Borough sees increase in oil property values

The values of some oil and gas properties in the Kenai Peninsula Borough jumped in the most recent state assessment, producing about $1.1 million more for the borough in property taxes.

Much of that increase comes from the Nikiski area, where the tax values for the year increased by approximately $559,991, according to the borough’s fiscal year 2017 budget.

The increase allowed for a mill rate decrease for residents of Nikiski from 2.90 to 2.80 for the next year. The borough assembly approved the new mill rate at its June 7 meeting.

Announcements

The Exchange, a pilot syringe exchange program, offers free syringe exchanges every other Tuesday at the South Peninsula Hospital Training Center, 203 West Pioneer Avenue, in the southwest corner of the building. Exchanges are held 5-7 p.m. The next Exchange is July 5. The Exchange is a program established and operated by a group of individuals and agency representatives in the Homer area that support the idea of harm-reduction and safer drug use as a means of making our community a safer place to live.

Good fishing draws crowds to South Peninsula

I usually don’t fish on the weekends because it’s a great time to cruise the river accesses and The Spit to determine what’s being nailed, where and how, while listening to “scout’s honor” tales told ’round the cleaning tables.

Besides, being the size of a mutant Wookie, it would take a majorly modified shoehorn to fit me into some of my favorite spots when the hordes descend on the Kenai.

Last Saturday was a prime example of The Spit and its infamous fishing lagoon returning to the days when parking spaces and elbow room were at a premium.

Basketball takes Nikolaevsk native to next level

Two years ago, Nianiella Dorvall left her hometown of Nikolaevsk to attend Skagit Valley College in the state of Washington, making her Nikolaevsk School’s first female to play basketball at the college level. This June, Dorvall graduated with an associate degree in biology, a 3.97 grade point average, an award as a top scholar-athlete, and a full-ride scholarship to the public Washington university of her choice.

First tagged fish of the season caught

Anglers visiting Homer from various spots in the Lower 48 caught four tagged fish in the past two weeks, according to Jackpot Halibut Derby coordinator Kim Royce. Two of the fish caught had previous years’ tags, which are worth $100. One fish was released as part of the over-48-inches catch-and-release drawing for $1,000.

Garrett Tyson from Orlando, Florida, caught a fish with a 2015 tag on June 9. Tyson was fishing on the SeaWolf with Capt. Philip Warren from Inlet Charters.

Group says fracking will harm Cook Inlet beluga whales

ANCHORAGE — A national environmental group is asking federal fisheries officials to block a drilling company’s plans for offshore hydraulic fracturing in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

The Center for Biological Diversity says fracking by BlueCrest Energy will threaten endangered beluga whales.

The group says no hydraulic fracturing by the Fort Worth, Texas-based company should be allowed unless there’s additional environmental review.

Hydraulic fracturing is the extraction of oil and gas from rock through injection of high-pressure mixtures of water, sand and chemicals.

Bike Bucks? Ride for food to Homer Farmers Market

The Homer Farmers Market is in the perfect location.

Very few markets have the good fortune of a permanent location so that tents and infrastructure can stay up all summer.

That means that instead of just a pop-up tent village, our Market booths are more permanent, hand built, and full of personality.

I’ll just say it: we have a cute Farmers Market.

Permanent Fund exec: Dividend bill too optimistic

FAIRBANKS (AP) — The bill to restructure the Alaska Permanent Fund to help pay for government could be too optimistic about the market, the head of the corporation that manages the fund told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial board Tuesday.

Angela Rodell, the CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., said an annual draw of 5.25 percent of the market value of the fund could be tough to meet every year. That money would come from the fund’s earnings reserve account, not the fund’s principal.

David E. Hanrahan

David E. Hanrahan

1937-May 31, 2016

David “Dave” Earl Hanrahan, 79, died in his sleep of natural causes on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

A memorial will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 2, 2016, at the Homer United Methodist Church, 770 East End Road.

Proposal would move hospital service area south

A proposed ordinance before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly would move the hospital service area boundary south.

The move would shift Ninilchik from the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area to the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area, resulting in a drop in the mill rate for Ninilchik property owners. Residents of the southern service area pay a mill rate of approximately 2.3, while central peninsula service area residents pay a rate of .01.

Felony charges dismissed in park shooting incident

In hearings last Friday at the Homer Courthouse, Homer District Court Judge Margaret Murphy granted motions by defense attorneys to dismiss felony charges for two Homer men involved in a shooting on May 19 at Karen Hornaday Park. In separate hearings held telephonically Friday afternoon, June 10, on a motion by his defense attorney, Nathan Lockwood, Murphy dismissed a charge of third-degree assault with a deadly weapon and third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, methamphetamines, against Reily Arambul, 20.

Poet inspires writers at conference

Type in “Trethewey” on an iPhone, and autocorrect wants to turn the name into “Truth Way.”

That software glitch expresses the sentiment of poet and keynote speaker Natasha Trethewey’s talk last Friday at the state of the 15th annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, held June 10-14 at Land’s End Resort. To the conference attendees, Trethewey told the truth of her way to finding her voice as a writer.

Teen, others escape serious injury in Spit crash

Homer Volunteer Fire Department rescuers last Wednesday had to peel the roof off a crunched Toyota sedan that trapped a 17-year-old Homer boy. Even though a truck towing a boat and trailer had plowed into the passenger side of the Toyota, the victim, Trevor Fenex, escaped serious injury.

On Friday his mother, Amanda Herndon, said her son has muscle trauma and cuts to his right arm, but that otherwise was unhurt, with no broken bones.

Homer man accused of sexually abusing a minor

A Homer man accused of sexual abuse of a minor led police on a foot chase before being arrested last week.

Cim Joel Blair, 34, was arrested Friday in Homer and has been charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, according to court documents and an online Alaska State Troopers dispatch. The minor is the daughter of a Homer woman Blair had been dating and was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged abuse, according to an affidavit written by Trooper Peter Frederick.

Homer's Best Bets

If you lived in Homer on Dec. 21 and wondered where the heck all that daylight had gone, cheer up. You’ve found it. All those photons apparently crawled forward in time and landed on Tuesday, June 21. We’ll get a whopping 18 hours and 44 minutes then, or as they call it in Barrow, “a good start.”

Park users can get free bear-resistant containers

Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park has launched a Bear-Resistant-Food-Container (BRFC) lending program to promote safe and clean camping. These bear-proof food storage containers are available to borrow for camping and outdoor adventures in areas where bear hangs are not an option. Containers should be placed on the ground or under rocks at least 100 yards from a camping area.

The BRFCs can be checked out from the following locations:

• The Alaska Department of Fish and Game Homer office; $80 cash deposit, refunded upon return

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