Backyard

New fossil finds expand knowledge of ancient animals

More fossil finds by Homer beachcombers have expanded scientists’ knowledge of the animals that lived here during an interglacial period from 27,000 to 55,000 years ago — what’s called stage 3, between the last two Penultimate and Naptowne glaciations. Radiocarbon tests were done for a horse tibia found by Bryan Zak and an unidentified ungulate — hoofed animal — found by this author.

Cross raises questions, offers few answers

It’s been almost a year since Peter Zollars came upon the metal cross along the beach of a Kachemak Bay island. Since then, he and local historian Janet Klein have been searching for information about its origin and purpose.

They have been able to find little information, making it clear there is more to be known.

 “We don’t know its age or its origin,” said Zollars. “Of course, it raises the question why this piece is showing up in such a remote place. … The more we talk, the more I puzzle, the more we all puzzle over it.”

‘Meet the People’ spotlights Homer’s pioneering women

Stories about Homer’s bygone days fill the pages of books. On April 3, the public had an opportunity to hear the stories told by the ones that wrote them at “Meet the People,” an event co-sponsored by the Pioneers of Alaska and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. 

Introduced by CACS Executive Director Beth Trowbridge and CACS volunteer Daisy Lee Bitter, Larene Tepa Hansen Rogers, Joan Gordon Edens, Laura Lofgren Barton and Wilma Shelford Williams shared accounts of growing up in Homer and raising their own families on the shores of Kachemak Bay.

Looking back: Homer celebrates 50 years of incorporation

It was a packed house at the Homer Elks Lodge on Monday, as residents gathered to wish the city a happy 50th birthday.

Stories of the community’s early days preceding incorporation, personal memories of arriving and growing up in the area, the reliance early residents had on each other, changes that have taken place, the difference the 1964 earthquake made and much more drew laughs, questions and more stories as emcee Dax Radtke passed the microphone among the crowd.

Kachemak Ski Club: enjoying homer’s slopes since ’48

For centuries, traveling across snow on skis has been a common way to travel in Alaska. Given that history, it’s not surprising that one of Homer’s oldest and still active recreational clubs is the Kachemak Ski Club, the organization that has operated a succession of rope tows on Diamond Ridge and off Ohlson Mountain Road. Founded in 1948 as the Homer Ski Club, in its day alpine skiing was one of Homer’s major winter activities.

Homer Theatre entertaining for more than half a century

Editor’s note: With 2014 marking the Homer News 50th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to look at Homer’s past. The Homer Theatre has been providing entertainment for area audiences for more than 57 years, but it wasn’t the first theater to show movies. 

Dominating the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Main Street, the Homer Theatre brings Hollywood’s newest, popular documentaries, movies from yesteryears and Metropolitan Opera to audiences at the end of the road.

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.

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