State spending on tourism marketing has been slashed roughly 80 percent in recent years. But the Alaska Travel Industry Association thinks there’s a way to boost the amount of dollars spent advertising Alaska as a destination. It wants to create a Tourism District Industry, which would allow the industry to charge tourism-related businesses a tax that would go towards marketing. The CEO of the association pitched the idea last week in Homer. But the idea may be a tough sell for some in one of the state’s top destinations.
This week's Coffee Table features the Friends of the NRA Homer chapter. FNRA Chairman Greg Collins explains the difference between the national political arm of the NRA and the runs through programs the FNRA provides locally. Local NRA member Ralph Crane also speaks about current gun control legislation in the state Legislature and the national discussion on gun control.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is once again grappling with the budget and looming deficits. The borough is facing a $4 million spending gap while the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District hopes to fill a $3 million hole in its budget. But on Tuesday, the assembly postponed a sales-tax increase proposal and a proposed $3 million transfer from the borough’s land trust fund in order to weigh all options.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has been working on the 2019 budget for months, but now it’s out of its hands. The school board passed the budget over to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Tuesday, asking the assembly to fully fund education at the maximum amount allowed. The district requested about $2 million more than last year. It said it needs the money to close a $3 million budget deficit. However it may be a tough sell.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education approved a site for a new school building in Kachemak Selo, a small Russian Old Believer community at the head of Kachemak Bay, on Monday. The “blue sight” as it’s called is roughly a mile away from the current elementary school. In 2014, the School Site Selection Committee chose a different site, but a preliminary study found it was at-risk for landslides.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District passed a roughly $143 million preliminary budget Monday for the 2019 fiscal year with overwhelming support. The district expects about $80 million to come from the state, and it’s asking the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to fund education at the maximum level, about $52 million.
Over 100 people attended a community forum on the Pebble Mine hosted by Cook Inletkeeper Friday. The Pebble project was at an impasse for years but has recently moved forward under the Trump administration. In December, the Pebble Mine submitted a permit and the scoping process began on April 1.
The Islands and Ocean Visitor Center filled to capacity as residents geared up to challenge the Pebble Mine.
Three candidates are now planning to run against Homer Rep. Paul Seaton in the 2018 Republican primaries. Anchor Point resident John Cox was the first to file his letter of intent in July of last year.
Two other contenders filed their letters of intent last week. Kasilof resident Robert Ruffner filed Wednesday and Homer resident Sarah Vance filed Tuesday.