Backyard

Shorebirds visit right on time

As if turning a switch, thousands of shorebirds arrived May 3, pushed north and west by a storm with winds up to 35 mph. Predictions that the peak of the migration would hit right during the 25th annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival May 4-7 proved spot on, justifying a decision to move the festival up a week this year.

There’s a whole lot of nothing between Homer and rest of the world

We bought our daughter’s car and made the decision that rather than let it moulder in her climate we would bring it home now. We have made the trip in the winter before and know that, if the weather is in our favor, and that’s a giant “if,” the road can be traveled with speed and determination.

Embrace February: It really is the best time of year

On Mondays John and I go on a “dump date.” We load the pickup (and for the two of us there certainly isn’t very much going out of here), each get a coffee, split a cookie and head to the dump. Now here comes the best part: We take the long way home. Up Diamond Ridge, over Skyline, down East Hill or some configuration of that. We often head out East to ski at McNeil. Once we even made it to Hope for breakfast. It keeps me in touch with what’s going on at different elevations. I am really comfortable here at 396 feet and need a reminder of what you are experiencing.

20 years ago in the Homer News:

A 46-year-old homeless man living in a tent on the Spit wound up at South Peninsula Hospital with frostbite and pneumonia after temperatures dipped to 0 degrees. “I’ve never been — honest to God — so scared as I am right now,” said John Steffens. Share the Spirit and the Homer Community Food Pantry have been working to get a homeless shelter, “but the attitude of this town ... a lot of people say, ‘It’s great, but please not next door to me,’” said Norma Foust of Share the Spirit.

– From the issue of Jan. 9, 1997

Kids' business profits go to help others

The Homer Sour Girls is comprised of five sweet and business-minded girls — 8-year-olds Jocelyn Stillwell, Evelyn Sherwood, Jasmine Kupetz and Katie Miller, and10-year-old Natalia Sherwood — who are raising money for Homer’s community organizations one refreshment stand at time.

It started with lemonade. The lip-puckering drink was perfect to sell in the summer to locals and tourists alike as relief from the unrelenting Alaska sun. The girls’ group name also came about as a result.

20 years ago in the Homer News:

Results from the 1996 Homer Christmas bird count showed a decline in songbird numbers that parallels a nationwide trend. Bird count coordinator Dave Erikson said there has been a noticeable songbird population decrease over the past few years. Longtime bird enthusiast Margaret Anderson said she used to see flocks of 20 to 30 sparrows at her feeder and now sees none.

– From the issue of Jan. 2, 1997

30 years ago in the Homer News:

Years ago

20 years ago in the Homer News:

By the slimmest of margins, 27 residents of Nanwalek elected to make the Native community at the head of Kachemak Bay a dry village. The election results of 27-26 were made official on Friday, Dec. 20. The community planned to drain all alcohol from the town of 200 by late February and make possession and consumption against the law. Selling alcoholic beverages in Nanwalek was already a crime as no one owned a liquor license.

– From the issue of Dec. 26, 1996

30 years ago in the Homer News:

Years ago

20 years ago in the Homer News:

Homerites reacted from reconciled to irate at Gov. Tony Knowles’ announcement that he would proceed with a Cook Inlet-region oil and gas lease sale but impose a 90-day moratorium on drilling permits near the Kenai River and on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Knowles said the public process leading up to Lease Sale 85A was legal but flawed, but that he was not willing to toss out two years of work preparing the sale.

– From the issue of Dec. 19, 1996

30 years ago in the Homer News:

Christmas bird count: Homer part of tradition

If you like to take long walks on the beach in the blowing snow, enjoy finding exotic new creatures and counting them, join one of the more interesting holiday traditions: the annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. Held throughout the United States, Canada and other countries in the western hemisphere between Dec. 14-Jan. 5, this is the 115th Christmas bird count. For one day in count areas, birders fan out and count and record as many birds and species they can see. Audubon started the count as a conservation alternative to Christmas bird hunts.

Years ago

20 years ago in the Homer News:

The conservation-minded Homer City Council agreed to put almost 21 acres of city land on the Homer Spit off limits to development forever. The decision signaled the council’s backing of birds over bulldozers in that spot with a vote of 5-1 to turn over to Kachemak Heritage Land Trust certain rights governing what can happen on the mostly tidal-flat parcel. The conservation easement left ownership and liability for the land in city hands but blocked almost all construction or any erosion-causing disturbances.

Years Ago

20 years ago in the Homer News:

Two hundred people marched in a snowstorm on Monday, Dec. 2 to protest the Cook Inlet Lease Sale 85A, hoping to send an unmistakable message to Gov. Tony Knowles. Lease Sale 85A included roughly 1.1 million acres onshore and offshore from Turnagain Arm to the lower Kenai Peninsula. Homer-area residents were especially concerned about the 190,000 acres on the Lower Peninsula. Almost the same acreage was removed from Lease Sale 78 several years prior when there was less natural gas interest.

– From the issue of Dec. 5, 1996

Holiday events make season merry and bright

Upcoming Holiday Events

5-7 p.m. Friday, Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit. There will be a craft room for children, caroling by the Homer High School choir, a bonfire, hot chocolate and s’mores — and the lighting of the chamber’s big spruce tree.

 

Nutcracker Faire

11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Homer High School Commons and gym.

 

Nutcracker ballet

3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday

3 p.m. Sunday

7:30 p.m. Dec. 9

3 p.m. Dec. 10

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