Local News

Charter flight lands wheels up at Homer Airport

An Alaska Air Transit charter flight with one pilot and seven passengers landed with wheels up late Saturday afternoon. No one was injured in the incident, said director of operations Dan Owen. The Homer Volunteer Fire Department responded, but did not treat or transport anyone.

The incident closed down the Homer Airport until about 7 p.m. The 7:30 p.m. Ravn flight from Homer to Anchorage was cancelled and the inbound Ravn plane did not land. However, by 7 p.m. other planes were taking off.

School district prepares for lean financial times

While current educators and support staff in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District kept their jobs this year, it is unlikely to happen next year.

To renew its employment contracts the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education approved cuts to existing programs and services, about $1.8 million in total. It also raised the pupil-teacher ratio, which is a pattern that is likely to continue, said Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones.

KBC grads start new stories in life

Dream big. Persevere in your dreams. Make mistakes. Stay involved in your community. Be the new storytellers.

That was some of the advice keynote speaker Francie Roberts gave last week in her address to the 41 graduates of the 2015 class of Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College.

“My story is built on other stories. Your story may be, too,” Roberts, a University of Alaska Anchorage alumna, said.

Council introduces bed-tax idea

Though far from a done deal, the Homer City Council took the first step toward creating a 2.5-percent bed tax when it approved on introduction Ordinance 15-13. That ordinance goes up for second reading and a public hearing at the May 26 regular meeting.

Council member David Lewis introduced the measure to address declining revenues from the state that could support municipal programs like revenue sharing or grants.

“As revenues start shrinking, we’re gong to have to start looking to new sources,” Lewis said.

Green murder trial continues

After using up the April juror pool and dipping into May jurors, a jury was finally seated last week in the Demarqus Green murder trial. The testimony phase of the trial began last Wednesday at the Homer Courthouse with Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran presiding. The trial is expected to continue next week.

Green, 23, of Anchorage faces charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder in the death of Demian Sagerser, then 40. He also has been charged with tampering with physical evidence and first-degree armed robbery.

Legislature needs compromise to pass budget, Stevens says

With the Alaska Legislature still in recess and leaders trying to craft a balanced budget, it all comes down to a compromise, Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, told the Homer City Council on Monday night. Stevens and Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, reported on the results of the 2015 Legislature. The lower Kenai Peninsula’s senator and representative also held a Town Meeting on Monday.

Top 10 shorebirds sure to delight

Ask birders to list their top-10 favorite shorebirds and quickly their picks diverge. You might find five birds in common, like the popular and common western sandpipers, but then birders start throwing in birds like turnstones and snipes. The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival guide lists 38 shorebirds that can possibly be seen, including some rare and unusual species like godwits.

Governor signs bill creating Marijuana Control Board

JUNEAU — Gov. Bill Walker has signed into law legislation creating a new board to regulate the legal marijuana industry in Alaska.

Voters last November approved an initiative legalizing recreational use of pot for those 21 years of age and older. The initiative delegated rulemaking for the industry to the Alcoholic Beverage Control

Board unless the Legislature created a new Marijuana Control Board. Walker this week signed into law a bill he introduced creating the new board.

Shorebird Festival: Birds and Fun Abound

Now in its 23rd year, the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival has settled into a weekend- long wildlife festival that goes like this:

• Spring arrives, and birds start showing up;

• In late April and early May, dozens of species and thousands of shorebirds ar- rive in Kachemak Bay;

• Homer, Alaska, Lower 48 and even for- eign birders dust off their binoculars and start watching the birds;

WWII, Korean War vets feted in honor flight

Sixteen million men and women served in World War II. Of those, 2 million remain alive. As that generation ages, organizations around the country work to make sure they get one last hurrah: an all-expense paid trip from their homes to Washington, D.C., to see war memorials and other sites.

“We feel a sense of urgency. These guys are going away 600 a day,” said Ron Travis, orga-

Stars of the Shorebird Fest

Spring has come, and with it a possible 40 species of shorebirds that have arrived in Homer during their annual migration. While the shorebirds can be seen whirling in great flocks over Mud Bay or feeding alone at nearby sloughs, for the novice birder, identifying them can be tricky. They aren’t the most colorful of birds, and most have subtle variations of tan, white and brown, which can make them hard to distinguish from each other, particularly against the beach or sky.

Stars of the shorebird fest

Spring has come, and with it a possible 40 species of shorebirds that have arrived in Homer during their annual migration. While the shorebirds can be seen whirling in great flocks over Mud Bay or feeding alone at nearby sloughs, for the novice birder, identifying them can be tricky. They aren’t the most colorful of birds, and most have subtle variations of tan, white and brown, which can make them hard to distinguish from each other, particularly against the beach or sky.

Top 10 shorebirds sure to delight

Top 10 shorebirds sure to delight

Ask birders to list their top-10 favorite shorebirds and quickly their picks diverge. You might find five birds in common, like the popular and common western sandpipers, but then birders start throwing in birds like turnstones and snipes. The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival guide lists 38 shorebirds that can possibly be seen, including some rare and unusual species like godwits.

District’s dropout rate continues to improve

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District dropout rates have steadily declined for the past five years.

At the end of the 2013-14 school year, 2.8 percent of students in grades 7-12 dropped out district wide, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. The average between the end of the 2007 and 2010 school years was 4.3 percent.

The rate is also declining nationwide, and hit a record low at 7 percent, according to a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center.

AP library gets new home

The sign at 34020 North Fork Road, just east of Coastal Realty at the corner of North Fork Road and the Sterling Highway, says it all: The Anchor Point Public Library is open for business at its new location. 

Even better: the location is permanent, thanks to Bob Craig, the library board president, and his wife, Lora, the librarian.

The Craigs purchased the building — including two apartments, a 2,800-square-foot space formerly occupied by the New Image Salon and 29 storage units — in September. 

Seldovia residents embrace svt’s walking challenge

One, two, three, four…

Step after step. Step after step. Thousands of steps are adding up into millions of steps  all in one tiny town across Kachemak Bay.

Despite the odd spring weather, the roads and beaches of Seldovia have had a little extra traffic — not from vehicles, but pedestrians. 

In March of this year, the Seldovia Village Tribe, or SVT, launched a nine-week walking challenge. Participants were given free pedometers and asked to log their steps each day. 

Spring buzz

As spring bursts around the state, Alaskans note the changing of the season in many ways. Sandhill cranes arrive. The first float plane lands on Beluga Lake. Crocuses pop up.

Earlier this month, for some local agricultural producers, the buzz — pun very much intended — was all about the tiniest critter Alaskans raise.

Bees. 

At Linda Gorman’s home on McLay Road off East End Road, on a sunny Saturday, Homer’s beekeepers came together to pick up deliveries of bees. 

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