Ashlyn O'Hara

Voters cast ballots in Alaska’s special general and regular primary elections at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Division of Elections data: Primary turnout higher than previous elections

Turnout among central Kenai Peninsula voters in Tuesday’s primary election was higher than in the 2020, 2018 and 2016 state primaries, data from the Alaska… Continue reading

Voters cast ballots in Alaska’s special general and regular primary elections at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
People camp above a river on Sunday, July 31, 2022 near Hope, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Festival season

Something nobody told me about Alaska is how many festivals there are in the summer. Having moved to the Kenai Peninsula in the middle of… Continue reading

People camp above a river on Sunday, July 31, 2022 near Hope, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
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School district extends meal program deadline amid confusion

Credit for breakfast and lunch meals will be provided as needed to students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District through Sept. 6, the district… Continue reading

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U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks at the Kenai Classic Roundtable at Kenai Peninsula College on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bycatch stirs debate at fisheries roundtable

Bycatch was the issue du jour at Wednesday’s annual Kenai Classic Roundtable on Fisheries. Hosted at Kenai Peninsula College by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association,… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks at the Kenai Classic Roundtable at Kenai Peninsula College on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ive. (Photo via Amazon.com)

Off the Shelf: A familiar folktale

“The Snow Child” tells a whimsical, yet supremely real tale of heartache on the Last Frontier

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ive. (Photo via Amazon.com)
Braeden Garrett holds signs supporting Alaska House of Representatives candidate Justin Ruffridge at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Ruffridge, Babcock lead in early primary results

Unofficial preliminary primary election results showed significant margins between the first- and second-place candidates

Braeden Garrett holds signs supporting Alaska House of Representatives candidate Justin Ruffridge at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Pierce among leaders in governor’s race

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads the pack overall

2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pollworkers Carol Louthan (center) and Harmony Bolden (right) work at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Local voters cast ballots, try out ranked choice

Locally, multiple candidates have their sights set on seats in the Alaska Legislature.

Pollworkers Carol Louthan (center) and Harmony Bolden (right) work at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly to revisit gravel pit legislation

A proposed ordinance would overhaul borough code addressing material site permits

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Campaign signs decorate the outside of Paradisos Restaurant on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Campaign signs decorate the outside of Paradisos Restaurant on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
As measured by the CDC, dispensing rate reflects the number of prescriptions dispensed per 100 persons per year. While the United States’ dispensing rate peaked at 81.3 in 2012, the Kenai Peninsula’s rate was 100 or higher every year between 2001 and 2015. Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara.

Borough creates grant program to distribute opioid settlement funds

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for opioid remediation using funds it expects to receive through a federal… Continue reading

As measured by the CDC, dispensing rate reflects the number of prescriptions dispensed per 100 persons per year. While the United States’ dispensing rate peaked at 81.3 in 2012, the Kenai Peninsula’s rate was 100 or higher every year between 2001 and 2015. Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara.
Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand near the entrance to the district’s Soldotna offices on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Academics, staff recruitment among district priorities for upcoming school year

The superintendent is ready to see KPBSD return to the district’s pre-COVID-19 academic performance

Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand near the entrance to the district’s Soldotna offices on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Local candidates report support from state PACs

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races

Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
A school bus outside of Kenai Central High School advertises driver positions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Staff shortage, gas prices change school bus routes

The changes do not apply to the district’s special education students

A school bus outside of Kenai Central High School advertises driver positions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A closeup of one of the marijuana plants at Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, Alaska, as seen on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly streamlines process for marijuana establishment license applications

License applications will now go straight to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for consideration

A closeup of one of the marijuana plants at Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, Alaska, as seen on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer addresses election information and misinformation during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. (Screenshot)

With a week to go, officials work to clear up election confusion

Officials provided updated ballot statistics, fielded questions from reporters and clarified misconceptions about the current election cycle

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer addresses election information and misinformation during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. (Screenshot)
A “Vote Here” sign is seen outside of the City of Kenai Building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska.

City council, assembly and board of education filing period opens

The period will close on Aug. 15 at 4:30 p.m. for all offices

A “Vote Here” sign is seen outside of the City of Kenai Building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska.
A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Polls open for early voting

Early voting started on Aug. 1 and is available through Aug. 15

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, leads an informational town hall about ranked choice voting inside the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Carpenter holds forum on ranked choice voting

Don’t “overthink it,” representative says

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, leads an informational town hall about ranked choice voting inside the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The borough’s welcome sign greets drivers as they enter the Kenai Peninsula on Milepost 75 of the Seward Highway, on Sunday, May 5, 2019, near Turnagain Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

More Alaskans leaving Alaska than staying

People stay in the state longer if they move to the state’s Gulf Coast region, which includes the Kenai Peninsula

The borough’s welcome sign greets drivers as they enter the Kenai Peninsula on Milepost 75 of the Seward Highway, on Sunday, May 5, 2019, near Turnagain Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)