Kirsten Swann

More than half a century ago, Finis Shelden and Sharon Lee met at a college ball game in Missouri. Before long, they were talking about marriage at a drive-through movie. Last Sunday afternoon, they celebrated their 50th anniversary, surrounded by family and friends in the dining room of the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

“We’ve had our ups and our downs and our ins and our outs and our good times and our bad times, just like everybody else that’s lived long-term here in Alaska,” said Finis, dapper in a suit and boutonniere. “You’ve just got to depend on each other.”

A controversial high-density housing development and proposed changes to Anchorage building code dominated the discussion at a Chugiak-Eagle River Advisory Board meeting Feb. 11.

After a 2016 municipal audit revealed a variety of accounting and management problems at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center, the nonprofit contracted to run the Eagle River recreational facility is considering a slew of operational changes, including reduced hours, expanded program offerings and increased user fees.

General manager Reid McDonald introduced the plan before an Anchorage Assembly committee Friday — the latest in a string of meetings held in response to last year’s audit.

Eagle River’s Alaska Middle College School is preparing for a change — one adminstrators say could help the program reach more students in more places.

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