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Coronado gets an upgrade

45 years ago in the Star…

After reading a newspaper article about unsafe conditions on Coronado Road, Eagle River resident Chuck Cloud took matters into his own hands, rolling out his grader to smooth ruts and fill holes along the dirt road through the heart of town.

Cloud, owner of Cloud’s Welding Service, hoped to remain anonymous at the time. The use of his name “wouldn’t add anything,” he said. But his work didn’t go unnoticed.

On Oct. 1, the care and keeping of Chugiak’s Aurora Borealis Road will return to the hands of the few residents who live there.

The decision to end municipal maintenance on the petite local side street followed more than a year’s worth of meetings and a Sept. 25 vote by the Chugiak Birchwood Eagle River Rural Road Service Area Board of Supervisors. In the end, road supervisors agreed, it was an issue of risk.

Alaska’s crime rates went up significantly in 2016 in Alaska, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI.

Fall is in the air, which means the Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Department is preparing for its most popular Halloween tradition – Beach Lake Park’s third annual Boo at the Beach.

The community event features a haunted trail, games and plenty of candy. Parks manager Karen Richards said she expects this year’s festivities to attract some 700 kids. All those trick-or-treaters require about 21,000 pieces of candy, Richards said, and the parks department is currently seeking donations.

An Eagle River woman is making waves for her work educating Alaskans about boating safety.

Kelli Toth, a program assistant with the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Boating Safety, recently received a 2017 Boating Safety Educator of the Year award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Since she joined the Alaska office in 2011, more than 75,000 have participated in Kids Don’t Float water safety classes, according to DNR. That number continues to grow.

“I see a great increase in demand for classes,” Toth said.

Fifty-four Alaskans became American citizens in the Eagle River High School gym Friday, surrounded by proud family and friends and more than 200 cheering ERHS government students.

Many waited years for the occasion, they said.

“We are a nation mostly of immigrants,” retired Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sen Tan said to those gathered in the school gym Friday. “I want to say in clearest terms: You are welcome.”

As a young girl growing up in Oostzaan, Netherlands, Maria Talasz made art with wood, dreaming up designs to cut into decorative pins she then sold around her neighborhood.

Years later, as an artist living in Eagle River, she dreamed up a design for a different kind of pin – the 2018 Fur Rondy commemorative edition.

“I’ve been making art for a long time,” said Talasz, who now works out of a home studio in Eagle River. “I’ve never really wanted to stick with paper much.”

Her Fur Rondy pin design was unveiled during a special ceremony in downtown Anchorage Sept. 8.

UPDATE (Friday, Sept. 22): The woman arrested Thursday, Sept. 21 was identified Friday by Anchorage Police as 23-year-old Brandy L. Nolcini. Court records show Nolcini was released the same day she was arrested and is currently free on $3,000 cash/corporate bail. Records show that at the time of her arrest Thursday in Eagle River, Nolcini was out on $250 bail for a misdemeanor case filed Sept. 17. Charging documents were pending in both cases as of Friday, Sept. 22.

A year after a routine municipal audit revealed more than half a dozen administrative and accounting issues at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center, local park supervisors are still searching for answers to lingering financial questions at the popular Eagle River rec center.

When Mary Turner woke with a start early on the morning of Sept. 5, she thought the sound she heard came from an earthquake, she said.

Then she saw the flames outside her window. A window imploded. She knew she had to get out, she said.