BEN BOETTGER

HEA answers questions about its proposal to withdraw from RCA

Homer Electric Association officials, including board members, have been holding member outreach meetings on the Kenai Peninsula seeking support for what it calls “local control” — removing HEA from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. But HEA also wants members to make an informed decision, said general manager Brad Janorschke.

“I think it’s more important we have dialogue and ask questions,” he said at a Homer meeting held Sept. 28.

School district seeks ideas on budget

At a series of public meetings Thursday, Oct. 13, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will begin confronting a budget for next year that may be between 3 and 20 percent less than the previous year’s.

District Superintendent Sean Dusek invited the public to participate in the budget meetings and offered an overview of problems to listeners at a Kenai Chamber of Commerce luncheon Oct. 5.

Homer-area schools to plan to reduce 10 bus routes to five next school year

Among the budget-driven changes coming to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is a new busing system that will change start times for 10 southern Kenai Peninsula schools.

After the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development cut inflation funding from its pupil transportation grant allocations, the school district created a plan to have each southern peninsula bus carry two loads of students — first dropping off the kids picked up on one route then going out on another route to pick up for a different school.

Bear injures woman on Kenai refuge trail

Bear injures woman on Kenai refuge trail

A woman hiking alone Sunday on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s Lower Kenai River trail was bitten on the upper leg by a brown bear.

The woman was hiking with her two dogs when she saw the bear about 20 feet ahead of her in a riverside area of tall grass. She retreated and fell, “and the bear was upon her immediately,” according to a refuge press release.

HEA briefs members on hot topics

Issues discussed in Homer Electric Association’s annual members meeting, held May 4 at Kenai Central High School, include what the electric cooperative is doing to reduce the electric bills of its members, a proposal to withdraw from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska — a state utilities oversight agency — and a possible settlement of HEA’s dispute with six other utilities over the cost of transmitting electricity over HEA’s powerlines.

 Power costs and gas supply

Warm winters fuel outbreak of aphids

Last spring, homeowners near Halibut Cove and Homer began to see needles on their spruces turning yellow and brown.

Naturalists from the Alaska Division of Forestry, the Kenai Wildlife Refuge, and the University of Alaska’s Cooperative Extension Service examined the trees on trips in June 2015 and late March of this year. 

Alaska LNG Project still moves forward

Local representatives of the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project said that although their leaders have spoken of possible delays, employees of the project remain set on smaller steps before them.

These steps include creating final drafts of impact reports and completing property acquisitions for the prospective pipeline’s liquefaction facility and export terminal in Nikiski.

HEA scheduled to raise rates beginning Feb. 1

Rates paid by Homer Electric Association users will rise by 3.25 percent beginning Feb. 1. The Alaska Regulatory Commission, which permits rates charged by public utilities, allowed the rate raise on Friday.

HEA Manager of Regulatory Affairs John Draves said the temporary increase will be in effect until HEA can negotiate other ways of recovering costs — either with the permanent 1.8 percent rate increase that HEA is currently proposing to the Regulatory Commission, or by charging other utilities that transmit power over HEA lines.

Kenai may get unlikely million to upgrade its wastewater plant

Despite the scanty state spending expected in 2016, this year’s state capital budget may provide funding for long-deferred upgrades to Kenai’s wastewater treatment plant.

Built in 1981, Kenai’s wastewater plant discharges into Cook Inlet from an outlet in the Kenai beach mudflats. The ammonia in this discharge exceeds the plant’s August 2015 permit from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, which allows Kenai five years to bring the plant to the ammonia emission limits.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - BEN BOETTGER