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News in Brief

Endeavour still at dock

A planned departure on Tuesday did not happen for the jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence. The rig, operated by Buccaneer Alaska, had been given a March 26 deadline by the city of Homer to leave. Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins extended that deadline after Jay-Brant General Contractors and Hopkins Brothers Construction, Seldovia, said work could be delayed. 

“It’s not problematic at the moment, with the assumption those guys are going to be gone in three days,” said Bob Brant of Jay-Brant.

Hearing continued in highway shooting

A court hearing for an Anchor Point woman accused of shooting at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on the Sterling Highway has been postponed to April 18, with a possible trial set for the week of April 22.

Tonee Walker, 58, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and four counts of third-degree assault. Troopers allege that on July 15, 2012, Walker shot at Trooper Trent Chwialkowski in his patrol car when he tried to stop Walker.

Dock work could begin in fall

There was only one ordinance scheduled for public hearing at the Homer City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Ordinance 13-07, sponsored by City Manager Walt Wrede and Public Works Director Carey Meyer, appropriated up to $42,450 from the Sewer, Water and Fleet Reserve Fund to purchase a steamer truck. There was no public comment, no discussion by the council and no objection to its approval. 

The rest of the meeting went just as smoothly.

Contractor to operate transfer site

Anticipating a quarter-of-a-million savings, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is following through with plans to have a contractor transfer Homer’s waste to the Central Peninsula Landfill when construction of the Homer site is complete in August. 

“I actually signed approval to move forward with it yesterday, late afternoon,” Navarre told the Homer News on Tuesday.

Let the chips fall

Frank Mullen and Liz Diament face off in the Homer Public Library’s 2013 Scrabble Tournament on Saturday. Mullen placed third in World Game Players Organization category, with Mike Gracz in first and David Ciptal in second. Judy Sanford was first in the Advanced Level Amateur category, with Wendy Wayne in second and Eileen Mullen in third. 

N.Y. teen nominates Homer as ‘Ultimate Fishing Town’

A high school junior who lives on the outskirts of Rochester, N.Y., has nominated Homer as the Ultimate Fishing Town, after reading a story in the Democrat and Chronicle, her hometown newspaper.

In an email to the Homer News, Mallory Mintz wrote: “I’m very excited to nominate Homer for this fishing town contest ... I really think you guys have a chance at winning.”

Two Homer seniors celebrate turning 100

With her official 100th birthday March 27, Margit Andersson of Homer was honored by family and friends with a celebration at the Homer Senior Center on Saturday. Andersson shared the honors with her friend, Edna Farsdahl of Homer, who turns 100 in June.

Andersson’s sons — Lars of Connecticut and Ole of Homer — and Ole’s wife, Jane “Jinky” Handy, helped organize the party, which included a dinner of shrimp scampi and roast beef. 

Floodplain management program review completed

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has completed its annual review of its floodplain management program. A copy of the memo to the assembly is available online at the borough clerk’s website, or by request to the River Center Department.

 The memo reviews the floodplain management strategies proposed by the KPB All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, and offers suggestions for the coming year.

Property owners within mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas are encouraged to understand and comply with the floodplain management regulations.

Davis leaving Homer chamber position

Monte Davis, executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, announced Thursday plans to leave the chamber by the end of summer.

“I promised in my letter of resignation that I’d stay until we found my replacement or Sept. 1, whichever came first unless I were to get an offer of an incredible position,” Davis told the Homer News Friday morning.

Davis and his wife, Jo, plan to move to Fort Worth, Texas, where Jo’s family lives.

Missing snowmachiner rescues self

A snowmachiner missing since yesterday has been found in what Alaska State Troopers called a “self rescue.” Charles Moore, 51, of Homer, walked out of the Caribou Hills to his home near Mile 14 East End Road about 11:45 a.m. Monday morning. Moore was cold but otherwise uninjured, said Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Elizabeth Ipsen.

Moore had winter clothing and food. He made a fire and camped Sunday night, Ipsen said. Temperatures last night were about 28 degrees, but high winds caused conditions to get worse today, with blowing snow and low visibilty.

Snomads call for searchers

The Snomads snowmachine club seeks volunteers to join a search for a snowmachine rider lost in the Caribou Hills. All searchers should check in at Kachemak Emergency Services McNeil Canyon Fire Hall before searching. The search begins at 2 p.m. today after volunteers have checked in.

All searchers are wanted, especially riders familiar with the Caribou Hills area. Once volunteers check in, they will be briefed on the areas to be searched. Conditions are rough, with blowing snow and low visibility.

Officials to test Alaska Tsunami Warning System

As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, local, state and federal agencies will conduct a test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, the 49th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local emergency management offices and the Alaska Broadcasters Association are cooperating in the test.

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. 


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