Local News

Restoring the indomita: A chance to learn

Sitting in the yard at Desperate Marine, it’s clear that the wooden sailing vessel Indomita needs a little paint and elbow grease. 

Wanting to see her restored to her former glory, the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society, or KBWBS, is working hard to make sure she is seaworthy once again.  

When one discovers the meaning of its name, it almost seems like this boat was always meant to be rebuilt. The word “indomita” in Italian means untamed, wild or unbeatable.  

Almost Finished

The state project shoring up the huge coastal erosion feature north of Anchor Point is wrapping up this week. This aerial image from Aug. 13 shows the sloping fill installed by contractor QAP and the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) at Sterling Highway Mile 153.35. The white lines are hoses irrigating grass planted on the surface mulch. Jason Baxley, a project supervisor with the DOT&PF, said that largely due to the favorable weather work is winding up 6 weeks ahead of schedule. “It’s gone very smoothly,” he said.

Seabird deaths, warm oceans, algal blooms puzzle scientists

A series of unusual ocean events in Kachemak Bay, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest has scientists wondering if warming oceans are causing everything from harmful algal blooms to seabird die-offs. So far, though, marine biologists have not yet made a direct connection between all these incidents:

• Reports of dead seabirds in Kachemak Bay that are at least twice normal numbers; 

• Warmer oceans in the bay and along the Pacific Ocean coast;

• A harmful algal bloom that has spread from southern California to Homer; and

Variety shapes culture of Spit

The vibrancy of the Spit depends on a mash-up of diverse elements and individuals: captains and slime liners, potters and biologists, Spit Rats and third-time cruise ship passengers, locals and people from all over the world, and crane operators and chefs and wanderers and everyone in between. This week’s Spit story reports on three outposts that help shape Spit culture.

 

LIVE THEATER ENERGIZES THE SPIT

Moose hunting on lower peninsula opens Sept. 1

In a change from 2014, moose hunting season in game management unit 15C, the lower Kenai Peninsula, opens on Sept. 1, later this year than in 2014. It runs through Sept. 25. Antlerless moose hunting opens on Oct. 20 and runs through Nov. 20. Resident moose hunters can take one bull with a spike on at least one side or 50-inch antlers or antlers with four or more brow tines. Nonresidents cannot take spike bulls.

In Brief

Editor's note: The story on a sentencing hearing for Demarqus Green has been updated on Aug. 21, 2015, to show a new date for sentencing.

Rototiller operator ruptures gas line

Residents in the Soundview Avenue area escaped injury last Thursday when a rototiller operator hit and ruptured a natural gas line. 

Beach run takes new focus: resiliency

For 22 years, Homer’s annual Run for Women, later the Breast Cancer Run, has raised awareness of breast cancer. Sponsored by Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, this year the annual August run supports another of its programs, youth services, with a new name, the Resiliency Run and Ride. The venue remains the same as last year, a beach run, walk or ride at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit.

Kenai Peninsula Fair promises fun for all

The 2015 Kenai Peninsula Fair is slated to be three days packed with an eclectic blend of entertainment, Friday through Sunday, at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds. 

This year’s homey theme, “Country Nights and Carnival Lights,” was chosen, not only to highlight that for the second year the festivities will include a swath of carnival rides, but also to encapsulate the essence of the decades-old community event.

“It embraces the spirit of the fair,” Executive Director Lara McGinnis said. “It’s a down-home country fair.” 

Time, tides change Spit

I

t was an idyllic childhood on the Homer Spit that Mo Hillstrand enjoyed during the summertime, when her parents, Mary and Earl Hillstrand, original owners of Land’s End, ran the hotel. 

Beginning with the hotel’s opening in 1958, the family would migrate down from Anchorage each summer and live in an apartment above the lobby. Hillstrand remembers making driftwood forts, swimming in ponds, and playing games of tag across the tops of tall stacks of crab pots.

7 file for 2 council positions

A last-day filing by three candidates on Monday boosted the Homer City Council election from four candidates last Friday to seven as of 5 p.m. Aug. 17. 

In Kenai Peninsula Borough elections, Anchor Point resident Dawson Slaughter made the election for the District 9 borough assembly seat a contest when he filed against Fritz Creek resident Willy Dunne. District 9 assembly member Mako Haggerty cannot run for re-election because of term limits. District 9 is the seat for the southern Kenai Peninsula, excluding Homer.

Less restrictive beach policy proposal to be introduced at Sept. 14 meeting

Citizens riled up about a proposed city of Homer ordinance that would ban year-round driving on Bishop’s Beach and summer driving on the Homer Spit can save their energy in opposing it. 

Council member Catriona Reynolds, who sponsored Ordinance 15-29 with council member David Lewis, said this week that she will recommend a no vote on the ordinance. Reynolds said this week she didn’t think she had enough votes to pass the ordinance.

Hickory comes home

Holding signs that said things like "It's time to give your Mrs. her kisses," "Keep Calm: You're Home," "I'd wait for your forever, but four months is long enough" and simply "Finally," a group of U.S. Coast Guard wives and children and one brother waited on the Pioneer Dock Thursday for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory to return.

Homer’s Schroer inducted into Hall of Fame

When the state inducted a new class of luminaries into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame, the Kenai Peninsula had the chance to celebrate two of its own as they were recognized for their imprint upon the history of high school athletics.

Dave Schroer and Roger Steinbrecher are two of nine new inductees honored Aug. 2 at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage. With a combined 48 years of dedicated service to the Kenai Peninsula Borough — and years more of immeasurable success — both men have played critical roles in establishing and growing their community. 

Dunne files for assembly

Homer resident William R. “Willy” Dunne has filed to run for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly seat in District 9, South Peninsula. So far, Dunne is the only candidate to file for that seat. Because of term limits, District 9 assembly member Mako Haggerty cannot run for re-election.

Candidate filing periods opened earlier this month for Homer City Council seats and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, Board of Education and service area boards. The Homer filing period ends 5 p.m. Monday and the borough filing period ends at noon Monday.

Fairbanks assembly debates tax on pot sales

FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members are set to vote on a tax proposal on marijuana sales next week, but members can’t agree on how much to charge.

The assembly is having a special meeting on Aug. 20 to vote on a tax proposal about what tax rate to put before the voters on the Oct. 6 ballot, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

One measure calls for an 8 percent tax, the same rate applied to wholesale tobacco. Another, for a 5 percent tax, the same rate applied to alcohol.

Cordova man arrested in HEA burglary

Surveillance video and a chance encounter with a man sleeping in a stairwell at the Kachemak Center led to the arrest of that man, Patrick B. Jensen, 29, of Cordova, on charges of second-degree burglary and second-degree theft, both felonies. 

Homer Police allege Jensen broke into Homer Electric Association offices on Lake Street early on Aug. 5 and stole laptop computers, cell phones, food and other items valued at $1,800.

Unsolved murder remains police priority

Why hasn’t the killer of Mark Matthews been brought to justice? Two years after someone killed a Homer man near a popular downtown trail, that’s a question Matthews’ brother asked.

“Those cops, they’ve got that place wired. They have to know who did this,” Mike Kohel, one of three siblings of Matthews, said in a phone interview earlier this month from his home in Everett, Wash.

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