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Tara Young

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GIRDWOOD -- On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. It turned out to be both a historic moment and a deeply understated occasion.With retail pot sales still at least a year off and public consumption banned, people who marked the moment mostly did so in private.But at one rented condominium up a gravel road in Girdwood, legalization day was cause for an all-out party.Alaska Green Cross, an organization devoted to cannabis advocacy, hosted the event, billed as a “Thanks and Treats Dinner.”Read more: In Girdwood, marking a historic moment with plenty of now-legal potWatch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Mike Dunham
“Déjà Vu All Over Again in Chicken, Alaska” is being billed as the 25th anniversary of the Fur Rondy Melodrama. Dennis Sullivan, who plays the villainous Throckmorton Dirtbag, has been in 24 of them.
Zaz Hollander
Willow firefighters say they’ve agitated to raise local taxes to make essential upgrades. But, they say, they’ve been stymied by opposition from the very people supposed to be on their side: the three-person board of supervisors that runs the local fire service area. 
Beth Bragg
Skiing on its home trails, the UAA ski team shined on a sunny Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at Kincaid Park, landing one man and two women in the top five of the Seawolf Invitational’s classic-technique race. 
Suzanna Caldwell
Greg Kohs’ independently produced documentary follows four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey along the 2013 trail, where he went on to place 19th. It also traces back to his early life, with family interviews, including dad and 1978 Iditarod champion Dick Mackey, along with his hard-scrabble rise over the years to becoming a legendary dog musher.Kohs said the family relationship drew him to the story, and he believes it will resonate with viewers unfamiliar with Mackey. Kohs first worked with Mackey years earlier when he did a short film for the Livestrong Foundation on Mackey overcoming cancer.He said they had full access to the musher, though at times working with his schedule -- which is notoriously fluid -- proved difficult. In an effort to follow Mackey along the trail, Kohs chartered a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter to reach remote areas.Being able to get to those portions of the trail gave Kohs a sense of what the race is really like and the inspiration for the film's title.“It felt like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ out there,” Kohs said. “A desert of snow, and he was this figure out there going across it. It felt right.”An Anchorage showing is scheduled for March 4 at the Bear ToothTheatrepub,
Tegan Hanlon
Goldenview Middle School music teacher Dan Whitfield had always taught five classes, but this year he and the rest of the middle school elective teachers in the Anchorage School District have been required to teach for six out of the day’s seven periods. It's not a sustainable workload, Whitfield says.
Michelle Theriault Boots
On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. It turned out to be both a historic moment and a deeply understated occasion. With retail pot sales still at least a year off and public consumption banned, people who marked the moment mostly did so in private.
Beth Bragg
The UAA ski team kicked off a week of home-snow competition Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, with a pair of top-10 finishes on the Hillside cross-country trails, which despite early morning rain held up well enough to showcase a two-time NCAA champion skier.
Hundreds of Alaskans participated in the "Rally for Our Troops" at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, prior to a listening session with Army officials who will share community comments and input with senior leadership before any decisions on troop cuts are made.  
Erik Hill
Dianne and Dave Tydings have operated Dianne's Restaurant on the first floor of what is now the Atwood Building for 25 years. They are closing at the end of the month, but will continue preparing food while operating Dianne's Wild Fork Catering out of another location. 
Craig Medred
Iron Dog Restart on the water-covered ice of Big Lake on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015.  Thirty-seven two-person teams plan to cover more than 2,000 miles of Alaska wilderness on their way to Nome with a Fairbanks finish next Saturday. 
Marc Lester
The high school cross-country skiing state championship concluded with freestyle relay races at Kincaid Park on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.

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