Local News

Endeavour's delay fattens wallets of workers, city

Although Buccaneer Oil Alaska got from the city of Homer an extension to Dec. 8 to moor its jack-up rig, the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, at the Deep Water Dock, it doesn't look likely state permits will be issued by Saturday to allow it to put legs down at the Cosmopolitan site off Anchor Point and begin oil and gas exploration.
Buccaneer's original intent had been to stay for just eight days after its arrival in August.
"The next thing you know, we're in October," said Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.

So far, city receives only 110 objections to special district

With less than two months to go for property owners to object to the proposed Homer Natural Gas Special Assessment District, so far, objections have been light. As of this week, of the 3,855 lots in the assessment district, the city clerk’s office has received objections from owners of 110 parcels. Objections must be received by the clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Jan. 25.

MAPP awarded grant

MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) of the Southern Kenai Peninsula, a local collaborative for community health improvement, recently received a grant from the Capacity Building for Charitable Organizations fund of The Alaska Community Foundation.
That grant has already been put to use with the purchase of software to support and manage MAPP’s collective impact efforts for community health improvement.

Anchor Point man charged in arson for boat burning

Homer Police on Monday charged an Anchor Point man with first-degree arson, a felony, for burning a fishing boat in dry dock at the Northern Enterprises Boatyard on Oct. 29.
Police allege Mike Makai Martushoff, 58, intentionally set his father's boat, the Slava II, on fire in an attempt to kill himself. The $240,000 boat had major damage, but firefighters kept the fire from spreading to nearby boats. The Slava II was not insured.

Teen brains explained

Think you know the teen brain? Sure. Most of us were teenagers once. All the thrilling experiences of adolescence should come rushing back just at the thought.
Yeah, right.
Last Thursday, five high school students with Promoting Health Among Teens, or P.H.A.T., spoke on "The Amazing Adolescent Brain" at the Youth Resource and Enrichment Co-op, or R.E.C. Room. Volunteer peer educators, the P.H.A.T. team present information on adolescent health through skits and other activities.

Kachemak City seeks gas line investors

Homer isn't the only city trying to figure out how to finance natural gas delivery to city residents and businesses. Homer's little neighbor to the east, Kachemak City, is in the same boat.
For Homer, population about 5,000, the estimated cost of natural gas distribution within city limits after Enstar pipes the gas to the southern peninsula from Anchor Point is expected not to exceed $12.7 million.
For Kachemak City, population about 475, the price tag is estimated at $1 million, according to Kachemak City Mayor Phil Morris.

Flu season arrives early

Alaska’s annual flu season has started early, with reports of increased flu activity being reported to the Alaska State Virology Laboratory, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said last week in a press release.

“The flu is here,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, chief epidemiologist for Alaska.

New Kachemak Selo school moving ahead

A new school for Kachemak Selo is a step closer after passage of Resolution 2012-087 by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly at its regular meeting Nov. 20. 

The resolution authorizes the borough’s participation in the Community Development Block Grant Program offered by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development for a public school facility project.

Highway turnouts proposed

Noting problem areas on the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Homer — sites where vehicle accidents have occurred — the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is planning slow-vehicle turnouts to help eliminate the problem.

The 12 northbound and 10 southbound pullouts considered for construction between milepost 100 and 165 were addressed at open houses at Homer Middle School on Tuesday and at Ninilchik School on Wednesday.

Sugar Plum fair this weekend


Shoppers can take advantage of two fairs this weekend. The Nutcracker Faire is Saturday and Sunday at the Homer High School (see related story,
page 2
) and, in close proximity, is the Sugar Plum Holiday Fair in the basement of the Homer United Methodist Church from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

It’s time for lutefisk


A Nordic favorite — lutefisk — and all the trimmings for the perfect holiday meal will be served at the Faith Lutheran Church of Homer on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are now available at the church at the corner of Soundview and the Sterling Highway: adults, $18; high school, $10; children through the eighth grade, $6. Purchasing them in advance is encouraged.

Community health survey needs volunteers for distribution


The “Perceptions of Community Health” survey is currently underway and help is needed. Megan Murphy, coordinator of MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) of the Southern Kenai Peninsula, said “on the ground” volunteers are needed to broadly distribute the survey and then pick up the surveys Dec. 17 and 18. 

“We want to make sure that this survey reflects many layers of our Southern Kenai Peninsula communities, so more hands, feet and support (are) needed for wide distribution,” said Murphy.

Whiskey Gulch landmark burns

A fire Saturday evening that involved five Kenai Peninsula fire departments completely destroyed a landmark building at Whiskey Gulch. Firefighters could not save a five-story log home built by Robin and Margareta Lipinski and recently sold at an auction. Unoccupied at the time, no one was injured in the fire or in the response.

“It was a towering inferno,” said Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services acting chief Kayt Andrews.

Parents, professionals weigh in on teen drinking

Is teens' use of alcohol in Homer a new problem?

Not according to 20-year-old headlines in the Homer News. In October 1992, three students were suspended for 30 days for using alcohol before attending a school dance. It was the maximum amount allowed for a first-time offense of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's drug abuse policy.

Resulting letters to the editor expressed support for, as well as criticism of, the school district's policies, and called for help for, rather than expulsion of, students using alcohol.

Teens speak out on teen drinking

It's one thing to hear what adults have to say about the use of alcohol by Homer teens. It's another thing to hear what the teens have to say. Following are comments from five Homer High School students involved with PHAT, Promoting Health Among Teens.

For Dylan Wylde, 17, it starts with shifting away from a negative focus.

"Find something else to talk about, something positive that teens have been doing," said Wylde.

Council to chew on two food tax proposals

At the regular meeting of the Homer City Council on Monday, two council members — Bryan Zak and David Lewis — will present two separate ordinances dealing with sales tax on food.

Ordinance 12-53, sponsored by Zak, seeks to reinstate the tax year-round. Ordinance 12-54, sponsored by Lewis, seeks to make certain categories of nonprepared foods subject to the tax year-round. 

Each ordinance has a Jan. 1 effective date.

Residents embrace spirit of Thanksgiving holiday

The annual holiday season starts Thursday with turkey and ends with bubbly drinks on New Year’s Day. During the next five weeks, we will sit down to sumptuous feasts, brave Homer crowds as we shop locally, ponder the mystery of the season, go to church, hold bonfires, sing and celebrate with a variety of traditions. How do people honor the spirit of the holiday season? How do families, individuals and groups show gratitude? In these short stories, we look at how some area residents embrace Thanksgiving and keep the spirit of the holiday alive all year long.

 

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