Elizabeth Earl

Reporter

News reporter at KDLL

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

 There’s just under a week until the Kenai River dipnet opens on July 10. But if you want to get out and get some dipnetting done this weekend, there’s a little more space at the Kasilof River to do it.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that the Kasilof dipnet is open to shore fishing all the way from the mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge. Dipnetting from a boat is allowed, too, but only up to a marker around mile 3 of the river. No king salmon can be kept, though.

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

 The Kenai City Council is going ahead with funding a new bike path along Bridge Access Road, but not without some trepidation.

The project would connect the new bike path along Beaver Loop Road to the existing Unity Path route through the City of Kenai by creating a separated path along Bridge Access Road. Most of it will be paid for by a federal passthrough grant, with a 9 percent match from the city. The city council has no problem with the project; the problem is the cost.

 The Seward City Council approved an emergency ordinance last night in response to the rash of cases in the community in the last week. Masks are now required in all buildings open to the public, city-owned campgrounds are limited to 50 percent capacity, and public gatherings are limited to less than 20 people. Restaurants, tour operators and religious organizations are limited to 50 percent capacity or 10 people, whichever is more.

The new restrictions are set to last 30 days. The mask mandate applies to anyone older than four years old but don’t have to be worn when social distancing is possible, when the group is family members only, or when eating or drinking. People with medical conditions or breathing trouble that prevent them from wearing a mask are also exempt.

The Alaska CARES program has been live for about a month now. The program is supposed to distribute grants to businesses to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with funding that came to the state from the federal government. Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he wanted about $150 million to go out within the first 30 days to help keep businesses from going under.

That’s not how it’s worked out so far. Of the nearly two thousand applications submitted by Monday this week, less than 10 percent had been approved. There a handful of problems with the program, but the biggest one is that any small business that got aid through the federal Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Impact Disaster Loan programs is ineligible for it.

Kenai Peninsula Fair

The latest victim of pandemic-related closures is the annual Kenai Peninsula Fair in Ninilchik.

The board for the fair announced the closure Tuesday, saying in a statement that the decision was difficult. The fair’s been going on for nearly seven decades and is usually one of two big gatherings in Ninilchik each year, the other being music festival Salmonfest. Salmonfest announced its cancellation in May, and the fair had delayed the decision, hoping things would get better.

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