Much of the central and southern Kenai Peninsula went dark Wednesday afternoon during a widespread power outage. Homer Electric Association says the cause of the outage is unknown. Users on the HEA Facebook page reported power being out as far north as Sterling and Nikiski. The outage began between 1-1:30 p.m. Power was restored to most customers within the hour. No other issues are expected as a result of Wednesday's outage.
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The past few days have been rife with concessions. Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Begich conceded victory to his Republican opponent Dan Sullivan on Monday and over the weekend Republican Governor Sean Parnell admitted defeat to the Walker-Mallot unity ticket. The District 31 Republican Party on the Kenai Peninsula celebrates the Sullivan win, but is apprehensive about the Walker-Mallott victory.
Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna has a new chief nursing officer. Karen Scoggins comes to the hospital from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. According to CPH, she has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field. Scoggins has degrees in Nursing and Business Administration. She is also a board-certified Nurse Executive and registered cardiovascular invasive specialist. She began working at CPH last week.
Chugach Electric customers in Cooper Landing and Moose Pass will experience a brief loss of power Wednesday afternoon. The outage is expected to last about 15 minutes sometime between 1-2 p.m. The company is testing its Cooper Lake hydroelectric units. The time and length of the outage is subject to change. Updates will be posted on Chugach’s website and Facebook page. Overnight Thursday to Friday, there is a planned outage set for customers in Girdwood. The outage will be three hours long, from midnight until 3 a.m. Friday. The company is doing maintenance at the Girdwood substation.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday, November 19, it is designating Kachemak Bay as its next habitat focus area. That will open up the door to more directed research and conservation efforts and possible federal funding. The bay is already a State of Alaska Critical Habitat Area and a National Estuarine Research Reserve. So, the building blocks are already in place.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission will take up the controversial topic of the new proposed safety building at their next meeting Thursday night. The focus won’t be the controversy, but keeping the HERC building functional. The Homer City Council has named the HERC site the preferred location for the proposed public safety building. It’s divided much of the community into two camps. One side wants to see the HERC building stay as a dedicated community recreation site. The other thinks the public safety building needs to be the priority.
A heavy lift ship dropped anchor in Kachemak Bay earlier this month. The Zhen Hua 15 is making preparations to tow offshore drilling rig Endeavour Spirit of Independence all the way to South Africa. The rig has been parked in storage in Port Graham since last winter. The Endeavour was leased by Buccaneer Energy before the company filed for bankruptcy.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, is in the process of drafting an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Cook Inlet Oil and Gas Lease Sale 244. It’s a potential special-interest sale of sites which could open up the federally-managed waters of Cook Inlet to oil and gas exploration. BOEM held a series of public scoping meetings on the Kenai Peninsula last week. Community responses ranged from familiarity with industry to serious mistrust.