His and Hers Backing

Buying and selling local food online may become easier. A bill in the House would allow Alaskans to sell items with a low potential for food-borne illness without a permit online. It would also make other changes to support local food.

Those involved in the Alaska Food Hub, an online farmers market, are excited about the bill’s potential to empower small food producers and expand community access to fresh food. But some are concerned about lowering the threshold for selling food online.

Kachemak Bay NERRS

Tune in this Saturday morning at 11 for Kachemak Science. KBBI is collaborating with local scientists and science students for this new, monthly, hour-long show dedicated to local presentations, discussions, readings and peer review. On the premier, you'll hear highlights from last week's Kachemak Bay Science Conference.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

Homer may see a new hotel pop up in town by the end of the summer. Aspen Hotels plans to finalize a deal on roughly five acres of land off the Sterling Highway across from Safeway later this month, and it hopes to start construction in May.

The architect of the 72-room hotel, Rich Conneen, said its design will mirror the company’s other hotels around the state with wood construction and colorful paint. But it will be shorter in order to accommodate Homer’s 35-foot commercial height restriction along the highway.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer City Manager Katie Koester told Homer residents Tuesday that the city is keeping its head above water as the state fiscal crisis and recession continues.

Koester gave a State of the City speech to residents during a Homer Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Best Western Bidarka Inn.

She highlighted Homer’s diverse economy and steady population growth.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is reinstating regular work sessions on state legislative issues. Every other week on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., City Council members will report on issues in the state Legislature that relate to the city and will discuss following up with formal action on the council agenda.

The council held work sessions last year and the idea came up again after members of the council visited Juneau last month. In her monthly report, City Manager Katie Koester said it will be a way for the council to track issues and provide timely input on legislative issues in the state.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Homer City Council voted down an ordinance that would allow commercial marijuana facilities to operate on private property on the Homer Spit.

Council member Heath Smith strongly opposed the measure. He worried whether allowing marijuana retailers on the spit would lead to tourists consuming marijuana publicly.  

“No, we're not going to stop anyone from using it,” Smith said. “But we can sure as heck send a message that we're not going to be complicit in the illegal use of it in certain areas of our town.”

Photo by Daysha Eaton/KBBI

Public transportation in rural areas can be cost prohibitive, but the Ninilchik Village Tribe is trying to help solve that problem on the western Kenai Peninsula. 

The tribe’s Basic Unified Multi-Path Service, or BUMPS, has been providing transportation between Homer and Kenai, and after six months of providing rides, tribal staff say its bus service is ready for the summer months.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Democratic candidate Dimitri Shein is running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and made a stop in Homer Friday to meet with residents during the House District 31 Democratic Caucus. The Anchorage Democrat is one of two candidates trying to unseat Republican Congressman Don Young in the fall.

Alaska SeaLife Center

 The rescued beluga calf Tyonek from Cook Inlet has a new home at SeaWorld San Antonio. Tyonek traveled in a truck to Anchorage and then flew on a charter plane from Anchorage to his new life in Texas on Thursday.

Tyonek was originally found malnourished and dehydrated on a beach last September and was transferred to Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. He was just a month old. According to a statement from the center, animal care experts from around the country flew in to provide him with around-the clock-care.

Courtesy of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

The Alaska Board of Fisheries re-established a committee on hatchery operations Friday at its meeting in Anchorage. The board took up the issue after an emergency petition was filed in December calling for a committee to look into issues of straying hatchery fish and the impact on wild stocks.


Apply for your 2018 PFD, and Pick.Click.Give!

When you apply for your Permanent Fund Dividend, you can select your favorite Alaskan nonprofits and give a portion of your PFD back to your community.

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