Elizabeth Earl

Occupational license fees on the rise

Juniper Lanmon-Freeman cried the first time she attended the birth of a child. A licensed midwife, Lanmon-Freeman now delivers two to three babies per month for mothers at their homes. But the job goes far beyond that — by the time she delivers the child, she’s spent weeks with the mother.

“(On) my last birth, I visited her 13 times before she had her baby,” she said. “When they’re in labor, you’ve built this relationship with them. It’s more like a sister relationship or a good female friend.”

ACLU to borough: Drop invocation policy

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska has asked the Kenai Peninsula Borough to back down from its newly passed invocation policy.

The organization, which advocates for individual Constitutional liberties, frequently through litigation, sent a letter Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly President Blaine Gilman saying the policy violates religious liberty because those seeking to give an invocation must pass a religious test.

Public weighs in before fish board

SOLDOTNA — Fishermen and the fisheries-inclined turned out by the dozens Tuesday for an open hearing before the Board of Fisheries to air their concerns on a host of issues.

The Board of Fisheries, preparing to enter its 2016-2017 cycle, is holding a work session in Soldotna this week to discuss Agenda Change Requests and non-regulatory proposals and to take public comments. When the session was scheduled in October 2014, the board set aside an entire day for fishermen to make public comments on any issue they wanted to address.

Title 16

Assembly reduces Planning Commission

The number of Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission members will decrease to 11, but not until 2020.

After initially voting it down, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly resurrected and passed an ordinance that revised the apportionment for Planning Commission membership at its Tuesday meeting. The commission, which approves or denies plats and advises the assembly on land use issues, currently has 13 members. After July 31, 2020, it will have a maximum of 11.

Board of Fisheries to hold work session in Soldotna

Later this month, Kenai Peninsula residents will get a chance to air their concerns to the state Board of Fisheries in Soldotna.

The Board of Fisheries will host a work session from Oct. 18-20 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, with an informational session held on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. The first day, Oct. 18, will be set aside completely for public testimony, and the second two days will be to discuss agenda change requests, which are proposals submitted outside the regular three-year cycle, petitions, officer elections and board business.

Hilcorp plans new gas wells near Ninilchik

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas has approved a Plan of Operations for Hilcorp Alaska to develop a new pad outside Ninilchik to support natural gas drilling operations.

The Alaska subsidiary of the Houston, Texas-based company has been expanding operations in its Ninilchik unit holdings since acquiring the unit in 2013 from Marathon. Last year, the company applied to the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas to build a new gravel pad in its Deep Creek Unit, located southeast of Ninilchik, to support new exploration wells there.

Borough bonds pass; tax proposals fail

Kenai Peninsula voters shot down two tax proposals but supported two bond issuances for new projects in Tuesday’s elections.

Voters in the Kenai Peninsula Borough decided on the future of four ballot propositions Tuesday.

Proposition 1 approves the issuance of more than $10 million in bonds to fund the construction of future cells at Central Peninsula Landfill outside Soldotna, which serves the majority of the borough’s population.

Walker talks finances, LNG in Kenai

KENAI — Gov. Bill Walker reiterated a call Monday for a fix to Alaska’s budget deficit while also signing into law a tax credit designed to encourage fertilizer company Agrium to reopen its Nikiski plant.

With the sponsor, Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, looking on, Walker signed the bill after speaking at a joint Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce luncheon in Kenai on Monday.

USFS releases Chugach plan scoping report

The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with revisions to its management plan for the Chugach National Forest.

The plan outlines strategies for managing the approximately 5.4 million-acre Chugach National Forest, which occupies the eastern part of the Kenai Peninsula and stretches eastward toward the Copper River Delta on Prince William Sound. Last updated in 2002, the U.S. Forest Service began a revision process in 2012, combining research on current use and environmental conditions with public input before developing an assessment on which to base any changes.

Assembly passes property tax code changes

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has passed an ordinance amending the property tax code and is reviewing another ordinance with changes to the sales tax code.

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre’s administration has been reviewing the sales and property tax codes for about a year. After reviewing the code and pulling out specific changes, the mayor introduced four ordinances addressing tax administration in the borough. Three have been approved and one is awaiting discussion.

Hemp proposed as agricultural crop for Alaska

When an oil spill occurs, one of the first reactions is to use something to mop it up.

Respondents typically will use clay-based absorbents on land-based spills or polymer dispersants on water to help dissipate or collect the oil so it’s easier to remove from the spill site. However, it can be expensive and may take significant volumes before the spill is under control.

Marijuana ban petition won't be on October ballot

A citizen initiative seeking to ask voters whether commercial marijuana is legal in the Kenai Peninsula Borough outside the cities is a no-go.

The borough clerk’s office finished verifying the signatures Friday and found the petition came up short. The petitioners were 62 signatures shy of the 898 they needed to qualify for the Oct. 4 general election ballot, said Borough Clerk Johni Blankenship.

“They submitted 998 signatures,” Blankenship said. “We were only able to validate 836.”

Voters to have say on senior property tax exemption

Kenai Peninsula voters will decide whether to continue the borough’s optional senior property tax exemption in this fall’s election.

The proposal comes out of a comprehensive review of the borough’s tax code that Borough Mayor Mike Navarre’s office has been engaged in since last year. It joins another proposal on the ballot that would raise the purchasing cap for sales tax from $500 to $1,000 in the borough, also part of the mayor’s rewrite.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Elizabeth Earl