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Old 05-31-2006, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Oregon
5 posts, read 28,336 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi! My husband and I are currently considering moving to Alaska and would like some information about the towns you live in and love. We currently live in a small town in Oregon and are ready for a change. I've been researching Alaska via the internet and library, but there is only so much you can get from those means of research and we would really like some first hand information from the people who live there and experience life in Alaska.

We really haven't decided on any specific town or city, so we are open to information on any town or city.

Some questions I have regarding the towns/cities are:

What is the area like?
What kind of stores do they have? How many?
What kind of community activities/festivals do they hold?
What is the weather typically like?
What kinds of activities are available for kids/adults?
What kind of medical facilities are available?

Housing:
-Is the market slow or is it fairly easy to find somewhere?
-How expensive?

Employment:
-Is it easy to find something?
-What type of job is prominent? Wide variety?

Any information you can pass along to us will be greatly appreciated! We are very excited to learn about this beautiful area!

Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2006, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Lodge Grass, Montana
14 posts, read 51,680 times
Reputation: 12
There is Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and then Alaska. I live in the 9th largest city in Alaska and it has a population of about 5700 people. Jobs here are a dime a dozen. A real go getter could step off the plane and have 3 jobs within 24 hours. Rent and housing cost are very expensive in my part of Alaska and it mostly substandard housing. Lot of activities for the family if you enjoy basketball or the great outdoors. We have a local hospital here that is run by a Native Health Corporation. Where I am located at is Bethel and it is surrounded by about 20,000,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Oregon
5 posts, read 28,336 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:48 PM
 
Location: nenana
1 posts, read 3,934 times
Reputation: 10
Default what are you looking for

alaska is very diverse, impossibe to answer your questions without knowing what you are looking for. Are you thinking remote, accessible by plane or boat only? how remote? there are numerous small towns on the highway system if you what rural but accessible. the job market differs greatly from place to place also, as well as the costs of living. give me some more information about what you are looking for and i may be able to help.
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Bend
49 posts, read 193,927 times
Reputation: 35
Default Anchorage/Southcentral Area

Hello

I live in Anchorage.

great general website www.muni.org

I'll try to answer your questions the best I can:

Stores we have (major chains you might recognize): Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Lowes, Home Depot, Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble, Office Max, REI, Sears, JCPenney, Nordstorm, Gap, Banana Republic, Joann Fabrics... the list goes on and on. Anchorage has anything you'd find in another "large" town. As far as chain restaurants we have all the fast foods you'd expect plus Outback, Red Robin, Applebees, TGIFridays, IHOP...

But you'll find the best food at the local restaurants... check out removed - a local FAVORITE - always packed. Also, removed - a sister establishment of the Moose's Tooth, but it's referred to as a "Theatre Pub" - a place where you can enjoy a tasty meal while watching a movie on the big screen.

For the community activities check out the muni website above. Also removed, removed, removed, removed...

Activities for kids also include a great boys & girls club (removed) and a fun place for families is the Alaska Club (removed) and an indoor waterpark H2Oasis (removed. The Alaska Zoo has a great deal for a yearly family pass (removed)

Medical: 3 Large hospitals (1 is a Native Hospital) the other two are Regional and Providence.

Housing... all a matter of opinion. Many Alaskans feel the Anchorage market is VERY pricy (but I'm from California, so it doesn't seem outrageous to me ). My husband and I bought our first place in 2001 (a very small- 840sq ft, 2 BD 1BA- 1/2 of a duplex) for $118000 and sold it a year ago for $150000. And it seems to still be climbing. Check out removed There might appear to be some reasonable priced single family houses, but beware Anchorage DOES have some sketchy neighborhoods that I wouldn't want to raise my kids in - and trust me, I'm not being snobby, I'm pretty laid back, but in a large city there are the good and bad of everything... This city is large enough to find housing - I think you do have to act quickly on the good deals in mellow neighborhoods. Also, with more and more home being bulit so quickly, many new, afforable neighborhoods are townhouses and duplexes. Many people do live in Eagle River and even the Matanuska-Susitna Valley (Palmer and Wasilla) and brave the commute into Anchorage. The winter commute, however can be VERY slow and in my opinion nerve-racking/dangerous. Plus with the price of gas... by the way, our gas prices usually fall in line with the national average.

Jobs - there are a variety. Some major employers would be the hospitals, the school district (removed

continued (because of size) on next post...

Last edited by Marka; 06-27-2006 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Bend
49 posts, read 193,927 times
Reputation: 35
Default continued :)

And finally the weather... Great summers, but too short. The fall and spring are super short. The winters can feel very long and dark and long and cold and long. The key is to stay ACTIVE! Alaskans often suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) because of the lack of bright sunshine. In Anchorage, it never gets completely dark like is does in northern Alaska. But in its darkest months, Anchorage sees the sun from about 10am until about 3pm.

I wonder where you're from in Oregon because I lived for 20 years in northern CA (Humboldt county) and I wanted to just one more side note... When I moved to Alaska 6 years ago I fell in love with it! I loved the outdoor activities and the fun city activities - Anchorage has it all. But winter after winter, I realized that it's not really the cold, not even the darkness that was making me feel "blue", but it was the lack of greenery outside for so many months. Growing up where it rained so much in CA everything was green all the time - year round. But here in Anchorage the winters can sometimes feel "dead" and brown. There are weeks at a time that we receive no fresh snow (to brighten things up) and the town looks pretty drab - just my opinion. There are always the beautiful mountains to look at, regardless of green grass

I also lived in Wasilla for about 8 months if you have any questions about there. It's a nice enough area - really growing and not quite as pricy as Anchorage, but it is a smaller town with less to do. We moved back to Anchorage because we missed the "bigger city" lifestyle and the progressiveness/diversity of the people in the big city - don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great, smart people in the Wasilla/Palmer area, it just wasn't working for us because my husband was trying to commute into Anchorage everyday and we hated all the time wasted on the commute (away from family time).

Also check out the newspapers on www.adn.com & www.anchoragepress.com and www.ktuu.com

Feel free to ask any other questions about the Anchorage area - I'll try my best

Good Luck!
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Old 06-27-2006, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Bend
49 posts, read 193,927 times
Reputation: 35
Default sites...

hmmm, too bad all those sites were removed. I'll try again and see if they stay. [moderator CUT]
Hope that helps

Last edited by Marka; 06-27-2006 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:33 AM
 
12 posts, read 74,807 times
Reputation: 33
What is the area like? Ketchikan is located on the western coast of Revillagigedo Island in southeast Alaska. It is very greeen and beautiful. In the summer time expect to see a ton of people downtown because we have lots of cruise ships coming in.
What kind of stores do they have? How many? 3 big grocery stores including a Safeway, 1 Walmart and the rest are jewlery/ touristy type stores
What kind of community activities/festivals do they hold? 4th of July Parade, Blueberry Festival, City Wide Family Fun Day, Fishing Derby, etc.
What is the weather typically like? Ketchikan is in the maritime climate zone. We get a TON of rain which gets old really fast!
What kinds of activities are available for kids/adults? Fishing, hiking, biking, sports and other activities for kids, beachcombing. Honestly though if you don't like being out in the rain then you won't get to do most of these outdoors things that much.
What kind of medical facilities are available? There are quite a few clinics, and a hospital (Ketchikan General).

Housing:
-Is the market slow or is it fairly easy to find somewhere? If it is a decent house for the average price it won't be on the market long
-How expensive? I think it is way too expensive, probably around $250,000

Employment:
-Is it easy to find something? Depends on what your looking for
-What type of job is prominent? Wide variety?
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:08 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,822 times
Reputation: 10
Default Job offer today in Ketchikan

Hi!

Today, I got a job offer teaching in Houghtaling Elementary School in Ketchikan. I really appreciated your description of the town. It sounds really charming. I am in my early twenties and just now graduating from grad school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised. I was looking for a change when I applied for the position, but now that it's been offered (and I have to decide over the weekend!!!) the prospect scares me a lot! What are the people like in the city? Friendly? If I go to a bar in the city will I be scoffed at for not being a local? I'm used to being around a lot of friends and I'm sort of nervous about moving away but am very open to the idea.

Any input appreciated!
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