KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Writer’s Voice–”Talkeetna Town”, by Kris Drumm, from Open to Entry, an Alaskan Adventure

Kris Drumm, 1972 photo by Dennis Brown

Kris Drumm, 1972 photo by Dennis Brown


“Talkeetna Town” is an excerpt from Kris Drumm’s as-yet unpublished memoir “Open to Entry, An Alaskan Adventure”, her experiences as a woman homesteading north of Talkeetna in the 1970′s. The story is read by Sandra Loomis. Kris currently lives on Long Island with her son Judah Mahay and his wife Lorien in order to help raise their son Cedric.


What a beautiful fall, from bright yellow leaves on birch trees, red and orange underbrush carpeting the forest, we woke to drifting snow out the window. Autumn is here and gone in a mere two weeks.

Walking along the Alaska railroad that followed the Susitna River, snowflakes twirled around us in the slight morning breeze. At fifteen degrees, we kept a good pace to stave off the chill while heading into town for supplies and mail.
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Lunar Eclipse Wednesday October 8th

A Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible from Alaska (and elsewhere) in the wee hours of Wednesday 10/8, weather permitting.  Kathleen Fleming has prepared an informational page for folks who would like to observe the eclipse.  Lots more info is on the internet, of course, but this will get you started.  Eclipse, Lunar 10-08-14

Kodiak Fisheries Debate

On Wednesday, Congressman Don Young debated Democratic challenger Forrest Dunbar, and Senator Mark Begich squared off against Republican challenger Dan Sullivan in Kodiak over Alaska’s Fisheries.  KMXT has the full audio available online.

DHSS Wouldn’t Be Surprised if Enterovirus D68 Shows up in Alaska

It’s the time of year when cold and flu viruses start picking up.  On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services sent out a list of tips for preventing the spread of the illnesses.  Also mentioned was Enterovirus D68, which has caused illness in children across the Lower 48.  EVD68 often represents with symptoms such as runny nose, fever, sneezing, coughing, and body aches.  More severe cases can cause difficulty breathing.

There were no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 in Alaska as of Tuesday, but Dr. Michael Cooper of the Department of Health and Social Services says “it would not be surprising if the virus is detected in Alaska soon.”

Tips for cold and flu season can be found online at dhss.alaska.gov.

Barbara Washburn Passes Away Weeks Before Her 100th Birthday

On September 25th, the Boston Globe reported that Barbara Washburn had passed away at the age of ninety-nine.  Barbara Washburn was the first woman to summit Denali, and was the wife of Bradford Washburn, who pioneered the West Buttress Route, now used by the vast majority of Denali climbers.

Barbara Washburn would have turned 100 on November 10th.  KTNA listeners who knew the Washburns are encouraged to contact the news department at news [at] ktna [dot] org.

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Letter on Susitna-Watana Fish Studies

Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service wrote a letter to the Alaska Energy Authority that criticized methods used in studies for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.  The Fisheries Service listed fourteen concerns regarding studies of fish in the Susitna River drainage, ranging from issues with sampling sites to the potential misidentification of juvenile salmon.  The letter states that the issues will have significant impact on AEA’s ability to accurately model salmon behavior in the river, and that they “must be resolved prior to conducting additional field studies.”

Julie Speegle, spokeswoman for NMFS, says she believes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also filed a letter, though did not do so electronically.  Emily Ford, spokeswoman for the Alaska Energy Authority, says AEA anticipates working with all of the involved agencies at the upcoming round of meetings on Susitna-Watana.  She adds that AEA does not have a comment regarding the letter from the Fisheries Service.

The next meetings to discuss the studies for the Susitna-Watana Hydro Project will begin on October 15th.

Writer’s Voice–Probability and the Angry Moose, by Bill Was

Fall & the Kidz2

 Talkeetna resident Bill Was tells the story of a close encounter with a moose while out walking with his dogs.


This was bound to eventually happen although I must admit until it actually transpired I still viewed it as an abstract event; one of those things people think about and reflect upon but somehow never actually expect to see it become reality.

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Preliminary Permit Filed for Talkeetna River Dam

As the next round of public meetings on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project draw closer, the initial paperwork for another hydro project has been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has read the proposal, and has this report:

So far, the State of Alaska has spent nearly $200 million in studies for a large hydroelectric project on the Susitna River.  Now, a private company is starting the process of looking into a smaller project on the Talkeetna River.  The company is Northwest Power Service, Incorporated.  Brent Smith is heading up the Alaska operation, and says that this is the first time that NPSI is proposing building a dam, though it has considerable experience in hydropower.

“Most all of the projects that Northwest Power Service has been involved with in the past is to retrofit existing, federally owned dams in the Lower 48, where we go in and there’s already an existing dam that does not have power generation on it.  So, what we do is go through a licensing process to retrofit that dam and put power on it.”

The dam that NPSI is proposing would generate 75 megawatts of power, far less than that proposed by Susitna-Watana.  It would also have a much smaller footprint than the Susitna project, with a height of 370 feet. Read More »

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Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Shakes the Upper Valley

On Thursday morning, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake centered sixty miles from Talkeetna was felt from Anchorage to Fairbanks.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning talked with some of the people who felt the quake, and has this report.

In the Talkeetna area, damage from Thursday morning’s earthquake was fairly minor.  Some residents and businesses reported that items had fallen off of shelves and broken, but no serious structural damage was reported as of Thursday afternoon.  That includes Skwenta, which was much closer to the magnitude 6.2 earthquake than Talkeetna.  Natalia Ruppert, Chief Seismologist for the Alaska Earthquake Center, says the reason that the earthquake did not cause much damage is because it occurred deep in Earth’s crust.

“It was almost sixty miles deep, so that made the difference…The energy dissipated a bit before it reached the surface.” Read More »

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