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Photo by Jenny Neyman

The July rush is in full swing, with residents and visitors trying to cram in as much summer activity as possible. But one aspect of Kenai Peninsula life has been quieter than usual this year — wildfire season.


 

Whether at the assembly or at the ballot box, the debate about borough sales tax won’t be ending any time soon.

 

Thursday was a slightly better day for sockeye returns to the Kenai river. But some of those fish coming back have raised a little curiosity.

 

The city of Soldotna has looked at expanding its footprint at various times over the years. The most recent effort goes back almost two years and has potential economic implications for residents, businesses and the city.

 

 


ADOT

It will be a couple of seasons and result in enough delays and inconvenience that by the time the Kenai Spur Highway rehabilitation project from Soldotna to Kenai is done, it will be a welcome relief. That’s because the project will extend five-lane blacktop the entire distance between the Twin Cities.

 

How active a voice should Soldotna’s mayor have? That was a question for debate at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

 

A new route for the Kenai Spur Highway has been decided, should it be needed. But many other questions remain about the AK LNG Project.

City of Kenai officials will be closing access to the Kenai River's Soth Beach tonight and are warning dipnetters not to camp there or on the North Beach.

The reason are extreme high tides overnight that could pose hazards to campers. 

The morning tide Thursday at 3:54 a.m. is forecast to be 23 feet, followed by Friday morning's 4:44 a.m. high tide of 24 feet, and Saturday morning’s high tide at 5:44 will be nearly 25 feet.

Late Tuesday night the National Weather Service in Anchorage issued a special weather statement for high water levels expected on the Kenai River below Skilak Lake.

Water levels on the Kenai River are reported at bank-full just below Skilak Lake and at Kenai Keys, and they are expected to continue rising over the next few days, potentially peaking less than a foot over minor flood stage.

No widespread flooding is expected at this time, but low lying areas may have standing water ponding on them.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will meet in special session in Homer Wednesday. The assembly will hold another public hearing on an ordinance to move the boundary between Central and South Peninsula Hospitals.

ADF&G

The annual personal use dipnet fishery at the mouth of the Kenai River begins Tuesday. But amid expectations of an underperforming salmon return, the City of Kenai, which is host to the fishery, is ready, according to City Manager Paul Ostrander.

 

A proposed ballot measure could change the role of Soldotna’s mayor. Council member Linda Murphy will introduce an ordinance this week to put a question before voters to change the city’s charter, and allow the mayor a vote on the council.

 

More than $800,000 in budget vetoes by Mayor Charlie Pierce stand after a special meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Friday night.

  Here on the Kenai Peninsula we take our sportsfishing seriously. People fly or drive thousands of miles for the opportunity to wet a line in our cold, fish-filled rivers, streams and inlet. Helping visitors do that is a full time job for thousands in a score of industries, and today on Econ 919, we talk with Jim Voss, the developer of a new smartphone app, Alaska Fishtopia, that is designed to take sportsfishing as seriously as the angler who uses it.

 

Late run king salmon fishing reopened on the lower Kenai River on July 1st, however no bait is allowed. King fishing above the ADF&G markers at Slikok Creek is still prohibited.

The Department sonar shows 598 kings have escaped this season. That compares to 820 at this time last year, 1,066 in 2016 and 498 in 2015.

Meanwhile, fishing for king salmon on the Kasilof River has been fair, according to Fish and Game's weekly fishing report.

Couple from APU win Mt. Marathon races

Jul 5, 2018

The 2016 Mount Marathon men's champion and current course record holder took first place in yesterday's grueling race up and down the mountain that looms over Seward.

David Norris, a professional cross country skier for Alaska Pacific University won the 91st running of the event with a time of 42 minutes and 13 seconds. It was almost a minute off his record pace, but it still gave him a 20-second win over professional runner Max King of Bend, Oregon, who is a past World Mountain Running Champion. Adam Jensen of Anchorage finished third.

Redoubt Reporter

Cook Inlet Region Incorporated is expanding its permitting program for public access to the Kenai River this year.

 

 


While many river systems statewide are struggling to achieve their respective salmon escapement goals, there’s one on the Kenai Peninsula that is set to exceed its goal, and as a result, managers have liberalized the catch and possession limit.

In an announcement Monday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the sport-caught sockeye salmon limits for the Russian River and a section of the main stem of the Kenai River to six per day and 12 in possession.

Your electricity bill has gone up through no fault of your own. 

Starting on July 1st, Homer Electric Association bills went up due to an increase in the cost of power adjustment, or COPA. The COPA is added to reflect increases in the cost of natural gas used to generate electricity.

The increase, from roughly 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour to roughly 7.3 cents, an increase of 8.49 percent.

Homer Electric estimates that a residential customer using 550 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will an increase of $3.13.

Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced a trio of new court appointments Monday.

Here in Kenai, Lance Joanis will become a new Superior Court judge. 

Joanis has worked in the district attorney’s offices in Anchorage, Bethel and here in Kenai, and he has been the Assistant Attorney General in Kenai’s Child Protection Section since 2011. 

Joanis graduated from law school at the University of Idaho College of Law and moved to Bethel to take the Alaska bar exam. He replaces Judge Anna Moran who is retiring after seven years in the Superior Court.

Redoubt

 

The start of dipnetting season on the Kenai river is just a week away. Over the years, the city of Kenai has slowly refined how it handles the thousands of visitors that pass through.

 

A special meeting is set for next week regarding borough funding of education and tourism marketing. Borough mayor Charlie Pierce vetoed more than $800,000 in additional borough funding to the school district and the Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission heard more than an hour of public testimony Wednesday night regarding a proposed development near the Kenai river.

 

 


The Soldotna City Council Wednesday night heard some good news about the Three Friends Dog Park. The news was welcome after vandals spread broken glass in the fenced off area recently.

Upgrades have been done and more will be coming thanks to contributions, cash and otherwise, from several organizations, which park booster Connie Hawker said would be acknowledged at the park on a sign.

After being turned aside in May, the Kenai River Sportsfishing Association has won another audience before the Alaska Board of Fisheries regarding problems the lobbying group has with hatchery pink salmon production in Prince William Sound.

In May, the Board punted the issue to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton. Last week Cotton sent a letter to KRSA Executive Director Ricky Gease saying he did not find that an emergency existed and denied the petition.

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