Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this June 4, 2015 file photo Nikiski resident and activist Ann Krogseng speaks to a crowd during a borough assembly hearing on a proposed law enforcement service area in Nikiski, Alaska. Korgseng died in an ATV rollover accident at her property on Thursday.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this June 4, 2015 file photo Nikiski resident and activist Ann Krogseng speaks to a crowd during a borough assembly hearing on a proposed law enforcement service area in Nikiski, Alaska. Korgseng died in an ATV rollover accident at her property on Thursday.

Community mourns death of Nikiski activist

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Saturday, September 26, 2015 10:09pm
  • News

A Nikiski resident and community activist died on Thursday after she was ejected and pinned beneath her ATV.

Ann Dooley-Krogseng, 59, was an organizer of the Nikiski Community Action Group and a driving force behind the unincorporated community’s attempts to fix its crime problem.

Soldotna-based Alaska State Troopers got a call at 7:12 p.m. about an unconscious woman who was not breathing after an accident on her property. When they arrived, responders found Dooley-Krogseng trapped underneath a side-by-side ATV — her husband Dan Krogseng was nearby, according to a trooper dispatch.

The accident happened an hour after a community meeting about the Alaska LNG project ended at the Tree House restaurant in Nikiski. That meeting was the last time many in the community saw Dooley-Krogseng alive and was one of many she has attended in the past year as she worked to make the community a better place to live.

In addition to being a caring mother to her three children, Ian, Stefan and Rebekah Krogseng, friends said Dooley-Krogseng was a skilled pianist, artist and community leader who stood at the forefront of Nikiski’s efforts to address its crime problem.

“You felt good being around her and I think she made people better for having interacted with them,” said Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member Wayne Ogle. “Even in strident moments, when people’s passions are pro and con against something — she brought a serenity to the situation, without surrendering her values.”

Ogle, who represent Nikiski on the assembly, said he and Dooley-Krogseng attended the same church, Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai.

Sometimes Dooley-Krogseng would fill in for the church’s regular piano player and play the musical interludes during the service.

“It was always a great pleasure to listen to because she’s very good on the piano,” he said.

Despite their connection at church, Ogle said he did not know Dooley-Krogseng well until the past year when she worked with the borough assembly to mobilize Nikiski residents and create a law enforcement service area.

Dooley-Krogseng became a prominent voice in the community after a business she owned with her husband — AA Dan’s Construction — was robbed in September of 2014.

“Ann was one of the ones who got robbed and she felt strongly enough that she would put herself and her business on hold and call a community meeting and everybody supported her,” said Ben Carpenter. “She was surprised by that.”

One community meeting led to another, Dooley-Krogseng contacted local politicians, troopers and borough assembly members — eventually pulling enough resources together to form a community action group. She, Carpenter, and others in the group met for nearly a year before bringing a proposal to the borough to form a new law enforcement service area to cover Nikiski, several remote areas on the west side of Cook Inlet and the multiple industrial complexes in the area.

But that service area would come at a cost. Nikiski voters within the proposed service area will be asked to accept a 1.5 mill increase to generate $2.2 million in revenue to pay for the roughly 9 officers needed to cover the new service area.

The proposal rubbed some the wrong way and that’s when Dooley-Krogseng’s firm, but graceful personality became an asset to the movement.

“She would have conversations that, if I were having them would have been confrontational, but if she was having it, it wasn’t,” Carpenter said. “She had a way of talking to people that set them at ease.”

As the community has worked to find a solution for its crime problem woes, Carpenter said he has had several heated conversations with residents who don’t want to see their taxes raised or more police in the area.

But not Dooley-Krogseng.

“She just had a way. Her heart was on her sleeve,” Carpenter said. “She just cared. You could tell.”

Close friends of Dooley-Krogseng said they were reluctant to talk about her so soon after her death. At least one immediate family member did not know that Dooley-Krogseng had died until several media outlets reported on the ATV accident early Friday morning. Carpenter said someone saw the news on Facebook and called before anyone in the family had the time to notify everyone.

Troopers posted a dispatch about the accident at midnight, about five hours after the initial report, because Dooley-Krogseng’s husband being on-scene satisfied their next-of-kin notification requirements, said Trooper Capt. Andy Greenstreet.

“We leave it up to the family to tell other family,” he said.

After he talked about the circumstances of her death, Greenstreet paused and then unbidden began talking about what he knew of Dooley-Krogseng personally.

“This is tragic,” he said.

In addition to the community action group, Dooley-Krogseng also formed a court watching group and posted about upcoming court hearings regularly on her Facebook page. That effort stood out to Greenstreet who, like Ogle, said he met Dooley-Krogseng when she contacted him about the theft and crime problems in Nikiski.

“Her and I have been working on those issues ever since,” Greenstreet said. “In fact, I’m slated to attend another community meeting out there (this month) which she organized and she was going to run that meeting.”

Greenstreet said Dooley-Krogseng took to heart the idea that the legal process to bring criminals to justice would be positively affected if community members banded together to attend hearings.

“She brought people together through social media and tracking criminal cases,” Greenstreet said. “(She was) trying to establish accountability. (She) made sure people were there in the gallery as defendants were being sentenced and things like that.”

If voters choose to pass the ballot proposition to establish a new law enforcement service area Dooley-Krogseng was to be one of five people up for election to seats on the board to oversee the service area.

According to her bio, Dooley-Krogseng believed that public safety was one of the most significant issues in Nikiski.

“I want a safer community for my children and grand-children,” Dooley-Krogseng wrote. “I’m running for this position because I want to be part of the change I want to see in my community.”

Carpenter, who also put his name forward to serve on the board, said Dooley-Krogseng’s death is a blow to the effort to form a service area.

“She brought the energy to the group and the excitement and the passion and the caring,” he said. “It’s a loss whenever we lose somebody, but having worked with her over the last year — the timing of this is just horrible for us. We’re going to get through it, but it’s going to be tough.”

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