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

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Two Japanese naval destroyers are anchored in Kachemak Bay near Homer. The ships are passing through on their way to Anchorage for a “good-will” port call.

The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has been traveling the world since May, making port calls in South America, Canada, along the East Coast and even Pearl Harbor. About 500 sailors are on board both ships, but the six-month tour is primarily part of an effort to train 200 new cadets.

Courtesy of Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers put out public notice Monday for a substantial dock project in China Poot Bay. A family from California plans to build a private home on the 26-acre property with future plans for 10-bed commercial lodge and a restaurant. In order to gain access, the family wants to install a 125-foot dock in the bay, but some have concerns over the project limiting access to China Poot and wonder if a dock can handle conditions in the area.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A new ethics complaint has been filed in relation to Homer’s recent recall election. Three Homer City Council members were up for recall in June, but all three retained their seats. The complaint argues that the council members should have recused themselves from certifying the election results.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly met in Homer Tuesday for its annual visit and convened in the Homer City Council Chambers. The agenda was fairly light, but there was some contention over funding a new emergency service area, stretching from the northern boundary of the borough to just west of Seward and east of Sterling.

Photo courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer Fire Department responded to a small structure fire near Homer High School early Monday afternoon. Fire Chief Bob Painter described the makeshift structure in the woods behind the football field as a “lean-to” that appeared to be made by kids in the area.

The area was wet from recent rains, and the small blaze only spread to surrounding brush. Painter added that an accelerant was likely used to spark the fire.

Firefighters were on the scene for about 45 minutes, extinguishing the fire with hand tools and a single hose.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Many may not have known, but Sunday was National Constitution Day, and as part of a 10-year tradition, students at West Homer Elementary spent their Friday afternoon learning about the protections the three branches of government offers. They were also paid a visit by a caped superhero known as the Bill of Rights, but kids are spending more than just an afternoon learning about the inner workings of the U.S. government.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

With under three weeks to go until municipal elections, the three candidates running for borough mayor made a stop in Homer Thursday for a town-hall style forum. Candidates took both prepared and audience questions. Topics ranged from local control over hospitals to the current invocation policy, but the budget deficit and taxes stole the show.

Linda Farnsworth Hutchings, Dale Bagley and Charlie Pierce squared off for the 2017 Homer Chamber of Commerce’s town hall forum at the Homer Elk’s Lodge Thursday evening.

Courtesy of Ping Chong + Company

Alaxsxa is a place name that that many Alaskans may not know, but they all live there. It’s the Unangax tribe’s ancient name for Alaska, and it serves as a metaphor for a play coming to the Bunnell Street Arts Center this weekend. Alaxsxa uses history, puppetry, Yup’ik dancing and personal stories to weave together the complex relationships of the people and cultures living in state.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

There are still remnants of Homer’s contentious recall election on display at Homer City Council meetings. The council approved two resolutions asking Alaska’s Legislature to revisit the state statute for recalling municipal officials without controversy in late August, but each were brought up for reconsideration on Monday.

Both are companion measures, one coming directly from the council and the other is to be sent to the Alaska Municipal League for approval. Council member Tom Stroozas pulled both resolutions the morning after they were approved.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Pink salmon are showing up in odd places around the Homer area. Fish can be seen swimming through Beluga Slough in the middle of town, a saltwater marsh with no historical salmon returns.

Dead pinks litter the slough’s muddy banks at low tide and several fish are still swimming around. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Glenn Hollowell said there have also been reports of fish in other systems around Homer and along the outer coast of the Kenai Peninsula.