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Posts from the 'Local News' category

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…)

Lisa Shelby named as Talkeetna Elementary Principal

Friday, June 6, 2014

This week, a new principal was chosen for Talkeetna Elementary School.  After input from the community, and interviews with a team of district and school staff, as well as community members, Mat-Su School Superintendent Deena Paramo has chosen Lisa Shelby for the top spot at Talkeetna Elementary.  Lisa Shelby most recently worked as the K-12 principal for the Lopez Island School District in Washington state.  Shelby lived in Talkeetna in the past, and has also worked as a principal in Galena.

Superintendent Paramo is currently out of the state and unavailable for an interview.

Mat-Su School District seeks Pre-K funds

Friday, June 6, 2014

BY:  Ellen Lockyer, KSKA Anchorage

The Matanuska Susistna School District’s pre-school program is in jeopardy, but not necessarily for Talkeetna. “Widening the Net ” brings pre-kindergarden education into selected district schools, but school funding reductions (this year) may force the district to shut down the innovative program in the  fall.  As KSKA’s Ellen Lockyer reports, school district officials vow to continue the program on a reduced basis, if a state grant does not come through in time.

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The merits of pre-school education are obvious to teachers of young children.

“Students who attend high quality pre-school are more likely to succeed not only in school but to graduate from high school.” (more…)

“Suspicious” fire extinguished early Friday morning

Friday, June 6, 2014

Early Friday morning, the Talkeetna Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire near Main Street.  Fire Chief Ken Farina says the call went out some time around 2:00 am.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, which was burning on the exterior of a sauna.  The building is on the same lot as Nagley’s General Store and the West Rib, and is owned by Dennis Freeman, proprietor of both businesses.  Chief Farina says that there was no power running to the sauna, and that it was not in use.  He calls the fire “suspicious.”  Sergeant Shuey of the Alaska State Trooper post in Talkeetna says that evidence has been collected from the fire.  That evidence will be examined in a lab to determine whether or not the fire was caused by arson.  Sergeant Shuey says the investigation by state fire marshals is ongoing.

AEA holds public meetings in Upper Valley, Anchorage

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This week, the Alaska Energy Authority held public meetings in the Upper Valley and Anchorage to discuss the plans for the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.  In addition to AEA’s updates on the progress and plans for the megaproject, opponents to the dam expressed continuing concerns.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning was at the Talkeetna meeting, and has this report:

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Both the Talkeetna and Anchorage meetings began with a presentation by Wayne Dyok, Project Manager for Susitna-Watana.  He says that the Susitna Dam remains a key part of the state’s goal for fifty percent of Alaska’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2025.  Wayne Dyok says that, while AEA is interested in wind and other alternative energy projects, that the large dam would provide stability to the overall grid.

“Without having some kind of resource, like a hydro, it’s difficult to put that into the system and still have a stable electric system.  We also want reliable energy, and sustainable energy, and energy that’s clean.” (more…)

A force in the Talkeetna community passed on this morning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This obituary was submitted by Roberta Sheldon’s family.

Roberta Bille Reeve passed on the morning of June 4, 2014 in the company of her family at her Talkeetna home.  Roberta dearly loved the community and people of Talkeetna.  Her Celebration of Life will be held at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in Talkeetna on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 4:00pm.

Roberta was born May 14, 1940, to Robert Reeve and Janice “Tilly” Reeve.  She was their firstborn daughter, named after her father who founded Reeve Aleutian Airways.

Roberta graduated from Anchorage High School, class of 1958.  She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she made deep and lasting friendships with Alaskans from across the state.

She worked in administration for Reeve Aleutian Airways and then traveled the world in her job as a stewardess for a variety of non-scheduled carriers including Flying Tiger Line.

In 1964 she married Don Sheldon and moved to Talkeetna where they co-owned and operated Talkeetna Air Service.  Roberta celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her arrival in Talkeetna on May 21, 2014.

Roberta was passionate about many environmental and preservation matters.  Her drive emanated from a desire to safeguard the character and integrity of those areas she cared for deeply.  She was a driving force behind the Talkeetna Historical Society and directly responsible for preserving numerous historical Talkeetna structures.  Roberta was exceedingly effective in shaping multiple local and regional land use plans.  She faithfully served as the Chair of the Talkeetna Community Council for many years where she established a voice for Talkeetna and a framework from which to enforce community desires.  Roberta was also a frequent advisor to countless community and environmental groups that tremendously benefited from her insight, and her organizational and writing skills.

As a historian and writer, Roberta contributed to many publications including Alaska Magazine.  She authored many published opinion pieces and letters to the editors of Alaska based news publications.  Roberta also wrote The Heritage of Talkeetna and The Mystery of The Cache Creek Murders, two authoritative books on life and historical accounts of the upper Susitna Valley.

She was preceded in death by her husband Donald Sheldon.

Roberta is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Holly and David Lee, daughter and son-in-law Kate Sheldon and Steve Mairose, son Robert Sheldon and daughter-in-law Marne Sheldon, granddaughters Tilly Sheldon Geiger and Reeve Mairose and grandsons Taylor Sheldon, Ryan Sheldon and Cameron Sheldon.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the organization Roberta lovingly created named the Talkeetna Defense Fund, P.O. Box 292, Talkeetna, AK 99676.

Talkeetna Community Council Notes 6/2/2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council held its June meeting.  Topics on the agenda included a presentation from the Alaska LNG Project as well as communication with the Alaska Railroad, Talkeetna Sewer and Water, and the unexpected volume of visitors on Memorial Day weekend.

The discussion with the Alaska LNG Project, which currently represents the three major oil and gas producers, Exxon-Mobil, Conoco-Phillips, and BP, was an abbreviated version of the meeting scheduled for Tuesday.  Since the project is still in a very early phase, many questions cannot be answered, yet.  Some facts that did emerge are that the producers and the state are committed to building at least five points along the pipeline where Alaskans could use a portion of the North Slope gas for heating or power.  Additionally, there is currently a ten or eleven year timeline for the pipeline to be operational under the current plan.  If the preliminary route plans hold up, there is a good chance that the pipeline will pass through at least part of the Upper Valley. (more…)

Twelve year, human-powered expedition summits Denali

Friday, May 30, 2014

This year, over a thousand people will try to climb Denali.  Some of those will be making the attempt as part of a “seven summits” expedition, which involves reaching the highest point on all seven continents.  One family expedition, named Top to Top, is attempting the seven summits in a way that has never been done before.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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For most climbers coming to Denali from outside of Alaska, the trip involves long hours of travel via planes and road vehicles.  For Dario and Sabine Schwörer and their children, it meant years of travel by very different means, as Dario explains.

“Just sail from one continent to the other, and then climb the highest peak in each of the seven continents…Denali was actually our second-last.” (more…)

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