Soul Street Dance Company’s Breakin’ Backwards: A Celebration of History, Music & Dance 

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Contributed by Nick McDermott 

Breakin’ Backwards: A Celebration of History, Music & Dance
11/2/2019 - 7:30PM
Alaska Junior Theater & Soul Street Dance Company

Atwood Concert Hall

621 W 6th Ave. Ste. #ACH, Anchorage
Tickets: $24.75-$33.75

Alaska Junior Theater presents Soul Street Dance Company’s Breakin’ Backwards on November 2, 2019 at 7:30pm in the Atwood Concert Hall.

Fusing hip-hop styles of breakin’, poppin’ and lockin’ with modern dance and a spark of theatrical flair, Soul Street Dance Company’s (Houston, Texas) comic delivery and sheer physicality are a hit with audiences of all ages. Their technical and artistic skills, stage presence and wit blow away the competition and allow them to push the performance envelope to amazing new heights, just like their impressive hip-hop acrobatics.

With Breakin’ Backwards, Soul Street’s dancers showcase impressive moves and choreography by incorporating different styles of street dance with traditional and classical styles of popular dance throughout the decades. Watch as they elevate and incorporate hip-hop elements including DJ, M.C., BBOY, GRAFFITI, Poppin’, Beat Boxing, Power Moves and Brazilian Capoeira. 

Great dancing needs great music and be ready for a soundtrack of the ages including Vivaldi, Jimmie Thomas, Count Basie, Elvis Presley, Henry Mancini, Debussy, the Temptations, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and more. 

Alaska Junior Theater presents Soul Street Dance Company’s Breakin’ Backwards on November 2, 2019 at 7:30pm. in the Atwood Concert Hall. Tickets are available at 907-263-ARTS or

Art Show & Open House: Art Enriches Our Lives 

Contributed by Janice Downing

 Art Show & Open House
11/7/2019 – 1PM
Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska
Mat-Su Health Foundation
777 N Crusey St. Ste. #B101
FREE Event

“Creativity makes life more fun and interesting.” – Edward de Bono

Creating art is an important part of our Art Links program sponsored by Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska. Each week, we enrich the lives of people living with dementia and their care partners, who often experience social isolation, by fostering their creativity and connecting them with others.

Dementia impacts a person’s life in many ways, such as their memory, communication ability, attention and judgement, but it does not rob a person’s feelings and experiences, their imagination and creativity.  These qualities are always reflected in our weekly art projects.

You are cordially invited to our Art Show and Open House on Thursday, November 7th, from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is located in the Mat-Su Health Foundation building at 777 N Crusey Street, Suite B101. Refreshments and snacks will be available.

Using art as a way to express feelings and experiences makes life interesting and fun! Come and celebrate with us! 

Meet Local Artist Sandra Falkner Chandler

Contributed by Charice Chambers

For Sandra Falkner Chandler it wasn’t a special revelation or anything terribly overwhelming that compelled her to constantly doodle with brush, pen or chalk. She simply had the desire to record the beauty that surrounded her. Originally from Florida, Chandler was surrounded with lush vibrant vegetation that drenched her senses and filled her sketch books. A move to Alaska simply intensified her desire to interpret those surroundings and increased her drive to record all that she experienced.

Chandler believes that art is an expression, an interpretation of that which the senses perceive.  Art is method for giving placement to and making sense of one’s experiences and observations. Art can be healing, and to that end Chandler has spent time as an art therapist working with troubled individuals. Through artistic creation many clients are able to examine their interpretation of the world around themselves. The artistic results are often gratifying.

Chandler’s own art runs the gamut, from iconic vistas of fireweed swaying in the breeze to a rustic trapper whose lined face and other worldly eyes reflect the joy, the pain, and the lonliness of living on the last frontier. In her composition “Old Dog” she vividly depicts the aging faithful sled dog that, though it can no longer pull the sled, still rises to its call. He rides, gently cradled, in the sled basket, a spot his musher has reserved for him alone. Then there is the “Running Wolf” who races to his den as a helicopter swoops low overhead and hunters prepare to shoot his comrades. While others scatter to the safety of the brush, he dies trying to protect his young. His single-minded determination is etched in his face as he falls to the bullets from above.

Chandler does not limit herself to a single medium, but works in pen and ink, pastel, acrylic, oil, charcoal and watercolor, giving her great versatility. Her pen and ink “Fly Fishing” captures both the excitement and grace of casting a line into a raging river.  Her use of cross-hatching in many of her pen and ink compositions exhibits the complexity of her designs.

“The Eternal Triangle” is one of her most popular compositions. In black and white, this unusual print focuses on three ravens at close range—just their heads.

Ravens mate for life.  The first two in this piece are a couple. Moving in from outside is the new suitor attempting to usurp the primary male’s position. The piece is stark and powerful, and must be seen. Chandler has also created a series depicting village life as viewed through the eyes of Alaskan Native women.

Sandra Falkner Chandler’s prints are currently available at Matsu Senior Services Gift Shop. Drop by and make one of her prints your own. Several of her pieces are included in the shop’s annual Permanent Fun Sale that continues throughout the month of October.

Located at 1132 South Chugach Street in Palmer across from Palmer Junior Middle School, the gift shop is open to both seniors and the public Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. 

Adopt Anley


Contributed by Kelleigh Orthmann, Clear Creek Cat Rescue 

Love in a pretty package. That's Anley. She's a soft, silky, ebony girl with a chocolate ruff and an adorable face. Slim, trim, little girl, big with affection. She is maybe 8 or 9 years old.

Anley loves a lap. She loves being petted. She loves keeping you warm on cold nights and making music with her contented purrs. And she would LOVE to share her life with a loving family. She causes no trouble whatsoever, very well-behaved. Her goal is to snuggle-up, purr and catch a good nap, preferably with loved ones.

She can tolerate other cats, but would prefer that they stay out of her bubble.

She hopes to find a happy family with whom she can add her special kind of joy - make things in your life better, sweeter, brighter. If you're looking for an easy-to-love, cuddly ray of happiness, Anley is your girl.

In Houston. Call 315-9510.

Adopt Gigi

Contributed by Kalleigh Orthmann, Clear Creek Cat Rescue

 “Hi! My name is Gigi!

I am a young boy, sleek and utterly gorgeous. I have tons of energy and love romping around the house playing. I love being played with. I get along well with gentle dogs and other kitty friends. I'll curl up and sleep at your feet in bed like I do now in the various beds of my foster's house. When I'm in need of pets and attention, I'll come to you and wind around your legs while I purr and meow. I'm still a little skittish and will need patience, but I can assure you I'll be a wonderful kitty friend.”

Gigi is about 9 months old.

In Wasilla. Call 980-8898

Meet Gaia

Contributed by Angie Lewis, Alaska Animal Advocates

This little bit is Gaia. She is AMAZING. She's sweet, she listens, she snuggles, she gets along with all animals, and is great off-leash. Gaia would love to have someone who is home all day, so she can be in their lap! She is very much a companion dog; she just wants to love and be loved. She enjoys bones and chew toys and isn't afraid to play with the big dogs. Gaia is piddle pad-trained, but prefers to go outside. 

Call Angie at Alaska Animal Advocates at 841-3173 or e-mail us at

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Alaska Downgraded Due to Lack of Progress in Shared Parenting Efforts

Contributed by David Vesper, Fathers’ Rights Movement

Not much has changed in statutes since the National Parents Organization issued a “B” to Alaska in its 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card.

Currently, “Neither parent … is entitled to preference in awarding custody,” under a state statute, still egalitarian due to its referred gender neutral language. Also, Alaskan “courts may award shared physical custody” as long as the court can determine a 10-point factor. However, the lack of presumption, either in a policy statement or statutory requirements in temporary or final orders, is still nonexistent. Therefore, egalitarian outcomes of presumptive 50/50 shared physical custody are not assured despite allowed in Alaska.

Alaska also falls behind the times.

Today, dual-income families, regardless of marital status, are the norm rather than the exception. Parents are trending away from marriage and more towards co-habitation. According to the Pew Research Center, fathers are spending more time with their children than previous generations. The correlation of dual-income families and increased father involvement in child-rearing responsibilities indicates the traditional dichotic gender roles are on the decline and shared parenting duties are the norm in today’s households.

However, when unmarried parents separate or were never entered into a loving relationship, fathers must petition the court for custodial/visitation rights under state statute. The rebuttable presumption of shared physical custody does not apply to unmarried parents as well.

Domestic violence is a predominant issue in Alaska.

Courts shall consider “any evidence of domestic violence… or a history of violence between the parents” when determining child custody. In April 2018, Kentucky passed the first-in-the-nation “shared parenting law” with the passage of HB 528. After 12 months of full implementation of HB 528, there are early indications of success in reducing domestic violence incidents. Kentucky has had a significant drop of domestic violence claims and more than an 11% decline of new cases of child custody in court filings from May 2018 through May 2019.  

The “friendly parent factor” also contributed to the early success, allowing the judge “to consider which parent would be more likely to help the other have a meaningful relationship with the child.” This soft-touch approach considers parenting time more valuable than the financial aspects, which can be contentious at times, of parenting. Alaska can benefit from this approach given the early positive outcomes of Kentucky’s shared parenting law.

As a result of the lack of progress in shared parenting legislation, Alaska has earned a downgraded C+ grade in the 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card. But, there is hope for Alaska. In March 2019, Rep. George Rauscher introduced the HB 85 Shared Parenting bill. In its current form, Alaska’s shared parenting bill mimics much of the same language as Kentucky’s successful shared parenting law. If successful in passage of its current form, HB 85 calls for the rebuttable presumption of 50/50 shared physical custody, presumes both parents equal regardless of marital status, intends to encourage mediation for parents in determining their own parenting schedule, and can reduce the plague of domestic violence in the state.

Research and evidence show the benefits for children in shared parenting situations and Kentucky is proving it. Alaska needs to progress forward - not backward.

About David:
David Vesper is the state director for the non-profit, Alaska Fathers’ Rights Movement, and the regional director for the Fathers’ Rights Movement West Region. He is a retired Army combat veteran and graduated in 2018 from the University of Alaska-Anchorage with a degree in international studies with a focus on global social science track and minors in political science and history.




Help Close Board of Massage 

Contributed by Daniel N. Russell 

Imposition of a state board of massage therapists is an overreach of government power, without due cause. Please, help close this board of massage therapists and repeal associated statutes establishing it in 2015. Let our people free to run their businesses as they see fit.

A state board regulating massage is wrong for Alaska for the following reasons:

1.     First, there has never been shown any danger to people from massage. In a free society, one should not impose any board of regulation, unless there is demonstrated a clear and imminent danger to people without it. That is the gold standard. Have you ever heard of anyone seriously injured from a massage? How absurd!

2.     Second, with hundreds of small towns and villages spread all over Alaska up to a thousand miles away from any massage schools, national board exam, CPR and CEU providers, it is an undue burden and cost to force our people to travel such great distances and to live in Anchorage to attend such schools for two years to get all these diplomas and certifications, just to be able to provide massages back in their home towns and villages. To boot, this board has just increased massage school diploma requirements from 500 hours to 620 hours and 16 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) hours to renew, and they require new CPR training every two years, fingerprints and passing a national board exam - all at great cost! How wrong!

3.     Third, when massage licenses were regulated by local municipalities, like Anchorage, license fees were $100.; but now, this state board of massage therapists forces us to spend over $1000, when all those extra requirements that I mentioned above are included. So, most people in rural towns and villages and semi-retired people, with few customers, cannot afford this state massage license. They have put all these people out of business!

4.     Fourth, under cover of massage, prostitution has skyrocketed, since this board of massage therapists has taken control because they cannot regulate it from Juneau. Almost every massage shop is a brothel! [See:] It seems, prostitutes and their pimps are now the only ones who can afford the fees, lawyers, and translators that it takes to get a massage license! We did a much better job when local government issued massage licenses.

5.     Fifth, Municipality of Anchorage used to issue a massage license within two weeks, but now the state board of massage therapists can take up to two years or more, with appeals, lawyers, translators, required letters and verifications from other states, fingerprints, FBI background checks, etc.! They hold people in limbo, without any ability to feed their families for years!

So, please, ask your state representatives and senators to introduce legislation to close the Board of Massage Therapists and repeal associated state statutes and to return control of massage to local governments to regulate it, or not, as their people see fit.