Anna Frost

Mural project facilitated by visiting artist kicks off

More than a splash of color appeared on the Star Car Wash building over the June 3 weekend as Anchorage mural group Spellar started and completed the first mural in Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Peonies on Pioneer public art project. 

Peonies on Pioneer, a brainchild of the Homer Chamber of Commerce Pioneer Revitalization task force and Bunnell’s current artist-in-residence Kady Perry, came about after Freeman read Perry’s proposal for a “compelling” public mural project, said executive and artistic director Asia Freeman. 


The six sisters from Homer’s widely-known homesteading family, the Kilchers, will talk about their experience making a life as first generation homesteaders in Alaska at a discussion panel in Beatrice, Neb., on June 18 and 19. The panel is a featured part of the 100th anniversary homestead celebration at the Homestead National Monument of America.


Panama Reds store expands gardening options in Homer

Panama Reds Indoor Gardening Supply opened in Homer in the last weeks of May, bringing soils, plant fertilizers and other gardening equipment for both indoor and outdoor gardening. 

The shop is located next to Cycle Logical in the East Village shopping center, Mile 3.6 East End Road.

The store will hold its grand opening this weekend, said Panama Reds owner Carl Sanche. All items in the store are 10 percent off during the month of June, except for a few items already marked down, Sanche said.

Abrahamson retiring, but not leaving Fireweed

Fireweed Academy Principal Kiki Abrahamson has been ready to retire for a couple years, but she was not ready to leave Fireweed, she said. Even now, after she announced her retirement, and celebrated her time at the school with current and former students at a retirement party, Abrahamson plans to come back next year to volunteer.

“I held on because I felt like the job wasn’t done yet,” Abrahamson said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I spend a lot of time at the school. You can’t take 19 years without coming back and reading with the kids.”

Students look to future, say thanks

Haven House’s Young Women of Distinction award recipient Lilli Johnson graduated from Homer High School in three years. Johnson plans to take a gap year and teach in Uganda. Her advice to Homer High students is to take care of themselves first.

“It’s totally worth it to watch Netflix and not do homework. It’s worth it. It will make you feel better,” Johnson said. “It might stress you out the next day, but your homework is not the most important thing. You are and remember that.”

Homer grads spread their wings

Eighty-six high school seniors graduated from Homer High School and Homer Flex on Wednesday, May 18. Each senior finished high school with unique struggles, triumphs and goals for their future.

Homer Flex held its ceremony, which focused on resiliency and growth, at Land’s End Resort early in the evening. After staff members of Homer Flex gave individual commencement addresses and gifts to the seniors, each graduate had the opportunity to stand up and speak to the audience. 

Charter fishing restrictions dampen derby ticket sales

The Homer Chamber of Commerce website tells a cautionary tale of anglers who did not purchase a Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby ticket and caught fish that would have earned them hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

The moral of the story, according to Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center Executive Director Karen Zak, is for both locals and tourists to purchase a derby ticket before halibut fishing. 

Homer High recognizes outstanding athletes, parents

Homer High School awarded athletes and parents Mariner Athletic Awards on Thursday, May 12. Student-athletes who excelled in academics as well as their sport, or sports, of choice were also awarded the Region III Scholar-Athlete Award.



Mariner Manager of the Year: Jordan Raymond, wrestling


Freshman Male Athlete of the Year: Luciano Fasulo, cross-country, wrestling, track


Writers’ conference includes graphic narrative in the mix, celebrates 15th year

The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference will mark changing tides in the literary world and the Homer community with its 15th year.

Sarah Leavitt, a writer from Vancouver, British Columbia, will give the conference’s first workshops on graphic narrative. Leavitt’s first book, “Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me,” told the story of her mother’s illness by combining words with drawings. While Leavitt planned to write a memoir after her mother’s death in 2005, but she didn’t always plan for it to be in the style of a graphic narrative. 

Homer students use video technology to learn in a classroom without walls

Homer High School social studies teacher Kendra Nelson’s first period world history class includes students from Homer High School and Kenai Central High School, yet neither school has to make tricky travel arrangements. 

Using video-conferencing technology, Nelson’s students connect with Greg Zorbas’ students in Kenai at the click of a button. Video conferencing allows Nelson and Zorbas to deliver lectures to both classes, as well as the students to connect with one another during class time. 

Grace Ridge Brewing makes Shorebird debut

Don Stead will realize his dream of owning a brewery with his wife Sherry when Grace Ridge Brewing opens up for business for the first time this Friday. Local artist Jen Depesa’s artwork will be displayed in the brewery, with a second-Friday show on May 13 at 6 p.m.

Over the Shorebird weekend — today through Sunday — the brewery will open from noon to 8 p.m. 

Clean-Up Day rewards participants for doing some spring sprucing

Homer residents brought 305 bags of trash and 39 bags of recyclables to the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for Clean-Up Day on Saturday, according to a press release from the chamber. The chamber gave away eight prizes for winners in the group, individual, most recyclables and family categories, as well as four door prizes.

The Homer Wilderness Leaders, or HoWL, youth collected 170 bags of trash and 29 bags of recyclables after countless hours of trash pick-up throughout the community.

KBC grads look ahead

Professors Beth Graber and Michael Hawfield were awarded the honor of emeritus professor titles at the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College graduation on May 4. The title of emeritus is given to retiring professors who exemplify principles of exemplary academic standards, great scholarship and service to the academy, said University of Alaska Anchorage Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Samuel Gingerich.

Following her family’s footsteps while creating her own

Sian Young grew up in Wales hearing stories of her grandparent’s journeys around the world. As Young reached adulthood, she too began taking trips to various destinations in Europe and even going to India. Young, now a 31-year-old mental health nurse living in Bristol, England, is spending a month in Alaska, which is also her first trip to the United States.


When her grandmother was near death after a battle with cancer around Christmas time in 2014, Young and her brother spent a lot of time asking her to recount stories

of her travels.



Two years and ten months ago, Erika and Paul Piazza painted and renovated the interior of a Volkswagen van and left their home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

On Monday, May 9, they arrived in Homer.

The Piazzas began driving through South America in August 2013 after losing their jobs — Paul is an actor and Erika is an art teacher — and deciding to take the time to travel. Traveling also seemed like a necessary step before settling down and starting a family of their own. The van was an affordable way to do it.

Public safety building plans move forward

The Public Safety Review Committee reported to the Homer City Council on Monday that plans for the proposed public safety building would use the current Homer Education and Recreation Complex to house police and fire stations. 

The committee met May 11 and is scheduled to meet again at 5:30 p.m. May 18.

The committee’s current plan would place the new police building on the west side of the existing HERC building, leaving room for the city to build a two-story fire station in the future. 


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