Ben Boettger

Borough, Nikiski seek to have greater participation in LNG export project

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is seeking an official role in federal permitting of plans to export North Slope natural gas to Asia via a 806-mile… Continue reading

 

Donlin Gold mine a potential new Cook Inlet gas buyer

Though a proposed gold mine would be more than 200 miles from the Kenai Peninsula, it would affect the region as a new buyer in… Continue reading

 

Sculptor Nichole Hoop works on a carving during the Alaska Wild Salmon Day festivities in Soldotna Creek Park on Friday in Soldotna. The event, organized by the conservation nonprofit Cook Inletkeeper, featured salmon-themed art, servings of salmon chowder, readings by fisher-poets, and music by Tyson James and Motown Fever. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Photo: In praise of salmon

By Ben Boettger Peninsula Clarion… Continue reading

 

Three of this year’s five Republican gubernatorial candidates — Mead Treadwell (left), Michael Sheldon, and Mike Dunleavy — speak to members of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce on Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna. In the primary election on August 21, voters will choose a candidate to run on the party ballot in the November 6 general election. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Republican gubernatorial candidates discuss issues at Soldotna forum

Three of this year’s five Republican gubernatorial candidates discussed their plans for state finance, capital spending, and the Alaska LNG project during a Wednesday forum… Continue reading

Three of this year’s five Republican gubernatorial candidates — Mead Treadwell (left), Michael Sheldon, and Mike Dunleavy — speak to members of the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce on Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna. In the primary election on August 21, voters will choose a candidate to run on the party ballot in the November 6 general election. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Retired Colonel Bob Doehl, Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, speaks in front of the wounded veterans’ memorial in Soldotna Creek Park during a ceremony organized by the Order of the Purple Heart’s Chapter 830 on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. In 2010 the Alaska Legislature designated August 7 as Purple Heart Day in recognition of wounded military veterans. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Honoring the wounded

By BEN BOETTGER Peninsula Clarion… Continue reading

Retired Colonel Bob Doehl, Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, speaks in front of the wounded veterans’ memorial in Soldotna Creek Park during a ceremony organized by the Order of the Purple Heart’s Chapter 830 on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. In 2010 the Alaska Legislature designated August 7 as Purple Heart Day in recognition of wounded military veterans. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

New restaurant to come to Kenai Airport

The new business Brothers’ Cafe is moving into the Kenai Municipal Airport terminal’s restaurant space. Jim Hamilton, who co-owns the new business with his brother,… Continue reading

The Kenai Airport Commission has proposed that this sign, designed by the Kenai Neon Sign Company, face the Kenai Spur Highway from the annual wildflower field that Kenai’s city government plants in the vacant municipal land between the Spur and Lawton Drive. The Kenai Airport Commission has been developing plans for the sign — which would occupy a city-owned property legally dedicated to support the Kenai Municipal Airport and long contested between residential neighbors and prospective developers — since October 2017. The Kenai City Council will vote on whether to erect it after it’s considered by the Kenai Beautification Committee, then again by the Airport Commission. (Courtesy of the City of Kenai)

Kenai debates adding sign to Lawton Acres’ Field of Flowers

The Kenai Airport Commission’s plans for a sign marking the the annual wildflower field the city plants in a vacant municipal lot on Lawton Drive… Continue reading

The Kenai Airport Commission has proposed that this sign, designed by the Kenai Neon Sign Company, face the Kenai Spur Highway from the annual wildflower field that Kenai’s city government plants in the vacant municipal land between the Spur and Lawton Drive. The Kenai Airport Commission has been developing plans for the sign — which would occupy a city-owned property legally dedicated to support the Kenai Municipal Airport and long contested between residential neighbors and prospective developers — since October 2017. The Kenai City Council will vote on whether to erect it after it’s considered by the Kenai Beautification Committee, then again by the Airport Commission. (Courtesy of the City of Kenai)
Lieutenant Governor candidates Debra Call (standing), Edie Grunwald, Sharon Jackson, Byron Mallot, Kevin Myer, and Stephan Wright answer questions at a Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce candidate forum on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Lieutenant governor candidates discuss LNG, taxes, Stand for Salmon in Kenai

Six of this year’s eight lieutenant governor candidates answered questions on Wednesday about ballot initiatives, potential state taxes, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and the Alaska… Continue reading

Lieutenant Governor candidates Debra Call (standing), Edie Grunwald, Sharon Jackson, Byron Mallot, Kevin Myer, and Stephan Wright answer questions at a Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce candidate forum on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Barbecue brings Soldotna to its roots

People from every generation of Soldotna’s brief history may have been among the large crowd that gathered Friday at the Soldotna Homestead Museum for a… Continue reading

Dipnetter Brad Gamblin (left) digs in the sand of Kenai’s north beach with his grandchildren Stella (in blue) and Marly Wilson on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The three, plus grandmother Cher Gamblin, brought the grandchildren on their first dipnetting trip this year. The morning, Brad Gamblin said, “was very productive.” Getting up early, he said the family had caught a dozen salmon by 9 a.m. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s exclusivity offering fails to bring vendors to the dipnet

This year’s personal-use dipnet fishery hasn’t draw many vendors to the north and south beaches along the mouth of the Kenai River. Nor did the… Continue reading

Dipnetter Brad Gamblin (left) digs in the sand of Kenai’s north beach with his grandchildren Stella (in blue) and Marly Wilson on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The three, plus grandmother Cher Gamblin, brought the grandchildren on their first dipnetting trip this year. The morning, Brad Gamblin said, “was very productive.” Getting up early, he said the family had caught a dozen salmon by 9 a.m. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Melody Miller (left) disentangles a salmon she just netted on Kenai’s north beach with the help of her daughter Manuia Tufi on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The two had recently after arrived from Anchorage and had caught the day’s first fish. Miller said this is her seventh year of dipnetting in Kenai. On Thursday afternoon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the fishery will close two days early, at 12:01 a.m on Monday. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Dipnetting to close early, sockeye bag limit reduced

Personal-use dipnetting on the Kenai River will end two days early this year, and sportfishermen will be limited to a one fish per day for… Continue reading

Melody Miller (left) disentangles a salmon she just netted on Kenai’s north beach with the help of her daughter Manuia Tufi on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The two had recently after arrived from Anchorage and had caught the day’s first fish. Miller said this is her seventh year of dipnetting in Kenai. On Thursday afternoon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the fishery will close two days early, at 12:01 a.m on Monday. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Rotary spearheads economic survey

The Soldotna Rotary Club is leading a new attempt to tackle economic questions with an assessment meant to match the interests of communities with types… Continue reading

This August 2016 photo shows Skilak Lake with Mt. Redoubt in the background on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. The state of Alaska is engaged in two lawsuits at the federal level with national implications, one of which involves a set of rules for hunting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, finalized in March 2016. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Bear that damaged tent at campground wasn’t going after food

The black bear that damaged a tent Saturday morning at the Lower Ohmer Lake campground didn’t get any food from the site and hasn’t hung… Continue reading

This August 2016 photo shows Skilak Lake with Mt. Redoubt in the background on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. The state of Alaska is engaged in two lawsuits at the federal level with national implications, one of which involves a set of rules for hunting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, finalized in March 2016. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)
Kenai Parks and Recreation employee Jacob Hart rakes Kenai’s south beach to demonstrate how the magnetic bar hanging behind his rake picks up nails and other metal debris buried under the sand, on Friday, July 20, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The idea of using a magnetic rake to sweep up metal objects — left after many years of pallet bonfires, lost tent stakes, and general litter — came from Kenai Central High School sophmore Riley Graves, who created a magnetic leaf-rake prototype for this April’s Caring for the Kenai competition. Kenai Public Works Department shop foreman Randy Parrish built the rake after Graves’ idea, which he presented to the Kenai City Council on May 16. Since the July 10 beginning of this summer’s personal use dipnet fishery, Hart said the rake’s been deployed every evening. “When you drive over a dark spot in the sand, where you can tell it’s been a fire pit, you can hear the nails going tink, tink, tink,” he said. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Metal harvest: High schooler’s project make a dent in beach litter

A local teenager’s invention has been put into action cleaning Kenai’s beach. Since this summer’s personal use dipnet fishery season launched July 10, Kenai Parks… Continue reading

Kenai Parks and Recreation employee Jacob Hart rakes Kenai’s south beach to demonstrate how the magnetic bar hanging behind his rake picks up nails and other metal debris buried under the sand, on Friday, July 20, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The idea of using a magnetic rake to sweep up metal objects — left after many years of pallet bonfires, lost tent stakes, and general litter — came from Kenai Central High School sophmore Riley Graves, who created a magnetic leaf-rake prototype for this April’s Caring for the Kenai competition. Kenai Public Works Department shop foreman Randy Parrish built the rake after Graves’ idea, which he presented to the Kenai City Council on May 16. Since the July 10 beginning of this summer’s personal use dipnet fishery, Hart said the rake’s been deployed every evening. “When you drive over a dark spot in the sand, where you can tell it’s been a fire pit, you can hear the nails going tink, tink, tink,” he said. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilot Alex Agosti inspects Kenai Aviation’s Cessna 206 before a flight with Kenai Aviation owner Joel Caldwell on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Kenai Municipal Airport in Kenai, Alaska. The family-owned aviation business flew passengers and cargo around the Cook Inlet region for 56 years before closing in September 2017 after the Cook Inlet oil field operators who were its primary customers consolidated and dropped investment in response to low oil prices. Caldwell bought the business early this year from Jim Bielefeld, son of founder Bob Bielefeld. Calwell plans to revive and expand Kenai Aviation into a statewide charter. Presently he and two other pilots — Agosti and Keith Ham — are offering flightseeing trips. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

With new owner, Kenai Aviation looking beyond Cook Inlet

When Kenai Aviation closed in late 2017, it left behind more than half a century of history at the Kenai Municipal Airport and a generation… Continue reading

Pilot Alex Agosti inspects Kenai Aviation’s Cessna 206 before a flight with Kenai Aviation owner Joel Caldwell on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Kenai Municipal Airport in Kenai, Alaska. The family-owned aviation business flew passengers and cargo around the Cook Inlet region for 56 years before closing in September 2017 after the Cook Inlet oil field operators who were its primary customers consolidated and dropped investment in response to low oil prices. Caldwell bought the business early this year from Jim Bielefeld, son of founder Bob Bielefeld. Calwell plans to revive and expand Kenai Aviation into a statewide charter. Presently he and two other pilots — Agosti and Keith Ham — are offering flightseeing trips. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Docent Carroll Knutson describes Alaska’s 1964 earthquake to visitors of the Soldotna Historical Society Museum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Historical Society will be kicking off this year’s Soldotna Progress Days celebration on July 27 with a free community barbecue featuring several of Soldotna’s early settlers and their descendants. Knutson, whose family began homesteading about eight miles south of Soldotna in 1958, will be among those telling stories and leading tours through the museum’s collection of homesteader cabins and exhibits of artifacts. The event, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m, will also include music from Hobo Jim, a dutch oven demonstration, and children’s scavenger hunts. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Past and present: Homesteaders offer perspective on Progress Days

As Soldotna celebrates its progress from a collection of homesteads on the edge of the Kenai National Moose Range to the business and tourism hub… Continue reading

Docent Carroll Knutson describes Alaska’s 1964 earthquake to visitors of the Soldotna Historical Society Museum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Historical Society will be kicking off this year’s Soldotna Progress Days celebration on July 27 with a free community barbecue featuring several of Soldotna’s early settlers and their descendants. Knutson, whose family began homesteading about eight miles south of Soldotna in 1958, will be among those telling stories and leading tours through the museum’s collection of homesteader cabins and exhibits of artifacts. The event, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m, will also include music from Hobo Jim, a dutch oven demonstration, and children’s scavenger hunts. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough approves two gravel pits, denies one

With the Kenai Peninsula Borough postponing efforts to rewrite its rules on the contentious subject of gravel pits, the Planning Commission approved two gravel pit… Continue reading

Sinclair resigns as Watershed Forum director

After leading the conservation nonprofit Kenai Watershed Forum since 2016, Jack Sinclair has resigned as the group’s executive director. On Tuesday the Watershed Forum announced… Continue reading

Docent Carroll Knutson describes Alaska’s 1964 earthquake to visitors of the Soldotna Historical Society Museum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Historical Society will be kicking off next weekend’s Soldotna Progress Days celebration on July 27 with a free community barbecue featuring several of Soldotna’s early settlers and their descendents. Knutson, whose family began homesteading about eight miles south of Soldotna in 1958, will be among those telling stories and leading tours thorugh the museum’s collection of homesteader cabins and exhibits of artifiacts. The event, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m, will also include music from Hobo Jim, a dutch oven demonstration, and children’s scavenger hunts. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Docent Carroll Knutson describes Alaska’s 1964 earthquake to visitors of the Soldotna Historical Society Museum on Tuesday in Soldotna. The Historical Society will be kicking… Continue reading

Docent Carroll Knutson describes Alaska’s 1964 earthquake to visitors of the Soldotna Historical Society Museum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Historical Society will be kicking off next weekend’s Soldotna Progress Days celebration on July 27 with a free community barbecue featuring several of Soldotna’s early settlers and their descendents. Knutson, whose family began homesteading about eight miles south of Soldotna in 1958, will be among those telling stories and leading tours thorugh the museum’s collection of homesteader cabins and exhibits of artifiacts. The event, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m, will also include music from Hobo Jim, a dutch oven demonstration, and children’s scavenger hunts. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Angler Mark Higgins fishes the Kenai River from the stairs at Centennial Park on Monday, July 16, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. It’s the peak of the fishing season, but runs have been far below those of past years — as of Sunday, <a href="https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.displayResults&COUNTLOCATIONID=40&SpeciesID=420" target="_blank">the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s sonar had counted a cummulative 105,819 sockeye</a> in the Kenai River this year, versus138,568 sockeye by that date in 2017. Like many anglers on the river, Higgins had an unsucessful Monday afternoon. “Chances are low, but you might as well be fishing rather than sitting in the camper,” he said. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

By Ben Boettger Peninsula Clarion… Continue reading

Angler Mark Higgins fishes the Kenai River from the stairs at Centennial Park on Monday, July 16, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. It’s the peak of the fishing season, but runs have been far below those of past years — as of Sunday, <a href="https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCounts/index.cfm?ADFG=main.displayResults&COUNTLOCATIONID=40&SpeciesID=420" target="_blank">the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s sonar had counted a cummulative 105,819 sockeye</a> in the Kenai River this year, versus138,568 sockeye by that date in 2017. Like many anglers on the river, Higgins had an unsucessful Monday afternoon. “Chances are low, but you might as well be fishing rather than sitting in the camper,” he said. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)