In a poignant ceremony with three generations of his family watching, Homer Mayor Emeritus James Hornaday pounded the gavel one final time and stepped down Monday night at his last meeting presiding over the Homer City Council.
“It hasn’t been boring,” Hornaday said of his eight years as mayor. “I’ve really enjoyed the differences of opinion. … I think I’ve done pretty well keeping a civil touch to the discussion. The town’s been good to me and my family. In closing, I hope you’re all in heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re there.”
BY MICHAEL ARMSTRONG
A third person has been charged in the Sept. 8 incident in which a 17-year-old boy was sexually assaulted with an object at a large teenage party on East End Road. Alaska State Troopers at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday arrested a 16-year-old Homer boy and charged him with second-degree sexual assault. The teen was taken to the Kenai Youth Facility.
Because the defendant is a minor, the case was referred to the Division of Juvenile Justice. His name was not released.
As property owners ponder whether to support the Homer Natural Gas Special Assessment District, the city held its first two neighborhood meetings to help inform people about the district that, if passed, would build a 73-mile, $12.7 million natural gas distribution line throughout the city of Homer from Baycrest Hill to the Homer Spit.
“Our job is to get as much information as we can out to the public,” said Homer City Manager Walt Wrede at a meeting Tuesday night. “It affects everybody. It’s really big.”
In Homer artist Gaye Wolfe’s last show, “ARTrageous Homer: A Human Tapestry,” she painted 14 portraits of artists, musicians and arts leaders from around Kachemak Bay. A face is missing from the show, one of Homer’s strongest supporters of the arts and most significant artists.
After 11 years living in the 2,000-square-foot, post-and-beam house Gary Stevenson built for himself and his wife, Grace, Stevenson woke up on a recent September morning anticipating the view he has enjoyed since they moved in: an unobstructed look at Cook Inlet, the distant string of mountains and, best of all, an eagle nest at the top of a cottonwood tree.
The tree’s position on the tree- and alder-covered slope stretching between the couple’s Anchor Point house and the beach below placed the nest even with the Stevensons’ 70-feet of inlet-facing windows.
The Homer Theatre will show the last two debates between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Both debates will be shown live starting at 5 p.m. Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.
“Admission is free for all to experience the debates in an open, respectful, non-partisan environment,” the theater said in a press release. “This is an opportunity for community members to enjoy the debates on the big screen and hear what the two nominees for our nation’s leadership have to say, such that we can all make the most educated, informed decision when it is time to vote on Nov. 6.”
The city of Homer and Kenai Peninsula Borough canvass boards have tallied results in the Oct. 2 municipal election.
The city of Homer ballot included three candidates for the two-year term of mayor and three candidates for two openings on the Homer City Council, each one a three-year term. The election results were certified by the council at its regular meeting on Monday:
• Mayor: Mary E. (Beth) Wythe, 530 votes; Bryan Zak, 354 votes.
As a result of recent floods, Gov. San Parnell declared a state disaster for the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula boroughs. The declaration has activated the state’s public and individual assistance programs.
Representatives from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, road service area and state of Alaska will discuss recent flood events, response and recovery plans at a southern Kenai Peninsula community meeting to be held at Chapman School in Anchor Point from 7-8 p.m. Friday.
Furniture movers to office helpers. Garden keepers to providing a compassionate presence in someone’s life. Hospice of Homer volunteers do all of that and more.
Beginning Saturday, training will be offered for those interested in providing direct, person-to-person care. The 33-hours of training are free.
“We do ask people who complete the training and feel they want to be a hospice volunteer, to commit to volunteering two to four hours a week for a year,” said Darlene Hildebrand, executive director of Hospice of Homer.
At the Homer City Council on Monday, the council put on its agenda the most important item of the year: setting the fiscal year 2013 budget.
Homer City Manager Walt Wrede submitted the budget this week and the first public hearing was held. The council will make adjustments over the next three months, including proposed deletions and additions. By law, the council has to pass a balanced budget by Dec. 21.
The draft budget of $25.3 million dollars includes $11 million in general funds, primarily for personnel, operations and maintenance.
If you are waiting at the Homer Airport for a flight, you will see a 1937-41 photograph of a group of strong-minded women.
The two brothers charged with sexual assault of a drunk boy at a Sept. 8 East End Road teen drinking party were released from jail Tuesday and Wednesday. Joseph Resetarits, 18, left the Homer Jail Tuesday in the custody of his father, Douglas Resetarits. His brother, Anthony Resetarits, was released from the Anchorage Jail on Wednesday and into the custody of his mother, Maria Santa Lucia.
Following the arrest last week of two brothers for second-degree sexual assault at a Sept. 8 teenage drinking party, Homer confronted the larger issue of underage and adult binge drinking and sexual violence in meetings of parents, teenage children and health professionals.
Buccaneer Energy’s jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence will leave the Homer Deep Water Dock and Kachemak Bay by Oct. 31, said Buccaneer vice president Mark Landt. Landt spoke Monday at a Homer City Council meeting on the West Eagle Drilling Program, another Buccaneer project off East End Road on Basargin Road.
Landt took the opportunity to update the council and city on the Endeavour status.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic is helping raise breast cancer awareness through two programs.
Work on the jack-up rig Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, with its three 410-foot legs towering above the harbor, isn't Buccaneer Energy's only work on the southern Kenai Peninsula. The oil and gas company also has drilling planned for West Eagle, an area approximately 20 miles east of Homer.
On Monday, Mark Landt of Buccaneer will give a 10-minute visitor presentation about the company's plans at a regular meeting of the Homer City Council. The council meeting is held in city hall beginning at 6 p.m.
Tuesday's election for two Kenai Peninsula Borough races saw two incumbents re-elected, although in the race for the District 8 School Board seat, board member Liz Downing held a slim lead of 13 votes over challenger Mike Illg. Absentee ballots could change the results.
With 809 or 18 percent of 4,375 registered voters going to the polls, Homer has a new mayor, two returning council members and, as a result of the mayor's race, one empty seat on the council.
In the two-candidate mayoral race, with council members Beth Wythe and Bryan Zak running, Wythe took 471 or 60 percent of the votes and Homer City Council member Bryan Zak had 305 or 39 percent.
The proverbial elephant in the room has been stomping down the hallways of Homer High School.
Rumors have been raging among students and parents about an incident at a Sept. 8 teenage drinking party at an East End Road home.
The rumors have stirred up a discussion on bullying and underage drinking — a discussion stymied by Alaska State Troopers' and school officials' inability to speak publicly about the event until an investigation is complete.