In a relatively short meeting that ended at 7:30 p.m. Monday, the Homer City Council brought back to the table the continuing need for a new Homer Police Station. After voters turned down an up-to-a-$12 million bond and a seasonal sales tax of .65 percent, newly elected Mayor Bryan Zak said he would keep pushing for a solution that would replace the crowded, 1980s cop shop and jail on Heath Street.
A statewide seizure of imported hemp cannabidiol oil products last week from licensed cannabis stores has shaken up Alaska’s new commercial cannabis industry — and also sown confusion among hemp and cannabis advocates. These are the latest developments:
Sunshine, fresh snow and single-digit temperatures made last Saturday’s Homer Winter Carnival festive but chilly. Several parade entries responded to the theme “Jazz Up Winter,” including dancers with Pier One Theatre promoting its next big musical, “Chicago.”
At the summer Homer Farmers Market, the tradition of selling locally raised farm goods has a high-tech component. Since many farmers don’t have credit-card machines, the market booth lets customers buy with credit- or debit-cards market tokens that work like cash at vendor booths.
A Kingston, Idaho, man pleaded guilty last month in Homer District Court to two fishing and hunting charges.
Like any northern town trapped in the grip of deep snows and bitter cold, Homer has a long tradition of a February carnival to relieve winter stress. While it’s unknown if town namesake Homer Pennock and his gold mining crew whooped it up in the winter of 1897, the Homer Homestead newspaper in 1947 said everyone had a good time at the one-day carnival put on by the Homer Women’s Club.
Whether the Alaska Department of Fish and Game starts predator control on the lower Kenai Peninsula as an attempt to increase the moose population depends on numerous factors, including:
An economist and a couple of environmentalists walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “What is this? Some kind of joke?”
From Kachemak Bay to the Potomac River, Kenai Peninsula residents last Saturday marched in Seldovia, Homer, Kenai, Seward and Washington, D.C., as part of international Women’s Marches. Demonstrating under the theme “women’s rights are human rights,” an ad-hoc movement in reaction to President Donald Trump’s election swelled from a Hawaiian woman’s social media post to marches that drew millions around the world, with estimates of 500,000 in Washington, 175,000 in Boston and 750,000 in Los Angeles.
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby visits Homer with two events as part of its Alaska Big Dividend Tour. A grassroots, nonpartisan, nonpolitical advocacy organization with more than 360 chapters, CCL promotes market-based solutions to manage climate, ocean acidification and energy risk, and preserve Alaska’s economy and way of life. It advocates for a carbon fee that returns all revenue to households (like the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend) without growing government. It also supports using the power of markets to find the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions.
A resolution planned for hearing at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly would clarify that each assembly member’s opinions about the assembly’s controversial invocation policy are his or her own.
Live security video and social media last week led to the arrest of a man suspected to have stolen from the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, the 12,000-square-foot indoor multi-use sports facility under construction near Homer Middle School.
On Jan. 6, Homer Police charged Johnney Boy Newman, 25, with one count of second-degree burglary for entering the SPARC unlawfully with intent to commit a crime. The case remains under investigation, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.
The Homer City Council had 22 items on the agenda for its regular meeting on Monday night, but one item, Resolution 17-002, “supporting sustainable fisheries in Kachemak Bay through fisheries enhancement and habitat rehabilitation,” led to more than an hour of public testimony, all of it during the “public comments upon matters already on the agenda” portion of the meeting.
That resolution sought council support for Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association efforts in the Leisure and Hazel Lakes sockeye salmon stocking and the Tutka Bay pink salmon and sockeye salmon stocking.
After voters last fall defeated a $12 million bond proposition for a new Homer Police station and a 0.65 percent seasonal sales tax to pay for it, Homer City Manager Katie Koester said, “The need for a new police station has not gone away, but the next steps are in city council’s hands and I will be looking to them for guidance.”
As Homer’s legislators get ready to head to Juneau for the start on Jan. 17 of the 30th Alaska Legislature, one big issue looms ahead: how to keep funding state government and services.
“The biggest thing is certainly going to be the budget and the revenue,” said Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, District P. “How do we fill that $3 billion plus hole we have in the budget before we go off the cliff?”
A city worker spreads sand at the Mariner Park parking lot on the Homer Spit last Friday. Cold temperatures on top of recent rain creatid slick streets, sidewalks and parking lots. The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the low to high 20s.
In a case that dates back to 2008, a Homer man pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography.
At a hearing held Nov. 28 at the Homer Courthouse, Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet sentenced Corey Rosano, 39, to 15 years in jail with five years suspended on the sexual abuse charge and eight years in jail with four years suspended on the child pornography charge. The charges are to be served consecutively, meaning he will serve 14 years total, not counting the suspended time. The court released the judgment on Dec. 9.
Although President-elect Donald Trump has said he considers it a priority to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Barrack Obama’s signature policy achievement remains in place — for now. A key component of that plan, the health insurance marketplace, continues during the annual sign-up period, with a deadline of Jan. 31.
“There’s an unprecedented swelling of curiosity,” said Jessie Menkens, navigator program coordinator with the Alaska Primary Care Association. “People are seeking our help. There’s a lot of questions looming with the upcoming administration.”
Community members are working to find solutions for the issue of teen homeless in the Homer area ranging from providing resources for clothing and food to searching for a way to legally house minors without a roof over their heads.
Homelessness in Homer looks different than many people picture the situation, said Jane Dunn, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District homeless liaison serving southern peninsula and Ninilchik schools. Very few homeless people are sleeping out on the streets, as one might see in a metropolis.