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

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song

Archives

Su Valley Production of Twelfth Night Opens Monday

Starting on Monday, Su Valley High School put on a three night run of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  As with last year’s production of Romeo and Juliet, the classic play will be paired with 20th century music.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning went to Su Valley and spoke with some of the people involved:

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Kathy Trump is the theatrical director for the Su Valley production of Twelfth Night.  Directing Shakespeare is a big task in itself, but this version will also include music and a change of setting.  As a result, she says the show required a team of directors.

“We have an artistic director, who is Jen Keenan.  We have a music director, who is Heidi Hartley, and we have a technical director, who is Noelle Mischenko.  So, we have four directors, which is great.”

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s comedies.  In the original version, it takes place in Illyria, a region of Eastern Europe.  Kathy Trump says that, in Su Valley’s production, the events unfold in Morocco in the 1940s. Read More »

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Borough Assembly Adopts Mushing Ordinance

At its meeting on Wednesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly unanimously adopted an ordinance creating an optional licensing program specifically for sled dog kennels.  Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss said after the meeting that the public testimony resembled the Iditarod Hall of Fame, as many area musher spoke in favor of the ordinance.  The new ordinance, sponsored by Upper Valley representative Vern Halter, offers some protections for mushers, and includes a number of additional requirements for animal care.  Halter owns a sled dog kennel and is an Iditarod veteran.

The ordinance exempts kennels with the special license from borough animal annoyance code, which has some borough residents speaking out on social media. It also puts forth tethering as the recognized means of restraining sled dogs makes it illegal to interfere with legal mushing activities.

Also on Wednesday, the Assembly delayed discussion on changes to the borough’s regulations regarding power plants.  The proposed regulations would make it easier for power plants between fifty and one hundred megawatts to be constructed in the borough.  That public hearing will now be held on December 16th.

Alaska LNG Holds Public Meeting in Trapper Creek

The State of Alaska has made many attempts to build a gas pipeline.  Currently, a lot of effort is being put into the Alaska LNG Project, a partnership between the state, the three largest oil producers, and Trans-Canada.  The project recently held an open-house meeting in Trapper Creek.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there, and has this report:

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Tuesday night’s meeting in Trapper Creek was the eleventh hosted by the Alaska LNG Project in recent weeks.  There was no presentation.  Instead, representatives of various parts of the project were spread throughout the elementary school’s gym to answer questions from area residents. Read More »

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Classics for Kids–Black Beauty #2

Cari Sayre continues the story of Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell.

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Mushing Legislation Proposed for Mat-Su Borough

The next regular meeting of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly will be on Wednesday.  One item on the agenda is an ordinance sponsored by Assembly Member Vern Halter, whose district includes the Upper Valley.  The proposed ordinance deals with sled dog facilities, and comes in the wake of the Alaska Legislature declaring Alaska a “right to mush” state.

The proposed legislation would allow owners of sled dog kennels to apply for a special designation.  To qualify, owners must have been registered as a kennel for at least three years, and must meet a list of care requirements that are more strict than regular kennel regulations.  Vern Halter says that there is no requirement to register for the special license, but that it comes with benefits.

One potential benefit is the official recognition of tethering as the traditional method of restraint for sled dogs.  The practice is opposed by some animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.  The ordinance also lays out that sled dog kennels are loud places at times, and that a certain level of noise is to be expected.  Property licensed as a sled dog facility would thus be exempt from the borough’s animal annoyance code.  Subdivision covenants and city ordinances would still apply.

In addition to the special licensing, the proposed ordinance would make it illegal to intentionally interfere with legal mushing activity, such as felling trees in trails or using firearms to scare mushers or dogs.   The Borough Assembly will hear public comment on the ordinance and make its decision on Wednesday.

Troopers Report Two Upper Valley Arrests Over the Weekend

The Alaska State Troopers reported two arrests in the Upper Valley over the weekend.

The first occurred on Friday afternoon.  Troopers say that 39-year-old Gregory Berryman of Anchorage was pulled over for an equipment violation.  He was charged with driving on a suspended license, and troopers say he had an outstanding warrant in Anchorage for failure to appear at a court hearing, also on a charge of driving with a suspended license.  He was taken to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility and held on $11,000 bail.

On Saturday, troopers received a call from Willow claiming that a female subject had purchased a bottle of whiskey, then drank the entire bottle while at a gas pump.  They caught up with the 2004 Mercedes at a residence on Grubstake Street.  Troopers identified the Mercedes’ driver as 65-year-old Ann McLain.  McLain was charged with Driving Under the Influence and taken to Mat-Su Pretrial on $1,000 bail.

Writer’s Voice–Toyo Tantrums and Other Wake-up Calls, by Bill Was

Talkeetna blogger Bill Was writes about technology in our lives.

 

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Mat-Su Libraries Link Up With Joint Library Catalog

Thanks to a merging of online catalogs, Mat-Su libraries and their members now have access to the collections of libraries throughout the state.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning spoke with Talkeetna librarian Ann Yadon to find out more:

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Small libraries have limitations in terms of funding and space to store large collections of books and other media.  The Mat-Su libraries have been linked for some time, but their reach has just been greatly expanded after they joined the Joint Library Catalog.  Anchorage’s municipal libraries and many of the UAA libraries are part of the system.  Ann Yadon, Librarian at Talkeetna Public Library, explains what that means for local users:

“Now, if you have a library card at a Mat-Su library, you can use it in Anchorage; you can use it at UAA Mat-Su.  So, you can go to Mat-Su College with your public library card and check things out from them.”

In addition to having access to their catalogs with a single library card, the library partnership means they can act as drop-off locations for each other.

“If you check something out at any of those libraries, you can return it at any of those libraries, which is really nice for people who come up from Anchorage for the weekend.” Read More »

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Final Assessment of Talkeetna Sewer and Water System Submitted

The final assessment of Talkeetna’s sewer and water system has been completed.  Included is analysis of the functionality of the system, suggested improvements, and plans to make the system fiscally solvent.

In total, the assessment of the sewer and water system in Talkeetna is hundreds of pages.  It was funded through a $100,000 grant from the state legislature at the request of local residents, including the Talkeetna Sewer and Water Advisory Board.  CRW Engineering did the study, and looked at a number of areas.

Not much changed in the assessment of the system itself since the draft report was released in July.  One interesting note has to do with the water treatment plant.  The plant was not required until allowable levels of arsenic were dropped from 50 parts-per-million to 10 parts-per million.  The increased cost of operating the plant is a major cost driver.  The report says that arsenic levels are still too high to meet regulations, but that the region as a whole has seen shifts in levels of arsenic, with some of them dropping.  If the base level of arsenic were to fall below 10 parts-per-million and stay there, it could be feasible to shut down the treatment plant.

Whether or not that happens in the future, the system is currently deep in the red.  According to the study, the current annual deficit is likely to be over $100,000.  If rates were to remain constant, that figure would grow due to inflation and other factors.  As a result, the report suggests revenue increases of 13% per year for water and 6% for sewer for each of the next five years. The report notes that this would allow the system to break even on operations, but that more money would be needed to establish a reserve fund and for repair and replacement costs. Read More »

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