Staff report

HVFD chief earns credential

Homer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert L. Painter was approved by the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) Commission during the May 2015 review meeting to receive the Certified Emergency Manager credential. The CEM designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from the International Association of Emergency Managers, CEM said in a press release. 

Red flag fire danger warning is issued

Because of high temperatures and low humidity, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning until 10 p.m. Monday for most of Southcentral Alaska, including the western Kenai Peninsula. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are imminent or occurring now or will shortly. Temperatures are in the upper 70s to high 80s north of Clam Gulch and in the upper 60s to mid 70s south of Clam Gulch.

Police seek suspect in Safeway theft

Homer Police have asked the public’s help in identifying the suspect in a theft about 1:05 p.m. Jan. 27 from the Homer Safeway grocery store. Police said that on Tuesday a man left the store with a basket full of items. In a video camera image of the man, he wears a dark hoody sweatshirt with a logo and the hood pulled over his head.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homer Police Department at 235-3150 or Crime Stoppers at 907-283-TIPS (907-283-8477) or toll free at 800-478-HALT (800-478-4258).

Nutcracker Ballet opens Saturday

The 26th annual Nutcracker Ballet opens for a two-weekend run this Saturday. Over the years the Homer production has interpreted the music of Tchaikovsky’s ballet and the original Nutcracker fairy tale with themes like an alternate Steampunk reality to a castle of cards. 

This year, the ballet comes closer to home with a vision based on Homer’s relationship to the sea. 

Nov. 24 fire damages Seldovia school shop

An early morning fire on Nov. 24, in the Susan B. English School shop in Seldovia appears to have been caused by spontaneous combustion due to rags in a garbage can, according to a Nov. 26 press release issued by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. 

There were no injuries; the fire was an accident.

The shop is in a building separate from the school. Classes remained in session.

Film to feature small town animal shelter

Five years since the premiere of “Puffin Bay,” Homer filmmaker Brian Smith is taking on a new feature film, “The Care and Feeding of Jack,” a fictional telling of the life of a small town animal shelter and the changes it experiences.

“I’m excited about doing an animal shelter character story,” said Smith, who has volunteered at the Homer Animal Shelter for the past six years. 

Who Jack is, is a secret Smith is keeping to himself for now. 

“That’s a surprise,” he said. 

Veterans Day parade is Tuesday

Homer Veterans Day ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Homer Elks Emblem Club Veterans Memorial at the corner of Lake Street and Pioneer Avenue. 

A parade then proceeds west on Pioneer Avenue to Main Street, south on Main Street to the Sterling Highway, and then east on the highway to the Veterans Memorial at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. 

A ceremony, including a rifle salute and playing of “Taps,” will be held at the memorial. 

Ninth annual Kenai River Marathon draws crowd

Two hundred nineteen athletes from across the Kenai Peninsula, the state and the country took to the pavement Sunday for the Kenai River Marathon, the half marathon, relay and 5k races on Sunday. Peter Svenning of Palm City, Fla., won the marathon in a time of 3 hours, 29 minutes and two seconds. Whitney Bennett of Anchorage was the first women and second overall to finish the 26.2-mile course, crossing the finish line in 3:23.05. Each event began and ended at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in Kenai.
Southern peninsula athletes included:

District relies on ‘ALICE’ to increase student safety schools safe with ‘ALICE’

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is changing the way schools respond to armed intruders through training in ALICE, Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, the school district announced in a press release issued Monday.

Training and collaboration between law enforcement and school principals is being held this week in Kenai.

Gardeners prepare for weekend of activities; public is welcome

The Homer Garden Club will sponsor its eighth annual Gardeners’ Weekend on Aug. 2-3. The weekend’s activities include:

Aug. 2: Two presentations by Debra Prizing, a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based president of the Garden Writers Association, award-winning author and proponent of an emerging eco-floral design movement. She also is a contributing editor for Better Homes and Gardens and her writing regularly appears in Horticulture, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Country Gardens and Sunset. 

3 charged with taking 32 overlimit of halibut

Alaska Wildlife Troopers earlier this month charged three Wasilla fishermen with taking an overlimit of 32 halibut on a July 3 fishing trip out of Anchor Point. 

Vasilie Martosheff, 32, Iakov Ivanov, 29, and Nekolay Malahoff, 44, all face charges of taking an overlimit of halibut and violating International Pacific Halibut Commission regulations for filleting the fish before reaching port. 

Maggie Goedeke joins staff of Homer Physical Therapy

Homer Physical Therapy introduces its newest staff member — Maggie Goedeke. 

Originally from Kansas, Goedeke is a graduate of Wichita State University’s Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. She also has a bachelor of fine arts in music theatre from Wichita State University.

She also has done clinical training in Florida and Colorado.

Goedeke has specialty training in spinal manual therapy.

Homer chef to compete in seafood cook-off

Well-known Homer chef Chef Mandy Dixon will  represent Alaska in the 11th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 2 in New Orleans.
She is one of 18 chefs from throughout the United States competing for the crown honoring the best seafood chef in the nation.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board are hosting the event.
“It’s a thrill to bring Alaska seafood to Louisiana, the home of this national cook-off, and compete against a group of America’s most talented chefs,” Dixon said.

Birders seek to identify mysterious Spit bird

The Kachemak Bay Birders are seeking help in identifying this mystery bird photographed by visitor David Hanson on June 6 on a roof near Spit Sisters on the Homer Spit. Homer birders with knowledge of Alaska birds do not think this is a bird native to Alaska and might be an escaped caged bird. The bird has a yellow band on its right leg. Wild birds would have a metal band, said Lani Raymond of the Kachemak Bay Birders. She said birds with yellow bands may be from Peru.

Open fires banned in state, federal parks

In response to current extreme fire danger on the Kenai Peninsula, effective immediately and until further notice, all open fires are prohibited in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Peninsula State Parks and Chugach National Forest lands on the Kenai Peninsula. This includes any and all camp fires, including the use of enclosed fire grates and rings in State Park and Refuge Campgrounds. Use of charcoal and/or personal charcoal grills is also prohibited. Cooking stoves and gas grills may be used.

All state park and refuge campgrounds on the Kenai Peninsula remain open.

McNeil scientists share their research

Eighty-one students from McNeil Canyon Elementary and Razdolna schools put their curious minds and research abilities on display April 30. The occasion was McNeil’s science fair, with Laura Murphy’s fourth- and fifth-grade class inviting Razdolna to join in the fun.
The fair included a total of 53 science experiments and research projects.
Judges Mark Romano, Kris Holdereid and Jan Rumble awarded prizes to the following students:
Kindergarten through third-great experiment
First place: Bristol Johnson;

Ninilchik father, daughter inducted in ASAA Alaska High School Hall of Fame

Former Ninilchik basketball coach Dan Leman and his daughter and star player, Whitney, were among 11 named to the Alaska High School Hall of Fame, the Alaska School Activities Association announced last week.
The Lemans will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Aug. 3, in Anchorage.
The public is invited.


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