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


Posts from the 'Local News' category

Mushers share their thoughts before 2016 Iditarod

Monday, March 7, 2016


This past weekend saw the start of the 44th Iditarod Sled Dog Race. KTNA was in Anchorage for the ceremonial start and Willow. We’ll be bringing you their stories this week. In this first installment, KTNA’s Katie Writer speaks with people involved in the Iditarod at the ceremonial start.


Oosik trail-meister talks conditions

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Wade Hopkins, Trail-Meister for the Oosik Classic Ski Race. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Wade Hopkins, Trail-Meister for the Oosik Classic Ski Race. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

While out enjoying a snow machine ride, KTNA’s Katie Writer ran into

Trail-Meister Wade Hopkins while he was grooming the track for the upcoming Oosik Classic Ski Race. Here’s Wade’s report on current trail conditions.

More details on the Oosik Classic are available at www.denalinordicskiclub.org.

Borough Assembly pushes marijuana buffer zone vote to March 15th

Thursday, March 3, 2016

At Tuesday night’s Mat-Su Borough Assembly meeting, nearly twenty people addressed the assembly regarding rules for commercial marijuana businesses in the borough. Ultimately, the assembly chose to push a decision on the current ordinance until the March 15th meeting.

The ordinance before the assembly will set up the rules for conditional use permits for potential marijuana businesses. They include requirements for licensing and setbacks from protected areas like schools and churches. Most of those buffer zones are covered by the regulations established by the State of Alaska. One particular proposed buffer would potentially zone out all of Downtown Talkeetna from commercial cannabis.

That restriction includes a 500 foot buffer around public parks.   Parks are not included in the state regulations. The borough planning commission advised that the assembly not include the additional buffer requirement.

Most borough residents who spoke at the meeting were generally supportive of the efforts by the boroughs Marijuana Advisory Committee. Some, including former Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss advocated that a decision be delayed until after the October borough election. DeVilbiss is a supporter of a ballot question that would completely outlaw commercial marijuana in the unincorporated areas of the borough.


The ordinance is set for its next hearing on March 15th.

In Republican caucus, Cruz wins state, Trump wins Susitna Valley

Thursday, March 3, 2016

If Susitna Valley Republicans chose for the whole country, Donald J. Trump would be the nominee for President of the United States.

Republicans around the state voted in presidential preference polls as part of Super Tuesday. Only voters registered as Republicans on Tuesday were eligible to vote.

Statewide, Ted Cruz won the state, with 36.4% of the vote. Trump came in second with 33.5%. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, and John Kasich came in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

In House District 10, which includes the Upper Valley and runs as far south as Wasilla, Trump Received 43.6% of the vote, and Cruz received 34.4%.

Statewide, Alaskan Republican and Democratic primary voters have aligned with the eventual nominee since 2000. The Democratic caucus is on March 26th. As with the Republicans, only registered Democrats are allowed to vote in the caucus.


Trapped in Talkeetna: Alaska’s first live escape room game

Friday, February 26, 2016
The view when you enter the puzzle room at "Trapped in Talkeetna." Photo courtesy: Trapped in Talkeetna

The view when you enter the puzzle room at “Trapped in Talkeetna.” Photo courtesy: Trapped in Talkeetna

Producer’s note:  This story is best experienced through the attached audio.

Under most circumstances, being trapped in a small room with a countdown clock would be a bit nerve-wracking, but a new business in Talkeetna aims to make it fun.  Trapped in Talkeetna is a live escape room experience, where a team of players has one hour to solve a puzzle in order to escape.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning and his team tried their hand at solving the puzzle.

Your team was recruited to be here.  You are highly trained intelligence officers and we require your services.

There is a spy ring that has been operating in Alaska for the last 6 months.  We’ve been aware of this group for some time.  In fact, before we brought you in this evening, we’d already recruited 3 other teams to go out into the field and infiltrate this spy ring. Unfortunately, all three of these teams have failed – in fact they’ve disappeared.

That is the beginning of the briefing given by Ryan and Aubrey Marsolais at Trapped in Talkeetna, Alaska’s first live escape room game. (more…)

KTNA Volunteer Awards go to five “Stellar Members”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Talkeetna Community Radio recognized longtime members

Pam and Roger Robinson,

Rick and Kathy Ernst, and

Barbara Mercer with volunteer awards at the annual meeting held Sunday at The Grove.

Following is the text of the award presentation:

Besides paying their membership dues and voting for our governing board members year after year, these people exemplify the “community” in community radio. They are members who are also volunteers on whom we rely for extra help throughout the year.  Though they don’t have weekly music shows or newscasts, and haven’t been board members (at least not recently!), they’ve consistently supported us by helping us out with more fundraisers than we can remember over the years…always saying “yes” when we call, always finding the time to come in and answer phones, or dredge up the courage to sit behind a microphone and help with on-air pitching, or make generous bids on auction items.  Staff members are also grateful for their flexibility and willingness to roll with whatever is going on, realizing that fundraisers come with glitches and unplanned “oopses” of one sort or another.


KTNA’s Annual Membership Meeting is Sunday 2-21

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Talkeetna Community Radio invites everyone to its annual membership meeting this Sunday February 21st at The Grove. The doors open at 4:30 for a social hour, the meeting begins at 5:30.

KTNA survived the first round of state budget cuts by cutting PRI programs, and giving staff some mandatory unpaid leave. What’s on the horizon for the next fiscal year? Bring your questions and opinions about “anything KTNA” to this Sunday’s meeting.

The annual meeting will be immediately followed by a special meeting of KTNA’s Board of Directors for the election of officers.

KTNA members:  If you haven’t yet submitted your ballot for Board of Directors, you can still bring it to the annual meeting by 5:30 pm on Sunday.

Flying with Don Lee

Friday, February 19, 2016
Don Lee on the "Swifsure" Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Don Lee on the “Swifsure” Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by: Katie Writer – KTNA


Full interview:

Don Lee moved to Talkeetna over 40 years ago and has become one of the world’s premier glacier pilots. After so many years of flying tourists around Denali, Don dreamed of doing something different. In 2003, he founded Alaska Floats and Skis that now has over 4 full time instructors and 7 airplanes. With the longer days of spring, the glacier ski training and tail wheel endorsements keep him busy until the lakes thaw out in mid May.

Don might consider himself one of those “Jack of all trades, master of none,” kind of guy.

He has built numerous structures around town, including his own home, a hangar, and various lodging for his flight training clientele. He is a builder of ideas that come into fruition because of Don’s ability to “MacGyver” and create a way to get the job done.


Owner talks about canna-business in Talkeetna

Monday, February 15, 2016

Each year, new businesses come to Talkeetna. This year, with the passage of Ballot Measure 2 in 2014, one business owner is looking to get in on one of the state’s biggest potential growth industries. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

Take a moment and picture the kind of person you think would want to open a marijuana dispensary in Downtown Talkeetna. Odds are that Joe McAneney is not what you imagined. Joe is clean-shaven with short hair and a business-like attitude. When we meet at the shop formerly known as The Chocolate Corner at the end of Main Street, he and his business partner Dan Nelson are taking a break from renovating the interior of the building.


Joe McAneney realizes he may not be exactly what people picture in someone looking to get into the cannabis industry.


“We think about the typical persona as a ‘stoner,’ someone who’s wearing a Bob Marley flag and has long dreadlocks. That’s great. There’s a lot of great people out there who personify that.”