Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
Photo KBBI Database

Homer Spit Properties wants anglers to stop fishing at the Homer Spit Marine Terminal barge basin. The company submitted a request to the Alaska Board of Fisheries asking it to consider prohibiting fishing in that area.

In its request, spit properties says it’s a dangerous place to fish for recreational anglers. Barges and landing craft come into the area regularly and transfer heavy equipment, freight and occasionally hazardous material.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer Education and Recreation Complex Task Force will likely recommend that the city pursue a private-public partnership in order to preserve the HERC building.

The task force wants the city to put its energy over the next five years into finding an entity that’s willing to help fund upgrades to the building in order to utilize the space.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The budgeting process is once again underway in Homer. City Manger Katie Koester introduced a draft budget to the Homer City Council Monday night. The new budget includes a nearly two percent increase in operating costs compared to 2018. Employee healthcare and electricity costs make up most of that increase.

For the past few years, the city has diverted the Homer Accelerated Roads and Trails program, better known as the HART fund, to prevent to a $1.2 million budget gap. The fund is designated for road and trail construction.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is considering putting a plastic bag ban on the ballot in 2019. The ban was introduced last month, a divisive measure that was implemented and subsequently overturned by a citizens’ initiative about five years ago. But the council’s discussion Monday focused less on the ban itself and more on whether the council should consider the issue at all. 

Council member Caroline Venuti sponsored the ban on thin single-use plastic bags last month. The ban mirrors the ordinance that was overturned in 2013.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer Middle School now has the prestigious distinction of being a National Blue Ribbon School. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos awarded the 2018 blue ribbon honors to roughly 350 schools nationwide earlier this week.

Homer Middle School was one of three schools to be awarded in Alaska. The middle school was recognized in the exemplary high performing school category, which is measured by state assessments or national tests. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

A bond asking voters to pay roughly $5.4 million for a new school in Kachemak Selo near the head of Kachemak Bay failed on Tuesday by a wide margin. It’s unlikely that absentee ballots will shift the unofficial results.

But the small community is still in need of a safe school and the Kenai Peninsula Borough is still obligated to provide students with one. With no Plan B in place, residents, school board members and elected officials will have to decide what comes next.

Courtesy of City of Homer

Candidate Ken Castner leads in the race for Homer’s mayor by about 100 votes, according to unofficial results.

However, Castner’s lead over his opponent David Lewis is not guaranteed. Approximately 320 absentee, questioned and special needs ballots still need to be counted. Nine additional ballots could also arrive by mail.  

Still, Castner said he’s elated that his message of cooperation and unity resonated with voters.  Castner is running as a “citizens’ mayor” and promises that if elected, he will not break ties on the council.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

There will be a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System or IPAWS Wednesday morning. The emergency alert will be sent to nearly all cell phones in the U.S. at 10: 18 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time. Cell phones on certain wireless carriers will receive a text notifying them of the test. Phones will also make a loud alert tone.

Two minutes later, radio stations and TV stations will broadcast an Emergency Alert System test message.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer voters are deciding between two candidates on Tuesday with very different visions for the role of the mayor on the Homer City Council.

Candidate Ken Castner ran as a “citizens’ mayor,” promising not to break ties or make proclamations.  He is against dedicated funds, such as the Homer Accelerated Roads and Trails fund.

David Lewis campaigned on topics such as taxing bear-viewing operations, increasing traffic at the large vessel haul out and pushing the city to become a four-season destination.

Courtesy of City of Homer

One of the candidates for Homer’s mayor isn’t running on any policy. Candidate Ken Castner says as mayor, he wants to help the Homer City Council come to their own conscious.

 

Castner is the owner of Tonsina, an architecture consulting business, and he’s served on multiple committees, task forces and boards in town. He says there’s a distinct feeling when you lose a decision by a slim margin.  

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