Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s plan to add more mental health services and additional safety precautions will not move forward. On Friday, Mayor Charlie Pierce vetoed roughly $650,000 that would have gone to boosting mental health services for elementary students and safety evaluations at schools throughout the district.

“As evidenced by the recent incidents across our country and schools, it is pretty clear that the safety needs for the students in our schools today have increased tremendously and need to be addressed," said assistant superintendent Dave Jones.

PenAir

The City of Homer says it’s ready to welcome Peninsula Airways, better known as PenAir, to the Homer Airport. The Homer City Council passed a resolution in May giving the city the authority to negotiate a lease with the airliner.

The city last communicated with PenAir in early June and is waiting for the company’s final decision. 

A Kenai man drowned in Cook Inlet after falling overboard from a commercial fishing boat on Thursday morning. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 62 year-old Anthony Walsh spent between 10-30 minutes in water north of Kodiak while the other fisherman on the boat attempted to get him aboard.

Kevin Loran of Anchorage did not immediately hear Walsh go overboard, said Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. She says Walsh was not wearing a life jacket.

Lisa Hupp/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the battle of Attu, and this summer Homer will be able to remember the only battle fought on American soil during World War II with an art exhibition.

“Reflections on Attu” features three artists who visited the Aleutian Islands as part of the Voices of the Wilderness Artist-in-Residence Program. 

Homer resident Nancy Lord and Irene Owsley of New Mexico spent a week in Adak and roughly a week traveling and visiting Kiska and Attu. Owsley took pictures and Lord wrote accompanying essays. 

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Sample ballots for this year’s primary and midterm elections will be translated into Sugt’stun for several southcentral and southwestern Alaska communities.

The federal government was required to provide the translated ballots for several Sugpiaq communities after the 2016 census. 

Image Courtesy of the Department of Public Safety / Alaska State Troopers

Many Anchor Point residents are fed up with crime in the community. Residents say they are angry with not only what seems to be a high level of thefts and break-ins, but also by what they see as an inadequate response from Alaska State Troopers. 

Kristin Craver has hit a breaking point with crime in the community.  She said there have been thefts in her neighborhood, and she regularly hears about break-ins, stolen vehicles and other crimes.

Courtesy of the Homer Police Department

It’s official—Homer will be getting a new police station.  Voters headed to the polls during a special election Tuesday to decide whether the city should raise sales taxes to build a new $7.5 million police station. The Election Canvas Board tallied up the votes Friday.

Roughly 800 people voted both during early voting and on election day. Voter turnout was at about seventeen percent. Roughly 64 percent of votes were cast in favor of the new police station.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated the number of candidates running in the U.S. House Democratic Primary. There are four. 

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Alaska's single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrat Dimitri Shein and Independent Alyse Galvinspoke on this week's Coffee Table. They discussed education, jobs and climate change among other issues. 

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council updated the city’s leasing policy for public lands Monday. It hopes to streamline the process and give the council more say in approving leases.

Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins was involved in reviewing the policies, and he said the city council will be more involved in the process under the new code.

They would give the city manager direction to negotiate and sign a lease," he said. "In the code, we've changed that so that the city manager will negotiate and then bring the final document to city council for signing."

QUINTON CHANDLER/KBBI

Earlier this year, the Homer City Council voted in favor of allowing workers to live in recreational vehicles on the Homer Spit, but on Monday, the council approved a new regulation that would subject those vehicles to a permitting process and a yearly fee.

The council has not yet decided on a fee structure. The Homer Advisory Planning Commission held a public hearing in April to discuss the fee and suggests at least $100 per year. 

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