Students from McNeil Canyon Elementary School walking the Homer Spit beaches last Friday have become the latest generation of citizen scientists participating in CoastWalk, the annual fall cleanup and beach monitoring project of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. While some kids delight in picking up gross trash, CoastWalk also inspires students to monitor beaches for things like erosion, bird and wildlife sightings, human use and other environmental information.
Two Japanese Self Defense Force ships stopped briefly in Homer on their way to a goodwill visit in Anchorage. On Monday morning, Sept. 25, the Japanese Military Self Defense Force vessels Kashima, DD-3508, and Harusame, DD-102, anchored off the Homer Spit. They stayed in Homer until Tuesday evening when they left for Anchorage. Harusame is a training ship and Kashima an escort vessel. The ships left Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan in May and have been visiting ports in the west and east coasts of the United States, Cuba, and Canada as part of training for newly commissioned naval officers. The ships have 600 total crew, including 200 newly commissioned officers.
The first rule in filing an ethics complaint with the city of Homer is that you don’t talk about filing an ethics complaint. The second rule, however, is if the respondents choose to waive confidentiality, anyone can talk about it.
In a Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate forum sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Dale Bagley, Linda Farnsworth Hutchings and Charlie Pierce all distinguished themselves as capable candidates for the borough’s top administrative position.
A small wildland fire in the hills above Shirley Court appears to have been started by some sort of accelerant, Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Painter said on Wednesday. HVFD firefighters responded and put out a wildland fire behind Homer High School that started about 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, Sept. 18. The fire was near the cross-country running trails but did not threaten the high school.
Homer Police are investigating a shooting incident in which a man suffered a minor gunshot wound. According to police reports, at 6:20 a.m. Sept. 17, police responded to a report of a gunshot wound at a Pioneer Avenue address. No one was transported to the hospital. Two men were handling a handgun they thought was unloaded when it went off, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.
The Homer News submitted these questions to all the candidates actively running for two 3-year seats on the Homer City Council. Their answers are printed as submitted. Andrew Kita did not return answers.
On her visits to Alaska over the past 20 years, like a lot of visitors to Homer, singer-songwriter Dar Williams said she came to really, really love the town. She has been here several times, in 1997, 2000 and 2003.
In the Oct. 3 municipal election, Kenai Peninsula Borough residents will elect a new borough mayor and vote on school board and assembly members. Residents in the unincorporated areas of the city also will consider a ban on commercial cannabis with Proposition 1, where a “yes” vote approves the ban (see story, page 1, Business &Real Estate).
If the elephant in the room in the Homer City Council race is the recall campaign, candidate Sarah Vance could be considered the elephant trainer. She served as one of the co-chairs of Heartbeat of Homer, the group organized to back the attempted recall against council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, and became the spokesperson for the recall group.
If elected to the Homer City Council, candidate Rachel Lord would be the youngest member of a council that has commonly tilted toward people in their 50s and 60s. Along with fellow candidate Sarah Vance, 38, she represents a generation of Homer residents often lost in political discussions — 30-something people struggling to raise families and build careers in a town with a high cost of living and limited job opportunities.
Like a lot of Homer immigrants, city council candidate Stephen Mueller moved here with his wife, Robyn, after he fell in love with the seaside setting.
All around Kachemak Bay the past weeks, people have reported large runs of pink salmon in places never seen before — at least in significant numbers. Last week at Beluga Slough, pink salmon ran all the way up into the slough and in a drainage ditch leading to the city’s stormwater drainage system. At Mariner Park on the Homer Spit last Friday, children from Little Fireweed Academy working on the Burning Basket ran up a small creek leading into the slough and yelled “Salmon! Salmon!” at pinks passing by.
With campaigning for elections underway in Alaska, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) last week sent out a press release reminding Alaskans that the use of public right of ways for political advertising is prohibited. Advertising in right of ways or visible and legible from state right of ways are prohibited.
Homer visitor “Kajun” Kenny Joffrion stands by his truck and refrigerated trailer loaded with fish, red beans and rice as he prepared to head south to Houston, Texas. Reached by phone in Montana last week, Joffrion said he planned to arrive in Houston on Monday and start cooking for Hurricane Harvey victims.
As south Texas recovers from the devastation last month from Hurricane Harvey, several lower Kenai Peninsula men have started relief efforts in the Houston area. Former Anchor Point resident Chase McKinney, now living in Sugar Land, Texas, this week shifted his work from rescuing people stranded in flooded areas of Houston to getting supplies to people in shelters.
By Michael Armstrong
The 14th annual Homer Burning Basket project of community interactive, impermanent art, is presented to Homer this coming Sunday afternoon at the build site at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. Construction continues today through Saturday, and volunteers are invited to help finish the basket or provide nightly security.
Tree roots. Root causes. Square roots. Getting to the root. Root beer. Grass roots. Root chords.