Opening for season

If you head out to the Homer Farmers Market site this weekend, you will see those tents popping up, gravel spread out on the paths, stripes painted on the parking lot. Vendors are getting ready for market season to start on Saturday, May 27, of Memorial Day Weekend.

Many of us can’t wait. The Market is beloved for the jolly atmosphere and community connections it provides. But if you strip away all that you will see a core objective of local food promotion, of creating a supportive place for local producers to sell food and products, of giving customers a way to access that food.

Tustumena return delayed until July 18

Rusted or pitted steel discovered during the M/V Tustumena’s overhaul will mean another delay in the 53-year-old state ferry’s return to service — this time to 5 p.m. July 18, when the Tustumena returns to Homer. Now undergoing work at the Vigor Ketchikan shipyard, workers discovered the rusted or pitted steel, called steel wastage, in the engine room. The ferry went in for its overhaul on March 13.

Homer gets 11 cruise ship visits this summer

The M/S Amsterdam returns to Homer this summer for nine visits, one of three ships to call on town at the Deep Water Dock on the Homer Spit. The Silversea cruise ship M/S Silver Shadow makes the first cruise ship visit of the season, arriving about 8 a.m. May 17 on its transit from Tokyo, Japan, to Seward. At about 8 a.m. May 24, the Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship M/S Europa calls on Homer on a Vancouver, B.C., Canada round-trip tour. Those will be the only visits of the Silver Shadow and Europa.

New generation builds on Ulmer’s family traditions

When it comes to marking milestones, it’s a fairly safe bet that Monica and Patrick Mede will have a hard time topping the first six months of 2016: they moved back to Alaska from Texas in January, immediately bought a house in Homer and started the process of buying a business, got a puppy in May, officially became the new owners of Ulmer’s Drug &Hardware on June 1, got married on June 4 and flew out for a week-long honeymoon on June 5.

City 2016 sales tax revenues up 4 percent

Sales tax returns for the city of Homer increased $250,000 or 4 percent over the city’s anticipated tax revenues for its 2016 budget, City Manager Katie Koester wrote in her report for the April 24 Homer City Council meeting. In last year’s budget, the city projected receiving $6.15 million in sales tax revenues but actually received $6.40 million, a $250,000 gain. Those surplus revenues were put in the city general fund. For the 2017 budget, the city projects receiving about $6.5 million, a 5.5 percent increase over the 2016 budget projections. For first-quarter 2017 receipts compared to 2016 first-quarter receipts, revenues are up 1.5 percent.

Baxter promoted to HPD investigative sergeant

In a ceremony at Monday’s Homer City Council meeting, former Homer Police Officer Larry Baxter was promoted to sergeant. Baxter’s wife, Tamarron, pinned new insignia on her husband. Mayor Bryan Zak also administered the oath of office. Sgt. Baxter now serves as the department’s investigative sergeant, replacing Sgt. Lary Kuhns, who retired last month. In his new role as the department’s detective, Baxter investigates major crimes such as murder, sexual assault and burglary. A U.S. Army veteran, Baxter previously worked with the Saint Paul Police Department.

Mongolian MPs visit Homer

Five members of the Mongolian Parliament and an interpreter participated in an Economic Development Roundtable at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Saturday, March 25. The Mongolian Delegation was sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Rotary Club and managed by the Open World Leadership Center. Roundtable Panel presentations were made by Chamber business members. Topics included attracting visitors to Homer and the burgeoning high tunnel agriculture businesses which produce more vegetables on a year-round basis as well as peony farming and cattle ranching.


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