On the day after Christmas, I opened an email from Lee Jordan.
“Merry Christmas, Matt,” he wrote. “Keep up the good work.”
Less than a week later, Lee died suddenly during a New Year’s Eve party, surrounded by his family and friends.
During my three separate tours at the Star since 2010, Lee’s enduring presence has been a reminder why we continue fighting each week to put out a community newspaper in keeping with his vision, so knowing he still took pride in the paper he called “his baby” is by far the most satisfying accomplishment of my career.
Lions are “Sharing the Vision,” which includes conducting vision screenings, providing Braille and large-print books to a local library, and organizing sporting events for the blind and visually impaired.
The Soltis and Claus families, and Michael’s close friends would like to say how very touched and grateful they are for the love, support, and gratitude this community has shown in this very difficult and sad time. The flowers, money donations, food, and cards have all been so greatly appreciated. The families and friends would also like to express their gratitude and thanks to the Eagle River Ale House for hosting the fundraiser and donating all the beer for the event. The success of the event would not have been possible without them.
Alaska’s short glorious summer is now in full bloom. Everywhere we look while out on our hikes there are native plants and flowers popping up across our forests and mountain hillsides. The rich layers of composting leaves and plant material have provided a perfect balance for our native plants and flowers to thrive.
Every spring, the first flowers to emerge in my garden are the primulas. Primulaceae is the name taken from the Italian word for spring, (primavera).
Frequently found in the Himalayas and western China and in the northern countrysides of Europe, this plant prefers the cool, damp conditions of the alpine mountain regions and is well-suited for us in Alaska.
We have just celebrated Arbor Day, which is designated on April 26 every year. The garden clubs in Alaska however do not recommend planting of trees in spring until late May when the ground is thawed sufficiently.
When choosing a shrub for your garden, never pick one unless you are absolutely sure that it is resistant to our winter cold and hardy for this area. We are in a zone 3 and many of the box stores do sell plants that are not hardy outside here in the winter and they will die. Save your money and get a shrub that will survive and thrive here. One such shrub is Syringa Vulgaris an heirloom variety of lilac. This variety can grow 20 feet high and can become large and provide multiple beautiful blooms for your enjoyment.