Jenny Neyman

General Manager

Jenny Neyman has been the general manager of KDLL since 2017. Before that she was a reporter and the Morning Edition host at KDLL.
She also worked in print journalism for 15 years, including 7.5 years as owner, publisher and editor of the Redoubt Reporter community newspaper in the central Kenai Peninsula.
She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, and grew up listening to KSTK public radio in Wrangell, AK.

Thanks to Aiden, Heidi, Zoe, Mikey and Vail, fifth-graders at Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science in Kenai, for reading our Tune-In Tale this week, “The Day the Crayons Quit,” by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

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.

Wiki Commons

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.


Wiki Commons

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”


Feeling a little sluggish? "Score One for the Sloths" will make you feel great about your level of motivation. Story by Helen Lester, read by Mandy Samuels.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Dave Ianson thinks rhubarb could be the next big thing in Alaska agriculture, if only growers would show it a little love.

And if you're thinking about raising dairy goats, make sure you plan ahead so your experience doesn't turn sour.

Links from this episode:

Karluk Acres, Julie Wendt and& Paul Vass:

Phone: 907-252-3980

Website: www.karlukacres.com

Facebook: Karluk Acres

Courtesy Soldotna Rotary

This month, Bill reports from the eighth annual Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival and compares the craft brewing industry in Maine vs. Alaska.

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.


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.


Students head back to class next Tuesday in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Let’s get ready with a little math.

At its Aug. 6 meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education approved its fiscal year 2019 budget, which necessitated shaving about $523,000 from expenditures.

Many of the line items represent vacant positions that will not be filled, with duties shifting onto other departments or personnel. This includes $115,500 for a purchasing supervisor, $29,000 in school administration and $120,000 for a district art specialist.

Several school board members voiced heartburn over the loss of the art position.


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.


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.”


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.


Megan learns just how smart pigs can be in "Pigs," by Robert Munsch, read by Sally Cassano.

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.

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