Homer city clerk Jo Johnson, who you might recognize from our weekly Clerk’s Calendar feature, has been named the 2014 Clerk of the Year by the Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks. Other peninsula clerks who have shared the honor are Jean Lewis of Seward in 2010, Linda Murphy of the Kenai Borough in 2002, and Mary Calhoun of Homer in 2001.
Recent News Stories
The Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic administered free tests for HIV on Tuesday to recognize World AIDS Day. The clinic staff hope to prevent the spread of HIV and help infected individuals manage their condition to prevent its progression to AIDS. The clinic saw a strong turnout especially of one demographic that doesn't take advantage of its services very often.
The ferry Tustumena is getting old. For the last few years, the state has been looking into options for repairing or replacing the aging vessel, which serves parts of southcentral and southwestern Alaska, Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian chain. On December 2nd, the Department of Transportation released the design study report for a replacement vessel with an estimated construction cost of $237 million.
48 students from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spent two weeks at the University of Alaska, Anchorage last month for an intensive, hands-on science camp. They built computers, learned about marine biology and more at the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program middle school academy. The rigorous program is meant to get Alaska Native kids interested in STEM fields and prepare them for college life.
Alaska State Troopers have released additional information about the plane that crashed on the west side of Cook Inlet on Thanksgiving Day. The PA-18 Super Cub was owned by Alaska West Air, based in Nikiski. On the morning of November 27th, another plane from Alaska West Air reported finding the crashed Super Cub in an area known as the Kustatan Bench. It notified Kenai Flight Service of the coordinates and Alaska West Air responded with its own R-44 helicopter. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. An investigation is underway.
Dr. Steve Atwater has wrapped up his final week as superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. After five and a half years on the job, he says he’s ready to move on to new things, but regrets having to leave some projects behind. He’s taken a position with the University of Alaska as the associate vice president for K-12 outreach. His longtime assistant, Sean Dusek, takes over as interim superintendent on December 1st.
Trolling for winter kings is a popular pastime in Cook Inlet. But this year, there may be some different boats in the state waters of the inlet as well. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is conducting a test fishery for walleye pollock using seine gear from December through February.
The City of Homer is making a little headway addressing residents’ complaints that iconic Bishops Beach is frequently a scene of crime, habitat destruction, and vandalism. The City is considering giving the Parks and Recreation Commission authority over local beaches. The Commission has stepped into this role in the past and by absorbing the additional responsibility it will shield the city from incurring additional costs.