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Marijuana manufacturing, cultivation facilities file for licenses in Sunshine

Two commercial marijuana facilities have submitted license applications for state licenses in Sunshine.

Budmasters Limited Partnership plans to set up a marijuana cultivation facility. According to information provided in the license application, the facility is planned to be well off the Talkeetna Spur Road. The official physical address is on a road not directly connected to the Spur, and the application states that the grow facility will have a driveway longer than 500 feet. The owners plan a total cultivation area of just over 600 square feet.

In addition, X-Tracted Laboratories has filed for a manufacturing facility license. The application is identical to one previously submitted for Royal Mountain Extracts. Joe McAneney is one of the partners in the venture. He says the second application was filed in order to change the name of the facility. McAneney, who is also a partner in The High Expedition in Downtown Talkeetna, says there are only plans for one manufacturing facility at the site.

At its May meeting, the Susitna Community Council took no action regarding the Royal Mountain Extracts license application. Council Chair Trevor Walter says the board took no specific action in recommending for or against the application’s approval. Walter says as long as a business is not violating local or state laws, and is in good standing with the state and borough, that the council does not see a need to intervene.

Limiting the number of marijuana licenses in Sunshine is on the Susitna Community Council’s agenda for June. Trevor Walter points out that, since Sunshine is unincorporated, the council itself can make no such limitation. It is only allowed to advise the Mat-Su Borough. Walter says he is in communication with the borough and the state to see if they intend to limit licenses in specific areas.

Talkeetna dike repair to begin later this month

Repair work on the Talkeetna dike and revetment is expected to begin in about three weeks.

The structure was damaged in the 2012 flood, and after years of applications and appeals, the Mat-Su Borough has received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to restore it to pre-flood condition.

Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan says the work will involve construction and heavy vehicles in and around Downtown Talkeetna starting around June 20th.

The first phase of the work is hauling rock to the end of Main Street. Terry Dolan says high pedestrian traffic makes driving large vehicles during the day risky and disruptive, so the hauling is to be done at night. Dolan says the trucks will not use backup beepers or a type of compressed air brake that can be noisy. He says there will be some inevitable noise due to the trucks themselves and the dumping of rocks to make the repairs.

Terry Dolan says the goal is to strike a balance between completing the work this summer and minimizing impacts on visitors and residents.

Denali Report for June 2nd, 2017: Weather Forecasting

Denali in March of 2017.  Photo by Phillip Manning - KTNA

Denali in March of 2017. Photo by Phillip Manning – KTNA

This week on the Denali Report, KTNA’s Phillip Manning discusses the incredibly low summit rate, and speaks with a forecaster from the National Weather Service about trying to predict the weather on Denali.

As of Thursday afternoon, 1,061 climbers are registered to attempt Denali. Of those, 596 are currently on the mountain, and 225 have returned. Only twenty people have reached the summit of Denali thus far in 2017, making the summit rate eight percent.

That could soon change, however. With the recent clear weather, the National Park Service estimates that about a hundred people made an attempt for the summit on Wednesday.

The holiday weekend was also a busy one for rangers and volunteers. Multiple cases of frostbite were reported, one serious enough to warrant a medevac. In addition, one climber was flown off the mountain after falling into a crevasse.

Weather is a major factor in the difficulty of climbing Denali. Each climbing season since the ‘80s, the National Weather Service puts out special forecasts centered on the mountain. I spoke with forecaster Ed Plumb earlier this week about the forecast and how it differs from those available from private companies.

In the case of some forecasts, Plumb says a single model is used to try to predict the weather. At the National Weather Service, Ed Plumb says he and his colleagues use multiple models and see which ones are making better predictions based on available data. Those blended outlooks are then combined with input from experienced meteorologists, some of whom have been working on the mountain forecast for three decades.

While the data sets for the forecasts are limited, just two sets of observations per day from two camps on Denali, Ed Plumb says input from the National Park Service and other people experienced on the ground in the Alaska Range can greatly contribute to the ability of the National Weather Service to put out a more accurate forecast. His recent visit to Talkeetna allowed Plumb to visit base camp himself and speak the people who are using the forecast.

Ed Plumb says input from the National Park Service and the mountaineering community will impact how the National Weather Service creates and delivers the Denali forecast in order to make it more useful and more accurate.

 

 

 

News from the Talkeetna Ranger Station 6-1-2017

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In this weekly segment,

produced by the staff of the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station,

we hear an interview with Mountain Ranger Melis Coady.

VFW Post 3836 honors fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

A wreath and symbols of remembrance were laid before the flag pole at the Talkeetna Cemetery on Monday.  Photo by Phillip Manning - KTNA

A wreath and symbols of remembrance were laid before the flag pole at the Talkeetna Cemetery on Monday. Photo by Phillip Manning – KTNA

As it does each year, VFW Post 3836 in Talkeetna honored its fallen members on Monday, whether they passed in combat or at home. This year, about forty people turned out on a chilly, wet Memorial Day morning to the Talkeetna Cemetery for the ceremony.

The auxiliary laid a wreath at the base of the flagpole, and the list of local veterans who have passed away was read. The wreath was soon joined by symbols of remembrance, purity, and eternity. The final symbol placed before the wreath was the American flag.

While the ceremony itself took place with a sense of solemn remembrance, it was quickly followed by a potluck where comrades, auxiliary members, and their friends and families enjoyed an abundance of food and each other’s company.

 

Denali Report for May 26th, 2017: Stepping up the game on Denali’s human waste

 

Climber Corneliu Turturica displaying his full pack out flag and demonstrating an unusual use for a clean mountain can.  Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.

Climber Corneliu Turturica displaying his full pack out flag and demonstrating an unusual use for a clean mountain can. Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.

This week on the Denali Report, the summit rate remains relatively low, and veteran mountaineering ranger Roger Robinson tells KTNA’s Phillip Manning about the plan to celebrate Denali National Park’s 100th birthday by not leaving it a certain kind of present.

 

This is the Denali Report for Friday, May 26th, 2017.

There are 1,023 climbers registered to climb Denali this year. Of those, 463 were on the mountain as of Thursday afternoon. Just over a hundred people have returned from their attempt, and twenty have reached the top, making the current summit rate twenty percent. Sixteen climbers are registered to attempt Mt. Foraker. Six people are currently on the mountain, and seven have returned. Nobody has reached the summit of Mt. Foraker thus far in 2017.

Earlier in the season I spoke with Roger Robinson about a special initiative Denali National Park rangers are encouraging climbers to participate in. Robinson has been a pioneer in keeping Denali clean, and was instrumental in introducing the “Clean Mountain Can” program to help keep some human waste off the mountain. This year, he and other mountaineering rangers are asking climbers to volunteer to pack out all of their human waste from their expeditions. Read More »

News from the Talkeetna Ranger Station 5-25-2017

In this weekly segment, produced by the staff of the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, we hear from a member of the team Sea to Summit 7. This team found daunting challenges in its unique quest to climb Denali.

Pilots flock to Talkeetna for 2017 fly-in

A Vultee BT-13B "Valiant" parked at the Talkeetna State Airport during the 2017 Talkeetna Fly-In. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

A Vultee BT-13B “Valiant” parked at the Talkeetna State Airport during the 2017 Talkeetna Fly-In. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

This past weekend, over 180 airplanes filled every ‘parkable’ inch of the Talkeetna State Airport for the 2017 Talkeetna Fly-In.

Aircraft lined up in Talkeetna for the 2017 Talkeetna Fly-In.  Photo:  Katie Writer - KTNA

Aircraft lined up in Talkeetna for the 2017 Talkeetna Fly-In. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

Organizers of the event applaud Airport Manager Steve Hanson for his willingness to host the 7th Annual Fly-in while the airport expansion is underway. The runway was extremely busy at times during the flying events as air taxis patiently waited their turn for takeoff. It appeared that they too were pulling off some of their best performances in slow flight and smooth landings as they landed in the mix of contestants competing for a prize.  Some of the events included a Poker Run, Slow/Fast Competition, Aerial Scavenger Hunt, Balsa Flying Contest, Takeoff/Landing Demos, and the Missing Man Formation Flight.

KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with some of the organizers of the Talkeetna Fly-in as well as those who participated in the festive weekend of activities.

 

2017 Talkeetna Fly-In Award Winners (L to R): Vince Ferenczy, Caleb Newville, Josh Eckl, Audrey Cole, Chris Jung, Rod Hanson, Shaun Milke, Robert Kelly.  Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

2017 Talkeetna Fly-In Award Winners (L to R): Vince Ferenczy, Caleb Newville, Josh Eckl, Audrey Cole, Chris Jung, Rod Hanson, Shaun Milke, Robert Kelly. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

Talkeetna Airport paving to begin this week

An aircraft uses the temporary taxiway at Talkeetna State Airport as paving work gets ready to begin.  Photo by Katie Writer - KTNA

An aircraft uses the temporary taxiway at Talkeetna State Airport as paving work gets ready to begin. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

Jim Nelson is a frequent voice on the radio talking with pilots as they come and go from Talkeetna State Airport. With 29 years of experience working for flight service, he is highly qualified to take on the challenges of orchestrating air traffic this summer while the airport expansion is taking place. The repaving of the runway and taxiways is starting this week and the pilots will be taking off from a widened taxi way and using the service road as a taxiway while the contractors busily prepare and repave the runway.

KTNA’s Katie Writer spoke with Jim this weekend about how they plan to maintain smooth operation of aircraft arrivals and departures with safety and a top priority.

Jim Nelson with Flight Services in Talkeetna.  Photo by Katie Writer - KTNA

Jim Nelson with Flight Services in Talkeetna. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA