The northern lights are Alaska's very own festival of lights during Hanukkah.
Backyard tree-eating moose, piles of snow and limited daylight can’t get the main character down in Barbara Brown’s “Hanukkah in Alaska.”
Brown’s story demonstrates the all-too-relatable woes of winter in Alaska, and just when the main character thinks that nothing – not even Hanukkah – can cheer her up, her father brings her outside for Alaska’s own version of the festival of lights – the aurora borealis! She’s able to lure the moose away from the yard using traditional Hanukkah latkes.
A beautiful tale of tradition, “Hanukkah in Alaska” – beautifully illustrated by Stacey Schuett – truly exposes the uniqueness of Alaska.
One study showed that obese people tend to put food on their plate as they see it, whereas people at a healthier weight scoped out the offerings first.
Keep your holiday calories under control and avoid pound-packing by not eating the “meh.”
What’s the meh? Any food served at a party or event that you feel so-so about. Would you pay for that hors d’oeuvre? Ditch it. Doesn’t excite you to eat it? Skip it.
You can still celebrate the season without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. Create rules only to eat what you can’t get the rest of the year, is homemade, or you look forward to tasting. The rest just isn’t worth it. Don’t waste your taste buds or calories on the meh.
Anchorage is a community full of talented craftspeople and artisans, and that makes it easy to shop local this holiday season.
On Friday, Dec. 1, stop by Blaines Art Supply to view AlaskaWax’s artist’s pieces, which will be available to bid on throughout the night. The following day, Saturday, Dec. 2, visit Spenard’s Winter Maker’s Market, which will showcase a collective group of local artists, including such local favorites as Wild Scoops and Salmon Sisters.
Afterwards, stop by Dog Tired Doggie Daycare for the Howliday Arts & Crafts Sale. A portion of the proceeds from this fair will support animal charities.
The Valleta 2.0 has a trolley strap so you can easily slip it over the handle of your suitcase.
When I travel I pack a large bag for the trip and a smaller one for sightseeing or going out at night. This gorgeous Valletta 2.0 Backpack and Wristlet from P.Mai takes care of both needs, whether you’re jetting to Thailand or commuting to your job.
It’s made of soft leather and two-tone nylon, so will stand up to the rigors of the road. There are padded compartments for your laptop and smaller items. A leather base with metal feet ensures it stays upright when you set it down.
Parents will approve a card game that requires no batteries, no wifi and no screens. (Photo courtesy of Not Parent Approved)
The popular notoriously risque game Cards Against Humanity now has a “inappropriately appropriate” version that – despite the name – is 100% parent-approved.
Not Parent Approved is a new kid-friendly card game designed to encourage creativity, imagination and face-to-face interaction – no screens involved. The rules of the game are simple. Each round, one player picks and reads a question card and everyone else has to fill in the blank with the funniest answer card.
Not Parent Approved is also portable, making it the perfect addition to events like picnics, road trips and holiday gatherings. $24.99 on Amazon.
The Last Frontier is teeming with small businesses that offer specialty apparel and goods fit for the unique Alaska lifestyle. These holiday gift ideas let you support local businesses and delight your loved ones!
• For every sale, Salmon Sisters (Homer) donates a can of wild Alaska salmon to the Food Bank of Alaska. They offer original designs by two young Alaskan fisherwomen.
• Fishe Wear (Anchorage) offers functional, stylish and comfortable women’s clothing, perfect for that next fishing adventure.
Founded by a sibling duo who promote innovative indigenous design, Trickster Company (Juneau) has everything from skateboards to jewelry to sporting equipment.
You'll love the savings almost as much as curling up by the warm fire.
In the Last Frontier, cold winter days and nights have some Alaskans spending a fortune on firewood. Other resourceful Alaskans take matters into their own hands and chop their own firewood. According to the state, quality firewood is found in areas where fires have burned and the wood has dried with little to no bark left.
However, as with any resource, don’t assume it is yours to take. Many places require a commercial or personal use permit, or permission from the landowner to harvest firewood.
To learn more about cutting your own firewood, visit the Alaska Division of Forestry website.
Cross-country skiing to Portage Glacier is a thrill in the winter.
Cross-country skiing is a popular winter recreation activity in Alaska, and with good reason! There are plenty of areas around the state that offer phenomenal cross-country skiing. Here are three options:
• Anchorage – The city offers hundreds of miles of trails, including the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and 1,400-acre Kincaid Park. USA Today’s 10 Best nominated Anchorage as one of the best places in the country for cross-country skiing.
• Girdwood – Head to Alyeska Resort for Nordic skiing on its groomed trails.
• Portage – Once Portage Lake freezes, cross-country skiers can take a breathtaking jaunt to Portage Glacier.
The "Life (After Cancer)" podcast is available via iTunes for free.
When Jenna Schnuer finished her final cancer treatment in April 2015, she kept expecting life to bounce right back to normal. News flash: it doesn’t.
Jenna’s podcast features raw, open, often-cathartic conversations about the fluid line between life with cancer and life after cancer. “Life (After Cancer)” offers perspectives from cancer survivors and caregivers who refuse to sugarcoat their experiences. “Life (After Cancer)” is a must-listen for anyone who has battled cancer or been touched by the disease in some way. Topics include caring for a child who has cancer, losing every hair and the challenges moving forward.
Enjoy The Alaska 100's guide to the best gifts from the Last Frontier.
As the holiday season approaches, the search continues for perfect gifts to share with loved ones near and far. The Alaska 100 has a few suggestions for Alaska items that are sure to please recipients in state and those from outside who want a taste of Alaska!
Barnacle Foods (Juneau) has a variety of tasty salsas and pickles made with kelp.
Photos submitted for the cover should feature at least one person under 18 years old engaged in sport fishing activities.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game posted a call for entries for its 2018 Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet photo contest. Submissions are due Thursday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. AK. Three winners will grace the cover of the widely circulated 2018 Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for the Northern, Southcentral and Southwest regions. Additional photos will be used in booklet interiors. Cover photo entries must feature at least one person under 18. There are no age restrictions for submissions for interior use. Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rules and regulations are available here.
Pets can bring companionship and joy for many years. Plus, adopting a pet sends a positive ripple effect throughout the community.
Pets can help seniors’ health by lowering blood pressure, boosting their moods and keeping them active.
Puppies and kittens need lots of attention, so seniors should consider adopting older animals. They’re often litter box trained or housebroken, and accustomed to living with people. It can also be easier to tell if you’re a good match with an older animal’s personality, which becomes more consistent with age.
Meet Google Clips: a hands-free camera that helps snap, save and share like never before.
Google has come out with a camera that uses machine learning to capture unique moments that you aren’t able to get on your own.
Google Clips Camera is trained to capture soundless video of faces that it recognizes. The camera, a few square inches, offers candid shots and videos without anyone having to take them. It detects ideal lighting and framing and will automatically capture the moments.
Despite being the photographer, Clips does not upload the pics and videos it takes. Everything is saved to the camera’s internal storage. Watch the video to learn more about Google Clips Camera here.
Stand up paddle boarding is a great water sport to enjoy in Alaska.
With over 3 million lakes and boasting more coastline than the rest of the United States combined, Alaska is a dream for stand-up paddle boarders. This trending water sport is gaining traction in the Last Frontier with several companies specializing in SUP tours. Perfect for locals and visitors alike, SUP provides a new, refreshing way to see Alaska’s beautiful backcountry.
Many companies offer beginner classes, eventually graduating to full-and half days on the water. They claim the sport is easy to pick up for first-timers. SUP tours are offered around Alaska from mid-May to mid-Sept.
With the new “8” products – iPhone and Samsung primarily – around the corner, do you NEED to upgrade your phone to the newest product? CNBC had an article earlier this year saying no, you don’t have to upgrade often. Here are ideas for when you should upgrade:
• Out of storage – the cloud may help, but if you’re at capacity with your apps, you should upgrade.
• Cracked screen – cracked screens can hinder your experience. Sometimes it’s easier to replace the phone than shell out for just a screen.
• Battery issues – If your phone doesn’t hold a charge or shuts off randomly – upgrade!
Bursting with local culture, beautiful landscapes and endless opportunities for adventure, Alaska is a special place that deserves its own kind of news. Fully dedicated to all things Alaska, The Alaska 100 brings everything you need to know straight to your inbox in exactly 100 words.
With stories that are short and sweet, readers spend less time searching and more time getting the scoop on the great state of Alaska. Stay in touch with travel and tourism trends, restaurant openings, nonprofits, community events and more in our biweekly newsletter that’s 100 words, 100 percent Alaska, 100 percent of the time.
Iditarod Air Force bush pilots line an airport in rural Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Photo courtesy of Iditarod Photographer Jeff Schultz)
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is more than a field of mushers and canine athletes conquering the nearly 1,000-mile trail. The race depends on hardworking volunteers – supporters, veterinarians, trailbreakers and communities – to keep things running.
One such team is the Iditarod Air Force. The roughly 30-pilot crew with 750 combined years of experience flies from checkpoint to checkpoint, supporting sled teams, race officials and more from start to finish.
Their job begins weeks before the start and continues throughout the race, providing much-needed food, hay bales and lumber to 19 checkpoints between Anchorage and Nome.
According to a recent study, 60.8 percent of incoming University of Alaska students need remedial coursework. Students who graduate from the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s new Acceleration High School (AAHS) in Palmer immediately begin taking college-level courses; most even graduate with enough credits equivalent to one full year of college.
For AAHS students, this means saving a full year of college tuition and a jumpstart on advanced degrees. By fall 2017, ANSEP will be accepting the second class of students to the Palmer Acceleration High School and welcoming the first class to the Anchorage Acceleration High School.
This PSA from GCI sheds a light on the issue of suicide in Alaska. (Video courtesy of GCI)
Alaska’s suicide rate, approximately twice the national average, is an alarming statistic that Alaskans are working to combat. Suicide prevention is not only a priority issue for Alaska’s leaders and health advocates, but now Alaska-born-and-raised companies like GCI have launched their own prevention efforts with the goal of helping its employees and fellow Alaskans.
In 2016, GCI’s Suicide Prevention Fund awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 – a total of $100,000—to nine organizations that support suicide prevention and promote mental wellness. The new effort promotes innovative, community-based programs that reach Alaskans statewide.
Robin Bronen says “climigration” will be a politically sensitive topic
due to previous displacement of
Alaska Natives that
severed communal ties. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)
While Americans debate causes of global warming, one University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist is doing something about it.
Robin Bronen, human rights attorney, executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice and senior research scientist on arctic biology, not only writes a climate change column for the Huffington Post, she is working with 15 Alaska Native communities experiencing erosion and flooding to relocate to higher ground.
Bronen told the Nome Nugget that of 15 threatened villages, only two – Kivalina and Shismaref – have already chosen relocation sites. “The tragedy of this,” said Bronen, “is none of the communities have yet relocated.”