Monthly Archives: April 2013

May Day Skating ~ Bring the Kids

Ron Liewer is planning this special day.  Yes, there will be ice on May 1 and it will be historic (kids skating in May).

Ron is back in town and he will sweep up the water, but insists there is enough ice that the kids can skate.

Kids can go before school and come afterwards, since Wednesdays are early dismissal days.

Wednesday, May 1
7:00 to 9:00 AM and 2:30 PM throughout the afternoon

Ice skates available at no charge

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Warrior Transition Units at Ft. Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson

Operation Welcome Home ~ Soldiers and Cadre members of the Warrior Transition Battalion-Alaska conduct a ‘Welcome Home’ Ceremony for Mr. Peter Krzanowski a Vietnam Veteran. As part of ‘Operation Welcome Home’ the Soldiers and Cadre of the Warrior Transition Battalion – Alaska take time to thank prior Veterans in the Anchorage area. Photo Courtesy of 1LT Katrina Fedd, WTB-AK

Fort Wainwright, Alaska — On the edge of the Arctic, on Alaska’s coastal plain and on the banks of the Tanana River two elite Army units assemble daily for a unique mission.    On their report day the orders are simple, to heal.

The mission of the Warrior Transition Battalion – Alaska, consisting of Alpha Company at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Bravo Company at Ft. Wainwright, is to ‘improve the life of each Soldier who walks through its doors.’

While the Soldiers that come to these units are all unique in their experiences and the challenges they face, they have at least one thing in common with each other; something didn’t go according to plan.

“Life has thrown a curve-ball at our Soldiers,” said Capt. Daniel Corbett, Commander of Bravo Company at Ft. Wainwright, “That’s where we come in.”

While no Soldier plans on getting wounded, ill or injured, and finding themselves assigned to a Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB), Lt. Col. Jason Benefield, the Battalion Commander, reassures incoming Soldiers that while their plan may have changed, the staff of Alpha and Bravo Company is there to assist them in their journey.

“I want them to have confidence in us, to trust that together, we can develop a new plan that will help them reach their full potential and help them be successful, whether they are going back to the force and into the fight or becoming a veteran,” said Benefield.

WTB-Alaska staff members, both military and civilian, work hard to instill this confidence and earn the trust of the Soldiers who are assigned to their unit.

The Soldiers, who all require at least six months of complex medical treatment due to wounds, illnesses or injuries, come from Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard units throughout Alaska.

There are three methods Soldiers become assigned to either Alpha or Bravo Company.

During overseas operations, Soldiers who are medically evacuated are met at the airport by a military cadre member and screened immediately upon arrival at the hospital by a medical team. This initial assessment determines if the Soldier is in need of complex medical care and assignment to the WTB.

The second, and most common, process is the regular intake board.

The ‘Warrior Intake Board,’ consisting of the commander of the United States Army – Alaska, commander of all Army Medical Activities in Alaska and the WTB commander (known officially as the triad of leadership) review recommendations from unit commanders.  During the formal board proceedings the three commanders are presented with the complete background of the Soldier and medical recommendations.  The board screening thoroughly sorts out the simple medical problems and votes on each recommended Soldier. If just one triad of leadership member votes ‘yes’ indicating he believes the Soldier requires complex medical care, the Soldier is immediately assigned to the WTB.

Seattle Soldier Ride ~ SSG Kelly Pearson represented the WTB-Alaska at the Seattle Soldier Ride.

Lastly, Soldiers may be transferred from a WTB at a different installation if Alaska is listed as their home of record.

No matter how Soldiers find their way to WTB-Alaska, they find a caring staff, dedicated to their healing – not just physically, but holistically.

When a Soldier arrives at the WTB, he or she is immediately assigned to a squad leader who  serves as the Soldier’s sponsor, leader and guide through the recovery process. Only non-commissioned officers with proven leadership abilities, effective coping skills, and certification from special training conducted at the Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston,  Texas are allowed to serve as WTB Squad leaders.  The job is so demanding that squad leaders are kept on a strict two year assignment to the WTB.

“We are not just dealing with a Soldier as a team leader,” said Staff Sgt. Kathryn Martin, a squad leader for Bravo Company when asked to describe her role at the WTB. “We get to know our Soldiers on a one-on-one basis. We have to know how to communicate with each Soldier and get personal with them to know what makes them tick. I am very candid with my Soldiers and I tell them what to expect. I have never deployed, so I never say ‘I understand what you’re going through,’ instead, I prove to the Soldier that I am going to do everything I can for them,” she added.

During the first 24 hours, the Soldier (guided by their squad leader),  and his or her family, receive briefings about the facilities, the personnel involved in the care and management of the Soldier, the expectations of the Soldier and a general outline of what to expect in the coming months.

Ice, Ice Baby The SFAC organized an ice fishing trip for the Soldiers and family members. Nobody is too young for fishing in Alaska. Photo courtesy of SGT Gonzalez, WTB-AK.

“Within 30 days at WTB-Alaska, the Soldiers work with a team to develop a plan, called their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP), with both short-term and long-term goals that help them restore their overall health in six different domains,” said Benefield.

Progress through these domains; physical health, emotional well-being, social relationships, family dynamics, spiritual health and career is the responsibility of the Soldier but is aided constantly by the staff of WTB.

“The team here works very well together; there’s a lot of synergy,” said Benefield. “It’s a very strong team that has confidence in each other’s judgment and they bring all these different perspectives into this process for the good of the Soldiers.”

Climbing Higher ~ Soldiers from Bravo Company at Fort Wainwright, Alaska conduct a team obstacle course designed to build confidence and teamwork. Photo courtesy of CPT Robert Monzon, WTB-AK

Each Soldier’s ‘team’ is based on a ‘Triad of Care’ consisting of a nurse case manager, a primary care provider (a doctor or physician assistant), and the squad leader.

The Triad, along with the Soldier’s company commander, a social worker, an occupational therapist and other WTB professionals who interact with the Soldier, meet every week to discuss the Soldier’s progress through the six domains. In order to successfully navigate the domains to reach their transition goals, it is necessary for Soldiers to have trust in their care team.  These weekly meetings allow a complete synchronization of effort, an examination of ongoing success and they help build a mutually beneficial & trusting relationship between all the stake holders engaged in the Soldier’s care.

Alaska Resiliency ~ SFC Jason Folmar poses above Arctic Valley after leading a hike with the Soldiers of Warrior Transition Battalion – Alaska. The Soldiers of WTB-AK routinely take advantage of the Alaska wilderness to build physical fitness, resiliency and an appreciation for nature. Photo courtesy of MAJ Lina Villar, WTB-AK.

Working with the Triad and the allied support personnel is often a new experience for Soldiers accustomed to the normally stratified and regimented Army life.  Soldiers often find it shocking that their mission is no longer preparing for combat, fixing vehicles, or jumping from Airplanes but is simply to heal and prepare for the next step in life.

For Master Sgt. Marc Senzamici, a Soldier for 19 years who came to the WTB after his third combat deployment, working with his Triad of Care and adjusting to the WTB mission took several months. As a company 1st Sgt., Senzamici was used to taking care of the Soldiers in his unit and worked diligently with his Triad to transition to a mindset in which he was the one who needed the care himself.

“Our daily work revolves around medical appointments and day-to-day it is more care-based as opposed to a specific career field,” said Senzamici.

HOT Awards ~ Each Soldier who successfully transitions from the WTB-AK identifies their own “Hero of the Transition”, the person who helped them the most during their stay. The Hero of the Transition (HOT) Award belongs completely to the Soldier – they can present their HOT Award to anybody they want, cadre, staff, family members, or members of the community. Photo courtesy of 1LT Katrina Fedd, WTB-AK

Nurse case managers serve as the medical points of contact for every Soldier, scheduling and coordinating all of the Soldiers’ medical needs. They work together with the primary care provider to make sure every medical condition is properly addressed and that nothing is missed.

“If there are specialty consults required, the nurse case manager tracks it,” said Ms. Melody Quesenberry, supervisory nurse case manager, WTB-Alaska. “If there are records that need to be sent prior to an appointment, we take care of that as well. A lot of education is done with the Soldiers.”

Quesenberry added that if a Soldier has any medical concerns, their first stop is to their nurse case manager and any concerns are triaged before their next medical appointment.

The unit also employees a dedicated staff of support specialists who supplement the Soldiers’ healing process with assistance in areas as diverse as financial management, resume writing and spiritual resiliency.

“To be a successful cadre member, a level of caring and adaptability must be displayed”, said Corbett.  “How we reach or engage a Soldier here is different than ‘on the line’ (referring to the Soldiers in deployable, high-tempo units where Sergeants can be infamous for their discipline techniques.) We don’t necessarily use a softer approach, we still expect them to behave professionally like Soldiers, but it is a different approach, it is an adaptive and compassionate approach.”

Ice Fishing at Fort Wainright ~ In an ongoing effort to Fight the Darkness of Alaska’s long winters, B company held their second annual ice fishing event. This event is very popular with the Soldiers and cadre. Photo courtesy of CPT Monzon, WTB-AK.

When Martin and the other WTB-Alaska team members tell Soldiers they will do everything they can for them, they mean it. Their support is not limited to normal business hours, nor is it only for the Soldiers. “Like the Soldier, their Family members never planned to have their loved one as part of the WTB so they are in transition too,” said Benefield.

To assist in this area, the Soldier Family Assistance Centers (SFAC) located at both Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright, work closely with WTB Soldiers and Family members to provide support programs through the transition process.

“In a nutshell, we solve problems,” said Russ Black, Alpha Company’s SFAC director.

Take a Hike ~ The ladies of the WTB-Alaska get together year round for ski-ing or hiking and always have a great time. Every day in Alaska will give you a photograph opportunity of a lifetime – cameras are mission essential when going outdoors. Photo courtesy of MAJ Lina Villar, WTB-AK.

Black and his staff assist with goal setting and developing a strategic life plan by arranging for higher education opportunities and job experience for the Soldiers.  They also act as a clearing house of information for the families.

The SFAC staff at Alpha and Bravo companies also act as liaisons with the civilian community outside their gates. They create partnerships with organizations and programs such as Equine Therapy, Alaska Healing Hearts, and the Elks Club. These partnerships not only provide therapeutic activities, but also allow Soldiers and Family members to enjoy some unique Alaskan experiences.

Alaska, the Adventure of a Lifetime ~ This is an Alaska National Guard UH60 transporting the WTB-Alaska re-enlistment party to Knik Glacier. Photo courtesy of SFC Jason Folmar, WTB-AK.

Sergeant Robert Somerville, an Alaska National Guard Soldier, found the Healing Waters programs especially helpful as a part of his Comprehensive Transition Plan.  The people who work this program are dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.

“I’ve been building myself a 10 and one half foot fly fishing pole and tying my own flies, I also volunteer to staff the booth at the Alaskan Outdoorsman Festival.  It has not only helped my concentration and memory but also my physical recovery from shoulder surgery.  I would definitely recommend the program to any veteran or Soldier at the WTB,” Somerville said.

The SFAC takes an active role by including all the Soldiers, Cadre and staff and their families in special events. Fall festivals, back-to-school picnics and potlucks are all common sights at both Alpha and Bravo Company.

WTBears ~ These Warrior Transition Bears visited our new campus often. Even a walk through the parking lot is an adventure in Alaska. Photo courtesy of LTC Benefield, WTB-AK.

Unlike any other WTB, WTB-Alaska is split geographically with its battalion headquarters and Alpha Company located near Anchorage and Bravo Company operating in Fairbanks.

“This separation does not keep the two units from working together,” said Benefield.  “In fact, weekly administrative & medical meetings, quarterly award ceremonies, promotions, reenlistments and other special occasions all utilize a video teleconference system so cadre, Soldiers and Family members from both sites can participate.”

A major issue that arises is Alaska’s is the very limited specialty care services available.

The limited availability of specialty care in Alaska presents another challenge unique to the Soldiers in the WTB.

“We have to send some of our patients to the lower 48 to get some specialized out-patient care or long-term behavioral health care, which can be a real challenge,” said Col. Young Chun, The Battalion Surgeon.

The austere climate and remote conditions of Alaska do present some hurdles, such as frequency of depression during the long winter months, but also offers many advantages.

“Living in an isolated place, the people we work with are the people we depend on and it makes the team stronger,” said Corbett. “Much like a unit that is deployed, the person you have on your left and your right is who you have.  You become very close with those around you.”

The Purpose ~ WTB-Alaska is very united behind our purpose. Photo courtesy of CPT Robert Monzon, WTB-AK.

In order to combat the challenges of isolation and working in a demanding environment, WTB-Alaska leaders put a strong emphasis on resiliency and camaraderie.  Skeet shooting competitions, mountain hikes and Salmon fishing expeditions are examples of the local Alaskan experiences that units exploit.

The pride team members show in their jobs has a direct reflection on the successes WTB-Alaska has seen over the past six years.  “The camaraderie we have between the cadre members is unique,” said Benefield. “They work well together, they use each other’s expertise effectively.”

One soldier typified the unit’s individualized, determined approach to warrior care. He reported to the WTB after an IED explosion brought him to Alpha Company. He sought a return to active duty but experienced such significant pain in his foot, he considered having it amputated. Benefield encouraged him to look at all available options before making a final decision.

The unit researched a wide variety of treatments, ultimately sending the soldier to Fort Sam Houston’s ‘Center for the Intrepid’ where he was fitted with a special brace that helped support his leg.  He responded so positively to the treatment that he was able to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and return to duty.

For as long as Soldiers live in and deploy from Alaska they know they can rely on the dedicated staff of the Warrior Transition Battalion.  Benefield summed his unit’s feeling best, “Although our greatest day would be the one in which we have no Soldiers to treat; we are here, ready and dedicated to the health and wellbeing of these Soldiers who have universally sacrificed so much and deserve all the best we can give them.”

By Brandy Ostanik, Public Affairs Officer,
Medical Activity – Alaska and
Cpt. John Lunieski, Alaska Warrior Transition Battalion

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Weekly Gas Updates

Alaska, April 29- Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 1.4 cents
per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.92/g yesterday, according to
GasBuddy’s daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska. This compares with the
national average that has fallen 1.6 cents per gallon in the last week to
$3.49/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 48.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 6.6 cents per
gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.3 cents per
gallon during the last month and stands 32.2 cents per gallon lower than this
day one year ago.

“The party at the pump with the seasonally lower prices may be temporarily over,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “We’ve seen situations unfold that have caused a reversal in the downward trend, and those situations are multiplying across portions of the U.S. and Canada. Along the West Coast, supply has grown tight and will lead to likely increases, and in the Great Lakes prices may spike 10-20c/gallon in the next two days in over a half dozen states as a result of a similar situation. Refineries
are finishing what was an extensive maintenance season and with plant restarts
commencing, problems may develop, putting pressure on prices,” DeHaan

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

For more local information, methodology, or related questions, contact:

Patrick DeHaan  Senior Petroleum Analyst,
Chicago, IL  E-mail: 773-644-1427

Gregg Laskoski   Senior Petroleum Analyst,
Tampa, FL E-mail: 813-436-9422

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Land Management Rule Will Facilitate Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands

In support of the Administration’s strategy to develop environmentally responsible renewable energy on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing a regulation that will facilitate right-of-way applications for lands with wind and solar energy development potential.

The Final Rule to be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register will allow the BLM, when necessary for the orderly administration of the public lands, to temporarily segregate lands in a wind or solar energy right-of-way application from the location of mining claims or other land appropriations.

Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the BLM is charged with managing the public lands for multiple uses. Under existing regulations, lands proposed for exchange or sale can be closed to the filing of mining claims. However, lands included in a proposed right-of-way remain open to the location and entry of mining claims while the BLM is considering the application.

The Final Rule will revise the regulations to provide for the segregation of lands to facilitate the processing of solar and wind energy right-of-way applications.

The regulation has been in development for two years. On April 26, 2011, the BLM published an interim temporary Final Rule and a proposed rule on segregating lands in solar and wind energy applications. The Final Rule published tomorrow replaces the interim temporary Final Rule.

Since 2009, the BLM has approved 23 solar and 8 wind energy development right-of-way applications. In two proposed rights-of-way, mining claims were located after the right-of-way applications were submitted but before the rights-of-way could be authorized. In the two years before the interim temporary Final Rule went into effect, 437 new mining claims were located within wind energy right-of-way application areas in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming; another 216 new mining claims were located within solar energy right-of-way application areas.

The temporary rules published in April 2011 have helped resolve such conflicts, since they granted the BLM authority to temporarily remove lands included in a renewable energy right-of-way application and lands offered for wind or solar energy lease from land appropriations like mining claims. By temporarily segregating lands covered by pending wind or solar right-of-way applications, or lands identified as potential renewable energy leasing areas, the BLM can help ensure that new resource conflicts will not arise with respect to mining claims.

Under the Final Rule, lands with right-of-way applications for solar or wind energy development could be segregated from the location and entry of mining claims. Such segregations would only be authorized as needed and would not necessarily cover all lands where renewable energy right-of-way applications have been filed.

A segregation would be effective for two years and could be extended for an additional two years if the appropriate BLM State Director determines that an extension is necessary for the orderly administration of the public lands.

The rule also provides for termination of a segregation by one of three means: (1) by having the BLM issue a decision issuing or not issuing a right-of-way for the wind or solar energy proposal; (2) by publishing a Federal Register notice of termination of the segregation; or (3) without further administrative action at the end of the segregation period.

The text of the Final Rule is available online here.

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Soldiers to Conduct Artillery Training

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment will train with 155mm howitzers on the Small Arms Complex adjacent to the Richardson Highway May 7-10 and May 14-17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All of the training will be conducted on the Small Arms Complex.

Residents living near the range and motorists passing the range on the Richardson Highway may hear the blasts and feel vibrations.

All of the training will be conducted on the Small Arms Complex.

Linda Douglass
Garrison Public Affairs Officer

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Denali Commission Issues Grant to Improve Energy Efficiency in Rural Alaska Clinics

Anchorage, Alaska, April 29, 2013 – The Denali Commission has issued a $267,378 grant to help improve the energy efficiency of existing rural Alaska health clinics. The grant was issued to Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to conduct energy efficiency measures to existing clinic infrastructure with the overall goal being to reduce the high cost of energy in rural Alaska.  On average, in the past 10 years the cost of electricity and heating has tripled in rural Alaska.

This grant and the resulting improvements is a continuation of the Denali Commission’s and its program partners’ efforts to improve energy efficiency in rural Alaska, thereby lowering the high cost of heating and electricity.  ANTHC was selected to carry out the work in rural Alaska clinics because they conducted the initial energy audits identifying the potential improvements and have a strong history of clinic construction and energy reduction work in Alaska. Energy conservation measures will be implemented in 26 clinics and include training for building operators, lighting improvements and improvements to heating and ventilation systems. The work being done will vary at each facility depending on the energy audit findings and recommendations.  In the future the Denali Commission hopes to implement programs like this for additional community buildings and infrastructure.

Energy has long been a focus for the Denali Commission. Its energy program includes bulk fuel tank replacement projects to reduce spills and improve safety, upgrades to community power generation and distribution systems which provide for stable power generation, alternative and renewable energy projects to help lower the cost of energy, and energy efficiency measures like those being carried out with the ANTHC grant.

Introduced by Congress in 1998, the Denali Commission is an independent federal agency designed to provide critical utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska. With the creation of the Denali Commission, Congress acknowledged the need for increased inter-agency cooperation and focus on Alaska’s remote communities.

Contact Information:
Denali Commission
Sabrina Hoppas
Public Information Specialist
510 L Street, Suite 410
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-271-5239 (Direct)

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Photo of the day April 29

This is another of my favorite photos because there’s so much going on – bright night sky, spruce and birch trees, aurora, Milky Way, and all kinds of color.  I titled it “Between the Birch.” Photo Courtesy Birch Leaf Photography

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JBER fire station, Airman win top Air Force honors

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Senior Master Sgt. Tobias Adam, 673d civil engineer squadron deputy fire officer poses for portrait photo by his emergency services response vehicle April 23. Adam was awarded the Pacific Air Force fire officer of the year award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Ty-Rico Lea)

by Airman Ty-Rico Lea
JBER Public Affairs

4/25/2013 – JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Service members from all walks of life receive awards recognizing their outstanding accomplishments every day. One Airman, however, embodies what those awards are meant to recognize.

Senior Master Sgt. Tobias Adam, deputy fire officer with the 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, has demonstrated skills that have garnered one of the highest public servant decorations – the Air Force fire officer of year.

Adam was one of the first responders during JBER’s Arctic Thunder Air Show and Open House when a C-17 Globemaster III crashed July 8, 2010. He was tasked with extinguishing the fires at the incident, as well as helping firefighters under his command maintain steadfast focus.

Adam spoke about the lengthy recovery process of the aircraft and how he would have to alternate between keeping a stone face during the mission and smiling with family and friends when he went home.

“That incident was something that I hope very few people have the opportunity to experience,” Adam said.

Throughout his Air Force career as a firefighter and officer, Adam has received missions requiring him to deliver babies, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and even pull victims of incidents from rubble and wrecked machinery.

“Every call we receive is different, and it is very difficult to pinpoint which one stands out to me the most,” Adam said. “I would have calls that I can eventually be proud to take and save a life, or I could receive a call concerning a suicide. So as a strong-minded individual, you have to learn how to find that balance.”

David Donan, 673d CES fire chief, had words of praise to extend for Adam in regards to his work on JBER and outside his job with the many recreational activities he takes part in.

“The award that Adam received in commendation for his work is managed by a system with the Department of Defense Fire Emergency services awards,” Donan, a retired chief master sergeant, said. “The awards are divided up into several categories known as military fire officer of the year, civilian fire officer of the year, military firefighter of the year and civilian firefighter of the year just to name a few.”

JBER Fire Emergency Services was also honored with the Air Force Fire Department of the Year Award (Large Category).

Adam’s role as fire officer is to exercise command and control during a call. He also has administrative responsibilities within his organization.

“What makes this department so unique from other fire departments is that we have the widest ground to cover given we are one of the largest bases,” Donan said. “This provides Airmen like Adam the opportunity to really invest themselves in expanding their on-hand knowledge. As a fire chief, it makes me feel incredibly proud to have Adam be nominated for such a prestigious award.”.

Adam attributes much of his success to being active as a child.

“I would play a lot of baseball and football growing up, and I became involved in various extracurricular activities,” Adam said.

Donan said the JBER fire department has very high expectations for its workers and holds those individuals accountable for those expectations to be met, so Adam’s leadership has been invaluable.

“What I have noticed throughout my years as a military service member is that those Airmen involved in team-building activities, either before enlisting or after, tend to be more successful in this career field,” Donan said. “The reason I say this is because everything we do is as a team, everyone has their role to play.”

Since his tour at JBER began, Adam has acted as the captain for the fire department’s intramural sports team and has led them to championships competing against both Air Force and Army teams.

Adam said he always knew he wanted to be in the military and has served his entire 17-year career in the Air Force as a firefighter.

“Growing up, I came to the decision that I wanted to be a military service member,” Adam said. “The most rewarding part of being a military firefighter is that we are physical public servants and we rely on strength, ability and endurance to save lives and get the job done.”

Adam enlisted in the Air Force at the age 17. Upon graduating Basic Military Training and eventually coming up on his fourth year of enlistment, Adam entertained thoughts of finishing his enlistment and venturing out into other career opportunities. However, he realized his decision to join the Air Force was a wise one, and he decided to continue his service in the military.

Adam’s father, Robert Adam, is a retired chief petty officer and served 21 years in the Navy.

“My dad was a pretty strict guy thanks to all those years he spent in the Navy,” Adam said. “He helped better prepare me for what I’d have to expect in military life.”

Adam said the importance of his family also motivated him to reach his goals.

“Another defining force that compelled me to remain in the Air Force was the fact that I had a family that I had to maintain and support,” Adam said. “So ever since then, I’ve just been 100 percent dedicated to my job and work ethic.”

Story and Photo Courtesy  the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson 

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Log Home Spring Cleaning

A couple of weeks ago we talked about doing our spring cleaning. I promptly received a question about proper procedures for cleaning log homes.

Just like stick built homes, log homes could use a little sprucing up after our long winters. But unlike conventionally built homes, logs have a few more challenges. Logs, as beautiful as they are, have a rough surface. That rough surface means some of our common cleaning procedures will not work. And we are dealing with wood. Use an incorrect cleaner and you may harm your finish. So caution is due here. Always start with the least expensive and mildest methods and build up to harsher treatments. The following recommendations come from a local log home builder, Cabin Life Magazine, and our housing and forestry specialists at Cooperative Extension Service.

First, remove the loose dust and dirt. Don’t dry dust with a feather duster, rag or other type of dry duster. The dust particles escape into the air and fall back to the walls and floors as soon as you turn your back. Start with a good vacuuming. Use a soft brush and vacuum what you can off the surface. Then, use a damp sponge or cloth (using only water) to wipe down the entire wall. The sponge should be wet, but not dripping.

Rinse the sponge or rag out often. This will ensure that the dust is removed from the room, not recirculated. You may need to rinse the cloth or sponge several times as you dust, depending on how dirty the walls are. Keep a close eye on the sponge so that you are not wiping the dust back onto the wall.

Just like scrubbing walls in any other home, start at the bottom and work your way up. You may question this method, but consider this — those streaks will be much easier to remove if they are over sections you have already cleaned, rather than caked onto sections of wall that have yet to be cleaned. Choosing to clean walls in this manner may seem like more work, but in fact it will require less muscle overall to finish the job.

If water doesn’t remove all the stains, switch to a mild cleanser. Murphy’s Oil Soap or any other soap designed to work on wood is a good choice. If those don’t clean well enough, try a mild solution of ammonia water, adding more ammonia, as needed, for extra cleaning power. Be sure to rinse whatever cleaner you use off the wall as you finish.

For more stubborn buildup, try a tougher cleaner. Mix one cup of trisodiumphosphate or TSP (a powdered detergent product available at paint or hardware stores) with one quart fresh, plain liquid bleach and three quarts of mildly warm water to help the solution dissolve. Wearing rubber gloves and working in a well-ventilated room, sponge a small amount on, then off, to test the reaction. If the logs respond well, continue cleaning. Do not mix this solution with anything having ammonia as it will release dangerous fumes.

Now is the time to inspect the finish on the logs as well. If you find that dust and dirt seems to be getting into the surface of the logs on your wall, then you probably need to give them a fresh coat of finish. If you can see the wood change color when you apply water, then the finish is too thin. The color of the wood will not change if you have enough finish on the wall.

As with any of these methods, always try a small, inconspicuous place for a test patch to see how your logs and finish react to the product, particularly if you are not the original owner and don’t know what was used to treat the logs. Logs do get darker as they age, but if yours simply refuse to clean up, sanding, while it’s definitely hard work, may be the way to return logs to their full beauty.

Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is a professor of extension on the Tanana District Extension Faculty. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at or by calling 907-474-2426. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Photo of the day April 27

My husband and I have been hearing a  Roughed Legged Hawk every night. We’ve been speculating on why he is so “vocal.” Today we saw a large bird out our living room window. Could this be him? I only got one shot before he flew off, but perhaps he’ll be back this evening to serenade us once again :) I’ve titled this “Fowl Friend”.
Photo Courtesy Birch Leaf Photography

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2013 Bear Paw Festival Photography Contest

Eagle River Camera Club announces the 2013 Bear Paw Festival Photography Contest

Eagle River, AK – The Eagle River Camera Club is sponsoring a juried photography competition for the 2013 Bear Paw Festival and is seeking entries from Alaskan photographers around the state, young and old.

The winning photographs will be exhibited at Jitters Coffeehouse (11401 Old Glenn Highway, Eagle River) throughout the month of July.  The exhibit will open at Jitters with a reception on Friday, July 5, 2013.

The categories for entries are: Eagle River, People, Scenic, Fauna, Flora, Open, and Creative.  The contest includes separate classes for youth, adult.  Any color or black & white photograph taken in Alaska after January 1, 2012 is eligible.

Approximately 30 photographs will be selected for the exhibit. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in all 7 categories for both classes.

Submit entries in digital format (JPEG) to Gutierrez Photography (11823 Old Glenn Hwy #107, Eagle River, 99577) no later than June 14th.

About Bear Paw Festival Photography Contest

Now in its fifth year, the Bear Paw Festival Photography Contest is held in conjunction with the Eagle River Bear Paw Festival and is jointly sponsored by Gutierrez Photography, Jitters Coffeehouse, and the Eagle River Camera Club.

Additional information and complete contest rules are available online at

About Eagle River Camera Club

The Eagle River Camera Club was formed in 2008 to provide education on photographic techniques, equipment, and image processing for beginners and professionals alike.  The club meets at Gutierrez Photography on the first Thursday of every month at 7PM.  It has a membership of over 300 photographers and the meetings are open to all interested photographers. For information, go to .

Marco Gutierrez (907) 727-1284
Bob Martin

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Firehouse Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser ~ May 7

The Fort Greely Firefighters are proud to host a benefit feed for Sue Hottinger our local Ft. Greely Post Master after a tragic house fire.

Please join us at Station 1, building 504 ~ across from the commissary for spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread.


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Seasonal Vehicle Weight Restriction

Legal Limit 50% of maximum axle load on all streets within City limits

Effective April 29, 2013 until further notice.

Posted by the City of Delta Junction as per Chapter 3.35 of Delta Junction Code of Ordinances

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National Day of Prayer ~ May 2

Please join us in prayer for our nation and our community. Thursday, May 2 12pm – 1pm

Large conference room at City Hall.

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Lao Music, Arts & Culture Dance Group Visiting ~ Community Invited

Lao Music, Arts & Culture Dance Group will be visiting Delta High School Tuesday, April 30.

There will be a performance from 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. in the large gym.

The community is invited as are both Fort Greely and Delta Elementary schools.

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Photo of the day April 26

“Finale Aurora” My final aurora post of Spring 2013.

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TRI the Interior at the Delta Greely Blast Off

Signups for the 5th annual Delta-Greely Triathlon happening soon

FORT GREELY, Alaska – April 25:  Fort Greely Family and MWR announce that the 5th annual Delta Greely Summer Blast Off Triathlon will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.  Registration is now open and forms may be picked up at the Aurora Community Activity Center, the Physical Fitness Center on Fort Greely and at IGA, Texaco, Granite View, and Durham Realty.   Entry fee is $30 and must be post-marked by May 25. After May 25, no mail in registrations will be accepted. Late registration fee is $40 May 26 – June 7. Race Day registration fee is $50.

The Delta Greely Summer Blast Off Triathlon is an established partnership between Fort Greely and the residents of Delta Junction designed to promote fitness and increase military and civilian relations.

Competitors will swim 500 yards at the Fort Greely Physical Fitness Center Pool, bike 9 miles through the Fort Greely Gate, south on the scenic Richardson Hwy , turn around at Meadows Road and bike to the Aurora Community Activity Center and complete a 3.4 mile run along the Bison Trail, ending at the Aurora Community Activity Center.

Questions please contact: Aurora Community Activity Center, 907.873.4782,
Sunday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Fort Greely Physical Fitness Center, 907.873.2696,
Monday – Friday 530a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and Holiday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Or email: or

Race Date:  June 8, 2013
$30 entry fee
Deadline for main  registration: May 25
$40 late registration fee
$50 race day registration fee

Click here for the brochure ~ rules/information, date, location, registration form and waiver, triathlon map

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Alaska Relocation Can be a Moving Experience

Anchorage, Alaska – April 25, 2013 – Spring is in the air in Alaska and breakup is on the horizon. With milder weather and clearer roads, many choose this time of year to relocate to or from the largest state in the U.S., opting to ship autos, boats or RVs in efforts to avoid the 2,000-plus mile commute. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington steers shippers in a safe direction:

–   Shipping Methods: Truck or barge? Determine the amount of time that will be required for safe transport; keep in mind that rough seas in the Gulf of Alaska or road wash-outs on the Alaskan Highway are frequent occurrences. Establish contingency plans and maintain reasonable expectations.

–   Reliable Transportation: Proper registration? Make sure that potential companies are properly licensed and insured. Check BBB Business Reviews at

–   Costs: Are there separate fees for loading and unloading, special handling or fuel surcharges?

–   Contracts: What are the terms?

–   Will vehicles be inside enclosed containers or out in the open? How long will vehicles sit at depots before being loaded?

–   Is personal cargo allowed within vehicles? If so, how much? What is the coverage in events of loss or theft?

–   Who is liable for vehicle damages? “Acts of God” are typically not covered by shippers’ insurance.

The Last Frontier poses unique relocation challenges; from moving to transportation to storage, start with BBB Accredited Businesses.

Michelle Tabler, Alaska Regional Manager:  907-644-5208|
David Quinlan, Director of Public Relations: 206-676-4119

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FCA Presents Bruce Adolphe

Bruce Adolphe with Marija Stroke and Mark Steinberg
Friday, May 3 at 8pm

The renowned composer Bruce Adolphe is author, innovative educator, and a versatile performer. He is currently the resident lecturer and director of family concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, founding creative director of The Learning Maestros, and, of course, the comic keyboard quiz-master of Performance Today’s weekly public radio program Piano Puzzlers.

“The unofficial composer-in-residence of Manhattan’s Upper West Side” (The New Yorker Magazine, 2003) comes to Fairbanks with pianist Marija Stroke and violinist Mark Steinberg of the Brentano Quartet for an evening which will combine his own compositions, classical repertoire and, of course, piano puzzlers.

PO Box 80547, Fairbanks, AK 99708 (907) 474-8081,

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Photo of the day April 25

I took this picture of the Matanuska Glacier on the way home from Anchorage last weekend. Photo Courtesy Wanda Morden

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Photo of the day April 24

Here are a couple pics I took last weekend on a snowmachine ride. The animals didn’t even seemed phased from the snowmachines. Photo Courtesy Russell Hollembaek

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Vendors At Relay for Life

We will be offering space to local vendors at the relay!!!

All that we ask is that you donate a minimum of 10% of your gross sales made during the event, you can set up tents/enclosures etc.,

Please call Denise Coakley at 803-3382 to reserve a spot.

Our Relay For Life takes place 10-11 May 2013 at The Deltana Fairgrounds.

The fun begins at 6:00pm.  Come ready to have a great time and relay!!!

Felicia Gail Brooks
Relay For Life Publicity Chair

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The Stars Were Out

In Delta we feel closer to the heavens and are sometimes treated to magnificent displays of stellar wonders such as the aurora. Sometimes we are given opportunity to see stars up close and personal.

Such occurred Monday evening, when we were privileged to see a constellation of National Honor Society Members and Inductees at Delta High School.

The seven students receiving this high honor were:
Wyatt Lemons
Patrick Newman
Zoya Timoshenko
Jessalyn Reiter
Bryce Ward
Valerie Krepel
Krista Enderle

Following a somber candle lighting ceremony the newest members pledged to uphold the high purpose of the National Honor Society and the principles of loyalty to school and pursuits of knowledge, scholarship, service, leadership and character.

Spirits were high as inductees were congratulated, photographed, presented with membership certificates and then everyone, including Mr. Mayer and the NHS adviser, Mrs. Netardus, parents, well-wishers, and members new and old enjoyed refreshments.

Congratulations, new inductees upon your receipt of this singular recognition and concomitant obligations! We salute you!

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Liewer-Olmstead Ice Arena 20th Anniversary Open House

Everyone Welcome

When: Friday April 26th 2013

Time: 6:00 PM-10:00 PM

Location: Ice Arena- 1610 Nistler Road

Events: Public Skating- Ice Skates Available No Charge

Special Guests

Recognition Ceremony at 7:30 PM

Door Prizes Every 30 Minutes

Hot Dogs and Burgers

Hot Chocolate



Potluck Dishes Welcome

When: Saturday April 26th

Time 10:00 AM- Through Afternoon Hours

Public Skating- Ice Skates Available No Charge

Everyone Welcome

Celebrate 20 Years of Skating and Hockey Indoors In Delta Junction

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DMV Closed April 30

Delta DMV will be closed Tuesday April 30th for employee leave?

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Photo of the day April 23

“Valdez Road” The Chugach Mountain Range towers above the Richardson Highway about 50 miles north of Valdez.

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Celebration of Life ~ Fran O’Leary

A Fran O’Leary Celebration of Life will be held at the Delta Community Center on Sunday April 28th at 2:00.

There will be cake and refreshments following a short Pioneers of Alaska service.

Please come and bring your fond memories of Fran to share.




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Photo of the day April 22

Our son, Drew Gorman, took these photos off our deck as the swans rested on the Tanana. Looks like Spring is evident and “not really lost” as my 5 year old granddaughter says. Submitted by Pam Gorman

Check out Delta News Web on Facebook and add your like to our page.  We have another photo of swans posted on Facebook.

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Alaska Weekly Gas Price Update and Outlook

Alaska, April 22- Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 5.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.92/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.6 cents per gallon in the last week to  $3.50/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the  change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 47.5 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 6.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 14.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 34.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

“The slow trend downward in the national average has survived another week,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “While unprecedented, the decline in the national average certainly has delighted motorists who are used to large spikes in gasoline prices that come with the territory of springtime. With Memorial Day just five weeks away, there’s good news for motorists: prices will likely continue to lag behind year  ago levels,” DeHaan said.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition,
GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded over 25 million
times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

For more local information, methodology, or related  questions, contact:

Patrick DeHaan  Senior Petroleum Analyst,
Chicago, IL  E-mail:  773-644-1427

Gregg  Laskoski  Senior Petroleum Analyst,
Tampa, FL  E-mail:  813-436-9422

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A Missing Link in Natural Health Restoration & Healing

Based on the books “The King Institute Method® Self-help & EMT Books”  TKM® promotes better health, well-being, and allows the body to respond more efficiently and heal more rapidly. TKM®  has shown to be highly effective in stopping a seizure in progress, Anaphylactic Shock, Asthma attack, even a Heart attack consistently.  It has relieved acute and chronic pain, resolved common colds, revived coma patients, reduced the healing time of broken bones (fractures) by 50%, stopped external or internal bleeding without the aid of compress or cautery. You will learn how to easily apply TKM® procedures and applications for chronic illnesses in a totally non-invasive manner, without any risk of producing repercussions; and to utilize this very light touch, hands-on method to restore proper functioning and promote homeostasis.  Learn to help facilitate property body functions and to help all systems in the body perform better physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The procedures in this class are simplified to mostly one-step applications you do for yourself.  The self-help book includes an index that provides appropriate (simplified) applications for many disorders.

DATE:  Friday,  June 7, 2013 and Saturday,  June 8, 2013

Reduced Introductory Rate* for Alaska:  $195.00 includes both books ($70 value).  If taken separately, the Self-Help Class is $150.00 and the EMT Class $75.00.  A spouse may deduct the cost of the book(s) if a couple shares the books.  (*These classes are normally $350 in continental U.S.)

Time:  Self-Help class is Friday (8:30-5:30pm) and Saturday (8:30-12:00 noon);  the EMT class is Saturday (1:00-4:30pm)

Location:  1216 Glenwood Drive, Big Delta  (One mile from Mile 275 Big Delta Historical Site on the banks of the Tanana River) Class size is limited to seven students

Registration deadline is  May 1, 2013 $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold space

Instructor:  Pam Gorman, Hands-on-Health of Big Delta Call Now:  907-803-5419

Bring sack lunch.  Beverages and snacks will be provided.

You’ll learn the location of the 26 energy sphere reference points on the right and left side of the body.  There will be practical application taught using these energy spheres to directly affect the restoration process of your own health.  You will not view health or illness with the same perspective again!  These principles are simple to apply with often expedient and profound results.  Don’t miss this opportunity.  A refresher for class participants will be scheduled at a later date at no charge.

Scripture tells us in Mark 16:18…lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.

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Pinching Pennies ~ How to Prepare Beans

This recent snowfall has me reaching for comfort food. It is a plus that many comfort foods are also economical. For me, I get that warm spot in my heart for beans. As a child, pinto beans were the ones we ate most often, but since then I have learned to love all kinds of beans.

Beans are fiber-rich and protein-packed. They will reduce cholesterol, improve digestion, prevent constipation, control appetite, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce chronic disease risk overall.

However, for many people turning those hard little rocks into a family meal can be intimidating. Nothing can be simpler as long as you know the proper procedures.

Just a simple soak will make them easier to cook. There are quick soak and overnight soak methods, but remember to use a large pot since beans will double or triple in size while soaking. The overnight soak is very easy. Place beans in a pan and cover with water, at least 3 cups of water for each cup of beans, and let them soak for 6 to 8 hours. For the quick soak, place the water and beans in a pan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and let them sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

With either soaking method, be sure to drain the soaking water. The soaking water has dissolved carbohydrates in it that may cause the familiar “gas” that people dread from eating beans. In fact, if beans are well soaked and well cooked they are more digestible, causing less intestinal upsets.

Once the beans are soaked, put fresh water in the pan and simmer them gently. Different beans have different cooking times. They range from split peas and lentils, which will cook in an hour, to garbanzo beans, which require 3 1/2 hours for proper cooking. Don’t add salt or acids (tomatoes or vinegar) until the end of the cooking period, as both of these substances retard the softening process.

I went to the store and checked the price of beans for family meals. A pound of dried beans is about 2 cups that will cook into 5 to 6 cups of beans depending on the type of bean. Pinto beans can be served to the family at the bargain price of 30 cents per serving. If you choose black beans, figure on 42 cents per serving. In either case, beans provide good nutrition at a bargain.

I love to make a bean soup. You can buy a 15-bean soup for $3.59 or you can buy 15 different beans in one pound bags and mix them up. That gives you a year’s supply of bean soup at a bargain price of $2.03 per pound or 40 cents a serving. In this case, it definitely pays to mix it up yourself.

If you are short of time or just don’t want to cook them, choose canned beans from the store. A can of beans will serve two people and can be purchased for about a dollar in most of our stores. These are still a bargain, but not quite as cheap as cooking them from scratch.

If you need instructions on cooking beans or if you just need some inspiration on new methods to cook beans, we have an excellent publication in the office called “Cooking Dried Beans, Peas, and Lentils.” It can be downloaded at or call us at 474-1530 and we’ll be glad to send you a copy.

Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is a professor of extension on the Tanana District Extension Faculty. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at or by calling 907-474-2426. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Photo of the day April 20

Went riding by the pipeline terminal rather then up in the pass today. This is the view we have outside our RV window this evening. Photos Courtesy Jason Midgley

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Delta Moose Lodge Guest Speaker James F. Henderson St.

Delta Junction, Alaska – James F Henderson Sr., Supreme Governor of the Loyal Order of Moose, will speak at Delta/Clearwater Moose Lodge No. 911. Jack Warren Rd, at 6pm on Tuesday, May 2 as part of his travels across the state of Alaska.  For more information about the event contact the Moose Lodge off at 895-4300.  A Cornish game hen supper is planned for $12.

Henderson rose from the post of Supreme Jr. Governor to become the Moose fraternity’s chief presiding officer on July 3, 2012, elected by vote of Supreme Lodge delegates to a one-year term as Supreme Governor, at the organization’s 124th International Convention in Tampa.

The Moose organization, headquartered at Mooseheart, IL, consists of some 1 million men and women in approximately 1,800 Lodges and 1,650 Chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Bermuda.

The organization owns and operates Mooseheart, a 1,000 acre community and school for youngsters in need, located 40 miles of Chicago; and Moosehaven, a 170-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, FL.  Additionally, Moose Lodges and Chapters conduct more than $90 million worth of community service annually (counting monetary donations, miles driven and volunteer hours worked). Such community service can be tailored to local needs, but also takes the form of organization-wide programs – such as Tommy Moose, in which Lodges and Chapters provide plush Moose figures free of charge to emergency workers and hospitals to give to  children in stressful situations; and the Moose Youth Awareness Program, where the Moose annually bring together hundreds of bright teenagers for Youth Congresses in which they discuss the most effective ways to conduct “Kids Talks,” communicating positive-life-choice messages to very young children, ages 4-9, in settings such as elementary and preschools, day-care centers, Sunday school and the like.  Moose-trained teens have given Kids Talks to more than $500,000 youngsters across North  America since 1990.

Contact Rich Rogers 803-0343 or Lodge at 895-4300


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Recycling on Fort Wainright April 22




Recycling our old electronics reduces our demand for raw materials and energy,  reduces the burden on landfills, and reduces the amount of hazardous  materials entering our environment.

Alaska Green Star will be collecting these items for recycling.

For more information, contact PAIO at (907) 353-9507.



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Earth Day celebration on Ft. Wainright April 22

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – Members of the community will come together April 22 at the Physical Fitness Center on post to celebrate sustainability and highlight the partnerships forged between civilians and the military to reduce the environmental impact on the planet.

Earth Day 2013, April 22, encourages people of all nationalities and backgrounds to stand united for a sustainable future and calls upon individuals, organizations and governments to do their part. The theme for Army Earth Day this year is “Acknowledge the past, engage the present and chart the future.”

The United States Army Garrison Fort Wainwright and North Haven Communities are focusing attention on a day designed to educate and create awareness, and demonstrate an appreciation for the Earth’s environment.

Carrie McEnteer, strategic planning specialist, Plans, Analysis and Integration office and event chairperson said there will be exhibits and panel discussions intended to inspire and promote sustainability in all aspects, not just environmental. Attention will also be given to social, fiscal, economic and spiritual sustainability.

“The goal of the Fort Wainwright Earth Day Fair is to get people thinking about how their actions impact the earth, and what they can do, on an individual basis, to sustain our natural resources as well as their own health and well-being,” McEnteer said. “There will be numerous opportunities for Soldiers, Families and civilians to appreciate not only the rich history associated with Fort Wainwright, but also for the younger generations to appreciate and celebrate the importance of building a clean and healthy world for today and generations to come.”

Community members are encouraged to make individual contributions to the commitment.

“There will be a ‘sustainability commitment tree’ again this year at the Earth Day Fair. Participants will be given the opportunity to share their personal resolutions on how they will become more sustainable [in the future],” McEnteer said. Each person will write on a leaf what they were going to do to promote Earth Day and sustainability. The leaves will be attached to the tree to show their commitment. She said, “The chokecherry tree, donated by Mainscape and North Haven Communities, will be planted at the library, alongside last year’s commitment tree.”

This year Fort Wainwright has expanded its recognition of Earth Day over the course of the month of April. Concepts involving environmental conservation, sustainability and the natural world have been incorporated into children’s programs and events, outdoor recreation opportunities and public lectures.

McEnteer said, “Everyone can stay up-to-date and learn more by visiting the Fort Wainwright Earth Day Facebook page at

Military and their family members, civilian employees and contractors are encouraged to join in the Earth Day open house noon to 4 p.m. All open house activities and refreshments are free.

During the open house visitors will be able to drop off recyclable materials such as phonebooks, electronics and other items; view demonstrations; collect information and share earth-friendly ideas with local area experts. There will be interactive displays with natural resources and archeological activities. Artwork from the grocery bag coloring contest for children sponsored by North Haven Communities will also be on display. Fort Wainwright’s open house will feature on- and off-post subject-matter-experts from local government and industry, reflecting the mutually beneficial partnerships that have formed between Army garrison personnel and the Directorate of Public Works which encompasses utilities, housing, environmental, natural and cultural resources.

Partners in Fort Wainwright’s sustainment programs will have representatives, booths or information tables at the open house. The exhibitors will offer real solutions and resources for individuals, units and organizations to make a difference at home, school or on the job.

For more information about Earth Day activities and sustainability, call McEnteer at 353-9507.

Connie Storch
Garrison Public Affairs Office
Fort Wainwright, Alaska

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Gardening Information From CES

Thoughts of the summer garden are prevalent in spite of the recent snows.

The Cooperative Extension Service has several publications on gardening in the Interior available at the Delta Office located in the Jarvis Office Center, Rooms 114 & 115. “16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska” has information on site selection, soil testing & cultivation, what veggies to plant, fertilizer, preparing the seedbed, harvesting, weed, and insect control.

Want to know what varieties to plant? “Vegetable and Fruit Varieties for Interior Alaska” will help guide you with these choices—it’s especially helpful for first time gardeners. Selecting the right varieties is important because of the latitude and unique climatic conditions. The long day-lengths can be a challenge, causing several plants to bolt or go to seed prematurely. The cold soil can slow down root growth and require special soil-warming techniques for warm-season crops. Varieties can be selected to reduce bolting and withstand cool soil temperature.

Some other fun gardening publications with suggestions on less traditional gardening: “Raising Vegetables In Mini Gardens” covers information on what veggies grow well in containers, days to harvest, planting depth, spacing, pot sizes, and, starting & set out dates. Vegetables can be raised on a sunny deck, windowsill or balcony.

“Raised Bed Gardening” discusses the benefits of raised beds. Plant growth is enhanced through soil warming which results from an increased drainage capability and an increase in the exposure of the soil surface to the direct rays of the sun. Production growing areas can be developed in locations where conventional gardening techniques are not possible. Raised beds reduce the effort and back bending involved in planting, weeding, and harvesting. Many raised beds are intensively managed and therefore have high production rates per square foot.

“Composting With Worms” is another interesting and helpful publication. Composting in the Interior with the subzero temperatures and long winters put a damper on composting efforts for months at a time. By utilizing an indoor worm bin the addition of earthworms is an option that can help create a beneficial soil amendment and slow release fertilizer to be used with your garden and houseplants. Kitchen wastes can be effectively turned into a rich compost using earthworms. It reduces the amount of waste going into the landfill. The end result is vermicompost, a mixture of worm castings and compost.

For more information on gardening call 895-4215 or stop by the Cooperative Extension Service office located in the Jarvis Office Center Monday-Friday, 8:00 – 4:30 or visit the CES website at

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Thank You to our wonderful Sullivan Roadhouse Museum Volunteers

You don’t have to be a expert on the Sullivan Roadhouse or even a long time resident of Delta Junction, most Visitors love to see a friendly face who is willing to chat for awhile! It is a great feeling to know that we live in a community with wonderful people that will step up and fill in wherever they are needed.

If you would like to be a Volunteer at the roadhouse even to just fill-in please call the chamber office at 895-5068.

Volunteers are paid in six figures “ S.M.I.L.E.S. “  ~Gayla LeMarie

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Mushing School ~ D/G Homeschool Students

Going to a Mushing School had everyone excited, and the fact that it was a beautiful March day made it that much better. As three van fulls of Delta/Greely Homeschool students made their way to Three Dog Night Kennels in Salcha, the chatter about dog mushing was almost non-stop. The Yukon Quest was over and the Iditarod was in progress. “Who is ahead?” “Who is going to win and when?” “What are the mushing commands again?” Everybody, adults included, was eager to learn about Alaska’s state sport of dog mushing.  Read the rest of the story in the Community News on Saturday.

As we pulled into Three Dog Night Kennel we saw a very orderly dog yard with very friendly looking dogs. There were a few loose dogs that were more than happy to be our greeters. Our ‘school’ began by heading inside for an introduction to mushing. The presentation was very interactive and hands-on. Mario and John told us about the history of mushing; they showed us the different parts of the dog sled, where the musher stands, and how to use the brakes. They brought in dogs and showed us how to harness and put booties on the dogs, allowing the kids to practice on the dogs.

Now came for the really exciting part…everybody was going to get a chance to drive their own team! Mario instructed the students on which dogs to get out of the dog yard. They brought them over to the line, put on their harnesses (and booties if necessary), and helped to get the team all hooked up. Sometimes there were two kids per team, one in the sled and one driving, and they would switch positions half-way through the run. Sometimes there were two kids on the runners with an adult in the sled, and the kids would switch half-way. Three teams went at a time, always with Mario in front…just in case. But the dogs were very well-trained and well-mannered and the kids did a superb job of managing their teams.

Throughout the day, Mario had the kids bring in fresh lead dogs, switch out swing dogs for wheel dogs, and add more dogs to a team if the load was going to increase. It was an incredible learning experience for everybody, not to mention extremely fun! Before leaving, many of the kids were already talking about next year’s field trip to the kennels. With all of the fresh air, sunshine, and outdoor activity I bet there were some kids (and dogs) that slept really well that night!

Submitted by Holly Stewart

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Photo of the day April 18

McClaren river lodge trip. The pics are of the Eureka glacier. We found this massive hole and was able to walk through it to the other side. It was pretty cool. Photos courtesy Russell Hollembaek

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Texas Holdem Benefit Fundraiser ~ Apr 20

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Clearwater Lodge ~ 7028 Remington Road

The Fort Greely Firefighters are Proud to host a benefit for Misty Nouchi & the Triplet Family after a horrible car accident.

Please join us at the Clearwater Lodge for a fun filled day of Texas Holdem and Raffles. Prizes will be awarded for the top winners.

Food will also be available. $50 buy in. Get your poker face ready and we hope to see you at noon.

 For more information please contact (907) 803-3318

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