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Soldotna suspends hockey captain for racist Twitter remarks

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:48

A senior captain for the Soldotna Stars high school hockey team was suspended from the team this weekend after he posted at least two racist, hate-filled tweets on social media.

One of the posts contained disparaging remarks toward Alaska Natives and gays.

Soldotna High and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are addressing the incident, according to a prepared statement from Soldotna principal Tony Graham.

"Hate filled, racist, and disparaging remarks run counter to the mission of the KPBSD, our schools, and our athletic programs, and will not be tolerated," Graham said. "… Conversations about the appropriate use of social media will continue with our students and athletes."

Graham declined to say if the student has been suspended from school, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Soldotna hockey coach Derek Urban said his initial reaction to the posts was disappointment, "because the player involved is actually a pretty good kid."

The player did not play in Friday or Saturday games in Anchorage. One of his tweets was dated Thursday and a second one on was posted early Friday morning. His twitter account was made private at some point Friday or Saturday.

"Obviously, I want him to learn from his mistake," Urban said. "He obviously understands what he did was extremely insensitive. It's an unfortunate incident."

Urban said the player has addressed his teammates. Soldotna players were not made available for comment after Saturday's game at Ben Boeke Arena.

"They understand it's not a joking matter and how insensitive it was," Urban said.

The player is suspended from the team pending review from the school district, he said.

"I would say that he's gotta have a little diversity education (in order to return to the team), and obviously he won't be a captain," Urban said. "We'll go from there."

Utah Grizzlies: Utah defeats the <b>Alaska</b> Aces, 6-3, on Saturday

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:33
The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Alaska Aces, 6-3, on Saturday night at Maverik Center before 6,026 fans. “I thought it was the most ...

Prep basketball: Ketchikan flattens West to take O'Brady's title

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:27

O'Brady's Invitational

The Ketchikan Kings reigned supreme at the O'Brady's Invitational basketball tournament Saturday.

The Kings steamrolled West 64-47 in the championship game of the eight-team tournament at South High. It was their second straight win over a Cook Inlet Conference team — the night before, they beat South 71-66.

Jake Smith pumped in 25 points to lead hot-shooting Ketchikan, which hit 53 percent of its shots (23 of 43). Marcus Lee added 14 points and dished seven assists.

West was held to 26 percent shooting (18 of 68) and put only one player in double figures — Diondre McMorris, who sank three treys on his way to 17 points.

East claimed fourth place by beating West Valley 72-68, and Kenai Central placed seventh thanks to a 67-47 rout of Kotzebue.

East's Moses Miller dropped in 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting and teammate Trey Huckabay added 18 points and nine rebounds to keep West Valley at bay.

The Wolfpack, who outscored East 20-15 in the fourth quarter, got 21 points apiece from Jaden Whiteside and Cornelius Mingo.

Kenai Central toppled Kotzebue behind a 30-point performance by Josh Jackman, who hit 10 of 20 shots. Luke Beiser supplied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Bish Gallahorn's 20 points led Kotzebue.

Lumen boys win, girls lose

Trey Bernert tossed in 13 points to propel the Lumen Christi boys past Kodiak ESS 33-27 Saturday in a basketball doubleheader at Lumen Christi.

The Lumen Christi girls dropped a 43-33 decision to Ninilchik in the other game. Ninilchik's DeeAnn White scored 14 points and Shelly Johnson added 11 to help their team ward off a late rally by the Archangels.

Prep hockey: Eagle River blanks Kenai

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:20

Eagle River 7, Kenai 0

Ben Pinckney and Logan Dudinsky both netted two goals Saturday to guide the Eagle River hockey team to a 7-0 win over Kenai Central.

Sutton McDonald added a goal and two assists in the nonconference game at the McDonald Center.

The Wolves kept Kenai goaltender Ryan Williams busy by outshooting the Kards 48-14. Williams made 41 saves.

Fast start carries UAA women to another win

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:08

They played 40 minutes Saturday night in Lacey, Washington, but the game was all but over after the first four minutes.

The UAA women's basketball team used a red-hot start to race past Saint Martin's 78-41 to remain undefeated in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.

The game matched the conference's first-place team against its last-place team, and the Saints (5-13 overall, 1-9 GNAC) proved no match for the Seawolves (17-1, 10-0).

UAA led 15-0 after four minutes and 21-2 after less than seven minutes.

UAA senior point guard Kiki Robertson set the tone with a 3-pointer 21 seconds into the game. She assisted on back-to-back triples by Tara Thompson for a 9-0 lead, and then Autummn Williams, Sierra Afoa and Hannah Wandersee provided short-range buckets to make it 15-0 just a little more than four minutes into the game.

"We have so many good perimeter shooters, it's hard to scout us, because it's not just one or two shooters," UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said. "It can come from a lot of different people."

Everybody played and everybody contributed for the 5th-ranked Seawolves, who won their 13th straight game.

Williams hit 7 of 11 shots for a game-high 17 points, and Robertson furnished 11 points, six steals and three assists.

Thompson and Wandersee each finished with nine points, Shelby Cloninger dished a career-high six assists to go with six rebounds, Kimijah King and Sierra Afoa each grabbed five rebounds while combining for 15 points, and Zhara Laster provided six points, four rebounds and three assists in 14 minutes of action.

UAA matched its Division II-leading average of 17 steals per game, with Wandersee and Yazmine Goo each getting three.

The Seawolves' pressing defense led to 31 turnovers and held the Saints to 34 percent shooting. UAA hit 52 percent of its shots.

"It gets everyone going when you're hitting on the offensive end," McCarthy said, "but I think the reason that happened is our defense."

The game came two days after UAA needed a second-half rally to get past Seattle Pacific 71-62, one of its closest games this season against a Division II team. Defense helped turned things around in that game, and it made the difference again Saturday.

"I thought they built off those last two quarters (against SPU)," McCarthy said. "We talked about being sharp defensively, and their focus in that area led to a lot of turnovers and easy transition baskets."

Saint Martin's got 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting by forward Elin Johansson. She was 6 of 10 from the field but the rest of the Saints were 8 of 31.

UAA is back home this week for a pair of GNAC games at the Alaska Airlines Center. The Seawolves host the UAF Nanooks on Tuesday and play Montana State-Billings on Thursday.

Fast start carries UAA women to another win

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 21:05
UAA is back home this week for a pair of GNAC games at the Alaska Airlines Center. The Seawolves host the UAF Nanooks on Tuesday and play ...

Readers write: Letters to the editor, January 22, 2017

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:41

Clueless on cold Coastal Trail

Today while skiing on a very remote stretch of the Coastal Trail I ran into a couple of misguided lads from the Jehovah's Witness church who were not only poorly dressed for this weather, but were clueless that they were walking straight down the classic track which is a huge no-no. They stopped me while waving a Bible (really, honest to … Well, you know.) and began their message. I said it was too cold to discuss religion and scolded them for walking on the classic ski, groomed path. They readily apologized and continued on their quest to save other multiuse souls. Religious freedom. Ya gotta love it.

— Pete Eberhardt

Obama exits, time for plan B

Goodbye Barack and your lovely family. Keep yourself and your family safe. For me, I am going to open up my 1950s nuclear bomb shelter and see if I can find my suicide pills.

— Phil Weber
Cooper Landing

Changing populations deserve to be heard by Board of Game

With regards to Lynn Mitchell's commentary (ADN, Jan. 16), maybe one day our governing bodies will realize that perhaps trapping and nontrapping activities are simply incompatible and therefore must be simply separated. There should be no reason agreeable plans cannot be formulated for large and conveniently located no-trapping areas to be established along with vastly larger areas allowing trapping. What holds up such negotiations — even at the only "talking-about-it" concept stage or when discussing setback regulations in a reasonable manner? To discuss conflicts on state multiuse land is difficult when the state Board of Game and the Alaska Trappers Association invariably simply shut the door and walk away from any and all such discussion.

Elected and representative decision-makers need to become more knowledgeable about the subject, treat it more conscientiously and need to represent all of Alaska, not just the hunter-trapper group. This is repeated over and over, year after year but is mostly ignored by state government, all the way up to the governor.

Meanwhile, folks get less and less worried about breaking the law concerning confiscating traps. No one condones this illegal practice, of course, but who can blame the 99.6 percent for reacting in this way when a 0.4 percent rides roughshod over their multiuse privileges? Changing population demographics in Alaska should really not be ignored forever.

— Ken Green
Cooper Landing

Comics dumb down America

I know Alaska Dispatch News is trying to save money by discontinuing the Saturday paper.

I would like to suggest ADN discontinue its numerous color pictures and daily comics.

We need more hard news and save the "fluff" stories for the Sunday paper. These color pictures, comics and President Trump's tweets just contribute to the "dumbing down" of America.

— Susan Dabelsteen

Trump's not anti-establishment; his rich Cabinet proves it

Think again. He "who denies intelligence" has a ruling class billionaire Cabinet, record-setting inauguration contributions from ruling class corporations, and now a group of ruling class billionaire "prosperity preachers" who anointed the "lyin' king" at his inauguration. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is drawn to those preachers who say one's wealth is a sign of God's approval. This is all for our un-President, a known pathological liar, who also has the lowest approval rating of any incoming president in U.S. history. Go figure.

— Wayne C. Jones

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email letters@alaskadispatch.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to commentary@alaskadispatch.com.

Snow snarls roads — and more is likely, say forecasters

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:35
The end of a bitter cold snap ushered in the second straight weekend of heavy snow as winter's triumphant return to Southcentral Alaska continued ...

Winter triathlon delivers plenty of winter

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:32
Alaska Triathlon Club officials are hopeful the race will become an annual event. Men. 1) Brent Lowen 1:59:01; 2) Charles Dimarzio 2:01:07; 3) Fred ...

<b>Alaska</b> Opioid Task Force Recommendations

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:29
The Alaska Opioid Task Force recommends collaborative prevention, treatment and recovery support strategies to reduce opioid misuse in Alaska.

Winter triathlon delivers plenty of winter

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:28

A winter triathlon delivered plenty of winter Saturday for a field of about 70 hardy racers.

With falling snow filling the tracks and trails, Stephanie Arnold and Brent Lowen ran, biked and skied their way to victories in the inaugural Tri-Flake Triathlon.

Participants ran 5 kilometers on the Coastal Trail and then biked 6.8 miles and skied 6 kilometers on the Kincaid Park trails. Bikers routinely had to dismount and push their fat bikes through deep snow.

Lowen was the only person or relay team to complete the 14 miles in less than two hours. He clocked 1:59:01 to beat Charles Dimarzio by two minutes.

Arnold's time of 2:19:49 was the best among women and the 12th fastest overall. She finished more than 15 minutes ahead of women's runner-up Pam Weiss.

Alaska Triathlon Club officials are hopeful the race will become an annual event.


1) Brent Lowen 1:59:01; 2) Charles Dimarzio 2:01:07; 3) Fred West 2:04:22; 4) Jeremy Weaver 2:10:05; 5) Corbyn Jahn 2:11:25; 6) Brad Manderfeld 2:11:42; 7) Andrew Dougherty 2:15:09; 8) Torsten Renner 2:15:27; 9) Mick Bakker 2:17:44; 10) Wes Tibbetts 2:17:54; 11) Samuel Severin 2:18:17; 12) Chris Sorich 2:18:49; 13) Chad Trammell 2:24:29; 14) Bruce Talbot 2:30:47; 15) Alex Youngmun 2:35:51; 16) Eric Zoesch 2:37:00; 17) James Falconer 2:39:04; 18) Steve Bentley 2:53:06; 19) Connor Smith 2:56:18; 20) Joe Miller 2:59:57; 21) Rick Hansen 3:01:06; 22) John Thomas 3:04:56; 23) Scott Jones 3:06:57


1) Stephanie Arnold 2:19:49; 2) Pam Weiss 2:35:03; 3) Kinsey Loan 2:36:13; 4) Kelsey Boardman 2:37:50; 5) Sheryl Loan 2:39:02; 6) Sara Miller 2:51:33; 7) Katherine Sind 2:51:45; 8) Heather Helzer 3:00:53; 9) Stacia Thomas 3:05:00; 10) Erika Bennett 3:05:51; 11) Kristina Eaton 3:08:18; 12) Kathy Falconer 3:24:33; 13) Laura Harris 3:27:53; 14) Kalyan Westley 3:29:53; 15) Katra Wedeking 3:33:54.

Women's teams

1) You Wine some You booze some — Willoughby/Spano/Crawford — 3:13:19; 2) Homer Divas — Dullinger/Young/Greene — 3:13:22.

Coed teams

1) Trifling Triad — Jaminet/Jaminet/Brown — 2:45:00; 2) KPOC — Wright/Owens/Perschbacher — 2:46:19; 3) One runner one bike and one skier — Hollon/Janukajtis/Parrish — 2:50:20; 4) Exploding Kittens — Wohlgemuth/Spence/Feighery — 2:50:44; 5) Two Dudes and a Diva —Roeder/Linebarger/Harper — 2:51:24; 6) Tri Inspiring — Clark/Barniak/Cowee — 2:54:16; 7) Frosted Tips — Lloyd/Stevenson/Hamilton — 2:55:44; 8) Tri-Dagger — Barnes/Walsh/Barnes — 3:10:28; 9) Pain Train — Boomgaard/Lonser/Youngblood –3:35:21.

Defending champ looms as top 3 Kusko mushers head toward finish line

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:26

As the trio of mushers at the front of the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race prepared Saturday night for a stretch run to the Bethel finish line, who could blame Brent Sass of Eureka, Jessie Holmes of Nenana and Ray Redington Jr. of Wasilla if they glanced nervously over their shoulders.

Right there they'd find Pete Kaiser, the two-time defending Kusko champion, the Bethel racer who's particularly tough on his home turf, and the musher who's given his dogs a little more rest earlier in the world's richest middle-distance race.

Last year, Kaiser left the Kalskag checkpoint, about 100 miles from the Bethel finish line, trailing Sass by 30 minutes — only to run him down and win by eight minutes.

But this year, Kaiser may need those eight minutes.

Sass pulled into Kalskag at 5:19 p.m. Saturday, 37 minutes ahead of Holmes, with Redington another four minutes back and Kaiser 45 minutes behind Redington.

But Kaiser has a couple of things in his favor. His dogs made the 30-mile run from Kalskag to Aniak 24 minutes faster than any other musher, perhaps an indicator of more raw speed. Plus, Kaiser banked an extra hour of rest for his team in Kalskag — meaning he's not required to take as much as the others on the return trip to Bethel.

"There's no lack of competition (here)," noted Kaiser.

Brutally low temperatures persisted, with Aniak reporting minus 33 degrees early Saturday night.

"I kind of figured it wouldn't warm up that much — it was probably 40 to 50 below all the way up from Bethel last night," Kaiser told KYUK radio of Bethel (www.kyuk.org)  in Aniak. "But it's nice to have snow. I'd take snow every day over glare ice — or water."

Richie Diehl of Aniak, one of Kaiser's closest friends, said he usually expects ice or overflow during the Kusko, and this year's below zero temperatures weren't awful. They just meant he had to swing his arms in circles or jump up and down when he started to go numb.

"It is what it is," Diehl said. "Not much you can do about it, just deal with it."

Holmes, 34, is the new name in the lead pack. A native of Alabama, Holmes said he moved to Alaska and started using sled dogs on his trapline before becoming interested in competitive mushing about six years ago.

After winning last year's Yukon Quest 300 — the middle-distance companion of the ultramarathon between Whitehorse and Fairbanks — in record time, Holmes, 34, focused on the world's richest middle-distance race, which offers a much fatter $150,000 purse.

"I started from the ground up," said Holmes, who also runs ultramarathons and has appeared on the National Geographic show "Life Below Zero."

He called the Kusko 300 as "the toughest race out there.

Nineteen of the 20 mushers who started Friday night remained in the race; only Rob Cooke had scratched.

Bogus Creek 150

Earlier Saturday, Lewis Pavilla, 40, of Kwethluk delivered a ferocious closing kick to pass rookie Maurice Andrews and make history as the first four-time winner of the Bogus Creek 150, a companion race to the Kuskokwim 300.

Pavilla came from 18 minutes behind at the final checkpoint of Tuluksak to pass Andrews during the four-hour run to the finish line.

Pavilla earned $7,500 for his victory, and passed three-time champion Jackie Larson to become the winningest musher in Bogus Creek history.

"It feels good, a little frostbitten all over my face, I lost my dry face mask somewhere back there," Pavilla told KYUK Radio in Bethel (www.kyuk.org). "It was challenging trying to cook with propane because the propane (stoves) were frozen up so we had to cook with fire," said Pavilla.

Tegan Hanlon in Bethel contributed to this report. 

ECHL: Utah Grizzlies break away from <b>Alaska</b> Aces for 6-3 win

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:21
Heeding the call, Utah played a complete 60 minutes against the Alaska Aces as six Grizzlies registered a goal. More importantly, they cut into their ...

Would it be so bad if I proposed to my boyfriend and not the other way around?

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:20

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I've been with "Paul" for four years. We are both 34. We live together and have a dog, and have talked about getting married for a couple of years and starting a family, but Paul has not proposed. Last Valentine's Day, when he pulled out a jewelry box at dinner at Club Paris, I almost fainted. It was a beautiful ring — but not an engagement ring. He said it was a "promise ring." He should have seen how disappointed I was, but honestly he seemed oblivious.

I read on The Knot, a wedding site, that Christmas Eve is the most popular day for proposals and Christmas is third-most popular, so I was super hopeful this year he would ask me. Christmas came and went, and Paul didn't propose.

Now we're coming up on Valentine's Day — our fourth together — and I'm again just completely anxious and preoccupied and obsessing about whether he'll ask (for the record, The Knot says it's the second-highest day for proposals). The thing is, I have a feeling he won't. We've had so many Valentine's Days, Christmases, anniversaries, birthdays — if he hasn't asked yet, will he ever? It doesn't feel like it.

So I'm thinking about asking him. More and more women are proposing, I read in an article. I figure the worst thing is he'll say no and then I can move on. After all, I'm 34, I want kids, I'm not getting any younger. My friends say proposing is a mistake because it's the "man's job." I don't know what to do. Help?

Wanda says:

Formal or no, don't most marriage proposals originate subliminally with a woman? Aren't we the ones who typically push the relationship forward, driven by insane societal pressures and that internal, primordial tick-tock? Jedi-like, we drop the M word, plant the seed: "I am the bride you're looking for … do not move along now." Then we wait for the man to think it's all his brilliant idea, take a knee and pop the question. Cue the wedding bells and cross your fingers for happily ever after.

[Wayne and Wanda: When wedding proposals prove problematic]

Despite major social advances like viable female presidential candidates, increased gender equality, more women as CEOs and baby changing tables in men's restrooms, women still sit back and wait all dainty-like for the man to ask one of the biggest questions we'll ever answer.

An Associated Press-WE poll found only 5 percent of married women copped to being the one who popped the question. And a study by University of California, Santa Cruz found zero heterosexual respondents — male or female — wanted the woman to pop the question. What gives? It's 2017, and we women are still so hung up on tradition and gender roles that we leave such a giant life step up to our partner solely because of his chromosomal composition. Are we worried our mate will feel emasculated? Are we afraid of rejection? Are we just, simply, worried and afraid?

You asked whether you should take the initiative as another potentially disappointing Valentine's Day bears down. First ask yourself, do you want to marry Paul, or do you just want to be married? And if you do want to marry Paul, are you concerned that in four years, he hasn't taken the initiative to lock it down and make it long-term official? If you feel he's the one for you, and that the four years of lag time makes sense, then hey, why not flip societal expectations on end and put a ring on that man? Worst case scenario is Paul says no, and you know that it's time to move on.

Wayne says:

I am going to work under the huge but hopeful assumption that Paul wants to spend his life with you too. With that, I'll say that he's just being lazy, uninspired and comfortable in this relationship.

Heck, he's already got everything he wants — a dog and a live-in girlfriend who is in it for the long run. He also gave you a promise ring and his promise. I mean, what other signs of long-term commitment do you need here?

Oh, fewer promises and more actual follow-through? That makes perfect sense.

Now, you could buck tradition and ask him to marry you. Like Wanda, I think that's perfectly appropriate. But if you really want to hold out for the guy-on-his-knee-with-a-ring-in-his-hand proposal, then just sit him down and have a serious conversation about where the relationship is going.

[Wayne and Wanda: Dealing with the relationship fallout of Valentine's Day]

Tell him what you told us: that after four years, you're ready for a commitment that's deeper than a promise and a ring with more bling than a promise ring. That you've enjoyed the ride, that you remain excited about sharing your life with him, and that you now need to know if he is too. Basically, stop being subtle and start lighting a fire under his butt. Yes, sometimes it has to come to this.

If you have the talk this weekend and it goes well, that gives him like a whole month to go ring shopping for the big, cliché Valentine's Day proposal!

Want to respond to a recent column, point out a dating trend, or ask Wanda and Wayne for wisdom regarding your love life? Give them a shout at wanda@alaskadispatch.com.

The State of <b>Alaska</b> Department of Revenue Decreases Stake in Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:09
State of Alaska Department of Revenue reduced its position in Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) by 0.6% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel ...

Pretty, pink and bright -- grapefruit gelées brighten up winter days

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 19:48
... distinctly of the wintry Alaska landscape brightened by the warmth of citrus season. The richness of the coconut milk and vanilla bean is cut perfectly ...

Pretty, pink and bright -- grapefruit gelées brighten up winter days

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 19:45

When I awoke earlier this week to minus 23-degree temperatures here on the Kenai Peninsula, I found myself surprised and a little dismayed. It was about 20 degrees lower than the forecast had projected. One of our vehicles just barely started and I found myself wishing I didn't have to emerge from my house for the day.

But, alas, there was shopping to do and recipe testing to be done and photos to take. As I waited for the car windows to defog, I racked my brain for recipe inspiration. I needed something to awaken my frozen bones and make me feel bright and alive again. Grapefruit. I needed grapefruit.

I have always felt that citrus season comes at exactly the right time for Alaska. The blood oranges, tangelos and grapefruit show up in plentiful numbers at the market and bring their sunshine with them, bottled up inside. Each year I anticipate that surprising juxtaposition: the dead of winter bombarded by the juicy flavors of warmer places and that undeniable, sweet acidity.

I spotted a recipe for pristine white coconut panna cotta topped with a glimmering grapefruit gelée and knew I had to try it, as it reminded me so distinctly of the wintry Alaska landscape brightened by the warmth of citrus season. The richness of the coconut milk and vanilla bean is cut perfectly by the acidity and slight bitterness that the grapefruit offers. It would make a lovely and impressive dessert for Valentine's Day, which is just around the corner.

Coconut panna cotta with grapefruit gelée

Serves 4

For the panna cotta:

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons plain gelatin powder

1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

3 tablespoons sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the grapefruit gelée:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, divided

1 teaspoon plain gelatin powder

1 tablespoon sugar

For serving:

half a grapefruit, segmented, all pith removed

mint leaves, for garnish

To make the panna cotta: Add the water to a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then pour it evenly into four small ramekins, leaving a little room at the top of each ramekin for the gelée. Refrigerate until set, about two hours.

When the panna cotta is almost set, make the gelée: To a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice. Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder over top of the juice and set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom. Add the remaining grapefruit juice to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until dissolved. Allow the gelee to cool at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Gently and evenly pour the gelee over top of the four panna cottas. Return the ramekins to the refrigerator to set, about 30-60 minutes.

To serve: Place grapefruit segments and mint leaves on top of each panna cotta. Serve chilled.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen McCabe.

Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email maya@alaskafromscratch.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.

<b>Alaska</b> governor proposes pay freeze bill amid state deficit

Alaska News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 19:41
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has proposed freezing his own salary, along with the salaries of the lieutenant governor, legislators and state department ...

Cold days call for hearty cooking, and this bean chili fits the bill

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 19:21

One of winter's great culinary offerings are long, cold days, meant for warming drinks and easy cooking. The best kind is putting in a little work on the front end and letting the pot and stove do their magic.

I'm a sucker for all types of bean stews and chilis. With friends who keep me stocked with ground elk and moose, I also make meaty versions. But the heart of this chili, aside from the ground chili powder — try to find a good one from New Mexico — are the beans themselves. Rancho Gordo and Bob's Red Mill are two favorites as far as quality and heirloom beans; canned are also good, quick, and easy but to me the ritual of soaking beans and then setting them in a pot to cook for longer than not is a pleasure. Fry up some tortillas or make some cornbread or biscuits as they simmer.

[Kim Sunee: Got game? Fire up caribou chili and everyone's a winner]

If you choose to substitute canned beans for the dried, see the notes below, including decreasing the cooking time and the amount of liquid. I often throw in extra vegetables, like potatoes, turnips, winter greens; if you want a meaty version of this, sauté some ground beef or moose or elk before adding the beans.

Easy winter bean chili 

Makes 6 servings

1 pound dried beans, such as pinto, red kidney, cannellini, small Navy beans, rinsed and picked through or 2 (15-ounce) can beans

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small carrot, cleaned and diced

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced

3 to 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon red chili powder, such as New Mexico

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 to 6 cups vegetable broth, chicken stock or water (*Important: reduce amount to 2 to 3 cups if using canned beans)

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon fine grain salt (start with 3/4 teaspoon if using canned beans)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup packed fresh chopped cilantro or parsley or chives (optional)

1 fresh orange, halved and cut into quarters (optional, but highly suggested)

Garnishes: chopped red onion, lime wedges, chopped fresh jalapeño,; shredded cheese, hot sauce

Cooked rice, tortillas, cornbread or biscuits, for serving

Add dried beans to a large bowl and add enough water to cover; let soak overnight. Quick version: Pour boiling water over and let soak 1 hour. Drain beans; set aside. If using canned beans, rinse and set aside.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat; add carrot, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir and let cook about three minutes, being careful not to burn the spices, which will make the spices bitter. (If adding meat, add before the spices; stir, cook to brown the meat, about 7 minutes.)

Add beans and about 5 cups of water (2 cups if using canned), stir and bring to a boil. Skim froth, reduce heat to a gentle boil and let simmer, partially covered, about 45 to 50 minutes or until beans are almost tender; stir occasionally, mashing some of the beans on side of pot for creaminess; also, make sure there's enough liquid in the pot to cover the beans by about 2 inches as they cook.

NOTE: If using canned beans, add tomatoes at this point and reduce cooking time to about 25 minutes.)

Add tomatoes, stir and let simmer, partially covered, another 20 minutes or until beans are tender. Taste and add more salt, pepper or garlic, if needed. Stir in fresh herbs, if using, or squeeze the juice from two quarters of a fresh orange.  Serve hot, with optional garnishes on the side.

Kim Sunée is the bestselling author of "Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home" and "A Mouthful of Stars." For more food and travel, visit kimsunee.com and instagram/kimsunee.

Loss to Northern Michigan leaves UAA tied for last place in WCHA

Alaska Dispatch News - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 19:07

The UAA hockey team started the weekend as the second-to-last team in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. The Seawolves finished it tied for last place.

Northern Michigan goaltender Atte Tolvanen made 34 saves to lead the Wildcats to a 4-0 victory over a UAA team that played without their coach for the final two periods at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Michigan.

Combined with Friday's 6-1 win, Northern Michigan collected six points in the weekend series to vault from 10th place to a ninth-place tie with the Seawolves in the 10-team WCHA.

UAA (5-16-5, 4-11-5 WCHA) began the weekend with 19 points; Northern Michigan (7-17-4, 5-12-3) started with 13.

UAA coach Matt Thomas was ejected after the Seawolves were called for a second straight bench minor at the end of the first period. The first of those penalties resulted in Shane Sooth's power-play goal and a 2-0 Northern Michigan lead.

UAA outshot the Wildcats 34-30 but were repeatedly denied by Tolvanen. Olivier Mantha made 28 saves for the Seawolves.

The power-play proved futile for UAA, which went scoreless six times with the man advantage. Northern Michigan was 1 for 3 on the power play.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead when Gerard Hanson scored on the rebound of Dom Shine's shot on goal about 12 minutes into the game. They made it 2-0 on Sooth's goal with 84 seconds left in the period.

Northern Michigan expanded its lead to 3-0 in the second period when Robbie Payne scored 18 seconds after a UAA power play ended.

Troy Loggins completed for scoring for the Wildcats with a third-period goal.

UAA, which played its last four games on the road, returns to Anchorage this week. The Seawolves get a week off from competition before returning to the ice for a Feb. 3-4 home series against Minnesota State-Mankato.