Reading the North

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily NewsJune 15, 2013 

Images of America: Talkeetna

By Talkeetna Historical Society, Tom Sisul and Joy Keniston-Longrie (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99)

The blurb: Located at the end of a road in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the historic village of Talkeetna has played a significant role in trapping, mining, railroading and mountaineering history. Talkeetna's function as a gathering place and transportation hub in America's Last Frontier has been important from its onset and continues today.

Excerpt: Talkeetna's history is intertwined with the history of trappers, prospectors, and miners. Weather and snow dictated the rhythm of activities of these professions, which complemented each other with their seasonal natures. Placer (hydraulic) and hard rock mining could not be conducted when the ground and rivers were frozen. However, setting traplines is best done during wintertime to obtain the most luxurious furs, which fetched the highest prices. Money received from trapping helped grubstake many a miner's summer activities. ... The local freighters, such as Dave Lawrence and the Lee brothers, provided a critical supply line to the remote trappers and miners on the other side of the Talkeetna River, including those at Trappers Creek, Peters Creek, Cache Creek, and Dutch Hills. If a prospector or miner survived and was successful, after a few seasons they may have established a home base in Talkeetna. It was not uncommon for a trapper or miner to retire in Talkeetna, and some of their log buildings that have survived the test of time make up the core of present-day Talkeetna's Historic District.

Talking With God: A Book of Spiritual Poetry for Children

By Dena Sessler (Publication Consultants, $14.95)

The blurb: Dena Sessler wrote the poetry while the children of Eagle River Christian School provided the illustrations. Sessler wrote, "For years I looked for a book of rhymes or spiritual poems for children that not only had meaning and hope, but gave children a different way to look at God that wasn't so scary and intimidating to them.

Excerpt: "I See You

I see you on the mountain tops.

"I see you on the ground.

"I see you more and more each day

in everything I've found.

"I see you in the flowers too

and even in the bees.

"I see you when I see myself.

"I see you Lord in me".

Focus on Sustainability: A Nonprofit's Journey

By Dennis G. McMillian (The Foraker Group, $25)

The blurb: A new book just published by The Foraker Group is intended to change the way nonprofits view sustainability -- both in Alaska and across the country. According to Dennis McMillian, Foraker president and CEO, the purpose of the book is to help nonprofit staff, volunteers and board members operate more purposefully.

Excerpt: "An organization may have the right people, partnerships, and even adequate unrestricted funds, but without focus, it may not have what it needs to keep it on track. Focus is the most important factor; it is an organization's foundation. Understanding this is the key to fully appreciating how the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model functions. An organization's founding purpose and values are part of its focus. In a sustainable nonprofit, purpose and values don't change -- they are absolute, almost sacred. The focus reflects the passion of the founders, defining what they intended to accomplish and why. Focus serves as the anchor for everything an organization does. It helps provide the answer to the fundamental question, Who are we?


Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily News

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