Local News

Council to seek Supreme Court review of judge’s order

At an emergency meeting Wednesday night, the Homer City Council said it will petition the Alaska Supreme Court to review an April 3 judicial order that it cease its method for assessing condominium owners in the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District.

Council member David Lewis made the announcement after a 90-minute executive session in which the council consulted with city attorney Thomas Klinkner. Council member Bryan Zak did not attend the meeting.

Time to talk about state income tax, says Seaton

In a move designed to start a conversation on other sources of state funding beyond oil and gas revenues, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, introduced a bill last Thursday to create a state income tax. If passed and signed into law, House Bill 182 would tax anyone earning income in Alaska at a flat 15 percent of what they pay in federal income taxes — the amount on line 163 of a tax return.

Judge orders city to stop ‘unlawful’ gas assessments for condo owners

In a harsh rebuke to how the city of Homer assessed condominiums for the Homer Natural Gas Assessment District, Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet last Friday afternoon ordered the city to comply with his Jan. 6, 2014, ruling.

 In his decision in the Ken Castner v. City of Homer case, Huguelet called the city’s method “arbitrary and unreasonable.”

Body of missing Homer man found in Kodiak harbor

KODIAK (AP) — The body of a Homer man missing in Kodiak since Feb. 22 has been recovered.

Kodiak radio station KMTX reports the body of 27-year-old Mihay Kalugin was pulled Friday night from Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor.Kalugin was a crewman on the fishing vessel Competition. A Homer relative, Alexie Reutov, identified the body. The state medical examiner will attempt to determine cause of death.

Grant Lake hydroelectric project open to comments

Plans for a controversial hydroelectric plant are available for public examination in their most detailed form to date. On March 27, Homer Electric Association, working through its subsidiary Kenai Hydroelectric, submitted a draft of its license application for the Grant Lake hydroelectric project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the national power plant licensing agency. The draft license application contains plans for the Grant lake project that HEA has been developing since it received a preliminary study permit from FERC in 2009.

Anchor Point fire chief resigns

Citing a family member’s health issues, Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Services Chief Jim Dycus has resigned from his post. Dycus submitted his resignation to Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre on March 26, with an effective date of April 17. Navarre confirmed last Friday that he received the resignation. In a letter on March 26, Navarre told the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Services Area Board and department volunteers of Dycus’ resignation.

Gardening all about enjoying it

It WILL snow. Do not fear it. Our environment needs water and snow is one way to get it. However much we get won’t last long. Think of it as adding nitrogen to the soil. Think of it as a plus. Or don’t think about it at all. 

The greenhouse is providing sufficient shelter for the tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and green beans that will live in there all season. The other crops are all seeded and planning on spending the next six weeks or so nicely tucked in.  They will be coddled until they meet the truth of a Far North summer. 

Judge orders city to cease assessing condos differently

In a harsh rebuke to how the city of Homer assessed condominiums, Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet on Friday afternoon ordered the city to comply with his Jan. 6, 2014, order in Ken Castner v. City of Homer where he called that method “arbitrary and unreasonable.”

“It is hereby ordered that the City fully comply with the Order and immediately cease using the method for imposing special assessments on condominium unit owners that was ruled unlawful by the Order,” Huguelet wrote in his order today.

Hospice of Homer awarded Rasmuson Foundation grant

Hospice of Homer has been awarded a $24,955 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. The funds will purchase up-to-date technology. 

“With a robust technology infrastructure, hospice staff efficiency will increase resulting in more effective service provision. As the need for Hospice of Homer programs continues to increase, an up-to-date technology infrastructure is a vital part of the organizational foundation which supports the provision of compassionate, community-wide, free of charge service,” according to a press release.

Chief on cannabis commission causes concern

A Homer City Council member has questioned the propriety of having the police chief sit as a member on a proposed nine-seat Cannabis Advisory Commission. 

At the council’s March 23 meeting, council member Beau Burgess introduced Ordinance 15-07 creating a Cannabis Advisory Commission, but he later criticized an amendment adding the police chief to the commission. Burgess said the city’s personnel code restricts city employees from being on commissions.

Missing child found safe at home

Searchers found a 3-year-old boy missing for about 45 minutes last week in the best possible place — inside the boy’s home. 

The boy’s parent notified Alaska State Troopers about 4:30 p.m. on March 23 that the child had gone missing while playing outside near the home in the Bonnie Avenue and Rolling Meadows Road area. The neighborhood is in a rural area on the Kachemak Bay side off of East End Road and east of Fritz Creek.

Warm winter effects mixed

Warm thaws are common during coastal winters, but the season was unusual not only for record warmth but also for its persistence and being the second very warm winter in a row. 

The extreme temperatures could influence fire risk, erosion and wildlife. Rainfall this spring will be a big factor in determining what happens next.

In hindsight, the weather already has influenced the natural ecology and the human economy.

Harbormaster’s Office soon open for business

For the employees of the Homer Harbor, the job comes with one of the best perks around: a glorious view of the harbor, Kachemak Bay and the glaciers and peaks of the Kenai Mountains. 

At the old office on the west side of the harbor, that scene might not be as obvious. From the new Homer Harbormaster’s Office on the east side across from the old chip pad, that vista stands out.

“Every window in this building has a great view,” said Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.

Workshop designed to improve financial fitness

Make money? Spend money? If the answer to either question is “yes,” then Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover might be a good idea.

Sponsored by the Homer Ministerial Association, the Total Money Makeover with presenter Chris Hogan is April 18 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Mariner Theatre. 

Hogan, who has been part of the Ramsey team for nine years, is the host of EntreLeadership Podcast, the iTunes’ number-one podcast on leadership. He is one of four Ramsey speakers who travel around the country teaching on sound financial planning.

Council picks Koester as manager

In its second go-round of interviewing city manager candidates, the Homer City Council dipped into its own employee pool: Matt Clarke, deputy harbormaster, and Katie Koester, community and economic development coordinator.

After interviews at a special meeting Tuesday, and in a unanimous decision, the council offered the job to Koester.

“I’m just excited for this opportunity to serve my community in a great capacity,” Koester said after being selected. “I’m a Homer kid and looking forward to playing a role in the future of Homer.”

NonProfit Needs

Homer Animal Friendsneeds gently used towels; basic cleaning supplies (mop, bucket, Swiffer, pet safe cleaners, broom/pan); computer/lap top; cash register; copy machine; heavy duty shelving; ladder; a wall mountable TV for Homer Dog Trainers; and volunteers

Contact: 235-SPAY (7729) 


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