Alaska News

Subscribe to Alaska News feed
Alaska Dispatch News News Feed
Updated: 5 min 56 sec ago

At CIC cross-country championships, music and history are among the subjects

Sat, 2017-09-23 22:44

Nothing in sports is preordained, but Sonny Prosser's victory in Saturday's Cook Inlet Conference cross-country championships felt like equal parts destiny and DNA.

Prosser, a sophomore at Dimond High, continued a family tradition by winning the boys 5-kilometer race on the muddy, messy trails at Bartlett High.

His mom and dad, Maylen Prosser and Mike Gomez, were crowned CIC individual champions in 1991, when Maylen won her second straight title for Dimond and Gomez won his first of three straight titles for West.

And his uncle, the late Laird Prosser, was the last Dimond boy to claim a CIC cross-country championship, taking the title in 1994.

"It feels good to be wearing a Dimond uniform as a Prosser," 15-year-old Sonny said as he tugged his mud-specked maroon-and-gold singlet.

Tempting as it is to cue "Born to Run" as the meet's theme song, better to choose something newer. Something original. Something by 14-year-old singer/songwriter Ava Earl of South High, the winner of Saturday's girls race.

Earl, who has released two albums and was the youngest solo artist to perform on the main stage at last month's Salmonfest music festival, turned a duel with Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh into a solo act. She beat Walsh by 13 seconds with a personal-best time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds.

[Meet Ava Earl, the younger solo performer at Salmonfest]

"Emily and I are in a lot of races together," Earl said, "so always at the beginning we're running together, and I think it psyches both of us out so we always push hard at the start. I try to get ahead of her, because if she gets ahead of me it would make me lose hope."

Walsh, another 14-year-old freshman, said she stuck with Earl until the final kilometer of the 5K race.

"I was determined to not let her put a gap (on me)," Walsh said.

The battle for team titles ended with something old and something new.

The West High boys, spurred by second-place Everett Cason and third-place Declan Dammeyer, captured their fifth straight CIC championship.

The Service High girls, led by third-place Grace Fahrney and fifth-place Tatum Witter, won their first CIC team title since 2005. The team includes one freshman — Witter — and two sophomores.

"Our team is stoked," Fahrney said.

Always a deep team, the West boys showed just how strong they are as a team when senior Luke Jager, the Eagles' top runner, faltered while battling Prosser for the lead.

Though conditions were sloppy, Prosser set a fast early pace on his way to a winning time of 16:18.

"I turned it on at the beginning," he said. "… I was gonna go out hard. I was thinking if anyone went with me, I would break them."

And that's pretty much what happened — Prosser was either in the lead or near the lead the whole race. Jager, whose running season was limited by his ski-training commitments, said he managed to stay with him for about 3 kilometers.

"He attacked and attacked and attacked, and when he did I just exploded," Jager said. "Maybe I underestimated him."

"… The first half felt like I was dictating the pace, but he made it pretty clear in the second half that he was in charge. I fell apart and I heard footsteps behind me and it was all West High (runners)."

Jager was passed by four teammates, all of whom placed in the top eight. Jager was West's fifth finisher, placing 14th.

Cason, who finished two seconds behind Prosser, said Jager's misfortune was his good fortune.

"When Luke started losing energy, that let me bridge the gap (to Prosser)," Cason said. "I passed Luke first and then I chased Sonny. I think I could have had (the win) if there was more space … a 5.1K."

The Eagles easily won the boys team title, scoring 33 points to runner-up Dimond's 64. Things were closer among the girls — Service ended its 12-year title drought by edging West by seven points, 48-55.

Cook Inlet Conference championships

Boys team scores — West 33, Dimond 64, Chugiak 86, Service 93, South 118, Eagle River 119, East 150.

Boys 5K

1. Santiago Prosser, Dimond 16:18; 2. Everett Cason, West; 16:20; 3. Declan Dammeyer, West; 16:26; 4. Nick Carl, Eagle River 16:27; 5. Max Hartke, Chugiak 16:30; 6. Ethan Davis, West; 16:34; 7. Cameron Sheldon, Dimond 16:43; 8. Daniel Bausch, West; 16:47; 9. Alexander Maurer, Service 16:48; 10. Jacob Bradley, Eagle River 16:51; 11. Zephan Ozturgut, East; 16:57; 12. Kaleb Beloy, South; 16:58; 13. Sebastian Szweda Mitte, Service 17:01; 14. Luke Jager, West; 17:01; 15. Niko Latva-Kiskol, Dimond 17:03; 16. Michael Earnhart, Chugiak 17:05; 17. Mason Keffalos, South; 17:07; 18. Dallin Gardiner, Dimond 17:10; 19. Max Beiergrohsle, Chugiak 17:12; 20. Liam Baez-Terry, Chugiak 17:16; 21. Carter Gladwill, Eagle River 17:17; 22. Dakota Rygh, Service 17:18; 23. Fred Rygh, Dimond 17:20; 24. Davin Turney, Service 17:27; 25. Jacob Belanger, Service 17:28; 26. Miles Dennis, Chugiak 17:30; 27. Luke Howe, East; 17:30; 28. Zanden Mcmullen, South; 17:32; 29. George Cvancara, Dimond 17:32; 30. Bryston Monrean, South; 17:32; 31. Seth Chamberlain, South; 17:39; 32. Hyrum Nelson, Chugiak 17:42; 33. Jacob Lestina, Chugiak 17:48; 34. Alex Schuerch, East; 17:50; 35. Jaylon Miller, East; 17:51; 36. Bryce Pintner, Dimond 17:54; 37. Sebastian Reed, West; 17:57; 38. Mitchell Guyer, Service 17:59; 39. Jason Hlasny, Service 18:07; 40. Michael Maddox, Eagle River 18:16; 41. Spencer Putnam, South; 18:20; 42. Simon Keffalos, South; 18:25; 43. Beck Haywood, East; 18:29; 44. Alex Carl, Eagle River 18:34; 45. Ahmed Salih, East; 18:45; 46. Brycen Lynch, West; 18:46; 47. Tucker Lien, Eagle River 18:56; 48. Caleb Robles, Eagle River 19:36; 49. Orion Roach, East; 19:52; ; 9/23/2017; 3:05PM
Girls team scores — Service 48, West 55, Eagle River 80, Chugiak 92, South 112, Dimond 118.

Girls 5K

1. Ava Earl, South; 18:57; 2. Emily Walsh, Eagle River 19:10; 3. Grace Fahrney, Service 19:17; 4. Adrianna Proffitt, Chugiak 19:37; 5. Tatum Witter, Service 19:43; 6. Aubrey LeClair, West; 20:04; 7. Quincy Donley, West; 20:18; 8. Leola Atkinson, Bartlett 20:18; 9. Maggie Meeds, South; 20:23; 10. Caitlin Gohr, Service 20:26; 11. Kylie Judd, Dimond 20:38; 12. Ivy Eski, West; 20:44; 13. Ryann Dorris, West; 20:48; 14. Kiara Sherman, Eagle River 20:52; 15. Claire Nelson, Eagle River 20:53; 16. Garvey Tobin, Service 21:02; 17. Clare Howard, Service 21:09; 18. Sophia Cvancara, Dimond 21:13; 19. Emma Nelson, Chugiak 21:16; 20. Lily Slatonbarker, West; 21:16; 21. Randi Von Wichman, Service 21:18; 22. Breanna Day, Chugiak 21:19; 23. KayLee Manwaring, Chugiak 21:19; 24. Mary Goodwin, Eagle River 21:22; 25. Maddy Maurer, Service 21:22; 26. Maria Cvancara, Dimond 21:26; 27. Lucca Duke, West; 21:29; 28. Lindsey Gerlach, Chugiak 21:31; 29. Ashley Walsh, Eagle River 21:40; 30. Haille Rogers, Dimond 21:43; 31. Myah Smith, Eagle River 21:44; 32. Bonnie Perkins, Eagle River 21:47; 33. Samantha Cole, Chugiak 21:58; 34. Roxanna Reynolds, South; 22:13; 35. Maya Syren, South; 22:16; 36. Kelsey Johannes, West; 22:22; 37. Sadie Oswald, South; 22:28; 38. Mary Reinbold, Dimond 22:31; 39. Quincy Smith, Dimond 22:34; 40. Brynn Kruchoski, Chugiak 22:37; 41. Lindsey Western, South; 22:55; 42. Margeaux Bailey, East; 23:22; 43. Kaley Fleming, Dimond 23:45; 44. Lucy Young, South; 24:34

Past CIC Champions

Year   Boys     Girls
2017   West     Service
2016   West     Chugiak
2015   West     Chugiak
2014   West     West
2013   West     West
2012   Service West
2011   Service West
2010   Service South
2009   Service South
2008   Service West
2007   Service West
2006   South    West
2005   South     Service
2004   Dimond East
2003   Chugiak Service
2002   Dimond East
2001   Dimond Chugiak
2000   Chugiak East
1999   Dimond East
1998   Dimond East
1997   Dimond East
1996   Dimond Dimond
1995   Service   Service
1994   Service   Chugiak
1993   Dimond  Service
1992   Dimond  Chugiak
1991   Dimond  Chugiak
1990   Bartlett  Chugiak
1989   Bartlett   Service
1988   Bartlett   Service
1987   Dimond  Bartlett
1986   Chugiak  Bartlett
1985   Dimond  West
1984   Dimond  Bartlett
1983   Dimond  Bartlett
1982   Bartlett   West
1981   Bartlett   Dimond
1980   Dimond  Dimond
1979   Dimond  Dimond
1978   Dimond  Dimond
1977   Dimond  Service
1976   Dimond  Service
1975   Dimond  Service
1974   Dimond  Service
1973   Dimond  Service
1972   Service   Dimond

Past CIC individual champions

Year                Boys                                  Girls
2017 Sonny Prosser, Dimond             Ava Earl, South
2016 Gus Schumacher, Service         Molly Gellert, West
2015 Ty Jordan, Chugiak                    Morgan Lash, South
2014 Ty Jordan, Chugiak                    Morgan Lash, South
2013 Ty Jordan, Chugiak                    Morgan Lash, South
2012 John Farr, East                            Rachel Roelle, West
2011 Max Romey, Service                  Lydia Blanchet, West
2010 Silas Talbot, Service                  Jenette Northey, Dimond
2009 Jani Lane, Service                     Amelia Hennessy, Dimond
2008 Aaron Fletcher, South              Esther Kennedy, Service
2007 Aaron Fletcher, South              Letitia Luch, West
2006 Aaron Fletcher, South              Shoshana Keegan, West
2005 David Bondi, South                   Shoshana Keegan, West
2004 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak               Kendra Kennedy, Service
2003 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak               Katelyn Stearns, East
2002 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak               Kris Smith, West
2001 Ted O'Reilly, Service                 Kris Smith, West
2000 Sean McMahon, East                Kikkan Randall, East
1999 Seth Chappel, East                    Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1998 Seth Chappel, East                    Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1997 John Angst, West                      Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1996 John Angst, West                      Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1995 Jim Settle, West Kate               Galbraith, Service
1994 Laird Prosser, Dimond           Kate Galbraith, Service
1993 Miguel Gomez, West               Cynthia Morman, Chugiak
1992 Miguel Gomez, West               Kaarin Knudson, Dimond
1991 Miguel Gomez, West               Maylen Prosser, Dimond
1990 Jake Bartholomy, Bartlett       Maylen Prosser, Dimond
1989 Jake Bartholomy, Bartlett       Jenny Schlife, Service
1988 Richard Lee, Chugiak             Shannon Hanson, Chugiak
1987 David Morris, Chugiak           Nina Kemppel, West
1986 Rob Carter, Bartlett                Cheri Jones, Bartlett
1985 Brad Carmen, Dimond           Nina Kemppel, West
1984 Doug Herron, Bartlett            Nina Kemppel, West
1983 Doug Herron, Bartlett            Julie Reisenger, West
1982 Doug Herron, Bartlett            Julie Reisenger, West
1981 Bill Locke, West                      Robin Wright, East
1980 Grant Walker, Dimond         Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1979 Mike Graham, Bartlett          Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1978 Gregg Cress, Dimond            Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1977 Rick McGuire, Service           Betsy Haines, East
1976 Joe Kronk, Bartlett                 Betsy Haines, East
1975 Robin Rader, East                  Betsy Haines, East
1974 Don Clary, East                       Allison Rudd, Service
1973 Don Clary, East                      Michelle Trembley, Service
1972 Don Clary, East                      Ann Thomas, Dimond

UAA volleyball team outlasts Seattle Pacific

Sat, 2017-09-23 22:24

The UAA volleyball team remained perfect in conference play by holding off stubborn Seattle Pacific in four sets Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The Seawolves scored five of the match's final six points to prevail 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22 in front of a crowd of 1,415.

Chrisalyn Johnson and Diana Fa'amausili each drilled 16 kills and Leah Swiss put up a double-double to help the Seawolves improve to 9-4 overall and 4-0 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Swiss finished with 12 kills and 14 digs and was the bright spot on an otherwise dismal night for the Seawolves on the service line. She served four of UAA's seven aces and was responsible for none of the team's 14 service errors.

"We serve aggressively, but unfortunately this is one of the nights when it almost came back to hurt us," said UAA coach Chris Green, whose team leads the GNAC with 2.06 aces per set. "Luckily we showed enough poise at the right times in the fourth set to pull out the victory."

The final set was tied 20-20 and 21-21 before UAA took the lead for good on middle blocker Tara Melton's kill.

The match featured more than 100 kills (UAA led that category, 58-44) and nearly 200 digs (SPU won that category, 103-92).

Five of the Falcons hit double figures in digs, with Amanda Ganete coming up with 31. Gabby Oddo delivered 18 kills and 10 digs for Seattle Pacific (7-5, 2-2), which leaves Alaska with a split after rallying to beat the Nanooks in five sets Thursday in Fairbanks.

The Seawolves will takes its undefeated conference on the road this week for matches against Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

South tennis edges Dimond 5-4 to win CIC playoffs

Sat, 2017-09-23 22:11

The South tennis team survived three of four matches that went to tiebreakers to defeat Dimond 5-4 and win the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs Saturday at The Alaska Club East.

The tournament determines the CIC's regular season champion.

In the deciding match, South's Khailey Yancha won a third-set super tiebreaker over Dimond's Averyl Cobb in girls No. 2 singles.

Also winning tiebreakers were South's Jake Brown and Lian Lincoln in boys No. 1 doubles, South's Lauren Robertson and Peyton Brown in girls No. 2 doubles and Dimond's Sean Carey and Isaiah Mills in boys No. 2 doubles.

Joseph Hemry and Christine Hemry earned 6-0, 6-0 sweeps in their respective No. 1 singles matches for South.

In the semifinals, South beat West 7-2 and Dimond beat Chugiak 6-3.

Next week, all eight CIC teams will compete in the CIC championship, which determines which players will advance to state.

Championship

South 5, Dimond 4

Boys No. 1 singles — Joseph Hemry (So) d. Conor Bates-Janigo (D) 6-0, 6-0.

Girls No. 1 singles — Christine Hemry (So) d. Aisha Solis (D) 6-0, 6-0.

Boys No. 2 singles — Tyler Jang (D) d. Andy Hemry (So) 6-4, 6-2.

Girls No. 2 singles — Khailey Yancha (So) d. Averyl Cobb (D) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7).

Boys No. 1 doubles — Jake Brown/Lian Lincoln (So) d. Derek Stone/Kyler Maisey (D) 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 1-0 (10-7).

Boys No. 2 doubles — Sean Carey/Isaiah Mills (D) d. Josh Balsan/Gage Webster (So) 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-8).

Girls No. 1 doubles — Kate and Layna Debenham (D) d. Sophia Sanders/Patty Graterol (So) 6-1, 6-1.

Girls No. 2 doubles — Lauren Robertson/Peyton Brown (So) d. Nikira Lane/Kyra Precie (D) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Mixed doubles — Alden Butzke/Piper Laudon (D) d. Isabella Jameson/Steve Kilkenny (So) 6-1, 6-4.

Semifinals

South 7, West 2

Boys No. 1 singles — Joseph Hemry (So) d. Jack Sedwick (W) 6-0, 6-0.

Girls No. 1 singles — Christine Hemry (So) d. Savannah Paull (W) 6-0, 6-0.

Boys No. 2 singles — Corin Katzke (W) d. Andy Hemry (So) 6-4, 6-2.

Girls No. 2 singles — Aieleen Kim (W) d. Carter Nelson (So) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9).

Boys No. 1 doubles — Jake Brown/Lian Lincoln (So) d. Robby Sedwick/Andre Leif (W) 6-4, 6-2.

Boys No. 2 doubles — Josh Balsan/Gage Webster (So) d. Teddy Bahr/Sam Hiratsuka (W) 6-4, 6-3.

Girls No. 1 doubles — Khailey Yancha/Sophia Sanders (So) d. Sydney Bidwell/Jessie Zimmer (W) 6-1, 6-4.

Girls No. 2 doubles — Lauren Robertson/Peyton Brown (So) d. Natalie Fraiser/Alison Butcher (W) 6-0, 6-0.

Mixed doubles – Kristina Yu/Chris Brandeberry (W) d. Isabella Jameson/Steve Kilkenny (So) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (13-11)

Dimond 6, Chugiak 3

Boys No. 1 singles — Derek Stone (D) d. Ian Judd (C) 6-0, 6-2.

Boys No. 2 singles — Tyler Jang (D) d. Riley Fugere (C) 6-1, 6-1.

Girls No. 1 singles — Emilee Groth (C) d. Aiesha Solis (D) 7-6(7-2), 6-0.

Girls No. 2 singles — Bethany Kesler(C) d. Averyl Cobb (D) 7-6(9-7), 7-5.

Boys No. 1 doubles — Conor Bates-Janigo/Kyler Maisey (D) d. Jared Elison/Ryan Winborg (C) 6-2, 6-3.

Boys No. 2 doubles — Sean Carey/Isaiah Mills (D) d. Tyler Winborg/Eric Rueb (C) 6-1, 6-1.

Girls No. 1 doubles — Becky LaRue/Tyana Melak (C) d. Angie Park/Maya Precie (D) 6-1, 6-1.

Girls No. 2 doubles — Nikira Lane/Kyra Precie (D) d. Megan Anshutz/Madelyn Bistodeau(C) 6-2, 6-1.

Mixed doubles — Alden Butzke/Piper Laudon (D) d. Sam Hall/Claire Mahoney (C) 6-1, 6-1.

More than 500 run in the rain in Oktoberfest 5K and 10K

Sat, 2017-09-23 21:55

Karen Kirk and Grant Stevenson ignored the rain to race to 10-kilometer victories Saturday in the Oktoberfest footrace.

In the 5K, Lisa Anglen and Chaven Davidson set the pace.

Sponsored by the Anchorage Running Club, the race was a fundraiser for Bean's Cafe and the Brother Francis Shelter. It attracted more than 500 runners.

Women's 5K
1. Lisa Anglen 21:26; 2. Kristine Percival 22:21; 3. Kari Lovett 22:36; 4. Petra Richards 22:40; 5. Julie Ross 23:25; 6. Maia McCormack 23:37; 7. Amelia Hall 23:56; 8. Amy Smith 25:11; 9. Jaena Tranberg 25:14; 10. Aileen Nimick 25:21; 11. Kirsten Brogan 25:34; 12. Laura Peterson 25:49; 13. Sylvia Craig 25:51; 14. Andrea Barnes 25:57; 15. Meredith Basdaras 26:00; 16. Hannah Haakinson 26:11; 17. Jennifer Mckee 26:11; 18. Beatrix Brogan 26:13; 19. Elizabeth Agnew 26:20; 20. Pam Tittle 26:22; 21. Kelsey Macdonald 26:45; 22. Iris Jones 26:54; 23. Alexa Blakey 27:02; 24. Mandy Johnson 27:07; 25. Lisa Land 27:11; 26. Kayla Davis 27:15; 27. Jen Novobilski 27:21; 28. June Takagi 27:29; 29. Denise Hanson 27:37; 30. Tracey Blain 27:53; 31. Mary Cox 27:57; 32. Katie Provencher 27:57; 33. Karen Divelbiss 28:06; 34. Joy Callaway 28:21; 35. Alicia Vernon 28:25; 36. Heidi Voeller 28:29; 37. Justina Jaminet 28:43; 38. Jackie Sanvick 28:56; 39. Elizabeth Lopez 29:06; 40. Patty Clem 29:08; 41. Tess Baez-Terry 29:08; 42. Natalie Bickers 29:16; 43. Lorianne Mordini 29:19; 44. Debra Kinn 29:27; 45. Elizabeth Jarquin 29:39; 46. Sonya Wagoner 29:45; 47. Ayako Mccomb 29:49; 48. Emily Berard 29:52; 49. Andrea Gaspard 29:53; 50. Karen Loeffler 30:08; 51. Kara Ligman 30:24; 52. Gabrielle Mordini 30:32; 53. Aubrie Frye 30:34; 54. Jennifer Smith 30:37; 55. Erin Morrison 30:38; 56. Amy Koehn 30:38; 57. Meghan Owens 30:39; 58. Caitlin Doyel 30:48; 59. Jolene Kullberg 30:51; 60. Amye Wallace 30:55; 61. Gretchen Weinzirl 30:59; 62. Jennifer White 31:01; 63. Meghan Burdick 31:09; 64. Debra Nielsen 31:19; 65. Sarah Preskitt 31:24; 66. Christine White 31:33; 67. Katia Lundell 31:39; 68. Theresa Phillips 31:46; 69. Vera Hershey 31:46; 70. Margaret Petersen 31:47; 71. Joyce Hudson 31:50; 72. Alexis Smith 31:51; 73. Kim Baldwin 31:56; 74. Emily Barry 31:57; 75. Rachelle Gruenberg 31:58; 76. Laura Baez 32:02; 77. Kendal Kruse 32:11; 78. Christie Short 32:11; 79. Jessica Amacker 32:16; 80. Theresa Dutchuk 32:26; 81. Jamie Woodall 33:04; 82. Denise Wright 33:06; 83. Amber Bramlett 33:11; 84. Lorna Collins 33:13; 85. Rachelle Martie 33:20; 86. Renee Hilliard 33:42; 87. Amanda Loy 33:42; 88. Kelly Bigelow 33:46; 89. Loraine Andress 34:07; 90. Cecelia Maher 34:18; 91. Francesca Longlet 34:38; 92. Aimee Woodley 34:38; 93. Melissa Tholl 34:46; 94. Sezy Gerow-Hanson 35:19; 95. Jessica Jones 35:21; 96. Rennea Goff 35:33; 97. Christiane Schild 36:03; 98. Lydia Griffey 36:06; 99. Elizabeth Krauszer 36:15; 100. Jessy Hilliard 36:16; 101. Brittany Keener 36:34; 102. Aimee Young 36:34; 103. Carly Fielding 36:41; 104. Mary Flanigin 36:43; 105. Brianna Tittle 36:50; 106. Malia Wilson 37:29; 107. Farrah Weinert 37:36; 108. Reina Hernandez Burrell 37:42; 109. Ella Dunlap 37:42; 110. Terri Agee 38:02; 111. Liz Williams 38:40; 112. Melinda Evans 38:43; 113. Rylie Howell 38:43; 114. Amber Cartier 38:47; 115. Pheng Scott 39:12; 116. Tiffany Berard 39:12; 117. Jennifer Mitchell 39:12; 118. Sandy Messick 39:33; 119. Violet Jack 39:56; 120. Louisa Albright 39:56; 121. Amy Siegler 40:29; 122. Ingrid Dunlap 40:33; 123. Allison Brandt 40:33; 124. Kaylee Williams 41:52; 125. Meghan Hall 42:04; 126. Nora Smith 42:05; 127. Deedee Brandeberry 42:10; 128. Rachel Christman 43:34; 129. Wyeth Kirkeby 43:38; 130. Mary-Beth Schreck 44:03; 131. Emily Niebuhr 44:03; 132. Heather Slocum 44:15; 133. Tami De Leon 44:46; 134. Sophie Allan 45:43; 135. Joanne Allan 45:45; 136. Ruth Anderson 45:53; 137. Roxy Petrilla 46:03; 138. Ruth Cardoso 46:05; 139. Victoria Hillwig 46:05; 140. Tiffany Thomas 46:42; 141. Janine Sears 46:44; 142. Diane Palmer 48:22; 143. Melissa Hurt 48:32; 144. Theresa Peters 50:05; 145. Maris Kolev 50:08; 146. Molly Walsh 50:08; 147. Mo Miller 50:37; 148. Brigette Guzy 51:20; 149. Susan Bomalaski 51:20; 150. Ellen Krsnak 51:21; 151. Corrine Wiseman 51:22; 152. Dawn Hansen 51:38; 153. Meghan Paulson 54:23; 154. Drisana Evans 54:31; 155. Jordan Tobin 54:31; 156. Amber Treadway 55:21; 157. Roxanne Babcock 55:44; 158. Kimberly Walters 55:44; 159. Pamela Radcliffe 56:19; 160. Denise Demetree-Trombley 58:18; 161. Terri Dennett 58:44; 162. Kate Bentley 1:00:57; 163. Loretta Mason 1:13:07; 164. Angela Walker 1:13:07; 165. Morgan Mason 1:13:07.

Men's 5K
1. Chaven Davidson 19:38; 2. Jack Ginter 19:59; 3. Kris Craig 20:20; 4. Chris Gregg 20:43; 5. Zach Frain 21:04; 6. Jonathan Diaz 21:19; 7. Jacob Ross 21:35; 8. Benjamin Mccormack 23:51; 9. Rob Clem 23:57; 10. Jamie Harvey 24:18; 11. Dan Baldwin 25:28; 12. Tom Downey 25:34; 13. Liam Mandery 25:44; 14. Colin Dean 25:47; 15. Jered Weaver 25:55; 16. Aaron Farley 26:20; 17. Justin Macdonald 26:45; 18. Tristan Radcliffe 26:57; 19. Zach Herman 27:04; 20. Roy Blain 27:40; 21. Will Mckenzie 27:43; 22. Chris Mandery 27:52; 23. Jenya Aleksandrushkin 28:08; 24. Will Fanning 28:18; 25. Jeremy Jaminet 28:43; 26. Russ Slaten 28:56; 27. Liam Baez-Terry 29:07; 28. Joshua Gaspard 29:53; 29. Danyelle Kimp 30:06; 30. Dave Gosse 30:36; 31. Daniel Jensen 30:44; 32. Tim Orr 30:55; 33. Paul Mordini 31:04; 34. Antonio White 31:33; 35. Wayne Wright 33:05; 36. Joe Quickel 33:16; 37. Jeffrey Martie 33:20; 38. Edward Mccomb 33:28; 39. Brandon Tokar 33:37; 40. Brady Tokar 33:38; 41. Songho Ha 34:06; 42. Joe Callison 34:32; 43. Rhett Jones 35:19; 44. Kelly Cavanaugh 35:41; 45. Jonathan Walton 35:46; 46. Scott Poisson 36:53; 47. Josue Carreon 37:01; 48. Fred Dunlap 37:38; 49. Tyler Thomas 38:50; 50. Charlie Peters 46:35; 51. Jon Nauman 46:47; 52. Chase Walsh 50:09; 53. Doug Miller 50:38.

Women's 10K
1. Karen Kirk 44:12; 2. Erin Kocher 45:43; 3. Lucy Galloway 46:19; 4. Ashlyn Johnson 47:30; 5. Robyn Newell 48:00; 6. Hailee Rahm 48:09; 7. Karina Barenz 48:38; 8. Stephanie Wight 50:04; 9. Julie Michels 50:14; 10. Katherine O'Connor 50:22; 11. Kristen Elias 50:42; 12. Heather Velasquez 51:08; 13. Aimee Gasser 51:13; 14. Rhianne Christopherson 51:16; 15. Carol Halvorson 51:45; 16. Michelle Fabry 52:10; 17. Janet Petersen 52:20; 18. Rebekah Clark 52:22; 19. Cynthia Wymer 52:24; 20. Erika Connor 52:31; 21. Sara Lopez 52:39; 22. Kathy Jacobsen 52:55; 23. Marci Cartier 53:00; 24. Crystal Scott 53:02; 25. Allie Hartman 53:23; 26. Amy Hollon 53:24; 27. Elyse Delaney 53:26; 28. Mikayla Savikko 53:32; 29. Emilia Rusu 53:40; 30. Rita Mckenzie 53:41; 31. Teresa Curran 53:43; 32. Rebecca Wall 53:51; 33. Marissa Wachlarowicz 54:05; 34. Kimberly Buskirk 54:10; 35. Leah Kenney 54:11; 36. Emilyn Penfield 54:32; 37. Michelle Cox 54:49; 38. Yuliya Mcdaniel 54:54; 39. Nancy Alzheimer 54:58; 40. Esther Hayes 55:05; 41. Janet Warner 55:07; 42. Mitzi Pendleton 55:26; 43. Diane Johannes 55:27; 44. Jennifer Gates 55:34; 45. Elizabeth Calabro 55:43; 46. Lara Zoeller 56:03; 47. Ashlee Werner 56:06; 48. Lauren Smayda 56:13; 49. Erin Freel 56:18; 50. Stacy Gill 56:29; 51. Alissa Varrati 56:48; 52. Roman Rubio 57:06; 53. Ariel Turner 57:14; 54. Amela Moulton 57:18; 55. Andrea Castelblanco 57:41; 56. Katie Russell 57:54; 57. Irina Avtushko 57:59; 58. Candice Snow 58:10; 59. Nicole Domaschuk 58:35; 60. Kristen Collins 58:41; 61. Trish Lacey 58:41; 62. Cathryn Krakie 58:44; 63. Kelly Daugherty 58:44; 64. Megan Young 58:51; 65. Britta Anderson 58:51; 66. Lisa Kelley 59:04; 67. Lisa Griswold 59:08; 68. Diana Guzman 59:13; 69. Deanna March 59:18; 70. Laura Lamecker 59:23; 71. Rebecca Mahar 59:28; 72. Christine Richey 59:30; 73. Erin Campbell 59:52; 74. Julie Veerman 59:57; 75. Tricia Perkins 1:00:00; 76. Loriana Stowell 1:00:01; 77. Rachel Hopkins 1:00:05; 78. Meghan Cavanaugh 1:00:16; 79. Joyce Khann 1:00:33; 80. Lindsey Parker 1:00:38; 81. Alexandra Post 1:00:42; 82. Katharina Zellmann 1:00:42; 83. Melody Eickmann 1:01:04; 84. Carolyn Rudzinski 1:01:06; 85. Katrina Eggers 1:01:17; 86. Angela Craft 1:01:18; 87. Angela Randall 1:01:59; 88. Azuree Richard 1:02:27; 89. Lucille Abe 1:02:27; 90. Cierra Johnson 1:02:29; 91. Kim Lewis 1:02:31; 92. Jessica Maves 1:02:34; 93. Brandy Eber 1:02:41; 94. Meaghan Pennino 1:02:46; 95. Kelly Pasch 1:02:48; 96. Katherine Tutela 1:02:52; 97. Deidre Jones 1:02:53; 98. Sarah Brandt 1:02:54; 99. Riann Anderson 1:02:54; 100. Danielle Shack 1:02:59; 101. Sarah Remaklus 1:03:53; 102. Jessica Cederberg 1:04:04; 103. Brittany Westerman 1:04:13; 104. Erin Egan 1:04:19; 105. Ginger Olson 1:04:25; 106. Julia Thomas 1:04:29; 107. Abby Thomas 1:04:29; 108. Lindsey Ingram 1:04:35; 109. Almendra Guardiola 1:04:41; 110. Cheryl Stewart 1:04:43; 111. Anna Johnson 1:04:53; 112. Caroline Kirby 1:04:54; 113. Kelly Foreman 1:04:55; 114. Sherilee Keopuhiwa 1:05:12; 115. Emily Pitka 1:06:10; 116. Nicole Hayes 1:06:29; 117. Laura Southwell 1:06:39; 118. Aimee Chauvot 1:06:39; 119. Angela Marusa 1:06:48; 120. Candi White 1:06:56; 121. Jodie Mack 1:07:03; 122. Dana Hubbard 1:07:34; 123. Sabrina Diven 1:07:38; 124. Lea Johnson 1:07:38; 125. Sara Howerton 1:07:39; 126. Mary Masters 1:07:41; 127. Cindy Mcelroy 1:07:41; 128. Riley Thomas 1:08:02; 129. Nicole Kordik 1:08:02; 130. Amanda Heath 1:08:13; 131. Veronica Griffith 1:08:36; 132. Terri Thurston 1:08:41; 133. Patti Ruppert 1:08:43; 134. Alissa Noe 1:08:58; 135. Jamie Volz 1:09:07; 136. Whitney Brown 1:09:10; 137. Karen Allmann 1:09:11; 138. Tracy Napolsky 1:09:14; 139. Kara Watson 1:09:23; 140. Deanna Beck 1:09:34; 141. Fay Ondelacy 1:09:36; 142. Stephanie Burchell 1:09:40; 143. Lauren Whiteside 1:09:41; 144. Alicia Hanta 1:10:13; 145. Hannah Kelley 1:10:16; 146. Kelly Hope 1:10:26; 147. Toni Swearingen 1:10:32; 148. Amanda Sullivan 1:10:44; 149. Coreen Chaplin 1:11:21; 150. Tracy Kalytiak 1:11:51; 151. Katie Schulz 1:11:57; 152. Veronica Denison 1:12:21; 153. Louanne Lum 1:12:40; 154. Linda Occhipinti 1:12:45; 155. Nicole Smith 1:12:58; 156. Corie Stanley 1:12:59; 157. Kara Solsvig 1:13:01; 158. Sara Karns 1:13:08; 159. Lauren Evans 1:13:31; 160. Kimberly Shillinger 1:13:42; 161. Darci Horner 1:14:14; 162. Kelly Smith 1:14:14; 163. Jordyn Jones 1:14:16; 164. Misty Ellis 1:14:21; 165. Sanna Doucette 1:14:57; 166. Emily Taylor 1:15:10; 167. Kristin Blees 1:15:22; 168. Shelly Deano 1:16:04; 169. Leria Diaz 1:17:01; 170. Sharon Ritchie 1:17:01; 171. Emma Calvert 1:17:02; 172. Robin Calvert 1:17:16; 173. Abby Stanek 1:17:19; 174. Gia Currier 1:17:25; 175. Margaret Mcdonagh 1:17:25; 176. Jess Young 1:18:04; 177. Bethany Neubarth 1:19:09; 178. Echo Mcdonald 1:20:06; 179. Dianna Clemetson 1:20:06; 180. Renae Sather 1:21:06; 181. Christine Bond 1:22:15; 182. Sheryl Gillespie 1:22:28; 183. Linda Remaley 1:23:01; 184. Judy Krier 1:23:02; 185. Ginny Jackson 1:23:11; 186. Kara Hansen 1:23:41; 187. Haley Wilkinson 1:23:41; 188. Ashley Moore 1:23:49; 189. Leslie Frey 1:24:10; 190. Melanie Clark 1:24:54; 191. Tammy Morton 1:24:55; 192. Alyssa Sweet 1:25:48; 193. Serena Sweet 1:25:49; 194. Amy Fuelling 1:26:17; 195. Amy Severson Christopher 1:26:23; 196. Kim Stanford 1:27:47; 197. Lorrie Jordheim 1:28:23; 198. Jessica Crisp 1:29:26; 199. Karen Weiland 1:29:29; 200. Denise Ringhand 1:30:27; 201. Victoria Kobelnyk 1:33:05; 202. Katie Carlton 1:33:07; 203. Iesha Jones 1:34:02; 204. Eileen Bostick 1:34:14; 205. Madeline Warschak 1:35:22; 206. Jacquie Mateja 1:35:46; 207. Ouida Morrison 1:37:01; 208. Rachel Pereira 1:38:12; 209. Angie Schleyer 1:38:13.

Men's 10K
1. Grant Stevenson 37:44; 2. James Miller 38:51; 3. Benn Schlapia 39:47; 4. Derek Nottingham 39:59; 5. Craig Gulledge 40:39; 6. Samir Patil 40:50; 7. Justin Lange 41:01; 8. Evan Jones 41:26; 9. Scott Clemetson 41:28; 10. Michael Ulroan 41:35; 11. John Koskinen 42:35; 12. Trevor Howell 42:40; 13. Tyler Boyd 42:49; 14. Sam Snyder 42:53; 15. Charles Moncayo 42:56; 16. Gregory Lamecker 42:56; 17. Denman Ondelacy 43:03; 18. Cole Verrett 43:33; 19. Michael Michener 43:45; 20. Eric Richards 43:55; 21. Daniel Carson 44:12; 22. Brenton Savikko 44:28; 23. Stan Flagel 44:44; 24. Tim Lemaire 45:36; 25. Kelley Maves 45:39; 26. David Braudis 45:59; 27. Robert Champion 46:34; 28. Anthony Horton 46:34; 29. Casey Kirkeby 46:56; 30. Luke Carlson 47:20; 31. Jack Bonney 47:26; 32. Trevor Harder 47:42; 33. Henryk Baran 47:48; 34. Brendan Davis 47:52; 35. Greg Macdonald 48:00; 36. Dylan Youngblood 48:50; 37. Steve Crook 49:05; 38. Nathan Strauss 49:09; 39. Jordan Huckabay 49:10; 40. Johnny Guerrero 49:32; 41. Victor Mcgrew 49:45; 42. Travis Hall 49:53; 43. Grant Thurston 50:01; 44. Dan Montoya 50:10; 45. Dominic Francis 50:19; 46. Brant Grifka 50:27; 47. Shane Leaphart 50:28; 48. Mark Jacobsen 50:32; 49. Victor Molina 51:20; 50. Jeremy Barnes 51:20; 51. Ralph Senter 51:26; 52. Isaac Yep 51:45; 53. Eric Steenburgh 51:54; 54. Elijah Gutierrez 52:00; 55. Bret Connor 52:14; 56. Mike Brede 52:43; 57. Patrick Mcanally 52:49; 58. Brent Hove 52:58; 59. Delbert Richey 53:07; 60. Tucker Foster 53:20; 61. Huy Bui 53:21; 62. Tylere Schmitt 53:36; 63. William Griffith 54:01; 64. Troy Mcglashan 54:08; 65. Oj Sollano 54:23; 66. Kevin Redmond 54:44; 67. Ben Krisher 54:50; 68. Timo Zimonjic 54:52; 69. Christopher Doucette 54:53; 70. Charles Tirpak 55:30; 71. Antonio O'Campo 55:37; 72. Edward Hills 55:39; 73. Ryan Cupples 55:59; 74. Rob Gill 56:29; 75. Will Stanek 56:33; 76. Raj Choudhury 56:38; 77. Andres Rodriguez 57:02; 78. Adrian Perez 57:03; 79. Terry Gibson 57:03; 80. Achilles Sargento 57:09; 81. Andrew Brennan 57:10; 82. Kyle Moulton 57:18; 83. Bob Aby 57:35; 84. Keith Perrins 57:42; 85. Ed Sears 57:46; 86. Daniel Murray 58:12; 87. Tyler Doss 58:18; 88. Brandon Childers 58:38; 89. Clayton Harrison 58:53; 90. Scott Yahr 59:20; 91. Frank Thomson 59:27; 92. Nick Lynch 59:28; 93. Charles Boyle 1:00:16; 94. James Hasbrouck 1:00:25; 95. Joshua Phares 1:00:41; 96. Steve Dwyer 1:00:44; 97. Vern Randall 1:02:00; 98. Neil Malutin 1:02:12; 99. Jason Sanders 1:02:12; 100. Lawrence Bigelow 1:02:27; 101. Jonathan Hughes 1:02:47; 102. Andrew Eliquen 1:03:47; 103. Joshua Vanness 1:04:36; 104. Zebastian Barr 1:04:41; 105. Keoni Wells 1:04:49; 106. Michael Dewandeler 1:05:30; 107. Roy Strawderman 1:06:29; 108. Marc June 1:06:30; 109. Mike Berger 1:06:35; 110. Nycoh Johnston 1:06:59; 111. Philip Swimeley 1:08:57; 112. Jason Napolsky 1:09:14; 113. Mervin Terre 1:09:16; 114. Rory Hamel 1:10:26; 115. Colin Sullivan 1:10:45; 116. James Kochergin 1:12:34; 117. Dennis Alzheimer 1:13:10; 118. Jeremy Evans 1:13:31; 119. Scotty Railton 1:16:41; 120. Chris Turletes 1:30:57.

West stays undefeated in flag football with narrow win over East

Sat, 2017-09-23 21:53

Isabella Roberts scored four touchdowns Saturday to help the West Eagles remain undefeated with a 25-18 flag football victory over East.

Roberts caught three touchdown passes from Rebecca Syrup, who amassed 345 yards on 12 of 21 passing. The TD passes to Roberts measured 35, 51 and 37 yards.

West, which moved to 10-0 in the Cook Inlet Conference, led 19-18 late in the game when Roberts raced 34 yards straight up the middle for her fourth touchdown.

The loss came in East's homecoming game, which featured a strong performance from quarterback Fua Filoialii. She completed 8 of 15 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards and 10 carries.

Among Filoialii's targets were Jessica Titzel, whose three catches included a 72-yard touchdown strike; Kimora Nicadao, whose three catches included a 27-yard touchdown; and Tatum Epperson, who caught a 3-yard TD pass.

Maya Baquiran powered West's defense with nine pulls, three of them sacks. Roberts, Nene Johns and Gillian Wurtz each had four.pulls for the Eagles.

Leading the East defense with four pulls apiece were Aniyah Dean, Ali Butcher and Kalina Cross.

Valdez terminal oil spill bigger than initially thought as cleanup continues

Sat, 2017-09-23 21:10

An Alyeska crude oil spill in the Port of Valdez is bigger than first estimated, the company said Saturday as cleanup continued.

As of Saturday evening, crews recovered an estimated 400 gallons of oil and oily water mix, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. said in a written statement.

That was up from 221 gallons Friday and an initial estimate of less than 100 gallons of crude oil residue.

The spill is relatively small and Alyeska is aggressively cleaning it up, but it is a concern whenever oil reaches water, said Donna Schantz, executive director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council.

"Any spill in the water is a big deal, of course. And it's been a number of years since we've had a spill to water," Schantz said Saturday afternoon.

The spill came from an isolated section of pipe that was quickly closed off.

"It wasn't like an uncontrolled source," said Schantz, whose staff members were at the emergency operations center where the response is being managed. The oversight council was formed after the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound. The board vice president was helping with the cleanup from his fishing boat, she said. Fishing boats are what Alyeska calls "vessels of opportunity."

The spill and cleanup are affecting oil shipments. Alyeska says it worked with federal and state officials as well as shippers and oil companies to reschedule the next oil tanker. It was supposed to arrive late Saturday but now will come early next week.

Inventory of oil at the Valdez terminal is at 26 percent, so production on the North Slope is not expected to be affected by the delayed tanker.

The spill occurred Thursday when Alyeska was conducting a planned test of the equipment that loads oil into tankers, according to Kate Dugan, Alyeska's community relations manager in Valdez.

The system is drained of oil before the test, but residue remains. A water pump, intended for fighting fire, draws in seawater at a specific pressure to test the loading arms, Alyeska said.

During a pause in testing, oily water and crude oil residue flowed backward through the hose and piping and into the harbor, Dugan said.

The company and state Department of Environmental Conservation are investigating. DEC said the problem might have been a failed check valve, but Dugan said Alyeska is still trying to determine what went wrong.

The testing began during low tide and the pressure may have been too low, Schantz said she was told. The work paused while crews waited for high tide but then the leak began.

About 230 people have been working on the spill, including 165 on scene over the course of the cleanup, Dugan said. They are working around the clock, she said.

"Right now there are 100 in the field," she said Saturday afternoon.

Boats are pulling absorbent boom across the water, and self-propelled skimmers also have been deployed, Alyeska said.

More than 23,000 feet of boom has been deployed and more than 25 vessels were on the water Saturday to help with cleanup.

A task force was mobilizing Saturday night to decontaminate three large tug boats and clean oiled berth pilings.

The water was calm Saturday, making cleanup easier. Still, fog made assessing the area for sheens difficult. Flights occurred during the day Saturday and were planned to resume Sunday, Alyeska said.

Crews put boom around the Solomon Gulch Hatchery and the Valdez Duck Flats. Such actions are part of the oil spill response plan in Valdez, and Schantz said it was good to see them carried out.

The shoreline in Valdez around the terminal is being assessed for cleanup. Crews are watching wildlife but haven't seen any oiled animals or birds.

ACS’s Bennett, O’Hara run to Region III cross-country titles

Sat, 2017-09-23 21:05

A pair of Anchorage Christian runners won individual titles Saturday at the Region III cross-country championships at Government Peak Recreation Area.

Blake Bennett bested teammate Tristian Merchant by nearly 25 seconds to win the Division II boys 5K race in 17 minutes, 15.27 seconds.

Tessa O'Hara won the girls race in 20:40.85 to claim a 20-second victory over Seward's Ruby Lindquist.

The ACS boys won the team championship with 39 points to Homer's 47. The Homer girls put three runners in the top five to edge Grace Christian by four points.

The Division I races went to Kenai Central's Addison Gibson (20:40.58) and Wasilla's Hunter Hayes (17:52.29), who led their teams to titles.

Region III cross-country championships

Government Peak Recreation Area

Division I girls

Team scores

1) Kenai Central 21
2) Palmer 57
3) Colony 63
4) Soldotna 99
5) Kodiak 105

Individual

1) Gibson, Addison, Kenai Central, 20:40.58; 2) Boonstra, Riana, Kenai Central, 20:41.47; 3) Calvert, Jaycie, Kenai Central, 21:09.99; 4) Bowker, Jill, Colony, 21:48.46; 5) Satathite, Brooke, Kenai Central, 21:51.35; 6) Nowers, Sophia, Palmer, 22:01.66; 7) Wright, Sophie, Palmer, 22:21.07; 8) Ortiz, Lydia, Palmer, 22:24.60; 9) Glover, Carly, Kodiak, 22:33.53; 10) Bergholtz, Ithaca, Kenai Central, 22:33.88; 11) Bell, Nicole, Colony, 23:02.73; 12) Spaic, Sofija, Colony, 23:03.10; 13) Christiansen, Maddie, Kodiak, 23:03.41; 14) Arthur, Erika, Soldotna, 23:05.02; 15) Kalytiak, Nina, Palmer, 23:21.90; 16) Arthur, Kellie, Soldotna, 23:33.31; 17) Novelli, Jazlynn, Colony, 23:45.33; 18) Blackwell, Cameron, Soldotna, 23:48.96; 19) Deering, Kylee, Colony, 23:54.21; 20) Fagan, Malina, Kodiak, 24:05.45; 21) Copp, Zoe, Palmer, 24:14.65; 22) Lorring, Tanis, Soldotna, 24:24.78; 23) Smith, Claire, Colony, 24:34.05; 24) Block, Izabella, Colony, 24:41.92; 25) Vasquez, Carissa, Wasilla, 24:47.87; 26) Steiner, Brynn, Wasilla, 24:56.74; 27) Drury, Sarah, Kenai Central, 25:02.15; 28) Madruga, Vanessa, Palmer, 25:03.18; 29) Doyle, Dareena, Kenai Central, 25:04.77; 30) Berrigan, Aila, Palmer, 25:21.34; 31) Martin, Sonora, Soldotna, 25:22.31; 32) Thomas, Sophie, Soldotna, 25:33.58; 33) Christiansen, Chandra, Kodiak, 25:35.21; 34) Raisley, Ella, Kodiak, 25:44.57; 35) Neff, Shalom, Kodiak, 25:53.99; 36) Parnell, Katie, Kodiak, 25:54.81; 37) Delker, Katie, Soldotna, 26:55.49.

Division 2 girls

Team scores

1) Homer 41
2) Grace Christian 45
3) Seward 57
4) Anchorage Christian 89

Individual

1) O'Hara, Tessa, ACS, 20:40.85; 2) Lindquist, Ruby, Seward, 21:00.90; 3) Daigle, Autumn, Homer, 21:15.62; 4) Moseley, Alex, Homer, 21:23.75; 5) Miller, Brooke, Homer, 21:40.79; 6) Moore, Emma, Seward, 21:44.44; 7) Demientieff, Charlee, Grace, 22:01.97; 8) Jackson, Mazzy, Grace Christ, 22:18.41; 9) Morgan, Maddy, Grace, 22:33.06; 10) Widener, Kiah, Grace, 22:38.94; 11) Annett, Grace, Grace, 22:43.99; 12) Carey, Sienna, Homer, 22:54.60; 13) McLaughlin, Anna, Grace, 23:04.74; 14) Cooney, Hana, Seward, 23:06.99; 15) Ellis, Laura, Grace, 23:18.39; 16) Lindquist, Sadie, Seward, 23:30.67; 17) Carey, Shine, Homer, 23:56.63; 18) Stephan, Anna, Redington, 24:08.46; 19) Fuller, Ashley, ACS, 24:39.91; 20) Rodriguez, Kalista, Seward, 24:59.27; 21) Walker, Hope, Redington, 25:07.41; 22) Davis, Katie, Homer, 25:11.68; 23) Parks, Mary Kate, ACS, 25:14.17; 24) Dow, Sophia, Seward, 25:57.15; 25) Davidson, Harmony, Homer, 26:11.76; 26) Nolan, Grace, Redington, 26:15.84; 27) Tedrick, Emily, ACS, 26:27.40; 28) Wadsworth, Katelyn, Valdez, 26:46.28; 29) Hofacker, Makenzie, ACS, 27:49.93; 30) Tachick, Alyssa, Redington, 27:50.58; 31) Wood, Carlisa, ACS, 28:07.90; 32) Choi, Ji In, ACS, 28:25.15; 33) Brueckner, Shiphrah, Seward, 28:34.72.

Division I boys

Team scores

1) Wasilla 51
2) Soldotna 53
3) Colony 69
4) Kodiak 75
5) Kenai Central 136
6) Palmer 149

Individual

1) Hayes, Hunter, Wasilla, 17:52.29; 2) Dunham, Maison, Kenai Central, 17:59.47; 3) Thompson, Brenden, Kodiak, 18:08.26; 4) Block, Gavin, Colony, 18:16.86; 5) Larson, McKinley, Wasilla, 18:25.39; 6) Meier, Lane, Colony, 18:26.05; 7) Shuler, Josh, Soldotna, 18:29.83; 8) Gruner, Braxton, Kodiak, 18:31.22; 9) Walters, Bradley, Soldotna, 18:32.41; 10) Vinson, Koby, Soldotna, 18:36.86; 11) Bell, Isaak, Wasilla, 18:41.15; 12) Verg-in, Sean, Soldotna, 18:41.83; 13) Steiner, Taft, Wasilla, 18:48.10; 14) Winegeart, Paul, Kodiak, 18:53.06; 15) Chilton, Lance, Soldotna, 18:56.75; 16) Taylor, Josh, Colony, 19:01.52; 17) Metcalf, Bechler, Soldotna, 19:07.18; 18) Torres, Kolby, Colony, 19:07.61; 19) Pothast, John-Mark, Soldotna, 19:09.12; 20) Danielson, Karl, Kenai Central, 19:13.69; 21) Greathouse, Kaleb, Wasilla, 19:28.63; 22) Birbilas, Riley, Kodiak, 19:35.57; 23) Logsdon, Samuel, Wasilla, 19:39.64; 24) Fraker, Wesley, Wasilla, 19:47.30; 25) Ewrin, Landis, Colony, 19:49.83; 26) Maclean, Amiqaq, Palmer, 19:53.81; 27) Robertson, Lev, Palmer, 20:00.83; 28) Nummer, Gabe, Kodiak, 20:02.28; 29) Seto, Youji, Kodiak, 20:04.45; 30) Copp, Ethan, Palmer, 20:26.74; 31) Streit, Garrett, Colony, 20:31.15; 32) Miller, Levi, Palmer, 20:49.18; 33) Ramirez, Simeon, Colony, 21:30.05; 34) Hartman, Hayden, Palmer, 21:39.39; 35) Hanson, Lars, Kodiak, 21:47.23; 36) Villanueva, Josh, Palmer, 21:47.56; 37) Collver, Gideon, Kenai Central, 22:11.46; 38) Bezdecny, Andrew, Kenai Central, 22:32.44; 39) Stockton, Evan, Kenai Central, 23:28.54.

Division II boys

Team scores

1) Anchorage Christian 39
2) Homer 47
3) Grace Christian 52
4) Seward 75
5) Nikiski 164
6) Redington 176
7) Houston 200

Individual

1) Bennett, Blake, ACS, 17:15.27; 2) Merchant, Tristian, ACS, 17:40.03; 3) Davis, Jacob, Homer, 17:56.75; 4) Fritzel, Luke, Grace Christ, 18:04.25; 5) Lindquist, Neil, Seward, 18:08.00; 6) Martin, Gabe, Grace, 18:14.53; 7) Fasulo, Luciano, Homer, 18:20.17; 8) Beachy, Jordan, Homer, 18:36.40; 9) Davis, Joshua, ACS, 18:44.48; 10) Waclawski, Denver, Homer, 18:48.94; 11) Jones, Erik, Grace, 18:51.12; 12) Pfeiffenberger, Max, Seward, 18:51.93; 13) Parks, William, ACS, 18:53.10; 14) Smith, Kaleb, ACS, 18:58.99; 15) Kopp, Paul, Grace, 18:59.42; 16) Coverdell, Vincent, Grace, 19:12.94; 17) Petrosius, Zen, Seward, 19:21.54; 18) Gionet, Levi, Grace, 19:22.67; 19) Beachy, Clayton, Homer, 19:46.08; 20) Ingalls, Trey, Seward, 19:46.94; 21) Van Dyke, Jaden, Seward, 19:47.55; 22) Rich, Bill, Homer, 19:54.91; 23) Leach, Kevin, Grace, 19:56.01; 24) Desoto-Finn, Hunter, ACS, 20:12.24; 25) Koster, Samuel, Seward, 20:14.90; 26) Anderson, Ethan, Homer, 20:34.74; 27) McMurray, Brendan, Seward, 20:40.33; 28) Bohlman, Matthew, ACS, 21:00.13; 29) Wallis, Gavin, Nikiski, 21:13.86; 30) McCollum, Bryan, Nikiski, 21:31.28; 31) McCollum, Aaron, Nikiski, 22:06.81; 32) Alfaro, Rafael, Valdez, 22:07.03; 33) Metcalf, Gavin, Redington, 22:38.88; 34) Yourkoski, Joseph, Nikiski, 22:44.29; 35) Jones, Porter, Redington, 22:54.23; 36) Kirn, Ryan, Redington, 23:08.55; 37) Ashworth, Nathan, Redington, 23:24.09; 38) O'Quinn, Shane, Houston, 23:39.43; 39) Brotzman, Macrae, Houston, 23:41.88; 40) Nolan, Daniel, Redington, 23:43.90; 41) Guim, Lain, Houston, 23:45.47; 42) Swanson, Ben, Valdez, 24:10.43; 43) Heft, Henry, Nikiski, 25:40.10; 44) Wilkinson, Nicholas, Houston, 26:41.56; 45) Hanks, Nicholas, Houston, 27:15.57; 46) Smoldon, Josh, Houston, 29:27.25.

East clinches CIC football title with win over West

Sat, 2017-09-23 20:12

In a game that served double duty as senior night and homecoming for East, the Thunderbirds used a huge second-half surge to defeat West 28-14 and clinch the Cook Inlet Conference football title and the conference's No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.

Coming out of a scoreless first half, East held West to a single yard in the third quarter, scored twice and added a third touchdown early in the fourth quarter to take a commanding 21-0 lead.

East's normally potent running game was limited to 26 yards in the first half but finished with 167. The T-birds' 11 ball-carriers shared the load — none finished with more than 43 yards — and eventually wore down an Eagles' defense that showed fatigue late in the game.

"It's nice that you can go to your second, third, fourth (guys) and you don't drop down that much," East coach Jeff Trotter said of his running backs. "That's a pretty nice luxury to have."

East used touchdown drives of 3 minutes, 20 seconds and 8 minutes in the third quarter to keep West's offense off the field, but it was a pair of big plays in the fourth quarter that blew open the game.

A booming punt by West's Jared Harjehausen plopped inside East's 10 yard line but before a West player could touch the ball, East's Colton Herman scooped it up and took off down the sideline for a 42-yard return. Herman nearly gave his coach a heart attack when he picked up the ball.

"I was screaming 'No,' and then 'Yes,' " Trotter said. "That was not something we coach … but obviously he saw something.

"That was a huge play in the game."

On the next play, East senior quarterback Kapono Medeiros faked a handoff and found a wide-open Eli Turvey for a 40-yard score that put the T-birds up by three touchdowns.

"I just had to get that good fake in and look for the wide-open wide receiver," said Medeiros, who shared quarterback duties with junior Jasun Duston.

Medeiros and Duston were a combined 5 of 5 passing for 84 yards.

"We feed off each other," Medeiros said.

Medeiros also enjoyed handing off the ball to his brother, sophomore Kalani Medeiros, who tallied 30 yards and a touchdown Saturday.

"We used to play (together) way back in Pop Warner," Medeiros said. "When we were on the same team that's all we did is just dominate, man. I really love it."

East's running game was also bolstered by Bryan Williams (43 yards), Allen Ala (29) and Julian Baker (23, 1 TD).

West scored two Qyntyn Pilcher rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Eagles, who fell to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the CIC.

Pilcher finished with 169 passing yards and 53 rushing yards. His favorite target was senior wide receiver A.J. Su'esu'e, who snatched seven catches for 67 yards.

With the win, East (6-1, 4-0 CIC) can finish the regular season with an undefeated conference record and seven-game winning streak if it beats South next weekend. The Thunderbirds have already clinched home-field advantage in the Division I state tournament as the CIC's No. 1 seed.

"Having that home-field advantage and the No. 1 seed sets you up well," Trotter said. "It's big. Now we just gotta finish up next week."

Christiansen wins No. 151

Palmer football coach Rod Christiansen made history Saturday when his Moose beat Kenai Central 35-8 to make Christiansen the all-time winningest football coach in Alaska history.

Christiansen surpassed the late Buck Nystrom with his 151st win. Christiansen is in his 27th season with the Moose.

Nystrom won 150 games in 31 seasons at Eielson and North Pole.

West 0 0 0 14 — 14

East 0 0 13 15 — 28

Third Quarter

East — Baker 3 run (Ala kick), 8:24

East — Kalani Medeiros 2 run (Ala kick failed), 0:19.7

Fourth Quarter

East — Turvey 40 pass from Kapono Medeiros (Gionson run), 9:42.

West — Pilcher 15 run (Harjehausen kick), 8:08.

East — Mamae 7 run (Ala kick), 5:21

West — Pilcher 3 run (Harjehausen kick), 1:46.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — West: Pilcher 10-53, Bell 13-46, team 1-5, Tauiliili 1-4. East: Williams 5-43, Kalani Medeiros 10-30, Ala 4-29, Baker 3-23, Kapono Medeiros 5-18, Sefo 3-12, Gionson 5-11, Mamae 2-9, Jenn-Lundfelt 1-9, Eppenger 6-4, Collins 2-(-2), Duston 3-(-3), team 3-(-26).

PASSING — West: Pilcher 15-31-1–169. East: Kapono Medeiros 3-3-0–68, Duston 2-2-0–16, Ala 1-1-0–16.

RECEIVING — West: Su'esu'e 7-67, Montalbo 3-34, Gladney 3-33, Mendoza 2-24, Bell 1-11. East: Turvey 1-40, Mamae 1-30, Franklin 1-16, Lilio 1-14, Herman 1-2, Ala 1-(-2).

My boyfriend cheated on me, then said he wanted us to be polyamorous. Bad idea, right?

Sat, 2017-09-23 17:45

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I read "Wayne and Wanda: My boyfriend wants to be polyamorous" and I have similar situation but slightly deeper. I've been with my boyfriend for two years and been best friends with him for over 10 years. We have so much love for each other. Recently, I found out that he was texting a co-worker. She told me that they have kissed and spoken about a future. Previously I found out that he basically had a three-month relationship behind my back, and still I gave him another chance.

I didn't understand how he could cheat. We're together most of the time and we've had a very open relationship where I invite other females in the bedroom. We were happy, great sex life, he treated me amazingly, and now this?! I broke up with him; there was no reason with how open and honest I am with him that he should ever feel he cannot talk to me about anything.

He was devastated. He constantly apologized and said he's in love with me and cannot see his life without me. After giving me some asked-for space, he confessed that he felt his infidelities were because he felt he might be polyamorous and wanted two girlfriends with me, and it's a feeling he's always had but never understood. I didn't know what to think and had so many questions. Why wouldn't he talk to me about it instead of cheating? Did I bring this in my relationship by wanting to explore my sexuality with the man I love? That didn't mean I wanted to share my love and future with other partners. He said it's not about sex but it was more about loving another female and having her joining our family. That hurt me even more because I instantly felt like I wasn't enough for him.

In the attempt to think rationally and be open-minded, I started to do my research and read up more on the subject of being in a poly relationship. I just can't imagine sharing his love. We have something special and I'm very selfish with it. Sharing his penis doesn't bother me at all oddly, so what's so different? He completely started off wrong by cheating on me. Now I cannot trust him. I still want to explore sexually but now I no longer feel comfortable, afraid he's attempting to spark a poly relationship.

I still love him and feel like my other half is missing without him in my life but am completely OK with having to move on to avoid getting hurt again. Please help, what should I do?

Wanda says:

While the spectrum of monogamish relationships is broad, generally speaking, there are open relationships, and then there are polyamorous relationships. Open relationships mean, simply, a couple is sexually open to experiment with other partners, typically within rules they've agreed upon. Polyamorous has deeper connotations; it entails establishing and nurturing not just sexual but also emotional connections with other partners.

While all this may seem unconventional and even insane to the straight-and-narrow traditionalists, to many, including you, a relationship is a safe place to explore sexually, often with a partner you trust and love.

There are a couple problems you're now dealing with. By pursuing emotional relationships beyond yours, your partner has tarnished that trust. Secondly, he's admitted he is interested in plural relationships that aren't just physical, but emotional.

You said it yourself: You can handle sharing him intimately, but the idea of another girlfriend joining the mix is bizarre for you, uncomfortable and unsettling, even hurtful. And, girl, that's OK. Most women go postal when they so much as catch their dude checking out another woman. Gold stars to you for being confident enough to enjoy some bedroom exploration, but double gold stars for recognizing your limitations.

[My best friend and her husband are in an open relationship – and it's making me question some things]

Just because you're OK with one thing doesn't mean you're OK with another, nor should you feel pressured to be so. Sharing a physical experience that skates the emotional surface is way different than saying a third party is going to be a part of your day-to-day relationship.

You are clearly a woman who knows herself, so trust your instincts here. You know what makes you happy and you know the sound of an alarm bell when you hear it. If your BFF and partner needs to have more than one woman in his life, maybe you should cut him free so he can start pursuing that. It may hurt now, but in the end, we all deserve the space to find what we want, and that holds true for the both of you.

Wayne says:

Wow — I'm impressed, guys! Not necessarily with having multiple sexual and emotional partners, but with how you have the time, energy and memory to make it work. Seriously — how do your guy and you, to some extent, manage to keep track of everyone's turn-ons, turn-offs, needs, wants, cravings, annoyances and safe words? How do you even remember all their names and birthdays, or favorite ice cream flavors and movies? Oh, I bet you guys just skip the "Netflix" in Netflix and chill? Sounds exhausting.

You might be a lady in the streets and a freak in the bed, but that doesn't mean you don't have feelings! And if those feelings are telling you that there's only so much of your man that you're willing to share with other women, then that is the way it is. Period.

He's already cheated on you. He also told you that he isn't a one-woman man, in bed or in general. So, as lame as this sounds, it's time for you to start moving on, or at least preparing to do so. You aren't going to change your emotional makeup and you can't expect that someone as adamant as him is going to change his.

But let's just say you continue to let this play out. You're always going to feel a little wounded and betrayed, right? Which means you'll also always be worried or wondering. Will you ever be able to truly trust him again? Doubtful. Because you know what he's already done and what he wants to do.

So as painful and confusing and dreary and empty as it is to break up with someone you truly love, sometimes it's the best move. Staying in this relationship is only going to continue making your life a struggle. You know what you want for yourself and expect from your partner. Don't compromise on that. Move on. Good luck.

Want to respond to a recent column, point out a dating trend, or ask Wanda and Wayne for wisdom regarding your love life? Give them a shout at wanda@alaskadispatch.com.

Early explorer’s account serves as reminder of Arctic perils

Sat, 2017-09-23 17:41

Adventures in the Arctic

By Richard G. Montgomery; Pathfinder Books, available as an Amazon Kindle e-book; 1932, 2017; $1.99

"The door of adventure opens only to youth, and the eternal wonder of it is that so few pass through," writes Richard G. Montgomery in his introduction to "Adventures in the Arctic." "Only a handful follow the beckoning finger of pure adventure. Lorne Knight was one of those."

Knight was 21 and filled with Arctic dreams when he shipped out from Seattle in the spring of 1915 for what was supposed to be a single summer in the Arctic. It would be four and a half years before he returned.

Montgomery originally published Knight's account in 1932 under the title of "Pechuck." It's a minor classic of Arctic exploration literature recently issued as an e-book by Pathfinder Books. And while Montgomery took credit as author, his contribution, apart from the introductory notes, was to edit and present the story as a seamless narrative drawn from Knight's diaries. He did an outstanding job.

Arctic enthusiasm

The Lorne Knight we meet in this narrative is filled with enthusiasm as he heads north. "After years of dreaming and planning, my chance had come and I was determined to make the most of it," he writes, sounding like any young person throwing caution to the wind for the first time and embarking into the unknown. "It wasn't easy to leave my family and friends and plunge into a country I had learned about solely from books and yarns. Still, it was only to be for a few months' whaling — at least, that's what I thought at the time — so, aside from a lump in my throat, I started out with a light heart."

Knight had been hired for the crew of the Polar Bear, a whaling ship that departed Seattle and sailed up the Inside Passage before veering toward the western coast of Alaska. In transit, the ship zigzagged between the Alaska and Russian sides of the Bering Sea, stopping in Native villages along the way. Knight was introduced to a way of life he would find himself learning about firsthand when he too began living off the land.

Once the ship slipped north of Point Barrow and into Canada's High Arctic the whaling commenced. Before long, the crew sighted a lone man running along the shore of Banks Island, trying to get their attention. This, it turns out, was Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the famed though controversial Arctic explorer who had been heading the Canadian Arctic Expedition. At that point, nothing had been heard from him or his men in two years and they were presumed lost and probably dead. Far from it — they had lived well while castaways, finding plenty to eat and do while awaiting a supply ship that never arrived.

This was where Knight's life took its unexpected turn. Although Knight was a greenhorn, Stefansson believed he showed promise and invited him to join the expedition, which was engaged in mapping and scientific research. Without pause, Knight said yes, and before he knew it, he was part of the most elite team then traversing the Arctic.

The bulk of Knight's account involves the next four years as he joined in travels by foot, dog sled and ship around the islands off Canada's Arctic coast. His stories are filled with self-effacing humor about his transition from novice to expert explorer. One of the first skills he acquired was handling a dog team, and his recounting of the steep learning curve required to establish himself as the alpha among an unruly collection of hounds is one of the funnier passages of this consistently entertaining book.

Transformed

Knight had plenty of other experiences. Getting meat was needed for survival, and there were plenty of caribou and seal hunts, with only intermittent success.  At one point, meat ran out and the food rations were so poor that he and another team member contracted scurvy. Knight's personal description at what that condition can do to the human body is unnerving.

There were also winter camps, long travels by dog sled, brief voyages by ship and plenty of highs and lows. After two winters, the men attempted to retreat south in 1917, only to be iced in once more. Rather than mope, they set out exploring, and Knight joined a subset of them who decided to spend the summer of 1918 on an ice floe in the Beaufort Sea in order to track the currents, a decision that assured him of a fourth winter in the north once they came back ashore. It wasn't until the early spring of 1919 that he began his overland trek home across Canada, declaring that, "The stern tutelage of the Arctic had transformed me from a boy into a man. For four-and-a-half long years the North had been a stern and superior teacher. "

"Adventures in the Arctic" is a lot of fun to read, but it brings with it the morbid knowledge of Knight's subsequent fate. Stefansson lured him back north in 1921 as part of a horribly misguided attempt at colonizing Wrangel Island in what was by then the Soviet Arctic, and claiming it for Britain. A fiasco from the start (Britain had no interest in the island), it turned into one of the Arctic's most infamous disasters, with all four men involved dying while accomplishing nothing. Death by the scurvy he'd previously survived would be Knight's fate. Stefansson, who plotted but didn't participate in the Wrangel expedition, would be the literal death of a young man who revered him in his writings.

But here we're left with Knight's account of an earlier and more successful endeavor. Coming from the latter stages of Arctic exploration, when getting stuck for the winter was still a likelihood and death was a recurrent companion — two of Knight's fellow expedition members died along the way — it's a reminder of a time not so very long ago when surviving in the Arctic required skills gained in exploring. This is the story of one man who did just that.

David A. James is a Fairbanks-based freelance writer and critic.

Why the latest GOP health care bill is teetering: It might not work

Sat, 2017-09-23 17:38

WASHINGTON — Health insurers, who had been strangely quiet for much of the year, came off the sidelines to criticize it. Many state Medicaid directors could not stomach it, either.

For months now, proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have risen and fallen in the House and the Senate, almost always uniting health care providers and patient advocacy groups in opposition but winning support among conservatives, including Republican policymakers. But the version drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana — and hastily brought into the spotlight last week — went further.

It brought much of the health care world together to stop it, an effort that appears to have succeeded — not for ideological reasons, but for the simple reason that administrators, caregivers, advocates and insurers believed it would not work.

Senate Republican leaders hoped to bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote this week. But the bill is on life support after Sen. John McCain, the unpredictable Arizona Republican whose dramatic "no" vote killed the previous repeal effort, announced Friday that he could not "in good conscience" vote for the bill. He joined Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in opposition — and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is leaning hard toward no.

The three would be enough to doom the bill.

"I think Republicans remain pretty trapped between an abstract promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the reality of what that would mean," said Matthew Fiedler, an economist at the Brookings Institution who advised President Barack Obama on health policy. "That basic tension is going to remain."

Should the Graham-Cassidy measure die, it would almost surely end the long Republican quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature domestic achievement. If the Senate does not vote by Sept. 30, the drive to kill the law will lose special protections under Senate rules that allow it to pass with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on the measure for Monday, and proponents of the repeal bill say they are not giving up. "The deadline is still a week away," said Tommy Binion, who handles government relations for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy organization. "It is one of the last trains leaving the station, and it is a political imperative for the Republican Party. I think we are going to go through a couple more loop de loops on this roller coaster before we are all done."

In a series of tweets early Saturday, President Donald Trump, who has embraced the legislation in recent days, appeared to be nurturing hopes that the legislative effort could be kept alive. He voiced optimism that Paul would rethink his opposition "for the good of the party." He also indicated that he thought Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who had wavered publicly about the measure, would support it, though her spokeswoman has said only that the senator was studying the bill.

At the same time, Trump vented his frustration with McCain, saying he had let his state down and been deceived by Democrats into abandoning a promise.

Patient advocacy groups, who also oppose the Graham-Cassidy measure, say they will continue their fight. "We are certainly not relaxing our efforts, because the vote count is not clear," said Sue Nelson, a vice president of the American Heart Association, which is fighting to preserve the 2010 health law. "We are going full-steam ahead with advertising, lobbying and grass-roots efforts to contact members of Congress."

The pressure on Republicans to fulfill their promise has been intense — not only from the voters who helped elect them, but also from conservative donors. Doug Deason, a wealthy Dallas businessman who manages money for his billionaire father, said he had formed a loose-knit coalition of donors who warned senior Republicans — including Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader — that contributions would dry up if Congress did not overhaul the tax code and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"We said we're not interested in meeting with him until he gets something done," Deason said, recounting a telephone conversation he had with McConnell over the summer. "He needs to lead."

The drive for repeal of the Affordable Care Act appeared to be dead at the end of July, after McCain's "no" vote on a "skinny repeal" measure that was designed purely as a vehicle to permit negotiations with the House, which had passed a much more ambitious bill. That measure also had critics who called it unworkable and potentially disastrous for the insurance market, but Republican leaders could argue that they never intended to actually enact it. They were prepared to discard their handiwork as soon as House-Senate negotiations could start.

The talks never did.

"It is time to move on," a dejected McConnell declared at the time.

But behind the scenes, Graham, whose main expertise is in military affairs, and Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, had already been working with Rick Santorum, a Republican former senator from Pennsylvania, on a measure that morphed into the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Their collaboration, Santorum said, grew out of a chance meeting between him and Graham in the Senate barbershop last spring. Santorum had already been working with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on a bill to take much of the money spent under the Affordable Care Act and send it to states, with vast discretion over how to use it for health care.

"I thought maybe I should bounce this idea off Lindsey and see what he thinks," Santorum said, adding that he thought the measure could attract the votes of Senate Republican moderates.

Santorum argues that giving governors control over how to spend health care dollars will create efficiencies in the system, and disputes as a "false narrative" the idea that states will get less money under the bill.

The bill would require states to organize their own health care systems by 2020 — a time frame that many health care experts say is unworkable — and would also give states a way to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

If enacted, the measure would constitute "the largest transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country's history," said the National Association of Medicaid Directors, whose members run the program for more than 70 million Americans.

Beyond that fast time frame, the bill faces other hurdles, said Fiedler of the Brookings Institution. Politically, it almost appears designed to fail, because many more states would lose money under it than would gain. Many of those losing states are represented by Republican senators whose votes are vital: Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado, McCain and Collins, to name a few.

And the legislation would set a cap on how much federal support states would receive per person enrolled in the Medicaid program, while health care costs are rising more quickly than the scheduled growth rate for the cap.

"One of the objectives that Republicans have come to this debate with is to reduce federal spending on health care, and it is very difficult to do that, ultimately, without reducing the people covered," Fiedler said. "If you're not making the underlying health care delivery system more efficient, all you're doing is shifting around the costs."

The bill would take money spent under the Affordable Care Act and give it to states in the form of block grants. State officials, including some who initially supported the Graham-Cassidy bill, were dismayed when they saw how much money their states could lose.

"We equalize how much each American receives toward her care, irrespective of where she lives," Cassidy said. "I don't see why a lower-income American in Mississippi should receive so much less than a lower-income American in Massachusetts."

The bill would, in effect, penalize states that have expanded coverage through Medicaid and the public marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. An analysis by the consulting firm Avalere Health found the measure would reduce overall federal funding to states by $215 billion through 2026, and by more than $4 trillion over a 20-year period.

Graham and Cassidy, unlike some Republicans, have tried to explain and defend their proposal. But they have been overwhelmed by a tidal wave of criticism from doctors, hospitals, insurers, governors and patients — and even late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel. Critics object to these provisions:

— The bill could weaken consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act. It envisions waivers of federal law that would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to sick people or omit some of the benefits that are now guaranteed, such as maternity care, mental health services or treatment for drug addiction.

— It would eliminate the federal tax credits and other subsidies that make health insurance more affordable for people with low and moderate incomes, letting states decide how to use the money.

— It would end the expansion of Medicaid, which has provided insurance to low-income people in 31 states of all political hues. The states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New York and West Virginia.

"People are scared," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. "They read in the paper, they see on TV, they see online that their insurance might be taken away. There's a lot of fear in this society injected by government, and they should be ashamed of themselves."

Julie Hirschfeld Davis contributed reporting from Somerset, N.J.

Tips to keep in mind about the PFD ticket sale – and some airfare deals in the meantime

Sat, 2017-09-23 17:23

This week is a difficult one if you're planning a getaway to the Lower 48. Why? Because until recently, we were right between two big airfare sales.

One sale just ended and fares went up, as promised. But they didn't go up too much. Still, all of us want to get the most for our money. This is especially true for travelers who live off the road system in Alaska Airlines cities: Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Cordova and Kodiak. Travelers in Anchorage are lucky — we can grab a good fare when the next sale comes along.

The Alaska Airlines Permanent Fund dividend fares have just been released, and we're still unpacking the fares available. In the meantime, past PFD sales are a good indicator of what we can expect in this year's sale:

1. The best fares will be available on certain days of the week, such as Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sale fares may be available on other days, but probably will cost a little more.

2. The best fares may not be available during the peak travel days around Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break.

3. The best fares will be available where Alaska Airlines has strong competition with Delta. Think Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sacramento and Tucson.

[Airfare war heats up for Alaska travelers]

Currently, there are also some good deals available for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members. True travel junkies already know about these new features, but many travelers still are surprised about some of the new changes.

1. If you have 21 days to plan, you can get a mileage ticket from Anchorage to many cities in Alaska for just 5,000 miles each way. These cities include Kodiak, Cordova, Juneau, Sitka, Yakutat, Petersburg, Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue and Bethel. That's down from 7,500 miles.

2. Other in-state destinations are available from Anchorage for as little as 7,500 miles. This includes Butch Harbor, Adak, Barrow, Wrangell and Ketchikan.

3. Between Anchorage and Seattle, mileage seats are available for as little as 10,000 each way. That's down from 12,500 miles.

Earlier this month when I traveled to Ketchikan, a last-minute ticket would have been more than $700. Folks, that's what miles are for. I used 27,500 miles to travel Anchorage-Ketchikan-Anchorage round-trip. In fact, I spent an extra 2,500 miles to fly first class on the way back. On top of that, my bag was a little late on the return flight, so I received a 2,500-mile voucher. I suppose that's the next best thing to a free upgrade.

If you're considering a trip to Seattle from Anchorage for today's lowest rate, about $235 round-trip, my advice would be to buy the ticket and earn the miles. Then save them for when you have to go at the last minute and the fare is more than $500!

It's relatively easy to chalk up Alaska Airlines frequent flyer miles. Friends of mine who fill up big trucks on a regular basis always charge their gas using their Alaska Airlines Visa card. One friend with a big fleet has a balance of more than 10 million miles.

One of the easiest ways to jumpstart your mileage balance, though, is just to get a new credit card. Alaska Airlines doesn't care how many cards you get. Neither does Bank of America, the issuing financial institution. The bank's major concern is that you pay the annual fee of $75 on each card. Oh — you'll totally lose at the mileage game if you fail to pay your card off at the end of the month.

Alaska Air's credit card offer changes from time to time. Right now, you can get 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 or more within the first 90 days (in addition to the $75 annual fee). That's a good deal. That's enough for a round-trip ticket between Anchorage and Seattle, plus a round trip from Anchorage to Juneau.

The other popular feature of the card is the annual companion fare. Right now, Alaska Air is offering a companion fare in exchange for just the taxes and fees. They advertise that those fees are as little as $22. But when I bought a couple of tickets to Mexico City, the taxes and fees were $148.68. Still, the first ticket was $743, so that's still a good deal. A great deal, in fact. Plus, when you're traveling on a companion fare, you get full mileage credit.

With this current offer, you can get a zero-dollar companion fare (plus taxes and fees) for the first year. After that, it's $99, plus the taxes and fees.

Our family has two of the cards — one for business and one for personal charges. I did, indeed, get a third card just to get the 30,000 miles and the companion fare. Sure, it cost me $75, but it served its purpose. Since then, I've become fond of a number of other cards — so I canceled it. But Alaska Air's miles are more valuable than other airline miles, particularly for frequent travelers who live in Alaska.

While I work on rounding up fares from the PFD sale, here are a few other really nice deals that I'm watching right now:

1. Anchorage-Miami for $447 round-trip on Delta. The fare is available between Oct. 16 and Feb. 13 (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas).

2. Anchorage-Chicago nonstop on Alaska Air. This is just available between Oct. 10-25. But the big Broadway play "Hamilton" is playing in Chicago at the CIBC Theater. Tickets are available during the week for less than $200 per person. They're more expensive on the weekend. But this is a great option if you want a to see a great play. I've talked to several folks who've seen it in Chicago — they all loved it.

3. Anchorage-Minneapolis nonstop on Delta. There are a couple of dates in mid-October (departing Oct. 12 or 14) for $393 round-trip. But more tickets are available for $405 round-trip for travel between Oct. 21 and April 28.

4. Anchorage-Boston for $379 round-trip on Delta for travel between Oct. 13 and March 8. Remember, most of Delta's least-expensive fares are "basic economy." When you go to book them, you will be prompted to pay more to get a reserved seat. If you don't mind sitting in a middle seat, you may proceed at no additional charge. But if reserving an aisle seat is important, then compare the new total with the fare on Alaska Airlines — which includes a reserved seat. On the Anchorage-Boston route, Alaska's least-expensive fare is $409 round-trip. So, if you are a "Club 49" member, you'll be able to check a couple of bags at no additional charge. When all the extras are added up, the more-expensive base fare on Alaska may be cheaper "all-in."

5. Newark-Athens on Emirates. This is a nonstop flight for as little as $432 round-trip. You'll earn 4,930 Alaska Air miles if you apply your mileage number to the reservation. This is a nice flight. Two checked bags are included, but you have to wait until check-in to get your seats.

6. Seattle-London on Norwegian for $400 round-trip. This nonstop flight is on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I've talked about this rate before, but it bears repeating. It's available from Oct. 15. The other airlines flying nonstop to London charge almost twice as much ($769 round-trip on Virgin Atlantic or $869 round-trip on British Air).

7. Speaking of Norwegian, here are three great rates from Los Angeles/LAX. It's worth it to fly the extra miles to LA and take the nonstop:

– LAX-Rome for $400 round-trip, nonstop starting Nov. 25.

– LAX- Paris for $406 round-trip, nonstop starting Nov. 6.

– LAX-Barcelona $410 round-trip, nonstop starting Oct. 2.

Everything costs extra on Norwegian: advance seat selection, checked baggage and meals. But all of these flights are nonstop over-the-top flights using 787s. The planes are great and I had a nice flight from Oakland to London, but that was before the Seattle service started!

All of the fares listed are subject to change without notice.

Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based marketing consultant, serving clients in the transportation, hospitality, media and specialty destination sectors, among others. Contact him by email at zoom907@me.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@alaskatravelGRM) and alaskatravelgram.com. For more information, visit alaskatravelgram.com/about.

Readers write: Letters to the editor, September 24, 2017

Sat, 2017-09-23 16:37

Wohlforth overly simplified complex education issues

I am glad Charles Wohlforth got a great education in Anchorage public schools. I, too, credit the education I received from Anchorage School District as a solid foundation to my ability to contribute to my community in a meaningful way. Mr. Wohlforth's recent column on attendance rates simplified a complex, multifaceted issue as one of parental laziness and apathy toward education. I would argue this is lazy rhetoric.

Furthermore, to break down rates of absenteeism by racial/ethnic background without acknowledging institutionalized racism in pedagogy, income inequality, or language barriers is irresponsible.

Public schools are a public good for all. It is our responsibility as a community to remove barriers of access to quality education, not blame individuals for failing to succeed in a system that wasn't designed for them to do so.

— Britta Hamre
Anchorage

Alaskans need Sen. Murkowski to vote against health care bill

I was pleased to hear that Sen. Murkowski said she was against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a health care bill that was good for the country and Alaskans. In an April 26, 2017 letter to me addressing my concerns about health care reform, Sen. Murkowski assured me that she is committed to ensuring that important provisions of the ACA, such as covering those with pre-existing conditions and expanding Medicaid coverage, be continued. In her Aug. 11 letter, she expressed concern about the lack of transparency and the need for bipartisan consensus.

The Graham-Cassidy bill does none of these and Sen. Murkowski needs to vote no on this bill. She also said last spring that she would not be bought off by special provisions of any bill that gave preference to Alaska at the expense of the rest of the country.

Please stay strong, Sen. Murkowski. Alaskans are depending on you.

— Joan McBeen
Tenakee Springs

Alaska drivers either don't know road rules or don't care

I would add to Danny Dantzler's comments on Alaska drivers (Letters, Sept. 21). The problem drivers are not only on the Glenn. They include those who:

1. apparently believe it is not necessary to stop at stop signs if the stop sign is in a parking lot;

2. believe it is OK to cross two or three lanes when making a right or left turn;

3. fly by school buses that are stopped with red lights flashing;

4. run every red light they can;

5. are so busy talking on the phone they fail to see people or other vehicles.

I could go on but won't. They either don't remember the contents of the driver's manual or are too self-centered to care.

— Rose Munafo
Anchorage

Party politics behind push for Graham-Cassidy legislation

It's deja vu all over again. The Republicans have come up with another health care bill designed to kill the Affordable Care Act, once again in a hurry without proper consideration. The Graham-Cassidy bill is even worse than the previous GOP effort. Whatever you think about the Affordable Care Act, the American people deserve better than these repeated efforts to cram through hastily drafted health care legislation in the dark of the night.

We all know why the Republicans are in such a hurry: If they don't pass a bill with a simple majority by Sept. 30, they'll have to come up with a 60-vote majority after that date, and they know that will be difficult if not impossible. Rather than looking for bipartisan buy-in for a reasonable piece of legislation, they prefer strong-arm tactics to persuade their Republican comrades to get in line.

Please contact Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Sullivan and ask them to vote no on Graham-Cassidy and to insist that health care legislation be considered in an open and deliberative manner that places the welfare of the American people ahead of party politics.

— Connie Nuss
Wasilla

Graham-Cassidy would mean millions losing health care

On behalf of the American Lung Association in Alaska I'm writing to urge Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill. This legislation would allow states to waive key patient protections — and would permit insurance companies to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions.

The American Lung Association knows health care is a matter of life and death for the millions of Americans living with lung disease. The nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund estimates that Graham-Cassidy bill would result in 32 million Americans losing their health care — including up to 18 million in 2019 alone. And the Senate bill will affect all of us because we'd all end up with higher premiums.

Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan must reject the Graham-Cassidy bill: Alaskans are counting on them to protect quality and affordable health care.

— Patty Ginsburg, volunteer
American Lung Association in Alaska

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email letters@alaskadispatch.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to commentary@alaskadispatch.com.

North Korea’s top diplomat says strike against US mainland is ‘inevitable’

Sat, 2017-09-23 16:31

North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

U.S. bombers escorted by fighter jets flew off the North Korean coast in a show of force shortly before Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho strode to the podium to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York, capping an extraordinary week of militaristic threats from both nations before an organization founded to maintain international peace and security.

Ri said that Trump's bombast had made "our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable," and linked it to the Trump's insulting shorthand references to Kim.

Harsh sanctions placed on North Korea's trade with the outside world will have no impact on its ability to complete building a nuclear bomb capable of reaching the United States, Ri said, suggesting that stage is imminent.

"Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force," he said.

[Kim Jong Un responds after Trump announces new economic sanctions over nuclear program]

"It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces," he said, using the acronymn for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The rhetoric between Trump and Kim has grown exceptionally personal. At a rally Friday night in Alabama, Trump called Kim "little rocketman," magnifying the disparaging label he slung at King in his U.N. speech Tuesday in which he threatened the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea in defense of itself or its allies. He said Kim was on "suicide mission"

Kim in turn called Trump a "frightened dog" and a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard." Ri echoed those sentiments on Saturday, calling the president a "mentally deranged person full of megalomania" and at one point referring to him "President Evil."

"None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission," Ri said in broad denunciation of Trump that brought applause from the North Korean delegation. "In case innocent lives of the U.S. are harmed because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible."

Ri emphasized that North Korea has the know-how to carry out its threat. He said Pyongyang has a hydrogen bomb that that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. On Friday, Ri said Korea was prepared to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

"Trump might not have been aware what is uttered from his mouth, but we will make sure that he bears consequences far beyond his words, far beyond the scope of what he can handle even if he is ready to do so," Ri said.

On Friday, Trump kept up his verbal fusillade against Kim, tweeting that Kim is a "madman" who will be "tested like never before."

Tensions are escalating so quickly that when an 3.5 magnitude earthquake was detected in northern North Korea Saturday in the vicinity of a nuclear test site, it briefly aroused suspicions that North Korea had conducted another underground nuclear test. It was quickly confirmed as just an earthquake.

The heated exchanges between Trump and the North Korea's leader come at a time when diplomatic pressure may be starting to bear fruit. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that sanctions are beginning to have an effect. China, North Korea's economic lifeline, has gradually imposed greater economic sanctions on its neighbor, including caps on oil. On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order giving the Treasury Department more authority to cut off trade that helps finance North Korea's weapons and nuclear programs.

While Tillerson has insisted that diplomacy still has a chance to work, military force appears to be increasing as an option.

Just before Ri spoke at the U.N., the Pentagon disclosed that the U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew in international airspace east of North Korea. The Pentagon said it was the farthest point north of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea that any U.S. planes have flown in this century. The bombers took off from an air base in Guam, which North Korea has threatened to target. They were escorted by F-15C fighter jets from Okinawa, Japan.

Pentagon tests technology to fight ISIS drones

Sat, 2017-09-23 16:27

WASHINGTON — At the vast, windswept White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier this year, nearly a dozen military contractors armed with laser guns, high-tech nets and other experimental systems met to tackle one of the Pentagon's most vexing counterterrorism conundrums: how to destroy the Islamic State's increasingly lethal fleet of drones.

The militant group has used surveillance drones on the battlefield for more than two years. But an increase in deadly attacks since last fall — mostly targeting Iraqi troops and Syrian militia members with small bombs or grenades, but also threatening U.S. advisers — has highlighted the terrorists' success in adapting off-the-shelf, low-cost technology into an effective new weapon.

The Pentagon is so alarmed by this growing threat — even as it routs the Islamic State from its strongholds in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria — that it has launched a $700 million crash program overseen by two senior Army generals to draw on the collective know-how and resources of all branches of the armed services, Silicon Valley and defense industry giants like Boeing and Raytheon to devise tactics and technology to thwart the menace.

One important piece of that effort was the contest in New Mexico. It amounted to a Pentagon counter-drone bake-off, called the Hard Kill Challenge, to see which new classified technologies and tactics proved most promising. The results were decidedly mixed, and underscore the long-term problem confronting the Pentagon and its allies as it combats the Islamic State and al-Qaida in a growing number of hot spots around the world beyond Iraq and Syria, including Yemen and Libya.

"Threat targets were very resilient against damage," the Pentagon agency assigned to help crack the problem, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, said in response to questions from The New York Times about how the contractors fared against mock enemy drones. "Bottom line: Most technologies still immature." The agency said some of the technology might work well with "adjustments and further development."

[CIA pushes to loosen restraints on secret drone strikes]

In the meantime, the Pentagon has rushed dozens of technical specialists to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to help protect U.S. troops and to train and, in some cases, equip local allies against the drone threat, which has killed more than a dozen Iraqi soldiers and wounded more than 50. The aircraft, some as small as model airplanes, conduct reconnaissance missions to help Islamic State fighters attack U.S.-backed ground forces. Other drones drop bombs or are rigged with explosives to detonate on the ground.

"These things are really small and hard to detect, and if they swarm in groups, they can overload our ability to knock them all down," said J.D. Johnson, a retired three-star Army general who previously commanded the threat-defeat agency, and now heads Army programs for Raytheon. "The threat is very resilient and well-resourced, and we have to be looking one or two moves ahead to defeat it."

U.S. troops are using an array of jammers, cannons and other devices to disrupt, disable or destroy the enemy drones, often quadcopters rigged with explosives. And the military has increased airstrikes against Islamic State drones on the ground, their launch sites and their operators.

"This isn't just an Iraq and Syria problem; it's a regional and global problem," Lt. Gen. Michael Shields, director of the threat-defeat organization and one of the two generals overseeing the effort, said in a telephone interview. "These are airborne IEDs," meaning improvised explosive devices.

Indeed, the drone threat is going global. Iranian drones have buzzed U.S. Navy ships more than a dozen times in the Persian Gulf this year. In Europe, U.S. and allied soldiers accustomed to operating from large, secure bases in Iraq and Afghanistan now practice using camouflage netting to disguise their positions and dispersing into smaller groups to avoid sophisticated Russian surveillance drones that could potentially direct rocket or missile attacks against personnel or command posts.

In the United States, authorities voice increasing concerns about possible Islamic State-inspired drone attacks against dams, nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure. Over the summer, the Pentagon issued classified guidance to base commanders around the country to warn local communities to keep commercial drone hobbyists away from installations.

Earlier this month, an Arabic publication offered guidance from the Islamic State to its followers on how to evade U.S. drones. This past week, the Islamic State released through its Amaq news agency a video of an operation in which its fighters tracked what it identified as a Syrian news media vehicle and then dropped a munition on it.

"There's a DIY aspect to this," said Don Rassler, a researcher at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, which has studied Islamic State drones.

The peak of the threat came this spring during the fight to wrest Mosul from Islamic State control in northern Iraq, military officials said. Since then, the military has repeatedly attacked Islamic State drones in the air and on the ground. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said it had killed Junaid ur Rehman, a senior Islamic State drone pilot trainer and engineer, in an airstrike near Mayadin, Syria, south of Raqqa.

"We are destroying their launch points, we're killing their engineers, we're dismantling their manufacturing facilities and their users," said Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq.

In Washington, however, Pentagon officials worry about the rapid spread of armed drones to other conflict zones, where the United States and its local partners may be less prepared to confront the threat. In February, the Defense Department created a special task force headed by Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, a top officer on the military's Joint Staff, to coordinate a Pentagon-wide counter-drone campaign along with Shields.

"These are learning experiences, and the adversary will adapt," said Ierardi, who added that the Pentagon's $700 million effort was likely to grow in the next few years.

[Airmen who surveil the Islamic State never get to look away]

Some of that money will go to help organize events like the Hard Kill Challenge in New Mexico, where major defense contractors including Boeing and BAE Systems, as well as much smaller specialty technology companies, participated in a five-day competition that extended longer for some firms.

Organizers said they were searching for technologies that could defeat enemy drones with "a fly-swatter approach." Contestants had to destroy or disable 30 drones flying more than 250 yards away. A total of 10 systems competed, including four high-energy laser weapons and an attack drone that carried a big net to capture hostile drones, military officials said.

Military officials and contractors balked at talking about details of the technology involved, much of which is both classified and proprietary.

Shields declined to provide specific details about the result of the shootout, other than to say, "What we learned is there are limitations with various technology." The Islamic State, he noted, "is an adaptive enemy. They have access to talent, resources and a global supply chain."

Counterterrorism officials said that drone technology and expertise were rapidly evolving. Speaking at a defense industry conference in Bethesda, Maryland, in August, Michael Cardash, a former commander of the Israeli National Police bomb squad, said that terrorists were now using larger, commercial drones that could carry up to four bombs. Smaller drones can carry only one.

"We do expect the technology to expand, and the larger the payloads, the bigger the problem," said Cardash, who displayed photographs of a drone that he said had been knocked down in the mountains between Lebanon and Syria.

Damien Spleeters, head of operations in Iraq and Syria for Conflict Armament Research, a London-based private arms consultancy that has been investigating weapons recovered from the Islamic State since 2014, also warned of the troubling trend.

"Unless something is done about the sourcing of the material," Spleeters said, "countries will indeed be stuck in this continuous cycle of targeting more and more of ISIS' inventions, locations and operators."

Game of Drones: ‘It’s a real-life video game’ for Alaska drone racers

Sat, 2017-09-23 15:48

Like a scene from a sci-fi movie, drone pilots Rohn "RohnSauce" Buser, William "FpvMaverick" Thomas and Dan "danboymanboy" Mahoney sit down side by side, don futuristic-looking vision goggles and ready their controllers.

Moments later, they weave their drones around flags, navigate through gates and whiz past trees at the Alaska Drone Racing League course at Jim Creek RC Park. Pioneer Peak provides the background for the race, which features gates that are 5 feet wide and drones that can reach speeds of 70 mph.

First-person view video systems on the drones, called quads, give the pilots a view of the action as if they were actually inside the small, 2-pound machines about the size of a dinner plate.

"It's basically a real-life video game," said Mahoney, a 32-year-old designer and drafter. "It really gets your heart pumping. When you crash, you feel like you're on the thing crashing.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, but it's so much fun."

The Alaska racing league is one of hundreds that have popped up around the world in the last two years, said league vice president Mark Slack. The league's first outdoor season concluded last week with nine racers participating in the final points race.

The top three moved into the championship, where Buser, the son of four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser and a champion musher in his own right, took the gold. Thomas, a 15-year-old West High student, and Mahoney finished second and third, respectively.

From dogs to drones

Like his father, Buser has spent much of his life racing sled dogs. He raced the Iditarod three times, was the Junior Iditarod champ in 2007 and the Kusko 300 winner in 2012 and 2014.

But a couple of years ago, Buser, 27, decided to quit sled dog racing and pursue his passion: aviation.

"It's nice to … not have to worry about how you do in a (sled dog) race and how that affects your season and your income, but mostly I just wanted to do something else," Buser said. "I've always been interested in helicopters, so I kind of got out of dog racing and started working (on that)."

Buser is working on becoming a commercial helicopter pilot and stumbled upon drone racing in the process.

He built his first quad last summer after watching videos on YouTube, and he practiced by flying around trees and through gates he made out of PVC pipe in his 5-acre backyard in Big Lake.

Then he discovered the Alaska Drone Racing League online and signed up for the inaugural season.

"The first time I made up a gate between two trees, I was like, 'Oh this is really tight,' " Buser said. "It was like a 15-, 20-foot gap. Now we're hitting 5-foot gates pretty fast."

The drones travel between 30 and 70 mph, but the key isn't just speed, it's consistency, Buser said.

"If you don't finish a race, you don't score any points," he said. "You can go from leading a race to being out of a race if you hit a gate and crash into the ground. It's really important to be consistent with it."

Four pilots race at a time and each four-lap race lasts about two minutes. Racers earn points based on their finish, with winners receiving 10 points, six for second, four for third and two for fourth.

Buser won all seven races in the season finale and is the undisputed fastest racer in the league, which boasts 36 members. He hopes to test his skills in a regional or national race in the Lower 48 next summer.

"I'm looking to try to stay competitive," Buser said. "There's a lot of cool races and events out there."

Humble beginnings

Two years before Slack helped found the Alaska Drone Racing League, he purchased a small drone at a hobby shop out of curiosity.

After he finally got his new toy to hover for two minutes without crashing — the length of its entire battery life — he went back to the shop to ask if there were any local racing groups.

"They said 'there is no group,' " he said.

So Slack decided to start one himself. He put up posters around Anchorage and eventually received an email from drone expert Steve Colligan, who had a similar vision.

Colligan, who works with drone mapping and 3-D modeling for his company E-Terra, is a longtime member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). He went to work making sure the league meets AMA and Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations.

Others joined and the league started to take shape. Colligan and Slack received a lease from the Mat-Su Borough to fly in a public use area at Jim Creek.

Racers spent 140 hours using weedeaters to clear a 1,300-foot-long track for racing, Slack said. He and Colligan spent thousands of dollars getting the league off the ground and dealing with setbacks caused by ever-changing drone regulations, he said.

Now, the league is the first Alaska chapter in MultiGP — an international organization with more than 500 chapters and 12,000 pilots worldwide.

Colligan said he hopes to see Alaskans compete in international events next summer and to see a MultiGP event come to Alaska some day.

"Our mission was to set up some kind of structure so Alaska racers could qualify and participate in nationally and internationally," Colligan said. "The cool thing about drone racing is you can be a rock-star racer in Barrow just as easily as downtown Atlanta or L.A. or wherever."

The league's goal for next summer is to get a more permanent setup at Jim Creek, because currently it takes about three hours to set up and tear down the course every time they race. It's also trying to find a location for its indoor racing season, set to start in November.

Drones as teaching tools

These days you can buy a small, ready-to-fly drone for about $100 or you can buy the parts separately and construct, program and fly your own creation, Slack said.

For many racers, building a drone is part of the fun.

"I have an engineering degree and I've always had an interest in flight," Mahoney said. "(When) I found out you could build your own stuff, so you spec out everything on your own … That aspect really appealed to me."

Colligan said the league has loaned two kits with drone-racing materials to Mat-Su schools to help with their science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs. He hopes to work with rural schools in the future.

"That way if somebody wants to start a club, we can help mentor them," he said.

Colligan said he wants students to be excited about math and science like he was as a kid growing up in Fairbanks.

"I've been doing model airplanes since I was a little kid (and) if it wasn't for organized youth hockey and model airplanes, I'd be a lot different," he said.

Unnatural changes in nature in Nancy Lord’s new novel

Sat, 2017-09-23 15:07

Editor's note: Homer writer Nancy Lord was Alaska writer laureate for 2008-10. From her many years of commercial salmon fishing and, later, work as a naturalist and historian on adventure cruise ships, she's explored in both fiction and nonfiction the myths and realities of life in the north. Among her published books are three collections of short stories and five works of literary nonfiction, including the memoir "Fishcamp," "Beluga Days," and a story of climate change, "Early Warming." She also edited the anthology "Made of Salmon: Alaska Stories From The Salmon Project." Lord teaches creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage and science writing in the online Johns Hopkins graduate science writing program. She also reviews books for We Alaskans.

Her first novel, "pH," was published this month by Graphic Arts/Alaska Northwest Books. The first section of the book, excerpted below, takes place on an oceanographic cruise in the Gulf of Alaska.

Coffee cup in hand, Ray went looking for his daughter. He had hope for her inquiring mind, which seemed more promising than her brother's. At 16, Sam loved driving fast machines but seemed to have no interest in how they worked or what to do when they stopped working, and he avoided the natural world except as a playground for said machines. Of course, science recognized that the adolescent brain, especially the male one, was incompletely formed. Hadn't he himself been an idiot, in multiple ways, during his teenage years? Aurora, on the other hand, was watchful and attentive to detail, and she loved animals.

But where was she? Not in the galley. He headed for her cabin, a vision of a disapproving Nelda hurrying his steps; you didn't just leave your 11-year-old to fend for herself in a strange place! What if she'd gotten disoriented and fallen down a ladder into the engine room? What if the ship's crew, who he knew from previous cruises to be incredibly nice guys, really weren't? What if she was barfing her guts out? If she was seasick now it was going to be a long week's cruise.

But there she was on her back on her top bunk, still wearing purple pajamas. She was plugged into her iPod, jiggling one leg, and staring into another electronic screen that he'd never seen before.

"There you are," he said, pretending that he hadn't just panicked. "Would you like to get dressed and come see what the others are doing?"

"No."

He waited a couple of beats while the electronic device beeped. "Hey," he said, "I'm going to get my binoculars. Let's go up on the flying bridge and see what birds are around. And porpoises. There were porpoises a little while ago. I should have come and got you then."

"OK."

They passed onto the deck where the carboys — those glass incubation jugs they'd hauled from Fairbanks — would be set up, and up the stairs to the pilothouse where Captain Billy refilled Ray's coffee cup with an earth-friendly blend. It was already afternoon in New York, and a Mets game was playing on the radio. Billy showed Aurora the GPS and the depth finder and then the paper charts that marked their course straight out from the mainland to the edge of the continental shelf. She feigned interest, politely. He let her sit in the captain's chair. Ray could tell that Billy really wanted to listen to the Mets game. He thought he'd like to hear the game, too, but he had the wrong job for that.

"Let's go, Nanook," he said. "We've got contracts to fill, eggs to hatch, and cats to kill."

Aurora frowned at him but was already through the door, a fairy princess in an oversized hoodie that reached almost to her knees.

They climbed the ladder behind the pilothouse — Aurora as fearless as a monkey, Ray spotting from below. Topside, she took a seat on the padded bench where biologists on survey cruises sat to record their marine mammal and bird sightings.

Ray's boyhood fascination with birds had never worn off, even as he'd learned that his eyesight and temperament were better suited to small things he could capture and control. That was like so much in his life, starting off large and getting smaller — dinosaurs, then gorillas and bears, hawks and owls and the wood ducks of his Michigan youth, down to passerines he could hold in his hand, dragonflies and beetles, the nearly invisible world of microorganisms. Not that there was anything inherently "better" about the larger and more charismatic species, but he had seemed to know at an early age that he himself would not be large — in the sense of attainment — or charismatic. He'd recalibrated his ambitions several times along the way, through school and in the romance department, where he'd somehow lucked out with a wife who exceeded his expectations — but who also knew this and sometimes reminded him.

He raised his binoculars now, setting on a single kittiwake that winged lazily across the bow. Off to one side, three glaucous-winged gulls, two of them juveniles with muddy-looking feathers, rode a half-submerged log.

"Where's the porpoises?" Aurora bounced on the bench.

"You know what to look for?"

"What?"

"Rooster tails. Water will be spraying from their backs when they break the surface. It'll be just quick splashes, they swim so fast. Here." He handed her the binoculars, placing the strap around her neck. "Look at those gulls on the log. Oh, and look! There's a puffin, a horned puffin." The football-shaped bird with its white front beat past; he could just make out the orange bill with his bare eye.

She was slow to track the bird, to lift the glasses and aim them in the right direction. He could tell she was only pretending to see it, for his benefit. It was too far away now.

A retired bird biologist had told Ray, just a couple weeks earlier, that he used to do surveys along the coast behind them, and that the numbers of birds today were mere fractions of what he'd observed in the 1970s. Especially murres. They used to be as thick as flies, he'd said. Now tourists saw a few murres and puffins, maybe a red-faced cormorant, and thought they were looking at abundance because they didn't have anything to compare with. They couldn't begin to imagine the thickly-packed and cacophonous cliff colonies, the huge rafts of seabirds covering the nearshore waters, the darkened skies when they flew. Ray had also heard from a tour guide that the guides never said anything to their customers about diminution. If they saw just one puffin or one orca, they exclaimed over it: You're so lucky to see that! The tourists went away thinking they'd just had an amazing nature experience in a pristine, undisturbed, Serengeti landscape. Because really, the guide had said to Ray, these people paid a lot of money to go on their tours and cruises and you wanted them to think they were having the best wildlife experience ever. Why would you want to depress them by mentioning climate change or that there was oil under the beach sand or that the reason a group of birds was resting on the water in the middle of summer was because they'd had a complete reproductive failure?

And now, on top of all those other insults, an acidifying ocean.

A picture of Jackson Oakley crowded back into his mind — that shiny smooth face that reminded him of the smiley faces people sometimes used, annoyingly, in their emails. Who was the man consulting with? What was he saying in his apparently many speeches? Was it all about his precious calibrating instruments and the need to study, study, study more ocean chemistry?

Ray looked at his daughter, her uncombed hair blowing back in the breeze as she held tightly to the binoculars aimed at the sky, at feathers of clouds farther out over the Gulf.

The Gulf stretched to the horizon, an achingly beautiful scene if you didn't know better. He was the cup-half-empty guy, the realist, but he knew he ought to let others — children at least — enjoy some innocence. He would bite his tongue. He would not say, "You should have seen this place when …"

He did the best he could under the circumstances, which was to say nothing.

Nancy Lord is a Homer-based author and former Alaska writer laureate. Her previous books include "Fishcamp," "Beluga Days" and "Early Warming."

Here we go again with health-care hustle

Sat, 2017-09-23 13:00

Well, we're back to the Groundhog Day fire drill about access to health care again. I'm so glad. Really. I was getting so complacent thinking that we'd all be fine since maybe the Affordable Care Act covers radiation poisoning. You know, just in case the Rocket Man gets mad enough at the dotard and launches a missile our direction. This may be that "sick of winning" feeling we were warned about.

Strangers are emailing me to tell me to urge Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote against the newest death panel offering called the Graham-Cassidy bill. Jimmy Kimmel is begging people to call their senators to oppose the bill. The AARP, and every other group that uses just letters with the exception of the KKK and NRA, is opposed. The bill is so bad for Alaskans the power brokers in Washington, D.C., who want this bill to pass, have offered Murkowski a really sweet bribe. See, their plan is so terrible, they have offered a special pass for Alaska. We can keep Obamacare if our senior senator votes to take it away from the rest of Americans! If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.  Oh, here's another way we can keep it — she can vote no. It is immoral to vote to take away something from our countrymen and women in other states in order for us to keep what we already have.

[Murkowski again lands in the middle of the national health care debate]

Premera, the biggest health insurance company in Alaska, announced the 2018 premiums will be dropping by 26.5 percent. That's great news. Much of the credit goes to the work of the state insurance division. That's the way it's supposed to work. States manage the federal assistance for their citizens to achieve affordable coverage. It helps to have a governor who isn't trying to sabotage the system for some political points he hopes to cash in during an election year.

The board of directors of the National Association of Medicaid Directors condemned the Graham-Cassidy bill.  They had several issues, but one was particularly conservative. They wondered how this could possibly be considered without knowing how much it was going to cost. Voting before a Congressional Budget Office report seemed irresponsible. They have a point.

This bill would have been better for America if Shawn Cassidy and Graham Nash went on a camping trip with a case of beer and hammered it out. I wish I was kidding. The AARP sent out an update to their members. Just stop there. So we are clear I am not a senior citizen, not that there's anything wrong with that. They represent a lot of people and broke down the coverage by state. Under the ACA, a 60-year-old adult living in Alaska making $25,000 a year currently pays $1,140 for coverage. Under Graham-Cassidy, for the same coverage and income, they would pay $28,126. THAT'S $3,126 MORE THAN THEIR YEARLY INCOME. How can you consider health insurance to be "affordable" if it is more than what you make in a year? Good grief.

Remember that thing about "death panels" a few years back? Oh, this is what they were talking about. You can just drop dead, Fred, and we'll all call it freedom. Wahoo! In the meantime, the guy who was appointed to run health care for the country is flying around in a private jet like he's on a frequent flyer plan. Hey grandma, we can't afford your nursing home because Secretary Price likes the $300,000 worth of snacks on the jet.

It isn't lost on me that not one email, phone call, post or plea has asked me to contact Sen. Dan Sullivan. Why do you think that is? He's a sure thing to vote against Alaskans. I have to hand it to him, he's got that whole "dance with the one that brung ya" thing figured out. They say "jump" and he says "how high?" Sullivan and his family are covered by the government, so, he's good.
The attitude from a certain political party and their media outlets is, "Congratulations, the healthy people are paying for the sick people." You don't say. That's the whole point of insurance. It's like buying into a lottery that you never want to have to cash in on. Wouldn't it be fantastic if you paid your premiums every month, your whole life and you NEVER had to file a claim because you and your kids and your wife were so brilliantly healthy that it would shock you to know they have magazines in the waiting room. Wow. Would that be a bummer? Would you feel totally ripped off that you never got to use that money you'd been sending in? If you felt jilted that your hard-earned dollars were going to pay for some preemie kid's breathing machine and a ventilator for the lunch lady's husband, you have bigger issues than a doctor can see you for.

Thanks to Murkowski for her strong spine. Suggestion to Sullivan to grow one. Good health to you, Alaska. Winter is coming.

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com. 

Part of Cheney Lake Park closed for homicide investigation

Sat, 2017-09-23 12:15

Divers from the Anchorage Fire Department are checking Cheney Lake Saturday for evidence related to the Sept. 10 killing of Gregory Gill in his paint shop.

Part of Cheney Lake Park will be closed during the search, Anchorage police said. The fire dive team is helping police collect evidence.

Gill, 65, was co-owner of Aurora Paint Co. and a lifelong resident of Anchorage.

Randall Igou, 27, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death as well as tampering with evidence.

Police say Igou shot Gill in his paint shop and stole the business's cash box as well as Gill's white Kia. Police searching for the vehicle were led to East Anchorage. Officers chased down Igou, who jumped into Cheney Lake in his attempt to escape, according to police.

Yelp review: Mom & Dad’s Great Alaskan Bed & Breakfast

Sat, 2017-09-23 11:33

JUNEAU — Now, we're not the type to complain … unless our socks get wet or our mittens aren't right (then all bets are off). But, sad to say, things at Mom & Dad's Great Alaskan Bed & Breakfast have started slipping lately.

We're regular customers, having eaten at Mom & Dad's at least two meals a day, seven days a week, for several years — it's also our go-to spot for drinks and appetizers — and we like to stay here whenever we're up here, which is pretty much always, except for occasional trips to the Lower 48 to visit Target. In many ways, we think of Mom & Dad's as our "home away from home" (our real home being an old tent in the den crammed with pillows, sleeping bags and "stufties").

Well, you wouldn't know it from the staff's attitude! Even the wake-up calls are pushy.

• Menu: Fare at Mom & Dad's is a crapshoot — anything from scrambled eggs to Costco spinach ravioli to weird curries only the adults you're forced to share your table with will like. Point is, you never know what you're going to get, although it almost always involves salmon. And the servers act all snotty when you ask what the other entree options are or if the kitchen can just whip up a hot dog instead. Plus, menu items don't always arrive as advertised. I mean, you order a box of Annie's Organic Peace Pasta, and that's what you should get. It shouldn't come with a side of kale or have broccoli all mixed up into it — am I right?! Cocktail options are few: water or milk; the only juice you ever see around here is that gross sour grape stuff the bartenders are always drinking. Guests should also be advised Mom & Dad's dessert menu is extremely limited, and don't even ask to see it until you've finished all your salmon (which you didn't even order in the first place).

• Service: Service is inconsistent, especially early in the morning. Sometimes staff is really cheerful and singing Beatles songs, ready to whip up heart-shaped sourdough pancakes and watch "Scooby-Doo" with you; but mostly it's like, "Take this iPad and don't come back until the little hand's on the seven." Any time of day, there's no telling how long you'll wait to have your bed made, your laundry done or your butt wiped. Even more unpredictable: the shuttle schedule. By the way, the van could use a good cleaning; we're almost repulsed enough to stop eating in there. And what happened to the customer is always right? At Mom & Dad's, you can wait up to five minutes for someone to unwrap your cheese stick and when you politely remind your servers, they have the nerve to suggest you try doing it yourself!

• Accommodations: The place is cozy and the view is nice, you know, if you like snowcapped mountain vistas. But frankly, that kind of thing is too "Alaska" for us; we prefer to look at Disney's "Frozen." The lounge is usually available any time of day (once you climb up on the coffee table and start belting "Let It Go" it usually clears out pretty quick). But the housekeeping leaves much to be desired. I mean, what other B&B; makes you pick up your own dirty underwear, then demands explanation for the streak marks discovered therein?! Also, we've been in the owners' bedroom and they have a Tempur-Pedic mattress and we don't, which is totally unacceptable. Attempts to swap rooms have been met with minimal success, as have alternate compromises, e.g., extended nighttime hours; addition of Froot Loops to the continental breakfast bar; a baby sister.

• Overall: Mom & Dad's suffers from being a large player in a small market. If you ask us, this lack of competition has bred laziness — for instance, the Halloween decorations are still up but ground remains unbroken on the tree house management promised to "think about." And without notice, Mom & Dad's appears to have suspended concierge service. Used to be they'd arrange boat excursions, fishing outings, camping trips and day hikes — sometimes the porters would even carry you on their backs (although that seems like years ago). These days, most tours are self-guided — unless it's really sunny and the staff wasn't up late the night before drinking that sour grape juice stuff.

We will, however, admit the value here is pretty good, as everything is free. Plus, as members of Mom & Dad's customer loyalty program, "Allowance"™, we get $1 cash back each week to spend on temporary tattoos. Bottom line: In whatever ways we may find Mom & Dad's Great Alaskan Bed & Breakfast lacking — PlayStation! — we don't have many other choices. Of course, there's always Grandma & Grandpa's, but that's a few thousand miles away. And their Wi-Fi's always down.

Geoff Kirsch is a Juneau-based writer and humorist currently working on an essay collection based upon his long-running column in the Juneau Empire.

Pages