The Odd Side – May 6, 2014

A urethane igloo in Anchorage, Alaska. The igloo, an embodiment of an Alaska cliche, and a must-stop for tourists heading for Denali National Park and Preserve, is for sale. The 80-foot high structure, erected more than four decades and never completed, sits on a 38-acre site, which is part of the sales package. (AP Photo/Brad Fisher)
A urethane igloo in Anchorage, Alaska. The igloo, an embodiment of an Alaska cliche, and a must-stop for tourists heading for Denali National Park and Preserve, is for sale. The 80-foot high structure, erected more than four decades and never completed, sits on a 38-acre site, which is part of the sales package. (AP Photo/Brad Fisher)

Bird Tries to Fly Away With Pet Dog Near Cashmere

CASHMERE, Wash. (AP) – The owners of a small dog suspect an eagle or other large bird attempted to carry it away from their home near Cashmere.

Marcia Green says after she let her shih tzu named Truffle into the yard April 23, she heard loud barking and then silence.

The Wenatchee World reports Truffle was gone. Green began looking and found it about 300 feet from the house, barely conscious.

A veterinarian treated the dog for six puncture wounds, a punctured lung and broken ribs.

Green didn’t see the bird she believes picked up her 7-pound dog and then dropped it. Green and her husband now accompany Truffle when it’s outside.

Landmark Urethane Igloo In Alaska for Sale

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The embodiment of an Alaska cliche is for sale.

The massive urethane igloo that’s a must-stop for summer tourists heading up the Parks Highway en route to Denali National Park and Preserve can be had for $300,000.

The 80-foot high structure was erected more than four decades ago over a shell of plywood and two-by-sixes, and was never completed on a 38-acre site, which is part of the sales package. The igloo, which shows its age, has never been anything more than a magnet for cameras and vandals, who set off firecrackers in its cavernous interior before it was boarded up.

But for someone with lots of money to spare, property owner Brad Fisher sees great possibilities for the picturesque location in Alaska’s interior. The site, 20 miles from the nearest community at Cantwell is prime snowmobiling country in winter and hiking in summer, a land of rolling hills and willows surrounded by mountains and splendid views.

Fisher, 55, envisions the igloo as an eye-catching seasonal restaurant and hotel run on green power.

Here’s the catch: Creating a viable business could run a new owner at least a couple million bucks to get it ready and up to code.

For one thing, there is no available electricity around, which demands additional costs. According to an estimate 15 years ago, putting in a utility substation would cost $1.3 million. Fisher thinks powering it with such innovations as solar panels and windmills is the more affordable way to go.

It sure would be a shame to see the igloo go to waste, he said.

“If you had the money to get it going, I have no doubt that you could make money there just because of where it is,” he said. “I mean, everybody stops and looks at it.”

It’s a total surprise for tourists who encounter the 105-foot- wide igloo as they tour the interior and the national park on excursion buses, such as those run by Holland America-Princess for cruise ship travelers. Spokesman Charlie Ball said that if bus drivers have time, they’ll stop for tourists to snap some photographs of the bulbous structure.

“It’s always been a curiosity for our guests,” he said. “It’s always been a uniquely Alaskan desired photo stop.”

Fisher, who has owned the igloo since 1996 through his family business, Fisher’s Fuels Inc., rented out four nearby cabins and ran a single fuel pump at the site until 2005.

The property has been for sale off and on for six years. If Fisher has no takers this time around, there are no plans to demolish it. In fact, at some point, Fisher said he would like to recoat it for weather-proofing.

“It’s just there to stay,” he said.

Thieves Take Everything — Even the Kitchen Sink

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Everything has been stolen — including the kitchen sink — from the kitchen of a model house in Kansas.

Police say thieves stripped the kitchen of the Clayton Homes unit in south Wichita, taking all the upscale appliances, the wooden cabinets from the walls and, of course, the sink.

General manager Kevin McCracken says the model unit was nearly ready for display when the theft occurred, sometime between 9 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday.

KWCH reports that the missing appliances, cabinets, counters and sink, along with the cost of repairing the damage, amounts to a loss of several thousand dollars.