‘Living Alaska’ picked up for series

Following the success of a pilot episode for “Living Alaska” produced by Orion Entertainment of Colorado, HGTV has picked up 12 half-hour episodes of the series. Orion is now looking for real estate agents and their buyers for the series. Part travel show, part home show, this new series showcases all the wild wonders that Alaska has to offer, said Orion casting producer Cindy Baggish.

Council considers new rates on Monday

A proposed new water-sewer rate schedule comes back for reconsideration at 6 p.m. Monday for the Homer City Council’s regular meeting. Near the top of the agenda right after public comments, the motion to reconsider asks the question “Does the council want to look one more time at changing water and sewer rates?”

If the motion to reconsider fails, the proposed new fee schedule dies, and the current water and sewer rates remain unchanged.

Street Faire returns to its Hazel Avenue spot

Started in 1987, and held in locations as diverse as Heath Street and even Homer High School, the Homer Council on the Arts Street Faire once again is held at its current location on Hazel Avenue, offering a day of arts and crafts vendors, food booths, activities and music. Now in its fourth year at its new spot, the festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the venue between Safeway and the Homer Public Library.

Concert on the Lawn:

Along with the Spit Run, the Ninilchik Rodeo and the Kenai Peninsula Fair, one of the lower peninsula’s most venerable summer traditions is back in its 34th year — KBBI Public Radio’s annual Concert on the Lawn.

As old as the station itself, Concert on the Lawn  started in the station’s old backyard in what’s now called the Town Center. At a bigger venue at Karen Hornaday Park, Concert on the Lawn is Homer’s own mini-Woodstock, minus the mud. Unlike Woodstock, if someone says they were at Concert on the Lawn, they probably were.

New Alaska book tells story of Alaskans 100 years apart

Publishers Weekly calls C.B. Bernard’s “Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now” a travel book, and one of this year’s top 10, up there with new books by Paul Theroux and Dave Eggers. National Geographic named it one of the Best Travel Books of Spring, with Amy Alipio saying “what binds these books together is a compelling tale and a great sense of place.”

Homer man charged in motorhome arson

Homer Police this week charged a Homer man with first-degree arson, a felony, for allegedly torching his own motorhome. Alen T. Blatchford, 66, also was charged with failure to control or report a dangerous fire. Homer Police found Blatchford standing outside his motorhome on Jenny Way when they went to investigate the fire at about 8:20 a.m. July 4.

Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters put out the fire.

Second suicide in July reported

Alaska State Troopers on Sunday went to a report of a man with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to a trooper press release, at about 3 p.m. July 7 troopers responded to a Thurmond Avenue home in Anchor Point where they found a 58-year-old Anchor Point man had taken his own life by shooting himself with a handgun. Next of kin were at the home. The man’s remains were taken to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for an examination.

Fisherman killed in gear accident

A Wisconsin fishermen who got his hand and body caught in an anchor winch on a Homer fishing boat on July 4 died of his injuries. Ninilchik Emergency Services medics responded to the boat and pronounced Lewis Byerly, 55, dead. The F/V Anna Lane was about 1.5 miles offshore of Ninilchik at the time of the incident and being worked as a fish tender.

More time for halibut comments sought

Both Alaska U.S. senators and the Homer Chamber of Commerce have asked for an extension to the 45-day period for comments on a revised version of the halibut catch sharing. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service on June 28 published the proposed plan in the Federal Register and seeks public comments by  Aug. 12.

That’s too short a time, said the chamber and the senators.

Highland Games: bring a bit of Scotland to Homer

OK, first let’s get the obvious question out of the way. What do men — and women — wear under their kilts at the Kachemak Bay Scottish Highland Games? If you were one of about 450 people who watched the 30 athletes compete at Karen Hornaday Park last Saturday, the way those kilts swirled about as athletes threw big stones and tossed huge logs, you know the answer.

Friends celebrate Garrity’s life

The musician who helped bring New Orleans and Louisiana Cajun music to Homer, Ray Garrity, got a proper second-line send-off Monday afternoon. In the New Orleans tradition of a jazz funeral without a body, wearing black and waving white handkerchiefs, the Bossy Panties dance group and the Bossy Pants band, friends and family of Garrity marched from Homer High School down Pioneer Avenue to Café Cups.

Halibut changes on table

A revised version of the controversial halibut catch sharing plan is once again back up for federal review. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service on June 28 published the proposed plan in the Federal Register and seeks public comment. Comments are due by Aug. 12.

In letters sent this week to NOAA Acting Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, both Alaska's U.S. Senators urged NOAA to extend the comment period another 45 days. 

Council deletes Pier One from request for proposal

The Homer City Council on Monday amended a request for proposals to limit inquiries of its use to only the southeast two-thirds of an 11-acre lot zoned marine-industrial on the Homer Spit. That lot also contains Pier One Theatre, which leases the lot and an old warehouse building, and a city campground. Earlier, the council had proposed soliciting ideas for use of the lot so as to gauge commercial industry for activities such as a barge haul-out facility.

Homer man arrested in shooting SERT uses armored truck to respond

Alaska State Troopers used an armored tactical response vehicle last Wednesday to persuade a Homer man to surrender after troopers said he fired a .44-caliber revolver when troopers announced themselves outside his house on Char Court. 

Timothy A. Magee, 39, was arraigned last Thursday on two counts of third-degree assault, a felony, for allegedly causing fear of injury to Wildlife Trooper Trent Chwialkowski and Trooper David Chaffin. He also was charged with fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons for allegedly being drunk while shooting a weapon.

Facing the elements to take hiatus

Moose have trampled on its art. Vandals have stolen and trashed works. Some sculptures have been left in place, slowly returning back to the earth. Since 1994, Facing the Elements has merged art and nature on the Pratt Museum’s Forest Trail, testing creative ingenuity and inspiring imaginations.

The 19th annual show opened June 14, but when the museum begins construction of its new building in late 2014 or early 2015, this will be the last summer of Facing the Elements until completion of the new museum in 2016 or 2017. In the meantime, the show will take a hiatus.

Water-sewer rate changes fail — back for reconsideration

To an observer at Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, it might have looked like a tennis match between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams as action on  proposed changes to the water-sewer rates bounced back and forth. When the dust had settled, the council struck down the proposed rate changes — for now — but along the way made these decisions: