Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

Jason Oles knows a lot about bears. He’s worked among Kodiak brown bears, Rocky Mountain grizzlies, North Slope polar bears, and Kenai Peninsula black bears, on various national parks and wildlife refuges. Now a ranger at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, he says there are definitely a few tricks to living, working, and recreating among bears.

City of Soldotna

The Soldotna Regional Sports Complex has been a bot topic at Soldotna City Council meetings. On the agenda for this week’s meeting, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the council will discuss the COVID-19 operating plan for the facility.

At the council’s last meeting, Aug. 26, council members voted on renovations to the 37-year-old building. The city is moving forward on a phased plan to rehab the facility. City Manager Stephanie Queen says the first phase is updates to the function of the building. 

“It’s a suite of improvements that are really a lot of deferred maintenance at our sports center,” Queen said. “We’ve gotten a lot of life out of that facility. It’s an aging facility. The administration had a small group that got together and worked with some design professionals to identify some projects that could really improve the functionality of that space for the users and for our staff there.”

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.

North Peninsula Recreation Service Area

Though the state of Alaska’s Phase II for scaling back COVID-19 restrictions allows for the opening of swimming pools, no one on the Kenai Peninsula is going to be making a splash in public pools anytime soon.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District facilities remain closed. Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD communications director, says the district does not have any immediate plans to open the seven school pools across the peninsula.

“It’s actually fairly complex when you really start looking at everything from entrances, capacities, social distancing, shower requirements, and if DEC waives shower requirements prior to a swim then what does that do to the pool water and chemicals needed? And then the energy savings and the financial savings are a really big thing right now for the school district, as well, as we face really unknown budgets coming up in the next couple years,” Erkeneff said.

KPC hosts wilderness skills course

Oct 30, 2019


There are all kinds of reasons why we may find ourselves unexpectedly outdoors and potentially not ready for it. A wilderness survival class at KPC this weekend intends to prevent that, by explaining the basics of how to stay sheltered and warm without all the comforts of a properly planned trip. 

Host Jenny Neyman interviews noted Alaska mountaineer Dave Hart about getting started climbing 30+ years ago, staying safe and what he's learned along the way.

Tag along with Dave up Redoubt, Iliamna, Torbert and Truuli peaks during a live photo presentation at 7 p.m. May 10 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. Admission is $5, or free for KDLL members.

Kenai Conversation: Tami Murray, Tustumena 200

Jan 10, 2018
Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Winter seems to be holding out enough for the 31st running of the Tustumena 200 sled dog race. Race Director Tami Murray joins us this week to talk about how the course is shaping up, which local teams will be lined up and how you can volunteer (just go here). An official starting location will be announced before the race on Jan. 27.

Courtesy of Tony Doyle

Local backcountry skier Tony Doyle and Wendy Wagner, director and forecaster at the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center (, talk about avalanche awareness in the Kenai Mountains. Learn what slopes you should know, what safety gear is worth the dough and what conditions are a no-go to stay safe in the mountains.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

On June 6, 1912, a newly formed vent unleashed the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century in what became known as the Valley of 10,000 Smokes in Katmai National Park and Preserve. Today, it's a fascinating backpacking destination for anyone with an interest in geology or just an appreciation for impressive scenery.
Host Jenny Neyman speaks with Cathy Bell, chief of interpretation and education at Katmai National Park and Preserve, about the geology of the valley and how to plan a visit.

Tsalteshi Trails Association


Racing in Alaska isn’t for the faint of heart.