The People's Republic of Ester (also known as the Ester Commonwealth) is a village of about 400 souls surrounded by outlying residential areas, roughly defined by the area of the Ester Fire Service District plus a little. It has also been described as a state of mind, the last bastion of Old Alaska, and other descriptors. The Ester motto is "Where Progress Is Our Least Important Product," and the motto of the Ester Community Association (est. 1941) is Mino Ergo Bibo. (This should give you an idea of what you're getting into when you show up at one of the local watering holes.)
Ester earned its moniker when a former Fairbanks North Star Borough assemblyman, Joe Ryan, proposed ca. 1986 that downvillage Ester be zoned for mining only, as opposed to the General Use zoning still current. While it is true that there are many mines in the area (three right in the village and one nearby), there are also other endeavors (such as residences, bars, rentals, artists' studios, etc.), so Ester showed up en masse to the pertinent borough assembly meeting and told Mr. Ryan and his compatriots just what they thought he could do with his idea. The measure failed, Mr. Ryan got annoyed and, in a letter to the editor, accused Esteroids of living in the People's Republic of Ester. Ester generally (and the capitalists in particular) thought this was pretty funny, and took to referring to their village by this new title. The name stuck, and Ryan became known, in the village at least, as the Father of the Republic. (So now you have an idea of what Ester humor is like.) He was later invited to judge the 4th of July Parade one year, but, alas, declined.
Ester, due to its strong libertarian tendencies, has a reputation for being a den of hippies. (That doesn't make much sense to the residents of Ester, either.) There's a lot of artists, geologists, biologists, writers, and miners in the village.
Now, The Ester Republic, on the other hand, is run by a flaming liberal Greenie feminist. As in, a card-carrying Green. And she's proud of it, too. The Republic (when in its paper form) came out more or less monthly, and has local news, lots of opinion, editorial cartoons (mostly by local cartoonists), and occasional reporting and muckraking by actual journalists. Most of the writers are locals.
The Ester Republic Press was the parent company of The Ester Republic, and produced periodicals, books, and the odd marketing item.
The Press offices are back once again in the home of the Publisher, safely surrounded by piles of paper and undone laundry. For more about the staff of the Press and the paper, please see Irregulars for the Republic.
Ester Republic Press
P.O. Box 3, Ester, AK 99725
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