As Homer’s aviation tourism business has grown, along with it have come complaints about noise from airplanes and helicopters flying low over homes and businesses. The problem has become so common that the Homer Police Department includes a link on the city’s web page, “How to Report Low-flying Aircraft” (http://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/police/low-flying-aircraft).
By vote margins of 223 or more, an attempted recall failed for Homer City Council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds. In final results tallied today by the Special Election Canvass Board, the “no” votes increased their margins of victory to triple digits over Tuesday’s voting. All three council members will keep their seats.
With 849 more votes counted today on top of 1,087 votes cast on June 13, and with a 42 percent voter turn out, the final results are:
Shall Donna Aderhold be recalled?
Yes: 825 votes or 43 percent
Editor's note: This story has been updated as of 4:05 p.m.
A meeting at Homer City Hall, Cowles Council Chambers, of the Homer Canvass Board at 1 p.m. Friday to count about 850 outstanding absentee and other ballots got delayed when the city clerk’s office discovered an 18-vote discrepancy between the number of people voting on Tuesday and the number of ballots counted. City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen advised the canvass board to do a recount of ballots cast in Homer Precincts 1 and 2 on June 13.
A special election to recall three Homer City Council members who sponsored an “inclusivity” or “sanctuary city” resolution appears to have failed, but still is too close to call.
At Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting on the eve of a special election to recall three council members, the council drastically transformed its budget by zeroing out the $2.3 million Homer Permanent Fund. The drama of that action highlighted the council’s indecision on a major city capital project, not yet endorsing the recommendation of the Police Station Task Force to build either a $6 million or $9 million police station on Grubstake Avenue.
Homer Special Election
Though capital projects have slowed down in Alaska because of the tight state budget, several state road and airport projects are under construction this summer or planned for the 2018 building season. Last week, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities held a workshop last Tuesday for two 2018 road projects and then another workshop last Friday for two current jobs. Homer area residents can expect to see work done on these improvements over the next two years:
A pale-blue 110-foot Bering Sea crab boat anchored off the inside of the Homer Spit has gathered a bit more attention than the usual fishing boat in Kachemak Bay. The R/V Wild Alaskan might not be a Deadliest Catch star like the F/V Time Bandit, but she’s become almost as famous.
Homer’s ongoing struggle with opioid addiction continued last Wednesday with a community presentation and conversation at Homer High School, “Responding to Opioid Addiction in Our Community.” Moderated by Pastor Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church, the discussion included talks by a recovering addict and the parents of a recovering addict.
To paraphrase the 1982 punk rock song by the Clash, “Should they stay or should they go?”
HCOA holds Mary Epperson Day
A single-car crash on Tuesday night sent all four people in the car to South Peninsula Hospital. One victim, a 29-year-old man, had major pelvis injuries and was Medevaced to an Anchorage hospital. The crash of a Subaru happened about 8:40 p.m. June 6 just west of Kachemak Drive near the Bagel Shop. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said the crash ejected one person from the car. Also involved were a 25-year-old man, a 28-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman. Homer Volunteer Fire Department medics and firefighters with mutual aid from Kachemak Emergency Services responded.
A community meeting of about 50 people last Thursday with Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, at the Legislative Information Office illustrated the current impasse in the 30th Alaska Legislature. How does Alaska continue funding state government? Some favored the House proposal of a progressive income tax. Others said the state should cut the budget or take more out of the Permanent Fund earnings.
Remembering cost of freedom on Memorial Day
Before serious debate about building a new police station and cutting library budgets, the council at its regular meeting on Tuesday started the night out with a treat: chocolate cake.
A Substance Abuse and Addiction Forum is at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Homer High School Commons. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Alaska Governor Bill Walker declared a public health crisis earlier this year in order to combat the state’s opioid epidemic. Substance misuse and addiction are negatively affecting individuals, families and businesses on the Southern Kenai Peninsula, and prescription and non-prescription drugs are a growing concern in the community. Substance abuse was the factor ranked number one as most negatively affecting the community in all three of the last community health needs assessments for the southern peninsula.
After the dust settled and lawyers had made their oral arguments Monday in Aderhold et al. v. City of Homer, the lawsuit filed by three Homer City Council members seeking to stop a June 13 recall election against them, Judge Erin Marston faced a key question. Should Alaska’s recall statute be “liberally construed”?
At commencement ceremonies Monday night for Homer Flex School and Homer High School, speakers offered practical guidance for young adults going forth in the traditional American rite of passage. Usually adults offer inspiration, but at both schools examples of overcoming adversity came from the students themselves.
The Spit has plenty of places to sit. There are picnic tables. Pieces of driftwood. A scattered assortment of benches. Rocks in various sizes.