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Ice skating on Solstice in Southcentral Alaska | Outdoor Explorer

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Ice skating on Solstice in Southcentral Alaska | Outdoor Explorer



What’s the history of outdoor ice skating in Anchorage? How did the midtown Cuddy Park Ice Oval come to exist? What is Anchorage’s Winter Solstice Festival and how is it linked to Anchorage ice skating and the Park? This Outdoor Explorer answers these questions and more. Every year the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department and their partners host a Winter Solstice Festival at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park. The event features ice skating on the park’s ice oval, horse drawn sled rides, food trucks and dog sled rides. On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock roamed the event interviewing participants, organizers, volunteers, politicians and the events and ice ovals founders. In the second half of the show Jim Renkert talks about growing up in Anchorage ice skating and skiing, how the sports have become the core of Anchorage’s winter city ethos and his vision of bringing winter sports to all Alaskan youth.

HOST: Paul Twardock

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Interviewees:
Ellen Devine, Anchorage Parks and Recreation
Dave Bronson, Anchorage Mayor
Anna Brawley, Anchorage Assembly
Petra, volunteer/tourist from California
Jim Renkart and Art Geiss, founders and organizers of the Oval and event

LINK:
Anchorage’s Winter Solstice Festival
Anchorage Skate Club
Anchorage Speed Skating Club
Nordic Skating: Luc Mehl


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Paul Twardock is a Professor of Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, where he has worked since 1988. He is the author of Kayaking and Camping in Prince William Sound and help found the Alaska Sea Kayaking Symposium/Paddle Sport Fun Day. At APU he teaches a variety of undergraduate classes included Sea Kayaking, Recreation Program Design, Nordic Skiing, The Business of Recreation, and Wildland Ecosystems and Human Impacts.  Paul received his BS in Outdoor Recreation from Western Illinois University, went to work instructing for NOLS in Alaska, then received his MBA from APU.  Paul’s  research includes monitoring of campsites in Prince William Sound and Chugach State Park for human impact, trail use in Chugach State Park, and the Alaska Recreational Boating Safety Incident Database. His passions include sea kayaking, river boating of all sorts, hiking, mountain running, climbing, skiing of any kind, and birding.  One of his last adventures involved a mule ride.

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Paul is one of several hosts for Outdoor Explorer

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Alaska

Alaska Senate Champions Low-Income Seniors and Legal Aid in Sweeping Legislation

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Alaska Senate Champions Low-Income Seniors and Legal Aid in Sweeping Legislation


As dawn breaks over the snow-dusted peaks of Alaska, a significant legislative stride has warmed the hearts of many, especially the state’s most vulnerable citizens. In a recent session, the Alaska Senate passed key pieces of legislation, marking a pivotal moment for low-income seniors and Alaskans seeking legal aid. Among these, Senate Bill 170 shines brightly, offering a beacon of hope and stability to nearly 9,000 senior Alaskans by permanently extending a vital benefits program.

A Lifeline for Alaska’s Seniors

In a unanimous decision that transcends political divides, the Alaska Senate approved Senate Bill 170, permanently safeguarding monthly payments ranging from $76 to $250 for low-income seniors. This legislative act, championed by Sen. Scott Kawasaki, not only solidifies the state’s commitment to its elder population but also removes the looming expiration date that cast uncertainty over the program’s future. The Senior Benefits Payments Program, a critical source of support for those over 65, faced potential cuts in 2019. However, the public’s strong opposition and the recent legislative amendment have cemented its permanency, ensuring that Alaska’s seniors can continue to rely on this essential financial aid.

Strengthening Legal Aid for the Needy

Another legislative victory, Senate Bill 104, targets the growing need for civil legal aid among low-income individuals and survivors of domestic violence. By increasing the state funding for the Alaska Legal Services Corp by approximately $450,000 annually, this bill significantly enhances the capacity to provide free legal assistance. This move not only underscores the importance of access to justice for all Alaskans but also strengthens the support network for those in dire need of legal representation. The increase in funding is a testament to the state’s commitment to aiding its residents in navigating the complexities of civil lawsuits, offering a lifeline to those who otherwise might be left to face legal challenges alone.

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A Commitment to Community and History

Complementing these impactful pieces of legislation, the Alaska Senate unanimously passed bills to rename a bridge in honor of Raymond and Esther Conquest and to establish Alaska Veterans’ Poppy Day. These acts not only reflect the Senate’s dedication to community and historical recognition but also highlight the broader theme of commitment to public service and remembrance. By honoring the Conquests and establishing a day to recognize veterans, the Senate weaves the fabric of Alaska’s history and values into the present-day legislative framework, ensuring that the legacy of service and sacrifice continues to be celebrated.

In a world where legislative actions often go unnoticed, the Alaska Senate’s recent decisions serve as a resounding affirmation of the power of government to effect positive change in the lives of its citizens. These bills, particularly Senate Bill 170 and Senate Bill 104, embody the spirit of empathy, support, and unwavering commitment to the welfare of Alaska’s most vulnerable populations. As these legislative measures take effect, they promise not only to provide immediate relief but also to lay the groundwork for a more compassionate and just Alaska.





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Tune in: Rob Yundt on the Must Read Alaska Show

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Tune in: Rob Yundt on the Must Read Alaska Show


By JOHN QUICK

In the latest episode of the Must Read Alaska Show, host John Quick engages with Mat-Su Assemblyman Rob Yundt, an Alaska Senate candidate, who embodies the spirit of public service and community dedication. A Republican and former mixed martial arts competitor, Yundt is running for Senate Seat N.

Yundt opens up about the motivations behind his decision to run for office, highlighting his commitment to giving back to the community. He donates his entire Assembly salary to Alaska nonprofits. Yundt was the coaching director at
Pioneer Grappling Academy, a martial arts program; was Mat-Su Homebuilders Association president; and Alaska Homebuilders Association president.

As a business owner and family man, Yundt brings diverse experiences and a fresh perspective to politics, advocating for the use of common-sense business practices into government operations. 

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His stance on halting the government’s borrowing spree to fund its activities sets him apart as a candidate focused on sustainable financial policies.

Tune in to discover how Rob Yundt’s passion for public service and pragmatic approach to governance could shape the future of Alaska’s legislative landscape.

For more information about Rob Yundt and his vision for Alaska, visit his campaign website.

The Must Read Alaska show is the No. 1 political podcast in Alaska and the winner of numerous national awards.

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Anchorage man sentenced to 10 years for drug distribution, firearm offenses – Alaska Native News

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Anchorage man sentenced to 10 years for drug distribution, firearm offenses – Alaska Native News


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Anchorage man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for distributing controlled substances and possessing multiple firearms as a felon.

According to court documents, in December 2020, Jack Horsley, 64, sold four ounces of meth and five ounces of heroin to an individual working with law enforcement. When law enforcement executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home, they found more controlled substances and 11 firearms. Horsley possessed an additional 800 grams of heroin in his vehicle and $17,850 in cash.

Horsley was previously convicted by the State of Alaska in 2009 for misconduct involving controlled substances.

Horsley pleaded guilty in November 2023 to one count of distribution of controlled substances and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Horsley was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and five years supervised release.

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U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Seattle Field Division, the Alaska State Troopers (AST) and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Brickey prosecuted the case.

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