From left, Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, east side setnetter Ken Coleman and Konrad Jackson present information about a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for east side setnet fishery permits during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Senate committee hears setnet buyback bill

The East Side of Cook Inlet Set Net Fleet Reduction Act is sponsored by Nikiski Sen. Jesse Bjorkman

Kenai’s Connor Ley collects high fives from the bleachers after making an unlikely shot during a basketball game at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Tuesday hoops: Kenai sweeps Nikiski

The Kenai girls and boys teams both came out on top

Martin Flores skis into the finish to win the 40-kilometer Double Tour while carrying an Alaska flag during the Tour of Tsalteshi at Tsalteshi Trails near Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers, bikers turn out for Seventh Annual Tour of Tsalteshi

Racers came from across the Kenai Peninsula and beyond and competed in a variety of lengths and modes of travel

Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, presides over a mostly empty House chamber at the end of an hourslong recess over education legislation on Monday in Juneau (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Tie vote kills early House debate on education funding

Lawmakers went into an hourslong recess that ended with adjournment until Tuesday morning

Peninsula Clarion government and education reporter Ashlyn O’Hara stands in the hallways of the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Clarion reporter working in Juneau for legislative exchange

Reporter Ashlyn O’Hara will be covering statewide issues with a local lens

Mock-up illustration of in-development Kahtnu Area Transit Bus (Image courtesy Kenaitze Indian Tribe)

Kenaitze purchase Kenai’s former Kendall Ford building for transportation hub

Hetl Qenq’a will also serve as a hub for the upcoming Kahtnu Area Transit, a fixed route public bus service

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
Caitlin Babcock addresses students during Luke Herman’s government class at Soldotna High School on Feb. 8 in Soldotna.

Amid education funding shortfalls, local students advocate for support

‘This state will lose us and generations of students after’

Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
This basil avocado dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous — great for use on bitter greens like kale and arugula.

Memories of basil and bowling with Dad

This dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous

Ninilchik’s Riley Tucker moves down the court during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Tucker was named tournament MVP and three-point champion at the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski girls, Ninilchik boys win Ninilchik Invitational Tournament

Both teams took wins over Unalaska in title matches on Saturday

Example of a culvert blocked by natural materials on Port Graham Road. (Photo by Sarah Apsens/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Connecting fish and community to resources in Port Graham

Streams that baby salmon live in provide shelter from predators, food and conditions for optimal growth

Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger
Don and Verona pose inside their first Soldotna grocery store in 1952, the year they opened for business.

Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 5

By 1952, the Wilsons constructed a simple, rectangular, wood-frame building and started the town’s first grocery

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