Talkeetna Water and Sewer Advisory board continues to wrestle with the challenge of establishing a rate structure that is equitable for all water customers.
Karen Schapansky notified the Talkeetna Council that a huge disparity exists between the amount of water pumped from the well, and the amount of water delivered at each customer’s meter. This year, the well has pumped over a million gallons of water, but only a quarter of that made it to the meters. There is no explanation for the discrepancy, but it makes developing a rate structure based on how much water is used much more difficult. In Schapansky’s opinion, if the rate is set based on how much water is pumped from the well, 2 cents per gallon would cover it. But if the rate was based on how much water was used by metered customers, it would have to be 25 cents per gallon. Read More »
Exploratory core-drilling rigs will be used in up to twelve sites in the Talkeetna Mountains this summer, after preliminary geophysical explorations indicate of precious metals. Alaska Earth Sciences project manager Michelle Johnson says the aerial and ground surveys conducted last summer provided enough indication that two areas near the headwaters of the Susitna river, roughly 40 miles west of Paxon, had potential for minerals like cobalt, zinc and chromium. This summer, two drill rigs will be employed to take core samples from selected sites to determine whether further development is a possibility. Read More »
The days are getting longer, and so are the meetings of the Talkeetna Community Council. Monday night’s monthly meeting of the Council was standing room only for the first few hours, and remarkable number of people stayed for the full four-and-a-half-hour session, which adjourned at 11:30 pm. Among the topics of discussion were the Railroad’s plan to apply pesticides to the tracks, latest developments in the Talketna Parks and Recreation committee, Talketna Water and Sewer Utility, and Flood mitigation and preparation in advance of the spring break-up. Read More »
The late meltdown of winter snow and ice was undoubtedly a big contributor to the lowest numbers of bird species ever seen by participants in the local birdathon’s twenty-year history. The group of nineteen participants who gathered at river’s edge Saturday night found a total of only 47 different species of birds. Read More »
Photos by Robin Song
Host and producer Robin Song relates the experiences of photographing the flocks of thousands of snow geese and Canada geese, along with cranes, swans, and ducks, feeding Palmer area fields in late April. Text follows audio.
Spring, this year, is unfolding slowly. Cold nights have kept the snow from melting quickly and the hayfields at the ranch are still sleeping under an unbroken white blanket. Read More »
Herbicide spraying will take place along the Alaska Rail Road Train Tracks in the Talkeetna Area for the first time since 1983. Since the Alaska Department of Conservation changed the regulations governing herbicide and pesticide application in March, the Railroad no longer needs to apply for a permit or wait out a public comment period. Instead, they notify the DEC of which pesticides they intend to use, and when the application will take place. In the case of the Alaska Rail Road, the period which they will apply pesticide is between May and August.
listen to full audio [2:31]
The potential for flooding due to break-up on the Susitna river is still rated as low to moderate by the National Weather Service, but with recent rains and a forecast warm-up in temperatures predicted for next week, that could all change in a moment’s notice.
The consistently cool temperatures of April have allowed the snowpack to gradually thaw. The addition of nearly an inch of rain and snow in the last 24 hours has increased the water volume of the above-average snowpack. If temperatures get in to the 50s during the week ahead, rapidly melting snow could pour in to the Susitna. The river ice is still fairly strong, and additional water could create conditions that make ice jams and flooding possible. However, if the warmup is short-lived, a return to cooler weather could give the rivers more time to gradually thaw. Read More »
KTNA is celebrating 20 years broadcasting to the Upper Susitna Valley by bringing you audio broadcast during the past two decades. We share the past with you on 88.9 FM every Friday at 12:35.
This week, one of a series of stories about women on Denali that KTNA news producer Johanna Eurich recorded in 1997. In this segment, Johanna talks to former Trapper Creek resident Betty Menard, who, at 21, became the first Alaska Native woman to climb Denali, earning her a page in mountaineering history.
Betty Menard now spends most of her time in sunnier climes.
With spring weather slow to arrive in the Northern Susitna Valley, it should come as no surprise that the National Weather Service has announced April, 2013 as the 4th coldest on record for Talkeetna and surrounding areas.
For much of the state, April 2013 was among the coldest in the past 74 years. Looking back even further, in the eastern Interior this was the coldest April since 1924, while in South Central for many places this was the coolest April since 1985.
May arrived and most of Alaska’s rivers are still locked in ice. National Weather Service staff and river observers collect ice thickness data around the 1st day of each month during the winter. However, except on the North Slope and northwest Alaska, by the start of May ice is typically gone or unsafe for measurements. Not so this remarkably backwards spring. Ice thickness and snow on the ice at nearly all measured locations in the central Interior was THICKER than at the start of April.