A man rides a fat bike on the Homer Spit beach as the M/V Kennicott leaves on Sept. 1, 2019, out of Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer New)

A man rides a fat bike on the Homer Spit beach as the M/V Kennicott leaves on Sept. 1, 2019, out of Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer New)

Ferry system to stop winter service to Kodiak Island

KODIAK An Alaska ferry system has released a new schedule that stops service to and from Kodiak Island in the winter, officials said.

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced the schedule Thursday, but it does not list ferry operations between Jan. 11 to April 24, The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Thursday.

Each year, transportation stops for a period of time for vessel examination and mechanical maintenance. But this year the ferries are in overhaul simultaneously because of a $43 million reduction in the marine highway budget, officials said. An amendment to put $5 million back into the marine highway budget was passed by the Legislature, but it was vetoed by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

“It’s crippling to rural Alaska,” said Republican Rep. Louise Stutes, who introduced the amendment. “I don’t know if (the governor) even considers rural Alaska part of Alaska with some of the effects his cuts have made in relation to rural Alaska.”

During the routine maintenance period, fish industries used Alaska Airlines combination planes that carry freight and passengers until they were discontinued in 2016, officials said. Since, the ferry system replaced the use of these flights to deliver fresh catch to other parts of the state.

Extending the closure period could hinder business, owners said.

The ferry was an affordable way to grocery shop and visit the hospital on the state’s mainland, residents said. Now officials are encouraging them to use planes and boats they consider to be unreliable and dangerous in winter conditions.

In addition to the schedule gap, the transportation department announced they are expected to begin a new pricing system that would increase ferry ticket fares during high-demanded times, officials said. That means reservation fees are expected to increase as departure days approach and as special events and holidays near.

“This is an attempt to increase revenue and become a more self-sustaining system,” said Meadow Bailey, Department of Transportation communications director.

More in News

Coast Guardsmen and state employees load the Together Tree bound for the Alaska Governor’s Mansion on a truck on Nov. 29, 2021 after the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry transported the tree from Wrangell. (USCG photo / Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston)
Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau

No weather or floating lines could stay these Coast Guardsmen about their task.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

fund
Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

Image via the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Nikiski soil treatment facility moves ahead

The facility, located at 52520 Kenai Spur Highway, has drawn ire from community residents.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Bycatch becomes hot issue

Dunleavy forms bycatch task force.

Rep. Chris Kurka, R-Wasilla, leaves the chambers of the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, March 19, 2021, after an hour of delays concerning the wording on his mask. On Monday, Kurka announced he was running for governor in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Wasilla rep announces gubernatorial bid

Kurka said he was motivated to run by a sense of betrayal from Dunleavy.

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson star is Illuminated on the side of Mount Gordon Lyon on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, just east of Anchorage, Alaska, in observation of the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. A crew from the base went to light the 300-foot wide holiday star, but found that only half of the star’s 350 or so lights were working, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Airmen from the 773rd Civil Engineer Squadron Electrical Shop haven’t been able to figure out what was wrong and repair the lights, but they plan to work through the week, if necessary, base spokesperson Erin Eaton said. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
Avalanche delays holiday tradition in Alaska’s largest city

ANCHORAGE — A holiday tradition in Alaska’s largest city for more than… Continue reading

AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File
In this Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, photo, George Chakuchin, left, and Mick Chakuchin look out over the Bering Sea near Toksook Bay, Alaska. A federal grant will allow an extensive trail system to connect all four communities on Nelson Island, just off Alaska’s western coast. The $12 million grant will pay to take the trail the last link, from Toksook Bay, which received the federal money, to the community of Mertarvik, the new site for the village of Newtok. The village is moving because of erosion.
Federal grant will connect all 4 Nelson Island communities

BETHEL — A federal grant will allow an extensive trail system to… Continue reading

Most Read