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.
Talkeetna is literally the end of the road, and many residents are keen to keep it that way. If one billionaire has his way, however, that may no longer be the case.
Recently, the State of Alaska has been approached by a private investor who wants to connect the villages of Talkeetna and Trapper Creek by building a bridge over the Susitna River.
Anonymous sources have told KTNA that Warren Buffet is willing to spend millions on the project. A source within Buffet’s investment firm, Berkshire Halfway, says, “We’ll show them what a real ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ looks like!” Read More »
Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary mayor cat, has made national and international news twice in recent years. First, it was the mere existence of a feline mayor, and the associated media frenzy that accompanies strange things on slow news days. The second round of media attention came when Stubbs was attacked by a dog during Labor Day weekend last year. That incident resulted in dozens of cards and well-wishes being sent to Nagley’s General Store, where Stubbs holds the imaginary mayoral seat.
Yesterday, the Alaska Dispatch ran a story that could well start the viral craze all over again: Stubbs may be retiring. The story quotes Stubbs’ chief of staff, Lori Stec, as saying that the seventeen year old male cat might be starting to slow down, and maybe it’s time to enjoy a retirement full of sunshine and catnip.
Note that I did say “male” cat. That’s what makes the story strange, but with a hopeful twist. Stubbs the cat is pregnant. Read More »
Last week, approximately 170 communities in Alaska held events for the statewide Choose Respect program. In Talkeetna, that involved nearly fifty people walking from the Flying Squirrel Bakery and Cafe to the Talkeetna Roadhouse with signs calling on state residents to help put a stop to domestic violence and sexual assault.
Talkeetna Resident Jenny Krepel explains why she took part on Saturday.
“I do it as often as I can. I’ve had family members and really close friends that are affected by domestic violence, so I choose to be out there walking to show my respect for everyone…and to hopefully effect some change in attitudes toward domestic violence in our community and across the state.” Read More »
Talkeetna writer Dan Harrell tells the often humorous story of his Oosik race experiences over the last nine years, and how his breakthrough in technique changed his standings. Audio is 14 minutes.
The Denali Nordic Ski club held the 2014 edition of the Oosik classic ski race a couple of weeks ago. Once again it was a huge success. Even though we went almost two months without any significant snowfall, trail design and trail work went ahead. Talk of making it a freestyle event was heard and much concern began to emerge as the date approached with ever diminishing snow cover. Drastic action had to be taken yet again. Read More »
With less than a month until the end of the state’s legislative session, increasing discussion of the state budget is inevitable. Members of both the House and Senate, as well as Governor Parnell, have made it clear that this budget year will be tight. Cuts to a number of state programs have already been considered, and much of the discussion of the state’s operating budget is winding down.
In a major development on Friday, the Senate Finance Committee voted to add an additional $75 million dollars for education beyond what Governor Parnell had requested. Now, the total number for education is $100 million. Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee says the increase does not represent the final word on education funding.
“We want, as a group, to figure out education. We may need some time to do that. This amendment gives us time, while we are not putting the school districts too far out on a limb as we make our determination.” Read More »
More of Denali National Park’s road has opened. This year marked the first in a test program to begin plowing the first twelve miles of the road earlier in the winter. Denali National Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says that the road is now open to Savage River at Mile 15.
While the mild weather has likely made it easier to clear the Park Road, Kris Fister says that it does have an impact on winter activities. She says that snow cover for mushing, skiing, and snowshoeing is variable. Read More »
Last year, the Alaska Legislature voted to give the Mat-Su Borough $100,000 to perform an assessment of the Talkeetna sewer and water system. The Borough has contracted CRW Engineering Group to conduct the study. Andrea Meeks, a civil engineer with CRW, says that the assessment is designed to help develop a plan to balance the books, which are currently running at an annual deficit of about $100,000.
“Our approach is two prong. One is to look at how we can reduce the cost of the system, [and] the other is a utility cost analysis to determine how best to generate the revenues, whether through a rate increase or another mechanism, to cover the costs of the system.” Read More »