Kenai Conversation

10 a.m. Wednesdays

Public affairs interviews live at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, rebroadcast at 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Kenai Conversation: Municipal Election recap

Oct 2, 2019

On the day after voters on the Kenai Peninsula went to the polls, hosts Shaylon Cochran and Jay Barrett welcome retiring Assemblyman Dale Bagley to the studio to recap a somewhat wild municipal election season.

Kenai Conversation: Borough Assembly Seats 4 and 7

Sep 25, 2019

As part of KDLL's pre-election coverage, candidates for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Seats 4 and 7 were invited to join host Jay Barrett on the Kenai Conversation. Assembly Seat 4 candidate Tyson Cox was present, as was Assembly Seat 7 candidate Brent Johnson. The municipal election is Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Municipal elections are Oct. 1. We spoke with candidates for the District 1, Kalifornsky seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education. Incumbent Dan Castimore and challenger Patty Truesdell were in the studio. Susan Lockwood was not able to make the live show so we connected with her earlier in the week.

Kenai Conversation: Swan Lake Fire update

Sep 4, 2019

The Swan Lake Fire has burned on the Central Kenai Peninsula for four months, occasionally closing the Sterling Highway and the Upper Kenai River. On this week's Kenai Conversation, host Jay Barrett talks with Great Basin Type 1 Public Information Officer Brian Scott and Alaska Division of Forestry PIO Andy Alexandrou about the resurgence of the fire, how it's being fought, and what citizens can do to minimize future danger.

A discussion about the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council's mission to oversee the safe transportation of oil in Cook Inlet. It was created by Congress in 1990, and was recently reauthorized for the 28th time. Host Jay Barrett's guests are Mike Munger, the executive director; John Williams, the board president; and Lynda Giguere, the director of outreach.

The RurAL CAP office in Soldotna is ready to accept applications for the next round of family homes under the Mutual Self-Help Housing program. Learn more as host Jay Barrett talks with Mi'Shell French of RurAL CAP and soon-to-be homeowner Delana Green about the application process, requirements and benefits of homeownership.

You can find out more about the program at the RurAL CAP office in the Blazy Mall, or by calling French at 260-3451.

It's the heart of fishing season on the Kenai Peninsula. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll talk with Ben Mohr,  executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association about the state of that industry, and what issues they're paying attention to on the Kenai River and beyond.


On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk with Maggie Winston of the Independent Living Center about the Disability Pride Rally coming up Saturday at Soldotna Creek Park from noon to 4 p.m.

Ms. Winston stays with us as we welcome Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander and Leslie Rohr of Love INC to discuss homelessness in Kenai.

Kenai Conversation: Paul Ostrander, Kenai City Manager

Jul 11, 2019

The Kenai River's annual dipnet fishery started on Wednesday. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk with Kenai city manager Paul Ostrander about the city's role in seeing that things go smoothly for those three weeks and what the city is doing to try and capture a few more of those tourism dollars that can be just as difficult to catch as a net full of reds.


Kenai Conversation: Focus on the Swan Lake Fire

Jul 3, 2019

The Swan Lake Fire has been burning northeast of Sterling for a month now. On this week's Kenai Conversation host Jay Barrett welcomes Andy Alexandrou and Dawn Gelderloos of the Alaska Division of Forestry.

For property owners and developers on the Kenai, there can be a lot of different local, state and federal agencies to deal with when it comes to your project. Many of those agencies have people working under one roof to try and make things a little smoother. Tom Dearlove is the Manager of the Donald E. Gilman River Center and he'll be retiring next month. On this week's show, Tom talks about his time at the river center and the part he wants it to play in the borough's future development.


  Join host Jay Barrett as we learn about the Hospice of the Central Peninsula with guests Janice Nightingale, executive director; board member Tony Oliver, and volunteer Karen Monell.

This week on the Kenai Conversation, host Jay Barrett welcomes folks from the Lee Shore Center in Kenai to talk about the operation of the crisis center and an important fundraiser coming up on Saturday. Present were Board Chair Mike Dimmick, Executive Director Cherrie Smith, board member Marti Slater, and Prevention Coordinator Rene Lipps.

KDLL's Jenny Neyman speaks with Lisa Maloney, author of "Day Hiking Southcentral Alaska," about becoming a guide book author and writing her new book. This show aired at 10 a.m. May 22. On May 23, Maloney gave an Adventure Talks presentation at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, showing pictures and talking about trails in the region, as well as hiking safety, gear and more.

KDLL turned the mics on ourselves to kick off our 2019 Spring Membership Drive. Thanks to former board member Marion Nelson, station manager emeritas Allen Auxier and current board member Bill Larned for a look back to KDLL's beginnings and development, and a preview of this year's Spring Membership Drive.

Kenai Conversation: USCG Auxiliary in Kenai

May 15, 2019

This week on the Kenai Conversation, a timely discussion about boating safety and the mission of the Kenai-based Coast Guard Auxiliary. Flotilla Commander Marion Parish 

Spring time in Alaska also means it's fire season. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll talk with Dan Nelson, Emergency Manager for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, about the recent fires that triggered the start of the season, evacuation protocol during a fire and some of the things homeowners can do to prepare for the season if they haven't already. 


  On this week's Kenai Conversatoin, host Jay Barrett welcomes Shannon Davis and Andy Heuiser of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. The wide-ranging discussion covers the Concert in the Park series, fundraising and how so much gets done with such a small staff.

Kenai Conversation: Paul Ostrander, Kenai City Manager

Apr 24, 2019

The city of Kenai will release its draft budget for the next fiscal year in a couple weeks. City manager Paul Ostrander spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about putting together a new budget amid all the uncertainty with the state budget. Last year’s general fund appropriations totaled a little more than $16 million with all expenditures coming in at just over $28 million and Ostrander expects a modest increase in the 2020 budget of less than one percent.

KDLL Adventure Talks offers a virtual hike of the Kenai Peninsula’s newest long-distance backpacking route, the Tutka Backdoor Trail, with trail coordinator Bretwood “Hig” Higman, of Ground Truth Trekking in Seldovia, and Eric Clarke, with Kachemak Bay State Park. In the on-air interview, host Jenny Neyman talks with Hig and Eric about how and why the trail came to be. They also discuss sustainable trail building and the little things hikers can do to make a big difference in maintaining their favorite trails.

Kenai Conversation: Meet HEA Dist. 2 Candidates

Apr 3, 2019

The Homer Electrict Assn. board of directors election is coming up. In the Soldotna area, Dist. 2, incumbent Ed Oberts faces a challenge from retired surgeon Ed Schmitt. Meet them both on this week's Kenai Conversation.

The roughly 5.7 million acres that make up the Kenai Peninsula get used for a lot of different activities including, increasingly, agriculture. The Kenai Peninsula Borough is rolling out an initiative this spring in an effort to get a few more of those acres dedicated to a sustainable ag system that will, among other things, help further diversify the local economy. This week, we're speaking with Marcus Mueller, KPB Land Manager and Heidi Chay, District Manager for the Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District, about the ag initiative and broader policy goals and considerations that go with it.


Kenai Conversation: Sports of the Day

Mar 20, 2019

It's sports time on the Kenai Conversation, as host Jay Barrett is joined by colleague Shaylon Cochran and the Clarion's Jeff Helminiak.

Kenai Conversation: Caring for the Kenai

Mar 13, 2019

Every spring for the last 28 years, students across the Kenai Peninsula have donned their thinking caps and tried to answer a big question: What can I do, invent or create to better care for the environment on the Kenai Peninsula? That's the idea behind Caring for the Kenai. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll talk with the project's creator, Merrill Sikorski about the annual challenge, and how the ideas and inventions have evolved over nearly three decades.


Kenai Conversation: Opioids and addiction

Mar 6, 2019

On the Kenai Conversation this week we talk about opioid addiction and how to use the tools to fight overdoses. Host Jay Barrett welcomes Fred Koski, the addictions program coordinator for Peninsula Community Health Services, and Sherra Pritchard, a public health nurse with the Kenai Public Health Center. Both are involved with a monthly community education series of lectures.

Kristin Mitchell

Soldotna Dr. Kristin Mitchell recently returned from a three-week journey to Antarctica with the Homeward Bound program. Find out about the leadership collaboration between women working in STEMM and about what to pack for a journey from the far north to the far south (hint: don't take advice from an Australian).

Kenai Conversation: All about 'Willy Wonka'

Feb 20, 2019

  The Kenai Performers production of ‘Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka’ opens this week for a two-weekend run. In advance of opening night, we welcome both directors and two of the performers to our studio for a look behind the scenes.

Education funding, even more than most years, will be a hotly contested topic in the coming weeks. There's one line item in particular the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is lobbying for. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk to John O'Brien, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for KPBSD about mental health care in schools and the district's request for $600,000 to add more counselors, especially at the elementary level.

Kenai Conversation: Mona Painter

Feb 6, 2019

Mona Painter has watched Cooper Landing grow up since she moved to the area in 1958 and serves as a kind of historian for this quiet part of the Peninsula. On this week's Kenai Conversation, host Shaylon Cochran sits down with Painter to recall some of those earlier days, how the town coped with the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and how things changed with the introduction of electricity, telephone and television service.

Kenai Conversation: School District Budgeting

Feb 6, 2019

 With the new governor threatening funding for the current school year, school districts are scrambling to find a solution. Host Jay Barrett talks with Pegge Erkeneff and Dave Jones of the KPBSD about budgeting for the district.

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