Local News

Homer sees big cut in jail contract with state

Homer scofflaws expecting “three hots and a cot” — three meals and a bed — when arrested by Alaska State Troopers will get a bonus under a new jail contract the city of Homer agreed to last month: a ride up the road. 

If troopers arrest someone on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Homer area, prisoners will be taken to Kenai and a stay at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Fourth of July Events

Anchor Point

July 4

12:30 p.m.

July Fourth parade lineup

Silver King Campground, Anchor Point Road

1 p.m.

Parade

Silver King Campground to Slide Hole Campground

 

2 p.m., VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Road.

Sign up, Horseshoe Tournament, 

Ladies Auxiliary Prize Tree

Hamburgers-hot dogs 

2:30 p.m. Horseshoe Tournament starts

8 p.m., music, VFW Post

 

July 5

GOOD OL’ FASHIONED FUN FOR THE FOURTH

This year, the Fourth of July falls on Saturday, which means some good news for celebrants on the lower Kenai Peninsula:

• Hey, you might get Friday off, too. City, borough, state and federal offices are closed Friday, as is the Homer Senior Center lunch.

• That makes the holiday a three-day weekend, and from Seldovia to Ninilchik, there’s lots to do every day. See schedule, pages 12-13.

Definition of families should include more supportive adults for children

I would like to talk about community health, but I am not a health professional.  Let me make that clear up front. Luckily, one of the beautiful things about this community is that nothing is black and white. All you have to do is read the opinion pieces in the newspaper in February to know that.

Salty Dawg more than just another watering hole

Most of the traffic at the Salty Dawg at 11 a.m. on a recent Monday consists of tourists buying sweatshirts. But there’s some workaday drinking going on in here, too, including three guys from Louisiana off the 250-foot M/V Reliant. Employed by a contractor for Crowley on a natural gas pipeline up Cook Inlet, they’d tied up at the Deep Water Dock in the early morning for boat repairs. 

And they had been waiting eagerly since 8 a.m. for a cold beer. 

“If you want a bit of advice, this Spit needs a place for 24-7 beer,” Luke Wamble says.

Woman arrested for heroin, reckless driving

A reckless driver in a Jeep Cherokee on Pioneer Avenue about 8 p.m. June 25 prompted two people to make 911 calls. Police said several people also called on the nonemergency line. When the driver hit a stop sign at Forest Glen Drive off the Sterling Highway, that got the attention of an off-duty Alaska State Trooper driving by. The trooper then followed the woman.

Council opposes Navy’s exercises

The Homer City Council set an apparent record at its regular Monday night meeting with what may be the largest council packet ever, a two-volume, 1,600-page tome that included 700 pages on beach policy recommendations. 

Technically, the June 29 meeting was a special meeting since most council members said earlier they couldn’t make the meeting last week. Council member Beau Burgess was absent.

Aphids plague spruce stands

Bad bugs attacking the forest have become a recurring nightmare for Alaska. The latest alarm comes from Halibut Cove, where tiny invaders created an icky spring surprise.

How much of a threat they really pose to the trees and even their exact identities remain to be seen.

Burn ban continues

Firefighters and Homer Police responded to numerous calls last week for people burning campfires, but otherwise the lower Kenai Peninsula has been spared huge wildfires raging elsewhere in the state. With continued dry weather, low winter snowfall and equipment and firefighters spread thin around the state, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources last Friday imposed a statewide open burning and fireworks ban.

NONPROFIT NEEDS

Friends of the Homer Public Library
needs volunteers to help clean up/landscape the western lot and the use of a stump grinder on Sunday, June 28, from 1-5 p.m. at the library. Meet in the library parking lot at 1 p.m.

Contact:Erin Hollowell at
erin@friendshomerlibrary.org 

Haven Houseneeds beds, furniture, household items, toilet paper and toiletries.

Watermark

When two artists join lives together, it’s inevitable that their art also will merge. For Asia Freeman and Michael Walsh, a couple who met through art and have been married for 5 years, sometimes that collaboration becomes a synthesis, as with their installation art work, “Backyard, Alaska,” shown at the Pratt Museum in the spring of 2010.

It’s hot in Homer

Sunday’s solstice officially marked the end of spring and beginning of summer. But for practical purposes, summer arrived early on the southern Kenai Peninsula, continuing the trend of record warm temperature anomalies.

Average Homer temperatures ran about 5 degrees Fahrenheit above long-term normal for the months of March through May, and June has been unusually warm, too.

The National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that Alaska will experience abnormally high temperatures at least through the summer.

Research Reserve gets new partner

More than a year ago, things looked bleak for the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. The House Subcommittee on Fish and Game had cut annual funding. KBRR’s state partner, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, had told Homer’s community research program it would have to find another partner.

All that has changed. Effective July 1, the Research Reserve has a new home with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Alaska Center for Conservation Science.

Shell ships call on Homer

Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect that Shell is not moving 1,900 people to Alaska this summer.

A massive red-hulled ship tied up at the Deep Water Dock last week. The 750-foot-long M/V Marika was an impressive sight as it dwarfed structures on the Spit. It stayed through the weekend and then untied and set anchor in the bay just in time for the M/V Statendam cruise ship to slip in on Tuesday morning. The 817-foot-long Minerva Antarctica is scheduled to arrive today and remain through Sunday. 

All open burning prohibited

The State Forester announced yesterday that all open fires are now banned in Southcentral Alaska, including the Kenai Peninsula, Municipality of Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Due to past and prevailing weather conditions which have caused extremely dry conditions for the Kenai Peninsula, the Alaska Division of Forestry and the State Forester determined that it is necessary to prohibit the use of all open fires and activities which unduly increase the fire danger.

HVFD chief earns credential

Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert L. Painter was approved by the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) Commission during the May 2015 review meeting to receive the Certified Emergency Manager credential. The CEM designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from the International Association of Emergency Managers, CEM said in a press release. 

Central peninsula rallies in wake of fire

As the Card Street fire threatens more structures with each acre it expands, the Kenai Peninsula community has begun to rally around its own.

Estimated as of Tuesday night to be 2,000 acres, the fire has caused evacuations to be ordered for areas from Card Street to the Kenai National Wildife Refuge at Mile 76 and south of the Sterling Highway. This area includes Lepus Avenue, Arlene Avenue, Zenith Street, Caffyn Avenue, and Anetta Street.

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