The Salvation Army thrift store on Northern Lights Boulevard in Anchorage has undergone a renovation (a thread). 1/8

The store held a grand reopening event on April 30 to highlight some repairs and upgrades to the store, including the addition of a new reading nook that includes a pair of comfy chairs and new shelves. 2/8

The nook includes a plaque recognizing the late Richard Wayne “Dick” Nyman “for his loyal and generous support…and for his legacy gift to renovate” the store in Midtown Anchorage. 3/8

Curious about Mr. Nyman, I went online and found out he was a local…

(The following column contains discussions of mental health and depression. If you are feeling suicidal or need to talk to someone about your mental health, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255.)

I once googled how to get out of depression. You might have, too.

If you have, you know the first thing that comes up is a link to the suicide prevention hotline (yes, the one above). I understand the very good reasons for this, but for a depressed person looking to get undepressed it’s not exactly the answer you’re looking for.

And while depression can and…

Mom. (Family photo)

“Let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.” — Kahlil Gibran

My mom was tough. She didn’t take shit from nobody. And yet whenever anyone speaks of her or remembers her, what they usually recall is her overflowing kindness and compassion and the remarkable depth of grace and character she displayed for every moment of her 40 beautiful years on earth.

When she was pregnant with one of my four brothers she went for a late-night swim across a lake in Minnesota, just for the hell of it. I guess it’s more fun when you’re swimming…

A photo posted by former Alaska legislator Bill Stoltze, left, alongside Chugiak High School principal Megan Hatswell, right, as Hatswell presents Stoltze with an Alaska School Activities Association Gold Lifetime Pass granting Stoltze free admission to high school events for life. (Via Bill Stoltze Facebook)

The Alaska School Activities Association has awarded a former Chugiak legislator a lifetime pass to high school sporting events in recognition of his contributions to high school activities.

Bill Stoltze, 59, announced he’d received the ASAA Gold Lifetime Pass via a post on his personal Facebook page earlier this week. He posted the announcement alongside a photo of Chugiak High principal Megan Hatswell presenting him with the “Gold Card” in the hallway of their shared alma mater. Hatswell is the Region 4 representative on the ASAA board of directors and a 1998 CHS grad.

The honorary award is given to…

Alaska Parole Board Chair Edith Grunwald. (Alaska Department of Corrections photo)

Edith Grunwald is the wrong person to sit as chair of the Alaska Parole Board.

Grunwald’s leadership of the board is an obvious and glaring mistake, but she’s not to blame for this ongoing miscarriage of justice. Instead, the fault of her absurd appointment lies with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, for whom unabashed cronyism is becoming as signature as fleece jackets and empty PFD promises.

Grunwald’s path to the head of the parole board began in 2016, when her 16-year-old son David was murdered by a group of teenagers in the Mat-Su Valley. A 31-year veteran of the Air Force…

Joey Bada$$, left, and Andrew Howard in a scene from “Two Distant Strangers.” The short film has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Live Action Short category. (Publicly photo)

(Editor’s note: The following article contains some mild spoilers and some adult language.)

Double features are a thing of the past, but a pair of gripping time-benders available on Netflix may help render that notion outdated.

Fair warning: watching the films “Shimmer Lake” and “Two Distant Strangers” back-to-back could be more of a mind fuck than you’re looking for on a Friday night. But both are more than worth the time — if not for their inventive plots and structure than certainly for the profound insights they provide into the complicated and twisted inner monologue of post-modern America.

The Way it is

Directed by…

Lu Young Park on Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Tunseth)

Getting to Lu Young Park in Prince William is like the opening montage of a horror movie.

After driving through a 2.5-mile tunnel, you pass beneath the shadow of a massive abandoned apartment building that looks like a relic from Chernobyl before arriving at a lonesome rocky beach that could charitably be described as secluded or honestly described as bleak. It looks like the kind of place you’d dump a body.

When I arrived at the state park’s rocky beach on an ice-cold day this March, the grayness of the exposed ocean bottom sat in contrast to the bright white…

A group of hikers walks along a trail in Chugach State Park near Anchorage, Alaska, on April 6, 2021. (Photo by Matt Tunseth)

I was actually kind of hoping to get sick after my second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It’s been so long since I was down with a good old-fashioned cold that the idea of lying in bed for a day in a cough syrup induced haze was pretty appealing.

Alas it was not to be. My second dose went as smoothly as the first, and instead of sipping on some sizzurp I spent Monday evening watching Gonzaga play basketball as if they’d chugged enough NyQuil to put all of Spokane in a coma.

The next day the only effects were…

The Chugiak-Eagle River Star website, which as been dormant since March of 2020.

I killed a beloved small-town newspaper last year.

How was your pandemic?

The Chugiak-Eagle River Star was the life’s work of a man named Lee Jordan, a native Alabamian who fell in love with Alaska after arriving here as a member of the U.S. Army in the 1950s. In 1971, Jordan founded the newspaper as a way of getting better coverage for local youth sports, and eventually grew the paper into a community institution. …

In addition to a COVID-19 vaccine, I also got a cool new sticker! (Photo by Matt Tunseth)

We were listening to Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut is the Deepest” when she plunged the needle into my right shoulder. It didn’t hurt as much as it bothered my arm, the feeling more disturbing in its violation than its irritation.

And then it was over. The nurse smiled from behind her mask and filled out a small white card, then led me through a curtain and into a large second-floor waiting room overlooking the parking lot.

It was snowing outside. Another woman gestured to several open chairs (separated by six feet each) and told me I could wait there…

Matthew Tunseth

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