalwart warriors and farmers. Now on the run, the two bodyguards have to get Hakon back to Norway’s capital before he’s killed by Gisle’s men.

The unique setting makes for some exhilarating action, but it’s not all excitement. Gisle’s storyline is mostly a drag save for Kristin, the daughter of the queen, and her exploits (Thea Sofie Loch Naess, “Mogadishu, Minnesota”). But her hamfisted relationship with her brother, Inge (Thorbjorn Harr, “Karsten og Petra ut pa tur”) bores quickly. Gisle himself is a typical Machiavellian figure. He’s shallow, power-hungry and helped little by Hagen’s comparatively boring performance.

Archetypal villains aside, “The Last King” isn’t your typical action movie. It’s willing to sideline the action for some serious character-building, and never loses focus of its emotional core. The setting is unique and makes for the kinds of sweeping vistas reserved for serious epics. Jakob Oftebro and Kristofer Hivju have an easy chemistry that makes those central warm moments all the warmer, and the propulsive set pieces even more dynamic. When a movie as relatively quiet as this goes by so quickly, why not stick around for the ride? It’s more than worth the time.

February 13, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

As a child, Katherine Rawlins had one huge dream and that was to become an astronaut. Rawlins, who is the department chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a physics professor at UAA, said she was always ambitious as a kid and part of that ambition was directed towards becoming an astronaut. “I…

February 13, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

The Creekside Eatery in the Commons is no longer offering morning breakfast hours, and dinner hours have been shortened. Scott Evers, the area manager for NANA Management Services said that spring semester will offer the weekend services instead of weekday options of breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights.

“Fridays for this semester, we are offering three different meal services: brunch, dinner, and late night. It was several things,” Evers said regarding Friday breakfast no longer being offered. “We have now revamped the whole commons. We did that in a very short amount of time. There are a lot of classes that are not offered on Fridays and we felt that we were going to try it out as a pilot program to see how it was perceived. We are still waiting for feedback with the students to see if we still want to go this way.”

When asked about how students were informed about this switch from morning hours of 7 – 10 a.m. to brunch which will be 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Evers said Seawolf Dining explained everything on their social media.

Seawolf Dining’s Facebook page did post on Jan. 27, the day the Eatery first closed breakfast, at 8:58 a.m., almost two hours after their normal hours.

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The day of the transition, the Seawolf Dining web page had not been updated to reflect the new hours, and in a fifteen minute period around 9 a.m., six or more students walked into the Eatery to be turned away. When asked about this, Evers was surprised. When staff at the Eatery were asked about the transition on Jan. 27, they were surprised about the transition and the web page not being updated as well.

David Weaver, director of Housing, Dining and Conference Services, said that the change was prompted by a lower rate of students living on campus.

“This academic year, we have the fewest students on meal plans in quite a few years,” Weaver said. “I believe this is related to the State’s economic crisis, higher than normal unemployment, people leaving Alaska and tuition price increases prompting students to live at home with parents, and take fewer classes, or time off from school to work. Because of fewer students on meal plans supporting dining operations across campus, we’ve had to make some tough choices. One was to switch Friday meal service at Creekside from breakfast and lunch to just brunch.”

Weaver also said that not many students utilized last semester’s Friday breakfast hours.

“To be honest, very few students swiped into breakfast on Fridays before 10 a.m., so I hoped it would not impact students much at all,” Weaver said.

Ian Mills, economics major, was one student in residential housing that did like to swipe in before 10 a.m., but Mills said that was before the breakfast option was cut. Mills said he was especially surprised by the cut because he never saw flyers advertising the close.

“Well, lots of weekends I like to get an early start, I don’t sleep in very long, and it was nice to be able to eat something before I went out and ran errands or studied or whatever it was that I was trying to do,” Mills said. “That’s kind of hard now that the Bear [Necessities] is closed all mornings before 10:30 [a.m.] and the Commons is closed before 10 [p.m.]. It’s really kind of late for breakfast at that point.”

Mills noted that even though the commons has been renovated, that some of the renovation promises, like the TVs advertised on design plans, never came to fruition.

“They told us that they were putting TVs on all these posts and we see how that turned out. The posters that are up by the door advertise TVs on the posts. Six flat screen TVs were advertised in the remodel,” Mills said. “It’s kind of frustrating, because we paid, we kind of entered into an informal contract with them under the expectations that we would receive the same services we’ve been receiving for the same price we’ve been paying for those services, and they decreased the amount of service we are receiving, and they didn’t decrease the price we are paying.”

Creekside Eatery’s reduced hours on Friday followed a Seawolf Dining decision last semester to take away the Union Station’s ability to accept dining dollars.

February 13, 2017 Victoria Petersen

Sourdough has become a part of the unique food culture here in Alaska. Easy to make and monitor, sourdough starters can be shared with friends and be used to make a variety of foods; from sourdough bread to sourdough pancakes. Add fresh picked blueberries to those pancakes to make it extra Alaskan.

Sourdough starter is easy and simple enough to make in a dorm room. With the help of the miracle of fermentation, sourdough starters only require two ingredients.

Sourdough starters are used to cultivate wild yeast found in flour. Before commercialized active dry yeast was invented for baking, wild yeast was the way of making bread.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour

4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water

Directions:

1. In a large bowl or container, bigger than 2 quarts and not metal, add flour and water. Stir until sticky dough forms.

2. Once the dough is formed, cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid and store in consistent room temperature. Let it sit for 24 hours.

3. Each day for five days, feed the starter by adding 4 ounces of both fresh flour and water. Do not feed unless bubbles are present in the sourdough starter. Depending on the conditions of your kitchen, this could take less than or more than 24 hours. As the starter grows it will become more frothy and sour in smell. Bubbles in the starter are signs of yeast activity and indicate that the starter needs to be “fed” still. This process usually takes about five days.

4. You know your starter is ready to use when it has doubled in size and is very bubbly. When you stir it the starter, it should feel loose and easy to stir. The smell should be sour and pungent. Your starter is ripe.

5. To maintain your starter, you will need to remove (use) half of the starter in the bowl and then feed with more flour and water. If you don’t plan to use the starter too often, it can be stored in the fridge with a plastic wrap covering and trimmed of half and fed only once a week, instead of every day.

February 13, 2017 Alexis Abbott

Several college students managed to turn their childhood hobby into a mixed media company, BIZZAY. Zayn Roohi and Arslan Malik were around ten years old when they found their passion of creating short comedy videos as a way to pass time. Roohi is the managing director and cinematographer of BIZZAY while he studies mechanical engineering…