Aaron Bolton

News Director

Aaron Bolton is excited to come on board at KBBI after spending his first year reporting in the state at KSTK in Wrangell. He grew up in southern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in professional journalism.

Prior to Alaska, Aaron reported for Radio K in Minneapolis. He spent his free time going to local concerts and promoting shows and music festivals. Since making the move, he has spent his time in the backcountry snowboarding whenever possible.

Ways to Connect

Fish and Game

This year’s pink salmon return in Lower Cook Inlet has been a good one. About 1 million fish have been harvested in the southern and outer districts around Kachemak Bay.  Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Gelnn Hollowell said the return is coming in strong, but it hasn’t overwhelmed the fleet.

Courtesy of Fish and Game

Sport and subsistence fishermen around the Kachemak Bay area will be able to target tanner crab for the first time in four years this fall. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game received permission from the state Board of Fisheries to reopen the fishery this spring, and the crabbing season will open in October.

Sport and subsistence crabbing in Kachemak Bay, along the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula, and in Cook Inlet has been closed for about four years.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The filing period for two Homer City Council seats closed Tuesday. Eight candidates are in the running for current council members’ David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds positions on the council.

Three candidates entered the race Monday. Stephen Mueller is among the new group of candidates. Mueller currently works as a pharmacist in Homer. In his candidate statement, he says he brings over 25 years of corporate management experience to the table. He has also served as an officer at the Homer Elks Lodge.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council passed a resolution Monday aimed at making Homer a universally accessible city. Council member David Lewis proposed the measure, which encourages businesses and the city to work towards improving accessibility for those with disabilities.

Several public comments were given in support of the resolution, but there was some pushback on the council. The panel passed a resolution last year, forming the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Committee. The resolution tasked the committee with forming a transition plan for the city.

Shahla Farzan, KBBI News

The Homer City Council made some progress towards a new police station Monday. The  council passed a resolution contracting Stantec, an architecture firm that has worked on the project for three years, to produce a preliminary design for a $6 million police station at the corner of Heath Street and Grubstake Avenue, also known as the Waddell site.

The council hashed out the resolution, proposed by council member Donna Aderhold, during a work session and unanimously passed an amended version during its regular meeting.

Greg Davis

Sea star wasting syndrome ,or disease as it has become known, hit Kachemak Bay hard in 2016, killing about 90 percent of sunflower and true star populations. Researchers eagerly waited for spring to roll around in hopes their numbers would rebound. As the days got longer, it quickly became apparent that wasn’t going to happen this year, but there is some hope the disease is waning.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Two seats on the Homer City Council are up for grabs in October. So far, five candidates have officially filed to run.

Rachel Lord was among two candidates to file on Friday. Lord is a small business owner and is the current commissioner on the City’s Economic Development Commission. She also sits on the Harbor Safety Committee and is an executive secretary for Alaska’s Harbormasters Association.

Courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Alaska’s Legislature passed a capital budget late last month. The $1.4 billion list of projects is the skinniest budget in 17 years, but there are a few projects on the Kenai Peninsula. The Exon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is funding several restoration projects on the Kenai, Kasilof and Anchor rivers through the capital budget.

The Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks Division will oversee the six projects. Kenai and Prince William Sound State Park Superintendent Jack Blackwell says the projects will improve access into the three rivers and restore fish habitat.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Two seats on the Homer City Council are up for grabs in October. So far, three candidates have officially filed to run.

Kimberly Ketter filed to run on Monday. Ketter ran in 2016 and received 181 votes.

Caroline Venuti filed on Thursday. Venuti is a lifelong Alaskan. She has served on the Library Advisory Board, the City Transportation Committee and sat on the founding board of the Homer Boys and Girls Club.

KBBI News Director Aaron Bolton recently traveled to Gore Point to participate in a marine debris collection project. This week's Coffee Table recounts that trip and does a deep dive into the plastic-filled waters of Kachemak Bay. Guests: President of Gulf of Alaska Keeper Chris Pallister, Professor Patty Zwollo from The College of William and Mary and Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Marine Debris Coordinator Henry Reiske.