Jesus dies in the end.
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s municipal election show Caroline Venuti and Rachel Lord leading the pack and set to fill Homer’s two city council seats.
Roads, the recall, taxes, business and budgets dominated discussion at two Homer City Council candidate forums held the past two weeks. On Sept. 21, KBBI Public Radio and Homer News reporters moderated a meeting at Kachemak Bay Campus. On Sept. 28 at the Homer Elks Lodge, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center sponsored another forum.
On Oct. 3, city of Homer voters not only select two new council members, they will consider a change to city code that gives the council and City Manager Katie Koester a new tool to balance the budget.
Kenai Peninsula Borough voters face a full slate of candidates and issues. All borough residents will select one of three candidates for borough mayor: Dale Bagley, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings or Charlie Pierce.
Affirming what had been suspected happened when a Heartbeat of Homer spokesperson broke confidentiality, an ethics complaint against three Homer City Council members filed on July 5 was dismissed by an administrative law judge and hearing officer in August, a public records request has revealed.
Science fiction as predictive literature has its limits, but the writer Frederik Pohl noted one value to the genre: it provides the emotional content of the futures planners posit for us to see if we want to live in them. In that context, Nancy Lord’s latest book and her first published novel, “pH,” (WestWinds Press-Alaska Northwest Books/Graphic Arts, September 2017, $16.99 paperback) imagines the implications of ocean acidification, told in a witty, but cautionary, tale with scientists and an artist as central characters.
Construction started on Sept. 6 with a groundbreaking ceremony for the The Boat House Maritime Pavillion on the Homer Spit at the site of the old harbormaster’s office. Last week, contractors began pouring the foundation for the shelter and gathering space at the Homer Harbor. Miranda Weiss, organizer of the project, said most of the work should be done this fall, with final touches being completed next spring. Bay Welding will begin work on a mast to cap off the pavillion’s maritime design.
Students from McNeil Canyon Elementary School walking the Homer Spit beaches last Friday have become the latest generation of citizen scientists participating in CoastWalk, the annual fall cleanup and beach monitoring project of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. While some kids delight in picking up gross trash, CoastWalk also inspires students to monitor beaches for things like erosion, bird and wildlife sightings, human use and other environmental information.
Two Japanese Self Defense Force ships stopped briefly in Homer on their way to a goodwill visit in Anchorage. On Monday morning, Sept. 25, the Japanese Military Self Defense Force vessels Kashima, DD-3508, and Harusame, DD-102, anchored off the Homer Spit. They stayed in Homer until Tuesday evening when they left for Anchorage. Harusame is a training ship and Kashima an escort vessel. The ships left Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan in May and have been visiting ports in the west and east coasts of the United States, Cuba, and Canada as part of training for newly commissioned naval officers. The ships have 600 total crew, including 200 newly commissioned officers.
The first rule in filing an ethics complaint with the city of Homer is that you don’t talk about filing an ethics complaint. The second rule, however, is if the respondents choose to waive confidentiality, anyone can talk about it.
In a Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate forum sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Dale Bagley, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings and Charlie Pierce all distinguished themselves as capable candidates for the borough’s top administrative position.
A small wildland fire in the hills above Shirley Court appears to have been started by some sort of accelerant, Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Painter said on Wednesday. HVFD firefighters responded and put out a wildland fire behind Homer High School that started about 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, Sept. 18. The fire was near the cross-country running trails but did not threaten the high school.
Homer Police are investigating a shooting incident in which a man suffered a minor gunshot wound. According to police reports, at 6:20 a.m. Sept. 17, police responded to a report of a gunshot wound at a Pioneer Avenue address. No one was transported to the hospital. Two men were handling a handgun they thought was unloaded when it went off, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.
The Homer News submitted these questions to all the candidates actively running for two 3-year seats on the Homer City Council. Their answers are printed as submitted. Andrew Kita did not return answers.
On her visits to Alaska over the past 20 years, like a lot of visitors to Homer, singer-songwriter Dar Williams said she came to really, really love the town. She has been here several times, in 1997, 2000 and 2003.
In the Oct. 3 municipal election, Kenai Peninsula Borough residents will elect a new borough mayor and vote on school board and assembly members. Residents in the unincorporated areas of the city also will consider a ban on commercial cannabis with Proposition 1, where a “yes” vote approves the ban (see story, page 1, Business &Real Estate).
If the elephant in the room in the Homer City Council race is the recall campaign, candidate Sarah Vance could be considered the elephant trainer. She served as one of the co-chairs of Heartbeat of Homer, the group organized to back the attempted recall against council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, and became the spokesperson for the recall group.
If elected to the Homer City Council, candidate Rachel Lord would be the youngest member of a council that has commonly tilted toward people in their 50s and 60s. Along with fellow candidate Sarah Vance, 38, she represents a generation of Homer residents often lost in political discussions — 30-something people struggling to raise families and build careers in a town with a high cost of living and limited job opportunities.
Like a lot of Homer immigrants, city council candidate Stephen Mueller moved here with his wife, Robyn, after he fell in love with the seaside setting.