The Mat-Su Borough Assembly has voted down an ordinance to extend future terms of assembly members and the mayor from three years to four.
Assembly Member Randall Kowalke sponsored the proposal, and says getting up to speed on the assembly takes a significant amount of time. Kowalke says the motivation behind the proposed ordinance was to allow assembly members more time in their seats once they have gone through the learning curve. Since assembly members and the mayor are limited to two terms, it would extend the maximum service time from six to eight years. The terms currently being served would not have been extended.
Feedback from the audience was that something as significant as a change in assembly and mayoral term length should not be decided by the assembly itself, but rather by the voters of the Mat-Su Borough.
Assembly Members Steve Colligan and Jim Sykes also expressed a desire for more public input before making such a change.
Ultimately, all seven members, including Randall Kowalke, voted against the proposal.
Anja Radano at the Copper Basin 300. Photo courtesy of Anja Radano
This past weekend, Talkeetna musher Anja Radano was 9th out of the gate at the Copper Basin 300 in a field of competitors including
Iditarod runner up Aliy Zirkle and Mat Su Borough Mayor, Vern Halter. Radano spoke to KTNA’s Katie Writer about her 2nd Iditarod Qualifier.
An Alaska Native tribal council and environmental groups are applauding the decision by a federal agency to inspect the permit for a planned coalmine near Palmer.
The decision from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement comes after a federal judge ruled the mine’s permit invalid last summer. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.
Last Tuesday, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, or OSM told the Alaska Department of Natural Resources that it erred in extending the permit of Wishbone Hill Mine east of Palmer, which is owned by Usibelli Coal. OSM also told the state that it plans to inspect the mine’s permit. This move is the latest in a battle over the validity of Wishbone Hill’s permit that has lasted for more than five years. Read More »
Participants in Saturday’s march reach Downtown Talkeetna. Photo: Phillip Manning – KTNA
On Saturday, hundreds of marches around the country brought out estimated millions of people. In Talkeetna, around eighty Upper Valley residents marched for a variety of causes, including women’s rights and expressing concern over President Donald Trump. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was at the Talkeetna march, and has this report.
Talkeetna’s march on Saturday was not technically affiliated with the Women’s March on Washington campaign, but the sentiments of some participants were similar. Some participants expressed criticism of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, while others were focused more on preservation and protection of rights in America. Read More »
Tuesday marked the beginning of the new legislative session.
Two Wasilla Republicans, Senator Mike Dunleavy and Representative David Eastman represent the Upper Valley. Both men will sit on multiple committees for the session.
Representative Eastman, a freshman legislator, will sit on the House Rules, Health and Social Services, Fisheries, and Legislative Ethics committees. He is an alternate to the House Legislative Council.
Senator Mike Dunleavy will chair the State Affairs Committee, as well as the finance subcommittees of Administration, Fish and Game, and Education and Early Development. He is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Special Committee on the Arctic.
Both men have filed multiple bills as well. Dunleavy and Eastman have mirrored legislation in both the House and Senate to undo Governor Bill Walker’s partial veto of money for Permanent Fund Dividend checks last year. In addition, Senator Dunleavy has sponsored a bill to establish a task force for reading proficiency and dyslexia and a bill addressing adult foster care for severely disabled Alaskans.
David Eastman has filed two bills dealing with food stamps. One bill would prevent the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services from using waivers for work requirements of able-bodied food stamp recipients. The other seeks to disqualify people for food assistance for refusal to cooperate with child support services and for past-due child support.
All of the bills sponsored by Senator Dunleavy and Representative Eastman received committee referrals by Friday.
In the upcoming week, all of the Susitna Valley High School students will be receiving ChromeBook computers to take home, and on Tuesday, Su Valley High School is hosting the movie “Screenager” as a step to educate families about safe internet usage in the home.
KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Su Valley Principal, David Booth about this important topic.
The doors open at 5:30 pm and film starts at 6 pm on Tuesday for the showing of “Screenager” at Su Valley.
In this episode, Holly Stinson visits with provider Keith Kehoe from Sunshine Community Health Center. Keith discusses the danger of frostbite in the colder temperatures and the importance of preparing for the weather. The upcoming Senior Day at Sunshine Dental, and health and cyber safety for kids are also discussed.
This week on Su Valley Voice, host Phillip Manning spoke with staff and volunteers from KTNA’s past and present in celebration of the station’s birthday. The show included fond memories of classic local shows, mishaps on and off air, and voices of some of those who have passed on.
In celebration of the station’s birthday, we have invited some of the voices of KTNA past and present to reflect on their memories. KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Kelly Thomas, Laura Wright, and Diane Ziegner on Tuesday about their time with KTNA. Kelly starts off the piece with the memory of her first newscast.
Wednesday at 10:00, Su Valley Voice will also be all about sharing memories of your community radio station.