Researchers from the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health are collaborating on a pilot study to better understand the psychological impacts of Alaska wildfires on residents.
They’re looking for adults who lived on the Kenai Peninsula or in Anchorage last summer, during the Swan Lake Fire, to participate in interviews and workshops about how that fire affected their mental health. The study is entitled, “Understanding and Supporting Mental Health and Well-Being in the Context of Intensifying Wildfires in Alaska.”
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has seen its first case of COVID-19. Director of Communications Pegge Erkeneff said the case is at Soldotna High School and the school became aware of it midday Tuesday. She didn’t specify whether the case was a student or staff member. The school will remain open, in accordance with its mitigation plans.
The district is not releasing more information about the case’s identity, in compliance with privacy regulations, but close contacts of the case have been notified. This could include players on an athletic team, a colleague or a bus driver, for example. All close contacts must quarantine at home for 14 days.
School Principal Tony Graham sent a letter to staff and families notifying them of the case.
A few years before Barack Obama’s famous trip to Alaska, the state had another visitor from the capital. She left quite an impression.
“She gave this amazing lecture which I have remembered to this day about the power of dissent and the role of dissenting opinions,” said Jennifer Wells, a Kenai Superior Court judge. “And it’s something I’d never really given any thought to.”
The speaker was Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She delivered an address at the Alaska Bar Association Convention in Anchorage back in 2008.
Ginsburg, a beloved Supreme Court justice and staunch advocate for women’s rights, died Friday. She was 87.
The fourth annual Kenai Silver Salmon Derby ended yesterday, awarding $3,600 in prize money to six fishermen whose fish were not too big, not too small, but just right. The city of Kenai and Kenai Chamber of Commerce are now counting the rest of the funds raised, which the Kenai Community Foundation will use for river and anadromous water preservation.
The derby, which ran from Sept. 15 to Sept. 20, awards fishermen whose catches best approximate a daily “magic weight,” randomly generated at the end of each derby day. Don Morrison was the overall winner and will receive $3,000 in prize money. That’s three times the cash the derby awarded in last year’s grand prize.