Constituent Meeting May 6th at 10 am

Representative Eric Feige will be at the Legislative Information Office in Glennallen, next to the library, for a constituent meeting.

The meeting will be held at 10 am on Tuesday, May 6th.

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Thanks To A Donation From The Valdez City, Copper Valley Visitor Center Has A Brand New Deck, Ramp & Railings

The Greater Copper Valley Chamber's visitor center has been rebuilt, inside and out. On the weekend of April 26th, a brand new all-weather wood deck was put in place, and a new handicap ramp and railings were put up. A few days before that, the city of Valdez generously donated money to build the ramp, railings, and brand new deck at the pivotal Copper River Valley visitor center, north of Valdez.

The Saturday effort is shown below:

Corner of newly remade deck.

Ramp at around noon.
Ramp at 3:30 pm. Almost done.

Dean Bruington building railings for the deck.

Shane Conway builds the handicap ramp at the renovated
Greater Copper Valley visitor center.

David Goodlataw working on deck.

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Preparing The Chamber For The May 3rd Grand Opening -- Indoor Work

The Greater Copper Valley Chamber held a community-wide May 3rd Grand Opening to show off the newly renovated Visitor Center, and the advertising opportunities available for local residents.

On Saturday, April 26th, there was a workday at the Hub Visitor Center to prepare for the big event.

Linda Padie places rackcards in panels.

Naomi Young adjusts wares for sale to travelers. 
Nigel Young makes new countertops.
Jeremy Weld & John Becker
work on the 'Kennicott-McCarthy' corner.
Kennicott & McCarthy corner -- underway!

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Chamber Held A Work Weekend To Install Panels & Build Ramp

The Chamber held a work weekend recently. Here's the request for help...

Come Over To The Chamber Visitor Center In Glennallen 
& Help Us Clean Up, Paint Up, Build Ramps 
& Take Stuff To The Dump 

Wear Old Clothes. Bring Hammers & Tools. 

April 26th & 27th 

We need strong men with big hearts 
& desire to help the community!

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Yikes! Clover Is An "Invasive Species." Watershed To Hold July 12th, 2014 Clover Pull Event.

There's going to be a volunteer weed-pulling event in the Copper Valley on July 12th. The target? White clover. As you can see from these pictures, white clover, which is considered to be an "invasive species," is pretty common.The Copper River Watershed will meet in Glennallen near the Hub for the July 12th event. If you'd like to talk to somebody in the Watershed Program about white clover, or any of their other community projects, contact Kate Morse, program director at 424-3334. 

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Prince William Sound Community College: Scoping Out Important Tourism Topics

The Community College in Valdez is looking into a Valdez-based tourism course. Here are some of the topics they're thinking of covering. All of these topics are things that businesses have to think about.

So they're worth noting even if you aren't taking a "course" but just figuring them out on your own:

Suggested Course Topics:
Who are your customers?
Remembering names exercise
Making conversations exercise
Why do businesses lose customers?
The major components of the visitor industry
The history of tourism in Alaska
An economic engine for Alaska
What are you communicating/first impressions exercise
Making a positive first impression
What is communication?
Be a better listener
Active listening skills
Active listening exercise
Serving customers with disabilities
Where did everyone go?
The value of concerned customers
Taking care of your dissatisfied customers
A framework for handling customer concerns
Knowing your local area
Knowing Alaska
Trip planning exercise

Suggested Texts:
AlaskaHost Handbook, State of Alaska
Starting A Small Business, State of Alaska
Tribal Tourism Development, Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium
Ecotourism Planning Guide for Alaska Native Landowners, The Nature Conservancy of Alaska
Guiding Alaska Tourism, Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association
Alaska Community Tourism Handbook, State of Alaska
“Telephone Tips” video
“Disability Services” video

Special Information:
Each student can receive a State of Alaska AlaskaHost participant certificate and pin.

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Last April's Chamber Meeting: April 24th, 2014 At Lake Louise Lodge

The April Chamber dinner meeting was Thursday, April 24th at Lake Louise Lodge

            5:30 Social
            6:00 Introductions
            6:30 Dinner
                     Chicken Parmesan served with noodles, garlic bread, and dessert
                      or a vegetarian meatless spaghetti and sautéed vegetables
            Price:  $28.00 for either of the above options.

This month there were a few short presentations from local businesses and then go to an Open Forum Discussion, which has worked well in past meetings. Thank you, Lake Louise Lodge.

This time of year was as beautiful as the picture below -- but with ice on the lake!

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Tour Guide Training Workshop Was Held April 22nd, 23rd & 24th

There's an art to being friendly and welcoming to travelers. Ever notice how Walmart -- a huge company store -- spends a lot of time trying to be "local?" How they post "greeters" to welcome you in? Well, there's nobody more local than people in the Copper Valley!

These "Big Guys" -- like Walmart -- don't hold a candle to us for being local. But we can take a tip from them. They're onto something. And these are the things that small, busy local businesses sometimes have to relearn. There was a Tour Guide Training Workshop on April 22nd, 23rd and 24th at PWSCC in Glennallen.

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PWSCC Practical Energy-Saving Tips You Can Do Yourself: April 26th and 27th in Glennallen.

Sometimes the 'Copper River Way' of keeping warm works. And sometimes it doesn't.

There's now a simpler way to keep your humble home warm, other than spraying it all over the outside with urethane foam! On Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th, you can go to PWSCC in Glennallen to learn how to cut up to 40% off your energy bills.

Tips include, "Building Science Basics," Insulation, Fixing Air Leaks, Hot Water Heaters, Ice Dam Prevention, Crawl Spaces, Evaluating Doors and Windows, and Keeping Indoor Air Healthy.

Here's a flyer about the workshops:

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Your Podium Display Allows You To Talk To Travelers About Your Business

Here's how the new system will work: The visitor center staff will use this rustic, Alaska-themed contact desk, in the front. Visitors will be able to roam around the center, viewing personalized contact displays -- either on the log podiums or in a larger format on the new cedar walls.

You can buy a podium spot for only $200, through May 3rd, when there's a big open house planned at the Visitor Center.

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Local Mentasta Matriarch Katie John's Landmark Case Stands; Supreme Court Won't Review It

Katie John of Mentasta, the summer before
 she passed away. (Photo, Bearfoot)
The landmark case affirming Ahtna elder Katie John's right to fish in her home streams in the upper Copper Valley has reached a new milestone. Katie John, who died last spring, had successfully sued to catch salmon at Batzulnetas -- as her ancestors had before her. Batzulnetas had become, in the intervening years, part of Wrangell-St. Elias.

In response to her case, known nationwide as "The Katie John Case," lower courts affirmed that subsistence hunting and fishing could be done on federal land and navigable waters. Governor Tony Knowles' administration fought the ruling, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a bitter battle, and the state lost. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the State of Alaska's petition to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 1995 decision, upholding Katie Johns' right to fish.

The state kept battling the well-known and respected Mentasta Ahtna elder for years. But by August, 2001, Governor Tony Knowles announced that the state would not continue with the fight. "We must stop a losing legal strategy that threatens to make a permanent divide among Alaskans, " Knowles said.

Over a decade later, Governor Sean Parnell took the subsistence battle back to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to deal with it again this spring. The high court's decision not to review the state's renewed anti-subsistence appeal mirrored their original 1996 decision.

Katie John was born to Sanford Charley, one of the last great Ahtna chiefs. She used the salmon she got from the Copper River to feed the children in her family, and led a cheerful, productive life. A born leader, she has numerous descendants in the Copper River Valley.

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Valdez Held Big "Highway Neighbors" Tourism Conference April 16th -18th

The annual "Highway Neighbors" tourism conference was held in Valdez in mid-April. The event was a success. People from Tok, Valdez, Fairbanks, Delta Junction, and the Copper River Valley discussed tourism-related issues on an informal basis.

They learned about the extensive road construction projects scheduled statewide (check out the Alaska DOT site for more information on these projects. There's going to be roadwork statewide.) They also heard about the state's efforts to bring tourists up the Alcan again. And, they learned about the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

Highway Neighbors is somewhat more low-key than some of the other tourism conferences. You meet other small businesses from smaller roadside communities, and talk about common problems, challenges and solutions.

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Wild Food Feast & Film Fest Was Held April 12th In Glennallen

Katie John, of Mentasta, has been named this year's Watershed Hero by the Copper River Watershed Project. Katie John died last summer, and was known for her dedication to the Copper River, its salmon, and its history of giving to the upper Copper Valley. 

The Watershed Project held a special meeting on April 12th, where the award was announced.

Here's its pre-event promotional information:

The Copper River Watershed Project is presenting its annual 
Wild Food Feast & Film Festival on 
Saturday, April 12th at 5 pm at the Glennallen American Legion Hall. 
Admission is $5 -- or free, if you brought a dish.

Here's their press release:

Our annual Wild Food Feast is a cook-off unlike any other. If it grew, swam, walked or flew in the Copper River watershed, we want you to share it with the community! Bring out your favorite recipes or test new ones. There will be winners chosen for each category, but the real winners are everyone who gets to taste the amazing creations.

After dinner, we'll have our annual Wild Film Festival, a showcase of short films from our region and other places around Alaska. Included in this year's program will be a film made by our 2013 Copper River Stewardship Program students (tell any youth you know to apply for our 2014 Stewardship Program by March 18th!)

As always we'll be having our annual Silent Auction of amazing handmade items from around the region, the proceeds from which go to fund our Scholarship Program (which also has a deadline coming up April 4th!)

Also we're introducing a new segment to the event -- our Watershed Hero Award. Do you know someone who has done great things for the people, places, or wildlife of your part of the Copper Basin? Contact us and you can nominate them for recognition of their hard work!

Throughout the evening we'll be drawing for door prizes, and if you become a member or are already a member, you'll be entered in our exclusive Membership Drawing for a great big ticket prize!

Visit our website for more info at or check out the event on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

To find out how to volunteer or sponsor the event, call (907) 424-3334 or email

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