Courtesy of Drew Hamilton

On the fringe of bear viewing season, a first-of-its-kind study finds that the industry brings in millions of dollars to Southcentral Alaska’s economy.

University of Alaska Fairbanks economics professor Joseph Little is one of the authors of the study:

“In general we find that remote access bear viewing actually supports quite a bit in terms of economic contribution,” he said. “So we estimate about $34 million in sales. That would also extend to about $19 million in value added to the regional economy.”

SPH announces new CEO

May 15, 2019
Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

South Peninsula Hospital announced its new CEO this week. Ryan Smith will be replacing Joe Woodin, who resigned due to “unexpected circumstances” last month.

It isn’t the first time Smith has worked on the Kenai Peninsula. He served as the Chief Financial Officer for South Peninsula Hospital in the late 1990s. Then from 2006-2011, he served as the CEO of Central Peninsula Hospital.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council took a step forward toward upgrading the ice plant on the Homer Spit, Monday. During a meeting, the council approved funding an engineering consulting firm from Anchorage to evaluate the plant and create a list of recommended improvements.  

According to the city, the ice plant provides more than 3,500 tons of flake ice each year to preserve more than 20 million pounds of fish. Upgrades may include replacing refrigeration compressors and updating control systems.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Homer’s water and sewer rates are set to increase. That was the message the city’s finance director, Elizabeth Walton, gave to the Homer City Council during a work session Monday.

“Water is looking at 10 cents per 100 gallons and then sewer is 20 cents per 100 gallons,” she said. “The monthly fees are set to remain the same.”

She said the costs for maintaining water and sewer related infrastructure go up every year.

“And surprisingly in 2018, the consumption was down overall,” she said. “So if consumption is down, then the per gallon fee ultimately goes up.”

Courtesy of Carol Dee

Mother's Day this past weekend was a time for many moms and their kids to connect. But for Homer resident, Carol Dee, it was also a time to remember a loved one. Dee lost her youngest son, Pietro, on mother's day in 1995. She says one of her fondest memories was when the two of them worked together in a cannery in Valdez. She was 50-years-old and he was 18, and they had just moved from Italy to Alaska. 

Sugt'stun Word of the Week – May 12, 2019

May 13, 2019
By Alan Levine - CC BY-SA 2.0,

Picuuqaq  -  The honest one


Do you think you are honest?

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The state is ending a Kenai Peninsula hatchery’s decades-old practice of dumping dead salmon in a glacial fjord inside Kachemak Bay State Park.

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association Executive Director Dean Day said the Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery has historically dumped hundreds of thousands of pink salmon carcasses harvested for their roe.

Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries via Wikimedia Commons

The Battle of Attu is often known as the forgotten battle of World War II. But a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist is bringing stories of the battle to new readers. Mark Obmascik wrote a book that came out this year called “The Storm on Our Shores: One Island, Two Soldiers, and the Forgotten Battle of World War II.” Obmascik is the featured author at the 27th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer this weekend.

Obmascik says he first came across the story when he was researching another book on competitive birding. Part of that book takes place on Attu Island.

Unions reject KPBSD's latest contract proposals

May 9, 2019
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and employee unions are at an impasse again over contract negotiations. On Wednesday, the district proposed contracts, which adopted recommendations put out by a third party arbitrator.

Dave's Auto Repair

Last month, the owner of Dave’s Auto Repair found racist graffiti carved into one of his customer’s cars. He reported the incident to the Alaska State Troopers but it turns out the graffiti was years old.

Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the troopers.

“The owner of the vehicle that the messaging was on, actually, was able to get a hold of troopers and, told us that the graffiti had been there for years,” she said. “And he had purchased the vehicle with that already on it.”