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SperlingViews - Anchorage, Alaska

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66.80% of people are white, 5.75% are black, 8.00% are asian, 6.63% are native american, and 1.48% claim 'Other'. 7.71% of the people in Anchorage, AK, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 92.29% are non-hispanic).

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Anchorage, AK
Beautiful June - 6/9/2009

For those wishing to visit us for summer fun, late May and early June are best. After 35 years here, my rule of thumb is that after 4th of July it starts getting a little wetter and less consistent. When it's nice out, it can't be beat![read more...]

Fairbanks, AK
Gold In The Street! -COME ONE, COME ALL! - 5/4/2009

Here in Anchorage, AK is a place where there are no real taxes (as of yet) and also a place where all the homeowners pay through the nose for property taxes, which is in the top 25 in THE NATION. Voter bonds that are somewhat liberal(Portland/San Francisco transplants?)in nature pass, thereby increasing the tax burden on the so-called rich i.e. homeowners. However, that is negated by all the free money flowing around here like the PFD. That is gold in the streets and everyone can get it as they only need to be here for a few months. The majority of the streets get potholes and frost heaves due to poor construction and the PFD is given to the people instead of maintaining the infrastructure: all is relative. It is good here and there should be more illegal immigrants that can't speak English as campaign signs foster a polyglot culture here in Anchorage where crime is rampant and littering is the norm, which is good for the economy. Rude driver's and gross materialism is the norm, showcasing the economy here. Remember, there are gold nuggets to be found on Anchorage's streets. Winters are good for the economy as natural gas bills have nearly doubled now for the 7 months of below freezing weather here, even though Alaska has tons of gas untapped. A grifter's paradise. The flipside of this is Alaska is beautiful and a land that time sort-of forgot: God's Country. If you like all of this, you'll fit in. Take care...[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Rainfall has been increasing here...soggy summers - 4/16/2009

For the past 20 years Anchorage has been seeing an overall shift in the amount of rainfall. Rainfall and cooler temperatures have lead to generally cloudy summers, poor gardens, and general feeling like we have completely skipped over summer for the past 3 years.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
its hard - 3/21/2009

its actually pretty hard to live in anchorage on a decent wage. everything is hiked up price-wise because we have to ship all of our consumer products up here by barge or by 18-wheeler, which drives everything way up and on top of that, I would say a good living wage for a single person would need to be at least 30,000 annualy just to make it, and that's not taking into account any monthly debts other than rent, utility, and vehicle cost. If you've got a house, or pay more than 300 pm for car or have a credit card you pay on or you rent storage space, you better bump your salary up another 10,000 annual. Also, apparently, one in eighteen people that live here are millionaires, so expect most things to cater to that type of lifestyle.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Relocating to Anchorage - 12/18/2008

My recent move to Anchorage was a nightmare thanks to Worldwide Movers Inc. I had many items stolen by this company. The company will not cover the cost of stolen items and will not make any good faith effort to work with their customers. This is a horrible company to use![read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Last Frontier - 12/18/2008

Anchorage has a lot of great features - proximity to wilderness and natural beauty is the greatest. The climate is cold in the winter but dry. The town has most conveniences as a city in the lower 48. Plus the economy here is still great - compared to the lower 48! The drawbacks is that crime is increasing and the drivers are too aggressive. I don't recommend that people moving here use a company called World Wide Movers, Inc. though. I had many items stolen and damaged by this company. Also plan on having all of your goods arrive frozen.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Beautiful views and cool weather - 11/21/2008

What makes Anchorage a great place to live is the view of the mountains that almost completely surround the city. Anchorage is cool in the winter, but not as cold as most of the rest of the state of Alaska. The temperature here in the winter months is almost exactly the same as the weather in Minneapolis--which is cold, but not unbearable.[read more...]

Eagle River, AK
Orthodox Christian Community in Eagle River - 10/10/2008

Eagle River is home to St. John the Evangelist Orthodox Cathedral, and to the Community surrounding it where approximately 85% of the parishioners live within a mile of the church in "intentional community". Homes are not owned by the church, but privately, or in co-owned o-lot lines. The cathedral is on Monastery Drive, so named for the Catholic convent that existed at the current site of St. James' House (aka "The Big House") just to the west in the late 60's, and where Thomas Merton visited on his way to Japan. It was out of the Big House windows that Merton foretold of a community that would one day exist there. Nearby is the pre-K-6th private school that is open to the community-at-large. While parishioners choose to live in community,they are an active part of the greater community, working in all of the typical professions. One would not be able to "pick out" someone from the Community (known among the youth as "The Village"), except for the well-known ability of the youth for music and singing, as the major portion of the church services are sung. The cathedral was built by the labor of the original parish members in 1980 and features a central cedar dome and icons written by various iconographers.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Great place for local recreation - 9/1/2008

Anchorage is full of great outdoor recreational opportunities. There are miles and miles of lighted bike and ski trails, along with tons of opportunities for backpacking and hiking in Chugach State Park--Anchorage's "back yard." In 20 minutes you can go from the city to total mountain wilderness. Within a short drive you also have access to great fishing, kayaking, and mountain biking as well. Winters are long and dark--you must like winters to live here. There are miles of x-country ski trails, as well as good down hill skiing. If you don't like being outside in the winter this is not the place for you. Schools are good and they treat their teachers well (I'm a teacher). I enjoy living here. However, we're looking to move to the lower 48 as it gets expensive flying out to visit family in the midwest.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Weather in Anchorage - 8/7/2008

Winter is painfully long and dark, even more so if your not into outdoor winter sports. Summer, especially June, can be marvelous. Lots of daylight hours to spend doing all things outdoors, from gardening to fishing.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Weather Overall - 7/2/2008

Greetings! I have lived in Anchorage for over 20 years. Alaska is generally known for it's winter weather, but we do get some fine conditions in the summer. Today for example, 2 July 2008, it is almost cloudless, near 70 degrees F, and absolutely beautiful. The summer this year has been a bit cooler than usual with highs in the mid to low 60s, and lows in the 40s and 50s. I always say that sunny and 70 is a "shorts and T-shirt" day in Anchorage. We have been short on those days this year. You can see Mt McKinley from my office near the Anchorage International Airport. (That's over 100 miles away!!) On the longest summer days around 21 June, the sun doesn't really go down, and the late evening is like twilight. That's why they call this the Land of the Midnight Sun! With that said, we do get plenty of winter also. Snow usually shows up in Anchorage about mid Oct or after Nov 1st, and lasts until about mid April. Highs in the winter are usually in the mid teens to mid 20s, with occasional cold snaps down to -20 F or lower, and the occasional warm-up to above freezing. Most of our snow is straight up and down, not drifted, and we can get small amounts up to several feet at a time. Season totals vary from year to year, usually about 4-8 ft, but we get much less than Valdez Ak, (measured in 10s of feet!) and more than places like Juneau Ak, (more rainy and icy in the winter). On the shortest winter days (mid Nov to Mid Feb) the sun comes up about 10:30 AM and is heading down about 3:30 PM. The trick to surviving the darkness and winter in Anchorage is to get out and be active. Ski, skate, sled, snowshoe, walk the dog...just get out of the house or work, and don't let the dark days get to you.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Anchorage, - 6/29/2008

The winters are long, but not as severe as winters in the East. The climate is dry and the snow is powdery. It's the length (9 months) that makes winter a challenge. I actually prefer the Anchorage winter to New York's![read more...]

Eagle River, AK
Want to live here? - 6/8/2008

This is the most beautiful state you can live it. The air is wonderful. During the spring (there is no summer) everything is green and beautiful. Don't expect blue skies often, and the temperature stays rather low. So far, and this is June, the temperature hasn't gotten above 59. The hiking is awesome, but watch out for bears and moose. If you like grey skies and lonnnnnnnnnnnng winters, then this is the place for you.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
nice place - 5/3/2008

We have only lived in Anchorage for five months, but really like it so far. We came in the middle of winter and it was bizarre. the sun didn't come up until after 10 am - maybe 11. and it got dark very quickly. the first place that i've lived where the sun comes up and sets in the south - way down on the horizon all day! Anyway, there is a lot to do here - outdoor activities, that is. fishing, hiking, biking, all winter sports. The hardest part for me so far is that winter is loooooooooooong.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
Just another dirty city? - 4/22/2008

I've lived near the center of Anchorage for 20 years. Traffic has increased tremendously. Gang related crime was not recognized by the local police in 1990, but it was here. Now they can't help but notice it. Residents don't have much confidence in their ability to deal with it. If you like to hunt and fish, etc, this is the place to be. If not, this is just another dirty city. Really, it ain't nothin special. And the winters are long, dark, and lest I forget to mention . . . cruel. If you like to garden. . .forget it. The season is too short. You can't grow much in two and a half months of summer.[read more...]

Anchorage, AK
A+ Health Care in Anchorage - 3/21/2008

Coming from Houston, Texas to Anchorage we were completely wowed by the quality of health-care we found here. My mom is a nurse in Houston and my husband and mother-in-law (who also lives in Anchorage) both have a few minor chronic conditions, so I think I have a better than average insight. In Anchorage, you receive much more personal time with your doctor, and that goes for your General Practitioner AND and specialist you may see. You are not just another one of the millions of nameless people traveling to Houston each day for health care. I've heard that we have a shortage of medical personnel in Alaska, but you (at least those with adequate insurance - I can't speak for those that rely on free clinics, etc) would never know it based solely on the quality of care.[read more...]

Eagle River, AK
Eagle River, Alaska - 3/4/2008

The city of Eagle River is not on your list. It is a town outside of Anchorage. It is within the Municipality of Anchorage, but is seperated by a military base. It is a great place to live, but Alaska in general is harder to live in for older people because of the long winters and short summers.[read more...]

Eagle River, AK
Healthcare and Medicare Crisis - 2/17/2008

The local NBC station did an extensive news story about the health care crisis here in Anchorage. Health care here, even if you have an insurance plan, is ridiculous. It is tough to even get in to see a doctor. When you do, they often make you sign a form that says they can pretty much charge whatever they want over what your insurance will pay. We paid $1,800.00 over what our insurance would pay for a yearly exam that is pretty standard, and we have some of the best insurance here! They also found out that no doctors here will take new medicare patients and many are dropping their medicare patients altogether because medicare will not pay them enough. I was curious why many of my customers who were reaching the age of 65 were abruptly moving out of state! Now I know. Some of them did say they could not get the healthcare they needed. While we just got a new cancer center at Providence Hospital (many with cancer like Susan Butcher had to fly to Seattle or Portland), that doesn't mean that care is going to cost anything reasonable. The Matanuska-Susitna Valley also got a new hospital. One of the biggest problems is that there are no law schools, no medical schools, and no veterinary schools. So, anyone in those fields can charge whatever they pretty much want to or you cannot find anyone to help you. While we are not of Medicare age yet, it will become a factor in about 10 or 15 years. Will Alaska solve this healthcare crisis by then? I'm not sure. [read more...]

Anchorage, AK
What to do in Alaska - 2/1/2008

If you love the Great Outdoors, wether it is below 15 degrees or 65 degrees then Alaska is your state. There is so much to do. However, if you do not like the Great Outdoors it can be a rather boring state.[read more...]

Eagle River, AK
What has happened to the Anchorage I love so much? - 1/15/2008

We drove the Alaska Highway in the dead of winter in 2003 to escape horrible job conditions in Oklahoma. I fell instantly in love with Alaska. Then I slowly began falling out of love with it over the past 5 years. Next week will mark our 5th year here. I started seeing people leaving one after another for very good reasons. There never were murders or gangs. Now there are murders more than you would expect. The rate of rape is one of the highest in the United States. The treatment of Alaska Natives is often disrespectful and racist. The summers are now so crowded, we can never find anyplace to put our RV to enjoy unless we drive way out of the way. The fishing holes are impossible to even get into when the tide comes up. The breathtaking Turnagain Arm is almost enough to keep us here, but my husband is getting ready to retire in a few years. Recently, Channel 2 did a story on the medical and medicare crisis in Alaska. There's no medical school here, so doctors have to come from "outside." The malpractice insurance and costs are so high that even if you have a great insurance plan, you are constantly nickeled and dimed TO DEATH!!!! There presently is NOT ONE doctor in Anchorage taking new Medicare patients. My husband had a routine colonoscopy that ended up costing us over 3,000 dollars (and that is with insurance!!!!) We are veterans, and the VA hospital is overburdened and understaffed. Care there is pitiful at best. So, because in about 15 years we'll be close to the Medicare age and don't want to get stuck here and not able to leave, we'll be leaving in the next 3 or 4 years probably. We've loved it here, and we live in a beautiful place north of Anchorage but the traffic from the Matsu Valley and the pigs throwing garbage on the highways on their way to work is ruining our neighborhood. We can now smell the exhaust from the traffic all the way in our backyard, and we're a LONG way away from the highway. I love Anchorage, and I especially love filming it in the winter, but it is fast becoming a place that is not safe or enjoyable to be in. Someone else mentioned their families can't afford to visit them. True, so true!!! I've not seen my grandchildren in 5 years. I miss fresh fruit, as we only get fresh fruit and vegetables at certain times of the year. The rest of the time it is expensive and mushy and horrible. The stores up here try so hard to make it like the lower 48 but the climbing cost of fuel is just making the price of shipping anything here outrageous. The other day, I shipped a shoe box size box of clothes to my grandmother. It cost me $18.00 to ship it!!!!! Good grief. Our utilities are unreal, too. The cost of high speed internet is like $140.00 a month for unlimited and our gas and electric are over $300.00 a month. I know that is normal for many places, but our electric is generated by natural gas and natural gas is at a critical shortage right now in Alaska. (The reason they're rushing to try to build a natural gas pipeline now) It's nice to get the permanent fund dividend every year, but at what cost to the environment? I know much of what I have said here is my opinionated self, so please take it with a grain of salt. However, many people come here with stars in their eyes and no money in their pockets and get stuck. The job market here is very very good if you are construction but you can bet you'll be building houses in 20- degrees below zero weather at times! The summers are beautiful and the 22 hours of daylight is awesome. The darkness gets harder and harder the longer I live here, and even a S.A.D. light does not get me on a regular sleeping schedule. My sleep has been really messed up the past 3 years or so. Anyway, that's pretty much it in a nutshell for me. Thanks for listening. [read more...]

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