MRAK Almanac: Earth Day edition


April 21-22, 1917: A cave-in and flooding closed the Treadwell and Mexican mines on Douglas Island. The Treadwell (1882-1922) was Alaska’s first successful large-scale development project. You can read about this thriving and ruinous era of Douglas Island in “Treadwell Gold,” by Sheila Kelly.

April 23, 1869: The Alaska Times, a weekly newspaper, began publication in Sitka. It was the first newspaper printed in Alaska and it published until 1871 under the motto “Right and Justice Should Be Vindicated.” Some sources show the first edition was on May 1, 1869. It was published in Sitka until being moved to Seattle in 1870, with about 20 weeks published in Seattle subsequently. It morphed into other publications for several years. Worth noting that it’s the 150th anniversary of this journalistic endeavor.

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April 22: Earth Day everywhere in the civilized world, whereas in the still-developing world, they’re just trying to eek out a living. After 49 years of doom and gloom predictions, how are we doing? Not bad, considering the world was supposed to be all-but-over by now, or at least be in an ice age. Read about Earth Day predictions that didn’t come true.

April 22: Gov. Michael Dunleavy is the featured speaker at the Make it Monday Forum, an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce event at the Dena’ina Center at noon. It’s part of his Fiscal House-in-Order Roadshow. With him will be Commissioner Bruce Tangeman of the Department of Revenue, and Director Donna Arduin of the Office of Management and Budget. 11:30 am -1 pm. (Protesters likely).

April 24: Veterans Town Hall in Wasilla, with Alaska VA Healthcare System Director Timothy Ballard, at the Curtis Menard Sports Center, 6-7:30 pm

April 24: BP Teachers of Excellence Awards banquet will be held at the Anchorage Museum. Thirteen teachers from Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley, Kenai Peninsula, and Southeast Alaska will be honored and the statewide Teacher of the Year will be announced.

April 24: Crisis in Clarity, the Alaska DOT’s response to the Nov. 30, 2018 earthquake. This presentation will trace the earthquake response, from pre-event preparation, to implementation and lessons learned. Attendees will leave with strategies for a successful emergency response, including employee training, crisis communication, and best practices.  Presented by Meadow Bailey, Comms Director for DOT&PF and Shannon McCarthy, public information officer at DOT&PF. At the Fairbanks Westmark Gold Room by PRSA Alaska at noon. Details.

April 25-28: Alaska Improv Festival at McPhetres Hall and at the Hangar Ballroom in Juneau. Details.

April 25-30: Tiny Comic Convention & Comics Camp Retreat in Juneau. Also, with no trace of irony, the improv festival coincides, and the Legislature is still in session.

April 25-26: Arctic Encounters 6th annual conference takes place in Seattle, and includes Alaska luminaries Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, Alice Rogoff, Congressman Don Young, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Check the agenda out here.

King of the Hill: We have the winner of this weekend’s Valdez Mountain Man King of the Hill competition: James Wade of Valdez.



  1. Why not have the “Arctic Encounters” meeting in the arctic, instead of Seattle? Don Young, appearing to be the only non-liberal on the agenda, gives light to the true goals of the “encounters”. All the other “luminaries” are dyed in the wool liberals. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence should know, in advance, the results of said “encounters”. I will leave it there, for Alaskans to develop their own opinions.

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