Local News

Drug for opiate withdrawal seeing abuse

A drug prescribed to treat the symptoms of opiate withdrawal has started showing up in court reports as being abused. In two separate incidents late last month, Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers charged two people with crimes suspected to be related to abuse of Suboxone, the brand name of buprenorphine. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said Suboxone has been around for awhile, but abuse in Alaska has been relatively new. 

Man dies at Ninilchik campground

An Anchorage man collapsed and later died on May 23 at a Ninilchik campground. According to an Alaska State Troopers press release, at about 9:20 p.m. troopers received a report that Henry Baldwin, 77, had collapsed and needed medical assistance. Ninilchik Emergency Medical Services medics responded and began resuscitative efforts, but after 30 minutes Baldwin was declared dead. Troopers said Baldwin died of natural causes and there were no signs of foul play. Troopers notified the State Medical Examiner’s office and the medical examiner did not require an autopsy.

Murkowski: Arctic issues important on global scale

For Sen. Lisa Murkowski, there aren’t many topics hotter than the Arctic these days, especially as the U.S. steps into the chairmanship role of the Arctic Council this year.

Alaska’s senior senator spoke last week about why discussing Arctic issues should be a nationwide priority. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental group consisting of eight member countries that addresses issues pertaining to Arctic governments and the 4 million people who live there. The U.S.’s chairmanship of the council will last through 2017.

The following interview has been edited for length.

Relay for Life to take place at West Homer Elementary

Because of issues with vehicle access to the Homer Middle School track, Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society fundraising and awareness event, has been moved to West Homer Elementary School. 

The time and date have not changed. Relay for Life starts with opening ceremonies and a survivors’ walk at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at noon Saturday.

Protest targets military exercise

About 100 people on land and sea last Friday afternoon protested the upcoming Northern Edge 2015, a joint military exercise running June 15-26 in the Gulf of Alaska. A flotilla of about a dozen boats from big seiners to a man in a kayak cruised off the Homer Spit while an enthusiastic group on shore waved banners and flags at the Seafarers Memorial.

Which way on Waddell? officials ask

“Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”

Alice asks the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” to which the Cheshire Cat replied, “That depends a good deal on where you want to go.” 

That’s the question the Homer Advisory Planning Commission has on its agenda for its 6:30 p.m. meeting June 17. In a public hearing, the commission seeks comments on which option it should choose in connecting an east-west road between Heath Street and Lake Street. Which way do people want to go on the Waddell Way project? Do they want:

Roanoke Island leaves Homer on last voyage

A formal ceremony that celebrated the end of an era also served as a bon voyage party for the 17 crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island. 

She set sail Wednesday morning on a 7,000-nautical mile journey from Homer to Baltimore, Md., to the Coast Guard yard where she will be decommissioned. On June 4, in a ceremony at the Homer Elks Lodge, Coast Guard officials formally decommissioned the cutter that has called Homer its home port for all its 23 years of service.

Youth film highlights issue of teen homelessness, shows next week

A 5-minute film, “Homeless in Homer,” shows at 6 p.m. June 11 at the Homer Theatre. The film was made by the local teen group Lead On! in partnership with White Stag Productions, South Peninsula Haven House, the R.E.C. Room, Homer Prevention Project and The Center. The film also is the launch for YRG, the Youth Resource Guide, www.homeryrg.org, an online resource guide. A panel discussion and community conversation follows the film. 

For more information, call the R.E.C. Room at 235-3436, ext. 102.

Bed-tax idea for Homer goes nowhere with city council

A plan to set a 2.5-percent Homer bed tax stopped on the first step of a process that would have required ultimate approval by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. In 4-2 vote, the Homer City Council at its May 26 regular meeting spiked the idea. 

Council member David Lewis had proposed putting on the fall ballot an advisory proposition asking voters to approve the tax. If the vote passed, it would then require borough assembly approval.

“We need to stop this here right now and not put it to the voters,” council member Bryan Zak said in voting against the bed tax.

Spit-raised kids play to bay sights, sounds


he town of Homer was born on the Spit so it makes sense that this 4.5-mile-long rocky handle of land also raises up generations of its kids. 

Take 14-year-old Finn, the namesake of Finn’s Pizza. A winter resident of Portland, Ore., Finn has spent every summer of his life on the Spit. When parents Sasha Raupp and Bjorn Larson opened the restaurant in 2001, they would put baby Finn to bed in a fish box in the attic space above the restaurant when they were closing up shop.

But once Finn was old enough to toddle down to the beach, he did. 

Coast Guard cutter forced into retirement

After 23 years of service, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island ends its tour of duty. Sometime soon it will sail away to be decommissioned at the Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore, Md. A farewell ceremony is at 10 a.m. today at the Homer Elks Lodge.

Homer won’t lose the 18 crewmembers and their families, however. An Island Class patrol boat, the 110-foot Roanoke Island will be replaced in Homer by a sister ship, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo, now stationed in Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico. 


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