CHAMBER DINNER CHILI COOKOFF AT AMERICAN LEGION JANUARY 26TH!

How To Help The 2016 Copper Basin 300

WARMING UP AT THE SOURDOUGH CHECKPOINT. (BRAD HENSPETER) 

This Winter's Cross-Country 100% Copper River Valley Race 
Is Looking For Volunteers, Donations & Cash 

Help The Copper Basin 300! 

YOU CAN SPONSOR A MILE OF THE RACE 
FOR ONLY $30. YOU CHOOSE YOUR MILE 

Also... YOU CAN FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW: 

RYNE OLSON HITS THE FINISH LINE, COMING IN 3RD PLACE IN 2015. (JANELLE EKLUND)

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NOT CURRENT: Get That Unit 13 Federal Subsistence Report Back By October 5th!


Here's The Word From BLM: If You Want To Hunt Next Year, Get Your Hunt Report Back Now!

Attention Unit 13 Federal Subsistence Hunter:  Moose season ended on September 20.  Your moose hunt report is due back to the BLM Glennallen Field Office by October 5 and can be mailed, hand-delivered, or entered online.  

See your harvest report for the website and your unique reporting code.  Failure to return your hunt report will make you ineligible to receive a 2016 Unit 13 Federal moose permit.  

The BLM office is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.  Call 822-3217 if you have lost your hunt report or have further questions. 

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And The Permanent Fund Dividend For 2015 Is...

PFD 2015 Amount 

$2,072 

And No. It's Not This Type Of PFD!  

(Though It Sometimes Seems Like It)  


Comparison Time --
Here's a look at the annual PFD payouts since the fund first came out, in 1982, with a $1,000 payment. The highest amount to date was in 2008, at $2,069, which was a real boom-before-the-bust year, since an additional $1,200 was tacked on. 

Prior to the announcement on September 21st, the Alaska Dispatch projected a $2,100 amount, due to $1.375 billion being transferred from the fund, and a 95% acceptance of the year's 670,000 applicants. 

Although, from the start, economists have urged people to "save the money," in rural Alaska this has been quite difficult. Years ago, at a Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting, a state PFD official came to the region, and local people stood up and told him what they were going to use the PFD for. Many mentioned fuel costs, food, and basic living expenses.

There's a $3 billion shortfall right now in the Alaska budget. The Alaska budget is heavily dependent on oil funds. 

(Chart: Wikipedia)

YearAmount
2014$1,884.00
2013$900.00
2012$878.00
2011$1,174.00
2010$1,281.00
2009$1,305.00
2008$2,069.00 + $1,200 Alaska Resource Rebate
2007$1,654.00
2006$1,106.96
2005$845.76
2004$919.84
2003$1,107.56
2002$1,540.76
2001$1,850.28
2000$1,963.86
1999$1,769.84
1998$1,540.88
1997$1,296.54
1996$1,130.68
1995$990.30
1994$983.90
1993$949.46
1992$915.84
1991$931.34
1990$952.63
1989$873.16
1988$826.93
1987$708.19
1986$556.26
1985$404.00
1984$331.29
1983$386.15
1982$1,000.00

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Surviving In Rural Alaska: Using Local Coal In Healy To Heat An Entire Hotel & Restaurant Complex

Healy coal truck near Denali Park

Lowering Heating Costs In Healy... 

By Using What Comes Naturally  

Totem Inn is in the coal-mining town of Healy on the northern border of Denali National Park. 

Instead of using spruce trees (as Tok does -- see the story about Tok in this blog)  Kevin Hamel at Totem 
has "gone local" to heat his place. He tapped into the nearby coal mine that's just down the road from him. 


The Totem Inn put in a 1.8 million BTU furnace that they plumbed to all their scattered buildings. It takes care of their domestic water and heat.  Coal is inexpensive. Sold directly, Usibelli coal can cost around $65 to $70 a ton. "So one ton of coal is equal to about 110 gallons of diesel," said Kevin Hamel. There's a huge difference in cost -- $65 versus $450 -- for the same heating power.

Totem Inn constructed a custom, partly-underground outdoor facility to hold
the coal, and to help feed it into the furnace. The furnace was expected to be 
paid for in about a year, Kevin estimated. He believes it'll take two or three years to pay off the building.

And, he says, the coal burns clean.  "They state it's 82% efficient, which is pretty much what diesel is," commented Kevin. Best of all, in addition to using
a product that originates a mile and a half away from the hotel, 
there's going to be a winning bottom line: "By the numbers, we'll be saving
probably about $50,000 to $60,000 a year."

Story copyright Bearfoot Travel Guides, 2015. 
(This story was written a year or so ago and has not been updated)

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Surviving In Rural Alaska: Tok's Solution To High Fuel Costs Uses Scrub Black Spruce Trees

Tok's Visitor Center
The Incredible Story of How Tok Is Fighting Forest Fires, Heating Its School -- And Making The Most Of What It Has 

Like many small rural towns, Tok is surrounded by highly flammable scrub spruce. It's been evacuated six times in the past 20 years, as forest fires raced to within feet of major buildings. 

The state and federal governments have spent over $100 million, putting those fires out.

Tok has another problem, common to rural communities -- high fuel costs. The school in Tok was spending $7,500 per student, just for heating and lighting -- before a single child entered the school.

Then, three Tok residents -- a state forester, a school administrator, and an engineer, all working together, turned Tok's pathetic scrub forest into a miniature Prudhoe Bay.

In a scientific survey, the Tok forester discovered that every 5 foot x 5 foot plot of scrub spruce was the equivalent of a gallon of oil. Using that fact, Tok is now solving two problems.

Tok is building a fire break around its town. The wood from the fire break is harvested with mechanical cutters, and stacked for a year to get its water content down to 35%. Then it's ground up, and burned at 2800 degrees Fahrenheit.

That heats the school. They will soon add a generator, saving the school an additional hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a 300-foot buffer is built around the town, the wood gathered will have enough energy to heat the school for 120 years.

There is so much heat available that Tok thinks it could heat up to eight greenhouses with the surplus -- providing fresh food to the town.

This is a community taking what seem to be insurmountable problems -- constant forest fire danger and the cost of fuel -- and coming up with a fantastic solution that makes the most of what seems to be practically nothing to begin with.

This is real Alaska. Making the most of what we have.


And this is why people are flocking to Alaska every summer -- to see the Alaskan lifestyle, in all its authenticity.

Story copyright: Bearfoot Travel Magazines, 2015


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Road Construction In The Copper Valley This Fall


ROAD PROJECTS ON THE TOK CUTOFF & RICHARDSON HIGHWAY 

Meadow Bailey, who grew up in Kenny Lake, and has gone on to greater things at the Northern Region of DOT, in Fairbanks, sent the following information about road projects in our region, and just
beyond.

TOK CUTOFF 

RESURFACING, MP 24 TO MP 30
THROUGH SEPTEMBER
Be alert to workers and construction equipment in the roadway, as well as pavement breaks, gravel surfaces, pilot car and flagging operations -- with delays of up to 20 minutes, 7 days a week, from 7 am to 7 pm. Hours may extend later into the evening. Please note that turnouts at MP 24 and MP 28 may be temporarily closed to traffic. For information, call 488-5983 or DOT at 822-3185.


TOK CUTOFF

BRIDGE REPLACEMENT, MP 104
THROUGH OCTOBER
Be alert for lane restrictions, delays of up to 20 minutes, pilot car operations, and machinery on the roadway. Monday through Saturday, 7 am to 7:30 pm. 488-5983, DOT 833-9800.

RICHARDSON HIGHWAY

ROAD CONSTRUCTION
MP 257 to MP 265
THROUGH OCTOBER
Be alert to delays, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm. Roadwork and shoulder work Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm. Expect flagging and pilot far operations and delays up to 20 minutes. Call 895-1068 or DOT at 895-1063 for information.

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First Of The Season Chamber Dinner On Thursday, September 24th, 2015 At Copper Center



Thursday  
September 24th, 2015 
Chamber Dinner 
First Of The Season! 
TALK-TO-THE-PEOPLE 
SUMMER WRAP-UP 
BRING YOUR COMMENTS 
ABOUT TOURISM, ENERGY, & 
OTHER SUBJECTS TO SHARE WITH   
CHAMBER MEMBERS. 
Old Town  
Copper Center Lodge 
Pre-Dinner "Meet & Greet" 
Starts At 6 pm
Dinner Starts At 6:30-6:45 pm
You're invited to the first-of-the-season
Greater Copper Valley Chamber Dinner Meeting.

Menu:
Chicken Masala
Cost: $28
Please email: ncountry@gci.net 
to confirm the number of people coming
Or call: 320-1145

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