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KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

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Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song

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Talkeetna’s centennial planning begins with a ‘timeline party’

One of many tables with historic photographs, maps, and documents at the Talkeetna timeline party.  Photo:  Phillip Manning

One of many tables with historic photographs, maps, and documents at the Talkeetna timeline party. Photo: Phillip Manning

Talkeetna’s centennial is next year, and preparations are already underway.  The first big planning event was a timeline party held over the weekend by the Talkeetna Historical Society.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there, and has this report.

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The first Talkeetna Historical Society timeline party drew well over fifty area residents who wrote down the dates of important events they remember, identified people in photographs, or were just there to learn more.   Sue Deyoe is with the Historical Society, and says the idea came from early planning meetings for Talkeetna’s centennial.

“Let’s get everybody involved in it; let’s have a community event.  Have people add their own time:  when they got here, what they did, how they got here, things they remember.” Read More »

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Lonnie Dupre returns safely from historic Denali climb

Climber Lonnie Dupre has returned to Talkeetna after becoming the first soloist to ever summit Denali in the month of January.  While in town, he stopped in to speak with KTNA’s Phillip Manning.

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Lonnie Dupre’s historic climb began on December 18th, and he summited Denali on January 11th just after 2:00 pm.  This was Dupre’s fourth attempt at the unprecedented feat of being the first person to climb the mountain solo in January.  Veteran climber Willi Prittie says January is a tough month for climbing in Alaska, when the longest periods of daylight stretch just past six hours.

“You’ve got to be really on top of your self-care, your logistical stuff, and take advantage of every little bit of daylight that you have, and it isn’t any too much in something like January.” Read More »

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Weather turns back Lonnie Dupre’s ride home

After becoming the first solo climber to reach the summit of Denali in the month of January, Lonnie Dupre will be spending at least one more night on the mountain after weather forced his ride to turn back.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning was along for the attempted pick-up, and has more:

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When it comes to getting in and out of base camp on Denali, nearly everyone travels by airplane.  That was the plan on Wednesday.  Climber Lonnie Dupre was expected to reach base camp by the early afternoon, and two planes were going to meet him, caring sponsors, support crew, and reporters.  The weather was clear, but a system was obviously moving in from the south.  After one final check-in with Lonnie Dupre by satellite phone, Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot Paul Roderick set off.

The flight started fairly smoothly, but as the plane entered the Alaska Range, turbulence began to pick up. Read More »

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Classics for Kids-Black Beauty #10

Cari Sayre continues reading Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell.

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Rep. Keller pre-files bill on “Constitutional Literacy”

The Alaska State Legislature has released the first set of pre-filed bills for the 2015 session, which begins next week.  Among them is one sponsored by Representative Wes Keller, whose district includes the Upper Valley.  Keller’s bill is called the “American Constitutional Literacy History Act.”  If passed, it would require all high school students to go through a curriculum based some of the founding documents of the United States, including Declaration of Independence, early state constitutions, the Federalist Papers, and the U.S. Constitution.

In the bill, Keller cites the report from the Citizen’s Advisory Task Force on Civics Education Policy, which he says “made a strong case for improving civics education.”  This is the second time Representative Keller has put forward a bill to require additional coursework on early American documents.  The previous attempt in 2011 did not reach the floor for a vote.  Keller will be the chairman of the House Education Committee when the legislative session begins in Juneau next week.  The second set of pre-filed bills will be released on Friday.

The Talkeetna Free Box is not open, yet.

For months, many Talkeetna residents have waited for the re-opening of the Free Box Community Store.  Recently, rumors have circulated that the store is indeed open once again.  Luann Tysdale says that is not true, however.  She says that she has allowed people to take clothes away while she is cleaning on weekends, but that more needs to be worked out, including potentially a new name, before the store re-opens.

Luann Tysdale says that the re-opening date is still up in the air, and that things will be a little different than when the Free Box shut down last summer.  She says that the new incarnation of the free box will only deal with clothing and bedding, and Luann Tysdale says she hopes a recycling program can be implemented as well.

For now, no donations are being accepted, and there is not a date for the re-opening of what was once the Free Box Community Store.

Lonnie Dupre becomes first ever January Denali soloist

Lonnie

Lonnie Dupre on a previous winter attempt of Denali.

History has been made on North America’s highest peak. On Sunday, Lonnie Dupre  became the first solo climber to summit Denali in the month of January.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more:

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The news of Lonnie Dupre’s summit came early on Sunday afternoon. His support team received a message from Dupre’s GPS locator that he had made it to the top of North America’s highest peak.

This attempt to be the first successful January soloist on Denali is Dupre’s fourth.  His previous tries were thwarted by bad weather high on the mountain.  Last Thursday, Lonnie Dupre shared via satellite phone his thoughts on being held back by poor conditions.

“There’s nothing worse than having to stay put, especially when you have eighteen hours of darkness every evening.  It makes for very long nights.  And, of course, just  always having the weather pull the rug out from under you when you were psyched up to go somewhere or do some climbing.” Read More »

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Rams basketball takes on Tok Wolverines

The Su-Valley basketball teams are back in town after a trip to Tok over the weekend.  All of the teams opened their conference season with two games against the Tok Wolverines.  The girls varsity team lost two very tight match-ups.  The final scores in those games were 41-40 and 30-28. The boys varsity team posted two dominating victories, defeating Tok 59-13 on Friday and 68-22 on Saturday.

Both the boys and girls junior-varsity teams earned two victories each.

The boys varsity team will face off against Tri-Valley at home on Tuesday.

Writer’s Voice – Winter Bird Count

Writer’s Voice-Jan.11,2015

by Robin Song

The activity at my feeders began well before the sun broke over the treeline in the south the morning of January third- the annual Christmas Winter Bird Count Day in our area. As usual, I made sure the feeders were full and ready, for the birds had survived another long, cold winter night and were in need of fuel right away. singing ChickadeeThe Black-capped Chickadees could lose 10% of their body weight overnight just shivering to keep warm. They don’t have a crop to store food, like Redpolls and other birds do, so they have to burn body fat to keep warm. During cold snaps I bring in the suet and peanut butter feeders overnight and put them back out when the first birds arrive, so they can get at the food easily and so not have to burn precious calories prying at frozen food. male Redpoll

The three Nuthatches chattered as they worked at the suet nets. The male and female Hairy Woodpeckers preferred the suet cage out at the big feeder swinging from a wooden hanger at the edge of the forest, even though that suet was frozen. With their big, sturdy beaks, frozen suet presented no problems for them. The much smaller pair of Downy Woodpeckers came in to the thawed suet at the porch, however.

Ruffed Grouse runs across Mastodon

 

The flock of Pine Grosbeaks came to the two big platform feeders attached to the porch railings and their soft melodic calls added a sweet melody to the mixed gathering of birds. As the golden sun topped the trees, I stood out in the snow in front of the cabin, listening. I heard Redpolls high up in the tall spruce, then heard something else. I listened closely, and recognized the songs of White-winged Crossbills. I smiled. 2014 had been “the Year of the Crossbills”, it seemed. I had seen more of this species on many of my hikes over the summer and fall than in any previous years. Usually I only saw crossbills at the ranch in wintertime, but a small flock had stayed throughout the summer and fall. As I spotted the six birds atop the tall spruce next to the ranch’s drive, I was delighted to add them to my birding list.Boreal Chk eats snow

 

The crown of my Bird Count was the trio of Dark-eyed Juncos who decided to winter-over. One male had wintered here last year, and now there were two males and a female. I wondered if one male was the one from last winter and had ‘told’ his buddies that if they’d stay, instead of migrating, they’d get fed here all winter. Well, you just never know! Of course I buy special seed mix for them and put it out everyday, to make sure they’re getting enough to eat. I want my rare visitors to be taken care of. I sprinkled the seed on the snow just off the porch as the juncos sat in the trees watching me.

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