Focal Point

Focal Point is an evolving blog from the ADN photo staff, Bob Hallinen, Erik Hill, Marc Lester, Bill Roth and photo editor Anne Raup. Email your ideas and news tips to | About the blog

Mobile kitchens draw lunch crowds to Spenard - 6/11/2013 11:08 am

Hundreds gather to show support for family of slain Cambodian couple - 5/29/2013 9:37 pm

Party like it's 1922 at Sullivan's Steakhouse - 5/24/2013 10:37 pm

Launching the Classic Sailboat Orca at the Homer Boat Harbor - 5/21/2013 5:54 pm

One of state's best gymnasts headed to Junior Olympics - 5/9/2013 2:37 pm

A train ride across Anchorage - 5/9/2013 10:58 am

A Pool for Pooches - 5/2/2013 10:19 am

An Airports Heights family portrait - 4/13/2013 2:58 pm

Middle school sports might grapple with cuts

Charlayna Stone and Karmen Wyche pair up for practiceCharlayna Stone and Karmen Wyche pair up for practiceThe team hits the mat for abdominal exercises.The team hits the mat for abdominal exercises.
The Clark Middle School wrestling team practices Wednesday afternoon, January 19, 2011, under the direction of second-year coach Adam Johnson. The team, which attracts about 30 participants, is preparing for their first meet of the year which is next week at Mirror Lake Middle School. The Anchorage School District is proposing making middle school sports intramural next year to save money on transportation as part of cuts in next year's district budget.

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Cold and fast

Jessie Outwater, top, and Nicholas Anderson didn't let the zero-degree weather keep them from some fun on the sledding hill at Mountain View Elementary.

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Keeping Watch

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Arts center planned for John's RV site

Jewel Jones, executive director of Anchorage Community Land TrustJewel Jones, executive director of Anchorage Community Land TrustJust east of the intersection of Mountain View Drive and Taylor Street, the office building of John’s RV Park is boarded up tight. A blue tarp covers large black letters: Motel. The building is one of just two structures left on the property. A ranch house sits behind it.

The stucco landmark, which has stood since the 1940s, is scheduled to be demolished in spring of 2011, says Jewel Jones, executive director of the Anchorage Community Land Trust.

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Happy Holidays from Mt. View

Frosty trees in Davis Park.Frosty trees in Davis Park.Bernie Baker serves customers in her Rudolph hat on Christmas Eve at the Mountain View Drive McDonalds.Bernie Baker serves customers in her Rudolph hat on Christmas Eve at the Mountain View Drive McDonalds.

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A day in the life of Mt. View's Mormon missionaries

Morning study for Elders Offley and Matamua.Morning study for Elders Offley and Matamua.
Hours before daylight, the lights were on in a tiny apartment on North Lane Street. It’s the one with a photo of Jesus on the front door and a large American flag hanging in the living room. Two Mormon missionaries sat facing each other at desks, studying scripture and Samoan language and planning their day in Mountain View. The day has begun in this way for missionaries at similar apartments here since the creation of Anchorage’s first Samoan ward in 2005. Many have carved their names in the desk.

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At Chanlyut, Bill Tsurnos speaks from experience

Bill TsurnosBill TsurnosBill Tsurnos’ qualifications to be director of the Chanlyut training programs would be difficult to list on a resume. Tsurnos, 63, has spent much of his adult life incarcerated and has been in trouble with the law since 8th grade. By his count, he figures he’s spent 22 years behind bars for theft, burglary, forgery and drug charges. He used drugs for more than 30 years before getting clean, he says. So when he tells Chanlyut residents he knows where they’re coming from, it’s not a figure of speech.

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Fifty-two faces installed and unveiled

Last minute welding a couple hours before the unveiling.Last minute welding a couple hours before the unveiling.Steph Kese and Erin Pollock greet the crowd.Steph Kese and Erin Pollock greet the crowd.Fifty-two faces glow at dusk.Fifty-two faces glow at dusk.Exhaustion was starting to become apparent in the faces of Steph Kese and Erin Pollock by Saturday evening at the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club. A couple blocks away, however, their other 52 faces were finally aglow.

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A mammoth project

Bronwyn Jones is involved in a mammoth undertaking at the Alaska Museum of Natural History on North Bragaw Street. She’s building a mammoth.

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Peak season for Nancy's pies

Nancy BurleyNancy BurleyWhile just a few regular customers were left parked on their stools at Peggy’s Airport Cafe at about 7pm on Tuesday, Nancy Burley’s workday wasn’t nearly done in a kitchen upstairs in back of the building. Nancy, the owner of the restaurant, lifted a giant mixing bowl and carried on a decades-old tradition.

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Buddhist Kathina ceremony

Hundreds of people filled Wat Lao of Anchorage, a Buddhist Temple on Schodde Street, on Saturday, November 20. They gathered for Kathina, an annual Buddhist festival during which the laity offer monetary donations and cloth to the monks.

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MENO's street art goes gallery

Meno looks at his work.Meno looks at his work.
Spray stencil.Spray stencil.Meno and his partners were putting the finishing touches on their piece at Mountain View's MTS Gallery on November 16. The graffiti artist, whose work I shot for this blog just last week, was clearly uncomfortable being photographed. He said it was fine, though, if I didn’t photograph his face, so I didn’t.

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The brightest house on Taylor

Fua, Alice and David.Fua, Alice and David.Light the night.Light the night.On Saturday afternoon, November 13, Alice Satele put her family to work stringing lights inside and outside her Taylor Street ranch house. “I want my house to look nice every year,” she said. Fua Tulai said her lights display gets a little bigger every year. David Tulai is at right at top. Alice's pride in her home's appearance has been captured before - the Google Maps street view of it photographed someone watering plants in their colorful summer yard. Above, the result of their winter work as it looked on Tuesday evening.

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Light just right

Sharing sunshine.Sharing sunshine.Jessica Tankersley found a way to slightly warm her cheeks as she waited for a bus on a breezy day on Parsons Avenue near North Flower Street on November 16. She and Jayson Rylander, left, stood in a narrow shaft of sunlight that reflected off a window across the street. The couple is engaged.

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Behind Brewster'sBehind Brewster'sStencil graffiti on the back of the building that used to house Brewster's Clothing and Footwear at Bragaw Street and Mountain View Drive on November 13, 2010. The signature "Meno" was nearby. The building is now occupied by Sally Ann's Salvation Army Thrift Store.

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Flying with Angel

The fast lane on North LaneThe fast lane on North LaneKendall McVay, 11, and Malakhi Straker, 4, get a sled ride powered by Angel the dog on North Lane Street on November 12.

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Disruption avoided after school

Police talk things over with kids.Police talk things over with kids.
Mao Tosi, right, lets kids into his AK Pride program.Mao Tosi, right, lets kids into his AK Pride program.
APD officer Chris Ritala listens as guitarists practice.APD officer Chris Ritala listens as guitarists practice.
A crowd of kids huddled in groups outside the newly-opened Mountain View Branch Library on Wednesday, November 10. The library manager stood at the doorway nearby looking stressed. She said the police were on their way over.

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Almost home

Evert, 8, and Jasmin, 14, during the Habitat for Humanity home dedication.Evert, 8, and Jasmin, 14, during the Habitat for Humanity home dedication.
Iduvina, 11, looks at a brochure about her family.Iduvina, 11, looks at a brochure about her family.
Erich Havner translates a note from Maria, right, and her family.Erich Havner translates a note from Maria, right, and her family.
Shortly after Iduvina Rivera-Sorto arrived at the Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremony on Mumford Street, the 11-year-old darted from room to room to explore every inch. She stood in the closet of the master bedroom, which she’ll share with a sibling and said she’d never had one before. “A closet?,” I asked. She replied,“I’ve never had a room at all. Finally I get my first room. I hope I keep it clean.”

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Bus commuter

Phylicia TimmermanPhylicia TimmermanPhylicia Timmerman pushes her 10-month-old daughter Alexie through the snow as she walks home from a bus stop on North Hoyt Street on Thursday, November 4. Timmerman said she rides the bus to take her daughter to daycare and look for work. She doesn’t mind the walking involved. “It’s good exercise,” she said.

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The Insulator

Marc NanalookMarc NanalookA home on Parsons Avenue got insulation and weatherization on November 4 thanks to Marc Nanalook, who works for Cook Inlet Housing Authority.

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