USGS photo Launching a Raven Unmanned Aircraft System (aka drone) at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii to survey invasive plants and animals.

Refuge Notebook: Counting moose with drones? Maybe sooner than you think

Imagine you are at the controls of a Piper Super Cub flying at tree-top level 150 feet above the ground. As you fly 10-mile long… Continue reading

USGS photo Launching a Raven Unmanned Aircraft System (aka drone) at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii to survey invasive plants and animals.

The unexpected

The unexpected can make a fishing trip memorable.By “unexpected,” I don’t mean the times when the outboard quits and can’t be resuscitated. I mean the… Continue reading

This Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2014 photo shows chocolate mint peppermint growing in a pot in New Paltz, N.Y. With Valentine's Day coming up, thoughts naturally turn to chocolate. Chocolate mint peppermint is a chocolate-y alternative. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

These plants are the next best thing to chocolate

With Valentine’s Day coming up, thoughts naturally turn to chocolate. How nice it would be for gardeners to give their beloved a living, growing, chocolate… Continue reading

This Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2014 photo shows chocolate mint peppermint growing in a pot in New Paltz, N.Y. With Valentine's Day coming up, thoughts naturally turn to chocolate. Chocolate mint peppermint is a chocolate-y alternative. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)
In this June 8, 2013 photo, Donnie Kolb pauses on a long stretch of gravel road with central Oregon's Fork Rock formation visible in the distance. Kolb has been organizing gravel bicycle rides for the past five years, usually keeping his events a bit on the down low.  His outings are unsupported, unsanctioned, have no entry fee and crown no winner. (AP Photo/The Bulletin, Gabriel Amadeus)

Gravel roads offer miles of pedal-pushing

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Donnie Kolb has been organizing gravel bicycle rides for the past five years.Usually keeping his events a bit on the down… Continue reading

In this June 8, 2013 photo, Donnie Kolb pauses on a long stretch of gravel road with central Oregon's Fork Rock formation visible in the distance. Kolb has been organizing gravel bicycle rides for the past five years, usually keeping his events a bit on the down low.  His outings are unsupported, unsanctioned, have no entry fee and crown no winner. (AP Photo/The Bulletin, Gabriel Amadeus)

Love and marriage

Cupid’s arrows are flying through the mail again and I’m somewhat of an authority on the subject of the season. I’ve been in love with… Continue reading

From left, Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and Rita Wilson arrive at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Reeling it in: ‘Mr. Banks’ paints a happy picture

“Saving Mr. Banks” Walt Disney Pictures 2 hours, 5 minutes   There’s a scene late in this week’s “Saving Mr. Banks” that elevates the film… Continue reading

From left, Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and Rita Wilson arrive at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

What’s Happening

First Thursday ■ Already Read Books and C Cups Cafe in Kenai will have a First Thursday event with Maria Allison on the piano, gourmet… Continue reading

Business news

■ On Wednesday, the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce will host a joint luncheon at noon at the Kenai Visitor Center. Merrill Sikorski will… Continue reading

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, art handlers Laine Rinehart, left, and Miguel Rohnbacker carry out David and Zach Boxley's carved and painted red cedar chest during the Tináa Art Auction, a fundraiser for the Walter Soboleff Center, at Centennial Hal in Juneau, Alaska. The chest sold for $18,000. The $20 million Soboleff Center will be a Native cultural and educational center run by the Sealaska Heritage Institute.(AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)

Art auction draws a crowd

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A capacity crowd attended Sealaska Heritage Institute’s first art auction featuring works by northwest Native artists in Juneau, collectively raising more… Continue reading

In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, art handlers Laine Rinehart, left, and Miguel Rohnbacker carry out David and Zach Boxley's carved and painted red cedar chest during the Tináa Art Auction, a fundraiser for the Walter Soboleff Center, at Centennial Hal in Juneau, Alaska. The chest sold for $18,000. The $20 million Soboleff Center will be a Native cultural and educational center run by the Sealaska Heritage Institute.(AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)
In this photo from Jan. 23, 2014, Jazzline director Jocelyn Shiro, right, rehears a duet with Wil Roedl in Homer, Alaska. The annual Jazzline comes out of an ensemble that could be called a mini-Nutcracker Ballet. It's the same idea. (AP Photo/Homer News, Michael Armstrong)

Jazzline encourages young Homer dancers to learn

HOMER, Alaska (AP) — Homer junkyards can be notorious for the odd stuff one might find buried under blue tarps — vintage Subaru parts, wringer… Continue reading

In this photo from Jan. 23, 2014, Jazzline director Jocelyn Shiro, right, rehears a duet with Wil Roedl in Homer, Alaska. The annual Jazzline comes out of an ensemble that could be called a mini-Nutcracker Ballet. It's the same idea. (AP Photo/Homer News, Michael Armstrong)
In this Oct. 18, 2013 photo, Lacey Simpson poses for photos in the Tongas Historical Museum in Ketchikan, Alaska. Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit "First in Fish, Ketchikan's Commercial Fishing Traditions" that will open Feb. 28 and run through the summer tourist season. Simpson said the museum is looking for personal stories, a present day photo, family heirloom, a story about a specific event, or an artifact related to commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

Ketchikan museum fishing for photos

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit “First in Fish, Ketchikan’s Commercial Fishing Traditions” that will open Feb.… Continue reading

In this Oct. 18, 2013 photo, Lacey Simpson poses for photos in the Tongas Historical Museum in Ketchikan, Alaska. Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit "First in Fish, Ketchikan's Commercial Fishing Traditions" that will open Feb. 28 and run through the summer tourist season. Simpson said the museum is looking for personal stories, a present day photo, family heirloom, a story about a specific event, or an artifact related to commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

Poem: Cherished Memory

Cherished MemoryBy Barbara Brinkerhoff, NikiskiLittle boy with eyes so blueSmiles just like his daddy, tooImpish grin, hand held behind,He’s made his mom a Valentine.Stiff red… Continue reading

The Bookworm Sez: 'Things I've Learned from Dying' a must-read memoir

The Bookworm Sez: ‘Things I’ve Learned from Dying’ a must-read memoir

Just one more bedtime story.You wanted that as a child because you’ve always been someone who hates endings (one more for the road). Everyone knows… Continue reading

The Bookworm Sez: 'Things I've Learned from Dying' a must-read memoir