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The new alert system designed to better inform Kenai Peninsula Borough residents of vital emergency information will have its capacity tested this week, and you’re all invited to participate.

KPB Alerts, the phone, mobile, and text mass notification system, was put in place earlier this year after a large earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska exposed shortcomings in the previous system. One of the last steps is to test the voice-calling capability, which will start on Wednesday.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

The turnout for the big race Sunday in Soldotna was competitive with other major running events in the area — 110 preregistered racers and another 100 signed up at the start line. The course was laid out with plenty of signage and aid stations at the top of the incline and at the turnaround. And race swag was available so people could boast of their big athletic accomplishment.

If you looked closely, though, the distance printed on the braggy stickers and T-shirts was point 5 K. As in, a half a kilometer. A third of a mile. Sixteen hundred forty-ish feet, and every one of them for a good cause.

“We want to eradicate cancer, we want to raise money for programs and research and in about a hundred years or so, we don’ t want to hear anyone say, ‘You have cancer,’” said Johna Beech, event chair for the local Relay for Life organization.


The mystery remains for a third day of a Palmer man who went missing late Friday night along the Seward Highway.

The Alaska State Troopers report online that 56-year-old Earl “Rocky” Ashworth III of Palmer had walked away in an unknown direction from his camp near the Hope Cutoff.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

In a small room of a little building on the Kenaitze Indian Tribe campus in Old Town Kenai, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams heard a big message — comprehensive, integrated care is the way to treat those trapped in the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Adams was touring Alaska this week with a particular focus on learning how the opioid epidemic is affecting the state. He visited Kenai on Thursday specifically to tour the tribe’s Dena’ina Wellness Center and Henu’ Community Wellness Court.

“It would be incredibly presumptuous and, in my opinion, incredibly wrong of me to think that we can sit in Washington, D.C. and figure out what folks need in any part of the United States, and especially out in Alaska,” Adams said. “So it’s important to get out and find out what’s working well and what’s not working. And I’ve heard from many folks that the Wellness Center is an example of how to provide many services in an integrated way to individuals, and that’s why we came here.”


The interior of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is opening up to vehicles tonight via the Mystery Creek Access Road. The refuge and a portion of the Alaska Pipeline Company's right-of way corridor will open at midnight.

The access road is at about mile 63 of the Sterling Highway, and is within the current highway construction area so the refuge cautions that the appearance of the turn-off has changed from previous years.

Here’s something we haven’t shared in the Central Kenai Peninsula sportsfishing report before. Angling for salmon on the Kenai River is exclusively fly fishing at the moment. The vast majority of the river is still closed from end-to-end, but, in that portion around the confluence of the Russian River, you can try your hand at fly casting.

Both Areas A and B are fly-fishing only. They are bounded by the power line crossing the river on the west end and ADF&G markers on the east. Sportsman’s Landing at Mile 55 is about in the middle.

 

Last week, small business owners got together in Soldotna at the still-under-construction Addie Camp restaurant to brainstorm how to support more new, local businesses and what needs to exist in the broader community to help make that happen. Leading the exercise was Nigel Sharp, a global entrepreneur in residence at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

 


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Three of the candidates hoping to become the Republican nominee for the governor’s race shared their views at a joint Kenai-Soldotna Chamber of Commerce forum Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, former Mat-Su state Sen. Mike Dunleavy and Michael Sheldon shared their views on the state budget, economy, crime, fisheries and many other issues.


Nikiski is identified as the best terminus for the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline Project submitted by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to keep it that way.

At its meeting Tuesday, the borough assembly gave the administration the green light to apply for intervener status with the Federal Regulatory Commission as it considers AGDC’s AK LNG project. Having the status to intervene means the borough can weigh in on the project proposal with FERC. The deadline to apply to intervene is long past — May 1, 2017 — but the borough didn’t think that step was necessary at the time.

Now, though, other municipalities in the state are telling FERC the terminus should be somewhere other than Nikiski. John Quick, borough Mayor Charlie Pierce’s chief of staff, says the borough wants to be able to counter those claims.

Tobacco users could be a source of additional revenue to the Kenai Peninsula Borough if the assembly approves an ordinance coming up for consideration.

Borough Assembly Member Willy Dunne, of Homer, would like to impose an excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The measure came before the assembly’s Policies and Procedures Committee on Tuesday. Committee Chair Hal Smalley summarized the proposal.

Edited salmon initiative OK'd for ballot

Aug 9, 2018

Backers of the ballot initiative touted to protect salmon habitat won a somewhat split decision in the Alaska Supreme Court Wednesday and it will appear on the November General Election ballot, though in edited form

The Stand for Salmon Initiative had been challenged by the Lt. Governor for making resource decisions via the ballot, which the Alaska Constitution prohibits. The Alaska Supreme Court, in a decision with one partial dissent, sent the case back to Superior Court with orders that the Lt. Governor be directed to place it on the ballot with two retractions.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

With the state of Alaska emerging from the financial doldrums brought by low oil prices, one area of the budget that may soon see more spending is law enforcement. That was the message residents had for Senator Peter Micciche at a town hall meeting in Kenai Monday night.

 

 


Absentee voting places are open across the state of Alaska now, and will be through Primary Election Day on Aug. 21.

Alaska election law allows for a quartet of ways to vote absentee, including in-person, by mail, by fax or electronically, or through a personal representative. 

This year Alaskans will vote on half the state’s senators, all the state house members, our governor and his lieutenant, and for U.S. House.

Several Central Peninsula campgrounds partially closed because of a bear encounter are open again.

Two weeks ago the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge temporarily closed three campgrounds to tent camping for public safety because of a bear encounter in one of them. An unidentified camper was scratched and their tent was damaged after a black bear came calling at the Lower Ohmer Campground on July 21.

In what is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal sportsfishing season, the bag and possession limits on the Kasilof River has been liberalized in an effort to minimize what is now expected to be an over-escapement of sockeye salmon.

In an emergency order, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the bag and possession limits to six fish per day and 12 fish in possession; however, no more than two salmon per day and two in possession may be coho salmon, in all portions of the Kasilof River open to salmon fishing.

With all the closures and restrictions lately, one wouldn’t be blamed if they thought there were no more angling opportunities in the central Kenai Peninsula. But they'd be wrong.

First of all, dip-netting is still open at the mouth of the Kasilof River, with just a couple caveats: One, any king salmon caught must be immediately returned to the water, and two, the fishery is for Alaska residents only. Other than that, Fish and Game says dip-netting success on the Kasilof remains good.

City of Kenai

 

The Kenai city council adopted a resolution at its meeting this week that helps pay for one of the city’s newest tools, beach magnets.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra kicked off its annual summer concert series this week, ahead of its big gala performance later this month.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The crowded field of candidates for Lieutenant Governor spans the political spectrum and features both political veterans and newcomers. Six of them were in Kenai Wednesday for a Chamber of Commerce forum.

 

 


The disastrous 2018 sockeye salmon run continues to claim its victims. First, Cook Inlet commercial fishermen were ordered to take their nets from the water, and then on Sunday it was the Kenai River dipnetters. 

Now, in an emergency order from Fish and Game, sports fishing for sockeye salmon is closed on the Kenai River from its mouth to Kenai Lake, starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

There is still an exception around the confluence of the Russian River to fish that river’s late run sockeye, which looks good with an escapement of 70,000.

The filing window for residents interested in serving on local city councils, assemblys, and boards has opened. Candidate filing and nomination packets are available now until August 15 for those interested in running for office.

There are two seats available on the Kenai City Council and three on the Soldotna Council.

A Kenai man was killed while crossing the Kenai Spur Highway Tuesday night. The Kenai Police Department reports that 36-year-old Monte Necessary was struck and killed by a westbound sedan.

The driver of the sedan was 75-year-old Roger Seibert, also of Kenai. He was not reported to be injured.

The incident took place on the Kenai Spur Highway near its intersection with North Spruce Street. Next of Kin has been notified and the investigation is ongoing.

 

A five mile stretch of the Seward Highway south of Turnagain Arm was closed for at least two hours Tuesday.

www.leafly.com

 

Nearly two years after cannabis business went legal in Alaska, the industry is still growing in the city of Kenai.

Jay Barrett/KDLL

While Gov. Bill Walker was in Kenai on Friday, he took some time to listen to the concerns of over a hundred Cook Inlet commercial fishermen about management of salmon in the district during this year of low returns. It was a generally cordial meeting but there were many direct questions. Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton joined Gov. Walker and was called upon several times to defend Fish and Game policy. Lack of faith in escapement policy also arose.

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