By KOBE RIZK
The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, places 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.
Denali Field Report: As of Monday, 141 successful summits of Denali have been made this season. Out of 306 completed climbs, that’s a summit percentage of 46 percent— not too shabby, and an impressive double of last week’s success rate of 23 percent. Weather is holding for now, but the Denali climbing season should be wrapping up by month’s end.
6/4-6/6: The U.S. Missile Defense Agency will hold public hearings regarding their proposal to significantly expand restricted airspace surrounding Clear Air Force Station (located approximately hallway between Nenana and Healy). Visit this link for meeting locations and information.
6/5: The National Veterans Golden Age Games begin in Anchorage. Open to all veterans aged 55 and older, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More info here.
6/5: Guided walking tour of the Geophysical Institute located on the UAF campus in Fairbanks. Free to attend, begins at 1 pm in the building lobby. More info here.
6/5: Anchorage Alliance for Violence Prevention full coalition meeting in Anchorage. Set to vote on new bylaws and hear updates from partnering agencies. More info at this link.
6/5: Opening Day for the Mat-Su Miners baseball team, facing off against the Eagle River/Chugiak Chinooks. First pitch is at 7 pm at the Palmer fields. Tickets are $4.
6/5: Annual Membership Meeting of the Mat-Su Telephone Association at the state fairgrounds in Palmer. Two new directors will be elected. Further information at this link.
6/5: The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee (chaired by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski) will meet in Washington, D.C. to consider the nomination Robert Wallace to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife. The hearing will be broadcast live, more info here.
6/6: Governor Mike Dunleavy will hold a Restore the PFD Rally at Everett’s in Wasilla. All are welcome to attend and show their support for a full PDF. Also a great place to discuss the issue for those who may disagree. Begins at 5:30 pm. Facebook link here.
6/6: The Ketchikan City Council will hold a regular meeting beginning at 7 pm. Meetings of the Council take place on the first and third Thursdays of each month at City Hall. More details and agenda packet here.
6/6: Regular meeting of the Kenai City Council. Will gavel in at 6 pm. More info here.
6/6: The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) will hold a Tariff Action Meeting in Juneau at 1:30 pm. Read more here.
6/6: Guided tour of Poker Flats Research Range northeast of Fairbanks. Come see the range’s state of the art atmospheric research facilities and meet the scientists who run them. Facebook event here.
6/6: Vietnam Veteran’s Panel at the Alaska Veterans Museum. A time to share reflections and foster discussions between those who served in Vietnam. Open to veterans, families, and the general public. More details here.
6/6: The UA Board of Regents will meet in Fairbanks to discuss their FY20 capital and operating budgets, as well as hear an update from UA President Johnsen. Public testimony will be heard starting at 8:15 am. More info here.
6/6: Special Meeting of the Bethel City Council to discuss the proposed budget. Begins at 6 pm. Details here.
6/6: The Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) will hold a free training session for potential candidates in Anchorage. If you would like to participate remotely, there is also an ability to do that. More info on the APOC website here.
6/6: VA services information event in Anchorage at the Egan Convention Center. All veterans are welcome and VA representatives will be on site to answer questions and review claims. More info here.
6/6: Alaska Bikers Advocating Training & Education board meeting in Anchorage. Details here.
6/7: The 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 submit photos to Senator Dan Sullivan’s Frontier in Focus photo contest. Send photos of your best Alaskan summer scenery to Senator Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alaska History Archive:
June 5, 1957: Mike Stepovich took office as the ninth governor of the Alaska Territory, nominated by President Eisenhower. Born in Fairbanks in 1919, Stepovich was the territory’s first Alaska-born governor. During his tenure, he was a staunch advocate of Alaska statehood, which was successfully obtained in 1959. Stepovich was granted an honorary degree by the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2009, and passed away in 2014 at 94 years old.
June 6, 1912: Katmai’s Novarupta volcano erupted in a massive explosion of ash and liquid rock. Novarupta’s eruption in 1912 constituted the largest volcanic event of the 20th century, with over three cubic miles of magma being ejected out of the earth—thirty times what was released by Mt. St. Helens in 1989. Its ash cloud reached over twenty miles high, and the eruption lasted for over sixty hours. Novarupta’s eruption crafted the landscape today known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park.
In 1916, after stumbling upon the area destroyed by the 1912 eruption, explorer Robert Griggs wrote:
“The sight that flashed into view…was one of the most amazing visions ever beheld by mortal eye. The whole valley as far as the eye could reach was full of hundreds, no thousands–literally tens of thousands–of smokes curling up from its fissured floor…It was as though all the steam engines in the world, assembled together, had popped their safety valves at once and were letting off surplus steam in concert.” (Courtesy of the National Park Service)