Farmers market season is winding down. But there’s still one more chance to celebrate local growers.
“This is kind of the last big hurrah for local farmers to sell their produce and for locals to stock up if they’ve missed their opportunity," said Heidi Chay, with the Kenai Local Food Connection. The organization is holding its Harvest Moon Local Food Festival on Sept. 18.
Chay said the festival is in part a celebration of how far the local food scene has come, even just since 2013, when the festival first started.
For our first set of election 2021 interviews, we spoke with Victoria Askin and Jim Duffield, two of the five candidates for Kenai City Council. There are two seats open on the council this election.
Later in the program, we talked to Sammy Crawford from the Central Peninsula League of Women Voters about why it’s so important to vote in local elections. She also remembered her own first time voting.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor and several members of the assembly want to publicly denounce what they call “vaccine segregation” from the government.
Resolution 2021-067, set to be introduced at next week’s assembly meeting, says the borough encourages people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But, the resolution says, the assembly and borough administration “Do not support government-mandated restrictions imposing mandated COVID-19 vaccine segregation in our community.”
Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game didn’t always pay much mind to how people used the kelp that washed up on Cook Inlet beaches.
“We assumed that it was like somebody going to the beach and picking up driftwood, or picking up pretty rocks or things like that," said Glenn Hollowell, the area management biologist for lower Cook Inlet.
He said in the last four years, the department has learned more about those detached kelp populations.
When the world turned to home improvement projects at the start of the pandemic, Andrew Davis saw an opportunity.
Davis co-owns Seward Milling and Lumber, just outside Seward city limits. But the company didn’t start out as a commercial mill. He and a partner first bought into the business to deal with the trees in their own yards.
When the pandemic hit, they started milling other people’s wood, too. And a year and a half later, they’re still really busy.
The federal government said it will continue taking steps toward a potential oil and gas lease sale in Cook Inlet, after a Louisiana district court judge ordered the Biden Administration to resume its lease programs there and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has been at odds with several Republican states over the federal leasing program since Biden halted the two auctions and promised to review the program earlier this year. It was part of a larger executive order aimed at fighting climate change.
This particular pocket of Beaver Creek is not far from the road, just a short and muddy tromp away from a gravel parking lot between Kenai and Soldotna. But it’s home to several cold water inputs that could be crucially important for young salmon as they swim from the Kenai River to Cook Inlet.
The Kenai Peninsula’s older population is larger than it was a decade ago. It’s one of the many trends that emerged in U.S. Census data released earlier this month, which also shows that the peninsula’s population has generally grown, while others, like Anchorage, have seen numbers drop.
Nearly 2.5 million late-run sockeye are projected to pass through the Kenai River by the end of the month, overescaping the river by over one million fish.
Those numbers concern fishermen like Joe Dragseth, a drift-netter in Kenai. He said he worries about the health of the river. And he said it’s unfair commercial fishermen have been restricted while so many fish have made it up the river.
Alaska State Troopers say they arrested the man who shot a trooper in Anchor Point yesterday, following a search that lasted into the night.
Troopers say a Special Emergency Reaction Team arrested 60-year-old Bret Herrick near his Anchor Point residence around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, after following up on a tip. The trooper he allegedly shot is in fair condition at an Anchorage hospital, according to an online statement.
Alaska’s senators joined most of their colleagues last week in voting for a massive infrastructure bill that would combine $550 billion in new spending, plus $1 trillion in previously approved spending, to update highways, salmon passageways and other facilities around the U.S.
The bill still has to clear the House. But Larry Burton, chief of staff for Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, said he thinks there’s a lot for Alaskans to look forward to in the bill. He briefed a crowd of sportfishermen at the Kenai Classic Roundtable on Recreational Fishing in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Sen. Dan Sullivan has been an outspoken critic of the Biden Administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Sullivan himself served in Afghanistan and last week, he signed onto a letter asking the State Department to expand eligibility for the Afghan Special Immigration Visas program.We talked to him in Soldotna Wednesday about that letter, climate change and the infrastructure bill he just voted to pass through the senate.
Fall marks the end of Seward’s busy tourism season. But as summer ends, a new class of students is just starting at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center. Classes resumed at AVTEC’s Seward campus this Monday.
Cathy LeCompte is AVTEC’s director. She says the dorms and on-campus apartments are back open, with a slew of COVID-19 safety precautions in place.
Nikiski is a little greener these days. Gardeners have tilled and planted a garden next to the Nikiski Community Park on Hedberg Drive, where volunteers can plant, pick and take home their own produce.
Toni Loop, of Nikiski, has been planning the project for a while and made headway this summer. About a third of the garden is now planted.
Tuesday is the first day of school in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. For many families and staff, the usual first-day jitters are accompanied by deep concerns about rising coronavirus case numbers on the Kenai Peninsula.
The district is starting the school year with a new COVID-19 mitigation plan. Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff said they’ll handle cases of potential exposure to the virus a little differently than they did last year.
Kenai’s South Beach is seeing higher-than-normal levels of bacteria, likely due to the abundance of seagulls and fish carcasses on the beach.
Laura Eldred is an environmental program specialist with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. She said beach-goers should take some precautions to avoid getting sick but the high levels of bacteria aren’t cause for major alarm.
A federal judge ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise its regulations on oil dispersants, siding with Cook Inletkeeper and other plaintiffs that the current regulations don’t reflect updated research on how toxic those chemicals can be.