SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: January 30, 2022

SCA WEEKLY NEWS REVIEW: January 30, 2022

Curious Alaska: Why don’t we have billboards in Alaska?

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Signs in Eagle River’s business district on January 2021. (Marc Lester / ADN)

From the Anchorage Daily News: Question: Why are there no billboards in Alaska?

Very short answer: It’s too beautiful.

Imagine: You’re driving down the Seward Highway, gazing out on velvety green mountains dappled with snow. Is that a moose among the lupines? No, it’s a billboard that shouts “INJURED? CALL A LAWYER WHO WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!”

Since before statehood, Alaskans have soundly rejected the billboards that dot American roadsides elsewhere. Washington, our neighbor to the south, has 2,237 of them.

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Shining a light on diversity along Arizona’s Mother Road

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Shades of Route 66 in Arizona interns Ivan Pacheco (left) and Lazarus Melan visited Joe and Aggie’s Café in Holbrook during a Nov. 5 research trip. Photo credit: Sean Evans

From The NAU ReviewWhile Route 66 is well known for its iconic diners and gas stations, roadside attractions and highway signs, a new project aims to celebrate a lesser-known aspect often found across the tracks or a few blocks off of America’s main street: its diversity.   

The Shades of Route 66 in Arizona: Celebrating Diversity along Arizona’s Historic Route 66 at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library will explore, document and share stories, voices and images of underrepresented people and communities who contributed to the diverse cultural and socioeconomic landscape along the road in Arizona. The final product, a freely available “StoryMap” educational online exhibit, will provide a more well-rounded story of historic Route 66 in the state for educators and users from around the world.  

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Iconic Aztec Theater sign glows again after more than decade of darkness

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The refurbished Aztec Theater sign lights up the twilight in downtown Aztec after a short ceremony on Jan. 25.

From the Farmington Daily Times: AZTEC — The idea of returning the iconic neon sign outside the Aztec Theater to working order is something city officials here have dreamed of for close to 10 years.

But it wasn’t until dusk on Tuesday, Jan. 25 that their idea became a reality. While a crowd of three or four dozen people watched, an oversize, ceremonial switch was flipped, and the colorful vertical sign was lit up in dazzling hues of orange, red, green, blue and white.

Aztec City Commissioner and Mayor pro-tem Ken George, the former director of the city’s electric utility, said it has been a long, challenging road to get the sign outside the former theater, located at 104 Main Ave., operating again.

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Cowboy on horseback spotted in Topeka fast food drive-thru

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Cowboys get hungry, too. WIBW viewer Brittany Stark shared this video of a cowboy on horseback use the drive-thru at the McDonald’s at 29th & Wanamaker

From WIBW.com: TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Another Kansas stereotype came to life Wednesday afternoon in Southwest Topeka as a cowboy on horseback was spotted grabbing a beverage to-go at Topeka fast food restaurant.

Viewer Brittany Stark captured video of the thirsty rider at the McDonald’s drive-thru at 29th and SW Wanamaker Rd. around 1:30 p.m.

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It’s Pierogi and Wine for Atwater Village’s Incoming Cafe and Bar Sinizki

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A neon sign for pierogi. © Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

From Eater: It’s been a time of change for Atwater Village of late. The long-sleepy neighborhood just east of the LA River that has quietly become home to some serious restaurant contenders like Hail Mary and the upscale Morihiro sushi restaurant, with others like the lauded Holy Basil on the way. Now comes news that two longtime local stalwarts — in this case Dune and next door neighbor Kaldi Coffee — are joining forces on an Eastern European cafe and bar called Sinizki, complete with pierogi, bar snacks, wine, and espresso.

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What San Jose can learn from Las Vegas’ Neon Museum

SAN JOSE, CA – JUNE 20: The Stephen’s Meat “Dancing Pig” sign on Montgomery Street was re-lit on Thursday night, June 20, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

From The Mercury News: The idea of creating a neon sign park in San Jose has been floating around for a while. Preservations, neon buffs and fans of roadside architecture all love the concept — and Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez even proposed a neon park for the fairgrounds in 2019 — but a solid vision for how to actually create it has yet to appear.

History San Jose has several vintage signs in its collection, the most prominent being the Orchard Supply Hardware arrow sign that is perched next to an OSH railcar in History Park (and which had its own dramatic story of theft and recovery a few years back.) But there’s also the big “E” from the Emporium that was once at Almaden Fashion Plaza, the sign from Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods, the “diving lady” sign from the City Center Motel, and the Greyhound bus station sign.

Most of these are stored behind closed doors and rarely seen by the public. But what shape could a historic sign park take in Silicon Valley if those signs could be put on display? There’s a good — if grandiose — example in Las Vegas, where Sin City’s retired signs have found a home and a new life at the Neon Museum, a tourist attraction that draws visitors more interested in history than blackjack.

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