Toni Ross

Friends of the Homer Library celebrate learning by recognizing Martin, Gillam

It’s been a busy spring for Friends of the Homer Library coordinator, Mercedes Harness. From the Big Read to the book and plant sale, Harness — along with numerous volunteers and board members — has been working on behalf of the FHL to promote what she describes as one of Homer’s favorite places: the library.

 

Library friends honor Chamberlain, Bunting at Lifelong Learning gala

National Library Week is April 10-16, and the Friends of the Homer Library will be ushering it in Saturday with its annual fundraiser, the Celebration of Lifelong Learning.

A silent auction, live music, appetizers from Maura’s Café and a trivia tree will all accompany presentations of this year’s Lifelong Learner Award and Youth Learner Award. Haines author Heather Lende will be the keynote speaker.  

Gina Pelaia named Realtor of the Year

For the second time in her career, Gina Pelaia, a real estate agent with Bay Realty, was the recipient of the Realtor of the Year award at the annual Kachemak Board of Realtors holiday party and fundraiser last December.

“This means a lot to me, to be recognized by my association and my fellow Realtors,” said Pelaia, who is also the president of the Kachemak Board of Realtors. 

Award marks end of John Calhoun’s career in real estate

The 23rd Annual Kachemak Board of Realtors holiday party and auction, which was held in December at Wasabi’s, raised $7,000 for local charities and scholarships. New board members also were installed, and awards were given to three local agents. 

John Calhoun received a Lifetime Achievement award for 15 years of excellence in service as a member of the real estate community. Calhoun, who has lived in Homer since 1978, made the decision to retire from the real estate business last spring; his retirement became official Dec. 31.

Alaska Bible Institute honors past, envisions future

Next month, Alaska Bible Institute marks its 50th year of training and equipping Christians for life and ministry. In a three-day celebration, an expected 300 alumni and friends will gather from around the world to honor the school’s rich history, equip for its present and envision for its future. 

ABI, which is located on 14.5 acres of wooded slopes off Mission Road, offers a two-year diploma in biblical studies with an optional third-year diploma in ministry. It has a 50-student capacity, as well as full and part-time staff and teachers.

Ted Wiard: Life After Grief

Editor's note: The photo caption has been corrected to identify the Wiard brothers properly.

It’s called compounded complicated grief — when one loss follows another. And another. When a person doesn’t have time to process the first shattering before the next one happens.

The Classic Cook serves up quality wares for kitchen

From shiny pepper mills to smooth cutting blocks, one of Homer’s newest shops testifies to its name. The Classic Cook, a kitchen boutique, opened its doors July 18, and so far, it’s been a hit.

Janie Buncak is the owner and sole employee — for now — and can be found daily at 158 W. Pioneer Ave. Look for the sign with copper kettles, painted by her husband, local artist Jim Buncak.

“It’s a really happy place,” says Buncak. “A lot of people come in and they’re very glad to be here.”

Phone scams get tech twist

The man on the phone has a thick Indian accent. He says his name is James Mirrer and that he is calling from Microsoft technical support in Atlanta, Georgia. He’s received notification that there is a really dangerous virus on my computer. If I’m close to my computer, he assures me, he can help to secure it. … 

 

Recently, a number of locals have received phone calls from people claiming to be computer support technicians. But really, it’s just the latest spinoff of the old telephone scam.

Memorial Day: A day to remember

It’s a day to remember.

In 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, Major General John A. Logan issued an order: Every May 30 would be a day to commemorate the fallen Civil War soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers – and so began Decoration Day, now called Memorial Day.

One flower in particular is associated with the day of remembrance. In May of 1915, John McCrae, a Canadian general and doctor, wrote the famous poem, “In Flanders Fields,” depicting the rows of white crosses with red poppies growing between them.

Family farm day gives kids dose of Vitamin "N"

It takes a special place — and a special person — to host a whole crew of children and their parents for an afternoon. 

On April 4, more than 200 kids and parents attended Family Farm Day, sponsored by Nature Rocks Homer and hosted by Mossy Kilcher and Seaside Farm.

Kilcher began hosting the annual event after a conversation with Carmen Field, chairperson of Nature Rocks Homer, a group of community members trying to help kids reconnect with nature. 

Homer legend loves to learn, share

She’s been named a master gardener, lifelong learner and citizen of the year — and the list goes on. A lot of living can happen in 87 years. 

Spend an afternoon with Daisy Lee Bitter and you’re going to learn something, or more likely, many things.

 

One kind of bluebell has 22 common names.

 

In March of this year, Bitter was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the state through science education. 

Church youth group goes to work in Ouzinkie

Ouzinkie might not sound like a spring break vacation destination, but for 16 local youths and four adults it offered plenty of adventure, fun and a lot of hard work.

From March 7-14, about half the kids from Christian Community Church’s Ignite Youth group traded time off from school for time in the village, which is located on Spruce Island about 12 miles north of the city of Kodiak.

Workshop designed to improve financial fitness

Make money? Spend money? If the answer to either question is “yes,” then Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover might be a good idea.

Sponsored by the Homer Ministerial Association, the Total Money Makeover with presenter Chris Hogan is April 18 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Mariner Theatre. 

Hogan, who has been part of the Ramsey team for nine years, is the host of EntreLeadership Podcast, the iTunes’ number-one podcast on leadership. He is one of four Ramsey speakers who travel around the country teaching on sound financial planning.

Women of Distinction awards ceremony set for friday

S

outh Peninsula Haven House is holding its annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony and silent auction Friday. The event will be held at Second Star Lodge on Kachemak Drive beginning at 5 p.m.

Julia Person, a former Haven House employee and board member, is one of the volunteer coordinators for this year’s event. As a former board member, Person said that choosing recipients for the awards was always challenging, even if there were only a few nominations.

Pirates of Penzance

“…When I sally forth to seek my prey

I help myself in a royal way.

I sink a few more ships, it’s true,
Than a well-bred monarch ought to do;
But many a king on a first-class throne,
If he wants to call his crown his own,
Must manage somehow to get through
More dirty work than ever I do,

For I am a Pirate King!

And it is, it is a glorious thing

To be a Pirate King!...”

Group provides support for those with brain injuries

There is a green sandwich board sign propped by the sidewalk at 1044 East End Road with a short message:

Brain Injury Support Group

Meets Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

If the sign is out, then at 1 p.m., Kathy Stingley will be inside waiting. Even if no one else shows up. 

Stingley, who grew up in a care-giving family in Oregon, provides the time and space for those who have experienced either a traumatic or acquired brain injury to come and share their experience with others. 

Marimba Madness: bittersweet performance for Williwaw

Feel like dancing? Or dessert? Or just a really great evening? 

Marimba Madness, the annual Homer Council on the Arts fundraiser, is Saturday at the Elks Lodge. The doors open at 6 p.m. with music by Shamwari, Tamba Hadzi and Williwaw Marimba starting at 7 p.m. 

 For the past five years Homer’s marimba community has gathered together to support HCOA. One group in particular is looking forward to the evening, which will be bittersweet for them.

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