Charlie Gibson wasn’t so sure he would enjoy volunteer work with Hospice of Homer.
“I thought it was going to be depressing, but it’s not,” said Gibson, who has found his niche moving equipment for hospice’s equipment loan program.
“It always feels good,” he said.
Gibson, who has worked with hospice for three years, said the volunteers and employees of hospice are wonderful and it’s great to work with them.
Overall, the summer of 2013 was a good one for Homer businesses.
By the end of the year, the number of visitors to the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will top 10,000 people; the number of tourists coming through Homer will be much higher. In interviews with 14 local businesses, they were asked to rate the summer on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the best, and 75 percent of those asked rated the summer as an eight or nine.
“Every year is a 10,” said Mako Haggerty, owner of Mako’s Water Taxi.
The autumn equinox was set ablaze with Homer’s annual burning basket on Sept. 15. The mythical tale all began in response to a project by artist and naturalist, Mavis Muller.
In 2004, Muller received a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts to travel to Nevada and participate with a team of artists under the direction of artist/architect David Best. Together, the team built a massive, interactive, impermanent, fire-art installation for Burning Man.
Ten films, plus a short one that tells the story of the Russian Old Believers on the Kenai Peninsula, usher in the 10th Annual Homer International Documentary Film Festival at the historic Homer Theatre, the longest running movie house in Alaska.
This year’s festival celebrates a full decade of documentaries shown in Homer, stressing the importance and change that documentary films have made.
The search for a route from the Atlantic around the top of North America and into the Pacific consumed explorers for centuries. Within the last decade more and more sailing adventurers have been traversing the waterway.
Last summer, the classic wooden boat The North Wind came across the Northwest Passage and moored in Homer for the winter.
A fire threatening inhabitants on Hesketh Island in Kachemak Bay was contained by Sunday after a response by Alaska Division of Forestry wildland fire and resource technicians and volunteer firefighters from Seldovia and the surrounding communities.
According to the neighbors, Nancy Klein’s sauna caught on fire last Thursdauy and a gust of wind spread it quickly to nearby brush. No residents were injured in the fire on the island. Everyone evacuated safely. Firefighters also had no injuries.
Few Homer and Anchor Point youth have been charged by a brown bear, but that’s something 12 middle and high school Girl Scouts recently experienced as they ventured across Cook Inlet to explore and understand Alaska wilderness. Despite the shock and eye-opening experience, however, the young women seem excited to continue learning about environmental issues and preparing for their next outdoor adventure.
George Overpeck and Trace Carlos live for extreme sports in Alaska, but it’s not snow they crave — but wind and water.
This year they are organizing and instructing kiteboarding at Homer KiteFest 2013. It’s been six years since Homer’s first kite festival, and each year more and more kite enthusiasts show up.
“We started the event, to promote our hobby and get all the kiteboarders in the state together,” said Carlos.
Energy was high on Saturday as the sun greeted the annual Memorial Weekend “Sourdough” race sponsored by the Homer Yacht Club.
This was the club’s second race of the year.
Four boats participated with Arctica coming in first, followed by Dolphin, Morning Star and Thetis.
“The day was perfect racing conditions,” said Erik Pullman, vice president of the club.
Although the weather was stunning on Saturday, the turnout for the Hershey’s Track and Field Games was low. Still, the 18 participants gave it their all and raced as if there was an enormous crowd cheering them on.
Next year, Mike Illg, coordinator of the city of Homer’s Community Recreation Program and sponsor of the games, plans to get more kids involved.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get kids active, having fun and to learn more about the sport of track and field,” said Illg.