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Articles written by Dimitra Lavrakas

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Supportive staff, programs at Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

When my mother lost her sight at the age of 85, it seemed sudden but in fact it was a gradual loss with providers ignoring her complaints of floaters, flashes and jaw pain. A rare autoimmune disease,...

 

Travel gets more complicated, more technical

I have prided myself over the years on learning new technology, starting in 1992 when I first encountered a Dell computer at work and figured it out. Then through the years, from Boston to Alaska, I...

 

Senior housing springs up around Alaska

This story has been updated to correct errors in the earlier version. Since its inception 47 years ago, Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) has seen the state's elderly population skyrocket....

 

Temporary halt on evictions extended to Oct. 3

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new order temporarily halting evictions in areas with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19. The order makes it illegal to evict any individual who qualifies, and...

 

Ups and downs of flying during the pandemic surge

I am sitting in the Juneau "International" Airport waiting for the milk run from Juneau to Sitka to Ketchikan to Seattle, when an Alaska Airlines agent announces that, due to fog, our flight's...

 

Canada opens to American travelers

To the joy of Alaska border towns, Canada has reopened its customs checkpoints after 16 months due to the spread of COVID-19. As of Aug. 9, fully vaccinated foreign nationals are allowed into Canada for discretionary travel. But there are certain...

 

Traveling on British trains is just better

The English have always been keen to train travel, particularly during the days when they had private compartments and different classes. The Brits do love their classes. Today, while the trains are...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Local    July 1, 2021

Pickleball brings seniors together for fun and fitness

Aging surely has its challenges and one is keeping up your physical health as your body slowly deteriorates. Add an injury or major operation and the road to recovery may be too hard to meet ...

 

Celebrate America, celebrate democracy

It was no time to celebrate in large crowds the past two years, so Independence Day celebrations across the state were canceled. But they're back now. In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), the midnight sun...

 

Go on and soak your bones this summer

I hopped on my bike and pedaled to the hot springs toward downtown Tenakee Springs, only to be stopped by the sight of a couple frozen in fear, their faces blanched pale. "Luna (a neighbor's dog) is...

 

Confusion, bad snacks and shrieking cats

OK, so I haven't lived in Alaska since 2012, and we decided to return when real estate prices tripled in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the streets of my mother's beloved working-class fishing...

 

Go fish! Sink your hook into senior savings

Alaska doesn't have a state lottery – but you could win the jackpot in one of our salmon or halibut fishing derbies. These fishing tournaments offer big fish winners cash and other prizes. Just...

 

Storm New England's Hammond castle

Come the time when we are able to travel freely, consider skipping Disneyland to visit a real castle on Cape Ann, just an hour north of Boston. Rising on the shore of Gloucester, Massachusetts, the...

 

Winter doesn't have to mean confinement

Cabin fever came early this year for sure. With a vaccine coming available within the next couple of months, once we can go outside with some safety it'll be like the gift of an early spring....

 

Travel conditions remain in turmoil 

I keep on thinking of that line from the old Laurel and Hardy routine, "Well, that's a fine kettle of fish you've gotten us in." Indeed, thanks to the coronavirus it is a trying time for a travel...

 

Coming through the Canada border is still not a sure thing

While a Mi'kmaq friend has crossed into Canada to access his reserve in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, Canada, it has been difficult for a member of the Skagway Traditional Council. The council is a...

 

Year-round cabins across the state await you

Gone are the big cruise ships from our waters. And although the small cruisers of last month's column have had some COVID cases, but sanitized and are back on the Inside Passage, we still find...

 

There's still time for summer adventures

Here it is at the end of the summer and travel and tourism are still at a standstill, adding to statewide unemployment and stalled revenue for large and small businesses across the state. This...

 

Steals and deals around Alaska

With the state opening up somewhat there is hope for travel. Many lodges and inns are closed this year while nearby accommodations are open – and offering some deals. The Glacier Bay Lodge is closed...

 

Travel options remain iffy for now

When I contacted Scott McMurren, who has published the Alaska Travelgram each week since 1999, for his take on tourism at this strange moment in time, he wrote, "Not sure how much insight I can...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    May 1, 2020

These movies, books take you traveling

Well now, here we are. The Canadian Border is still closed and there's the difficulty of traveling to other locations where officials continue to uphold social distancing and stay-at-home advisories....

 

Restrictions are a disappointment for vacationers

Well this is a conundrum for a travel writer - travel restrictions. I have said this before and I will say it again: you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, one that millions of...

 

The birds are coming! The birds are coming!

Let's face it, the coronavirus has changed travel plans all over the planet. Where does a nervous Alaskan go to have fun and adventures? Your own back yard. Millions of tourists flock to The Last Fron...

 

Memorials continue to fascinate enthusiasts

It may seem macabre, but visiting graveyards is a time-honored activity. Other than our relatives, cemeteries can reveal the lives of famous people and the many who left the world they departed a...

 

Trip a bust? Change it up, quickly

I once heard a story about an American couple, who traveled on a long-awaited vacation trip to India - they landed in Kolkata (once called Calcutta), took a taxi to the Hilton and never came out...

 

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