Local News

Youth film highlights issue of teen homelessness, shows next week

A 5-minute film, “Homeless in Homer,” shows at 6 p.m. June 11 at the Homer Theatre. The film was made by the local teen group Lead On! in partnership with White Stag Productions, South Peninsula Haven House, the R.E.C. Room, Homer Prevention Project and The Center. The film also is the launch for YRG, the Youth Resource Guide, www.homeryrg.org, an online resource guide. A panel discussion and community conversation follows the film. 

For more information, call the R.E.C. Room at 235-3436, ext. 102.

Bed-tax idea for Homer goes nowhere with city council

A plan to set a 2.5-percent Homer bed tax stopped on the first step of a process that would have required ultimate approval by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. In 4-2 vote, the Homer City Council at its May 26 regular meeting spiked the idea. 

Council member David Lewis had proposed putting on the fall ballot an advisory proposition asking voters to approve the tax. If the vote passed, it would then require borough assembly approval.

“We need to stop this here right now and not put it to the voters,” council member Bryan Zak said in voting against the bed tax.

Spit-raised kids play to bay sights, sounds


he town of Homer was born on the Spit so it makes sense that this 4.5-mile-long rocky handle of land also raises up generations of its kids. 

Take 14-year-old Finn, the namesake of Finn’s Pizza. A winter resident of Portland, Ore., Finn has spent every summer of his life on the Spit. When parents Sasha Raupp and Bjorn Larson opened the restaurant in 2001, they would put baby Finn to bed in a fish box in the attic space above the restaurant when they were closing up shop.

But once Finn was old enough to toddle down to the beach, he did. 

Coast Guard cutter forced into retirement

After 23 years of service, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island ends its tour of duty. Sometime soon it will sail away to be decommissioned at the Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore, Md. A farewell ceremony is at 10 a.m. today at the Homer Elks Lodge.

Homer won’t lose the 18 crewmembers and their families, however. An Island Class patrol boat, the 110-foot Roanoke Island will be replaced in Homer by a sister ship, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo, now stationed in Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Road construction has begun:

Springtime in Alaska brings green-up and road construction. Cautionary road-work signs are blooming like flowers along Kenai Peninsula highways. Major projects will affect area drivers for months.

Repaving and road rehabilitation are underway out East End Road and on the Sterling Highway between Ninilchik and Anchor Point. Motorists may encounter delays.

Royalty among us

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway visited Homer and Kachemak Bay on Tuesday as part of his visit to Alaska. An enthusiastic crowd of about 100 greeted him at the Homer Harbor load-launch ramp, many waving Norwegian flags and wearing Norwegian sweaters. Several fishing boats also hung Norwegian flags.

King Harald personally greeted Margit Andersson, 102, who had waited several hours with her son, Ole, and other family, to see him.

Nonprofit Needs

Homer Community Food Pantry needs canned goods: fruit, vegetables, beans, chili, Spahgetti-O’s, ravioli, soups, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, refried beans and volunteers.

Contact:Food Pantry at 235-1968


Welcome to our town

Regan Baker, left, hands a Spit Sisters flier to Norma Gardner, right, of Bonbonniere, Ill., at the Deep Water Dock on Tuesday, after the M/V Statendam docked. Regan was helping out her family’s business on the Spit. The Holland American ship was the first cruise ship to dock in Homer. It next visits at about 10 a.m. June 9.

Assembly scheduled to vote on budget at June 2 meeting

Debate over the value of marketing, small business development and the Kenai Peninsula’s economic development district dominated budget discussion May 19 as Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members worked to cut spending. 

The FY 2015-16 budget proposal for the borough went through a second round of scrutiny, public comment and wrangling between borough members during several committee meetings and the general assembly meeting.  It will go through one more round of public comment before being adopted by the assembly during its June 2 meeting.

Homer Jackpot Halibut derby: lots of chances to win

This year’s halibut sport fishery has begun with both tradition and change. The tradition is the successful Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, and the change is a set of new regulations.

May 15 marked the official start and the 30th anniversary of the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s popular halibut derby. The chamber is celebrating with large and numerous prizes. 

Jury finds Green guilty of murder 2

Second-degree murder: guilty.

Tampering with physical evidence: guilty.

Self-defense: not proved.

After three days of deliberation, a Homer jury last Thursday afternoon delivered those verdicts for Demarqus Green, 23, of Anchorage. Green, the jury concluded, could not claim self defense in the July 7, 2012, killing of Demian Sagerser, then 40.

The jury found Green not guilty on the most serious charge, first-degree murder, and also not guilty on a charge of first-degree robbery.

Green found guilty of second-degree murder

After three days of deliberation, a Homer jury on Thursday afternoon found Demarqus Green, 23, of Anchorage, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Demian Sagerser, then 40.

Green had claimed self defense in the July 7, 2012, shooting of Sagerser at Sagerser’s Stariski Creek home. Green said Sagerser attacked him with a utility knife when Green attempted to buy marijuana.

Cause of troubled landing unknown

The cause of a gear-up aircraft landing on Saturday has not yet been determined and remains under investigation. National Transportation Safety Board investigators still have not even found if the incident involving an Alaska Air Transit charter flight caused sufficient damage to warrant NTSB review. The investigation is in its infancy, with a preliminary report to be issued in a week to 10 days, said NTSB investigator Shaun Williams of Anchorage.

Researcher dives into fish habitat

It’s no secret people are captivated by salmon. We fish for them, hold music festivals in their honor, pay homage to them in artwork and depend on them for our livelihoods. They’re inspiring.

So much so that Coowe Walker, researcher at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, has dedicated a large majority of her time to understanding their habitat.

Walker has been with the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve for the last 15 years and has spent most of that time studying salmon and the landscape they inhabit.


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