Story last updated at 11:10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2002

In Business
Boat-up coffee available

Halibut Cove has added another interesting attraction to its ranks -- a floating cafE known as Mug Up Espresso.

Owner Jim Nardelli threw open Mug's doors June 22 with a grand opening, offering free drinks to all. Nardelli said he has been working hard to master the craft of pulling a world-class shot of espresso from his machine.

His drinks are made from imported Italian-roasted coffee beans.

Mug Up, located in Halibut Cove just past Quiet Place Lodge and across the channel from the Saltry Restaurant, is ready to receive boaters and kayakers.

Chamber seeks volunteers

The Homer Chamber of Commerce is currently recruiting additional volunteers to greet visitors arriving in Homer at the Visitor Information Center. Anyone with a couple of hours a week to share is encouraged to come and meet new people as well as learn interesting facts about Homer. Call 235-7740 to learn more.

Bank awarded 'Home$tart' funds

Wells Fargo Bank Alaska was recently awarded $200,000 for the 2002 Home$tart Savings Program by the Federal Home Loan Bank in Seattle. The Home$tart Savings Program is designed to help low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers accumulate funds for down payments and closing costs. The program matches every $1 the prospective homebuyer saves with $3, up to a maximum of $5,000, toward the purchase of a first home.

"We're excited to be able to continue this program. In the three years that we have offered this program, we have directly helped 79 first-time homebuyers buy a home," said Richard Strutz, regional president of Wells Fargo Bank Alaska, in a press release. "Plus, another 38 prospective first-time homeowners are now saving toward their goal of homeownership."

To be eligible for the program, applicants must make 80 percent or less of the median income (based on HUD's income guidelines adjusted by family size), and have not owned a home for three years prior to the purchase of a home through this program. Special consideration is given to former homeowners displaced due to a recent change in marital status.

The program also requires prospective buyers to save money for at least six months and complete a local homebuyer training class.

Once enrolled in the program, a home must be purchased within two years.

For complete details and an application for the Home$tart Savings Program, applicants may visit a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage loan office or call Wells Fargo Community Development at 907-265-2901.

The Federal Home Loan Bank's Web site,, has additional information for homebuyers and lenders.

Modular homes coming

Yenney and Associates Construction has been selected by Stratford Building Corp. as an authorized builder and dealer of the company's modular homes.

According to a release by Stratford Building Corp., the custom modular homes have been increasing in popularity, and currently account for 7 percent of custom homes built in America. The company is based in northern Idaho and has been building homes since 1994. For more information about the buildings, call 235-9691.