Local News

What’s in the works for Waddell Way?

If there’s a poster child for a city street that needs work, that would be Waddell Way. At Lake Street, Waddell Way starts as a rough pothole-filled road that looks like the Ho Chi Minh Trail after a Vietnam War B-52 bomb run. A sign at the east end warns away drivers: “Not city maintained; travel at own risk.”

Homer’s Best Bets

The Betster has been in Homer so long that when typing the word “home,” inevitably a finger taps an extra “r” so the sentence comes out like “Homer is where the heart is.” Isn’t that a bumper sticker? Do other people have this issue? 

Homer Winter Carnival: A Tradition for 61 Years

Feeling February’s chill now that the temperature has dropped? 

Warm up with the 61st annual Homer Winter Carnival today through Sunday. This year’s theme, “Warm Winter Hearts,” overlaps with Valentine’s Day, and offers plenty of memorable activities for those in — or out of — love.

Outhouse race? Not so romantic. But if you’re competitive, goofy and creative, it might be the perfect fit.

February keeps focus on heart health

Heart-shaped cards. Heart-shaped boxes of candy. Heart-shaped balloons. All trappings of heartfelt celebrations centered around Valentine’s Day.

For Melanie Miller and her husband, Ron, their heart reminder comes in the shape of their 18-month-old daughter, Chloe, who was born with a congenital heart defect, or CHD.  

Bios of finalists for city manager

Jeffery Trinkera

Employment: Executive director of support services, city of Rosenberg, Texas, 2013-present; assistant economic development director, Rosenberg, 2010-13; management assistant, city of Sugarland, Texas, 2008-10. 

Education: Bachelor of science, international affairs, Florida State University, Tallahassee; master of arts in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Chris Johnson

Council rejects executive session

In an almost unheard of action on Monday night, the Homer City Council voted not to go into executive session. Routinely, the council votes to go into executive session without discussion. 

With council members Catriona Reynolds, Gus VanDyke and Bryan Zak voting no, and David Lewis and Francie Roberts voting yes, on a 3-2 vote the council spiked a motion to meet in executive session to discuss city manager applicants. Council member Beau Burgess was absent.

Assembly puts food tax on table—again

The seasonal exemption from sales taxes on non-prepared food items is on the table again.

Blaine Gilman of Kenai introduced the ordinance that would allow for the borough to collect taxes from Sept.1 until May 31 on non-prepared groceries, during Tuesday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.

The borough has missed the opportunity to collect nearly $3 million in tax revenue annually without the exemptions, according to the ordinance. If approved, the generated revenue would go to funding schools.

Cabin Fever show paves way for new AP library location

For years, at the annual Cabin Fever Variety Show songs have been sung, guitars and ukuleles strummed, pianos played, jokes told and stories recited. Local cooks have offered up cakes and cookies, pies and breads. Raffle tickets have been sold and prizes won.

All of that has been done with one goal: raising enough funds to get the Anchor Point Public Library a home of its own. It is currently located in 1,600-square-feet of space at one end of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10221 building.

Council interviews manager finalists

Following a meeting on Jan. 28 in which the City Manager Selection Committee chose four finalists for the position of Homer City Manager, the Homer City Council on Monday interviewed the applicants by phone.

Next Monday, the council discusses the finalists and works toward narrowing its list. The top candidates will visit Homer for personal interviews in March.

The finalists, in order of interviews, are:

Drive at your own risk

Two men in a Chevrolet pickup truck spin brodies on Beluga Lake on Monday afternoon. With the ice thickening up, people have begun driving on the lake and sometimes testing their driving skills. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said the city does not get involved in determining if ice thickness is adequate for vehicles. “It’s a use at your own risk type of situation,” Robl said. “It’s the same theory as going out on the mud flats around Anchorage. There are dangers out there. It’s user beware.”

Soldotna voters reject home rule

Soldotna voters ended the possibility of the city becoming home rule in the near future.

During Tuesday’s special election, voters chose not to form a seven-member charter commission that would have drafted the parameters of how Soldotna would govern itself under home rule status.

The question on the ballot read, “Shall a Charter Commission be elected to prepare a proposed charter?” Unofficial results show “No” votes at 298 while “Yes” votes came in at 170.

Seaton pushes marijuana regs

JUNEAU — Legal marijuana advocates took to their phones Tuesday to testify against a bill that aims to delay legalizing the commercial sale of marijuana concentrates.

The legislation by Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, had its first hearing Tuesday in the House Health and Social Services Committee, of which he is the chair. 

Navarre: State facing ‘fiscal dilemma, not crisis’

As Alaska faces declining revenues from dropping oil prices, the loss in state funding also will affect municipalities like the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said last Thursday in a talk with the Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club. Navarre estimated the borough could see an 8 percent hit or about $12 million of the $140 million the borough gets in state funding for education, revenue sharing and other needs. 

Big Fat Bike Festival: a low-pressure kind of weekend

Fat bikes. Fat-tire bikes. Snow bikes. Omni-terrain vehicles. Ask Chase Warren and they’re all the same. They also are the centerpiece of the Big Fat Bike Festival 2015.

Warren and other members of the Homer Cycling Club have created a festival agenda that begins Friday and continues through Sunday. It includes food, bonfires and lots of fun activities, all of it centered around fat bikes and the places those bikes can take you.

Police seek suspect in Safeway theft

Homer Police have asked the public’s help in identifying the suspect in a theft about 1:05 p.m. Jan. 27 from the Homer Safeway grocery store. Police said that on Tuesday a man left the store with a basket full of items. In a video camera image of the man, he wears a dark hoody sweatshirt with a logo and the hood pulled over his head.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homer Police Department at 235-3150 or Crime Stoppers at 907-283-TIPS (907-283-8477) or toll free at 800-478-HALT (800-478-4258).

Four finalists chosen for Homer City Manager

In an executive session, the City Manager Selection Committee on Wednesday chose four finalists for Homer City Manager. All the finalists will be interviewed telephonically by the Homer City Council in a special meeting starting at 5 p.m. Monday in the Cowles Council Chambers, City Hall.

The finalists, in order of interviews, are:

• Jeffrey Trinker, executive director of support services, city of Rosenberg, Texas;

• Chris Johnson, former deputy executive director, Port of Anacortes, Anacortes, Wash.;

Playing by the bay

A small flock of crows fly around and roost on a driftwood log at the Mariner Park beach on Tuesday afternoon. Crows can be seen frequently on the beaches of Kachemak Bay.

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; barometer; Tupperware; and curtains

Contact: Melanie Dufour at 235-6746 
or melanie@akcoastalstudies.org

Brothers plead not guilty

KENAI — In an unusual arraignment hearing held Tuesday afternoon at the Kenai Courthouse, two brothers charged with harassment in a September 2012 Homer teen drinking party incident pleaded not guilty to new charges filed in December.

However, lawyers for Anthony Resetarits, 22, and Joseph Resetarits, 20, told Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman their clients would plead guilty at a combined change-of-plea and sentencing hearing to be held at 2:30 p.m. March 12 at the Homer Courthouse.

Council spikes pay increase, but will reconsider it Feb. 9

Although the Homer City Council appropriated pay raises for council members and the mayor in the 2015 budget, an ordinance setting those raises into law failed 3-2 at the council’s regular meeting on Monday. 

Council members Beau Burgess, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds voted in favor of the ordinance, but fell one vote short of the 4-vote threshold required to take actions. Council members Bryan Zak and Gus VanDyke voted against the ordinance, and council member Francie Roberts was excused from the meeting due to illness.

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