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January 2000

We Be Cool

Cool dude
Cool dude.  When you are born and raised in Interior Alaska, a few degrees under freezing is no big deal, as Travis DuBois demonstrates in this January, 2000 picture.  The -44F in this picture is a mite chilly, but the winter has produced even cooler temperatures  Travis probably put on a vest when it hit -55F.  See Mom and Dad below.  Photo by Steve DuBois.

Walking warm on a COLD day
Meanwhile, Mom and Dad (who were raised the south) are a little more warmly dressed for a forty below winter stroll.  If you can't tell from the eyes peeping out, this is Kenna (left) and Steve DuBois.  Photo courtesy Steve DuBois.

ILRAAC Wants You

Several seats are available on the Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee. The ILRAAC is tasked with researching and fine tuning opportunities with the realignment of Ft. Greely. If you want to advise the City Council on Ft. Greely reuse issues, help develop a new landfill and establish procurement/ethics policies, then pick up a membership application at City Hall or call the Department of Economic Development at 895-1081.

Teresa Fredrickson -- January 20, 1999

Spuds from Brasiers Farm
A good-sized load of Alaska potatoes from Brasier Farms.  Photo courtesy Charles Andrews, Alaska Farm Bureau

Healthy Communities – Healthy Youth 
A Developmental Assets Training Seminar

Wednesday, January 26th
In the Delta School Lobby from 7-8:30 p.m.
Dessert will be served afterwards!

"Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth" is a national initiative of Search Institute that seeks to motivate and equip individuals, organizations, and their leaders to join together in nurturing competent, caring, and responsible children and adolescents. At a time when many people feel overwhelmed by the problems and challenges facing children and adolescents, hundreds of communities across the country are discovering new energy in working toward a positive vision for young people.

The presenter, Derek Peterson, is the Director of Child/Youth Advocacy for the Association of Alaska School Boards in Juneau. He has worked with numerous communities throughout Alaska that have successfully implemented the "Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth" Initiative.

Please join us to learn how you can participate in the asset-building vision! Dessert will be served and each participant will receive a copy of the book, What Kids Need to Succeed, free of charge.

For additional information, please contact Nancy Billingsley, Project Director, at 895-4657. January 21, 2000

Tree on Coal Mine Road south of Delta Junction. It's a hard life for some trees.... Photo by Debbie Jennings

Deltana Community Corporation 
Regular Report

Deltana’s December Special Meeting was called by board member Jim Schooley. Jim wanted to introduce to the board a motion for Deltana to write a letter to the City Council of Delta Junction encouraging them to move forward with an Inter-Governmental Agreement. Jim’s concern was initiated by two letters received by the City from Legislators Jerry Ward and Eldon Mulder where in they stated concern about the City’s seeming lack of action on the prison issue.

Attending members of the public were, Totsie Pursey, Gail McBride, Scott McBride, Shellie Matthews, Bill Johnson, Pete Hallgren(Executive Director of the Dept. of Economic Development), Roy Gilbertson(Mayor of Delta), Charles Abbott, Jackie Fett, Doug Fett,Pat Schlichting, Dwight Nissen, Joyce Duff, Dick Anderson, Dean Cummings Jr., Pete Fellman(from Rep. John Harris’s office), and Jane Oliver.

President Paul Knopp opened the meeting by asking the Mayor and his Executive Director to give the Deltana Board an overview of the progress of the prison project to date. Pete reviewed the chronology of events since March 1999. This was very informative and made clear that the City is going forward under legal constraints caused by pending litigation by Allvest and C.A.D. The lawsuits are hindering the process and may ultimately cause it to fail. On the matter of the Inter-Governmental Agreement, the City believes it can have an IGA in place within 30 to 60 days. The State Dept. of Corrections, the State Administration (Governor’s office), and the State Dept. of Revenue are all pleased with the City timelines. This is a huge project and the City and State must protect their interests in the bonding and construction phase as well as insure the soundness of the project over the twenty-year term. The City currently does not have access to any buildings because they are still under State Historic Preservation Office restrictions. Their survey may be complete anywhere from March 2000 to 2001 but indications are that it will be sooner than later. Under timelines issued by the City in November the project will come in only one year later than it would have under a sole source. The City currently expects to have a competitive RFP out by August 2000. They are constructing the RFP to consider dual sites; one the re-use and one a raw site construction. This is in agreement with State Offices. The City said that they are drafting a letter to the above mentioned legislators to outline to them the planning process and timelines.

A period of public comment followed. There were pro and con statements about the motion to write the letter. Opinions varied with the majority stating that Deltana should not address the matter at all.

The question was called and a roll call vote taken. The motion passed to write the letter.

The Jan.5th Deltana meeting was dedicated in part to approval of a draft of the letter to the City. Jim Schooley had prepared a draft as had Deltana president Paul Knopp. Copies of both draft letters were circulated to the board members and the attending public. Roy Gilbertson and Pete Hellgren were both present again to share with the board their written response to the concerns stated by legislators Ward and Mulder. Copies of this letter were also circulated. Discussion followed.

The motion passed at the last meeting was to write a letter to encourage the City to get on with an Inter-Governmental agreement. Schooley’s draft letter called for the City to recind the ordinance voiding the prison contract and to follow through with a sole-source with Allvest. Knopp’s letter encouraged the City to get on with an Inter-Governmental agreement. A majority of the board would have passed Schooley’s letter but it did not fulfill the motion and President Paul Knopp would not sign it. A compromise was reached wherein Paul drafted a alternate letter more encouraging than his original draft but staying within the motion guidelines of moving forward with an Inter-Governmental Agreement.

The meeting continued with Kassie Farrar stating that she would be posting this column regularly on the Delta News Web for those with internet access. That address is

Donna Gardino reported that Delta had been approved as having Champion Community Status. This gives Delta preference points in grants awards.

The next regular meeting for Deltana is Feb. 10, at 7:00p.m. at the Clearwater fire station. For more information contact Deltana at 895-4150

Kassie Farrar, DCC -- January 11, 2000

Pipeline bridge
Alaska Pipeline bridge over the Tanana River.  Photo courtesy Neil Orcutt.

Delta Now A Champion Community


"This agreement sets up a collaborative effort to enhance community development in the specified area that has experienced economic distress as the state's rural economy has changed." 

Champion Communities are established in USDA regulations 7 CFR 25 and are designated by USDA from among the pool of applicants seeking Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community Status. 

We will be required to enter the benchmark documents, into a nationwide database, within 120 days of the date of execution of the MOA (today, or tomorrow if I take any longer). DREDC members will be meeting with those in each organization responsible for tracking progress on various projects to be sure the document is specific enough to be accepted by USDA. Monthly updates are required and we ask all those who submitted benchmarks to email or fax us your progress highlights so the benchmarks may be updated appropriately. 

The DREDC would like to thank all those who are participating in the development and of the Two Year Community Plan and 10 Year Strategies. Further participation is encouraged. The participation of all the groups and individuals have made this designation possible. DREDC will assist you in helping to take advantage of the Champion Community Status when applying for grants. 

Donna Gardino -- January 6, 1999

Winter warmth
Keeping warm on a winter walk is a matter of layers.  Photo by Linda Johnson

Delta News Web Archives

We save most of what we publish on the Delta News Web in our archives.  At this writing, we have almost 200 images and quite a bit of text, nearly all related to Delta Junction subjects.

There's a permanent hyperlink to these pages above and at the bottom of the home page.  Here's a list of current archive pages for recent months:

June 1999

July 1999

August 1999

September 1999

October 1999

November 1999

December 1999

January 2000

David Johnson -- January 5, 2000

 Draft National Missile Defense RFP Released Showing Tentative Construction Beginning April 1, 2001

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) released its Draft NMD (National Missile Defense) RFP (Request for Proposals) for the construction of tactical support facilities for the NMD program. The prime contractor on this program is Boeing, Lead System Integrator. The Final Tactical RFP is expected to be out in late February. While there are multiple sites under consideration for deployment staging, Fort Greely seems to enjoy the most support.

The decision by the Government on which site is to be selected is not anticipated to occur until after the final proposals are submitted by the contractors but prior to contractor selection. Published sources indicate a site selection may be made by June 2000. The baseline schedule for the Site Development Missile Field and the Tactical/Tactical Support Facilities set out in the Draft RFP is as follows: RFP Bids due April 7, 00, Projected Contract Award, 11/22/00, Projected Notice to Proceed for Site Development and Missile Field, 4/1/01, Projected Notice to Proceed for Tactical/Tactical Support Facilities, 11/15/01 and the Projected Operational Date for Site Development is 1/1/03, Missile Field, 4/1/04 and Tactical/Tactical Support Facilities, 7/1/04.

Provisions in the Draft RFP requires contractors and subcontractors to utilize HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Zone businesses, local hire and minority (8a) businesses. The Delta region qualifies as a HUB Zone and as such local businesses would receive a preference. This evaluation preference is applied to offers by adding a factor of 10 percent to the price of all offers. The Draft RFP states it is the policy of the United States that small business concerns, HUB Zone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and controlled by women shall have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in performing contracts let by any Federal Agency, including contracts and subcontracts for subsystems, assemblies, components and related services for major systems.

To become HUB Zone certified, visit the Small Business Administration’s website and choose HUB Zone. Be sure to have your Standard Industrial Code handy before you download the application. If you do not have Internet access, stop at City Hall and the Department of Economic Development would be happy to assist you in the application process.

An electronic library has been established on the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (USAESCH), World Wide Web (WWW) site.  The USAECH site contains the latest available versions of the RFP documents and the latest status information.

A reading copy of the Draft RFP is available at City Hall. While enthusiasm for the chances of NMD is justified, it must be remembered that at this point no site has been selected and no final decision to actually build NMD anywhere has been made.

City of Delta Jct. December 30, 1999

Quartz Lake windstorm damage
Some of the results of the late December windstorm were captured in this picture of destroyed Quartz Lake icehouses.  Recently retired ADF&G fisheries biologist Bill Ridder snapped this photo.

Upper Delta River in late winter

The upper Delta River in late winter.  Photo by David Johnson.

Pogo Mine from a distance

Pogo Mine area from a different angle.  The river drainage is the Goodpaster, which empties into the Tanana a few miles above the bridge at Big Delta.  This view looks roughly northeast.

Rika's Roadhouse about 1991
Rika Wallen owned and operated "Rika's Roadhouse" early in the last century.  The roadhouse is on the Tanana River a few hundred yards upstream from the mouth of the Delta River.  It has been extensively renovated and is now an Alaska State Park and a popular tourist stopover with a gift shop and restaurant.  Photo courtesy Neil Orcutt.



Shilo Dunklebarger suiting up
Shilo Dunklebarger, 1997 DHS graduate, son of Marlin and Pam Dunklebarger, is studying at Diver's Institute in Seattle.  The photo was taken by his friend Steve Bowdre (also of Delta Junction) another student at the institute.  This is the before-helmet view.  See below for the fully rigged view.

Ready to dive
Shilo Dunklebarger rigged for diving.  See additional photo above. Dunklebarger is a 1997 DHS graduate.

Highway neighbors: Beaver Creek
Highway neighbors: Beaver Creek is Canada's westernmost community, only a few miles from the US-Canada border on the Alaska Highway.  Photo by David Johnson

Donnelly Dome
Donnelly Dome is a familiar Delta landmark visible for many miles.  What makes it unusual is that it rises out of the moraine left by the old Delta Glacier.  It also has "glacial erratics" (big boulders deposited by the glacier) at the summit.  It's a great summer climb with tremendous views.  Photo by John Orcutt. 

Describing Donnelly Dome
by Ned Rozell

Behind Donnelly Dome, Pipeline Mile 560--When I bump off the mosquitoes, the front screen of the tent provides a clear view of a favorite Richardson Highway landmark--Donnelly Dome. I camped near the Donnelly Dome reflection pond to get acquainted with the mountain, which from here looks like a 3,910-foot loaf of stone with green stubble on the bottom third.

Standing alone in the Delta River Valley 18 miles south of Delta Junction, Donnelly Dome always sparks a few questions by those who drive past; I've heard people muse over whether the Dome is a lonely volcano.

Before I took my dog for this long walk, I called Tom Buntzen to find out the facts about Donnelly Dome.

Buntzen is a state geologist with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Donnelly Dome is a bit odd, he said. In fact, it shouldn't even be here.

"It is out of place," he said. "A glacier went down the (Delta River) valley. It should have sheared Donnelly Dome off, but it didn't."

There's a word for bumps like Donnelly Dome, Buntzen said: "Donnelly Dome is a fleigberg."

Come again?

"A fleigberg," Buntzen repeated. "A mountain that has been overridden by ice."

Buntzen has climbed to the top of the dome and has seen evidence that glaciers touched it, even if they didn't shave it from the valley floor. Buick-sized "erratics," rocks that came from somewhere else, sit on top of the dome.

"They were conveyor-belted out on the ice and dropped on top of Donnelly Dome," Buntzen said.

How did the dome resist being scraped from the earth while those around it crumbled under the force of an Alaska Range glacier that covered the area 70,000 to 100,000 years ago? Buntzen said Donnelly Dome may have had the luck to squeeze between two separate tongues of the glacier.

"And there was another glaciation that just missed it," Buntzen said. "In the Donnelly Glaciation, from 30,000 to 10,000 years ago, glaciers reached just to the base of the dome, but they didn't cover it."

I'm glad. Someday I'll climb my favorite fleigberg. But not today, I'm too tired.

This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Ned Rozell, a science writer at the institute, is hiking the trans-Alaska pipeline this summer to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Alaska Science Forum and the pipeline.

January 17, 2000

Delta Quilters
Delta quilters Debbie Davis, Peggy Christopherson, Pam Ellis and work making warm stuff.  Photo courtesy Emily Walton.

Moose in the window
"Is it warm in there??"  Photo
of moose peering in a window courtesy of Emily Walton.

Ice bear at night
Bear ice carving at night during the 1999 Winter Festival of Lights in Delta Junction.  Photo by Debbie Jennings

Aerial view of Pogo Mine mouth
Here's another picture of the Pogo Mine operation showing one of their camps.  Photo by Steve DuBois.

Delta High School Benefits 
from On-Line Shopping

You can now shop on line with your favorite cyber merchants and help out the The Delta High School computer lab at the same time.

   Click here to shop

Here's how it works, according to the School Pop Website:

It's easy: Schoolpop has found an easy way to use the power of the Internet to raise funds for schools at no cost to the schools and no added cost to the shopper.

It's fast: Just visit, select the school that you want to support, and shop any store in our online mall.

It's effective: Up to 20% of every purchase you make through goes directly back to the school of your choice. A quarterly report is then sent to each school listing the total purchases made during that time period and the amount of money raised.

David Johnson -- January 11, 1999

Ice carving
Ice carving being done at the 1999 Winter Festival in Delta Junction. Photo by Debbie Jennings.

ADF&G office
Dave Davenport stands at the door of the Fish and Game shop in a picture taken last summer while crews work on the new office building.  Staff are now in the new (green) building.  The old building that was erected in about 1978 is now totally gone.  Photo by David Johnson


The words "Hound of Heaven", heard somewhere in my past, stuck in my mind for a long time. I thought the words might have come from somewhere in the Bible but found out from our Tennessee minister, Gene Grasham, it was the name of a poem "The Hound of Heaven" written in the late 1800's by Francis Thompson (1859-1907). It is considered "one of the great poems of religious experience". The theme is "the willful, futile flight of the human soul from God's divine grace that tirelessly pursues and overtakes it". The poem is long and difficult, in part, to follow but has some very moving verse. It starts as follows:

I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him----
From those strong feet that followed, followed after

The poem moved me to write a layman poet's sequel, which represents my "Testimony of Revelation". It is dedicated to our children, grandchildren, and those that come after.


The hound of heaven has caught me
I'm firmly in His grasp
But yet for all my fears before
I'm really free at last

He caught my scent at early age
No doubt from parents prayers
He followed me over land and sea
And often through the air

I gave Him slip from time to time
By doubling on my trail
Yet in the distance heard His voice
He knew He would prevail

He always was in swift pursuit
Despite my twists and turns
He had a mission in His quest
That I had not discerned

Then late one frosty, starry night
Long wearied of the chase
I turned to meet that Hound of time
And found God's smiling face

With trembling voice and contrite heart
For having fled so long
I begged for true forgiveness
His answer---like a song

Your flight has been forgiven
Your slate is clean and bright
Go fill it now with things of worth
That you have learned this night

So now I am a follower
Of Him I used to flee
It was the purpose of the chase
To prove His love for me

He knows the dangers of life's trail
He leads the safest way
I listen closely for His voice
He will guide me home some day

And so my dear ones, Listen!
Through all life's joys and strife
That Hound is either on your trail
Or ahead guiding you through life

Glen Johnson
Bozeman, MT
March ,1999

Glen Johnson is the father of Delta News Web webmaster David Johnson -- January 7, 2000

Getting a sunken truck out of Quartz Lake
Delta people may have read recently about the State Parks truck and trailer that fell through the ice at Quartz Lake in November.  Once the truck's back wheels fell through the ice, it took several minutes to completely break through the ice.  It eventually fell into about 30 feet of water. The two men in the truck did manage to get some gear out of the truck and were not in immediate danger.  This and the picture below are of the contractor that spent several days figuring a means to extract the truck and trailer. They ended up cutting a trench nearly 300' through the ice towards shore before they were able to pick up the equipment onto the ice.  Sheer determination made this possible.  Note the galloping trucks!  Photos by Fronty Parker. 

Truck in the lake
Another picture of the Quartz Lake "truck extraction" project from last November.  Photo by Fronty Parker.

Bright light helps...
Dark winter days are hard on some Alaskans.  Here Linda Johnson reads in front of her "bright light."  This is a very high intensity full spectrum florescent lamp.  The extra light on the retina apparently suppresses the formation of melatonin, a complex body chemical that causes us to be sleepy and, in some people, to be depressed.  Photo by David Johnson.

Mike Davis at the South Pole wearing Delta fur
This is a picture of Mike Davis wearing Delta Junction fur products at the South Pole.  The picture was taken on January 5th.  January is the height of the Antarctic summer.  Mike is looking fashionable in his Alaskrafts® All Fur Coyote Hat & Coyote Overmitts. Steve and Kathy Fields market their fur and doll products at using an e-commerce solution provided by Outdoors America Communications, the publishers of the Delta News Web.  Photo courtesy Steve Fields.

Burning wood piles

The Donnelly Flats fire is long dead, but recently, some of the dead trees from the fire were burned at Ft. Greely.  Brian and Kay Eaton took this shot near the main gate of burning piles.  Ft. Greely crews had dozed' piles from the burnt trees along the entry road.

Here's another fire photo from Brian and Kay Eaton.  Army crews burned this Donnelly Flats slash in December.




Alaska Range Sunset
Winter sunset over the Alaska Range.  Shadows from the peaks form broad swaths across the brightly lit clouds.  
Photo by Debbie Jennings.


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