Kenai Conversation

It took a lot of work to get this year's budget through the borough assembly, but there's more work left to do. Despite some budget cuts and a slight bump in property taxes, the borough is still looking at a deficit of close to $2 million. 


 Every once in a while host Jay Barrett has to pause and invite the Clarion sports department to the studio for some chat about athletics near and far. Jeff Helminiak, Joey Klecka and Jay cover MLB, rugby, FIFA World Cup and high school soccer as well as motor racing and the Peninsula Oilers.

On this week's Kenai Conversation we find out how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula when we welcome retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory wildlife biolgogist to talk about how a warming climate has shrunk lakes and ponds, caused an increase in wildfires and an explostion in the moose population.

Redoubt Reporter

This weekend marks the 14th annual Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival. We sat down with one of the event's many organizers, Toby Burke, to talk about what's planned for this year and what's happening in the world of birding.


This week on the Kenai Conversation, guests John Morton, the supervisory fish and wildlife biologist at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Hans Rinke, the Kenai-Kodiak Area forester with the Alaska Division of Forestry discuss our forests, the trees in them, their future and the potential threats they face. 

The first and second waves of a newly adopted teaching technique that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is implementing is underway, with the third “wave,” as the teacher training is called, to begin soon.

John Pothast is the director of elementary and secondary education with the district who has ushered in the Personalized Learning program.

“A couple years ago that ‘aha moment’ was the realization it’s not a thing. It’s a verb. It’s how are we conducting business," he said.

KPBSD

Personalized Learning is more than a buzzword for the latest fad in public education. This week on the Kenai Conversation, KPBSD Director of Elementary and Secondary Education John Pothast and district Communications Liaison Pegge Erkeneff, tell us about how Personalized Learning is being rolled out in classrooms across the district and what the expectations are.

  On this week’s Kenai Conversation, it’s a reporter’s roundtable. KDLL’s Jay Barrett and Shaylon Cochran sit down with Elizabeth Earl and Kat Sorensen from the Peninsula Clarion to talk about the latest events around the central peninsula, local budgets, the upcoming fishing season and more.

Though the state's finances are in a bit of a mess now with low oil prices and relatively low production, there are opportunities ahead. Creating a foundation to take advantage of those opportunities, however, is no easy task. This week, we talk to former borough mayor and current Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Mike Navarre about how the state can transition away from an oil-based economy and the policy and political hurdles that will need to be cleared along the way.

Exchange students have been part of Kenai Peninsula life for nearly 40 years now, with high-schoolers from all over the world sharing their culture with host families in Alaska. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we visit with a couple of this year's students, a couple host parents and organizers from the local AFS chapter. Tune in to find out about their adventures and how you could get a taste of it all.

Tickets for the AFS fundraising dinner, featuring dishes from all eight countries the year's students hail from, are available at River City Books in Soldotna.

www.skihatcherpass.org

Few things tie a place and a culture together like language. On this week's Kenai Conversation, native place names, how they’ve changed and why it matters.


On this week's conversation, we talk with Robert Ruffner and Brent Johnson, members of the borough's latest working group on gravel pits. What's the balance between residential expectations and commercial opportunity and how can it best be achieved?

Kenai Performers

Terri Zopf, the director of the Kenai Performers' production of Shrek: The Musical that opens Friday, along with tap dance choreographer Sally Cassano and three actors, Dagmar Meyer, Bill Taylor and Mike Gallagher, join host Jay Barrett to discuss what it takes to put on such a large and daunting production.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has been in office about three months now. So, as we get into the annual process of putting together a budget, how are things going? Are the conservative philosophies candidate Pierce ran on playing well with the realities of local government?

 

 

The Internet age was supposed to be the death knell for America’s public libraries. Google was supposed to replace the Dewey Decimal System and the Kindle was going to end paper books altogether. But, no. Not only are libraries like the ones in Kenai and Soldotna surviving, they’re thriving. We’ll find out why on the Kenai Conversation as host Jay Barrett welcomes head librarians Mary Jo Joiner and Rachel Nash from Kenai and Soldotna, respectively.

Jenny Neyman/Redoubt Reporter

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is offering another round of Community Emergency Response Training courses this month. We spoke with Borough Emergency Management Program Manager Dan Nelson to learn more about why the borough has been offering them for more than a decade.

Central Peninsula Hospital is making big changes to its campus and offering more services than ever.

On this week's Kenai Conversation, Shaylon Cochran talks with Lou Heite from Eagle Glade Farms in Nikiski and Ken Hynes from the Flats Bistro in Kenai about what kind of ingredients are available locally this time of year and how to turn then into a great holiday meal. 

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 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.

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.

On this week's Conversation, we sit down with candidates for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 2, Hal Smalley and Duane Bannock

KDLL's election coverage continues this week as we speak with candidates for District 1, which encompasses much of the K-Beach corridor and parts of Kenai.

Kenai Peninsula Borough

This week, we have a conversation with Charlie Pierce, candidate for borough mayor. We'll hear how he plans to close the borough budget gap and why more technology is a good thing for the future growth of the peninsula.

www.lindaforkpbmayor.com

Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings joins us on the Conversation this week to talk about her vision for the future of the Kenai and how to weather the current budget storm.

Pages