Local News

News

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The Alaska LNG plant in Nikiski won’t be built with the Kenai Spur highway on its current path. Monday night, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation was in town to talk about the options for relocating the Spur and take a few questions.

 

 


Here's a question for you: do you feel as if you're living in any of the top 10 most dangerous cities in Alaska? Some days it feels like the answer is yes, other days it's hard to imagine. But using raw data from the FBI, a travel website has determined just that. Soldotna is the sixth most dangerous city in the state, up one spot from seventh last year, while Kenai, meanwhile is ranked 10th, but it has fallen six spots from number four last year, that's according to "Road Snacks."

Last month’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Kodiak Island meant different things to different people on the Kenai Peninsula, and it all depended on where they lived. In areas closer to the open ocean of the Gulf of Alaska, it meant evacuation to high ground, while in the Central Peninsula, it was a midnight diversion, something to post about on Facebook for a few days.

For the people of the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Office of Emergency Management, it was the time to swing into high gear to warn residents in vulnerable areas of possible tsunami danger.

Redoubt Reporter

 

 

A state water report highlighting turbidity problems on the Kenai River has been met with a sharp rebuke by the local advisory board.

 

 

  

Photo ConocoPhillips

  The mothballed natural gas liquefaction plant in Nikiski has a new owner, changing hands officially a week ago. ConocoPhillips sold its Kenai LNG plant to its industrial park neighbor, Andeavor, which operates the crude oil refinery across the street. 

The price of the sale was not disclosed. Nor were Andeavor’s plans for the nearly 50-year-old facility. A quote from Andeavor spokesman Scott LaBelle in an announcement caught the eye of former Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral chief of staff, Larry Persily, an expert on natural gas issues.

 

Borough mayor Charlie Pierce is rolling out some specific details on how to close the borough’s four million dollar budget gap. He spoke at a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce Wednesday.

 


Outdoor enthusiasts with more gasoline than ski wax running in their veins finally got the word they were waiting for: effective immediately, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is open to snowmachine use. Refuge Manager Andy Loranger announced the opening today (Tuesday), saying it applies to all areas of traditional snowmachine use.

  The last series of lakes in the central peninsula to be treated for invasive northern pike is the subject of a public meeting Thursday night. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will have on hand the project biologist, the area sport fishery manager, and the area research supervisor will be in attendance to answer questions. 

The public meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 Thursday evening at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

Libraries used to be quiet as mausoleums, with people shuffling quietly from the card catalog, to the stacks, to a straight-backed wooden chair at a table to read under harsh fluorescent lights. Stern librarians would peer over their glasses and give a “shush” at any sound.

Not so much any more.

“Libraries are not quiet any more. And there are some people who are kinda upset about that sometimes,” says Kenai Library Director Mary Jo Joiner. 

 

Ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting, the Kenai Peninsula borough assembly and the school board got together for a joint work session on the school district budget.

Senator Lisa Murkowski was in Kenai Friday to speak at a joint Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meeting.


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

 

For almost 60 years, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has recognized local businesses during an annual awards ceremony. For the big one, the Chamber’s business of the year award, some critria need to be met.

At last week’s regular meeting, the Soldotna City Council made a fundamental change to how city hall and the Soldotna city government is structured. The council moved oversight of the city clerk from the city manager to the city council.

As Councilwoman Linda Murphy, a one-time Alaska Clerk of the Year herself, explains, a city Soldotna’s size should be structured in this manner.

Bill Laughing Bear

This past weekend may have been the busiest of the winter. What with Native Youth Olympics, the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race, the Arctic Winter Games, and who can forget the KDLL Annual Membership Party?

Well, on Saturday out at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge visitors center, a mushing guide turned author demonstrated his Siberian mushing set up, and talked about his new book, "An Alaskan Adventure: Tales of a Musher."

Cooper Landing Gun Club

 

Sportshooters in Cooper Landing may soon have a new facility to sharpen their aim. The borough planning commission will take up a motion this week to lease 66 acres for a new shooting range.

Harry Hagelund

 

 

The Trump administration recently announced new tariffs on solar panels. The solar industry is growing rapidly in the Lower 48, and it's gaining a foothold even in Alaska. But what the new trade policy means here depends on what part of the solar industry you’re involved in.

 

 


National Weather Service

  The Kenai River at the Soldotna Bridge entered minor flood stage several times on Thursday and Friday, according to National Weather Service measurements.

The Service issued a special weather statement Sunday warning of the rising water levels on the Kenai River as freeze-up continues. As ice forms the river, the statement says, it can build up and restrict the flow of the water, backing it up behind the ice and raising levels.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

  

Girdwood-based musher Nic Petit won the Tustumena 200 Sunday with a time of 26 hours, 26 minutes.

 

 


City of Soldotna

The city of Soldotna has made a job offer for a new city manager. Stephanie Queen, who had been the interim city manager since October was selected unanimously in a special session Thursday.

Andeavor

Residents along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska got a shaky wake up earlier this week. Fallout from a nearly eight point earthquake was limited to a predawn trip for some to higher ground, and no major damage was reported from the resulting tsunami wave, which topped out at less than a foot.

The city of Kenai is looking to grow its economic base. That begins with one of the city’s more abundant resources — land. Shaylon Cochran has more on the plans to catalog and encourage development around the city:


Jay Barrett/KDLL photo

  Project Homeless Connect, a one-day outreach to the peninsula’s disadvantaged, attracted scores people to the Soldotna Sports Complex Wednesday. Frank Alioto, whose daytime job is at Central Peninsula Hospital, is a co-leader of the project.

There was another strong earthquake felt in Kenai almost exactly two years ago, though much closer than Tuesday morning's 7.9 event, meaning it caused a whole lot more damage in the Central Peninsula.

Some of that damage occurred to the Kenai City Dock during the January 24th, 2016, 7.1 earthquake.

City Manager Paul Ostrander explained to the Kenai City Council the administration’s plan to repair the damage, using funds left over from two other, completed projects.

Alaska's economic future pretty much balances right now on a  natural gas pipeline running from the North Slope to Nikiski. It's the main focus of Governor Bill Walker's administration, and he's lobbied two presidents and several foreign leaders to get on board.

While the project is making progress through a recent agreement with China, it's far from a certainty, at least in the mind of local elder statesman John Williams.

The latest Alaska State Trooper Citizen Academy on the Kenai Peninsula is under way. Lieutenant Dane Gilmore of the Soldotna trooper post says the 12-week program is designed to help citizens learn about the role of troopers in the community.

"The idea is to create community awareness of the equipment and resources and limitations of the AST and the criminal justice system overall," he said.

He says the academy is important partially to dispel some misconceptions people have about the troopers.

Pages