Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Sunday, July 23 2017 @ 05:01 AM AKDT

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Happy Mother's Day!

Community Happy Mother's Day to all Moms. Hope you have a great day.

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Own Your Own Alaska Ferry: M/V Taku Sale Extended, Minimum Bid Lowered

Alaska NewsThe Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is extending the sale of the M/V Taku and reducing the minimum bid price. The deadline to submit bids is May 31, 2017 and the minimum bid price is $700,000. Interested bidders must have a bid bond of $5,000. The complete bid package is available on the state’s Online Public Notice website.

The original deadline to submit sealed bids was May 9, 2017 and the minimum bid price was $1.5 million.

ADOT&PF is selling the vessel “As Is/Where Is” to the highest bidder. The sale process involved getting Federal Highway Administration approval since federal funding was used to maintain the vessel over its lifespan.

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Celebrate Arbor Day on May 15

Home and GardenFrom a Press Release

The Division of Forestry invites Alaskans to join Arbor Day celebrations throughout Alaska, starting tomorrow and continuing through next week.

Governor Walker has proclaimed Monday, May 15 as Arbor Day, and communities across the state are hosting local events to promote tree planting and community forestry. Trees create healthy cities by reducing air and water pollution, reducing runoff and flooding, absorbing emissions that cause climate change, and supporting retail activity. For a list of Arbor Day events in Alaska, visit the Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program’s website at

The national Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized four Alaska communities, three military bases, three utilities and one university for their efforts to protect and enhance community forests.

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Alaskans invited to participate in Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day

RecreationSubmitted by a Reader

Alaskans are invited to join the Office of Boating Safety in promoting safe boating behavior by wearing their life jackets to work on Friday, May 19, and sharing their photos on social media.

The annual “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” event is the public kickoff for Safe Boating Week in Alaska, which runs from May 20-26. Participants in this event can post their photos on Facebook at or Instagram using #AKBoat and #SafeBoating.

The goal of this event is to raise awareness of the versatility and comfort of modern life jackets. Boating is a way of life in Alaska but every year, several people die in boating accidents. Five out of six boating fatalities in Alaska are cold-water immersion related drownings, following a vessel capsizing or swamping, being ejected, or a fall overboard. Nine out of ten who died were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket is the simplest way to prevent drowning in a boat accident.

Safe Boating Week focuses on the importance of boaters being “rescue-ready” during the boating season: 1.) Wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck, 2.) Carry emergency communication and distress signaling devices on their person, 3.) Attach an engine cut-off switch if equipped, and 4.) All boaters have a means to re-board their boats.

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Safe Boating Week

RecreationFrom a Proclamation

WHEREAS, boating on Alaska’s abundant waterways is an essential part of the lifestyle of many Alaskans; and

WHEREAS, Alaska has the highest overall percentage of boating households in the nation, and Alaskans spend more time on the water than boaters in any other state; and

WHEREAS, each year Alaskans lose their lives in boating accidents, most often the result of a sudden capsize, swamping, ejection, or falling overboard into Alaska’s cold water without a life jacket; and

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Governor Walker Discusses Alaska Opportunities with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Alaska NewsFrom a Press Release

Governor Bill Walker today discussed the importance of Alaska’s strategic geopolitical role in national security during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, emphasizing the strong need for a naval base in the Arctic. Secretary Tillerson introduced Governor Walker during the 10th Ministerial of the Arctic Council luncheon.

“We are fortunate to have a Secretary of State who is familiar with Alaska and knows just how close we are to neighboring countries that are building up their military presence in our waters and skies,” Governor Walker said. “I was seated next to Secretary Tillerson during a White House dinner in February, so this was the second meeting where I explained the opportunities that Alaska provides to the country. Today, I told the Secretary that Alaska can play a crucial role in offsetting the United States trade deficit if any barriers are removed to market our natural resources—like seafood, timber and natural gas. We also discussed the visits by Vice President Mike Pence and President Xi Jinping, who was able to see firsthand the myriad opportunities between Alaska and China.”

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Fire Extinguisher Training

Community Contributed by Janet Whitfield, Big Lake Library

Fire Extinguisher Training for Teens age 11-16 @ The Big Lake Library

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Second Saturday Event at Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center

NatureContributed by Randi Perlman, On Behalf of AWBRC

SECOND SATURDAY EVENT AT ALASKA WILDBIRD REHABILITATION CENTER celebrates anniversary of landmark treaty. Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (AWBRC) will hold a Second Saturday event on Saturday, May 13, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty, AWBRC will be celebrating International Migratory Bird Day and its role in protecting birds in the wild. Come meet AWBRC’s education ambassador birds at this entertaining and enlightening event for both children and adults. This is a unique opportunity to view these majestic birds up close and personal, and to help support the organization’s mission of helping to care for these birds and educate the public about them.

Follow signs from the Parks Highway to Big Lake Road. Travel 1.4 miles on Big Lake Road, turn Right on Kenlar (by sign for Houston High School). Follow Kenlar 0.4 miles, turn Left on Birch Road. The center is the second driveway on the right, watch for the sign. For more information, visit the website at or call the center at 907-892-2927.

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Big Lake Spring Cleanup 2017

Community Submitted by Yvonne Ruth

Come join us! May 13th 2017 @ The Big Lake Rec Center. Bring the kids!

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17 foot python in Meadow Lakes neighborhood

Pets and Animalsby Patty Sullivan, MSB

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care is looking for a 17-foot albino Burmese python that weighs 100 pounds in a neighborhood in Meadow Lakes. The owner reported it missing recently near W. Mallard Lane.

Animal Care Director Kirsten Vesel asks residents in the area to bring in small pets and be vigilant of your yard right now. Alaska's cold temperatures may weaken the snake or compel it to seek a warm place, she said.

The snake is not prone to attacking adult humans unless provoked. The snake could potentially pose a threat to pets and young children.

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Public Notices > Ficklin Pit Earth Materials Extraction Permit

Public NoticesThe Matanuska-Susitna Borough has received an application for an Administrative Permit for earth materials extraction under MSB 17.30.030(A)(1). The site is located at 20806 W. Fox Loop, Big Lake (MSB Tax ID# 6265B02L003 & 6265B02L004); within Township 16N, Range 04 West, Section 03, Seward Meridian. The Administrative Permit is for two years to allow the extraction of 6,000 to 9,000 cubic yards in the first year in Phase II, and 10,000 to 15,000 cubic yards during the second year for Phase I.

The plan of operation is seasonal typically running from April to November. The total area of activity will occur on two adjoining lots in Robertson Acres on Lot 3 consisting of 5.81 acres, and Lot 4 consisting of 2.19 acres. The total acreage of the combined lots is 8 acres with 5.29 scheduled to be mined.

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Five Year Timber Harvest Schedule 2017-2021

Public NoticesSuggested by a Big Lake Community Council Member

Pursuant to MSB Code 23.20.090, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (Borough), Land and Resource Management Division, is providing a draft of the 2017-2021 Five Year Timber Harvest Schedule (Schedule) for public review and comment. Links to the Schedule are available on the Boroughs Public Notice page at and on the Borough's Resource Sales page at

Copies of the Schedule are being sent to all affected Community Councils, and all Borough Assembly Members. Written public comments are due no later than May 26, 2017. After review of the written public comments, including any changes that are addressed as a result of the comments received; the final draft Schedule and written public comments will be forwarded to the Borough Planning Commission and Assembly for their consideration.

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Willow man arrested on warrant

Police BlotterOn 05/02/2017 at approximately 6:53 pm Taylor McLeod, age 30 of Willow, turned himself in at the Mat-Su West Trooper Post for an outstanding arrest warrant. McLeod had a warrant for Failure to Appear on the original charge of DUI. McLeod was remanded to the custody of the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility and held on $1000 bail after serving 20 days.

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Willow man found guilty of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Police BlotterOn 05-02-2017 at approximately 3 pm, a Palmer Jury found Allen Theodore 56, of Willow, guilty on nine counts of SAM II, one count of SAM III, one count of SA I and one count of Assault III.

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Big Lake Elementary Spring Purge

Education and Local School NewsCome out and help raise funds for the Big Lake Elementary Library! May 6th 2017, 10-5.

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