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People can question climate change all they want, but according to a couple Kenai Peninsula scientists, one change in the climate in 1968-69 might be exactly why there is an abundance of moose in our back yard today.

Exactly how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula became obvious when KDLL welcomed retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory biologist to the studio.

Wiki Commons

 

An increased presence on social media has been a cornerstone for borough mayor Charlie Pierce since he took office. His administration has posted videos and updates and now, a poll. While online polls might be interesting or entertaining, rarely are they valid.

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

A natural gas storage well in Kenai is looking to expand. Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, CINGSA filed a petition earlier this month with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska seeking assurance cost for a redundancy project.

 

Small and local is still the flavor for the majority of businesses around the Peninsula, but as many of their owners would tell you, getting those ventures off the ground is anything but a straightforward process.

 

 


 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly had another lengthy meeting Tuesday night, fine tuning the borough budget. After nixing mayor Charlie Pierce’s proposal to use money from the borough’s land trust fund to help balance the budget, the assembly adjusted some of the other proposals from the administration.

One of the bills the Alaska Legislature passed in its flurry of activity to adjourn Saturday was a statewide workplace smoking ban. Starting Oct. 1, pretty much any place that people work, it will be illegal to smoke.

The measure, Senate Bill 63, had been held up for years by Anchorage Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux. She finally let it pass out of committee Saturday, but only with a provision that allows communities to opt out of the regulations.

Jay Barrett/KDLL

Racers didn’t let the relentlessly level topography of Kenai stop them from competing in the Kenai Rotary Club’s annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday. As they’ve done for the past few years, organizers created their own hill in the parking lot of the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility and the Challenger Learning Center.

“Yeah, we have this semi truck deck that has the ramps coming off of it and then with the extra ramps with the release to give them more speed right off the bat,” said Rotarian Meg Meuller, who was helping racers at the finish line.

Alaska Gasline Development Corporation

 

The AK LNG project seems to be picking up some steam. A former partner in the project, BP, came back aboard last week with an agreement to supply North Slope gas to the 800-mile trans state pipeline.

 

Borough mayor Charlie Pierce has released his administration’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. While projections anticipate more than $77 million in revenues, the borough is still expected to run a deficit of nearly $4.5 million.


Kenai Watershed Forum

 

Submission of a state water quality report to the federal government is on hold again. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s integrated water quality and assessment is overdue by five years.

 

 


The Alaska Oil and Gas Association has announced its yearly industry awards in advance of its annual conference scheduled for the end of the month in Anchorage.

Among them are awards for safety, environmental stewardship, and lifetime achievement.

The Rising Star Award, according to the association, "honors an oil and gas industry professional under the age of 35, who has made an immediate and definitive impact on the oil and gas industry in Alaska."

 On this week's edition of Econ 919, we take a look at the effort to fund the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, and as the budget season draws to a close, we find out what a fiscal year is and why we have them.

 

Any effort to grow the city of Soldotna will have to wait at least a few more weeks. The council voted to postpone a vote on a resolution that would advance the annexation process at its meeting Wednesday night.

Aaron Bolton/KBBI

 

As the new borough administration continues to look for ways to balance the budget, some of those ideas will have effects in the borough’s cities. City managers, council members and others got together this week to discuss the latest plans from the borough administration.

 

 


Facebook screenshot

  As the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's academic year winds down, it's budget season is heating up. Superintendent Sean Dusek took to Facebook Tuesday night, as he does regularly to field questions about the district, and began with some comments about the district's budget picture.

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

A new visitor’s center in Soldotna is edging a bit closer to reality. The chamber of commerce has long sought a new location for a convention and visitor’s center.

Bjørn Olson

  Across Kachemak Bay from Homer, just up the coast from Halibut Cove, is Grewingk Lake, a popular daytrip destination for visitors. Just a short water taxi ride from Homer, the lake is fed by its namesake glacier.

There'll be one new face on the Homer Electric Association board of directors after election results were tallied May 3 at the cooperative's annual meeting in Homer.

HEA members cast 3,196 ballots in person and by mail for the election which had three seats on the nine-member board up for grabs.

Incumbent Dave Carey, a former mayor of Soldotna and the Borough, ran unopposed for the seat representing Kenai, Nikiski, and Soldotna. It will be his 10th term on the board.

 

Despite a vote to legalize and regulate commercial cannabis sales in 2014, economists are only now beginning to put together a picture a the new industry, which is still barely a blip on the radar compared to the state’s other big industries.

 


Due to a power outage that damaged breakers at the KDLL transmitter site, KDLL was off the air for part of the weekend. Thanks to Kelly's Electric for helping us get operational this morning. We'll need to do a little more work to completely remedy the problem but we'll do it with scheduled maintenance later this month to avoid another unplanned outage. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

BlueCrest Alaska Operating is facing $20,000 in civil fines after failing safety valve inspections. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced the fines in an April 26th order.

 

At the heart of the debate about the borough’s budget is the borough’s land trust fund. It’s got $7.5 million in it right now, but that money isn’t doing much, and there’s not a solid plan for what could be done with it.

 

 


Hardscratch Press

  The latest Alaska-centric biographic work from Hardscratch Press is out now, and is focused on commercial fishing in Cook Inlet. “The 50-Year Summer,” the story of David Leuthe's decades of returning to Kenai from Wisconsin was published in January. Publisher Jackie Pels gave KDLL a preview of "The 50-Year Summer" when she was in Kenai last fall.

 

Leuthe died in 2015, and the book was completed by his widow Lynne working with Pels.

 

The means of selecting or letting go department heads in the city of Kenai could be changing.

Kenai Marine Mammal Monitoring Project

  Beluga whale watching used to be a popular attraction around Kenai, but for the past 20-some years sightings have become increasingly rare. And, for most of the year, the small white whales are few and far between in this part of Cook Inlet. It's no wonder they are being intensively studied.

One effort, the Kenai Marine Mammal Monitoring Project, is a community-based citizen-science program, overseen by Kim Ovitz, a fellow with the University of Alaska Sea Grant Program.

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