Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
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.

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). 

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.

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.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The principal of both the Nanwalek and Port Graham schools is retiring at the end of this month. Nancy Kleine served as a principal since 2013, and she won a Golden Apple Award from the district for her service this year.

Kleine said her greatest achievement is bringing in the ConnectEd grant from Apple. The school received iPads for each student in addition to technology for teachers and classrooms.  

Courtesy of the City of Homer

It’s still undecided who will be on the Homer Education and Recreation Complex task force. The Homer City Council decided to form the task force last month in order to evaluate how much it will cost to bring the HERC up to code and whether the city should lease or sell the building among other questions.

Mayor Bryan Zak recommended appointing seven people to the task force Monday, including five Homer residents and two non-residents.

Shahla Farzan, KBBI News

Homer residents will have a chance to vote on increasing the city sales tax in June as a way to fund a new $7.5 million police station.

The Homer City Council passed the ballot proposition Monday. It asks voters to approve a year-around .35-percent sales tax increase.

Under the proposal, most of the tax would sunset once the bond for the station is paid off, but .05 percent would remain on the books to fund ongoing maintenance costs for the building.

Photo Courtesy of Independent Living Center

A program that allows seniors and people with disabilities on the southern Kenai Peninsula to buy discounted taxi rides will resume in July. The Independent Living Center announced this month that the Alaska Department of Transportation funded the program.

The living center stopped selling vouchers in March due to lack of funding, leaving roughly 100 southern peninsula residents without rides. Beginning in July, people with disabilities and seniors will likely be able to purchase about 20 local rides and 10 longer distance rides per month. 

Photo Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

Healthcare providers may go a few weeks without Medicaid reimbursements. After it became clear that Medicaid funding will run dry about a month short of the new fiscal year, the Legislature included some funding to pay for Medicaid services until July 1 as it passed the capital budget over the weekend. 

Pages