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October 1999

Alaska Hunting and Fishing Licenses Now Available on the Web

On October 1, ADF&G entered the world of e-commerce. The Division of Administrative Services has introduced Alaska's fish and game license sales to the World Wide Web. Anyone with a credit card and an Internet connection can now purchase their license and tag on the  department's website. 

Individuals from as far away as Massachusetts have already used this new offering.

Augmenting our existing vendor network with Internet capability is a natural extension of the Governor's direction to use technology to make government more accessible to the public. These two options, combined with the 1-800 telephone purchase function the department is currently developing, will ensure that licenses are readily available in a variety of channels.

The website is available via the department's home page. Check it out, and let Kristin Wright, our licensing supervisor, know what you think.

Contributed by Fronty Parker, ADF&G -- October 20, 1999

River crossing on a 4 wheeler
Well.....not in
October weather....but this is how you do it on a hunting trip in September.  Here are Charlie and Thomas Atwell powering across a glacial creek near Delta.  Photo by Richard Mitchell.

Benjamin Knix at the Delta Public Library
Benjamin Knix learning with the Delta Public Library's new iMac in the Young Readers' section.  Photo by his dad, Clint.

Delta High School class to take over 
Delta News Web
  -- Technical Problems!

Mr. Brannan's Delta High School desktop publishing class will take over the Delta News Web after Monday, October 4.  The students were offered the opportunity to take on the project as a learning experience and as a community service project, and several decided they would like to work on it.

The format of the Delta News Web will remain the same initially, but will probably change as the students become comfortable with it.

The contact address for the Delta News Web will remain the same:

Mr. Brannan and I have worked on this each day last week, and technical problems have prevented us from making the transition.  We hope to make the switch sometime this week.

David Johnson -- September 30, 1999 updated October 11, 1999

Moose hunters south of Delta
It's covered with snow now, but here's a scene familiar to moose hunters south of Delta.  Photo courtesy Richard Mitchell.

Deltana Community 
Corporation Election Results

Total ballots cast was 264, with no questioned, defective or absentee ballots. The Election will be certified by the Board at the next Regular Meeting, scheduled for October 14th at 7:00 PM at the Clearwater Fire Station. The results are not final until the board formally certifies the election. The preliminary election results are as follows:

Seat D: Diana "Kassie" Farrar - 133 votes; Hawley Edward Zachgo - 124 votes.

Seat E: Russell Bowdre - 170 votes; Carlene W. Smith - 80 votes; Ray Shannon - 1 vote.

Seat F: Stephen L. Fields - 184 votes; Kevin Kelly - 3 votes. Many write-ins had two or less votes.

Implementing Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee nominations are as follows:

Seat K: Dean Cummings, Jr. - 29 votes; Kevin Kelly - 9 votes. Many, many write-ins received less than nine votes..

Seat M: Bill Johnson, Jr. - 165 votes; Write-in Candidates: Glen Wright - 3 votes. Many individuals received one, two or three votes each.

Donna Gardino - October 6, 1999

Yes, guns do belong in schools. Let me tell you why. -- Guest opinion by Joe Nava

There have been guns in schools as long as there have been schools. There are good people and there are bad people, but there are no good guns or bad guns. Guns are tools which can be used for good or bad purposes by people. Guns have been used for good purposes in schools for a very long time, and they should still be. Let me make my case.

Guns are used in the Olympic Games, just as the javelin, the discus, and the basketball are. Not counting the Biathlon in the Winter Olympics, there are 15 shooting events in the Summer Olympics. Some events are for women only and some are for men only. These events use rifles, pistols, shotguns and airguns. Both women and men use semi-automatic handguns in the Olympics. Where do these Olympic Shooters come from? Most come from College shooting programs which train them.

In the United States there are Colleges that give 4 year scholarships for shooting, the same way they do for basketball and football, etc. Top athletes compete for NCAA Rifle Championship distinction or NRA Pistol Championship distinction or NCUI Shotgun Championship distinction. Where do these College shooters come from?

Here in the United States we have High School shooting programs. Many schools have ROTC Programs which train shooters and prepare youngsters for a possible stint in the military. Shooting is a Varsity Sport in some schools. And, it should be for many reasons. Most Olympic shooters get started in a 4-H or Boy Scout or NRA junior shooting program and then get on a High School or Junior High School Shooting Team. If they are good enough, they get a scholarship to a college with a shooting program (like the University of Alaska Fairbanks). After College, the best of the shooters may go on to a National Training Center to prepare for Olympic or other International Shooting competition.

Why is this good for the schools?

Shooting is the least violent of all the school sports. Shooters don’t grab, tackle or check the opponent. They don’t even bump into the opponent. Also, shooting, as a sport, has an unequaled safety record. There are more injuries in Table Tennis than there are in shooting competitions.

The greatest benefit of guns in schools, for the youngsters, is the self-discipline the gun teaches. Shooting takes much self-control. Any high school or college shooter learns this. It takes mental self-control to ignore all else around you and concentrate on the goal at hand.

This mental self-discipline learned through shooting, carries over into schoolwork and life. Shooting Teams in schools are always at the head of their class in academics. Shooting teaches the discipline it takes to excel in school.

The experience at UAF is no different than it is in any college. The Shooting Team will always have the highest average GPA of any sporting team. It is partially a product of the skills learned in shooting.

I have never heard of a case, anywhere in the United States, of a School Shooting Team Member being involved in the criminal use of a gun. Never has any gun used for a school shooting program been used illegally. This doesn’t happen. Guns are not bad in schools. They are good. The result of a supervised athletic shooting program is positive, and there is no risk to it.

Another good reason why guns belong in school is for teaching gun safety. I have done this in Fairbanks for many years. I can take my guns into a school classroom, with the schools permission, and teach a class in gun safety. This will prevent accidents and save lives. Gun safety should be taught in schools. If you want fewer gun accidents, the solution is more gun safety education.

Hunter Education can also be taught in the schools for those who want to continue the Hunting Lifestyle that we prize so highly here in Alaska. The Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game has gladly arranged this for any school that wants it. They can do it for your school too. Education decreases gun accidents. Legislation doesn’t.

Let us teach gun safety in the schools to those students whose parents want them to be safer around guns. I can guarantee this will decrease the possibility of any child having, or being the victim of, a firearms accident at any time in the future. Where is the risk in that? There is none. It is a win-win situation where the children are safer when they encounter guns later in life, and they will, someday. Even the school is safer because more students understand more about gun safety, and they are more self-disciplined.

So, admire those students who have the will and the dedication to achieve that degree of mental self-discipline to win a place on a school shooting team. Give them the chance to achieve in an Olympic Sport.

One example I can give you is April Blajeski who honed her shooting skills as a High School Athlete in Delta and then got a Shooting scholarship to UAF and achieved NRA All-American Honors for her ability.

Another example I can give you is myself. I discovered shooting in College at UAF. I learned the importance of self-discipline in shooting and in life. That helped me to achieve All-American Honors and to continue my schoolwork and my life in what I hope has been an ethical and worthwhile manner.

Punish the misuse of guns anywhere, including in schools. But, leave guns in the schools for good purposes. The benefits are great for the youngster and for the community, and there is no risk.

Joe Nava, Volunteer Gun Safety Instructor -- October 5, 1999

Stone sheep
Stone sheep come right up to the Alaska Highway in the Yukon.  Photo by David Johnson.

Delta Wind Publication Schedule

The Delta Wind plans to publish on the following dates:

October 7
October 28
November 11
November 23

Publication schedules may change.  Please be sure to contact the Delta Wind at 895-5115 for if publication date is critical.

September 30, 1999 .

Dave Davenport on the way to Healy Lake
ADF&G staffer Dave Davenport heads east from Big Delta on the Tanana on the way to Healy Lake with hunting licenses for local residents there.  Photo courtesy Steve DuBois.

Gulls in a pattern
Three gulls fighting for a scrap of fish form a pattern with their wings.   Photo courtesy Richard Mitchell.  

Sea kayakers from Delta
Here's Delta guys Glen (left) and David Johnson preparing for a sea kayaking trip in SE Alaska this past summer.  David Johnson photo. 


Running the Gulkana
Marlin Dunklebarger pilots a raft through the falls on the Gulkana River, south of Delta.  Levi Atwell, Rachel Dunklebarger, and Charlie Atwell are also aboard.  Photo courtesy of Charlie Atwell.

The Sullivan Roadhouse Needs Your Help

The property behind the Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum was once a fuel tank farm and is now listed as an EPA supersite due to high levels of petroleum contamination in the soil. Clean up began on the property early this summer. 

However, due to gross miscalculations on the size of the contamination, the project ran out of money and the clean up was not completed. We were left with a pile of dirt and two huge holes that were eventually filled in. The property is still contaminated and there are no plans to finish the clean up. 

Sullivan Roadhouse SignWe need this property to continue the growth and improvement of museum operations, including a well for public use. It will be turned over to us for use once the clean up has been completed. 

If you would like to help us get back on the EPA schedule please send an email to Robert Layne at the Department of Natural Resources at:  and let him know that you want the project completed as soon as possible. You can also drop him a snail mail message at:

Robert Layne
Department of Natural Resources
3700 Airport Way
Fairbanks, AK 99709

We at the Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum appreciate your help. If you have any questions please e-mail Jeff Durham at  or call Sheryl Mills at (907) 895-5068.

Jeff Durham -- October 22, 1999

Sullivan Roadhouse
Becoming a Delta Junction city center landmark, the Sullivan Roadhouse sits just south of the Visitor Center.  Public support is needed to continue the cleanup required by the 1950's-era military tank farm.  See article in Community News, below.  Photo by Jeff Durham.

Delta High School desktop publishing class and the Delta News Web desktop publishing class and the Delta News Web desktop publishing class and the Delta News Web  -- Plan B

Mr. Brannan and I worked hard for a couple of weeks to make it possible for the Delta High School desktop publishing class to take over the Delta News Web.  Today (10/18) we came to the conclusion that several technical problems we faced were too steep to overcome.

We had offered the students the opportunity to take on the project as a learning experience and as a community service project.  Several were quite interested and worked with us in trying to make the transition.

Mr. Brannan remains interested in the project and sees good opportunities for a school & business partnership.  We decided today to work together on some other projects that will provide many of the same benefits but should not be plagued by the technical problems that made our first plan unworkable.

David Johnson -- October 18, 1999

Fish stocking

ADF&G hatchery employee Loren Thomas buckets Rainbow Trout fingerlings into a portable stocking tank on a 6-wheeler. The fish were then transported about a mile into 4-Mile Lake on the Taylor Highway. Nearly 45 lakes were stocked in the Delta Junction and surrounding area this summer with Rainbow trout, Silver salmon, Arctic char, and Arctic grayling.  Photo courtesy Fronty Parker, ADF&G.

City and School Board Election 
Results Finally Complete

Lou Heinbockel and Nat Good were sworn in at a special meeting of the Delta Junction City Council on Monday, October 11.  Close results and absentee ballots had led city officials to wait until Monday for a final tally.  The final tally was Heinbockel 128, Mark Weller 123 and Good 128 , Glenn Wright 121.  City officials had received a little over 21 absentee ballots and had to wait for any others to arrive by mail.  

As of October 6 the results were: Heinbockel: 122, Weller 117; and Good 122, Wright 114.  The absentee ballots changed the margins only slightly.

In the school board election, Ellen Woford received 388 votes of 410 total.  Alice Pennington had 348 of 373 total.  In both cases, the other votes were for write-in candidates.

David Johnson -- October 6, 1999 updated October 12, 1999

Winter in Delta
Winter time in Delta.  Photo by David Johnson.  This picture was actually taken closer to Christmas a couple of years ago.

Seiner in Valdez
A seiner works Valdez Arm for pink salmon as a cruise ship gets under way.  Photo by David Johnson.

The Donnelly Flats Fire
By Tara Gardner


Two months ago my dad (who works for Alaska State Forestry) gave me a very important phone call from his office. He asked if I saw smoke behind our house, I answered with a, "Yes". He asked if I could tell how close it was.

"It’s about two or three miles," I guessed. He then said, "Okay. I love you and if it gets extremely close call me on my pocket cell phone. Bye!"

By that time I was scaring myself.

What felt like a century went by and no phone calls had been received yet. What was happening?

At that moment Mom pulled up the driveway. She came in and said, "We’ll just go to town to get our minds off of it.

While we were in the IGA I got some ice cream. I saved half of it for my dad because the night before he hadn’t had any dinner and that morning he hadn’t had any breakfast.

Next, we went to visit my dad. I gave him my ice cream. When he finished he had to go back to work. We said bye and left. Friday

That day was kinda slow. I waited for something to happen, someone to call. Then the phone rang I answered as fast as I could. It was my cousin Lindsey. She asked if I could spend the night very quickly.

"I have to ask my parents, "I answered. So I called them and they said sure.


The next day it was a lot closer. I was thinking about how it would effect our lives if it got any closer when my dad got there. It was around noon. He told us kids to throw the firewood away from the house because he knew it was coming the next day and with the firewood stacked against the house it could catch fire more easily. He also said to let the chickens go just in case.

We watched the fire from our roof the rest of the day, taking pictures here and there.


We woke up that morning to the hustle and bustle of the firefighters. THE FIRE WAS COMING!!!!!

My dad said to stay downstairs with the dog in case the fire hit. We trudged down the steep stairs to my bedroom in the basement, where all my belongings were. Lindsey (my cousin) had spent the night. My parents along with Lindsey’s mom, Cheryl, called Diana and her boyfriend Willy, to see if they would pick us up. Where were they??? About ten minutes went by and no Diana. Twenty minutes later they pulled up in a tiny little one-passenger car.

My dad was yelling, "Come on up Diana and Willy are here to evac you guys!"

I ran out the basement door as fast as I could. When I stepped outside both my parents were wearing fire-fighting gear and were almost in tears. My mom gave me the biggest hug in my life. And my dad said, "If the house goes I’ll try to get away. I could get caught in the wall of flames but I’ll try just for you and the family."

It was the saddest moment in my life.

Us four kids got in the two-person car. Still crying from my parents I crammed in the back of the car we watched as the fire jump the road only seconds behind us.

I was glad to be out of that mess as we traveled south instead of north to Delta. The only really big problem was my dog and my parents being left behind.

The car trip felt like an eternity. I was waiting for one of us six people to break the silence between us and finally Willy said in his southern accent, "We’re almost to Donnelly campground."

My mom works for State Parks and she asked the hosts of the campground to make sure we got there safe.

We knocked on their door and they invited us in.

Diana and Willy introduced themselves so Earl and Hazel ( the hosts) Introduced themselves too. They said it was okay to stay for a while and wait for the fire to die down. They fed us and we ended up staying for a few hours.

Then we decided to leave so we headed towards town and when we got to about our house we found the road closed with many people waiting to get through.

We ended up lying on the Richardson Highway for about two hours just waiting to get through. Even though we couldn’t go home because of all the activity we would next go to Diana’s house to wait for the fire to get really low.

The Alaska State Troopers finally let us through and we passed our house and saw no damage...yet. When we passed Lindsey’s house Cheryl (Lindsey’s mom) came running out and said to Diana that her car was at the front gate of Fort Greely.

On the way to Fort Greely we saw a tree that was still on fire. Staring at it I saw two more. When we got to Ft. Greely I was glad to be out of the car.

Next, we went to stay the night at Diana’s house. Even from her house on Jack Warren Road, we could still see smoke. It was black outside. I couldn’t see anything but trees and smoke. Sunday

The next morning Cheryl picked us up around eight o’clock. The firefighters were still there though because when the fire got out of hand on Friday it split in two and one half jumped the road. That day we knew we wouldn’t have to evacuate. It didn’t hit us. Monday

The fire behind our house is gone now but we still have to be careful just in case a spark lights up again. The big half of the fire has gone past us and it had died down quite a bit. I’m so glad it didn’t hurt the house or my neighbors houses and that my family is OK.

October 6, 1999

The Alaska Highway
The "long green tunnel" of the Alaska Highway stretches from Dawson Creek, BC to right here in Delta Junction.  Photo by David Johnson.



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