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Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says he’s all for smaller government but isn’t convinced Chugiak-Eagle River residents would be making a wise decision by breaking away from the municipality.

“Interesting conversation,” Berkowitz said Wednesday at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce lunch forum in Eagle River. “Show me the money.”

It’s springtime in the Chugach Mountains, where fuzzy white willow catkins are a sure sign of longer, warmer days ahead. There’s just one problem: It’s November.

“It’s pretty much unprecedented,” said Justin Fulkerson, a research botanist who said he first heard reports of catkins (also known as “pussy willows”) showing up in the Anchorage area from a fellow scientist in late October.

Jen Hufford hadn’t slept for two days after an exhausting flight from Anchorage to London to Scandinavia, but as she settled into her hotel in Are, Sweden, earlier this week, her excitement still bubbled over. On Friday, the 35-year-old Eagle River sports trainer and athlete with an impressive competitive resume will toe the line with an elite group of competitors from around the world vying for the title of World Spartan Ultra champion.

Two familiar names have signaled their intent to run for a Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly in the April 7, 2020, municipal election.

As of Monday, Eagle River’s Jamie Allard and Chugiak’s Gretchen Wehmhoff were the only District 2 residents to file letters of intent with the Alaska Division of Elections. The filing period for municipal office is Jan. 1-Feb. 1, but the letters permit candidates to raise funds prior to officially filing for office.

Participants at a French language camp near Beach Lake in Chugiak may soon be in danger of getting deja vu.

“We’ve got one student who has been at every camp so far,” said Nicole Ayers, a foreign language teacher at Chugiak High who started the third-annual camp in 2017 as a way to build a bit of esprit de corps among high school French programs within the Anchorage School District.

Ayers said she modeled the two-day camp at the Birchwood Camp after a successful program the district’s German teachers began three decades ago.

A Gruening Middle School student was arrested Wednesday morning after allegedly making threats against other students.

According to a Nixle alert issued by the Anchorage Police Department, a School Resource Officer at the school — which is currently located on the campus of Chugiak High School on South Birchwood Loop — received a report of the threat at around 9:15 a.m.

After being spared from state budget cuts that would have shuttered CCS Early Learning center in Chugiak, preschool is back in session for a 48th year in the little red schoolhouse on the Old Glenn Highway. But the 15 vacant seats remaining to be filled are a new issue in the center, which historically has reached maximum enrollment every year.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

A 31-year-old Soldotna man who was reportedly chasing a woman with a knife was arrested Friday morning in Chugiak after being taken down by a police stun gun.

At Chugiak High, they’ve got a nickname for Ashley Bailey, the steely-eyed security guard who stalks the campus with the vigilance of a junkyard dog that ain’t been fed.

“The kids call her ‘Bulldog Bailey,’” said Chugiak principal Megan Hatswell.

Bailey has a reputation as someone who doesn’t take a lot of guff. Hatswell said the military veteran is fierce but fair — traits that have earned her grudging respect from the students she oversees.

Progress is being made on a project to help Alaskans reach out and touch their neighbors Outside.

Matanuska Telephone Association CEO Michael Burke visited the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce biweekly lunch forum earlier this month at the Matanuska Alehouse in Eagle River, where he said only about 40 more miles of cable are needed to complete the co-op’s Alcan One project, which when completed next year will become the first overland fiber optic link between Alaska and the Lower 48.

“It’s all buried, which is much easier to maintain,” he said.

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