News

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in Kodiak June 4 through the 11.

The council was set to discuss the seemingly growing number of unguided rental boats within the halibut charter industry, but council member Andy Mezirow – owner of Gray Light Charters in Seward – said the agenda item will likely be postponed until the fall in order to collect more information.  

Mezirow said the council is concerned that halibut charters are bypassing the reduced number of fishing days during the summer and other regulations by offering unguided rental boats.

Photo from KBBI Database

The Mariners boys soccer team won its first game in the Division II state soccer championship Thursday. The Mariners defeated Grace Christian five to one in Anchorage. Six teams are competing for the championship title.

It’s high school senior’s Charles Rohr’s third time going to state. But the excitement hasn’t worn off.

“I was ecstatic,” he said. “We had our first game in the semifinals. We knew if we won that we would go and if we lost that we wouldn't. But as soon as we won that game I was ecstatic.”

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

A proposal to create a borough-wide bed tax has been revived, but the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly may scrap the idea if it approves putting another revenue measure on the October ballot at its next meeting.

The ballot proposition would call for a 12-percent bed tax, but it would relieve the lodging industry from collecting sales tax for the borough.

Assembly member Kelly Cooper, who owns Glacier View Cabins and Coops Coffee, opposed the bed tax at the Homer Chamber of Commerce Wednesday as she spoke to a group of lodging industry members.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer’s first marijuana retail shop is set to open Thursday. Uncle Herb’s was approved by the state Marijuana Control Board back in September, and the shop will open its doors just in time for the busy summer season.

Store manager Aaron Stiassny will run the shop in Homer for his father Loyd. Stiassny currently manages the family’s shop in Anchorage under the same name.

The display cases in Homer were empty Wednesday evening, but Stiassny said the shop will be stocked and ready to go.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Homer Representative Paul Seaton spoke about the second session of the 30th Alaska Legislature during this week's Coffee Table. He gave an overview of the state budget, education and Medicaid funding, and an update on a variety of  bills passed (including a statewide workplace smoking ban and a wide-ranging crime bill). 

KBBI News

The sockeye run on the Copper River is off to an incredibly slow start. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game opened the fishery on May 17 for a 12-hour fishing period.

Gillnetters came home with roughly 1,900 sockeye and returned on Monday for another opening, but fishing still remained slow with only 3,400 fish winding up in nets.

Fish and Game biologist Jeremy Botz said those numbers are well under what the department expected.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Representative Paul Seaton of Homer is back from Juneau after a 118-day legislative session. He joined Ken Alper, the tax division director for the state Department of Revenue, at the Homer Chamber of Commerce Tuesday to discuss the state budget and the end of the session.

The Legislature voted for the first time in history to draw from Permanent Fund earnings to pay for government operations. The legislation allows lawmakers to draw 5.25 percent from the earnings reserve, but it didn’t specify how much would go to state government and PFDs.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Gov. Bill Walker visited Homer Thursday. Walker was in town for an campaign fundraiser Thursday evening, but he also met with public officials and gave a speech during a Homer Rotary Club meeting in the afternoon.

Walker highlighted the end of the legislative session, and noted some of the roughly 130 bills passed this year, namely Senate Bill 26. The bill will allow the state to draw from the Permanent Fund Earnings reserve to pay for both dividends and government.

Photo courtesy of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

For many Homer parents, finding after-school childcare is a struggle, and earlier school start times have only made the problem worse. The principals of Fireweed Academy, West Homer Elementary and Paul Banks Elementary are trying fill that need but the schools will need to strum up support for funding before a program can get off the ground.

Eric Waltenbaugh is the Principal of West Homer Elementary, and he said parents have spoken loud and clear in multiple surveys that they want consistent after-school childcare.

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