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

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Youth Conservation Corps provides jobs, experience for local teens

Rob Shelby and Sean Maguire overseeing trail work at the Talkeetna Public Library

Rob Shelby and Sean Maguire overseeing trail work at the Talkeetna Public Library Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

By: Katie Writer – KTNA

Each summer, local teenagers work as part of the Upper Susitna Soil and Water Conservation District’s Youth Conservation Corps. The participants are paid to work throughout the summer on trail and other projects in the area. KTNA’s Katie Writer caught up with two of the YCC’s adult leaders while working on a project at the Talkeetna Library.


StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming-6-19-2016

Kathleen for StarDate


The Summer Solstice edition,

with lots of user-friendly info

about the cycles of movement of our planet and its moon

  around our sun…

and more!




Tips for Healthy Living–6-17-16

A  live 15-minute conversation about health and health news from the Sunshine Community Health Center: It’s hosted by Holly Stinson, with in-studio guest Keith Kehoe, Physician Assistant at the clinic.

Today’s tips are on the subject of heat (and how it’s all relative, and individual), insect bites, the continued cases of influenza, and how to minimize the biggest risk travelers face in any place they visit. (Hint:  The biggest risk to travelers’ health is not a disease or intestinal problem).

Unknown medical issue claims the life of Japanese climber on Denali

On Tuesday, a Japanese climber on Denali died from unknown medical issues. According to the National Park Service, 66-year-old Masayuki Ikeda of Toride, Japan became ill on Monday night while his team was making an attempt at the summit of North America’s highest peak.


Early Tuesday morning, another team was descending from the summit when they found Ikeda and his three climbing partners between 18,400 and 19,000 feet of elevation. The National Park Service says Ikeda was unable to walk and had an “altered mental status.”


The second team helped move Ikeda to High Camp at 17,200 feet, and used a satellite phone to call for a rescue.


The National Park Service launched its high-altitude rescue helicopter from Talkeetna at 7:45. Masayuki Ikeda was loaded into the helicopter’s basket and flown to 14,200-foot camp. On arrival at camp, Ikeda had no pulse. National Park Service and military rescue personnel attempted to resuscitate Ikeda while flying further down Denali to base camp, and continued with advanced life support care when reaching camp. Rescuers were unable to resuscitate Masayuki Ikeda, who was declared deceased at 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday. His remains were flown to Talkeetna and transferred to the Alaska State Medical Examiner.

Borough to conduct “housekeeping” on zoning code

Mat-Su Borough staff is in the process of rewriting the zoning section of borough code. The zoning code, also known as Title 17, includes rules for utilities, tall towers, and a number of special land use districts, or SPUDs.


Sara Jansen, who works in the borough’s Planning Division, told the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors that the changes are intended to be “housekeeping.” Jansen says that, over time, the growth of Title 17, as well as the repealing of some sections, has left some sections confusing and others that may contain outright contradictions.


When the title is re-written, Jansen says it should be easier to follow. For example, conditional use permit requirements are currently written in each separate section of Title 17. Under the rewrite, they would appear once. Similarly, Sara Jansen says repetitive aspects of SPUDs would be consolidated. She says no substantive changes are planned to local SPUDs.


Some Talkeetnans present at the TCCI board spoke up regarding the changes. Ruth Wood, former chair of the TCCI board, says that she does not want to see the Talkeetna SPUD weakened. Jansen assured those present that the intent is not to weaken regulations.


A draft of the rewritten zoning code is expected to be complete sometime between October and December. The TCCI board asked that the community be kept informed on changes to the Talkeetna SPUD.


The rewrite also comes as a committee of the Talkeetna Community Council is reviewing the special land use district for Main Street in Talkeetna. The next meeting of the Main Street SPUD committee is scheduled for June 27th.

New business profile: Silverbear Sundries


Ember Haynes in front of Silverbear Sundries. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA

By:  Katie Writer – KTNA

Each summer, new businesses come to Talkeetna. Silverbear Sundries has been in business for years, but has a new home on Main Street. KTNA’s Katie Writer paid the new location a visit and has this report.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–Three from the archives

Archived programs of Susitna Writer’s Voice were aired on 88.9 FM the past three weeks.

Click on the title of the program, if you’d like to hear / read it again:

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Building an Alaskan life: A decade to cherish, by Katie Writer

Susitna Writer’s Voice–The Run for Women, by Sondra Porter

Susitna Writer’s Voice–The Trapper Creek AMC Eagle, by Peter Mathiesen

Denali Report for June 10th, 2016: Team Lebanon

Team Lebanon on the summit of Denali.  Photo by Dustin English - Alaska Mountaineering school, photo courtesy of Team Lebanon

Team Lebanon on the summit of Denali. Photo by Dustin English – Alaska Mountaineering school, photo courtesy of Team Lebanon


This week on the Denali Report, updated statistics on this year’s mountaineering season, plus KTNA’s Phillip Manning speaks with the first all-Lebanese team to summit Denali.



In total, 1,075 climbers have registered to attempt Denali. Of those, 502 are currently on the mountain, and 376 climbs have been completed. There have been 162 summits of Denali so far, making the summit rate forty-three percent. Sixteen people are registered to attempt Mt. Foraker. All sixteen have completed their climbs, and seven made it to the summit, making the 2016 summit rate for Mt. Foraker forty-four percent.


Over the past week, the number of mountaineers who summited Denali increased dramatically. Team Lebanon was among them, and is the first all-Lebanese team to make it to the summit. After they returned to Talkeetna, Phillip Manning spoke with the members of the team.

Read More »

New summer business channels Talkeetna’s golden history

Owners Tammy and Kevin Helms at Sourdough Bucks in Downtown Talkeetna.

Owners Tammy and Kevin Helms at Sourdough Bucks in Downtown Talkeetna. Photo:  Katie Writer – KTNA

By:  Katie Writer – KTNA

Along with each summer’s rush of visitors to Talkeetna come new businesses which  includes Sourdough Bucks. Owners Kevin and Tammy Helms are having just as much fun as their customers gold panning at their downtown mining camp…and recently they have found something possibly a lot more valuable than gold. KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with them this week about their finds.