Local News

Despite DNR decision, coal mine could happen

Alaska salmon scored a partial victory this week, but PacRim’s coal mine could still happen.

On Tuesday, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources granted an instream flow reservation, or IFR, to Chuitna Citizen’s Coalition for the lower section of Middle Creek. Middle Creek is part of the watershed for a proposed coal mine, and an integral part of the drainage process necessary to complete the mine. 

In victory for not taxing food, Prop 1 passes by wide margin

Proposition 1, a controversial ballot initiative to remove from some cities the right to tax groceries year-round, passed in a landslide Tuesday night, with overwhelming support in Homer.

Proposition 1 is the continuation of a 2008 citizens’ initiative to repeal the winter tax on nonprepared foods in the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s general law cities. Groceries are exempted from borough sales tax from Sept. 1-May 31. 

Dunne defeats Slaughter in assembly race

In the District 9 Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly race between two political novices, Willy Dunne, 60, handily defeated Dawson Slaughter, 25, with 56.26 percent to 43.51 percent of the vote in unofficial results. 

Dunne, of Fritz Creek, led in all precincts except Slaughter’s hometown of Anchor Point, where Slaughter won with 68.56 percent.

In the other lower peninsula borough race, incumbent school board member Elizabeth Downing ran unopposed and took 98 percent of the votes.

Aderhold wins council seat

In unofficial Homer City Council results, Donna Aderhold has emerged as the apparent top vote getter, taking 46 percent of votes cast. To avoid a run-off, candidates had to receive at least 20 percent of the total votes cast for two seats, said City Clerk Jo Johnson.

Aderhold easily overcame that bar.

That also means there won’t be a run-off for the second council seat, but at press time the race is too close to call, with incumbent council member Beauregard Burgess facing a tough fight to win re-election.

Nikiski voters shoot down law enforcement service area

Nikiski area residents shot down a law enforcement service area in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Barring any changes after absentee ballots are counted, Proposition 2 failed with 541 votes cast against it and 399 votes in favor of it.

The measure asked Nikiski voters to approve the creation of a Nikiski Law Enforcement Service Area along with a five-member board to tackle the issue of crime in the area. The board would have taken office immediately following the election.

Homer’s Jewish community celebrates High Holy Days

The signs of fall in Homer are many: the Spit closes, the tourists disperse back to their respective homes Outside. Fireweed burns red on the Reber Trail. Moose season ends.

And outside Elise Boyer’s house up East Hill Road, a line of cars fills the driveway. Inside, nine people have gathered to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.

Many people think that the highlight of a Jewish year, the big holiday, is Hanukkah, celebrated with dreidels and potato pancakes and close to Christmas. But not so. 

Outen abandons North Atlantic crossing

The British adventurer who arrived by kayak in Homer in August 2014 as part of an attempt to circumnavigate the world totally by muscle power has had to abandon ship during the last leg of her adventure, a trans-Atlantic Ocean crossing. Sarah Outen, 30, was picked up by a passing ship, the Federal Oshima, according to a report on her website, www.sarahouten.com.

Homer man celebrates his centennial Sept. 27

It’s not uncommon for children to live longer than the age of their parents, but when a father lives well into his 90s, the bar gets set a bit higher. On Sept. 27, Wendell Stout did just that. His father, Ray Stout, lived from 1885 to 1984, dying just two months short of his 100th birthday. On Sept. 27, Wendell Stout broke his dad’s record and celebrated his centennial. He had a private party with his son, Mark, 59, and friends, at his apartment at Friendship Terrace. The next day, Sept.

In Brief

Alaska Air Guard does rescue training

The Alaska Air Guard did water-rescue training in Kachemak Bay and Homer from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. The 210th, 211th, and 212th Rescue Squadrons of the Alaska Air Guard’s 176th Wing trained on water rescue tactics along with a boat crew as support personnel, the Alaska Air Guard said in a press release.

Anchor Point man faces federal weapons charges, making threats against law enforcement

An Anchor Point man faces federal charges for allegedly threatening law enforcement over the radio.

Larry Clarence Volz Jr., 58, was arrested Oct. 1 during a Federal Bureau of Investigation search of his home on the 41000 block of the Old Sterling Highway in Anchor Point. An FBI SWAT team executed a search warrant as part of a Safe Streets Task Force investigation, according to a statement from the FBI’s Anchorage office.

Dunne wins District 9 assembly race

In the District 9 Kenai Peninsula Borough District 9 Assembly race between two political novices, Willy Dunne, 60, handily defeated Dawson Slaughter, 25, with 56.26 percent to 43.51 percent in unofficial results. Dunne, of Fritz Creek, led in all precincts except Slaughter’s hometown of Anchor Point, where Slaughter won with 68.56 percent.

While new to elected office, Dunne has served on boards and commissions and as a 28-year Homer resident is widely known. He credited that experience with his election. Dunne also said he thought his message resonated better with voters.

Walker plans Homer visit

Gov. Bill Walker and First Lady Donna Walker visit Homer on Oct. 9 for two events.

At 2 p.m. at the Homer Senior Center, the Walkers are the featured speakers for the Southern Peninsula Senior Summit at the Homer Senior Center. The summit runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with representatives from several senior programs also speaking.

Political novices competing for assembly District 9 seat

Of the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s assembly districts, District 9 on the lower peninsula is one of the largest. At 3,400 square miles, as a Supercub plane flies, it spans 80 miles east to west. It includes some of the borough’s most remote and sparsely populated areas: Razdolna, Voznesenka, Kachemak Selo, Halibut Cove, Seldovia, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Anchor Point, Diamond Ridge and Fritz Creek. Like District 3, Nikiski, it’s also a district an assembly member would need a boat or plane to reach some villages. 

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.

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