Sabine Poux

Reporter/evening news host
Photo: Sabine Poux/KDLL

A Massachusetts company is sending genetically modified salmon to dinner tables in the U.S. for the first time. AquaBounty Technologies said it’s shipping five tons of bioengineered salmon to distributors this month.

It’s marketed as a sustainable alternative to other kinds of salmon. But AquaBounty’s fish hasn’t received the warmest reception in Alaska, where it’s often called “Frankenfish.”

Redoubt Reporter

Fishermen will still drift net Upper Cook Inlet’s federal waters this summer. But it may be their last season there, after the body that manages the fishery moved to close it to commercial fishing late last year.

First, the amended plan has to be approved by the feds. NOAA Fisheries is now asking for public comment on the proposal through July.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Stacy Oliva loved growing up in Nikiski, enough to stay and raise her kids there.

But she said there was never a place for the community to gather.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has approved a final budget for the fiscal year beginning this summer, clocking in at $87,787,866 in the general fund.

But there are still several pieces of the budget that are anything but final.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Soldotna resident Al Hershberger was just 18 when he enlisted in World War II. He was part of a field artillery battalion of almost 80 Americans that helped on the frontlines of the war in Europe in the early 1940s.

Now, at 95, Hershberger he thinks he’s the last surviving member of his battalion. We spoke with him about what Memorial Day means to him, how he reconnected with members of his battalion later in life and what it was like revisiting Germany as an adult.

Outer Coast Adventures

Regulations for halibut charters are looser this summer for the second year in a row. The bodies regulating halibut fishing in Alaska relaxed restrictions on the fleet to again make fishing more appealing to Alaska anglers amid the pandemic.

That was before reservations started pouring in to charter operators.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Three agencies on the Kenai Peninsula are splitting over $840,000 to market their areas to visitors.

The Homer and Seward chambers of commerce and the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council all received money from the state to advertise to tourists this summer.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

There could be a chain of electric vehicle chargers along the Railbelt by 2022. The Alaska Energy Authority is building out its plan to make the 600-mile stretch of highway friendlier to electric vehicles.

But advocates say the state needs to change regulations before that plan is feasible. Earlier this month, a coalition of Railbelt utilities proposed some of those changes to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the body that manages public utilities in the state.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

The burn suspension on the Kenai Peninsula has been lifted as of noon today.

The Division of Forestry prohibited burning earlier this week due to dry conditions and hot temperatures. But it said cooler temperatures and forecasted rain have since decreased the wildland fire hazard locally.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Getting a coronavirus vaccine on the Kenai Peninsula nowadays is a little like ordering a pizza. You can get it delivered to your house, at a music festival with friends, or you can call ahead.

Now, you can also walk in and get it when you want it. Soldotna Professional Pharmacy is operating a new walk-in clinic in Soldotna on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Kenai Spur.

It’s prime real estate, and pretty hard to miss from the road. It’s also Anne Zink-approved.

Alaska DEC

The federal agency that regulates pipeline safety is giving oil and gas company Hilcorp three more months to fix a line running under Cook Inlet.

Hilcorp’s line, which delivers fuel gas to a system of oil platforms in the inlet, sprung a leak last month. The 55-year-old pipe has leaked several times prior, most recently in 2019.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The University of Alaska Anchorage is reopening its campuses this fall, including the Homer and Soldotna campuses of Kenai Peninsula College.

Both campuses have been quiet since March 2020, when the college moved the vast majority of its classes online and closed its buildings to the public. Those rules are now set to expire Aug. 2. The first day of classes is Aug. 23.

The local food scene has really sprouted on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District has been instrumental in encouraging that growth and insuring long-term sustainability of the industry. In the last year, that's included providing information about coronavirus relief funding to producers who lost revenue during the pandemic.

City of Seward

A new substance use recovery facility in Seward can operate without filing quarterly reports to the city and undergoing an annual review, after Seward determined those requirements discriminated against its future residents.

Alaska Department of Public Safety

A Nikiski woman was trampled by a cow moose Monday evening when she got too close to her newborn calf, according to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Fifty-one-year-old Crystal Cook was medevaced to Anchorage after the run-in, which occurred on her property before 7 p.m. Alaska Wildlife Trooper Joe Morris said Cook was reported to be in stable condition.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Dry conditions and hot temperatures have turned up the wildfire risk on the Kenai Peninsula this week. The Alaska Division of Forestry issued a burn suspension, effective today.

NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The sun, moon and Earth line up every month. That, in itself, is nothing extraordinary.

For most of those months, the moon’s orbit is at a slight angle from the Earth’s shadow.

"The moon is either too high or too low, and we just have a normal full moon," said Andy Veh, a physics professor at Kenai Peninsula College. "But every six months, every six full moons, the moon actually orbits through the moon’s shadow. And that’s when we have a lunar eclipse.”

Homer Electric Association

Homer Electric Association is restoring some of its underground cables this summer, from Kenai over to Funny River.

Dale Marsengill, manager of engineering services for HEA, said it’s because cables that are underground for so long end up fraying, with cracks in wire insulation. The deterioration can cause power outages.

Econ 919 — EV update

May 21, 2021
Photo: Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Alaska Energy Authority was scouting spots along the Railbelt this spring to place 10 to 14 electric vehicle charging stations — covering the 600-mile-long stretch of highway between Homer and Fairbanks.

It was one of the first steps in the corporation’s plan to make the Railbelt friendlier to electric vehicles. The project is funded in part from Alaska’s share of a 2017 settlement with Volkswagen over a Diesel emissions scandal.

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Money for a 500-mile Alaska Long Trail will likely be included in the Alaska Legislature’s budget this year.

The nonprofit Alaska Trails Initiative came up with the idea for a multi-use trail between Seward and Fairbanks last year and has been trying to find money for it since. 

On Wednesday, Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman and Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski sponsored an amendment to the Senate’s version of the budget to set aside $13 million for the project.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

In Ohio, there’s a vaccine lottery. Kristy Kreme’s doling out free donuts.

In Alaska, Girdwood’s Alyeska Resort is promising a free day-of lift ticket to anyone who comes to it’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic this Sunday.

Kenai Peninsula College just graduated its senior class. It also just hired a new director.

Cheryl Siemers has been with KPC for a long time, most recently as the assistant director for Academic Affairs. She'll be stepping into the role of college director this summer. 

Wikimedia Commons

Just two years ago, the state released its first MAT Guide — a comprehensive set of recommendations for healthcare providers treating opioid use disorder.

But a lot has changed since then, down to the name of the treatment. Back then, MAT stood for “Medication Assisted Treatment.” Now, it’s “Medications for Addiction Treatment.”

Courtesy of Kris Inman

Before moving here, Kris Inman had never been to Alaska. But when the supervisory biologist position opened up at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge … 

“Well, I saw the job announcement and thought, ‘What a fantastic job,'" she said.

Inman joins the refuge staff by way of Montana, where she worked for the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society. She’s replacing John Morton, who was supervisory biologist at the refuge for almost two decades.

Kristine Route/Best Route Productions

Graduations are milestones for every family. In Cooper Landing, this year’s graduation was also a milestone for the community.

Linnaea Gossard became the Cooper Landing School’s first high school graduate Monday night, almost a decade after the K-12 school opened to high-schoolers.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Both the commercial hooligan and herring fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet are closing this week after reaching quota.

The commercial fishery for hooligan — a kind of smelt — opened May 1. But Fish and Game management biologist Brain Marston said people didn’t start catching until May 10.

Gabby Bond

Two Moose Pass classmates caught top prizes in this year’s Fish Art Contest, a competition in which students research and draw fish of their choice in the name of conservation.

Eight-year-old Gabby Bond came in second among Alaska students in her age group for her illustration of a garibaldi. 

Courtesy of Lydia Jacoby

In exactly one month, star swimmer Lydia Jacoby will be in the pool in Omaha, N.E. for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

More immediately, she’s finishing her junior year at Seward High School. At just 17, Jacoby has the sixth-fastest time for the 100-meter breaststroke in the world. She’s been qualified for the Olympic trials since she was 14.

Redoubt Reporter file photo

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates Jim’s Landing sees about 42,000 visitors a year. It’s the only ramp for putting in and taking out of the Kenai River between Russian River and Skilak Lake.

But the infrastructure at the launch isn’t really up to the task.

Photo Cyrus Read/Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey

Two companies are looking at the geothermal energy potential of Mount Spurr, a volcano about 40 miles west of Tyonek in Cook Inlet.

Once they have the final go-ahead from the state, GeoAlaska and Raser Power Systems can explore adjacent leases on the south side of the volcano.