Shaylon Cochran, KDLL - Kenai
Shaylon Cochran is a reporter at KBBI in Homer.
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 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.
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.
After concerns were raised about the safety of the Drift River storage facility located at the base of Mt. Redoubt, the energy company Hilcorp has started a project to ensure protection of the large oil tanks located there. But, the project first needed waivers from provisions of the Redoubt Bay Critical Habitat Management Plan.
Flood waters have begun to recede in Seward and points north, but the National Weather Service has extended its flood warning for the Kenai River until Thursday. Flooding along the Kenai has been reported in several areas and forced road closures and evacuations.
After a long summer of heated campaigning, the Senate race on the Kenai Peninsula ended with the incumbent defeated. The winner, Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche does not face a challenger in November.
The concerns over this year’s low return of king salmon to Cook Inlet have made it to the federal level. Governor Sean Parnell sent a letter to the Commerce Department last week seeking a federal disaster declaration for Cook Inlet fisheries.
Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Fisheries did little to offer relief to set netters on Cook Inlet’s east side. Presented with seven petitions asking for the chance to salvage the last few days of the sockeye season, the Board voted 5-2 to take no action.
This spring, Hilcorp, Alaska announced plans to reopen the Drift River Terminal oil storage facility on the west side of Cook Inlet. Hilcorp’s announcement raised concerns about the safety of the terminal because it’s at the base of Redoubt Volcano. Calls have been made for construction of a pipeline to transfer oil to the east side of the Inlet for processing, most recently by the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council or CIRCAC.
Nearly 200 commercial set net fishermen from the east side of Cook Inlet gathered Friday with their families to rally support for a change in the policies that have allowed just three days of fishing so far this year.
As in many parts of the state, so far, 2012 has been a rough year for fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. Despite a healthy run of sockeye salmon to the Kenai River, king salmon fishing was shut down completely this week. The slow season is beginning to take its toll, and not just on the sport fishermen.
The first of 10 public hearings on the proposed Alaska Coastal Zone Management ballot Initiative took place Monday evening in Soldotna. After expiring in 2011, the state legislature failed to come to an agreement on terms to extend the previous management plan. The initiative will come before voters in August as Proposition Two.
Among thick spruce forests just a few miles offshore of Cook Inlet near, Kasilof about 40 people have been carving out their own version of an Alaskan life. It’s called Ionia- not a commune exactly, but a place where residents can live a different kind of life. Now in its third decade on the Kenai Peninsula, the community continues to grow, and not just in numbers.
The All Alaska Workforce Initiative celebrated its one year anniversary earlier this week. The program is a joint venture between the state and federal Departments of Labor and seeks to put Alaskans to work in Alaskan industries. The new Copper River Seafoods processing facility in… Read More
After buying the legacy assets of Chevron in Cook Inlet – Hilcorp, Alaska is moving forward with plans to increase energy production in several fields there. Part of that plan includes reopening the Drift River Terminal Storage Facility at the base of Mt. Redoubt on the west side of Cook Inlet. But, an eruption of Redoubt in 2009 has many wondering about the wisdom of that plan.
Utility companies in Southcentral Alaska will enjoy a little more stability in their supply of natural gas this winter with the opening of a new $160 million storage facility in Kenai. Operated by Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, or CINGSA, the new facility is the first of its kind in Alaska and will provide a buffer between the seasons of peak production and peak demand.
Last weekend was the King salmon opener on the Ninilchik River. Yesterday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announce new restrictions for the river after seeing lower than expected escapement numbers for Kings.
The Department of Fish and Game has announced the projected outlook for salmon runs on the Kenai Peninsula. The numbers look a lot like last year. Fish and Game is transitioning to a new method of counting salmon on the River and in the Upper Cook Inlet, which has left a lot of questions for both the commercial and sport fishing communities, who are returning from a rough year in 2011.
Following a decision to implement aerial wolf hunts on the Kenai Peninsula as a means of increasing local moose populations, the Department of Fish and Game has decided to suspend those operations for at least a year in order to gather more information.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents held their spring meeting at the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna late last week. Each year, the Board travels to one of the University’s satellite campuses for their April meeting. In addition to conducting regular business, these spring gatherings give the local campuses an opportunity to showcase their facilities and programs to the entire Board.