Jay Barrett

Morning Edition host/news reporter

Born in Dillingham, Jay Barrett started in public radio at the age of 12, when the school district there started KDLG-AM. He has gone on to work in radio, television and print as a reporter, photographer and editor/news-director across rural Alaska. For the past dozen years, he’s been news director at KMXT Kodiak, where he’s produced The Alaska Fisheries Report for the last 10 years. He returns to KDLL 20 years from when he first came to the station.

Alaska Earthquake Center

  A spate of earthquakes widely felt in Southcentral Alaska lately has some wondering if that's a good sign or a bad sign, insofar as larger quakes are concerned.

Checking with Natalia Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center in Fairbanks, reveals you can't make assumptions on future quakes based on what we're feeling now.

A small earthquake on the Kenai Peninsula was felt as far away as Anchorage early this afternoon.

The Alaska Earthquake Center reported a 4.6 magnitude quake centered six miles northeast of Sterling at 12:17 p.m., at a depth of 23 miles. An even smaller, and unfelt 2.2 magnitude aftershock was recorded at 12:21 p.m. in roughly the same spot.

No damage or injuries were reported.

While Dutch Harbor, Kodiak and Bristol Bay net all the headlines for the volume and value of their yearly commercial seafood harvests, two fishing ports on the Kenai Peninsula do rank in the top 50 nationwide in both categories.

You may have seen the sign is gone from the former Kenai Moose Lodge on the Spur Highway just west of Forrest Drive. The organization disbanded locally and closed the doors to its family center social club earlier this year. But the charter remains active, according to Norm Dean, West Coast Region manager for Moose International.

“Well, we’re working to secure leaders in the local lodge that will move forward and find a new location and get back to what the Moose does, and that’s support our two big national charitable endeavors,” Dean said.

At Tuesday night's (Oct. 31) Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, a 7th-grader from Kachemak Selo urged the borough to do something about her deteriorating school.

Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council

  On the same night an ordinance to institute a 6 percent bed tax peninsula-wide was introduced, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly heard a report from the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council on how they and that industry is doing.

"All signs are pointing to the positive," said an enthusiastic Summer Lazenby. "I can't give an exact tourism update at this point because historically it's been sales tax data that is used to define whether or not it's been a good tourism season or not."

The public will now have access to far more detailed records of Kenai City Council work sessions and the joint get-togethers it has with city commissions after passing a resolution recently authorizing the audio recordings of those proceedings.

On this week's Kenai Conversation, host Jay Barrett welcome's Peninsula Clarion sports reporter Joey Klecka to the microphone to talk sports, both local — why are the Soldotna Stars so good at football and how can Allie Ostrander be so good at running — and national.KDLL's Shaylon Cochran joins us halfway through to add his thoughts.

Residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough are waiting for the mailman to help sort out whether Charlie Pierce or Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings will be the new borough mayor.

Any qualified absentee ballots postmarked by last Tuesday (Oct. 24) that arrive at the borough building in the mail today or tomorrow are eligible to be added to the final tally of votes in the runoff election for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor.

The Soldotna City Council received its quarterly report from the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at its meeting last Wednesday night. Executive Director Shannon Davis said traffic through the Soldotna Visitors Center was down this past season.

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

As part of her report to the Soldotna City Council Wednesday night, Shannon Davis of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce announced scaled-back plans for the long-awaited new visitor center.

The Oct. 3 regular municipal election didn't settle the race for who will be the next Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, and it appears Tuesday’s runoff will come down to absentee votes before a winner is known. With all 28 precincts reporting, Charlie Pierce held a 226 vote lead over Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings.

Pierce received 3,509 votes to Farnsworth-Hutchings' 3,283.

It's a mixed-medium mash-up as KDLL hosts Shaylon Cochran and Jay Barrett welcome Peninsula Clarion reporters Elizabeth Earl and Kat Sorensen to talk about the just-passed Kenai Peninsula municipal elections. 

 The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute recently released its annual report on the economic impact of the seafood industry in Alaska.

Commissioned by the McDowell Group, the ASMI report details where and how 56,800 Alaskan fishermen and processors harvested 5.6 billion pounds of seafood, worth $4.2 billion wholesale. The nationwide economic impact is estimated at over $12 billion.

The two Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidates who will face off in an Oct. 24th runoff were on KDLL's Kenai Conversation this week, answering a wide range of questions. One was about their attitudes toward the Pebble Mine, proposed for the Lake Iliamna area just across Cook Inlet, and if they thought it might offer economic opportunities for the Kenai Peninsula, potentially as a staging area.

Candidate Charlie Pierce said he had once toured the area.

With just 885 votes separating Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidates Charlie Pierce and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, the pair face each other in a runoff election on October 24th. Pierce and Farnsworth-Hutchings appeared together on this week's (Oct. 11) KDLL Kenai Conversation.

 

The top two vote-getters in last week's Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral election, Charlie Pierce with 5,489 votes and Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings with 4,604, will be facing off in a special runoff election Oct. 24. They joined Kenai Conversation host Jay Barrett to debate the campaign issues.

The two remaining candidates in the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral election, Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings and Charlie Pierce, managed to raise just about the same amount of money in their campaigns in the run up to last week's municipal election.

We speak with Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre and his top aide, Larry Persily, about Tuesday's election, the upcoming run-off and their future plans.

Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral race will be going to a runoff later this month, with none of the three candidates scoring 50-percent or more of the vote.

On KDLL's special fall membership drive edition of Kenai Fresh Air, host Jay Barrett speaks with writer, editor and publisher Jackie Pels. She is responsible for a couple dozen books, mostly about pioneering Alaskans, including her mother, in "Unga Island Girl," the one-time "commodore of the fleet" of the Alaska  Marine Highway, Walter Jackinsky, in "Any Tonnage, Any Ocean," and the definitive history of the Jesse Lee Home in Seward, in "Family After All." She is also a member of the Kenai Territorial High School graduating class of 1953.

 

On KDLL’s special membership drive edition of Kenai Science Friday, what the DNA analysis of ancient salmon bones might be able to tell us about the people who lived on the Kenai Peninsula 2,000 years ago, and how that might relate to fisheries politics today. Paleogenomics meets anthropology with guests professor Alan Boraas of Kenai Peninsula College and Dr. Ripan Malhi of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.

  

   

In this half hour of Kenai Science Friday, we speak with the physics and math instructor at Kenai Peninsula College, Andy Veh. He also teaches astronomy, and in the past wrote a regular column on the stars for the Redoubt Reporter newspaper.

In the next half hour, it's Women in Science. Last week, Cook InletKeeper held a roundtable discussion with area women about their careers in science and technology. KDLL's Jenny Neyman was there and collected these excerpts of the conversation.

 

The Vietnam War is the subject of Ken Burns' latest epic series on PBS, and on KDLL's fall membership drive version of Peninsula On Point, Jay Barrett talks with Allen Auxier, of Soldotna, about his experiences in the war. Listeners know Allen as the longtime station manager at KDLL, but may not know he spent 11 months carrying an M-60 machine gun and jumping out of helicopters in the jungles of Vietnam in 1971 and '72. He came back staunchly patriotic, but adamantly anti-war.

It's municipal election day on the Kenai Peninsula, indeed in most of Alaska. Borough residents, depending on where they live, face a variety of choices on the ballot, however, everyone in the borough will be voting on who will be our new mayor. Three candidates are running: Dale Bagley, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings, and Charlie Pierce are all hoping for 50-percent-plus-one vote to avoid a costly run-off election between the top two vote-getters.

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