KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


With residency records updated, Geri McCann intends to run for Talkeetna Council board again

The former Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. board member whose seat was vacated says she has her residency documents sorted out.


At its April meeting, the board members present voted three-to-two to seat Geri McCann on the TCCI board. After the meeting, questions arose as to whether McCann is a current resident of Talkeetna.


Geri McCann says she lived in Talkeetna for twenty years before moving to Palmer, and that she moved back to Talkeetna in 2014. While other residents have vouched for her residency, some official records still showed her as living in Palmer as of the April 4th meeting.

Read More »

Reading program brings students, volunteers, and books together

An after-school program at the Talkeetna library is bringing together young students and adult community members to promote literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading. KTNA’s Phillip Manning visited the program earlier this week, and has this report.


Learning to read is one of the most important things children do in their first few years of school. Literacy is an indicator not only of how well a student will do during Kindergarten through 12th Grade, but also into their adult lives. In Talkeetna, a new program is helping to give some Upper Valley students an extra boost into reading proficiency.

Talkeetna Elementary art teacher and Title I Reading Specialist Bekah Mathiessen came up with the idea for the program.

“Right after school, the kids get bused here. It’s a new stop on the bus route, which is pretty awesome. And people from the community come to read with about sixteen Kindergarten to 2nd Grade kids.”

Read More »

Trapper Creek Revenue Sharing Voting Open Through May 14th

Revenue sharing voting has begun in Trapper Creek. Revenue sharing funds come from the state to the Mat-Su Borough, which then allows community councils to distribute them. Four items are on this year’s ballot, including the Upper Susitna Food Pantry, operating expenses for the Trapper Creek Park and Cemetery, Winter Trail Grooming, and Youth Conservation Corps. Trapper Creek voters will be able to rank the projects by priority. Full funding will be awarded based on projects that receive the highest priority from voters.


Trapper Creek residents may vote at the Trapper Creek Library during regular business hours through May 14th.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“The Cheapening of American Culture”, by Bill Was

Fall & the Kidz cropped1


An opinion piece by Talkeetna blogger Bill Was about the presidential campaign and polarized political culture, as portrayed by the mainstream media.


As this hellishly long election process grinds painfully to its conclusion I, for one, am both disgusted and exhausted by the process! Not only has it already been underway for more than a year but the overall atmosphere of the campaign continues to mine new levels of repugnance and revulsion. Civility is nowhere to be found nor is a substantive discussion of truly pertinent topics like the economy, terrorism, immigration and entitlement reform. Instead, the candidates of both parties would rather bait each other with abhorrent personal attacks. Read More »

Su Valley Voice: Fire Preparedness

This week on Su-Valley Voice, host Phillip Manning spoke with Norm McDonald, Fire Management Officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry, about the upcoming fire season, fire response, and fire prevention and preparedness.


Borough plans work before discharging from Talkeetna sewer lagoon

The Talkeetna sewer lagoon will undergo additional maintenance before discharging treated water into the Talkeetna River.


According to Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan, the borough has begun mechanical aeration of the lagoon, and replanting work is planned on the artificial wetlands before treated sewage is released.


For the last two summers, the Talkeetna lagoon has violated it’s state permit multiple times for a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water and high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. The system is designed to use natural processes, including ultraviolet light, artificial wetlands, and biological breakdown to treat sewage to safe levels. A combination of factors, including a bypass on sewage coming into the system, grease on the surface of the lagoon, and damage to the wetlands following a flood in 2006 have contributed to the treatment system’s problems.


Late last year, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation contacted the borough regarding the violations. Multiple meetings have been held, but a final agreement between the borough and the state has not been reached.


Last month, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved a loan of $214,000 for the lagoon. Additionally, he says the money could be used as matching funds for a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On Tuesday afternoon, Dolan learned that the USDA has approved a grant for the lagoon, and he says an offer letter should be coming soon. Whether the grant is accepted and whether the loan funds are used is contingent on whether the lagoon can be brought back into compliance through current maintenance plans. At that point, Dolan says options include artificial ultraviolet light.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming

Kathleen for StarDate



The night sky in April: Our full moon, the planets and stars that the moon visits this week, the Lyrid meteor shower, and the lack of true darkness already(!), and an explanation of the different categories of twilight.





Correction from Kathleen:  “Nature called at 4 am Monday morning.  The bright planets Saturn and Mars were the only objects visible through the twilight, about 10 degrees above the south south east horizon.  Contrary to what I said on this week’s StarDate Susitna, Saturn and, to its right, reddish Mars were easy to identify.”

Tips for Healthy Living

A  live 15-minute conversation about health and health news from the Sunshine Community Health Center: It’s hosted by Holly Stinson, with this Friday’s in-studio guest Keith Kehoe, Physician Assistant at the clinic. In this program, Keith talks about why visiting the SCHC Health Fair in Willow is a good idea, and gives some suggestions for preventing  injuries from pets…yours and other peoples’ pets.

Artist Stacie Smiley opens show in Talkeetna



by: Katie Writer – KTNA

Some artists struggle to have the time and focus to create art, others benefit from creative talent being stored away for many years.

Stacie Smiley is one of the latter.

“I wanted to immerse myself in it, spend a long period of time doing the one thing, painting, instead of picking it up and putting it down to go do other things.”

Stacie has found the time in her adult life to be able to focus on creation from beginning to end. Perhaps having an art opening at The Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe was one motivational factor to complete a series of paintings.  In addition, her husband, Troy built custom frames that add another level of professionalism to her art.

After some research, Stacie decided that her old style of painting was out of date, at least to her taste. She researched paints and various mediums and spent some money on new supplies.  Read More »