Local News

Town Meeting: talking taxes

In advance of a special session of the Alaska Legislature starting Oct. 23, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, held town hall meetings in Ninilchik and Homer last Thursday. Gov. Bill Walker has called the Legislature into session to consider a flat-rate payroll tax and Senate Bill 54, changes to Alaska’s criminal statutes. About 60 people in Homer at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center heard Pat Pitney, Director of the Alaska Office of Management and Budget, discuss Walker’s tax proposal, a 1.5-percent tax on wages and self-employment income and what some have called a head tax.

Ethics complaint dismissed against council members; Heartbeat of Homer violated confidentiality

Affirming what had been suspected happened when a Heartbeat of Homer spokesperson broke confidentiality, an ethics complaint against three Homer City Council members filed on July 5 was dismissed by an administrative law judge and hearing officer in August, a public records request has revealed.

Japanese naval ships visit Homer

Two Japanese Self Defense Force ships stopped briefly in Homer on their way to a goodwill visit in Anchorage. On Monday morning, Sept. 25, the Japanese Military Self Defense Force vessels Kashima, DD-3508, and Harusame, DD-102, anchored off the Homer Spit. They stayed in Homer until Tuesday evening when they left for Anchorage. Harusame is a training ship and Kashima an escort vessel. The ships left Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan in May and have been visiting ports in the west and east coasts of the United States, Cuba, and Canada as part of training for newly commissioned naval officers. The ships have 600 total crew, including 200 newly commissioned officers.

Seaton holds budget town hall meetings

Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, sponsors Town Hall meetings on Oct. 5 to discuss the state budget. Joining Seaton is Officer of Budget and Management Director Pat Pitney. Seaton also will take questions and comments on the budget, District 31 issues and the upcoming special session. For more information, contact Seaton’s office at 235-2921. The meetings are:

Firefighters knock down small wildfire

A small wildland fire in the hills above Shirley Court appears to have been started by some sort of accelerant, Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Painter said on Wednesday. HVFD firefighters responded and put out a wildland fire behind Homer High School that started about 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, Sept. 18. The fire was near the cross-country running trails but did not threaten the high school.

Police investigating minor shooting incident

Homer Police are investigating a shooting incident in which a man suffered a minor gunshot wound. According to police reports, at 6:20 a.m. Sept. 17, police responded to a report of a gunshot wound at a Pioneer Avenue address. No one was transported to the hospital. Two men were handling a handgun they thought was unloaded when it went off, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.

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