Business

New yurt hostel slated to open in August

Homer is known as a traveling community. It doesn’t take long to find someone who has spent considerable time abroad, bouncing from one hostel to the next, meeting others of a like mind.

Wes Fazio, who bought property here only two years ago, is one of those travelers who now calls Homer home.

He describes choosing Homer as his new home in a way that many can relate to.

“I love the culture here. There are a lot of really cool people in Homer. That’s one of my favorite things about it actually. It just feels right,” Fazio said.

Chamber's member relations coordinator taking job in Texas

Homer Chamber of Commerce Communications and Member Relations Coordinator Jorge Davilla is leaving his position at the chamber and the town of Homer.

Davilla, who has worked at the chamber for nearly two years, plans to leave Homer in late July or early August. His last day has not yet been determined as the chamber is still in the process of finding his replacement, he said.

Superyacht visits Homer

The A2 out of George Town, Cayman Islands, is moored at the Homer Harbor System 5 dock on Monday. The 154-foot superyacht sailed to Homer from Miami, Fla. The yacht is owned by billionaire George Lindemann of Palm Beach, Fla. The Feadship yacht was rebuilt in 2011 and 2012 by Pendennis shipyard, United Kingdom.

Health care jobs see spike

Health care employment continues rising in the state, though economists are still unsure precisely what drives that growth to the levels observed.

A state Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in May detailed that the Anchorage’s health care employee ranks rose by 1,000 year-over-year.

This high number could be a data flub, but it is consistent with the projections that Alaska’s health care industry will continue its status as the largest job growth sector in the state.

It's all about good food - and good people

I made a huge mistake at the Homer Farmers Market last week. I told a friend who was visiting from out of town that I would meet him there. And then I forgot to specify the time. I didn’t have his number so I couldn’t call and check in. I just had to see if he came and hope I saw him in the crowd.

It turned out to be a blessing. Instead of running through the Market with a mission, I stopped and chatted with tons of friends, the familiar vendors, and even got some work arranged around an upcoming board meeting.

Legislature starts fifth special session with no clear path forward

The 29th Alaska Legislature on Monday began its fifth special session since the gavel first sounded in January 2015, but lawmakers appear uncertain on their path forward and unsure even what the next few days will bring.

Gov. Bill Walker called the special session in an attempt to balance the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit. On the agenda is a measure passed by the Senate during the fourth special session to use some of the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund for state services. The measure died in the House Finance Committee without reaching a vote of the full House.

Beloved toy shop to close its doors

In a town that so highly values local business, anytime one closes its doors, it is an event of memory and mourning. Residents hold a certain fondness for each beloved small business, and Timeless Toys is no exception to this rule.

Opened by Becky Pfeil in 1997, Timeless Toys has become an icon to Homer’s younger generations. First at its Lake Street location, and later on at its Main Street store.

Homer agriculture still evolving

Agriculture in Homer has been evolving over the years. Before Alaska was a state, Alvin Mattox was running his cows down on the Beluga Flats (think Mattox Street), but when the dam was built to create Beluga Lake he moved to where Kachemak Selo is now so he could continue to run his cows on the mineral-rich grasses of the tidal flats.

Borough OKs USAD to extend Funny River gas line

More residents of Soldotna’s Funny River area will soon have access to natural gas in their homes.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved a resolution at its June 21 meeting forming the Funny River East Utility Special Assessment District, which will allow for the extension of an existing natural gas pipeline in the area to reach 309 more parcels from Angler’s Roost Street and Treeline Avenue northeast to Moonshine Drive and Zackery Street.

Furie takes first steps toward adding Inlet oil platform

Furie Operating Alaska is taking the first steps towards adding an oil platform to its Kitchen Lights gas development in Northern Cook Inlet.

Furie Senior Vice President Bruce Webb said in an interview the company plans to re-enter the KLU-4 well roughly six miles north of the Julius R platform the company installed last year above its natural gas producing wells.

The KLU-4 well was originally drilled to 10,000 feet in 2014 and will be punched down to 18,000 possibly this year but more likely next, according to Webb.

A little bit of Italy opens in Homer

On a trip to the Spit one can find freshly cooked seafood, gift shops, fishing charters, tourists from a variety of places and, now, gelato.

Nestled in between AK Starfish Co. and Alpaca Connection, Carmen’s Gelato serves up authentic Italian gelato, made by 29-year-old Homer native Carmen Ricciardi. Previously, Carmen’s Gelato existed as a cart that sold gelato on the streets of Anchorage, starting out when he was 25.

Walker limits PFD payouts to $1,000

ANCHORAGE — Facing a multibillion-dollar deficit, the Alaska governor on Wednesday cut in half the annual checks that give all residents a share of the state’s oil wealth, but he kept enough money in place to award everyone a $1,000 payout.

Gov. Bill Walker had said recently that all budget-cutting options were on the table, raising the prospect that he might do away with the checks entirely. They have been distributed for more than three decades and last year climbed to a record $2,072.

Anchorage attorney Jahna Lindemuth named new AG

Gov. Bill Walker’s cabinet is finally whole again.

Walker introduced Anchorage attorney Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska’s new attorney general at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Lindemuth replaces former Attorney General Craig Richards who resigned abruptly June 23 citing personal reasons.

Walker said he was “struck” by her “passion for Alaska.” He referenced more than 950 hours of pro bono work she did in 2015 representing a victim of domestic violence and a wrongly convicted defendant in the very public “Fairbanks Four” case.

Red Chair reaches the end of the road

Many of us know well traveled people. Perhaps they spent a year studying abroad, or a month rambling across Asia, backpacking across Europe, or working in an orphanage in South America. Maybe — as is the case of one red chair — they are slowing checking off every state in the union. The Red Chair, a wandering dump swap salvage that started its journey in 2011, has come all the way to Homer.

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