Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The mayor of Kenai, a Ninilchik charter boat captain and a Homer-based fisherman are among 11 governor-appointed members to a new task force on bycatch — a hot-button issue that’s snagged stakeholders in Alaska’s fisheries for years.

Bycatch is the catch of nontargeted species in fishing nets. The issue reached a fever pitch recently, as fishermen in Western Alaska and around the state asked fisheries managers to curb how much bycatch trawlers were allowed to take.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

ATVs will soon have the greenlight to drive on many Alaska roads. 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration passed a set of regulations to allow all-purpose vehicles on roadways where speed limits are 45 miles per hour or less. The new regulations go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Go to most libraries in Alaska and you can ask for just about any book, movie or magazine. And 99 percent of the time, it’ll get to you, said Rachel Nash, librarian at the Soldotna Public Library.

“This system allows us to say yes every time," she said.

That system is the Alaska Library Catalog. Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed $635,900 in funding for the program and others as part of a slew of budget vetos earlier this month.

The Alaska House has voted to avert a state government shutdown.

In a Monday floor session, the House voted 28 to 10 to allow the budget bill to go into effect Thursday, July 1. Among the no votes were all the peninsula’s House representatives — Ben Carpenter, of Nikiski, Ron Gillham, of Soldotna, and Sarah Vance, of Homer.

Gavel Alaska

Soldotna’s Kristie Babcock was confirmed to the Alaska Judicial Council today in a tight vote by the Alaska Legislature.

Babcock, who runs a State Farm Insurance agency in Kenai, was among a slew of appointees confirmed Tuesday from Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. She’s married to Tuckerman Babcock, the former chair of the Alaska Republican Party and Dunleavy’s former chief of staff.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Soldotna resident Jim Cockrell was named the new commissioner for the state Department of Public Safety.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the appointment in Kenai on Tuesday. Cockrell replaces Amanda Price, who resigned in February, citing in part disagreements with the governor over the role of the department in rural communities.

Alaska State Troopers

In response to objections from several municipalities in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formed a working group to come up with recommendations on how to consolidate dispatching services for the Alaska State Troopers.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety announced in mid-May that it would consolidate all the emergency dispatching services from the Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su valley, and Southeast to a facility in Palmer. The issue has been going on for several years, when the DPS first announced the plan under the Walker administration, though the new center was originally planned for Anchorage.

Provided photo

Though Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s loosened health mandates allow restaurants to open for dine-in service today, not many are immediately jumping on the opportunity. The allowance comes with a sheaf of regulations that some restaurants are finding challenging to meet.

Restaurant capacity has to be reduced to allow for social distancing. Only household members are allowed to sit at a table together and must be separated by 10 feet from other occupied tables.

Big Daddy’s Pizza on K-Beach Road switched to take-out and delivery orders only on March 18. Jake Perry works at Big Daddy’s. He said they’re revamping to allow customers to place and pick up orders inside if they would like, including a single slice to go, but they’re holding off on dine-in due to their small space.  

“Everyone’s kind of on the fence about what’s going on, everyone feels a little bit one side or the other. But we’re trying to do our best chance at not only protecting the community but protecting ourselves,” Perry said.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Gov. Mike Dunleavy canceled four public appearances scheduled on the Kenai Peninsula this week.

The governor was slated to speak at a joint Kenai-Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meeting at noon Monday, followed by town hall meetings in Kenai tonight, Seward Tuesday night and Homer Wednesday night.

The governor canceled the appearances late Monday morning, citing a need to monitor the coronavirus situation. Dunleavy spoke to the chamber audience via phone for about 10 minutes.

Obviously we were looking forward to this trip. We ended up on a phone call with the vice president and his team this morning that didn’t end until 9:30 dealing with the coronavirus. But then we had to deal with meetings after that to kind of work through some of those issues,” Dunleavy said.

Governor vetoes variety of local capital projects

Aug 9, 2019

        Governor Mike Dunleavey’s office released the latest round of vetoes to the state budget yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and several local projects got the ax.

Safety and security projects at the Sterling Area Senior Citizens Center to the tune of $42,800 was cut. The explanation given was that “The State's fiscal reality dictates a reduction in expenditures across all agencies.” It was the stated reason for most of the vetoes.

Dunleavy also vetoed $15,000 to earthquake proof the library shelving in the children’s reading room at the Kenai City Library.

Governor, staff, defend budget plan

Apr 1, 2019

Governor Mike Dunleavy brought quite a few high-ranking members of his administration to Kenai on Monday to help him pitch his fiscal plan. Joining him at KDLL were Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman and Donna Arduin, the budget director.

The governor pushed a long-term fiscal plan while in town, saying it was possible, with all the cuts proposed in his version of the budget, to get from here to his proposed constitutional amendments.

Protesters greet but don't meet governor's team in Kenai

Mar 27, 2019
Shaylon Cochran/KDLL


Governor Mike Dunleavy spent most of Seward’s Day in Kenai Monday, promoting his controversial budget plan. Tagging along were several members of the governor’s administration.They were all part of a panel that discussed the governor’s vision at Cannery Lodge in Kenai Monday night.

Attorney General explains amendment proposals in Kenai

Mar 26, 2019


A key part of Governor Mike Duleavy’s long term budget vision includes fundamental changes in how the legislature is allowed to appropriate money. The governor has proposed three constitutional amendments, and this week, began a roadshow hoping to drum up support.



Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Department of Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Donna Arduin, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson and representatives of Americans For Prosperity, which sponsored the meeting, gave their interpretations of Alaska’s fiscal situation and asnwered a selection of submitted questions from the audience. Full audio of the meeting, held at 6 p.m. March 25 at the Cannery Lodge in Kenai, follows:

Governor discusses 'roadshow' and fiscal plan

Mar 25, 2019

  Gov. Mike Dunleavy was in town Monday to make a presentation about his proposed fiscal plan. He stopped by the KDLL studios after speaking to the Industry Support Alliance luncheon and before his planned comments at the Cannery Lodge.

KDLL’s Jay Barrett asked Dunleavy about the arrangements for what he’s calling his “road show,” which were done by the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity PAC.

        Three members of the House Finance Committee, including the Speaker of the House, were in the Central Peninsula on Saturday, taking testimony on the state of the budget and PFD.

For about three full hours Speaker Bryce Edgmon, Rep. Jennifer Johnston of Anchorage, and Kenai Rep. Gary Knopp heard testimony from all across the spectrum.

This weekend members of the House Finance Committee will be in Kenai for a public hearing on the state budget. Kenai-Soldotna Republican Rep. Gary Knopp will be among the legislators attending, including Anchorage Republican Jennifer Johnston and Speaker Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham.

Quick out as governor's Administration Commissioner

Jan 25, 2019

The man who once was the former chief of staff for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, and political consultant for Sen. Peter Micciche's re-election campaign, has resigned his position in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration after he was accused of lying to a Senate committee this week about his work experience.

John Quick was named as the state’s commissioner of the Department of Administration in late November. 

John Quick's resumé scrutinized in Juneau

Jan 24, 2019

A member of the Dunleavy administration is accused of lying to the state Legislature during a recent confirmation hearing.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed John Quick as the state's new commissioner of the Department of Administration in late November.

Quick claims on his resume he was an owner and investor in a number of businesses in Washington state.