MRAK Almanac: Mystery of the Franklin Expedition; Noel Wien’s birthday



The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, events where you’ll meet political leaders or, if you are interested in getting to know your state, these are great places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.

General inquiry: Does it seem like dandelions are especially hardy this year? Or is the word invasive? We are told by one local beekeeper that this seems to be a bumper crop year for the wandering weeds.

IN THE LEGISLATURE: House gavels in at 10:30 am, Senate gavels in at 11 am.

Alaska Daylight Report:

Today is June 7, the 158th day of 2019. Below is the amount of daylight anticipated today by several Alaskan communities:

  • Juneau will clock in with 18 hours 2 minutes of daylight.
  • Anchorage will see an hour more, with 19 hours 2 minutes of daylight.
  • Fairbanks will receive a whopping 21 hours 9 minutes of daylight.
  • In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), the sun will shine all day.
  • Summer solstice (the year’s longest day) will take place in exactly two weeks, on June 21, 2019.

6/7: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service management officials for the Chignik area will hold a subsistence fishing stakeholder meeting at 4 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to provide all interested parties with an opportunity to discuss the upcoming salmon season in Chignik with federal Fish and Wildlife Staff. More information here.

6/7: Alaska Public Offices Commission provides group training 12-2 pm. Check details here.

6/7: The Alaska State Board of Education & Early Development will hold public testimony beginning at 9:10 am. The State Board oversees the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and supervises the Commissioner. Those wishing to testify to the board can either show up to the board’s meeting in Anchorage or call in via telephone. Visit this link for details.

6/7: The Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct will hold their quarterly meeting in Anchorage. The public portion of the meeting will commence at 9:45 am and end at 10:30 am, when the commission will enter executive session. More information here.

6/7: Opening of the Anchorage Museum’s new exhibit titled “Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition”. The exhibit showcases over two-hundred artifacts associated with the lost ship that departed London in 1845 and was never heard from or seen again. That is, until the two sunken ships were re-discovered in 2014 and 2016. $5 gate fee plus museum admission. Free for museum members.

6/7: First Friday Spring Garden Party at Risse Greenhouse between Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs. Free to attend, and the greenhouses will be scattered with over twenty local artists and live musicians. Runs from 5 – 9 pm.

6/7: Interior Alaska GOP will host their weekly luncheon at Denny’s in Fairbanks beginning at 11:30 am. The guest will be Fairbanks advertising consultant Steve Neumuth speaking about “The Art of Campaigning”. All are welcome.

6/7: Deadline to enter in the Kodiak Island Borough’s Junk Vehicle Disposal Lottery. One hundred lucky lottery contestants will receive free removal of one junk vehicle from their property, courtesy of the borough’s Community Development Department. Instructions for entry at this link.

6/7: June Alaska Aviators Forum at the Aviator Hotel in Anchorage. This month’s edition of the forum will feature Bert Hanson, Chief Pilot of the Iditarod Air Force. Bert will speak about his 36 years serving as the “eyes in the sky” for the world’s most famous sled dog race. Begins at 7 pm, more details here.

6/7: Wasilla Music in the Park 2019, the first of four nights in June in which the Wasilla community will come together at Wonderland Park to enjoy an evening of live music, delicious food vendors, and all-around family fun. Admission to the event is free, visit this link for details.

6/7: Deadline to submit photos to Senator Dan Sullivan’s Frontier in Focus photo contest. Send photos of your best Alaskan summer scenery to Senator Sullivan at [email protected].

6/8: Kenai Air Fair & Fun Flight. Morning will begin with breakfast at the Soldotna Airport, with a BBQ at noon in Kenai. This event will also feature live music and a military appreciation event. All participating aircraft must be registered; more information here.

6/8: Alaska Run for Women in Anchorage to support breast cancer awareness. Both a one-mile and five-mile race will take place. Visit here for more information and to register.

6/8: Nascar/Inex races at Alaska Raceway. Doors open at 3 pm. Info here.

6/9: Bulldog Memorial Ride hosted by Denali Harley-Davidson in Wasilla. Begins at 11 am, further details at the Facebook page here.

6/7-6/9: The Palmer Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Colony Days celebration to celebrate the region’s rich history. The three-day long festivities include a parade, axe throwing competitions, and block parties downtown. There will also be plenty of local food and crafts available for purchase, visit here for a detailed schedule of the celebration.

6/7-6/9: Kenai & Soldotna will celebrate the lifeblood waterway of their communities in the annual Kenai River Festival. This weekend festival surrounding the Kenai River will take place at Soldotna Creek Park, and include live music, various food vendors, and an artisan market. Click here for more detailed information about the weekend’s events.

6/7-6/9: 2019 Special Olympics Alaska Summer Games. Over three hundred athletes will compete in five different summer sports. Come cheer them on and support a good cause. Click here for detailed location information for each sport.

Alaska History Archive:

June 7, 1913: At 20 years old, Walter Harper became the first person to ever reach the summit of Denali, spending about ninety minutes atop North America’s highest peak. Harper, an Athabaskan, had been invited to summit the mountain in early 1913 by British priest Hudson Stuck. The expedition left Nenana (via dog team) on March 17, 1913, summited on June 7, and returned on June 20, three months later. Soon after getting married, Harper tragically died in a southeast Alaska ship wreck at age 25.

June 8, 1899: 120 years since Noel Wien, Alaska aviation pioneer and founder of Wien Air Alaska, was born in Wisconsin. Among many other first-time records, Noel Wien was the first to fly from Fairbanks to Seattle, the first to fly across the Bering Strait, and the first to fly north of the Arctic Circle. Dubbed “the father of Alaska bush flying”, Wien was named Alaskan of the Year in 1975 and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010. Noel Wien passed away in 1977 at seventy-eight years old.