Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska

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Fairbanks is a home rule
Municipal home rule
Municipal home rule originated in the United States during the Progressive Era of the early twentieth century. It enables voters to adopt a home rule charter that acts as the city's basic governing document over local issues; however, state law continues to prevail over statewide concerns...

 city in and the borough seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of the Fairbanks North Star Borough
Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska
-Demographics:As of the 2000 census, 82,840 people, 29,777 households, and 20,516 families were residing in the borough. The population density was 11 people per square mile . There were 33,291 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile...

 in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

.

Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior
Alaska Interior
The Alaska Interior covers most of the U.S. state's territory. It is largely wilderness. Mountains include Mount McKinley in the Alaska Range, the Wrangell Mountains, and the Ray Mountains....

 region of Alaska, and second largest in the state behind Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

. It is the principal city of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States.

According to 2010 census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

, the population of the city was 31,535, and the Fairbanks metropolitan area's population was 97,581. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, is the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as Alaska or UAF....

, the oldest of Alaska's current colleges.

History


Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross
Tanacross, Alaska
Tanacross is a census-designated place in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 140...

 (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez-Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River
Tanana River
The Tanana River is a tributary of the Yukon River in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to linguist and anthropologist William Bright, the name is from the Koyukon tene no, tenene, literally "trail river"....

), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River
Chena River
The Chena River is a 100-mile-long river in the Interior region of the U.S. state of Alaska. It flows generally west from the White Mountains to the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks, which is built on both sides of the river...

 7 miles (11.3 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River
Tanana River
The Tanana River is a tributary of the Yukon River in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to linguist and anthropologist William Bright, the name is from the Koyukon tene no, tenene, literally "trail river"....

. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro
Felix Pedro
Felice Pedroni , known best to Americans by his Hispanicized alias Felix Pedro, was an Italian immigrant whose discovery of gold in Interior Alaska marked the beginning of the 1902 Fairbanks Gold Rush.-Early life:...

) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross.

After some urging by James Wickersham
James Wickersham
James Wickersham was a district judge for Alaska, appointed by U.S. President William McKinley to the Third Judicial District in 1900. He resigned his post in 1908 and was subsequently elected as Alaska's delegate to Congress, serving until 1917 and then being re-elected in 1930...

, who later moved the seat of the Third Division court
United States territorial court
The United States territorial courts are tribunals established in territories of the United States by the United States Congress, pursuant to its power under Article Four of the United States Constitution, the Territorial Clause...

 from Eagle
Eagle, Alaska
Eagle is a city located along the United States-Canada border in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. It includes Eagle Historic District, a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The population was 129 at the 2000 census...

 to Fairbanks, the settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks
Charles W. Fairbanks
Charles Warren Fairbanks was a Senator from Indiana and the 26th Vice President of the United States ....

, a Republican senator from Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 and later the twenty-sixth Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

, serving under Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 during his second term.

In these early years of settlement, the Tanana Valley
Tanana Valley
The Tanana Valley is a lowland region in central Alaska in the United States, on the north side of the Alaska Range where the Tanana River emerges from the mountains.-Climate:...

 was an important agricultural center for Alaska until the establishment of the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project and the town of Palmer
Palmer, Alaska
Palmer is the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the state of Alaska, USA. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937....

 in 1935. Agricultural activity still occurs today in the Tanana Valley, but mostly to the southeast of Fairbanks in the communities of Salcha and Delta Junction. During the early days of Fairbanks, its vicinity was a major producer of agricultural goods. What is now the northern reaches of South Fairbanks was originally the farm of Paul J. Rickert, who came from nearby Chena
Chena, Alaska
For information on the modern town sometimes known by the name of Chena, go to Chena Hot Springs, Alaska.Chena was a small town in interior Alaska near the confluence of the Chena and Tanana rivers whose heyday was in the first two decades of the 1900s, with a peak population of about 400 in 1907...

 in 1904 and operated a large farm until his death in 1938. Farmers Loop Road and Badger Road, loop roads north and east (respectively) of Fairbanks, were also home to major farming activity. Badger Road is named for Harry Markley Badger, an early resident of Fairbanks who later established a farm along the road and became known as "The Strawberry
Strawberry
Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...

 King." Ballaine and McGrath Roads, side roads of Farmers Loop Road, were also named for prominent local farmers, whose farms were located in the immediate vicinity of their respective namesake roads. Despite early efforts by the Alaska Loyal League
Alaska Loyal League
The Alaska Loyal League was a small group of Fairbanks businessmen who were instrumental in supporting early Tanana Valley agriculture and enterprise. They included: A. Browning; George Coleman, manager of the Northern Commercial Company; F.S. Gordon, a merchant; H.B. Parkin, Fairbanks Meat Company...

, the Tanana Valley Agriculture Association and William Fentress Thompson, the editor-publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is a morning daily newspaper that serves the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Denali Borough, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the United States state of Alaska. It is the farthest north daily newspaper in the United States, and...

, to encourage food production, agriculture in the area was never able to fully support the population, although it came close in the 1920s.

The construction of Ladd Army Airfield starting in 1939, part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New Deal and World War II to install major infrastructure in the territory for the first time, fostered an economic and population boom in Fairbanks which extended beyond the end of the war. The presence of the U.S. military has remained strong in Fairbanks. Ladd became Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

 in 1960; the post was annexed into Fairbanks city limits during the 1980s.

Fairbanks suffered from numerous floods in its first six decades, whether from ice jams during spring breakup or due to heavy rainfall. The original bridge across the Chena River at Turner Street, built on wooden pilings, was frequently prone to washouts before a permanent bridge was constructed at Cushman Street in 1917. On August 14, 1967, after an unprecedented record rainfall upstream, the Chena began to surge over its banks, flooding almost the entire town of Fairbanks overnight. The results of this disaster eventually led to the creation of the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project, which built and operates the 50 feet (15.2 m) Moose Creek Dam in the Chena River and accompanying 8 miles (12.9 km) spillway. The project was designed to prevent a repetition of the 1967 flood by being able to divert water in the Chena upstream from Fairbanks into the Tanana River, thus bypassing the city.

Geography



Topography



Fairbanks is located in the central Tanana Valley
Tanana Valley
The Tanana Valley is a lowland region in central Alaska in the United States, on the north side of the Alaska Range where the Tanana River emerges from the mountains.-Climate:...

, straddling the Chena River
Chena River
The Chena River is a 100-mile-long river in the Interior region of the U.S. state of Alaska. It flows generally west from the White Mountains to the Tanana River near the city of Fairbanks, which is built on both sides of the river...

 near its confluence with the Tanana River
Tanana River
The Tanana River is a tributary of the Yukon River in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to linguist and anthropologist William Bright, the name is from the Koyukon tene no, tenene, literally "trail river"....

. Immediately north of the city is a chain of hills that rises gradually until it reaches the White Mountains
White Mountains (Alaska)
The White Mountains is a 115-km-long mountain range in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska. It lies between Beaver Creek and Preacher Creek, and was named by prospectors for its composition of white limestone. The range reaches a maximum elevation of 968 m...

 and the Yukon River
Yukon River
The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. The source of the river is located in British Columbia, Canada. The next portion lies in, and gives its name to Yukon Territory. The lower half of the river lies in the U.S. state of Alaska. The river is long and empties into...

. The southern border of the city is the Tanana River. South of the river is the Tanana Flats, an area of marsh and bog that stretches for more than 100 miles (160.9 km) until it rises into the Alaska Range
Alaska Range
The Alaska Range is a relatively narrow, 650-km-long mountain range in the southcentral region of the U.S. state of Alaska, from Lake Clark at its southwest end to the White River in Canada's Yukon Territory in the southeast...

, which is visible from Fairbanks on clear days. To the east and west are low valleys separated by ridges of hills up to 3000 feet (914.4 m) above sea level.

The Tanana Valley is crossed by many low streams and rivers that flow into the Tanana River. In Fairbanks, the Chena River flows southwest until it empties into the Tanana. Noyes Slough, which heads and foots off the Chena River, creates Garden Island, a district connected to the rest of Fairbanks by bridges and culvert
Culvert
A culvert is a device used to channel water. It may be used to allow water to pass underneath a road, railway, or embankment. Culverts can be made of many different materials; steel, polyvinyl chloride and concrete are the most common...

ed roads.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 32.7 square miles (84.7 km²); 31.9 square miles (82.6 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it (2.48%) is water.

Surrounding municipalities



Climate



Fairbanks' climate is usually classified as subarctic
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfc), with long, cold winters, and short, warm summers, in which much of the annual precipitation falls. In Fairbanks, winter lasts from late September/early October until late April/early May. October through January are the snowiest, and snow is limited from February to May. On average, the season's first snow falls in Fairbanks on September 21 and the first inch of snow accumulates by October 8. The snowpack
Snowpack
Snowpack forms from layers of snow that accumulate in geographic regions and high altitudes where the climate includes cold weather for extended periods during the year. Snowpacks are an important water resource that feed streams and rivers as they melt. Snowpacks are the drinking water source for...

 is established by October 18, on average, and remains until May. Snow occasionally arrives early and in large amounts. On September 13, 1992, 8 inches (20.3 cm) of snow fell in the city, bending trees still laden with fall leaves. That September also was one of the snowiest on record, as 24 inches (61 cm) fell, compared to an average of 2.2 inches in the month. Average winter low temperatures range from -15 F to -25 F, but extremes can range from 50 °F (10 °C) to -60 F. In summer, temperatures typically range between 70 °F (21.1 °C) and 50 °F (10 °C); Fairbanks did not record a 90 °F (32.2 °C) temperature between 1994 and 2009. The highest recorded temperature in Fairbanks was 99 °F (37.2 °C), while the lowest was -66 F. The warmest year in Fairbanks was 1981, when the average annual temperature was 32 °F (0 °C). The coldest year was 1956, whose average annual temperature was 21.3 °F (-5.9 °C). Record low temperatures below zero have been recorded in every month except June, July, August, and September.

These widely varying temperature extremes are due to three main factors: temperature inversions
Inversion (meteorology)
In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a temperature inversion, i.e...

, daylight, and wind direction. In winter, Fairbanks's low-lying location at the bottom of the Tanana Valley causes cold air to accumulate in and around the city. Warmer air rises to the tops of the hills north of Fairbanks, while the city itself experiences one of the biggest temperature inversions on Earth. Heating through sunlight is limited because of Fairbanks's high-latitude location. At the winter solstice
Winter solstice
Winter solstice may refer to:* Winter solstice, astronomical event* Winter Solstice , former band* Winter Solstice: North , seasonal songs* Winter Solstice , 2005 American film...

, Fairbanks experiences 3 hours and 43 minutes of sunlight. At the summer solstice, Fairbanks receives 21 hours and 49 minutes of direct sunlight; after sunset, twilight is bright enough to allow daytime activities. During winter, the direction of the wind also causes large temperature swings in Fairbanks. When the wind blows from any direction but the south, average weather ensues. Wind from the south can carry warm, moist air from the Gulf of Alaska, greatly warming temperatures. When coupled with a chinook wind
Chinook wind
Chinook winds , often called chinooks, commonly refers to foehn winds in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest.Chinook is claimed...

, temperatures well above freezing often result.

In addition to the chinook wind, Fairbanks experiences a handful of other unusual meteorological conditions. In summer, dense wildfire
Wildfire
A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

 smoke accumulates in the Tanana Valley, affecting the weather and causing health concerns. When temperature inversions arise in winter, heavy ice fog
Ice fog
Ice fog is a type of fog consisting of fine ice crystals suspended in the air. It can happen only in cold areas of the world since water can remain liquid down to -40 °C...

 often results. Ice fog occurs when air is too cold to absorb additional moisture, such as that released by automobile engines or human breath. Instead of dissipating, the water freezes into microscopic crystals that are suspended in the air, forming fog. Fairbanks' most notable unusual meteorological occurrence is the prevalence of the aurora borealis, commonly called the northern lights, which are visible on average more than 200 days per year in the vicinity of Fairbanks.

Since 1949 Fairbanks's average winter temperature has risen by 7.7 °F (4.3 °C), average spring temperature by 3.8 °F (2.1 °C), and its average summer temperature by 2.3 °F (1.3 °C). During the same period, Fairbanks' average autumn temperature has fallen by 0.4 °F (0.2 °C). If only the years 1977–2008 are considered, Fairbanks' average annual temperature has dropped by 1.3 °F (0.7 °C) degrees.

Demographics


As of the census of 2000, there were 30,224 people, 11,075 households, and 7,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 948.7 people per square mile (366.3/km²). There were 12,357 housing units at an average density of 387.9 per square mile (149.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.67% White
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 13.10% Black
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 9.91% Native American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 2.72% Asian
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.54% Pacific Islander
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 2.45% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 6.57% from two or more races. 6.13% of the population were Hispanic
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 or Latino
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 of any race.

Of the 11,075 households, 39.9% had children under the age of 18, 47.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15.

Median age of the population was 28 years, with 29.4% under the age of 18, 14.7% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females there were 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,577, and the median income for a family was $46,785. Males had a median income of $30,539 versus $26,577 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $19,814. About 7.4% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Media


Fairbanks' largest newspaper is the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is a morning daily newspaper that serves the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Denali Borough, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the United States state of Alaska. It is the farthest north daily newspaper in the United States, and...

, which also includes a weekly entertainment guide, Latitude 65. A few other periodicals also serve Fairbanks and the Fairbanks North Star Borough: The Ester Republic
The Ester Republic
The Ester Republic is a small, independent monthly newspaper published in Ester, Alaska, and established January 1999. The paper serves as an alternative media publication for the Tanana Valley. It is the only newspaper that has been published in Ester; the village has been served historically by...

and the University of Alaska Fairbanks student newspaper, the Sun Star
Sun Star
The Sun Star is the student newspaper of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, formed in a merger of the Northern Sun and the Polar Star...

.

Fairbanks is also served by television and radio. Leading radio stations include AM Stations KFAR
KFAR
KFAR is a commercial radio station programming news/talk in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States, broadcasting on 660 AM. It airs Fox News Radio and carries national radio programs thru Compass Media Networks, Premiere Radio Networks and Westwood One, amongst others. Of the two AM news/talk stations...

 660 talk radio, KCBF
KCBF
KCBF is a commercial radio station airing sports programming in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcastingon 820 AM. KCBF obtains its programming from Fox Sports Radio. Until 1981, they were KFRB 900. Until March 2011 the station carried ESPN Radio....

 820 ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 Radio Network, KFBX
KFBX
KFBX is a commercial radio station programming talk in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 970 AM. It airs hourly news updates through ABC News Radio. It is owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications....

 970 talk radio and KJNP
KJNP (AM)
KJNP and KJHA are non-commercial radio stations simulcasting in North Pole and Houston, Alaska, respectively. The station airs a religious radio format...

 1170 religious radio. FM stations include 88.5 popular Christian, KUAC
KUAC (FM)
KUAC is a non-commercial FM radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting at 89.9 MHz. The station is operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks...

 89.9 National Public Radio, KSUA
KSUA
KSUA is a College radio station broadcasting a Non-commercial educational format. Licensed to Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, , the station serves the Alaska Interior area...

 91.5 University of Alaska, Fairbanks, KDJF
KDJF
KDJF is a radio station licensed to serve Ester, Alaska; however, the station's offices are in Fairbanks, Alaska. Like many other radio stations in the area , its tower is located on Ester Dome. The station is owned by Tanana Valley Television Company. It airs a Country music format...

 ("CHET FM") 93.5 everything country KXLR
KXLR
KXLR is a commercial album-oriented rock music radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 95.9 FM.In May 2007, KXLR switched from standard classic rock to album-oriented rock under the branding "X-Rock". The "X-Rock" branding was also on sister station KXLW in Anchorage, which is now...

 95.9 classic rock KYSC
KYSC
KYSC is a commercial Adult Contemporary music radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska.KYSC was the commercial flagship station of University of Alaska Nanooks hockey before losing their rights to KSUA prior to the start of the 2008-2009 season....

 96.9 soft rock, KWLF
KWLF
KWLF is a commercial radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska. KWLF airs a Top 40 music format.-External links:*...

 98.1-"Wolf 98.1", top 40, KJNP-FM
KJNP-FM
KJNP-FM is a radio station licensed to serve North Pole, Alaska. The station is owned by Evangelistic Alaska Missionary Fellowship. It airs a Religious radio format....

 100.3 religious radio, KAKQ-FM
KAKQ-FM
KAKQ-FM is a commercial adult contemporary music radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 101.1 FM.-External links:*...

 101.1-"Magic 101.1" pop music, KIAK-FM
KIAK-FM
KIAK-FM is a commercial country music radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 102.5 FM.-External links:*...

 102.5 country music, KTDZ
KTDZ
KTDZ is a commercial radio station in College, Alaska, broadcasting to the Fairbanks, Alaska, area. KTDZ airs an adult hits format....

 103.9-"K-TED" adult hits, and KKED
KKED
KKED is a commercial adult album alternative music radio station in Fairbanks, Alaska, broadcasting on 104.7 FM.-External links:*...

 104.7 rock music.

Fairbanks' major television affiliates are KATN
KATN
KATN, virtual channel 2 , is the ABC-affiliated television station in Fairbanks, Alaska. The station is owned by Vision Alaska LLC.-Digital television:-History:...

 (ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

)-(KYUR retransmission), KFXF
KFXF
KFXF, channel 7, is the Fox affiliate in Fairbanks, Alaska. KFXF is owned by Tanana Valley Television, which also owns CBS affiliate K13XD. Its transmitter is located in Fairbanks.-History:...

 (Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

), KUAC-TV (PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

)-"AlaskaONE" with some KMXT-LP-only programming, KTVF
KTVF
-History:The station signed on the air in February 1955 as the first television station serving what at the time was the smallest television market in the United States...

 (NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

), K13XD
K13XD
K13XD, channel 13 , is the CBS affiliate in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is owned by Tanana Valley Television, and is a sister station to Fox affiliate KFXF...

 (CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

), and UHF station KDMD-LP
KDMD-LP
KDMD-LP is an Ion network affiliate in Fairbanks, Alaska. The station is owned by Ketchikan Television, LLC. It shares its call letters with its sister station in Anchorage....

-(Ion)-Fairbanks. Cable TV is available from GCI and Denali Television.

Sports



The Carlson Center
Carlson Center
The John A. Carlson Community Activity Center is a 6,443-seat multi-purpose arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks ice hockey team of the CCHA, the Fairbanks Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League, and is also the site used for the university's...

 is home to University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, is the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as Alaska or UAF....

 Nanooks
Alaska Nanooks
The Alaska Nanooks are the University of Alaska Fairbanks sports teams, derived from the Inupiaq "nanuq." The school colors are blue and gold. The Nanooks compete at the NCAA Division II level for all sports except men's ice hockey...

 men's ice hockey and the Fairbanks Grizzlies
Fairbanks Grizzlies
The Fairbanks Grizzlies are a professional indoor football team in the Indoor Football League. The team plays their home games at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska...

, a professional arena football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

 team in the Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League
The Indoor Football League began in 1999 as an offshoot of the troubled Professional Indoor Football League. Keary Ecklund, the owner of the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs, left the PIFL after its first, financially-troubled, season to start his own league. Unlike the PIFL, the IFL was an...

 and the Fairbanks Rollergirls
Fairbanks Rollergirls
The Fairbanks Rollergirls are a 501 non-profit organization located in Fairbanks, Alaska dedicated to the sport of roller derby.- League History :...

 roller derby
Roller derby
Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups in which both teams designate a scoring player who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team...

 league.

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs is a Tier II Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's West Division. The Ice Dogs play home games at the 2,200-seat Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks, Alaska...

, a junior hockey team in the North American Hockey League
North American Hockey League
The North American Hockey League is one of the top junior hockey leagues in the United States and is enterting its 36th season in 2011-12. It is currently the only Junior A Tier II league, sanctioned by USA Hockey. The NAHL currently acts as an alternative to the United States Hockey League...

, play at the Big Dipper Ice Arena
Big Dipper Ice Arena
The Big Dipper Ice Arena, colloquially known as "The Big Dipper", is a multi-purpose arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. The arena is owned and operated by the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Originally constructed as an airplane hangar for the Lend-Lease program in Tanacross, southeast of Fairbanks, the...

.

The Alaska Goldpanners and the Fairbanks AIA Fire are summer collegiate baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 teams, playing home games at Growden Memorial Park
Growden Memorial Park
Growden Memorial Park is an outdoor baseball park in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. It is used for summer collegiate and high school baseball, and has been the home field for the Alaska Baseball League's Alaska Goldpanners since 1960. It's also home to the Athletes in Action Fire. It was also...

. The park is home to the annual Midnight Sun game, an annual tradition since 1906, played without artificial lights starting after ten at night on the summer solstice.

Also, Fairbanks is a hub for cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles...

 in Alaska. It has hosted many different big ski events including the 2003 Junior Olympic Cross County Ski Championship and the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Cross Country Distance Nationals It also has an annual 50k race called the Sonot Kkaazoot and the Fairbanks Town Series races which consists of four different races and the Chest Medicine Distance Series races which consists of only 3 races.

Fairbanks is also home to the Yukon Quest
Yukon Quest
The Yukon Quest 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race, or simply Yukon Quest, is a sled dog race run every February between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon...

, an international 1,000 mile sled dog race that is considered one of the toughest in the world. The race alternates its starting and finishing points each year between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon.

Notable Fairbanksans


Fairbanks, Alaska was the birthplace of a significant number of successful musicians. The most distinguished individuals are Kevin Johansen
Kevin Johansen
Kevin Johansen is an Argentine-American rock musician. Born to an Argentine mother, Marta Calvet, and an American father, he lived most of his childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, but moved with his family to Buenos Aires at the age of 12...

, Vivica Genaux
Vivica Genaux
Vivica Genaux is an American coloratura mezzo-soprano. Her father, an American of Belgian-Welsh descent, was a biochemistry professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her mother, Mexican-born of Swiss-German extraction, was a language teacher...

, Lincoln Brewster
Lincoln Brewster
Lincoln Brewster is a contemporary Christian musician and pastor. As a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Brewster became a sought-after session guitarist in the early 90s. Brewster is the senior worship pastor at Bayside Church in Roseville, California.-Biography:Brewster has been musically...

, Rick Holmstrom
Rick Holmstrom
Rick Holmstrom is an American electric blues and rhythm and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Holmstrom has released five albums since 1996, and previously worked with William Clarke and Rod Piazza. In addition, Holmstrom has played and recorded with Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Jody...

, and Jon Button
Jon Button
Jon Button is an American bass player born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and based in Los Angeles, California. Button has played on commercial, film and television scores and toured with a number of well-known artists. He plays both electric and upright string bass.-Biography:Jon Button was born into a...

.

Lance Mackey
Lance Mackey
Lance Mackey is an American dog musher and dog sled racer from Fairbanks, Alaska, who is a four-time winner of the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest and four-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.-Career:...

, four-time winner of the grueling, world-famous Yukon Quest
Yukon Quest
The Yukon Quest 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race, or simply Yukon Quest, is a sled dog race run every February between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon...

 and Iditarod sled dog races, lives in the Fairbanks area.

Fairbanks was also the starting place for Daryn Colledge
Daryn Colledge
Daryn Wayne Colledge is an American football offensive guard for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League.-High school:...

, an offensive guard for the Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

. Colledge played for the Green Bay Packers and helped the team gain their victory in Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

 XLV
Super Bowl XLV
Super Bowl XLV was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League champion for the 2010 season. The game was held at Cowboys Stadium in...

.

Jessica Gavora
Jessica Gavora
Jessica Lynn Gavora is an American conservative writer on politics and culture, a speechwriter, and a former policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice.-Early life and education:...

 is a conservative writer on culture and politics. She was the chief speechwriter for Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

 John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

 and a senior policy advisor at the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

.

The late John D. Clark
John D. Clark
John Drury Clark, Ph.D. was a noted American rocket fuel developer, chemist, and science fiction writer and fan. He was instrumental in the revival of interest in Robert E. Howard's Conan stories and influenced the writing careers of L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, and other authors.- Life and...

 was born and raised in Fairbanks. He became a noted American rocket fuel developer, science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 writer fan, and chemist.

Government and politics


The Fairbanks area is sharply divided politically. The western part of the town centered on the University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, is the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as Alaska or UAF....

 is Democratic-leaning, while the downtown and the eastern parts near Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

 are Republican-leaning, and the North Pole
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a small city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska metropolitan statistical area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated its population as of July 1, 2009 at 2,226. The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered...

 area farther east is even more conservative. Thus, many residents have noted that a neighborhood's position on the map of Fairbanks (west to east) mirrors its political orientation (left to right).

Federal

Presidential Election Results for the City of Fairbanks (Central/Downtown) 2004-2008
Year Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

39.3% 58.0%
2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

35.2% 61.5%

State


At present, the Fairbanks area comprises two entire districts, and most of a third district, in the Alaska Senate
Alaska Senate
The Alaska Senate is the upper house in the Alaska Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. The Senate consists of twenty members, each of whom represents an equal amount of districts with populations of about 31,347 people . Senators serve four-year terms, without term...

. The state senators for the Fairbanks area are Joe Thomas
Joe Thomas (Alaska politician)
Joe J. Thomas is a Democratic member of the Alaska Senate, representing the D District since 2006. He was previously an official with the Laborers' Union Local 942.-External links:* official government website* profile...

, Joe Paskvan
Joe Paskvan
Joseph L. "Joe" Paskvan is an attorney and a Democratic member of the Alaska Senate. He has represented the E District, which includes the entire city limits of Fairbanks and several neighborhoods just outside, since 2009....

 (both Democrats) and John Coghill, Jr. (Republican). The area comprises four entire districts, and portions of two other districts, in the Alaska House. Representatives for the Fairbanks area are Bob Miller, David Guttenberg
David Guttenberg
David Guttenberg is a Democratic member of the Alaska House of Representatives, representing the 8th District since 2003.-External links:* official government website* profile*Follow the Money – David Guttenberg** campaign contributions...

, Scott Kawasaki
Scott Kawasaki
Scott Jiu Wo Kawasaki is a healthcare professional and politician from Alaska. A Democrat, he is a member of the Alaska House of Representatives representing the state's ninth district, which includes neighborhoods within the city limits of Fairbanks.- Biography :Scott Kawasaki was born in Tokyo,...

 (all Democrats), Steve Thompson and Tammie Wilson
Tammie Wilson
Tammie Wilson is a member of the Alaska House of Representatives, representing District 11, which encompasses the city of North Pole and surrounding area. Prior to holding this position, she was a member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly....

 (both Republicans). Eric Feige, a Republican member of the House who lives in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough community of Chickaloon
Chickaloon, Alaska
Chickaloon is a census-designated place in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, represents Richardson Highway
Richardson Highway
The Richardson Highway is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska, running 368 miles from Valdez to Fairbanks. It is marked as Alaska Route 4 from Valdez to Delta Junction and as Alaska Route 2 from there to Fairbanks. It is also connects segments of Alaska Route 1 between the Glenn Highway and the...

 communities beyond the North Pole area but within the Fairbanks North Star Borough boundaries.

Fairbanksans elected the first two Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 members to serve in a state legislature in the United States. Dick Randolph
Dick Randolph
Richard L. "Dick" Randolph is a longtime insurance agency owner in Fairbanks, Alaska who is best known as the first person to be elected to partisan office under the banner of the Libertarian Party with his election to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1978. He was re-elected in 1980...

, who had previously served two terms in the Alaska House as a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, was first elected as a Libertarian in 1978 and re-elected in 1980. Ken Fanning was also elected to the House as a Libertarian in 1980. In the 1982 elections, Randolph ran unsuccessfully as the LP's nominee for Governor of Alaska, while Fanning lost re-election to the House following redistricting.

Fairbanks is a regional center for most departments of the State of Alaska, though the vast majority of state jobs are based in either Anchorage or Juneau.

Municipal


Fairbanks, unlike other larger cities in Alaska, still has a separate borough and city. The City of Fairbanks was incorporated on November 10, 1903. The city council held a special meeting at the Carlson Center
Carlson Center
The John A. Carlson Community Activity Center is a 6,443-seat multi-purpose arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks ice hockey team of the CCHA, the Fairbanks Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League, and is also the site used for the university's...

 on November 10, 2003 for the express purpose of denoting the centennial of incorporation. The Fairbanks North Star Borough, created by the Alaska Legislature
Alaska Legislature
The Alaska Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a bicameral institution, consisting of the lower Alaska House of Representatives, with 40 members, and the upper house Alaska Senate, with 20 members...

 under the Mandatory Borough Act of 1963, was incorporated on January 1, 1964.

Utilities


City water, sanitary sewer, and electric systems are operated by private entities. Water and sewage services are available at most locations within the city limits, but many residents lack them in the surrounding urbanized areas.

Electricity is provided by Golden Valley Electric Association. The Chena power site has four steam turbines fueled by coal and one oil-fueled electrical generator. Interior Alaska is not connected to the electrical grid of the contiguous United States and Canada, but a transmission line constructed in 1985 connects Fairbanks with power plants in the coal producing area of Healy
Healy, Alaska
Healy is a census-designated place in and the borough seat of Denali Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 971 at the 2007 census.-Geography:Healy is located at ....

 and the Anchorage area. Fairbanks currently holds the world record for the largest rechargeable battery, which weighs approximately 1,300 tons. The battery was installed to help bridge the gaps that occur during frequent power outages. The battery will provide power for 7 minutes to about 12,000 homes.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks operates its own coal-fired generating station on campus, providing electricity and steam heat to university buildings.

Until 1996, telephone service was provided by the Municipal Utilities Service, a public company. In that year, telephone service was sold to Alaska Communications Systems
Alaska Communications Systems
Alaska Communications is a telecommunications corporation headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. It was the first telecommunications provider in the state of Alaska to maintain a third-generation wireless network and the only provider in Alaska that owns fully incorporated infrastructure for the...

, a private company. General Communications Inc. has competed against ACS in Fairbanks since 1997. Both companies offer mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 service in Fairbanks, as do national and local providers such as AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

 and Alaska DigiTel.

A pair of fiber optic cables provide long-distance telephone and Internet service. One parallels the Parks Highway and connects Fairbanks to Anchorage, while the other parallels the Richardson Highway and connects Fairbanks to Valdez. A third, spur fiber optic cable parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and connects Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. Broadband Internet access is provided by GCI, ACS, and a handful of satellite Internet
Satellite Internet access
Satellite Internet access is Internet access provided through satellites. The service can be provided to users world-wide through low Earth orbit satellites. Geostationary satellites can offer higher data speeds, but their signals can not reach some polar regions of the world...

 and wireless Internet services.

Schools


The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is a public school district based in Fairbanks, Alaska . With a student enrollment of slightly over 14,000, it is the state's second largest public school district....

 has a student enrollment of slightly over 14,000. There are both public and private schools. Most private schools are run by religious organizations, the largest of which comprises the programs run by Catholic Schools of Fairbanks
Monroe Catholic High School
Monroe Catholic High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is the only Catholic high school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks. It is the northernmost Roman Catholic high school in the Americas.-Background:...

.

Health care



Local hospitals or health clinics include Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; Interior Community Health Center; Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center; Bassett Army Community Hospital (Fort Wainwright). The hospitals are qualified acute-care facilities and support state-certified Medevac services. Specialized Care: FNA Regional Center for Alcohol & Other Addictions. Long Term Care: Fairbanks Pioneers' Home; Denali Center.

Fairbanks is classified as a small city. It is found in EMS Region 1C in the Interior Region. Emergency services have highway, airport, and floatplane access. Emergency service is provided by 9-1-1
9-1-1
9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan .It is one of eight N11 codes.The use of this number is for emergency circumstances only, and to use it for any other purpose can be a crime.-History:In the earliest days of telephone technology, prior to the...

 telephone service, paid EMS service, volunteers, a health aide, and the military. Auxiliary health care is provided by Fairbanks Fire Department; Airport Fire Department; University Fire Department; Chena Goldstream Fire & Rescue; Steese Area Volunteer Fire; Guardian Flight Critical-Care Air Ambulance; Warbelow's Air Ambulance; Fort Wainwright Fire/Emergency; Ester Volunteer Fire Department; North Star Volunteer Fire; and the City of North Pole Fire Department.

Economy



Fairbanks offers a diverse economy, including city, borough, state, and federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 services; and transportation, communication, manufacturing, mining, financial, and regional medical services. Including Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska....

 and Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

 personnel, over one third of the employment is in government services. The University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, is the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as Alaska or UAF....

 is also a major employer. Approximately 325,000 tourists visit Fairbanks each summer.

Taxes

  • Sales: None
  • Property: 20.777 mills
    Property tax
    A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

     (7.171 city/13.606 borough areawide)
  • Special: 5% alcohol tax (city only); 16% tobacco tax (8% city/8% borough); 8% accommodations tax

Transportation


As the transportation hub for Interior Alaska, Fairbanks features extensive road, rail, and air connections to the rest of Alaska and Outside
Outside (Alaska)
In Alaska, Outside or the Outside refers to any non-Alaska location. Though commonly used by Alaskans to refer to other U.S. states, it may also refer to international locations distant from Alaska, including Canada, Great Britain and Russia...

. At Fairbanks' founding, the only way to reach the new city was via steamboat on the Chena River. In 1904, money intended to improve the Valdez-Eagle Trail was diverted to build a branch trail, giving Fairbanks its first overland connection to the outside world. The resulting Richardson Highway
Richardson Highway
The Richardson Highway is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska, running 368 miles from Valdez to Fairbanks. It is marked as Alaska Route 4 from Valdez to Delta Junction and as Alaska Route 2 from there to Fairbanks. It is also connects segments of Alaska Route 1 between the Glenn Highway and the...

 was created in 1910 after Gen. Wilds P. Richardson
Wilds P. Richardson
Wilds Preston Richardson was an officer of the United States Army notable for being an explorer and geographer of Alaska in the early decades of the 20th century...

 upgraded it to a wagon road. In the 1920s, it was improved further and made navigable by automobiles, but it was not paved until 1957.

Fairbanks' road connections were improved in 1927, when the 161 miles (259.1 km) Steese Highway
Steese Highway
The Steese Highway is a highway in the Interior region of the U.S. state of Alaska that extends from Fairbanks to Circle, a town on the Yukon River about 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The highway was completed in 1927 and is named for U.S. Army General James G. Steese, a former president...

 connected the city to the Yukon River at the gold-mining community of Circle
Circle, Alaska
Circle is a census-designated place in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 100....

. In 1942, the Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II for the purpose of connecting the contiguous U.S. to Alaska through Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon...

 connected the Richardson Highway to the Canadian road system, allowing road travel from the rest of the United States to Fairbanks, which is considered the unofficial end of the highway. Because of World War II, civilian traffic was not permitted on the highway until 1948.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a series of roads were built to connect Fairbanks to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. The Elliott Highway
Elliott Highway
The Elliott Highway is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska that extends 152 miles from Fox, about 10 miles north of Fairbanks, to Manley Hot Springs...

 was built in 1957 to connect Fairbanks to Livengood
Livengood, Alaska
Livengood is a census-designated place in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 29 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Livengood is located at ....

, southern terminus of the Dalton Highway
Dalton Highway
The James W. Dalton Highway, usually Dalton Highway is a 414-mile road in Alaska. It begins at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields...

, which ends in Deadhorse
Deadhorse, Alaska
Deadhorse is an unincorporated community in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States, along the North Slope near the Arctic Ocean. The town consists mainly of facilities for the workers and companies that operate at the nearby Prudhoe Bay oil fields. Deadhorse is accessible via the Dalton Highway...

 on the North Slope. West of the Dalton intersection, the Elliott Highway extends to Manley Hot Springs on the Tanana River. To improve logistics in Fairbanks during construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the George Parks Highway
George Parks Highway
The George Parks Highway , usually called simply the Parks Highway, runs 323 miles from the Glenn Highway 35 miles north of Anchorage to Fairbanks in the Alaska Interior...

 was built between Fairbanks and Anchorage in 1971.

Until 1940, none of Fairbanks' surface streets were paved. The outbreak of World War II interrupted plans to pave most of the city's roads, and a movement toward large-scale paving did not begin until 1953, when the city paved 30 blocks of streets. During the late 1950s and the 1960s, the remainder of the city's streets were converted from gravel roads to asphalt surfaces. Few have been repaved since that time; a 2008 survey of city streets indicated the average age of a street in Fairbanks was 31 years.

Public transportation has been provided by the Metropolitan Area Commuter System
Metropolitan Area Commuter System
Metropolitan Area Commuter System is a public transport agency in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska. The agency provides bus service for much of the urbanized Fairbanks Metropolitan Statistical Area, the northernmost such area in the US...

, an agency of the borough government, since 1977. Bus service links much of the urban Fairbanks area, with most routes connecting at the downtown transit center. University Bus Lines, a private company, existed for several decades before MACS started. The company, which was owned first by Paul Greimann and later by Walt Conant, mainly linked downtown Fairbanks with the university campus and the military bases.

Commercial airlines connect Fairbanks to the rest of Alaska as well as the lower 48 and select international destinations via Fairbanks International Airport
Fairbanks International Airport
Fairbanks International Airport is a state-owned public-use airport located three miles southwest of the central business district of Fairbanks, a city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska....

.

Rail transport


After large-scale gold mining began north of Fairbanks, miners wanted to build a railroad from the steamboat docks on the Chena River to the mine sites in the hills north of the city. The result was the Tanana Mines Railroad, which started operations in September 1905, using what had been the first steam locomotive in the Yukon Territory. In 1907, the railroad was reorganized and named the Tanana Valley Railroad. The railroad continued expanding until 1910, when the first gold boom began to falter and the introduction of automobiles into Fairbanks took business away from the railroad. Despite these problems, railroad backers envisioned a rail line extending from Fairbanks to Seward
Seward, Alaska
Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,016....

 on the Gulf of Alaska, home to the Alaska Central Railway.

In 1914, the U.S. Congress appropriated $35 million for construction of the Alaska Railroad system, but work was delayed by the outbreak of World War I. Three years later, the Alaska Railroad purchased the Tanana Valley Railroad, which had suffered from the wartime economic problems. Rail workers built a line extending northwest from Fairbanks, then south to Nenana
Nenana, Alaska
Nenana is a Home Rule City in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Nenana lies at the juncture of the Nenana River and the Tanana River. The population was 402 at the 2000 census. "Nenana" means 'a good place to camp between two rivers.'-History...

, where President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 hammered in the ceremonial final spike in 1923. The rail yards of the Tanana Valley Railroad were converted for use by the Alaska Railroad, and Fairbanks became the northern end of the line and its second-largest depot.

From 1923 to 1994, the Alaska Railroad's Fairbanks terminal was in downtown Fairbanks, just north of the Chena River. In May 2005, the Alaska Railroad opened a new terminal northwest of downtown, and that terminal is in operation today. In summer, the railroad operates tourist trains to and from Fairbanks, and it operates occasional passenger trains throughout the year. The majority of its business through Fairbanks is freight. The railroad is planning an expansion of the rail line from Fairbanks to connect the city via rail with Delta Junction
Delta Junction, Alaska
Delta Junction is a city in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 897. The city is located a short distance south of the confluence of the Delta River with the Tanana River, which is at Big Delta...

, about 100 miles (160.9 km) southeast.

Points of interest

  • Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge
    Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge
    Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is an 1,800 acre bird sanctuary, located within the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and partially within the city limits of Fairbanks. It consists of wetlands, fields, and forests...

  • El Dorado Gold Mine
    El Dorado Gold Mine
    The El Dorado Gold Mine is a gold mine and tourist attraction at the unincorporated community of Fox, near Fairbanks, Alaska. Originally founded in the early 1900s, the El Dorado mine underwent a gradual transformation in the latter half of the 20th century into an informational mine and tour...

  • Fairbanks Curling Club
  • Georgeson Botanical Garden
    Georgeson Botanical Garden
    The Georgeson Botanical Garden is located at 117 West Tanana Drive on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. The five acre garden hosts a variety of research and educational programs in subarctic horticulture. It is open to the public during daylight hours, May through...

  • Gold Dredge No. 8
  • Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station
  • Pioneer Park
  • Riverboat Discovery
    Riverboat Discovery
    The Riverboat Discovery is a tour company in Fairbanks, Alaska which operates sternwheel riverboats on the Chena and Tanana rivers.-History:The Riverboat Discovery business was founded in 1950 by Jim Binkley, a former freight riverboat captain on the Yukon River...

  • Sternwheeler Tanana Chief
  • University of Alaska Museum of the North
    University of Alaska Museum of the North
    The University of Alaska Museum of the North is housed on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.-Mission:The museum's mission is to acquire, conserve, investigate, and interpret specimens and collections relating to the natural, artistic, and cultural heritage of Alaska and the Circumpolar North...

  • July's Golden Days Parade
    Golden Days Parade
    The Golden Days Parade occurs in July in Fairbanks, Alaska every year as part of the Golden Days Festival, a multi-day festival that honors the city's past. The Golden Days Parade is one of the most popular festival events...

  • Birch Hill Recreation Area

Sister cities

Aix-les-Bains
Aix-les-Bains
Aix-les-Bains is a commune in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.It is situated on the shore of Lac du Bourget, by rail north of Chambéry.-Geography:...

, France Erdenet
Erdenet
Erdenet is the third-largest city in Mongolia and the capital of the aimag of Orkhon.Located in the northern part of the country, it lies in a valley between the Selenge and Orkhon rivers about 150 miles northwest of Ulan Bator, the capital...

, Mongolia Fanano
Fanano
Fanano is a comune in the Province of Modena in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 50 km southwest of Bologna and about 50 km south of Modena....

, Italy Mo i Rana
Mo i Rana
Mo i Rana is a town in the municipality of Rana, Nordland, Norway, located just south of the Arctic Circle and in the region Helgeland. The town is called "Mo i Rana" to distinquish it from other places named Mo - most notably the town of Mosjøen, also in Helgeland - though locally the town is...

, Norway Monbetsu
Monbetsu, Hokkaido
-External links:* *...

, Japan (dormant) Tainan City, Taiwan Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, India Yakutsk
Yakutsk
With a subarctic climate , Yakutsk is the coldest city, though not the coldest inhabited place, on Earth. Average monthly temperatures range from in July to in January. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast...

, Russia Richland, Washington
Richland, Washington
Richland is a city in Benton County in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia Rivers. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 48,058. April 1, 2011 estimates from the Washington State Office of Financial Management put the...


Additional reading


  • Boswell, John. History of Alaskan Operations of United States Smelting, Refining, and Mining Company. Fairbanks. University of Alaska, Mineral Industries Research Laboratory, 1979.
  • Cashen, William. Farthest North College President. Charles E. Bunnell and the Early History of the University of Alaska. Fairbanks. University of Alaska Press, 1972.
  • Cloe, John and Monaghan, Michael. Top Cover for America. Missoula, Montana. Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1984.
  • Cole, Terrence. The Cornerstone on College Hill: An Illustrated History of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Fairbanks. University of Alaska Press, 1994.
  • Cooley, Richard. Fairbanks, Alaska: A Survey of Progress. Juneau. Alaska Development Board, June 1954.
  • Davis, Neil. The College Hill Chronicles: How the University of Alaska Came of Age. Fairbanks. University of Alaska Foundation, 1992.
  • Dixon, Mim. What Happened to Fairbanks? The Effects of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline on the Community of Fairbanks, Alaska. Boulder, Colorado. Westview Press, 1978.
  • Kirchner, L.D. Flag Over the North, The Story of the Northern Commercial Company. Seattle. Superior Publishing Company, 1954.
  • Kruse, John A. Fairbanks Community Survey. Fairbanks. Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1976.
  • Movius, Phyllis. The Role of Women in the Founding and Development of Fairbanks, Alaska, 1903-1923. Fairbanks. University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1996.
  • Naske, Claus, and Rowinski, L.J. Fairbanks: A Pictoral History. Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Donning Company, 1981.
  • Patty, Ernest. North Country Challenge. New York. David McKay, 1949.
  • Potter, Jean. Alaska Under Arms. New York. Macmillan, 1942.
  • Potter, Jean. The Flying North. New York. Macmillan, 1947.
  • Rickard, T.A. Through the Yukon and Alaska. San Francisco. Mining and Scientific Press, 1909.
  • Robe, Cecil. The Penetration of an Alaskan Frontier, The Tanana Valley and Fairbanks. Ph.D.
    Ph.D.
    A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

     dissertation, Yale University
    Yale University
    Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

    , 1943.
  • Wickersham, James. Old Yukon. Washington, D.C. Washington Law Book Co., 1938.
  • Wold, Jo Anne. This Old House. Anchorage. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., 1976.
  • Wold, Jo Anne. Fairbanks: The $200 Million Gold Rush Town. Fairbanks. Wold Press, 1971.


External links