Fairbanks vs. Anchorage - info needed! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I've been doing research on moving to AK (among other places).. I'm looking at Fairbanks and Anchorage since my husband would be able to get a job transfer.  This wouldn't be for at least 5 years, but I'd like to continue gathering information anyways.

 

What are the pros and cons of each?  How is the birth climate?  What about AP-friendly doctors, NPs?  How is the breastfeeding climate?  Are there a good group of AP mommas?  Any homeschool/unschool groups?  

 

I'm looking into other factors (crime, weather, politics, etc) on my own.. but the above I figured I'd ask on MDC :)

 

ETA: I'm leaning towards Anchorage with it being closer to the lower 48, and being a coastal town.. it just feels a little less isolated!


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#2 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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If you are already accustomed to living in a city, Anchorage will be less of a shock.

Honestly, I don't like Anchorage BECAUSE it's a large city.

 

Both have good birth climates, Anchorage might be more friendly because it currently has an active Birth Network and ICAN chapters as well as dozens of midwifes and a dozen more apprentices. We are overflowing with homebirthing mom's here in Anchorage.  There are lots of Naturopaths and other "crunchy" care providers in town as well.  Very few issues with breastfeeding but we could use a few more lactation counselors. Public seems to have little problems with breastfeeding.

 

Homeschooling and Unschooling is very popular in all of Alaska. There is a homeschool group called Alaska/Anchorage Life Learners, they are on facebook.

 

I think you will find the weather in Anchorage to be very similar to Chicago except much cooler and cloudier in the summer.

 

Good Luck!

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#3 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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If you're serious about moving there, I'd plan a visit. I grew up in Alaska and I vastly prefer Fairbanks (that's where I went to college) but like the PP said, if you are used to cities, you might like Anchorage better. Fairbanks is funky and it does get COLD there. I think seeing it first hand would be the only way to really decide if it would suit you. Alternative lifestyles, unschooling and all those kind of values are popular all over Alaska. You could also live just outside Anchorage, in Willow or Talkeetna or something, if you wanted access to the city but not to live in it directly.

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#4 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh there would for sure be a visit before any commitment!  I've mostly crossed Fairbanks off the list... considered Juneau, but I don't like that it's only accessible by boat or plane.  

 

I was also looking into Wasilla.. but I've heard that crime in the Mat-Su valley is a bit much... would it be totally different than me moving from urban crime-ridden Chicago, though?  Guess I need to look into that, as well!

 

I'm going to be finishing school before then, nursing... so ideally I would like to live near a hospital so the commute wouldn't be too bad, especially in the winter.  My husband does auto maintenance, he's currently working as a salesperson in the field but he is ASE certified, so he'd be able to find a job in that field. 

 

Anyways- thanks for the information.  I've got a few other states in mind, but Alaska is one of the ones at the top of the list.  The cost of living (in Anchorage anyways) is comparable to here in Chicago.  I'd love to have a cooler summer- I can't take the 100 degree summers anymore.  I much prefer the cold.  We've had a very mild winter thus far and I'm longing for snow!

 

 


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#5 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, calculated the gas mileage for our current vehicle (which is 15mpg) as well as our *hopefully* future vehicle (also 15mpg!) and figured out that Wasilla to Anchorage daily for work would be about $800/mo in car gas.  Um, like.  No. lol.gif


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#6 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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#7 of 11 Old 01-03-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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I can talk all day about this- we just moved from Chicago to Hawaii! It may look on paper like Alaska and Chicago are comparable, but on the whole, Alaska seems more expensive to me. There's no sales tax in Fairbanks, and no state income tax, but gas prices are high, and food/utilities are extremely high. Local food tends to be available only in the summer. 

Please don't rule out Juneau because you don't like the sound of accessible only by air and water- it is gorgeous and my #1 choice to go back to if we were to move back to Alaska. My husband was a mechanic when we lived in Fairbanks- he worked at Carslile, fixing the big rigs to go up to North Slope. There would probably be positions available in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau for him. And the crime in the Mat-Su valley is nothing compared to where we lived in Humboldt Park, ha ha. They have a big meth problem, but if you're not in those circles, it MIGHT touch you only as the possiblity of property theft, like car break-ins or stuff stolen from sheds. 

There are hospitals in all three areas as well. They just built a huge, nice hospital on base in Fairbanks, supposedly it has built-in birthing pools and tons of amenities for labor.

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#8 of 11 Old 01-05-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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Car dealerships with auto shops & other auto shops in abundance near Wasilla! Also a  hospital & many doctors of all varieties. No need to plan on commuting into Anchorage unless you are heart-set on a job there. Or you could get a small car that gets 30+ mpg for commuting like my hubby who works in Eagle River. Also the options of living in Eagle River, Chugiak, Palmer, Wasilla, Big Lake, Eklutna or in between.
 

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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

So, calculated the gas mileage for our current vehicle (which is 15mpg) as well as our *hopefully* future vehicle (also 15mpg!) and figured out that Wasilla to Anchorage daily for work would be about $800/mo in car gas.  Um, like.  No. lol.gif



 

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#9 of 11 Old 01-05-2012, 01:14 PM
 
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She is right about the crime. There are gang issues in Anchorage too, but nothing compared to big cities like Chicago.
 

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Originally Posted by Erin77 View Post

I can talk all day about this- we just moved from Chicago to Hawaii! It may look on paper like Alaska and Chicago are comparable, but on the whole, Alaska seems more expensive to me. There's no sales tax in Fairbanks, and no state income tax, but gas prices are high, and food/utilities are extremely high. Local food tends to be available only in the summer. 

Please don't rule out Juneau because you don't like the sound of accessible only by air and water- it is gorgeous and my #1 choice to go back to if we were to move back to Alaska. My husband was a mechanic when we lived in Fairbanks- he worked at Carslile, fixing the big rigs to go up to North Slope. There would probably be positions available in Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau for him. And the crime in the Mat-Su valley is nothing compared to where we lived in Humboldt Park, ha ha. They have a big meth problem, but if you're not in those circles, it MIGHT touch you only as the possiblity of property theft, like car break-ins or stuff stolen from sheds. 

There are hospitals in all three areas as well. They just built a huge, nice hospital on base in Fairbanks, supposedly it has built-in birthing pools and tons of amenities for labor.



 

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#10 of 11 Old 01-06-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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There's a fabulous share a ride and a newer bus transport out of the valley into Anchorage as well.
And you will find crime to be barely noticeable in the valley. Its there, but if you do not associate with that crowd, you are likely to not have issues.


That said, if I had to move to town (we live just inside the Willow line, which is not a city or even a town) I would move to Palmer. The only downside there are the winds and dust. The valley literally experiences close to hurricane force winds on a regular basis year round.

 

Dh commutes to the Base everyday for a construction job ( for another year ) and he drives an itty bitty car to help with gas mileage, but with prices being so high ( close to $4) it still is an ouch to the budget.
He and the other men he works with that are from the valley are looking at getting a share a ride van which should cut that cost down by as much as 2/3rds.


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#11 of 11 Old 01-07-2012, 02:15 AM
 
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what are you planning to specialize in once you get out of school? There Birthing community is really great here, and it might be nice to some new, "birthy" nurses around. There are 3 freestanding birth centers that employ nurses in the Anchorage/Mat-Su area.

 

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