This week on the Coffee Table: voting 101. KBBI speaks with Alex Koplin from Kenai Peninsula Votes, a  nonpartisan voter outreach organization and Melissa Jacobson, Homer’s city clerk. We discuss everything you need to know about the upcoming elections, what inspires people to vote and how Homer’s voter turnout compares to other areas.

Courtesy of Richard Yamada

For possibly the first time in history, an Alaskan from the sport fishing industry has been appointed to the International Pacific Halibut Commission or IPHC. Richard Yamada was appointed to the commission along with Robert Alverson of Seattle, who currently serves as one of the U.S.’s three commissioners.  

Courtesy of the City of Homer

One of the three candidates running for two seats on the Homer City Council has dropped out of the race. Debora Lowney updated her candidate statement Wednesday, saying in part that she would be unable to take office if elected.

Lowney says it was an untimely death in the family that spurred her decision to pull out of the race. However, the city will not officially pull Lowney's name off the ballot, but the clerk's office did update her statement letting voters know she is no longer running. 

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The stage is set for Alaska’s general election, and Republican candidate Sarah Vance will face incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton in House District 31.

Vance eked out a narrow win against her main opponent John Cox in the Republican primary on Aug. 21. She led by just 30 votes on election night, but her lead grew to 100 votes by the time results were certified Tuesday, solidifying her as the party’s nominee. Cox could not be reached in time for this story.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Regular Municipal Election is about a month away, and a proposition on the ballot will ask voters to pay about $5.4 million for a new school in Kachemak Selo near the head of Kachemak Bay. The Russian Old Believer village’s school is in such poor shape, it’s no longer up to code.

But the clock is ticking. A state grant that will pay for a majority of the project is set to expire next year. Public officials pushed residents at a community meeting Thursday to promote the proposition because at this point, they say there’s no plan B. 

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Recently, an argument over whether hatcheries are causing more harm than good has been heating up. The debate is nothing new. But an Alaska Department of Fish and Game study is about to take a step toward answering a question central to the debate: do hatchery fish that spawn with wild populations pose a threat to those stocks?

“You want to make two cuts: one to get at the heart and one to get at the otoliths,” Pete Rand told a group of new filed staff.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

As the Homer Education and Recreation Complex Task Force contemplates what to do with the HERC building, some are expressing interest in occupying the space.

But the panel has several questions to answer before it makes its recommendations on what to do with the building to the Homer City Council this fall.

Fireweed Academy Principal Todd Hindman, told the HERC task force Tuesday that he’s interested in consolidating both of Fireweed’s current locations into one campus, which he said could be the HERC.

Bird Rhythms: Marbled Murrelet

Aug 29, 2018
Gus van Vliet

This Bird of the Month profile for August is by Louise Ashman and features the marbled murrelet.
To learn more about local birding, go to

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO

After an initial count of absentee and questioned ballots Tuesday, Homer resident Sarah Vance’s lead in the House District 31 Republican primary race has grown. Vance led her main opponent John Cox of Anchor Point by just 30 votes after polls closed last week. Vance now leads by 94 votes.


However, absentee ballots may continue to show up until the state Division of Elections tallies up the votes one last time on Friday.


Courtesy of the Homer Police Department

Homer Police arrested a 25-year-old man for stealing a car and several items and firearms from a handful vehicles early Monday morning. 

Officer Ryan Browning said Travis Catron stole a Toyota Prius between midnight and 6 a.m. Monday. Catron also allegedly stole a range of items from six other vehicles, including two firearms.

"Knives and flashlights and that kind of stuff," Browning said. "So we were able to actually get everything back except for a bag that had been stolen from a gal that contained stuff for her job: stethoscopes, medical equipment, things like that."