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


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“The Cheapening of American Culture”, by Bill Was

Fall & the Kidz cropped1


An opinion piece by Talkeetna blogger Bill Was about the presidential campaign and polarized political culture, as portrayed by the mainstream media.


As this hellishly long election process grinds painfully to its conclusion I, for one, am both disgusted and exhausted by the process! Not only has it already been underway for more than a year but the overall atmosphere of the campaign continues to mine new levels of repugnance and revulsion. Civility is nowhere to be found nor is a substantive discussion of truly pertinent topics like the economy, terrorism, immigration and entitlement reform. Instead, the candidates of both parties would rather bait each other with abhorrent personal attacks. Read More »

Su Valley Voice: Fire Preparedness

This week on Su-Valley Voice, host Phillip Manning spoke with Norm McDonald, Fire Management Officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry, about the upcoming fire season, fire response, and fire prevention and preparedness.


Borough plans work before discharging from Talkeetna sewer lagoon

The Talkeetna sewer lagoon will undergo additional maintenance before discharging treated water into the Talkeetna River.


According to Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan, the borough has begun mechanical aeration of the lagoon, and replanting work is planned on the artificial wetlands before treated sewage is released.


For the last two summers, the Talkeetna lagoon has violated it’s state permit multiple times for a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water and high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. The system is designed to use natural processes, including ultraviolet light, artificial wetlands, and biological breakdown to treat sewage to safe levels. A combination of factors, including a bypass on sewage coming into the system, grease on the surface of the lagoon, and damage to the wetlands following a flood in 2006 have contributed to the treatment system’s problems.


Late last year, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation contacted the borough regarding the violations. Multiple meetings have been held, but a final agreement between the borough and the state has not been reached.


Last month, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved a loan of $214,000 for the lagoon. Additionally, he says the money could be used as matching funds for a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On Tuesday afternoon, Dolan learned that the USDA has approved a grant for the lagoon, and he says an offer letter should be coming soon. Whether the grant is accepted and whether the loan funds are used is contingent on whether the lagoon can be brought back into compliance through current maintenance plans. At that point, Dolan says options include artificial ultraviolet light.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming

Kathleen for StarDate



The night sky in April: Our full moon, the planets and stars that the moon visits this week, the Lyrid meteor shower, and the lack of true darkness already(!), and an explanation of the different categories of twilight.





Correction from Kathleen:  “Nature called at 4 am Monday morning.  The bright planets Saturn and Mars were the only objects visible through the twilight, about 10 degrees above the south south east horizon.  Contrary to what I said on this week’s StarDate Susitna, Saturn and, to its right, reddish Mars were easy to identify.”

Tips for Healthy Living

A  live 15-minute conversation about health and health news from the Sunshine Community Health Center: It’s hosted by Holly Stinson, with this Friday’s in-studio guest Keith Kehoe, Physician Assistant at the clinic. In this program, Keith talks about why visiting the SCHC Health Fair in Willow is a good idea, and gives some suggestions for preventing  injuries from pets…yours and other peoples’ pets.

Artist Stacie Smiley opens show in Talkeetna



by: Katie Writer – KTNA

Some artists struggle to have the time and focus to create art, others benefit from creative talent being stored away for many years.

Stacie Smiley is one of the latter.

“I wanted to immerse myself in it, spend a long period of time doing the one thing, painting, instead of picking it up and putting it down to go do other things.”

Stacie has found the time in her adult life to be able to focus on creation from beginning to end. Perhaps having an art opening at The Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe was one motivational factor to complete a series of paintings.  In addition, her husband, Troy built custom frames that add another level of professionalism to her art.

After some research, Stacie decided that her old style of painting was out of date, at least to her taste. She researched paints and various mediums and spent some money on new supplies.  Read More »

Talkeetna Council forced to re-fill vacancy due to residency restrictions

At it’s April 4th meeting, the Talkeetna Community Council Inc. board of directors filled a vacancy left by a resignation. Now, residency requirements mean it will have to do so again.

At its meeting, the current TCCI board voted to fill its vacant seat with Geri McCann, a former Talkeetna resident who said at the meeting that she owns property in the area and is moving back. As of now, however, board chair Whitney Wolff says McCann’s residency is clearly currently in Palmer, based on available public records. Records viewed by KTNA showed the same. TCCI’s bylaws require that members’ primary residences lie within the council boundaries.

As a result, Whitney Wolff says the seat has been vacated once again. The vacancy will be officially announced at the May meeting. Nominations will start at that meeting, and will last until the first Monday in June, when the board will once again choose a new member to serve until the October election.

Talkeetna Council forms committee to look at Downtown SPUD

A new committee of Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. will be tasked with looking into the Downtown Talkeetna Special Land use district in the coming months.


At each of the last two meetings of the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors, concerns have been raised over the historic status of Downtown Talkeetna. The most recent discussion was spurred by the renovations taking place at the Denali Brewpub on Main Street. According to Denali Brewing’s general manager, Sassan Mossanen, the current remodel will improve the building and eventually allow for some deck seating on the roof. He says that the remodel is being done with materials and techniques that will make the building fall more in line with a historical aesthetic than it does right now.


Some community members, as well as the Talkeetna Historical Society, have expressed concerns that there currently are no regulations on how new construction must look. The current Special Land Use District, or SPUD, has restrictions on height, footprint, and other factors, but historic qualities such as rooflines and materials are guidelines, not rules. As Talkeetna grows, some fear that the historic aesthetic of the town will be lost. In addition, they say that Talkeetna’s historic district status could be at risk.


One option that garnered support at the most recent community council meeting is local review of building permits. The catch is that the Mat-Su Borough does not currently require building permits the way it has in the past. Asking the borough to resume the permitting process is on the able.


According to TCCI chair Whitney Wolff, the borough planning department’s recommendation was to form a committee to gauge the community’s desire. At its last meeting, the council did that. Currently, no meeting dates for the new committee have been set.

Nuggets-Lynn Stevens 6-5-2008

Long time Talkeetna resident Lynn Stevens passed away at age 104 on March 18th.

On May 6th, there will be a memorial at Horizon House, in Anchorage, where she was living. It’s at 3 pm.On May 7th, a service and reception will be held at Wasilla Presbyterian Church, at 2 pm. Cards may be sent to family at P.O. box 80134, Fairbanks, AK 99708.

In this archived program, Lynn Stevens talks to KTNA’s Nuggets host Holly Stinson in 2008.