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June 2002

Reuben John Jr. at the playground
19 month old Reuben John Jr., son of former Delta Jct. residents Julie Stephens and Reuben John, takes his first exciting solo trip down the slide.  Photo courtesy of Katie Johnson.

A bull moose slowly sidles away from the camera man.  Photo courtesy of Kevin Trapper.

The Hollembaek family has listed their home for sale.  The house has plenty of room and a fenced in yard.  For more details, visit our Classified Ad page or email Ruby Hollembaek.  Photo by Ruby Hollembaek.

Above is Toklat Grizzly seen near Denali Park.  Photo courtesy of Michael J. Kingston.

David and Linda Johnson stand in front of Urquhart Castle in Scotland. It was destroyed about 250 years ago to deny its use to the Jacobite revolutionaries. The castle is right on the edge of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Western Scotland.  Photo courtesy of David and Linda Johnson.

Steve Bealer
Steve Bealer practices his knot-tying skills on the hitching pole while at his scouts meeting.  Photo courtesy of Fronty Parker.

This photo was taken by J. Leon Vialpando last week on the Coal Mine Road while he was visiting Delta Junction.

"The Boys Are Back In Town"! Christopher Ferranti (Dunklebarger), born Feb 7, 2002, and Micah Fernandez (Atwell), born March 27, 2002. Christopher currently resides in Harker Heights, TX and Micah lives in Fairbanks. Both babies were home visiting their grandparents. Photo courtesy of Pam Dunklebarger.

Mike Bobo and fiancée Leslie Hollembaek
Mike Bobo and fiancée Leslie Hollembaek at a friends wedding in 2000.  Mike and Leslie are both DHS grads and plan to tie the knot this July in Delta Junction.  For more information about the wedding, click here to visit their wedding site.  Also, visit our community news section for a story on the couple.  Photo courtesy of Leslie Hollembaek.

Swans at Bolio Lake
Swans in early May at the south End of Bolio Lake, near Delta Junction.  Photo courtesy Michael J Kingston.

Matthew Buchanan with his wife Melanie and their two sons, Dillon and Richard.  Matthew graduated from DHS with the class of '94.  Photo courtesy of Matthew Buchanan.

The March for Jesus in Delta Junction June 1

Photo courtesy of Pam Dunklebarger

Photo courtesy of Pam Dunklebarger

Photo courtesy of Pam Dunklebarger

The March for Jesus took place on Saturday, June 1, 2002. There were approximately 100 people. We marched and proclaimed that Jesus Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords. The march started at 12:00 from City Hall and proceeded down the side roads to Pizza Bella, and then turned around and marched back to the picnic grounds at the City Park for a picnic lunch. The Lord blessed us with beautiful weather. Many people from different denominations turned out and everyone had a great time. There were a group of MAPPS workers from the lower 48, most of those came from Florida and

Pam Dunklebarger - Delta Christian Center -- June 4, 2002

Carter to start campaign in Deltana

Mac Carter candidate for the Alaska State Senate Seat C will be traveling the road system starting his campaign in the Deltana area on June 5th. Carter will spend the month of July reaching out to every community in the east, he is looking forward to talking and listening to the voters of Alaska.

June 3, 2002

Caleb Parker and Paul Bealer receive their Eagle Rank at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Eagle Rank is the highest rank boys can achieve in the program. The Court of honor was well attended, Jeff Lipscomb, former scoutmaster was master of ceremony. Caleb and Paul each received a legislative citation read on the floor in the closing day of this State Legislative session. John Harris presented the citation to each boy.  Photo courtesy of Fronty Parker.

Several Pintails and Mallards float about on a large pond near Paul Knopp's dairy.  Photo courtesy of Joe Crandall.

Beaver in Bolio Lake
Shown above is a beaver caught swimming around in Bolio Lake in late May.  Photo courtesy of Michael J. Kingston.

Savannah and Sydney Sears, daughters of DHS alumni Ed Sears ('89), show off their new additions.  Ed and his wife Janine live in Anchorage.  Photo courtesy of Ed and Janine Sears.

Mac Carter announces his campaign website

Mac Carter candidate for Alaska State Senate - District C would like to let you know that his campaign website is now online and invites you to visit. Please click on the following link: 

For any questions regarding the campaign please contact:
Mac -  
or Randy Clendaniel - 

May 30, 2002

Two Delta boy to receive Eagle Scout award

Paul Bealer and Caleb Parker both started Boy Scouts in September 1996 and now have completed all their requirements for "Eagle Scout" the highest rank in the organization. Statistics indicate that only two out of 100 Boy Scouts ever attain this rank. Their Eagle ceremony is going to be held June 3rd at 7:00pm at the First Baptist Church. Those who would like to congratulate these young men are welcomed to attend.

Fronty Parker -- May 30, 2002

The Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Dept. hosts Monday Night Bingo at the Delta Junction Community Center throughout the year. The Deltana Fire Dept. is a totally volunteer organization and the proceeds help fund department expenses. Bingo Workers above are: Asst. Chief Jim Kilgour, Auxiliary Member Ginny Headley, Safety Officer Steve McCombs, Asst. Chief Matt Creager, and Equipment Officer Steve Fields. Photo courtesy of RDVFD.

March for Jesus in Delta
The March for Jesus took place on Saturday, June 1st in Delta.  Shown above are the three energetic flag carriers and their traffic controller Pam Dunklebarger.  For more on the March for Jesus, see the story below.  Photo courtesy of Pam Dunklebarger.



A Salcha resident stands in her backyard. It was flooded by the a large ice jam which blocked the Tanana River in May.  Photo courtesy of Delta News Web.

Swans are a summer time resident in Alaska and some nest in the interior area near Delta Junction.  Photo by Michael J. Kingston. 

Leslie Hollembaek and Mike Bobo to tie the knot this July in Delta Junction.

Mike and Leslie first met when they were about 6 months old and he was just a couple years old. They were both raised 30 miles outside the city of Delta Junction, AK. Even though they both grew up in the boonies they both left Delta after graduating from high school. Mike went to Texas to go to a Fire Academy and ended up staying in Austin for 6 years working for Hudson Bend Fire Department. 
Mike in Texas working for the Hudson Fire Dept.

Leslie went to college for her first two years at Southern Oregon University in Ashland Oregon. 

Leslie and Mike in Oregon

They both happened to come back one summer for a vacation to see their families and the Bobo's invited Leslie to spend a couple days with them on a Valdez fishing trip. Mike, his family and Leslie had a blast. 3 weeks later Mike and Leslie both left Delta and returned to Oregon and Texas. They talked constantly on the phone and it really was inevitable when Leslie transferred colleges and moved to Texas. They lived in Austin for two years. The summer Leslie graduated, Mike tested for the Anchorage Fire Department. 

Leslie and Mike
Mike and Leslie are now living in Anchorage and loving being close to family again. Website

Delta News Web -- June 14, 2002

Sometimes it takes a while for dreams to come true

Dr. Hooper -- Delta's new dentist
The Alaska dreams of Delta Junction’s new dentist date back nearly 50 years.  Dr. Steven B. Hooper and his wife, Ilene, took over the dentist office in Delta Junction last October. Ilene is the business manager for Crossroads Family Dentistry.  It was Dr. Hooper's grandfather who instilled in him a love of Alaska at a young age. His grandfather spent three years in Alaska in the 1950s panning for gold and taking photographs that would serve as Dr. Hooper's introduction to the “Last Frontier.” Dr. Hooper’s Alaska vacation a few years ago only renewed that fervor.

When Lisa Friberg and Brad Oliver, Delta Junction's previous dentists, moved on, Dr. Hooper seized the chance to fulfill that lifelong dream. With their four children in their 20s, the Hooper’s decided to leave their practice in Liberty, Utah, 20 miles from Ogden. They had been there since 1997, and in southern Utah prior to that.  "We felt like we were free to do something I've always wanted to do since I was a kid," Dr. Hooper said. "It's our last big adventure, and it's fun.  "Sometimes you've just got to cut loose and do what you want to do," he added. 

The Hooper’s are used to small-town life, something Delta’s new dentist said he craved after moving place to place as a child, with his father in the Air Force. In turn, Dr. Hooper served eight years in the Army, and continues to serve as a reservist. As an Army dentist, Dr. Hooper trained under many different specialists, giving him skills in a variety of techniques.
Ilene Hooper said that not only gives her husband a wide range of abilities, it gives him a good understanding of what procedures he is comfortable tackling, and those he is not.  “It’s been a real asset,” she said.  That is important because small-town dentistry means a dentist must be versatile. Dr. Hooper says he enjoys the wide range of tasks in general dentistry.  "I really do enjoy general practice and being able to do a lot of things," he said. "There's always something different."

Dr. Hooper, 52, has been practicing dentistry since his graduation from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas, in 1979. While the years have given him experience, subsequent training in new techniques and technologies in dentistry have made the field exciting for him — almost like a second career, he says.  “That’s been a fun part of dentistry for me,” he said.  It has been a quiet revolution, Dr. Hooper says, but a revolution none the less. "The bonding technology has been the big change in dentistry," Dr. Hooper said. Use of composite filling materials, which are stronger, feel better and look better, is a major change. Microscopic dentistry is another innovative field.  "Over the years things have really changed," Dr. Hooper said. "It's better. I think we're going to see a lot more changes."

The Hooper’s are still adjusting to living in their new town. Dr. Hooper said meeting new people is one of the best parts of the job.  “We’re really enjoying it,” he said. “People are almost bending over backwards to be friendly.  ”He said Crossroads Family Dentistry tries to serve its patients by offering options for care.
“I try to provide the best care people can afford,” Dr. Hooper said. While the wintry weather and setting up the practice has kept the Hooper’s from much adventuring so far, he said they look forward to getting acquainted with their new state, especially fishing.
"I think my wife will even go with me," he said. 
Crossroads Family Dentistry, 2465 Rapids Street, is open weekdays. Appointments may be made by calling 895-4274.

Delta News Web -- June 10, 2002

The following letter was submitted by Karen Hamilton of Central.  The views discussed below are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Delta News Web.  Karen's email address is listed at the bottom of the letter.     

Rural Alaska communities being systematically destroyed by own state government 

Even if you are not from Alaska - please take a minute and read this. You will be shocked and outraged! This is NOT a plea for money or financial assistance of any kind!! I have NO political affiliations, I am simply a resident of one of these communities.

So you will better understand the impact, let me explain that normal life in the remote communities in Alaska is much like that of a 3rd world country. For most communities the only access they have to the outside world is via "bush" plane, a few have one road (usually not paved). Almost all residents in each community live in small 1 to 4 room cabins with NO indoor plumbing and many have NO electricity. There are no grocery stores, malls, fast-food places, theaters, libraries, or any of the amenities that life in a town or city offers! Lifestyles are primitive and hard, but wonderful!!

Most communities range in population from 50 to 500 and consist of a school, church, tiny post office, and one small store that sells a few items of groceries, propane, sometimes gasoline, and a few other items - all at 4 or 5 times what you would pay in a town. In some communities, you can buy water, pay to take a shower and they will have 1 or 2 washers to do laundry. Native communities will have a tribal office and community center. A few communities have a café/bar/motel and/or a couple of home businesses. Residents that do not have their own well either buy water (by the gallon) or haul it in buckets from the rivers. If there are no community shower/laundry facilities residents bathe out of a pan and do laundry by hand or with old wringer washers. 

The majority of folks do not have a stable income and survive mainly by what they can hunt, fish, and pick (berries, etc). Most communities only have a maximum of 5-10 real jobs that pay an actual salary. Folks earn money by trapping and working seasonal jobs elsewhere. There are very few people in each community that do not have to struggle to just get by. Electric (if it is available) is 40 - 80 cents a kw (without PCE) as compared to 9 cents in Fairbanks. (PCE is a state subsidy for rural that is also being done away with). Without the planes and few small roads, these communities are isolated from the rest of the world!!

The Current Situation! 

Governor Tony Knowles, Commissioner of Alaska Dept. of Transportation Joseph Perkins, and Director of Alaska State Budget Annalee McConnell have decided that the most efficient way to balance the budget is to close about 20 community airfields and stop maintenance either year-round or in the winter months on 70 roads leading to remote communities!! In effect they are going to virtually destroy these communities and severely impact the lives of the residents!! For the most part, the people have lived their entire lives in these communities or have chosen to move there because there was a road system, yet still in a remote area! (Alaska is unlike other states in that there are only a handful of main roads, 2/3 of the communities are not on a road system! They are only accessible year-round by air or in the summer by river.) I cannot speak for others, but in our community there was no impact study and/or any notification until we read about it in the Fairbanks newspaper 3 days ago!! 

Some facts:

1. Alaska winters are very long, extremely cold, and can drop to temperatures of -70º F. The ONLY heat sources are wood stoves and heaters that use fuel oil. The little community generators that provide electricity are run by fuel oil. Without planes and roads there is no way to get fuel oil to the communities and and no storage facilities that will hold the amount required to last all winter.

2. The pumps that draw water from the wells are run by electricity. Some communities do not have access to river water and if the local businesses close - there will be NO source of water for the people that do not have a well. There are NO community water systems in these small communities!! The telephone system requires electricity. Without fuel oil, there is no electricity.

3. Without planes and roads, there is no way to get store food, supplies, medical care - all the essentials that we depend on to live! 

4. These closures are going to force families to leave their homes with nowhere to go but into the urban areas!! Many families will lose everything they have and become destitute or forced to apply for welfare. Since the lifestyle in these remote communities is so totally different from life in a town or city - most of the people being forced to move will not have the job skills or resources to be able to support themselves! People will not be able to even sell their property to have money to move with or to get another place in a larger community! 

The needs of each community is different, depending on it’s location and other factors. The common thread is that ALL depend on the plane or the road as their lifeline and without them, the result will be extreme hardship at the least!! Some will lose everything they own and the lifestyle they love will be just a memory!

The Dept. of Transportation is spending millions of dollars on building new roads in Alaska even as they stop the maintenance on these existing ones! They claim they cannot afford to maintain them! How are they going to maintain the new ones? Also, even though they are allowing these roads to become unusable, they are planning on paving them in the next few years! Why? A ghost town certainly does not need a paved road!!

These budget cuts from Dept of Transportation are not the only ones that affect the rural communities. There are many cuts affecting all areas of rural life!

Yet, while the state is basically starving it’s rural areas, there are NO major cuts to any urban areas!! Instead, millions of dollars are being pumped into improvements and new construction, including road repairs and improvements! The rural areas are facing extinction while the urban areas are being given more and more amenities and conveniences! Their reasoning is that the same amount of money should be spent per person irregardless of whether they live in an urban area or a remote area. They rationalize that they want the cuts to affect the fewest number of people. This is insane, they should be making the cuts based on what will cause the least amount of hardship or destruction! One problem is that most people in the urban areas now, including legislators are from the lower 48 and have no idea of what is required to survive in a remote community! They are making life altering decisions based on ignorance!

If you find this situation outrageous, all I ask is that you support us with your VOICE and your COMPUTER!

1. Please make a phone call and/or send an email, fax, or letter to the 3 people listed below.

2. Please forward this letter to everyone you know, regardless of where they live and ask them to do the same.

These 3 people are the only ones with the power to remedy this!! The budget can still be changed during the current fiscal year! The fiscal year ends June 30, 2002! We have one month to raise enough public opinion to help our communities! Thank you so much for taking time to read this and for helping us!

Sincerely, Karen Hamilton - PO Box 30055 - Central, AK - 907-520-5324 - 

Please call or write these people and ask them to change their decision!!

Governor Tony Knowles
PO Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001
907-465-3532 (fax) 

Annalee McConnell, Director of Budget
P.O. Box 110020 
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0020 
907-465-3008 (fax)

Joseph L. Perkins, Commissioner of DOT
3132 Channel Drive
Juneau, AK 99801-7898
907-586-8365 (fax)

Karen Hamilton -- June 4, 2002




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