Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Commercial fishing for pink salmon is underway in Prince William Sound and unlike sockeye returning to the Copper River earlier this year, pinks are showing up mostly as forecasted.

“Right now, we seem to be tracking right along with the 10-year even average, maybe slightly behind,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game area management biologist Charlie Russel said. “But the 2018 season in Prince William Sound is shaping up to be a better year than the weak parent year 2016.”

Photo from KBBI Database

The Seldovia City Council is considering a contentious proposal to build a zip line in the city. Summer resident and former state Senator Scott Ogan wanted to build a Star Wars themed zip line through the Seldovia Wilderness and RV camping park.

Ogan resigned from his position as a senator in 2004 over allegations that he used his position to curry favor with energy companies. Now, he is the owner of Seldovia Bay Adventures LLC.

Seldovia City Manager Cassidi Cameron said roughly 30 residents testified on Ogan’s request to lease city property for the zip line Monday.

Courtesy of the International Pacific Halibut Commission

Earlier this month, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard appointed two new commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission temporarily. The commission regulates commercial and sport fishing for Pacific halibut in Canada and the U.S.

Robert Day and Neil Davis will replace Jake Vanderheide and Ted Assu. Both commissioners’ terms expired earlier this year.

Day directs Fisheries and Oceans’ International Fisheries Management Headquarters in Ottawa and Davis is a resource management director for the department.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Republican candidates in House District 31 are straying from debates with former Republican and non-partisan incumbent Paul Seaton until the general election. A bipartisan debate leading up to the primaries was canceled after a Republican candidate pulled out of the event.

Republican candidates Sarah Vance, John Cox and Henry Kroll were set to square off Seaton during a Homer Chamber of Commerce debate on Aug. 7. Executive Director of the chamber Debbie Speakman said the debate will be rescheduled for the general election this fall.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Some Homer residents could see a change on water and sewer bills.  On Monday, the Homer City Council introduced a resolution that could change rates for customers, ranging from less than a 1-percent increase for some customers to a 2-percent decrease for others.

Monthly service fees for city water could drop from $19 to $13. Customers signed up for sewer services only, could save a few dollars per month as well, depending on whether their home or business relies on sewer pumps in the area.  

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council allocated nearly $500 thousand for the design of a new police station Monday. This comes roughly a month after residents approved a $5 million bond for the $7.5 million project. Public Works Director Carey Meyer stated earlier this summer that residents will be able to give input and see a partially completed design this fall. He added that the city will reach out for input next spring as well. 

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The U.S. Supreme Court changed course on taxing online sales this summer. Now, the Kenai Peninsula Borough is working towards taxing major online retailers, namely Amazon. While taxing those sales may help cash-strapped boroughs like the Kenai Peninsula, local retailers are also hoping the change will benefit their bottom line.  

Courtesy of Niki Falco

Options for child care in Homer are becoming more scarce. Some child care operations are closing their doors while others are struggling to operate.

Falco is a single mother to two young children, a four-year-old and an infant who recently turned one, and finding child care has been difficult, especially for her younger daughter.

“When she was three-months-old, I waitlisted her with all of the child care that took child care assistance and infants and Masha’s is the only one I had heard back from,” she said.

Tyonek Tribal Conservation District

The Tyonek Tribal Conservation District is continuing its work to restore salmon habitat on the western side of Cook Inlet. The conservation minded nonprofit has been working to restore several miles of salmon habitat in the Tyonek area for about six years.

The conservation district received a $600,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this month.  Executive Director Christy Cincotta said that funding will help pay for the replacement of two culverts and one road reroute, which were barriers for several species of wild salmon.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council appointed two Homer-based fishermen to its Cook Inlet Salmon Committee last month. The council asked the committee to evaluate management options for Cook Inlet commercial salmon fishing in federal waters when it created the group earlier this year.

Dan Anderson and Hannah Heimbuch were both appointed to the committee during the NPFMC’s June meeting in Kodiak. The council also pointed three other commercial fishermen to the group, two of which are from Kasilof. All six members are drift gillnet permit holders.