A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued an Anchor Point man and three other people last Friday after their boat capsized off Knight Island in Prince William Sound. Crew in a Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak found and hoisted to safety Roy Whiteside, 45, of Anchor Point, Uriah Rolando, 40, of Anchorage, Orin Rolando, 28, and Joel Balzer, 43, both city unknown. According to a Coast Guard press release, the four men were taken to Cordova with no medical concerns.
A new picnic pavilion near the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon and at the trailhead and kayak launch site for the Kachemak Bay Water Trail was completed last week. The pavilion in the campground by the fishing hole and Pier One Theatre replaces a picnic shelter torn down several years ago that had been by the Homer Spit Road. Last week, volunteer builders finished attaching the green-metal roof to the timber-frame structure.
ANCHORAGE — Gov. Bill Walker had every right to cut Alaskans’ Permanent Fund Dividend in half, according to a state court judge.
The court has ruled in favor of the state in the PFD case filed by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, and former state Sens. Rick Halford and Clem Tillion.
Oral arguments were heard in Superior Court Third Judicial District in Anchorage on Thursday, Nov. 17. Judge William Morse ruled immediately following the arguments.
A barge en route to Alaska from Washington that broke down this week caused a temporary turkey shortage at the Homer Safeway grocery store on Wednesday and Thursday. A check of the store on Thursday afternoon showed chickens, ribs and hams, but not the main dish for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“What the hell? A week before Thanksgiving? Are you insane?” irate customer Allison Schaefer told the Homer News after she tried to get a turkey on Wednesday.
Fear not — the turkeys arrived at Safeway on Friday, Nov. 18.
Although the Alaska House has organized a bipartisan caucus, the Alaska Senate will look much the same as it has for several years, but it will be led by Fairbanks Republican Sen. Pete Kelly as the state’s new Senate president, taking over for Anchorage Republican Sen. Kevin Meyer. Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kenai, will be chair of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.
Meyer is now chair of the Senate Rules Committee.
A change of plea hearing for Stephen Boyle set for Nov. 9 has been continued to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Homer Courthouse. Boyle had been scheduled to enter a plea, but his lawyer, Andy Pevehouse, said they had just that day received a plea agreement and offer from the state.
Boyle, 43, was charged in June with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Boyle was the deputy fire chief for Kachemak Emergency Services but no longer works for KES.
Fishermen this week remembered the contributions to the Alaska fishing community of veteran Homer commercial fisherman Kenneth Jones.
Jones, 72, died sometime Sunday or early Monday in a kayak accident. A memorial service for him is at 6:30 p.m. today at Land’s End Resort.
“He was really, really well known around the state as a good fisherman,” said Ken Castner, who fished one winter with Jones. “He was always one of the top fishermen. He taught a lot of people how to fish.”
Construction on the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, or SPARC, building is making steady progress toward organizers’ goal of having the community recreation building open for games before the end of the year.
Volunteers began building the steel frame structure on Monday, Nov. 14 and plan to put up the fabric covering that will enclose the building shortly after Thanksgiving, said Daniel Zatz of the soccer association.
The day after he was elected to an eighth term representing District 31 in the Alaska House, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, joined two other Republicans, 17 Democrats and two independents to form a new House majority caucus. Seaton will be co-chair of Finance for the operating budget — his only committee assignment.
“Writing the operating budget is a big enough job,” Seaton said on Monday in a phone call from Seattle.
A longtime Homer fisherman reported overdue from a kayaking trip on Sunday was found dead by a fellow fisherman early Monday morning. The body of Ken Jones, 72, was found in the water off the Anchor Point bluff about 2:30 a.m. Monday, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl. Six fishing boats had gone out searching, and another fisherman found Jones’ single-person kayak about 1 mile from his body. Police do not suspect foul play, Robl said. Next of kin have been notified.
Homer celebrates Veterans Day
It’s that time of year again at the Homer News – the Great Turkey Giveaway is back and we’ve partnered with fantastic advertisers to help you put Tom Turkey on the table this Thanksgiving season.
To enter, pick up a copy of the Homer News and fill out a turkey for one of our advertisers, then drop by the business listed on the turkey and drop it off in one of the Homer News turkey boxes. Winners will be chosen and notified November 18, 2016.
Veterans Day ceremonies start at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Homer Emblem Club Veterans Memorial at the corner of Lake Street and Pioneer Avenue. The Anchor Point Veterans of Foreign Wars holds a brief ceremony there. A parade of veterans organizations then proceeds west on Pioneer Avenue to Main Street, south on Main Street, and east on the Sterling Highway. The parade ends at the American Legion Post 16 General Buckner memorial at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.
Editor's note: The name of Louie Gjosund was spelled incorrectly and has been corrected.
An early morning fire burned to the deck a 32-foot commercial fishing boat at the Homer Harbor on Nov. 3.
In the first use of a new harbor fire-fighting system, Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and Homer harbor officers were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby boats and harbor floats.
A Soldotna sportfish charter captain charged with fishing violations after he bragged about his clients’ catch on Facebook in May 2015 pleaded guilty last month to two amended charges for taking halibut in violation of National Marine Fisheries Service rules. Erickson pleaded guilty to taking two halibut for himself while guiding on two trips.
Doo-dee-doop. That’s the sound lower Kenai Peninsula residents get when they try to call the Alaska State Troopers nonemergency dispatch phone number, 907-235-8239. The three-tone beep is followed by a recorded message saying “We’re sorry. Your call cannot be completed as dialed.”
Short-lived outage on Oct. 28 hits
thousands of HEA customers
A widespread outage cut power to more than 9,000 consumers of Homer Electric Association, Inc. on the Kenai Peninsula last Friday afternoon.
HEA’s Bruce Shelley said staff became aware of the outage around 12:45 p.m. Oct. 28 and that it affected 9,577 consumers. The outage spread from the Soldotna Sterling Highway bridge to within about 8 miles of Homer, Shelley said.
Luckily for those people, the outage didn’t last long. Power was returned to all the customers shortly after 2 p.m., Shelley said.
The city won’t object to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game installing a gate at the top of the Airport Beach Access Road off Kachemak Drive, City Manager Katie Koester said in a letter last week.
At the Oct. 24 Homer City Council meeting, Koester told the council of Fish and Game plans to put in a gate at the top of the road. In her city manager’s report, Koester said that unless the council directed otherwise, she would send a letter to the state saying the city had no objection to a gate. The council did not object to the gate.
The 2016 Rotary Health Fair will provide the Homer-area community with an opportunity to consult with a new array of doctors, get a flu shot, do a variety of wellness checks and even enjoy a massage.
The fair, which has served Homer residents for 33 years, has many services for the community to take advantage of from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School.
Northern lights sine over Homer as seen from Diamond Ridge early Sunday morning. The Orionoid meteor shower also happened that night. One meteor can be seen flashing in the lower right of this photo. Alaska as far south as Kodiak had spectacular aurora viewing through early Tuesday morning. This photo was taken ag f 4.5 with a 70mm Nikkor lens on a Nikon D7100 camera at 2000 ISO for an exposure of 15 seconds. Atomic particles hitting the upper atmosphere cause the glow of the northern lights. Red and green colors are caused by particles hitting oxygen molecules.