BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
In its annual visit to Homer, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly stalled on a revision of the borough’s Planning Commission opposed by both the Homer City Council and the Homer Advisory Planning Commission.
In a 4-4 vote, the assembly tied — and thus defeated — Ordinance 16-25, an ordinance that would reduce the size of the borough planning commission from a maximum of 13 to a maximum of 11.
Give ’em shelter.
That’s the idea of the Boat House project, a proposal to build a pavilion on the Homer Spit at the site of the old Harbor Office near Ramp 2.
On a good day when fishermen pull sea-bright king salmon out of the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon faster than the tide runs, the cleaning tables fill up with people cleaning their catch. You’d better watch your back — and the sky — lest a ravenous gull scoops down and snags a fish.
“While trying to fillet their catches, anglers were under siege by a squadron of sky rats with the manners of turkey buzzards jazzed after power wolfing a commercial tanker of Red Bull,” is how Homer News fishing columnist Nick Varney once described the assault.
In a meeting with an 8-page agenda and 26 items, the Homer City Council on Monday met until 10:10 p.m. — “my longest city council meeting yet,” first-term member Catriona Reynolds described it.
In the biennial election for Alaska’s lone representative to U.S. Congress, the Alaska Democratic Party has sent up a steady stream of candidates attempting to defeat Republican Don Young, Alaska’s longest serving member of Congress, elected in a 1973. The latest most probably will be Forrest Dunbar of Anchorage. Although Dunbar still has to defeat primary opponent Frank Vondersaar of Homer to win the party nomination to run for U.S. Congress, Dunbar already has been endorsed by the Alaska Democratic Party.
Kachemak Kids Early Learning Center, will close as of July 31, the board of directors announced this week in letters to the editor of both of Homer’s weekly newspapers.
Current director Chelsea White confirmed the closure, but referred questions to Lolita Brache, president of the board. White is expecting a child soon and will be going on maternity leave. She referred further questions to Brache, but Brache in an email and phone call said she did not want to discuss the closure further.
In February, after neighbors in the Noview Avenue area protested putting Smallpond Childcare on their street, the Homer Advisory Planning Commission fell a vote short of approving a conditional use permit, CUP, needed to build.
The commission voted 4-2, with commissioners Roberta Highland and Franco Venuti opposing, but under its rules then needed five votes to approve a CUP. The threshold has since been changed to four votes.
You just can’t keep a good bar down.
Yeah, that was the story in 1976, when the Club Bar rose from the ashes after a fire destroyed it. That was the story in 2007, when after three years Alice’s Champagne Palace, its name since 1980, once again reopened. That was the story in 2009, when after a summer hiatus, it opened for the fall.
The State Medical Examiner positively identified Paul Baylink, 46, as the person killed in a Rainbow Court house fire on June 13, Homer Police announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
An autopsy was done on June 17, but police have not received the report and do not know the cause of death, said Lt. Will Hutt.
Baylink is the owner of the house, and family members had been notified earlier that he might be the fire victim. Baylink was the only person in the house at the time of the fire. No pets were found in the house, either.
One person died in a house fire in downtown Homer this morning. When firefighters arrived, the home on Rainbow Court was fully engulfed in flames. Before firefighters arrived, a neighbor tried to get in to save the home’s single occupant, but was unsuccessful.
Firefighters also were unable to save the person.
The name of the person has not been released by authorities because next of kin have not been notified.
Local firefighters fought a Diamond Ridge house fire and a McNeil Canyon area wildfire on Thursday. In an early morning fire, Kachemak Emergency Service firefighters could not save the home of Alan Parks on Nearly Level Avenue at the bottom of Rucksack Drive near Diamond Ridge Road. Parks, a Homer fisherman, photographer and active Kachemak Nordic Ski Club volunteer, escaped the fire. The home was fully engulfed in flames when the first fire trucks arrived, said KES Chief Bob Cicciarella.
Two apparently drunk men beat up and robbed a New York visitor in an attack Wednesday afternoon near Mile 21 East End Road. The assailants stripped the 19-year-old man of everything but his boxer shorts and left him on the side of the road. The victim suffered minor injuries, including a head injury, but is otherwise OK.
“They were just super drunk,” the victim said in a phone interview on Thursday. “It definitely rattled me. They scared me, for sure. They could have really hurt me if they tried.”
The Homer City Council directed council member Gus Van Dyke to do some more work and revise his proposed ordinance that would have changed the zoning to East End Mixed Use for a corridor of properties along East End Road from Lake Street to Kachemak City limits. If passed, the rezone would allow activities like heavy equipment storage, junkyards, welding shops and boat shops in area now zoned rural residential, residential office and urban residential.
Take risks. Say thank you. Smile. Be kind to yourself. Start something new.
That was among the advice given May 7 at the occasion of 2014 commencement exercises for 151 people receiving degrees or certificates from Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus.
When the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage awarded degrees or certificates to 151 people last Wednesday night, the event marked not just a milestone for the women and men graduating. It marked a milestone for the college, too. This year, Kenai Peninsula College celebrates its 50th anniversary. The campus that started out as the Homer Branch has been a part of furthering adult education on the lower Kenai Peninsula since 1966.
A 5.54 earthquake hit the Homer and the lower Kenai Peninsula at 6:16 a.m today. The quake was 33 miles northwest of Homer at a depth of 54 miles. Residents reported being woken up and experiencing moderate to heavy shaking, and items being knocked off shelves. Initial reports were that the quake was a 5.7, but the U.S. University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's Alaska Earthquake Information Center later reported the quake to be a 5.54.
No tsunami occurred, according to the National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center, Palmer.
The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fish and Game on Wednesday restored $175,000 in operating funds for the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. The budget now goes to the Senate Finance Committee. That committee holds hearings today at 4 p.m. at the Homer Legislative Information Office on the Operating Budget, House Bills 266 and 267.
Former Homer City Manager and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Ronald Drathman, 71, died last Thursday of natural causes at South Peninsula Hospital. There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the Homer Elks Lodge.
At a meeting and public hearing Thursday night, the Homer Public Arts Committee didn't just reject the idea of putting a bust of the late Brother Asaiah Bates in WKFL Park. It recommended not accepting into the city art collection at all a proposed donation of the $18,500 bronze bust.
John Nazarian, a friend of Brother Asaiah, planned to commission a sculpture by Homer artist Leo Vait to be cast as a bronze statue and placed on the rock in WKFL Park. Brother Asaiah died in March 2000 at the age of 78.