News

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Where there's smoke there's good beer flavor and let's hear it for the women in brewing history. Bill also checks in with Bleeding Heart Brewery in Palmer and get details about the Cooper Landing's plans to build a new brewery.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

The Kenai city council approved new rules for gravel and other surface material extraction at its meeting this week.

It’s been nearly 30 years since the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, and mitigation projects that sprang up as a result of the spill are still going on around the state and here on the peninsula. 


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A race for the school board in Sterling and Funny River is one of the most contested in the upcoming municipal election. Four people are vying for that one seat.


Kenai’s second annual silver salmon derby continues this weekend. It’s put on by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

As the big time political races across the state and nation heat up, the race for a pair of Kenai city council seats is relatively docile by comparison. Bob Molloy is seeking reelection against Robert Peterkin Jr. and Teea Winger.

 

 


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The District 2 — Kenai seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education is up for election. Incumbent Tim Navarre faces challenger Matt Morse.

Navarre has held his school district seat since 2009, is also currently on the Kenai City Council, has served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and was the chief of staff under borough Mayor John Williams. He is vice president of the family’s business, Zan, Inc., which owns the local Arby’s restaurants.

Morse graduated from Kenai Central High School, went off to college in Fairbanks and returned to Kenai to work in the family business, Partner Management Recruiters South Central Alaska.


Election coverage continues on the Kenai Conversation. Host Jenny Neyman visits with candidates for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education. In District 2 — Kenai, Matt Morse is running against incumbent Tim Navarre. In District 5 — Sterling/Funny River, incumbent Marty Anderson has three challengers — Nissa Fowler, Greg Madden and Karyn Griffin. Anderson is out of state for work and was not able to participate, and attempts to reach Griffin have not been successful.

A lost ball turns into a fuzz frenzy for a community of prairie dogs in "The Great Fuzz Frenzy," by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, read by Sally Cassano. Will the Big Bark steal the fun or save the day?

Hurricane Florence has an unintended impact this week — a planned, nationwide emergency alert system test is being postponed to not confuse people during ongoing response efforts in the Carolinas.  

Thursday was supposed to be the day for a test of the nationwide Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. This includes the Emergency Alert System, which makes those test tones you hear periodically on TV and radio stations — including KDLL, and Wireless Emergency Alerts, which sends alert messages to cell phones.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Last week, we reported on a panel discussion that took place in Soldotna about salmon habitat. One of the takeaways from that event was the fact that in many areas of the world that have lost their wild salmon runs, gone too is a culture based around salmon. But on the Kenai Peninsula, both the fish and the culture they spawn remain.

 

 


 

Courtesy of the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District

Saturday’s Harvest Moon Local Food Festival at Soldotna Creek Park fed on the area’s growing interest in eating locally.

“A lot of folks turned out. We’ve got a beautiful day, blue skies and lots of vendors, and it’s pretty lively,” said Heidi Chay, manager of the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District and one of the organizers of the festival, which served as the culmination of a week of events celebrating local foods.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

 

Fish politics are a focal point this election season. A statewide ballot initiative seeking to change the state’s habitat protection laws for salmon is getting all sorts of public debate, in the news, on television and radio commercials and, in local forums.

 

 


 

This week, we’re taking a look at a long-awaited capitol project that voters will decide on during the fall elections. A new school at Kachemak-Selo.

 

 


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

How far back does your memory of Soldotna go? Do you recall the old two-lane Sterling Highway bridge over the Kenai River, before the current one was finished in 2007? How about the one before that, started in 1948, when the Alaska Road Commission was just beginning to push the Sterling Highway on toward Kasilof?

Al Hershberger does. That first bridge is what brought him to Soldotna.

The issue of annexation nearly gave Brent Hibbert a challenger for his seat on the borough assembly. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll talk about that issue and many more as they relate to Hibbert's run for a full three year term on the assembly.


 

The race for the borough assembly seat in district one, representing the K-Beach area and parts of Kenai and Soldotna, remains uncontested. Brent Hibbert is seeking reelection for a full three year term. He made his way to the assembly in 2016 when Gary Knopp was elected to the House of Representatives. The longtime owner of Alaska Cab Company spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran this week about his first partial term and what he would like to get done in the next three years.

 

 


Shel Silverstein delights with a selection of poems: “The Googies Are Coming,” read by Anya Hondel, “Hug of War,” read by Skylar Lyon, “Zebra Questions,” read by Mandy Samuels, and “Help,” read by Anya Hondel. After that, it’s “Have I got dogs,” by William Cole, read by Mary Whybark.

Courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Alaska seniors and their families, caregivers and service providers have a chance today to let the state know about issues affecting older Alaskans.

The Alaska Commission on Aging is holding a rural outreach meeting in Nome, but along with that, there’s a listening session held by teleconference from 10 a.m. to 1:15 pm today to hear from all over the state.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the Soldotna Senior Center is set up as a teleconference site.

“We’ve got a teleconference set up that we’ll hook up in our game room and anybody that wishes to listen in or speak should be able to through that teleconference line. Topics possible to be discussed are along-t support services, senior housing, elder protection, financial security, healthy aging and identifying community strengths and challenges,” said John Walker, director of the senior center.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Next month, borough voters will be asked to settle three ballot questions. One asks for approval for a new school in Kachemak-Selo, that will cost about $5 million. The state will fund the remaining two-thirds of the project if voters give the ok. The other two deal with the boundaries between the Central and Southern Peninsula Hospital Service Areas.

 

 


 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education looked out at a sea of red in its meeting in Homer on Monday night. Over a hundred teachers and support staff, who are seeing red over unresolved contract negotiations, wore red to the meeting and spoke out about their concerns.

Negotiations for a contract that was supposed to go into effect this school year began in February but have yet to be resolved. The school district and associations representing teachers and support staff went through an unsuccessful round of mediation and now are moving to arbitration. Dave Brighton, president of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association, says it’s been about a decade since a round of negotiations finished on time and without needing outside adjudication.

“I don’t know why it is that every time we go to the negotiations table we end up going all the way through mediation and then arbitration,” Brighton said. “I can’t remember a contract that we’ve had that didn’t go through that. I’m asking you guys to encourage the school district to come to the negotiation table to bargain.”


City of Soldotna

 

The city of Soldotna is tightening down its rules for mobile vendors operating in city limits.

 

Between this year’s low returns and a statewide ballot measure, salmon continue to be a hot topic this fall.

 

Plans to relocate Central Emergency Services Station One in Soldotna are on hold for now. The borough assembly was supposed to vote on an ordinance approving the purchase of property near the intersection of the Sterling and Spur highways at its meeting last week. But that ordinance was withdrawn after the borough was unable to come to terms with one of the property owners.

 

The AK LNG project got a slight boost from federal regulators this week. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, will release its draft environmental impact statement a month ahead of schedule, in February next year.

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