Meet Tokite, Business Owner: Francine Lee

This is the first post of an ongoing series profiling people from Tok, Alaska. Gearing up for the summer so you know who everyone is in these parts!

Name: Francine Lee, Owner

Business: Tok General Store
Web Site:
Contact Info: po box 661   mp 1313.5 Ak Hwy  Tok, Ak.  99780

Phone: 907-883-8343,   fax 907-883-8344,   email

Q: What is your businesses?

A: Retail outlet majoring in Health foods and health and beauty items.  Some general merchandise such as camping gear, clothes, gifts and other items.  Also the AT&T dealer  for the area

Q: Why do you do what you do?

A: I primarily want to offer healthy food and beauty items to the community.

Q: Why do you do it in Tok?

I moved here 18 + years ago and much of our family lives here.

Q: What would you like folks passing through Tok this summer to know about your business?

A: If you are looking for  alternative health foods, Cell phone sales and service or gifts and supplies for your trip – come on in and see what is available.  You will be surprised at the choices available here.

Are you coming through Tok this year? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!

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The -71 Degrees Temp Reading in Tok Alaska

I had mentioned previously that I had a photo on my phone that my hubby texted me from his phone that I couldn’t figure out how to get off the phone and onto the Web but FINALLY figured it out.

Of course, the solution involves AT&T and their viewing web site for multimedia files and the pic is tiny, but hopefully it will show up well enough to make out that it does indeed say -71. This is the day before the -80 registered, I believe.

There are interested parties who will be looking at the Davis weather station data soon. Hopefully, I’ll have those updates.


Davis won’t vouch for these kind of readings, of course. What do YOU think? Malfunction? Or just pretty darn cold?

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The Latest on Internet Connectivity in Tok, Alaska

AT&T Mobility LLCImage via WikipediaAfter several more calls with AT&T and then a conversation with AP&T (Alaska Power & Telephone), the word was:

“Yes, we service Tok and you can get an Internet card from us to access the Internet. We even have a tower there.” (AT&T rep)

“No, we don’t service Tok at all, andyou won’t even be able to get any cellphone signal in Tok.” (AT&T rep)

“No, we definitely don’t service Tok. It doesn’t even show up on my map.” (AT&T rep)

“Yes, of course AT&T services Tok, at least in town. They even sell AT&T cellphones at the General Store.” (AP&T rep)

So I called AT&T once and for all, explained all the conflicting reports, and finally found out:

1. Yes, AT&T services Tok but possibly through an agreement with another telecom which is why it doesn’t show up on their computers and looks like they don’t service that area;

2. Yes, if they service Tok with cell service, then I can also use their Internet card on my MacBook (but I luckily told the guy that MacBooks don’t have card slots and he confirmed their USB version would work for me).

So this is my “only for special occasions when I need higher bandwidth” Internet access. It is $60/month for 500-800K upload and 600k – 1.4 Meg download with a 5 Gig monthly bandwidth limit. And if it doesn’t work, I have a 30-day trial period where I can return it and get a full refund ($99.99 for the USB device).

This will supplement my 512K upload/download DSL connection with a 10 Gig monthly bandwidth limit ($169.95/month) which might be good enough for basic email without causing me to pull out large chunks of hair from my head.*

Still no call back from Starband. Two weeks, two calls, and counting.

Also found out from AP&T that is another satellite option. Will see what they offer, too.

Basically, I’m cobbling together several Internet access options so I can continue to work from Tok.

*And a ray of hope: AP&T is converting to fiber optic and hopes to offer 3 Meg upload/download speeds sometime late Summer of 2009. I’ll be waiting with bells on!

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