Aaron Bolton

News Director

Aaron Bolton is excited to come on board at KBBI after spending his first year reporting in the state at KSTK in Wrangell. He grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in professional journalism.

Prior to Alaska, Aaron reported for Radio K in Minneapolis. He spent his free time going to local concerts and promoting shows and music festivals. Since making the move, he has spent his time in the backcountry snowboarding whenever possible.

Ways to Connect

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The state Department of Natural Resources extended the comment period on a draft management plan for Kachemak Bay State park and other recreation areas on the southern Kenai Peninsula. DNR announced the extension Tuesday.  

Alaskans will now have until Nov. 16 to comment on the plan. DNR also plans to hold a public meeting on the plan in Homer later this month. The department originally gave residents 30 days to comment on the plan when it released the draft last month.  

Shahla Farzan / KBBI

Voters across the borough headed to the polls today to cast their ballots in favor of candidates for Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, service area boards and school board. Kenai Peninsula residents also weighed in on a few ballot propositions.

On the southern peninsula, incumbent Willy Dunne and businessman Troy Jones are running for the District 9 seat on the assembly.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO

Homer residents and those across the Kenai Peninsula will head to the polls Tuesday. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. There are two polling locations in Homer: City Hall and Homer Senior Citizens.

The mayoral race is the only contested race in Homer. Former City Council Member David Lewis and Ken Castner are both running to replace current Homer Mayor Bryan Zak.

Both city council members Donna Aderhold and Heath Smith are up for re-election, but both are running unopposed.

Photo by Nina Faust/Kachemak Crane Watch

Sandhill cranes appear to have had a good nesting season near Homer this summer. Kachemak Crane Watch Co-founder Nina Faust said while most of the birds have flown south to California for the winter, the citizen-science based program found that most were successful in raising their colts.

“We had 63 colts hatched from 33 nests that were reported, and out of that, 48 colts survived to fledging,” Faust explained. “That’s 13.2 percent better than last year.”

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI News

Former Homer City Council member David Lewis is attempting to become Homer’s mayor for the second time. Lewis lost to current Homer Mayor Bryan Zak in 2016. This election cycle, Lewis has his eye on finding ways to shore up the city’s budget without new taxes while simultaneously pushing the city’s capital projects across the finish line.

Lewis left the council last year after three terms on the panel. Lewis has also sat on other city boards during his time on and off the council.

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Willy Dunne is running for his second term this election cycle. Dunne said voters should re-elect him because of his institutional knowledge on the council.

If re-elected, Dunne would reach the two-term limit on the assembly. He said it’s not only his experience as an assembly member that would make him affective over the next three years, but his work predating his time on the panel as well.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has released a draft management plan for Kachemak Bay State Park near Homer, and some Kenai Peninsula Residents are taking issue with the length of the comment period.

The draft is an update to the 1995 management plan, and it also includes recommended changes for the Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park and the Eveline and Diamond Creek state recreation areas.

Monica Alvarez works for DNR and said the plan is responding to comments from a number of scoping meetings leading up to the draft plan’s release.

Courtesy of Troy Jones

Troy Jones is a political newcomer and south peninsula businessman who hopes to defeat incumbent Willy Dunne in the race for the District 9 seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Jones said the budget and several attempts to implement new taxes spurred him to run for the first time.

Jones is a lifelong resident of the Kenai Peninsula. His parents homesteaded near Homer in 1956, and he’s spent most of his life as a businessman.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

House District 31 Rep. Paul Seaton held a town hall forum Tuesday evening. Seaton is running for re-election and answered a number of questions from audience members, but he chose to focus mostly on the budget, finding new revenue streams and the Permanent Fund.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

Today on the Coffee Table, Homer City Council members Donna Aderhold and Heath Smith talk about running for their second terms with KBBI News Director Aaron Bolton.