KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Following majority departure, Dunleavy to lose committee seats


By: Andrew Kitchenman, APRN & KTOO – Juneau

When Senator Mike Dunleavy left the Senate majority last week, he knew it meant he would lose some of his official positions of power.

The Wasilla Republican found out what the fallout is likely to be on Tuesday. The Senate Committee on Committees recommended that he lose two committee seats. The Senate is likely to make the changes Wednesday.

If the Senate approves, Dunleavy would lose his seat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and his seat as chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Palmer Republican Shelley Hughes will replace Dunleavy on Finance.

And Anchorage Republican Kevin Meyer replaces Dunleavy as chairman of State Affairs.

Kodiak Republican Gary Stevens will replace Hughes as the Education chair.

Dunleavy left the caucus in order to oppose the budget. He called for maintaining Permanent Fund dividends and making deeper budget cuts.


Because you value local news, please consider supporting KTNA today.

Burn Permits Now Required for Debris Piles, Burn Barrels


Fire danger sign at the intersection of the Parks Highway and the Talkeetna Spur Road. (Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA)

As of the beginning of this month, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources requires general burn permits for the burning of open debris and the use of burn barrels.

DNR says debris burning and burn barrels are the leading causes of wildland fires in the state.

Free burn permits are available at most local fire stations, or can be downloaded from the Alaska Division of Forestry website.

In order to burn, permit holders are required to call or check online whether burning is permitted the day they intend to use the permit, and are required to have it on their person when burning.

Small warming or cooking fires, measuring less than three-feet-by-three-feet do not require a burn permit.

Because you value local news, please consider supporting KTNA today.

Therapy Centered on Eye Movement Provides Options for Patients Coping With Trauma

When many people think of behavioral health therapy, the image is of a patient and therapist sitting in a room talking about the patient’s life and the impact it has on their mental health. While that treatment is still alive and well at the Sunshine Community Health Center, a new option is also available. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

At the Sunshine Community Health Center, a relatively new method of therapy has the behavioral health staff singing its praises.

“The only word I can use to describe it is just magical. It’s amazing what people are able to accomplish in what’s really very brief processing time.”

That’s Sarah Blanning, a behavioral health provider at Sunshine. She’s talking about a therapy method called eye movement desensitization and reprogramming, or EMDR. Blanning says the method was mostly used in its early days for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The behavioral health staff at the Sunshine clinics believes that EMDR can provide a valuable option for people trying to cope with memories of trauma.   Cici Schoenberger, behavioral health lead at Sunshine, says the method provides another option beyond more traditional therapy methods.

Read More »

MTA: Weekend Internet and E-mail Service Issues Resolved

Matanuska Telephone Association has restored its email service after an outage this weekend.

In the overnight hours of Saturday and into Sunday morning, MTA says it experienced an email and partial internet service outage. The co-op announced on its Facebook page just before 9:00 am on Sunday that email service had been restored. MTA apologized to its customers for the outage in the same statement.

Also over the weekend, GCI encountered large-scale internet service outages from Anchorage to North Pole. On Monday, the Alaska Dispatch News reported that the outage was due to a cable that had been intentionally damaged. Carolyn Hanson, Director of Marketing and Sales for MTA, says there is some overlap in the transmission infrastructure between GCI and MTA, and that the damaged cable did impact some MTA customers’ connections during peak usage hours. Outside of the busiest times, Hanson says MTA customers were not affected.

Carolyn Hanson says the email service outage was unrelated to the damaged cable. She adds that internet traffic has since been rerouted to avoid the damaged GCI cable, and that service should go back to normal once it is repaired.

Because you value local news, please consider supporting KTNA today.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna 4-9-2017, by Kathleen Fleming


Positions of the 4 visible planets during totality in the August 21, 2017 eclipse. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium.  This and other eclipse information is available on many different websites, including http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/august-21-2017-solar-eclipse-4-planets-bright-stars

Kathleen tells about the activities of the moon, the three different categories of twilight, Jupiter and its visible moons, and what to expect during a total solar eclipse. One correction: The full moon will be near Jupiter Monday night and Tuesday morning (not Wednesday night / morning).

Seasonal note:  There’s less than one week left with true darkness in the Susitna Valley, so Kathleen will be a much less frequent contributor to Susitna Writer’s Voice.

KTNA Spring Membership Drive April 9th-16th



Join KTNA for special programming during our Spring Membership Drive April 9th-16th.  Tune it at 88.9FM or online at ktna.org.

Our supporters help sustain KTNA and the services that we are able to provide to the Upper Susitna Valley and beyond.  Become a member or renew your membership today!  Call 733-1700 or CLICK HERE

Considering becoming a sustaining member.  It’s easy!  You won’t need to think about renewing every year and you remain in control and can change it anytime.  Even $8.89 per month adds up to provide a dependable ongoing source of funding for KTNA.  Each time you listen, you can be proud knowing that you help support local news, music shows, and national programming year around.  CLICK HERE or call 733-1700 to get more information on how to set up sustaining payments through Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union or Wells Fargo.

Special Programming

Friday, April 14th

9:00am – Classical Music brought to you by Trisha Costello & Guest

1:00pm – Patchwork Hour with Holly Stinson & Guest Grete Perkins

2:00pm – special Friday edition of Sounds of the South with Nancy Crowden

7:00pm – 2-hour edition of And Another Thing with special guest Jimmy Sandy

9:00pm – Randy Cummins and special guest Bill Was bring you Friday Night Classic Rock

Hear some of the reasons that people support KTNA.

Just a small reflection of what makes up KTNA!

Wildermuth Brings Home Jiu Jitsu State Championship

Ria Wildermuth (center) atop the podium at the Alaska State Jiu Jitsu Championship.  Photo courtesy of Pete Keenan

Ria Wildermuth (center) atop the podium at the Alaska State Jiu Jitsu Championship. Photo courtesy of Pete Keenan

Last weekend, a Talkeetna martial artist brought home a gold medal from the Alaska State Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships.

Ria Wildermuth competed in the women’s adult division for the first time at age fifteen. Her instructor, Pete Keenan, says Wildermuth won her first match on points and advanced to the finals, where she won by an arm bar.

In addition to Ria Wildermuth, Branwen Keenan, Nick Sousa, Eilish Keenan, and Cooper Stec competed at the championships. While none of them advanced past the third round, Pete Keenan says everyone fought hard, adding that two team members competed while hurt, and two others had to make significant weight cuts to be eligible to compete.

Pete Keenan says Ria Wildermuth’s is the twenty-third gold medal won by Talkeetna Freestyle Martial Arts students in the last seven years at the state Jiu Jitsu championships.


Search and Rescue in Rural Mat-Su Results Discovery of Deceased Snowmachiner

On Tuesday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers found the body of a deceased Anchorage man near the confluence of the Yentna and Susitna Rivers.

According to Troopers, the remains of 66-year-old Dennis Maroney of Anchorage were found in the early afternoon, approximately two hours after he had been reported missing in the area of Deshka Landing. Maroney had let on Monday morning for his cabin near Skwentna, and was expected to return that same night. When he had not returned by around 11:00 am on Tuesday, he was reported missing.

Troopers found Maroney’s body after searching the area by helicopter. His remains were transported to Wasilla. No cause of death is currently listed, and the State Medical Examiner’s office has taken possession of Maroney’s remains to conduct an autopsy.

State Board Approves Talkeetna Marijuana Shop

On Wednesday, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved the license application for the Upper Valley’s first marijuana retail facility by a vote of three-to-two.

The application for The High Expedition received what one board member described as more opposition than any other license he had seen. That opposition came in the form of both letters and testimony over the phone to the Marijuana Control Board. Many of the concerns expressed by those in opposition are based on The High Expedition’s location on Main Street in Downtown Talkeetna. Proximity to a borough-owned campground, the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, the Susitna River, and the Susitna Salmon Center were all mentioned in testimony to the board. Issues of marijuana’s federal status as a schedule one narcotic were also raised. Joe McAneney, one half of the partnership that owns The High Expedition, says his location is in compliance with all state-mandated setbacks.

Not all testimony was in opposition to The High Expedition’s license. Other license-holders and applicants as well as some Talkeetna area residents spoke in favor of the application. During the hearing, Joe McAneney told the board that neither the Talkeetna Community Council or the Mat-Su Borough Assembly had objected to the application.

Wednesday’s meeting was the final step in the process that involves a public hearing. Joe McAneney told KTNA in an earlier interview that there is at least one more administrative step that he estimates will be completed within two weeks, and he plans for The High Expedition to open its doors later this month.