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Ballots for this fall’s municipal elections have been finalized, and most of the heated campaigning will be left for elections further up the political food chain.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly could be offering some opinion on annexation proceedings in Soldotna when it meets next.

Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District

    When the sixth annual Harvest Moon Local Food Week takes place in the Central Kenai Peninsula, there’ll be a new group activity to look forward too.

In addition to the two walking tours in search of wild edibles, the keynote address from Delta Junction barley farmer Bryce Wrigley, and an all-day party at Soldotna Creek Park, the whole thing will kick off this year with a guided tour of three farms.

 

Biking of all stripes is growing in popularity on the Kenai Peninsula. To be fair, it’s happening it lots of other places, too. On the Peninsula, countless volunteer hours have been spent building and maintaining local trails, but infrastructure investment for bike and other multi-use paths is happening, too.

 

 


Tsalteshi Trails Association

Biking of all kinds, in all seasons, continues to grow in popularity on the Kenai Peninsula. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk with Brian Beeson from Beemun's Bike and Ski Loft about all things two-wheeled and how to keep pedaling even as summer winds down. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

 

For more than 20 years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has teamed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote health fish habitat through a cost share program that helps landowners pay for rehabilitation work along the Kenai river.

On Tuesday night Alaska State Troopers were summoned to Duke Street in Nikiski after reports of a verbal disturbance.

According to an online dispatch, after an investigation the troopers arrested 41-year-old Michael Ohms on two charges of animal cruelty, violating a protective order, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Efforts continue to locate a Wisconsin man who went missing when his boat capsized on the Kenai River Monday evening.

The missing man was identified by Alaska State Troopers as 68-year-old Daniel Hass of Algoma, Wisconsin.

Two other men were rescued after their boat overturned near Moose Medows. Troopers ID'd them as 68-year-old Charles Bohman and 64-year-old Lawrence Paul, both also of Algoma.

A Kenai man found himself a guest of the state Monday night after enjoying the view of the Kenai River from the wrong place.

At about 6:41 the Kenai Police Department received a report of a man sitting on the railing of the Warren Ames Memorial Bridge over the Kenai River just south of downtown. The concerned caller requested a welfare check on the man.

When officers arrived, they found 57-year-old Terre (terry) Sam Jones riding the rail.

The close state house and senate races on the Kenai Peninsula are are yet to be certified, but the leads have flipped with the counting of absentee and questioned ballots.

This year Alaska’s largest telecom company has increased the amount of money it’s contributing to suicide prevention programs around the state. In a grant administered by the Alaska Community Foundation, 10 organizations around the state, including Kenai, will split the $130,000 from GCI.

Last year the company launched the Suicide Prevention Grant Program with $100,000. Kate Slyker, GCI’s chief marketing officer, said the response then was overwhelming, and the company looks forward to an even larger impact this year.

It looks like there's suddenly plenty of fishing opportunity on the Kenai River. Not only has fishing for red salmon reopened on Thursday last week, but Fish and Game says the other shades of salmon are plentiful as well.

Fishing for silver salmon has been reported as good, with additional catch of pinks also being caught.

 

What to do with the nearly $8 million dollars in the borough’s land trust fund was a central question this year as the borough budget was being put together. The mayor’s office wanted to use a portion to help fill the borough’s budget gap, but, the assembly wanted to see a fresh investment plan before the fund was used for general expenditures. That plan has been finalized, and will get a public hearing next week.

 


University of Alaska

Fall classes begin at Kenai Peninsula College Monday. The official number of students isn’t known yet, with fall schedules still being amended. But the number continues to inch closer to 3,000.

 

The state’s biggest economic engine, for good or ill, remains oil and gas.

 

 


Kenai Peninsula Borough

 

The ordinance authorizing the purchase of land for a new Central Emergency Services station gets its next public hearing next week before the borough planning and zoning commission.

State of Alaska

 

The state’s primary elections are over, but the final candidate list for the general election hasn’t been decided yet. Most notably, the Republican primary for Senate District O on the central peninsula, has been a surprise.

 

 


 

 

From the ‘Better Late than Never’ files we have this item: sockeye salmon fishing on the Kenai River will open once again this year.

The announcement came Tuesday afternoon from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after the escapement exceeded 900,000 late run red salmon passing the river mile 19 sonar.

Sports Fish Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller said the department was glad to be able to offer another opportunity for folks to fish for sockeye as the season winds down.

In what appears to be a major upset in yesterday's primary elections in Senate District O, political newcomer Ron Gillham has defeated incumbent Sen. Peter Micciche.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, figures from the Alaska Division of Elections show Gillham pulled in 2,575 votes in the closed Republican primary for 50.12 percent of the 5,138 votes cast.

Micciche was close behind with 2,563 votes for 49.88 percent.

Seventy-two years ago electricity in Homer started flowing from a 75,000 watt diesel generator, supplying power to 56 members who had come together to form the Homer Electric Association.

Today, there are a few more customers throughout the Kenai Peninsula and 80-million watts of electricity coming from a variety of sources, which still includes diesel. But the member-owned co-op has added hydroelectric, natural gas turbines and recovered heat generation.

Now, the board is looking at adding solar-electric.

Courtest USDA

There’s an experiment growing in the borough’s gravel pit in Cooper Landing and it’s ready for harvest.

“There was a project about two years ago that result in an area being reclaimed. And so we had this nice, flat surface that was freshly top-soiled, and we’re looking at what to do with it in the long term. And for a temporary measure, we did some barley trials,” said Marcus Meuller, land management officer for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Meuller said the department has been working toward an agriculture initiative to find ways to use borough land to make agriculture more available for residents, and the barley experiment fits right in.


Let’s get a little awkward, shall we, and discuss the birds and the bees. At least, the teaching of the birds and the bees, which has become a little more cumbersome since the passage of the Alaska Safe School Act. HB 156 went into effect in 2017 and requires school boards to review and approve outside presenters and materials used to teach sex ed, and grants parents the ability to opt their student out of any curriculum area or assessment.

Not all outside presenters and materials have to be approved by the school board. Historians, scientists, poets and so on, are still fine, only those teaching human reproduction. HB 156 had a controversial path into law. Some saw it as an attempt to limit sex ed, in a state where rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies rank among the highest in the nation. Others argued the additional scrutiny was a way to raise awareness and get parents and communities more involved in curriculum.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s school board had its yearly review of supplemental sex ed materials at its Aug. 6 meeting.


In an effort to keep anglers occupied on the tail end of the summer fishing season, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is rolling out recommendations for an increasing number of sports fish within reach of the Central Peninsula.

For example, in the Resurrection Bay fishing report from the department, the listing of fish species from stream mouths to the pelagic deep include: shrimp, lingcod, halibut, rockfish, Dolly Varden, and of course salmon, both coho and chinook.

Emily Kwong/KCAW

Opioids like heroin affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing. An overdose depresses respiration to dangerous levels. Minutes, and even seconds, count in treating an overdose.

That’s why the U.S. Surgeon General is advocating greater awareness of the opioid antidote Naloxone, sold under its brand name, Narcan, which can counteract the effects of an overdose almost immediately.

Dr. Jerome Adams visited Kenai last week and sang the praises of Project Hope, a state program that provides Narcan kits to the public.

“First responders can’t typically get there in the four minutes it takes to get a hypoxic brain injury,” Adams said. “So if we want to turn around this opioid epidemic, if we want to avoid losing a generation, we need more people willing to carry naloxone with them, keep it in their homes. Because anyone can find themselves in the position to be first a responder.”


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Candidates for the Northern Kenai Peninsula House District 29 agreed on more issues than not in a forum held by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce on Wednesday in Kenai. There were differences in priorities and approaches, however.

Ben Carpenter is a 1993 Nikiski High School graduate who is retiring from 21 years of military service this year. He has a peony farm with his family and works as project manager for Epperheimer, Inc., and says his lack of political experience is a mark in his favor.

“We cannot continue to do the same thing that we’ve always done. We cannot continue to think the same way that we’ve always thought and expect different results. We need people out of the communities who have never participated in politics to step forward and get involved. And that is the only way that we are going to right this state,” Carpenter said.

His first priority is cutting government.


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