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This week I’ve been thinking about blessings, both offered by clergy and the kind we bestow to others our lives may touch. In my contact with churches and clergy recently, I’ve been touched by the blessings I’ve seen given, and saddened by missed blessing opportunities. 

Chris Thompson
I am no longer excluded from the roasted tomato party, and neither are the rest of you.Maya Evoy
I am often asked to write a column about a specific subject. This is not always easy, as the timing may not be right, the issue may not be one of general interest or there isn’t enough to say about at the subject to fill a whole column.Jeff Lowenfels
It’s easy to walk into the Alaska State Fair through the Yellow Gate and miss the biggest addition to the fairgrounds this year. That’s expected to change by 2016, when the Gathering Place, a group of buildings and landscape features showcasing and celebrating Alaska Native art and tradition, will take its final form.Mike Dunham
The last few times I’ve returned home to Mountain Village, it’s been mainly in the winter months. This year, I made a decision to go home to go berry picking for my 85-year-old grandmother, Maria, who is elderly and disabled, and not so mobile anymore.Trina Landlord
Sergei Khrushchev, the late premier’s son, will be in Anchorage next week to deliver the keynote address at the Cold War Conference and Nike Veterans Reunion, Sept. 4-6. Mike Dunham
Fairweather airlines say "buh-bye" to Alaska. Grab these deals on the last flights south!Scott McMurren
Yana Gilbuena is on a mission to cook 50 Filipino feasts in all 50 states in 50 weeks. The five-course meal in Anchorage was a delicious adventure. Food was heaped in a pile on the banana leaves (“don’t eat them,” Gilbuena joked), in the middle of the table and everyone dug in, family style.Shannon Kuhn
The giant vegetables at the Alaska State Fair may be the closest some visitors get to locally grown produce, given the scarcity of farm-fresh offerings at food booths. Zaz Hollander
Fred Scheer's Lumberjack Show is as much a part of the Alaska State Fair as giant cabbages and decadent cream puffs, a fixture for more than 20 years. That's a lot of yo-hos.Beth Bragg

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