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Fish Lake morning

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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Kings continue to swim in on the Deshka and Little Su

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

King salmon continue to return to the Susitna River drainage, including a boost on returns in the Little Susitna River.  In an emergency order closing all fishing for kings on the Little Su last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cited low water levels as part of the problem.  Over the weekend, water levels at the counting weir rose more than a foot, allowing fish to escape upriver.  The biggest jump came on Saturday, when more than 600 king salmon made it upriver.  As of Tuesday, nearly 1,200 kings had passed the weir.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has not lifted the closure of king fishing on the Little Su.

On the Deshka River, numbers are much higher.  More than 15,000 kings have been counted on the river.  The biggest days were earlier in June, but Fish and Game still shows hundreds of fish passing the Deshka weir every day.  Restrictions on the Deshka have been eased, meaning bait and multiple hooks are currently allowed.  The low end of the total escapement goal was 13,000, and was surpassed last week.

MSB Assembly: Yes to Talkeetna Library bid, energy policy; no to zoning ballot question

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

On Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly met.  The Assembly approved adoption of a borough energy policy, and awarded the contract for the construction of the new Talkeetna Public Library and Community Center.  The Assembly defeated an attempt to place an advisory question on the October borough ballot regarding zoning in the borough.

The first item for public hearing on Tuesday was a proposal for a borough energy policy.  In essence, the policy represents a plan to make plans.  The policy calls for increasing energy efficiency in the public and private sectors, as well as promoting energy education and other measures.  The policy also directs the borough to promote development of renewable and alternative energy, while also developing more efficient use of fossil fuels.  The policy broadly includes geothermal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other types of power under the “alternative” label, but does not endorse any specific projects.  No members of the public spoke on the energy policy, and it passed unanimously. (more…)

ADF&G shuts down Little Su kings for the season

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Days after lifting restrictions on one river in the Susitna drainage, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is shutting down king salmon fishing entirely on another.  On Wednesday, a Fish and Game emergency order states that, starting at 12:01 am on Friday, the Little Susitna River south of the Parks Highway bridge will be completely closed for kings.

According to Fish and Game, only nineteen king salmon have passed the counting weir, and about 200 kings have been harvested.  Fish and Game says that low water levels are causing the fish to stay further downriver, which makes them more vulnerable to being caught.  The low end of the escapement goal for the Little Su is 900 kings.  A complete list of fishing restrictions can be found on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

Federal government to give $3.45 million to Mat-Su Borough for tax exempt lands

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that a total of $28.5 million will be coming to Alaskan municipalities in the form of payment in lieu of taxes, or PILT.  That’s the money that the federal government pays on land it owns that is exempt from local property taxes.  This year’s amount is the highest ever, and it will mean more money for many boroughs throughout the state.

The Mat-Su Borough will once again receive the largest sum, more than $3.4 million.  That’s an increase over last year’s $3.2 million.  PILT funds represent a substantial revenue source for the borough.  Since the announcement was just made, it’s unknown what the extra money in the borough and statewide could eventually be used for.

King run starts early and strong, but will it last?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One of the many things that summer brings to the Upper Valley is King Salmon.  This year’s run has begun about two weeks earlier than last year, though they are arriving at about the same rate.  Thus far, nearly 6,500 kings have passed by the weir on the Deshka River.  In 2013, the run didn’t get that high until June 23rd.  Sam Ivey, Area Fish Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says that’s a good sign.

“Things are off to a good start for us.  They’re not starting real weak, where we’re watching things build as the run emerges, as has happened in previous years.  We’re starting on a high note.” (more…)

AK Department of Fish and Game: Pick up the phone, not the moose calf.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In early summer, moose calves browsing with their mothers are a fairly common sight in Alaska.  This year, though, there have been a few incidents where well-meaning residents took in what they thought were orphaned calves.  The Department of Fish and Game says not only is that against the law, it’s potentially dangerous.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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Cuteness is a powerful motivator for a lot of people.  If something is adorable and perceived to be in danger, odds are someone is going to feel a strong urge to render aid.  When it comes to moose calves, however, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says that is not the right response.

“It’s much like getting in between a bear and its cubs.” (more…)

Su-Valley Voice 6/4/14: Sen. Mike Dunleavy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Below is the Su-Valley Voice from 6/4/14 with state Senator Mike Dunleavy.

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Once more around the track for recent Su-Valley grad

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Even though high school is behind her, Su-Valley’s most recent valedictorian, Ayla Loper, had one more high school athletic event to go, the Brian Young Invitational track meet in Kodiak.  Ayla spoke with KTNA’s Kaitlin Daly, who has this story:

Kodiak Invitational Track Meet

Recent Su-Valley graduate Ayla Loper participated in an invitation-only track meet. The meet is intended to bring the best Alaskan high school track members to compete in order to break records. Ayla says the event is also dedicated to commemorate a very important Kodiak community member,

“The point of the track meet is kind of to celebrate Bryan Young’s life and what he did. He was kind of influential to the community of Kodiak and a lot of the runners there. So the coach at Kodiak decided to start a track meet kind of in honor of his life and how he helped everyone and all of the high schoolers at Kodiak. So what they did is, they decided to kind of have an all-stars meet and get together all of the best track athletes in the state and kind of just compete and break records.” (more…)

Air carriers are asking D.C. delegation for help with IRS again

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The struggle between the Internal Revenue Service and small air carriers in Alaska is continuing over an excise tax that businesses say is unclear.  This week, the Alaska Air Carriers Association is once again turning to Alaska’s delegation in Washington, D.C. for help.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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Most people don’t get too excited about the minutiae of tax law, at least until it starts hitting close to home.  That’s the position that many small air carriers throughout the state have been in for the last two years.  The issue is an excise tax that the IRS charges that goes to a trust fund for airport improvements. For bigger outfits flying large planes on a regular schedule, the rules are relatively clear.  The problem arises when small carriers, like the ones that offer sightseeing and day trips, come into the equation.  The Alaska Air Carriers Association says that the rules are confusing, and don’t track with the realities of small flightseeing operations.  The Association is once again turning to Alaska’s Congressional delegation for help. Senator Mark Begich has been vocal on the issue, and took to the floor of the U.S. Senate, saying that Congress has made it clear that the intent is for those carriers not to be subject to the tax at all. (more…)

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