When you pull over Baycrest Hill and catch a glimpse of the Spit, it almost looks like a hook dangling in the gaping mouth of Kachemak Bay.
And then you pass the sign proclaiming Homer to be the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.” Last year, 2.8 million pounds of halibut came over the Homer dock. That was 18 percent of total commercial halibut landings in the United States, and the most poundage of any Alaska port.
Which makes the Homer dock a busy place.
Safe kids, healthy families, peaceful communities – and bargain shopping. Homer Thrift strives to provide all those things, although not all are tangibly available off the shelf.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Voznesenka Community Council Inc. have not yet reached a lease agreement for the upcoming school year for the buildings that house the village school’s students. Changes in the assessed fair market value and summer fish runs have postponed mutual approval of a new contract.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is starting the budget process four months early for the 2016-2017 school year.
Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones is asking program directors to begin reviewing department expenditures and potential internal cuts.
The concern is how those reductions may translate to education in the classroom, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff. Cuts will likely need to be made in the areas of salaries and benefits, she said.
In the Buccaneer Oil bankruptcy case, some local businesses have been hit with a double whammy. Not only does Buccaneer still owe them money, a Houston, Texas, law firm has now sent them dunning letters asking back money Buccaneer had paid. The city of Homer and Homer Electric Association also have received letters for what’s called a “demand for recovery of preference payments.”
The upcoming subsistence gillnet fishery on the Kenai River can target sockeye, but kings are off limits.
A huge algal bloom present in the Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, Calif., to Alaska has been seen in Kachemak Bay, but so far has not been in large enough concentrations to cause problems here. Known sometimes as a red tide, the bloom of a plant, or phyto, plankton called pseudo-nitzschia closed razor clamming and shellfish harvesting in areas off the Oregon and Washington coast. Of concern is a chemical given off by the plankton, domoic acid.
A Soldotna sportfish charter captain bragging about his clients’ catch on Facebook has led to the captain being charged with 43 violations.
This evening there’s a party in Anchor Point. The Kachemak Heritage Land Trust (KHLT) is hosting “Take Me to the River,” a free public celebration of progress in preserving the Anchor River.
The event, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Coho Campground of the Anchor River State Recreation Area, combines food, fun and information for all ages. This family-friendly gathering will happen, rain or shine, thanks to the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce, which will provide a tent if needed.
When you’re standing at the tip of the Spit, you’re already four-and-a-half miles into Kachemak Bay. But the Spit has always served as the springboard to outings that take you far beyond those miles.
A 22-foot Chris Craft boat burned to the waterline and sank on the Fourth of July off Yukon Island, but all four mariners on board made it off safely in a life raft. A passing mariner rescued them. None of the boaters suffered injuries.
“Nobody got wet. They were a little rattled from the fire and that was it,” said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Dave Simonds of the Homer Marine Safety Detachment.
Homer scofflaws expecting “three hots and a cot” — three meals and a bed — when arrested by Alaska State Troopers will get a bonus under a new jail contract the city of Homer agreed to last month: a ride up the road.
If troopers arrest someone on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Homer area, prisoners will be taken to Kenai and a stay at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.
When it’s all tallied up, members the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly spent well over six hours listening to testimony on an ordinance that would have repealed portions of the borough’s controversial riparian habitat protection program.
All we needed were red knit caps.
On a recent weekday tour of Kachemak Bay, I felt like one of the crew of Jacques Cousteau’s famous ocean exploring boat, the Calypso.
July Fourth parade lineup
Silver King Campground, Anchor Point Road
Silver King Campground to Slide Hole Campground
2 p.m., VFW Post 10221, Milo Fritz Road.
Sign up, Horseshoe Tournament,
Ladies Auxiliary Prize Tree
2:30 p.m. Horseshoe Tournament starts
8 p.m., music, VFW Post
This year, the Fourth of July falls on Saturday, which means some good news for celebrants on the lower Kenai Peninsula:
• Hey, you might get Friday off, too. City, borough, state and federal offices are closed Friday, as is the Homer Senior Center lunch.
• That makes the holiday a three-day weekend, and from Seldovia to Ninilchik, there’s lots to do every day. See schedule, pages 12-13.
I would like to talk about community health, but I am not a health professional. Let me make that clear up front. Luckily, one of the beautiful things about this community is that nothing is black and white. All you have to do is read the opinion pieces in the newspaper in February to know that.
Most of the traffic at the Salty Dawg at 11 a.m. on a recent Monday consists of tourists buying sweatshirts. But there’s some workaday drinking going on in here, too, including three guys from Louisiana off the 250-foot M/V Reliant. Employed by a contractor for Crowley on a natural gas pipeline up Cook Inlet, they’d tied up at the Deep Water Dock in the early morning for boat repairs.
And they had been waiting eagerly since 8 a.m. for a cold beer.
“If you want a bit of advice, this Spit needs a place for 24-7 beer,” Luke Wamble says.
A reckless driver in a Jeep Cherokee on Pioneer Avenue about 8 p.m. June 25 prompted two people to make 911 calls. Police said several people also called on the nonemergency line. When the driver hit a stop sign at Forest Glen Drive off the Sterling Highway, that got the attention of an off-duty Alaska State Trooper driving by. The trooper then followed the woman.