A warm, relatively snow-free winter has caused numerous issues in the mushing community. Most notably, the Iditarod restart was moved from Willow to Fairbanks. Multiple shorter races were delayed, altered, or canceled outright. On Tuesday evening, the Junior Iditarod announced that it will be moving to the Denali Highway. Normally, the race begins at Knik Lake. Earlier this month, conditions on Knik Lake forced a move to Willow. According to the Junior Iditarod Facebook page, conditions in Willow are too icy for the race, which starts this weekend.
The new course will run from the Denali Highway in Cantwell to the Alpine Creek Lodge and back. The race will start on Sunday, March 1st, at noon. In a later post, the Junior Iditarod thanked the Knik and Willow communities, as well as the usual race checkpoints. Organizers say they hope to return to the usual route next year.
As of Wednesday afternoon, eleven young mushers were signed up for the race.
Cari Sayre continues reading from a children’s favorite, Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren.
On Tuesday, Ballot Proposition 2 went into effect. The measure allows possession, consumption, transportation, and display of limited amounts of marijuana. The state legislature and many local governments are in the process of crafting regulations. While the initiative does allow marijuana consumption, public use is still banned. What constitutes ‘public’ has yet to be defined by the legislature, however. On Tuesday, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued an emergency regulation defining public to include places such as highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of business, parks, and playgrounds. It also includes areas in hotels and apartments with public access, such as hallways and lobbies.
For the Upper Valley, all of which consists of unincorporated communities, the state regulations are the law of the land as of now. The Mat-Su Borough has the option to impose certain restrictions within its boundaries, but has not yet done so. The borough has established an advisory committee to take part in the crafting of any local regulations.
Sale of marijuana is not yet legal, though the ballot initiative passed last November does call on the State of Alaska to create regulations and a permitting process that will eventually allow commercial sales of the substance.
Update: Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s office has released a PSA concerning some of the more commonly asked questions.
Update: The party with the activated beacon has been contacted, and they say they did not activate the ‘S-O-S.’
The Alaska State Troopers have contacted two men in the Talkeetna area after receiving a distress signal from their GPS device.
On Monday afternoon, the Alaska State Troopers were notified of an ‘S-O-S’ signal from a GPS locator on Red Salmon Lake, near Talkeetna. No information as to the nature of the emergency signal was available, Troopers say. A helicopter was dispatched to investigate, but had to turn around due to poor weather.
On Tuesday, the Rescue Coordination Center was able to reach the location by helicopter shortly after noon and contacted Theodore and Kyle Miller of Wasilla. The Millers were flown to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center where they spoke to the Troopers. The Millers say they did not activate the ‘S-O-S’, and did not know how it had happened. They were preparing to hike out when the signal was sent, and had no medical needs.
Talkeetna writer Yukon Don Tanner tells
the first part of an adventure by riverboat in 1980.
The full story, with photos, can be found in Last Frontier magazine,
October through December, 2014. http://lastfrontiermagazine.com/
“Moose Skull” by Rob Holt
Talkeetna resident Rob Holt, age 56, passed away on Wednesday morning. According to the Alaska State Troopers, Holt called 911 reporting a medical problem and collapsed while EMS was on-scene. CPR was initiated, but Holt could not be revived. Next of kin and the state medical examiner’s office were notified.
Rob Holt was a retired hunting guide as well as an artist. He was the featured artist for the KTNA art auction in 2006, and his works can be found in galleries around the Talkeetna area.
According to Rob Holt’s son, Elias, a celebration of life will be held on Sunday afternoon at Northern Susitna Institute.
This week on Su-Valley Voice, host Phillip Manning spoke with past and present organizers of the Oosik Classic Ski Race, which is held in Talkeetna each March.
The next live broadcast of Su-Valley Voice will be on Wednesday, March 4th, at 10:00 am. The discussion will be about the new book, Iditarod: The First Ten Years, with some of the “Old Iditarod Gang” joining host Phillip Manning in the studio.
Talkeetna Community Radio will hold its annual membership meeting this coming Sunday, February 22nd, at the Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe. KTNA members begin gathering at 4:30 for a social hour, and the meeting begins at 5:30.
All members and prospective members are welcome to come and meet staff and board members, and find out what’s going on at KTNA. Ballots will be counted for seats on the board of directors. You may mail your ballots in, drop them off at the station by 3 pm Friday, or bring them to the annual meeting on the 22nd and hand them in by 5:30. There will be a KTNA Board of Directors meeting immediately following the membership meeting for organizational purposes.