Wonder of the MatSu Valley

Did NANA Construction Harm Don Tolbert?

He Says this Employer turned his life upside down… In 2021 the NANA Corporation—owned by more than 15,000 Iñupiaq shareholders who live or have roots in northwest Alaska—was named number three among the top 49 companies in Alaska, by Alaska Business Magazine.1 This for-profit Native Regional Corporation; formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act …

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Can a Ready Veteran Workforce Assure Food Security?

To Dream the Impossible Dream… Let’s imagine our elected State of Alaska officials–who like to blow smoke about Alaska Food Security–suddenly made land available for Commercial Agriculture… IMAGINE 10,000-acre parcels dedicated to serious farming endeavors instead of current 460-acre parcels where farmers do each other’s laundry. Such fantasy SOA Ag offerings would require successful bidders …

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Year-end review

Seeking Alaskan Truths in 2021 (2021©donnliston.co)   Living the Alaskan Lifestyle is by definition active. Sitting at a computer screen or looking at a phone are not active pursuits. So, having lived the Alaskan Lifestyle 60 years means I have mostly found my groove in dealing with demands of Alaskan Life—I’ve done enough Alaskan stuff …

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What is the AK Roundtable?

Alaska’s Challenges Demand Answers (2021©donnliston.co) Ric Davidge is co-founder and “referee” of the AK Roundtable. In educational terms, one generation transfers knowledge to the next by what has been called the Intergenerational Transfer of Cognitive Knowledge.[1] That is what our teachers and schools are supposed to be doing—imparting the common knowledge to young Alaskans necessary to promote …

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Steps to Food Security for Alaska

Palmer Slaughterhouse Gains new Owners (2021©donnliston.co) Mt McKinley Meat & Sausage owner, Greg Giannulis hands keys off to Todd Elsberry, new owner of the Palmer slaughterhouse, upon its recent sale. The slaughterhouse formerly known as Mt. McKinley Meats and Sausages (MMMS) has been purchased by a North Pole Farming family and will return to processing red meat for Alaskans …

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Alaska’s Economy Now

 Quality of Life in the MatSu Valley (2021©donnliston.co)     Edna DeVries was elected mayor of the MatSu Borough November 2 and will take over as chief executive of the most economically vibrant region of Alaska.     Edna DeVries, Mayor of MatSu Borough .As a precursor to the election on October 20 Alaska Department of Labor …

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Talkeetna Reflections: Is change always good?

A U.S. Geological Survey party at work, near present-day Talkeetna.Stephen R. Capps Collection, UAF Rural Alaska in the 1950s–60s–70s was rugged, with community members pulling together to face good times and bad; any individual member or family could need help at any time, and all shared in opportunities. Quality of daily life along the Southcentral …

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Feeding Alaskans in Mat-Su

MatSu Food Bank Builds Community (2021©donnliston.co)   MatSu Food Bank Executive Director, Eddie Ezelle, took me for a tour of the organization’s new facility on Blue Lupine Rd. in Wasilla. At any given time there are as many as 18 Food Pantries in the Matanuska Susitna Valley providing nutritious food to local residents, some supplied by …

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Let’s talk about Fertilizer

How Agriculture Works in Alaska (2021©donnliston.co)   The theme of the long-time Spenard bar fits many, but not all, Alaska farmers.   Alaska gardeners are familiar with the work of Jeff Lowenfels, a local authority on plants and gardening, who together with Wayne Lewis wrote a book called Teaming with Microbes for those who want …

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Steps to Food Security for Alaska: Are Alaska Agriculture Efforts Working?

  Do more farms mean more production for Alaskans? In his self-satisfied memoir—written after serving two terms as Alaska’s fifth governor–Jay Hammond, in his book Tales of Alaska’s Bushrat Governor, reflects on …major disappointments in my second term. One, deemed by many the biggest blunder of my administration, was an attempt to promote Alaska agriculture. …

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