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


AK Senate Majority members answer questions about budget cuts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Tuesday morning, members of the Senate Finance Committee from the Republican-controlled majority held a press conference defending their cuts to the state’s operating and capital budgets, including a controversial cut to education that includes the Mat-Su Borough School District.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has more.

When asked why they were holding a special press-conference on Tuesday, members of the majority caucus on the Senate Finance committee said that they felt it necessary to emphasize the severity of the state’s revenue shortfall.  Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican, says that the days of looking ahead to a ‘fiscal cliff’ are over.

“We’ve hit the fiscal cliff. We’ve fallen off the fiscal cliff.  This is it;  the time is now that we always talked about.  And, this budget cycle, we have tried to respond to the fact that we’ve fallen off the cliff, and we’re trying to save Alaska’s financial future.” (more…)

Su-Valley to add sixth-grade classes next school year

Monday, February 9, 2015

Starting next school year, Su-Valley will begin offering sixth-grade.  School and District officials say the idea is to add more options for students and parents.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning talked with two local principals about how the changes will work.

The new sixth-grade program at Su-Valley will include students from Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, and Willow Elementary Schools.  One thing that all of the administrators I spoke to made very clear is that parents and students will be the ones to decide whether they stay at their respective elementary school or go to the junior and senior high. (more…)

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

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.

Sen. Mike Dunleavy discusses upcoming legislative session

Friday, January 9, 2015

The 2015 session of the Alaska legislature starts in less than two weeks.  Around the state, elected officials are getting ready to head to Juneau.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning spoke with State Senator Mike Dunleavy (dun-LAY-vee) about his plans once the session is underway.

Given the current price of oil and the deficit facing the State of Alaska, Senator Mike Dunleavy’s priorities are not too surprising.

“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘What are your top three priorities?’  I said, ‘The budget, the budget, and the budget.'”

At current projections, the state could be facing a deficit in excess of $3 billion.  Governor Bill Walker took office last month, and has already put a hold on a number of capital projects.  Senator Dunleavy says that is just the beginning.

“There have been some capital projects that have been earmarked for possible elimination.  I think there’s going to be a reception by most folks on reducing our capital budget significantly, at least for this year.  That’s the easy lift.” (more…)

Legislature could add funds for education, prioritize megaprojects

Friday, March 28, 2014

With less than a month until the end of the state’s legislative session, increasing discussion of the state budget is inevitable.  Members of both the House and Senate, as well as Governor Parnell, have made it clear that this budget year will be tight.  Cuts to a number of state programs have already been considered, and much of the discussion of the state’s operating budget is winding down.

In a major development on Friday, the Senate Finance Committee voted to add an additional $75 million dollars for education beyond what Governor Parnell had requested.  Now, the total number for education is $100 million.  Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee says the increase does not represent the final word on education funding.

“We want, as a group, to figure out education.  We may need some time to do that.  This amendment gives us time, while we are not putting the school districts too far out on a limb as we make our determination.” (more…)

Su Valley Voice-update on a new Talkeetna Library, and Friends of the Library fundraiser

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

KTNA’s news producer Lorien Nettleton talked to Talkeetna Public Librarian Ann Yadon and Friends of the Talkeetna Library spokesperson Sandra Mathiesen about current Library programs, why the community has supported a new facility, and the kickoff music fundraiser by the Friends of the Talkeetna Library at the Fairview Inn, ongoing ’til late tonight (Wednesday).


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Su Valley Voice-7-25-2012-Northern Susitna Institute update

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

KTNA news producer Lorien Nettleton talks with NSI executive director Joe Page, and Alaska Folk School director Diane Ziegner about NSI’s history, and its programs, the Alaska  Folk School, Build-A-Plane, the CEAL Academy, and Classroom with a View. We hear about NSI’s plan for a permanent home, some past and future folk school classes, and…the first annual Cardboard Boat Regatta next month! The hour-long program aired live from the KTNA studio.


[audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg1.mp3|titles=suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg1] [audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg2.mp3|titles=suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg2] [audio:http://ktna.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg3.mp3|titles=suvalleyvoice-07-25-12-NSI-seg3]

Race wins statewide UAA/ADN poetry contest

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Each year since 1981, The University of Alaska and the Anchorage Daily News have teamed up to hold a statewide creative writing and poetry contest.

This year, the winner in the poetry competition, for 4th through 6th grade was Cassidy Race of Talkeetna Elementary. Race is now in 7th grade, but was a 6th grader when she entered the contest in April. (more…)

Talkeetna preschool struggles this fall

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The state of Alaska is one of a number of states that does not support a statewide preschool program.  There are communities that have managed to support their own preschool program, but those are either privately funded, Head Start programs or pilot programs.   Trapper Creek has managed to work out a program, with no support from the district or the state.  Talkeetna, due to enrollment levels,  recently lost a tutor position that was also used to support a preschool teacher.