Backyard

It takes a village to raise a doctor

If all goes according to plan, one day Homer native Ben Kuhns will be a doctor. However, before deciding to pursue a medical career, he was a slope worker, crab fisherman and a gold miner. This was all after he graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forensic science, of course.

“I tried to get the whole Alaska experience because I didn’t know when I’d be able to get that experience again,” Kuhns said. “I was paid dividends not only in it gives you life experience but you’re able to have conversations with people and relate to people.”

Years Ago in Homer

20 years ago in the Homer News:

Several suspicious fires had city fire officials concerned, especially as the danger of wildfire was relatively high, said Homer Fire Chief Robert Purcell. Firefighters responded to an abandoned house deliberately set on fire, a blaze that took four hours to put out, on June 17, 1996. The newly cleared subdivisions on Skyline Drive were also a frequent target of vandals.

– From the issue of June 20, 1996

30 years ago in the Homer News:

The Kachemak Gardener

Each and every growing season there is one something that astonishes, that amazes, that speaks to our hearts. And this year it’s lilacs. Their season is short and this time around about three weeks early. I can usually count on them to be blooming for the Fourth of July barbecue. Not this year, they will be way done. But for now let’s all revel in their magnificence. 

The Kachemak Gardnener

There are basic truths that bear repeating: 

• Keep your garden small;

• Weed, if you can;

• Water, if you have it; and

• People, just shake your tomato plants. That’s all it takes to fertilize the bloom and you will have more tomatoes than you know what to do with. Keep your electric toothbrush in the bathroom. 

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started. 

Writing faculty inspires aspiring authors during annual conference

An exuberant mood ruled the 14th Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, held June 12-16 in Homer. The public readings crackled with enthusiasm. The radiant weather didn’t hurt, either.

This year 127 attendees shared the power of the written and spoken word, and the inspiring camaraderie of those who write such words.

Homer Jackpot Halibut derby: lots of chances to win

This year’s halibut sport fishery has begun with both tradition and change. The tradition is the successful Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, and the change is a set of new regulations.

May 15 marked the official start and the 30th anniversary of the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s popular halibut derby. The chamber is celebrating with large and numerous prizes. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Homer’s 2015 Winter King Tourney happens March 21

The solstice celebration on March 20 will probably be somewhat sedate due to the fact that it’s been pretty much a spring-with-a-cold for most of the winter. 

The weather’s been so mild that this is the first year local sourdoughs can remember more green grass on the ground than under grow lights.

Be that as it may, soon things will truly heat up when fisherpersonages start thundering into town in search of chinooks and buckets of cash during the 2015 Winter King Tournament on March 21.

Woodard Creek Coalition: Promoting a Downtown Asset

It doesn’t get anymore in our backyard than Woodard Creek. For 541 Homer lots, Woodard Creek not only is in the backyard, in some instances the city’s only year-round flowing creek might go right through a lot — or under it. That’s the case for the Pratt Museum and the Homer Council on the Arts, two nonprofits that border Woodard Creek and have the creek slip underground through their property.

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.

Anchor Point Snow Rondi: a Time to "Let Loose"

Lack of snow isn’t enough to stop Anchor Point residents when it comes to their annual Snow Rondi. Snow or no snow, the Rondi kicks off Saturday morning and events are planned through Sunday.

The theme — “let loose” — is the perfect reminder that when it comes to fun this time of year, Homer’s neighbors to the north know snow is not a requirement. Just ask Dan Coe, president of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the annual event.

Homer Winter Carnival: A Tradition for 61 Years

Feeling February’s chill now that the temperature has dropped? 

Warm up with the 61st annual Homer Winter Carnival today through Sunday. This year’s theme, “Warm Winter Hearts,” overlaps with Valentine’s Day, and offers plenty of memorable activities for those in — or out of — love.

Outhouse race? Not so romantic. But if you’re competitive, goofy and creative, it might be the perfect fit.

Big Fat Bike Festival: a low-pressure kind of weekend

Fat bikes. Fat-tire bikes. Snow bikes. Omni-terrain vehicles. Ask Chase Warren and they’re all the same. They also are the centerpiece of the Big Fat Bike Festival 2015.

Warren and other members of the Homer Cycling Club have created a festival agenda that begins Friday and continues through Sunday. It includes food, bonfires and lots of fun activities, all of it centered around fat bikes and the places those bikes can take you.

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