Palmer Buzz

Time now for the great seasonal snow reveal. Now that we have plenty of fresh snow in Palmer, we can track our animals! No longer can they hide their secret destinations or activities. We can observe their paths. We can see their hidden places. We know if they have been lying about their whereabouts. Learn more about your pets and animals…..follow their tracks!

Palmer History Night—It’s this Wednesday night, 7pm, at the Moose Lodge. These meetings are a sweet mixture of history and entertainment. This week Kennecott History will be the topic. Meetings are open and welcoming. Plus there are usually delicious cookies and refreshments at the end.

Palmer Festival of the Books—It’s book reading weather. And the Palmer Festival of the Books is this weekend on Saturday, November 20th, from 10-4. All day long people will be reading selected works —out-loud— from favorite books. There will be books available for the taking. You can bring books to share with others. There’s a Children’s Hour from 12-1. This wonderful event is put on by the Bright Lights Book Project. It is sponsored by the Mat-Su Health Foundation, Turkey Red Restaurant, Fireside Books, and Saltchuk & TOTE Maritime.

The Bright Lights Book Project is in itself an interesting adventure in community. Alys Culhane and Bill Schmidtkunz began the project in response to seeing large totes and boxes of books warehoused at the Valley Recycling Center. Their initial goal was to help these books find appreciative homes and audiences. It’s very hard for a book lover to see fine books sitting stale — in boxes. It’s hard to see books head to a shredder or a pulp mill. It’s painful to see books burned, slashed, taped, and treated like craft materials. Despite crazy social media, books remain as the anchor of libraries and classrooms. Books remain as trusted friends of children and adults. It’s great to see that in Palmer, books are treated with respect. The Bright Lights Book Project now has about 10 little libraries in a 6 block range in Palmer. These little libraries offer free books to anyone. There is no charge. There is no fee. Appreciative readers and volunteers are elated, ecstatic and energetic. Books are rescued and shared on a daily basis.

The Bright Lights Book Project has a handful of volunteers who salvage, sort, categorize, clean, and distribute books locally and state-wide. The majority of books are dropped off as donations at the Valley Recycling Center The books come in from individuals, stores, and organizations. The books are stored in a safe and clean area, awaiting sorting. The books are inspected and prepared for distribution at the Church of the Covenant Meeting House in Palmer. Palmer’s main distribution site is the Koslosky Building, beside Vagabond Blues Coffee House. Fiction, nonfiction, and children’s bookcases are located in the downstairs hallway bookcases, and Health and Teaching Resource books are located in the upstairs bookcases near Body and Balance PT and the Palmer Spa. There are other bookcases in town, including one at Turkey Red Restaurant, The Valley Hotel and the Sunrise Grill. The project continues to expand, including senior facilities, schools, animal shelter, daycare centers, playgrounds, state fair grounds, hospitals and hair salons. There are distribution sites in the Sutton area which include the Chickaloon Native Health Center and the Sutton Post Office.

“Locally, and state-wide, the volunteer staff of the Bright Lights Book Project are promoting ongoing literacy efforts, one book at a time.”

Potential Bright Lights Book Project volunteers are encouraged to participate in an “Adopt a Distribution Site” program. Big thanks go out to the organizers of this project. If you love books, then think about becoming a volunteer to share the joy. Contact Alys Culhane— Bright Lights Book Project Coordinator— at for more information.

Palmer Weekend—There is hockey and a Vintage market this weekend, in addition to the Palmer Festival of the Books. This is your last weekend before the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Stay Warm Palmer peeps. And be safe.

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 “2022 Palmer Buzz Community Calendar” is now available at Palmer shops! Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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