In this climate-changed world, there are reasons to get sentimental about ice. It is old, for one. Our local sheet — the Harding Icefield — was formed more than 23,000 years ago. And it is disappearing.
But it’s not ice George Tyrer feels nostalgic about. It is the 32-year-old ice-making machines Tyrer has been running in the City of Homer’s Ice Plant on the Fish Dock at the end of the Spit for the last decade.
Anyone who has lived in Homer long enough to remember the real name of the old blue bank building shouldn’t be surprised that the Friday before spring break our weather flip-flopped. Alaska weather has it in for teachers and school district staff trying to get away. It can be warm, the snow will have melted and it looks like smooth sailing to breakup, when out of nowhere a big storm will roar in and mess up flight schedules.
Last Thursday’s scheduled Candy Cane ski meet in Soldotna was canceled due to lack of snow, bringing the season total up to four consecutive cancellations or alterations in competition for the Mariners.
Assistant Coach Gus Beck is not optimistic about the snow prospects for the rest of the winter.
“I think this is what the whole season will be like,” said Beck.
Well, my Subaru got raided during this last snow storm. He/she just stole stuff from the car to stay warmer: some chemical hand and foot warmers and also a fuel stick hand warmer.
How desperate are the folks nowadays here in Homer?
Are they out there freezing in this wicked cold time?
I put in a pair of insulated overalls for the next cold thief.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has issued a reminder that it is illegal to plow snow from private property into roads, ditches and rights of way. It creates an obstruction hazard and sight problems to the traveling public and snow removal equipment. In addition to safety hazards, plowing snow into the right of way creates significant additional costs and delays to road crews having to move the snow back. The extra cost is incurred by the taxpayer. Residents also are reminded to inform children of the danger of playing in snow piles and berms near roadways.
Jump into the Betster’s wayback machine and travel a year ago to the magical time of fall 2012. Remember that, Betsteroids? From Oct. 17-23, the average temperature was 29.93 degrees, with a low of 20. Oct. 23-30 the average temperature was 30 degrees, with a low of 19. From Oct. 31-Nov. 3, the average was 29.7 degrees, with a low of 13.
An electrical equipment failure shut down power from the Safeway grocery store on the Sterling Highway to the end of the Homer Spit on Monday afternoon. Power was out from about 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 5.
Related to the outage, Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins ordered a precautionary evacuation and closure of the Fish Dock Road area about noon after Kevin Hogan of the Auction Block notified police and other officials that there could be a carbon dioxide leak in his refrigeration plant. The loss of power caused a pressure build up in the unit, Hawkins said.
You could say this has been an odd year for weather. You probably won’t hear much complaining right now, however, since everyone is so glad to see this much sun after two terribly dreary summers in a row.
At last week’s Homer Farmers’ Market I talked to some producers who take note of the weather. Those who are depending on rain catchment to water their high tunnels are either starting to get nervous or already are buying water.
In spite of the best laid plans for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s annual cleanup day, event coordinator and visitor center manager Maya Rourke said participation was down this year.
The culprit: a Friday night snowfall that brought chilly temperatures and left a layer of slush on the ground Saturday morning.
It's called Snow Rondi for good cause, as was clear to anyone who stepped outside in Anchor Point on Saturday afternoon. There was lots of snow. Big, wet flakes. So much snow that at times it was hard to see across the Sterling Highway.
That didn't dampen the four-day annual celebration organized by the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce, however.
"I think it absolutely went wonderful," said Jennifer Henley, a member of the chamber's board of directors.
Chris Story's actioneering style set the festivities in action the evening of Feb. 21.