Latest Local news

Alaska Division of Forestry

Here are two crises that are bad enough on their own — a worldwide pandemic and wildfires.

The Alaska Division of Forestry is taking proactive steps to try to prevent those two situations from overlapping. 

Forestry announced Tuesday that all burn permits in the state will be suspended May 1. This is applicable to small- and large-scale burning on state, municipal and private lands.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is as up in the air as everyone else about what the coronavirus pandemic will mean, financially.

The district’s Board of Education met Monday via teleconference. Acting Superintendent Dave Jones outlined several factors that will impact the district — one good, most bad.

The district has no mechanism to raise its own money, so is at the mercy of the borough, state and federal governments for revenue. Borough administration had committed to funding the district next year to the full amount allowed under state statute. But, given the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, Jones said that Mayor Charlie Pierce has warned that might not happen.

“He’s very concerned about the economic effect that’s happening in our borough, especially what is going to happen with our sales tax and with the possible delinquent taxes that could not get paid. Has a concern that they may not be able to support to the amount that they had originally committed to,” Jones said.

It’s Easter on Sunday. Celebrations are going to look a lot different this year, following mandates for COVID-19. The state of Alaska issued a health alert today regarding religious services and Easter baskets.

Citing a previous health mandate prohibiting gatherings of non-household members, the alert says online streaming of religious services is allowed, as long as those producing the service number 10 or fewer, and practice specific social distancing and masking requirements.

Kenai Change

Looking for a way to save the world? Here’s an idea: Feed chickens, not landfills.

OK, that’s maybe overly optimistic, but Kenai Change is finding that even a small project, like repurposing food scraps, can have a big impact. In October, the group started a community composting project to reduce the amount of organic waste going to the Soldotna landfill. The idea came out of a book-to-action series, which helped the group brainstorms ways the central Kenai Peninsula could help combat global warming.

The book, “Drawdown,” presents potential solutions, large and small, and the group used it as a way to research and plan what to work on locally. Kaitlin Vadla, with Cook Inletkeeper’s Community Action Studio in Soldotna, helped facilitate the program.

The state of Alaska says drivers can feel free to leave their studded tires on for an extra couple weeks. Studs are allowed in Alaska from Sept. 15 through April 30, but the Alaska Departments of Public Safety and Transportation announced last week that the deadline to remove those tires is being extended to May 11.

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KDLL Podcasts

Kenai River Brewing

In this month's Drinking on the Last Frontier, Bill takes a look at how breweries are coping with government mandates on social distancing, with an interview with Doug Hogue of Kenai River Brewing. Plus, a look behind the scenes at the role of distributors in Alaska, a sampling of the stout beer stye and some recommended reading to get you through quarantine.

Bill visits with brewers at Frozen Riverfest and hears from Cooper Landing Brewing on the progress of their new building. Plus, flagship beers, beer and food pairings and a review of an online beer course.
Cheers!

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Kenai Conversation

Kenai Fire Cheif Jeff Tucker joined the Kenai Conversation to look back on his 38-year career in fire and EMS, the last six with the city of Kenai. He retired March 20.

Three local alumni of the Peace Corps talk about their time and projects in far-flung parts of the globe. Thanks to Kaylin Simpson, Ben Boettger and David Wartinbee for sharing their experiences. 

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KDLL Membership Drive Programs

The Native inhabitants of the Kenai Peninsula before Western contact were masters at adapting to this land. Dr. Alan Boraas, anthropology professor at Kenai Peninsula College, presented “Yaghanen, The Time Before,” a discussion about the lives of the Dena’ina people who have lived and thrived here for a thousand years, to the Kasilof Regional Historical Association.

Kenai River Brewing

Kenai River Brewing shares its plans for reopening Kenai Joe's in a special, live segment of the show. And speaking of reopening, Barnaby Brewing in Juneau tells Bill about recovering from a fire that shut them down for about a year.

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