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


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’s Assistant at the clinic. They talk about the upcoming two-day Strengthening Families ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) workshop, tomorrow’s diabetes conference in Anchorage, the various viruses going around the community and when to deal with the symptoms. Keith also talks about asthma (reactive airway disease), and why he prefers this term, especially when diagnosing breathing problems in young people. He describes what happens in “asthma attacks”, and how preventable and treatable they are.

Flying with Don Lee

Don Lee on the "Swifsure" Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Don Lee on the “Swifsure” Glacier. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

by: Katie Writer – KTNA


Full interview:

Don Lee moved to Talkeetna over 40 years ago and has become one of the world’s premier glacier pilots. After so many years of flying tourists around Denali, Don dreamed of doing something different. In 2003, he founded Alaska Floats and Skis that now has over 4 full time instructors and 7 airplanes. With the longer days of spring, the glacier ski training and tail wheel endorsements keep him busy until the lakes thaw out in mid May.

Don might consider himself one of those “Jack of all trades, master of none,” kind of guy.

He has built numerous structures around town, including his own home, a hangar, and various lodging for his flight training clientele. He is a builder of ideas that come into fruition because of Don’s ability to “MacGyver” and create a way to get the job done.

Read More »

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

Kathleen for StarDate

The three, (not five), planets in our morning sky,

an upcoming near miss of the Moon and a star, and other astro-info

about our unique perspective on the heavens above.

Owner talks about canna-business in Talkeetna

Each year, new businesses come to Talkeetna. This year, with the passage of Ballot Measure 2 in 2014, one business owner is looking to get in on one of the state’s biggest potential growth industries. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

Take a moment and picture the kind of person you think would want to open a marijuana dispensary in Downtown Talkeetna. Odds are that Joe McAneney is not what you imagined. Joe is clean-shaven with short hair and a business-like attitude. When we meet at the shop formerly known as The Chocolate Corner at the end of Main Street, he and his business partner Dan Nelson are taking a break from renovating the interior of the building.


Joe McAneney realizes he may not be exactly what people picture in someone looking to get into the cannabis industry.


“We think about the typical persona as a ‘stoner,’ someone who’s wearing a Bob Marley flag and has long dreadlocks. That’s great. There’s a lot of great people out there who personify that.”

Read More »

Junior nordic shows Upper Valley youth the joy of skiing

Coach Aubrey Smith with some of this year's Junior Nordic skiers. Photo: Katie Writer - KTNA

Coach Aubrey Smith with some of this year’s Junior Nordic skiers. Photo: Katie Writer – KTNA

By:  Katie Writer – KTNA

As the days are getting longer by 5 minutes and 34 seconds per day, Denali Junior Nordic Ski Program enjoyed the solid snow pack on Wednesday, held at the Talkeetna Lakes Park.

Over 45 participants, including family members and friends, teamed up and set out to fill their punch cards in a unique ski orienteering course.

Coach Aubrey Smith explains,

“Today all the kids have maps with also a punch card. They are going to go around the course on the Talkeetna Lakes Trails with flags and punches..”

The ages range from 5-13 years old, though younger siblings account for a good number of participants. While older kids hone their striding and speed on skis, many younger siblings learn first by watching and trying out their own skis. Read More »

“Hero dog” dies after battle with cancer

Ben Heinrichs and "Buddy" in 2010.  Photo by Diana Haecker

Ben Heinrichs and “Buddy” in 2010. Photo by Diana Haecker

Buddy, the “hero dog” that led an Alaska State Trooper to a structure fire in the spring of 2010 has died after a battle with cancer.

Ben Heinrichs, Buddy’s owner, describes the fire that led to his German Shepard becoming a national celebrity.

“I was out working in the shop. I was using gas to clean parts on a truck, and I had an electric heater in there. It ignited the gas fumes. I ran out, because I was on fire. I had to roll in the snow, and I went back in and got my dog out. I told him we needed to get help, and that’s when it all started.” Read More »

MTA attempts state-level deregulation for landlines

Members of the Matanuska Telephone Association throughout the Mat-Su Borough recently received a ballot asking whether the telecom company should be exempt from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Most of MTA’s services are already outside of the jurisdiction of the RCA. The only service that is still regulated at the state level is landline telephones. Other services, including wireless phones, television, and Internet, would continue to be regulated by the Federal Communication Commission.

Carolyn Hanson, Director of Marketing and Sales, says deregulating will save MTA members $175,000 annually by eliminating the state administrative fee that goes to the RCA. Hanson says that many customers won’t see a big difference in their phone bill, but some larger entities will.

Read More »

Local student to compete for national VFW scholarship

A Su-Valley student has won the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Voice of Democracy contest for the state of Alaska.

Senior Élan Grenier started off by winning the local contest held by VFW Post 3836 in Talkeetna. That victory comes with a $1,000 scholarship. Grenier went on to win the state contest, netting her another $1,000 scholarship. The state victory also earns Grenier a trip to Washington, D.C. and the chance to compete for additional scholarship money. The national winner of the Voice of Democracy contest receives a $30,000 scholarship. All levels of the contest are based on the theme “My Vision for America.”

Two other local students won scholarships at the local level. Reece Williams won the Vicki-Webb Memorial Scholarship, and Kenneth Wallace won the Joan Katkus Scholarship. Both of those scholarships are given by VFW Post 3836.

Borough hopes to begin work on 2012 flood damage this summer

The Mat-Su Borough hopes to begin work on federally funded repairs to Yoder Road and the Talkeetna dike this summer.


Both structures were damaged by the Fall 2012 flood. Initially, the borough had to appeal for funding from the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency for the Talkeetna dike, since the structure was not listed on flood maps at the time. That appeal was successful, and the process is now at the federal level.


Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook says FEMA has written initial scopes of work for both Yoder Road and the Talkeetna dike and sent them to the borough for review. Cook says borough staff is revising those scopes of work to address concerns the borough has about lack of information. The documents are expected to go back back to FEMA and the State of Alaska by the end of the week.


Casey Cook says he still hopes to begin work this summer, and plans to attend the next meeting of the Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. to answer questions from area residents.