Kenai Conversation

Live, call-in public affairs interviews. Call 907-690-1687 to join the Conversation.

Gary Stotler

Weighing in excess of 400 pounds, Gary Stotler decided to begin making changes; small at first, and with setbacks and challenges along the way, he's now running ultra-marathons, and regular ones for fun, like the Kenai River Marathon this year.


With less than a week to go before the Kenai Peninsula's municipal elections, host Jay Barrett welcomes to the Kenai Conversation the three candidates for the two available seats on the Kenai City Council, incumbent Councilman Bob Molloy and challengers Teea Winger and Robert Peterkin II. In Kenai, council members are elected at-large, so the top two vote-getters will be seated. Election day is Oct. 2.

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.

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 sixth annual Harvest Moon Local Food Week kicks off on Friday. On this week's Kenai Conversation join host Jay Barrett as he learns more from organizers Heidi Chay, George Spady, Bryce Wrigley and Eliza Eller.

  On this week’s Kenai Conversation we welcome retired Mayor John Williams and former Councilman Duane Bannock to the microphones to analyze Tuesday’s Primary Election.  

  The roars and cheers and other sounds of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat signaled the beginning of the 2018 fall high school sports season over the weekend. On this week's Kenai Conversation, host Jay Barrett welcomes Jeff Helminiak and Joey Klecka, The Sports Guys, from the Peninsula Clarion back to the studio to find out, among other things, if there’s another 59 game winning streak … in the Stars.

 

 

 

This week, we’re talking about the AK LNG Project with the president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Keith Meyer and AGDC’s senior vice president of program management, Frank Richards.


On the Kenai Conversation this week, host Jay Barrett welcomes Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishermen Paul Shadura, Jesse Bjorkman and Andy Hall to discuss the downward trajectory of salmon returns, management goals and the need for all gear groups to finally come together and work for the benefit of the fish.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

Rural development in the modern age presents no shortage of challenges for small communities, especially in far-flung Alaska. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll learn about one strategy being used in the rural West to identify the best ways for small towns to grow and thrive when the traditional economic engines aren't up to the task. 


  Today, we look at invasive species - those critters large and small that endanger the natural beauty, and in some cases, our way of life here on the Kenai Peninsula. Our guests are  John Morton, the supervisory biologist at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Jennifer Hester of the Kenai Watershed Forum’s Adopt a Stream program, and Rob Massengill, a fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. We begin the conversation discussing invasive northern pike, a sports fish introduced to the Kenai Peninsula, and whose eradication has taken decades.

Annexation may have been one of the hot topics over the past couple years in Soldotna, but there's a lot more going on. This week, we talk with city manager Stephanie Queen about everything from partnering with the city of Kenai on infrastructure projects to how the city gears up for fishing season. And, of course, the next steps in the process toward potential annexation.


On this week's convesation, Medicare, PFDs, income tax and the continuing battle for better brewery laws. District O Senator Peter Micchiche talks with KDLL's Shaylon Cochran.

Interview highlights:

On changing the structure of how the Permanent Fund Dividend is distributed:

This week on The Kenai Conversation we welcome Merrill Sikorski to the studio. No stranger to microphones, Sikorski is the host of "People Going Places and Doing Things," which has aired daily for nearly 30 years. He is also the creator of "Caring for the Kenai," an annual ecological competition for Kenai Peninsula High School students.

It took a lot of work to get this year's budget through the borough assembly, but there's more work left to do. Despite some budget cuts and a slight bump in property taxes, the borough is still looking at a deficit of close to $2 million. 


 Every once in a while host Jay Barrett has to pause and invite the Clarion sports department to the studio for some chat about athletics near and far. Jeff Helminiak, Joey Klecka and Jay cover MLB, rugby, FIFA World Cup and high school soccer as well as motor racing and the Peninsula Oilers.

Kenai Watershed Forum

Summer camp, river clean ups, Stream Watch and River Fest. Summer is a busy time at the Kenai Watershed Forum.

On this week's Kenai Conversation we find out how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula when we welcome retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory wildlife biolgogist to talk about how a warming climate has shrunk lakes and ponds, caused an increase in wildfires and an explostion in the moose population.

Redoubt Reporter

This weekend marks the 14th annual Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival. We sat down with one of the event's many organizers, Toby Burke, to talk about what's planned for this year and what's happening in the world of birding.


In one lifetime, the number of beluga whales in Cook Inlet has dwindled by about a thousand, with a little more than 300 still hanging on.  As a result, keeping an eye on the one-ton white whales has become a priority. On this week's Kenai Conversation, Sea Grant fellow Kim Ovitz talks about her project learning about belugas that visit the Kenai River, and what they mean to the people of Kenai.

This week on the Kenai Conversation, guests John Morton, the supervisory fish and wildlife biologist at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Hans Rinke, the Kenai-Kodiak Area forester with the Alaska Division of Forestry discuss our forests, the trees in them, their future and the potential threats they face. 

Between trying to incorporate and trying to prepare for a possible natural gas project, there is a lot happening in Nikiski these days. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll get a North Road update and speak with Stacy Oliva and Dan Gregory with Incorporate Nikiski, and Nikiski's representative on the borough assembly Wayne Ogle.

KPBSD

Personalized Learning is more than a buzzword for the latest fad in public education. This week on the Kenai Conversation, KPBSD Director of Elementary and Secondary Education John Pothast and district Communications Liaison Pegge Erkeneff, tell us about how Personalized Learning is being rolled out in classrooms across the district and what the expectations are.

  On this week’s Kenai Conversation, it’s a reporter’s roundtable. KDLL’s Jay Barrett and Shaylon Cochran sit down with Elizabeth Earl and Kat Sorensen from the Peninsula Clarion to talk about the latest events around the central peninsula, local budgets, the upcoming fishing season and more.

Though the state's finances are in a bit of a mess now with low oil prices and relatively low production, there are opportunities ahead. Creating a foundation to take advantage of those opportunities, however, is no easy task. This week, we talk to former borough mayor and current Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Mike Navarre about how the state can transition away from an oil-based economy and the policy and political hurdles that will need to be cleared along the way.

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