Photo courtesy of Paul Seaton.

Campaign season is in full swing on the southern Kenai Peninsula and aside from asking residents, businesses and political groups to throw up campaign signs, candidates in House District 31 are asking for their money as well.  

The only competitive primary race in House District 31 this election cycle is on the Republican side. Three candidates are vying for the party’s support and chance to face incumbent and former Republican Paul Seaton in the general election.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Homer’s skateboarders can now ride in style. That’s because members of the Homer Elks Lodge and a handful of volunteers spent hours Saturday refurbishing the Homer Education and Recreation Complex’s skate park.

Elks Lodge member Dylan Weiser said the park needed some attention

Rudy Gustafson

Halibut ex-vessel prices are seeing a slight uptick around the state, which is good news for some fishermen after prices fell about $2 per pound at the beginning of the season.

Doug Bowen works for Alaska Boats and Permits, a vessel and fishing permit broker in Homer. Bowen tracks halibut prices around the Gulf of Alaska, which have a significant influence on the halibut quota he sells for fishermen.  

“We did see the ex-vessel price for halibut perk up a bit where we’re at $6.25, $6.50, $6.75 here in Homer today,” Bowen said.

Drug Enforcement Administration

Two men who allegedly had 33 pounds of methamphetamine in a backpack after leaving a ferry in Whittier made their initial court appearances Monday in Anchorage.

Whittier Police arrested Eric James Hansen and Marshal Parke on Thursday. Federal authorities say Hansen brought the meth – worth about “$225,000” in wholesale quantities – from Bellingham, Washington to Whittier on the state ferry Kennicott.

The ferry made stops in Southeast Alaska on its way to Whittier, the closest state ferry terminal to Anchorage, about 60 miles away.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The lone candidate running for governor in this year’s Democratic primary stopped in Homer Thursday. Former U.S. Senator and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich ended the day with a meet and greet at a local bar. Some Homer voters are concerned that Begich and Gov. Bill Walker might split the moderate vote in the general election, paving the way to victory for former Republican state Senator Mike Dunleavy.

City of Homer

Several elected officials’ terms in Homer are expiring this fall. Two spots on the Homer City Council will be up for grabs in October. Homer Mayor Bryan Zak’s seat will also be open this election cycle.

Candidates intending to run will be able to file with the city clerk’s office Wednesday.

Council members Donna Aderhold and Heath Smith are both finishing three years on the council. Smith says he is undecided whether he will run again. Aderhold declined to say whether she plans to run for re-election.

Image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard medevacked a male Thursday that sustained a hand injury on a Prince William Sound fishing vessel. According to a press release, the 18-year old was on the (F/V) Pacific Harvester when he began to go into shock. 

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage dispatched a Valdez boat crew after receiving the report. The crew treated the man’s hand while transporting him to Valdez before he was handed over to waiting medical staff. 

Homer Soil & Water Conservation District

This week on the Coffee Table: invasives. KBBI News Director Aaron Bolton is joined by Matt Steffy with the Homer Soil & Water Conservation District, Jen Hester with the Kenai Watershed Forum and Janice Chumley with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to talk about all things invasive on the Keani Peninsula and in your own backyard.

Links and resources:

Kenai Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area

Renee Gross, KBBI News

If you’ve ever stopped to look at animal track in the woods or were fascinated by a unique plant, you have something in common with Kim McNett. She’s one of the three Homer artists to win a Rasmuson Foundation award this year. McNett sketches and writes about nature in her journal but she plans to add a little color to her craft.

Kim McNett has already hiked the Calvin and Coyle Nature Trail in Homer a handful of times this season. Still, she finds something new today: a red squirrel chewing a spruce cone.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The state Department of Transportation says an Anchor Point bridge is at risk of becoming compromised. The bridge on the Old Sterling Highway crosses the Anchor River.

DOT became aware of the issue in 2017, but after an inspection earlier this month, spokesperson Shannon McCarthy said the bridge’s condition deteriorated faster than expected.

“The material from the abutment, which is where the road meets the bridge, is starting to flow under the bridge – really problematic, essentially creating a sinkhole,” she said.