Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:23 PM on Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's been a year of good news, sad news and some that was a little of both.





 

For instance, severe winter weather in January closed schools, government offices and businesses and even relocated the "Green Can," the Archimandritof Shoal buoy. All that snow was beneficial for the Iditarod-qualifying Tustumena 200, however, that made a stop at McNeil Canyon Elementary School.

Legislative funding escaping Gov. Sean Parnell's veto pen meant the Homer City Council stayed busy with plans to bring natural gas to the southern peninsula. City residents are now considering formation of a special assessment district to bring natural gas to the entire city. Legislative funding also resulted in a new Homer High School track.

The Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby took on a new shape as organizers considered the future of halibut stocks. Tagged halibut, rather than the biggest flat fish, offered the most prize-winning opportunities.

The Homer City Council lost one council member, with the resignation of Kevin Hogan, and gained Beauregard "Beau" Burgess, appointed to fill the vacancy. Municipal, primary and general elections saw some interesting campaigns, but little change for the southern peninsula.

The Homer Playground Project, HoPP, and hundreds of volunteers created a new Karen Hornaday Park playground. South Peninsula Hospital purchased Homer Medical Clinic. The 2012 Relay For Life of Homer raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society. Fireweed Academy hired its first principal. Homer resident Vicky Sarber was crowned Mrs. Alaska.

A teen drinking party in September resulted in the arrest of two brothers, ages 18 and 20, and a 16-year-old boy for sexual assault. The incident drew together young and old, joined once by Gov. Sean Parnell, to discuss sexual violence and teen drinking.

Buccaneer Energy's jack-up rig, Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, arrived in August, destined for the company's Cook Inlet leases. In December, Buccaneer and Acher, the company hired to operate the rig, parted ways. Buccaneer blamed Archer for the rig's slow departure; Archer has sued Buccaneer for payment for services and expenses. For now, the Endeavour-Spirit of Independence remains at the city's Deep Water Dock, with work, as well as permits for the company's proposed project off Stariski, still needed.

January

Father Jesse Sherwood gained another guy in the family when mother Rhonda Velsko gave birth to Homer's first baby, Nicholas Paul Sherwood at 4:49 a.m. Jan. 3. Nicholas joined sisters Rylee, Darci, Natalia and Evelyn., Read More...

Kayt Andrews, the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area's EMS Chief, was appointed acting chief after the departure of Ben Maxon. Andrews was later named interim chief., Read More...

A blizzard on Jan. 10 dumped a few inches of snow, but 70 mph winds whipped it up into drifts 15-feet high. The blizzard shut down the lower Kenai Peninsula, including schools, the Homer Public Library, city offices and many shops and cafes., Read More...

A group proposed a 2,000-mile personal watercraft race that would run from Whittier to Lake Iliamna, passing by Kachemak Bay and up lower Cook Inlet, with checkpoints in Port Graham., Read More...

The Alaska Board of Game on Jan. 16 approved aerial wolf predator control on the Kenai Peninsula, saying it's necessary to address low moose populations in the central and lower peninsula., Read More...

Scott Harding, a supporter of Homer's Relay for Life cancer fundraiser, died of multiple myeloma on Jan. 3., Read More...

Two longtime Homer pioneers also died: Olive Kolar, whose family had a 160-acre homestead and started the Kachemak Food Cache in the 1950s, and Helene Morawitz, who moved to Homer in 1948 with her husband Joe Morawitz., Read More... , Read More...

Fans of sled dog racing didn't have to travel far to see the Tustumena 200 sled dog race. This year, the race passed through a checkpoint at McNeil Canyon Elementary School, giving people a chance to see mushers and their teams up close. Cim Smyth won the Tusty 200., Read More...

The Homer City Council sent a revised sign code ordinance back to the Homer Advisory Planning Commission to work more on changes to temporary or sandwich board signs. The planning commission had proposed limiting sandwich board signs to 14 days in a 90-day period. Some business owners told the council sandwich board signs helped in advertising. When the ordinance came back to the council in the council split 3-3 on allowing sandwich board signs to be up year round. Mayor James Hornaday broke the tie in favor of year-round temporary signs., Read More... , Read More...


 

From left: Joe Isenhour, Aaron Isenhour, A.J. Isenhour, Emmitt Trimble, Lauren Isenhour

February

Severe cold, a nasty northerly and thick harbor ice made getting out to sea tough for the small handful of fishermen working out of the Homer Harbor in January. Al Ray Carroll said ice coating the anchor of the F/V Amber Dawn makes it look "like some Viking sculpture." Ice also shoved the Archimaditof Shoal buoy -- commonly known as "the Green Can" -- off station., Read More...

Two lifelong elders died in January. Edna Lillian Steik, born in 1934 in Ninilchik, Read More... and Michael "Micky" Balashoff III, born in 1938 in Seldovia, passed., Read More...

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies named Beth Trowbridge its new executive director. Trowbridge had been the program director and Wynn Nature Center director, and served as acting director three times, most recently after the resignation of Mike Allen., Read More...

In an era of uncertainty about the future of halibut stocks and the amount of halibut Homer's charter fleet can catch, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center announced major changes to its Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby. It reduced the jackpot prize to $10,000, added two grand-prize tagged fish worth $50,000 and a Stanley Ford of Kenai Ford truck, and eliminated monthly prizes for trophy halibut. It also added monthly prizes for catch-and-release halibut., Read More...

A Ninilchik elder born in 1919 died. Margaret Jackinsky "Jackie" Pearl, 92, passed away at her home in Reno, Nev., Read More...

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District proposed changing area bus schedules as a way to reduce a $750,000 transportation fund deficit. The idea eventually was scrapped after ///, Read More...

The brother of Jason Karlo Anderson, a Duluth, Minn., wanted drug dealer who killed himself in a shootout with Homer Police and U.S. Marshals at the Homer Airport in March 2006, also died in a shootout in Superior, Wis. Luke Anderson stole a car from a woman at gunpoint, but took his own car when it failed to start. Police tracked him and fired at Anderson when he refused to drop his gun. Anderson also shot himself with his own gun., Read More...

As an addition to its Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center announced another contest: the Homer Shopping Derby. People who buy a $10 shopping derby ticket and get it stamped at participating merchants increase their chances to win $5,000., Read More...

Edith Parsons, 82, an Anchor Point homesteader, died Feb. 22., Read More...


 

Photo by Michael Armstrong

Children try out the new equipment at the Homer Playground Project on Sunday.

March

An overabundance of snowshoe hares caused a decimation of spruce trees and berry bushes. Biologists said it was the biggest population of hares since the early 1980s., Read More...

The Homer Prevention Project received a $1 million Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant to address alcohol abuse by youth ages 12-20 and adult binge drinking., Read More...

Alaska State Troopers busted a large underage drinking party on Basargin Road. Many partiers scattered when troopers arrived, leaving behind cars, some with keys in the ignition and still running. Troopers charged two men with minor consuming alcohol and another man with resisting arrest., Read More...

The Homer Playground Project moved closer to its goal of raising $220,000 when the Homer City Council appropriated $50,000 to the project. Project coordinator Miranda Weiss said private donations hit $31,000, but Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche corrected her when he said it should be $41,000 because ConocoPhillips gave HoPP a $10,000 grant., Read More...

Homer Council member Kevin Hogan resigned at the March 12 council meeting, saying he had a conflict of interest because he intended to file a complaint with the U.S. Maritime Commission alleging unfair treatment to his business, the Auction Block. The council voted to accept Hogan's resignation, but the vote failed for lack of the four votes needed. Council member David Lewis initially voted against accepting Hogan's resignation, saying he didn't want Hogan "to pull a Sarah Palin." Lewis changed his vote on reconsideration., Read More...

In the District 30 Republican Party presidential preference poll, Rick Santorum won over Mitt Romney, the opposite of statewide results., Read More...

Homer artist Erik Behnke's work was selected to be in DOWNright ART, a celebration of visual and performing arts for World Down Syndrome Day on March 2 in New York., Read More...

Anchor Point angler Emmitt Trimble won the Homer Winter King Tournament with a 34.85-pound king worth $285.62 a pound -- the $9,954 prize he took home., Read More...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Jeff Williams won the service's $50,000 Science Leadership award, but he doesn't actually get the money. It will go to fund Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge science programs., Read More...

South Peninsula Haven House director Peg Coleman's last duty ended with coordinating the Women of Distinction awards banquet. Coleman left to run the Utah Domestic Violence Council. Haven House appointed Jessica Lawmaster, director of the Child Advocacy Center, as interim director. Lawmaster was later selected as director., Read More...

Sue Lewis put on a tiara and became queen for a day as she celebrated her 100th birthday at the Homer Senior Center., Read More...

Peter Eden, owner of Alaska Wild Berry Products, announced he will close the business, established by Ken and Hazel Heath in 1946 on Pioneer Avenue. Eden grew the business from the Hazel store to businesses also in Anchorage and Wasilla. All three properties are up for sale., Read More...

The Homer City Council put off making changes to the water and sewer rate schedule passed earlier, but decided to create a citizen and council-member task force to look at the rates. Council member Bryan Zak had proposed eliminating a $45 per-unit service charge, but the council defeated it in a 1-4 vote., Read More...

A large plastic foam buoy, the first suspected piece of marine debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami, was found on the Diamond Creek beach. Similar buoys have been found in unusual amounts on other Alaska beaches., Read More...

The Alaska Volcano Observatory measured elevated levels of gases and increased seismic activity on Iliamna Volcano. Seismicity remained above background level into December, and Iliamna was at volcano alert level advisory and aviation code yellow., Read More...

April

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, paid Homer a visit, crowding into her schedule a visit to KBBI AM 890's Coffee Table call-in show, a meeting with area peony flower growers, a tour of the new Seldovia Village Tribe's wellness center, a talk at the Homer Chamber of Commerce luncheon and a visit with Homer High School students. "There are towns that I visit that make me feel good because the communities are healthy, energetic, enterprising communities," she told the standing-room only crowd at the chamber luncheon. "You should be proud that Homer falls into that category." She made national headlines when in response to a question on KBBI about her position on reproductive rights, Murkowski said, "It makes no sense to make this attack on women. If you don't feel this is an attak, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters.", Read More...

The six personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment moved from Kenai to Homer, filling up the Pioneer Avenue and Main Street space formerly occupied by Main Street Mercantile and Sweet Berries. "The opportunity presented itself and we really wanted to jump on it because for most of our business, we find ourselves in Homer a lot," Lt. Sarah Geoffrion, the MSD supervisor, said at the time. "It's better for us. We don't have to drive four hours a day. And it's better for the community because we'll be more available to them." MSD's mission incorporates pollution response, environmental protection, vessel and facility inspections and enforcement., Read More...

With three from which to choose -- Homer Electric Association engineer Don Stead, real estate agent Sharon Minsch, and local entrepreneur Beauregard Burgess -- the Homer City Council appointed Burgess to fill the seat vacated by Kevin Hogan. The 26-year-old Burgess, owner of Homer Bookkeepers and Southern Exposure, an excavation company, wrote on his application, "A youthful perspective, tempered by the realities of real life, but still possessing a desire to effect meaningful and farsighted development and change, never hurts.", Read More...

An $8.1 million grant to construct a natural gas pipeline from Anchor Point to the city of Homer and Kachemak City made it into the legislature's capital budget. So did a $1.1 million grant for a new Homer High School track and $100,000 to dredge the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. While some of Homer's 1op-15 wish list items weren't included, City Manager Walt Wrede said, "It's good news over all." In May, Parnell signed the 2013 capital budget, leaving the pipeline, track and dredging project in place., Read More... , Read More...

The Legislature's funding for school transportation caused many southern peninsula families to breathe a sigh of relief. Without that financial boost, the Kenai Peninsula School District was considering going to a sharing of buses that many worried would result in elimination of before- and after-school programs and a burden to already stretched local childcare options., Read More...

Signs, including sandwich boards, were on the menu of topics addressed by the Homer City Council during 2012. After approving changes to city code that made temporary signs, including sandwich boards, acceptable year-round. It was a topic heavily commented on at public hearings. "Signs work,' said Adrienne Sweeney, owner of the Driftwood Inn and AJ's OldTown Steakhouse. "When you're a struggling business in this community, you try to get your message out.", Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

In April, Homer resident Vicky Sarber found herself in the spotlight as the newly crowned Mrs. Alaska. Her husband, Greg, also had a star-turn after winning the "Handsome Husband" award at the pageant. Sarber, a mother of three, didn't stop with the Alaska title, however. In August, she also won the Mrs. America pageant held in Tucson, Ariz., Read More... , Read More...


 

Photo by Michael Armstrong

May

In May, the Kenai Peninsula Borough-owned South Peninsula Hospital announced plans to purchase Homer Medical Clinic. "I think it will be a good move toward keeping health are available for the folks of Homer and keeping the hospital visible and keeping us the healthiest community in Alaska, Dr. William Bell, owner of Homer Medical Clinic, said at the time. The transition was a gradual one, completed by the beginning of the hospital's fiscal year, July 1., Read More...

The Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby took on a fresh look in 2012. For starters, the start and end dates were changed from May 1-Sept. 30 to May 15-Sept. 15. Even more importantly, however, was the shift in emphasis. "It's changed from being a big-fish-only derby to being more of a catch-and-release, tagged-fish, conservation-minded derby," said Monte Davis, executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, the event sponsor. The big-fish prize was set at $10,000 and tagged fish prizes that included $50,000 or a new Fiord pickup from Stanley Ford., Read More...

Careful planning, the leadership of Miranda Weiss and Deb Cox, and a community wide turnout brought completion to The Homer Playground Project. Area businesses, organizations and residents, not to mention visitors to the southern peninsula, turned out by the hundreds for the carefully scheduled Build-It Week. Working in shifts, volunteers donated tools, dug holes, constructed pre-designed playground equipment, hauled materials, shoveled dirt and wood chips, added decorative finishing touches and provided food. At the end of the week, area youngsters flooded into the new Karen Hornaday Park, making it clear the effort had been a success., Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

June

With the Homer High School track closed due to deteriorating and unsafe conditions, the 2012 Relay For Life of Homer shifted the American Cancer Society fundraiser to the school's terraced parking lot. The change of venue didn't slow down the momentum of past year's successes, however. The relay drew hundreds of walkers and raised more than $100,000 under the leadership of event coordinator Marilyn Parrett and her hard-working crew. Plans immediately began for the 2013 relay to be held June 7-8., Read More... , Read More...

Fireweed Academy, one of four charters schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, experienced some growing pains this year as it figured out the process to hire it's first principal. Since opening its doors in 1997, the school operated under the leadership of Kiki Abrahamson, one of the school's teachers. After two rounds of accepting applications and interviewing candidates, Abrahamson was hired as a full-time principal for the K-6 school., Read More... , Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

"The Moving Wall" Vietnam veterans memorial came to the Kenai Peninsula during May. Displayed at the American Legion Post 18 in Ninilchik, the Moving Wall is covered with 58,000 names of those who lost their lives during the Vietnam war. For the wall's week-long visit, volunteers were available 24 hours a day to assist the many visitors who traveled from across the peninsula to find the names of loved ones. The Moving Wall is one of two smaller versions of the permanent Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., Read More...

The effects of poor king salmon returns began to make themselves known. Alaska As Alaska Department of Fish and Game's emergency orders placed limits on sport fishing for king salmon in salt and fresh water on the lower Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula. Commercial fishermen and related businesses also felt a blow with closure areas of eastern Cook Inlet setnet fishing., Read More...

July

A fire that started on the upstairs balcony of an apartment destroyed a four-unit section of the Landings Condominiums and severely damaged several other condos. No one was injured in the fire, but several families were displaced. By year's end, the condominium association was still working with insurance adjusters to begin rebuilding the complex., Read More...

The Government Accounting Office released a report on the Seldovia Village Tribe ferry, the M/V Kachemak Voyager, saying that the tribe needed Federal Transportation approval for sightseeing uses of the both, but did not get that approval. The Kachemak Voyager no longer includes sightseeing in its operation, the GAO acknowledged. SVT said the report revealed nothing new., Read More...

World War II veteran and the oldest man to ever run the Homer Spit Run, John C. Chapple Jr., died on June 23, shortly after his 90th birthday., Read More...

A former Alaska legislator, Cheryll Heinze, 65, died in a floatplane crash on Beluga Lake. The pilot and three other passengers survived with minor injuries., Read More...

Alaska State Troopers investigated the shooting death of an Anchor Point man, Demian Sagerser, 40, found dead by a friend at his home near Stariksi Creek. Images on a game camera Sagerser had outside his home helped troopers identify and charge a suspect, Demarqus Green, 20, of Anchorage. Green's girlfriend, Nancie Modeste, 26, also was charged with tampering with evidence., Read More...

A Homer charter captain, Dave Longley, reported finding a red fuel can with Japanese lettering and what smelled like kerosene floating in the bay -- more evidence that debris from the March 2011 tsunami had begun to arrive in Alaska., Read More...

An Anchor Point woman who shot at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper also tried to run other cars off the road on the Sterling Highway. Uninjured, the trooper shot back, injuring Tonee Walker, 58, who then stopped near Mile 147.5 Sterling Highway. The incident shut down the highway on a Sunday evening, delaying travelers for about six hours. "I am not a happy camper," said one Wyoming tourist. Troopers later arrested Walker after she was released from Alaska Native Hospital, Anchorage, and charged her with attempted first-degree murder and third-degree assault., Read More...

The Homer City Council came one step closer to bringing natural gas to Homer when it approved initiating a Homer Area Special Assessment District that would bring gas to the entire city. To fail, a majority of lots in the city would have to disapprove of the assessment district. By early December, only 110 lots had done that., Read More...

August

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released revised flood plain maps, much to the relief of Homer property owners. The draft map had angered them as well as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who urged FEMA to take a second look., Read More...

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a federal judge denying an appeal by the city of Homer in a lawsuit filed by the mother of a boy injured in the March 2006 Homer Airport shooting. Cheryl Dietzmann claimed the city bore some responsibility for the shooting of her son, injured when U.S. Marshals and Homer Police tried to arrest Jason Anderson, the boy's father. The decision means a jury trial against the city can proceed., Read More...

In early August, Alaska State Troopers alleged Bret Herrick, 52, threatened a man with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle at his Skyline Drive home, forcing him into Herrick's truck and then making him withdraw cash from an ATM. The man escaped when he threw money at Herrick. After being on the lam for four months, troopers later caught Herrick in a chance encounter in December at the Anchor Point Grocery Store and arrested him after a brief struggle. Herrick was charged with kidnapping, robbery, burglary, theft and assault., Read More...

Volunteers with the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies helped clean up Gore Point, bagging about 3,000 pounds of debris, almost twice the amount of previous clean ups. Beach cleaners find a dramatic increase in plastic foam on the beaches and many items suspected to be from the Japanese tsunami., Read More...

Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche defeated incumbent Sen. Tom Wagoner in the District O Senate Republican Party primary race. With no opposition in the general election, Micciche was the presumed winner. Rep. Paul Seaton won over challenger Jon Faulkner in the primary. Statewide, Ballot Measure 1, which would have brought back the Coastal Zone Management Plan, failed, although it did well in Homer precincts., Read More...

Vicki Sarber of Homer, Mrs. Alaska, went on to be crowned Mrs. America in the pageant in Tucson, Ariz. Mayor James Hornaday later gave Sarber the key to the city., Read More...

The Homer City Council passed a ban on thin plastic shopping bags, but Mayor James Hornaday vetoed the ordinance. At a later meeting the council overrode Hornaday's veto, the second of his career as city mayor. The ban takes effect Jan. 1, although businesses can give out plastic bags they have in stock before then., Read More...

September

Lake Street and Pioneer Avenue could get Homer's first roundabout in a proposal by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to rebuild Lake Street., Read More...

A plane crash killed a Girdwood pilot when his plane apparently hit a powerline over the Wosnesenski River. The crash knocked out power to about 20 customers in the McKeon Flats area., Read More...

With less than a week remaining in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, Jimmie Peeples of Chico, Calif., landed a 323.2-pound halibut. He kept the top spot and won the $10,000 prize., Read More...

Vandals spray painted graffiti on Tribute to Performing Arts, a mural on Pioneer Avenue, and on buildings along the street. The mural was quickly repaired., Read More...

A fall storm with heavy rains flooded Stariski Creek, the Anchor River and other streams, damaging homes and washing away a section of a natural gas pipeline being built on Tall Tree Avenue., Read More...

October

In municipal elections, Mako Haggerty ran unopposed in his bid for reelection to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly; Homer City Council member Beth Wythe ran unopposed to become Homer's new mayor; and James Dolma joined Homer City Council members Beauregard "Beau" Burgess and Francie Roberts in a three-way race for two seats on the city council. Roberts and Burgess won the election, with Dolma appointed to fill the vacancy created by Wythe's election as mayor. In a two race for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board, a slim margin of 13 votes put board member Liz Downing ahead of challenger Mike Illg. A final count by the canvass board narrowed it even more, but Downing was the official winner with 524 votes; Illg had 514., Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

A September teen drinking party resulted in the arrests of brothers Joseph Resetarits, 18, and Anthony Resetarits, 20, on one count each of second-degree sexual assault, penetration of an incapacitated person. A 16-year-old Homer boy also was charged with second-degree sexual assault. The incident sparked multiple community meetings to discuss violence and sexual assault and drew the attention of Gov. Sean Parnell. The governor, who has committed the state to taking steps to end Alaska's epidemic of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse, attended one of the Homer meetings. "I'm here to say I can't solve it for you, I can't fix it, I can't make it right, but I can support you in making sure a sexual assault like this doesn't happen again in this community," said Parnell., Read More... , Read More... , Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

Plans to develop its West Eagle Project were announced by Buccaneer Energy. Located on Basargin Road, about 20 miles east of Homer, the drilling project is based on a reprocessing and interpretation of 230 miles of two-dimensional seismic data shot more than 30 years ago. The first well is to be exploratory and primarily a gas test with a possibility for oil. In November, plans for the project were outlined by Buccaneer representatives at two community meetings., Read More... , Read More...

A brand new track replaced Homer High School's old, deteriorated and closed-for-safety track. It was built with a $1.1 million appropriation in the state's capital budget. The bright orange oval came with a set of rules to make it last awhile: no rollerblading, no skating, no skateboarding, no bicycles, no motorized vehicles., Read More...

After Buccaneer Energy's jack-up rig, Endeavour-Spirit of Independence, arrived in Homer in August, the company noted work that needed to be done on the rig. Identified problems included a recall on parts of its fast-rescue craft, repairs to a general alarm system and other fixed required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the U.S. Coast Guard, according to Buccaneer vice president Mark Landt., Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

Representatives of Homer's business and education communities received recognition this year. Simyra Taback-Hlebechuk, a guide with Hallo Bay Bear Camp, was awarded the silver 2012 Wanderlust World Guide award at ceremonies in London. Bryan Zak, south west regional director of Alaska Small Business Development Center, received the State Star award, the highest honor for the state in America's Small Business Development Centers. Carol Swartz, director of Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College-University of Alaska Anchorage, was one of the recipients of the 2012 Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities., Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

Artist Gaye Wolfe, 67, died Oct. 21, after a short illness. Wolfe's last show in Homer was "ARTrageous Homer: A Human Tapestry," including 14 portraits of artists, musicians and art leaders in the Kachemak Bay area. In addition to her artwork, the 20-year Homer resident was remembered for her work with the city's Public Arts Committee, serving on Bunnell Street Arts Center board of directors, volunteering with the Pratt Museum and her efforts with Homer Council on the Arts., Read More...

November

With redistricting drawing boundaries that combined areas of the southern and central peninsula, voters elected Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, to represent House District 30. Seaton was challenged in the August primary by Jon Faulkner. In November's general election, Seaton took 71 percent of the vote, with challenger Liz Diament, D-Fritz Creek, taking 28 percent. After winning the Republican ticket for the District O Senate seat in the primary, Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, ran an unopposed race in the general election. In the race for U.S. president and vice president, south peninsula voters gave their support to the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan., Read More...

Area residents reached out to East Coast victims of Hurricane Sandy. Red Cross volunteer Trisha Davis of Nikolaevsk served as a staff wellness nurse supervisor in New York communities struck by the storm and Christina Whiting of Homer, who was staying in a Brooklyn neighborhood untouched by Sandy, sought out areas where she could be of assistance., Read More...

More pieces of the Kenai Peninsula's past fell into place this year. A fragment of a woolly mammoth molar found by Phil Gordon in the Bidarka Creek area was radiocarbon dated at 39,620 years; a woolly mammoth molar found on the beach near Clam Gulch by Grace Mills was radiocarbon dated at greater than 43,500 years; and a steppe bison horn and skull found in the Diamond Creek area by A. J. Weber was radiocarbon dated at greater than 43,500 years., Read More...

The Alaska Rural Water Association named city of Homer employee Jerry Lawver "Water Operator of the Year" for an area with a population of more than 1,000, and McNeil Canyon Elementary School student Fiona Hatton one of three poster contest winners at the association's November conference., Read More...

To tax or not to tax food yearround? And which foods should be taxed? Those questions were raised by Homer City Council members Bryan Zak and David Lewis, with each of them offering different solutions. The questions sparked a response from city residents and were still being addressed by the council at year's end., Read More... , Read More... , Read More...

Interest in developing commercial helicopter assisted skiing in Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay Wilderness Park drew 1,500 comments from across Alaska and the United States. As a result, the Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation announced it would postpone a decision on whether or not to allow the activity. Instead, it would focus on revising the 1995 park management plans, with consideration for commercial heli skiing in the context of other issues, as well as the use of personal watercraft., Read More...

December

Less than a day after a Grog Shop liquor store clerk was held up at gun point, Homer Police arrested two suspects. John Mumey, 50, and Terry Jean Lashley-Elliot, 32, each were charged with first-degree robbery, a class A felony. If convicted, Mumey and Lashley-Elliot each face a maximum of 20 years in jail with a fine of as much as $250,000., Read More...

After months of work being done on Buccaneer's Energy's Endeavour-Spirit of Independence jack-up rig, Buccaneer separated itself from Archer Drilling, the company Buccaneer hired to operate the rig. The rig's delayed departure caused Buccaneer to miss a late-summer and early fall drilling window in Cook Inlet and resulted in a large bill in harbor fees. Archer representative David Walker told the Homer News that Archer actually terminated the contract with Buccaneer and has filed a $6 million lawsuit in Texas District Court seeking payment for what it says are part-due bills for services and expenses., Read More...

On a peaceful note, six southern peninsula teens are preparing to participate in the Global Peace Forum in Hawaii in January. Sponsored by Homer Downtown Rotary and Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary clubs, as well as several individuals, are delegates Traven Apiki of Homer, Ivana Ash of Nanwalek, Katherine Dolma of Homer, Taylor Ellison of Anchor Point, McKenzy Haber of Homer and Amelia Tyrer of of Homer., Read More...

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