Archives for May 2018
(Fairbanks, Alaska) – Fairbanks International Airport (FAI), one half of the Alaska International Airport System is forecasting an increase in seat capacity for summer seasonal carriers, Delta Air Lines (DL) and United Airlines (UA). DL is increasing seat capacity in May by 37 percent and United Airlines is increasing seat capacity in August by 33 percent. This growth will add approximately 1,112 seats for DL and 830 seats for UA.
Alaska Airlines phased out their Bombardier Q400 aircraft in Fairbanks replacing them with the larger Boeing 737 aircraft in March resulting in a 20 percent seat capacity increase between the Anchorage and Fairbanks markets predicting an additional 17,000 seats.
“The Fairbanks airport is the gateway to Alaska’s Interior as well as Denali National Park,” said Jeff Roach, Airport Manager. “The increase in seats provide additional opportunities as well as flexibility for travelers and their itineraries.”
Seat capacity increases are crucial not just for the Fairbanks community but it also accommodates additional seats needed by the growing cruise industry that offer land tour packages.
“With Cross-Gulf itineraries projected to grow 25 percent this summer, Fairbanks should see a very strong summer visitor season,” said John Binkley President of the Cruise Lines International Association Alaska. “A projected record of 404,200 passengers are expected on open-jaw (one-way) itineraries to Southcentral Alaska, many of which will make their way to Denali National Park and Fairbanks as part of extended land tours. This increase is mostly attributable to Princess Cruises adding a ship. In addition, Holland America Line is increasing ship size while Windstar Cruises is offering a Cross-Gulf option for the first time. Next year looks even brighter with Azamara Club Cruises, Cunard and Viking entering the Alaska market by introducing one-way itineraries with land tour options.”
Commercial airlines operating at FAI this summer include Air North, Alaska Airlines, Condor, Delta Air Lines, 40-Mile Air, Ravn Alaska and United Airlines.
Due to increased traffic, travelers are encouraged to arrive at the airport two hours prior to their scheduled departure. To ensure passengers are leaving all prohibited items at home please visit the TSA “ What Can I Bring” website. Visit fai.alaska.gov to view summer operating hours for airport concessionaires.
For more information contact, Sammy Loud at 907-474-2522, email@example.com.
I am sharing a series of correspondences that I’ve had with the Delta/Greely school board.
I would be happy to pay for a display case. Ideally the shop class could construct it. I’d pay for the materials as well as make a donation to the class.
On April 4 2018 I emailed the following letter to all the school board members.
My son Robert Carmichael “Mike” Shetler graduated from Delta High School in 2002. He enlisted in the Army in 2003 and honorably served until his death in 2011.
I would like the Board to consider having an area in Delta High School which recognizes alumni who gave their lives in service to our country. It would be the responsibility of the Gold Star family member or in some cases the student’s classmates to provide a framed photograph of the service member, with name, graduation date, branch of service and date of death.
I called Superintendent Jackson in February 2018 and discussed this with her. She told me that she couldn’t make that decision. That would be up to the Board. I expressed that I understood that and knew that would be the correct way to proceed.
March 29, 2018 she contacted me and told me that my request had been denied at the administrative level with the reasons being it may cause controversy, it would require the administration to implement it and if it can’t be done correctly shouldn’t be done. It was not presented to the Board.
I believe that my request should be considered and added as an agenda item for the May 24, 2019 board meeting.
Thank you for your consideration.
Gail M. Shetler, Gold Star Mother
I received the following from Richard Mauer, School Board President on April 15, 2018.
Good Evening Mrs. Shetler,
The board, in our April 5th work session, discussed, under correspondence to the Board, your request and Board Policy 1331 which prohibits memorials. That being stated, the policy does not take into consideration Gold Star Families or fallen service members.
With these thoughts in our minds, the board agreed to have the policy committee (meeting tomorrow evening) review Memorial Policy 1331 to determine if a change is in order.
If the policy committee arrives at a recommendation tomorrow evening, I expect an update during our business meeting on Thursday of this week.
If a change is recommended, it will require two public readings for comment and discussion prior to board action.
I will keep you informed regarding any action on your request.
Richard Mauer, Board President
As of April 28, 2018 I had heard nothing from Mr. Mauer. I emailed him with this question:
Is the board going to act on my request? I ask because you never got back with me.
He responded the following day:
Good Evening Mrs. Shetler,
The Policy Committee did review your request in light of Memorial Policy 1331 and considered whether or not the district policy should be rewritten. After lengthy discussion, the committee recommended to the board that the memorial policy stand as written. The committee did mention that there other avenues to honor deceased loved ones through recognitions or scholarships in the name of the deceased – you may recall the one started many years ago in remembrance of Kathy (sp?) Harrell. The committee recommendation was accepted by the board with no action pending or intended at this time. If you wish to consider another form of recognition or award, please contact Superintendent Laural Jackson whom I have copied with this response or feel free to contact me at any time.
When I moved to Delta Junction in 1976 there was a large military presence at Ft. Greely. It became smaller and then BRAC came along in 1995. The community was upset that there could be either downsizing or closure. The greatly reduced presence of the military could and did have a big impact on Delta.
Shortly before I retired in 2004 the community knew that part of the missile defense would be constructed at Ft. Greely. There are now more civilian jobs as well as a military presence.
The school district has and still does benefit from the military.
When my son was in school we filled out a Federal Impact Form for the district to receive additional monies. “ Federal Impact Aid is designed to assist United States local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property, or that have experienced increased expenditures due to the enrollment of federally connected children.” I never knew the school district to decline the funds. There was always a big push to get those Impact forms back in on time.
Why is it that the school board and superintendent don’t find it necessary to honor those graduates that voluntarily served and died while in service to their country? Rather it is left to the survivors to set up, for example, a scholarship in their loved one’s name. I find their lack of respect for those graduates pathetic.
Finally, I realize that Delta Junction is not Fairbanks and that DHS is not Lathrop HS. In this case, my son graduated from the WRONG High School. It’s too bad that he didn’t graduate from Lathrop High School. Lathrop (which is part of the North Star Borough School District) has a wall case which honors those graduates that have paid the ultimate price. It’s sad that the Delta/Greely School District refuses to do something similar.
Gail Shetler, Gold Star Mother
HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – A U.S. Army Alaska Soldier was killed in action in Tagab District, Afghanistan, April 30, 2018.
Spc. Gabriel David Conde, 22, was killed by enemy small arms fire.
Conde was an airborne infantryman in the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
He deployed with the brigade to Afghanistan in September 2017 in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.
Conde enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2015 in Loveland, Colorado, and had been assigned to U.S. Army Alaska since April 2016.
The incident is under investigation.
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – McCarthy Road is now open to public travel for the summer season and will be regularly maintained until October 1.
Conditions on the unpaved, 60-mile road, which runs between the communities of Chitina and McCarthy, will remain fair to difficult throughout the summer season. Drivers can expect a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit, major rutting, rocks in the road, potholes, and soft shoulders. Current conditions include icy spots, water on the roadway, and a rough driving surface.
Drivers are encouraged to prepare for remote travel by bringing appropriate emergency supplies including food and water, a first aid kit, extra seasonally-appropriate clothing, and spare tires. No services are available along the road.
Seasonal weight restrictions are in effect and can be checked here.
Gull on the Delta River last summer
Photo Courtesy Dwight Phillips