MICHAEL ARMSTRONG

Homer embraces Halloween from the Hickory and beyond

Like pretty much everything it does, Homer puts its own stamp on traditions — including Halloween, the day when kids dress up as creepy monsters and beg for candy and people embrace their inner fears. While the Views — Homer’s downtown streets like Mountainview, Bayview and Fairview that end with “view” — fill with trick-or-treaters, to be truly frightened, head to the end of the road for the classic fright fest.

Wyne pumps new energy into Wearable Arts

Artist residencies at Bunnell Street Arts Center tend to go in two directions. Sometimes an artist works solo, setting up a studio in a gallery where people can come and watch the artist at work or learn about techniques. Other workshops create collaborations between the artist and the community, making public art that becomes part of an installation.

Lodge pleads no contest to helicopter landings

In a July 31 incident involving helicopter landings in Kachemak Bay State Park, a Halibut Cove lodge has pleaded no contest to one count of landing a helicopter without a permit in the park. At a hearing held Oct. 9 with Judge Margaret Murphy at the Homer Courthouse, Stillpoint Lodge owner James Thurston, acting as the representative of the lodge, entered a plea of no contest. Murphy fined the lodge $5,000 with $5,000 suspended and put the lodge on probation for one year, requiring the lodge to comply with all state, federal and local laws. Murphy dismissed nine other counts of making unpermitted landings.

Burglars hit Anchor Point businesses, cabins

Burglars have robbed several lower Kenai Peninsula businesses and cabins since early September, stealing firearms, a vehicle, chainsaws, high-end fishing gear and even a childhood ceramic dish made by one cabin owner’s daughter. Alaska State Troopers have arrested one couple alleged to have broken into an Alta Loop home, but the others remain unsolved and still under investigation. The break-ins are part of a steady property-crime wave that has hit Homer and Anchor Point.

Town Meeting: talking taxes

In advance of a special session of the Alaska Legislature starting Oct. 23, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, held town hall meetings in Ninilchik and Homer last Thursday. Gov. Bill Walker has called the Legislature into session to consider a flat-rate payroll tax and Senate Bill 54, changes to Alaska’s criminal statutes. About 60 people in Homer at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center heard Pat Pitney, Director of the Alaska Office of Management and Budget, discuss Walker’s tax proposal, a 1.5-percent tax on wages and self-employment income and what some have called a head tax.

Council candidates speak

Roads, the recall, taxes, business and budgets dominated discussion at two Homer City Council candidate forums held the past two weeks. On Sept. 21, KBBI Public Radio and Homer News reporters moderated a meeting at Kachemak Bay Campus. On Sept. 28 at the Homer Elks Lodge, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center sponsored another forum.

Ethics complaint dismissed against council members; Heartbeat of Homer violated confidentiality

Affirming what had been suspected happened when a Heartbeat of Homer spokesperson broke confidentiality, an ethics complaint against three Homer City Council members filed on July 5 was dismissed by an administrative law judge and hearing officer in August, a public records request has revealed.

‘pH’ novel takes new tack to novel: fiction about science

Science fiction as predictive literature has its limits, but the writer Frederik Pohl noted one value to the genre: it provides the emotional content of the futures planners posit for us to see if we want to live in them. In that context, Nancy Lord’s latest book and her first published novel, “pH,” (WestWinds Press-Alaska Northwest Books/Graphic Arts, September 2017, $16.99 paperback) imagines the implications of ocean acidification, told in a witty, but cautionary, tale with scientists and an artist as central characters.

Construction starts on Boat House

Construction started on Sept. 6 with a groundbreaking ceremony for the The Boat House Maritime Pavillion on the Homer Spit at the site of the old harbormaster’s office. Last week, contractors began pouring the foundation for the shelter and gathering space at the Homer Harbor. Miranda Weiss, organizer of the project, said most of the work should be done this fall, with final touches being completed next spring. Bay Welding will begin work on a mast to cap off the pavillion’s maritime design.

CoastWalk cleans up beaches and monitors ecology

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.

Japanese naval ships visit Homer

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.

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