Local News

Services vs. Revenue

At a Town Hall meeting last week to discuss city of Homer budget options, about 50 people heard City Manager Katie Koester propose ways to bridge a $1 million fiscal gap in the 2016 budget. Citizens and the Homer City Council have three choices in balancing next year’s budget:

• Cut city services drastically;

• Raise revenues; or

• A combination of cuts and new revenues.

Alaska storm drops 11.2 inches of snow in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS — Thousands of Alaska residents are without power after a major snowstorm socked the Fairbanks area and forced a grocery to store frozen food outside.

The National Weather Service says 11.2 inches of snow fell in Fairbanks through early Wednesday.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that 15,000 Golden Valley Electric Association customers were without power Wednesday because of trees falling into power lines. Some residents may be without power for days.

Nikiski voters to decide law enforcement issue

Voters will have another shot at taking steps to reduce crime in Nikiski when they head to the polls on Oct. 6.

Proposition 2 seeks to create a law enforcement service area following the same boundaries as the Nikiski Fire Service Area, including a section on the west side of Cook Inlet. 

A yes vote on the proposition would also establish a service area board and the potential for Nikiski to have its own police agency.

Juneau businesses over voting incentive

JUNEAU — A trio of Juneau businesses will be discounting coffee drinks for all customers the day after the municipal elections. These discounts, however, come with a catch: they are contingent on voter turnout.

On Oct. 7, Coppa, GonZo and the Rookery will match the voter turnout in their respective voting precincts with corresponding coffee discounts, according to a press release.

$42,500 settlement OK’d by council in condominium case

In the long-running Ken Castner v. City of Homer case, the Homer City Council on Monday approved a $42,500 settlement with Castner and his attorney. The council met in executive session to consider a settlement offer from Castner’s attorney, Stephan Williams. Castner said he will receive $100 in the settlement, with the rest going to Williams for attorney and other fees.

“There was no benefit for either side not to settle,” Castner said. “This was a fair-and-square deal which relieved us both from litigation.”

Ted Wiard: Life After Grief

Editor's note: The photo caption has been corrected to identify the Wiard brothers properly.

It’s called compounded complicated grief — when one loss follows another. And another. When a person doesn’t have time to process the first shattering before the next one happens.

‘Pirate’ arrested for terroristic threats at ferry terminal

A man witnesses described as “dressed like a pirate” faces a charge of second-degree terroristic threatening, a felony, following an incident last Friday evening at the Homer Ferry Terminal. Homer police arrested Bret Herrick, 54, on the charge. No one was injured, and Herrick did not resist arrest, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.

Rolling Into Fall

Yellow birches and crimson fireweed bring a dash of color to Kachemak Bay scenery, as seen from the Reber Trail in these photos taken this week. The Kenai Mountains and higher elevations in Homer also got a sprinkling of termination dust.

Derby Jackpot goes to novice angler from Minnesota

When Homer Chamber of Commerce President Tom Stroozas called the 30th Annual Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby winner on speakerphone Monday night to tell her the big news, the assembled crowd at the visitor’s center waited breathlessly for her response.

For a few seconds, they heard only silence.

“Did she faint?” Stroozas asked.

It turned out that Linda Scott was fully conscious, the connection had just been lost. 

Police find basket vandal, but no charges yet filed

Tire tracks and a tip lead police last week to the man who burned and then destroyed the Burning Basket. An 18-year-old high school student confessed to both acts of vandalism on the weekend of Sept. 11-13. Homer Police have forwarded charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, to the Kenai District Attorney, Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said. 

Halibut Festival includes serious talk amid the fun

For many Homer residents, last weekend’s inaugural Halibut Festival provided an opportunity to be immersed in the marine world. 

From a fun run to a fish fry to a halibut cabaret, most of the weekend was a celebration of Homer’s iconic resource. But much of the discussion at Saturday’s “State of Our Halibut” lecture series at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center was serious and centered around a major issue: the total mass of Pacific halibut is shrinking and no one is entirely sure why or what to do about it.

Body of missing Colorado man found near Kenai Lake shore

The body of 34-year-old Daniel Compeau, a Colorado man who went missing near Kenai Lake last month, has been found, Alaska State Troopers say.

Soldotna troopers got a call that someone found the body near the Kenai Lake shoreline on Sept. 15. It was identified by the state medical examiner Monday, according to a trooper dispatch. Compeau’s next of kin have been contacted.

Cannabis panel waits for state to finish regs

Now that cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been made legal in Alaska for possession and ultimately cultivation, processing and retail sale, many advocates of a legal cannabis industry can’t wait for the market to bloom. Some want to see social clubs while others see a potential boom in real estate for cannabis-related businesses.

Not so fast, though. Members of the Homer Cannabis Advisory Commission and the Alaska Marijuana Control Board both have the same message: Wait.

Mediation yields no results for school district, associations

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Kenai Peninsula Education and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support associations did not reach a tentative agreement through the closed mediation process that took place Monday and Tuesday.

From here the school district’s negotiation team or the associations, which chose to work together during collective bargaining for teacher and support staff contracts originally set to begin on July 1, may choose to again meet face-to-face or request entering advisory arbitration. 

Budget, beaches, bud hot subjects at debate

Homer got its first look at most of the Homer City Council candidates last Friday for the Friends of the Homer Public Library debate. Moderator Michael Hawfield, a Kachemak Bay Campus history professor, asked each candidate a set of questions. Audience members also submitted written questions. Issues covered the A-B-C’s of civic issues, from C for cannabis to B for budget and, well, A for anything.

Co-op oysters safe despite Halibut Cove PSP scare

Although the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation last week shut down a Halibut Cove oyster farm because of increased paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) levels, oysters sold by the Kachemak Bay Shellfish Growers Cooperative remain safe to eat, Marie Bader, the president of the Kachemak Shellfish Mariculture Association said on Monday.

“We want the general public to have full faith in the co-op, and we will only sell product that is 100-percent safe for them to eat,” Bader said.

R.E.C Room receives donations from Homer Elks

Homer Elks Lodge No. 2127 Exhaulted Ruler Justin Cole, second from right, and Marlena “Mo” Hodgdon PER and grant writer, second from left, dropped by the R.E.C. Room on a sunny summer afternoon to donate much-needed supplies for youth. Among the donations were XtraTuf boots for winter, an Apple laptop for Youth On Record Alaska and other youth programming, warm winter clothes, sleeping pads and after -chool snacks. This funding was provided through the Elks National Foundation Grant.

Smoked seafood school offered in Kodiak

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is offering a three-day smoked seafood school in Kodiak, Oct. 7-9.

Chris Sannito, Marine Advisory seafood technology specialist, and John Springer, from Enviro-Pak in Clackamas, Ore., will lead lectures and hands-on activities. The class will be held at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, a branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Local News