Renee Gross

Reporter/Host
Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Department

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.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

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.

Pebble Limited Partnership Army Corps of Engineers application

The discussion around the proposed Pebble Mine in Southwestern Alaska has primarily been focused on Bristol Bay. But the effect the project will have on Cook Inlet and Homer is still unclear. The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an environmental impact statement analyzing the impacts of Pebble Limited Partnership’s proposal. They will gather input on what to include in the EIS from the public during several scoping sessions throughout April. Homer environmentalists want to make sure the Corps studies any potential implications for the Homer area.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council moved forward with discussions on how to pay for a new police station Tuesday. During a work session, council members leaned toward a seasonal sales tax to pay for part of the roughly $7.5 million project. However, several details still need to be ironed out.

The council was presented with a range of options on how to pay for a new police station from increasing property taxes, a seasonal sales tax to a year-around sales tax option.  

SHAHLA FARZAN KBBI News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District honored Port Graham teacher Devin Michel Way with a Golden Apple Award earlier this month. The annual award shines a spotlight on educators, volunteers or community members that go the extra mile to support education.

Way teaches kindergarten through fourth grade which would be a daunting task to many. But the district says she is a master of personalizing instruction to every student’s needs. The district notes she may be soothing a crying kindergartner while chatting with fourth graders about a novel’s theme.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

Governor Bill Walker submitted nominations this month to fill two seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Alaska has five seats with voting power on the council—two of which will be open in August. The secretary of commerce appoints the council members based on the governor’s recommendation.

Walker nominated incumbent Seward-based charter owner Andrew Mezirow for one of the two seats. Council members may be reappointed, but there is a three-term limit. Mezirow is a lifelong sports angler and the owner of Gray Light Sports fishing.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with Renee Gross on March 23 about the state budget. 

Friends of the Homer Public Library

The Friends of the Homer Public Library will be honoring renowned whale-bone expert Lee Post with a Lifelong Learning Award.  The annual award applauds an adult community member for making a lifelong commitment to acquiring an exceptional skill or knowledge.

City of Homer

Lieutenant Will Hutt is retiring from the Homer Police Department after serving the community for twenty-four years.  He started in Homer in 1994 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2013. His last day on the job is just about a month away. 

Lieutenant Will Hutt is cleaning his office. It’s full of things he’s collected over the years. 

"I don't know; I've got a lot of junk," he said opening a metal drawer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska will make no new matches between children and volunteers in Homer beginning in June. Heather Harris is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, and she said the decision to drop new matches is a financial one.

"This is a time of reduced federal and state grants and given those reductions, we are no longer able to sustain new matches across the state," Harris said. 

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