On Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly met to discuss a letter from the Federal Transit Authority asking for repayment of $12 million in grant funds. That money was used to fund a ferry project between Port MacKenzie and Anchorage that was never completed. Most of Tuesday’s meeting took place in executive session. The Assembly decided to hold another meeting on August 21st to continue the discussion. Deputy Mayor Ronald Arvin says the Assembly needs to know more before making a decision on how to respond to the FTA letter.
“There are several potential solutions and responses to that, so we’ve asked staff to put together some additional information, because we couldn’t arrive at a conclusion without knowing some additional details, and that will be the basis of the [August 21st] meeting.” Read More »
by: Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN
On top of being the most expensive ballot measure in state history, next week’s referendum on oil taxes may also be one of the most contentious. The polling shows a tight race, with the state’s voters almost equally divided on the question. Which means that no matter which side you’re on, it’s almost inevitable you’ll have to deal with someone who disagrees. Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez has this story of a block divided.
Denise Roselle and Dan Anderson share a lot as neighbors. He plows her driveway; she lets him park his truck there. Their Spenard ranch homes are nearly identical save the paint jobs. But there’s one area where they’re clearly divided.
ROSELLE: I am voting yes on Proposition One.
ANDERSON: I am voting no on Proposition One. Read More »
KTNA volunteer Cari Sayre continues The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain.
Talkeetna is home to a number of stores, most of which cater to visitors. One, however, is more geared toward locals, and you don’t need much money, none, in fact, in order to shop there. Recently, however, it has closed its doors, leading to concern among some locals.
For the last few days, the windows and door of the Free Box Community Store have been boarded up. That left many local residents wondering if the store will ever re-open. Nancy Yow, board president for the Free Box, says permanent closure is unlikely.
“Don’t panic. It’s just reorganization. It’s happened however many times before, and we’ve always gotten better.” Read More »
On Saturday, the search for a missing fisherman around Willow Creek was called off. Jerry Warner of Missouri was last seen on August 3rd walking upstream from an RV campground for a solo fishing trip. The Alaska State Troopers describe Warner as an experienced outdoorsman, but say that he did not have survival gear or a cell phone with him when he was last seen.
The six-day search included troopers, Mat-Su Borough emergency responders, and volunteers from a number of search and rescue groups. Up to forty people were searching for Warner at one point using dogs, ATVs, boats, and a helicopter, but no sign of him has been found. Troopers say that they will analyze and respond if any new clues to Warner’s location are found. His photograph and description have been added to the Alaska State Trooper website along with more than ninety other missing persons.
Kathleen looks ahead to several August night-sky events of importance to Susitna Valley listeners, including this week’s Perseid meteor shower.
Kathleen heard herself mis-speak in the audio below. Everyone knows that the morning sky crescent is WANING, not waxing!
A weak run of sockeye salmon has prompted the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to shut down retention of red salmon in the Larson Creek area. According to a press release, the escapement goal for the creek is at least 15,000 fish. As of Wednesday, 9,000 fish had been counted. Fish and Game estimates a total run of 11,800 sockeye on Larson Creek.
It’s a different story for coho salmon in the Matanuska Valley. Silvers counted at the Fish Creek weir have already surpassed the low end of the escapement goal, and more are anticipated to keep coming. As a result, the daily bag limit on silvers in Fish Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Wasilla Creek has been raised from two to three fish. Fish and Game also added Mondays to the fishery, which was previously only allowed on Saturday and Sunday.
Both changes take/took effect on Saturday. Further details, including full fishing regulations, can be found at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.
by: Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Construction of the railroad link between the Matanuska-Susitna Borough city of Houston and Port MacKenzie is over budget and way behind schedule. Borough officials blame litigation for the delays.
At Tuesday night’s Mat Su Borough Assembly meeting, Joe Perkins, the Borough’s executive for the rail extension project, updated earlier financial data on the cost overruns beyond the initial $272 million pricetag.
“When you add all this up, it totals about $31 million. So if you take $ 272 .5 and add $31 (million) to it, you get a total project cost now of $303. 5. (million)” Read More »
On Wednesday, CRW Engineering Group met with community members in Talkeetna to discuss the recent sewer and water system assessment. The two-hour meeting was dominated by discussion of potential rate structures. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was at the meeting, and has this report:
While there are some operational tweaks that could slightly ease the deficit spending of the Talkeetna Sewer and Water System, what the state-funded study finds is that a significant increase in revenue, meaning water bills, is necessary. On Wednesday, Andrea Meeks of CRW Engineering Group laid out three potential new rate structures, all of which incorporate significant annual increases. For example, the average residential user would end up paying around $145 per month in the summer of 2019, as opposed to the current rate of around $87. G. Denny, a member of the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors, said that, while the rate hikes might work on paper, they are not feasible in reality. Read More »