Story last updated at 2:07 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2002

In business
Save-U-More got a last-minute reprieve and will remain in its Pioneer Avenue location for another three months. "We're going to stay where we are," Valentin Caspaar said Tuesday, rather than move to a temporary location on Olson Lane.

Late last week a sign on the door prepared customers for the move. But Caspaar, chief executive of Inorex Inc., which owns Save-U-More stores in Alaska, said he worked out a deal with building owner Ray Evarts for the store to stay put.

Evarts had served the popular, cut-rate store in Kachemak Center with eviction papers in December, and went to court in April to force the store out. An Anchorage judge stepped in, however, and gave Save-U-More until Monday, May 13, to move. But earlier this week, Caspaar said, he and Evarts agreed to a plan that gives Save-U-More until mid-August to move out.

Caspaar plans to build a 21,000-square foot building on a lot between the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue behind the Homer Council on the Arts. The $1 million store will carry a wider range of products, Caspaar said, including clothes and recreational equipment.

Caspaar said Tuesday that he hoped to break ground on the new store "in a week or so." As of Tuesday afternoon, however, he had not yet submitted applications for the city permits he needs, according to the city planning and public works departments.

The National Association of Letter Carriers, in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, will be collecting nonperishable food items Saturday to help local families in need.

Food donations, such as boxed cereals and rice, canned soups, juices, pastas, canned vegetables and similar items may be placed in home mailboxes before the letter carrier arrives on Saturday. The carrier will take the donation to the local post office for delivery to area food pantries.

Food donations may also be deposited in a container in the lobby of the Homer Post Office this week through Saturday. The Anchor Point and Ninilchik post offices are also participating in the food collection effort.

First National Bank Alaska has tallied $116,735 in donations to nonprofit organizations from Juneau to Homer during the first quarter of this year. Among the donations was $2,000 to the Homer Council on the Arts to help in the purchase of its building for a Community Arts Center, according to bank spokesman David Haynes. While the arts council requested $4,642, Haynes said the banks "intent is to donate the rest next year," if possible.

Other First National donations included $1,000 to the Kenai Peninsula College, $500 to Bunnell Street Gallery, $100 to South Peninsula Hospital and $150 to the Hospice of Kenai.

Main Street Mercantile will open for business on Friday, according to NOMAR operator Kate Mitchell who has been restoring the historic building at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Main Street.

The retail shop is planned as an effort to recall the pioneer days of early Homer with decor and business-related items from decades past.

"It was the center of the community in 1936," Mitchell said. "We're trying to bring that wonderful history back." The shop is continuing to seek old-time decorations and mementos from the pioneer past.

A "Birder's Coffee" will offered Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Visitor Center on the Sterling Highway in Homer. The coffee, sponsored by Captain's Coffee and Fresh Sourdough Express Bakery, will be in conjunction with the Shorebird Festival. The Visitor Center was to open at noon Wednesday, with regular hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday through the end of May. Hours during this weekend's shorebird festival will vary.

K Bay Caffe at Mile 3.2 on East End Road has opened for the season with an expanded sandwich and deli menu, drive-through service and an espresso bar. Deli and grilled sandwiches are available, but customers are advised to call 235-1551 about 10 minutes ahead for drive-through pick up. Hours are 6:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m - 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Whale's Cove Fish 'n' Chips in Thompson's Fishing Village on the Homer Spit boardwalk has reopened for the season. Hours are noon to 9 p.m., seven days a week.