Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic turns 30

In terms of history, not only is the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic celebrating its 30th birthday this year, it’s also an organization that got started in some pretty historic buildings, too. Founded in 1983, its first clinics were held in the Sam and Vega Pratt House on Pioneer Avenue, built in 1941. About 1989, it moved into the Wythe house on Main Street, a pre-statehood building.

“It was very quaint with beautiful cottonwood molding around all the door and window frames,” said longtime board member Melon Purcell. 

Alice’s Champagne Palace holds solid place in Homer’s past

Editor’s note: With 2014 marking the Homer News’ 50th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to look at Homer’s past. Alice’s Champagne Palace is a local business with roots predating the News.


On Sunday, with shouts of Super Bowl fans echoing from the rafters, the smell of food lingering in the air and spilled beverages drying on the floor, the doors of Alice’s Champagne Palace were closed. 

Land’s End Resort a long-time Homer presence

Editor’s note: With 2014 marking the Homer News 50th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to look at Homer’s past. Land’s End Resort is one business that’s been in Homer more than 50 years.


Whoever said location, location, location was important must have had Land’s End Resort in mind. This year, owner Jon Faulkner celebrates 56 years since the end-of-the-Spit business opened its doors.  

Beluga Lake Ice Racing going on 60 years

Editor’s note: With 2014 marking the Homer News 50th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to look at Homer’s past. One activity that has been part of Homer winters for more than 50 years is car races on Beluga Lake.

As Homer history goes, there might be a few institutions 40 or 50 years old, but there aren’t many that pre-date statehood and are pushing 60. One longtime tradition can trace its roots back to 1955: the Homer Racing Association, which runs the winter car races on Beluga Lake.

Burkhardt accepted for Carnegie Hall Honors

With a nomination from her Homer High School choir director, but still needing some financial support, singer Cassandra “Cassie” Burkhardt, 18, of Ninilchik, has been given an opportunity in New York in February. Through a nomination and selection process, Burkhardt has been chosen for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, Feb. 6-10.

String storytelling: ‘Knotty’ entertainment

Forget all those interlocking pieces, hard to wrap shapes and battery-needing games. Here’s an activity that’s ancient, international and entertaining: string storytelling, as demonstrated recently at the Homer Public Library by David Kitaq Nicolai.

Nicolai’s hands flew as he looped, stretched and twisted his orange, six-foot nylon rope around and between his fingers. Most of the time, his well-trained hands seemed to move on their own while his twinkling eyes focused on his audience and he told the story his hands were illustrating with string. 

Kachemak Bay State Parks: Planning for the future

The last time the Alaska Department of Natural Resources updated its Kachemak Bay State Park and Wilderness Park Management Plan, the parks had gone through some major impacts, including the March 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and adding 50,000 acres to the parks in 1989 and buying back 23,000 acres of private lands in 1993 to prevent logging. Those events prompted a 1995 update of the management plan.

Making room for grief

The holiday season is known as a season of great joy. 

In reality, however, that isn’t everyone’s experience.

“Holidays are hard for people, especially for people when they’re grieving,” said Rev. Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church.

Homer Senior Citizens: Forty-years old and going strong

Considering how spread out are the facilities of Homer Senior Citizens Inc., when you talk about something being in our backyard, that means many backyards. The main campus between Herndon Drive and Svedlund Street includes independent living apartments, assisted living apartments, the main center and cafeteria. Further afield are two more apartment complexes off Bartlett Street, Bartlett Terrace and Swatzell Terrace. 

Girls on the run: from a 5K to life goals

Unsure about reaching a goal? Add a coach and see the difference it makes. Add community support and it gets better. Believe in yourself and it’s the best.

In a nutshell, that’s the idea behind Girls on the Run, a nationwide program for girls in third- through fifth-grade that was introduced in Homer 10 weeks ago and wraps up its first session with a 5K community run Nov. 9.

Halloween Hustle inaugurates new multi-use trail



In the fall of 2012 when contractors cleared dead spruce trees from the Diamond Creek State Recreation Area, they not only provided firewood for local residents and mitigated fire danger, they also opened up land for possible future trails. A gravel road already exists from the Sterling Highway down to the trailhead for a path to the Diamond Creek beach, but a nonmotorized trail could expand the system on state land along the road.

Halloween: costumes, treats and tricks galore

Halloween — the time of year when dressing wacky is more than a Homer fashion statement, treats are more plentiful than scales on a salmon and scaring each other gets a laugh…hopefully.

Schools and entire neighborhoods, youngsters and senior citizens, the U.S. Coast Guard and the local police department all get in the act, beginning days before and continuing until after Oct. 31.

Looking for a cure one step at a time

Combining his Boston roots with his love of running, Homer resident Mike Illg is aiming for a prize more important than crossing the finish line. The community is invited to join Illg in his cause: raising funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. His goal is $4,000 to help researchers find a cure for neurofibromatosis.

“Specifically, I am running on behalf of an affable, 14-year-old young man, Leo Ogle, for the Children’s Tumor Foundation,” Illg wrote in a letter inviting others to join in his support of the Homer teenager.

R/V TiˆGlaˆX: across the USA four times

Some mariners might think they’ve put a few miles on their engines this summer, but bragging rights in the harbor go to the workhorse of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the R/V Tiˆglaˆx. Just back last Friday from her five-month season, the research and transport ship that patrols the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge pegged 16,425 miles on her odometer.

Taste of Homer a ‘flawless’ event

It was shoulder-to-shoulder, plate-to-plate and cup-to-cup at Wasabi’s on Saturday for the first Taste of Homer, with 19 participating vendors offering tastes of everything from Jakolof Oyster Company’s fresh oysters to the delicate rosewater and cream cheese-filled pizzelles created by Red Bird Sweets.

“This is a way to promote Homer,” said Colt Belmonte, who, along with his wife Dali Frazier, owns Wasabi’s. In the midst of the crowd, Belmonte was stopped by guests thanking him for opening up the East End Road restaurant for the event.

10th Annual Burning Basket: ‘Enjoy’

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.


Subscribe to RSS - Backyard