Move puts hold on effort until park's management plan is updated.
A new senior center is set to open next spring in Soldotna, part of a growing industry on the Kenai Peninsula. Partners from Riverside Assisted Living, who are constructing two of three new senior housing centers on the central peninsula, pitched their new facility at a presentation Friday morning at the Kenai Senior Center.
Talk about fishing got most of the attention during Governor Sean Parnell’s most recent visit to the Kenai Peninsula, but he did make some time to discuss some of the issues surrounding energy production in Cook Inlet.
Governor Sean Parnell visited Kenai Tuesday to meet with local officials, mingle with residents and make a $30 million announcement. That’s the amount the Governor is proposing to spend on a five-year Chinook Salmon Research Initiative.
A room filled mostly with fishermen was greeted with the news that $10 million will be marked in the budget for next year, to be devoted to king salmon research. Before making his announcement, Governor Parnell made it around the room to hear what was on people’s minds, and mostly it was fishing.
“We just want him to realize how important reds are to the community,” said Megan Smith, an east side set netter, after the Governor spoke with her and fellow setnetters Amber Every and Lisa Gabriel.
“Next summer, hopefully we can move forward and work for a solution to let everyone harvest and everyone have a piece of the pie, because there’s plenty for everyone,” Smith said.
“He does know the issues and I felt he was very receptive to us,” Gabriel said of her brief conversation with Parnell.
“We need to figure out what’s happening with these king salmon; is there a conservation concern, and if so how we’re going to deal with it,” Every said about the research initiative.
The Governor clued the three in on his announcement just before he took to the podium to make it official.
The research plan is the product of a two-day salmon symposium held in Anchorage in October, when scientists, fisheries managers and fishermen from across the state pitched in ideas about the kinds of information they were interested in gathering and what a research plan would include.
The plan that came out of that meeting will include adult, juvenile and harvest assessments, plus genetics and biometrics all taken into account with what makes up the local knowledge base of these fisheries. The $10 million used to get the program started this year is in addition to the f$14.6 million the Department of Fish and Game already spends annually on Chinook research and management.
The Governor offered his pledge that regardless of the causes for poor king salmon returns that forced both sport and commercial fisheries this summer, the fishermen affected by those closures aren’t alone.
“There’s nothing quite like being concerned about where you’re going to be, how you’re going to make it through the winter, how you’re going to pay next month’s bills,” Parnell said.
“There are no easy answers to the fish dilemmas that we have. Sometimes there are simplistic answers given but there are no simple answers. All I know is that we’re in it together. And I know that I will work with every one of you and every group imaginable to work together to solve these issues and make sure we have a sustainable fishery,” the Governor said.
The Chinook Salmon Research Initiative is included in the Governor’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year and will use information from 12 indicator river systems from all over the state to develop new strategies that will grow king salmon returns.
Commercial fishermen and others who felt the economic effects of this year’s fishing season on the Kenai Peninsula are still grasping for a full understanding of how, and how much, these industries contribute to the local economy. The Kenai Peninsula Borough has taken the first steps in putting together an economic study that might provide that understanding.
One of Soldotna’s own has been chosen to compete for a $100,000 scholarship during this year’s PAC-12 Championship football game on November 30th.
Last week, Peninsula Clarion Reporter Rashah McChesney wrote about a preliminary study done by the Kenai Watershed Forum in contract with the Department of Environmental Conservation identifying a link between increased boat traffic on the Kenai River and increased turbidity levels that exceed state standards for water quality
The Task Force organized in October to address issues related to the Department of Fish and Game's king salmon management plan met for the first of four meetings Friday at Kenai Peninsula College.
The state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is developing a Highway Safety Improvement Program project that will construct Slow Vehicle Turnouts on the Sterling Highway. The project would add 22 of the turnouts to reduce injuries and fatalities between Soldotna and Bay Crest Hill in Homer.
The Homer High hockey team is off to the best start in school history. The Mariners took their undefeated 6-0 record into North Star Conference play Tuesday night, in a tough battle against the rival Soldotna Stars.
About 36 percent of students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are overweight or obese – that according to a new study published by the Alaska Division of Public Health.
Young thespians at Soldotna High School were putting the finishing touches on their performance of the play ‘Flowers For Algernon’ Wednesday morning
Congress has just a few weeks to act on the request for federal disaster aid to local fishermen affected by this year’s historically low run of king salmon. The Alaska congressional delegation Tuesday received some updated information that paints a more detailed picture of just what those effects were.
Sunday marked the 94th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The day was celebrated as Armistice Day until 1954 when the day was set aside to recognize the service of all veterans.
As a follow up to last week’s salmon celebration at Kenai Peninsula College that featured a presentation on the importance of salmon to subsistence cultures by Dr. Alan Boraas, this week’s presentation, sponsored by the Kenai Watershed Forum, was an artistic outlet for the fishing culture.
The energy company Hilcorp has announced another step toward finalizing its acquisition of Cook Inlet assets from Marathon. The transaction had been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, but that investigation has closed and the deal will move forward as South Central Alaska braces for a possible natural gas shortage in the coming years.
The Kenai Peninsula had only two contested legislative races in Tuesday’s general election – the race for Senate District N on the northern peninsula and the race for House District 30 on the southern peninsula.
Voters across the country filled polling places Tuesday to cast ballots for local and national elections alike. We spent some time at the Kenai Senior Center Tuesday to speak with people after they’d made their voice heard in the democratic process.
As modern development speeds toward some of the last truly subsistence-based economies and tribes in the world, researchers are working to better understand this way of life. Two anthropologists from Kenai Peninsula College have been working on a project just like that for the past two years and recently presented what they learned in Soldotna.
Later this week, the Kenai City Council will take a look at a proposal to amend the city’s code as it relates to livestock regulations within city limits. The amendment, if adopted, would make it a little easier for fans of farm-fresh eggs to maintain a steady supply.
Membership for the task force charged with finding new ways to manage salmon fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet has been released. The 11-member group includes several representatives from the Kenai Peninsula.