Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council’s plan to fund a new police station changed course Monday. The council wants to implement a .35-percent year-around sales tax instead of a seasonal sales tax. It also plans to ask voters to approve spending $5 million on the project during a special election in June.  

The council introduced three ordinances related to the police station project and spent the majority of its time Monday focusing on its $5 million bond proposal, which would fund most of the $7.5 million project.  

Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council formed a task force Monday that will evaluate what can be done with the Homer Education and Recreation Complex or the HERC.

The council gave the newly minted task force a $3,000 budget to assess how much it will cost to bring the building up to code and what portions are ready to be utilized. The council also tasked the group with exploring whether the city can lease or sell the property among other questions.

Courtesy of the International Pacific Halibut Commission

U.S. and Canadian members on the International Pacific Halibut Commission, or IPHC, met earlier this month in an effort to resolve their differences over how Pacific halibut are distributed between regulatory areas.

The commission shocked the fishing industry in January after it could not agree on catch limits for 2018, bringing years of disagreement to a head.

Abigail Kokai

The Bunnell Street Arts Center is piloting a new program to support Alaskan artists and collectors. The nonprofit established the new art-sharing program, known as Community Supported Art, earlier this month. It’s inspired by a similar business model that helps small farmers sell their crops to area residents. 

People can buy a share, and in turn they receive products from farmers in their area, but instead of getting a box full of local produce, shareholders in this program can expect a box full of small art pieces.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

A local bar and restaurant may lose its liquor license because it owes thousands of dollars in delinquent property and sales taxes.

The Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office notified the city last month that Young’s Downtown Restaurant & Inn applied to renew its liquor license. According to the control office, Ock Kyung Lee is the current business license holder.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s finance department sent a letter later that month to let the city know that Lee owes about $23,000 in back taxes to the city and borough.

Alaska State Legislature

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton spoke with KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson about bills concerning school funding and about the current version of the state operating budget for this week's update.

Kachemak Bay Conservation Society

Sunday, April 22 marks the 48th
Earth Day, a yearly observance of the importance of environmental conservation. The Kachemak Bay Convervation Society holds its annual meeting on Saturday the 21st at Homer's Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. On the agenda: music, films, photos and presentations on climate science.
KBBI's Jeff Lockwood has the story.

Photo KBBI Database

Homer has a housing problem. Like many rural Alaskan communities, finding a place to live can be a challenge. But the growing tourism industry may be making it more difficult for year-round residents to find long-term housing. With just a handful of hotels in town, visitors have been relying on Airbnbs and other vacation rentals. That demand may mean fewer rental options for Homer residents to choose from.

 

Susannah Webster

DirtBag Clean-up week is well under way and kids ages eight to 18 have an opportunity to help clean up the Homer area. Homer Wilderness Leaders or HoWL, an educational environmental nonprofit, puts on the event. The organization is especially excited for this week because it kicks off a season of wilderness expeditions and outdoor activity offerings for area youth.

For the past year, HoWL offered no programming besides DirtBag week. The last executive director died unexpectedly in 2016 and that left the organization in a tight spot. Susannah Webster sits on HoWL’s board.

Photo KBBI.

Pink, chum and sockeye salmon have been doing really well over the past few decades. A new study published in Marine and Coastal Fisheries finds in the North Pacific, those species’ abundance levels have been peaking over the past 25 years. But more salmon can be a bad thing. Evidence suggests that more pinks, chums and sockeye are contributing to declining king salmon stocks.

Greg Ruggerone is a scientist with Natural Resources Consultants INC., and he’s been studying levels of salmon in the North Pacific.

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