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

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song

Archives

Writer’s Voice–Getting to Know Each Other, by Grete Lewis Perkins

Grete Perkins and John Baker

This essay originally aired in 2002.

The author wrote many essays for the local paper,

and voiced them for KTNA listeners

as part of the Earth and Beyond program.

 

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We’re getting to know each other, the farm and I. John has been working on our new place for three and a half years, and it is just now, and finally home for both of us. We’re testing the waters, spreading our wings.

As I settle in, I feel like a hen or a robin, settling in to my nest. I’m all ears, all eyes. What will living down here on the farm have to teach me? What can I learn from this place? So many people have asked me, “Won’t you miss being in town? You’re such a people person.” Read More »

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Trapper Creek Community Council Seeking Board Candidates

The Trapper Creek Community Council is seeking candidates for its board of directors.  Interested Trapper Creek residents have until November 20th to sign up.  The election is on December 1st, and new board members will be seated in mid-January.

Three seats are open on the board, and the two candidates who receive the most votes will receive two year terms.  The candidate with the third most will be seated for a single year.

Applications for candidates are available at the Trapper Creek Post Office and Library.

Silver Alert: William Wesley

The Alaska State Troopers have issued a Silver Alert for William Wesley.  Wesley is 60 years of age, 5’9″, and weighs 148 pounds.  He was last seen near Three Bears at Trunk Road in Wasilla wearing a camouflage jacket, red vest, grey hoodie, and jeans and carrying a green nylon sack.

Anyone who sees Wesley can call 907-451-5100 or 9-1-1.

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Talkeetna Community Council Chooses Revenue Sharing Recipients

This past Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors held its annual meeting.  With the exception of new members being seated, the agenda wasn’t very different from what might appear during any of the regular monthly meetings.  Three new members were seated on the board, Rich Crain, Mark Moren, and Rob Shelby.   Whitney Wolff was retained as chair, as well as Mary Farina as co-chair.  Katie Writer was chosen as the new treasurer and Iris Vandenham was made secretary of the TCC.  There was no secret ballot, since only one person was nominated for each position.

Much of the discussion at Monday’s meeting dealt with the distribution of state revenue sharing funds.  The council had a total of $28,600 to give to community organizations.  In total, seventeen applications were submitted, with requests for more than $64,000 dollars.  All but two organizations received at least some of the requested funding.  The largest awards went to Sunshine Transit and the Upper Susitna Food Pantry, with both receiving $4,000.  Some controversy emerged from the recommendation of a $400 contribution to the Gateway to the Arctic Camp, since it lies outside of the Talkeetna Community Council Area.  Board member Iris Vandenham also opposed a $500 grant to the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce.  An amendment to strike those two items did not receive a second.

A complete list of the approved revenue sharing grants is available below: Read More »

2014 Election: Talkeetna is an Island of Blue in a Red Upper Valley

With all but one precinct reporting as of late Tuesday night, both local incumbents for the state legislature seem to have retained their seats by wide margins. Both Senator Mike Dunleavy and Representative Wes Keller received more than sixty-six percent of the vote, meaning they will return to Juneau for the legislative session later this winter.

Voter turnout in the Upper Valley was fairly consistent with the 2010 and 2012 elections. Only Willow showed a turnout higher than 40%. Talkeetna and Susitna both had turnout over 36%, and 26% of Trapper Creek’s eligible voters came to the polls on Tuesday. Because early and absentee ballots are not counted as part of the precinct they come from, overall turnout in House District 10 was higher than for any individual precinct, and totaled just over 48%.

In statewide races, every precinct in the Upper Valley, with the exception of Talkeetna, voted for Republicans. Talkeetna broke for Democratic or Non-Affiliated candidates in every race for state legislature and statewide office.

On the ballot issues, the Upper Valley precincts followed suit with the statewide trends. Susitna, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, and Willow all voted “Yes” on legalization of marijuana, raising the state’s minimum wage, and requiring legislative approval for large mines in the Bristol Bay area.

These results are still preliminary. Statewide, thousands of absentee and questioned ballots remain to be counted. It’s currently unknown how many of those were cast in the Susitna Valley.

Stubbs for U.S. Senate? Thanks to the Internet, This is a Thing

The campaign for U.S. Senate in Alaska has received national attention, and the race has been rife with campaign ads.  Tuesday morning, one more candidate threw his hat into the ring, and his campaign ad has social media purring.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

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According to Real Clear Politics, Congress currently has an approval rating below 13%.  While Talkeetna has no official mayor, and thus no approval polls, odds are the unofficial mayor would blow Congress’ numbers out of the water.   The tongue-in-cheek campaign ad for Mayor Stubbs, a seventeen-year-old cat, expresses the frustration felt by many in what has been a contentious an ad-filled campaign season.

Nationwide, Stubbs may well have more name recognition than the actual candidates for U.S. Senate.  After all, he’s made it in to the Friskies 50, a list of the internet’s most influential cats.  His campaign ad suggests he, too, wants to make a change.

At Nagley’s General Store in Talkeetna, Stubbs’ place of residence, the staff says they are not behind the video.  Jolene Pate was working the counter on Tuesday, and says that, while they didn’t come up with the idea, the staff is on board.

“We would have made a whole schpiel for Stubbs…put out flyers and everything.”

Jolene says she’d be willing to consider writing in the seventeen-year-old cat for the Senate.

“Yeah, I think so.  I think he’d make a much better senator than anyone we’ve got on our election ballot.”

Writing in animals or fictional characters is hardly new.  Ask around, and it’s easy to find someone who has written in Mickey Mouse or something similar, but what about Stubbs?  In addition to the Nagley’s staff, I spoke with a few other people on Talkeetna’s Main Street who said voting for Stubbs wasn’t out of the question, mostly due to frustration with partisan politics.  A local DJ who goes by Mark of the Wild, went one step further, though.

“I did vote in the Governor’s race, but everything else, I wrote in, with my right hand, ‘Mayor Stubbs’…Why not?  He’s great on the issues.”

Mark’s reasoning also had to do with frustration with the current slate of politicians.

While the campaign is obviously tongue-in-cheek, and a victory for Talkeetna’s honorary mayor is out of the question, the language of the ad, as well as the response to it, indicates that the frustration over this election cycle is no joke.

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Writer’s Voice –Honoring Salmon, by Robin Song

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It’s that somewhat peculiar time of year-the autumn glory is over, the birds have migrated south, and we’re waiting for snow. Freeze-up has begun, with frost now staying on the shadowed areas of grass all day, and thin ice is forming on the lakes and ponds. After the summer without them, the stars are back, sparkling in the lengthening night sky. Fresh snow has brightened-up the Alaska Range, and dusted all the other mountains. The colors of the forests are now the muted browns of bare limbs and dead leaves on the ground. The evergreens stand dark, waiting for snow to etch their limbs with white.

For me, the bright spot in this time of year is the Coho Salmon. Theirs is the last of the salmon runs in our area, and they choose the cold autumn waters for their spawning beds. There is one creek in particular to which I hike to watch the salmon each fall, and I was there in mid-October, happy to see that my heroes had returned at last. By the time I was able to make my first hike there, they had already spawned, but they were lively and the males still sparred with each other. Only a few had the white patches on their sleek bodies, indicating that their bodies were beginning to decay as they began their decline towards their life’s end.

sparring male salmonfemale Coho rests in a pool

The lake from which this creek drains was probably formed by a receding glacier, and at some point-long, long before humans came to this area-the salmon found this creek and began coming here to spawn. How and why they chose this particular creek is a mystery, but the rhythm was set in place and each fall the descendents of that first ancient salmon run return to this creek to continue this part of the genetic code for all salmon. They face many predators in their years in the ocean-when they arrive there they are small and it seems like everything wants to dine on them, even larger fish. Those who survive grow bigger, and wiser, and learn to avoid more predators and other challenges. When humans came on the scene, they added their own long list of challenges to the fish, from direct fishing to pollution. And when the salmon finally answer the urge to leave the sea and return to their freshwater natal homes, they face a fresh onslaught of predators and challenges, natural and human-made. Read More »

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New Online App Lets You Track Election Results

Are you one of those people who follows every move of an election, but don’t want to be tied to your web browser?  There’s an app for that.

Last month, the Alaska Commons blog site reported on Anchorage’s Hackathon.  While the name might sound ominous, it’s actually quite the opposite.  Lance Ahern is the Chief Information Officer for the Municipality of Anchorage and a Hackathon participant.  he explains what goes on at these events.

“A hackaton is, nowadays, when a group of–let’s call them civic-minded–people, who are interested in technology and would like to use it to maybe better local government or help non-profits, get together for a weekend…to work on projects together.” Read More »

Interviews With All Five Candidates for Local Legislative Seats

Below is the audio from Su-Valley Voice interviews with all of the candidates for House Seat 10 and Senate Seat E, as well as profiles excerpted from those interviews.

House Seat 10

Wes Keller (R) incumbent:

Profile:

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Full Interview:

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Neal Lacy (D):

Profile:

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Full Interview:

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Roger Purcell (Non-Affiliated):

Profile:

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Full Interview:

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State Senate Seat E:

 

Mike Dunleavy (R) incumbent:

Profile:

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Full Interview:

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Warren Keogh (non-affiliated):

Profile:

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Full Interview:

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