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Let’s be real: Losing really wasn’t even a remote consideration for the East High football team Thursday night.

Facing an Eagle River team that competes honorably but lacks talent, size and depth, East rolled to a 63-0 Cook Inlet Conference victory at Anchorage Football Stadium.

Granted, the victory salved some of the psychic wounds the Thunderbirds’ suffered in their 0-2 start to the season, but they arrived with more goals than just winning.

East aimed to improve its performance on special teams, which were such a serious shortcoming in last week’s 28-0 CIC loss to Bartlett that coach Jeff Trotter said the T-birds this week practiced that facet of the game more than offense and defense. The T-birds also sought to sharpen the most fundamental aspects of their offense, consistently gain yardage, cut down on penalties and, in light of three linemen out with injuries, get out of the game without further debilitating injuries.

They delivered on most of those fronts, though not so much when it came to their propensity for prompting flags. The T-birds were penalized 10 times for 95 yards, and five of those infractions were 15-yarders...

Doyle Woody

PALMER -- With confusion reigning and a steady downpour falling on Machetanz Field, the Palmer Moose needed some magic.

Presto.

Chase Ferris’ improbable 29-yard touchdown reception from Justin Roth on a disputed fourth-and-15 with 1:37 left to play Thursday night gave Palmer an insane 54-49 nonconference win over North Pole.

“I’ve been playing football for 11 years and I’ve never been a part of something like that,” said Ferris, who nabbed a batted ball at the 5-yard line and scampered into the end zone for his sixth touchdown of the night.

Ferris was the offensive star of a game that featured plenty of highlights, rushing for five touchdowns and 291 yards on 27 carries.

Despite the back-and-forth nature of the game, it was Ferris’s magical catch that had fans buzzing afterward. The game-winning play came after Palmer coaches argued with referees over the down -- the Moose thought it should be third, not fourth -- leaving Palmer facing an all-or-nothing down to decide a game it had led until the waning minutes.

“We’re just happy to get a win,” said Ferris, whose team improved to 1-2 overall (0-0 in Railbelt Conference play)...

Matt Tunseth

Yana Gilbuena is on a mission to cook 50 Filipino feasts in all 50 states in 50 weeks.

Her goal is twofold: to spotlight Filipino cuisine and culture throughout the United States and to raise money for schools in the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan almost a year ago.

Gilbuena was born and raised on the island nation before emigrating to Los Angeles. She launched the project from Brooklyn, New York, where she gave up her lease and sold all her belongings except for her backpack, cooking knives, and bicycle.

Alaska’s feast marked the 25th week and halfway point of the SALO project.

The menu in each state is tailored to what is in season and available locally. During her week-long stay in the land of the midnight sun, Gilbuena headed to Cordova to meet fishermen with Drifters Fish to source Copper River coho salmon for the Anchorage dinner, hiked Flattop and even checked out the state fair.

I met Gilbuena in the kitchen of roommates Elana Habib and Harrison Law, who hosted the Alaska dinner in their tiny midtown apartment. We chatted over the sizzles of frying crab fat and garlic...

Shannon Kuhn

A group of Alaska mayors has come out in opposition of the ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Alaska.

The Alaska Conference of Mayors announced Thursday that it had voted to oppose the initiative during an Aug. 13 meeting in Nome, and pledged to donate $5,000 to “Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2,” a campaign opposing the initiative.

At a press conference in Anchorage, representatives of the group voiced concerns over public safety issues, increased enforcement costs and whether legalized marijuana would lead to an increase in social issues such as high school dropout rates, but offered few specifics as to what such issues and costs may look like in their communities should marijuana be legalized...

Laurel Andrews

The giant hot dog that’s now a moving landmark on the Susitna Flats west of Anchorage appears to have been the victim of not one, but two pranks.

Left tied beneath the Old Glenn Highway bridge over the Matanuska River a decade ago after being swiped from Little Miller's Ice Cream near Wasilla , it was discovered there by the Miller family.

"We tried to recover the hot dog as it swung from the bridge over the river's current,'' Keith Miller, one of store owner Gary Miller's sons, said Thursday. "A tow truck was responding to retrieve it when a separate group of kids cut it loose and the recovery crew arrived just in time to watch it float downriver.

"It was a big deal to my family back then," he added. "It wasn't funny at the time.''...

Craig Medred

My friend Alan Swensen had a great phrase regarding airfares: “Fare wars are like buses. One comes around every few minutes.”

That’s true in Anchorage, but not so much in the rest of the state. As summer-only airlines pack their bags and head south, fares are going up in Fairbanks and Juneau. In Anchorage, more complex competitive currents point to a nice collection of destinations on sale between mid-September and mid-October. Here’s a “Top 10” list of the best deals.

1. Get lucky with flights to Las Vegas. Delta Air Lines is offering a $386 roundtrip fare between Anchorage and Las Vegas, Sept 15-Oct. 12. Or, you can pay a little more ($413 roundtrip) to fly on Alaska Airlines nonstop...

Scott McMurren

It’s easy to walk into the Alaska State Fair through the Yellow Gate and miss the biggest addition to the fairgrounds this year. A few heads may turn toward the fish wheel near the pathway and several fairgoers will feel their appetites aroused by the aroma of grilling salmon. But the eight humble plywood cabins with little signage are likely to escape the attention of most visitors as they make a beeline for the giant, familiar livestock exhibits building, established booths and the carnival beyond.

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, takes its final form.

For the moment, however, the Gathering Place is very much a work in progress. On opening day there was a fairly steady crowd in front of the Fish On! Camp Grill but far fewer customers poking their heads into the cabins to look at Native crafts being sold within. With the sun beating down on Aug. 21, the cabins were swelter-boxes. When the rain and chill came on Sunday, some vendors plugged in space heaters...

Mike Dunham

"Who are you picking for?" asked my uncle.

"For grandma and my mom," I answered.

Growing up in Mountain Village, my family would travel to Arularviq, an abundant spot about 40 miles down the Yukon River, or to Clear Water, behind the 500-foot-tall Azachorok Mountain, to go berry picking. I have fond memories of picking with my mother, Tina, and stepfather, Brian.

The last few times I’ve returned home, 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.

For days, I texted with family to determine a good time to fly out to go picking for salmonberries. On Thursday morning, I got a text that read, “The berries are ready!” By Thursday afternoon, I had booked my ticket for the following day.

Around Mountain Village, the landscape is tundra among rolling hills. My great-grandfather was a reindeer herder, and growing up I listened to hours of stories told by my grandmother about traveling from Unalakleet to Nunivak Island by dog sled...

Trina Landlord

Growing up in Mountain Village, my family would travel to Arularviq, an abundant spot about 40 miles down the Yukon River, or to Clear Water, behind the 500-foot-tall Azachorok Mountain, to go berry picking. I have fond memories of picking with my mother, Tina, and stepfather, Brian.

The last few times I’ve returned home, 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.

Read more: In the Y-K Delta, berry picking time yields rich crop of memories

Trina Landlord

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