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 »
A multi-layered account of spring crust skiing, of historic Chulitna River travelers in all seasons, woven with personal recollections of past trips, and observations of change. Audio is 10:35. Note: Because of the open river channel this year, the Mannixes will not be able to observe the Chulitna skate-skiing tradition.
The beginning of April means the National Park Service, climbing guides, and air services are ramping up for the beginning of Denali climbing season. A few climbers have already ventured into the range, and this year looks to be another busy one on North America’s tallest peak.
On Thursday, the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station reported that 772 climbers have registered to climb thus far. According to Maureen Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the Park, that number is perhaps slightly above average, but definitely in the normal range. She says that the Park Service is expecting around 1,200 climbers to make the attempt to summit Denali this year, which would be slightly higher than the 1,151 that attempted the climb last year. Read More »
A land access dispute that threatened to delay progress on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project has been resolved, though the agreement has come later than expected.
Friday afternoon, the Alaska Energy Authority issued a press release stating that a “complex” land access permit had been reached between AEA, six Cook Inlet village corporations, and Cook Inlet Region, Inc to allow access to Alaska Native-owned land that is in the study area for the proposed megaproject. Over the past two years, discussions over land access have been ongoing, and were occasionally complicated by allegations of trespassing by contractors hired by AEA. Details of the agreement were not available on Friday.
The land access agreement could also have an impact on funding for the Susitna-Watana project this year. Governor Sean Parnell has asked the Alaska Legislature for a $32.7 million budget supplement for the current fiscal year. If lawmakers approve the supplement, it would still require AEA to secure access to the village corporation lands.
While the agreement comes more than a month after AEA’s estimate that they would have an access permit by the end of February, it still represents a step forward for the project. Now, the decision comes down to lawmakers as they discuss the state capital budget over the coming days.
The Alaska Department of Revenue has released the preliminary figures for the 2014 Pick. Click. Give. program. This year, Alaskans have pledged a record $2.7 million dollars through the program, which allows individuals to designate part of their PFD payment to non-profit organizations. This year’s contributions represent an increase of more than $300,000 from last year, and the average amount donated by each individual topped $100.
In the Upper Valley, nine organizations received pledges from Pick. Click. Give, totaling $30,775. Clear Creek Cat Rescue received the most contributions, with $9,950 pledged by 218 donors. Other organizations that participated include the Denali Arts Council, Friends of the Talkeetna Library, the Jessica Stevens Community Foundation, KTNA, Northern Susitna Institute, Sunshine Station Childcare Center, the Talkeetna Historical Society, and the Willow Public Library.
This week’s figures represent pledges made as of March 31st, when PFD applications closed. Residents who have already filed for their PFD can still choose to make a Pick. Click. Give. donation through the end of August.
As this year’s session of the Alaska Legislature enters its final weeks, discussions about the state’s capital budget are likely to take up a good deal of time in the House and Senate Finance Committees. The Senate committee recently moved a bill forward that included a new financial plan for the proposed Knik Arm Bridge. Other megaprojects are also on the table, including the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project and the new plan for a gas pipeline. For the last week, words and actions of various legislators suggest a trend toward prioritizing projects in anticipation of what may be a series of lean budget years. Read More »
Two stories this week: The Ugly Duckling, narrated by Cher, and the Tale of Peter Rabbit, narrated by Meryl Streep. Classics for Kids is hosted by KTNA volunteer Cari Sayre.