May Day party with a twist

What a fabulous Fireweed Academy May Day celebration we experienced May 4. Despite the cold, the wind and whatever that white stuff was on the ground, folks came out and celebrated spring as only Alaskans can do — in our coats, hats, mittens and mud boots. 

There was food, there was music, there was fun and there were some very generous people — donations came to $4,685.63 — with the students being the beneficiaries of that generosity.

Fish board should meet on peninsula

A Friday night report on KTUU/2 told of the Homer Shorebird Festival. The woman interviewed stated the shorebird festival was worth “$250,000 to local businesses.” 

  The Alaska Board of Fisheries decided for 2014 Lower Cook Inlet and Upper Cook Inlet deliberations would take place in Anchorage. Since these meetings typically last 5- 10 days, the economic loss to local businesses could easily exceed $1 million. 

Justice really is blind

When an abuser can beat their significant other, sending them to the emergency room (for a bill of approximately $2,000), and the abuser gets to plead to a charge of disorderly conduct and given a $5 fine, there is something wrong.

Now I can understand why so many abuse victims choose not to seek legal help in the situation they find themselves in. Where is the justice in that?

Middle school appreciates gift

On behalf of the students and staff, I would like once again to thank Mr. and Mrs. Dave Schroer for their generosity in supporting the Homer Middle School’s activities programs.

Their contribution of $2,500 goes a long way in helping Homer Middle School offer quality athletic programs for our students. This year’s donation enables the teams to purchase warm-up suits to be used by our sports teams. Thank you for giving our students the opportunity to play sports and to compete at the middle school level.

Save-U-More supports literacy

Thank you to Save-U-More for the generous donation of rewards for the Adopt-a-Library Program at the West Homer Elementary Library. The students work hard all year keeping a section of their choice clean and organized. The students are honored that Save-U-More supports them and this program.

Raffle leads to great family vacation

I entered a fantastic fundraiser for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in the fall of 2012 and was blessed with winning the grand prize of a week’s stay in gorgeous Costa Rica. This was donated by Leah and Howard Cloud of Homer. I didn’t expect to win but did and it was the most amazing family vacation we have ever taken. The house, Casa Las Nubes in Tulemar, Manual Antonio, Costa Rica, is outstanding and a commitment to the environment, built with the passion and respect it so deserves.

Meet adds up to great experience

The eighth annual Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Middle School Math Meet, a joint effort between the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College and Homer Middle School, offered a challenging math experience April 26 to 90 students from nine district schools.

Despite snow, cleanup happened

On behalf of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center we want to say how deeply appreciative we are to be a part of this Homer community which went above and beyond to participate in this year’s Cleanup Day event. I must say, waking up to see the snow made me have my doubts, but with the help of so many volunteers, we were barbecuing in the snow in no time. It was great to see the amount of dedication and discipline we received from the younger Homer generation.

Homer welcomes youth conference

How does one engage, teach, lodge, feed and inspire more than 160 youth from around the state for three days and nights in April? Ask one’s community to help. Facing the task of hosting this year’s statewide Youth Court conference in Homer, we asked our neighbors, friends, city and local businesses, schools and nonprofits for help. Every single one of you stepped up and helped us realize our dream of an interactive and thought-provoking symposium of new ideas, skills, knowledge and activities.

Tax-Aide volunteers help seniors

The AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are a special group of people who are dedicated to giving their time and expertise to provide a free income tax preparation service for the citizens of Homer year after year. This year, our volunteers e-filed more than 160 returns with a total refund amount of approximately $137,000. The Earned Income Credit Tax was more than $22,000 and the estimated tax preparation fees saved taxpayers more than $30,000. There were 92 citizens in the Homer area age 60 or older who were served by Tax-Aide volunteers.

Students guided in creative process

Paul Banks Elementary was fortunate to host former Homer resident Gail Baker, art maker, for a two-week artist in the school program last month. Connecting to this year’s outer space theme, she guided each of our 170 K-2 students through the creative process of building an alien/outer space explorer mask.

Kids learn through outdoor camp

This year West Homer fourth and fifth graders celebrated the 31st year of  the school’s coastal studies outdoor education camp. Each child spent three days studying botany, geology, marine invertebrates, anthropology, mammals and general ecology at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Peterson Bay Field Station, Kasitsna Bay Lodge or McBride’s Lodge.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the many local businesses, individuals and organizations that have helped offset the cost of our fantastic learning experience. Thank you.

HHS: Most employable school

Homer High School’s SkillsUSA membership would like to thank the Homer Rotary Club for the support and speaking opportunity given to us recently. As our community and nation reassess the importance of the career technical trades and the role public school plays in preparing students, we are thankful that the community of Homer and surrounding areas give of their time, expertise and resources to support us as we continue to move forward.  

Homer blind to homeless people

I have a pressing issue that is dear to my heart that I feel needs to be addressed. Our community is estranged from the realities of homelessness. I’ve seen an influx in the number of homeless transient people coming into town during this time of year. This is not news. For many years the seasonal workers and travelers have come into town and camped out on the Homer Spit.  

Biking good for you, the planet

Homer Cycling Club believes that riding your bike is environmentally friendly, healthy and enjoyable. May is National Bike to Work Month, and HCC will be especially promoting Bike to Work Week, May 13-17. We encourage you to dust off and lube up your bike for the upcoming summer season. 

Old Town sets goals for near term

Old Town’s got it going on. We are the Gateway to Bishop’s Beach, one of the best and most accessible beaches on the Kenai Peninsula. Composed of 22 businesses and organizations, Old Town offers great food,  live music, tasty mead, exciting art and even sticky buns. According to Trip Advisor, Maura’s Cafe and Delicatessen, The Mermaid Café and Two Sisters Bakery shuffle around each other as the top three rated restaurants in all of Homer.


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