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May 2000

Buffalo Wallow
The 21st annual Buffalo Wallow took place at Delta Junction High school over the Memorial Day weekend. Delta News Web photo.

Bright clouds
Photographer Richard Mitchell was on Windy Ridge last spring when he saw these unusual cloud formations lit by the evening sun to the west. 

Field trip
Gary Cooper took this picture of Ft. Greely Junior High kids during their field trip to the Clearwater a few weeks ago. There were four stations the seventh graders rotated around to, one of which was fish, aquatic bugs and water quality (shown here). The other stations consisted of radio tracking of collared animals, soils and forestry practices. Gary has been doing this annually for over 10 years.  
Photo courtesy of Fronty Parker.

Delta Mine Training Center 
Students Field Trip 

DMTC students on field trip
Geologist Dave Adams and his Delta Mine Training Center "Field Methods" class students on a field trip on May 10, 2000 conducting a chip channel sample line.  Photo by Debbie Jennings.

Delta Mine Training Center students look at rock characteristics on a field trip led by DMTC instructor Dave Adams.  Photo courtesy of Debbie Jennings.

Mine training trip
Another shot of Dave Adam's Geology field trip.  Adams is an instructor affiliated with the Delta Mine Training Center.  Photo courtesy Debbie Jennings.  

Delta Mine Training Center -- May 15, 2000

Deltana Borough Petition Denied 
by State of Alaska

The state of Alaska denied the Deltana Borough submitted in March.  In a letter from DCED Municipal and Regional Assistance Division director Pat Poland, the state indicated that the petition was "that the petition is significantly lacking in aspects of form and content."

Delta News Web -- May 15, 2000

Ft. Greely school 5/18/2000 Click for a larger view.
Mike Kingston captured this picture of the entire Ft. Greely school on their second-to-last day.  The school will not re-open for the 2000-2001 school year.  Click here for an enlarged  view.   Photo courtesy Gary Cooper.

sandhill cranes
Migrating sandhill cranes on the ground and in flight in mid May near Rika's.  Photo by Donna Gardino.

Deltana Borough Comments 
from Deltana Community Corporation

As a continuation of the last weeks column I would like to enter into a summary of the principal characteristics of the proposed Deltana Borough.

This charter has filed as a Non-unified home rule borough. The charter creates a level of government separate from the City of Delta. At recent meetings I have attended, the borough steering committee has expressed concern about accepting supposed liabilities that the City of Delta either has, or might accrue. This is the reason given for creating another level of government. Dan Bockhorst explained that under certain circumstances a borough could protect itself from some liabilities, but ultimately would have to accept responsibility. Likewise any assets the City might have would become assets of the borough. Under a Non-unified home rule the borough remains separate from the City on all accounts.

The area of the proposed borough follows somewhat the boundaries of the Regional Education Attendance Area for our district. It also makes an inclusion into the Alaska Gateway School District. This inclusion into another REAA’s boundaries does not conform to the model borough boundaries adopted by the Local Boundary Commission. This is part of the reason that the charter has not yet been accepted for filing and is under review.

Area wide powers that the borough would have that are required by State law are:

    1. Education
    2. Planning
    3. Platting
    4. Land Use Regulation
    5. Taxation

Area wide powers that the borough would have that are not required by State law are:

    1. Search and Rescue Services

Proposed area wide taxes are set in the charter at 7mills (that is $700.00 on $100,000.00). There is also a Natural Resource tax of 3% (three percent) of the gross. Todd Zacgho inquired of Bockhorst if Native Land Allotments were taxable. Dan said that if they were developed commercially they were taxable otherwise were not. State law also mandates that certain properties be exempt from taxation: the primary residence of senior citizens and disabled veterans. I can not attempt to give every detail of the charter but there are many more exemptions allowed. During the meeting Dan had told us that approximately 4mls would be required to support the school. That is seen as the primary purpose of any borough. Kassie asked if, since SB30 (1997) had requested a 6mil tax on unorganized boroughs and 4mls has to go to the school, in the State of Alaska’s estimation was the cost of administering the 4ml tax approximately 2mils? Dan said that was probably the case. With a tax rate of 7mls in the proposed charter, what can the assembly hope to accomplish with the remaining 1ml?

The Permanent Fund established by the charter allows the principal, or portion of the principal, to be used only for purposes approved by a majority of the voters voting on a ballot proposition in a regular or special election. The earnings of the Trust Fund will be available for appropriation by the assembly.

Article VI provides for an elected sheriff. There are no elected State law enforcement officials in Alaska. Further the Dept. of Community and Economic Development knows of no current elected local law enforcement officials in Alaska. These facts would seem to leave the future inclusion of this Article in doubt.

In closing I would like to point out that, within this charter, there are five points that the Boundary Commission has said are inconsistent with State statute. These points will need to be resolved before the charter is accepted for filing.

Delta area residents with questions or concerns regarding this matter are urged to attend meetings with Deltana Community Corporation. We need to know what course you would prefer the Deltana Board to follow. The next meeting is May 11, 7:00p.m. at the Clearwater Fire Station. All are welcome!

Deltana Community Corporation -- May 8, 2000 

Going, going, gone

The historic Trophy Lodge was damaged substantially during the December and January windstorms.  This early April, 2000 photo shows some of the damage.  

Demolishing the old Trophy
In mid-April crews began the demolition process.  The photo at the top of the page shows the end of the process.  Photos by David Johnson.

Domestic geese
"Everyone is talking about migrating waterfowl, all we want is a little respect for having made the winter," or at least that's what these domestic geese seemed to me to be saying when I snapped their picture on Rika's Road this spring.  Photo by David Johnson.

Trophy lodge
The old Trophy Lodge -- an Alaska Highway landmark for decades -- is now almost totally gone. The new Trophy Lodge -- with modern furnishings and good food -- remains in business just behind the old location.  Photos by David Johnson.

Delta News Web  -- May 1, 2000

Jeff Durham and the youth group from Delta's First Baptist Church have fun eating together.  In this picture: Danny McNabb, Alissum Roe, Jeff Durham, and Christie DuBois.   Photo by Steve DuBois.

He Has Risen drama at DCC

Jesus (Louis Glass) is nailed to the cross by a soldier (Ben Glass) during the drama "He is Risen" staged by the Delta Christian Center drama team.  DCC photo.

Soldiers erecting cross
In the Delta Christian Center drama "He Has Risen" soldiers Joseph and Ben Glass erect the cross.  Jesus' followers surround the cross

Delta Christian Center -- April 25, 2000

Delta Wind Publication Schedule

The Delta Wind publication schedule is to have a paper on May 4 and May 18 and again on June 1.  The staff is still blocking out the summer schedule.

David Johnson -- April 24, 2000

Delta agriculture
Delta farmers have been busy for weeks preparing for the coming growing season by spreading fertilizer and preparing fields, among other tasks.  Delta News Web photo. 




Alaskrafts Fur Shack
Steve and Kathy Fields are familiar faces at the Alaskrafts Fur Shack in the parking area at the Tanana River bridge in Big Delta.  Delta News Web photo
Evening near Valdez
Summer evening near Valdez.  Picture taken by Delta photographer Richard Mitchell.

Canoeist on Quartz Lake
Fishing from a canoe at Quartz Lake north of Delta on a June day.  Photo by Tami Canada.

In wake of second death, CSPC and Burger King Again Urge Consumers to Destroy and Discard Pokemon Balls

Washington, D.C. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) and Burger King Corp. are again urging consumers to immediately destroy and discard Pokemon balls distributed with Burger King kids meals in November and December 1999. 

On January 25, 2000, a 4-month-old boy in Indianapolis, Ind., reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball that was in his crib became stuck on his face.  Burger King Corp., in cooperation with CSPC, issued a voluntary recall of more than 25 million Pokemon balls on December 27, 1999. The balls pose a suffocation hazard to children under three years of age.  

In December, a 13-month old girl reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball covered her nose and mouth. Also in December, an 18-month old girl nearly suffocated when a ball-half got stuck over her face. On the second attempt, the girl’s father was able to pull the ball-half from her face. 

Pokemon balls are plastic, ball-shaped containers between 2.75 and 3 inches in diameter. They pull apart to reveal one of 57 different Pokemon toys inside. The balls were distributed in a variety of colors including red and white, and hot pink. Packaging described them as safety tested and recommended for all ages of children. 

Burger King restaurants nationwide distributed the Pokemon balls inside Burger King big kids meals and regular kids meals from early November through December 1999. 

Consumers should immediately take the balls away from children under the age of three. They should discard the ball or return both halves of the ball and the clip to a Burger King restaurant for a free order of small fries. Children can continue to use the Pokemon toy that came inside the ball. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission routinely monitors the safety of products used in the home, and has just issued a Recall List describing products that have been recalled over the past five years. Some of these items include Cosco “Arriva” and “Turnabout” Infant Car Seats/Carriers made before September 9, 1997, Playskool Travel-Lite Portable Cribs, several models of infant swings, and Lane Cedar Chests made between 1912 and 1987. 

For more information on these items you can call the CSPC Hotline (800-638-2772) or visit the CSPC homepage.  You can also get a recall list from the Delta Public Health Office – 895-4292. 

Provided by Delta Public Health Nurse Janice Weller - May 16, 2000

A Delta porcupine looks suspiciously at the photographer from out of his tree.  Photo by Nick Wardle

Wildlife survey
State wildlife protection officer and pilot Don Bunselmeier snapped this photo of Delta Area Game Biologist Steve DuBois during a March wildlife survey in the Alaska Range.  While Alaska game wardens are in a different department (Public Safety) from state biologists (Fish and Game) they often work together, especially in rural areas.   Photo courtesy Steve DuBois.

Peruvian Inca descendent Joshua Saune
Joshua Saune, a Quechua Indian pastor from Ayacucho, in the Andes mountains of Peru, visited Delta on May 15.  Here he is speaking at Delta Christian Center.  Saune's brothers and grandfather were martyred by the communist Shining Path guerrillas in the 1980's, but their effort to squelch the Christian faith backfired.  Today, even after many thousands were killed by the guerrillas, the number of believers has mushroomed.  Delta News Web photo.  

Delta Visitor Center open for the Season

Visitor center open for the season
The Delta Visitor Center opened for the season on Monday, May 1st.  The center is staffed during the day and provides substantial information for tourists and others interested in the Delta area and the Alaska Highway.  Photos by David Johnson.

Inside the visitor center
Inside the Delta Visitor Center, Judi Farrow is ready for visitors with plenty of information and a ready smile.  

Delta News Web -- May 3, 2000

I LOVE YOU Computer Virus 
Spreading Faster than Melissa

Remember the Melissa virus that shut down many computer systems around the world?  A new virus called "I LOVE YOU" is wreaking havoc around the world.

The virus shows up as an attachment in a message, typically from someone you know and trust.  If you open the attachment (double-click on it) the virus will destroy as many .jpg image and mp3 music files as it can find.  It also replicates and sends itself to everyone in your address book.

Delta News Web -- May 4, 2000

Black bear
Black bear near Valdez.  Bears are emerging from winter dens now.  Males emerge first, and females with cubs last.  Photo by Richard Mitchell.

Cucumbers already!
Tawnee Wardle asks, "Is it big enough to cut yet, Dad?" Photo taken May 3, 2000 by Nick Wardle.  Nick and his wife Kay own Nickay's Greenhouse.  

Deltana Community Corporation Report

The last main purpose for the last Deltana meeting was to get information on boroughs out to the public. To that end President Paul Knopp had arranged for Dan Bockhorst and Irene Catalone to address the meeting. There were about 25 members of the public in attendance.

Paul clarified to the public that Deltana was not responsible for filing the current charter. Dan explained his job as staff to the Local Boundry Commission. A petition for incorporation of a Deltana Borough was submitted, but has not yet been accepted for filing. Dan explained that it is under review.

Because of the import and length of the meeting this article will be written in two parts. The second part will be in the next issue of the Delta Wind and online at the Delta News Web.

When and if the LBC accepts the Deltana Borough Charter there is a few options that are open to the public. 

1. There is a ninety-day time frame within which a competing charter may be filed. 

2. A petition of 30% of the voters and a majority of the voters that signed the original petition may withdraw the Deltana Borough Charter. This option was discussed after the break when several members of the public spoke to Dan stating their belief that a lot of the signatures on the petition had been gotten by misrepresentation. 

3. Allow the petition to go through the process and ultimately to a vote of the people.

Ben Smith stated again that the legislature might force us into a borough. Kassie stated that she had spoken with the Legislative Information Office, Senator Lincoln’s office, and Representative Harris’s office. All of them confirmed that there was no legislation pending to either tax or force unorganized areas to incorporate. Dan confirmed this also but added that there certainly was a historical precedence. He stated that 83% of all current boroughs in the State of Alaska were organized by legislative mandate. There followed some discussion between the public and Dan about why boroughs were formed. Historically the formation of boroughs had much to do with school districts and implementing tax equity. In other words "We pay taxes and you should too." Bill Johnson stated that the one reason he would be willing to support a type of borough was to have a political voice. Dan stated, that in State funding issues, for a district to be able to show that they contribute in support of their own schools was a factor.

The rumor of pending annexation by the Fairbanks Northstar Borough was brought to the floor. Paul said he believes there is no legitimate interest to annex us. Dan added that there has been no interest expressed to his office. Charlene Thomas inquired as to the process and weather or not we would be able to vote in any annexation proceedings. Dan replied that there would be public hearings but no vote.

The meeting ended with a discussion of what role Deltana Corporation should take. John Hite wants Deltana to get out of the borough business and made a motion to that end. The motion was seconded and that topic was opened to discussion. Darrell Darland stated that the motion was too restrictive of future action on Deltana Corporation’s part. He thought this set a dangerous precedent. Chris Christopherson said that he thought it was the responsibility of the board to address the borough question. Some people came to the meeting to express their opposition to this charter and any other charter. The discussion was lively and ended with John withdrawing his motion. More discussion followed ending with a motion being made to table the issue until the board had time to consider all aspects. The meeting adjourned at that point.

Deltana would like to extend our thanks to Dan Bockhorst and Irene Catalone for their participation in the meeting. Also thanks to the members of the public who came to get more informed and express their opinions!

The next article will get into the specifics of this particular charter. The next meeting of Deltana Community corporation will be at the Clearwater Fire station at 7:00 p.m. on May 11th. Call 895-4150 for more information.

DCC April 25, 2000

Welcome to the Yukon!
Colorful highway sign welcoming visitors to the Yukon Territory.  Photo by David Johnson.

Willow flowers
The many varieties of willow are always among the earliest flowering plants of spring in Interior Alaska -- sometimes even flowering in a snowbank.  Photo by David Johnson.



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