Updates from the Homer Emergency Operations Center

Mar 30, 2020

Monday evening four members of the Homer Unified Command, the emergency operations group overseeing response to coronavirus, spoke with KBBI about the work their sectors have been doing. We've separated the briefs into individual audio files from Homer Fire Chief Mark Kirko, South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro, Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll, and City Public Information Officer Jenny Carroll.

This Week in Bycatch

Mar 30, 2020
Nancy Heise / Wikimedia

  Each week the National Marine Fisheries Service releases data from observers onboard fishing vessels about bycatch of halibut, salmon, and crab, and each week KBBI’s Jeff Lockwood sifts through that data for this report.  

City of Seldovia

    In Governor Mike Dunleavy’s mandates restricting close contact between non-family members and clamping down on unnecessary travel was the possibility that remote communities could do more to isolate themselves from the coronavirus, including closing or restricting access to the town.

    Those conversations are taking place in Seldovia, a community of 226 on the south side of Kachemak Bay, according to City Manager Cassidi Cameron.

First Covid-19 case detected in Homer

Mar 28, 2020

    The first positive case of Covid-19 detected in Homer was announced on Saturday (March 28).

    The Alaska State Public Health Laboratory notified South Peninsula Hospital that a person tested there earlier in the week was positive.


    Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has taken the strongest measures yet in trying to stem the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus. He is putting restrictions on public interaction, and restrictions on in-state travel.


South Peninsula Hospital has added a new “ No Visitors” restriction in response to COVID-19. Derotha Ferraro called in to the KBBI COVID-19 Brief on Thursday morning to talk about the changes, including closing all the “downhill” hospital entrances.

State of Alaska

In this week’s report from Juneau, District P Senator Gary Stevens speaks with KBBI’s Jay Barrett about coronavirus preparations the legislature has been making in an effort to adjourn as soon as possible.

The transcript is below.


KBBI:        Why don't you give me the update on the legislation that you folks are working on down there?

Kathy Carssow

Kathy Carssow is a volunteer for the Recall Dunleavy effort in Homer.

The views expressed in this commentary do not reflect those of KBBI’s staff board or volunteers.


Hello, this is Kathy Carssow. I volunteer on the Homer Recall Dunleavy campaign.  In just 3 weeks, over 11 hundred voters on the Southern Kenai Peninsula signed the petition to put the recall question before Alaska voters.  Now Recall Dunleavy has launched “Sign At Home,” a safe and remote way for you to join us in putting Alaska back on track.

PPE supply a concern of local emergency responders

Mar 26, 2020

The Homer Unified Command gave a report to the city council Monday night regarding its preparations to face Covid-19 when the virus arrives in Homer.
    Fire Chief Mark Kirko of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, who will be heading the Unified Command when the city manager leaves, said local emergency responders share the concerns of those elsewhere, and that is the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, gowns and face shields.


   As winter releases its icy grip on coastal Alaska, the natural inclination of many is to get ready for fishing season. This year, with travel restrictions in place and social distancing all the rage, the season for both fishermen and processors looks precarious from the perspective of District P Senator Gary Stevens. His district includes the ports of Kodiak, Cordova and Homer. He spoke with KBBI’s Jay Barrett.

South Peninsula Hospital

Updates and information from:
Nurse Lorne Carroll from AK Department of Public Health, Chief Mark Kirko from Homer Volunteer Fire Department, Derotha Ferraro from South Peninsula Hospital, Pegge Erkeneff from Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Jenny Carroll from the City Of Homer.
You can access updated information anytime at the City of Homer website.


A notice Wednesday from the City of Homer announced the first case of Covid-19 associated with the community -- but the designation comes with a rather large asterisk: The case was attributed to Homer because while the person was from Homer, they were returning from the Lower 48 and was diagnosed upon arriving in Anchorage.
    Borough Emergency Manager Dan Nelson explains.

National Tsunami Warning Center

A strong earthquake occured shortly before 7 p.m. Alaska Daylight Savings Time in the Kuril Islands, in the Russian Far East.

There is no tsunami danger to Alaska from this quake according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.



Homer Mayor Ken Castner took the opportunity of Monday night's city council meeting to lay out exactly how seriously he and the city are taking the current coronavirus pandemic and its potential to spread to Homer. The comments seemed especially forceful after a citizen complained about the closure orders during the Committee of the Whole meeting, saying the dangers of the virus were overblown.

We share the mayor's talk here in its entirety.



This Week in Bycatch - March 20

Mar 24, 2020
Nancy Heise / Wikimedia

Regulatory area 521, in the central Bering Sea just northwest of the Pribilof Islands, recorded the highest bycatch totals for nearly  all prohibited species for the week ending March 14.  Onboard observers reported 61000 bairdi crab, nearly 80,000 opilio crab, 771 king salmon, and ninety one thousand pounds of halibut mortality in that area.  The 168 red king crab caught there put it just behind area 509 north of False Pass, which recorded 252.  Pelagic, or midwater, trawlers caught most of the salmon, while non-pelagic, or bottom, trawlers were responsible for the majority of the halibut