Copper River Country: Letters To The People

LETTERS TO THE PEOPLE  This is  where  you can write your friends & neighbors words of thanks, encouragement, stories and ideas...


This is where you can write your friends & neighbors words of thanks, encouragement, stories and ideas. 

May 10th, 2021

Simpson Hill  
Are there plans to reroute the Richardson Hwy at the top of Simpson hill due to erosion above the Copper River

Tom Popp |


MAY 12TH, 2021 

I asked around and found some answers for you about the erosion on the Richardson Highway at mile 113—just north of Simpson Hill. Our materials engineer explained to me that this is where the erosion is happening, which is a little north of the location of a catastrophic slope failure on Simpson Hill (around mile 112.2 or so) during a construction project in 1965. During that incident, the clay foundation failed and a major buttress was constructed to contain it.


But back to erosion on the Copper River—this has been a problem since at least the 1950s. In 1991, UAF and DOT&PF partnered on a research project that lasted for many years. In 2014, a report was published that identified a frozen layer of clay that is warming up and periodically calving off into the river. The report recommended realigning the highway as the fix. I’ve attached a graphic from the report showing erosion on the bluff over time. Our materials engineer pointed out to me that the blue lines show the bank of the Copper River over time, which has not moved much at all.


The trouble with a major realignment is that it’s no small task. There is a ridge between the Copper River and the drainage to the west that makes building a road through there a big challenge. Another possibility would be a minor realignment to shift to the west in the cleared area.


We don’t currently have a funded project in the works to realign the highway at this location. Our design manager for the Richardson Highway is currently out of town, so I wasn’t able to catch up with him about potential future plans. He gets back to the office next week and I’ll try to track him down to follow up and see if there is anything in the works farther down the line.


I know it’s not as concrete an answer as your reader might have been looking for, but I hope it helps.


Thank you,

Caitlin Frye, DOT Fairbanks 

January 10th, 2021

I Was Delighted   
I was delighted to find your website this morning! After the 1964 earthquake, my family moved from Valdez to Copper Center. We lived in the Copper Center Lodge annex until the 1965 winter flood forced us to move. After spending a few days at the Hub with my relatives (we celebrated Christmas there), we moved to Glenallen for several months. Later, we moved back to Copper Center. In 1970, my family moved from Copper Center to Anchorage. I continued at Copper Valley School until the school closed in 1971. My father drove truck for Bayless & Roberts when we lived in Valdez and Copper Center. 

Mark McClure
M: 503-957-2354
Flickr About (Bio):

July 28, 2020

The Guys Who Cut Down The Trees Owe Us Ice Cream 
The guys owe the rest of us ice cream since they got their pic in the newspaper! The reason for thinning in that spot was to take down any dead trees or dangerous snags. The added plus is the free firewood for locals. If we do anymore in the local area I’ll let you know so that you and your husband can get a chance at the wood. It was nice to meet you! 

Autumn Leeman
State Forestry, Tazlina

July 24, 2020

Everyone Has A Story
Thank you for publishing local news, local folks, and history!!!  You do a good job in reminding your readers of history and legacy. Everyone has a story.
Carol Neeley

July 23, 2020

NOTE: Because the state coronavirus figures have been placing Copper Valley data in with Valdez-Cordova data, the Journal sent a copy of David Mudrick's cartoon map of the Copper Valley to the state medical team for review and to clarify where the Copper Valley is.  

Dear Country Journal,
That map is great ! Our data team has been working on [updating Copper Valley data to be more relevant] after the question was asked [by Scott Yahr at KCAM] and it looks like we will be able to do it.  We really appreciate these questions, this is how we get better together.  It is probably going to take a few days to change it around – but thank you and I hope you see the change soon!
Dr. Anne Zink

Chief Medical Officer
Alaska Department of Health Social Services

July 23, 2020

Timely News
Thank you so much for this publication.  It has timely news and is my go-to source for info on the virus situation in the Basin.  It is such a refreshing addition to the community and much needed.
Cathy Eckart

July 8, 2020

Pat Loved The People Of Gulkana
Thanks for getting the obit for Pat Stenberg Boucher on line so quickly and for your kind words. Gary directs a mission group in Kenya so we’ve made many trips over there. Pat loved Alaska and the people of Gulkana. She would have enjoyed one more visit but her health didn’t permit it.
Karen Stenberg

June 17, 2020

Thank you for the memories.
Carol Neeley 

April 28, 2020

My Son Isaac 
The Country Journal 2020 is a great project. Thank you for all the effort that is going into this. The guy in the car [going over the cliff at Long Lake in the David Mudrick cartoon] looks like my son Isaac.
Bruce Cain 

April 20, 2020

Walter Charley 
We knew about Fred Ewan from several sources but appreciate the detail you provided. I especially enjoyed the Walter Charley story.
Ken Roberson

April 16, 2020

Questions About The New Country Journal 

Thanks for putting out a new Country Journal, I'm enjoying reading it!
How often are you updating it and can you please put a date on it when you do?.
I'm also interested in your book, Rescue Me: Life and Death in Rural AK, to sell it in the AK Geographic Bookstore. Can I get a copy either online or print to review and forward to NPS for approval? Who knows if we will even be open this season but it takes a while for the approval process and we can get that started....
Lynn Grams

Dear Lynn,
Appreciate your note. The Journal is being updated daily. Please consider each chapter that's posted here the "online edition" as you see it unfurl on this site. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Lynn. It really means a lot.
Copper River Country Journal  

April 15, 2020

From California
Hi From California. Love seeing a resurrection of the Country Journal. It's so needed right now. See you this summer. (I hope.)
Margie Steigerwald

I Shared Your Site On Our Facebook Page 
I was made aware of your wonderful Country Journal Website. What a great job of keeping our communities informed in all aspects. Thank you. I wanted to let you know that I shared your site on our Facebook page to help spread the word about your site. Our Advocacy Center partners up with many of the local service providers organizations, including AVV in Valdez, since we cover that community as well. I was glad to read the article on your interview with AVV and the resources they offer.
Laura Scott
Copper Basin Child Advocacy Center 

Local News At Your Fingertips 
Thanks for updating the info for New To You.  You are doing a great job with this online paper, especially the Coronavirus update.  Didn't know that CRNA had a quick testing machine.  Good to know. Local news updated and at your fingertips.  I like it.  Let me know how to support you.

New To You 

April 14, 2020

Very informative. Thank you!
Marc Stemp
Northern Nights Campground in Glennallen 

April 9, 2020

Regular Reader
This is a great site! Thank you for the work you do in creating it. I will be a regular reader from now on. Thank you, Todd in Tolsona. 
Todd Patten  

April 8, 2020

Darla Fimpel Delivered Pies
Darla Fimpel came to Glennallen today and delivered fresh warm pie slices to pretty much ALL the downtown local businesses! I had cherry. It was very thoughtful and delicious.
John Becker at NAPA  
A Very Helpful Tool
Wow!! Jam packed with great information and very easy to use. I personally didn't know most of the information you included and it will be a very helpful tool to pass on to our patrons [at the Glennallen Library.] Thank you.
Sharron Ables 

April 7, 2020

Go To Easter Sunday Church Service In Your Car 
In The Glennallen High School Parking Lot
Thanks for doing this. Looking at the site, I think it would be great to add church activities... three things to share now would be...

1) Easter Sunday 10:30am - Community Church Easter Service... various churches involved. Service starts at 10:30 am at the Glennallen High School parking lot (with permission from the Governor). There will be a drive in service (stay in your cars, windows up). Be with others while listening to the service simulcasted on KCAM. Service will be live streamed on Gulkana Community Chapel's YouTube channel.

2) Gulkana Community Chapel Easter Evening Service, livestreaming at 6:00pm on their YouTube channel.

3) Gulkana Community Chapel livestreams each week at 11:00am on their YouTube channel (search Gulkana Community Chapel on YouTube or check out their Facebook page).

Mike Ferrari 

An Award  
Well done. You should get an award for this. I am copying my friend Bill Popp. I am sure he will be impressed.
Jeffrey Finkle
President & CEO
International Economic Development Council
Washington, D.C.  

Well Done
Well done! Great work on behalf of the Copper River community! 
Bill Popp
Anchorage Economic Development Corporation 
So Happy To Receive This Link In My Email  
Just a couple mornings ago I was flipping through some of my old Copper River Country Journals, remembering the wonderful paper, your genuine interest and knowledge of the area and its people, and the high quality content. The old papers bring back such nostalgia, and were so "people-focused." I was so happy to receive this link in my email, and look forward to once again seeing the valley through the eyes of the 'Country Journal.' Thanks for all you do.
Becca Parrish 

I Need Some Copper Valley Just Now
Thanks for sharing... I need some good ole' Copper Valley just now. I miss it!
Michael Johnson
Alaska Department of Education Commissioner

April 6, 2020

Love It 
Love the site! Great job.
Dan Mudrick

Thank You
Thank you for taking the time. I love
reading this. 
Anna Bell Hand

Carol & I Are Hunkered Down
Thanks for the info on your website... looks great. Carol and I are hunkered down here in Wasilla and kinda enjoying our enforced "stay at home" rules. Carol mostly sewing projects... extra viewing of HGTV shows... and I supervise our dog very closely. Look forward to summer. 
Love, Charlie & Carol Smelcer

Thank you for doing this. Mike and I appreciate your efforts and are looking forward to reading your journal.
Sue & Mike Roscovius 

In-Depth Local Information
Wow!  This is an excellent source of in-depth local information that we have been personally craving for quite some time, but especially now that we are all in the midst of Covid-19 related changes to our daily lives and within the community.
Kari Rogers

Face Masks In Vietnam (Country Journal "Helping" Story) 
We found a company that could make washable masks, which worked out well. Good website!
Neil Hannan


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