Over the weekend, fourteen Talkeetna Elementary students competed in the district-wide Science Olympiad. Karen Mannix, coach for the team, says that students spent three months preparing for eleven events. The team’s many hours of preparation paid off as they brought home a total of fifteen medals from Saturday’s competition.
Some of the events tested the engineering skills of the students. The team of Cy Jolley and Luke Graupmann won third place in Tower Building, where students built a tower out of fifty straws and twenty straight pins. The towers were scored on ability to bear weight as well as height. The team also took third in the Rock Hounds competition.
Finn Benischek and Bryson Jolley placed third in the potentially messy Straw Egg Drop. In that event, students were instructed to build device using only masking tape and straws that would keep an egg intact when dropped from more than three meters. The Talkeetna team was one of only four that successfully kept their egg in one piece. Read More »
There’s a total lunar eclipse happening TONIGHT! All about when to watch the moon, and what you’ll see, also about the planets you can observe now, and the disappearing stars. Audio is 13 minutes.
The Mat-Su Borough says that the new Talkeetna Public Library will proceed close to schedule, despite a delay.
In February, the request for bids for the new library did not receive any qualifying responses. In every instance, the bids from contractors came out significantly higher than the cost estimate. This led the Borough to re-scope the project in order to put it out for bid once again.
Mike Brown, Capital Projects Director for the Borough, says that the new project scope will not have substantial impacts on the size of the library or the features of the building itself. He says that by altering plans for where to place the building, walkways, and sidewalks, that a substantial amount of money can be saved by eliminating dirt work.
Currently, the Borough is waiting for a new cost estimate, and Mike Brown says he hopes to have the request for bids open around the beginning of May. He says that would allow work to begin this summer, with the hopes of laying the foundation before freeze-up this year. Work would then continue through the winter and allow the Talkeetna Public Library to open its doors sometime in June of next year.
On Friday, the Alaska State Senate approved its version of the state’s capital budget. The budget totals approximately $2.1 billion, and was revised twice in the Senate Finance Committee before proceeding to the floor for a vote.
Revisions included the subtraction of Governor Sean Parnell’s requested $32.7 million dollar supplement for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project and the addition of power generation upgrades for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Read More »
Multiple sources have now confirmed that the D6 bulldozer that sank into an unnamed lake north of Talkeetna last spring has been successfully removed from the water. The cat train that removed the dozer is returning approximately fifteen miles to Gold Creek before returning to Talkeetna.
The bulldozer broke through the ice last May while traveling to Stephan Lake Lodge. The operator, Donald Kiehl of North Pole, died in the accident.
The Alaska Senate Finance Committee has rejected a bid by the Parnell administration to return a $32.7 million dollar supplement for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project to the capital budget.
On Monday, the committee initially removed the item from the budget, but did leave in Governor Parnell’s request for $10 million for the next budget year. Governor Parnell’s office said on Monday that attempts would be made to get the funding reinstated. On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee released another budget revision. That version included substantial funding for a power plant at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, but nothing additional for Susitna-Watana. Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Governor Parnell, said in an email statement Wednesday evening that another attempt will be made when the budget goes to the House Finance Committee for consideration.
Eleven of the project’s field studies are entirely dependent on the supplement, according to AEA, and another sixteen will have their scopes impacted if the funding stays out of the budget. AEA is currently conducting a total of fifty-eight studies in order to apply for a license to build the 735-foot tall dam. The current timeline predicts that the application will be ready for submission by the end of 2016.
Su Valley Voice, KTNA’s public affairs program, is back on the air, every other Wednesday. Today’s conversation is with Shelis Jorgensen, Medical Director for Sunshine Community Health Center, and Cici Shoenberger, Behavioral Health Specialist. They talk about alcohol dependency and abuse awareness for the first half hour, and current services at the SCHC Clinics the second half hour. Phillip Manning hosts.
KTNA volunteer Cari Sayre begins reading Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting. Topics of discussion included the Talkeetna Village Park, the state legislature, and FEMA.
Howard Carbone, Chair of the Talkeetna Parks Advisory Committee, shared the results of last week’s public meeting to discuss upgrades to the Talkeetna Village Park on Main Street. Changes are planned for both the lawn and the new pavilion. Last year, issues arose when bands attempted to perform in rainy weather in the pavilion. A roof without an overhang and a concave floor combined to create a potentially dangerous situation for musicians playing electric instruments when it rained. Proposed changes include extending the roof and pad of the pavilion eight feet, adding a low-level deck, and creating better drainage. Also, plans were discussed for seeding grass in the park. The Parks Committee, and ultimately the Council, voted to support a plan that would involve hydroseeding this fall and closure of the park from September through next May to allow the grass to grow. Read More »