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.
With a new facility to be completed by August that will turn the four-employee, borough-operated Homer Baling-Landfill Facility into a transfer site, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is considering cost-cutting measures.
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.”
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.”
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.
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:
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.
Seaton meetings canceled
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.
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.
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.
A whirlwind is Homer Mayor Beth Wythe's description of last week's trip to the state's capital and visits with members of Gov. Sean Parnell's staff and the Legislature. Traveling with Wythe was Katie Koester, the city's economic development coordinator. The city's lobbyist, Linda Anderson, assisted them.
In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, South Peninsula Hospital is offering reduced rate screening colonoscopies and a special free lunch presentation.
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.
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
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.
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.
In a town hall meeting last Friday that was part Q & A and part roundtable discussion, District O Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, gave Homer a look and a listen to its freshman senator after he'd been battle tested halfway through the legislative session.
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."
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.