Nikiski

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

If you’re looking for a less-rustic approach to rainbow trout fishing on the northern Kenai Peninsula, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a spot for you.

The department recently finished improving access to Barbara Lake, about 30 miles north of Kenia. Access is off Ballard Drive, off Halibouty Road.

Fish and Game has been stocking the lake since 1980. It’s not one of their highest-use fisheries, but this project might help hook some more interest.

“It’s more just improving the access and experience for anglers that either live out in Nikiski or choose to travel out there and go look for fish,” said Colton Lipka, area management biologist.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

One minute, there are zero rainbow trout in John Hedberg Lake. 

Fewer than 30 seconds later, there are 700.


Sabine Poux/KDLL

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.

Alaska State Troopers

A Niksiki motorcyclist died in a collision on the Kenai Spur Highway Wednesday evening, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said 40-year-old Martin Marlin was driving his motorcycle near mile 18 of the Kenai Spur a little after 5 p.m. when he collided with a Nissan SUV that was turning in front of him.

Nikiski Community Council

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking for public comment on a plan to add a community lake in Nikiski to its fish stocking program.

The department announced that it’s considering adding John Hedberg Lake to the stocking program, which would put about 700 catchable rainbow trout in the lake this year and 1,000 fingerlings annually after that. John Hedberg Lake is located in Nikiski Community Park near the Nikiski Community Recreation Center, about mile 23 of the Kenai Spur Highway.

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.

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

When Toni Loop started working on building a community garden in Nikiski, the price of lumber was a lot lower.

Before the pandemic, she could cover all the costs with a $3,500 grant she had from the Alaska Farm Bureau. But lumber costs have skyrocketed during COVID-19, due to supply shortages and high demand. 

Still, Loop is charging ahead with the project and plans to open it this summer. She wants a garden for people who don’t have their own at home.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Niksiki’s third fire station came online today.

The station, on the corner of Holt-Lamplight Road and Escape Route Road, will bring emergency services closer to a large chunk of Nikiski residents.


Courtesy of Diluvium Culinaire

When Keith Huss died in September, he left behind both good friends and good food in his food truck business. One of those friends, Brant Feather, of Soldotna, wants to keep Huss’s food truck aspirations alive.

“To be able to have that trailer as something that I had helped out with, to know that it’s going to me and that I’m going to be able to provide the public with a service just the same as he was, was what inspired me to go ahead and buy his trailer from his family," Feather said. "I can continue on what he was doing. Maybe not in the same style of food but in the same manner that he was.”

Huss, an accomplished fisherman who grew up on the Kenai Peninsula, was killed in September. Sarah Dayan, of Homer, was charged for his murder.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Kenai liquefied natural gas plant, which exported natural gas overseas from Nikiski for nearly four decades, got federal approval to start importing natural gas. That could give parent company Marathon Petroleum a more cost-effective way to power its crude oil refinery down the street. 

Marathon subsidiary Trans-Foreland Pipeline applied last year to reactivate the historic plant as an import facility.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Crews have completed work on the Kenai Spur Highway extension, a roughly eight-mile gravel addition to the road that stretches from Captain Cook State Park to Otter Creek.

It’s been a long time coming. Prior to construction, drivers could only access the Gray Cliff subdivision, north of Nikiski, via all-terrain vehicle. Those vehicles created sinkholes in the path and led to erosion in the many creeks and streams it crossed.

Alaska State Troopers

A 22-year-old Nikiski woman died this weekend following a reported car chase.

According to an Alaska State Troopers report, officers attempted to stop Olivia Mapes around 2 p.m. Saturday for swerving across the center and fog lines on the Kenai Spur Highway. Mapes didn’t stop, and when she turned off the highway, a pursuit ensued, according to the state’s online trooper dispatch.

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula is one of the best places in the world for outdoor recreation, but sometimes the weather is less than great and the lakes are too cold to swim in. Usually, there are community pools and indoor recreation facilities to help with that, but like most things, the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted that.

Most of the pools in the central peninsula area are operated by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, as they’re inside the schools. Because of the pandemic, the schools have been closed to the public since mid-March, but the district reopened the pools on a reservation basis in early July. But rising case numbers triggered the district’s “high-risk” scenario starting on Monday, leading it to close the pools again until cases come back down.

AK LNG

The Alaska LNG Project has been stalled for years, but the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is hoping a new, lower cost estimate will make it more competitive.

The corporation released the revised cost estimate during a board meeting on Thursday. The new estimate sits at $38.7 billion, about $5.5 billion less than the previous estimate, which was done in 2015. The new estimate was put together by AGDC with BP, ExxonMobil, and Fluor Corporation, a consulting company with experience in LNG.

Kenai Peninsula Borough

Three staff members of the Nikiski Fire Department have tested positive for coronavirus. They and eight others have been quarantined to help control the spread, and all the other staff members in the department have been tested, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The local public health department is working on contact tracing to determine who else may have been in contact with them and who else may need to quarantine, but so far, no patient transports were exposed, according to the borough.

Alaska State Troopers

  A Nikiski teenager was killed in a four-wheeler accident on Monday night.

Fourteen-year-old Skylar Lyon was out riding a four-wheeler along Halbouty Road in Nikiski around 8 p.m. when he went off the road and hit a tree, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Kenai Peninsula Borough

Monday would have been Marilyn and Hank Every’s 68th wedding anniversary. Hank died in 2014, but the day still brought a commemoration of their life together, the last 58 years spent on a lake in Nikiski, which is now a step closer to bearing their name.

“He wanted to name it Lake Marilyn after me. But you have to be gone five years before they’ll even consider naming it after somebody, so we just decided to use our family name,” Marilyn said.

Marilyn submitted a proposal to the Alaska Historical Commission to name it Every Lake. The commission agreed and the proposal now goes to the federal level. If it’s approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Every Lake will appear on official U.S. Geological Survey maps.


New Kassik's owners plan few changes

Dec 16, 2019
Kassik's Brewery

 

After more than a year on the market, Kassik’s Brewery in Nikiski has new owners. Frank and Debbie Kassik started the operation in 2004, and new owners Rick and Michelle McGlasson have had front row seats as the brewery has grown. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran stopped by the tasting room and spoke with Rick about getting into the beer business and what he hopes to do with it in the coming years.

 

 


 

Nikiski assembly candidates weigh in on ballot props

Sep 27, 2019

 

Three candidates are on the ballot for the borough assembly seat representing Nikiski. Joe Ross is a longtime North Roader who runs a gravel and topsoil business. He’s made one other run for public office and served on local service area boards. Jesse Bjorkman is a teacher at Nikiski Middle High School. On a recent episode of the Kenai Conversation, the two weighed in on the two ballot propositions voters will also decide in October.

 


  The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, has opened an office in Nikiski to handle claims stemming from the 7.0 Cook Inlet earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018.

In an announcement this week, FEMA says residents have until April 1 to apply for the Federal Individual Assistance Program.

Work continues on North Road extension

Feb 7, 2019
Kenai Peninsula Borough

 

Work continues on the roughly eight mile extension of road beyond the end of the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski. The long anticipated project will provide access to the Gray Cliff subdivision, currently only accessible by all-terrain vehicles.

Baisden named Borough Chief of Staff

Nov 28, 2018
www.twitter.com/jcbaisden

 

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce announced a new chief of staff Wednesday. James Baisden, who currently serves as the Fire Chief for the Nikiski Fire Service Area will replace John Quick, who was recently appointed to Governor-elect Mike Dunleavy’s administration.

 

The AK LNG project got a slight boost from federal regulators this week. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, will release its draft environmental impact statement a month ahead of schedule, in February next year.

Nikiski man arrested for killing, mutilating dog

Aug 29, 2018

On Tuesday night Alaska State Troopers were summoned to Duke Street in Nikiski after reports of a verbal disturbance.

According to an online dispatch, after an investigation the troopers arrested 41-year-old Michael Ohms on two charges of animal cruelty, violating a protective order, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Nikiski is identified as the best terminus for the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline Project submitted by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to keep it that way.

At its meeting Tuesday, the borough assembly gave the administration the green light to apply for intervener status with the Federal Regulatory Commission as it considers AGDC’s AK LNG project. Having the status to intervene means the borough can weigh in on the project proposal with FERC. The deadline to apply to intervene is long past — May 1, 2017 — but the borough didn’t think that step was necessary at the time.

Now, though, other municipalities in the state are telling FERC the terminus should be somewhere other than Nikiski. John Quick, borough Mayor Charlie Pierce’s chief of staff, says the borough wants to be able to counter those claims.

Between trying to incorporate and trying to prepare for a possible natural gas project, there is a lot happening in Nikiski these days. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we'll get a North Road update and speak with Stacy Oliva and Dan Gregory with Incorporate Nikiski, and Nikiski's representative on the borough assembly Wayne Ogle.

Despite being under pressure from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to look at other possible terminals, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation opened a satellite office in Nikiski on Feb. 12. It is staffed by Debra Holle Brown, a former Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member.

In a statement Brown said that Alaska LNG is “going to be a long-term economic boom for Nikiski and the entire Kenai Peninsula.”

Small quake shakes Central Peninsula on Labor Day

Sep 6, 2017

A small earthquake centered in Nikiski was felt in several areas of the Central Kenai Peninsula at 1:05 Monday afternoon. According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, the magnitude 4.1 shaker occurred 34 miles below Puppy Dog Lake, about seven miles north of Kenai. No damage was reported.

In Nikiski, there's a little-noticed seafood plant that processes and ships out fresh and fresh-frozen razor clams to all parts of the country. That's because it's currently the only one in operation -anywhere. The plant manager is Rusty Roessler, who's been in charge at Pacific Alaska Shellfish for the past 14 years.

Pages