All posts filed under: News

Servers, bartenders grapple with uncertainty after dine-in service halted across Alaska

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Former Spenard Roadhouse bartender Shane Russell, photographed with his girlfriend Emma Clyne at their home on Friday, March 20, 2020. Russell was let go from the popular Spenard eatery after Mayor Ethan Berkowitz ordered the closure of all restaurants to anything but take-out service. Clyne also works at the resturant, dealing with to-go orders, but has seen her hours cut. They estimate that as a household, they have lost about 75% of their normal income. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   About 30 minutes before Danielle Bedard, a server at Muse, clocked in March 12, her manager called and told her she wouldn’t be needed. By 6 p.m. the next day, the Anchorage Museum, along with Muse and the Seed Lab, had closed. “Within 24 hours, we had gotten an email that said, ‘This is how you file for unemployment, let me know if you […]

2 weeks of festivities to get you in the Fur Rondy spirit

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’Anyone for Tea? ’ by Team Turnbull at the Alaska State Snow Sculpture Championship during the Fur Rondy winter festival on Feb. 25, 2018. (Bill Roth / ADN archive)

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   From reindeer sausage eating competitions to snowshoe softball, there’s something for everyone at the 85th Fur Rendezvous festival. Fur Rondy has been going since the 1930s, but there are still plenty of new events this year — like the Blizzard Bash, which features a free concert from I Like Robots at Town Square Park (5:30 p.m. March 6) and the Poker Run (5 p.m. […]

Women farmers are on the rise in the Last Frontier

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Martha Lojewski of Mount McKinley Peonies harvesting flowers during their peak season. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Peony Cooperative)

This article was originally written for the Modern Farmer.   In Alaska, where farmers battle grueling winters and short growing seasons, women are almost as likely as men to be planting seeds and pulling crops. On average, 36 percent of farmers in the US are women, but in Alaska, women account for almost half—47 percent. National trends have seen women on the rise, too, with the percentage of male farmers dropping between 2012 and 2017. […]

Alaska’s Trumpian Governor Just Threatened the Health of the Entire State

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton/Wikimedia Commons.

This article was originally written for Vice. Alaska is the largest state in the union, bigger than Texas, California and Montana combined. And it’s in trouble: The state has been grappling with a budget crisis triggered by a drop in oil prices four years ago, leading to a decrease in population, a recession, and Alaskan politicians dipping into the state’s savings. The governor, a right-wing ideologue who dismisses climate change, is further jeopardizing the state’s economy by attempting to deliver […]

Hot-air balloons, street racing, blackjack: Some Fur Rondy events didn’t stand the test of time. Here’s why.

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Photo by Al Geist/Geist Arts.

This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.   A few Fur Rendezvous traditions have stood the test of time. The blanket toss has been a staple of the festival since before statehood, and the Beard and Mustache Competition will celebrate its 69th appearance this year. But whatever happened to some of the old Fur Rondy favorites, like the Fur Rondy Grand Prix or the hot-air balloon aerial display over Westchester Lagoon? Since […]

Security experts warn companies must respond to increase in cyber attacks

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This article was originally written for Alaska Contractor Magazine. In Alaska, cyber attacks are becoming more and more prevalent. In 2018 alone, there has been an alarming number of cyber attacks in the state. In June, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services was hacked, compromising over 500 Alaskans’ sensitive information. A month later, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s computers was riddled with multiple viruses, ransomwares and malwares. In August, the City of Valdez’s electronic data […]

Virtual reality provides new landscapes for Alaskan engineers and designers

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This story was originally written for Alaska Contractor Magazine.   While some might associate virtual reality with movies like “The Matrix” or “The Lawnmower Man,” Danny Rauchenstein of PDC Engineering connects VR to the future of his company. Rauchenstein is the Facilities Market Lead and Principal of PDC who led his team to integrating VR equipment with their software. Rauchenstein has been with the company for two decades. Through the years, he and other engineers […]

Getting REAL: Deadline approaches for new IDs required for access to federal agencies

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This article was originally written for Alaska Contractor Magazine.   Beginning Jan. 2, 2019, Alaskans will be able to apply for a REAL ID credential. Alaskans would be able to on Jan. 1, but the Department of Motor Vehicles is closed on New Years Day.   The REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, “established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s license and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for […]

Planning for the future

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This story was originally written for Alaska Business. There is an array of degrees training workers for Alaska’s business community. From business administration to human resources, each individual is an important piece of the whole. Paula Bradison is the owner and managing director of staffing agency Alaska Executive Search. She obtained her associate’s degree in small business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and is a fourth generation Alaskan business owner. While the […]

‘Build Alaska’ educates about industry, records personalities for posterity

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This story was originally written for Alaska Contractor Magazine.   When Xavier Schlee was hired at Alaska Basic Industries 10 years ago, his boss told him he needed to learn to play golf. They went out for Schlee’s first round, having made a bet. If Schlee lost, he had to join the Associated General Contractors entertainment committee. He didn’t win on the links. But fast forward a decade later, and Schlee is still volunteering, typically […]