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Condo owners: City should follow judge’s order on gas assessments

At Monday’s Homer City Council regular meeting, the council agreed Ken Castner’s business condominium should be assessed by the lot. That wasn’t enough for other city condo owners, who in public testimony said the same logic should be applied to all condos in the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District.

Council still looking for new city manager

March 12, 2015: This story has been corrected to note the corrected dates when the Homer City Council reviews city manager applicants. The council meets at 5 p.m. March 17 to review applicants, with interviews tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. March 24 if anyone applies.

As the Homer city manager applicant list went from 59 total applicants to four semifinalists to two finalists, by Monday the Homer City Council ran out of choices.

Trinker withdraws from city manager job offer

After the Homer City Council on March 3 made a conditional job offer for the job of city manager to Jeffrey Trinker, he withdrew himself from consideration on Friday.

In a 5-1 vote, the council approved selecting Trinker for the city’s top post. The council also defeated 4-2 a motion to start fresh and consider a new batch of applicants.

In an email, Human Resources Director Andrea Browning said Trinker cited those non-unanimous votes as why he withdrew from consideration.

Another piece of peninsula’s past emerges

There was no doubt in Phil Gordon’s mind what he saw sticking out of the ground near the mouth of Diamond Creek on Jan. 4. It was the tip of a horn.

“When I saw it, I thought, ‘Oh, I know you,’” said Gordon, who grew up on a farm and can give graphic firsthand accounts of dehorning cattle.  

With the help of local historian Janet Klein, Gordon now knows his find was the tip of a steppe bison horn and, through carbon dating, also knows it is older than 43,500. 

Cause of razor clam decline remains mystery

Razor clamming, the muddy, yet popular sport that attracts thousands of visiting and local outdoor enthusiasts to the lower Kenai Peninsula’s beaches each year, has been prohibited on the east side of Cook Inlet for the remainder of 2015. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the measure in an emergency order last week. The affected area spans from the mouth of the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit. 

Lobbying for kids

Advocates for early childhood learning programs picket on Pioneer Avenue outside the Legislative Information Office building on Tuesday. They protested budget cuts proposed by the House Finance Subcommittee that would eliminate Best Beginnings and cause the Homer Early Childhood Education Coalition to lose its grant. Public testimony was held at the LIO on Tuesday.

Mud makes for tough, dirty drive

Up on Fireweed Avenue, a gravel road about 4 miles out of town off East Hill Road, varied thrushes can be heard singing, a spring call that sounds like old-style telephones. That’s early for this year, but Homer’s wacky weather also has led to the sound of ringing phones — the real kind — at Public Works.  

Residents along the middle stretch of Fireweed Avenue have been complaining that the road is a muddy mess — again. It’s an annual complaint that’s been ongoing since 2003.

Council offers top post to Texas man

Saying they liked his eloquence, communication skills and perspective on the Homer economy, the Homer City Council on Tuesday selected Jeffrey Trinker as city manager over Homer Public Works Director Carey Meyer. In a 5-1 tally, with Council member Bryan Zak voting no, the council voted to extend the job offer to Trinker.

The council also considered starting fresh and considering a new batch of applicants, but defeated that motion 4-2, with Zak and council member Francie Roberts voting yes.

Last show

Williwaw Marimba plays at its final performance at Marimba Madness last Saturday at the Homer Elks Lodge. From left to right are Lisa Olsen, Patrick Latimer, Jonas Noomah, Paul Trowbridge and Janette Latimer.

City to comply with judge’s ruling, says decision doesn’t apply to all

On the day Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet imposed a deadline for the city to respond to an order to show why it’s not in contempt of court regarding its assessment of condominiums in the Kachemak Bay Title Company Building, the Homer City Council at its Monday meeting made clear it will abide by Huguelet’s January 2014 decision in Castner v. City of Homer.

What big teeth you have

Homer charter chaptain Josh Brooks spent Tuesday fishing by himself with one goal in mind: finding a salmon shark. The day was a success when Brooks hooked his prey 30 feet below the surface in 100 feet of water. He estimated the shark weighed 350-375 pounds. Brooks donated the jaw to the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies; the meat, which he referred to as “pork chop of the sea,” went into his freezer.    

Nonprofit Needs

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies needs action-packer like plastic totes (heavy duty with locking handles); sturdy shelving; cotton-based, twin-sized sheets; fencing for headquarters lawn; French door; water jugs; water cooler; children’s and adult rain gear; sleeping bags; washer; dryer; long metal marshmallow/hot dog roasting sticks; new screen for projecting; youth snowshoes; Tupperware; and curtains.

Marimba Madness: bittersweet performance for Williwaw

Feel like dancing? Or dessert? Or just a really great evening? 

Marimba Madness, the annual Homer Council on the Arts fundraiser, is Saturday at the Elks Lodge. The doors open at 6 p.m. with music by Shamwari, Tamba Hadzi and Williwaw Marimba starting at 7 p.m. 

 For the past five years Homer’s marimba community has gathered together to support HCOA. One group in particular is looking forward to the evening, which will be bittersweet for them.

Public to testify on borough ordinance prohibiting marijuana grow operations

Southern Kenai Peninsula residents will be able to testify by teleconference on Kenai Peninsula Borough Ordinance 2015-02, prohibiting the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities in the area of the borough outside of cities, during the Borough Assembly’s Tuesday meeting.

A teleconference site is being established at the Borough Annex Office in Homer and will open at 6 p.m. Tuesday. A sign-up sheet will be provided for anyone interested in testifying. Individuals must provide their name and address. Each person will be given three minutes.

Event connects women of faith

There will be a Christian women’s conference next weekend at Faith Lutheran Church in Homer. 

The two-day event is being coordinated by women from different churches in Homer and Anchor Point, but with a common goal — encouraging other women in their faith.

Kenai man gets 12 years in 2010 car crash fatality

A Kenai man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for causing the death of a Washington, D.C., tourist killed in a 2010 Memorial Day weekend car crash near Anchor Point. 

Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran sentenced Alfred Jones, 51, to 13 years with three years suspended on a manslaughter charge and five years with three years suspended on a first-degree assault charge. In October Jones had pleaded guilty to those charges.

The sentencing was Feb. 12.

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