Local News

Ice Plant hums with old-school technology

In this climate-changed world, there are reasons to get sentimental about ice. It is old, for one. Our local sheet — the Harding Icefield — was formed more than 23,000 years ago. And it is disappearing.

But it’s not ice George Tyrer feels nostalgic about. It is the 32-year-old ice-making machines Tyrer has been running in the City of Homer’s Ice Plant on the Fish Dock at the end of the Spit for the last decade.

Reality TV stars plead not guilty to hunting violations

A Discovery Channel reality TV star facing a charge of using a helicopter in a bear hunt suffered injuries from a fall about 6 a.m. Monday morning at Otter Cove in Kachemak Bay. 

Atz Lee Kilcher, 38, had to be medevaced by LifeMed helicopter from the scene to a hospital, Alaska State Troopers said in a press release on Tuesday. Kilcher’s injuries made transportation by boat too painful, the release said.

Youth learn to give back to community

What do you get when you mix 15 teenage girls, a church camping trip and a hot, muggy day? 

Girl power is what you get, and a lot of it.

It was supposed to rain all day on June 4 in Seldovia, when 15 girls began the long trek from their campsite to the road where they would be caravanned to the Seldovia Police Department. They estimated they had to climb approximately 200 steps to reach the top of the hill that bordered their campsite. 

Growing with Alaska in Mind

Shawn and Ember Jackinsky’s garden looks almost like every other northern garden. There are currants, chickens, gooseberries, carrots and kale, all protected from the vanguards of the moose by a tall fence. 

But a short interview with the brother and sister duo will tell you that this garden is unique. The two have spent the last 15 years developing strains of edibles designed specifically for Alaska’s climate, and the results are a unique take on sustainability. 

Hikers rescued near China Poot Lake

An Alaska Air Guard Guardian Angel team early on July 28 rescued two hikers lost near China Poot Lake on the south shore of Kachemak Bay. An Air Guard Pavehawk helicopter took Patrick King, 57, of Kenai, and Victoria Baldasarre, 55, of Amherst, N.H., to the Homer Airport. Both were uninjured. The hikers wandered off the China Poot Lake Trail in Kachemak Bay State Park and tried for several hours to find the trail.

Beyond halibut:

Fish cutters at Coal Point Seafoods notice there’s less halibut coming into the 23-year-old fish processing business on Thursdays. Clad in head nets, aprons and rubber boots, they might grumble about filleting boney pollock instead.

On Thursdays, they see more pollock, as well as salmon, lingcod, and rockfish instead of halibut, which streams into the building as soon as charter boats return to the harbor every other day of the week. Owner Nancy Hillstrand confirms that Thursdays are slow. 

Borough plans tax code review

Alaska’s economy and demographics are changing. Declining revenues have serious long-term implications for local government.

Underlying causes — the oil industry decline and the graying population — are more pronounced for the Kenai Peninsula than for the state as a whole. While the city of Homer is pursuing its “Closing the Gap” project to solicit citizens’ ideas on economizing, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, too, is launching a comprehensive review of its tax code.

Four charged in alleged oyster poaching

Alaska State Troopers on July 24 charged a fourth person in an alleged theft of about $200 in oysters from a Little Jakolof Cove oyster farm. Using images from a trail camera that took photos of a group on the dock of the oyster farm, troopers identified a fourth suspect as Anders Gustafson, 37. Troopers previously had identified Ward Matthew Clarke, 44, Rebecca M. Clarke, 38, and Christine L. Anderson Kulcheski, 47. All four face charges of fourth-degree theft and first-degree criminal trespassing.

Sockeye harvest tops ’14 as Bristol Bay run nears state’s forecast

Bristol Bay’s late-arriving sockeye run has contributed to a healthy commercial harvest of more than 47.6 million sockeye statewide, though some fisheries have yet to heat up with strangely behaving tardy returns.

Statewide, the sockeye harvest has already surpassed the 2014 total and on the contentious Kenai River, king salmon have rebounded from the lows of 2012-14 and the run size has eased restrictions on all user groups.

UA appoints new president

ANCHORAGE — The University of Alaska Board of Regents has named a new university president after a monthslong search for the right candidate.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports  the university announced Tuesday that Jim Johnsen would replace retiring University of Alaska President Pat Gamble. Johnsen, who serves as senior vice president of Alaska Communications, will take over as president on Sept. 1.

New director announced for Division of Elections

JUNEAU — Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has chosen a new director for Alaska’s Division of Elections.

Mallott asked for and accepted the resignation of Gail Fenumiai on Friday, said Claire Richardson, a special staff assistant to Mallott.

Fenumiai will be replaced by Nome city manager Josie Bahnke, who is scheduled to begin her new role Oct. 1. Lauri Wilson, a regional elections supervisor, will serve as acting director in the meantime, Richardson said.

‘Last Frontier’ reality show members charged with 2014 hunting violation

Two members of the Discovery Channel reality TV show, “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” have been charged with using a helicopter to hunt black bear in the filming of an episode of the popular Homer-based show. 

Atz Lee Kilcher, 40, and Cristina Jane Kilcher, 40, both face one charge each of unlawful method-helicopter. Under Alaska game laws, using helicopters to hunt is prohibited. 

Summertime Spots to See the Spit’s Wild Things

Tip of the Spit

• Flat-bottomed sea stars litter the beach and dangle from pilings during very low tides

• Sea birds — including black-legged kittiwakes, glaucous-winged and mew gulls, and sheerwaters — gather near the metal “dolphins” where the Homer Grind Shack discharges fish waste into the bay

• Fish — check out what people have caught while fishing from shore, including sculpin, pollock, Pacific cod, starry flounder and silver salmon

Building design moves forward

Recognizing some citizen reluctance to the idea of funding a public safety building that could cost as much as $30 million, the Homer City Council on Monday rejected a proposal to appropriate $621,000 for a 35-percent design of a new police and fire building. It did pass on a 5-1 vote an amended ordinance appropriating $355,000 for a “modified” 35-percent design.

“I think there’s a lot of controversy around taking the public safety building to the next design phase,” said council member Beau Burgess. “I think bringing it to half that amount is a good step.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Local News