Local News

New judge assigned in recall suit

Despite an expedited court schedule in a lawsuit by three Homer City Council members seeking to stop a June 13 recall election, public notice of the election will proceed. The city has to issue a notice 30 days in advance, or by May 18. It also has to print election ballots soon. The deadline to register to vote in that election is May 14.

5.2 quake hits Kenai Peninsula

A 5.4 earthquake that first seemed like a sudden gust of wind struck the Kenai Peninsula at 8:25 p.m. Saturday night. The quake quickly accelerated, rattling wood frame houses and causing some objects to fall off shelves. The quake hit at a depth of 40 miles in Cook Inlet about 10 miles north of Ninilchik and 39 miles north of Homer. According to “did you feel it?” reports to the U.S. Geological Survey, people described the earthquake as having light shaking with no damage.

Shorebirds visit right on time

As if turning a switch, thousands of shorebirds arrived May 3, pushed north and west by a storm with winds up to 35 mph. Predictions that the peak of the migration would hit right during the 25th annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival May 4-7 proved spot on, justifying a decision to move the festival up a week this year.

Tustumena return delayed until July 18

Rusted or pitted steel discovered during the M/V Tustumena’s overhaul will mean another delay in the 53-year-old state ferry’s return to service — this time to 5 p.m. July 18, when the Tustumena returns to Homer. Now undergoing work at the Vigor Ketchikan shipyard, workers discovered the rusted or pitted steel, called steel wastage, in the engine room. The ferry went in for its overhaul on March 13.

Homer gives huge welcome to USS Hopper

Fifty flags on the Homer Spit beach and perhaps 500 people greeted USS Hopper, the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, based U.S. Navy destroyer, as it rounded Coal Point at the end of the Spit on Saturday. Homer Downtown Rotary provided U.S. Flags, and rows of them lined the beach in front of Land’s End Resort. As Hopper pulled past the Spit, rows of sailors lined the decks. One family, Ralph Crane, his daughter Joy Overson and his granddaughter Faith Overson, waved a large American flag and an Alaska flag.

Homer News wins Best Weekly

At the Alaska Press Club awards banquet in Anchorage on Saturday, the Homer News won first place for Best Weekly in the 2016 awards year. Honored for their efforts were editor and publisher Lori Evans, reporter Michael Armstrong, former reporter Anna Frost and former graphics artist Aaron Carpenter. Of the paper, judge Cheryl Thompson said, “Newsy, scrappy. Terrific photos … I love everything about it.”

Hundreds march for science

About 450 people participated in the Homer March for Science on Saturday, Earth, part of national and international events to show support for science and research. Protesters dressed up as sea stars, whales and even a science library. Some wore knitted “brain” hats. At one point the line of marchers stretched from Kachemak Way to Main Street along Pioneer Avenue. The Bossy Pants Band of the Krewe of Gambrinus also marched in the event, playing the theme song for popular science personality Bill Nye’s TV show. Many of the participants came from Homer’s active science and teaching community, including marine mammal biologists, mathematicians, ecologists, geologists and oceanographers.

Community cleans up

Volunteers last Saturday collected about 800 bags of trash and 50 bags of recyclable trash during the annual Homer Community Clean Up sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce &Visitor Center.

Council spikes assessment resolution

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre visited the Homer City Council at its Monday night meeting to field criticism over the borough’s recent property assessments in the Homer area, but also to defend the assessor’s model in calculating taxable property at the “full and true value,” as mandated in state law.

Council members challenge recall election

In a March 9 memorandum regarding certification of a petition for recall of Homer City Council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, City Attorney Holly Wells warned the council and Mayor Bryan Zak that “issuance of the Recall Petition on the grounds provided by the sponsors exposes the city to constitutional challenges based upon protections afforded speech under the Alaska and United States Constitutions.”

Sen. Sullivan visits Homer on Friday

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R- Alaska, visits Homer for a community meeting from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Homer Harbormaster’s Office conference room. The community is invited to meet Sullivan and share thoughts and concerns. Sullivan also visits the Ninilchik Senior Center on Friday. Sullivan has been visiting Alaska communities this past week, including Wainwright and Utqiagvik (Barrow).

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