Palmer Buzz

Sometimes there is a huge project that frightens us because of its size and demands. But because Palmer people know how to organize and work together, these unwieldy projects happen fast. Examples in Palmer include set up at the Train Depot community Center. Many Palmer peeps come to an event and immediately help with the set-up chairs—or after the program—automatically pick up and return the chairs. Children grow up with this as part of their DNA. Or at the spring clean ups. Or at the Amusement Park work parties. Or at the Palmer Grow Food project. Or at the annual Palmer Pride picnic. Or the post office flowers. Or the sidewalk project. Or most recently out in the Butte with the compound. This kind of instinctive community activism is common in Palmer. It happened again this past Sunday in the historic district of Palmer. Read on….

Water Tower Undergrowth—In order for holiday lights (!) to be hung from the water tower legs, much brush and undergrowth had to be removed. Neighbor Alaska Picker, Kelly Turney, is the one who organized the lighting of the water tower in years past. This time he put out a request for help on social media. At least twenty responded. Despite 8 fresh inches of snow, those approximately 20 individuals, kids and dogs made quick work of the undergrowth removal. It took an hour. An hour! That’s what I mean when I say things happen fast in this little town. With lots of hands, the work goes quick and frankly it doesn’t even feel like work, because it is so quick. And it is fun. And the wonderful feeling afterwards might fade, but every-time we look at the holiday lit water-tower—with its new festive lighted legs—we will feel this warmish feeling inside. These good folks helped make it so. I suspect new friends were made. This type of community building is so important in Palmer. Remember the graffiti removal at the kids park? Remember the graffiti removal at the Matanuska bridge? Estaban Paine is one of the organizers of these helpful acts. Both he and Kelly are local heroes.

Cardigan Sweater Time—Last week many celebrated Mr. Roger’s birthday by wearing bright red cardigans around Palmer. Mr. Rogers was a famous yet gentle star of the national children’s’ television show for decades. He preached kindness, creativity and celebrated neighborhoods. Collectively, local peeps decided that Mr. Rogers would have LOVED Palmer, Alaska. There is something kindhearted about our town and people—which is very reciprocal.

Light Time—It is such a relief to have white snow and bright lights. We may be entering the darkest of times, but the lights and the snow chase away the sads. Palmer does lighting seriously. And every year it seems to get better and better. If there was an algorithmic ratio which matched community satisfaction with winter lighting, Palmer would be at the top. Nearly everyone acknowledges the fact that lighting is absolutely necessary for safety. But it goes beyond safety. This is well documented with Northern Climate cities and towns, who similarly deal with shortness of daylight. Lighting is inviting and invigorating and most of all welcoming. So be liberal with your LED lighting. You’re making our local world a better place and we thank you for it.

Palmer This Week—Here’s some suggestions: Wednesday is Palmer History Night at the Moose Lodge—7pm. It’s free and there are usually great snacks and always great company. Third Thursday is Palmer Entrepreneurs meeting at 630 at the Annex. And Contra dancing at the Palmer Salvation Army (6:40-9:30pm) Friday is Palmer Moose Hockey and a Butte Elementary fundraiser for a student in need—this event includes music and dinner. Saturday is Palmer Mayor’s prayer breakfast at the Sunrise Grill and all are invited. Birchtree school has a holiday market. Non Essentials has a fresh Saturday market. And the big Vintage Winter Market is on all weekend at Raven Hall. Sunday is the Open House for Revive Nail Salon next to Pizza Delphi. An Illusionist is performing at the Glen Massay theater at the college. And as always, Palmer Illustrated Journaling happens every Sunday afternoon at Level Seven. And, the highly talented musical jam is also Sunday afternoon at Vagabonds. Don’t forget the Fun Happy Run on Mondays!

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff in the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz Column in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group. Her “Palmer Buzz Community Calendar” is available at Palmer shops and the Palmer museum. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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