Rudy Gustafson

Commercial fishermen are about two months into the halibut season, and the industry is dealing with some big changes. Prices for the valuable bottom fish have fallen about $2 per pound, and decreasing demand has left plenty of halibut from last year sitting in the freezer.

Both seem to be driven by consumers who are reluctant to buy expensive fillets in grocery stores and restaurants, but also by a new competitor that’s taking over a large portion of the market.

That begs the question: will Pacific halibut maintain its spot on the menu or be replaced?

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association

After the Alaska Department of Natural Resources ordered the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association to move its Tutka Bay release site either to the location it specified in its permit or back to its Tutka Bay Lagoon hatchery, mother nature seemed to make the decision for the hatchery association.

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Cook Inlet Aquaculture Executive Director Gary Fandrei said strong winds blew the pens about three miles west of where they were initially anchored. 

Photo Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

Healthcare providers may have to wait over a month for the state to reimburse them for services paid for by Medicaid. That’s because Alaska’s Medicaid program will run out of money any day now. The Legislature has yet to appropriate the roughly $48 million needed to fund the program until the end of the fiscal year in June. For some providers in Homer, that gap in reimbursement won’t be detrimental, but others may deplete their savings in order to prevent a gap in services.

Emergency Alert System sends test warning

May 11, 2018
Image courtesy of the National Weather Service

A representative from the National Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska says there is no warning.

An emergency alert went out over the air earlier this morning, but said it was a test.
According to the Warning Center, a routine communications test message was sent at 7 a.m. Friday morning, but it “has been misinterpreted.”

National Weather Service in Juneau confirmed in a tweet that the alert was just a test.

Courtesy of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources

A contentious release site for hatchery pink salmon near Homer is being forced to move after it was put in the wrong place. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association installed two net pens in late April near the head of Tutka Bay as part of its plan to move a portion of its nearby Tutka Bay Lagoon operation.

Alaska State Troopers

Troopers say a 14-year-old male allegedly stole his parent’s vehicle and drove while intoxicated last week. According to a Troopers dispatch released Thursday, Troopers say they stopped the vehicle off the Sterling Highway in Ninilchik around 9 a.m. on May 2.  Troopers arrested and charged the minor with vehicle theft, DUI and consuming alcohol underage. He was remanded to the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility.

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers say a Homer man allegedly entered a home in Anchor Point Tuesday morning and assaulted several people in the residence with bear spray before stealing multiple items and fleeing the scene in a vehicle.

Quinton Chandler, KBBI News

Work on a $46 million project to expand the state’s largest hydroelectric facility is set to begin Thursday.  The Battle Creek Project as it’s known will increase the Bradley Lake hydro facility’s production by about 10 percent.

 

The facility, which sits about 30 miles northeast of Homer at the head of Kachemak Bay, supplies wholesale power to six electric utilities throughout the Rail Belt.

 

Wwcsig via Wikimedia Commons

The twenty-sixth annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival begins Thursday. Both locals and visitors are poised to spot a large variety of shore and songbirds. But songbirds arrived later than usual this year.

This year the shorebird festival will offer over 100 events from workshops and field trips to film screenings and activities for young birders. Robbi Mixon is the shorebird festival director, and she said the event is expected to attract about 1,000 attendees this year.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce unveiled a new tax proposal during a Homer Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted down Pierce’s plan to spend nearly half of the borough’s land trust fund to fill a roughly $4 million budget gap.

Pierce initially proposed spending $3 million from the fund, but later amended his proposal to $4.5 million in order to provide more education funding. The assembly voted both proposals down.

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