Local News

Workshop to discuss local climate change

A free public workshop, titled “Climate Change in Our Backyard,” will be held March 28 at the Kenai Peninsula College Kenai River Campus near Soldotna. It offers a forum for learning, asking questions and discussing local resilience.

The main topics will be flooding frequency, stress to salmon, coastal erosion and wildfire risk. The keynote speaker will be Homer author Nancy Lord, whose books include “Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North.”

Council passes gas roll

After public hearings, hundreds of letters and dozens of people testifying, the Homer City Council on Monday passed the final roll for the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District. 

With a project cost of $12.3 million, 3,787 parcels will be assessed $3,262.77 for each parcel’s share of constructing a distribution line that provides nearly every lot in the city with natural gas. The council exempted 67 parcels for issues such as lots not being served. 

Kodiak fisherman wins winter king tournament

Fishing by himself at an undisclosed location he described as “out in the water,” Kodiak fisherman Mike Olsen pulled in 30.40-pound winter king on his skiff, Sea Alaska, to win $27,762 in the 22nd annual Homer Chamber of Commerce Winter King Tournament.

“Fishing is fishing. It’s a matter of getting a hook in the water and getting it in front of the fish,” Olsen said.

Saturday’s fish was the only bite he had all weekend. He fished Thursday and Friday and got skunked both times.

Numbers tell weird winter weather story: It’s really warm

Friday was the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. That calendar convention never reflects Alaska realities, but it provides a convenient excuse to indulge in the time-honored tradition of complaining about the weather. 

For the second year in a row, Homer residents despair of getting anything like winters of yore.

The National Weather Service reported that 2014 was the warmest on record both for Homer and for the state as whole. And now the new year is off to a toasty start, too.

Southeast successful in winning energy funds

By MELISSA GRIFFITHS

Morris News Service - Alaska

JUNEAU — Southeast Alaska has been very successful in using Alaska Energy Authority funds for renewable energy projects — too successful if you ask some other regions.

The authority runs a renewable energy fund that is meant to fund projects for areas with high energy costs, especially those that won’t be directly affected by the completion of a natural gas line.

Dallas Seavey wins third Iditarod in four years

NOME — If ever there was uncertainty about the outcome of the world’s most famous sled dog race, it was this year.

Warm weather and a lack of snow in much of Alaska spurred organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to forge an untested route, utilizing the state’s extensive system of frozen rivers.

Would this make the race faster or easier? Would it benefit mushers more accustomed to racing on ice? Or would warm temperatures create new hazards on the rivers?

DOT commissioner: Expect changes across Alaska

JUNEAU — Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Marc Luiken said his department would meet Alaska’s budget challenges head on “by consolidating and creating efficiencies where possible” while “striving to have minimal impacts on core services.”

Luiken’s remarks came during the Southeast Conference Mid-Session Summit on Tuesday, where he discussed the effects of Alaska’s $3.5 billion deficit and more specifically how the Southeast region would be affected.

Assembly still chews on food tax

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly this week rejected the ordinance that would repeal the nine-month sales tax exemption on groceries.

However, the issue is not completely off the table. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, the assembly agreed to postpone voting down president Dale Bagley’s proposed substitute ordinance that would keep the sales tax in effect for six months of the year, from Oct. 1 to March 31. 

Currently, the exemption is in effect from Sept. 1 to May 31.

Brown bear harvest cap lowered by BOG

The Alaska Board of Game voted to give Kenai Peninsula brown bears a bit more protection by lowering the cap on how many can be killed each year before the state shuts down the hunt.

After hearing from federal Kenai National Wildlife Refuge managers and biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the board set caps for the upcoming season at a range of 50-60 bears total with a maximum of 8-12 adult females.

Variety of groups join forces to preserve the Anchor River

At first glance, the Anchor River seems remote and wild. After all, Anchor Point is small, even by Alaska standards, and the river’s headwater streams fan out into wetlands and the hilly hinterlands of the south peninsula.

But the river’s valued fish runs are struggling, and for years observers have expressed concern about the watershed’s health. Efforts to address those concerns are getting results thanks to hard work by an array of groups partnering to protect the river’s resources. 

Resetarits brothers plead guilty, sentenced on harassment charge

In an emotional change-of-plea and sentencing hearing at the Homer Courthouse on Thursday, a 2.5-year-old case involving a teenage drinking party incident that shocked Homer ended with two brothers, Anthony and Joseph Resetarits, pleading guilty to first-degree harassment of a 17-year-old boy passed out at the party. 

Anthony Resetarits, 22, also pleaded guilty to first-degree tampering with evidence, first-degree hindering prosecution, both felonies, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor — his younger brother.

Group provides support for those with brain injuries

There is a green sandwich board sign propped by the sidewalk at 1044 East End Road with a short message:

Brain Injury Support Group

Meets Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

If the sign is out, then at 1 p.m., Kathy Stingley will be inside waiting. Even if no one else shows up. 

Stingley, who grew up in a care-giving family in Oregon, provides the time and space for those who have experienced either a traumatic or acquired brain injury to come and share their experience with others. 

Resetarits brothers plead guilty, sentenced to harrasment; Older brother also gets 70 days on felony charges

In an emotional change-of-plea and sentencing hearing at the Homer Courthouse on Thursday, a 2.5-year-old case involving a teenage drinking party incident that shocked Homer ended with two brothers, Anthony and Joseph Resetarits, pleading guilty to first-degree harassment of a 17-year-old boy passed out at the party.

Anthony Resetarits, 22, also pleaded guilty to first-degree tampering with evidence, first-degree hindering prosecution, both felonies, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor — his younger brother.

State dart tournament at Wasabi’s

Approximately 150 people from all over Alaska, Canada and elsewhere are expected for the Alaska State Dart Tournament this weekend in Homer.

For the eighth year, Wasabi's is hosting the tourney, known as the End of the Road Classic. The tourney will be Friday-Sunday. Wasabi's is at 59217 East End Road, Mile 4.5.

Resetarits sentencing is March 12

Two Homer men charged with harassment in a September 2012 Homer teen drinking party incident appear at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Homer Courthouse for a combined change-of-plea and sentencing hearing. Anthony Resetarits, 22, and Joseph Resetarits, 20, both face charges of second-degree harassment. Anthony Resetarits also faces felony charges of first-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with felony evidence.

Stevens visits Homer

In visits this week around Homer by Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, his stump speech could be summed up as bad news, worse news.

“I’m really surprised people haven’t run me out of town on a rail, because the news we’ve got is not good,” Stevens said in a talk Tuesday at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s monthly meeting. Stevens also held a town hall meeting Monday afternoon and then spoke Monday night at the Homer City Council meeting.

The bad news? Revenue for the next fiscal year will be $2.2 billion, Steven said.

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