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What next? Enstar, city officials urge residents to do their homework

Editor’s note: With natural gas to Homer getting closer every day, questions abound. In a three-part series starting this week, the Homer News will look at the challenges in converting to natural gas; the positive effects of natural gas on southern Kenai Peninsula communities; and the negative effects. This week’s story looks at how homeowners and business owners can be prepared to hook into natural gas.

Assembly approves Homer gas line loan

Describing the action as a dual benefit for both the borough and the city of Homer, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly gave the thumbs-up Tuesday to a multi-million dollar loan to help build a Homer natural gas grid.

“It makes good sense,” Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said. “I can understand why some think maybe we shouldn’t be in this business, but all we are in the business of is investing funds that we have available and getting a reasonable return that can be used to offset expenses for the borough.”

Good weather, fishing forecast for king tourney

Cries of “fish on” are getting louder on Kachemak Bay with the reeling in of king salmon in the 30-pounds-and-more category. Some of those came from Homer angler Steve Walli’s family over the weekend.

“Gee whiz, we caught five fish and (daughter) Erica caught one 31.4 pounds,” said Walli of hooking into salmon in 70 feet of water not far from Seldovia. “They were all pretty nice.”

Event to raise funds for animal shelter emergencies

The Homer Animal Shelter’s 93 percent “re-homing” rate — returning animals to their owners or finding them new homes — is impressive. However, that doesn’t stop emergency medical situations from occurring. 

Like the one that occurred with Teaser, a sweet-natured brown tabby that was left at the shelter by his owner.

During an evaluation of Teaser by Sherry Bess, shelter director, and her crew of volunteers, it was noted that Teaser had breathing problems. A trip to the vet
indicated the cause was a diaphragmatic ulcer.

Upcoming events offered by South Peninsula Hospital

South Peninsula Hospital has the following events scheduled:

 Homer Medical Center Community Open House: 

5-7 p.m. April 4, a free event open to the public. Bring the whole family to meet the new providers, learn about the center’s comprehensive care for all ages and tour the newly remodeled clinic. Refreshments and door prizes are included. 

 Menopause Information Night: 

Cajun band ‘clamming it up’ for Ninilchik Fair fundraiser

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, “the best Cajun band in the world,” as Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Company describes the band, is coming to the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds. The March 29 Ninilchik stop kicks off the Kenai Peninsula Fair’s 2013 season under the theme “Clammin’ It Up” and is part of the fair’s annual fundraising celebrity waiter dinner. 

Haycox, Kizzia to present free program on William H. Seward

 

Dr. Stephen Haycox, University of Alaska Anchorage distinguished professor of history, will join Homer award-winning journalist and author Tom Kizzia to give a public presentation on “Seward: Alaska’s Indispensable Man” at 6:30 p.m. March 29 at the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College. This free program is offered in observance of “Seward’s Day,” Alaska’s annual commemoration of the purchase of Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867. 

Crashes in Ninilchik, Voznesenka injure three

Two separate car crashes, one involving a pedestrian and the other a four-wheeler, sent three people to the hospital over the weekend. 

One man in Ninilchik was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital after being hit by a truck, and two boys in Voznesenka were taken to South Peninsula Hospital with serious injuries after being thrown from a four-wheeler that hit a sport-utility vehicle. 

None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

Still going strong

Dr. David Waters, DVM, poses with Kyrie, Robin Lohse’s 15-year-old Rottweiler, in Homer at the start on March 4 of his Grey Muzzle Tour, a national tour where the veterinarian visits geriatric Rottweilers across the country to assess their health as part of a study on aging and cancer resistance. Waters is the director of the Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies at the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation, West Lafayette, Ind. Many Rottweilers die of cancer, but long-lived Rottweilers somehow resist cancer, even though autopsies show most had some cancer when they died.

Condo owner files suit over gas line assessment

The owner of several business condominiums has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against the city of Homer and the Homer City Council seeking to overturn the ordinance that created the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District. Ken Castner III said the ordinance violates his rights to equal protection and due process of law, and that the city's natural gas line assessment scheme violates statutory law.

Women of Distinction to be honored March 22

South Peninsula Haven House has announced the three winners for this year's Women of Distinction Awards, plus the "Hero of the Heart" award. The awards dinner, with music by Hallie Hudson, will be at Land's End Resort at 5:30 p.m. March 22. Tickets are $35 each or $265 for a table of eight. They are available at the Homer Bookstore.

Amy Bollenbach:Woman of Wisdom

Weird lights over bay from training exercises

Strange lights seen hovering over Kachemak Bay about 8 p.m. last Wednesday night weren't UFOs or other mysterious objects. The lights came from flares dropped from an Alaska Air National Guard Hercules C-130 doing night training.

Units from the 175th Wing's 211th and the 212th Rescue Squadrons were in Homer last week doing night drop training, said Kalei Rupp, an Alaska National Guard spokesperson. Guardian angel teams, as the guard calls pararescuers, did parachute jumps from planes. The flares illuminated a target area on the water for the jump.

Jury acquits Homer man on kidnapping, assault charges

After two-and-a-half days of deliberation last week, a Homer jury last Friday morning found a Homer man not guilty on three felony counts of kidnapping, third-degree assault and third-degree weapons misconduct. The jury did find William O. Daugherty, 47, guilty on two counts of fourth-degree assault, domestic violence.

Because of Daugherty's roots in the community and his criminal past, almost 300 potential jurors were called.

The charges came about after an incident where Daugherty drove around Homer with a woman, then 18, in early July 2012.

Online registration underway for 20th winter king tourney

The countdown to the 20th annual Winter King Salmon Tournament, sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, has begun. With online registration available, fishermen are already making clear their intentions to catch the winning fish.

"The biggest difference this year is that we are offering online registration," said Monte Davis, chamber and visitor center executive director. "I've tried to get that word out as much as I possibly can. It will simplify matters a bunch."

Jury rules in favor of police

A federal civil jury last Thursday exonerated three Homer Police officers and the city that employs them.

In a unanimous verdict delivered about noon March 7, the 8-member jury found that Cherry Dietzmann and her children, the plaintiffs in a $45 million suit against the city and officers, did not prove that Homer Police officers Will Hutt, Stacy Luck and Dave Shealy shot Jason Anderson Jr., then 2, in a shootout with Homer Police and U.S. Marshals seven years ago at the Homer Airport.

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