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


Mat-Su CVB Asks for Bed Tax Increase to Fund Visitor Center

The Mat-Su Convention and Visitor Bureau is requesting a three percent increase in borough bed tax to pay for the planned Gateway Visitors Center off the Glenn Highway between Wasilla and Palmer.

On Monday, the MSCVB board voted 6-4 in favor of the request. Board President Cheryl Metiva says the board has been looking at various funding mechanisms to build the center since last August, and ultimately decided an increase to the bed tax was the best way to guarantee funding. She describes the discussion as “passionate,” and says the board did not take the decision lightly. Read More »

Study: Mat-Su’s Rural Areas Bring in More Borough Revenue than They Spend

Earlier this month, the Mat-Su Borough released the findings of its internal cost of community services study. According to that study, the incorporated cities of the borough generate less revenue for the borough than is spent on borough services, and areas with less development generate more revenue than their services cost.

James Wilson, the borough’s internal auditor, prepared the study. Wilson divides communities into descending categories based on the level of development present: cities, unincorporated areas with community councils, and areas without community councils. Read More »

Susitna Writer’s Voice–A Sense of Place: “I Am From…”, by Grete Perkins

Grete Perkins and John Baker

When Grete attended a recent Quaker Retreat, participants were asked to write about “Where I’m From…” as an introduction.  From that, came this:


I am from a line of strong-willed women, who only have two names.

I am Grete, born to Sallie, who was born to Grete, who was born to Sallie.

I have a daughter who is Sallie, who has a daughter who is Grete.

We are six generations of women who land on our feet.

Read More »

Tips for Healthy Living–5-20-2016

     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 main topic of conversation was about the focus of the Northwest Regional Primary Care Conference which Keith attended recently:  How do we keep people well?  The current thinking in primary care is that population health, with a holistic approach to well-being, is what should be emphasized. Keeping the population emotionally and physically well should take aspects of food quality and security, transportation, and the work place into consideration. Also, a growing concern among attendees at the conference is opioid addiction and the health risks and dangers of e-cigarettes.
     Finally, Keith reminded listeners to be aware of the stress of the season, and to take time out to take care of themselves.  (A woodpecker on the outside of the building added emphasis to most of today’s conversation).

Talkeetna Art Teacher Recognized as “Arts Champion”

Talkeetna Elementary School teacher Bekah Mathiesen was named an "Arts Champion" by the Alaska Art Educators Consortium Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Talkeetna Elementary School teacher Bekah Mathiesen was named an “Arts Champion” by the Alaska Art Educators Consortium Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA


Talkeetna Elementary School art teacher Bekah Mathiesen has been selected as a “Champion of Art” by the Alaska Art Educators Consortium. KTNA’s Katie writer spoke with Bekah about her efforts to bring art to Upper Valley kids.


Denali Report for May 20th, 2016: First Summits

Climbing season is well underway, and the first climbers have reached the summit of North America’s highest peak. Here’s KTNA’s Phillip Manning with this week’s Denali Report.



This is the Denali Report for Friday, May 20th, 2016. I’m Phillip Manning.


Currently, 940 climbers are registered to attempt Denali, and 321 are currently on the mountain. Thirty climbers have completed their treks, and nine have made it to Denali’s summit, making the current summit rate thirty percent. Eighteen climbers are registered to attempt Mount Foraker. Of those, eleven are currently on the mountain, and two climbs have been completed. There have been no summits of Mount Foraker so far this season.

Read More »

Su-Valley Voice for May 18th, 2016: Recycling

On Wednesday’s Su-Valley Voice, host Phillip Manning spoke with Mollie Boyer, Executive Director of the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions and Dawn Adams, coordinator for Denali National Park and Preserve’s Zero-Landfill Project. They discussed recycling in the Valley and the park.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Changes”, by Bill Was

Fall & the Kidz cropped1


As I find myself just three months short of completing my third year in ‘The Last Frontier’ I cannot help but look back and marvel at all that has transpired across those thirty three months. Of course I knew there would be many trials and learnings when I set out from SE Michigan for Talkeetna but I also thought I’d pretty much planned for such challenges in the 18 months preceding the actual relocation. But, as is so often the case, I was surprised by the number and often the complexity of so many of the demands; in addition more than a few were totally unexpected.

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Talkeetna-Trapper Creek birders find 78 species


Birdathon group by KWriter-IMG_1658

2016 Birdathoners, by Katie Writer


Many area birders were enthusiastically surprised at the number of different bird species which “turned out” for this year’s 24 hour Talkeetna-Trapper Creek Birdathon, held over the weekend. The group tallied up 78 species, which is the highest total since 2005, a year that also had an early spring.

Former resident Robert Ambrose had the highest individual total, with 60 species of birds. His biking partner Bill FitzGerald counted just two less. They biked over sixty miles to win the Birdathon crowns, once again demonstrating that “green” birding is no disadvantage, at least for them!

Local guide Wade Hopkins also birded without a motorized vehicle. He hiked and thrashed his way up to Papa Bear Lake, using his pack raft to cross rivers and creeks, spent the night in a bivvy sack, and floated to Talkeetna, fishing and birding all day. He found a Hooded Merganser, which hadn’t been recorded in eight years, saw the only flock of Tundra Swans, and discovered a group of about 40 male Horned Grebes.  Wade also saw a couple adult black bears and two cubs-of-the-year.

Read More »