Palmer Buzz

Palmer is experiencing a warm January, which has brought some mild winds and actual rain. It however isn’t actually warm enough for ice to melt—so the Palmer area is a vast ice skating rink. It is critically important to pay attention to your traction footwear right now. Even if you’re walking just a little ways, don’t forget to put your chains on! If you have ice cleats, trekkers, spikes, chain links, or grips, use them. If you have Ice Bug boots, Yaktrax, Kahtoolahs, crampons or stabilizers use them. If you need them, then go to AKTIVE soles in the Koslosky mall and buy them. Also useful right now is a big old bag of cheap kitty litter, This is the time to make a little path, with some traction, to and from your door and your vehicle.

Ski poles aren’t just for skiing. They are also traction devices for stability when it is this icy. Trek poles are even better, but you need to remove the rubber tips from the pointy end to pierce the ice. It’s difficult to remove the glacial ice on walks and driveways so the best bet is to be super careful and seek out remedies.

You will hear people say, “Walk like a Penguin.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, it means to walk with little close steps—so the bulk of your weight stays over your feet. This helps with both your ballast and balance. Leg extensions are not a good idea and ice skates are not a bad idea. If you’re really brave, add an ice pic, knee pads and maybe even a helmet.

Palmer Puddles—Standing water is a problem for many reasons. Least of all is if you are a small citizen, walking on the sidewalk. Suddenly a huge bully truck just shoots through a large puddle and splashes citizen with a wave of the icy water and fragments. I like to think this would never happen in Palmer. But it did. This is a really rude thing to do and Karma will find you.

Palmer Potholes—Be really careful of the major rim damaging potholes which are appearing on our roads! Take it slow and avoid them at all costs.

All Vehicles Same Color—Identifying your personal vehicle, by color, right now is difficult in a large parking lot. There are just so many vehicles and so much grey. Eventually cars and trucks will have a wash and then there will be distinguishable differences. But right now in Palmer, everyone owns a gray vehicle.

Palmer’s Financial District—Many towns have an identified financial district which is a cluster of major institutions dealing with loans and investments. Not so, with Palmer. In our town there are five banks and credit unions, all situated within one mile or so. So the Palmer Financial District is a full overlay of the entire town, from one end to the other. It’s a nice layout. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is the beautiful wood building west of Fred Meyers on the Palmer/Wasilla Highway. Wells Fargo Bank is situated between main street and S. Bailey Street across the street from Vagabonds and conveniently located near Fireside Book Store. First National Bank Alaska is located on Evergreen and Cobb Street, which is the same street where the Palmer Post Office lives as well. The Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union is on S. Bailey Street and perhaps the tallest building in town; there is also a tiny branch in the Carrs Grocery Store. To complete the “commerce” chain, there are a variety of investment and insurance companies sprinkled throughout Palmer’s “financial district.”

Stay Safe Palmer. Wash your hands and wear your foot grips!

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.. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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