Elizabeth Earl

Reporter

News reporter at KDLL

Jenny Neyman/Redoubt Reporter

When public schools closed in March, it left many families scrambling for child care.

But child care facilities had to deal with pandemic risks, too. Though Alaska designated those facilities essential and said they could stay open when other businesses had to close, some ended up closing their doors anyway, for various reasons.

Redoubt Reporter file photo

The annual throngs of fishermen that come from all over Southcentral Alaska to the Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery are due to arrive in about three weeks, and the city of Kenai is letting them know to expect a few changes this year.

The fishery usually involves big crowds of people congegating on Kenai’s north and south beaches, all filling coolers full of salmon for the winter. In 2018, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recorded more than 20,000 angler days fished in the Kenai River dipnet fishery. This year, the city of Kenai is making a few changes in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19 among the crowds.

Voters in the Kenai-Soldotna area will have a handful of candidates to choose from this fall when deciding who they want to represent them in the state House of Representatives. One caveat: they’re all conservative, and three are running in the primary on Aug. 18.

District 30 is currently represented by Gary Knopp, a two-term representative from Kenai. He’s running for a third term, but Ron Gillham of Ridgeway, Kelly Wolf of Kenai, and James Baisden of Nikiski have all stepped forward to challenge him. Gillham and Wolf are running as Republicans in the primary, while Baisden is running as a nonpartisan candidate in the general.

The cities of Kenai and Soldotna each have local trail improvement projects in the works for this year, but a change in state policy has thrown wrenches into them.

Kenai is planning to build a paved bike path between the junction of the Kenai Spur Highway and Bridge Access Road down to Beaver Loop Road. This would connect to the newly paved separate bike path along Beaver Loop, creating a completely separated bike path loop between Kenai and Beaver Loop. Soldotna is planning to pave paths in Soldotna Creek Park and expand a path along Homestead Lane toward Swiftwater Campground.

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

The platform next to the city of Kenai’s dock will get a new name—the Tarbox Wildlife Viewing Platform.

The name comes from longtime volunteers and wildlife enthusiasts Connie and Ken Tarbox, who helped coordinate the effort to establish the platform at the edge of the Kenai River Flats. Today, it regularly attracts bird viewers, who come to watch the Flats’ many seasonal winged visitors as well as the caribou that regularly crisscross the area.

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