A cell and repeater tower that was blown down by strong winds east of Willow late last month has brought the issue of tall tower regulations to the forefront in the Mat-Su Valley. The Borough currently has an advisory committee looking into what requirements should be put on companies that wish to build cell and broadcast towers.
Alex Strawn with the Planning Division of the Borough says that the tower fell at a very interesting time, since the next meeting of the Tall Tower Advisory Committee will be focused solely on whether to require a setback radius around new towers. Rick Brenden is part of the committee, and says that the past failure of ordinances in the Borough Assembly led to a situation where there were virtually no restrictions. Read More »
The group of seven Alaska Native Corporations that own land in the area of the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project are expressing concerns that their interests will not be adequately represented in the Alaska Energy Authority’s initial study reports next February. The Cook Inlet Region Working Group sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday citing their concerns. Read More »
On Wednesday, the Talkeetna Sewer and Water Advisory Board held a special evening meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to provide consumers with a public forum to speak to both Borough staff and elected officials. Many of the invitees canceled due to deteriorating road conditions, including the Borough staff who had planned to attend. The weather did not keep everyone away, however. State Senator Mike Dunleavy made the trip to Talkeetna, and listened to the concerns of both the Advisory Board and other community members. Read More »
The Alaska State Troopers say that roads in the Mat-Su Valley have become icy and dangerous as a result of freezing rain. While the Upper Valley did not receive as much freezing rain as the Palmer and Wasilla areas, some ice has formed. Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says that, as Thursday afternoon, Troopers and Wasilla PD had responded to thirty-five traffic incidents. Some roads in the Lower Valley have been closed as first responders remove vehicles from ditches. The Troopers are asking for patience as they respond to weather-related traffic incidents.
The Alaska Air National Guard has released additional details of the search and rescue operation near Willow early Monday morning. Three adults and one child were airlifted by Air National Guard Personnel after they broke through the ice near Caswell Lake on an ATV trip.
The party initially contacted the Alaska State Troopers. Two Troopers reached the group by snowmachine, but were unable to transport them to safety. According to the Air National Guard, the Troopers contacted the Rescue Coordination Center just after 1:00 am on Monday. A Pave Hawk helicopter was launched with a team of Guardian Angels on board to assist in the rescue. The helicopter flew through the night, and the crew used night vision to locate the stranded party. Because of rough terrain, the helicopter could not land, and a hoist was used to rescue the group. They were given blankets and warm fluids to fend off hypothermia, and transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Major Keenan Zerkel, a senior controller at the RCC, says, “The crew members did a superb job.” He praised their quick reaction and successful rescue in the dark, snowy conditions.
The Alaska Railroad Corporation has adopted a new policy regarding residential uses of Railroad rights of way. Over the last thirty years, some property owners adjacent to the rail line have created lawns, gardens, or structures that extend into the right of way near the tracks. Now, in order to begin or continue using the right of way, property owners will need a permit from the Railroad. Permit application costs $250, and the annual fee is based on the square footage of the right of way that is being used, with a minimum fee of $250.
The Railroad says the new policy was adopted in order to curb the use of the right of ways while still giving some property owners the opportunity to keep gardens or structures that may have been there for decades. Read More »
KTNA volunteer and Classics for Kids host Cari Sayre continues reading the story of Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie.
The Alaska State Troopers were involved in two search and rescue operations in the Mat-Su Borough on Sunday. Two hikers were rescued by the Alaska State Troopers in Hatcher Pass on Sunday night. The hikers, identified by the Anchorage Daily News as Kari Mauldin of Wasilla and Hanna Ramage of Las Vegas, were reported overdue Sunday evening. According to the State Troopers, they had left on Saturday to spend the night in a cabin 9 miles back from the Gold Mint trail head. They intended to return on Sunday, but more than four feet of fresh snow left them stuck. Read More »
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook Talkeetna at 9:15 am Tuesday morning, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. The earthquake epicenter was 59 miles North-Northwest of Talkeetna at a depth of 84 miles. No damage was reported as of 11:00 am on Tuesday.