Renee Gross

Photo KBBI.

King salmon fishing in the upper Cook Inlet this summer is not looking fruitful. The Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order earlier this week leading to closers for king fishing in the upper Cook Inlet and in Mat-Su rivers.

But the forecast for kings on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers are looking pretty good. Matt Miller is the Regional Fisheries Management Coordinator for Cook Inlet.  

His and Hers Baking

Buying and selling local food online may become easier. A bill in the House would allow Alaskans to sell items with a low potential for food-borne illness without a permit online. It would also make other changes to support local food.

Those involved in the Alaska Food Hub, an online farmers market, are excited about the bill’s potential to empower small food producers and expand community access to fresh food. But some are concerned about lowering the threshold for selling food online.

Courtesy of the City of Homer

Homer may see a new hotel pop up in town by the end of the summer. Aspen Hotels plans to finalize a deal on roughly five acres of land off the Sterling Highway across from Safeway later this month, and it hopes to start construction in May.

The architect of the 72-room hotel, Rich Conneen, said its design will mirror the company’s other hotels around the state with wood construction and colorful paint. But it will be shorter in order to accommodate Homer’s 35-foot commercial height restriction along the highway.

Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council is reinstating regular work sessions on state legislative issues. Every other week on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., City Council members will report on issues in the state Legislature that relate to the city and will discuss following up with formal action on the council agenda.

The council held work sessions last year and the idea came up again after members of the council visited Juneau last month. In her monthly report, City Manager Katie Koester said it will be a way for the council to track issues and provide timely input on legislative issues in the state.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Homer City Council voted down an ordinance that would allow commercial marijuana facilities to operate on private property on the Homer Spit.

Council member Heath Smith strongly opposed the measure. He worried whether allowing marijuana retailers on the spit would lead to tourists consuming marijuana publicly.  

“No, we're not going to stop anyone from using it,” Smith said. “But we can sure as heck send a message that we're not going to be complicit in the illegal use of it in certain areas of our town.”

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Democratic candidate Dimitri Shein is running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and made a stop in Homer Friday to meet with residents during the House District 31 Democratic Caucus. The Anchorage Democrat is one of two candidates trying to unseat Republican Congressman Don Young in the fall.

Alaska SeaLife Center

 The rescued beluga calf Tyonek from Cook Inlet has a new home at SeaWorld San Antonio. Tyonek traveled in a truck to Anchorage and then flew on a charter plane from Anchorage to his new life in Texas on Thursday.

Tyonek was originally found malnourished and dehydrated on a beach last September and was transferred to Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. He was just a month old. According to a statement from the center, animal care experts from around the country flew in to provide him with around-the clock-care.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer spoke with KBBI's Renee Gross on March 9 about public testimonials on the budget, amendments to the budget and Medicaid funding. 

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The question of what to with the Homer Education and Recreation Building, better known as the HERC, has been a heated subject for years. The former school building isn’t up to code and the city has mulled over whether to remodel the building, convert it into a new police station or simply sell the property.

The City of Homer Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Advisory Commission is working through recommendations on what to do next. It held tours of the HERC Wednesday as a way to inform the public on the cost and benefits of all the options and receive input. 

Alaska State Troopers arrested a Homer man on Sunday for allegedly threatening to burn a house down with an occupant of the house still inside it. According to a Trooper dispatch, law enforcement responded to a report from a Skyline Drive house in the morning. After an investigation, they arrested 73-year-old Raymond Bellamy for assault and resistance to arrest. He was taken into custody at the Homer Jail.