Colors, glitters and beats! Caravan of GLAM takes over The Pub

For at least one night every semester, UAF turns into a venue of pride where everyone can be whoever they want to be, as free as they can ever be. This fall, the night of colors and glitters arrived on Sep. 21, as the Caravan of GLAM came to perform at The Pub in Wood Center.

The Caravan of GLAM is a drag show based out of Portland, Oregon. At this Fairbanks show, Johnny Nuriel, Verxsai, and Isaiah Esquire took the stage along with local performers, Vivi and Bianca. The audience of over a hundred people filled The Pub. It was not hard to catch the evident excitement in the air, especially with guests of all age in a variety of shiny costumes.

The show kicked off as Nuriel, Esquire and Verxai danced on the stage to “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Esquire encouraged everyone to take pictures during the show, not forgetting to mention how fabulous their costumes were.

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The host of the show was Bianca. In their red skirt with white polka dots, Bianca led the show by doing jokes with and dancing among the audience. The crowd cheered even louder every time Bianca walked into them to collect tips.

Verxai pushed the already heated audience even further to the edge by inviting one of them onto the stage for a shot of drink. But Verxsai didn’t stop there. To everyone’s amusement, Verxsai drank the rest of the bottle bottoms up.

Nuriel, who was on the stage in a glittering red dress, was perhaps the highlight of the first act. They swirled and spun around with flashy scarves in both hands, leaving the audience no choice but to hold their breath. It was when Nuriel stripped almost naked the audience broke the silence with a roaring cheer. Esquire scored the last session of the first act with their acting, comedy, and dancing.

The performers continued to showcase their respective talents. Verxsai in a Mulan costume opened the second act by acting out “Reflection”. Vivi showed off their adorable yet eccentric dance moves, which included their bra pads flying out.

Following the dances, strip-teases, and jokes by Esquire and Verxsai, Nuriel waved and swirled two long rainbow-colored scarves.

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“If we don’t step outside of our comfort zone, we never be able to get a chance to learn how we think and what we experience,” Esquire said in a heart-to-heart before the last number. “Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. So please be patient and be kind and be receptive of other people.”

In an email interview with the Sun Star, Justin Buckles, producer of the show, has sent a similar message to the UAF and LGBTQ communities of Fairbanks. “Never be afraid to be yourself! Live open, live honest, work hard, set goals, and do all that you can to steer clear of the BS and drama. Every single person has the ability to achieve whatever they set their minds too,” Buckles wrote.

Johnny Nuriel, a cast member of the Caravan of GLAM, is performing at The Pub.

And it seems like Buckles and his cast have found an original way to live a brave and joyous life. When Buckles started the Caravan of GLAM in 2013, he wanted to create “outside-of-the-box entertainment and tour into smaller cities and towns that do not have big city entertainment.”

“My goal is to expand the brand around the world. I currently book Isaiah and Johnny around the world at festivals, and a lot of that exposure has come from their involvement with the Caravan of GLAM. We’re in 20 states and Canada already, with a bunch of television and media appearances under our belts as well,” Buckles wrote.

It was not hard to see that Buckles’ plan has worked out so far. The audience at the show was very content with their ‘GLAMorous’ experience. Bryce Schwarz, a justice undergraduate, said this was his first time coming to see the Caravan of GLAM.

“There is a lot of interesting bits in between the performances, and they are a lot of fun. It’s a very good experience, and I would definitely recommend it to everybody who’s interested in it or curious about it,” said Schwarz.

This September’s show was the Caravan of GLAM’s sixth performance at UAF. Considering the success of the show, it is expected that the Caravan will return to Fairbanks in February next year.

Meanwhile, Buckles is bringing Latrice Royale from RuPaul’s Drag Race to town on Nov. 3.

Check out the Caravan of GLAM’s website for future shows.




Anxiety Level




Police Blotter: September 4 – 20

Assault
9/20/2018  3:25 a.m. – 21-year-old Leeroy J. Kobuck of St. Michael was arrested, charged with second-degree assault domestic violence, and trespassed from UAF property for 10 years.  His partner and child were taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and provided with Advocate and Domestic Violence information.

 

Harassing Communications
9/17/2018  5:56 p.m. – An officer responded to a road rage incident in the Singers Hall lot.  One driver honked at another driver and called her a name, leading to the other driver yelling back.  18-year-old Connor R. Gibbs of Fairbanks was cited for harassment.

9/17/2018  7:05 p.m. – A person that came to the station to report harassment that occurred at the Toga Dance in the Hess Rec Center on September 8th.  An officer took the statement and provided Title IX and Resource Center contact information.  The incident is being investigated for possible charges.

9/18/2019  2:04 a.m. – A student from Bartlett Hall reported that they were being harassed by another student.  The investigation is ongoing.

 

Theft
9/18/2018  7:13 p.m
. – A welder was reported stolen from the Nenana Lot, and the fence in the area was cut in different spots.  A bolt cutter was found near the fence.  An officer took pictures of the scene and took the bolt cutters.  The welder was later reported as not stolen, just moved.  However, an investigation is still ongoing for the fence cutting.

 

Welfare Check
9/4/2018  10:23 a.m.
– An officer investigated a student whom a relative had reported had not returned from a camping trip.  Later it was found that the relative had mixed up the dates, and the student wasn’t missing.

9/17/2018  6:16 p.m. – A relative requested a checkup on a resident of Walsh Hall.

 

Suspicious Circumstances
9/5/2018  11:25 a.m. – A call was made about unknown belongings found outside of the University Park building.  Facility Services will remove them.

9/5/2018  11:25 a.m. – A complainant reported another driver yelling at them in the Chapman Building parking lot.  Officer contacted the driver and found that they had mouthed sorry to the complainant after not seeing him while backing up.

9/5/2018  2:12 p.m. – 19-year-old Genesis C. Blatchford of Fairbanks was trespassed from UAF property and issued a summons for possessing marijuana.

9/18/2018  7:05 p.m. – A man in his 30’s was walking around the pool area of the Patty Ice Arena asking the staff members personal questions and making them uncomfortable.  An officer responded and identified a possible individual.  Investigation is ongoing.

9/19/2018  5:54 p.m. – An officer investigated a smashed window outside of a house on North Chandalar, and determined a lawn crew may have hit a rock that then smashed the window.  Facilities Services was notified.

 

Traffic Stop
9/6/2018  10:05 p.m. – 59-year-old Mark D. Ross of Fairbanks was given a summons for reckless driving and a citation for studded tires.

 

MVA
9/7/2018  11:21 a.m. – A driver reported hitting a sign on Thompson Drive.  Facilities were notified, and an officer took pictures of the scene.

 

Lost Property
9/7/2018  12:56 p.m. – A complainant reported losing their wallet in the wood center the day before.  An officer is following up.

 

Intoxicated Person
9/7/2018   11:43 p.m. – A drunk minor was taken to the hospital.  A citation will be issued.

9/8/2018  12:32 a.m. – A drunk person was reported to be arguing and yelling at a dance in the MBS Lobby and Hess Commons.  They were taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center and issued a citation for drinking alcohol underage.

9/8/2018  12:44 a.m. – A person was taken to the sobering center after being reported as drunk at a dance.  They were issued a minor consuming citation.

 

DUI
9/9/2018  3:28 a.m
. – During a traffic stop, 60-year-old Dennis J. Dougherty of Fairbanks was found to be driving while under the influence.  Dougherty was arrested and charged with DUI.

 

Driving While License Revoked
9/9/2018  3:44 p.m. – During a traffic stop, 60-year-old Jens J. Braaten of Fairbanks was cited for driving with a revoked license, and was warned for speeding and having no proof of insurance.




Spider Web




Letters from the editor: Going digital

Since the 1981 merger of the Northern Sun and the Polar Star, the Sun Star has been a regular fixture here on campus.  Even with the change to the biweekly publication last year, we were still present in stands inside of buildings and in kiosks outside of them.  However, this semester, those papers have been missing.  The reason is not that we’ve disappeared into the woods, never to be seen again, or that we simply flew into the sky one day.  Instead, we’ve gone digital.

What this means is that there is no longer a print edition of the newspaper.  Instead, all of our stories, all of the comics our freelancers make, letters to and from the editor, it all goes up directly onto the website.  In addition to the unparalleled joy of being able to make constant semi-accurate Matrix references, the biggest thing that this move does for us is it gives us more freedom in the kind of content that we create.

I will definitely admit that there is a part of me that will miss the print editions of the newspaper.  Carrying stacks of 200 papers up and down the campus, depositing them everywhere I go like a more journalism-focused take on Johnny Appleseed was always a fun part of my job.  Sitting down afterward and opening up a paper, seeing the stories that I and my coworkers wrote and edited all laid out was always satisfying.  However, in the end, I recognize the benefits that this change gives us, and I look forward to everything we now have the opportunity to do.

If a student us sends us an email with footage of a speaker who came up to UAF, or if a club approaches us with twenty pictures from one of their events, we can now look at running it on our main method of delivery.  There are no longer concerns of printing costs of a dozen color pictures or following material laws as they pertain to video in a print newspaper.

This also gives us freedom from the previous print schedule, where everything had to be done Sunday night and specifically Sunday night.  We can now deliver content and news to the students and faculty of UAF on a more regular basis, with a work schedule that reflects that.

What this means, however, is that we need more of this content.  More pictures, more video, and of course, more stories.  You can email us at editor@uafsunstar.com, or you can drop by our freelancer meetings every Tuesday at 1:00.  If you have content you’re looking to publish, or are looking to create content, if you have ideas for what the Sun Star could do, even if you just have some questions about the paper, let us know.  Our format may be all digital now, but our mission statement to be a reliable and stimulating student-produced news publication is still painted on the wall.  And that’s not going to be changing anytime soon.




UAF Hosts Ceremony to Inaugurate new Combined Heat and Power Plant

Tents erected for Wednesday’s event at the former site of the UAF Greenhouse, which was dismantled to make way for the new Combined Heat & Power Plant.

About 200 people celebrated the near-completion of the nation’s first coal-fired power plant in a decade at UAF with a ceremonial flip of a switch last Wednesday, August 29. The event included speeches from a state Senator and the President of Usibelli Coal Mine, which has long supplied coal to the university power plant. 

“I thought a lot about what this means to the university,” said UA President Jim Johnson, who also spoke at the celebration, “It means the merging of state of the art technology and responsible natural resource development.”

The event also included a ceremonial switch-flipping event, though the plant is not expected to be fully operational until the end of November. Currently, the different systems are being tested independently.

Though the event on Wednesday was celebratory, UAF Public Information Officer Marmian Grimes acknowledged some mixed feelings about building a coal power plant at a time when about 27 such plants have closed since 2017, according to the Sierra Club.

“We certainly recognize that this is unusual to be building a new coal plant in late 2015,” she said in a phone interview, “but for Fairbanks, and for the university, that option made the most sense from the economic, logistical and even an environmental standpoint. The new plant does greatly reduce emissions.”

Guests at Wednesday’s event listen and learn about the new plant.

The 9-story power plant uses a circulating fluidized-bed technology, a more efficient industry standard, instead of the Atkinson Power Plant’s stoker boiler, a technology that dates back to the 1890s. Project engineer Piotr Sawka estimated that the new boiler would use about 20% less coal per unit of electricity produced.

Particulate emissions, which are a major health concern in winter in Fairbanks, will be reduced by an estimated 45%, according to the project website, as will other contaminants such as sulfur dioxide.

“This plant is designed to have the lowest emissions of any plant in the US,” said Scott Bell, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Services. It also is permitted to run on up to 15% biomass, though so far the university has not found a reliable source, according to Grimes. It also has the potential to be retrofitted to burn more than that, or, with a little more invested, be converted to natural gas, should it become more cheaply available.

Construction teams broke ground on the project in early 2014, but the origins date back to December 11, 1998, when a pipe from one of the coal-fired boilers burst, shattering windows in the plant and shuttering electricity and heat to buildings across campus. Power wasn’t restored for 12 hours, but the incident stoked Mike Ruckhaus, a Senior Project Manager along with Utilities Director Chilkoot Ward to begin investigating alternatives to the old Atkinson plant that was nearing the end of its planned 50-year operational life.

Ruckhaus showed off his commemorative t-shirt from the time at Wednesday’s ceremony, which read “Where were you when the lights went out?”

Speakers on Wednesday elaborated its ability to secure the $245 million in funding in a time of tight budgets, though they acknowledged the project was not without hiccups. A major one occurred when Ruckhaus and his team were working on a comprehensive project estimate and realized that they were about $50 million over their $245 million budget. By slashing the administrative room from the plan and leaving the room designed to house the biomass turbine empty, the administrators were able to cut the costs back to within the original estimate.

“You can’t do those things because I sit here and tell somebody to do that,” said Ruckhaus “there has to be a level of cooperation.”

While the mood Wednesday was of celebratory students and faculty interviewed by the Sun Star had mixed emotions about the plant.  

“It’s a pretty impressive structure–it’s huge and state of the art!” said Sherjeel Cheema, an Electrical Engineering Sr. who interned at Chugach Electric in Anchorage last summer and was at Wednesday’s event, “Of course you always want the greenest technology and the cleanest fuel, but in Fairbanks coal is the only fuel that is economical.”

The new plant is linked to the old Atkinson Power Plant through an elevated tunnel, allowing workers easy access to between the plants.

Computer Science professor Jonathan Metzger brushed off any criticism of the plant. “It [coal] is more efficient than it’s ever been,” he said, “It’s not like you can put wind up here–I don’t think anyone wants to build a nuclear power plant up here!”

Wenshi Fraser, a civil engineering Junior, was more critical and expressed an interest in seeing more investment in renewable energy. “I like that it’s fitted for other options,” she said, referring to the potential to retrofit the plant to burn more biofuel or natural gas, “But it is what it is.”

Fraser said that although she found the building to be an eyesore each day when she walks from her residency at the Sustainable Village, she has come to appreciate it for a paradoxical reason. 

“I like that it’s right in front of you so that people can decide what they want their future to look like,” she said, ‘It is a good reminder since it is right in front of you every time you come onto campus.”

 




Spandex