September shows feature longtime Homer artists

Art openings this month feature exhibits from two of Homer’s most distinguished artists, R.W. “Toby” Tyler, showing at Ptarmigan Arts, and Karla Freeman, showing at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Tyler and Freeman have art careers stretching back 50 years. Tyler first came to Alaska in 1953. Freeman, who has spent the last six years in Baja, Mexico, lived in Homer for 40 years.

Wooden Boat Festival features ‘Year of the Kayak”

Last Saturday for Tamamta Katurlluta, the gathering of Alaska Native traditions, a small fleet of skin-on-frame kayaks and one big umiak landed at the Pier One Theatre beach on the Homer Spit (see photo, page 1). Traditional Native boats return again this weekend for the 21st annual Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Festival as it celebrates “The Year of the Kayak.”

That’s not coincidental. With Tamamta Katurlluta held this year, Wooden Boat Festival organizers decided it was time to focus on kayaks.

Teen pleads to lesser charge in fake bomb incident

A Homer teen pleaded guilty last Wednesday to a reduced charge in a fake bomb incident that happened at Homer High School last May. Zachary Fraley, 18, accepted a plea agreement charging him with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

The Homer High School graduate originally had been charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, a felony, for placing a fake bomb near a stairwell at the school. The incident resulted in an evacuation of the school.

Enstar begins energizing lines in downtown

The ceremonial valve turning in July of a natural gas meter at South Peninsula Hospital drew a crowd of dignitaries, including Gov. Sean Parnell, but when gas actually flowed to two homes on Fairview Avenue, there was no fanfare. Last Friday, Enstar Natural Gas Co. crews turned the valves and started gas service to two homes on the Anchor Point-Homer 8-inch-diameter trunk line bringing gas to Homer.

Homer now has natural gas.

“We’re definitely burning gas over there right now,” said Matt Hambrick of AC General Contractor. “It’s happened.”

Resetarits hearing continued again; Murphy gives another 30 days

Despite a warning last month that she would need to see progress on a resolution in the case of two Homer brothers charged with second-degree sexual assault in relation to an incident last year at a Homer teen drinking party, Judge Margaret Murphy continued for another 30 days a preliminary hearing for Anthony Resetarits, 21, and Joseph Resetarits, 19. 

A year later: Have we changed?

Almost a year after a large East End Road teenage drinking party turned ugly, with one boy sexually assaulted while others allegedly watched, how has Homer changed from the incident?

For the victim and his family, they’re trying to move ahead. The victim is now in college and healing from the incident, his mother said in an interview with the Homer News. He’s studying psychology and thinking about a career in social services. The Homer News does not name victims of sexual assault and is withholding the mother’s name to keep from identifying the boy. 

Homer: A quaint little fishing town with a ukulele problem?

Walk around Homer and what do you see? On Saturday mornings at Friendship Terrace in the Homer Senior Center, from five to 12 people strum their ukuleles. At the Farmer’s Market, the Homer Ukulele Group Society — that’s HUGS for short — performs. In the window of Cornish Music on Pioneer Avenue, a rainbow of brightly colored ukuleles is displayed.

Heck, Homer’s former mayor and retired judge, James Hornaday, has even cut an album of ukulele tunes. 

Ukulele mania has hit Homer.

Dog’s job opens world for blind

Walking down Pioneer Avenue with his German shepherd, Rick Malley is just cruising. Malley doesn’t slow down, not even to pose for a photo. He may be visually impaired, but his dog, a beautiful, lean male shepherd, leads him safely through the world. That’s his job.

“I can fly with him, as fast as I want,” Malley said. “His job is protecting and guiding me. He loves to do it.”

“You don’t want to endanger yourself,” said Peter Nowicki, an instructor with the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, of a guide dog’s main purpose. “The dog is a fluid means of travel.”

Comments received in halibut CSP

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration–Fisheries officials estimated thousands of comments were received on the proposed halibut Catch Sharing Plan. The comment period closed Monday. Officials are reviewing comments and haven’t determined a final number.

The CSP regulations would replace the current charter guideline harvest level with a percentage allocation for each area of the combined catch limit as determined by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The catch would be split between the commercial and charter fisheries. 

Hospital creates Reflection Room

South Peninsula Hospital might have modern patient rooms, a birthing center, a Long Term Care home, state-of-the art radiology and imaging equipment, and a medevac helicopter pad, but until now it lacked a facility that might seem essential for healing — a quiet place to sit, meditate or pray.

That changed last month when the hospital dedicated the Reflection Room, a small room across the hall from the cafeteria on the lower level. 

Longtime Homer writer publishes 28th book

You can tell a lot about an author by the books in his or her library. Along one wall of Jim Rearden’s office in his home, Sprucewood, he has an almost complete run of Alaska Magazine. Another row of bookshelves holds an Alaskana library that would make any sourdough envious. The titles reflect his career in fisheries and wildlife management and his interest in Alaska history and culture.

Abuser faces new charges

A Homer man convicted of attempting to sexually abuse a girl under age 13 faces new charges related to the same victim. Corey Rosano, 36, pleaded guilty in February on an amended charge of attempted second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and received a sentence of eight years in prison with six suspended.

State withdraws plea agreement in boat arson case

The prosecution withdrew a plea agreement last Wednesday, Aug. 14, in the case of Makai “Mike” Martushoff, 59. Martushoff had been charged with one count of first-degree arson, a class A felony. A change-of-plea hearing scheduled for July 29 had been continued to Aug. 8 and then Aug. 14, but on Wednesday assistant district attorney Kelly Lawson said the state was pulling the offer.

At last week’s hearing, Magistrate George Peck took no action on the plea withdrawal and continued a preliminary hearing to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

Priest tells story of social activism

On a drizzly Saturday afternoon at WKFL Park — a park donated to Homer by Brother Asaiah Bates, another combat veteran turned peace activist — Father Roy Bourgeois spoke quietly of his journey to social justice. 

“I don’t know what can be more important than working for peace and justice,” he said.

Billed as a discussion of Bourgeois’ work against the School of the Americas, or SOA, a counter-insurgency program at Fort Benning, Ga., the talk really was about the former Maryknoll priest’s life.

Understanding the currents of Kachemak Bay

If you built a raft with a big sea anchor and pushed off from Point Pogibshi, you’d drift east along Kachemak Bay on the south shore, turn left at the Homer Spit and eventually circle around the north shore and go west toward Bluff Point, spinning back around in a big gyre. 

Or, maybe not. You could wind up at the head of the bay. You could be pushed out into Cook Inlet. In a big storm and tide you could get washed up on the beach.

Seeing green

There’s been a lot of talk about green dots lately — and red dots. The phrase “green dot” might sound like social-worker speak, but the message of the concept really comes down to one thing.

Starting now, starting today, starting with a group of civic leaders, there is a new attitude in town.

“If you want to perpetuate violence, Homer is not the place for you. It will not be tolerated,” said Jennifer Messina, director of training and development for Green Dot, a national sexual violence prevention program.

Charter captains question halibut proposal

With no budget for travel to hold an information workshop or take public comments at a hearing, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries officials held an informal audioconference presentation on Tuesday night on the proposed halibut Catch Sharing Plan. Participants had the chance to call in and ask questions. Most listened in and asked questions at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center with a group of about 15, mostly charter captains.

San Diego woman swims across bay

Last Friday on her 40th birthday, a San Diego cold-water, open-ocean swimmer did what only six other people, including three other women, have done: swim across Kachemak Bay. With her partner Al Bremer paddling alone beside her in a bright-yellow kayak, Claudia Rose pushed off from the beach by Land’s End Resort on the Homer Spit at about 11 a.m. and by 1 p.m. landed at McKeon Flats at the mouth of China Poot Bay, about 4 nautical miles or 4.6 miles.