Category: Greatland Articles

Aug 01


As we reluctantly feel summer drawing to an end, another season begins, heralded by office supplies and clothing advertisements.  Back to School shopping has already begun; we greet its arrival with a mixture of anticipation and regret.  Returning students anticipate seeing friends again, wearing new clothes, comparing backpacks and notebook covers, and finding out who …

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Jul 01


Kids will find themselves something to do when left to their own devices; it’s better to plan summer adventures for them than risk them making a poor choice. I remember one summer when my son was in middle school he spent an inordinate amount of time laying on the living room floor, curtains closed, playing …

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May 01 2014

A Few Fish Facts

It’s common knowledge that both commercial and sport fishing are dominant factors in Alaska’s economy. Thirty years ago I worked for North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the federal agency tasked with managing fisheries within the 200 mile economic zone off the coast of Alaska, where I learned first-hand about the local, national and international importance …

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Apr 01


Around this time of year my grandmother used to search the barren, snow covered trees for the first pussy willows, a sure sign Spring is almost here; once found, she would collect a few in a vase as if they were flowers.  Though she’s been gone over 20 years, I still think of her and …

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Mar 01

Let it Shine

In Alaska the seasonal light and dark differences are tough on some people.  According to the Alaska Mental Health Association, as much as 20% of all Alaskans may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  My family arrived in April 1970; I seem to recall it was a little hard to fall asleep at first, …

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Feb 01

Winter Races

It’s obvious that Alaska is the largest state in the Union.  It also has other ‘largest’ characteristics.  The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world; it was a first for building structures on permafrost, conquering challenges of operating in the harsh, isolated arctic terrain.  At over 2,000 miles through the …

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Jan 01

Bring it On

The beginning of a year is traditionally a time for New Year Resolutions, as well as hoping the year will bring improved quality of life, or dreading any upcoming adverse challenges.  Whatever happens, we know change is really the only constant.  Change can be stressful, whether it is good or bad.    We are challenged by …

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Dec 01


When I was a teenager, my parents bought a motor home for fishing getaways.  When you are a teenager, you don’t necessarily like to get away with the family.  You want to hang out with your friends on the weekends.  So there were too many times I went begrudgingly as required.  Being a bookworm, I …

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Nov 01


War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.’  So says the lyrics of soul singer Edwin Starr.  I like the song’s explosive Motown sound, and have yet to tire of watching Jackie Chan and Chris Rock’s rendition on ‘Rush Hour.’  As far as the political statement it makes, I sadly cannot completely agree.  A quote …

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Oct 01

Halloween – Just Costumes and Candy?

It’s happening; the leaves are falling with the incessant rain, the faint smell of over-ripe currants hangs in the air, and the fireweed’s transformation from climbing blossoms into floating, weightless cotton is complete.  We have moved into Fall, with, at least for me, its accompanying dread of termination dust.  So what is there to celebrate …

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