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KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

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Winter Black-capped Chickadee

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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Mat-Su Borough Assembly indefinitely postpones sales tax proposal

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

After hearing from more than forty people in a packed chamber, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly has indefinitely postponed an ordinance to place a two-percent sales tax before borough voters. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

 

 

The sales tax proposal before the borough assembly on Tuesday came from a request by the Mat-Su Borough School Board. With continuing uncertainty around state funding, and with flat funding from the borough, the district hopes to use a sales tax to boost education funding in the Mat-Su. The assembly ultimately voted six-to-one to postpone the ordinance indefinitely.

Tim Walters, President of the Mat-Su Education Association, spoke in favor of a new revenue stream for local schools. He says continuing the status quo will lead to larger and larger class sizes. (more…)

Mat-Su Anglers Corner for Friday July 28, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017
A rare Little Sustina River coho salmon caught earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

A rare Little Sustina River coho salmon caught earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

Note:  This story comes to us through a content sharing agreement between KTNA and Wick Communications.  Wick owns the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Anchorage Press, and Talkeetna Press, and additional local papers in Southcentral Alaska.

by:  Andy Couch –  Frontiersman.com

Where Have Mat-Su’s Salmon Gone?

More than 30 years ago, when I worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), department sportfish biologists would say the last week of July was the peak week for the coho salmon sport fishery on the Little Susitna River downstream from the lower river public access site.  The only thing remarkable about the fishing on Tuesday July 25 was how salmon – empty the lower Little Susitna River appeared.   When I arrived at the Little Susitna River Public Use Facility to run an afternoon charter the fee booth attendant commented that few boaters had returned from morning fishing and few people had been reporting catching coho salmon.

My charter guests were interested in harvesting salmon, so we  headed downriver and fished for coho (silver) salmon.  As we worked our way from spot to spot down the river, we encountered other boat groups fishing their way back toward the landing.  During the trip I communicated with 5 other boaters that I know.   2 raised their hands and shrugged to say, “Where are the fish?”    2 groups (including another guide boat) had caught 1 coho salmon, and another boat with 4 people reported catching 2.   I suppose my guests were fortunate to land 3 small coho salmon and a small pink salmon,  although it was extremely discouraging for peak of the season fishing.  Especially considering that during the trip we saw hardly any salmon surfacing. (more…)

Easton: Troubadour-in-residence

Thursday, July 27, 2017
It’s Tim Easton’s 17th straight summer in Alaska, and he’s staying 24 days, hitchhiking, more or less, and making new friends everywhere he goes. Courtesy photo

It’s Tim Easton’s 17th straight summer in Alaska, and he’s staying 24 days, hitchhiking, more or less, and making new friends everywhere he goes.
Courtesy photo

Note:  Tim Easton will perform this week in Talkeetna, including at Live at Five in the Village Park on July 28th.  This story comes to us through a content sharing agreement between KTNA and Wick Communications.  Wick owns the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Anchorage Press, and Talkeetna Press, and additional local papers in Southcentral Alaska.

by:  Matt Hickman – Talkeetna Press

As Nashville recording artist Tim Easton burst through the sliding doors of Ted Stevens International Airport, the music festival portion of the great Alaskan summer unofficially kicked off.

Visiting more consistently and staying longer than possibly any other national act, it’s probably safe to call Easton Alaska’s Troubadour-in-residence. For this, his 17th straight summer up here, he’s staying 24 days, hitchhiking, more or less, and making new friends everywhere he goes. This year he’s adding a ‘Campfire Propaganda Songwriter Camp’ for four days in Talkeetna to the mix, just to give back a little. (more…)

Altered sales tax proposal to go before borough assembly on Tuesday

Thursday, July 27, 2017

At its meeting next Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly will hold a public hearing on the proposal to put a borough-wide sales tax to a popular vote, but perhaps not in the form in which it was initially introduced.

Originally, the ordinance to place a sales tax on the ballot called for a three percent tax to fund public schools in the borough. Now, at the request of the school district, a substitute ordinance changes that to a two percent tax. (more…)

Merits of borough-wide sales tax discussed

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Mat-Su Borough Schools Superintendent Monica Goyette, right, addresses a question from the audience as Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey looks on during Tuesday's Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce Meeting. Photo: Matt Hickman/Frontiersman.com

Mat-Su Borough Schools Superintendent Monica Goyette, right, addresses a question from the audience as Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey looks on during Tuesday’s Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce Meeting. Photo: Matt Hickman/Frontiersman.com

Note:  This story comes to us through a content sharing agreement between KTNA and Wick Communications.  Wick owns the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Anchorage Press, and Talkeetna Press, and additional local papers in Southcentral Alaska.

by:  Matt Hickman – Frontiersman.com

WASILLA — Specifically described as ‘not a debate,’ Tuesday’s Greater Wasilla Area Chamber of Commerce meeting pitted Mat-Su Borough Superintendent Dr. Monica Goyette and Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle on opposite sides of a forum on a proposed borough-wide sales tax that could be decided on by voters as early as October.

Between them was Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey, who explained that borough rules required that he remain neutral.

“I am here to keep Bert and Monica separated,” Moosey joked. “And to verify the accuracy of statements.”

The original draft of the proposal was for a 3 percent sales tax to be approved for the October ballot at the next Mat-Su Borough meeting on Aug. 1, though Goyette said that at Wednesday night’s borough school board meeting, the administration will put forth a proposal to reduce that amount to 2 percent; this despite a poll she cited that claimed 53 percent of Alaskans would support a tax to help reduce class sizes.

(more…)

Talkeetna sewer lagoon out of compliance with permit in June

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Talkeetna wastewater lagoons tested out of compliance for fecal coliform bacteria in the month of June.

In a report filed with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Mat-Su Borough reports that the level of colony forming units of the bacteria tested at over 300. The daily maximum for the lagoon’s permit is forty units.

Talkeetna’s wastewater treatment facility has struggled with fecal coliform levels during the summer months for the last few years. Borough officials have met with ADEC in order to discuss the resolution of multiple violations of the lagoon’s permit. Those talks have not been made public, but the sewer and water system could face massive fines under the letter of the permit. (more…)

The good and bad of Alaskan bugs in 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bugs of various shapes and sizes are part of life in Alaska, and it can be easy for them to escape notice. KTNA’s Phillip Manning recently spoke with an entomology expert about some recent trends in Alaskan arthropods.

Anecdotally, this year seems light on one of Alaska’s most prolific insects, the mosquito. Despite the fact that Alaska is home to nearly forty species of the insect, there just don’t seem to be as many around as in some years. To find out more, I spoke with Derek Sikes, Associate Professor of Entomology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Insect Curator at the Museum of the North. He says populations of various types of bugs can vary widely from year to year.

“The population cycles of some insects are really dramatic in Alaska. We sometimes get years with very little of seeing certain species, then huge outbreaks.” (more…)

Twin earthquakes felt in Susitna Valley Sunday evening

Monday, July 24, 2017

On Sunday night, two simultaneous earthquakes shook the Northern Susitna Valley. According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, a Magnitude 3.8 earthquake fifteen miles south of Talkeetna and a Magnitude 4.2 thirty-seven miles north of Skwentna in the foothills of the Alaska Range both occurred at 8:07 pm.

 

The earthquake in the Alaska Range was considerably deeper, with an epicenter thirty-two miles below the surface. The earthquake south of Talkeetna was much shallower, at a depth of four miles. Shaking was widely felt throughout the Talkeetna area, and no damage has been reported as a result of the twin earthquakes.

 

 

Stubbs The Cat passes away at twenty

Monday, July 24, 2017
Stubbs, often referred to as the "Mayor of Talkeetna." Stubbs passed away late last week. Photo courtesy of the Spone Family.

Stubbs, often referred to as the “Mayor of Talkeetna.” Stubbs passed away late last week. Photo courtesy of the Spone Family.

Stubbs the cat passed away in the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday, according to his owners.

For nearly two decades, Stubbs, so named due to his lack of a tail, was a regular sight for locals and visitors at Nagley’s General Store and the West Rib Pub and Grill. In that time, he went from being a store cat to receiving the title of “Mayor Stubbs.” Talkeetna is unincorporated and has no mayor, but the title stuck, and news of the feline mayor has made international news on multiple occasions. (more…)