Local News

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.

 

Buccaneer makes progress; one tideland permit OK’d


Buccaneer Energy on Tuesday announced that work on its jack-up rig in the Homer Harbor is nearing completion and that the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence will soon be ready for operations at the company’s Cosmopolitan site off Anchor Point.

In a press release, Buccaneer updated what’s been done and what remains to be done, including:

Cool beans


Linda Tannehill of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, points out the energy costs for different methods of cooking a pot of beans. The Extension Service was one of 33 exhibitors at HEA’s Energy and Conservation Fair at West Homer Elementary School on Saturday.

Photo by

McKibben Jackinsky,
Homer News

Man found dead at Skyline overlook

A 20-year-old Homer man was found dead on Friday morning in his car parked at a Skyline Drive overlook near Clearwater Drive. Homer Police said Nickolas Phillips died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

According to a press release, a person called police at 9:18 a.m. Nov. 9 saying he saw a man in a car at the overlook near a cluster of radio towers, but the man did not appear to be moving. 

The caller said the left rear window of the car had been broken out. 

Comments sought on heli-skiing in state parks

In summer, thousands of visitors hike, raft, fish and camp in Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay Wilderness State Park. Many of them make their own way there by private boat, but others arrive through water taxis, air taxis and guides, all permitted under Alaska State Parks regulations.

In the winter, though, the bay quiets down, with only a few water taxi operators running. Local backcountry skiers have long known that the slopes of the Kenai Mountains offer awesome runs — runs earned the hard way, through muscling up mountains.

Statistics: Homer High students good kids

Editor's Note: How rigorously do Homer High School officials enforce rules against drinking by students and student athletes? Are those rules enforced fairly? How does Homer High compare in overall disciplinary incidents to other Kenai Peninsula Borough School District high schools? In this two-part series, the Homer News examines those issues. This week's story looks at how Homer High enforces its rules and how it compares to other schools. Next week, we'll look at recent investigations, punishments, reactions and suggestions for change.

More pieces of peninsula’s puzzling past fall into place

A find here and a find there is one thing. Put all those finds together and a picture starts to take shape. Such has been the case with evidence of creatures that once made their home on the southern Kenai Peninsula. 

The 2011 radiocarbon dating of two remains — an ankle bone and a tusk — indicated woolly mammoths roamed the area between 60,000-25,000 years ago. More pieces have surfaced and been dated since then, thanks to the effort to gather these pieces together by local author and historian Janet Klein and Soldotna geologist Dick Reger.

Health fair exhibitors

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

Information about healthy aging vs. Alzheimer’s and free memory screenings

Baha’i Faith of Homer

Messages of well being and the benefits of prayer and meditation for adults and children

Bay Club LLC

Updated information about the benefits of exercise in every component of health

Best Beginnings Homer

Information on early childhood education and helping families live healthy lives 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Homer

An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure

Ask Mike Gracz about the Rotary Health Fair and he’ll tell you it and the comprehensive blood analysis offered through the fair saved his life.

“I hardly even knew I was getting a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, but it was at the health fair and I just checked the box,” said Gracz, who was 39 at the time he had the screening done in 2000. “I’d always heard about the health fair and thought it was a good idea to get the blood work done.”

Rotary Health Fair gets bigger, better

Hard to imagine, but in its 29th year the Rotary Health Fair just keeps improving.

“We are full, we are excited, we have new exhibitors,” said fair coordinator Sharon Minsch of Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary.

This year’s theme is “It’s Your Life — Take a Day To Be Well.” More than 60 exhibitors will be on hand with information and screenings to help area residents do just that. The fair is at the Homer High School commons between 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

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