Business

Gov. Walker encourages Alaskans to grow more of their food

JUNEAU — You can grow a 20-pound cucumber in Soldotna, but pay $5.79 for a one-pound bag of imported carrots in Kotzebue.

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, Alaska varies region by region. Areas like the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Tanana Valley are great for growing, where outside farming in Arctic communities just isn’t a possibility. Some communities have regularly occurring farmers markets, while others are lucky to have fresh produce stocked in the grocery store at all.

LFS of Bellinghma buys Redden, Gear Shed

After a bidding battle between a chain of two Pacific Northwest commercial fishing supply stores, LFS of Bellingham, Wash., made the top offer in a receivership sale and has purchased Redden Marine, including its Homer store, Kachemak Gear Shed.

Englund Marine & Industrial Supply Co. of Astoria, Ore., initially appeared to have the best offer, but LFS made a late and better offer two weeks ago. The sale was final Aug. 31.

Fall hours at the Homer Visitor Center

Visitor center extends hours

The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is extending its hours through September to meet increased demand, staying open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The move to stay open longer, later into the season will ensure that the Visitor Center is able to refer the stream of tourists Homer is still seeing this September to local businesses, said HCOC marketing and events coordinator Bridget Maryott.

Anchor Point gets new dentist

Anchor Point has a new dentist.

Dr. Brandon Astin began working with Dr. Ryan Abbott, at the dental clinic at 34115 Sterling Highway, earlier this summer. He began seeing patients full time Sept. 1.

Abbott is leaving the area for specialty training in dental prosthetics, or prosthodontics. The change means Abbott will study out of Alaska for the next three years “learning more about helping people who have missing, badly worn, and diseased teeth,” he said in a letter to his patients.

USFS releases Chugach plan scoping report

The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with revisions to its management plan for the Chugach National Forest.

The plan outlines strategies for managing the approximately 5.4 million-acre Chugach National Forest, which occupies the eastern part of the Kenai Peninsula and stretches eastward toward the Copper River Delta on Prince William Sound. Last updated in 2002, the U.S. Forest Service began a revision process in 2012, combining research on current use and environmental conditions with public input before developing an assessment on which to base any changes.

Market the place to stock up to make those old family recipes

I take inventory of the kinds of veggies being sold at the Homer Farmers Market every week. This means that I walk around with a clip board and look official even though I am not doing a doggone thing to help organize or set up the Market.

But it does give me a chance to wander around to all the stalls and listen to what people are saying, see what vendors have, chat with everyone on the planet (it seems) and get a good idea of the pulse of the Market.

Permanent Fund grows 1.35 percent in FY 2016

The Permanent Fund unofficially grew a modest 1.35 percent on a $52.8 billion portfolio in fiscal year 2016, the result of a volatile 12 months for public financial markets, according to Fund leadership.

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Executive Director Angela Rodell said during an Aug. 18 meeting of the policy study group Commonwealth North in Anchorage that market fluctuations followed oil’s wintertime foray to less than $30 per barrel, the first time the dominant commodity had been that cheap for that long since the early 2000s.

Thanks to cooperative efforts, Homer gets new ambulance

Who genuinely wants to be in an ambulance? When one is necessary, however, having the most reliable form of medical transport is critical, especially for rural communities.

“This is a mobile emergency room,” said Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Painter. “No one wants to break down or have a rough ride on the way.”

Painter, an EMS professional for 25 years, presented the new vehicle for the City of Homer at a U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development announcement held Monday outside the Peterson Tower in Downtown Anchorage.

It's time to brag

I’m just going to brag. The Homer Farmers Market is the best. I certainly haven’t been to many other markets around, but I guess others think so, too, since it gets so much attention.

The Daily Meal ranks the best farmers markets in America annually. This year Homer Farmers Market made that list. Delish.com picked the best market for each state and, yes, our market was the Alaska representative.

Assembly passes property tax code changes

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has passed an ordinance amending the property tax code and is reviewing another ordinance with changes to the sales tax code.

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre’s administration has been reviewing the sales and property tax codes for about a year. After reviewing the code and pulling out specific changes, the mayor introduced four ordinances addressing tax administration in the borough. Three have been approved and one is awaiting discussion.

Hemp proposed as agricultural crop for Alaska

When an oil spill occurs, one of the first reactions is to use something to mop it up.

Respondents typically will use clay-based absorbents on land-based spills or polymer dispersants on water to help dissipate or collect the oil so it’s easier to remove from the spill site. However, it can be expensive and may take significant volumes before the spill is under control.

Cooperative Extensionwill help you getready to can

Does fall always come in August? For some reason the red leaves of the fireweed are a little extra shocking to me this year.

Luckily there is no reason to hibernate yet.

Instead it is simply time to plan ahead. Have you gotten your fill of your favorite fresh veggies yet? It would be nice if we could eat so many of them that we got our fill till next year, but that doesn’t usually happen.

South Peninsula Hospital welcomes new radiologist and gynecologist

South Peninsula Hospital welcomes a new husband-and-wife medical team to the medical staff. Joining the staff and Homer community are radiologist Edson Knapp, M.D., and gynecologist Renda Knapp, M.D. Both received their medical degree at University of South Florida, Tampa, and practiced medicine in Florida and most recently in Tennessee.

Veggies abundant at August Market

What is a farmer to do when the end of the Market rolls around and there are veggies left over? I have the feeling that farmers eat a lot of pickles and sauerkraut.

I have a neighbor who pickles everything that gets ahead of her in her garden: turnips, peas, beans, you name it. Pickling can be sweet or savory (sweet ginger pumpkin pickles are my favorite) and need nothing more than fresh veggies, vinegar and spices.

Proposals revisit Cook Inlet fish battles

Deadlines have passed for proposals to the 2017 Upper Cook Inlet finfish meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

The proposal book, now under review, is stuffed with 499 pages that largely carry over the battles fought in the 2014 meeting, when the two-week Board of Fisheries marathon gave way to new rules for the Kenai River management plans that added fuel to the so-called Cook Inlet “fish wars.”

The book is currently under review for the 166 proposals submitted.

Wilderness setting, unique opportunity lure young culinary talent to Tutka Bay

Tutka Bay Lodge, located across the bay from Homer, attracts their employees with the same ingredients that bring in guests from around the world — thoughtful, anticipatory service and pristine Alaska wilderness.

Kirsten and Carl Dixon, who own Tutka Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge in partnership with their daughters Mandy Dixon and Carly Potgeter, bought the lodge in 2009. They later purchased additional property adjacent to their lodge, placed a renovated crabbing vessel called the Widgin II on it, and turned it into the Tutka Bay Cooking School.

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