Anna Frost

Homer high school swimmer signs with Assumption College

Lauren Kuhns knew she wanted to commit to swim at Assumption College within a day of stepping on campus, she said. On Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Kachemak Swim Club semi-annual membership meeting, Kuhns sat in front of her fellow swimmers and community members at a table adorned with an Assumption College pennant and signed a letter of intent, officially telling the school that she plans to attend after she graduates in spring 2017.

Build it so they can play

Construction on the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, or SPARC, building is making steady progress toward organizers’ goal of having the community recreation building open for games before the end of the year.

Volunteers began building the steel frame structure on Monday, Nov. 14 and plan to put up the fabric covering that will enclose the building shortly after Thanksgiving, said Daniel Zatz of the soccer association.

Elementary schools to start earlier than intermediate, high schools

Principals of Homer-area schools recommended Option X to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as the best choice for the change in school start and end times on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Parents, school staff, school board members and district administrators discussed the proposed schedule, which will be effective August 2017, at a meeting on Nov. 2 at Homer High School.

School nurse offers tips to keep students healthy

With the cold, autumn and winter weather Homer has begun to experience, also comes illnesses such as the common cold, stomach bugs, hand, foot and mouth disease, and influenza, also known as the flu, according to Homer Middle School and Homer Flex school nurse Janette Latimer.

While a sneeze or two might not warrant keeping a child home from school — much to their disappointment — certain symptoms do point to a day in bed rather than a desk. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s policy requires parents to keep children at home if they have the following symptoms:

DDF places in nine categories

Homer High School’s drama, debate and forensics tournament held over the weekend on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 was a success, head coach Amy Johnson wrote in an email.

“Homer High got many compliments, including the beauty of the school and how well the tournament was run,” Johnson said.

Homer’s DDF team placed in nine categories during the meet, including readers’ theatre, pantomime, dramatic interpretation and duet acting. The results are:

Saturday's health fair all about you

The 2016 Rotary Health Fair will provide the Homer-area community with an opportunity to consult with a new array of doctors, get a flu shot, do a variety of wellness checks and even enjoy a massage.

The fair, which has served Homer residents for 33 years, has many services for the community to take advantage of from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School.

Community invited to try new biking, running trail

The (F)all Out Fun Ride (and Run) on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 11 a.m.-4 p.m. will be the first event on the full mile Rollin’ Coal trail at Diamond Creek State Recreation Area. Participants are welcome to stay all day or come for a few loops, as the event is based on time trials, said Catriona Reynolds. The event is free, though donations for continued trail building are encouraged.

Some of the funds raised will be used to create signage about trail usage and etiquette, Catriona said. An outhouse was recently built near the start of the trail, just in time for the event.

Use of Homer's food pantry on the rise

The Homer Community Food Pantry experienced a 115 percent increase in people seeking food assistance between 2013 and 2015.

Though the food pantry’s customers have not reached the highs seen in the years following the 2008 recession, a significant spike started in 2014 and continues to climb. The food pantry’s record year for visitors was 2009, when it provided for 38,723 adults and children.

Senator Murkowski discusses state's challenges in Homer

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, spoke to a crowded dining room at Land’s End Resort on Friday about her ideas for improving Alaska from her position in Congress.

Murkowski is running for re-election this November against opponents independent Margaret Stock, Libertarian Joe Miller, and Democrat Ray Metcalfe.

Murkowski, who was born in Ketchikan, spoke to the Homer community about how she grew up learning to figure things out on her own and to be resilient, comparing her experience with that of Homer’s.

Schools study places to cut

Kenai Peninsula Borough schools could see cuts to the arts and sports as well as more students in each classroom if the state can’t find ways to close its budget gap.

Community meetings addressing potential budget cuts to district schools on Oct. 13 asked parents and staff to discuss items that could be removed or reduced from their schools’ budgets to accommodate a 10 percent cut. For many schools, such a cut would damage their ability to provide the quality of education the community has come to expect.

Mariner wrestlers start season in Kenai

After winning the state championship in 2015, the Homer High School wrestling team is back in action, and ready for a repeat of last season’s success.

“We’re bringing back a very experienced squad,” said Homer High School head wrestling coach and athletic director Chris Perk. “The attitude and work ethic in the mat room right now, the coaches are really pleased with.”

Homer Folk School shares skills with community

Homer Folk School is here to stay and provide intergenerational learning of folk arts — from homesteading to maritime skills — to Homer and the surrounding areas, said folk school board member, as well as organic farmer and herbalist, Robin McAllistar.

“I am such a fan. I am so excited about this amazing thing that is being created. We’re hitting the ground running. We’ve got classes up. Our first year anniversary is going to be really telling,” McAllistar said. “I have full faith that this is the first day of Homer Folk School and it will be here for a long time.”

New cop shop still a priority for mayor

Newly elected Homer Mayor Bryan Zak and city council members Shelly Erickson and Tom Stroozas officially joined the ranks of city government at the end of the Monday, Oct. 10 city council meeting. The council also discussed the new animal shelter contract, potential consolidation of dispatch, and the proposed fiscal year 2017 budget.

City clerk Jo Johnson swore in the three individuals, who will take the place of departing Mayor Beth Wythe, council member Gus Van Dyke and Zak’s council seat. Carrot cake from Two Sisters’ Bakery followed the ceremony.

Glacier Girls hopes to build girls hockey presence

The Homer Hockey Association’s new Glacier Girls program is teaching girls hockey with the hope of building a strong youth girls hockey program in Homer. Currently, girls who wish to play hockey travel north to do so, said coach Chris Owen.

“When the rink first opened they had a team so hopefully we can get it back up and running again,” Owen said.

Fiesta fundraiser benefits high school wrestlers

The Homer High School wrestling team is holding Fiesta Night to raise funds to offset travel costs during the season. The Homer community is invited to enjoy authentic Mexican food as well as silent and live auctions in the Homer High School Commons from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, said Homer High School athletic director and head wrestling coach Chris Perk.

Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for students, and no charge for children under age 5.

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Margaret Stock visits Homer in race against Murkowski

U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Stock visited Homer on Thursday, Sept. 22, meeting with local businesses owners and community members as part of her campaign to overtake incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the November election. Stock is running as an independent candidate.

Stock is a former officer in the U.S. Army, starting with a commission in the Army Reserve during her time at Boston University and Harvard College, according to the biography on her campaign website, After graduating from Harvard, she volunteered for active military service in Alaska.


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