KTNA volunteer Cari Sayre reads The Velveteen Rabbit.
On Tuesday, the Sunshine Community Health Center Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting. Attending these meetings has become a regular practice for many in the community, and Tuesday was no exception. Nearly twenty community members attended, though, in a departure from previous meetings, none asked to be recognized as persons to be heard.
Near the beginning of the meeting, Board President David Sutton informed the attending staff and community members that the Board may be receiving assistance in the near future in the form of grant funding and guidance.
“The Board has contacted the Mat-Su Health Foundation. We’ve also been in contact with Foraker Group. The Mat-Su Health Foundation has offered a $15,000 grant to Sunshine Community Health Center–this has been solicited by the Board–for assistance to help the Board positively navigate the process.” Read More »
Last Saturday, Arctic Entries was in Talkeetna. It’s a storytelling program out of Anchorage that invites people from around the state to tell their uniquely Alaskan tales. The theme for the Talkeetna show was: “Getting there, getting wild, and staying put.” You can listen to the complete show via the audio links in this post.
To hear more from Arctic Entries, you can visit www.arcticentries.com.
By: David Bendenger, KDLG
Popular footwear brand XtraTuf is on a mission to prove to their disappointed loyal customers that the iconic boots are not just “Sort-of-Tough” anymore. Two years ago, parent-company Honeywell transferred production of XtraTuf from Rock Island, Illinois, to a factory in China, and the product that rolled off the line was nowhere near what Alaskans had come to expect. XtraTuf says the quality is back to normal and they want to replace any pairs purchased that didn’t hold up, no questions asked. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has more:
Since last June, the Upper Valley has seen a number of daily high temperature records fall. The unusual weather has continued into the winter as well, with arctic air chilling the Lower 48, and warm air from the Pacific heating Alaska up. Monday marked another record high, as the temperature reached forty-five degrees. Looking ahead, however, the forecast is calling for temperatures a little closer to normal, potentially dropping into the single digits by Thursday night. Precipitation is also expected to taper off as the week goes on.
The reason for the shift in weather is that the high pressure system that has kept the warm, moist air here is beginning to weaken. According to forecasters at the Anchorage office of the National Weather Service, a low pressure system has started to eat away at the high pressure ridge over Alaska. That means that warm air will once again begin to escape, and cooler air will take its place. While it has been a week for light layers and mud boots, it looks like winter is not done after all.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted a request from the Alaska Energy Authority to extend the timeline for the initial study reports on the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. In addition, FERC has also granted the recommendation made by many individuals, NGO, and a few federal agencies to extend the review period for those reports. Read More »
FERC has received numerous letters commenting on AEA’s request to extend the Susitna Dam study report timeline
Individuals, NGOs, and some federal groups are expressing concerns over the Alaska Energy Authority’s request to extend the timeline for studies on the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. So far, all of the respondents have varying degrees of concerns with the request.
The request for an extension was made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on January 6th. FERC is the government body that determines whether projects like Susitna-Watana receive licenses. AEA is asking that FERC allow a 120 day delay in releasing the initial study reports on the mega-project. According to the current timeline, those reports are to be released on February 3rd. AEA says it would still release the reports on February 3rd, but they would be labeled as drafts. The final reports would then be released in early June. Read More »
On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Transportation released its Western Susitna Transportation Analysis Report. According to DOT, the report identifies resource development and use opportunities, potential crossings of the Susitna River, and potential transportation corridors to access resources.
The studied area is mostly west of the Parks Highway, and is bordered by Denali National Park, the Alaska Range, and Cook Inlet. The study sought to inventory natural resources in the area as well as find ways to extend the road system to reach those resources. There are five proposed routes, all with varying lengths, number of bridges, and costs. They range between $4 million dollars per mile to $6.3 million dollars per mile. The report also ranks each destination area by the amount of resources found there. Public comment on the report is open until February 28th. A link to the report can be found here.
On Tuesday night, the audience participation portion of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly meeting was dominated by discussion of the Borough’s Department of Emergency Services. First responders and other Borough residents spoke about serious concerns regarding current staffing levels.
The staffing concerns for the Borough’s emergency services stem from a 29.9 hour per week cap on non-full time employees. That cap is a result of a combination of factors. According to a statement by Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss, the chief reasons are the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and existing union contracts. Another issue that has come up in discussions of the cuts is the state’s finding in 2012 that the Borough must provide contributions to the state employee retirement program for employees who work thirty or more hours. The Borough is currently being sued in connection with that finding.
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