McKibben Jackinsky

DDF team set to entertain hometown fans

Following a meet at Service High School in Anchorage, the Homer High School Drama, Debate and Forensics Team, DDF for short, is preparing for two hometown events and encouraging the public to come watch, applaud and participate.

This weekend, Jan. 23-24, is a DDF tournament and on Tuesday, Jan. 27, is Random Acts of DDF, an avenue for the team to show what DDF is all about in a family-friendly environment.

Sportsman’s banquet: a fun evening not just for men

It began as a mid-winter event for men to swap hunting and fishing stories. Six years later — or maybe seven; organizer Rick Paulsrud isn’t quite sure — it’s still an opportunity for storytelling and a potluck with items featuring fish and game.

The “men only” part didn’t stick, however.

“It started out just for men, but the ladies wanted to be involved, too,” said Rick Paulsrud. “It’s turned into everybody and it’s fun. We’re glad it is what it is now.”

Moving forward

With the Homer City Council’s blessing to proceed until the project is completed, the Public Safety Building Review Committee met Monday and authorized consultants to proceed with a site survey and test bores of the selected location at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue, the current location of the Homer Education and Recreation Complex, or HERC,

Angelica has army of angels assisting

Hold a spaghetti feed and auction benefit and you just never know what will happen. 

In the case of Sunday’s event benefitting Angelica Haakenson, 11, of Anchor Point, and her family, organizer Kayla Tennison said it was more successful than anticipated. The event, plus donation cans around town, raised a grand total of more than $30,000.

“It was definitely a success,” she said. “We were trying to have people sign in at the front door and we counted 515, but I know there were more than that.”

Women’s ‘Winter Jamboree’ this weekend

Temperatures have been above freezing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hockey season. Just ask the 100 women from around the state participating in the Homer Winter Jamboree.

“The Homer Hockey Association and the Homer Divas Women’s Hockey are thrilled to announce the Fifth annual Winter Jamboree hockey tournament scheduled to take place January 16-18 at the Kevin Bell Arena,” said a Jan. 12 press release.

Warriors win battle against Bulldogs

The Nikolaevsk Warriors girls and boys basketball teams were host to the Nikiski Bulldogs “C” team on Tuesday. In the two non-conference games, the Nikolaevsk girls won their match-up, 38-16, and the boys followed suit with an even bigger margin of victory, 59-15.

High scorers for the Warrior girls were Serafima Kalugin with 13 points and Megan Hickman with 12.

Non-conference games like Tuesday’s “give the girls more games against a variety of schools and levels of playing,” said Head Coach Bea Klaich.

US Track and Field honors Coach Steyer

Bill Steyer, four-year head coach of Homer High School’s cross country team, as well as five-year coach of the school’s track and field team, has been named Alaska’s 2014 girls cross country coach by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The announcement came in a Jan. 9 USTFCCCA press release. 

“Wow! That’s pretty cool I didn’t even know,” said Steyer when contacted by the Homer News the morning of Jan. 9.

Argh — it’s a good thing to read, matey

If humor does for learning what a spoonful of sugar does for taking medicine, the pre-kindergarten through second-grade students at Paul Banks Elementary School are destined to be reading wonders. 

The school kicked off its 2015 readathon Monday afternoon with the theme of “Pirates — Seek Treasure in a Good Book.”

Hallway bulletin boards and school walls were covered with posters, decorations and informational tidbits about pirates, and a string of jokes to make even the most hardened pirate laugh. For instance:

Angelica’s story touches hearts near, far

A fundraising event benefiting 11-year-old Angelica Haakenson of Anchor Point and including a spaghetti meal and a silent and call-out auction is drawing more attention than organizers and family members anticipated. The event happens at Chapman School gym in Anchor Point at 1 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling when you need a trailer to pick up things from all the people who are thinking about her,” said Emily Haakenson, Angelica’s aunt.   

Homer Hockey Association rallies to keep rink off financial thin ice

How valuable is a facility that attracts an estimated 1,500 people to the city during the slow winter months, with those people spending about $425,000 while they’re here? A facility that attracts hundreds of area residents of all ages for hockey and figure skating lessons and the opportunity to participate in hockey, broomball, curling and other ice-related activities?

Valuable enough to keep, says the Homer Hockey Association. 

Home Run expands to Baycrest

Having opened Home Run Oil in 2000, Jeff and Shelly Erickson are now providing more than fuel for home and vehicle.

The new owners of Home Run Short Stop, formerly Baycrest Fuel and C Store near the top of Baycrest Hill, the Ericksons and their crew offer a wide selection of convenience items, a kitchen serving everything from ready-to-go hot breakfast sandwiches to jaw-stretching double-burgers to an impressive selection of soft-serve ice cream from early morning until the evening hours.

Krishna Venta Conservation Area: Protected for Perpetuity

While Homer talks about being open for business, expanding the harbor, upgrading streets and all the things that allow a city to meet the needs of its residents, 160 acres to the east, along the Fox River Flats, has been safeguarded since 1997 at the request of its former owner, Thomas Boblick. 

The Krishna Venta Conservation Area bears the name of Boblick’s spiritual leader, but protecting the area’s wildlife is what Boblick had in mind. 

Girls draw a bead on welding program

For six weeks before the holiday break, 15 girls from Voznesenka, Kachemak Selo and Razdolna schools set sparks flying. 

From 4-9 p.m., two days a week for a total of 60 hours, they hid their beautiful long dresses beneath unbecoming, but protective ensembles of coveralls, leather jackets, gloves and helmets to learn the art of welding from Homer High School instructor Mickey Todd.

Girl’s recovery continues; fundraising effort grows

More than a week and several surgeries later, Angelica Haakenson, 11, of Anchor Point, continues recovering from life-threatening injuries resulting from a Christmas day wreck on the Sterling Highway. 

“She got moved out of ICU on Saturday,” Emily Haakenson, Angelica’s aunt, told the Homer News. “She’s had four surgeries so far and will probably have another one next week, but being out of ICU is fantastic.”

Widespread support grows for victims of Christmas day wreck

Prayers, cards, videos and an outpouring of financial support from acquaintances and strangers are helping boost the spirits of 11-year-old Angelica Mae Haakenson and her mother, Mathany C. Satterwhite, 29, of Anchor Point. The mother and daughter are in Providence Hospital in Anchorage recovering from injuries sustained in a Christmas day three-vehicle wreck on the Sterling Highway.

‘Chopped’ is no ordinary semester final

Being “chopped” sounds frightening. So does taking a final.

Put the two together, it became an opportunity for Homer High School students in Lauren Childers’ culinary arts class to demonstrate their cooking know-how. For the judges — HHS teacher Paul Story; Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer; and yours truly — it was a mouth-watering, stomach-satisfying experience. For Childers, it proved “things we went over so long ago they still remember. They really stepped up their game for the final. I was so impressed.” 

Students think outside the ‘letters to santa’ box

In Kari Greiner’s second-grade class at Paul Banks Elementary School, the boys and girls broadened their horizons when it came to the tradition of writing letters to Santa. 

They penned correspondence for the holiday, including some thought-provoking questions and a few special requests, to head-reindeer Rudolph and his teammates; Santa’s right-hand helpers, the elves; and to the big guy himself. 

The following letters are reproduced exactly as the youngsters wrote them. 

Enjoy.

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