WILLOW AREA COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION, INC.

Your local forum for discussion, participation and comment in matters of concern to the community. WACO promotes the social, cultural and economic welfare of the Willow area.
WACO EventsVolunteer
This website is a service for the community of Willow, Alaska. Find WACO meeting minutes and agendas as well as information about committees, the community center and, local groups. Committee and group news or announcements are also posted as received. View the calendar for the schedule of local activities/events.

WACO meetings are the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM at the Willow Community Center.

WACO Meetings

WACO Community Meeting

The first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM

Willow Community Center

Latest News

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Update on the Iditarod Race and Willow, a note to the Willow residents from Linda Oxley, WACO Chair
Late this afternoon (1/5/21) the Iditarod race staff announced the final decision about both the start and the finish of this year’s world class dog sled race, the Iditarod. With my support and in collaboration with Deshka Landing owners, they have chosen to use Deshka Landing as the safest place in Willow that’s big enough in light of the continued pandemic and in support of public health for mushers, volunteers, staff and community members here in Willow. As a gated community, Deshka Landing can fully control who enters via the road. Its distance from the center of the community and its distance from the Parks Highway will also slow the numbers of people trying to line the trail the teams will follow.
The additional hurdle to holding the race’s real start out of our Willow Community Center this year was the renovation on the auditorium side and the rebuild of the library. As you may or may not know, the original timeline to completing the rebuild of the library (which will a wonderful addition to our community) is a year from start, which would be fall, 2021. However the renovation of the auditorium side was expected by this past December and replacing the building’s air exchange system is one of the improvements. As is obvious, that timeline has not been met. At this time, according to borough staff, the renovation tasks will also not likely be done until fall 2021. Adequate ventilation is the key to safe air; to keeping the viral load in the air low. Our building just can’t provide that level of safety for the numbers of people who would have been trying to get into the building with our old HVAC system.
We still should expect a significant uptick in the numbers of folks in and around Willow on the March 6-7, 2021 weekend, and potentially over the week the teams will finish, likely the week of March 16, 2021. And we should expect a significant increase in snowmachine traffic on our trail systems on the west side of the highway for those 2 weeks as that will be the only logical way for folks to see the race in person.
Given that these community guests will be coming, literally, from all over the world, I strongly urge everyone to think about their own health and the health and safety of their families and neighbors. The covid vaccination process is unfolding and some number of folks in our community will have been able to get their vaccines by then, but certainly not everyone. Please continue to follow the published public health safety measures: wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from those not in your own household, minimize where you go, wash/sanitize your hands frequently. And when you are invited to get your vaccine, please do so. Each member of our community is valuable and we want you healthy and safe….
Feel free to leave questions or issues on message machine: 907-495-6633 and I will follow up.
Thank you, Linda Oxley
...

WACO General Meeting Agenda – THIS IS A ZOOM MEETING
Meeting scheduled for Wednesday January 6, 2021 at 7 PM
Time: Jan 6, 2021 07:00 PM Alaska
Join Zoom Meeting
zoom.us/j/99038821946?pwd=NFhQS3FlN1pVaWhKdzZXSy9vYWoxUT09
Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: HuyN6e
Or
Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: 732693
Find your local number: zoom.us/u/ado2qQMxrW

A. CALL TO ORDER
B. DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
C. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
D. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM PAST MEETING
E. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
F. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
1. Board Officers' Reports – Attached
a. Chair, Linda Oxley
b. Vice-Chair, Tom Wise
c. Secretary, Debbie Cook
d. Treasurer, Al Felt
e. At-Large Representative 1, Wes McClure
f. At-Large Representative 2, Chris Stitt
g. At-Large Representative 3, Barbara Ensley
h. At-Large Representative 4, Melissa Himes-McGill
2. Committee Reports – Attached
a. Carnival
b. Trails
c. Youth Forum (40-acre park)
d. CERT
e. Recycling
f. Lions Club
H. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Willow Winter Games details
J. NEW BUSINESS

K. Community Groups/Clubs
Fire Service Area, Library, Chamber of Commerce, Community Enrichment, WDMA, Lion’s Club, PTA,
WHO, WHWF, Garden Club, Willow Ice
L. ANNOUNCEMENTS/PERSONS TO BE HEARD
M. ADJOURN

CONSENT AGENDA
Willow CERT Consent Agenda WACO January 2021

CERT continues to meet during the pandemic by a well-attended conference call with an average of 15 members attending our 2 hour meeting each month.

Training
Willow CERT always makes training a priority. Talon Boeve, Emergency Operations Center Specialist from Mat-Su Borough Dept. of Emergency Services has made this feasible for the five CERTs in the MSB by providing virtual trainings over Microsoft Teams.
This December training was a comprehensive 95 minute presentation was by ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. Although we don’t have natural gas in Willow there is potential that Willow CERT could be deployed to assist in the core area during a disaster, or could be present in that area when a disaster strikes. Education was also provided about carbon monoxide that is valuable to all.

Mat Su Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD)
Willow CERT is part Mat Su Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) that meets monthly. We are group of community organizations, local businesses and government agencies that work to bring the Mat Su community together to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

Community Involvement: Willow CERT was invited to participate in the first ever Holiday Festival of Trees at Newman Park hosted by the Willow Lions and WACO. We decorated a tree along the Shem Pete Trail It was a wonderful event and we hope it is repeated next year.

Holiday Celebration and Bring Back the Light: CERT moved our annual party outside and around a campfire this year, joining together at Newman Park on Solstice Eve on December 20th. We concluded by lighting candles after sunset in solidarity with Alaskans around the State. Together, but safely apart, we celebrated Bring Back the Light showing gratitude for each other and all those working so hard during this pandemic, remembered those who have been so impacted and looked forward to brighter days as the vaccine becomes available and we gain daylight.

Best Wishes for 2021 from Willow CERT!

WACO
TREASURERS REPORT
DECEMBER 2020
11/30/2020 WACO ACC BAL as of 11/30/2020 $ 154,649.89
12/31/2020 WACO Share Draft Acc ID 77 Beg.Bal. $15,528.81
Deposits 0.50
Checks 4280.17
End.Bal. $11,249.14
12/31/2020 WACO Money Mqt Acc ID20 Beg.Bal. $ 136,610.86
Deposits 15845.30
Checks 0.00
End.Bal. $152,456.16
12/31/2020 Waco Primary Share Acc Beg.Bal. $25.96
12/31/2020 WACO Account Total $163,731.26
11/30/2020 GAME ACC BAL as of 11/30/2020 $ 6,578.25
12/31/2020 GAME Share Draft Acc ID 77 Beg.Bal. $699.77
Deposits 0.00
Checks 0
End.Bal. $699.77
12/31/2020 GAME Money Mqt Acc ID20 Beg.Bal. $ 5,852.99
Deposits 1.25
Checks 0.00
End.Bal. $5,854.24
12/31/2020 GAME Primary Share Acc Beg.Bal. $25.50
12/31/2020 GAME Account Total $6,579.51

Willow Trail Committee Report

The Willow trails have never been as busy as they have been this pandemic year which shows there is real need for outdoor recreation in peoples lives. Fortunately, we are having great snow conditions and moderate temperatures for outdoor playing. We are also getting lots of wonderful volunteers to help clear downed trees, post signs and groom trails. As of this writing, the West Gateway Trails, those trails between the Parks Hwy and the Susitna River have all been groomed for winter style multi-use. Our wild rush of personal donations continues with support from these fine folks: Howard Hancock, Art & Nancy Foust, Charles Sevcik, Stephanie Moll, Janice Tower, Cindy McCann, Darch Davis, Timothy Kirk, John Gardner, Celena Brunot & Dan Klauder, Maura Shea, Bret Bartholomy, Georgie Holton, Trygve Erickson, Steve & Mary Saxton Janes Franklin and John Sharrock.

Whether you would just like to volunteer or just get some trail information, you’re welcome to attend our monthly trail meetings via Zoom or visit: www.waco-ak.org/committees/trails/


The Willow Trail Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm via Zoom.
All are welcome. Ask to join us at [email protected]
Join us on Facebook: Willow Trail Committee
...

WACO General Meeting Agenda – THIS IS A ZOOM MEETING
Meeting scheduled for Wednesday January 6, 2021 at 7 PM
Time: Jan 6, 2021 07:00 PM Alaska
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99038821946?pwd=NFhQS3FlN1pVaWhKdzZXSy9vYWoxUT09
Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: HuyN6e
Or
Dial by your location
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: 732693
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ado2qQMxrW

A. CALL TO ORDER
B. DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
C. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
D. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM PAST MEETING
E. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
F. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
1. Board Officers Reports – Attached
a. Chair, Linda Oxley
b. Vice-Chair, Tom Wise
c. Secretary, Debbie Cook
d. Treasurer, Al Felt
e. At-Large Representative 1, Wes McClure
f. At-Large Representative 2, Chris Stitt
g. At-Large Representative 3, Barbara Ensley
h. At-Large Representative 4, Melissa Himes-McGill
2. Committee Reports – Attached
a. Carnival
b. Trails
c. Youth Forum (40-acre park)
d. CERT
e. Recycling
 f. Lions Club
H. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Willow Winter Games details
J. NEW BUSINESS

K. Community Groups/Clubs
Fire Service Area, Library, Chamber of Commerce, Community Enrichment, WDMA, Lion’s Club, PTA,
WHO, WHWF, Garden Club, Willow Ice
L. ANNOUNCEMENTS/PERSONS TO BE HEARD
M. ADJOURN
  
                               CONSENT AGENDA
 Willow CERT Consent Agenda WACO January 2021

CERT continues to meet during the pandemic by a well-attended conference call with an average of 15 members attending our 2 hour meeting each month.

Training
Willow CERT always makes training a priority. Talon Boeve, Emergency Operations Center Specialist from Mat-Su Borough Dept. of Emergency Services has made this feasible for the five CERTs in the MSB by providing virtual trainings over Microsoft Teams. 
This December training was a  comprehensive 95 minute presentation was by ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. Although we don’t have natural gas in Willow there is potential that Willow CERT could be deployed to assist in the core area during a disaster, or could be present in that area when a disaster strikes. Education was also provided about carbon monoxide that is valuable to all.

Mat Su Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD)
Willow CERT is part Mat Su Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) that meets monthly. We are group of community organizations, local businesses and government agencies that work to bring the Mat Su community together to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. 

Community Involvement: Willow  CERT was invited to participate in the first ever Holiday Festival of Trees at Newman Park hosted by the Willow Lions and WACO. We decorated a tree along the Shem Pete Trail It was a wonderful event and we hope it is repeated next year.

Holiday Celebration and Bring Back the Light: CERT moved our annual party outside and around a campfire this year, joining together at Newman Park on Solstice Eve on December 20th. We concluded by lighting candles after sunset in solidarity with Alaskans around the State. Together, but safely apart, we celebrated Bring Back the Light showing gratitude for each other and all those working so hard during this pandemic, remembered those who have been so impacted and looked forward to brighter days as  the vaccine becomes available and we gain daylight.

Best Wishes for 2021 from Willow CERT!

WACO
TREASURERS REPORT
DECEMBER 2020
11/30/2020 WACO ACC BAL as of 11/30/2020 $ 154,649.89
12/31/2020 WACO Share Draft Acc ID 77 Beg.Bal. $15,528.81
Deposits 0.50
Checks 4280.17
End.Bal. $11,249.14
12/31/2020 WACO Money Mqt Acc ID20 Beg.Bal. $ 136,610.86
Deposits 15845.30
Checks 0.00
End.Bal. $152,456.16
12/31/2020 Waco Primary Share Acc Beg.Bal. $25.96
12/31/2020 WACO Account Total $163,731.26
11/30/2020 GAME ACC BAL as of 11/30/2020 $ 6,578.25
12/31/2020 GAME Share Draft Acc ID 77 Beg.Bal. $699.77
Deposits 0.00
Checks 0
End.Bal. $699.77
12/31/2020 GAME Money Mqt Acc ID20 Beg.Bal. $ 5,852.99
Deposits 1.25
Checks 0.00
End.Bal. $5,854.24
12/31/2020 GAME Primary Share Acc Beg.Bal. $25.50
12/31/2020 GAME Account Total $6,579.51
 
 Willow Trail Committee Report   
 
The Willow trails have never been as busy as they have been this pandemic year which shows there is real need for outdoor recreation in peoples lives.  Fortunately, we are having great snow conditions and moderate temperatures for outdoor playing.  We are also getting lots of wonderful volunteers to help clear downed trees, post signs and groom trails.  As of this writing, the West Gateway Trails, those trails between the Parks Hwy and the Susitna River have all been groomed for winter style multi-use.  Our wild rush of personal donations continues with support from these fine folks:  Howard Hancock, Art & Nancy Foust, Charles Sevcik, Stephanie Moll, Janice Tower, Cindy McCann, Darch Davis, Timothy Kirk, John Gardner, Celena Brunot & Dan Klauder, Maura Shea, Bret Bartholomy, Georgie Holton, Trygve Erickson, Steve & Mary Saxton Janes Franklin and John Sharrock.

Whether you would just like to volunteer or just get some trail information, you’re welcome to attend our monthly trail meetings via Zoom or visit:  https://www.waco-ak.org/committees/trails/
 
 
The Willow Trail Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm via Zoom.  
All are welcome.  Ask to join us at trails@waco-ak.org
Join us on Facebook:  Willow Trail Committee

WILLOW JANUARY COMMUNITY MEETING
THIS WILL BE A ZOOM MEETING

Time: Jan 6, 2021 07:00 PM Alaska

Join Zoom Meeting
zoom.us/j/99038821946?pwd=NFhQS3FlN1pVaWhKdzZXSy9vYWoxUT09

Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: HuyN6e

Or

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 990 3882 1946
Passcode: 732693
Find your local number: zoom.us/u/ado2qQMxrW
...

SAVE THESE SATURDAYS: ...

SAVE THESE SATURDAYS:

Comment on Facebook

John Russell

What time are the kids races on the 16th?

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4 weeks ago

Willow Area Community Organization

...

Note to Willow residents regarding the 2021 Iditarod Race from Linda Oxley, Chair of WACO:
By now most of you have heard that the 2021 Iditarod Race has made a number of changes to their race process as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Today’s press release from the Iditarod Race staff describes the change they have made to the route and finish of the race. For the first time ever, the race will leave Willow from the Willow Community Center (as always), go to the halfway mark, and then circle out and around to come back to Willow on the same trail. The date of departure: Sunday, March 7, 2021. Date of finish, as always, is not yet known, but we will be able to follow the race via all type of social media and news reports. At this time, the decision is made to finish in the Willow community however, the exact location is not yet determined. As they make this decision, they will be back in touch with us. At this time, they would like to finish somewhere along the Susitna River which will allow them to avoid the impact of the 4 road crossings that they make at outbound. They also plan on a snowmachine escort for each inbound team. And they will assure that team trucks and handlers have access to the teams as they arrive. At this time, they do NOT plan to finish at the Willow Community Center. The decisions about the actual finish site are quite fluid and several options, including the potential of using the WCC campus, remain under discussion.
Previous decisions and communications because of Covid remain intact:
They remain in close contact with the State’s Public Health leaders and the Governor’s office to assure compliance with all recommendations and state rules as they plan this world class sporting event.
No public will be allowed to line the streets in Anchorage for the ceremonial start on March 6, 2021.
They are limiting their volunteer staffs to the minimum they need.
All those associated with the race: mushers, volunteers, staff must have sequential Covid testing with tests that provide 15 minute results. Any person presenting with a positive result will be quarantined wherever that test becomes known, including the tests that will be administered while they are out on the trail.
For all those who need to be at the start, they will be expected to stay out of the Community Center; volunteer assignments and issues will be addressed in a tent on the WCC campus. Many porta-potties will be provided. No vendors will be allowed.
They are strongly DISCOURAGING the public from coming to Willow for the restart. They strongly recommend that people watch the start on the TV or other streaming services. In support of that discouragement there will NOT be buses bringing people to/from Willow and the parking lot at the end of the airport across the Parks Highway from the WCC will NOT be plowed. The teams will be expected to severely limit the numbers of their handlers and supporters from coming up to Willow.
Villages which the race will pass by are being protected from interaction with racers and staff by creating trail/dog/sled/racer/volunteer places away from each community. Race officials and staff remain working very closely with the leaders of each of these communities.
Nonetheless, despite efforts to minimize non-Willow folk from coming out here, we all know that there will be those who make their way out and stay with friends to then migrate out to the Willow trails and cheer the teams on. In light of that, I strongly encourage each of you to get a Covid 19 vaccine as soon as you are invited to do so. With any luck at all, by the time March 2021 comes, hopefully a significant number in our community will have been able to receive their vaccine….. As I hear more information I will send updates via FB and the WACO website. Please leave questions on 495-6633. Thank you….
...

Comment on Facebook

Not the Iditarod anymore.

I don't think Iditarod could survive with a year off. I think that this is a reasonable solution to a difficult situation. By the way, Iditarod has NOTHING to do with the serum run except they used some of the same trails. Not surprising since those trails were also used by natives, gold miners postal carriers and freight haulers.

Its no longer about the dogs or the serum run....its now about money... its a shame the sport will be falling apart the next 5-10yrs....😪

This sure is difficult.

Darrell Davis

Marty Day Susan Day

Max Bradley

Going to be one of the most epic races in memory the surum run was!

most comments here are not nice:(

"The Iditarod Race was started as a way to help keep sled dogs an important part of Alaska’s present and future. Long ago, the sled dogs played an important role by being a means of transportation for the people living in Alaska. Sled dogs played an important role during the gold rush, in helping to deliver mail, and bringing supplies to remote areas of Alaska. One of the most memorable role the dogs played was being a part of a relay team that delivered medicine to Nome. With technology, (snowmobile and airplanes) the need for the dogs was less. Iditarod was started to celebrate the historic role of sled dogs and keep them a part of Alaska today and always. *Note: Teaches: Please remember: The Serum Run is an example of one of the important roles the sled dogs played in Alaska’s history. The Serum Run is NOT the reason Iditarod is run today." iditarod.com/edu/the-serum-run-game-2/

Nothing is the same this year. They are having a race, that doesnt end in Nome with all the preparation and inundation in Nome to get dogs and gear back home. I think it is a race for the sake of racing, and not spreading the virus to or bringing back from. I am privileged to get to drive around and see the dogs training. Unique sight. Good luck and safe journey to all you mushers and dogs.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard....

It's going to be fine - dogs gotta run & mushers gotta mush. We'll see you on the screen, like school kids getting their daily update.

So they circle around and come back against the race traffic... and how is that covid friendly? I hope the dogs get along as they pass each other on the same trail

Why even have the race if no one is allowed at either of the starts nor the finish line. Yet its ok to cramp people into big box stores.

Any musher who agrees to this is only in it for prize money. If you care about the history of the race (serum run) you would insist on Nome. And refuse to run two way traffic on a dog trail. Shame on the committee.

What a shame

"Origin of the Iditarod: How did it all begin? In History, Origin of the Iditarod, Social Studies, Teach & Learn *There’s a big myth and it’s time to bust it! You can help! Myth: Iditarod is run each year to commemorate the Serum Run. Truth: Although that event is an extremely important event in the history of Alaska, the fact is, the founders of the race did not take the Serum Run into account when creating the race. " iditarod.com/edu/origin-of-the-iditarod-how-did-it-all-begin/

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The Shem Pete Trail has been packed and groomed. Enjoy a quiet stroll with a furry friend on this walking/skiing only trail. ...

The Shem Pete Trail has been packed and groomed.  Enjoy a quiet stroll with a furry friend on this walking/skiing only trail.

Comment on Facebook

Thankyou for all you do❤️

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MEA is currently clearing our ROW’s in 3 areas in the Willow area. Our contractor is clearing in the Crystal Lake, Deshka Landing areas. In house crews are currently working along the Parks Highway, between Little Willow
Creek, and Willow Creek. These two projects should be done by January 1, 2021.
Also In house MEA crews have started clearing along Willow Fishhook road, from deception creek to the end of state wintertime maintenance. This project should go through the middle of March.
All crews have been instructed to preserve as much of the groomed trails in the area as possible, while still doing what we need to do in order to clear our ROW’s. Our clearing activities help to ensure safe, reliable electricity for our members.
...

Willow Area Community Organization
P.O. Box 1027 - Willow - AK 99688 907-495-6633 HYPERLINK "http://www.waco-ak.org" www.waco-ak.org
MEETING MINUTES

Date: December 2 2020
Occasion: General Board Meeting via ZOOM

CALLED TO ORDER: 700PM
QUORUM: 8 BOARD MEMBERS – 6 COMMUNITY MEMBERS – BOARD QUORUM REALIZED.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – unanimously passed for lack of flag.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM LAST MEETING: Deferred until next meeting.

BOROUGH ASSEMBLY REPORT – TAM BOEVE
New manager Mike Brown starts Monday 7 December.
Passed CARES for Fire Dept. to reimburse for wages and benefits.
Approved 2021 Assistance Program Sharing for 15789.00 for next spring.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Barb Ensley advised WACO in conjunction with the Lions Club will have our community Christmas celebration event on 19 December at Newman Park with ice skating, tree decorating, lighted trail, bonfire, cider and cookies. Flyers will be posted on Facebook, WACO and in the Ebreeze.
Discussed WACO putting up a board tree or decorating and existing tree at the park. Barb is scouting out the possibilities. Brenda advised Lions Club will have a Covid safe Santa Claus as well.
Wes advised we can check with the principle at the elementary school on use of ice skates for the event.
Barb will follow up with the school. Victor offered assistance with turning the pond into a skating rink and offered flood light as well.

NEW BUSINESS
UV LIGHT FILTER – Discussed possibility of putting a UV light filter system in the Community Center to help with cleaner air and decided we need to do more research and speak with someone knowledgeable on effectiveness before making a decision.

IDITAROD –The Board and community members in attendance generally supported (with one dissenting member) decreasing the Iditarod rental fee because the facilities are not going to be fully available to the race due to continuing construction and covid controls. As a result, WACO expenses and volunteer support will be significantly reduced. No motion required as it was determined this decision to be operational in nature as negotiating rental fees broadly. L. Oxley will follow up with Iditarod leaders.
COMMUNITY GROUP REPORTS
Fire service – 4 dozen smoke detectors available from the Red Cross.
Incidents have been mostly chimney related. Working on the budget. Picked up 3 new recruits.


Library – Open and functioning. Giving Tree will be up until 14 December.
Community Enrichment – Dana Hill working with John Spitzberg on ice cream social at the Dog Park.
Also working on a Veterans Day Celebration.
WHWF – no report.
Garden Club – no news.
Willow Ice – Base layer is down but warmed up and will need hot mopping.
Dog Mushers - Willow 300 and Junior races all booked and ready to go. No covid test is being required.

ADJOURN 810PM
...

Consent Agenda 12/2/2020
Greetings to all as the winter holiday season begins.
I am starting with grim news: as I am writing this on 11/25 for posting tomorrow, 13 Alaskans died today of covid 19 – the largest number of deaths in a single day in our beloved state. We do remain with fewer of everything about covid: overall + numbers, hospitalizations and deaths when compared to the rest of the US. However, our numbers statewide and in the Matsu Valley are growing. We also have fewer ICU beds, fewer doctors and fewer nurses to manage those who need those resources. We do not live in a bubble. Exposures that happen over this next week will mean disease, suffering, hospitalizations and deaths will increase around Christmas. What a terrible gift to give….
It is also true that we are all eager to be done with masks, social distancing, not hugging our friends, rarely singing and staying at home in what seems endless day after day. But we need to stay this course protecting ourselves and those we love. Vaccines are coming and it is with huge thanks to the world’s scientists and pharmaceutical companies for working together instead of competing to create this fastest answer to a very infectious illness. We will be offered the already packaged vaccine in groups based upon risk for severe disease; this means some of us will get it before others. And until we all actually receive the vaccine, we need to stay strong in our protective measures. This process is likely to take most of 2021. I beg of you all, please practice patience and public health safety and mark off the calendar of this coming year until we all get vaccinated….
As a result of both the construction process and covid, WACO meetings and the usual committee meetings have moved to almost exclusive zoom style meetings. We welcome everyone who would like to join us electronically. We will post the meeting links on the calendar and on the WACO agenda. If you can’t find a link, please contact us via [email protected] I receive all these inquiries and typically respond within a day or two and will put you in touch with whoever is running the meeting you are interested in.
Construction speed has been negatively impacted by covid. At this time, the borough project manager advises WACO that we will not likely be able to use the WCC in our normal fashion until maybe fall 2021 (we had originally expected to be able to be back in by this set of holidays). And the library will stay in the lobby until they move back into their new and beautiful library. We will be able to host the Knik 200 midpoint check point and rest stop, the start of the Willow 300, the award ceremony for the Willow 100 and the Iditarod Real Start. All of these are weekend events when construction will not be occurring. Those events are significantly limiting their use of the auditorium and primarily keeping people outside. Of note, at this time Iditarod is making decisions about the impact on our community. So far, they have decided that no buses will be bringing visitors, the parking area across the highway will not be plowed, no vendors will be on site, all volunteers, mushers, handlers and Iditarod leaders will be covid tested before they can come here and it is possible that no one will be allowed in the building at all. They will be strongly encouraging people to watch on TV. As more information becomes available, we will bring it to you.
Some very fun news to share with you (finally some good news…)! WACO board members Melissa Himes-Mcgill, Barb Ensley and Debbie Cook are working with Lions member Laura Thomas and they are creating a wonderful outdoor Holiday celebration being held at Newman Memorial Park on Dec 19!! As they get the details worked out, more communication will come forward. But put Dec 19 on your calendar for some covid safe and outdoor fun!!
Thank you all, Happy and Safe Thanksgiving….
Linda Oxley, Chair

Youth Forum
Construction planned for summer 2020 was completed!! The Shem Pete trail has really nice entrance fencing and it has been compacted to an ADA standard!! The informational kiosks are being built across the winter for installation next summer. The first draft of a plan for the bike park has been reviewed by committee members – oh my does it look like a very fun bike course!! Security cameras have been purchased and are being installed in some key places in the park. Our wonderful park will be in the 2021 Milepost. Committee meetings have been scheduled around a specific need but we will need to start meeting regularly again in January with the goal of finding funding for the bike park… Please let me know if you want to be on the invite for the meetings or look at the calendar for the zoom link…
Thank you!!
Linda Oxley, Co-Chair

Carnival
As you know, we have postponed the 60th year of the Willow Winter State Carnival until 2022. In its place early planning has started to identify outdoor activities that we can sponsor, primarily being held at Newman Memorial Park in the winter months on weekends. Stay tuned for more specific information as we develop it. Interested in helping?? [email protected]
Thank you!
Linda Oxley

Willow Trail Committee Report

The recent dump of snow has led to a wild rush in grooming trails all over Willow. Bill and Bert have been busy with the grooming from Willow Lake and around the Willow Swamp and volunteers in the Emil Stancec and Haessler/Norris Trail Systems have as well. Too many to mention so thank you all.

We have also had a wild rush of personal donations the last couple weeks. Thank you Leslie Dean & Don Hopwood, Jinny Cooper, Dexter Blanchard, Taylor & Susan West, Bill & Sandy Colley, Craig Logan, Donna Cramer, Dathy Faryniarz, Lizzie Bow, Jill Burke, Bill Cole and Howard Hancock for your financial support of Willow trails!
Whether you would just like to volunteer or just get some trail information, your welcome to attend our monthly trail meetings via Zoom or visit: www.waco-ak.org/committees/trails/

The Willow Trail Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm via Zoom.
All are welcome. Ask to join us at [email protected]
Join us on Facebook: Willow Trail Committee
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Consent Agenda   12/2/2020
Greetings to all as the winter holiday season begins.  
I am starting with grim news:  as I am writing this on 11/25 for posting tomorrow, 13 Alaskans died today of covid 19 – the largest number of deaths in a single day in our beloved state.  We do remain with fewer of everything about covid: overall + numbers, hospitalizations and deaths when compared to the rest of the US. However, our numbers statewide and in the Matsu Valley are growing.  We also have fewer ICU beds, fewer doctors and fewer nurses to manage those who need those resources. We do not live in a bubble. Exposures that happen over this next week will mean disease, suffering, hospitalizations and deaths will increase around Christmas.  What a terrible gift to give….
It is also true that we are all eager to be done with masks, social distancing, not hugging our friends, rarely singing and staying at home in what seems endless day after day.  But we need to stay this course protecting ourselves and those we love.  Vaccines are coming and it is with huge thanks to the world’s scientists and pharmaceutical companies for working together instead of competing to create this fastest answer to a very infectious illness. We will be offered the already packaged vaccine in groups based upon risk for severe disease; this means some of us will get it before others.  And until we all actually receive the vaccine, we need to stay strong in our protective measures.  This process is likely to take most of 2021.  I beg of you all, please practice patience and public health safety and mark off the calendar of this coming year until we all get vaccinated….
As a result of both the construction process and covid, WACO meetings and the usual committee meetings have moved to almost exclusive zoom style meetings.  We welcome everyone who would like to join us electronically. We will post the meeting links on the calendar and on the WACO agenda. If you can’t find a link, please contact us via admin@waco-ak.org.  I receive all these inquiries and typically respond within a day or two and will put you in touch with whoever is running the meeting you are interested in.
Construction speed has been negatively impacted by covid.  At this time, the borough project manager advises WACO that we will not likely be able to use the WCC in our normal fashion until maybe fall 2021 (we had originally expected to be able to be back in by this set of holidays). And the library will stay in the lobby until they move back into their new and beautiful library. We will be able to host the Knik 200 midpoint check point and rest stop, the start of the Willow 300, the award ceremony for the Willow 100 and the Iditarod Real Start.  All of these are weekend events when construction will not be occurring. Those events are significantly limiting their use of the auditorium and primarily keeping people outside.  Of note, at this time Iditarod is making decisions about the impact on our community.  So far, they have decided that no buses will be bringing visitors, the parking area across the highway will not be plowed, no vendors will be on site, all volunteers, mushers, handlers and Iditarod leaders will be covid tested before they can come here and it is possible that no one will be allowed in the building at all. They will be strongly encouraging people to watch on TV. As more information becomes available, we will bring it to you.
Some very fun news to share with you (finally some good news…)!  WACO board members Melissa Himes-Mcgill, Barb Ensley and Debbie Cook are working with Lions member Laura Thomas and they are creating a wonderful outdoor Holiday celebration being held at Newman Memorial Park on Dec 19!! As they get the details worked out, more communication will come forward. But put Dec 19 on your calendar for  some covid safe and outdoor fun!!
Thank you all, Happy and Safe Thanksgiving….
Linda Oxley, Chair

Youth Forum
Construction planned for summer 2020 was completed!!  The Shem Pete trail has really nice entrance fencing and it has been compacted to an ADA standard!! The informational kiosks are being built across the winter for installation next summer. The first draft of a plan for the bike park has been reviewed by committee members – oh my does it look like a very fun bike course!! Security cameras have been purchased and are being installed in some key places in the park.  Our wonderful park will be in the 2021 Milepost. Committee meetings have been scheduled around a specific need but we will need to start meeting regularly again in January with the goal of finding funding for the bike park…  Please let me know if you want to be on the invite for the meetings or look at the calendar for the zoom link…
Thank you!!
Linda Oxley, Co-Chair

Carnival 
As you know, we have postponed the 60th year of the Willow Winter State Carnival until 2022.  In its place early planning has started to identify outdoor activities that we can sponsor, primarily being held at Newman Memorial Park in the winter months on weekends.   Stay tuned for more specific information as we develop it.  Interested in helping?? Admin@waco-ak.org.... 
Thank you!
Linda Oxley

Willow Trail Committee Report   
 
The recent dump of snow has led to a wild rush in grooming trails all over Willow.  Bill and Bert have been busy with the grooming from Willow Lake and around the Willow Swamp and volunteers in the Emil Stancec and Haessler/Norris Trail Systems have as well.  Too many to mention so thank you all.                                                  
 
We have also had a wild rush of personal donations the last couple weeks.  Thank you Leslie Dean & Don Hopwood, Jinny Cooper, Dexter Blanchard, Taylor & Susan West, Bill & Sandy Colley, Craig Logan, Donna Cramer, Dathy Faryniarz, Lizzie Bow, Jill Burke, Bill Cole and Howard Hancock for your financial support of Willow trails!
Whether you would just like to volunteer or just get some trail information, your welcome to attend our monthly trail meetings via Zoom or visit:  https://www.waco-ak.org/committees/trails/
 
The Willow Trail Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm via Zoom.  
All are welcome.  Ask to join us at trails@waco-ak.org
Join us on Facebook:  Willow Trail Committee

Comment on Facebook

For the record, 13 Alaskans did NOT die of covid on November 25, nor on any day during this pandemic. The numbers for 24 November included five “recent” deaths and 8 previous deaths based on reviews of death certificates.

Hi there! Just wondering where i will find info on the outdoor events to occur in place of the traditional winter carnival?

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Timeline Photos ...

Willow Community
Join us at Newman’s Park
Saturday – December 19th
Enjoy a stroll through the “Festival of Trees” & Skating.
Organizations, Businesses, Churches and Families are invited to bring trees to display.
There are a limited number of outlets, please call to reserve one (if you need electricity) at 495-1126. Tree set-up 1p-3p.
Ice Skating & Bonfire 1p–3p
(Bring your own ice skates)
Cider and a Treat
COVID Safe Santa for Pictures
Take a Stroll through the Trees 3p–6p

Sponsored by Willow Lions & WACO
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Cindy Hansen this sounds cool

Is this still going on?

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WACO Meeting 2 December 2020

Linda Oxley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Linda Oxley's Zoom Meeting
Time: Dec 2, 2020 07:00 PM Alaska
Join Zoom Meeting
zoom.us/j/91487106745?pwd=MldjV0xPWUh3MTFTa0JrZEdZUTIrUT09
Meeting ID: 914 8710 6745
Passcode: Jrn9L7
Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 914 8710 6745
Passcode: 416120
Find your local number: zoom.us/u/acamsd9oAy
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Comment on Facebook

Is there an agenda available for the meeting? I can’t find it on the WACO website.

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