Alaska Dispatch's Best of the Week: Nov. 24-30, 2012

Craig Medred

Powerball blues, full-moon awe and weather so cold it became unhealthy: Alaskans are slouching toward winter solstice. Don't look for good news up here this time of year -- unless, that is, you're a cinephile. In that case, crawl out of bed and head down to the Anchorage Film Festival, deep winter's brightest beacon.

Here are a few of the stories that mattered most in Alaska this week for sun-starved, Vitamin D-deficient Alaskans.

  1. 1 What's federal pipeline office to do after Alaska gas-line proposal perishes?

    The four-person, $1.4 million federal pipeline coordinator's office has picked up odd jobs to stay busy, including running a costly news site and creating an online database.

  2. 2 Revolution in rural Alaska education? Many embracing regional schools.

    Advocates say residential programs allow students to explore a wide and deep curriculum that isn't available at small village schools. 

  3. 3 Is it time for an Alaska lottery?

    Gaming in Alaska is mostly limited to a few meager pull-tab and bingo parlors located around the state. Might Alaska lawmakers consider a lottery as a new revenue stream?

  4. 4 Friends of wilderness instructor lost in Alaska persist after troopers abandon search

    Hope for missing Thomas Seibold was dwindled as the search window in the North narrows. Daylight in the Ambler area is down to about three hours a day.

  5. 5 Building an outhouse? 'Alaska Homesteader's Handbook' might help

    New book on homesteading features hints and tips on how to survive life in the 49th state without power or water that flows through pipes.

  6. 6 Anchorage film festival: Cold Alaska nights at warm movie theaters (+VIDEO)

    The Anchorage International Film Festival opens Friday at 8 p.m. at the Bear Tooth Theaterpub in Anchorage.

  7. 7 Alaska campaign finance watchdog sued by Pebble mine foe

    Bob Gillam, an Anchorage money market firm manager and opponent of the proposed Pebble mine, has sued the Alaska Public Offices Commission for bias, claiming its director is out to "destroy him."

  8. 8 Alaska's Columbia glacier expected to stop retreating by 2020

    Alaska’s hulking Columbia Glacier once stretched for more than 40 miles, but has lost about a quarter of that to calving and melting. Now, a new study predicts the glacier will stop receding at the dawn of the new decade.

  9. 9 Sunny adventures await Alaskans on Hawaii's Big Island

    The Big Island isn't Hawaii's sunbathing and lolly-gagging getaway. From exploring volcanoes to snorkeling coral reefs, Kona is all about getting things done.

  10. 10 Bird Creek potter celebrates 33 years

    Tucked away in a quiet corner of Turnagain Arm is one of Alaska's best-kept secrets. While there are potters who subsist off of their art, few have done it longer than Peter Brondz.